New Badges: Frantic February, Badge-ly Drawn, and Bikini Bottom

This week’s badges have been brought to you by the letter “A” for “alliteration”.

FranticFebruary_1Frantic February: When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout… then take some time to relax on Sporcle! To earn February’s badge, play 40 games on each day of the week. You’ll reach the end of February in no time, and you’ll have a shiny new badge to show for it!

BadgelyDrawn_2Badge-ly Drawn: You’re going to want to get good at identifying people who have been badly drawn. To earn this badge, get 100% on Famous Faces (Badly Drawn), Famous Faces (Badly Drawn) II, and Famous Faces (Badly Drawn) III.

BikiniBottom_1Bikini Bottom: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? And who plays trivia on the internet? This badge is where the answers to those questions intersect. Play 25 SpongeBob quizzes to earn it, and be sure to watch out for jellyfish!

As always, check the badge page for the latest updates.

The US Citizenship Test: The Sporcle Featured Quiz of the Week

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We think all our featured quizzes are great, but once a week we find a quiz published within the last 7 days that went the extra mile.

This week’s quiz is the US Citizenship Test by Sporcle User Jupy.

About the Quizmaker

US Citizenship Test is Jupy’s first published quiz, and it’s the only quiz he’s made. He’s been on Sporcle since September 2013, and has gotten 13 badges since then. He’s played just over 300 games. Congrats on your first publish, Jupy!

What’s the Quiz About?

To become a citizen of the United States, you must take a test. This test asks questions about the government and history of the US. This quiz takes some of the practice questions for the test, and asks whether you’d be able to pass it. This quiz is for everyone, whether you’re not a US citizen and want to see how hard the test it, or you are already a citizen and you want to see how much you remember from US History. In the real test, you’re asked 10 questions and you must answer at least 6 of them correctly (60%). The average Sporcler got 77% of these practice questions right, so most Sporclers would pass the US Citizenship test. Would you?

US Citizenship Test: Would You Pass? was played 31,769 times while it was on the home page and got a rating of 4.7.


Top Tweets (1/14/2015)

toptweetsv65oai7fxn47qv9nectxWhen you see something you really like, sometimes retweeting and favoriting isn’t enough – that’s why @Sporcle has this weekly blog post. Congrats to the tweeters who made the cut this week!

Remember, you can always reach us on Facebook or Twitter with any questions or comments you have.

New Badges: That’s No Moon, The First Folio and Jam Session

We’ve got a good feeling about these badges…

UseTheForce_4That’s No Moon: You know you’ve always wanted to be a Jedi Master. We can’t transport you to a galaxy far, far away, but we can promise you an afternoon full of lightsabers and The Force. Play 50 Star Wars games and earn this badge to show off your knowledge of all things Star Wars.

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The First Folio: How well do you think you know The Bard of Avon? Prove your knowledge of Shakespeare by getting 100% on Shakespeare Plays, then display this badge. We promise you won’t even have to say “hath” a single time.

badges_jamsessionJam Session: Get those earbuds in, and warm up your fingers. It’s time for a Sporcle music jam like never before. Play 25 Music quizzes in one day, and this badge will be an everlasting sign of your musical achievement.

As always, check the badge page for the latest updates.

Why you should give a #$@! about the Oxford Comma

Vampire Weekend has it all wrong. The Oxford Comma is indeed important – and it’s useful for writing clearly and directly, which is more than can be said for the hipster band’s song about this piece of punctuation.

There are two ways to list various items in a sequence. One is to list them by separating all but the last two items with commas, like so: apples, oranges and bananas. The other, known as the Oxford comma, is inserted between the last two items in a sequence. For example: apples, oranges, and bananas. It’s considered to be optional by most writers, and AP style – used by journalists in the US – actually discourages its use. The Oxford comma is also less popular in the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world than it is in the United States.

So why use the Oxford comma?

First of all, it makes sentences a lot less ambiguous. There are a lot of funny examples of sentences derailed by a missing Oxford comma, but this is a good one:

Jobros

Second, it’s also helpful for consistency’s sake. Because commas are frequently used to introduce concepts, address listeners, and set off descriptions, they can become confusing if they’re used the same way for different reasons. That’s where the Oxford comma comes in. It doesn’t remove all ambiguity from a sentence, but it does make the difference between an introduction and a list of items clear.

