Opossum – Spelling One P – two S

There are 103 species. They are a marsupial of North and South America.

They have a surprisingly short live span  2-4 years. (Squirrels tend to live to about 6 years if they do not get run over in the first year)  And a startlingly short gestation period… Only 12-14 days.

As marsupials their young mature in a pouch.   They have a bifurcated penis or vagina. 

They are omnivores. Eating carrion, insects, worms, grubs, snakes, frogs, small mammals and fruit.

“Playing possum” is a reflex action --- like fainting.  Includes scent glands that release an odor of rotting meat.

Adult possums do not have the muscular strength to hang from their prehensile tails.


If you thought that there were a lot of Opossum species hang onto your hat… there are more orchid species than bird species … twice as many. There are 4 times more orchid species than mammal species.

Orchids can be found everywhere there is not permafrost. 

Vanilla is an orchid species.

The name is from the Greek for testicle… named for the appearance of their roots. 

The 1998 book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean was about a real life effort to steal Ghost Orchids from Fakahatchee Strand State Park in South Florida.

The movie Adaptation is based off of the wild hallucinations of Charles Kaufman while trying to write a screen adaptation of The Orchid Thief.

Oreos – are the knock off.  They were created in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) to glom onto the success of the Hydrox cookie by Sunshine Bakery created in 1908. 

Rick Porcello holds five patents related to the creation of Oreo cookies.

Annie Oakley – once again from David Cera

Real name Phoebe Ann Moses.

Annie was considered the first female Super Star of entertainment when she traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show as a rifle sharpshooter.

Fellow Wild West cast member Sitting Bull called her Little Sure Shot.

While travelling in Europe she demonstrated her prowess by shooting the ash off a cigarette held in the mouth of newly crowned Kaiser Wilhelm II.  After the start of WWI she wrote to the Kaiser asking for a chance to repeat the trick.

She appeared in the 11th commercial film ever made. She was friends with Thomas Edison.

She shot 100 clay targets in a row from 16 yards when she was 62.

Longtime friend Fred Stone was given her unfinished autobiography in 1926.  Fred Stone has a Central Florida connection the second stage at Rollins is named for him.

Ready for the Questions?

  1. What 1946 Broadway musical, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin including the classic “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, was a fictionalized account of the career of Annie Oakley?


Annie Get Your Gun


  1. Annie Get Your Gun was the second Broadway musical produced by the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  What was the first?  Songs included “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning”, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and the official state song of our 46th state. 




  1. Oklahoma – like all the plains states- have conditions that allow for some pretty severe weather.  Oklahoma City set a record high and low for the day of November 11th (high of 83 degrees low of 17 degrees) on the exact same day in what year?  That same year saw the discovery of the South Pole, the rediscovery of Machu Pichu, and the first Indianapolis 500 , and the birth of L Ron Hubbard 




  1. Which of these automobile companies did NOT have a car in the 1911 Indianapolis 500?  Benz, Buick, Mercedes, Oldsmobile  




  1. Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom Olds in 1897 and he left the company in 1904.  What band, named for Ransom’s next project after Oldsmobile, had hits “Keep on Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” in the 1980s? 


REO SpeedWagon.  REO for Ransom E Olds.


  1. REO SpeedWagon also had a Top Ten hit with “Take it on the Run” not be confused with the ode to young bandits “Take the Money and Run” by Steve Miller Band. If Billy Mack had caught up with Billy Joe and Bobby Sue in .… let’s say New York in the early 2000s …Billy Joe might have ended up in Oswald State Penitentiary on what HBO series? 




  1. What number is larger?  The number of books written about the land of OZ by Lyman Frank Baum or the number of species of Orangutan? 


Baum wrote 14 books about the people of OZ. There are only two species of Orangutan.


  1. Orangutans live ONLY on what two islands?  One is the third largest island in the world split between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The other is the largest completely Indonesian island that is also home to critically endangered species of Tiger and Rhino.


Borneo and Sumatra


  1. Sumatra is about half the size of Borneo, Borneo is the world’s third largest island and about a third the size of Greenland.  Greenland is about a third of the size of what continent that provides 97% of the world’s opals?




  1. Opal is the birthstone of one of my children - for what month? 




  1. Carrie Fischer was born on October 21st . It has been reported that she will be in the Star Wars Episode VII scheduled for 2015.  Which four characters have appeared in all six episodes so far? 


R2D2, C3PO, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, Obi-wan Kenobi  Alec Guinness starred in the David Lean film version of Great Expectations in 1946 the year Annie Get Your Gun debuted on Broadway.