Tag Archive: Jeopardy

TONIGHT in Princeton: A Conversation with Rush Holt

ACLU-NJ: Conversation with Rep. Rush Holt, Scientist & Civil Libertarian

When: Tonight 7pm

Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton

50 Cherry Hill Road in Princeton

Rush Holt is my old boss; I’m a vet of his campaign staff. We lost Holt as our representative when Hunterdon was redistricted into CD7 and Leonard Lance territory; a distinct step down. But he’s still my hero. Here are 3 things I find encouraging about him:

1) He was always more interested in the word “representative” than in the word “congressman.” That is, more compelled by his responsibilities to those he represented than any title referring to himself as a member of Congress. If that sounds pretty Boy Scout of him, then that’s exactly it. He has been a straight arrow as long as I’ve known him.

2) Rush is a good-government crusader in the best of ways. A leader in all kinds of civil rights and civil liberties issues, which include voting rights, protecting civil liberties in the face of NSA spying, and the First Amendment.

3) Brains. Straight up. I remember when we launched the My Congressman IS a rocket scientist bumper sticker, and started getting requests for them not only from District and Jersey, but from college campuses and other places where education and science are prized. I’ve seen those stickers – in Rush Holt green, black and white – in several states. But if anyone gets the idea that Holt’s smarts are highfalutin’ or ivory tower-removed, get over it. The guy’s a 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only dude I know of ever to beat IBM’s Watson supercomputer. But he’s far less interested in his own intelligence than in other people’s educational opportunities, and in what science research can make available to the world.

My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist

Rush Holt: Rocket Scientist & Mechanic & Jeopardy Winner & Jeopardy Host

I collect winning anecdotes about my old boss, Representative (he prefers it to Congressman) Rush Holt, this is a new favorite. Can’t help it. He’s a cool dude. Here’s a new one, from my friend, Deputy COS/District Director Sarah Steward:

You’d know that you work for a good guy if he was out of the car before you knew it, kneeling in a puddle, changing your flat tire on the side of the road in Trenton without making you feel dumb even though your own foolish driving mistake was to blame for the popped tire. If, you know, such a theoretical thing ever happened. In unrelated news: I work for a good guy.

So right. Last night, Rush was a hands-on trainer at Princeton meeting – hosted by ACLU-NJ, Garden State Equality & the Unitarians- teaching how to lobby legislators to vote to override Christie’s veto on marriage. You don’t often find people in Holt’s position giving out the secrets of what makes people like him, or legislators, tick. Very useful.

Jeopardy: We don’t usually note fundraisers here, but one I want to is Rush Holt’s Jeopardy fundraiser Thursday night. Holt, 5-time Jeopardy winner and the man who reduced the mighty IBM supercomputer Watson to a helpless little Atari in Jeopardy, will play Alex Trebek to a bunch of smartypantses.

Contestants:

Tom Byrne (former Dem state chair)

Marie Corfield, LD-16 Assembly candidate, former Jeopardy contestant for reals

Lizette Delgado-Polanco, SEIU ED & Buono’s pick for DSC vice-chair

Princeton Prof. Jeffrey Eugenides Pulitzer Prize winning author

Gov. Jim Florio (defending his title as 2012 winner)

Professor Sean Wilentz, Bancroft Prize-winning historian on the Princeton faculty

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, NJDSC chair

Judges:

Gov. Richard J. Codey

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, chair Buono for Governor  

This event’s always fun, the contestants fun. And I’m pumped my candidate and friend Marie Corfield is playing. But I’m a mass of jelly to meet one of my favorite authors, Jeffrey Eugenides, now on the Princeton faculty teaching creative writing, and the author of Middlesex (which shed much light for me on what life can be like for an intersex person, like one of my friends is) and captured 1967 Detroit perfectly, the year I moved there. And The Virgin Suicides, so good.

Got a cool fundraiser coming up? Hit us up in comments.  

Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy #3

A few days ago, as I wrote earlier, Rush Holt got together some of the best known people in politics to play a little Jeopardy.

