Frequently Asked Quiztions (FAQ)
I get a lot of e-mail about the quizzes. This is generally good; I like getting feedback and I enjoy
seeing how many of you are taking the quizzes and, for the most part, enjoying them. However, I can't respond to all
the e-mails I get, so I feel compelled to give summary judgment to a few extremely common inquiries...
Why is Texas an answer in the Country Quiz?
Did you know that Texas is actually a state?
-Yes, I did know. A few years back, Texas ran an ad campaign to draw tourism. This ad blitz was filled with the
slogan "Texas: It's a whole 'nother country." It was almost impossible to watch TV for a period of time
without getting this drawl stuck in one's mind. So Texas' entry in the Country Quiz was the
inaugural spoof answer, to be followed later by things like Stuffed Animal in the Animal Quiz and
Guantanamo Bay in the State Quiz. Texas, of course, appears with its 49 modern counterparts
in the State Quiz as well. The only other entity to appear in both quizzes is
Iraq.Did you know you had a misspelling in the Book
Quiz's Siddhartha answer?
-It's not a misspelling. The final sentence in this answer reads: "And realize that at least you believe in
ferries." This is what is called a play on words. I am aware that there are many spellings for the magical
creatures that some people believe in, and that this is the spelling for the boats that shuttle people across small bodies of
water. Yet ferries (the boats!) are absolutely central to the plot of the book being described, with the protagonist
eventually realizing that he believes they could be the key to happiness! Puns are fun.I am shocked, horrified, and
deeply offended by your description of (Israel / Palestine)!! You must be a shameless lackey for the (Palestinians /
-First of all, please read the disclaimer on the Country Quiz front page, where I urge people not
to take these quizzes seriously enough to be offended by them. Secondly, the fact that almost all of the e-mail I get
from people who are offended by answers comes in regard to these two country answers is, in my opinion, extremely telling.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a deep-seeded and very bitter conflict. I think both sides have been absurdly
vengeful and near-sighted for most of the conflict. There, I said it. This has been reflected in my descriptions.
Finally, it should be noted that the Country Quiz answers remain permanently unedited from
the original versions written in January 2003. Thus the descriptions predate some actual progresses towards peace that
were made by Sharon & Abbas.I found all these descriptions hilarious until I got to my (state / country / favorite book). That description
wasn't funny, it was mean! Why are you picking on me?
-Here I would humbly suggest that it's your perspective at issue more than my descriptions in the various quiz answers.
I have a clearly stated disclaimer on the front page of each quiz to try to ward off people being offended. I
would posit that you are finding those other descriptions hilarious because you think the jokes I make about other places are
true, while you have a hard time taking a joke about you or what you care about. Here I will default to the Indigo
Girls: "You have to laugh at yourself sometimes, because you'd cry your eyes out if you
didn't."Dude, where's my (country / university / favorite book)?
-Obviously, I can't include every country or institution of higher learning, let alone book, in one of these quizzes. I
tried to include a diverse number of each, but the bias was always going to be towards things that I personally found a
little more interesting. For the Book Quiz, I held myself mostly to a list derived from the
Best Books Ever list compiled elsewhere at the Blue Pyramid. The
University Quiz includes the top 50 major universities & 20 liberal arts colleges from last
year's US News list, but the other 58 were hand-picked by me, plus I switched out UCSC for UCSB, because I thought it would
be more fun to describe. I hit most of the big countries people would think of right off the bat, plus a lot of my
obscure favorites. Keep looking, though, you might have just missed your place! And if not, write me to encourage me to do a sequel quiz (i.e. "What Other Country
are You?).Why don't you list all of the possible answers to the quizzes?
-It would spoil the fun! If you have something in mind to look for, try answering the questions exactly as that entity
would and see how long it takes you to find it! Partial lists of answers available can be found by sifting through the
stats pages of any given quiz, which is linked on the front page of almost every quiz.What quiz is coming out next at the Blue Pyramid?
-You can help decide! Please vote in our new poll: