Posts Tagged ‘education’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, I have to admit that many of the facts that I use on these posts are just as big a surprise to me as they possibly are to you.

But I hope interesting, as well.

Here is the latest batch from the archives.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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There are 13 ways to spell

the “o” sound in French

the-simpsons-d-oh

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There is a planet called HD189733b

where it rains glass sideways.

planet HD189733b

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The language of the Native American Zuni tribe

has resemblances to Japanese.

Subsequent research confirmed

biological similarities between the groups.

Native American Zuni tribe

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For a long time the world believed Troy to be a mythical city

and the Trojan War to be little more than legend,

until Heinrich Schliemann discovered the actual remains of the city.

Troy

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Despite the common myth that large brains equal more intelligence,

people like Einstein actually had a smaller brain

(only difference is, he used his!)

Einstein

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Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets.

Viking helmet

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A man  named James Boole survived a fall of 6,000 feet

without a parachute with only a broken back and ribs.

It is estimated that when Boole hit the ground,

he was falling at about 100 kilometers per hour.

James Boole

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There is no such thing as a banana tree,

bananas grow on a banana plant.

banana plant

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Nuclear rain from the Chernobyl disaster

fell as far away as Ireland

where sheep farmers were banned from

selling their animals for human consumption for a time.

chernobyl-radiation-map

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For years Big Pharma made $millions off selling people

anti-stress drugs to cure their ulcers,

until an Australian scientist proved the ulcers

were quite often caused by bacteria and were easily curable.

anti-stress drugs

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Fourteen of the original rides from

Disneyland’s 1955 opening are still in operation.

original rides from Disneyland

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Nice comes from a Latin word meaning “ignorant”.

nescius

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Side by side, 2000 cells from the human body

could cover about one square inch.

cells from the human body

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When Robert Williams tried to retrieve

a faulty part at a Ford Motor’s casting plant,

the malfunctioning machine reactivated

and its arm slammed into his head, killing him instantly.

He is the first man in history to have been killed by a robot.

Ford Motor Company robot

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In one of the stupidest decision

in the history of the music industry,

Decca Records turned down the Beatles

because they “weren’t sellable”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Farnborough Airc Show 2014 logo

In the summer in Farnborough in Hampshire, England one of the biggest events in the aviation industry takes place. It’s call the Farnborough Air Show.

I remember when I used to work in that industry helping to prepare invitations, information packs, and all the usual PR stuff. Farnborough is THE place to meet and greet both those who buy aircraft and those firms like Boeing and AIrbus who build them and provide tens of thousands of jobs for smaller companies.

So it is an important event.

At this year’s show they named the world’s best airline, in fact they named the top ten best airlines.

And despite the United States building some of the best airplanes in the world, and despite the United States having some of the world’s largest and busiest airlines, do you know how many United States airlines made it into the top ten?

The title of this post probably gave it away. The answer is….

None. That’s ninguno, aucun, keiner, zero!

Even the regional category for North America was won by Air Canada.

cartoon intrusive airport searches

Apparently, not only are air travelers in America to be treated as potential terrorists, herded and prodded and scanned and humiliated when they are trying to get on to an airplane. But when they do, the comfort and service they can expect will be second rate.

I think that’s a disgrace. America should be leading the world in the standard of their airlines. They should be at least one, if not more, of the top ten list every year offering a consistently high standard that their customers (that’s you and me) deserve.

And this award is decided by the votes of millions of travelers, so customers’ opinions do count.

So time for United States airlines to ditch those bureaucratic bean counters who decide that they can squeeze just another row of seats into an airplane so that everyone is uncomfortable. In the long term this kind of thinking doesn’t save you money, it loses you money. And when your customers vote for the best airline, they don’t vote for you!

For those of you who are interested, this year’s best airline was the Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific. They were voted best performer across all types of travel, economy, and luxury.

Cathay Pacific World's Best Airline 2014

Cathay Pacific World’s Best Airline 2014

Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines placed second and third respectively in the global category, with last year’s winner, Emirates, slipping to fourth. Fifth to tenth places went to Turkish Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa respectively.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the fact file is open again.

Another random selection covering science, music, history, archaeology, nature and even brain surgery!

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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Women blink twice as much as men.

Women blink twice as much as men

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Picking up baby birds and returning them to their nests

will not cause their mothers to reject them.

baby bird

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It takes food approximately seven seconds

to get from your mouth to your stomach.

mouth to your stomach

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The brain has no pain receptors so it doesn’t feel anything.

This is why doctors are able to perform open brain surgery

on patients that are still awake.

Hannibal Lecter brain

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But brain surgery is not something new.

In the past some cultures practiced “trepanation”,

or the act of drilling holes in the brain

to alleviate pain and cure sickness.

trepanation

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More than 5 million people live in areas

that are considered to be “contaminated”

with radioactive material from the Chernobyl disaster.

Chernobyl disaster

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The body of the last English King to die in battle, Richard III,

was finally found buried under a Leicester car park

in what was one of the most astonishing

archaeological discoveries of the last few decades.

Richard III grave found in Leicester carpark

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The Chinese government

attempted to crack down on gift giving

by banning certain luxury commercials.

The economy immediately started falling.

Chinese government

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Disney Park employees are required to point

with either the whole hand or using two fingers.

This is because some cultures see pointing

with one finger as disrespectful

Disney two finger point

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Dropping a penny from the top of the

Empire State Building would not kill someone

Dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building

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Lemur comes from a Latin word that means

“spirit of the dead”.

The person that named them cited their

nocturnal nature as a source of influence.

Lemur

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For many years scientists couldn’t figure out

how the Earth’s solid inner core spins one way

and the liquid outer core spins the other.

Scientists at Leeds University recently found

that the answer lies in a simple “equal and opposite” reaction

based around Earth’s magnetic fields.

Earth’s solid inner core spins one way and the liquid outer core spins the other

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The word “Addict” comes from ancient Rome

when soldiers were awarded slaves known as “addicts”,

which is the Latin word for slave.

It eventually came to refer to a person

who was a slave to anyone or anything.

Addict

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Air Force One is not the name of a specific plane,

but the name of any plane carrying the president.

Air Force One

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The Beatles still hold the record for the

most number-one singles in the Billboard Charts.

They had twenty in all

and their biggest seller was “Hey Jude”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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To give you a bit of a break from the normal quiz day – yes, I’m still watching the World Cup football and the final was yesterday. Well done Germany, commiserations Argentina. 

So instead here is one taken by other people.

Twenty questions from a SAT Science Exam and, as well as being amusing, it is also a good commentary on  the state of the education system these days.

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Quiz 03

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Q: Name the four seasons.

A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

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Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.

A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

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Q: How is dew formed?

A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

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Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?

A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

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Q: What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?

A: If you are buying a house, they will insist you are well endowed.

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Q: What are steroids?

A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

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Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?

A: He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

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Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.

A: Premature death.

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Q: What is artificial insemination?

A: When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow.

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Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?

A: Keep it in the cow.

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Q: How are the main parts of the body categorised? (e.g., abdomen.)

A: The body is consisted into three parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O and U.

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Q: What is the Fibula?

A: A small lie.

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Q: What does “varicose” mean?

A: Nearby.

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Q: What is the most common form of birth control?

A: Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.

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Q: Give the meaning of the term “Caesarean Section”

A: The caesarean section is a district in Rome.

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Q: What is a seizure?

A: A Roman emperor.

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Q: What is a terminal illness?

A: When you are sick at the airport

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Q: Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?

A: Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

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Q: What does the word “benign” mean?

A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

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Q: What happens to your body as you age?

A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

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“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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No quiz last week.

Time restraints and watching too much of the world cup in Brazil are to blame.

