It’s The Fasab Fact Feature.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, time for some more facts to feature here at the fasab blob.

Hope you find something interesting in this selection.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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Mice, whales, elephants, giraffes and man

all have seven neck vertebra.

neck vertebrae

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There have been many legends about the Northern Lights.

Some North American Inuit tribes call the aurora „aqsarniit“

(meaning “football players”) thinking it is the spirits of the dead

playing football with a head of a walrus.

Northern Lights

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The feeling you get when something is so cute

you can’t help but want to squeeze it

is called “cute aggression”.

cute aggression

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The Ivory Coast is by far the world’s leading producer of cocoa beans.

About 37 percent of all the cocoa beans in the world come from here.

Cocoa_Pods

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On a dewy morning, if you look at your shadow in the grass,

the dew drops shine light back to your eye creating a halo

called a heilgenschein (German for halo.)

Heiligenschein

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Your brain continues to develop until your late 40s.

brain

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According to the Guinness Book of World Records,

the largest sausage was made by J.J. Tranfield on behalf of

Asda Stores Plc, at Sheffield, United Kingdom in October 2000.

With a length of 36.75 miles (59.143 kilometers),

it’s almost the width of Rhode Island.

world's biggest sausage

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The McKinley Building on the American University campus

has been used for the development of several hazardous products,

such as Mustard Gas and preliminary work on the Manhattan Project.

The government used the McKinley Building because of its unusual architecture.

If there would be any type of large explosion inside the building,

the building would implode onto itself, containing any lethal gas or nuclear material.

The building now houses the Physics Department.

McKinley Building on the American University campus

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There is a language in Botswana that

consists of 5 primary click sounds

botswana-language-phrases

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Window washer Chris Saggers was working on the 22nd floor of the

Salford Tower Blocks in Britain when he fell off of his scaffold,

plunging down 220 feet, and landing on top of a car.

Miraculously, after the fall, he simply stood up and told the on lookers “I’m fine”.

A medical exam revealed that Saggers’ only injury was a broken elbow.

Salford_tower_blocks window washer Chris Saggers

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The last NASCAR driver to serve jail time for

running moonshine was Buddy Arrington.

Buddy Arrington

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Born in 1921 in Connecticut, Haroutune Krikor Daghlian, Jr was

an Armenian American physicist who worked for the Manhattan Project

(research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs).

He accidentally irradiated himself in August, 1945, during a critical mass

experiment at the remote Omega Site facility in New Mexico.

He died just 25 days later.

Haroutune Krikor Daghlian, Jr

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All porcupines float in water.

porcupines float in water

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Woodward Ave in Detroit, Michigan

carries the designation M-1, named so

because it was the first paved road anywhere.

woodward-avenue-detroit-michigan

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The Les Nessman character on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati

wore a band-aid in every episode.

Either on himself, his glasses, or his clothing.

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Hope You Know Something About Camels – It’s Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Strange how these things happen, but today’s quiz seems to feature camels.

Not to worry though, there is the usual random selection of questions to go along with that so you may do okay anyway.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  Which Ocean goes to the deepest depths?

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Q.  2:  What kind of animal is a ‘St Lucia Parrot’?

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Q.  3:  What is the common name of the stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food or as meal in Thai restaurants.

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Q.  4:  Each year the Moon moves away from the Earth by what distance?

           (a)  two inches             (b)  two feet            (c)  two yards            (d)  two miles?

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Q.  5:  What do you call a triangle with two equal sides and equal opposite angles?

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Q.  6:  Where is the world’s largest aquarium located?

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Q.  7:  What continent do camels originally come from?

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Q.  8:  And on which continent do you find the most camels today?

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Q.  9:  What are the first and the last letters of the Greek Alphabet? (You need both answers to score a point.)

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Q. 10:  What does the chemical symbol ‘U’ represent?

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Q. 11:  What word is used to describe someone who is neither left handed nor right handed, but can use both hands with equal ease?

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Q. 12:  What type of insect is a ‘Spanish fly’?

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Q. 13:  What is 61 degrees Fahrenheit in degrees Celsius?

