People, Places And Probably More – Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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People and places feature a lot in today’s quiz so if you’re good at those then you are in with a good chance of scoring well.

You will also find out what the CIA has been up to with your tax dollars. Makes you proud!

As usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1.  A ‘Beluga’ is a type of what?

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Q.  2. In what country did the game of ‘Chess’ originate?

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Q.  3.  In 1983 the District of Columbia petitioned to become a state, if the petition had been successful what was the new state to be called?

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Q.  4.  The popular ‘Volkswagen Beetle’ car was developed under whose direction?

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Q.  5.  What drug did the CIA hand out in order to bribe warlords in Afghanistan?

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Q.  6.  What began as a winter resort for the British aristocracy in the late 1700s and now hosts 50% of the world’s super yachts every year?

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Q.  7.  What two men wrote the first and the final drafts of the American Declaration of Independence? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  8.  What percentage of the water on Earth is saltwater?

            a)  17%          b) 37%          c) 57%          d)  77%          e) 97%

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Q.  9.  What mountain range is sometimes known as “The Backbone Of England” ?

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Q. 10.  What was the last major landmass on earth to be populated by humans?

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Q. 11.  What is the name given to a young female cow that has not given birth?

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Q. 12.  What famous gourmet insured his taste buds for £250,000 in 1993?

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Q. 13.  ‘Duplicatus’, ‘intortus’ and ‘perlucidus’ are among the varieties of what?

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Q. 14.  What well known city in Australia used to be known as ‘Batmania’ ?

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Q. 15.  What King of England was famous for having six wives?

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Q. 16.  And how many of his six wives did this King have executed? (A bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

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Q. 17.  What is the more common name for the fictional character ‘Kal-El’ and where is he supposed to be from? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 18.  What is the famous steeplechase horse race run at Aintreee in Liverpool, England every year?

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Q. 19.  What well known classical music composer has the initials ‘W.A.M.’ ?

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Q. 20.  And finally for today another name. Columbo is one of the most famous ever detectives to appear on television but what is his first name?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1.  A ‘Beluga’ is a type of what?

A.  1.  Whale.

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Q.  2. In what country did the game of ‘Chess’ originate?

A.  2. Chess originated in India during the Gupta Empire (almost 1,400 years ago)

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Q.  3.  In 1983 the District of Columbia petitioned to become a state, if the petition had been successful what was the new state to be called?

A.  3.  New Columbia.

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Q.  4.  The popular ‘Volkswagen Beetle’ car was developed under whose direction?

A.  4.  Volkswagen Beetles were developed by Hitler because he wanted to manufacture a cheap, affordable car for his roadways.

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Q.  5.  What drug did the CIA hand out in order to bribe warlords in Afghanistan?

A.  5.  Viagra.

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Q.  6.  What began as a winter resort for the British aristocracy in the late 1700s and now hosts 50% of the world’s super yachts every year?

A.  6.  The French Riviera.

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Q.  7.  What two men wrote the first and the final drafts of the American Declaration of Independence? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  7.  Benjamin Franklin actually wrote the first Declaration of Independence. Eventually, however, Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the final draft.

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Q.  8.  What percentage of the water on Earth is saltwater?

            a)  17%          b) 37%          c) 57%          d)  77%          e) 97%

A.  8.  The correct answer is e) 97%.

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Q.  9.  What mountain range is sometimes known as “The Backbone Of England” ?

A.  9.  The Pennines.

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Q. 10.  What was the last major landmass on earth to be populated by humans?

A. 10.  New Zealand.

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Q. 11.  What is the name given to a young female cow that has not given birth?

A. 11.  It is known as a heifer.

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Q. 12.  What famous gourmet insured his taste buds for £250,000 in 1993?

A. 12.  Egon Ronay.

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Q. 13.  ‘Duplicatus’, ‘intortus’ and ‘perlucidus’ are among the varieties of what?

A. 13.  They are all the names of clouds (cirrus duplicatus, cirrus intortus and altocumulus perlucidus to be more precise.)

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Q. 14.  What well known city in Australia used to be known as ‘Batmania’ ?

A. 14.  The city of Melbourne used to be called ‘Batmania’.

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Q. 15.  What King of England was famous for having six wives?