Players included: Shelley Adler, Candidate for US Congress, NJ-3

Assemblyman Dan Benson, former Dem state Chair Tom Byrne, current Chair Asm John Wisniewski, Gov. Jim Florio, Sen. Linda Greenstein, Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel & Princeton Prof. Sean Wilentz. I’ve been posting the questions all weekend. Rush Holt wrote them himself along with his staff.

Want to play? So far the pollster is cleaning everybody’s clock. Let’s see how you do. Here are the next 2 categories, Destination NJ & Diamonds.  Still to come tonight, Final Jeopardy and an announcement of which of Holt’s political friends won his Jeopardy 2012 event. Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a question. Jump below the fold.  

Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy #2

I’d like to say that the pollster got every question played in the first category of Rush Holt’s Jeopardy game last weekend. But I can’t. Although the pollster is undoubtably brilliant, her answers were not phrased in the form of a question.  

All this weekend we’re posting questions from the Jeopardy game Rush Holt hosted with the bunch of political All-Stars (Shelley Adler, Jim Florio, Dan Benson and more) competing. The first category was maybe the easiest; questions get harder from here. Rush Holt & his campaign staff wrote them; the congressman is a 5-time Jeopardy winner himself. I’m mixing up categories a bit, hardest last.

Resist teh Google, and post the answers in the comments if you know them. Here are the questions of our next 2 categories – The Write Stuff & NJ Higher Ed – after the fold. Remember to phrase your answers in the form of a question….

All This Weekend – We’re Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy

Last weekend, I attended maybe the most boisterous fundraiser I’ve ever seen: Rush Holt’s live Jeopardy game, with a collection of some of the most well-known people in NJ politics all trying to answer in the form of a question every item of formidable trivia dreamed up by Holt’s campaign staff and the rocket scientist himself. All in the name of fun, all to benefit the campaign of Holt; physicist congressman, 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only member of Congress to vanquish the IBM supercomputer Watson I was the dork in the back half-jumping out of my seat on every question, but not blurting out loud as the entire audience was instructed to do. I was sitting with Marie Corfield, a Jeopardy veteran herself.

Among Holt’s players: CD3 candidate Shelley Adler, Asm Dan Benson, Sen. Linda Greenstein, Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, former state Dem chair Tom Byrne and current chair John Wisniewski and Gov. Jim Florio. Judges were Lambertville mayor Dave DelVecchio, NJEA’s Ginger Gold Schnitzer, and Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman and Jeopardy contestant. Rush Holt played both Art Fleming and Alex Trebek.

Smart batch of people. Aggressive players. But playing purely for fun, for a congressman, my former boss, who was as loose as I’ve ever seen him. High point for me was Holt doing Dana Carvey doing, well, you’ll see …

All weekend, I’m going to post the questions I can (some are still top-secret). Want to play? Resist the internet and give us your answer in the form of a Question.

Start you off with an easy category. They get tougher from here. We’ll be posting questions all weekend. Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a Question:

All This Weekend – We’re Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy

Last weekend, I attended maybe the most boisterous fundraiser I’ve ever seen: Rush Holt’s live Jeopardy game, with a collection of some of the most well-known people in NJ politics all trying to answer in the form of a question every item of formidable trivia dreamed up by Holt’s campaign staff and the rocket scientist himself. All in the name of fun, all to benefit the campaign of Holt; physicist congressman, 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only member of Congress to vanquish the IBM supercomputer Watson I was the dork in the back half-jumping out of my seat on every question, but not blurting out loud as the entire audience was instructed to do. I was sitting with Marie Corfield, a Jeopardy veteran herself.

Among Holt’s players: CD3 candidate Shelley Adler, Asm Dan Benson, Sen. Linda Greenstein, Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, former state Dem chair Tom Byrne and current chair John Wisniewski and Gov. Jim Florio. Judges were Lambertville mayor Dave DelVecchio, NJEA’s Ginger Gold Schnitzer, and Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman and Jeopardy contestant. Rush Holt played both Art Fleming and Alex Trebek.

Smart batch of people. Aggressive players. But playing purely for fun, for a congressman, my former boss, who was as loose as I’ve ever seen him. High point for me was Holt doing Dana Carvey doing, well, you’ll see …

All weekend, I’m going to post the questions I can (some are still top-secret). Want to play? Resist the internet and give us your answer in the form of a Question.