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Q. 14:  What allegedly happened to British scientist Sir Isaac Newton that made him think about his theory of universal gravitation?

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Q. 15:  The sum of two numbers is 53 and their difference is 9. What are the two numbers?

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Q. 16:  What two creatures are on the Australian coat of arms?

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Q. 17:  What planet in our solar system has the strongest surface winds?

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Q. 18:  What are sticks of blackboard chalk made from?

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Q. 19:  What is the wizard called ‘Olórin’ from ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ better known as?

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Q. 20:  How many colors are there in the rainbow?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Which Ocean goes to the deepest depths?

A.  1:  The Pacific Ocean.

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Q.  2:  What kind of animal is a ‘St Lucia Parrot’?

A.  2:  It’s a Parrot, from St Lucia. You coulda guessed it!

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Q.  3:  What is the common name of the stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food or as meal in Thai restaurants.

A.  3:  It is called Pad Thai.

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Q.  4:  Each year the Moon moves away from the Earth by what distance?

           (a)  two inches             (b)  two feet            (c)  two yards            (d)  two miles?

A.  4:  The correct answer is (a)  two Inches.

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Q.  5:  What do you call a triangle with two equal sides and equal opposite angles?

A.  5:  It is known as an ‘Isosceles Triangle’.

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Q.  6:  Where is the world’s largest aquarium located?

A.  6:  At Disney World’s Epcot Center in Florida.

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Q.  7:  What continent do camels originally come from?

A.  7:  North America, not Africa.

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Q.  8:  And on which continent do you find the most camels today?

A.  8:  Australia.

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Q.  9:  What are the first and the last letters of the Greek Alphabet? (You need both to score a point.)

A.  9:  Alpha and Omega.

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Q. 10:  What does the chemical symbol ‘U’ represent?

A. 10:  Uranium.

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Q. 11:  What word is used to describe someone who is neither left handed nor right handed, but can use both hands with equal ease?

A. 11:  Ambidextrous.

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Q. 12:  What type of insect is a ‘Spanish fly’?

A. 12:  It is a ‘Beetle’.

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Q. 13:  What is 61 degrees Fahrenheit in degrees Celsius?

A. 13:  This is one of the easy ones to remember, just reverse the numbers, 61 degrees Fahrenheit is 16 degrees Celsius.

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Q. 14:  What allegedly happened to British scientist Sir Isaac Newton that made him think about his theory of universal gravitation?

A. 14:  The story goes that an apple fell on his head.

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Q. 15:  The sum of two numbers is 53 and their difference is 9. What are the two numbers?

A. 15:  22 and 31.

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Q. 16:  What two creatures are on the Australian coat of arms?

A. 16:  A Kangaroo and an Emu.

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Q. 17:  What planet in our solar system has the strongest surface winds?

A. 17:  Neptune. (If you guessed ‘Uranus’ you don’t get a point but I like the way you think.)

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Q. 18:  What are sticks of blackboard chalk made from?

A. 18:  Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate).

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Q. 19:  What is the wizard called ‘Olórin’ from ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ better known as?

A. 19:  He is better known as ‘Gandalf’.

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Q. 20:  How many colors are there in a rainbow?

A. 20:  Seven. Known as the spectral colors they are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.   What do you think, Peggy….

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Oh Gimme Strength!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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interfere

He’s only gone and done it again!

First Obama got his nose stuck in Russia’s affairs, and now he’s pointing a nostril at China’s.

What is wrong with US politicians these days? They know nothing about foreign policy or foreign regimes come to that, yet they continue to try to dictate how everyone else should be behaving themselves.

These things aren’t any of our business and American Presidents, Secretaries of State and the rest are not doing themselves, or their country, any favors by getting involved in foreign disputes that don’t concern them.

You could understand it if they knew what they were talking about, but the long list of failed initiatives and interventions shows clearly they don’t. No one respects their opinion any more and economically and militarily strong nations, like Russia and China, certainly aren’t going to lie down and buckle under because of any outside interference.

 china-vs-usa-CARTOON

So far US meddling in other people’s affairs has caused a catastrophe in the Middle East, ill will in Europe, sanctions against Russia that don’t work, and now interfering in what is happening in Hong Kong has done nothing but irritate the Chinese government. They’ve actually told America to butt out and mind their own business.

