Posts Tagged ‘events’

Fasab’s Mammoth End Of The Year Quiz!

Posted: December 30, 2013 in Current Events, Factoids, Questions, Tests
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”  

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If you are anything like me, sometimes you’ll have trouble remembering what you were doing yesterday, let alone what happened several months ago.

If so, this quiz should be a bit of a challenge.

There aren’t any difficult or trick questions. The answers are all events that happened during the year 2013 and all were reported widely at the time they happened on the television, radio, internet and newspapers.

Let’s see if you were paying attention and how much of it you can recall now.

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

Good luck, and enjoy.

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Fasab's Mammoth End Of Year Quiz 2013

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Q.  1:  What former resident of Robben Island died late this year?

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Q.  2:  What country landed a rover vehicle on the Moon in 2013? 

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Q.  3:  Who won the 2013 NBA Finals? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score) 

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Q.  4:  In what country did terrorists attack a shopping mall killing 59 people and injuring 175? (Bonus point if you can also name the city.) 

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Q.  5:  What mobile phone company did Microsoft buy in 2013 for $7.2 billion? 

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Q.  6:  In 2013 what city had the winning bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games?

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Q.  7:  What major American city filed for bankruptcy during 2013? 

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Q.  8:  What former British Prime Minister died during 2013 at the age of 87? 

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Q.  9:  A huge tornado hit which American city in 2013 causing massive devastation? 

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Q. 10:  What internet social media company did Yahoo buy for $1.1 billion during 2013? 

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Q. 11:  A factory collapsed in which Asian country killing over 700 people? 

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Q. 12:  Terrorists attacked a marathon race in which city during 2013? 

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Q. 13:  2013 saw which country become the first to make plans to tax bank deposits?

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Q. 14:  In what country in 2013 did meteorites injured hundreds of people? 

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Q. 15:  What world leader announced a shock resignation during 2013? 

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Q. 16:  A fire in a nightclub killed about 230 people in what country?

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Q. 17:  Which soccer player won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year? 

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Q. 18:  130 wildfires across the east coast of which country forced thousands to evacuate their homes? 

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Q. 19:  In 2013 which of the world’s major cities was declared to have air pollution levels that are hazardous to human health?

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Q. 20:  Calcium deposits were discovered on what planet by NASA’s Curiosity Rover?  

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Q. 21:  What country unveils plans to build the world’s largest wind farm near the site of a former nuclear reactor plant? 

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Q. 22:  Who succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as the United States Secretary of State during 2013? 

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Q. 23:  Who won Super Bowl XLVII? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score.)  

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Q. 24:  Where did a massive blizzard result in 15 deaths, 5,300 cancelled flights, and loss of power for 900,000 people during 2013?  

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Q. 25:  Which country confirmed that it had successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized and also declared war on its neighboring state?   

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Q. 26:  $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen in an armed robbery at an airport in which European city? 

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Q. 27:  Who was elected to a second term as the President of Cuba? 

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Q. 28:  Who won the 2013 Daytona 500? 

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Q. 29:  Who in 2013 became the first male Monarch of Netherlands in 123 years?  

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Q. 30:  In 2013 what company announced a $17 billion bond offering, the largest ever from a private company? 

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Q. 31:  Who won the 77th Golf Masters Championship?

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Q. 32:  What bunch of politicians passed a bill intending to enable the taxing of online sales? 

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Q. 33:  Who announced his retirement as Manchester United’s manager at the end of the 2012-2013 soccer season?

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Q. 34:  Who regained his position in 2013 as the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $72.7 Billion? 

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Q. 35:  What country won the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championship? (Bonus point if you know who they beat.)  

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Q. 36:  Which world leader announced his divorce with his wife on national TV in June 2013? 

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Q. 37:  Which golfer won the 113th US Open in 2013? 

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Q. 38:  Which Middle Eastern President is deposed in a military coup during 2013? 

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Q. 39:  €103 million of diamonds is stolen from the Carton Intercontinental Hotel in which well known festive French city?  

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Q. 40:  Who became Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013, after a Liberal-National Coalitions wins the election?  

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Q. 41:  Who won the 2013 US Tennis Open? 

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Q. 42:  What country switched off its last working nuclear reactor in 2013?

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Q. 43:  What was the largest company by revenue on the 2013 Fortune 500 list?    

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Q. 44:  12 people were killed after a gunman opens fire at a naval yard in what major American city? 

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Q. 45:  Who became the first British man to win a Wimbledon tennis title since 1936? 

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Q. 46:  What computer/console game became the fastest entertainment product to reach $1 billion in sales during 2013? 

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Q. 47:  Who set a new MLB record with 24 Grand Slam home runs for the New York Yankees? 

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Q. 48:  Who won a third term with their best result since 1990 in German Federal elections? (A point each for the name of the Party and it’s leader.)

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Q. 49:  Who is named PGA Tour’s player of the year for the 11th time? 

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Q. 50:  It was perhaps the biggest joke of the year and started in the United States on October 1st and ended on October 16th – what was it? 

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What former resident of Robben Island died late this year?

A.  1:  Nelson Mandela

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Q.  2:  What country landed a rover vehicle on the Moon in 2013? 

A.  2:  China.

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Q.  3:  Who won the 2013 NBA Finals? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score) 

A.  3:  Miami Heat, beating San Antonio Spurs 4-3.

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Q.  4:  In what country did terrorists attack a shopping mall killing 59 people and injuring 175? (Bonus point if you can also name the city.) 

A.  4:  Nairobi, Kenya.

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Q.  5:  What mobile phone company did Microsoft buy in 2013 for $7.2 billion? 

A.  5:  Nokia.

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Q.  6:  In 2013 what city had the winning bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games?

A.  6:  Tokyo, Japan.

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Q.  7:  What major American city filed for bankruptcy during 2013? 

A.  7:  Detroit.

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Q.  8:  What former British Prime Minister died during 2013 at the age of 87? 

A.  8:  Margaret Thatcher.

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Q.  9:  A huge tornado hits which American city causing massive devastation? 

A.  9:  Oklahoma.

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Q. 10:  What internet social media company did Yahoo buy for $1.1 billion during 2013? 

A. 10:  Tumblr.

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Q. 11:  A factory collapsed in which Asian country killing over 700 people? 

A. 11:  Bangladesh.

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Q. 12:  Terrorists attacked a marathon race in which city during 2013? 

A. 12:  Boston.

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Q. 13:  2013 saw which country become the first to make plans to tax bank deposits?

A. 13:  Cyprus.

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Q. 14:  In what country in 2013 did meteorites injured hundreds of people? 

A. 14:  Russia.

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Q. 15:  What world leader announced a shock resignation during 2013? 

A. 15:  Pope Benedict XVI.

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Q. 16:  A fire in a nightclub killed about 230 people in what country?

A. 16:  Brazil.

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Q. 17:  Which soccer player won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year? 

A. 17:  Lionel Messi.

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Q. 18:  130 wildfires across the east coast of which country forced thousands to evacuate their homes? 

A. 18:  Australia.

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Q. 19:  In 2013 which of the world’s major cities was declared to have air pollution levels that are hazardous to human health?

A. 19:  Beijing, China.

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Q. 20:  Calcium deposits were discovered on what planet by NASA’s Curiosity Rover?  