But not to worry, it’s back today with a vengeance with another twenty brain teasers for you.

Some easy and some quite difficult.

But remember, if you get stuck the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  Which way does water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

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Q.  2:  He starred along side Clint Eastwood in the 1978 movie ‘Every Which Way But Lose’ and in the 1980 sequel ‘Any Which Way You Can’ and he never said a word in either of them. Who was he?

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Q.  3:  What percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II?

            a)  20%            b)  40%            c)  60%            d)  80%

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Q.  4:  I’m sure just about everybody in the world has heard of the dreadful USA Patriot Act, but did you know the name was possibly the most unnecessary acronym ever devised? Five points if you can tell me what it stands for.

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Q.  5:  Who was with Sir Edmund Hilary when he first climbed Mount Everest?

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Q.  6:  What soccer player made headline news when he was banned from the Brazil 2014 World Cup for biting an opponent? (Bonus points if you can also name the team he played for and their opposition on that day.)

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

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Q.  8:  What is the name of the Islamic terrorist organization currently involved in the conflict in Iraq?

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Q.  9:  The famous Wimbledon tennis tournament is currently underway, but who won the Men’s and the Women’s Singles title in 2013? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 10:  What car company built the classic 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe?

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Q. 11:  What were the names of the three stars of the 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western movie “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”?

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Q. 12:  What team has won the most Super Bowls?

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the woman who married Adolph Hitler shortly before they both committed suicide?

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Q. 14:  This one is a famous city in Brazil and the former capital city of Portugal between the years 1808 and 1821, what is it’s name?

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Q. 15:  Which beats faster, a woman’s heart or a man’s?

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Q. 16:  Where in California were “Doritos” invented?

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Q. 17:  Now a chance to add significantly to your points score, name the seven actors who played the original western movie “The Magnificent Seven”? (Bonus points if you can also name the characters they played.)

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Q. 18:  What US President’s face is on the seldom seen $100,000 bill?

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Q. 19:  In what state is the Western-most point of the contiguous United States located?

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Q. 20:  Who was “A Rock” and “Homeward Bound” during the 1960s?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Which way does water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

A.  1:  Counter-clockwise (unless you happen to be south of the equator).

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Q.  2:  He starred along side Clint Eastwood in the 1978 movie ‘Every Which Way But Lose’ and in the 1980 sequel ‘Any Which Way You Can’ and he never said a word in either of them. Who was he?

A.  2:  His movie name was ‘Clyde’ and he was an orangutan.

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Q.  3:  What percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II?

            a)  20%            b)  40%            c)  60%            d)  80%

A.  3:  The correct answer is d), approximately eighty percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II.

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Q.  4:  I’m sure just about everybody in the world has heard of the dreadful USA Patriot Act, but did you know the name was possibly the most unnecessary acronym ever devised? Five points if you can tell me what it stands for.

A.  4:  USA Patriot Act stands for ‘Uniting & Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept & Obstruct Terrorism’. You see even the name is dreadful.

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Q.  5:  Who was with Sir Edmund Hilary when he first climbed Mount Everest?

A.  5:  Sherpa Tensing Norgay. (You can also take a point if you just said ‘Sherpa Tensing’.)

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Q.  6:  What soccer player made headline news when he was banned from the Brazil 2014 World Cup for biting an opponent? (Bonus points if you can also name the team he played for and their opposition on that day.)

A.  6:  His name is Louis Suarez and he played for Uruguay. The opposing team on that day was Italy.

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

A.  7:  The Adriatic sea.

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Q.  8:  What is the name of the Islamic terrorist organization currently involved in the conflict in Iraq?

A.  8:  It is called ‘ISIS’.

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Q.  9:  The famous Wimbledon tennis tournament is currently underway, but who won the Men’s and the Women’s Singles title in 2013? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  9:  Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli respectively. Murray was the  first man from Great Britain to win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936..

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Q. 10:  What car company built the classic 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe?

