Episode 71 Connection Contest: Shark and Big City

Can YOU create a connection between Shark & Big City?

Post your connections here and you could win a set of custom Spiel dice!

spiel dice

Guess as many times as you like. And remember, the more left of center your connection, the more likely you'll get our attention. :)

Spiel on!



 So first and deceptively simple, in the musical west side story, there are 2 rival gangs. One is the Jets. The other is The Sharks. Equally simple, the musical “On the town” relates an adventure in a Big City. But that’s not all there is, oh no, not by a long shot. Notice both of these Musical Plays were produced and debuted on Broadway Which just happens to be in Manhattan.  As if that were not enough, Manhattan is one of the districts which makes up the Metropolys that is New York. But, it goes much, much deeper than that. Some may call me mad, some may call me dangerous but look at the facts and then you tell me whether it is Coincidence, or connection.

Fact: The Gryphon game series has 9 games in it.

Fact: Leonard Bernstein won 9 Grammies.   (chilling isn’t it?)

Fact: The dICEHOUSE shanties erected in Minnesota in January 2009.

Fact: The Minnesota Orchestra held the Leonard Bernstien festival January 15-30th 2009. (it’s like they planned it)

Fact: The Kingsburg Expansion one unit containing 5 modules.

Fact: Composed by Leonard Bernstein “I hate Music” is a children’s Musical unit containing 5 songs.  (are Stephen & Dave going beyond connection into conspiracy?)

Fact: Immortal eyes is closing.

Fact: You only need your ears to enjoy Mr. Bernstein’s Works. (and they know it.)

Fact: Jungle speed is coming to the Wii.

Fact: Well okay this one doesn’t have much corresponding. But the 2nd act of the Operetta Candid does have jungle scenes, AND… with Wii orchestra you can emulate Leonard Bernstein. (iffy, but I’ll take what I can get.)

Fact: Bill & Ted’s goal in life was to be musicians

Fact: Leonard Bernstein was a musician, composer, conducter, etc. But always musical.

Fact: Stephen Conway’s first name has 7 letters. 

Fact Leonard Bernstein’s first name has 7 letters.

And perhaps the most conclusive connection of all:

Leonard Bernstein was known for Aleatory Music. Aleator is latin for “Dice Thrower” not only that but.my research has also discovered that he was known for his love of games, crossword puzzles and anagrams.

So as far as I can tell, not only is the back shelf spotlight connected by Leonard Bernstein. But in fact the entire episode is nothing but a thinly veiled Leonard Bernstein love fest.  Either that, or I have to find a better use for my time when I have a day off of work.


Leonard Bernstein is also name checked in the REM song "It's the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)"

and after xofours detailed deconstruction of the show I am wondering how long we have left before the universe implodes.

and I feel fine.

Wow - The Bernstein connection is just plain intimidating.


I will start by saying San Francisco Bay. The bay area has several big cities, notably (for this connection) San Francisco and San Jose.

 Last time I was in San Francisco, I noticed a lot of sushi bars. People aren’t the only creatures who like raw fish. Sharks like raw fish. In fact, the San Francisco population competes for its fresh fish with a rather large shark population.

 Probably most of the underwater sharks are outside of the bay, along the coast, but just across the bay in San Jose are the ‘San Jose Sharks’, who travel to various big cities to play hockey.  

 In NHL hockey, like in all professional sports, there is a lot of trading by the different companies. Most trades are done with complete bodies though, as shares of a player are ineffective on the rink.

 Hockey players, sharks, and stock traders all look scarier than they really are. Reports of any of the three ‘having people for lunch’ are all exaggerated.

Both games are about building.

Bit easy this time.....

The connections is, quite clearly, Agricola.

Both 'Shark' and 'Big City' are cards which will appear, next year, in the Agricola expansion decks.

"Shark" will eat any farmer who takes the fishing action (and will remove all food items there) and "Big City" will cause younger members of the expanding family to leave the soil unplowed and head off to the metropolis (or metropolys) in search of riches.


I am mighty impressed with the agricola connection.    That's some creative thinking.  I just went with the 2nd most obvious connection when somebody mentions sharks.  (The 1st being "Mack the Knife" but I couldn't get a satisfactory big city connection.)  I just went a little further because I had spare time, and I figured everyone would think of West Side Story so I needed to add a little something so it would be too obvious.

The connection is Venice, Italy.


Venice is a large city (270,000+ population on its own, over 1.6 million when combined with nearby Padua).  So that's the Big City part.


How does it combine with Shark?  I'm glad you asked.  I point you to this Amazon.com link.




That's right, just a couple days before this very episode was released.  The new cinematic masterpiece by Stephen Baldwin...SHARKS IN VENICE was released to DVD.


So there you have the connection between Shark, and Big City :)

Ok, truth?  I couldn't touch the Leonard Bernstein explanation.  I do plan on buying the DVD the second I see it, however.

Because it's a direct connection.  I never would have though of it.  And the thought of Sharks in Venice just makes me laugh like a person who finds something incredibly funny. 

So, I finally got a hold of this movie the other day through Netflix (couldn't find it in stores at all).  I thought I'd go ahead and share a quick review.

In a word, it's awful.  Basically, Stephen Baldwin and his girlfriend go to Venice because Stephen's exploring father has gone missing after illegally diving in the canals of Venice.  The police say that the other two of his father's companions were killed by a boat rudder, but our "hero" knows better...he says that these men were bitten...by sharks!  Of course, the police say "there are no sharks in Venice."  

At this point, since the movie is based in Italy, the mafia gets involved.  Apparantly the father was searching for the long lost Medici treasure.  The sharks?  They were raised by the mafia, and released in the canals to guard the treasure.  Now, nobody in the mafia knows exactly where the treasure is...they just know it's somewhere in the canals...so the great white sharks are the guard dogs.  Makes perfect sense...yeah...

Filled with a poor story (the short scene during the credits really points out how awful the story is), inconsistencies, and extremely lacking dialog; Sharks in Venice never reaches the "so bad it's good" level I was hoping for.  It stays solidly in "it's just bad" territory.