Weird Al Questions

Did I win on Jeopardy?


I was up late one night several years ago with too much time on my hands when I popped that Weird Al Music video DVD into my computer and started watching some videos.  I had seen them hundreds of times before, but for some reason that one night one of the videos seemed a little different.  In I Lost on Jeopardy, the answers that were shown no longer seemed random; they seemed like they were well thought out very deliberate answers.  At this point I thought it would be fun to take a closer look and see if there were actual questions that went to these answers.  I’m still not entirely sure if Al spent all this time coming up with questions and answers to fill up what is maybe three seconds of screen time, but here are my findings:



Answer: (Under World Geography) Number of bricks in the Great Wall of China.


Question:  What is 914,042,701.2 Bricks?


Reasoning:  While the exact number of bricks used to make the Great Wall of China may never be known, there are parts of the wall where we do know some information about it.  The Jiayuguan Pass for example is known to have 99,999 bricks and is 733 meters long.  We also know that this section of the wall is roughly the average height of the Great Wall.  Assuming it is also about the same thickness and combining this information with the total length of the wall (6,700 kilometers), we can guesstimate the number of bricks used in the entire wall.


99,999 Bricks / 733 meters      for Jiayuguan Pass

x bricks / 6,700 kilometers     for total wall

1 kilometer = 1000 meters

( ( 6700 km * 1000 ) / 733 m ) * 99,999 bricks = 914,042,701.2 Bricks



Answer: (Under Food) Secret ingredient found in both cheese whiz and crazy glue.


Question:  What is carbon, hydrogen, and/or oxygen?



One of the ingredients in Easy Cheese is Sorbic Acid, or 2,4-hexadienoic acid, which has a chemical formula of C6H8O2.  The chemical equation of Super Glue, or ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate, is C6H7NO2.  They both share carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  While the gas (nitrous oxide) used to propell the cheese out of the can contains nitrogen and oxygen, the gas is kept separate from the cheese and thus shouldn’t be included in the list of ingredients for Easy Cheese.  None of the other ingredients include nitrogen. 



Answer: (Under Famous Accordion Players) This German Baroness could suck the chrome off a fender.


Question: Who is Jeanette Schmid


Reasoning: Jeanette Schmid, aka Baroness Lips von Lipstrill, was a famous whistler.  Seeing as how Al is one of the few word smiths who wouldn’t have their mouth washed out with soap by their grandmother, I thought he might have a different meaning behind the phrase “could suck the chrome off a fender.” Once I read that this Baroness whistled a Johann Strauss Jr. polka to the Shah of Iran, I figured I was on the right track.  Seeing as how she (he at the time) was from Germany, the birthplace of the accordion, she surely picked up an accordion once or twice in her lifetime, making her famous, an accordion player, and any professional whistler could certainly suck the chrome off a fender.



Answer: (Under Potpourri)





Question: What is the Lorentz Transformation?


Reasoning:  Besides that being the name of the equation, it applies to potpourri because it describes the linear transformation that preserves the space-time interval between any two events in Minkowski space.  It was the mathematical basis for Einstein’s theory of relativity, which can be applied to potpourri and just about everything else.



Question: (Under T.V. Themes)


Answer: Vegameatavitamin girl - I love Lucy


Reasoning:  Firstly, the writing translated to Gai Lan, also known as Chinese kale or Chinese Broccoli.  Finding a broccoli themed TV show that aired before the time that Al made the I Lost on Jeopardy video proved to be very difficult.  While the exact ingredients of the drink may never be known, any good vitamin drink surely contains some kale in it.  I also knew Al’s admiration for the classic TV shows, of which I Love Lucy is right up there, so I thought the question might turn out to be related to one of these classics.



So that’s it!  How did I do?  What did I win?  A 20 volume set Encyclopedia International?  A case of Turtle Wax?  A year supply of Rice-a-Roni?