What they actually said was “Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China’s internal affairs. We hope that some countries and people can be prudent in their words and deeds, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong in any way, do not support the illegal activities such as the ‘Occupy Central,’ and do not send any wrong signals.”

Like I said – butt out!

The Chinese government will do what they are going to do, no matter what criticism it draws from the rest of the world. China is not a democracy so it is pointless to try to impose democratic ideals on it and its people. You can be sure that those in charge in China will eventually put down the current protests, violently if necessary. All that will be achieved by egging the protesters on will be a disaster like the Tiananmen Square massacre. How many lives is it worth to embarrass China on the media for a few days?

tiananmen square Wang Weilin holding up tanks in Beijing

Apart from the un-informed who only parrot what they hear on heavily skewed TV newscasts, most of the rest of us are fed up with people dying in order to make the world safe for democracy.

America has a cart load of problems, economic, social and the rest, without taking on the ills of the rest of the world as well, especially when it hasn’t a clue how to solve them.

Time for a rethink, assuming that any thought was put into what they are currently doing.

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BREAKING NEWS: Repair Man Wanted.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Nothing broken here though, you’ll be glad to hear.

So let’s get on with a bit more word play that you love to….

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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What did Salvador Dali have for breakfast?

A bowl of surreal.

salvador-dali-apparition-visage-compotier-plage

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There’s a bloke in Hungary who goes round from door to door

trying to convert people to Zen philosophy.

He’s a Buddha pest.

zen_buddhism_philosophy_and_mysticism

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If an Earl is awarded an O.B.E,

does he become an earlobe?

earlobe

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My mum’s got this weird fetish for sleeping with boxing gloves.

Her doctor thinks it’s just the menopause setting in,

but I just think she’s going through a rocky patch.

rocky

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Do you think the name for the head

of the Indian Mafia is ‘Poppa Don’?

Poppadoms

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My girlfriend asked me the other day,

“Dave, why do you always walk in front of me?”

I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t follow you.”

man walking in front of woman

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There’s a monster under my bed,

that plays loud music and dances around.

That damn boogieman.

 

boogie man

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I entered my dog in the redneck version of Crufts last week.

She won “Best Inbreed.”

redneck-dogs

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A man went to the doctor and said,

“I’m sick and tired of finishing crosswords so quickly!”

He said, “Try not to get two down sir.”

crossword

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I went to a fancy dress competition

dressed as Winston Churchill.

I thought my costume was great,

I had the hat, the suit, the bow tie, everything!

When I asked them whether I’d won,

they said I was close, but no cigar.

Winston Churchill

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I was in Wal Mart buying batteries today.

I asked the assistant if I would be better buying re-chargable

batteries or just get the cheapest and change them often.

“There’s positives and negatives with both,” she told me.

batteries

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My school has a really bad drugs problem.

Especially class A

a variety of drugs

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I was stopped by a policeman and

asked if I could identify myself.

I looked in the mirror and said,

“Yes officer, it’s definitely me.”

Looking In Mirror

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My wife said to me,

“Tonight, in bed, you can do anything you want”.

So I invited my secretary over.

secretary

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I’m in love with an eel

– that’s a moray.

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Charles Munger Agrees With Me.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I always think it’s nice when someone agrees me. Even more so when they are well versed in the subject matter.

Charles Munger is such a guy. And he agrees with me, or at least he would do, had he read a post I wrote recently about Burger King’s move to Canada to avoid high US corporate taxes. (Click here if you want to read it.)

Anyway, we’re saying the same thing, and that’s what matters.

For those readers who don’t know who Charles Munger is, he is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the world famous investment company headed by Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Charlie_Munger

Munger says people who criticize Burger King’s plan to shift its headquarters to Canada, where tax rates are lower, are “stark raving mad”. What they should be calling for are cuts in corporate taxes to encourage business to stay in the US and even relocate there.