A. 10:  Mercedes.

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Q. 11:  What were the names of the three stars of the 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western movie “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”?

A. 11:  They were Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively.

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Q. 12:  What team has won the most Super Bowls?

A. 12:  The Pittsburgh Steelers, with six championships.

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the woman who married Adolph Hitler shortly before they both committed suicide?

A. 13:  Eva Braun.

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Q. 14:  This one is a famous city in Brazil and the former capital city of Portugal between the years 1808 and 1821, what is it’s name?

A. 14:  Rio de Janeiro.

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Q. 15:  Which beats faster, a woman’s heart or a man’s?

A. 15:  A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.

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Q. 16:  Where in California were “Doritos” invented?

A. 16:  Doritos were first made at the Casa de Fritos at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Using surplus tortillas, the company-owned restaurant cut them up and fried them (as in traditional Mexican chips called totopos) and added basic seasoning, resembling the Mexican chilaquiles, but in this case being dry.

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Q. 17:  Now a chance to add significantly to your points score, name the seven actors who played the original western movie “The Magnificent Seven”? (Bonus points if you can also name the characters they played.)

A. 17:  The Magnificent Seven were Yul Brynner as “Chris Adams”, Steve McQueen as “Vin”, Horst Buchholz as “Chico”, Charles Bronson as “Bernardo O’Reilly”, Robert Vaughn as “Lee”, James Coburn as “Britt”, and Brad Dexter as “Harry Luck”.

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Q. 18:  What US President’s face is on the seldom seen $100,000 bill?

A. 18:  Woodrow Wilson’s face is on the $100,000 bill; these bills were mainly designed for trade between between Federal Reserve banks, but fell out of use with the invention of the wire transfer.

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Q. 19:  In what state is the Western-most point of the contiguous United States located?

A. 19:  The Western-most point in the contiguous United States is located at Cape Alava, Washington.

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Q. 20:  Who was “A Rock” and “Homeward Bound” during the 1960s?

A. 20:  Simon And Garfunkel.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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I read a strange thing on the internet the other day.

Not much unusual there, you could do that every day.

This was a study that found that Americans’ attitudes about whether the US should intervene in Ukraine is correlated with their ability to find the country on the map.

And even more strangely  -  perhaps  -  it was the Americans who COULDN’T find the Ukraine on a map who were more in favor of intervention!

Apparently  -  and I kid you not  -  some of the respondents thought that the Ukraine was in Iowa.

maps Ukraine Iowa

Europe with Ukraine highlighted USA with Iowa highlighted

Unfortunately the guys that think out American foreign policy are these sorts of people. The kind who just don’t know what they are talking about. The kind of bureaucrats who rub Preparation H on their elbows  -  if you see what I mean!

Recent history proves this beyond all reasonable doubt.

To add insult to injury so to speak, these know nothings who advise the President on foreign matters try to spin every situation by telling everyone that, even though it has massive debt already and is effectively bankrupt, the US must still be the world’s policeman and uphold democracy.

The world according to America

Why?

What business is it of ours?

And if we are so hell bent on ensuring democracy exists throughout the world why aren’t we intervening in one of the biggest dictatorships of them all, Saudi Arabia which was also the home of most of the 9/11 terrorists and of course Bin Laden’s mother country? But no, lets attack Iraq and Afghanistan instead!

For more than half a century American foreign policy has been dictated by a mindless mantra that “if the Russians are for it, then we’re against it”.

The rights and wrongs of any particular situation are not analyzed or discussed. The facts are never examined. The truth is not even looked for.

That is why US foreign policy has been such a shambles throughout the world and will continue to be so until basically the people directing it wise up.

As for the Ukraine?

First of all it is NOT in Iowa.

Second, the US has spent (wasted) $5 billion and more during the past twenty years on “democratization” programs in Ukraine, including efforts from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Third, yes there were elements within the Ukraine who did not like being subservient to Russia, but what happened in the Ukraine was that a democratically elected president, Yanukovych, was overthrown in February in what amounted to a coup d’etat.