A. 20:  Mars.

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Q. 21:  What country unveils plans to build the world’s largest wind farm near the site of a former nuclear reactor plant? 

A. 21:  Japan, near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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Q. 22:  Who succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as the United States Secretary of State during 2013? 

A. 22:  John Kerry.

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Q. 23:  Who won Super Bowl XLVII? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score.)  

A. 23:  The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers by 34–31.

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Q. 24:  Where did a massive blizzard result in 15 deaths, 5,300 cancelled flights, and loss of power for 900,000 people during 2013?  

A. 24:  In the US and Canada.

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Q. 25:  Which country confirmed that it had successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized and also declared war on its neighboring state?  

A. 25:  North Korea.

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Q. 26:  $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen in an armed robbery at an airport in which European city? 

A. 26:  Brussels, Belgium.

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Q. 27:  Who was elected to a second term as the President of Cuba? 

A. 27:  Raúl Castro.

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Q. 28:  Who won the 2013 Daytona 500? 

A. 28:  Jimmie Johnson.

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Q. 29:  Who in 2013 became the first male Monarch of Netherlands in 123 years?  

A. 29:  Willem-Alexander.

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Q. 30:  In 2013 what company announced a $17 billion bond offering, the largest ever from a private company? 

A. 30:  Apple.

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Q. 31:  Who won the 77th Golf Masters Championship?

A. 31:  Adam Scott.

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Q. 32:  What bunch of politicians passed a bill intending to enable the taxing of online sales? 

A. 32:  The US Senate.

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Q. 33:  Who announced his retirement as Manchester United’s manager at the end of the 2012-2013 soccer season?

A. 33:  Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Q. 34:  Who regained his position in 2013 as the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $72.7 Billion? 

A. 34:  Bill Gates.

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Q. 35:  What country won the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championship? (Bonus point if you know who they beat.)  

A. 35:  Sweden, beating Switzerland.

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Q. 36:  Which world leader announced his divorce with his wife on national TV in June 2013? 

A. 36:  Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Q. 37:  Which golfer won the 113th US Open in 2013? 

A. 37:  Justin Rose.

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Q. 38:  Which Middle Eastern President is deposed in a military coup during 2013? 

A. 38:  Egypt’s president, Mohammed Morsi.

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Q. 39:  €103 million of diamonds is stolen from the Carton Intercontinental Hotel in which well known festive French city?  

A. 39:  Cannes, France.

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Q. 40:  Who became Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013, after a Liberal-National Coalitions wins the election?  

A. 40:  Tony Abbott.

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Q. 41:  Who won the 2013 US Tennis Open? 

A. 41:  Rafael Nadal, beating Novak Djokovic.

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Q. 42:  What country switched off its last working nuclear reactor in 2013?

A. 42:  Japan.

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Q. 43:  What was the largest company by revenue on the 2013 Fortune 500 list?    

A. 43:  Wal-Mart.

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Q. 44:  12 people were killed after a gunman opens fire at a naval yard in what major American city? 

A. 44:  Washington DC.

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Q. 45:  Who became the first British man to win a Wimbledon tennis title since 1936? 

A. 45:  Andy Murray,  beating Novak Djokovic.

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Q. 46:  What computer/console game became the fastest entertainment product to reach $1 Billion in sales during 2013? 

A. 46:  Grand Theft Auto.

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Q. 47:  Who set a new MLB record with 24 Grand Slam home runs for the New York Yankees? 

A. 47:  Alex Rodriquez.

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Q. 48:  Who won a third term with their best result since 1990 in German Federal elections? (A point each for the name of the Party and it’s leader.)

A. 48:  The Christian Democrats, led by Angela Merkel.

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Q. 49:  Who is named PGA Tour’s player of the year for the 11th time? 

A. 49:  Tiger Woods.

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Q. 50:  It was perhaps the biggest joke of the year and started in the United States on October 1st and ended on October 16th – what was it? 

A. 50:  The Federal Government shutdown as a result of politicians squabbling over spending.

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There Comes A Time When Zero Tolerance Is The Only Option

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Current Events, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another rant, now known as the Sunday Sermon.

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For many years there has been an influx of Muslims into Western countries like, for example, America and Britain. And for years these people arrived and set to work to provide a better life for their families, which was reason they chose our countries in the first place.

Sometimes we treated them with respect. At other times their treatment was not so welcoming. But the vast majority accepted things as they were and worked hard, with the result that they did make a better life for themselves.

However, now all of a sudden, because of the rants of a few demented and evil clerics who have corrupted the words of Allah and the meaning of the Koran, some Muslims are now offended by everything, including the very presence of the citizens of the countries they have chosen to come and live among.

How absurd is that?

Worse, however, is that we are supposed to pander to this nonsense and tippy toe around them afraid to do or say anything in case it will be distorted and manufactured into something offensive.

And if we don’t?

Well then they will cut our head’s off in the middle of a street and stand bragging about it afterwards.

That is exactly what happened in London this week when Drummer Lee Rigby, a British soldier, was first knocked down by a car driven by two blood-thirsty killers and then decapitated as he lay helpless on the street.  

murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby

murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby

On any scale of things that are offensive, it just doesn’t get any more offensive than that.

Yet we are supposed to tolerate the intolerable and excuse the inexcusable!

Let’s get real folks.

Some things are unacceptable in western society. And if you choose to live in western society then you live by our rules, not yours.

When I visit a Muslim country where, for example, drinking alcohol is forbidden, I don’t put on the pretense of being offended, I don’t whine about my rights being denied, in fact I don’t complain at all. I am in their country, those are their rules, and while I am there I am happy to respect them and abide by them.

Why is there no reciprocal respect any more?

And even more to the point, why is that reciprocal respect not demanded?

We have allowed our politicians to cloud the issue by blundering about in foreign lands. They say they are doing it to fight terrorism and protect us, but in reality it has much more to do with securing commodities and distracting us from much more serious economic problems they have created at home.

Politicians manipulate their people by creating ‘bogey men’ and fomenting fear where none should really exist. They do it, not for the benefit of their constituents, but for their own self promotion and their attempt to cling on to power. It happens in every country, east or west, north or south, and it has been happening for centuries.

And what is happening to elements of the Muslim population today is no different. In their case the manipulation is made slightly easier because the evil clerics are able to deceive their largely uneducated and ignorant followers with the promise of seventy virgins and a place in heaven if they either kill themselves or other innocent people – preferably both at the same time. Strange, if the reward is so great, that you never see the clerics themselves pushing to the front of the queue to participate!  

There is a horrible trend nowadays that standards must be allowed to come down to the lowest level. Exams in schools and degrees at universities have to be made easier and easier to pass, lest some be deemed not to have qualified. Everyone has to be treated as a potential terrorist at airports in case selective targeting of possible suspects be labeled as racial or ethnic profiling. And every effort has to be made try to understand and excuse the criminals in our society who prey on the law-abiding.

We have completely lost our way. And the only solution is to take a stand on these important issues. Try to be nice, and understanding, and liked by everyone and you doom yourself and your society. There comes a time when the proverbial line has to be drawn in the sand. And there comes a time when zero tolerance is the only option.

That time is now!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another Sunday Sermon, otherwise known as a rant!

 Foreclosure Notice Yellow Photo

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First it was Cyprus where the bankrupt government tried to steal money right out of people’s bank accounts. If you want to read that again click here and here.)