More than 40 U.S. companies have reincorporated abroad since 1982.

In fairness it has to be said that Munger does have a vested interest of sorts to stick up for Burger King. Berkshire Hathaway committed $3 billion to help finance Miami-based Burger King’s planned takeover of Tim Hortons Inc., the doughnut maker with headquarters in Oakville, Ontario.

Burger King meal

But that’s not why he said what he said. He is smart enough to know what is good for business generally and levying hefty taxes on corporations is not good. In fact he said, “If I were running the world, I would probably have low corporate taxes and get at the well-to-do people in some other way, like consumption taxes.”

Unfortunately President Barack Obama isn’t so smart. He has continued to criticize American companies that move to other nations in search of lower corporate tax bills.

And his Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, has recently announced new rules aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to lower their tax bills by relocating overseas and that would wipe out the benefits for those that do.

The changes will affect only deals that are completed from now on. But they could include pending inversion deals, like the one involving AbbVie, an Illinois-based pharmaceutical company that is in the process of acquiring its smaller British rival, Shire, or the Minneapolis medical device maker Medtronic, which is acquiring Covidien in Ireland.

And if the government continues on this path what will happen?

I think if US companies are prevented from making these kind of deals by ever greedy and intrusive government legislation they will simply close down altogether in the US. Wealth creation will be lost, many thousands of jobs will be lost and America will lose its long held position as the commercial powerhouse of the world.

When the American people were offered “Change” I don’t think this is what they were expecting.

Barack Obama Hope Change

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Coat Hangers, White Chocolate And Kissing. Must Be Fact Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Looks like another day of random facts.

Hope you find something that you like.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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A coat hanger is 44 inches long if straightened

 

coat hanger

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White chocolate technically isn’t chocolate.

It contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor.

white-chocolate

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The science of kissing itself is called philematology.

science of kissing

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Elephants aren’t afraid of mice

but they are afraid of bees

Elephants afraid of bees

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The Mauryan Empire was founded by

Chandragupta Maurya in 322 B.C and was

the largest empire ever on the Indian subcontinent.

chandragupta_maurya_by_mrinal_rai-d760bch

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In 2007, While attending a dart-throwing convention

at a Minneapolis hotel, Josh Hanson (heavily intoxicated)

fell out of a window, plummeting 160 feet and

slamming into the ledge of the first floor.

He sustained a broken leg, two collapsed lungs and

a few bruises but lived to play darts again.

dart-throwing convention at this Minneapolis hotel

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Humans have more brain cells at the age of two

than at any other point in their lives

brain cells

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Images for picture stamps in the United States

are commissioned by the

United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment.

United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment Simpsons stamps

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It takes a lobster approximately

seven years to grow to be one pound.

lobster

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Bobby Leach was one of the greatest dare devils to ever live.

He would regularly perform death defying stunts

and was only the second person in history

to go over the side of the Niagara Falls in a barrel.

One day, however, while walking down

a quiet street in New Zealand,

Leach slipped on an orange peel, broke his leg,

and died due to complications that he developed afterwards.

 

Bobby Leach Niagra dare devil

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The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding.

reeding on coins

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At latitude 60 degrees south you can

sail all the way around the world.

latitude 60 degrees south

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King Goujian of Yue placed a row of

convicted criminals at the front of his army.

Before the battle they would all cut off their own heads

to show the other army how crazy King Goujian’s army was.

King Goujian of Yue

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The “Calabash” pipe,

most often associated with Sherlock Holmes,

was not used by him until William Gillette (an American)

portrayed Holmes onstage.

Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in

his mouth while he spoke his lines.

William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes, with Calabash pipe

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In 2006, American Film Institute

named Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

as one of the best American musical films ever made.  

Yeeeehaaaaaa!!!

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Hats Off, It’s The Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I suppose I should have said Panama hats off because that’s one of today’s questions.

You will also need to have a sprinkling of knowledge about marbles, wars, cooking and even fairytales to stack up the points today.

