Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012 Answer Notes

Q.         Who was the first player to hit a grand slam in his first home game as a Yankee?
Hint:     He set the Major League record for the most consecutive games played at the start of a career.
Hint:     The streak was ended by an injury sustained in a game that didn’t count in the streak.
Hint:     He was nicknamed after a huge movie star of the 1950s and 1960s.
Hint:     For most of his career he wore a number in honour of professional baseball’s all-time home run king.
Twint:    He announced his retirement just this past weekend.
A.         Hideki Matsui (David’s research notes on all answers will be given at the end of the week, but will also appear during the week on the Horsehide Trivia blog page. They’re extensive and impressive.  We will also retain the order of questions as he submitted them whether or not they follow our typical increasing-difficulty format.)
FCR -    Arieh Siegel, Austin, TX


Matsui was signed by the Yankees in December 2002 after playing ten seasons in Japan.  The Bombers started 2003 with a six-game road trip through Toronto and Tampa before Matsui made his Yankee Stadium debut on 08-Apr.  After a ground out and a walk he batted in the fifth inning.  An intentional walk to Bernie Williams that loaded the bases with one away proved unsuccessful when Matsui homered to right on a 3-2 pitch from Joe Mays for his first Major League home run, a grand slam that gave the Yankees a 7-1 lead.  The second paragraph of this story confirms Matsui as the first Yankee to hit a salami in his home debut: 

He set the Major League record for the most consecutive games played at the start of a career.

Matsui played in 518 straight games to start his major league career.  This set a record, confirmed in the attached report from SABR’s Baseball Records Committee.  It is the 13th item in the list of Regular Season Batting Records Set in 2006:

The streak was ended by an injury sustained in a game that didn’t count in the streak.  The rules for these streaks are listed at this site under “Determining player performance streaks":      “A consecutive-game playing streak shall be extended if the player plays one half-inning on defense or if he completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out. A pinch-running appearance only shall not extend the streak. If an umpire ejects a player from a game before he can comply with the requirements of this rule [10.23(c)], his streak shall continue.”

On 11-May-2006, after Kevin Youkilis lead off the top of the first by reaching on an error, Mark Loretta blooped a ball to left and Matsui broke his wrist in an unsuccessful attempt to make the catch.  Since Matsui’s injury took him out of the game in the top of the first inning before three outs were recorded and before he came to bat this 519th game didn’t count in the streak.  Here is a recap of the game:

He was nicknamed after a huge movie star of the 1950’s and ‘60’s.  Matsui’s nickname is Godzilla. Godzilla first appeared in the movies in 1954 and he was pretty huge, ranging in stature from 50 to 100 meters (164 to 328 feet). Here is the IMDb listing for Godzilla’s first movie:

Matsui’s player page on confirms his nickname:

As noted in the first paragraph of the following article, the nickname was given to Matsui because of skin problems he suffered as a child and not his own large stature:

The two Godzillas once shared the silver screen. Matsui had a cameo in 2002’s Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (Gojira tai Makegojira).  Open the “Full Cast and Crew” link in this article to find him:

For most of his career he wore a number in honour of professional baseball’s all-time home run king.  “Matsui was given uniform number 55, highly symbolic in that it stood for the single-season home run record held by Sadaharu Oh, a mark that everyone fully expected Matsui to challenge one day.”  Robert Whiting, The Samurai Way of Baseball, (2004), p. 235.

Matsui wore 55 while playing in Japan then with the Yankees, Angels and Athletics.  When he joined Tampa in 2012, 55 was already taken by Matt Moore so he wore 35 instead.

Oh hit 868 regular season home runs in Japan, as confirmed in the second paragraph of this article:

This is generally considered to be the professional record although Josh Gibson is credited with “over 800” in the Negro Leagues.  This is noted in the second to last paragraph of this article:

Barry Bonds (762 regular season home runs, 9 in the post season and another 20 in the minor leagues for a total of 791) and Hank Aaron (755 regular season, 6 post season and 31 minor league for 792 total plus whatever he hit in his 3 months with Indianapolis in the Negro Leagues in 1952) are Oh’s closest competition for the professional record.