Then it was the turn of the greedy bureaucrats in Australia who decided to tax pensions TWICE, once when you put the money in and again when you tried to take it out! (For the original post click here.) 

Now in bankrupt Spain the politicians are at it, however, this time they aren’t proposing to steal some of the money in your bank account  –  oh no, this time they want to steal your entire home!

Yes, you read it right, the Spanish government has announced this past week that they want to seize homes that have been foreclosed on by banks and developers.

Not that I have any sympathy with the banksters, not by a long chalk! But theft is theft, and theft by governments is perhaps the most evil of all simply because the victims have little or no remedies available – other than pack up and go somewhere else.

se vende

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As usual the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to dress this theft up as something helpful. They say they will rent the confiscated foreclosed homes to Spanish families who will be allowed to live there rent-free for up to three years.

Sounds great, but as usual what these political morons have failed to do is think their policy through.

If they go ahead with this plan to steal homes the consequences will not be what they think.

First of all it will destroy what is left of the mortgage market in Spain because no one will want to make home loans on Spanish real estate if there is no viable foreclosure mechanism should things go wrong for the mortgagee.

Second, it will go a long way to killing off the buy-to-let sector, which is the thing that has been keeping the real estate market afloat in these financially strained times. Home sales, not just in Spain, but in many countries have been boosted considerably by cash rich investors picking up what they consider to be ‘bargain’ properties at a level that yields a decent return on their capital. Where will they get that return if the government kills the rental sector by renting out homes for free?

And third, it will also kill off the recent Spanish drive to attract foreign investors by offering residency to anyone who spends around $200,000 buying up the glut of Spanish property currently on its real estate market.   

If these things were happening in Zimbabwe or even Venezuela everyone would be calling it a disgrace. But it is happening in Europe and Australia and America. And it will get worse the more desperate the politicians and the bureaucrats become as they make the mess they created worse, not better.

Who on earth put idiots like these in charge?

It wasn’t you was it?

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Fifty-Five 55

Posted: May 17, 2013 in Cars, Factoids, Numbers, Religion, Unusual, War
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another numbers factoid today. This time the number is fifty-five, along with its various associations.

Enjoy.

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The Number Fifty-Five  55

 55

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In religion

  • The number 55 is used 2 times in the Bible.
  • The 55th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • At the end of his Gospel, Saint John devotes 55 verses (chapter 20 and 21) to describe the resurrection and his appearances of the Christ which took place after his death.
  • The words throne and number are used 55 in the NT.
  • 55 is the representative number of the Virgin Mary. In the New Testament the name Mary is referred to 55 times (26 times by the word mother; 10 times by the word woman; and 19 times by the name of Mary).
  • Fifty-five years separate the Annunciation from the Assumption of the Virgin.

 

  • A rabbinical study enumerates 55 prophets, divided into 48 prophets and 7 prophetess. This list appears in the Comment of Rachi on Meguilla 14a.

 

  • Epsilon, E, is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet, and Lambda, L, is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet and the product of the 3rd & 5th prime numbers: 5 x 11 = 55 = EL
  • EL is an ancient Semitic title for God. In Assyrian-Babylonian mythology, the great trinity Anu (sky), Bel (light), and Ea (sea) emanated from EL. EL was used by the Phoenicians for the high-one. Elohim is the plural form of EL. The Hebrews associated EL or Elohim with a sun-deity absorbed by Yaw (Jah or Jehovah). In Hebrew poetry EL appears as First Cause, God, Mighty One, principle or beginning of all things.
  • In Cabala, EL is a name of Chesed, the 4th Sephira.
  • EL is Celtic for angel.  

 

  • 55 represent the Divine Person, according to Abellio.
  • 55 represent the limit of the humanity, according to E. Bindel.
  • 55 represent the total and complete man, symbolized by the two hands which join at the moment of the prayer to remake the unit in the form of ten, but being able also to express that under the form of 55, “addition in the senses of the divine wisdom” according to saint Martin.
  • The Bouriates knew 99 gods, divided into 55 goods and 44 bad. These two groups of gods would fight for a very long time between them.

In Mathematics

  • 55 is the sum of the first 10 numbers: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th triangular numbers: 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the first 5 square numbers (also known as a square pyramidal number): 1 + 4 + 9 + 16 + 25 = 55
  • The sum of 5 odd heavenly numbers: 1+3+5+7+9 = 25; the sum of 5 even earthly numbers: 2+4+6+8+10 = 30; the sum of the heavenly & earthly series (I Ching): 25 + 30 = 55
  • Fifty-five is the 10th Fibonacci number and a triangular number (the sum of the numbers 1 to 10), it is the largest Fibonacci number to also be a triangular number.

Triangular 1-10

  • 55 is heptagonal number, and a centered nonagonal number.
  • In base 10, 55 is a Kaprekar number.
  • 55 is a semiprime, being the product of 5 and 11 and it is the 2nd member of the (5.q) semiprime family.
  • In Roman numeral 55 is written as LV
  • 55 in Binary is 00110111
  • In Pythagorean arithmetic, 2 is the first even number, 3 the first odd number. The even & odd tetractyes both radiate from the One, which is the source of all numbers. The sum of these two series is 55

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In Science

  • 55 is the Atomic Number of Cesium (Cs).
  • The cesium clock is used as a standard in measuring time. Its accuracy is one second in 30,000 years. The cesium atomic clock is based on the frequency corresponding to hyperfine structure transition in the atoms of cesium nuclides Cs-133.

ntp_time

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In space

  • Messier object M55, is a magnitude 7.0 globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius
Messier Object M55

Messier Object M55

  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 55, is a magnitude 7.9 barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor
  • On February 9, 1986, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to the sun (perihelion) at a distance of only about 55 million miles.
  • The velocity of Halley’s comet at perihelion is 55 kilometers per second.

halleys-comet-1986

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In politics

  • 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787) and 39 signed the United States Constitution.
  • Agitation and Propaganda against the State, also known as Constitution law 55, was a law in Communist Albania.
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787

Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787

In Books, Music, Movies and TV

  • A song produced by Group X was called “Schfifty Five”.
  • 55 is the name of a song by British Indie Rock Band Kasabian. The song was released as a B side to Club Foot and was recorded live when the band performed at London’s Brixton Academy.
  • “I Can’t Drive 55”, is a song by Sammy Hagar
  • “Old 55″ is the title of a song by Tom Waits and The Eagles
  • Cristian Vogel released an album in 2005 with the title “Station 55″
  • “Ol’ 55”, is an Australian rock band.
  • “Primer 55” is the name of an American band
  • “55 Cadillac”, is an album by Andrew W.K.

