Monday, August 11, 2014

Take the Houdini: Fact or Fiction quiz


The official website for HISTORY's Houdini miniseries has launched an online quiz testing your knowledge of Houdini. A prefect score is 45, but be careful! They've actually made a mistake on the first bonus question. While they are expecting you to choose Houdini's Escapes and Magic (by Walter B. Gibson), there is no such book called Houdini Reveals All, so that is also a correct answer (but it will be scored wrong if you hit it).

OOPS!

Aside from this and the debatable nature of the Buster Keaton question (just always go with what you think they expect), this is very well done, with an especially good final bonus question.


It would be interesting to know whether the filmmakers could get through this with a respectable score. Hmmm...

Houdini stars Adrien Brody and Kristen Connolly and premiers September 1 at 9/8c on HISTORY. You can watch the trailer here.

UPDATE: I notified the good folks at A+E Studios about this mistake and it looks like it's now fixed. They even went with my suggestion of The Right Way To Do Wrong.

YAY!

20 comments:

  1. Great quip about the filmmakers taking the quiz. I got 43 on the first try, only missing two (fastest underwater handcuff escape and the name on his Selective Service card). The Keaton question is kind of a wild card, but Houdini would be pleased that it is still being attributed to him, true or not.

    I was interested to learn that Houdini tried out for the Olympic swim team; it makes you wonder how his magic career would have gone if that had worked out. The answer to the one about Houdini's death gives me hope for the miniseries, though I'm still worried they'll have his appendix rupture while inside it.

    -Meredith

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    1. Pretty darn good score, Meredith. :)

      The fastest handcuff escape question is kinda BS. Houdini never looked to set speed records with his escapes. It wasn't about that back then. If fact, he would never do something so quickly because it killed suspense. Modern escape artists claiming to have "beat Houdini's record" are misrepresenting him. Hate that.

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    2. That's partly why I wasn't sure how to answer. Thanks for the heads up on the one about authorship; that was a pretty dirty trick, listing a totally fictional book as a wrong answer!

      -Meredith

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  2. I got all correct, except for the one mentioned above. I chose Houdini Reveals All, even though I knew the other one, Houdini's Magic and Escapes was also a book not written by him.

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    1. I did the same thing on my first pass, Dean. Houdini Reveals All is actually the MORE correct answer because it doesn't exist. And Escapes and Magic is from Houdini's notebooks. But...

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  3. Found a few more errors in the quiz. The name on the draft application was Harry Handcuff, not Handcuffs. I believe he was actually offered a spot on the Olympic track team, not swimming, but he turned it down. (Correct me if I'm wrong; too tired to go check.) This looks like more sloppy work by the History Channel.

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  4. Correcting myself - he was asked to try out for the Olympic track team, but turned it down.

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    1. He turned it down? I thought that he somehow was unable to do it, or simply didn't make it.

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  5. I don't take exams and quizzes unless there is a prize at the end, or eligibility for a prize.

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  6. 1 wrong....damn bridge question. LOL

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  7. I have to find the source on this, but as I recall he turned it down when he learned there was no money in it. I believe he still holds the record for running around Central Park.

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  8. Houdini didn't try out for the first modern Olympics in swimming or track. He tried to make the boxing team but he got the flu and couldn't compete in the final trials and a boy he had previously beaten went in his weight class.

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    1. Boxing. Thank you, Patrick. I knew swimming didn't sound right.

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  9. A couple wrong.....have to spend more time here ! ;-)

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  10. Thank you Patrick! Makes sense. Houdini was a boxing fan and mixed it up a few times with champion heavyweights.

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  11. The International Olympic Committee was formed in 1894 in preparation for the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in the summer of 1896. The tryouts must have been in 1894 to draft and prepare athletes for the upcoming Games. If Houdini tried out, it had to be sometime in 1894. He married Bess in the summer of 1894 so I don't believe he had the Olympics in mind once he hooked up with her. If he did try out, it must have been between January and June of 1894 when he was working with Dash as a team.

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    1. Doesn't really work, does it? Would have been before 1894 when Houdini was a member of his athletic clubs. I've always been a bit skeptical of this Olympics claim.

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  12. Bonus question error is now fixed. See update. :)

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  13. I read where the Houdini's were poisoned and harry was punched by someone else prior to the whitefield episode....and harry was sitting down reading the paper....then a day or two later he was punched again by the so called college student who wasn't even listed as a student....thank you don bell for his research......harry was coming after the spriitualists and that was a cash cow to those low life's.....harry was poisoned and punched twice....almost positive if he were to be brought out from the ground and examined there would be poison in his system.....the so called doctors in Detroit were trying something experimental and were probably in on it.......but that's just my opinion.....see ya

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    1. You have a collection of facts here, but it sounds like you've looking at eveything through a conspiratorial lens. Be careful about buying into this stuff.

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