path: Home / Queries on the Media by Third Season Episodes
- Is there an Indianapolis Post-Dispatch?
- Jennetti Spaghett wrote: "I live in Indianapolis and no such paper exists. Our local paper is the Indianapolis Star. Their webpage is at indystar.com".
Rich Wiggins wrote: "The main newspaper in Indianapolis is the Indianapolis Star. The main newspaper in St. Louis is the Post-Dispatch. Last I checked, St. Louis is in Missouri, not Indiana."
This was confirmed by Jay R. Ashworth.
And someone suggested that this might have been done deliberately in order not to use the name of a real newspaper.
- What was that book that Josh discussed with Alberto Fedregotti of the Italian Embassy in "The Indians in the Lobby"?
- Matt Lindsey emailed us the following information about this real book:
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge is a children's book written by Hildegarde H. Swift in 1942. It is considered by many children's literature experts to be a classic. The hero is the lighthouse itself and the theme is that all things, big and small, have a place in the world.
In New York City, the Little Red Lighthouse (AKA the Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse) was built in 1880 to warn boats about Jeffrey's Hook, a rock formation which juts into the Hudson. However, once the George Washington Bridge was completed, there was sufficient light from other sources, thus making the Little Red Lighthouse unnecessary. So, in 1947, the Coast Guard was going to demolish the lighthouse, but due to Swift's book (written five years earlier) children across the nation began a letter campaign to save the landmark. It is now designated a National Landmark and public tours are available. (National Lighthouse Center and Museum & New York City Insider)
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge is available from Amazon.com in hardcover for $13.60 or paperback for $8
- Toby in "H.Con - 172" talks about Bartlet's favorite movie and both of them quote sections about being King and the names Henry and Richard are mentioned. What was the movie?
- "By God, I'm 50, alive, and the King all at the same time," quotes Bartlet at the mention of his favorite movie.
"I turned it on." Toby tells the President, "just as they got to the scene when Richard, Geoffrey and John were locked in the dungeon and Henry was coming down to execute them. Richard tells his brothers not to cower but to take it like men and Geoffrey says, 'You fool! As if it matters how a man falls down.' And Richard says, 'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.'"
The movie was, of course, "The Lion in Winter" which is available in DVD or VHS
Also available in PAL for Britain, Australia, etc.
- Was Beowulf originally in Old or Middle English?
- We received several emails immediately after the broadcast of #61 "Stirred" that Bartlet's statement that the original Beowulf was in Middle English was just plain wrong.
Laura Minnick wrote: ". . . Beowulf in the original Middle English? Well, . . . the gang on the academic lists I'm on are having a good laugh at Sorkin's expense- Beowulf was written in Old English, sometimes known as Anglo-Saxon. Middle English is what Chaucer wrote in. Middle English did not come into use for about 300 years after Beowulf was written."
- She sent us this link: Beowulf Resources which includes: "Beowulf in the original Old English" and information on Old English
- Brian McFadde wrote: "I teach medieval English literature at Texas Tech, and was quite amused to note that Bartlet thinks Beowulf was written in Middle English. It is in Old English. Apparently Bartlet never took any classes in the Medieval Institute when he was at Notre Dame!"
- He sent us this link: BEOWULF ON STEORARUME (Beowulf in Cyberspace)
- Carol Winkel wrote: "Beowulf was written in what is called Old English. Middle English is Chaucer's language. It's possible for ordinary students to figure out Middle English and maybe even recite it (especially the Prologue to "The Canterbury Tales"), but even just reading Beowulf in the original takes training."
- Has "Twelfth Night" really been banned? [#61]
- Banned Books Online says: ". . . the Associated Press reported in March 1996 that Merrimack, NH schools had pulled Shakespeare's Twelfth Night from the curriculum after the school board passed a 'prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction' act. (Twelfth Night includes a number of romantic entanglements including a young woman who disguises herself as a boy.) Readers from Merrimack informed me in 1999 that school board members who had passed the act had been voted out, after the uproar resulting from the act's passage, and that the play is now used again in Merrimack classrooms."
We discovered the above information when "MarthaBee" posted a link at the Television Without Pity West Wing Forum to a research paper on the censorship of Shakespeare's works for a homeschool research paper class. That research paper also referenced a Christian Science Monitor list of ". . .books that were challenged or banned from school libraries or curricula, as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom of March 1996 through March 1997, and the reasons given for the challenge." The following is one of the listings (which includes the reason):
- Was Bartlet right about James Bond's drink? 
- Bartlet was discussing the effect of shaking a traditional martini made with gin. But James Bond drinks are made with "vodka and gin in them. Ian Fleming gives a recipe for his Bond's preferred libation in the first Bond book, Casino Royale." "He's not drinking a martini at all! He's drinking a vodka martini," according to Straight Dope. Their staff wrote the following:
"a proper martini is stirred, not shaken. "A vodka martini substitutes vodka for the gin (or adds it to the gin, as Bond does) and sometimes allows other ingredients. . . .
"There are three main differences between a martini (or a vodka martini) which has been stirred and one which has been shaken. First, a shaken martini is usually colder than one stirred, since the ice has had a chance to swish around the drink more. Second, shaking a martini dissolves air into the mix; this is the "bruising" of the gin you may have heard seasoned martini drinkers complain about--it makes a martini taste too "sharp." Third, a shaken martini will more completely dissolve the vermouth, giving a less oily mouth feel to the drink.
"In a vodka martini, cold is key: a vodka martini that is not ice-cold tastes like lighter fluid. So you shake them. The experience of a traditional martini is more dependent on it being smooth and on not ruining the delicate flavors of the gin. Ergo, one stirs it."
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