AndrewWK_55Cadillac 

  • “55 Days at Peking” is a film starring Charlton Heston and David Niven

55 Days At Peking

  • “55 Degrees North” (2004–2005) is a British TV series about a  London detective who moves to Newcastle after blowing the whistle on a corrupt colleague.
  • “Class of ’55”, is a TV comedy created by writer David Seltzer, and starring Alan Alda, John Archer, Sharon Cintron
  • “The Fall Of ’55”, a crime drama, written by Seth Randal, about an incident in late 1955 and early 1956, when the citizens of Boise, Idaho believed there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, investigators arrested three men on charges of having sex with teenage boys. The investigators claimed the arrests were just the tip of the iceberg-they said hundreds of boys were being abused as part of a child sex ring. There was no such ring, but the result was a widespread investigation which some people consider a witch hunt. By the time the investigation ended, 16 men were charged. Countless other lives were also touched.In some cases, men implicated fled the area. At least one actually left the country. The investigation attracted attention in newspapers across the nation, including Time Magazine. The “Morals Drive” left scars which remain to this day.

the fall of '55 

  • José Saramago’s novel “The Cave” features the Center, a vast multistoried shopping mall whose catalog runs to 55 volumes of 1,500 pages each, an entertainment complex offering Disneyland versions of virtual reality, and apartments, a hospital, a crematory and administrative headquarters.

 .

 .

In Transportation

  • Speed Limit
  • 55 was the highest speed limit allowed in the United States between 1974 and 1986 per the National Maximum Speed Law.

 55 speed limit sign

  • Yoshimura R-55 GP Style Slip-On Exhaust
  • The Yoshimura R-55 is a legendary exhaust building experience that gives the sportbike rider power in a lightweight, stylish package, using a tapered trapezoidal shape, finished off in either carbon fiber or stainless steel.

Yoshimura_R-55_GP_Style_Slip-On_Exhaust

  • The R-55 on the Kawasaki ZX-14R looks seamless and will weigh less than the ones that come stock.

 Kawasaki Ninja

. 

  • BMW K55
  • In 1991 BMW tuner Racing Dynamics of Italy produced a special version of the 8 Series dubbed the K55 Sport Coupe. The K55 5.5 Coupe was based on the 850i, powered by the 5.0-liter M70 that was stroked to 5.5 liters, new valves, camshafts lifters and intakes along with extrude honed heads. The one US version engine producing 475 bhp (354 kW; 482 PS) and the Euro version producing 401 bhp (299 kW).
  • 40 K55s were produced for the Euro market and one in the US.
  • In addition to engine modifications, The K55 offered a variety of body, suspensions, rear end options.

BMW k-55 

. 

  • Mercedes-Benz S-55
  • The S-Class is a series of luxury sedans produced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz, a division of German company Daimler AG.
  • The classification was officially introduced in 1972 with the W116 S-Class, which succeeded previous Mercedes-Benz models dating to the mid-1950s.
  • The S-Class has served as the flagship model for Mercedes for over fifty years in its various incarnations and has debuted many of the company’s latest innovations, including drivetrain technologies, interior features, and safety systems (such as the first seatbelt pre-tensioners).
  • The S-Class has ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan

 mercedes-benz-s55

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  • Mercedes Benz G55 AMG
  • The G-Wagen, or Gelandewagen as it is officially named, started out as a complete off roading machine. Mercedes-Benz built it for the German armed forces and as with any military vehicle, it was designed to take on the harshest of terrain and remain rather trouble free.
  • A civilian version was introduced a couple years after the G-Class first made its debut, and it too displayed the same level of ruggedness and ‘go anywhere’ ability.
  • The G Wagen has been around since the 70s and though it has received upgrades over the years, it still remains the ultimate off roading machine that is sought after by anyone and everyone who wishes to tour the world, go lion spotting in the Savannah or drive up Mount Everest!
  • The G-Wagen’s reliability has grown to legendary heights and it commands an imposing presence as it drives by.
  • There is no doubting the fan following garnered by the G Wagen over the years and in order to cater to the growing demand, Mercedes-Benz has toyed with the vehicle to make it more exciting and usher in a level of performance and sheer ludicrousness through their AMG subsidiary.
  • The latest incarnation of the G Wagen is the G55 AMG. Considered to be the most powerful G Class vehicle yet, it boasts of having performance figures that one would normally find associated with sportscars and it can still handle the rough.
Hamann_Typhoon_Mercedes_Benz_G55_AMG_4

Photo showing the Hamann Typhoon enhanced version of the Mercedes Benz G55 AMG

. 

  • Mitsubishi Jeep J55
  • In 1950 the Japanese wanted a prototype 4X4 trucks and other vehicles and in response by January 1951 Toyota had produced a prototype. Toyota based their design on the Bantam vehicle that had seen military action in Malaysia. At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4X4. For this reason Toyota called it’s prototype the Toyota Jeep. These became the FJ40 that Americans found to be a rugged and reliable off road vehicle.
  • However, largely unknown to those in North America, there was another strong contender to the legend, the Mitsubishi Jeep. Their design was based on the Willys Jeep, the vehicle ultimately selected for procurement by the National Police Reserve Forces, and in 1953 Mitsubishi secured the rights to build the Willys under their own name. Thus the Mitsubishi Jeep was born.
  • In the USA the Willys was built till 1965 but in Japan Mitsubishi had a good thing going so they kept the line in production till 1998.

Mitsubishi_Jeep_J-55 

.

. 

In militaria

  • HMS Suffolk (55)
  • HMS Suffolk (55) was a Royal Navy County class heavy cruiser and part of the Kent subclass. She was launched on 16 March 1926, and commissioned on 25 June 1928.
  • Like her sister ships, Suffolk served on the China Station until the outbreak of WWII when she returned to Europe and patrolled the Denmark Straits.
  • In April 1940 Suffolk participated in the Norwegian Campaign and arrived at Tórshavn to commence the British pre-emptive occupation of the Faroe Islands. On 14 April 1940 Suffolk sank the German tanker Skagerrak northwest of Bodø, Norway.
  • On 17 April 1940, Suffolk and four destroyers, HMS Kipling, HMS Juno, HMS Janus and HMS Hereward, were sent to bombard the airfield at Sola, Norway. The operation had little effect and the retaliation from German bombers severely damaged the aft of the ship, forcing her to return to Scapa Flow.
  • Suffolk was out of action from April 1940 until February 1941 while she was repaired at the Clyde.
  • During May 1941, as part of the 4th Cruiser Squadron, Suffolk was involved in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Suffolk had engaged the battleship twice during the battle, making several salvoes on her. Using her radar, Suffolk was able to track the Bismarck through the Denmark Strait and maintained contact long enough for other units to vector into Bismarck’s path.
  • After repairs Suffolk served with the Home Fleet in Arctic waters until the end of 1942, then underwent a refit between December 1942 and April 1943. On completion of this the ship was ordered to the Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean until the end of the war.
  • Suffolk was scrapped on 24 June 1948.

hms_suffolk_55 

. 

  • HMS Finisterre (D55)
  • HMS Finisterre (D55) was a Battle-class destroyer of the Royal Navy (RN). She was named after one of the battles of Cape Finisterre. Launched on the 22 June 1944 and commissioned on 11 September 1945.
  • She first joined the Home Fleet upon her commissioning. After duties in the Far East, Finisterre returned to the UK via the Mediterranean. In January 1950, she took part in the rescue attempt of the submarine HMS Truculent, which had sunk after colliding with a Swedish merchant ship Divina in the Thames Estuary. The collision had resulted in the loss of 64 of those on board. The following year Finisterre became the Gunnery Training Ship, based at Whale Island, Portsmouth as part of HMS Excellent.
  • In 1953, Finisterre took part in the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The following year Finisterre was placed in Reserve. After her sister-ship HMS Hogue collided with an Indian cruiser in 1959, Finisterre replaced her in the 1st Destroyer Squadron, based in the Far East. She was one of a number of Royal Navy ships stationed off Kuwait to keep the peace as the country gained its independence in 1961.
  • In 1965 she was sold for scrap.

 hms_finesterre r 55

. 

