26 January 2016

House History on Jeopardy!

I caught some of this evening's episode of the world-famous game show, Jeopardy!, and happened to walk into the room just as the contestants were making a run through a category called "House Proud". This was part of the first round (the Jeopardy! round), and each answer and question in this category dealt with a specific term for a type of home dwelling. Although I had already missed seeing the $200 answer and only caught the response for the $400 answer, I enjoyed taking a stab at the remainder of the category. I knew the $600 and $800 answers, and couldn't come up with the $1,000 answer in time.

Thanks to the Jeopardy! fan website, J-Archive, I was able to find the full answer and questions from the "House Proud" category and share them here. I am taking the liberty after each question to add further background and information about each term.


Answer: "Aputiak is another name for this dwelling of northern North America."
Question: "What is an igloo?"

Background: We all can picture the dome-shaped ice block structure known as an igloo. An igloo is a temporary winter hunting-ground dwelling used by the Inuit (Eskimos) of Canada and Greenland. According to the book "Native American Culture" by Kathleen Kuiper, the term "igloo" is related to a town called Iglulik in northern Canada, with the word "iglu" meaning "house". A builder uses a knife to cut 2-foot by 4-foot blocks from the compact snow of a snow drift. The bottom course of blocks is laid out on a flat stretch, and the top edge is cut at an angle to allow the next row to slope inward in the process of forming a dome. Joints are filled in with loose snow.

Image courtesy of the PBS program Nova


Answer: "A 'caravan' in England, in the U.S. it's called this dwelling that may go from place to place."
Question: "What is a mobile home?"

Background: According to Jane Dagmi for www.bobvila.com, mobile homes began as an efficient way for recreational travelers to tour the country. Through necessity during the Depression Era, many began using these trailers as their homes and a permanent niche market was born. Mobile homes again came in handy as emergency housing on military bases during WWII. The post-war decades saw "trailer parks" begin to spring up throughout the U.S.

Image courtesy of The Daily Mail


Answer: "New Orleans has many of these narrow, elongated dwellings, named for a type of firearm."
Question: "What are shotgun houses?"

Background: A shotgun house is one which is arranged such that all of the rooms of the house are aligned in a straight line in succession from front to back, with no connecting corridors. One must travel through one entire room to get to the next. This arrangement valued usable space over privacy by eschewing the dedication of space to circulation use only. Richard Campanella for the New Orleans Times-Picayune describes how the term "shotgun" derives from the notion of firing bird shot through the front door and out the rear without touching a wall. check out the link embedded within this paragraph for Campanella's discussion of several differing theories on why there are so many shotguns in New Orleans.

Image courtesy of Archidius architectural design and construction blog


Answer: " 'Pub' is short for this; at one time, they were compelled to lodge travelers."
Question: "What is a public house?"

Background: As implied in the Jeopardy clue, early English common law during the 15th through 17th centuries required select inn and tavern keepers to provide lodging for all travelers who were willing to pay. According to Brittanica, many of the colorful pub names you may recognize today (such as "Bag o'Nails", "Goat and Compass", and "Elephant and Castle") are distorted forms of historical and ecclesiastical phrases ("Bacchanals", "Great God Encompassing", and "Infanta de Castile").

Image courtesy of Encyclopaedia Brittanica


Answer: "Look out below! Just west of Colorado Springs is the site called the Manitou these Native American dwellings."
Question: "What are cliff dwellings?"

Background: As you'd expect by the name, cliff dwellings are literally built into and formed from the side of a cliff. They are most associated with the Ancestral Puebloans (also known by the less-preferred term "Anasazi"), and several examples exist in the western U.S., in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Cliff dwellings are fascinating structures which incorporate selective excavation of the natural niches and caves in the cliff, along with the addition of new masonry. The example cited in tonight's episode of Jeopardy, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, are located near the foot of Pike's Peak and are over 800 years old.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
It was fun to see a whole category related to house history on Jeopardy! In case you are wondering, the contestants correctly answered 3 out of the 5 answers. On top of it, I learned an alternative name for igloo! I hope you've enjoyed it as well.

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