A. 15.  Henry VIII.

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Q. 16.  And how many of his six wives did this King have executed? (A bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

A. 16.  Henry VIII had two of his wives executed, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

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Q. 17.  What is the more common name for the fictional character ‘Kal-El’ and where is he supposed to be from? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 17.  His more common name is Superman and hs home planet is Krypton.

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Q. 18.  What is the famous steeplechase horse race run at Aintreee in Liverpool, England every year?

A. 18.  It is called the ‘Grand National’.

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Q. 19.  What well known classical music composer has the initials ‘W.A.M.’

A. 19.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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Q. 20.  And finally for today another name. Columbo is one of the most famous ever detectives to appear on television but what is his first name?

A. 20.  His first name is “Frank”. It can be seen on his police ID, for example, in the 1971 episode “Dead Weight”, when Columbo introduces himself to General Hollister. So now you know!

Columbo-Signature2-bright

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Twitter Treasure

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Twitter logo transparent

Twitter is a good invention. It’s easy and fun. Much less demanding and intrusive than Facebook. So much so that many millions of people, from the famous to ordinary people like you and I, use it every day.

On the back of that success the Twitter company is doing very well. But recently it did even better when its shares jumped four per cent in a matter of minutes.

It all happened after a buyout story appeared on the internet that claimed that Twitter had received a significant offer. It started off, “Twitter is working closely with bankers after receiving an offer to be bought out for $31 billion…”

fake-twitter-story

Investors piled in. And not just the amateurs, lots of the ‘professional’ Wall Street guys too.

The trouble was, however, that the internet story was on a bogus web site and was completely fake. The site was called “bloomberg.market”. It was not “Bloomberg.com” the official name of the web presence for the Bloomberg financial organization.

“Bloomberg.market” was what they call a ‘mirror’ of the genuine “Bloomberg.com” website. Whoever designed “bloomberg.market” set it up to look like “Bloomberg.com”. They copied real headlines and linked them back to the real dot-com website. With one exception: the fake Twitter story, which was dressed up to look like a legitimate webpage.

The spike in the Twitter share price only lasted about 15 minutes before Bloomberg denounced the story as fake and the share price dropped back to its previous level. But 15 minutes is a long time in the world of finance and plenty of time for someone to profit substantially from the scam.

spike in the Twitter share price

No one yet knows who owns the dot-market domain – except the people who own it, of course –  but it was registered just days before the scam message, using a proxy service called “WhoisGuard”, based in Panama, that protects registrant details by offering its own address and contact numbers. But the details of “WhoisGuard” on its own website at “WhoisGuard.com” also appear to be fake, listing a telephone number that is disconnected. Emails to their contact address have not received a response either.

The significance of this incident is not that some greedy and stupid people lost money rushing to buy Twitter shares on the back of this fake announcement.

The problem is that so many new dot word domains have recently been allowed – hundreds of them in fact – that the whole internet is becoming bloated and confusing. And expensive.

If you are a company that wants to protect your online identity and integrity it could now cost you tens of thousands of dollars to cover all the permutations. Not many companies, even huge affairs like Bloomberg, will choose to do that.

That leaves the way wide open for cyber criminals to take advantage of gullible internet users.

I am certain they will.

Like the Twitter announcement, it’s just too good a deal to refuse.

online-scam_gullible-investor-cartoon

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I’ve Heard Of A Plane Going Missing – But An Entire Airport???

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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lost

Bureaucrats lose things because they are incompetent and stupid.

We all know that.

My posts on the debacle at the US government’s Office of Personnel Management, where they lost over 21 million records of government employees and those who had applied for government jobs, was a good example.

I though at the time I read about this and did my blog posts that this would be a tough one to beat as regards stupidity and incompetence.

I was wrong.

Shannon-airport-building-2008

 

Enter the Irish.

Irish bureaucrats have lost an entire airport.

And it only cost them €27 million  to do it.

A bargain one might think in terms of bureaucratic faux pas.

Up until last week you could find Ireland’s Shannon Airport, in Shannon, County Clare.

Sounds logical enough. If I was looking for Shannon Airport, Shannon is the first place I would look for it. They have had an airport there for over seventy years.