Students of history will remember what a funk America was in when the Russians started to “assist” Cuba way back in the early 1960s, yet they can’t understand why Russian leader Putin doesn’t want a fully nuclear armed Ukraine as anything other than an ally on his doorstep.

Why can they not see that the strategy of absorbing Ukraine into NATO and stationing missile defense systems there, is bound to piss the Russians off in exactly the same way as events in Cuba did for the Americans?

The fact is, of course, that they probably do see that. And they don’t care. The name of the game here is not upholding democracy at all. Such a laudable goal is only a smokescreen. The name of the game is to try to curtail Russia by having Ukrainian missiles pointed towards Moscow instead of Washington, or Washington’s allies.

It’s a game plan that Putin sees quite clearly. To think that he will sit back and not respond is just a fantasy. Let’s hope that the idiots in Washington don’t land us with yet another catastrophe.

With their past record I wouldn’t count on it though!

US-Foreign-Policy cartoon

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Had To Be 1776

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Factoids, Numbers
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello everyone.

And a very happy Fourth of July to everyone, particularly my American friends.

Independence Day again, and no sign of invading spaceships so I’m assuming its safe to do another number factoid.

And what else could it be today other than 1776, the year America became an independent nation.

Here we go.

Enjoy

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1776

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And where else to start but with….

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American Revolutionary War

Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag

  • On January 1st, 1776 Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag. The same day the town of Norfolk, Virginia, was destroyed by the combined actions of the British Royal Navy and occupying Patriot forces.
  • On Jan 5th the Assembly of New Hampshire adopts its 1st state constitution.
  • On January 10th Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense “written by an Englishman” in Philadelphia arguing for independence from British rule in what were then the Thirteen Colonies.

pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • On Jan 16th the Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks.
  • On February 27th Scottish North Carolina Loyalists charge across Moore’s Creek bridge near Wilmington to attack what they mistakenly believed to be a small force of rebels. Several loyalist leaders are killed in the ensuing battle. The patriot victory virtually ended all British authority in the province.
  • On March 2nd and 3rd the American Continental Navy and Marines made a successful assault on Nassau, Bahamas, and in the Battle of the Rice Boats, American Patriots resisted the Royal Navy on the Savannah River effectively ending British control over the Province of Georgia.
  • On March 4th American Patriots capture Dorchester Heights thereby dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts. Threatened by the Patriot cannons on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuate Boston on March 17th.
  • On April 12th the Royal Colony of North Carolina produced the Halifax Resolves making it the first British colony officially to authorize its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On May 4th Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of Great Britain.
  • On June 7th Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Second Continental Congress (meeting in Philadelphia) that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
  • On June 11th the Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five to draft a Declaration of Independence.

declaration-of-independence-1776

  • On June 12th the Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason was adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates and three days later on June 15th the Delaware General Assembly voted to suspend government under the British Crown.
  • On July 2nd the final (despite minor revisions) U.S. Declaration of Independence was written. The Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution.
  • And as we all know, on July 4th the United States Declared Independence: The Continental Congress ratified the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On July 8th the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the following day an angry mob in New York City toppled the equestrian statue of George III of Great Britain in Bowling Green.

