“Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past.” —Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis
And so another crazy year has come and gone, full of delightful surprises. We had Google glasses, Amazon drones and a pope who speaks the words of Christ. Nobody saw that coming!
But big data was the big story in 2013. If we weren’t all gleefully handing it over to the social networks, we were innocently having it sucked out of our heads by the NSA and our corporate overlords. And thanks to a steady stream of surveillance disclosures, it’s become clear Uncle Sam is keeping close tabs on all of us. (Your government would appreciate a courtesy flush, BTW.)
Back in 2002 when Dick Cheney spoke about “total information awareness,” the very notion seemed comical. But this year when German chancellor Angela Merkel told President Obama to stop listening in on her phone calls, the nation gasped. Because, you know, who makes phone calls anymore, right?
Of course, there were a lot of other important events in 2013, but most of them involved either Obamacare or Miley Cyrus, neither of which anybody thinks can be fixed. Oh, and there were some important basketball games back in the spring.
So how well were you paying attention? Take our 2013 quiz and find out what the NSA probably already knows about you. Oh, and to really challenge the ol’ memory banks, we’re tossing in a few questions from the past decade in honor of this, the 10th anniversary of our not-Good-For-Nothing Quiz. Good luck and remember: The NSA will know if you ask Siri for help! And it will go on your permanent record.
• NATIONAL AND WORLD NEWS
1. Despite President Obama’s assurances that the government does not spy on its citizens, what did NSA director Keith Alexander admit in September?
___A. That 83 percent of active Facebook users are “total narcissist drama queens”
___B. That the NSA collects and stores phone records for all U.S. citizens at a massive data center in Utah
___C. That you really ought to get that mole checked out
___D. That “sandwich” is the most common euphemism for “weed” when people text their dealers
2. Who said, “I made a decision … that I would not marry anybody until I could marry everybody”?
___A. Joe Biden, in a misguided joke about loving the American people
___B. New Jersey Senator-elect Cory Booker, after officiating at that state’s first legal same-sex marriage
___C. Louisville Baptist minister The Rev. Bojangles Blanchard
___D. Larry King
3. What is “synthetic biology”?
___A. A musical subgenre of Christian slash-metal popular in the clubs of Toronto
___B. A potent painkiller responsible for 40 deaths in Kentucky in 2013
___C. Manmade life forms created by manipulating digital DNA
___D. A pejorative term coined by environmentalist Bill McKibben for obese Americans who eat frankenfoods
Match the big-data newsmaker to the big-data news:
___4. Xu Mingen
___5. Craig Venter
___6. Peter Higgs
___7. Edward Snowden
___8. Sebastian Thrun
___9. Anne Wojcicki
A. Former CIA and NSA contractor who fled to Russia and leaked secrets about the United States’ massive surveillance program
B. Founder of 23andMe, a DNA testing service that will analyze your spit and tell you your personal genome
C. Physicist who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the “God Particle”
D. Geneticist whose book “Life at the Speed of Light” detailed his plans to build a DNA machine to send life through space
E. Developer who successfully printed human ears and livers using a 3-D printer
F. Google vice president and robotics expert who has helped develop wearable computers, self-driving cars and the Udacity online university
10. What was the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year?
11. Which of the following did Sen. Rand Paul not do at an April speech at Howard University?
___A. Recite from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
___B. Claim he was never opposed to the Civil Rights Act, despite being on record opposing it
___C. Suggest he was brave for appearing before an audience of black people
___D. Claim he used Afro Sheen on his hair throughout the ’70s
Match the political action committee with its purpose:
___12. Americans for Responsible Solutions
___13. Kentuckians for Strong Leadership
___14. We Are Kentucky
___15. Club for Growth
___16. Americans for Prosperity
___17. Friends of Democracy
A. Super PAC hoping to buy Mitch McConnell’s reelection
B. Super PAC established by Jonathan Soros to oppose SuperPACs
C. Gun-control PAC established by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
D. Super PAC hoping to elect Alison Lundergan Grimes
E. Pro-Ted Cruz Super PAC opposed to Obamacare
F. Koch-brothers-funded Super PAC supporting Tea Party causes
Match the kooky billionaire with his eccentric, long-shot side project:
___18. Sergey Brin
___19. Elon Musk
___20. Paul Allen
___21. Jeff Bezos
___22. Bill Gates
A. Pneumatic-tube-like high-speed travel for humans known as the “hyperloop”
B. A better toilet
C. The Washington Post
D. Solar-powered balloons to deliver Internet service to unserved areas
E. Massive jet airplanes with wingspans wider than a football field
23. House republicans shut down the U.S. government for 16 days in October in a failed attempt at what legal action?
___A. A ban on combat drones on American soil
___B. A proposal to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
___C. A ban on gay marriage nationwide
___D. A plan to stop a proposed ban on trans fats
24. What unusual tactic did the U.S. and Russia employ to convince Syria to surrender its chemical weapons?
___B. The “Vozglas Zadnitsu” policy, which is Russian for “open up a half-liter of whoop-ass”
___C. An around-the-clock broadcast of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video to all homes in Syria
___D. Two weeks of drone strikes in Damascus, resulting in the deaths of 238 civilians
25. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy in July who is now third in line to the British throne. What is his official name?
