Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mental Floss

Even if Mental Floss weren't a really great magazine, it would deserve points just for its name! The following "Holiday" quiz is from their monthly e-newsletter. Twenty-five points apiece -- what is your score? Don't peek at the answers!

What popular holiday movie did the FBI reportedly consider pro-Communist?
(a) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

(b) A Christmas Carol

(c) It's A Wonderful Life

(d) Home Alone

2. Where do Jewish households traditionally display the menorah during Hanukah?
(a) Next to the Torah

(b) On the dining room table

(c) By the fireplace

(d) Outdoors or in a window

3. According to ancient mythology, which of the following was NOT a legend about mistletoe?
(a) It grows into a poinsettia.

(b) It is an antidote to poison.

(c) It is a weapon used to kill a god.

(d) It is a fertility drug.

4. In the Netherlands, Santa Claus has a sidekick. What is his name?
(a) Papa Noel

(b) Black Peter

(c) Mrs. Claus

(d) The White Elf


1. C. In 1947, the FBI deemed the film rebellious in its depiction of Potter (who represents capitalism) as the enemy and Bailey (who represents the common man) as victorious.
2. D. The candelabra are not lights for the home but lights to the world, publicizing the holiday's miracle.
3. A. Because the berries often cause a rash on sensitive skin, many people falsely believe the entire plant to be poisonous. Mythology suggests it was once a miracle drug, an antidote to poison and a weapon that killed the god Baldur.
4. B. According to parents, Black Peter (or Zwarte Piet) accompanies Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Legend says that Saint Nicholas once freed a slave named Peter, who (out of gratitude) chose to be his servant. Others suggest he is associated with the devil and kidnaps children who have been naughty.

See a new fact and quiz six days a week at http://www.mentalfloss.com/

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