Start you off with an easy category. They get tougher from here. We’ll be posting questions all weekend. Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a Question:

Rush Holt hosts high-stakes Jeopardy game

CATEGORY:       Smartypantses

ANSWER:          Pretty much what only rocket scientists can do

QUESTION:       What is, Star-studded Jeopardy fundraisers?

My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist

This … is … JEOPARDY!

There’s a reason Rush Holt’s constituents drive around CD12 with this bumpersticker, why it’s such a hot commodity. Only research physicist in Congress. Advocate for education and research funding. Forward-thinker. 5-time Jeopardy winner. Only man in Congress to beat IBM’s Watson in a head-to-supercomputer Jeopardy matchup.

But New Jersey may have more than one tough mind ready to play. And Sunday, Holt is hosting some of the smartest people in New Jersey politics in a hot game of Jeopardy.

Still tix left for Jeopardy 2012 Sunday 4-6pm RSVP/more info.

Who’s playing?

Shelley Adler, Candidate for US Congress, NJ-3

Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson

B. Thomas Byrne, Jr.

Gov. Jim Florio

Senator Linda Greenstein

Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club

Professor Sean Wilentz

John S. Wisniewski, Chair, NJ Democratic State Committee

Who’s judging?

Mayor David DelVecchio

Ginger Gold Schnitzer                  

Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman & Jeopardy! contestant

I promise you, none of these people want to miss any questions in front of this crowd. Expect high-stakes competition from some of NJ’s best and brightest. I’m really looking forward to this, and personally I’ll be cheering hardest for Shelley Adler, a very bright woman running to retake CD3 from a former football player who wasn’t ready for the job when he he was elected to the House, and still isn’t. But then, I think anybody on that list could beat Jon Runyan in a quiz game with half their I.Q. tied behind their back.

Here’s all the details. RSVPs to Annie@RushHolt.com or (609) 799-0800.

         

Rush Holt talks Watson-Jeopardy showdown

I’m amused by this video of my old boss Rep. Rush Holt, who is here explaining his history on Jeopardy (he was a 5-time winner decades ago) and how he came to be matched up against IBM’s supercomputer Watson. Holt is the only human to ever beat Watson in a Jeopardy contest. He talks about how since he was a kid he’s been interested in how the world works (that’s science) and how people get along (that’s politics), the first time he saw a computer (in a Scientific American spinoff). Holt uses his vanquishing of Watson to talk about investing in research – public and private – and investing in the kind of education that will produce the next wave of scientists and researchers. A common theme in this physicist-congressman’s life and work, and one he’s in a great position to make.

But really what gets me about this video (made by the social media folks at IBM, where Watson was hatched), is the solar power backlighting, the unironic illumination as New Jersey’s rocket scientist discusses … well, illuminating.

The Category is Humans Who Have Defeated the IBM Watson Computer in the Jeopardy Game

We had two posts go up at the same time. This one was up top only a few seconds before ellington posted. So, I’m pulling this one up top for its own moment in the sun, or conversely, moon. – Rosi

The normal answer-and-question sequence breaks down because there is only one human on earth who fits this category – Congressman Rush Holt.  A five-time winner when he played against humans 35 years ago and a nuclear physicist by training, Holt is one of the smartest, most level-headed members of Congress.

I had a chance to meet the Congressman yesterday at a fundraising event for Marie Corfield. Among other things, we lamented the fact that Holt’s colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the House of Representatives are harming the nation with their anti-science rhetoric and are not funding the basic research that has kept the United States in the forefront of job-creating technologies over these past years.

In the video snippet below, Holt points out that we have a lot of work to undo the harm that our Governor has wreaked upon the state, and we need to work to elect progressive Democrats for the good of everyone.

Holt is a welcome antithesis to Christie. While Christie breaks everything down to a simplistic solution, Holt knows that complex problems call for complex solutions that require hard work. While Christie rules through bombastic pronouncements, Holt is methodical and rational.

I love the bumper stickers in his district: “My Congressman Is a Rocket Scientist.”