___A. Prince William, Duke of Wellington
___B. Baron Carrickfergus Willie John-Thomas Percy, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Areola, Dangler of the One-Eyed Trouser Serpent, His Royal Majesty, Prince Dave
___C. His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge
___D. North West
26. Quiz Flashback — 2006 — Which of the following is not a euphemism used by the Bush Administration?
___A. “Sectarian violence” for civil war
___B. “Low food security” for hunger
___C. “Alternative interrogation techniques” for torture
___D. “An honest accident” for getting drunk and shooting a friend in the face
___E. “Butter the whisker biscuit” for abstinence
• LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS
27. What is the Bluegrass Pipeline?
___A. A marijuana-trafficking syndicate operating out of Marion, Nelson and Washington counties
___B. A controversial plan to pump fracked gas through Kentucky on its way from the northeast to the Gulf of Mexico
___C. An EPA Superfund cleanup site in Louisville’s Park Hill neighborhood
___D. A hookah bar on Bardstown Road
28. In an infamous, secretly recorded meeting, what popular arcade game did Mitch McConnell compare his campaign to?
___A. “Gridlock Guardian II: A Nation in Decline”
___B. “Ms. Pac Man”
___D. “Mortal Kombat”
29. In May, 16,000 people packed the Yum! Center to hear the Dalai Lama speak, in association with what Louisville designation?
___A. Possibility City
___B. Kapital of Karma
___C. Compassionate City
___D. The Urban-Bourbon Way
30. Sen. Rand Paul spent much of the fall apologizing for a repeated pattern of plagiarism in his speeches, articles and his book. What original sources did he plagiarize?
___A. Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”
___B. Penthouse Forum, Marvel’s “Thor” and “Mein Kampf”
___C. The Heritage Foundation, The Week Magazine and Wikipedia
___D. “150 Ways to Tell if You’re Ghetto,” a Hot Pockets nutrition label and “Eat, Pray, Love”
31. What did officials ban from the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge in April?
___A. Nice people dancing to good country music
___B. Gay weddings
___D. Speakers blasting classic rock
32. Kentucky got a lot of good national press in 2013 for being a leader in what important social reforms?
___A. Implementing “common core” education and health insurance exchange signups
___B. Banning 3-D handgun printing and using Google Glass while driving
___C. Legalization of dueling and plagiarism in the political arena
___D. Outlawing super-size soft drinks and trans fats
33. Quiz Flashback — 2010 — In response to a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that two Kentucky laws were unconstitutional, 90 percent of Kentucky’s legislators signed what controversial proclamation?
___A. Comprehensive educational attainment is elusive because “the smart ones move out of state”
___B. There is “no evidence that burning coal causes global warming”
___C. The “safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God”
___D. That they would “totally blow John Calipari if he would only ask”
34. WAVE-3 Bubblepooper Eric Flack set the Twitterscape on fire in July with what controversial report?
___A. A study showing that UK basketball fans have extremely elevated levels of halitosis
___B. An introspective, emotional, on-air breakdown after admitting he frequently tries but never actually poops bubbles
___C. An out-of-context report claiming that food trucks are unsanitary
___D. A libelous claim that Tom+Chee is neither Tom nor Chee
35. A year after raiding The Courier-Journal’s sports department, WDRB snuck back in and pilfered news reporters Marcus Green and Jason Riley. What do they do for WDRB?
___A. Shoot trouble
___B. Live television reports connecting the dots between food trucks and diarrhea
___C. Provide web content in support of WDRB’s quest to become “the dominant digital address” in Louisville
___D. Give WDRB chief Bill Lamb hot stone massages and clean his pool
36. After a long period of painful decline in advertising and readership, The Courier-Journal announced what change in October?
___A. It was switching to an all-college-basketball format
___B. It would merge the Metro and Business sections into the front section and publish fewer editorials
___C. It would cease publication on Tuesdays and Saturdays
___D. It was enjoying record profits thanks to the tweets of Sheldon Shafer
37. Louisville Public Media hired several former print journalists to provide long-form reporting “to expose wrongdoing and increase transparency in the public and private sectors.” What is this new venture’s name?
___A. Cokie Roberts’ Backwash
___B. Strange Fruit
___C. Untweeting the News
___D. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
38. Quiz Flashback — 2007 — What technological innovation had fans hailing it as a “social sixth sense” and critics denouncing it as “hipster narcissism” and “pointless email on steroids”?
