Columbia, Switzerland, North Korea And Mongolia. What A Collection Of Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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What a collection of facts indeed and not one of them about Cinco de Mayo. How I resisted that I’, not sure. Maybe next year???

But today it’s facts that somebody knows and facts that nobody knows.

But at least after you read today’s post you will know the facts that nobody knows, except that then somebody will know them.

Enough of that, here they are.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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Nobody knows who owns the patent

for fire hydrants because the patent office

in which the records were being held burned down.

 fire hydrant

.

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You could fit all the platinum every mined

into an average size home.

 generic-platinum-bars

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During the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965,

Ed White became the first American

to conduct a spacewalk.

The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean

near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes,

ending over the Gulf of Mexico.

 white_edward

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Colombia is estimated to be the

second largest economy in South America,

right behind Brazil.

 Colombia flag map

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When the Persians beheaded the Mongolian envoy,

Genghis Khan retaliated by killing nearly 90% of their population.

According to some estimates, Iran’s population didn’t

reach its pre-Mongol levels until the mid-1900s.

 Genghis Khan destruction

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Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea,

was born on the same day that the Titanic sank.

It wasn’t really a great day, was it?

 Kim Il-Sung

.

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The first man to die working on the Hoover Dam

was killed on December 20 1922.

He was J G Tierney.

The last man to die working on the Hoover Dam

was killed on December 20 1935.

He was J G Tierney’s son.

 Hoover Dam

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Italians don’t usually drink

cappuccino after 11 AM.

 cappuccino

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The term ‘Zero tolerance’ was first used

by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

in referring to their policy on pesticides

in food items (e.g. no mercury in milk).

It was later attributed to the famous

War on Drugs by strictly applying

the law in problem areas.

 Zero tolerance

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The Bada Bing strip club location used throughout

the hit TV series ‘The Sopranos’

is actually a go-go bar in Lodi, NJ, called Satin Dolls.

 Satin Dolls Lodi New Jersey

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Switzerland has some of the most

liberal gun laws of any country,

with 2.3 to 4.5 million guns in

a population of 8 million.

It also has one of the lowest

crime rates in the world.

 Sig Sauer

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The budget for the two “The Hobbit” movies

is almost twice the budget of 

the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

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============================

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FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks,

Last day of this year and time for my recollections of 2014’s main events.

As always this is by no means meant to be a complete coverage of all the events that happened during 2014, just a personal blog post about some of the things I remember, and a few that I had forgotten until I started to compile this list.

I hope you enjoy.

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farewell 2014

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The Weather

We will start off with the weather since so many of us seem to be obsessed with it.

  • In the United States there were weather extremes. In California, for example, January was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Only four other Januaries since 1878 had been completely dry in Los Angeles until January 2014. Alaskans experienced their third warmest January in 96 years of record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

California drought 2014

  • In many parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, 2014 was the coldest winter since the late 1970s or early 1980s. And some southern states of the US became the victims of, firstly, winter storm Kronos which brought a rare blanket of snow as far south as Louisiana, and sleet as far south as Harlingen, Texas and Pensacola, Fla. in late January, and then, just days later, a second winter storm, Leon, hit many of the same areas causing commuter chaos in both Birmingham, Ala. and Atlanta. Leon also spread ice and sleet to the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle, and the Low country of South Carolina.
  • And worse was on the way. Winter Storm Pax deposited an inch or more of ice in a swath from east-central Georgia into South Carolina, including Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. Pax was the second heaviest ice storm dating to 1947 in Wilmington, N.C. The accumulation of ice from Pax claimed the famed “Eisenhower tree” at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pax marked the first time since January 1940 that Columbia, S.C. saw snowfall for three straight days.

Winter Storm Pax Washington

  • In complete contrast, the week after Pax, Columbia, S.C. tied its all-time February high of 84 degrees. Augusta, Ga. warmed into the 80s two straight days on Feb. 19-20.
  • Elsewhere in the world, severe Atlantic winter storms took their toll on many parts of England which in 2014 experienced storms and rain not seen since the late 19th century.

