12/29/2013 12:13 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2014

Be Less Stupid: New Year's Eve

To some, New Years eve is a time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year, to take stock and be grateful, for others New Years presents an opportunity for new beginnings. While for still others, New Years Eve is the time to get totally wasted and tell a platonic friend you want to have sex with them in the front seat of a taxi while you're blowing a paper horn and wearing a tinsel tiara.

Regardless of which type of person you are, you could always be less stupid. Below, the answers to several New Year's Eve questions... and knowing the answers will make you less stupid

We begin with a quiz question...

QUIZ #1: Put these cities in the order in which they celebrate New Years.

New Delhi
Phnom Penh

Answer: Tokyo, Manila, Phnom Penh, Kabul, New Delhi, Riyadh. New Years is celebrated first on Christmas Island and Samoa... and then moves west.


For several hundred years, a debate has arisen among revelers on New Year's eve that has all too often lead to an emergency room visit. Or even worse, the bruised ego of a pretentious oenophile. That debate? Is champagne awful? Or, rather, is it just fucking terrible?

Me? I side with the minority who say they'd sooner drink the malaria infused gelatinous mucus squeezed from a pile of rotting elephant dung... than champagne. But, I digress.

Or do I?

Champagne is awful and anyone who tells you differently is a liar.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Champagne and sparking wine are different in the way that getting "kicked in the balls" and "kicked in the nuts" are different.


Champagne is "sparking wine"... It's sparking wine made from grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonay) grown exclusively in the Champagne region of France. And what is "sparking wine?" About 90 bucks a bottle less. Oh, it's also wine made from the same type of grapes as Champagne, however, grown everywhere else in the world...that's been carbonated through a fermentation process that's the same process of fermentation as Champagne.

Be Less Stupid:
Since no one likes Champagne, and if you say you do, you're a liar, and no one can tell the difference, buy a 10 dollar bottle of sparking wine if you feel compelled to toast at midnight. Not only will you save more than a hundred dollars, but you'll also save more than a hundred bucks.


QUIZ #2: True or False: New Year's eve/day is the deadliest day on US highways, with the largest number of fatalities.

Answer: False. According to the Insurance Highway Safety Institute, the day that is the most dangerous on US highways, with the largest number of fatalities is: July 4th.


Written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, "auld lang syne", like all great Scottish sayings translates to: "they may take our land... but they'll never take our freedom." Also, it could mean: "times go by." The song is an homage to old friends from the past. Burns' text is actually based on a poem written about 70 years earlier by another poet named, James Watson during a time when plagiarism was easier to conceal because things were mostly written on fancy parchment scroll.... and mostly read by just the town crier.

Orchestra leader, Guy Lombordo is credited with popularizing the song, which his band played on New Years Eve in 1929 during a performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City... It's the same year Dick Clark premiered his New Year's program on NBC.

Below, the original Scottish verse (you can find the entire poem, here):

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Be Less Stupid: Auld Lange Syne is to New Years eve what the song "Beth" is to a Kiss concert... the perfect time to go and take a pee.

QUIZ #3: In what year did New York City first gather on New Year's eve to count down as a ball dropped in Times Square?

Answer: 1906. For the two previous years, New Yorkers gathered in Times Square to see fireworks get shot off... but when those were banned in 1906, the tradition of the ball was begun.

Jon Hotchkiss is the creator of the new 6-hour TV series, This vs That and you can get "Be Less Stupid" delivered 2X a week to your inbox by signing up HERE.