Saturday, February 13, 2010

We have a winner!

We have a winner of last night's competition.

First across the finish line with the correct answer that 27 U.S. states are at least in part north of Canada's southernmost point was Philip in— well, not far from others names in last night's post. He wins a copy of Let it Ride by John McFetridge.

Vasanth and Michael also came up with the correct answer. They get the silver and the bronze, respectively, along with my congratulations.

The 27 states at least in part north of Canada include the frozen wastelands of California and Nevada, so you have a good answer the next time someone says "The Great White North" and thinks he's being clever.

The book is on its way — once Philip passes the post-competition drug test.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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19 Comments:

Anonymous solo said...

Peter,
This is not a belated attempt to win your competition. But it is an (admittedly facetious) attempt to suggest that the correct answer is actually 28. As evidence here's a link to a video of Heartland by The The from 1986:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHzOG4mJ0PA&feature=PlayList&p=DD9B0FEA355C5751&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=36

The video goes on for five minutes and the payoff line isn't until the end so to save you time here's a link to the lyrics:

http://www.phespirit.info/music/notes/heartland.htm

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Congratulations to the winner. In any case he was close enough.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You know, I'd always liked the name "The The." Now I know something of what they sing about, and later I'll get to hear them sing it.

Cracks about Canada's being the 51st state are probably as least as old as the 50th state, though the Disctrict of Columbia and maybe even Puerto Rico may have edged ahead.

I watched parts of the Olympic opening ceremony last night, though, and several aspects would have been hard to imagine in an Olympics held in the U.S.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jose, all the guesses were close. They were probably closer than I would have been if asked to guess how many provinces in Spain are north of France's southernmost point or south of Africa's northernmost.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Peter I certainly missed California, Nevada and Utah and maybe Indiana.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think I guessed 26 or 30 when I was asked this question years ago. I won myself a canned soft drink for my efforts, though I did not have to specify which states I had in mind. I probably would not have guessed California.

I also did not know Spain was divided into provinces until this thread, though I think I have been in France south of Spain and Africa north of Spain.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Philip said...

Thank you, Peter! And whatever the drug testing shows, it's only my cough medicine, I swear, as I live and snort. People ought to be paying attention to the exciting competitions here rather than the shenanigans on top of that mountain down the road from me.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome, and congratulations. I wouldn't mind a readership appropaching the size of the television audience.

I watched part of the opening ceremonies at work. I was impressed that there was one real song (k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen) in addition to the fatuous up-tempo numbers, though Nelly Furtado did look good. And it was nice to see a Haitian refugee representing the Queen of England, along with a keynote song by a lesbian singer performing a number by a nice Jewish boy from my hometown. Somehow I don't picture all of this happening at an Olympics in the U.S.

February 13, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Peter, this is totally off topic, but do you happen to know of a good readable book on Canadian history? Someone over on another website I visit was asking.

February 15, 2010  
Blogger Philip said...

Seana's question may not be so very off-topic. There is in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a crime fiction bookstore called Whodunnit?, owned by J.M.'Jack' Bumsted, Professor Emeritus at the U of M, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, recent winner of the Dafoe and CAA awards for his life of Lord Selkirk, and otherwise author of many books and articles on Canadian history, including A History of the Canadian Peoples, a condensation of Jack's two-volume text and very much a standard work on the subject, published by OUP. That would be a good place to start for someone who is looking for a thorough grounding, and certainly readable, though is it a text and not intended to be entertainment, as it were. There is nothing in it as entertaining as Jack Bumsted himself, but I'm not sure there is anything in his Whodunnit? bookstore as entertaining as Jack.

February 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Since you two have this discussion well in hand, I think I'll head home. Thanks.

February 15, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Thank you, Philip--I'll pass that along.

February 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And I may take a look at the book, too.

February 15, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"How many U.S. states are at least in part north of Canada's southernmost point?"

Did you know that you can copy-and-paste this question into the Google search box, even without the quotation marks, and get the right answer with the first hit?

If only we'd had Google in my 5th grade geography class...

Related to this US-Canada thread: I don't think anyone mentioned the fine Powell-Pressburger film, "The 49th Parallel," (1941), the British duo's ode to the Canadian war effort. I imagine it may seem a bit corny to today's jaded audiences but it provided the opportunity to showcase the diversity of people in Canada (unlike the mother country at the time) and, like some other P-P films, the landscape is a major character in the film and as the Nazis race across Canada from E to W we are treated to wonderful cinematography of views "from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam."

February 16, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

That sounds like an interesting film. I hadn't heard of it.

February 16, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"How many U.S. states are at least in part north of Canada's southernmost point?"

Did you know that you can copy-and-paste this question into the Google search box, even without the quotation marks, and get the right answer with the first hit?


That question has been around for a while. It's unsurprising that it should find a home n Google. Someone tried to stump me with it years ago. A bit of geographical knowledge combined with my insight into the question's purpose led me to a guess accurate enough that it won me a canned soft drink from the questioner.

No one mentioned the "The 49th Parallel," which was only a title to me, but war movies and their timing ("Foreign Correspondent" was a braver movie than "Casablanca") was the topic of a recent conversation here recently, so I'll add it to my list.

February 16, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, the movie interests me, too. I'd like to see what my country looks like to an outsider. Hell, I'm an outsider myself now.

February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

seana/Peter, Glad you want to see 49th Parallel. Don't throw in the towel if you balk at Laurence Olivier's French-Canadian trapper. It gets better. Esp. Glynis Johns and P-P regular Anton Walbrook at the Mennonite community in central Canada, where you can almost smell the wheat.

"I'm an outsider myself now." Does that make you an "Erlendur," Peter?

February 16, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Glad you want to see 49th Parallel. Don't throw in the towel if you balk at Laurence Olivier's French-Canadian trapper.

Wow, that might even be weirder than James Mason as an IRA leader.

Jep, I'm an Erlendur in my own land.

February 16, 2010  

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