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

  • In Tokyo, Japan, which usually averages only about 4 inches of snow each year, there were also severe snow storms. In February, snow blanketed the city with 11 inches of snow in less than a week, the heaviest snowfall in 45 years for Tokyo and in 60 years for the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. The following weekend, parts of eastern Japan, including parts of the Tokyo metro area, received another round of snow. Some smaller communities were isolated by more than 3 feet of snow.
  • And in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that more than 10 percent of Queensland and almost 15 percent of New South Wales experienced their record hottest day on Jan. 3. A second heat wave hit parts of southern Australia in mid-January, with temperatures peaking above 41 degrees Celsius (just under 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for four straight days from Jan. 14-17, and reaching a sizzling 43.9 degrees C (111 degrees F) on both Jan. 16 and 17.

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

  • In the world of business and technology 2014 was the year the Obama administration decided to stop inversion deals, where US companies bought foreign domiciled businesses and moved their profit centers to a much more tax friendly location.
  • In technology buys, one of the largest was Facebook’s purchase of smartphone application WhatsApp for $19 Billion.

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

  • In other sectors 2014 saw world oil price plunge to around $50 per barrel, good news for consumers, not so good for producers.
  • Under pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices, along with the economic sanctions imposed by the west because of the ongoing situation in the Ukraine, the Russian Ruble went into free fall in December.

APphoto_Russia Economy

  • Also in 2014, in March, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific but commercial and refused to grant further permits.
  • With Quantitative Easing having been ended in the US (for the moment anyway) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for a new $29 billion fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job-creating programs, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.

Quantitative Easing cartoon

  • After their embarrassing foul up last Christmas, this year both FedEx and UPS managed to deliver more than 99 percent of express packages as promised on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to shipment tracker ShipMatrix.
  • South Korean prosecutors arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts. Most of the rest of the world tends to think that the idiot executive should suffer the consequences of her stupidity, not the whistleblower.

korean-air-lines-macademia-nut-scandal Cho Hyun-ah

  • And finally, after their embarrassing hack attack and cringe-worthy capitulation to what amounted to a terrorist cyber attack which was rightly criticized publicly by President Obama, Sony finally decided to release its movie ‘The Interview’.

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

  • In April an estimated 276 girls and women were abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria. The following month, Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala and terrorists in Nigeria detonated bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

  • June saw the emergence of a Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (also known as the ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’). It began an offensive throughout northern Iraq, with the aim of eventually capturing the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrowing the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The group has been responsible for beheading of hundreds of people including several from the United States.

Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’

  • In July and August tensions between Israel and Hamas grew following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July. Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed.
  • Also in July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 souls on board. There are conflicting claims as to who was responsible, some blaming pro Russian forces for a missile strike and others blaming Ukrainian forces.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

  • In August and September the United States military began an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants and the following month the United States and several Arab partners began an airstrike campaign in Syria.

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

During 2014 we said farewell to many well know people from various walks of life. Here is just my selection of those I remember.

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

.

Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

.

Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

.

Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

.

Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

.

Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

.

Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

.

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

.

Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

.

Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

.

Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

.

Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

.

James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

.

Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

.

Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

.

Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

.

Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

.

Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

.

Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

.

Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

.

Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

.

Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

.

Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

.

Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

.

Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

.

Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

.

.

From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

.

Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

.

Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

.

Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

.

Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

.

Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

.

From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

.

Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

.

Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

.

Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

.

James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

.

A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

.

Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

.

Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

.

Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

.

Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

.

Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

.

John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

.

Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

.

Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

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From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

.

Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

.

Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

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Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

Alfredo-Di-Stefano-Dies-at-Age-88

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

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Health

  • The big health scare of 2014 that dominated the headlines was the of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in February, that initially infected over 19,000 people and killing at least 7,000, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.

ebola_map Africa

  • In other news, also in February, Belgium became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.