Liberty Bell

  • On August 2nd most of the American colonies ratify the Declaration of Independence.
  • On August 15th the first Hessian troops land on Staten Island to join British forces.
  • On August 27th in the Battle of Long Island, Washington’s troops were routed in Brooklyn by British under William Howe.
  • On September 1st the Cherokee Nation was invaded by 6,000 patriot troops from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina begins. The troops destroyed thirty-six Cherokee towns.
  • On September 7th saw the world’s first submarine attack when the American submersible craft Turtle attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • On September 11th an abortive peace conference took place between British and Americans on Staten Island.
  • On September 15th British troops landed on Manhattan at Kips Bay.
  • On September 16th in the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Continental Army under Washington are victorious against the British on Manhattan.
  • On September 22nd the British hanged spy Nathan Hale in New York City for espionage.
  • The following month, on October 11th on Lake Champlain near Valcour Island, a British fleet led by Sir Guy Carleton defeated 15 American gunboats commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Although nearly all of Arnold’s ships are destroyed, the two day-long battle gave Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
  • On October 18th in the Battle of Pell’s Point, forces of the American Continental Army resisted a British and Hessian force in The Bronx, whilst on October 28 in the Battle of White Plains, British forces attacked and captured Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
  • On October 26th Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

Benjamin Franklin

  • The last day of that month, October 31st saw King George III make his first speech before British Parliament since the Declaration of Independence that summer, in which in perhaps the understatement of the year, told the British Parliament that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.
  • On November 16th Hessian mercenaries under Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen captured Fort Washington from the American Continentals. The captain of the American navy ship Andrew Doria fired a salute to the Dutch flag on Fort Orange and Johannes de Graaff answers with eleven gun shots.
  • On December 7th the Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.
  • And on December 21st the Royal Colony of North Carolina reorganizes into the State of North Carolina after adopting its own constitution. Richard Caswell becomes the first governor of the newly formed state.
  • On December 23rd Thomas Paine, living with Washington’s troops, began publishing The American Crisis, containing the stirring phrase, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
  • At Christmas 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered the first issue of The Crisis to be read to his troops on Christmas Eve, then at 6 p.m. all 2600 of them march to McKonkey’s Ferry, crossed the Delaware River and land on the Jersey bank at 3 a.m.
  • And finally December 26th saw the Battle of Trenton, in which Washington’s troops surprised and defeated the 1500 Hessian troops under the command of Col. Johann Rall outside Trenton, taking 948 prisoners while suffering only 5 wounded.

 crossing the Delaware River

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In other things and other places in 1776

  • The year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar.
  • In Roman Numerals 1776 is written as MDCCLXXVI.
  • On January 2nd Austria ended interrogation torture
  • On February 17th Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • On March 9th Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in London.
  • On March 28th Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On April 15th the Duchess of Kingston was found guilty of bigamy.
  • On May 1st Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
  • On June 17th Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga leads a band of colonists from Monterey Presidio, landing on June 29th and constructing the Mission Dolores of the new Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On July 12th Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which would turn out to be fatal.

Captain James Cook

  • On July 21st Mozart’s Serenade No. 7 (the “Haffner”) is first performed in Salzburg, Austria.
  • On July 29th Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, and eight other Spaniards set out from Santa Fe on an eighteen-hundred mile trek through the American Southwest. They were the first Europeans to explore the vast region between the Rockies and the Sierras.
  • On September 6th a hurricane hit Guadeloupe, killing more than 6000 people.
  • On September 24th the first of the now very famous St Leger horse races were held at Doncaster, England.
  • On October 7th Crown Prince Paul of Russia married Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.
  • On October 9th Father Francisco Palou founded the Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California.
  • On October 18th in a New York bar decorated with a bird tail, a customer orders “cock tail”.
  • On December 5th the first US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), is formed.

Phi Beta Kappa

  • The Standard Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles is Active Standard ASTM D1776
  • The Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Paintball Sports is Active Standard ASTM F1776.
  • MTE M-1776 is a Surge Protective Device
  • P1776 is the code for solenoid stuck in low/reverse which is a fairly common problem and can be prevented most of the time by keeping the fluid clean.
  • The 1776 Premier Program offers a venue for highly-committed, elite players to receive professional, year-round coaching and to seek competition at the highest levels of US Youth Soccer.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, July’s start here.

Another random selection of curious pieces of information.

And another chance for you to find a few things to tell people at the next barby!

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In Disney’s “Fantasia”, the Sorcerer’s name is

“Yensid”, which is “Disney” backwards.