Q.         Who hit the second of the Yankees’ record breaking three grand slams 25-Aug-2011?
Hint:     He spent part of his childhood in Paris.
Hint:     He was named after a bebop legend.
Hint:     He honoured his mother on his jersey.
Twint:    He had a custom mouthpiece created to help stop his chewing tobacco habit.
A.         Russell Martin
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH


The Yankees set a record that day, becoming the first major league team to hit three grand slams in one game.  Robinson Cano hit the first one in the fifth inning off the As’ Rich Harden and Fautino de los Santos surrendered Martin’s in the sixth.  Curtis Granderson hit the team’s third in the eighth inning off Bruce Billings in a Yankees’ 22-7 victory.  Here is a recap of the game, with the second paragraph mentioning that this was the first time the feat had occurred:

Russell Martin went 5 for 5 with 2 HR and a double, driving in 6 and scoring 3.  The Yankees had 16 plate appearances with the bases loaded that day.  Besides the 3 home runs they hit 3 singles, had 2 walks and hit a sacrifice fly while making 7 other outs.  In total the Yankees had 21 hits, 13 walks and 1 hit batter. It was only the ninth game in the expansion era in which a team had 35 or more base runners in a nine inning game.  Here is the box score and play-by-play of the game:

The list of other games with 35 base runners can be found on’s Play Index, Team Batting Game Finder, searching for Times on Base without reaching on error and filtering for games with nine innings or less.

Martin lived in Paris from ages 8 to 10.

His full name is Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin Jr., and his fourth name is in honour of saxophonist John Coltrane. His father Russell Sr. is a sax player. This, and his childhood in Paris, are mentioned in this article:

In 2009 he added the letter “J” to his jersey, J. Martin, in honour of his mother’s maiden name, Suzanne Jeanson.

Martin started wearing the mouthpiece at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. More information can be found here:

Q.         Who ended Ichiro Suzuki’s eleven-year streak of leading the Seattle Mariners in stolen bases?
Hint:     He’s known as “The Condor”.
Hint:     He has used a 60-ounce bat in batting practice.
Twint:    He was his team’s right fielder at the Beijing Olympics.
Twint:    This is a position he rarely plays in the majors.
A.         Michael Saunders
FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY


Beginning with his first year in the American League in 2001, Ichiro lead the Mariners in steals outright nine times and tied for the team lead twice: with Mike Cameron in 2002 and Chone Figgins in 2010.  Ichiro had stolen 15 bases and was leading the team when he was traded to the Yankees on July 23, 2012 but Michael Saunders was right behind him with 14.  Saunders caught up by mid-August and ended the year with 21 stolen bases. No other Mariner stole more than 13. 

He’s known as “The Condor”.  Mariners’ play-by-play man Dave Sims gave Saunders the nickname.

Saunders used an extra-heavy bat during 2012 training camp to help speed up his swing. Here is a link to a video showing the bat in action:

Saunders played full games in right field in six of team Canada’s seven games in Beijing. In the other game he split time between right and center fields.  Here is his game-by-game record from Beijing:

Before Ichiro was traded to the Yankees Saunders had never played a major league game in right field.  Through 2012 he has played 173 games in center field, 150 in left and only 5 games in right field.  His first game in right field was on August 31, 2012, the 321st game of his career.  Saunders’ fielding records can be found on his Baseball-Reference player page.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 24-30, 2012 Pitchers with an average minimum of One Strikeout Per Inning in 2012

