Photographs taken last week show Culann Patera doing something violent yet strangely beautiful, probably brought on by the cumulative effects of stress. Scientists attributed the particularly vibrant colors on display to some unusual chemical reactions, but nobody was about to get close enough to check. What was Culann Patera doing? (Question courtesy of Greg Diamond.)
Send your answer by 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday's Question (No. 432)—"Virginia Dare":
Thousands of people want to do something in Prince William County, Va., this summer, but publisher Dean Regan laments, "It's getting harder and harder to find a [place] that's big enough and rural enough." To do what?
"The Thomas Jefferson family reunion."—Carrie Rickey
"It's enough to drive you nuts. Manitoba is big and rural, but will anyone ever consider us for this? No, we're too far north and west."—Chris Hurst
"Stage the annual Nude Battle of Bull Run re-enactment."—Charlie "Watch Where You Point That Bayonet" Glassenberg
"What's a publisher doing in Prince William County, Va.? Is he lost?"—Leigh Anne Kippeny
Click for more answers.
Prince William County—as quiz participants discovered, is easy to mock (and thank God for that, or why include it in the quiz?), but there's more to it than mere mockability, including these local activities the Visitors Bureau recommends for May.
- May 6: Kid's Fishing Tournament at Leesylvania State Park. Catch and Release. (Back in my day, when you caught a kid, you got to keep him.)
- May 13: Glow in the Dark Golf Tournament at Lake Ridge Park. 7:30 pm. 12350 Cotton Mill Dr., Woodbridge. (I believe that's out by the old nuclear power plant.)
- May 20: Haymarket Spring Fine Arts and Crafts Festival. Arts and crafts festival with live entertainment including the Bull Run Cloggers and hands-on activities for children. (CloggersAND kids—pinch me!)
- May 27: Prince William's three Waterparks open for summer season. Perfect for family fun! Splashdown Waterpark in Manassas … Signal Bay in Manassas Park … and Waterworks in Dale City. (The opening-day celebration has gotten a lot more popular since they dropped the old name, Urine Fest '98!)
- May 29: The town of Dumfries presents its Memorial Day Motorcycle Poker Run in honor of the National Veterans. (It should be a little less exciting but a lot safer than last year's Motorcycle Strip-Poker Run.)
Incredibly Realistic Simulation of an Answer
Fifteen thousand people want to re-enact the First Battle of Bull Run at—or at least near—where the fighting occurred. And thousands more want to watch.
Civil War re-enactors—they dislike the term "Civil War nuts"—seek landscapes similar to those on which the original conflict took place, i.e., free of power lines and far from the interstate. However, suburban sprawl makes these conditions scarce so near to Washington, D.C.
The 5,000-acre Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of the Bull Run fighting, would seem an obvious choice for the event. However, the National Park Service banned re-creations in 1961, the battle's centennial year, after a ragtag group of re-enactors—they dislike the term "bearded drunks with muskets"—engaged in what the park service felt were unsafe activities.
Dean Regan is the publisher of the Civil War Times Illustrated. The planned date of the re-enactment, contrary to Friday's question, is July 21, 2001—next summer—the 140th anniversary of the battle. But the worrying-about-a-site season officially begins … now.
Simply Selena Adjective-Fest Extra
Which of the following are adjectives deployed by the New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning Selena Roberts in her coverage of Games 6 and 7 of the Knicks-Heat series?
- High camp
- Big, fat
All are the work of Ms. Roberts except 5 (Entertainment Weekly on that submarine movie), 8 (Newsweek on Walt Disney's dinosaur cartoon), 10 (Liz Smith on Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous), 12 (cropped up in a scary dream I had), and 15 (Time on Gladiator (but not mocking Russell Crowe, who was really quite fit).