The Corpus Callosum

No Adult Left Behind


  1. #1 peter
    April 24, 2007

    Only got a few seconds into it before I had to stop…
    Grasping the monitor in both hands screaming “Uruguay! Uganda! Uzbekistan!”… did it get worse from there?

  2. #2 Baratos
    April 24, 2007

    “How many sides does a triangle have?”
    “Uhhh…damn. Four?”

    How is this guy smart enough to stand upright?

  3. #3 Richard Simons
    April 24, 2007

    It reminds me of a program a Canadian satirist (Rick Mercer) did a few years ago called ‘Talking to Americans’. Amongst other things, he got natural resource students at major universities to sign protests against the Saskatchewan rhinoceros hunt. He also had a professor of political studies at an Ivy League university congratulate Canada on getting its first black prime minister, Jean Poutine (poutine is a Quebec specialty made from cheese curds and served with French fries).

    In fairness, both with Mercer and with this clip we don’t know how many of the people spoken to rumbled what was going on or gave sensible answers. And I wonder how much better people would fare in any other country.

  4. #4 Ex-drone
    April 25, 2007

    Richard Simons writes about Rick Mercer’s show Talking to Americans. The man-on-the-street questions I remember from the show for which Americans gave the funniest sincere replies are:

    > Air Canada is switching to jet airplanes, but Canadians are afraid to fly in them because they can’t see the propellers going around. Can you reassure them on camera that they will still be safe to fly?

    > Because Canada is on metric time, which as you know is 20 hours in the day instead of 24, do you believe that the US should switch so the two countries will be the same?

    > A Canadian has discovered oil on Mount Rushmore and has been granted drilling rights. Do you think it’s okay for him to extract it as long as he promises to drill from the back of the presidents’ heads?

    I agree with Richard that, as fun as the format is, it’s inherently unfair and would likely achieve the same result up here.

  5. #5 Mark C
    April 25, 2007

    Somebody tell me again how much worse public education is now than it was 15, 20, 30 years ago!

  6. #6 Flaky
    April 25, 2007

    The Rick Mercer program did show bits in between of people who realized that they were being duped. A particularly funny moment was, when they asked people what they though of 60 % of Canadians not being able to point their home states on the map (something that 60 % of Americans apparently can’t do), a child pointed out that Canada doesn’t have states, but provinces.

  7. #7 stumpy
    April 25, 2007

    What fun! I just about pee’d my pants, I was laughing so hard. But I feel guilty, like maybe I’m just a snob because I (think I) know how many sides a triangle has. And anyway, as my 7yr old daughter says (to win any argument): “Can you prove it?”

  8. #8 Monimonika
    April 28, 2007

    I think I remember reading somewhere that high-schoolers were the most adept at answering “trivia” questions. I remember my high-school days, and can agree with this assessment due to how high-schoolers were (I’m not sure if I can say “are” anymore) constantly being taught history, current events, geography, mathematics, science, etc. at least 5 days a week while also having time to watch TV and/or listen to the radio to know about the latest shows, news, and celebrities.

    I went to a liberal arts college after high school and I had the choice to focus my studies to only those courses I was interested in and needed for my major. Obviously, that limited the trivia knowledge I could acquire and also led to my forgetting a lot of my prior trivia knowledge (ever had those moments where you think, ‘Dang, I used to know the answer to this before!’?).

  9. #9 happykat
    April 29, 2007


    This is embarassing and sad.

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