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Nice move, smarty pants! The Great Smart People/Dumb Things Quiz
by Staff
Book smarts don't equal street smarts, and public figures that we consider super savvy are just as capable of pulling spectacularly bad moves as the rest of us. Want to test your own smarts? Take our quiz!

Why did Bill Clinton ultimately face impeachment?

  • an, er,"stain" on a certain blue dress
  • his affair with Monica Lewinsky
  • lying under oath

When Gary Hart dared the press to catch him cheating on his wife, what was his exact quote?

  • "You'll be bored."
  • "I triple dog dare you."
  • "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

What was the name of the infamous boat where Gary Hart and Donna Rice got caught canoodling?

  • the U. S.S. Career-Ender
  • Monkey Business
  • the Instant Karma

Name that gentleman's club! Where did Savvis CEO Robert McCormick ring up a $241,000 tab?

  • Scores
  • The Pink Pony
  • Tootsie's

What mistake did Richard Nixon make that ended up costing him his presidency?

  • breaking into the Watergate hotel
  • trying to cover up the Watergate scandal
  • having an affair with his secretary

What's the official name for making mistakes because you are just too sure that you're right?

  • hubris
  • the bias blind spot
  • the genius effect

Which of these did Stephen Glass do to cover up his source falsification at The New Republic?

  • create a fake Web site to bolster the phony tech company he used for a source
  • bribe a prostitute to tell his editor that she was one of his sources.
  • falsify recordings with an actor that he hired off of craigslist

Even Einstein, genius among geniuses, wasn't an infallible fella. What dumb mistake did he make over and over?

  • failing to patent his inventions
  • electrocuting an elephant in the name of science
  • not checking his work thoroughly

Steve Jobs was no doubt a business and computer genius, but what bad decision did he make involving his health?

  • eschewing surgery early on, instead opting to treat his pancreatic cancer with alternative treatments
  • following the Atkins diet continuously for three decades
  • smoking crack

Which medical journal published Andrew Wakefield's falsified data linking vaccines to autism?

  • The British Medical Journal
  • Pediatrics
  • The Lancet

What childhood disease had a resurgence after Dr. Andrew Wakefield's faked research results linking the MMR vaccine to autism?

  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella

What animal did Thomas Edison electrocute to try to prove that alternating current (AC) electricity was unsafe?

  • an elephant
  • a marmot
  • a river otter

Why did X-ray pioneer Elizabeth Fleischmann eschew safety gear, despite evidence that repeated radiation exposure could be deadly?

  • She didn't want to make her patients worry.
  • She didn't want to mess up her hair.
  • She didn't want to blow her budget on safety gear.

Who did journalist Jonah Lehrer plagiarize?

  • Stephen Glass
  • Stephen Hawking
  • himself

Self-plagiarism was just one of Lehrer's journalistic sins. What was the big dumb thing that actually ruined his career?

  • revealing the name of an anonymous source to the FBI
  • stealing photos from Getty Images
  • inventing Bob Dylan quotes for his book "Imagine" and then lying about it

What was tactical genius Napoleon's fatal error that lost him both the war of 1812 and his war with Russia?

  • going to war during a deadly flu epidemic
  • fighting a war on two fronts
  • just plain poor planning

Because of Orly Taitz's relentless pursuit of Obama's birth certificate, what nickname did the media give her?

  • the cougar
  • the birther queen
  • birthy mcbirthpants

Orly Taitz has an extensive education. On top of being a lawyer, what other profession can she boast of?

  • pediatrician
  • engineer
  • dentist

How did Gen. Petraeus try to secure e-mails between himself and his lover?

  • He saved them as drafts instead of sending.
  • He masked his IP address.
  • He knew better than to use e-mail.

When Grover Cleveland was running for the U.S. presidency in 1884, the opposing party accused him of fathering an illegitimate child. What did Cleveland do in response?

  • He denied the accusation.
  • He admitted it was true.
  • He denied it but had to retract when a newspaper confirmed it was true.