But if you get stuck, as always, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 2

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Q.  1:  An easy one to start with,  where did Panama hats originate?

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Q.  2:  What are toy marbles made from?

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Q.  3:  How long did the ‘100 Years War’ last?

            a)  106 years          b)  116 years          c)  126 years

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Q.  4:  what is the only mobile National Monument in the USA?

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Q.  5:  Here’s one for all you beer drinkers, in what month is the world famous ‘Munich Oktoberfest’ beer festival held?

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Q.  6:  It contains beef or pork, but what is the main ingredient of the thick and spicy soup known as ‘Borscht’ that originated in Ukraine but is also popular in many Eastern and Central European countries.

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Q.  7:  What type of building is a ‘picture palace’?

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Q.  8:  From which part of its body does a cow, and presumably also a bull, sweat?

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Q.  9:  How many sides has a ‘Prism’?

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Q. 10:  What type of creature is a ‘horned toad’?

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Q. 11:  Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

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Q. 12:  What sort of fruit is a ‘Chinese gooseberry’?

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Q. 13:  In the original French medieval version of the story of ‘Cinderella’ (which gave us the modern Western version) what were Cinderella’s slippers made from?

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Q. 14:  In sunscreen lotions, what does the abbreviation ‘SPF’ stand for?

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Q. 15:  What do bullet proof vests, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?

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Q. 16:  What is the most prevalent infectious disease in the UK?

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Q. 17:  A ‘mahout’ is a person who works with and rides what?

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Q. 18:  How many times was Richard Burton nominated for an Oscar and how many times did he win? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 19:  Which breed of cats, rabbits, and goats have the same name?

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Q. 20:  Finally, a guy is condemned to death and has three rooms to choose from and he must choose one of them. Room #1 contains a fiery inferno; room #2 contains 50 Assassins with loaded guns; and room #3 contains hungry lions that haven’t eaten in three months. Which room should he choose?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  An easy one to start with, where did Panama hats originate?

A.  1:  Okay, maybe not so easy, they originated in Ecuador.

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Q.  2:  What are toy marbles made from?

A.  2:  Although called ‘marbles’ they are made from ‘glass’.

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Q.  3:  How long did the ‘100 Years War’ last?

            a)  106 years          b)  116 years          c)  126 years

A.  3:  The correct answer is b) 116 years.

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Q.  4:  what is the only mobile National Monument in the USA?

A.  4:  San Francisco cable cars.

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Q.  5:  Here’s one for all you beer drinkers, in what month is the world famous ‘Munich Oktoberfest’ beer festival held?

A.  5:  In September.

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Q.  6:  It contains beef or pork, but what is the main ingredient of the thick and spicy soup known as ‘Borscht’ that originated in Ukraine but is also popular in many Eastern and Central European countries.

A.  6:  The main ingredient of ‘Borscht’ is beetroot.

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Q.  7:  What type of building is a ‘picture palace’?

A.  7:  It would be understandable if you said art gallery, but in fact a ‘picture palace’ was the name given to a cinema or theater for showing movies.

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Q.  8:  From which part of its body does a cow, and presumably also a bull, sweat?

A.  8:  Its nose.

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Q.  9:  How many sides has a ‘Prism’?

A.  9:  Five.

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Q. 10:  What type of creature is a ‘horned toad’?

A. 10:  A ‘horned toad’ is a lizard.

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Q. 11:  Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

A. 11:  Their birthplace.

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Q. 12:  What sort of fruit is a ‘Chinese gooseberry’?

A. 12:  It is a Kiwifruit.  It originated in China but renamed kiwifruit by growers/exporters in New Zealand.

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Q. 13:  In the original French medieval version of the story of ‘Cinderella’ (which gave us the modern Western version) what were Cinderella’s slippers made from?

A. 13:  They were made from squirrel fur which when you think about it is a lot more sensible than glass. The reason we ended up with a glass slipper is because the French word for squirrel fur is ‘vair’, which was misunderstood by Charles Perrault, writer of the modern version, to be verre, which means glass. You got it wrong Charlie and I guess so did most people who answered this question!