Now, however, after the introduction of Ireland’s new €27 million postcode system, the ‘Eircode’, you can now find Shannon Airport in – wait for it – a different county, County Limerick.

mapofcountiesofireland

If that isn’t funny enough, the system also has a ‘mapping’ option which the bureaucrats say can identify the exact latitude and longitude of 2.2 million individual addresses. They’ll most likely be in the wrong latitude and longitude, but at least you know exactly how wrong the location is.

Naturally there are other problems with the ‘Eircode’ postcode system, ranging from other incorrect addresses to data protection concerns, but the airport one is the star of the show.

In typical bureaucratic fashion, despite the fact that the whole thing is an almighty mess, Communications Minister Alex White defended the new national system.

He even claimed it would make postal deliveries much easier in the long run – the ‘long run’ presumably referring to the distance traveled by your mail going to the wrong delivery address and confused users of the system going to all the wrong places.

Communications Minister Alex White

Not only do the bewildered Irish users of this new system get wrong addresses for their €27 million, but they are only allowed a miserable fifteen searches per day, meaning you would need to persevere with it for more than a week if you were organizing a big event, like a wedding or anniversary do.

There is an option to search for more wrong addresses but the fee for that dubious privilege is between €60 and €180 a year, depending on the number of searches performed.

Good luck with selling that too!

Now where did I put the milk for my coffee?

Ah yes, in the garage next door.

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America Just Can’t Make It Anymore.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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USA industrial economy

The statement in the title is not true, except that it is.

If you are a little confused stay with me and let me clarify.

The United States used to be the industrial power house of the world. Its industries generated unprecedented wealth for the country, creating the world’s first self-made billionaires and productive wealth creating jobs galore for everyone. The whole country prospered.

Today, however, the United States has become the world’s second biggest importer of goods. Worse than that, even though America still exports billions of dollars’ worth in oil, consumer goods and automotive products, it imports even more. This creates a trade deficit ($471 billion according to recent figures).

US Trade Deficit

So what are all these imports into the US?

Well, they include industrial machinery and equipment ($681 billion), automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($309 billion), miscellaneous private services, primarily financial services ($201 billion), cell phones ($90 billion), travel passenger services ($86 billion), pharmaceuticals ($84 billion), computers ($65 billion), chemicals ($61 billion), other transportation services ($59 billion), computer accessories ($57 billion), telecommunications equipment ($54 billion), royalties and license fees services ($42 billion), apparel ($49 billion), petroleum products ($48 billion), fuel oil ($44 billion), industrial supplies ($29 billion), U.S. Government service imports primarily defense ($25 billion), fish ($18 billion), fruit ($13 billion), and vegetables ($11 billion).

Cartoon imports

If you are a bit shell-shocked by all those figures let me phrase it a bit differently using as examples the types of goods you would tend to buy.

  • 100% (almost) of the shoes bought in the U.S. come from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico;
  • 90% of white goods (washers, fridges, etc.) and consumer electronics are imported;
  • 85% of household furniture is imported;
  • 80% of cars on U.S. roads come from Canada (31%), Japan (24%), Germany (16%) and Mexico (12%); and,
  • 65% of U.S. clothing is imported from China (37%), Vietnam (9.4%), Indonesia (7.2%) and Bangladesh (6.7%).

Probably the saddest part is that even things you thought were “American” are now actually made overseas and imported.

I remember while on a business trip to the US many, many years ago I bought a gift for the young son of a friend of mine. He was a big sports enthusiast so I reckoned that one of the most iconic symbols of sport from America would be a baseball. I bought one in Wal-Mart. It was marked with all the different holding positions for the various ways to throw a baseball (fast ball, curve ball and all that). The perfect gift.

I gave it to him on my return feeling ever so pleased with myself. The kid opened it, showed momentary delight, then looked up at me accusingly. “It says ‘Made in China'” he told me.

Baseball made in China

But it’s not only baseballs. Similar types of product that you would think are all-American, like Converse All Stars, Levi’s, Huffy bicycles, televisions, Monopoly, Etch-a-Sketch, Radio Flyer wagons, Barbie dolls, and last but by no means least, most of those American flags just ain’t American no more.

modern monopoly board

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Apple, for example, doesn’t have to become the richest company in the world by manufacturing its products in China and storing its vast hoards of cash overseas.

Or does it?

