Thursday, April 14, 2005

I hasten to add that the comments section of this blog broke the news of the existence of royal blood on Franz Ferdinand's uniform at Vienna's Military History Museum a full nine months before Gridskipper.

That's not to mention the amazing coincidence that the Austrian Archduke's name is stringly similar to that of a Scottish band that become famous ninety years later -- again, you saw it hear first. Or at least you saw it hear before you saw it there. If you were looking.

People, you have done me proud!

For some reason I never knew the real story (with the grim details) of how the Archduke was killed -- until today. I don't know much about him, but given his poignant (and pathetic, in the old fashioned sense) last words to his dying wife, Franz doesn't strike me as an altogether bad man. For a would-be emperor, I mean. (Scroll down to "Mortal Wounds." It's too sad for me to type.)

One final note: I saw from the referring URLs that if you Google "Archduke Franz Ferdinard," this blog comes up #4. It took me ages to figure out how that was possible.
Somebody should really do something about what Doug reports, like, say, somebody who works at a newspaper or something.

Hey, does anybody know if there's an etymological connection between "bordello" and the Czech word "bordel"?
Hey. Sorry if you've come hear and found no update so far this week. Dig this: I sold Tulip. Details to follow.

Funny thing, last night I was jonesing for a nice cold beer or three. It was late, so I trotted across the river to Ujezd. There, I ran into a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while. He owns a bar and it's driving him crazy.

Check out who's been editing Gridskipper. (The "Czech-based correspondent" referred to here is me.)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Friday night I went to "quiz night" at the Caledonian School, a language school that has a pretty nice bar in the basement frequented by a young expat TOEFL crowd (with some TOGFL mixed in). People team up, everybody antes 25 crowns and the team that wins the the trivia contest gets the pot. Drunken debauchery ensues. A good time was had by all.

Thing is, a lot of the questions were damned hard. Readers of this blog may have figured out by now that I'm the sort of guy who seeks out a certain level of useless knowledge. And there was some really useless knowledge flying around on Friday.

Stuff like: Which are the two left-handed Beatles? Which three races make up the Triple Crown? (And for a bonus, what was the last year a horse won the Triple Crown?)

The funny thing is, I asked my friend Ray these questions last night at Tulip, and knew the answers to the first two questions right off the bat. (The word "are" is the giveaway for the first question: Paul and Ringo. The races are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.)

As for the year, he made an educated guess of 1977. The correct answer is 1978. We got it right, based on either my hunch or my guess. (The horse was named Affirmed. By the way, when I retire, I think I'd like to start going to horseraces.)

Anyway, the point is that the world's a big place, and some people know some stuff, and then sometimes unexpectedly don't know some other stuff, because Ray then asked if Holland and the Netherlands were actually the same place.

Our team came in a close second.

UPDATE: Now you know why we didn't win: Holland and the Netherlands are not the same place.