TIME MagThe double issue of Time magazine (7/11 and 7/18/16) gave readers “240 Reasons to Celebrate America Right Now.”  Their staff and guests contributed 240 “favorite places, sights, tastes, etc.” because our country is 240 years old and has at least that many ways to celebrate throughout the Summer, and beyond.

With this information available, here is a quiz based upon elements of USA’s culture as reported in the magazine.  Enjoy the quiz, refresh some memories, and find ways to create more.  Answers follow the questions.  Don’t peek.

1) Which animated film earned the most money at US box offices:

—Finding Nemo


—The Lion King

—Shrek 2

—Toy Story 3

2) Who is the winningest coach in Division I College Basketball:

—Geno Auriemma

—Bobby Knight

—Pat Summitt

3) Who is the first Latina State Governor.  What is her name or her State’s?

4)  According to Lee Daniels, film and TV creator, what local ingredient is most pretzelsresponsible for the “perfect” taste of a Philadelphia Soft Pretzel:





5) Tap dancing was born in:


—Great Britain


6) In 2015, Americans gave what amount of money to charity:

—$373 million

—$273 million

—$173 millIon

7) What percentage of Americans currently live in urban centers:




8) Every 10th person in the USA was born in another country.  In NYC, it’s one in every:




baseball9) To attend a big league baseball game, a family of four spends (on average):




10) In 2016, for the 7th straight year, the number of “Independent” bookstores:



11) What percentage of Americans decline to use all their paid time off:




12) What State puts its philosophy, “Live Free or Die,” on its license plates?images

13) Every Summer, 20,000 cyclists come to Iowa for its annual bicycle cross state ride, AND to eat what food along the way:


—Ice Cream


14) San Quentin prison, in California, has its problems.  What’s not a problem is its program for inmates in:

—Quilt Making

—Software Engineering

—Stock Market Analysis

15) What current NYCthatrical production is expected to gross a billion dollars income from ticket sales, road company productions, album sales, etc.:

—Bright Star


–The Humans

16) Summer festivals are reported by Time magazine in 3 of the following 4 locations.  Which is incorrect:festival

—Athens, Ohio

–Eau Claire, Wisconsin

—Hoopeston, Illinois

—Newport, Rhode Island

17) In some places, you can find soft-serve ice cream all-year around.  But in Summer, especially, look for it at:

—Dairy Queen



18) In the Carolinas, get your Summertime fill of:





Here are the answers:

1) Shrek 2 earned $441 million.  For those interested, others earned: The Lion King, $423 million;  Toy Story 3, $415 million; Frozen, $401 million;  Finding Nemo, $381 million.  Finding Dory earned $311 million in 12 days.

2) Pat Summitt: 1,098;  Geno Auriemma: 955;  Bobby Knight: 899.

3) Ms. Susana Martinez, New Mexico.

4) It’s the Water.  Residents and former residents known to this author agree.F&G


5) According to Time, “Tap was born in mid-19th century America —an amalgam of African tribal dances and Irish and English jigs and clog dancing.”


6) Americans gave $373.25 million to charity in 2015 —more than a million a day.

7) 75%.  I remember being taught in grade school that in our country’s early days 90% of the population lived on family farms.

8) In NYC, every third person was born in another country.  In the Borough of Queens, “The World’s Borough”, it’s 1 in 2 people.

9) The family entertainment at a baseball game costs $219.  What was Dad’s beer?  How many hot dogs did folks have?



10) Thought to be dwindling, independent book stores have been increasing.  And they’re the setting for films, too.  Remember “You’ve Got Mail”  or “Notting Hill?”



11) 55% of us don’t take all of our vacation.  Why?  Because we like them so much or we’re afraid to leave because they might not be there when we return or ?

12) No, it’s not Texas.  Try New Hampshire.  Stories vary.  Its origin could be revolutions in America, France, or Scotland.pie

13) Pie.  Reportedly, Iowa’s grandmothers look beyond traditional  apple or cherry for “rhubarb, peach, gooseberry, bumbleberry, and triple berry.”  Ok; I’m hungry.

14) Software Engineering.  Ideally, “inmates earn some money doing contract code writing while in prison and…prepare for a tech job when released.”

15) Hamilton.  It won 11 Tonys including Best Musical, and other awards, plus the cast visited the White House.  Its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, will next work on the film, “Mary Poppins Returns”, due in 2018.

16) Athens, Ohio.  I graduated from there in 1970.  That’s how I came up with a 4th answer.DQShakes

17) This item came from a side note in Time.  T. Boone Pickens, a businessman, was talking about how much he enjoyed Dairy Queen.  He wrote a book: “The First Billion Is The Hardest.”  No joke.  I like DQ, too.  I’ve earned close to a billion…less.



18) Barbecue.  I KNOW you can get great BBQ elsewhere.  Relatives will testify to Texas’ best.  I’m just saying there’s good stuff to eat out there, folks.  Enjoy it before your doctor starts talking about cholesterol levels, diet, exercise, etc.


About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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