Friday, September 11, 2009

Lumaye News Quiz

Here is the weekly news quiz I do on the Bill Lumaye show, every Thursday. What do you think?

Which of the following international news stories is UNTRUE? One of these stories is ridiculous, and made up. The other three are equally ridiculous, but entirely true and real. Which one is false?

A. (Where’s Waldo?) Boaters and fisherman in Florida are urged to look out for a missing robot submarine, nicknamed “Waldo.” Waldo the robot cost about $100,000. It also was equipped with a detector to find red tide, a toxic algae bloom. That was valued at another $30,000. Scientists aren't sure if Waldo sank, or is just floating around somewhere.

B. (Origin of “Hot Dogs”) On a cold April day in 1901, at New York’s “Polo Grounds,” the concession guys weren’t cold stuff. They got the idea of putting long “dachshund sausages” in warm rolls, and selling them. “Get yer hot dachshund rolls! Get yer red hots!” They sold like crazy. Sports cartoonist Ted Dorgan was up against his deadline, and needed an idea. He was interested in the way the new “hot dachshund rolls” were selling. But he didn’t know how to spell “dachshund,” so he depicted concession sellers hawking “hot dogs! Get yer hot dogs!” The cartoon was so captivating that it was reprinted. And the hot dog name stuck.

C. (Japanese First Lady Rides UFO) Forget Nancy Reagan and her astrologer. Japan's about to get a first lady who claims her soul rode a UFO to Venus. In her book "Very Strange Things I've Encountered," Miyuki Hatoyama says she traveled to Venus in a triangular UFO while her body slept. "It was a very beautiful place and it was really green," she wrote. Because of his large eyes and prominent forehead, her husband, new PM Yukio Hatoyama has been called "the alien" himself. Maybe the election in Japan is a sign of a new era in intergalactic relations.
D. (Pepsi Can Surprise) Fred DeNegri was grilling in his backyard tiki bar in Ormond Beach, Florida, when he popped open a can of Diet Pepsi, took a big gulp and started gagging. He emptied out the can down a sink but something heavy remained inside. He shook the can until something resembling "pink linguini" slid out, followed by "dark stuff," wife Amy DeNegri said. But the heavy object inside the can never came out, she said. The DeNegris took pictures before calling poison control and the FDA, which showed up the next day to examine the can in question and collect it for lab testing. The couple received a copy of the completed report last week from the Food and Drug Administration Office of Regulatory Affairs, which had good news: It was NOT a mouse. It was, however, almost certainly the remains of a frog or a toad.


Norman said...

Well, A and C are obviously true. B is a tough call, since there are so many legends about the origin of the phrase. D, on the other hand, sounds like what was invented to debunk.

I'm gonna have to go with B, the hot dog story, is false.

Are there prizes?

Mungowitz said...


B is false because there are instances of the use of "Hot Dog" as the name of the sausage in a bun before 1901, perhaps as early as 1870.

D is apparently true. I tried and tried to find a snopes-style debunking, but both the FDA and CNN give specifics. Names of real people , places, and actual interviews. Now, D may be a hoax, but it is not an urban legend.

And, norman, if you send an email with your address to, you will win an actual vintage "Munger for Governor" bumper sticker, complete with the Larry Craig joke, "Libertarians have a narrow stance!"

Anonymous said...

Is it a "Munger for Governor" bumper sticker, or is it one of those snazzy yellow and black "Munger 4 Governor" bumper stickers?