Tags: quiz



100 words 066

Today, as part of a crack Clearleft team, I travelled to Leamington Spa. That’s Royal Leamington Spa to you.

This seems like a perfectly pleasant town. Fortunately for us, our visit coincides with a pub quiz down at the local hipster bar—the one serving Mexican food with a cajun twist. Naturally we joined in the quizzing fun.

We thought we were being sensible by jokering the “science and nature” round, but it turned out we should’ve jokered “puppets and dummies” or “musicians in the movies”—a clean sweep! Who could’ve foretold that Andy Budd’s favourite film, Freejack, would feature?

Play me off

One of the fun fringe events at Build in Belfast was The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam:

Unlike the typical quiz, the Open Book Exam demands the use of iPhones, iPads, Androids—even Zunes—to avail of the internet’s wealth of knowledge, required to answer many of the formidable questions.

Team Clearleft came joint third. Initially it was joint fourth but an obstreperous Andy Budd challenged the scoring.

Now one of the principles of this unusual pub quiz was that cheating was encouraged. Hence the encouragement to use internet-enabled devices to get to Google and Wikipedia as quickly as the network would allow. In that spirit, Andy suggested a strategy of “running interference.”

So while others on the team were taking information from the web, I created a Wikipedia account to add misinformation to the web.

Again, let me stress, this was entirely Andy’s idea.

The town of Clover, South Carolina ceased being twinned Larne and became twinned with Belfast instead.

The world’s largest roller coaster become 465 feet tall instead of its previous 456 feet (requiring a corresponding change to a list page).

But the moment I changed the entry for Keyboard Cat to alter its real name from “Fatso” to “Freddy” …BAM! Instant revert.

You can mess with geography. You can mess with measurements. But you do. Not. Mess. With. Keyboard Cat.

For some good clean Wikipedia fun, you can always try wiki racing:

To Wikirace, first select a page off the top of your head. Using “Random page” works well, as well as the featured article of the day. This will be your beginning page. Next choose a destination page. Generally, this destination page is something very unrelated to the beginning page. For example, going from apple to orange would not be challenging, as you would simply start at the apple page, click a wikilink to fruit and then proceed to orange. A race from Jesus Christ to Subway (restaurant) would be more of a challenge, however. For a true test of skill, attempt Roman Colosseum to Orthographic projection.

Then there’s the simple pleasure of getting to Philosophy:

Some Wikipedia readers have observed that clicking on the first link in the main text of a Wikipedia article, and then repeating the process for subsequent articles, usually eventually gets you to the Philosophy article.

Seriously. Try it.


After my long day in London on Tuesday, the last thing I felt like doing the next day was repeating the commute. That’s why I didn’t make it along to the first day of the developer summit at Yahoo’s London offices. It was mostly for Yahoo employees but Norm! was kind enough to invite a few outsiders along too.

I must have been suffering from presentation allergies on Thursday because, not only did I miss day two of the Yahoo summit in London, I didn’t even make it along to Widgety Goodness in Brighton. Then again, that might just have been because of the topic; widgets appear to be of great interest to marketers and advertisers but they’re of less interest to me. Still, it’s great to see another conference happening in Brighton.

On Friday, I finally made it up to the Yahoo HQ where I sat in some presentations. Nicole got a grilling on some of her ideas for writing CSS. Norm! passed some by-laws on template creation. I also watched on a talk on design patterns that included a slide that wasn’t intended for non-Yahoo employees. I told them that I could be bribed not to blog about it but they put forward the suggestion that they could just break my fingers instead. My lips are sealed.

The best was saved for last: a pub quiz! I played in a team of other non-assimilated attendees. We called ourselves The Interlopers! (the exclamation point is a mandatory part of our branding).

Norm! set the fiendishly nerdy questions. We did reasonably well on the picture round, naming browsers from seeing their logos. Another round involved naming rendering engines—I missed the chance for extra points when I misspelled as Tasmin. I hope that Tantek can forgive me. Our performance was nothing short of woeful on the dates round but, c’mon, how are we supposed to know the day that Yahoo acquired del.icio.us?

The nerdy standing of The Interlopers! was redeemed with the final question of the quiz, What is JPG? We were the only team to write down the correct answer: a magazine. That earned us a warm glow, handfuls of purple schwag and a place on the scoreboard that wasn’t shameful.

My thanks to the purple army for allowing me to play in their webdev games, drink their beer and learn their trade secrets.

The Web 2.0 show

This is quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen since breakfast: Cerado’s Web 2.0 or Star Wars Quiz. The premise is simple: decide whether a silly-sounding word is the name of an over-hyped web company or whether it’s really the name of a character from Star Wars.

I scored a reasonably good 41 thanks to my knowledge of Star Wars, I’m glad to say… I’d hate to have scored well by actually recognising half of the companies listed:

31-40: As your doctor, I recommend moving out of your parents’ basement.