Wise Up! and WoW.

When I was growing up my dad would always ask us (me, my brothers, and our friends) "Dollar Questions," and if we got them right he'd give us a buck, which back then wasn't nothing. I always thought this was a great idea, separating the wheat from the chaff pretty quickly, especially when it came to girlfriends. Intellectual might isn't easily seen, but once seen, is not easily unseen, if you know what I mean.

Seriously, we think education is two things: facts, and inductive reasoning. We've tried to make the questions less about obscure trivia, and more about using what you do know to figure out what you don't – in other words, critical thinking. What a concept!

Here's a sampling of some of the dollar questions:

Where would a Peking Duck hail from today?

Peking is the old name for the city now known as Beijing.

Everyone knows the First and Second Amendments, what's the third?

Prohibition on quartering soldiers.

What's the engineering challenge that limits the height of skyscrapers?

The weight of the elevator cables. 

We found this type of learning both illuminating and hilarious fun and so did our friends, so decided to make a game out of it.

Wise Up! was born, with 150 cheeky and mind-expanding Question cards. But to make it more provocative and electric we've also added 50 devilish Challenges, such as: Throw this card on the floor and pick it up without using your hands. Or how about: Switch shirts with the person to your left. Anyone for a "Thumb War?" 

We usually say first person to get 5 cards wins. Or 10, depending on how much smarter you want to be. But, as with all our games –  house rules rule, side bets welcome.

Wise Up! is boredom's annulment.


Wise Up! this week.

We have an ongoing fun feature on our social media platforms, a weekly Wise Up! question, meant to provoke and inspire everyone, including ourselves, to a higher, better, deeper understanding of the world around us, and encourage an eternal and playful curiosity.

Here's this week's Wise Up! #13:

What language(s) was the Bible written in?

Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew

Here's the answer to the kick-off question, featured in the main photo: 83.


Are you smarter than an 11-year old?

From time to time we'll run special contests, putting together a select or themed bunch of Wise Up! Questions, to test the mental mettle of our readers.

How would you do on this one?

Word of the Week (WoW)

Our wicked/smart word game One Up! has been a huge best-seller, mostly because stealing is the name of the game, and people are larcenous at heart.

Seriously, we've learned so many new words playing with our family, friends and fans from around the world. So we thought each week we'd offer up an unusual or interesting word, for your edification and amusement, and call it Word of the Week (WoW).

This week's WoW is:

shinbone alley – a fictitious place drunk sailors usually ended up in


GIARDIA, our featured Word of the Week (Wow) is colloquially known as "Beaver Fever," an alliterative intestinal infection caused by the parasite giardia lambia, which results in abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. It is highly-contagious, and usually affects travelers - it got its name when some hikers in Banff Canada got sick after drinking contaminated water from a nearby dammed (and damned!) mountain stream.

Most cases clear up on their own after a few days, but sometimes antibiotics are used.

Just because. And just because English is such a rich, incredibly plastic and vast fantastic universe.

Become an erudite word nerd and gleefully One Up! your family and friends by "playing our game." Click here:


Seriously, your vocabulary is never big enough.

Here's a list of the other WoWs we've featured, in alphabetical order:

keelhaul – punishment where a person is dragged under the keel of a ship
lagniappe – a gifted extra, e.g. a baker's dozen
looper – inchworm
mingo – Iroquoian people and language
mukluk – Eskimo sealskin boot
oosik – a baculum or walrus penis
pantywaist – an effeminate or cowardly person
piker – a cheapskate
piloerection – the bristling of hairs
recalicitrant – willfully disagreeable and rebellious
scrimshanker – a shirker, usually of military duties
shinbone alley – a seedy place known for bars and seedy venues
sizzurp – adding cough syrup to a carbonated drink and used as a recreational drug; also called drank
snickersnee – a curved sword
spiv – a flashy, disreputable man

whistle pig – a ground hog 

If you feel smarter and more eloquent (or overwhelmed and ignorant!), please share our wit and wisdom by hitting one of the buttons below.


December 21, 2020 — Johnny Mustard