___A. The Courier-Journal’s “Storychat” reader forums
___B. The exploding popularity of cell-phone text messaging
___C. The mass migration of Myspace users to Facebook
___D. The “CrackBerry” and other addictive messaging devices
___E. Twitter.com, a service that lets users post frequent short messages about what they’re doing at the moment
• ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
39. Who said, “You know, he’s not playing King Lear”?
___A. Jon Stewart, defending comedian John Oliver, who hosted “The Daily Show” while Stewart was off making a movie
___B. Sir Ian McKellen, defending Justin Bieber’s performance as host of “Saturday Night Live”
___C. White House press secretary Jay Carney, defending President Obama’s clumsy appearance on “The Tonight Show”
___D. Matt Damon, defending Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman in “Batman vs. Superman”
A. Dead, B. Bearded or C. Twerking?
___40. Roger Ebert
___41. George Jones
___42. Richie Havens
___43. Miley Cyrus
___44. David Ortiz
___45. Cory Monteith
___46. James Gandolfini
___47. Nicki Minaj
___48. Jean Stapleton
___49. Seamus Heaney
___50. Elmore Leonard
___51. Silas Robertson
52. The Speed Museum closed in June for three years for a major renovation and expansion, but opened a satellite space on Market Street. What is its name?
___A. Speed Freak
___B. Speed and Thank You
___D. Local Speed
53. How did recording artist Robin Thicke explain to the BBC his smash single “Blurred Lines,” which celebrates date rape and is truly one of the worst monstrosities in the history of mankind?
___A. “Sure, it’s a little rapey, but you’ve got to admit the tune is catchy.”
___B. “I wrote it about my wife. She’s my good girl. And I know she wants it, because we’ve been together for 20 years, so I can vouch for that.”
___C. “I just sang it — Miley’s the one who twerked it. Talk to her.”
___D. “You think you don’t want to listen to it but you do. Oh, you do. And you will. Listen to it or I’ll MAKE you listen to it!”
54. Quiz Flashback — 2009 — Who said, “I got in the car this morning and the navigation lady wasn’t speaking to me”?
___A. Rapper Kanye West, during a tearful apology on “The Jay Leno Show” for disrupting Taylor Swift’s VMA award acceptance speech
___B. Disgraced former Congressman/sleazeball Tom Delay, during an apology for doing the pelvic thrust on an episode of “Dancing with the Stars”
___C. David Letterman, during a humorous albeit painful on-air apology for having sex with members of his “Late Show” staff
___D. David Letterman, during a humorous albeit painful on-air apology for a joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up” by New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez
55. Talented Scottish athlete Andrew Barron Murray made what notable sporting achievement in 2013?
___A. Became the first Scottish man to endure the treacle-leather-and-soot gauntlet totally naked since Aiden-in-Tartan in 1433
___B. Became the first golfer to win the U.S. and British Opens since Bobby Jones in 1930
___C. Became the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936
___D. Became the first man to win ESPN-Scotland’s sheep’s-pluck eating contest for five consecutive years
Match the newsmaker with the news:
___56. Oscar Pistorius
___57. Manti Te’o
___58. Richie Incognito
___59. Shoni Schimmel
___60. Kolten Wong
A. Football star tricked into an online relationship with a non-existent woman
B. St. Louis pinch runner picked off by Red Sox pitcher Koji Uehara — the only time in World Series history a game has ended on a pickoff play
C. University of Louisville basketball star who led the Cards to the NCAA Championship final
D. Amputee Olympic champion charged with murdering his girlfriend
E. Miami Dolphins player suspended for harassing a teammate
61. New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez was suspended for all of the 2014 baseball season (pending appeal) for using what banned substances?
___A. Deer antler velvet and ephedrine
___B. Human growth hormone and testosterone
___C. Roger Clemens’ Hall o’ Fame Tears
___D. “Game of Thrones” season 4
62. In a February basketball game in South Bend, the eventual 2013 NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals lost to Notre Dame in a game that was memorable for what reason?
___A. The five-overtime game was the longest in Big East regular season history
___B. Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome leg injury trying to defend a three-pointer
___C. An image of God appeared on the Jumbotron at the end of the game and exclaimed, “This is MY house, bitches!”
___D. ESPN commentator Dick Vitale spontaneously combusted, causing a 27-minute delay of the game while officials cleaned up the floor
63. Quiz Flashback — 2008 — During halftime at a Freedom Hall “white-out” game against Georgetown, why did University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino change out of a white linen suit into a more customary black one?
___A. A cease-and-desist lawsuit from the es tate of Colonel Sanders
___B. His perspiration caused his blue underwear to bleed through, making him “look ridiculous”
___C. By wearing white and black in different halves, he wanted to “make a statement about ‘post-racial’ America”
___D. A “handsy” Terry Meiners accidentally ripped a jacket pocket on the white suit