Q.         What former Monarch has thrown the most no hitters in the majors?
Hint:     Yes.  It’s a trick question.
Hint:     He received Cy Young Award votes six of his eight years in the majors.
Twint:    The Panda was unimpressed.
A.         Justin Verlander (Alum of Old Dominion University, the Monarchs, 2 No-nos:  12‑Jun‑2007 & 05‑Jul‑2011; Pablo Sandoval hit 2 HRs the first 2 times he faced him in the postseason 24-Oct-2012 & a 3b in the AS G 10-Jul-2012.)
FCR -    Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         What two-time Cy Young Award winner was drafted in the 48th round by the Cubs?
Hint:     His ERA in three stops in the minors was a combined 1.01.
Hint:     He was named the PAC-10's Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.
Twint:    The Panda was more impressed.
A.         Tim Lincecum (CYA 2008, 09; Minors; FOY/POY 2004; Teammate Pablo Sandoval admired his 4.2 IP/0.00 ERA performance in the 2012 WS.)
FCR -    Bob Wilber, Spokane, WA

Q.         Who is the only National League pitcher to win the pitching Triple Crown and Gold Glove in the same season?
Hint:     His work with his wife in Zambia earned him the Roberto Clemente Award.
Twint:    He’s finished in the top two of Cy Young Award voting in his league the past two seasons.
A.         Clayton Kershaw (TC/GG 2011; RCA 2012; 2011 CYA, #2 in 2012)
FCR -    J.J. McCoy, Washington, DC

Q.         What pitcher hit his first career home run off Matt Cain?
Hint:     It’s the only home run of his seven-year National League career.
Hint:     Cain responded by homering off him in the bottom of the same inning.
Twint:    He showed no remorse in plunking Harper.
Twint:    This action was also reciprocated by the opposing pitcher.
A.         Cole Hamels (HR 21-Jul-2012; HBP 06-May-2012; Hit Bryce Harper hit by Jordan Zimmerman)
FCR -    Leanne Rohrbach, Minnapolis, MN

Q.         Who won the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year Award the year after Stephen Strasburg won it?
Hint:     Although many speculated that he would start the All-Star game, he claimed that he was happy just to be selected to represent his league.
Hint:     He was born in and attended high school and college in Florida, but has only pitched in a single regular-season game in that state as a professional.
Twint:    His ERA in 2012 was the worst of his career and yet the season overall was by far the best of his career.
A.         Chris Sale (CBPOY 2010; ASG 2012; b. Lakeland, Lakeland Sr. HS, Florida Gulf Coast University, only FL G 20-Apr-2011; 3.05 ERA compared to 1.93 & 2.79 in his first two seasons)
FCR -    Mitchell Below, Oakland, CA

Q.         What pitcher, who has been an All-Star in both leagues, created the foundation he called Giving Individuals Opportunities?
Hint:     Its mission is to serve children in need of medical assistance.
Twint:    He had the best record on the team with the major’s best record in 2012.
A.         Gio Gonzalez (GIO Foundation; 21-8 on the 98-64 Washington Nationals;
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

Q.         Who became a Tiger because he was drafted so low by the Cardinals?
Hint:     1,291st overall, to be exact.
Hint:     When the Diamondback had the decency to draft him 1,280 places higher, he signed with them.
Twint:    He set the record for the number of consecutive batters retired (13) for a pitcher making his MLB debut as a reliever.
A.         Max Scherzer (Played for the University of Missouri Tigers; debut 29-Apr-2008)
FCR -    Rick Brody, Austin, TX

Q.         Who is the only right-handed pitcher born in Mexico to win a Silver Slugger Award?
Hint:     No other National League pitcher started more games in 2012.
Twint:    He is the only pitcher ever to homer off Randy Johnson.
A.         Yovani Gallardo (SSA 2010; 33 GS 2010 [tied with 11 others]; HR 08-Apr-2009)
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA

Q.         Who was the losing pitcher of the first-ever ALWC?
Hint:     His father was on the Iranian national soccer team.
Twint:    He threw a no-hitter in the first round of the high school national championship tournament in Japan.
A.         Yu Darvish (American League Wild Card 05-Oct-2012; Father Farzad Darvishsefad; No-no 26-Mar-2004)
FCR -    Jeff Korell, Van Nuys, CA

