Like other liberal intellectual activities in China, Princeton's prestigious language program is in jeopardy, and its director, Professor C.P. Chou, knows why: "I think it definitely has something to do with President Jiang's Three Stresses campaign." Name the three stresses.
Send your answer by 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to email@example.com.
Friday's Question—(No. 427): "Be Four—and After?"
New federal regulations require a 1-year-old child, a 3-year-old child, a 6-year-old child, and a 112-pound woman to be present in a certain situation. What is this meant to achieve?
"The 2000 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team."—David Granger
"A nervous breakdown for the 112-pound woman, I'm guessing."—Tim Carvell (Dola Nasr had an all but identical answer.)
"Sure it lets them stay in the mine longer, but isn't this replacement for the canary warning system just a bit unethical?"—Matthew Renner
"A pictorial representation of Calista Flockhart's emotional range."—Helene Wecker
"Has enough time passed for me to make a new Diana Ross and the Supremes joke? No? Well, then forget it."—Peter Carlin
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A summer movie, like a summer romance, is meant to provide ephemeral thrills and vanish from one's memory. But many quiz participants (and by "many" I mean "none") recall that just a few years back, a 1-year-old child, a 3-year-old child, a 6-year-old child, and a 112-pound woman were forced to help Kevin Bacon make a getaway by white-water rafting: That was the premise of the big summer movie. And already, there's mistake No. 1: Who flees a crime by white-water rafting? Surely all the tellers at the bank Kevin Bacon robbed (did he rob a bank?) would be able to describe him to the cops: "He was slender, medium height, more than a character actor but less than a leading man, and wearing one of those orange life vests." Mistake No. 2 emerges when the cops get to the river and ask, "Which way did he go?" Surely it has got to be: downstream. And mistake No. 3 is thinking you can build a raft by strapping together a 1-year-old child, a 3-year-old child, and a 6-year-old child; they're just not all that buoyant, but then again, neither was Kevin Bacon's performance. Meryl Streep, on the other hand, had developed a convincing set of triceps and an Australian accent, making her completely believable as the 112-pound woman river guide. Then I went out for popcorn, but from what I could tell when I got back: A bear attacked the raft but was fought off by Meryl Streep's seemingly wimpy husband, David Mamet, who shouted lines of Hemingway at it, convincingly reasserting his manhood, and then the crowd in the arena gave thumbs-down, and Russell Crowe sliced off the bear's head. Or Kevin Bacon's head. Which turned out not be a real head, but a hallucination caused by these space insects who then rearranged the matrix so a dingo seemed to eat the 1-year-old child, the 3-year-old child, and the 6-year-old child, and perhaps my date, who still hadn't come back from the ladies room where she said she was going two hours earlier during the coming attractions. But it was just a summer thing.
Sudden Impact Answer
The new rules are meant to augment auto safety by improving airbag performance. The Department of Transportation now requires family-sized crash-test dummies, not just the man-sized dummy of the past.
The old system, introduced with the 1988 cars, called for airbags that would protect a 183-pound man in a head-on collision at 30 miles an hour. The new system demands testing for women and children and requires protection only for a crash at 25 mph.
Since 1988, 152 people, including 92 children, have been killed by airbags. Two-thirds of those saved by airbags were not wearing seatbelts.
"Telescope Spots Huge Space Bone" Extra
Today's best headline, from an MSNBC story. Best phrase in the story: "roughly the size of New Jersey."
Read more about it at here.
(Story courtesy of Jack Shafer.)
Bowling Challenge Ongoing Extra
Thirty years ago throwing a 300 was a rare and noble accomplishment; today it is commonplace. The American Bowling Congress recorded 905 perfect games in 1968-69; in 1998-99 they logged 34,470. The change is mostly due to advances in ball technology and the more common use of lubricants on the lane. Many skilled bowlers believe that the thrill is gone and are looking for changes in the game to restore its challenge.
- Instead of balls: live cats.
- Replace beer frame with horse tranquilizer frame.
- Random use of exploding No. 3 pin.
- Bowling pins in shape of nine scary monsters plus Dr. Laura.
- Turn off the lights; unleash hell.
Participants are invited to devise other ways to restore bowling's challenge. Responses to run Friday.
(Rainy day fun. Reread the opening paragraph, and for any mention of bowling, substitute "dating one of the Minot sisters.")