  • USS Aludra (AF-55)
  • The USS Aludra (AF-55) was an Alstede-class stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy and tasked to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.
  • Originally ordered as refrigerated cargo ship “SS Matchless” she was launched on 14 October 1944 and delivered to the United States Lines under a bare boat charter on 23 March 1945.
  • She operated in the Pacific Ocean during the final months of the war and during the first four years following Japan’s capitulation and then laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet berthing area at Bay Minette, Alabama.
  • She was reactivated in November 1950, as the result of an expansion of the Fleet to meet its greatly increased responsibilities because of the United Nations decision to oppose communist aggression in Korea. Renamed Aludra on 16 January 1951, she was assigned to Service Squadron 3, Service Force, Pacific Fleet and took up the tasks of supporting Task Force (TF) 77 in strikes along the east coast of Korea and TF 72 in patrols in the East China Sea and off Formosa.
  • Ending her first deployment to the western Pacific, she returned to San Francisco, California, on 4 May 1953. Thereafter, for more than 16 years, she alternated operations on the west coast of the United States with tours in the Far East resupplying ships serving in the Orient. Among the highlights of her service was her participation in Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of thousands of Vietnamese refugees from communist-controlled areas of Vietnam after that country had been partitioned in 1954.
  • The ship again visited Vietnamese waters in March 1965 and, for a bit over three and one-half years thereafter, devoted most of her efforts to supporting American warships fighting aggression there. She left that war-torn country for the last time on 19 April 1969 and headed—via Sasebo, Japan—for home.
  • Aludra was decommissioned on 12 September 1969 and withdrawn from the reserve fleet on 19 January 1977 for stripping by the Navy prior to sale. She was purchased from MARAD by Sea World Processors Inc., for non-transportation use, 16 November 1977 and delivered, 16 February 1978. In 1981 she was burned and scuttled.

USS_Aludra_(AF-55) 

. 

  • USS Valcour (AVP-55)
  • USS Valcour (AVP-55), later AGF-1, was commissioned on 5 July 1946 as a seaplane tender from 1946 to 1965 and as a flagship from 1965 to 1973. She was the last of the 35 Barnegat-class ships to commission.
  • Valcour was designated as flagship for the Commander, Middle Eastern Force (ComMidEastFor) and served in the Middle East from 5 September 1950 to 15 March 1951.
  • On the morning of 14 May 1951, two months after she returned to Norfolk from her second Middle East tour, Valcour suffered a steering casualty and power failure and collided with another vessel. An intense fire broke out aboard Valcour causing the commanding officer, Captain Eugene Tatom, to order abandon ship. Eleven men died, 16 more were injured and another 25 were listed as “missing”, later to be confirmed as dead.
  • After an extensive overhaul and improvements, and from 1952–1965 she rotated yearly between the United States and the Middle East.
  • In January 1972 Valcour was for inactivationand  was decommissioned on 15 January 1973. On 1 May 1977, the U.S. Navy sold Valcour for scrapping.

 USS Valcour AVP-55

.

  • Kh-55 (missile family)
  • The Kh-55 is a Soviet/Russian air-launched cruise missile, designed by MKB Raduga. It has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads. Kh-55 is launched exclusively from bomber aircraft and has spawned a number of conventionally armed variants mainly for tactical use, such as the Kh-65SE and Kh-SD, but only the Kh-101 and Kh-555 appear to have made it into service. Contrary to popular belief, the Kh-55 was not the basis of the submarine- and ground-launched RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’ and SSC-X-4 ‘Slingshot’).
  • A Kh-55 production unit was delivered to Shanghai in 1995 and appears to have been used to produce a similar weapon for China.

Kh-55 Cruise Missile

 . 

  • RK-55 Granat
  • The Novator RK-55 Granat was a Soviet land-based cruise missile with a nuclear warhead.
  • It was about to enter service in 1987 when such weapons were banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • A version launched from submarine torpedo tubes, the S-10 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’;GRAU:3M10), has apparently been converted to carry conventional warheads and continues in service to this day.
  • The RK-55 is very similar to the air-launched Kh-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’) but the Kh-55 has a drop-down turbofan engine[3] and was designed by MKB Raduga. Both have formed the basis of post-Cold-War missiles, in particular the 3M-54 Klub (SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’) which has a supersonic approach phase.

 RK55 Granat

.

  • 55th Fighter Squadron
  • The 55th Fighter Squadron was originally organized as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. By November 1917 the squadron was deployed to Issoudun, France. It was demobilized on 6 March 1919, following the end of WWI, but was reactivated in November 1930, at Mather Field, California.
  • At the beginning of World War II, the 55th continued to train aviators for squadrons in Europe and the Pacific. In May 1942, it was redesignated a fighter squadron and operated from several locations in the United States.
  • The 55th was deployed in Europe in August 1943, operating from RAF Wittering, England, and flew 175 combat missions. With the rest of the 20th Fighter Group, the 55th flew daily strafing, long-range-patrol and bomber-escort missions. In June, they provided air cover during the massive allied invasion of Normandy.
  • The 55th also performed escort and fighter-bomber missions supporting the Allied advance through Central Europe and the Rhineland. In December 1945, they took part in the Battle of the Bulge, escorting bombers to the battle area.
  • The 55th was demobilized on 18 October 1945, after the end of WWII, but was reactivated on 29 July 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas.
  • The 55th entered the jet age in February 1948, with the F-84G Thunderjet. In January 1950, and was redesignated the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron returned to England at RAF Wethersfield in June 1952, where it was redesignated the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron and then moved to RAF Upper Heyford in June 1970. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 55th participated in countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. exercises and operations, which directly contributed to containment of Soviet threats to Europe.
  • In January 1991, elements of the 55th deployed to Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. They flew more than 144 sorties, amassing 415 combat hours without a loss. These missions neutralized key facilities throughout northern Iraq and helped to liberate Kuwait and stabilize the region. The squadron was inactivated in December 1993.
  • It was transferred and reactivated on 1 January 1994, to its present home, Shaw Air Force Base, flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In July 1996, the squadron transferred its aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, and stood down.
  • In July 1997, the 55th made history when it stood up as a combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days. It has since made numerous deployments to Southwest Asia, continuing to contain the Iraqi threat. In the meantime, the squadron has earned awards and recognition, including the David C. Schilling Award in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Air Force Association Citation of Honor.
  • In the summer of 2000, the 55th deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Northern Watch. It followed that deployment with Operation Southern Watch in the fall of 2001, and in the winter of 2002, deployed again in support of Operation Northern Watch. Most recently the 55th deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2008.

55th_Fighter_Squadron

.

  • Lockheed Martin X-55
  • The Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) is an experimental twin jet engined transport aircraft intended to demonstrate new cargo-carrier capabilities using advanced composites. It is a project of the United States Air Force’s Air Force Research Laboratory, and was built by the international aerospace company Lockheed Martin, at its Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works) facility in Palmdale, California.

.Lockheed_Martin_X-55_ACCA_001

.