Q.         What pitcher holds the University of Mississippi school single season (146) and career (332) strikeout records?
Hint:     In high school, paired with teammate Drew Storen, his team went 33-0 and captured the state championship.
Twint:    In the minors, he broke the Memphis Redbirds franchise strikeout record, fanning 16 against the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
A.         Lance Lynn (Ole Miss; Storen; Redbirds)
FCR -    Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         What Hoosier and former All-American wide receiver is now known more for throwing than receiving?
Hint:     He and his sports agent brother have made the largest contribution ever to the Serbian Baseball Development Association.
Twint:    He is of Serbian and Amerind ancestry.
Twint:    He tied for the lead in victories for the 2012 Cubs.
A.         Jeff Samardzija (Born and raised in Indiana, All-American on the Notre Dame football team; Brother Sam Samardzija, Jr.; 13 W, tied with Travis Wood)
FCR -    Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with an average minimum of One Strikeout Per Inning in 2012

Pitcher            K/Inn
Darvish         10.3955
Gallardo          9.0000
Gonzalez         9.3462
Hamels           9.0279
Kershaw          9.0527
Lincecum        9.1935
Lynn               9.2045
Sale                9.0000
Samardzija      9.2748
Scherzer        11.0782
Verlander        9.0252

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Gregg Gaylord, Chicago, IL

Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 17-23, 2012 Players with the same names as Supreme Court Chief Justices

Q.         Who was the first Orioles pitcher to win 25 games in a season?
Hint:     No pitcher had more wins in a season in the 1980s.
Twint:    He was a Cubs broadcaster for 20 years.
A.         Steve Stone (25-7 in 1980; At the mike for the WGN TV 1983-2000, 03-04)
FCR -    Andrew Milner   Bryn Mawr         PA

Q.         Who was the first major league player who had also played in the Little League World Series?
Hint:     He got his fourth major league win by inducing Stan Musial to pop out with a pitch he had never thrown before at that level.
Hint:     …even though it was his fifth season in the majors.
Twint:    He was the next Reds pitcher to earn twenty victories in a season since Ewell Blackwell did it in 1947.
A.         Joey Jay (LL in Middletown, CT 1948; 1st W 13-Jun-1958, change-up called by C Del Crandall;
FCR -    Larry Creeden, Boulder City, NV

Q.         Who is the only reliever in major league history to accumulate 200 innings in relief in a season?
Hint:     He made his debut with the Dodgers in the game where Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run.
Twint:    He was the first Expo to lead the National League in saves.
A.         Mike Marshall (208.1 IP in 1974, all in relief; LAD debut 08-Apr-1974; 31 Saves in 1973)
FCR -    Quentin Wittrock, Minneapolis, MN

Q.         Who was the first New York Yankee to hit three triples in a game?
Hint:     He led his league in errors at his position several times, but was considered by contemporary observers to have the best glove ever at his position.
Twint:    In spite of this high regard, he has as much chance of being elected to the Hall of Fame as does Joe Jackson.  Perhaps less.
A.         Hal Chase (30-Aug-1906 [They were called the Highlanders in 1906.]; Led in E 1905, 09, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17; He was banned from baseball for chronic bribery.)
FCR -    Bob Chan, Oakland, CA

Q.         Who holds the record for doubles in a season by a switch-hitter?
Hint:     The only time in his entire twelve-year major league career that his team went to the postseason, he was on the DL.
Hint:     In college, he went both north and south.
Twint:    He was paid $10,000,000 salary in 2012 even though he played only seventeen games.
A.         Brian Roberts (56 2b in 2009; 2012 Orioles; Attended the University of North Carolina and the University of South Carolina)
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

Q.         Who was the first player to play twenty seasons in the major leagues, tying Cap Anson for the honor?
Hint:     He is still the player with the most career World Series at-bats without striking out.
Twint:    He believed the earth was flat and convinced at least one of his teammates of that "fact".
A.         Deacon White (1871-1890; 58 AB in 1887 WS, his only postseason year)
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH

Q.         Who was the only Wyoming native to collect 100 career pitching victories at the time this question was entered into the Horsehide Trivia database?
Hint:     He is the only lefty to suffer twenty losses in a season for the Cubs.
Twint:    He was the last pitcher to give up a home run at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Twint:    He was the first post-WWII Cubs pitcher to earn twenty wins in a season.
A.         Dick Ellsworth (b. 22-Mar-1940 in Lusk, WY, Tom Browning, born in Casper since compiled 123 W; 9-20 in 1962, 8-22 in 1966; 22-10 in 1963)
FCR -    Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR

Q.         Who is the director of the Baseball Heritage Museum?
Hint:     He is a member of Cleveland Blues Vintage Base Ball Club.
Hint:     The year he hit .242 for the Indians, it was twelve points higher than the American League average.
Twint:    Although he remained slender throughout his career, he was known as a food connoisseur.
A.         Vern Fuller (BHM; CBVBBC; 1968 AL BA:  .230)
FCR -    John Michael Pierobon, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Q.         Whose first career hit was a double off Cliff Lee in 2012?
Hint:     He will likely not be rooting for Notre Dame on January 6.
Twint:    He became the second freshman to lead the University of Alabama baseball team in average.
A.         Josh Rutledge (2b off Lee 13-Jul-2012; 1st Alabaman: Dave Magadan [1981])
FCR -    Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, TX

WEEKLY THEME – Players with the same names as Supreme Court Chief Justices

Chase               Salmon P. Chase
Fuller                Melville Fuller
Ellsworth           Oliver Ellsworth
Jay                   John Jay
Marshall            John Marshall
Roberts            John G. Roberts, Jr.
Rutledge           John Rutledge
Stone               Harlan F. Stone
White                Edward Douglas White

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joel Lipman, Wilmington, DE

Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 10-16, 2012 Hall of Fame pitchers with ERAs over 6.00 in their final seasons

This week’s quiz was authored Barry Sparks of York, PA.

Q.         Who tossed seven shutouts his rookie season?
Hint:     He led the National League in ERA five times in a six-year span.
Hint:     He won the National League Triple Crown for pitchers three times.
Hint:     Named for one president, he was played by another.
Twint:    His record of sixteen shutouts in a season seems safe for now.
A.         Pete Alexander (ERA titles 1911; 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919 & 1920; TC 1915, 1916 and 1920; Named for Grover Cleveland Alexander, but Ronald Reagan played him in a 1952 bio-pic The Winning Team; 16 ShO 1916)
FCR -    Gene Schwartz, New York, NY

Q.         Who has the most career pickoffs since 1957 when MLB started keeping the stat?
Hint:     He's the only pitcher to toss a complete game shutout and hit a homer in the same game in three different decades.
Hint:     Although he was a perfectionist known for his intense concentration, he never tossed a perfect game or even a no-hitter.
Twint:    He holds the record for most career starts by a left-handed pitcher.
A.         Steve Carlton (145 pickoffs; HR/ShO 27-Jul-1968, 09-Aug-1972, 13-Sep-1982; 709 GS)
FCR -    Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, TX

Q.         Who threw the first pitch in the first game for the New York American League team, just after they moved from Baltimore?
Hint:     He received a total of only nine votes for the Hall of Fame from 1936 through 1945, yet was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946?
Hint:     Joe Tinker say was "one of the six toughest pitchers I've faced.”
Twint:    His spitball once helped him win fourteen consecutive games.  Who wouldn’t be happy with that?
A.         Jack Chesbro (NY Hilltoppers [Highlanders] 22-Apr-1903; W streak in 1904, Nickname “Happy Jack”)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI

Q.         What spitballer won two World Series games at age 38?
Hint:     He led the National League in victories twice, once with the Dodgers and once with the Pirates.
Hint:     Shortstop Dick Bartell described him as "the meanest, toughest hard-boiled pitcher I ever faced."
Twint:    He succeeded Casey Stengel as the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
A.         Burleigh Grimes (2-0 in 1931 World Series; 22 W in 1922, 25 W in 1928; managed Dodgers in 1937-38)
FCR -    Paul Sekula, Arlington, VA

