Posts Tagged ‘China’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another fact day and a list of very random things that certainly will increase your knowledge base, if you can remember them.

The only way to find out is to read on.

Enjoy.

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did you know1

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The first explorers who discovered the West Indies

thought it was Southeast Asia.

map West Indies

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At Disney there used to be paint brushes

hidden on Tom Sawyer island

and if you found one,

you could present it to the barge driver and

you and your party would get golden Fast Passes.

paint brushes hidden on Tom Sawyer island

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If the average male never shaved,

his beard would be 13 feet long when he died.

long beard

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Sorry to bust a much believed myth,

but sugar does not actually make you hyper,

the whole idea of a “sugar rush” is not real,

in fact, according to recent science from Yale University

it’s all just a placebo effect.

sugar rush myth

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Cracking your knuckles won’t lead to arthritis

cracking-knuckles

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The Chernobyl disaster region has become

one of the world’s most unique wildlife sanctuaries

with thriving populations of wolves, deer,

beavers, eagles, and other animals.

Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary wolf

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Pamphlet comes from the title of a Latin love poem called Pamphilus

that was supposedly passed from person to person

Pamphilus

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A cubic inch of bone is about

four times as strong as concrete.

bone smashing concrete

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The 8 lane, 26 mile long Qingdao Bridge in China

cost 14.8 billion yuan to build

but gets almost no traffic.

The-Jiaozhou-Bay-Bridge-1

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Napoleon was actually taller than the average Frenchman

napoleon height

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Not only is Reno, Nevada, west of Los Angeles,

but so are six other state capitals.

map north america

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William McKinley almost always wore

a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm.

While greeting a line of people in 1901, 

he gave the flower to a little girl.

Seconds later, he was shot by an assassin,

and died eight days later.

William McKinley

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Buck, the slang term for an American dollar

comes from the fact that on the American frontier

deerskins were used as units of commerce.

American dollar

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The coldest inhabited place on earth is Oymyakon, Russia,

where sometimes the temperature drops

below freezing in mid September and stays there until May.

The average temperature in January is -46 °C.

The village has a population of less than 500 people.

oymyakon-coldest-village-on-earth-amos-chapple-04

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Hacky-sack was invented in Turkey.

Hacky-sack

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another selection of random facts including candle clocks and feral cats, and what could be more random than that?

So here we go.

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did you know2

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Russia sold Alaska to the US for 2 cents an acre

because they thought it was a useless tundra.

(Big mistake comrades!)

map Alaska and Russia

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The Chernobyl disaster released

at least 100 times more radiation

than the atom bombs dropped

on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

chernobyl

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Up to 200 feral cats live in Disneyland

and are tolerated because they eradicate

mice and rats on the property.

feral cats live in Disneyland

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The largest cell in the human body is the female egg,

and the smallest is the male sperm.

ovum-largest-cell-in-the-body-and-sperm-cell-the-smallest-

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There are entire cities all over China

with no people living in them!

China ghost city

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In Germany there are fake bus stops outside many nursing homes

to prevent confused senior citizens from wandering off.

fake-bus-stop

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Twelve book publishers rejected Harry Potter,

a very shrewd move on their part since

the sales of the series is now approaching half a billion!

harry_potter_paperback_set

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Before clocks as we now know them,

there were candle clocks that burned a set amount of hours.

If you wanted an alarm or reminder,

you pushed a nail into the candle at the desired height/time length

and when it melted the nail would fall out and the

noise of it hitting the metal holder would alert you.

candle clock

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Loophole (or murder hole)

originally referred to the slits in castle walls

that archers would shoot their arrows through.

castle-arrow-slits

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NASA has lost over 700 boxes of magnetic data tapes

recorded throughout the Apollo program

including original footage of the moon landing.

They ‘think’ some of them may have

‘accidentally been taped over’.

NASA-Tape

A NASA tape – not one of the ones they lost – because they’re lost!!!

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Harvard University was founded

before calculus was derived.

Harvard University

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Apparently it is possible

to sail a boat from Pakistan to Russia

if you sail in a completely straight line.

sail boat

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There are some trees alive today that

were alive before the pyramids were built.

oldest trees on earth

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Chester A. Arthur was known for his impeccable attire,

earning him the nickname “Elegant Arthur.”