  • The T-55 tank
  • The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of medium tanks that were designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just as the Second World War ended. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world’s armed conflicts during the late 20th and early 21st century.
  • The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000. They were replaced by the T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 in the Soviet and Russian Armies, but remain in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting.
  • Soviet tanks never directly faced their NATO Cold War adversaries in Europe. However, the T-54/55′s first appearance in the West in 1960 spurred the United States to develop the M60 Patton.

t55 tank

.

  • K55 SPG Self-Propelled Gun
  • Since 1985 when it entered service, and until recently, when it has been replaced by the more miodern K9 Thunder platform, the South Korean Army relied on the K55.
  • It was a localized development of the US military’s M109A2 Paladin SPG family, license-produced by Samsung Techwin / Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA).
  • Over 1,100 (1,180) of the type were procured by the South Korean government, supplying the Army with a long range, heavy hitter capable of lobbing conventional, chemical and nuclear shells at any potential enemies – namely North Korea.
  • The 25-ton K55 borrowed much from the American M109 including its conventional design consisting of an armored tracked chassis and boxy turret superstructure. The vehicle is crewed by six personnel and primary armament is a 155mm main gun of 30 caliber length. Defense is through 1 x 12.7mm K6 heavy machine gun. Power is served through a Detroit Diesel 8V-71T turbocharged, diesel-fueled engine of 450 horsepower. Maximum road speed across ideal surfaces is 56 kmh. The main gun can supply a rate-of-fire of 4 shots per minute while targeting is through manual means. A full ammunition load aboard the K55 is 36 projectiles.
  • The K55 entered a modernization program in 1994, producing the K55A1 designation.
  • The newer 47-ton K9 Thunder formally entered service in 1999 and is crewed by five personnel, carried 48 projectiles and features a rate-of-fire of 6 shots per minute with manual or automatic targeting. Additionally, the powerplant provides road speeds of up to 66 kph.

K55_155mm_self-propelled_howitzer_tracked_armoured_vehicle_South_Korea_Korean_army_001

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.

Other stuff

  • 55 is the code for international direct dial phone calls to Brazil
  • 55 gallon is a standard size for a drum container
  • Gazeta 55, an Albanian newspaper
  • An Emerald wedding anniversary celebrates 55 years.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress was assigned Lot #55 at the Christie’s Auction on October 27, 1999.  It sold for a record price for a dress— $1,267,500. 

Marilyn Monroe birthday dress

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.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I talked before about the bureaucrat’s insatiable desire to make things more difficult, awkward and expensive for legitimate businesses in America and Europe. That’s all they know how to do. I’ve also said before that introducing ever more taxes and regulations on bricks & mortar businesses would not be enough. They would have to try to destroy businesses operating online as well.

Well that latter attempt at destroying what is left of American entrepreneurship moved up another notch this week when the US Senate passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act”.

online sales tax cartoon

 

I’ll come back to that in a moment, but the title of this latest piece of needless bureaucratic interference illustrates perfectly once again the deceitfulness of the politicians and bureaucrats.

The “Marketplace Fairness Act” is not about “fairness”. It is not about leveling the playing field between those businesses operating online and those on the proverbial “High Street”. Anyone who tells you that is lying. (Really, a politician lying? Whatever next?)

fairness

 

Like all similar legislation, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” is about control; about making life more difficult for people who want to do business; and, not least, about trying to extort the last penny out of your pocket in the form of taxes.

I say “your” pocket, because at the end of the day businesses have to pass their increased costs on to the final consumer and that my friends is us!

Yes, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” has just been passed by the US Senate. As these things do, it still has to pass through the House of Representatives as well, and it will, if not on the first attempt on subsequent ones. Have you ever seen a stupid bad law that wasn’t pushed through by fair means or foul?

What the “Marketplace Fairness Act” does is to impose sales taxes for business transactions or sales done online. In other words, when you buy something from an online retailer, or a retailer with an online facility, you will be subject to the addition of a sales tax.

In the simplest terms, for you, the consumer, this Bill means that your bills will be bigger – you will have to pay more! For the business operating online it means more bureaucracy, more forms to fill out, more tax filings to be done – in short more hassle.

But for the government it means more money to be squandered on another war or on the next idiotic idea that Washington can think of.

Internet_Sales_Tax

 

And another unfairness that the Marketplace Fairness Act will create is that online businesses operating outside the United States will be laughing their tax free socks off.

You see this law will not – cannot – apply to foreign companies who do business online and sell to US-based consumers.

Why? Because the US authorities have no practical way to enforce it, and because businesses in foreign countries couldn’t care less about enforcing it, nor will their governments.

Do you seriously think for one moment that either businesses or governments in, for example, China, or India, or even Mexico are going to waste their time collecting sales tax for Uncle Sam?

So if I was setting up an online business would I still do it in America? I think you know the answer.

You could be forgiven for asking whether these dumb politicians and bureaucrats are really trying to make America a better place or just trying to destroy it!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Time for another selection of fascinating facts. How you use these is up to you, but some of them may well come in handy sometime.

Enjoy.

.

did you know

.

Every year Alaska has about 5,000 earthquakes,

1,000 of which measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale

 Alaska_earthquakes.

.

There are approximately 7,000 feathers on an eagle

– even a bald one!

bald_eagle

.

. 

The average person changes their career every 13 years

career change

.

The total mileage driven by all U-Haul trucks in a year

is enough to move a person from the Earth to the moon

five times a day for an entire year

U-Haul Truck

.

. 

Scientists with high-speed cameras have discovered

that rain drops are not tear shaped

but rather look like hamburger buns.

rain-drop-shape-diagram

.

. 

570 gallons of paint would be needed to paint the outside of the White House

– make that 570 gallons of white paint

Whitehouse South Facade

.

. 

Tiger Woods is the first athlete to has been named

“Sportsman of the Year”

by magazine Sports Illustrated two times

Tiger-Woods

.

. 

In 1996, toy company Mattel released a “Harley Davidson” Barbie.

This dolls distinctive feature is a birth mark on her face

that changes position with every new release of the doll

barbie_harley

.

. 

In the Sahara Desert there is a town named Tidikelt,

which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years

Tidikelt_map

.

. 

The most senior crayon maker Emerson Moser

retired after making 1.4 billion crayons for Crayola.

It was then that he revealed that he was actually colorblind

Emerson Moser

.

. 

There are mirrors on the moon.

Astronauts left them so that laser beams could be bounced off of them from Earth.

These beams help give us the distance to the moon give or take a few meters.

lunar mirror

.

. 

Tobacco kills more Americans each year

than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide,

suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined

tobacco-kills-more-americans-each-year-than-alcohol

.

. 

The oldest bird on record was Cocky, a cockatoo, who lived in London Zoo.

He ceased being Cocky at the age of 82.

 Cockatoo_Moluccan

.

.

There were 13 couples celebrating their honeymoon on the Titanic

titanic

.

. 

In July 1874, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts flew over Nebraska

covering an area estimated at 198,600 square miles.

It is estimated that the swarm contained about 12.5 trillion insects.

These insects became extinct thirty years later

In-July-1874-2C-a-swarm-of-Rocky-Mountain-locusts-flew-over-Nebraska-covering-an-area-estimated-at-198-2C600-square-miles.-It-is-estimated-that-the-swarm-contained-about-12.5-trillion-insects

.

. 

Honorificabilitudinitatibus

is the longest English word that consists strictly

of alternating consonants and vowels

Honorificabilitudinitatibus

.