Yensid

.

.

The Mongolian navy consists of

seven people and one boat.

Mongolian navy

.

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The pavement between the different ‘worlds’ in the Disney parks changes suddenly.

These sensory ‘tickles’ startle you and make you look up and look around,

realizing that your surroundings have changed.

Pavement 40

.

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In 1788

the Austrian army accidentally attacked itself

and lost 10,000 men

The-Battle-of-Karansebes

.

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The attachment of human muscles to skin

is what causes dimples.

dimple

.

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Nightmare comes from an old English word “mare”

that refers to a demon who suffocates you in your sleep

Nightmare

.

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Eisenhower played a big role in popularizing golf.

He installed a putting green at the White House

and played more than 800 rounds while in office

— exceeding the record of any other president.

Eisenhower playing golf

.

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Other than humans, black lemurs are the only

primates that may have blue eyes.

black lemurs blue eyes

.

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Sheriff came from Shire Reeve.

During early years of feudal rule in England,

each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire.

When the term was brought to the United States

it was shortned to Sheriff.

ny_shire_reeve_sergeant_hat_badge

.

.

Iowa has more independent telephone companies

than any other state.

Iowa independent telephone companies

.

.

Murphy’s Oil Soap is the chemical most

commonly used to clean elephants.

Murphy's Oil Soap

.

.

Artist Constantino Brumidi

fell from the dome of the U.S. Capitol

while painting a mural around the rim.

He died four months later.

Constantino Brumidi

.

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There were no squirrels on Nantucket until 1989.

mister red squirrel's lunch

.

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Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created

especially for Ronald Reagan.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies

.

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Cathy Rigby is the only woman

to pose nude for Sports Illustrated.

(August 1972)

Cathy Rigby

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s an interesting question.

But worry not, I am not going to try to sell you an insurance policy nor even recommend one.

Quite the reverse in fact.

Many people have some kind of life insurance for the financial protection of their families if they should be unfortunate to pass away unexpectedly.

It is usually for enough money to pay off the mortgage with a little left over to provide some kind of income for the wife and kids.

At least that’s how it should be.

dead peasants indursnce

But there is a growing trend for employers to insure their employees. A nice gesture you might think at first. Until you find out that the beneficiary of the insurance would not be the survivors or estate of the insured employee, but the corporate pension plan!

It is unofficially known as “dead peasant” insurance, and hundreds of corporations have already taken out policies worth hundreds of billions of dollars, on thousands of employees, providing companies with a steady stream of income as current and former employees die  -  even decades after they have retired or left the company.

And new “dead peasant”policies worth at least $1 billion are being put in place every year!

Unsurprisingly the greedy money-grabbing banksters are especially fond of the practice. Bank of America’s policies have a cash surrender value of at least $17.6 billion; Wells Fargo’s at least $12.7 billion; and JPMorgan Chase at least $5 billion, according to filings with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

corporate greed

Of course the tax-men are to blame too – aren’t they always? – because so-called company-owned life insurance offers employers generous tax breaks. For example, company-paid premiums are tax-free, as are any investment returns on the policies and the death benefits eventually received. Although having said that it has to be admitted (grudgingly) that the I.R.S. has taken companies including Winn-Dixie and Camelot Music to court for using such policies as tax avoidance schemes.

Many people faced with a request from an employer to consent to such a policy are too afraid not to comply in case it affects their job or promotion prospects. They shouldn’t be because that would probably be illegal as well as unethical. Class-action lawsuits against several companies with such policies are already underway or have been settled. Several companies, including Walmart, settled the suits, paying millions to low-ranking employees who had been covered.

So if you are uncomfortable with the thought that your company might profit from your death, don’t sign up.

And as for the corporations? I’m as fond of making a few bucks as the next man, but you have to draw a line somewhere and I think corporations should be content with the contribution their employees make to their company profits when they are alive, instead of conniving to profit from their deaths also.

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