On his last day in office,

four women offered him their hands in marriage.

chester_arthur

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Regarded as his finest song,

David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ purports to tell in only five minutes

a story that can easily serve as the plot to a two-hour sci-fi film.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Here are today’s factoid offerings.

Hope you enjoy.

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did you know1

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You can’t breathe and swallow at the same time.

breathe and swallow at the same time

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There are more ways to shuffle a deck of cards

than there are atoms on Earth.

two-hands-shuffling-a-deck-of-cards-in-a-casino

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Africa is bigger than the United States, China, India, Spain, France,

and several other countries combined.

Africa

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Norway once knighted a penguin.

a penguin

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You can get a rough estimate of the temperature by

counting the number of times a cricket chirps in 13 seconds,

then adding 40.

cricket chirp and temperature

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It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose.

hum while holding your nose

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Quarantine comes from the French “qarante” for 40.

Whenever a ship arriving in port was suspected of being infected

it had to forego contact with the shore for a period of about 40 days.

Quarantine

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On average, astronauts are two inches taller in space.

astronauts-fingernails-hands-shuttle

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Ohio is the only U.S. state that doesn’t share

any letters with the word “mackerel.”

(I have no idea who figured that one out,

but they clearly had too much free time on their hands!)

mackerel

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Wombat poop is square.

(Ouch!!!)

Wombat Poo

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There is enough iron in your body to make a 2-inch nail.

a 2-inch nail

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The “S” in Harry S. Truman’s full name doesn’t stand for anything.

His parents couldn’t decide on a middle name for over a month,

so they settled on the letter “S” in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young,

and his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman.

Harry S. Truman

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The girlfriend of the guy who founded Match.com

left him for a man she met on Match.com.

(So that’s why he did it!)

man who founded Match.com

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George Washington was 48 years old

when Beethoven was born.

George Washington

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The British music group ‘Simply Red’

is named because of its love for the football team,

Manchester United, who have a red home strip.

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Okay, so who tried to hum while holding their nose, come on?

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Many Happy Returns Webby!

Posted: May 10, 2014 in bankers, Business, Computers, Current Events
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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World-Wide-Web

The World Wide Web, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, turned 25 years old this year, 2014.

There has never been anything like it before, certainly not as regards the impact it has made on society and the way we live our lives. Many of those changes are good, many are not so good and a few are downright annoying.

Here’s my take on some of them.

To concentrate on the good parts first, the one thing the www has done, for those who can use it effectively, is to give access to information that was previously only available to the elite few who managed to claw their way into the lofty heights of academia, or who worked in places where information was readily available. Now the same information is accessible at the touch of a button to anyone and everyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Another benefit, in my view anyway, is that is has sent a massive wake-up call to telephone providers world wide, many of whom were fast asleep, content to rake in healthy profits from antiquated systems. No longer do we have to settle for slow and temperamental data transfer lines. Nowadays, particularly in the last few years, people are demanding systems that can cope with download streams in the gigabyte range. If you are old enough to remember the first modems you will know you wasted too much of your life trying to download at 12Kb/sec., sometimes less.

Freedom is also a welcome by-product of the World Wide Web.

The freedom to work in any country in the world, from virtually any country in the world is one big plus – it is for me anyhow. Another one I particularly like is the freedom to watch TV programs that I like, when I like, no longer tied to the schedules of some brainless bean-counter working for a broadcasting company. And the freedom to have your say on things as and when the mood takes you – they call that blogging don’t you know! – is also a great advantage to the ordinary person.

www words

As is the freedom to disseminate information across the globe instantly, as Mr Snowden ably demonstrated, although I would hazard a guess that the powers that be would not agree with me on that one.

Indeed, this is the one aspect of the www that really bothers big brother.

China for example is one country where access is controlled by the state. Coincidentally this year also marks the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, you’ll find articles about that if you do a search, but probably not in China. They get away with it because they are not a democracy and do not pretend to be one.

In other countries, like the good old Land Of The (Not So) Free (Anymore)), the powers still like to con their people into believing that they are living in a democratic nation and that the people have the power to vote for this or that. But think for a moment, when was the last time you got to vote on whether to start a war, or whether to give $billions of your money to the greedy banksters to pay themselves huge bonuses and gamble away the rest?