. 

In Haiti, only 1 out of every 200 people own a car which is ironic

considering approximately 33% of the country’s budget on imports

is spent on equipment for fuel and transportation.

streets-of-port-au-prince-port-au-prince-haiti

.

. 

The largest diamond found in the United States was a 40.23 carat white diamond.

It was found in 1924 at Murfreesboro, Arkansas at the Prairie Creek pipe mine,

which later became known as the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

The diamond was named “Uncle Sam” after the nickname of its finder,

Wesley Oley Basham, a worker at the Arkansas Diamond Corporation.

uncle sam diamond

.

. 

In 1903 Mary Anderson invented the windshield wipers

mary_anderson

.

. 

The song with the longest title is

“I’m a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank

on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama

Doin’ Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o,

Hirohito Blues”

written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1945.

He later claimed the song title ended with ‘Yank’ and the rest was a joke


. 

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 .

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Yes folks, sadly, the idiots have invaded the state organizations in Florida too.

And they are doing what they do best  -  inflicting needless misery on ordinary decent people.

This time the victim is a teenage girl, Kiera Wilmot, who has been expelled from her school and was arrested and charged with causing a totally harmless “explosion” by mixing household products in a plastic bottle.

The incident happened when she and another pupil of the school, mixed up some common household products in a plastic bottle – having heard that something amusing might result.

They did it outdoors on school premises. The resulting “blast” was not even sufficient to rupture the plastic bottle, merely popping off the top and generating some smoke.

Unfortunately for the luckless teenager, however, an idiot was at hand in the form of an assistant principal. He called the police and idiot number two, the responding officer, phoned idiot number three, a state prosecutor (named in the police report as Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty).

Isn’t it strange they way they all know each other – there must be a Secret Idiot Network, a bit like the Masons, that you are asked to join when you are deemed to be stupid enough!

Idiot three, the Assistant State Attorney, also known as a “R-Q’er” or “Regulation Quoter”, advised that Kiera be charged with “possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school sponsored event or on school property” and “making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging any destructive device”.

As a result, local education officials (idiots 4 thru whatever), decided that Kiera had to be expelled from school.

Now the poor girl will have to try to complete her education in an “expulsion program”, and faces the future stigma of a serious criminal conviction.

In case you are wondering, Kiera’s killer cocktail consisted of nothing more than toilet cleaner and aluminum foil, so if you have either or both of these in your home  -  and I bet you do  -  then I guess if the wrong idiot came along he could charge you with having bomb-making materials! Never mind, they say the weather is nice and warm at Guantanimo.

Prior to her career as a bomb-maker, Kiera had never been in trouble. Even her school principle, Ron Pritchard, told WTSP News, “She is a good kid. She has never been in trouble before. Ever.”

Ron, in my opinion, you would be a lot better off getting rid of that idiot assistant of yours who started all this nonsense, rather than a good student.

.

If, having read this, you feel the urge to help Kiera, there is an online petition addressed to several relevant local officials that says:

Please, do the right thing. Drop these charges and apologize for the incredible turmoil you have created.

To go to the petition please click here

.

Remember, as I say at the start of every post, we have to “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”. Otherwise one day they might be coming for YOU!

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.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

This is a story about the unexpected. It is set in a military context because that is how it actually happened. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, or perhaps in this case, to hide their embarrassment. But the story is true.

It happened many years ago in a land far, far away.

To set the scene, six men had managed to infiltrate into enemy territory and so were operating behind enemy lines. It was a dangerous place to be, of that there was no doubt. Any trace of them being uncovered would have meant capture by the opposing forces and at the very least a spell in prison – and probably a lot worse.

So the underlying tension was real and obvious. Everyone was on edge, always ready for the unexpected.

.

Of course, when I say, ‘always ready for the unexpected’, as well as being a bit of cliché, it is also a silly expression.

What you are really ready for when you think you are ready for the ‘unexpected’, are things that you ‘expect’ may happen. In this case that might have meant a civilian passing by ‘unexpectedly’, or an unscheduled enemy military patrol suddenly surfacing in the vicinity.

All of these things were the ‘unexpected’ that they were expecting might possibly happen and were ready for in so far as they had contingency plans made.

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Back to the story.

The six men were split into three groups of two. They were dressed in civilian clothes, as workmen, so as not to look out of place should anyone see them when they were traveling to and from their destination.

Their task was to rendezvous at a certain predetermined point, groups two and three liaising with two sets of local people who they would lead to the meeting point. The task of the first group was to check out and secure the meeting place, and to open an entry point for the others.

The area that had been chosen was in a large fenced and gated complex that had been more or less abandoned. The lead group, who had acquired a non descript car, went directly there to check out the area and then to open a way in for the others who needed to be able to drive straight in and out of sight of the road when they arrived at the appointed hour.

The two men in the lead group arrived in good time and without challenge or incident. They made sure there was nothing out of the ordinary in the general area and then proceeded to the entry point.

pouring coffee from a flask

As a cover for what they were really doing, one of the men started to prepare a lunch – just coffee and sandwiches – that he had brought with him. Carefully, and where anyone could see them, he laid out the lunch boxes on the roof of the car, along with a flask and two plastic cups. They were simple workers who had stopped for a bite to eat and anyone passing by would be able to see clearly what they were doing. Nothing out of the ordinary or suspicious about that. 

The other guy in the team, using the cover of the parked car, was busy removing the lock and chains from the gate, which he managed to do quickly and without any difficulty.

gate

Although the whole thing had an air of calm and normality, the two men knew where they were and the risks involved and were therefore suitably tense as a result.

The guy drinking the coffee and eating the sandwich was doing so whilst keeping a careful watch on everything happening around him, including how his colleague was fairing with the gate.

Then the unexpected, unexpected unexpectedly happened.

As his colleague opened the gate it made a few creaking noises, but it opened okay and he began to push it back to leave the way open for the others who would soon be arriving in their vans.

Just as the gate reached 90 degrees from its closed position, suddenly, without any warning whatever, there was a loud rustling noise in the long grass behind it.

The guy standing beside it froze.

The unexpected he had been trained to expect was an enemy soldier secreted in the long grass waiting to ambush him and his colleague. But this was something else.

Again before he had time to react, whatever it was bounded out of the grass, first directly towards him and then making an almost instant left turn and disappearing. The suddenness of the movement towards him made him start. He lost his balance and fell backwards on to the ground, his unusual movement startling his colleague at the car.

startled falling backwards

There was coffee everywhere but in the cups, and sandwiches everywhere but in the lunchbox, as guy number two instinctively abandoned his meal and took cover behind the car, reaching for his weapon at the same time.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” the man at the gate told him urgently, but in a loud whisper, scared that he would open fire and alert anyone within hearing distance.

“WTF is it?” the man at the car asked back, equally urgently, in an equally loud whisper.

“I don’t know, an animal, just an animal,” came the reply. “I think it was a hare or something like that.”

“FFS you idiot, you scared the shit out of me, and I damn nearly shot at whatever it was. How could you fall on your ass because of a hare?”

There was no reply. None was needed. Time was pressing and they soon gathered their wits again – and what was left of the sandwiches.

Soon the others arrived. The rest of the mission, whatever it was, went without further incident and when it was done they all left as if they had never been there.  

