No. 381: "Aho, Aha!"

No. 381: "Aho, Aha!"

No. 381: "Aho, Aha!"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Feb. 9 2000 3:30 AM

No. 381: "Aho, Aha!"

Yesterday's news about Esko Aho is great for women. How so?

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Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Monday's Question (No. 380)—"Rollin' and Tumblin' ":

"Twisting ... nose rocking ... tumbling, spinning ... continuous roll ... corkscrewing and inverted"--all words used by observers of one of last week's news events. What had they just seen?(Question courtesy of Michele Siegel.) 

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"True, New Hampshire was rough for W., but boy, does that Maureen Dowd carry a sharp pen."—Josh Pollack

"Gary Bauer's debut in his new gig, flipping burgers in a Wendy's commercial."—Hendrik Hertzberg

"The original writers on The Mary Tyler MooreShow, spinning in their graves."—Chip Roush (Beth "Sorry, I Was in Brazil Last Week" Sherman had a similar answer.)

"Is a new Gap ad really a 'news event'?"—Greg Diamond

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"Yes, it really is a tragedy that my neighbor Timmy's model plane crashed into the lake. What's that? Oh, ahem, never mind."—Francis Heaney

Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Although we've previously discussed our comic criteria, some participants were offended by today's question. Despite this carping, News Quiz will continue to observe the rules used by all major media:

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Death far away counts less than death nearby, particularly when death takes place in Africa, in which case it hardly counts at all. (It's basically 500,000 Rwandans equals one Kennedy, but those interested in the math can e-mail NBC for the actual equations.)

Death of dark-skinned people counts less than that of pale-skinners, unless the dark-skinned corpse had an album that went platinum. (Bonus points for being cut down in a hail of gunfire.)

A death's importance is proportional to the income of the corpse.

Fast deaths—what journalists call "accidents"—count more than slow deaths. So, considering several factors, 500,000 deaths each year from cigarettes equal a bit less than one Princess Diana.

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The sadness of vehicular deaths is proportional to the speed of the vehicle. Thus, being killed on a bicycle will hardly get you into the papers; a car crash increases your chances; a plane crash nearly assures you some ink; and a space shuttle death will get you on the front page. Or, to use the CNN rule: An air disaster is a special; a shuttle disaster is a series; a shuttle disaster during sweeps is proof of the existence of God. A malevolent God, but still …

Air Disaster Answer

They'd seen Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash into the Pacific, killing the 88 people on board.

Witnesses on the ground as well as several pilots flying in the area saw the final minutes of the flight, lending support to the theory that the crash was caused by trouble with the horizontal stabilizer, a view consistent with crew conversation on the cockpit voice recorder.

Opportunities for Health Professionals Extra

(All from actual help-wanted ads in Sunday's actual New York Times.)

  • Curative Health Services, the leaders in wound care management: "Program Manager, Outpatient Wound Care Center. You will be responsible for overseeing the operations and marketing of the program."—I'm just spit-balling here, but if the marketing plan included a TV commercial where that irritating Calista Flockhart got wounded, people would like that.
  • Violence Institute of New Jersey: Faculty Position Available. "The Violence Institute of New Jersey … based in Newark, was established in 1997 to serve as a multi-pronged organizational resource to assist New Jersey in addressing unacceptably high rates of violence perpetration and victimization throughout the life span."— I wasn't all that interested until I saw the job was multi-pronged.
  • General Psychiatrist, Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare: "Work with other staff Psychiatrists in a twenty-six bed acute inpatient unit. Excellent salary, full benefits package. Beautiful, four-season community."—I'm not sure what that last thing means, but I'm picturing heavily sedated people not just snowboarding but also swimming and then ripping up the lovely spring flowers and shoving one another into a bonfire of autumn leaves.
  • New York City Department of Health: "Has outstanding opportunities in its Anthropod-borne Disease Surveillance and Control Program."—I am so glad I didn't take that other job with merely ordinary opportunities in Anthropod -borne Disease Surveillance.
  • EverCare: "Geriatric Nurse Practitioner."—So, she'd be about 150 years old and still nursing, even though she's like deaf and has very brittle bones and … it's a play on words … get it? Get it?
  • Queens Hospital Center: "Assistant Director, Satellite Outpatient Center"—Like some big hospital in orbit … like on a space ship or something … and you know who works there? The Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. I'm going to go lie down now. For my zero-gravity sponge bath.
  •   Director of Nursing: "The Baptist Division of the Hebrew Home for the Aged …"—See, now my head hurts. Nurse! Nurse! Bring me my pill!

Say It Loud: "I'm Eretz Israel and I'm Proud" Ongoing Extra

Herb Terns still invites participants to devise a slogan better—or at least less sinister—than this from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism: "No one belongs here more than you!"

Find inspiration at www.goisrael.com.

Best new Israeli tourism slogans to run Thursday.

Common Denominator

Bush befuddled.