It is because they need to keep the pretence of democracy going, that they do not yet have the confidence to start overtly censoring the internet. But they do all they can to snoop on what people are reading, or writing, or looking at.

This is where the freedom the www and associated technology provides can also be a negative, when it is used by governments to surveil us and record every piece of data they can. If they were doing this selectively and targeting terrorists and criminals no one would be too worried. But they are doing it to all of us, guilty and innocent alike.

big brother is watching

They are also doing everything they can think of to impose taxes on internet commerce – of course they have to coz they’re stoney broke.

The www has revolutionized business practices and created all sorts of new commerce opportunities, Amazon perhaps being the best example of a company that has gone from nothing to a multi-billion dollar business in just a few years.

Communication and social interaction are also areas where the www has liberated the ordinary person – first with email and more recently with social media. In the near future expect to see social media expanding to become much more than individual platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. We are already seeing many new applications that are allowing people to communicate more widely, more easily and more often.

social media

Another negative is that the World Wide Web has unwittingly facilitated the proliferation of pornography and violence, and is teaching a generation of morons all the wrong things. Things that will ensure they become a burden on society, not an asset.

And it has also opened a whole new environment in which criminals can operate. Millions of dollars are being stolen every day through scams, confidence tricks and outright theft.

You could say (and I frequently do) that people dumb enough to fall for these scams deserve all they get, or all they lose, is perhaps a better way of putting it. You know, the idiots who believe they really have won a lottery they didn’t buy a ticket for, or who think that Dr Umbungo Watanga from Nigeria is being truthful when he tells them that someone they never heard of has left them $25 million and all they need to do is send all their personal details and a few thousand dollars to unlock the fortune that awaits them. There really is one born every minute it seems!

All that said, and twenty-five years on, the www is still in its infancy. We have come a long way in the past 25 years, but we have really only scratched the surface as regards what the web has the potential to do to further improve our daily lives.

Where the vision to develop the www will come from in anyone’s guess. The only thing we know for sure is that the initiative won’t come from governments or their bureaucratic servants, simply because the people we elect to those positions do not have the required intelligence.

So its up to you. If you have any great ideas you want to share, send me an email.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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After a couple of festive mega quizzes it’s back to normal this week with a standard sized offering to test your knowledge.

As usual the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but NO cheating please!

Enjoy.

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quiz 06

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Q.  1:  What was Walt Disney’s Middle name?

           a) Ewart   b) Elias   c) Elliot    d) Ernest

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Q.  2:  Which was the first state in America to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, and what year did that law that come into effect? (A point for each part.)

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Q.  3:  In which year did seat belts become compulsory in Great Britain?

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Q.  4:  In Germany what is a ‘kaufhaus’?

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Q.  5:  Which country has the longest land border with Russia?

           a) Mongolia        b) Kazakhstan        c) China

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Q.  6:  ‘Hogmanay’ is another name for which day of the year?

            a) New Year’s Day        b) New Year’s Eve        c) Christmas Day

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Q.  7:  Camp David, the country retreat of US Presidents, is in which state?

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Q.  8:  The name of which Mexican snack food literally means ‘little cheese thing’?

           a) quesadilla        b) burrito        c) enchilada

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Q.  9:  Absolute government by one person called what?

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Q. 10:  The Egyptian god Anubis had the head of what animal?

            a) Jackal        b) Lion        c) Crocodile

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Q. 11:  What was the first fully computer-generated feature length movie made by Pixar?

            a) Monsters Inc        b) A Bug’s Life        c) Toy Story

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Q. 12:  Which Canadian city hosts the ‘Just For Laughs’ comedy festival every July?

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Q. 13:  Who was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus?

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Q. 14:  The US TV series ‘The Office’ was set in which Pennsylvanian city?

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Q. 15:  What is measured on the Rankine scale?

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Q. 16:  Who composed the opera ‘Cosi fan tutte’?

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Q. 17:  What is the profession of Bill Murray’s character in ‘Groundhog Day’?

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Q. 18:  ‘Mariculture’ is the cultivation of the animals and plants of which environment?

            a) Desert        b) Forest        c) Sea

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Q. 19:  Writers from which country have won the Nobel Prize for Literature most often?

            a) America        b) Sweden        c) France        d) England

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Q. 20:  What car is the prize possession of Clint Eastwood’s movie character ‘Walt Kowalski’?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What was Walt Disney’s Middle name?

           a) Ewart   b) Elias   c) Elliot    d) Ernest

A.  1:  b) Elias.

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Q.  2:  Which was the first state in America to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, and what year did that law that come into effect? (A point for each part.)

A.  2:  New York in 1984 (December 1 to be precise).

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Q.  3:  In which year did seat belts become compulsory in Great Britain?

A.  3:  1983.

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Q.  4:  In Germany what is a ‘kaufhaus’?

A.  4:  A department store.

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Q.  5:  Which country has the longest land border with Russia?

           a) Mongolia        b) Kazakhstan        c) China

A.  5:  b) Kazakhstan.

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Q.  6:  ‘Hogmanay’ is another name for which day of the year?

            a) New Year’s Day        b) New Year’s Eve        c) Christmas Day

A.  6:  Hogmanay is celebrated on b) New Year’s Eve.

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Q.  7:  Camp David, the country retreat of US Presidents, is in which state?

A.  7:  Maryland.

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Q.  8:  The name of which Mexican snack food literally means ‘little cheese thing’?

           a) quesadilla        b) burrito        c) enchilada

A.  8:  a) quesadilla.

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Q.  9:  Absolute government by one person called what?

A.  9:  Autocracy.

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Q. 10:  The Egyptian god Anubis had the head of what animal?

            a) Jackal        b) Lion        c) Crocodile

A. 10:  a) Jackal.

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Q. 11:  What was the first fully computer-generated feature length movie made by Pixar?

            a) Monsters Inc        b) A Bug’s Life        c) Toy Story

A. 11:  c) Toy Story.

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Q. 12:  Which Canadian city hosts the ‘Just For Laughs’ comedy festival every July?

A. 12:  Montreal.

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Q. 13:  Who was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus?

A. 13:  Jupiter.

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Q. 14:  The US TV series ‘The Office’ was set in which Pennsylvanian city?

A. 14:  Scranton.

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Q. 15:  What is measured on the Rankine scale?

A. 15:  The Rankine scale measures temperature.

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Q. 16:  Who composed the opera ‘Cosi fan tutte’?

A. 16:  Mozart.

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Q. 17:  What is the profession of Bill Murray’s character in ‘Groundhog Day’?

A. 17:  He plays the part of a TV weatherman.

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Q. 18:  ‘Mariculture’ is the cultivation of the animals and plants of which environment?

            a) Desert        b) Forest        c) Sea

A. 18:  c) Sea.

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Q. 19:  Writers from which country have won the Nobel Prize for Literature most often?

            a) America        b) Sweden        c) France        d) England

A. 19:  c) France.

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Q. 20:  What car is the prize possession of Clint Eastwood’s movie character ‘Walt Kowalski’?

A. 20:  Gran Torino

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The Last Post – Of 2013.

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Current Events, Factoids
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

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The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.

snow-snow-snow

In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.

oklahoma-tornado-wallpaper-2013

June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013

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Scandals

2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).

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In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal

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In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.

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However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.

nsa-spying-scandal

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In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.

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And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.

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All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.

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In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.

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In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.

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In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford

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Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines

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Departures

As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.

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Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter

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From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.

ed_koch 

Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.

Chavez

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Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.

conrad-bain 

Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.

dale-robertson 

Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.

James-Gandolfini 

Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.

gary_david_goldberg 

Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.

David_Frost 

In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.

ed-lauter 

Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5″.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.

frank-thornton-capt-peacock 

Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)

brian_forbes 

Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.

Lewis-Collins 

Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.

Paul-Walker 

Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole

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The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,

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Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.

patti-page 

Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.

 patty_andrews_sisters

Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.

 lou-reed

Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.

reg-presley

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Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 

KEN_NORTON

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The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.

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Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library 

Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson

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Other notable people who died during 2013 include,

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Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another fact finding mission has been undertaken on your behalf and here are this week’s results.

The usual random mixture, so hopefully something interesting will be in there for you.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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Cashews are actually a fleshy fruit.

The nut that we eat is the seed that

grows on the outside of the fruit.

cashews

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There have been 14 vice presidents who have

become President of the United States.

vice-president-of-the-us-seal-plaque

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Thamsanqa Jantjie, the embarrassing sign language interpreter

at the Mandela Memorial who doesn’t know any sign language,

is also alleged to be a murderer.

He was among a group of people who accosted two men found

with a stolen television and burned them to death

by setting fire to tires placed around their necks.

Thamsanqa-Jantjie

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Outside North and South America,

the only alligators found in the wild are in China.

alligator

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Thomas Edison was a great inventor,

but not so good at putting his inventions into practical business use.

For example, despite having the contract to supply cement

for the original Yankee Stadium,

the Edison Portland Cement Company went bust

because it insisted on producing concrete everything,

including cabinets, pianos, and even entire houses!

Yankee Stadium

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Gureng-gureng, Gabi-Gabi, Waga-Waga, Wemba-Wemba, and Yitha-Yitha

are all names of native Australian languages.

Gurindji-yurrk

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Some Americans disagreed with the United States’ initial refusal

to enter WWI and so they joined the French Foreign Legion

or the British or Canadian armies.

A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille,

which was part of the French air force and became

one of the top fighting units on the Western Front.

Escadrille Lafayette Banner

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The horse race normally called the Belmont Stakes

also goes by name of the Run for the Carnations.

Belmont Stakes

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Golf legend Jack Nicklaus didn’t earn his nickname,

the Golden Bear,

because of his size, his demeanor, or his hair.

It was the name of his high school mascot.

david-okeefe-golden-bear-2

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The term “Continental breakfast” was coined to

differentiate itself from an English breakfast.

The fried eggs, bacon, and beans of an English morning

are quite distinct from the dainty pastries, coffee, and juice

offered throughout the rest of Europe.

English Continental Breakfasts

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Beowulf is the longest Old English manuscript in existence

and contains about a tenth of all known Anglo-Saxon poetry.

beowulf

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After Leonardo da Vinci’s death,

King Francis I of France hung the Mona Lisa in his bathroom.

(There’s critics everywhere!)

mona-lisa-article-english

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One type of hummingbird weighs less than a penny.

hummingbird

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The letter “J” was the last letter added to the English Alphabet.

Before that, the letter “L” was used in its place.

“U” was the second to last letter added,

and was usually replaced by V.

old-english-alphabet

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Norman Mailer coined the word “factoid” in his 1973 biography Marilyn,

BUT it wasn’t just another word for “trivia”

– he actually meant something that seems like a fact but isn’t actually factual

- and that’s a fact….. or a factoid…. or…. er.

quote-factoids-that-is-facts-which-have-no-existence-before-appearing-in-a-magazine-or-newspaper-norman-mailer

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, time for this week’s quiz.

I hope you are ready, although I have included a lot of multiple choice questions this time so it may be a little easier – but only if you choose the right answer!

As always the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below if you get stuck – but NO cheating please.

Enjoy, and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1: Which of these spoons is the largest?

            a) dessertspoon     b) tablespoon    c) teaspoon

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Q.  2:  In what movie does Julia Roberts play a character pretending to be the actress Julia Roberts?

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Q.  3:  In 2004, which country became the first in Europe to impose a total ban on smoking in all workplaces?

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Q.  4:  What was the occupation of Alfred Southwick, whose 1881 idea led to the invention of the electric chair?

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Q.  5:  In 1999, which country became the last in the world to grant its citizens access to television?

            a) Bhutan      b) Brunei      c) Bahrain      d) China

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Q.  6:  What card game has a name that also means ‘a short sleep’?

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Q.  7:  A ‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks the completion of what?

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Q.  8:  Which of these animals is NOT a crustacean?

            a) Crab      b) Oyster      c) Lobster

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Q.  9:  In the film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, James Bond travels underwater in what make of car?

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Q. 10:  In Greek mythology what was Charybdis?

            a) A ‘Gate’        b) A ‘Kingdom’       c) A ‘God’       d) A ‘Whirlpool’

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Q. 11:  In banking the term ‘SWIFT’ is used in wire transfers, but what do the letters ‘S W I F T’ stand for?

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Q. 12:  Famous for cotton, in what country are the Sea Islands?

            a) Australia        b) India        c) United States        d) Columbia

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Q. 13:  Which of these animals feature in the Chinese astrological calendar?

            a) Elk      b) Ox       c) Yak

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Q. 14:  What is former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supposed to have called “the ultimate aphrodisiac”?

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Q. 15:  In 1352, Tommaso da Modena painted what is believed to be the first portrait of someone wearing what?

            a) dentures         b) spectacles         c) wooden leg

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Q. 16:  In the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ Matt Damon plays a character with a special ability for what subject?

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Q. 17:  The British 7th Armoured Division got which nickname during their African campaign in WWII?

            a) jungle tigers      b) desert rats       c) mountain foxes

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Q. 18:  In the 2012 Summer Olympic games competitors took part in how many sports?

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Q. 19:  Martin Landau won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing which horror movie star in the movie ‘Ed Wood’?

            a) Bela Lugosi     b) Lon Chaney, Jr.     C) Boris Karloff

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Q. 20:  Which female singer/songwriter wants to, according to the title of one of her singles, ‘Soak Up The Sun’?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: Which of these spoons is the largest?

            a) dessertspoon     b) tablespoon    c) teaspoon

A.  1:  b) tablespoon.

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Q.  2:  In what movie does Julia Roberts play a character pretending to be the actress Julia Roberts?

A.  2:  Ocean’s Twelve.

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Q.  3:  In 2004, which country became the first in Europe to impose a total ban on smoking in all workplaces?

A.  3:  Ireland.

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Q.  4:  What was the occupation of Alfred Southwick, whose 1881 idea led to the invention of the electric chair?

A.  4:  Dentist.

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Q.  5:  In 1999, which country became the last in the world to grant its citizens access to television?

            a) Bhutan      b) Brunei      c) Bahrain      d) China

A.  5:  a) Bhutan. 

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Q.  6:  What card game has a name that also means ‘a short sleep’?

A.  6:  Nap.

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Q.  7:  A ‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks the completion of what?

A.  7:  A building.

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Q.  8:  Which of these animals is NOT a crustacean?

            a) Crab      b) Oyster      c) Lobster

A.  8:  b) Oyster

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Q.  9:  In the film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, James Bond travels underwater in what make of car?

A.  9:  Lotus Esprit.

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Q. 10:  In Greek mythology what was Charybdis?

            a) A ‘Gate’        b) A ‘Kingdom’       c) A ‘God’       d) A ‘Whirlpool’

A. 10:  d) A Whirlpool

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Q. 11:  In banking the term ‘SWIFT’ is used in wire transfers, but what do the letters ‘S W I F T’ stand for?

A. 11:  Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication.

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Q. 12:  Famous for cotton, in what country are the Sea Islands?

            a) Australia        b) India        c) United States        d) Columbia

A. 12:  c) United States.

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Q. 13:  Which of these animals feature in the Chinese astrological calendar?

            a) Elk      b) Ox       c) Yak

A. 13:  b) Ox

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Q. 14:  What is former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supposed to have called “the ultimate aphrodisiac”?

A. 14:  Power.

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Q. 15:  In 1352, Tommaso da Modena painted what is believed to be the first portrait of someone wearing what?

            a) dentures         b) spectacles         c) wooden leg

A. 15:  b) spectacles.

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Q. 16:  In the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ Matt Damon plays a character with a special ability for what subject?

A. 16:  Mathematics.

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Q. 17:  The British 7th Armoured Division got which nickname during their African campaign in WWII?

            a) jungle tigers      b) desert rats       c) mountain foxes

A. 17:  b) desert rats.

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Q. 18:  In the 2012 Summer Olympic games, competitors took part in how many sports?

A. 18:  26.

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Q. 19:  Martin Landau won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing which horror movie star in the movie ‘Ed Wood’?

            a) Bela Lugosi     b) Lon Chaney, Jr.     C) Boris Karloff

A. 19:  a) Bela Lugosi.

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Q. 20:  Which female singer/songwriter wants to, according to the title of one of her singles, ‘Soak Up The Sun’?

A. 20:  Sheryl Crowe.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the Monday Quiz returns.

No surprises there, but maybe one or two in the questions.

Let’s see how you do this week. 

If you get stuck the answers are, as usual, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below  –  but please NO cheating!

Enjoy, and good luck!

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quiz 09

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Q.  1:  What handicap did the composer Beethoven have?

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Q.  2:  According to legend, who rewarded a man for his loyalty by giving him  the secret recipe for Drambuie?

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Q.  3:  Which two semaphoric letters are found on the famous anti war peace symbol from the 1960’s ?

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Q.  4:  In which movie would you find a robot called ‘Gort’

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Q.  5:  What name did the Vikings give to Newfoundland?

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Q.  6:  What do all of the following have (or don’t have) in common? 

Galileo, Jesse James, Jerry Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, James Doohan, Frodo Baggins,  Tony Iommi, Telly Savalas, Boris Yelzin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Daryl Hannah and Gary Burghoff (‘Radar’ O’Reilly from M*A*S*H)

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Q.  7:  In literature, King Richard III was desperate and willing to pay a high price for what?

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Q.  8:  Which fruit is a port city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? 

    a) Orange

    b) Banana

    c) Ugli

    d) Guava

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Q.  9:  In China in 1989 in which Beijing Square were the protests against the government crushed by tanks?

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Q. 10:  What is the name of the race of giants mentioned in the Bible who lived in Canaan?

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Q. 11:  “I coulda had class, I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contender”. What famous actor said the words and in which famous movie?

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Q. 12:  Who was the first WBC heavyweight boxing champion in 1978?

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Q. 13:  What is the name of the current German Chancellor?

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Q. 14:  Put the following in the correct order starting with the fastest and ending with the slowest:

 Human, Nimitz class aircraft carrier, Grizzly bear, A common pig, Cheetah, Japanese ‘bullet’ train, Ostrich, Peregrin falcon. 

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Q. 15:  Which new country was formed in 1971 at the end of the Pakistan / India conflict?

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Q. 16:  Who played ‘Lucy Ewing’ in the hit TV Series ‘Dallas’ and what was her rather unkind nickname?

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Q. 17:  What was the name of the French underground movement that fought against the Germans in World War II?

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Q. 18:  Name the capital and the largest city in New Zealand (a point for each).

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Q. 19:  In the ‘Bond’ movies what were the codenames for James Bond’s boss and the person responsible for the gadgets he used? 

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Q. 20:  What ‘o’clock’ is mentioned in the Bangles hit song ‘Manic Monday’?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What handicap did the composer Beethoven have?

A.  1:  He was hearing impaired.

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Q.  2:  According to legend, who rewarded a man for his loyalty by giving him  the secret recipe for Drambuie?

A.  2:  Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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Q.  3:  Which two semaphoric letters are found on the famous anti war peace symbol from the 1960’s ?

A.  3:  N and D for Nuclear Disarmament.

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Q.  4:  In which movie would you find a robot called ‘Gort’

A.  4:  The Day The Earth Stood Still.

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Q.  5:  What name did the Vikings give to Newfoundland?

A.  5:  Vinland.

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Q.  6:  What do all of the following have (or don’t have) in common? 

 Galileo, Jesse James, Jerry Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, James Doohan, Frodo Baggins,  Tony Iommi, Telly Savalas, Boris Yelzin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Daryl Hannah and Gary Burghoff (‘Radar’ O’Reilly from M*A*S*H)

A.  6:  They are/were all missing a finger or fingers.

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Q.  7:  In literature, King Richard III was desperate and willing to pay a high price for what?

A.  7:  “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse.”

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Q.  8:  Which fruit is a port city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? 

    a) Orange

    b) Banana

    c) Ugli

    d) Guava

A.  8:  b) Banana

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Q.  9:  In China in 1989 in which Beijing Square were the protests against the government crushed by tanks?

A.  9:  Tiananmen Square.

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Q. 10:  What is the name of the race of giants mentioned in the Bible who lived in Canaan?

A. 10:  Nephilim.

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Q. 11:  “I coulda had class, I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contender”. What famous actor said the words and in which famous movie?

A. 11:  Marlon Brando in ‘On the Waterfront’.

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Q. 12:  Who was the first WBC heavyweight boxing champion in 1978?

A. 12:  Ken Norton.

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Q. 13:  What is the name of the current German Chancellor?

A. 13:  Angela Merkel.

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Q. 14:  Put the following in the correct order starting with the fastest and ending with the slowest:

 Human, Nimitz class aircraft carrier, Grizzly bear, A common pig, Cheetah, Japanese ‘bullet’ train, Ostrich, Peregrin falcon. 

