Thursday, November 19, 2009

sporcle sporcle

No bar stories this week. Really, I’m kinda sick of the bar. In theory at least, as I am not sick of booze, darts, or ridiculous adventures. That part of the bar I like. I’m just growing weary of the obligation of it all. See, as an aging, single dude, I HAVE to go out every weekend night. If any reasonable number of girls went out on weeknights, I would be out every weeknight too. I don’t have to spend a lot of money, I don’t have to meet my friends, I don’t have to get shitfaced (although, as you know, more often than not all three happen) but I do have to leave home and get out there. Sure, I could hang around coffee shops during the day to try and meet girls, but that’s lame because a) coffee shops don’t serve booze. That, and coffee shops are not conducive to conversation with new people, they are simply places to stay in your group or to eavesdrop on other groups.

A reason it could be harder to leave the house is my new internet obsession. If not for the hours and hours of downtime to kill at work, it would be tougher to leave home. A few months ago, my buddy David turned me on to sporcle.com. Not to be too hackneyed 90s about it, but don’t go there. Sporcle has completely ruined my capacity for killing downtime via reading or video games. It cuts into my sleep, it cuts into my TV time, and it totally eliminates the time I would otherwise be writing a brilliant unstarted novel.

Sporcle is, essentially, the ultimate game of categories. It’s nothing but lists in thousands of different categories under larger topics such as geography, history, music, TV, movies, sports, and others that I haven’t tried out yet. It asks a simple question, “Can you name xyz?” Examples include “can you name every US president?” (got 43, lousy Milard Filmore), “can you name all of the kings of France?” (didn’t do too well, but just typing William, Louis, and Richard with various Roman numerals got me pretty far) and “can you name the top 25 rushing touchdown scorers of the 2000s (did so-so, but even with my fantasy football background, it’s amazing how quickly I forgot about people like Rudi Johnson, Corey Dillon, Curtis Martin, and Eddie George).
Not surprisingly, geography is the category that I really go after. Can you name the major American cities when given three suburbs of each? I could, easily. Can you name the largest 100 American cities (not metro areas) by population? I always come close, but I always end up leaving out some bullshit town like Garland, Texas or Chesapeake, Virginia. Can you name the three largest cities in each state? I thought I would do well there, but the second largest city in Utah is some new burb I’d never heard of, and a lot of places in New England and the South are too obscure for me. Can you name the 20 largest cities of Kansas? Illinois? I can. Any other state? Not so much. Russia? I don’t know why I even tried that one. Like you, I can name 3 Russian cities. Can you name all of the countries of North America (including the Caribbean)? Europe (including lots of former Soviet republics and ex-Yugoslavia)? Asia (with all the “stans”)? Africa? For me, as of today, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Can you name all the counties of the world? I’ve played that game a lot of times, and thus far haven’t won - Oceania always throws me off, and I always end up forgetting a couple random obvious countries like Hungary or Singapore.

Weak entry this week, I know. Of course, I blame the sporcle, as writing about it caused me to procrastinate during a post about procrastination. Got distracted, did the “can you name all the countries in the world?” 3 more times. It’s a 15 minute game. I got 193 out of 195 on one - stupid Tuvalu and Kiribati. Trust me, live your life. Do not go to sporcle.com.

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