Jeopardy
January 14, 2011, 02:33 PM
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An IBM computer the size of ten refrigerators will compete on Jeopardy:
Watson will be the third contestant in a round of shows to be broadcast Feb. 14-16, taking on Brad Rutter, who has won more than $3 million on the game show, and Ken Jennings, who set a record with 74 consecutive "Jeopardy" wins in 2004-05 in which he racked up more than $2.5 million.

Watson, about as big as 10 refrigerators, has had its software updated for "Jeopardy" so it can activate a signaling button of its own, just as its human competitors will have to do ...

When I was on Jeopardy in 1994, there was a short in my buzzer, so I'd have to press it five or ten time before I got credit for it. Gen. Schwarzkopf had the same problem as me on Celebrity Jeopardy, but being a more forceful personality, he stopped the show until they fixed it. A few years later, I went out to dinner with an old high school friend I hadn't seen in about 10 years. The first thing he said was, "Hey, I saw you on Jeopardy. What was wrong with your buzzer?"

I came in second, with something like $6,700, which would have been nice, but to my surprise, I found out that you only got to keep your winnings if you won the round. Second prize was supposed to be a trip to a Mexican resort, but it was contrived so it wouldn't really worth it (I'd have to buy four roundtrip tickets from Chicago to LA to use the flights from LA), so I never used it. So, the only thing I got for flying from Chicago to LA to compete on the show was the home board game version.

Jeopardy was a real cash cow for Merv Griffin.

They should have a new quiz show for old codgers like me who can't remember actual names anymore to see who can cover up for their senility best through fast Googling. For example, for about 15 years I've never been able to remember the name of the 1980s blonde actress who was in Never Say Never, 9 1/2 Weeks, LA Confidential, who bought a town, who lost a ridiculous amount of money in a lawsuit when she backed out of this bad movie about a woman who gets her limbs cut off and put in a box. But it only takes me about ten seconds to find the name ... Kim Basinger ... so it doesn't really matter except in the rare situations when I leave the house and talk to people.