Q.         Who was the first Hall of Famer to give part of his acceptance speech in a language other than English?
Hint:     About him, Branch Rickey said, "No pitcher has made such magnificent use of his God-given equipment."
Hint:     He appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
Twint:    He pitched six complete games and earned six victories in 10 Opening Day starts.
A.         Juan Marichal (HOF 1983, Time 10-Jun-1966)
FCR -    Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA

Q.         Who was the youngest pitcher to win 300 games?
Hint:     He averaged 27.3 wins per season for his first ten seasons.
Hint:     He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 43 years after his final season.
Twint:    He once pitched two complete games in the same day against the Cincinnati Reds.
A.         Kid Nichols (30 yrs and 9 mos old; 1904; HOF 1949 2 W 1905)
FCR -    Gene Schwartz, Weston, CT

Q.         Who has pitched the most career innings of any post-1920s pitcher?
Hint:     He surrendered more career home runs than Stan Musial hit, but none of them to Musial.
Hint:     He won the Gold Glove for pitchers five different times.
Twint:    He tossed a complete game shutout for his 300th win, beating his future team at Exhibition Stadium.
A.         Phil Niekro (5,404 innings; 482 HR to Stan Musial's 475; 300th W 06-Oct-1985)
FCR -    John Wilson, Mesa, AZ

Q.         Who said, "Most pitchers are too smart to manage."?
Hint:     He hit one of his three career homers the same day he notched his first major league victory.
Hint:     He was unprotected in the expansion draft, passed on by the Royals and Seattle Pilots (not the Mariners), but went on to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He surrendered 303 career home runs, but never back-to-back homers.
A.         Jim Palmer (HR 16-May-1965 vs. Jim Bouton)
FCR -    Paul Greenwell, Fort Worth, TX

Q.         Which Hall of Fame pitcher started his career with a 39-96 won-loss record?
Hint:     He ended his career with 48 more wins than losses.
Twint:    He was the pitching coach for the 1962 New York Mets.
Twint:    He posted a 7-2 World Series record.
A.         Red Ruffing (Career record 273-225)
FCR -    Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH

Q.         Who holds the all-time record for issuing most walks in a season?
Hint:     He was known as the fastest pitcher of his day.
Hint:     His beaning of a future Hall of Famer led to the pitching mound distance being moved from 50 feet to 60 feet, 6 inches.
Twint:    He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 76 years after his final season.
A.         Amos Rusie (289 BB in 1890; Hughie Jennings, HOF 1977)
FCR -    Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR

Q.         Who had the second shortest career of any 300-game winner?
Hint:     He was only the third pitcher to win 300 games and did it in only 11 seasons.
Hint:     He was the first pinch-hitter in major league history, according to the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 81 years after his final season.
A.         Mickey Welch (13 seasons, 1880-92, pinch-hit for Hank O’Day on Aug. 10, 1889; HOF 1973)
FCR -    Rick Fink, Edison, NJ

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Fame pitchers with ERAs over 6.00 in their final seasons

Pitcher          Year         W-L         Inn            H           BB          K           ERA
Alexander   1930        0-3       21.2       40         6          6         9.14
Carlton        1988        0-1         9.2       20         5          5       16.76
Chesbro      1909        0-5       55.2       77       17         20         6.14
Grimes        1934        4-5       53.0       63       26         15         6.11
Marichal      1975        0-1         6.0       11         5          1       13.50
Nichols       1906        0-1       11.0       17       13          1         9.82
Niekro         1987        7-13    138.2      163       66         64         6.30
Palmer        1984        0-3       17.2       22       17          4         9.17
Ruffing       1947        3-5       53.0       63       16         11         6.11
Rusie          1901        0-1       22.0       43         3          6         8.59
Welch         1892        0-0         5.0       11         5          1       14.40

N.B.  If by some miracle, Roberto Hernandez and Jose Mesa make it to the Hall this year, they would also qualify.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks: