Maine Public was holding News & Brews trivia events live. Now they are doing them online.  Photo courtesy of Maine Public

Quick, name the Maine town where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin?” Who was the only Portland Sea Dog to win the Eastern League MVP award? What is Maine’s official state dessert?

In times of isolation, as we all binge watch Netflix and spend three to four hours a day planning what to make for lunch, it’s important to keep the brain sharp. We need to exercise it, by thinking about something other than work, groceries and coronavirus.

Thankfully, there are several places to go online for fun, brain-sharpening quizzes about Maine and compiled by Mainers. One’s about current events, one’s about baseball and related stuff, and others are about Maine history or music.

Here are a few examples of some Maine-oriented online quizzes. Use them for a family game night, home-schooling or just to keep the brain cells stimulated.

Slugger and the Portland Sea Dogs are posting regular quizzes on social media. Photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

USE THE NEWS

Before the world shut down in March, Maine Public had been hosting packed News & Brews trivia nights at bars and breweries around the state. The questions were culled from local Maine Public radio and TV shows, as well as news and programming from National Public Radio and PBS. So it was a lot of news and current affairs. Since the TV and radio network is not doing the events live right now, it took some of the questions and put together a couple quizzes on its website, mainepublic.org. Question topics include Maine history and historic figures as well as out-of-state topics like recent developments in astronomy, business news, recent books and popular recreation trends.

SLUGGER SAYS

There is no baseball anywhere right now, including at Portland’s Hadlock Field, home of the Sea Dogs. While that’s a bummer, you and your family can get a dose of baseball by checking out the quizzes/homework helpers that Slugger, the Sea Dogs mascot, is posting on social media Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The quizzes are divided into sections, including history, math, science and language arts, but all using baseball or Sea Dog topics. So a recent math question asked people to figure player Bobby Dalbec’s slugging percentage while a history question asked who was the first Sea Dog pitcher to throw a no hitter in the Major Leagues. You can find the quizzes on Facebook: Portland Sea Dogs.

STATE OF MINE

Since this is the state’s bicentennial year, why not test your state of Maine knowledge with the Maine Symbols & Fun Facts quiz on the secretary of state’s kids’ page. Some questions might be a little easy, like what’s the state bird? But others, like naming the official state dessert, are a little tricky. Also on that page, you can find a list of bios for dozens of well-known Mainers in politics, arts, sports, entertainment and business over the years. Use the list to make up your own quizzes. The symbols and facts quiz is located in the page’s Games section, while the famous people list is in the section called About Maine. The page can be found at maine.gov/sos/kids.

Take Bill O’Neil’s hardcore Maine rock ‘n’ roll quiz on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Bill O’Neil.

PLATE GAMES

Ever find yourself stuck in traffic, staring at the license plate of the car in front of you and wondering “What the heck does that mean?” Well, you can test your vanity plate deciphering skills with another secretary of state online game. This one shows several vanity plates and asks you to figure out what the jumble of letters and numbers means. Some examples include LV2JUGL, L8T4AD8 and URAQTPI.  Find the vanity plate game at maine.gov/sos.kids.

YOU’RE NOT HARDCORE

Most of us are not hardcore, compared to Bill O’Neil. He ran the legendary Bill O’Neil’s House of Rock N Roll record store on Route 1 in Saco from 1988 to 2012. The place was a magnet for record collectors and people looking for obscure European imports. It was also the place, before the internet, where Maine music fans went looking for answers to super-hard music trivia questions. So during this time of isolation, O’Neil is doing his part to entertain and inform the masses by posting a super-hard quiz about Maine rock ‘n’ roll history. Here’s an example of how hardcore this quiz is: “Many will remember ‘She’s Not There’ by the Zombies. There was another version by a band from upstate New York that was a #1 in Portland in 1969. This version never made the Billboard Top 100. Who were they?” If you dare try the whole quiz, go to Facebook: Bill O’Neil’s House of Rock and Roll.


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