No. 437: "Easy Come, Diseasy Go"

No. 437: "Easy Come, Diseasy Go"

No. 437: "Easy Come, Diseasy Go"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
June 2 2000 11:30 PM

No. 437: "Easy Come, Diseasy Go"

At Wednesday's American Medical Association press briefing on infectious diseases (the leading cause of death worldwide) researchers warned that dangerous strains of drug-resistant germs were emerging as a result of several things Americans are doing. For example?

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Send your answer by 9 p.m. ET Sunday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Wednesday's Question (No. 436)—"Real Beef á Roma":

Mayor Francesco Rutelli has rescinded Rome's official support for a July event he now says is inappropriate in this Holy Year declared by Pope John Paul II. What event?

"National Fetal-Cell Experimentation Day."—Gary Drevitch

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"They were going to raise money for a kids summer camp using a lottery where people would guess how much the pope would drool at the next Mass."—Steven Davis

"Put me down as a self-disgusted 'similarly' for any answer involving slaughtering cats."—Jon Zerolnick

"The Second Coming. That egotist John Paul II doesn't want ANYONE stealing his spotlight."—Daniel Radosh (Michael Mannella had a similar answer, but Armageddon.)

"Um, pointy hats! Pontiffs! The Coliseum! Bastille Day! July Fourth! C'mon, put it in. I may not have the rhythm, but I have the words."—Dola Nasr

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Randy's Wrap-Up

Many players invoked gladiatorial combat, raising this question: In that opening battle scene in Germania, when Maximus says, "When I give the signal, unleash Hell," did he mean send forth the implacable might of our Roman legions, or did he mean unhook the dog? Because they did both. So was the dog named "Hell"? Just before Maximus gave his ambiguous order, we got a lot of close-ups of the dog who looked sufficiently fierce to bear that name and who also looked worried about the outcome of the battle, which he needn't have, what with the fire-throwing catapults and all. But the dog seemed to have a kind of tactical savvy that made me sure he was going to have to save Maximus, perhaps by biting a barbarian on the ass or by ordering a flanking maneuver. And although we got a lot of dramatic shots of the dog racing along with the cavalry and gnawing a barbarian's arm (which I took to be Ridley Scott's idea of irony: German shepherd, German arm), he never did save Maximus. With so much camera time lavished on Hell (or Saber or Shadow or Barky) I figured it had to be an Androcles kind of thing. Dog and master get separated in the battle, and then years later, in the arena, when Maximus is about to be devoured by a lion, the dog would reappear to save his former master and old army buddy. Or maybe the lion would rip off a latex mask and turn out to be Hell, and everyone would have a good laugh, or the lion would turn out to be Tom Cruise, and everyone would go to the box office and demand their money back. So to answer your question: I'm not sure if the dog's name was Hell, but he sure dropped out of the picture in a hurry. He ought to call his agent. Or bite his agent on the ass.

Roman Holiday Answer

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Rutelli has withdrawn official city sponsorship of the World Gay Pride Festival still scheduled for July 1-9. While the city's logo may not be used in conjunction with the event, the city council voted to maintain its financial support.

The decision follows an appeal by a top Italian cardinal, Giuliano Amato, who called the scheduling "inopportune" and added that "unfortunately" Italy's constitution doesn't allow it to be banned.

Civil libertarians attacked the decision. "It's a matter of deciding if Italy is a lay country, free and democratic, or it's a Vatican serfdom," said Franco Grillini, who heads a commission in the national government's equal opportunity ministry.

Deborah Oakley-Melvin, the festival's international director, expects 200,000 people to come from abroad, but many wonder if the festival will be canceled. "We tell them, 'Come, we're doing it. We'll march.' "

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Jon Delfin's Topikal Komedy Klassics Extra

The good news: A federal appeals court ruled that Elián González can stay in the United States. The bad news: He has to live with John and Patsy Ramsey.

Simply Selena Extra

Knicks-Pacers, Game 5.

Which building materials were mentioned in Ms. Roberts report?

A. old floorboards

B. lead pipes

C. faulty wiring

D. durable, easy-to-clean Formica

Answers

A and B.

True Fatuity Extra

Which of the following is an actual inane remark from a recent commencement address? (Extra credit for identifying the speaker and the venue.)

The Inane Remarks

  1. "We live in a new world where everything is changing."
  2. The Internet will usher in "a new era of fundamental and far-reaching change."
  3. "You can make a difference."
  4. "I'll hold up these proceedings until that ball is taken out of here."
  5. "You cannot let other people define your life for you."
  6. "Do not touch hot surfaces. Use handles or knobs."
  7. "The people I have admired the most are not necessarily those who are the most brilliant, or witty, or have mastered a particular discipline, but those who had the stamina to stay the course."
  8. "Keep hands, hair, clothing, as well as spatulas and other utensils away from mixing blades during operation."
  9. "The purpose of higher education for citizens of a democracy should be to help them identify excellence in its various realms."
  10. "To protect against electric shock, do not place cords, plugs or appliance in water or other liquid."

The Sources

  1. New York Sen. Charles Schumer, Cornell
  2. Francis L. Lawrence, president of Rutgers
  3. Stephen Jay Gould, Cooper Union
  4. Normal Lamm, president of Yeshiva University, demanding that graduates stop batting around a beach ball while he's being profound (not a part of his official remarks)
  5. Oprah Winfrey, Salem College
  6. From instructions for Toastmaster waffle iron, not a commencement address
  7. Henry Cisneros, Occidental College
  8. From instructions for Krups Power X blender, not a commencement address (although students would enjoy commencement a lot more if there were blender drinks and flying spatulas)
  9. George Will, Lafayette College
  10. From instructions for Braun Aromaster coffee maker, not a commencement address (but wouldn't a cup of coffee taste great about now and help keep you awake while George Will prattles on?)

Common Denominator

Gladiators and porn … wait a second! Get me DreamWorks!