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Q. 14:  In sunscreen lotions, what does the abbreviation ‘SPF’ stand for?

A. 14:  ‘SPF’ stands for Sun Protection Factor.

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Q. 15:  What do bullet proof vests, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?

A. 15:  They were all invented by women.

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Q. 16:  What is the most prevalent infectious disease in the UK?

A. 16:  The Common Cold.

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Q. 17:  A ‘mahout’ is a person who works with and rides what?

A. 17:  Elephants.

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Q. 18:  How many times was Richard Burton nominated for an Oscar and how many times did he win? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 18:  Richard Burton was nominated seven times for an Oscar and surprisingly never won any. The correct answers are 7 and 0.

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Q. 19:  Which breed of cats, rabbits, and goats have the same name?

A. 19:  Angora.

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Q. 20:  Finally, a guy is condemned to death and has three rooms to choose from and he must choose one of them. Room #1 contains a fiery inferno; room #2 contains 50 Assassins with loaded guns; and room #3 contains hungry lions that haven’t eaten in three months. Which room should he choose?

A. 20:  He should choose room #3 because the lions would be dead if they hadn’t eaten in three months.

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They’ve Got It Wrong AGAIN!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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russia-sanctions

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I wrote a short post the other day on the subject of failure. I think it was a success 🙂

What hasn’t been a success, however, is America’s foreign policy. I’ve also written about this many times in the past. I find it very annoying that a country as great as America and with so many brilliant people within it can neither elect a smart politician, or even a not so smart politician but one who has enough brains to hire smart advisers.

The current President, Barack Obama, has continued the trend of failure. Particularly with regard to foreign policy, at which he has not only failed but added indecision and procrastination to the mix.

The examples are many, but the latest foreign policy debacle is the leading role America has taken in the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Sanctions that may have been aimed against Russia but which are already starting to backfire against the US.

I noted in another post that sanctions have been imposed in regard to Russian oil and natural gas, which Europe (particularly Germany and France) needs, but America doesn’t; but that the sanctions were not imposed on nuclear fuels, which America does need.

Believe me, the hypocrisy of that has not been lost on the European governments or its public.

And the hypocrisy does not end there.

rosneft getty

On the one hand there have been hyped up media statements telling everyone that Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, and its head Igor Sechin, have been targeted in the sanctions.

But what hasn’t been trumpeted so loudly is the fact that British oil company BP, owns almost 20% of Rosneft, and has confirmed that it would not be severing ties with the Russian firm.

Similarly, Norway’s Statoil is continuing its partnership with Rosneft to search for oil in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea.

And France’s major oil and gas company, Total, has announced that it is seeking financing for its next gas project in –  where else? –  Russia. When they get that financing, amounting to something in the region of $27 billion, it will be in Roubles or maybe even Yuan, but certainly not in US dollars – again thanks to the ill thought out sanctions.

This will set a trend for similar deals that will also exclude the US dollar, inevitably lowering its standing as the world’s reserve currency. I expect more such deals to be done with the Russians by German companies in particular as the sanctions fail to bring the promised results and as a consequence start to fall apart.

But it gets worse.

Before any of the US Senators or Congressmen stand up and start to call names at the Brits or the Norwegians or the French for backtracking on sanctions, they would be better to take a look nearer home.

It now seems that American Companies are not paying attention to the sanctions either.

ExxonMobil_Challenges

For example, ExxonMobil, America’s largest oil company, has continued drilling offshore in the Russian Arctic, also with Rozneft.

If the sanctions were anything more than a bit of public posturing by Obama, ExxonMobil shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) be doing any more work with the Russians in Russia. But using the excuse that it is environmentally safer to complete the well than to allow the Russians to do it alone, ExxonMobil got permission to continue.

No doubt the company will express its gratitude when the next round of electioneering fund raising comes along! (Gosh, I’m such a cynic!)

Now, if Obama and his advisers had thought for a moment about the consequences of sanctions, they would have realized that, in cases like this, companies such as ExxonMobile had not really got a choice. If they hadn’t continued to work with Rozneft, the Russian company would simply have gone ahead without them with a consequent dilution of ExxonMobile’s return if/when the well is a success.

