Archive | August 2015

Quiz Corner: Title Town, USA

When the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup in June, Boston became “Title Town, USA,” having won championships in all four top-level professional sports leagues (the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB) within the span of less than a decade. The Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005, the Red Sox won in 2007, and the Celtics won in 2008.

Five other American cities have achieved this distinction, but they all took longer than Boston—some of them, much longer. Can you identify these other us Title Towns below by matching them with the shortest span over which they won championships in all four leagues?

For clues, I have included the leagues and years that began and ended the span. (For example, Boston (A) is #1.)

A. Boston
B. Chicago
C. Detroit
D. Los Angeles/Anaheim
E. New York/Northern New Jersey
F. Philadelphia

  1. 6 years, 129 days (NFL 2005–NHL 2011)
  2. 11 years, 133 days (NFL 1969–NHL 1980)
  3. 19 years, 300 days (NFL 1960–MLB 1980)
  4. 23 years, 135 days (NFL 1984–NHL 2007)
  5. 34 years, 60 days (NHL 1955–NBA 1989)
  6. 73 years, 210 days (MLB 1917–NBA 1991)

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The Old Hag

When I am about to awake, the limbs and trunk of my body refuse to move. My eyelids flit up and down, but my eyes won’t stay open. Maybe I manage to lift my head a bit, but it weighs an impossible ton of bricks. I need to scream, but my voice can only manage muted moans. A sense of impending capture and/or death go along with all this, so I reeeeally need to lift my body and go. Impossible. I’m paralyzed.

Death is not at hand, but the paralysis is quite real. And I am far from the only poor sleeper to suffer it. “Sleep paralysis,” lasting seconds or minutes, is accompanied by terror, panic, and hallucinations. Vivid horror.

Some folklore call this experience “The Old Hag.” The Old Hag might be a mare, witch, or damned woman who flies around at night resting here and there on rib cages. Her weight presses hard, pins you down, and renders you paralyzed. Tag this feeling catalepsy, narcolepsy, hypnogogic hallucinations, evil jinns, science fiction, alien abductions, lucid dreams, ghouls, haunts, and The Nightmare by Henri Fuseli. There are plenty of tips on “sleep hygiene” out there, and in my experience they work. Don’t despair.

From the August 2011 issue of Happiness Pony. [PDF]