Spinning tops and a solitary vs. social quiz

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

Sweet! We’ve made it to “S” in the bloggy marathon–congratulations to everyone who’s still standing and to everyone who was foolhardy enough to make the attempt, even if they’ve had to bow out since. Real life does have a way of interrupting our best laid plans.

I have a couple of “S” topics for you today, neither remotely related to the other, but never let it be said that I let logic get in my way.

First up, spinning tops. Why spinning tops, you ask? Because they spin, of course! They spin and spin and wobble and fall, and they’re utterly mesmerizing as they do so. They’re also excellent stress-relievers.

But what to do if you’re all stressy and woe-ish and you don’t have a top on hand? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Hie yourself over here to find out how to Make a Homemade Spinning Top using just a nail, a toothpick, a small plastic lid, and a hammer.
  • Or, if you’re fresh out of toothpicks and lids, pillage your journal for a sheet of paper and  make an origami spinning top.
  • For those of you with 3D printers, did you know that Disney has created an algorithm that can turn all kinds of unusual things into spinning tops–tea pots, rubber armadillos, cuboidal yo yos.

Next on our agenda:

Solitary or Social: A 5-Question Quiz

This highly scientific quiz will help you determine whether you’re a naturally gregarious or innately solitary individual. You probably already have an inkling, being you and all, but allow me to help you confirm your suspicious. Keep a running tally of the number of * and the number of # you rack up as you answer the questions. The scoring key follows the test.

  1. Would you rather:
    • Go to a tea party with 10 close friends and eat cake and petits fours? (*)
    • Sit in a closet by yourself and eat mud pies? (#)
    • Go to a tea party with 10 strangers and eat mud pies, because mud! and pie! and people! (**)
  2. If offered the choice between meeting someone through an online dating service or being set up on a blind date, you would:
    • Beg to be allowed to do both because meeting people is the coolest thing ever regardless of how humiliating the circumstances. (**)
    • Opt for the online dating service and then bail at the last minute and never check your email again. (#)
    • Sit in a closet and eat mud pies until both offers were rescinded. (##)
  3. How many times this week did you hang out with people besides your family?
    • Every day, twice a day! Because people are awesome and I love them and I never want to beat them off with sticks! (**)
    • Only once. My dentist counts, right? (#)
    • I don’t understand this word “people.” Please explain. (##)
  4. If you were trapped alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods, you would:
    • Make friends with the mice and the spiders and have adorable little mouse/spider parties. (**)
    • Take the opportunity to write your memoirs. (#)
    • Think you’d died and gone to heaven. (##)
  5. Are you ever at a loss for how to start a conversation?
    • Of course not! Because people are awesome and I want to know every last thing about every one of them and I want them to know every last thing about me! (**)
    • Sometimes, but I find if I smile encouragingly, people usually start talking about themselves. (*)
    • Shut up and pass me a mud pie. (##)

Add up your # and your *.

  • More than 5 * means you are a highly social individual. More than 8* means you’re quite possibly insanely annoying, or maybe simply insane.
  • More than 5# means you are truly a solitary being. More than 8# means you have all the makings of a well-adapted serial killer.

I won’t ask you to share your scores.


Quiz me this!

Quiz_kids_1940s_cardThis month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

It’s back-to-work Monday, so a perfect time for a bit of brain-stretching fun and games. Yes, that’s right. We’ve reached the letter “Q,” and what better way to reward ourselves for making it this far than by diving into a few quizzes–after we’ve finished our posting and commenting, of course.

There are a bazillion quiz sites out there, most of them utter crap, but never fear. Because I don’t want you to have to endure the same profound irritation I experienced, I scoured the interwebs to come up with this enticing selection of quizzy tastiness just for you.

Encyclopedia Britannica: There’s no subscription required for the quizzes, which is a big yay, because they have bucketloads. You can test your knowledge of cheese facts, world foods, vocabulary, baroque art, world foods, spelling—you name it, they have a quiz. Go on. Clicky click and go get smarter.

The Guardian’s quizzes are often way more difficult than I think they’re going to be, possibly because I’m Canadian and a lot of their content is UK-focused, but equally possibly because I’m not nearly as well informed as I like to think I am. They recently put their Daily Quiz on hiatus, but there are masses of archived quizzes, so all is not lost.

Another favourite quiz is Merriam-Webster’s How Strong is Your Vocabulary? They also have a “Name That Thing” and a “True or False” quiz, which are also fun.

Competitions and Quizzes section of the Oxford Dictionaries site has all kinds of goodies archived for your delectation: What kind of a poem are you? or Are you a nOOb or a netizen? or How well do you know the language of beer? (For the record, I apparently do not speak beer at all.)

How about you? Do you have any favourite quiz sites? Please share the bounty in the comments, because clearly it’s only going to take me a hundred years to get through these links, and I hate being bored.

A to Z Challenge: Quidditch, Quizzes and Queen

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

I have four links of time-wastey wonderment for your clicking pleasure today.

First up, why not get your wizard on and try your hand at blocking a bludger or tossing a quaffle in the online Quidditch Tryouts over at the Harry Potter site. I tried these and was horrifically awful, but you may be more skilled than I am. You could hardly be less. If you’re big on Quidditch, there’s another game on the Puff Game website. It might be better. It might be worse. I’m not a reliable judge, since I sucked equally at both.

Slightly more suited to my talents are the lovely collection of Quizzes from The Guardian. There are new quizzes every week and a hefty collection of archived quizzes, all on a diverse collection of topics, including “Margaret Thatcher in Literature,” “Test Your Easter Bunny Brain Power,” and “Football Quiz: Infamous Manager Quotes.” Okay, I sucked at this one too, but it was hilarious anyway. Hilarious. Even if you ignore the others you have to check this one out.

But maybe you’re being kept awake nights wondering about your chances of survival should your city or town or rural paradise be overrun by the undead. Well, the Zombie Apocalypse Quiz will help you figure that out. My chances, should you care, are not terribly good. In fact, they’re so not good that I’m telling you here and now that if you’ve been thinking I’m someone you’d like to invite onto your zombie-quelling team, you might want to have a little re-think on that one.

And, finally, let me leave you with a tasty helping of Queen, with a side dish of David Bowie, performing the classic Under Pressure (which is a pretty apt description of my online Quidditch experience).

There are some terrific bloggers participating in the challenge this year. Check them out over here.