By David Hennessey, MSDC President
You are a contestant on Jeopardy and you're up against Matt Amodio. He is the returning Jeopardy Champion, for now. But the last last category in Double Jeopardy is Mining and Minerals. You have a chance. Here come the questions.
For $200, "This state was the site of the first gold rush in the United States." Matt Amodio buzzes first. Dang, he's fast on the buzzer. He answers "What is Georgia?" and Mayim Bialik says "No, that is not correct." You buzz in and answer "What is North Carolina?" "Correct, in Cabarrus County, east of Charlotte, in 1799, 30 years before the Georgia Gold Rush." She is annoying, always adding in extra information to show off.
For $400, "This green form of beryl is the birthstone for May." You are fastest on the buzzer this time. "What is emerald? " "Yes, pick again."
For $600, "This official state gemstone of California crystallizes in the shape of a colonial era tricorn hat." You can't afford one to add to your collection, but you know this one. Buzz. "What is benitoite?" "Correct, pick again."
For $800, "The gemstones ruby and sapphire are actually both forms of this mineral." Buzz. You are in the rhythm now! "What is corundum?" "That's right, choose again." "Let's finish the category." Ding, ding, ding. It's the Daily Double!
"What would you like to wager?" With a flourish you say "Let's make it a true daily double." They really like that. Applause, applause. Here goes. Builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, his large collection of 16,000 minerals was donated to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History by his son. I know this. I've seen a lot of these donated minerals when visiting the museum. "Who was Washington Roebling?" "Yes you've doubled your score and run the category. And that completes the board. And look, we have a tie! You have tied Matt Amodio as we go into Final Jeopardy. Sadly, our third contestant is in the negative and won't be joining us for Final Jeopardy. The Final Jeopardy category is "The Washington Monument." We'll be back after these commercial messages.
Consumer Cellular, GEICO, and Neuriva. There's that annoying Mayim Bialik again, reminding us she's an actual neuroscientist. As if we could forget. Surely Matt Amodio will bet everything so your only chance is to bet everything as well. Well here goes. The Final Jeopardy answer is, "This metal, more precious than gold in the early 1800s, was used to crown the apex of the Washington Monument."
Do de do dah do de do. Do de do de doot, da da da da da. Do de do dah do dah do, doot da do da doot, doot, doot. Pencils down.
"Matt we go to you first, what is your question? What is platinum? No that is incorrect. What did you wager? Everything. Matt is down to zero. So it's up to our challenger. What is your answer? What is aluminum? That is correct. You are the new Jeopardy Champion!
Hey, it could happen!
We are very fortunate to have the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as our venue for in-person meetings which we will hopefully be having again in 2022. For now, we continue to Zoom.
There are many specimens from the Roebling collection on display at NMNH. See if you can spot some on your next visit to the museum. My favorite is the Roebling opal from Virgin Valley, Nevada. Over 2,000 carats and full of fire.