In addition to that, if the Russian company did need other help you can be sure there would have been a Chinese energy company there ready and willing and eager to take up the slack.

Whilst Obama and his predecessors have been blundering around the world pissing off friend and foe alike, the strategy of the Russian President has been to cultivate new friends and thereby new markets and customers for his country’s vast energy reserves.

It has been a clever move.

Sanctions or not, game to Putin this time I think.

sanctions against Russia

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Anything America Can Do, Britain Can Do Better…. Er, Make That Worser!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes folks, anything America can do Britain can do better, or worse as the case may be.

I’ve written previously about the pathetic failures of the Obamacare web site which seemed to be down more often than up at a time when people were desperately trying to register for this new, unnecessary, and far too expensive Obama initiative.

Well, not to be out done, Britain has managed to do more or less the same thing – again!

What I’m talking about here is the British government’s catastrophic record when it comes to computerization.

The flagship of their lack of achievement still has to be the $10 billion system it commissioned to computerize their Health Service which was promptly thrown into the trash when it failed to deliver on almost all levels.

And it has done it again.

The British government recently decided to do away with the 90 year old paper tax disc that had to be displayed on a car windscreen in order to be legal for road use. They also decided it would be more efficient (I can hear you laughing already) if they computerized the whole system so that people could apply for and pay this tax online rather than having to go to a government office or use the postal service.

UK car tax disc abandoned as of October 1st 2014

So it decided to rebuild its Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.

And they did. And when it launched it immediately went tits up (that’s British for fell over, stopped working, failed, flatlined, collapsed).

The new system just couldn’t cope with demand for its service as thousands of drivers rushed to use it to renew their car tax.

Frustrated citizens were met with the message

DVLA_Car_Tax_Website

Embarrassingly, they even had to take the web site and phone services completely offline in an attempt to fix the technical cock-up, resorting instead to tweeting lame apologies all day Monday.

Of course the debacle was blamed on “unprecedented demand”, so really it was the public’s fault for using the system rather than the system being inadequate for a number of users that should have been easily anticipated if they had put any thought into at all.

Hundreds of commercial organizations have web sites – some very popular with millions of visitors – operating 24/7 with very little, if any, problems.

Why can’t governments do the same.

In particular why do they persist with a tendering system that leads them to employ companies who are incapable of doing a good job.

Could it be that those in government are incapable too???

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incompetent government bureaucrat

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Failure.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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success failure

They say that success breeds success and to a great extent that is true. If, for example, you have a successful business it can give you the confidence and the cash to acquire or set up another.

But is the opposite also true? Does failure breed failure?

I think it does. Most people tend to get the confidence knocked out of them when they fail. That’s why most never really succeed after one or two set backs. Some are so afraid of failure that they won’t even try the first time.

But, when they fail, some do get up, dust themselves down, and try again. And they are the ones who prove that failing a few times can, in the long run, actually lead to greater success that would otherwise have been the case.

Most of the world’s greatest serial entrepreneurs have had their failures. Some have even been bankrupt or been close to it. It may have dented their confidence a little and made them more cautious for the next time, but it didn’t stop them trying and that’s the key to real success.

Sure, plan well, be smart, work hard and all those good things, but don’t give up.

Do not give up

Does that mean you are bound to succeed? Well, no it doesn’t. There can always be extenuating circumstances well out of your control that makes things go wrong, but on average you should come out ahead. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your best and that’s as much as any of us can hope for.

It also helps if you set you sights at a realistic level. Barring a highly unlikely win on the lotto you won’t become a millionaire overnight, no matter how many of those self-help books you buy or how many internet webinars you attend. Nor will you become a Hollywood superstar if you move to L.A. and fill in the time waiting tables in the hope that some famous producer will stop by and ‘discover’ you.

Winston Churchill perhaps summarized it best when he said that success was going from one failure to the next without any loss of enthusiasm. Be sensible and it may be success that waits round the corner for you.

failure-sucess

 

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