A. 14:  The correct order, fastest to slowest, is:

    1) Japanese ‘bullet’ train (361 mph);  2) Peregrin falcon (200 mph); 3) Cheetah (70 mph); 4) Ostrich (40 mph); 5) Nimitz class aircraft carrier (34.5 plus mph); 6) grizzly bear (30 mph); 7. Human (28 mph); 8. Common pig  (11 mph)

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Q. 15:  Which new country was formed in 1971 at the end of the Pakistan / India conflict?

A. 15:  Bangladesh.

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Q. 16:  Who played ‘Lucy Ewing’ in the hit TV Series ‘Dallas’ and what was her rather unkind nickname?

A. 16:  ‘Lucy Ewing’ was played by Charlene Tilton and her nickname because of her lack of height was the ‘Poison Dwarf’

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Q. 17:  What was the name of the French underground movement that fought against the Germans in World War II?

A. 17:  The Maquis (If you are nice you can also claim a point for ‘French Resistance’)

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Q. 18:  Name the capital and the largest city in New Zealand (a point for each).

A. 18:  Wellington is the capital; Auckland is the largest city.

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Q. 19:  In the ‘Bond’ movies what were the codenames for James Bond’s boss and the person responsible for the gadgets he used? 

A. 19:  They were known as ‘M’ and ‘Q’.

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Q. 20:  What ‘o’clock’ is mentioned in the Bangles hit song ‘Manic Monday’?

A. 20:  6 o’clock.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fact day again on the fasab blog.

Another twenty things you probably don’t know now, but not to worry, you will do soon if you read on.

Enjoy.

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did you know1

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Before Gmail, “G-Mail” was the name of a free

email service offered by Garfield’s website.

gmail-logo-transparent

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In America the bonnets and caps of city fire hydrants

are painted certain colors to alert firefighters

to the amount of water pressure available from that hydrant.

fire hydrant

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It isn’t water itself that conducts electricity,

but the impurities found in it.

short_circuit water and electricity cartoon

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Richard Hollingshead of Camden, N.J., built the first

drive-in theater in his driveway.

The idea was inspired by his mother who was a large woman

who found the seats at regular movie theaters uncomfortable.

He made it with a sheet strung between two trees and

a movie projector mounted to the hood of his car.

drive-in-theater

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Washington state’s Mt. Rainier is the tallest

volcano in the contiguous United States,

measuring nearly 14,500 feet in height.

It last erupted in 1854.

mount rainier washington us

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Despite their menacing appearance and fierce name,

dragonflies cannot sting and are harmless to human beings.

dragonfly

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When referring to China, make sure

to say the People’s Republic of China.

Leave off “People’s” and you’re talking about Taiwan.

china_taiwan

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Approximately one quarter of the United States’

homeless population are war veterans.

(Shameful statistic!)

homeless_veterans

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The inventors of bubble wrap,

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes,

were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.

bubble-wrap

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The toilet featured in Hitchcock’s Psycho

was the first flushing toilet to appear on-screen.

psycho toilet

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Frankincense, one of the precious items

the wise men gave the baby Jesus,

was actually an ancient form of chewing gum

Frankincense

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The poinsettia is named after former

congressman and ambassador Joel Poinsett,

who introduced the plant to the United States in the 1800s.

Joel Poinsett

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Peridots are the only gems that

have been found in meteorites.

Peridot August Birthstone

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The longest jellyfish on record measured 160 feet,

more than half the length of a football field.

Jellyfish

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All holly trees are gender specific – male or female.

Only the female holly tree bears fruit (berries),

and in order to do so there must be a male

pollinated tree within a two mile radius of her.

holly tree in park

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Two-thirds of the world’s lawyers live in the United States.

LawyersProtectArtists

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The Hard Rock Café got its name from a now-defunct bar that

appeared on the back of the Doors’ album Morrison Hotel.

Doors album cover Morrison Hotel - Hard Rock Cafe

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When cranberries are ripe, they bounce like a rubber ball.

cranberry

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Due to the “naughty” dancing of the can-can girls and

the scantily clad models on 1800s French postcards,

the British equated anything risqué with France.

In fact, that’s how the phrase “pardon my French” entered the vernacular.

can can dancers

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Scott Joplin’s famous piano song, “Maple Leaf Rag,”

was not named for the leaf or for Canada:

it was named for the Maple Leaf Club,

a social gathering place in Sedalia, Missouri.

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