Around the Island

Battle of the Brains is back

Islanders better study up, because trivia host extraordinaire, Bob DeStefano, hosts Battle of the Brains at the Shelter Island Library on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.   

Mr. DeStefano does not like the word “trivia.” When he creates his list of questions for the library’s Battle of the Brains he has specific criteria. Players should want to know the answers — and Bob loves it when he hears people saying, “Oh, I should know that.” While working on the quiz, he asks himself, “Is it interesting? Do I care?”

For Mr. DeStefano, it’s all about getting together as a community — putting down our phones, using our brains and engaging in conversation with each other. He wants to provoke discussion. And laughter — lots of it. 

If you haven’t been to a Battle of the Brains, here’s how it works. First, turn off your cell phones. There are 50 general knowledge questions and people compete in teams of four. Don’t worry if you don’t have a team, sign up and we’ll add you to a team. No one will be turned away. Mr. DeStefano throws in three or four really tough questions with the hope that no one gets all 50. There are prizes – but it’s mostly about bragging rights.

Mr. DeStefano has been doing these quizzes for many years. He’s had an ongoing program at Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. He did a custom quiz for the Garden Club of Shelter Island focusing on plants. Recently, he did a private birthday party where guests laughed for a solid two hours. The questions are tailored to the participants. It takes him at least 5 or 6 hours to put the quiz together. Remarkably, in all these years, Mr. DeStefano has never repeated a question. His questions are broad in scope but he doesn’t ask about golf — it’s too expected since he writes a golf column for the Reporter.

Bring your appetite too since a kind patron has donated money for pizza. Sign up at the Circulation Desk at the Library.  

Up next: Our Friday Night Dialogue for Oct. 18 will be a screening of “The Bullish Farmer” followed by a talk by farmers from Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. This program is co-sponsored with the Hamptons Doc Fest and Sylvester Manor.