Everything on the lists above could still be made in the US and surpluses exported to other countries. But the US government and its moronic bureaucrats are spending their time and our money thinking up new ways, not to help American businesses, but to add ever-increasing amounts of rules, regulations and bureaucracy on to American companies.

American businesses can no longer compete, because their own government has ensured that the deck is stacked against them.

In the mind of a bureaucrat losing a million productive wealth creating jobs, for example, in the automotive industry, and replacing them with a million more administrative jobs that cost the country money evens things out.

It doesn’t. Simple math will tell you that. Every time it happens things get worse and America gets poorer.

So America just can’t make it anymore, but not because China has stolen the jobs. It’s because the US government bureaucrats gave them away.

Put the blame where it should be.

StimulusBureaucrats

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A Simile Is Like A Metaphor – Literally!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I was going to introduce today’s post by saying some like “I hope you are having a pun-tastic week”, but I thought I would sound like a demented DJ from the 1970s.

So I’ll just say hello and welcome and let you get on with the puns.

Enjoy or endure!!

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rofl

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Lite:

the new way to spell “Light,”

now with 20% fewer letters!

Lite

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I was asked to man the phones

at work the other day.

So I went round and drew a

little mustache on all of them.

phone with moustache

 

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Spelling…

It’s not brian surgery.

medical_brain-surgery

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Hamlet:

A small pig.

small pig with guitar

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According to my Spanish doctor

I have Hepatitis Yes

si

 

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My doctor told me to quit my helium addiction

before I got carried away.

helium addiction

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2B or not 2B?

I don’t think I’ve ever put this much thought

into which shade of pencil to use before.

2b or not 2b [encils

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‘UK Man has first hand transplant.’

Surely that’s a second hand transplant.

hand transplant

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I was taking a short cut across a field the other day,

I was halfway across when the farmer approached me and said,

“Did you leave that small wooden step at the edge of my field?”

I replied, “No, it wasn’t me, that’s not my stile”

stile

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Someone told me if you

smack a fish before frying it,

the meat will taste fresher.

What a load of codswallop.

cod

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I’ve just accidentally superglued my fingers

to a copy of my autobiography.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

super glue

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Me and my limbo dancing team

go way back

limbo dancing

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Should We Let The Tail Continue To Wag The Dog?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They say that nothing is free and in America that is certainly true as regards freedom of religious beliefs.

If you are a Christian, that is.

If you are a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Sikh, or a Buddhist, or even an atheist, the constitutional protections of your civil rights will be upheld and fought for by all and sundry. Silly looking people will hold up even sillier looking signs supporting your point of view.

silly protest sign

If you are a Christian, however, you will find you only have the freedom to do what minority groups dictate, not what conforms to your religious beliefs.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of a mom and pop bakery they call ‘Sweet Cakes By Melissa’, found that out a while ago when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013. They have been ordered by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI-cks for short) to pay $135,000 in damages to the two lesbians for “emotional suffering.”

It makes me wonder if Donald Trump will launch a similar suit against Macy’s for the “emotional suffering” he has been caused by Macy’s refusing to sell his merchandise? I would imagine for a man with that kind of ego the “emotional suffering” would be substantial, at least a billion dollar’s worth, I reckon.

Apparently in Oregon, and probably in other states, it is now illegal for a business to refuse to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Most probably the same applies if you are of a particular race, color, or religion. However, there is no equivalent law to protect the religious beliefs of business owners.

sweet cakes_closed_sign

Now I could care less whether you are a lesbian or a Presbyterian, that’s not the issue here. The issue is that you can’t have a law that protects one sector of the community at the expense of another. More to the point you can’t have a ridiculous legal system that is both unfair and illogical.

But you do.

And it’s getting worse.

Just as the Freedom Act took away more freedoms than it gave, the government is stealthily and overtly eroding the individual citizen’s right to live their lives as they want to and as their beliefs dictate.

Sure you have to have rules, like don’t murder people, drive on the correct side of the road, and that kind of thing otherwise there would be chaos. But trying to control and micro-manage every thought and action of the people, which is what the government is now about, is both unnecessary and unwanted.

Big Brother control room
Big Brother control room

I’m now wondering what happens if you come into my gun shop and I don’t like the look of you and refuse to sell you a gun or other weapon. Am I within my rights? Or can you sue me for the “emotional suffering” of not being able to kill your family or hold up a bank?