American journalists tend not to use the Oxford comma for spacing reasons. They claim it adds unnecessary bulk to the written sentence and that it’s made redundant by the use of “and” and “or”. However, I think it’s a helpful little mark that doesn’t use up too much space. When given the choice between clarity and an imperceptibly shorter sentence, I’ll take clarity every time.

What If Every State’s Population Matched Its Physical Size?

Alaska, by land mass, is the largest state in the US but ranked 47th by population. It seems a touch unfair that the largest states with such small populations get so much space for such few people. Reddit user “alexthedinosaur” has created this map of the United States to show what it would look like if we gave the biggest states by physical size to the states with the largest population.

In this Bizarro version of the United States, Hawaii becomes Alaska, Alaska becomes California, New York becomes Iowa and so on. Missouri, Mississippi and Texas are the only states that would remain in their current positions on the map.

So check it out, here is what the map of the United States would look like if the population matched its physical size:

(Click the map to open a larger version in a new window)

It all kind of makes you wonder what the original thirteen colonies would have looked like. As a reminder, here is a quiz to refresh your memory.

Featured Game of the Week (1/7/2015)

We think all our featured quizzes are great, but once a week we find a quiz published within the last 7 days that went the extra mile. Here’s the quiz of the week!

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The Main Character Dies!

by DarkPhalanx

Featured January 4, 2015

 

About the Quizmaker

DarkPhalanx made the featured quiz this week, and it’s his 75th game published. He’s been on Sporcle since December 2008, which makes him one of the first people to make an account! Since then, he’s contributed 168 games, gotten 96  badges, and has played over 8,000 games. Thanks for making great quizzes, DarkPhalanx.

What’s the Quiz About?

Spoiler Alert: The Main Character Dies! gives away the ending to many iconic movies.

This quiz is all about movies where main characters die.The question is, do you remember how they died? You’re given the way the character died, and you have to match it with the movie. Try reading all the movie titles first, so that you can keep an eye out for hints to movies you’ve seen. Otherwise, you might not realize that your favorite movie is even an option. There are 26 movies and you have 6 minutes to complete the quiz, so you should have plenty of time to read through all of the answers to this spoiler-tastic quiz.

The Main Character Dies! was played 18,746 times on the day it was featured, and it ended up with a rating of 4.5. 


Play over 2,400 of your favorite MS-DOS games in your browser for free

The Oregon Trail to Wolfenstein 3D, all in your browser

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Thanks to the Internet Archive over 2,400 MS-DOS games are now available to play for free in your browser. No plugins, no extensions, no extra work on your part, just good old fashioned fun from the 80s and 90s.

The Internet Archive notes that the browser-based emulation is still in beta, so your mileage may vary, make sure you use an updated version of Chrome or Firefox. And be warned, you can get lost in here.

We wouldn’t be Sporcle without throwing a quiz into the mix, once you have lost a few hours on the Oregon Trail, see if you learned anything:


Top Tweets (1/6/2015)

toptweetsv65oai7fxn47qv9nectxWhen you see something you really like, sometimes retweeting and favoriting isn’t enough – that’s why @Sporcle has this weekly blog post. Congrats to the tweeters who made the cut this week!

Remember, you can always reach us on Facebook or Twitter with any questions or comments you have.

 

 

 

New Badges: H2Oh-Em-Gee, The Year of the Badge, and Math ‘N Stuff

Climb every mountain, ford every stream, take every Sporcle quiz, until you’ve earned your badge!

H2OhEmGee1H2Oh-Em-Gee: It’s always good to know the basics when it comes to our world’s water. Get 50% or better on Largest LakesLongest RiversDeepest Oceans and Seas and Countries with Tallest Waterfalls and you’ll earn this badge. Ah, refreshing!

YearOfTheBadge_1The Year of the Badge: We see a new badge in your future. To earn it, you shouldn’t need a horoscope or a crystal ball – all you need to do is get 100% on the Chinese Zodiac Signs, 12 Signs of the Zodiac, and Birthstones quizzes. The stars tell us you’ll do great.

Math_N_Stuff_3Math ‘N Stuff: We crunched the numbers and decided to release an arithmetic badge for all you number loving types. Play 50 Math games to earn this badge. It all adds up!

As always, check the badge page for the latest updates.