Even the best trained men and the best laid plans can never cater for the truly unexpected, unexpected.

And in case you are wondering, the answer is ‘Yes’, from that day on the poor bloke was subjected to ‘hare on his ass’ jokes – which I suppose was to be expected! 

the enemy

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
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I did a short series a few months back about some of the stupid laws stupid politicians had made. They were quite funny and most of them dated back many years, they just hadn’t been taken off the statute books.

That excused the old laws, maybe.

But they are still at it even today!

I know that you shouldn’t expect too much when a group of uninformed and irresponsible people go out and vote to elect a smaller group of uninformed and irresponsible politicians, while most people stay at home. But we call that democracy these days. And in what passes for normal times you can get away with it.

economic-crisis

But these are not normal times we are living in. America, and most of the western world, is in desperate trouble economically. We need help from our politicians.

Help to stimulate economic growth; help to make it easier to do business in and from the US; help to protect us from cheap inferior crap being imported that has destroyed local jobs and industries; help for entrepreneurs to establish new wealth generating businesses; and help from the socialist bureaucratic nightmare that is completely out of hand.

As regard the stupid laws, these days most of them center around ways that bankrupt governments, whether national or local, can think up to extract more and more from the people who elected them.

internet-tax-increase

Currently US bureaucrats are frantically trying to think up another way to tax the internet. Previous attempts failed because of public outcry, but sooner or later they will do it and who will it help? Everybody who isn’t in business in America and the EU probably, because it won’t apply anywhere else!

The mantra of these idiot bureaucrats is to make America more productive and prosperous by making America less competitive and poorer. It sits nicely with their other mantra of solving economic woes by extracting more and more tax from less and less income. Neither works and never will.

Maryland Welcome

What prompted this rant? 

Well only the unbelievable fact that the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.

What????

Tax what????

Yes, you read it right, the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.

They call it by a fancy name, of course, the “Impervious Surfaces tax”, or ”storm water management fee”, but what it in effect does is to charge Maryland residents for rainwater that falls on their property.

rain tax

Naturally, the bureaucrats are dressing up this latest money grab with the lie that it is for the benefit of the people. It’s bit like a pick pocket excusing his theft by saying he was relieving you of the burden of carrying your wallet around in your coat pocket. And it makes just as much sense!

Thankfully, however, there seems to be a few with a working brain left in local government. Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, for example, vetoed the tax proposal which unfortunately won’t kill it, but will give a little bit of breathing space.

But if the residents of Maryland are “chicken” enough to fall in line with this new tax – and so far it seems most of them have been dumb enough not to even notice it at all – then it won’t be the end of it.

martin-omalley

Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who guided the passage of the storm water tax earlier this month, despite efforts from Republicans to dismantle the bill, has already been responsible for implementing 37 other taxes and fees since taking office — at a cost to residents estimated at somewhere in the region of $3.1 billion annually.

Does anyone really think an idiot like this is going to let the people have air and sunshine for free???

 tax tax and more tax

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The original title of this post was “Farting On Airplanes” because it is really about farting on airplanes, but I thought it might be better just to call it “It’s An Ill Wind”.

No, come on, now you know don’t turn your noses up, or pretend this is something that (a) you’ve never thought about, or (b) never done. Farting on airplanes is an international phenomenon that transcends all nationalities, religions, ages, creeds, classes and colors.

It is in fact the common bond of all the world’s travelers.

Whether it can ever bring us closer together, however, is another thing (Phew!)

longer larger fart plane

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This is a quite embarrassing story. Not something one would normally admit to, but people write unusual things on blogs.

It concerns one of the first long haul flights that I was ever on.

Nowadays, as a seasoned flyer, I always have a good meal before the flight. I don’t suffer from air sickness of any kind and I don’t care for the stuff they call airline food. Back then, however, I was a novice and ended up on board without any breakfast other than a cup of coffee. My stomach was empty – of food anyhow.

All was well for about twenty or thirty minutes and then it started.

The obvious solution would have been to get up and go to the toilet. But easy options aren’t the way I have gone through life so far.

Also it was a big plane, a 747, and the toilets were quite a bit away from my seat. I would face a long walk down the narrow aisle.

Not that the walk itself was the problem. It was just that whoever designs airline seats has arranged things so that the nose and ears of the person sitting down is just about at the same height as the bottom of the person walking casually past.

You see the predicament?

In any case, I found myself in a window seat with two other seats to negotiate before I got to the aisle. Such was the pressure building up that I feared the exertion of hopping over the additional seats would make the whole purpose of the journey somewhat redundant.

There was nothing for it but to stay where I was, with the unfortunate choice being either bursting or releasing some of the pressure. Not unnaturally I chose to do the latter option.

As these things go it was a substantial outcome. But the drone of the plane engines (they were a lot louder in those days, I think, I hope, weren’t they?) seemed to drown out any other background noises.

I didn’t hear a thing.

I double checked by having a quick look at the person unfortunate enough to be sitting beside me, but there was no sign in the expression on his face that anything untoward had happened. Either that or he was a professional poker player with a practiced deadpan expression – or in a state of semi consciousness as a result of the concussive force emanating from the seat beside him.

My confidence grew. I thought of the famous campfire scene from Blazing Saddles and let a few more go in tribute.

Farting Mid Flight

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I was so happy at the relief and at the fact that all was undetected that I allowed myself a triumphant smile, and then even a laugh. The movie I was watching was a comedy so my laughter didn’t look out of place either.

It was all good.

Hang on a minute.

All was not as good as it seemed.

Cut the laughter and cue serious worried face.

I suddenly realized that all this time I had been wearing the headphones the flight attendant had given us for the movies they were showing. No wonder I had heard nothing!

Oh dear me! What had I done?

Well, I knew what I had done, of course. The big question now was, did anyone else know? Had they heard me doing it?

I looked again at the man in the seat beside me. Again no perceivable reaction on his face that indicated that anything out of the ordinary had happened, although now I was aware of them I saw that he too was wearing the headphones.   

I was relieved a bit, but still very curious. And when I get curious about something I have to try to find an answer.

So there was nothing for it but let rip again, this time with my headphones off.

And that’s what I did.

Thankfully, in the interests of the scientific experiment now under way, the quality of the offending item had not diminished in force. A guy knows about these things even without any audio feedback.

To my great relief, in every meaning of the word, I still didn’t hear a thing. The drone of the airplane engines had indeed drowned out any other sounds.

It was a magnificently liberating experience and from that day on I have never looked back, as it were.

Further experimentation revealed that the same undetectable result could be achieved even on much smaller airplanes. Commercial jets I’m talking about, of course, this is not a sport to indulge in on a single engined Cesna or something like that.

I also found out that it is possible I have been saving the airlines lucky enough to win my custom a small fortune. As you know the air in airplanes these days is all re-circulated and, as the methane content of a fart is lighter than air, the captured gas therefore contributes to keeping the airplane airborne with a consequent saving on fuel. That’s my story anyhow.

farting in airplanes

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And the good news just keeps on coming.

Independent research confirms that a person’s sense of smell is greatly suppressed in the reduced cabin air pressure, which incidentally is also why airplane food tastes so bad. 

So now if you are on an airplane and sitting beside someone who is chuckling to himself – or herself, yes ladies your secret is out – you’ll know the real reason why!

One day it might even be me!!!

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