Or can I sue you if you own the gayest cake shop in America but refuse to serve me because I am a Christian? That would be an interesting one in the light of the Oregon decision.

What happens if you are a Christian lesbian? What sort of “emotional suffering” does that cause? And can you sue yourself for damages? I’m sure there’s a judge somewhere stupid enough to grant you a big payout, but of course you would have to pay it to yourself, unless the state would step in because of your sexual orientation and cough up the cash for you.

You see where this is going?

deliberate dumbing down of America
deliberate dumbing down of America

Just as they wrecked the education system in many western countries by teaching the brightest people in the school at the same pace as the dumbest, thereby lowering the level of education of everyone and churning out a multitude of idiots who can barely read, or write, or count, now we have to pander to every minority no matter how few people they represent and no matter how much their minority beliefs offend our own.

Minority rights don’t really matter to the government because they don’t make up enough of the population. If and when the need arises minorities can be brought to heel. The majority is a different matter though and what has been discussed in this blog post is all part of the dumbing down of society and instilling fear in anyone from the majority community who dares to stand up and challenge authority. The threat of a  six figure fine, or worse, ensures compliance in most people.

My old late lamented friend George Carlin summed it up so well when he said, “Governments don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. That is against their interests. They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept it.”

Protection of minority rights in a society is one thing – and a good thing – and should be defended at all costs. But it should be done for the right reasons AND it should be in addition to the rights of the majority, never at their expense.

Otherwise you might as well throw out the “all men are created equal” bit of the constitution and just let the tail continue to wag the dog.

dog-tail

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Gray And White Matters.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
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Yes, apparently gray and white matters as you will find out in one of today’s selection of unusual facts.
Hope you enjoy the others as well.
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facts22

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During the production of the video game Deus Ex,

one of the artists forgot to add

the Twin Towers to New York City.

His mistake was explained by

way of a terrorist attack.

The year was 2000.

Deus_Ex_charity[1]

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Switzerland has

208 mountains over 3,000 meters high

and 24 over 4,000 meters.

switzerland-swiss-flag-on-mannlichen

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The male brain contains more gray matter

whereas the female brain contains more white matter.

White matter basically increases the speed

of transmission of all nerve signals,

which ultimately allows women to process thoughts

more rapidly than their male counterparts.

Don’t fret guys, you’ll get this

in another nano second or two.

female-brain-male-brain

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Genghis Kahn wanted the location

of his grave to be unknown

(somewhere in present day Mongolia)

so his funeral escort killed everyone they met

along the way and he even demanded that

a river be diverted to run across his grave

so it could never be disturbed.

Mongolian river

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Although their civilization has declined and been conquered,

in many rural parts of Mexico and Guatemala

Mayan language and culture perseveres.

In fact, there are an estimated 7 million Maya

still living in and around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Yucatan Peninsula map

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The modern chainsaw was invented  by Scottish

doctors to help with Symphysiotomy.

This is a surgical procedure that widens the

pelvis in order to assist in childbirth.

Symphysiotomy chainsaw

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China is among the countries with

the highest air pollution in the world.

Breathing air in Beijing, the country´s capital,

increases the risk of lung cancer in the same way

as smoking 21 cigarettes a day.

Breathing air in Beijing

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In 1883 Sir Hiram Maxim created the Maxim gun.

The world’s first machine gun would go on to

revolutionize warfare and was used in both World Wars.

Maxim gun

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Some rich people in Moscow buy

ambulances and use them to drive around

because the traffic is so bad.

Volkswagen_T4_ambulance_car,_Moscow,_Russia,_2011

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Operation Mockingbird was a secret campaign

begun in the 1950s by the

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

to influence media.

Operation-Mockingbird

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After being frustrated by the service

he was receiving at Bank of America,

Dalton Chiscolm sued them

for $1.7 billion trillion.

During the trial a professor of mathematics

was even called in to testify about

how big the number was.

To give you an idea,

Earth’s total combined GDP was $60 trillion that year.

That is still over 28 million times smaller

than what he was asking for.

Dalton Chiscolm sues Bank of America

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Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf

in the Lord of the Rings trilogy,

a decision that cost him $300 million

(he was offered 15% of the film’s profit).

Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf

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