adrian is rad


Ken Jennings likes the Mountain Goats

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:19 pm

So not only does Ken Jennings have a blog (which is hilarious), but he likes the Mountain Goats and he writes about it. How cool is that!


ken jennings’ blog

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:32 pm

My friend Andy emailed me today:

You probably already knew this, but Ken Jennings blogs? And he’s a good writer!@

I know that you’re obsessively weird about him, but I thought I’d let
you know, in the off-chance you didn’t.

[links added by me]

Thanks, I didn’t know, Andy! Agreed on the good writing part. I like the post about the giant foam version of his head that he got. Good stuff.


I lost on Jeopardy

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:46 pm

That’s not true, actually. But it might be some day.

I’ve been watching a fair amount of Jeopardy[1] recently. It’s one of the few shows I devote all my attention to; no emailing or blogging while watching, like I do with most shows. I play along–who doesn’t? I’ve been doing decently every day. I haven’t been keeping tracking of my score, but I feel like–in the comfort of my home and without needing to buzz in, mind you–that I’ve been holding my own. I’ve been feeling like I should try out for the show at some point.

The issue is the gaps in my knowledge. For every science or music category I run, there’s a Shakespeare or art category that I know zero or one question on. Ken Jennings, in his book Brainiac brings up studying for categories like these. It becomes a practice of memorization, of connecting words together that doesn’t have any other meaning or context. I like knowing trivia, but I’m not sure I’d like to know it in this way.

I day dreamed today about how to best make a practice buzzer, incidentally. Yeah, that’s the sort of thing I daydream about.

[1] Part of the reason why, oddly enough, is that my roommate got an HD tv and we don’t get all our channels in HD so I tend to watch the ones that are a little more.


books: Summerland, What Jesus Meant, Brainiac

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:13 pm

I’ve been on a bit of a reading bent recently. Here are a few of the books I’ve finished recently. Here are my okay reviews of them.

Summerland by Michael Chabon
Andy recommended this to me after I read Mysteries of Pittsburgh. I finally got around to reading it. It’s the sort of book I don’t think I’d normally read; it’s about baseball–which I would read–but it’s also a fantasy story with multiple worlds and many non-human characters.

But it is an engaging story. Once I got a chunk into the book I couldn’t read it fast enough. One thing is that it falls into science fiction trap that has been joked about a little too much.

What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills
Some people will dismiss this just because of the title. That’s fine. While I think this book could have some non-religious audience, it’s written from a religious point of view. Wills is a Catholic and Greek scholar and historian. Part of what he’s doing is quite literal: all the new testament passages in this book are of his own translation, so he’s saying what Jesus literally said. But there’s also some interpretation and contextualization.

The main thrusts of the book are that Jesus was apolitical at every turn (so people talking of Jesus’ politics are wrong) and that in Jesus coming all the old Law was changed or destroyed. There’s a lot more to it that just that. I found it quite interesting and insightful.

Brainiac by Ken Jennings
I’m not even a closet trivia nerd. I just like it. I watch Jeopardy and I was pretty excited during Ken Jennings’ historic run on the show. That I knew he was a good writer via his blog was only added incentive to get the book.

It’s about his run on Jeopardy along with the history, characters and development of trivia as a pastime. It’s a lot nerdy, but it’s pretty well-written and interesting.



Filed under: — adrian @ 8:08 pm

Don’t read on if you like knowing things and you don’t have time to waste. Seriously, Colin, stop reading.

Via Ken Jennings’ blog is Sporcle a trivia-set game site. It has games where it asks you to name anything from the planets to Time people of the year.

I did as expect in some and worse than I expected in others. I got all the US States but blanked on much of the Balkan region in the countries of Europe. (And West Africa is hard).

I did much better on the MLB teams than the NFL.


oddblog about strangemaps

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:51 am

The strangemaps blog is a blog about, well, strange maps.

It’s a bit weird, quite a bit interesting.

(via kenjennings)


down, but CERTAINLY not out

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:04 pm

Ken Jennings had a strong start, but he’s up against good competitors on the finals of the Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

It’s a three day point-total event the points from yesterday will be added to today and tomorrow’s totals to get the Big Winner.

(I think they’re calling them points instead of money because they aren’t actually playing for the amounts on the board here—the winner gets $2 million, 2nd place gets $500K and third $250K.)

The results from yesterday:
Ken Jennings: $16000
Jerome Verede: $16400
Brad Rutter: $18400

Brad’s won a previous big money tournament and as such is the only person besides Ken to have won over $1 million on Jeopardy. Jerome started out quite slow yesterday, not answering a ton of questions, but getting the ones he answered right. I’d say he’s the dark horse (much like mim, the dark horse!) Jerome’s won four matches against the best of the best to get to this stage and Brad three (he had a bye in round 1).

It’s really incredibly evenly matched. Ken’s still got that twinkle in his eye, though. I can totally see him just snapping and being like “alright Jerome and Brad, I gave you a chance, but now I WIN” and going on a six category sweep of the board in Double Jeopardy.

As much as I want to see Ken win and am confident in his abilities to win, I’m a bit nervous. Go Ken!


ken’s coming back

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:11 pm

Ken Jennings, Jeopardy all-time champion, game show all time champion, and my hero, lost on Jeopardy! in November after 74 straight wins. A sad day, for sure.

But never fear! You will be able to see him again! The Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament of Champion top contestants will face Ken for a three day show down May 23-25. Get ready!


ken, my hero, has fallen to H&R Block

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:29 am

Ken Jennings lost on Jeopardy! yesterday. (Which reminds me of a song, incidentally.) Ken was the all-time winner on not only Jeopardy! but all game shows, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. His final stats include 74 wins, $2,522,700, and a .918 correct answer percentage.

I knew he was losing yesterday because the internet told me, but it was still sad and painful to watch.

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