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Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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Report: Mankind's Knowledge Of TV Trivia Doubling Every Three Years

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–According to a report released Monday by Rutgers University's Center For Media Studies, mankind's collective knowledge of TV trivia is increasing at an astounding rate, doubling every three years.

Culture Watch

"Our species' familiarity with the details of specific I Love Lucy episodes is 16 times what it was during the show's ratings peak in 1955," said Dr. Timothy Klennert, director of the Center For Media Studies. "For example, 80 percent of Americans are able to name the bogus health tonic that got Lucy drunk during the episode 'Lucy Does A TV Commercial,' compared to 5 percent the day after the program's original airing."

Klennert attributed the trend to the rise of such rerun-driven cable networks as Nick At Nite and TV Land, as well as the increased availability of classic TV episodes on home video. Also cited was the proliferation of Internet sites offering TV-trivia quizzes and books crammed with statistics and factoids about the history of the medium.

"In today's media-rich environment, a person pretty much has to live in a cave not to be exposed to TV trivia," Klennert said. "There are infants who haven't even watched television who can name all six Brady kids. It's practically genetically encoded."

Klennert praised the dedication of U.S. television viewers, who have "tenaciously studied and absorbed TV trivia in the face of so many other forms of information competing for their attention."

"In 1987, only 16 percent of Americans could sing the entire Family Ties theme song, including the 'Sha-la-la-la' ending, compared to the 67 percent able to sing the Friends theme today. If we continue at our current pace, it is not inconceivable that by 2010, there will be a TV theme song that achieves 100 percent saturation."

Some of the once-obscure TV shows that a majority of today's Americans can easily identify.

Some complain that the TV-trivia explosion has come at a cost, contributing to a general decline in interest in such subjects as math, science, and history. For others, however, the trade-off has proven enormously profitable.

"I have no idea what a proton is," said Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant John Carpenter, who won $1 million for correctly identifying the U.S. president who appeared on Laugh-In, becoming the subject of a TV-trivia factoid in his own right. "Fortunately, the million-dollar question had nothing to do with such basic scientific knowledge."

According to Mark Bennett, author of TV Sets: Fantasy Blueprints Of Classic TV Homes, not only are more Americans trivia-savvy than ever before, but the quality of the trivia itself is increasing.

"It's no longer all that impressive to know that two different actors played Darrin on Bewitched," Bennett said. "To impress these days, you'd have to know that there were two Mrs. Kravitzes. Or two Louise Tates. Or that Jerry Seinfeld was on the first season of Benson."

Pondering the future of TV trivia, Bennett said: "One day, I envision a world in which every American knows that Happy Days was a spin-off from a 1972 Love, American Style episode. A world in which the phrase 'No whammies!' is instantly associated by all with the '80s game show Press Your Luck. A world in which the importance of TV trivia is as universally undisputed as the greatness of the first three seasons of St. Elsewhere."

More from this section

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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