Politics

  • On January 1, Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.
  • In February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest that left around 100 people dead in Kiev. The pro-Russian unrest lead to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

President Viktor Yanukovych

  • In March, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
  • Also in March, an emergency meeting, involving the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspended Russia from the G8.
  • In April, also in response to the Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution temporarily stripping Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.
  • The same month, United States President Barack Obama began new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin Obama

  • In May the Royal Thai Army overthrew the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.
  • Back in Europe, in June, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who ascended the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
  • And the political year ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century.

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

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Space

  • The major space event of 2014 happened in November when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Philae probe successfully landed on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

Rosetta Philae

Sport

  • The two major world sporting events of 2014 were the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and won by Germany, during June and July.

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

  • In American sport the Super Bowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, the MLB World Series  winners were the San Francisco Giants and in basketball the San Antonio Spurs came out on top.
  • Ice Hockey had three champions in 2014, Canada becoming Olympic champions, Russia world champions and in the NHL the Los Angeles Kings were the victors.
  • In tennis at the world famous Wimbledon Tournament in England Novak Djokovic became Men’s Singles Champion and Petra Kvitova Ladies Singles Champion, while the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open were Marin Čilić  and Serena Williams respectively.

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

  • In Soccer, as noted above, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The European Champions League winners were Real Madrid and the English Premiership was won by Manchester City.
  • The Formula 1 motor racing champion for 2014 was British driver Lewis Hamilton, who also picked up the award of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • In golf’s major championships, the Masters Tournament, held in April, was won by Bubba Watson by three strokes. It was his second Masters championship.
  • May saw the BMW PGA Championship where young Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to win by one stroke over Irishman Shane Lowry, who also birdied the 18th hole.
  • In June, U.S. Open winner was Martin Kaymer who won by eight strokes to become the first German player to win the U.S. Open, and the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.
  • In July, the Open Championship Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy, was on top again winning by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García. It was his third career major championship, and his first Open Championship. With the win, he became the fourth player ever of 25 years old or under to have won at least three majors.
  • In August, McIlroy was back, winning the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. He was having quite a year, it was his fourth career major and his second PGA Championship.PGA Champion Rory McIlroy
  • Then in September, in the Ryder Cup, Team Europe (also including McIlroy) defeated Team USA by a score of 16½ – 11½. It was the third consecutive Ryder Cup victory for Europe, and also Europe’s fifth consecutive home victory in the Ryder Cup.

Tragedies

  • In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • In April Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized and sunk after an unmanageable cargo shift. More than 290 people were killed, mostly high school students.

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

  • In May hundreds of workers were killed in mining accident in Turkey.
  • In July, Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.
  • And just a few days ago AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed, wreckage has been found off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast.

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

Some Challenging Questions – It must Be Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another Quiz Day on the fasab blog.

I hope you are ready to try these challenging questions.

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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Quiz3

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Q  1:  We’ve all eaten M&Ms, but what do the two Ms stand for?

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Q  2: On the back of a $1 bill, what is in the center?

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Q  3: Who wrote ‘High Adventure’, about a spectacular mountain climb?

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Q  4: During World War II American factories produced approximately how many military aircraft?

           a)  200,000          b)  300,000          c)  400,000          d)  500,000

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Q  5: Captain Cook discovered which island in the pacific in 1777?

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Q  6: Who was assassinated at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968?

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Q  7: What is the name of Elvis Presley’s home and where is it located? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q  8: What name is given to a flat stretch of land within a river valley, which is the remnant of an earlier flood plain, when the river was at a higher level?

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Q  9: What is the name of the new TV series, starring John Malkovich, about the pirate Blackbeard?

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Q  10: What war ended with the fall of Saigon and in what year did it end? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q  11: Which country lies to the north of Austria and the south of Poland?

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Q  12: Plus or minus 30 minutes, what was the Concorde’s record flight time from New York to London?

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Q  13: Who was responsible for the Green Car Crash in 1963?

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Q  14: What team thrashed Brazil by 7 goals to 1 in this year’s soccer World Cup semi-finals?

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Q  15: Who wrote about a fictional, diminutive, humanoid race called ‘Hobbits’ who inhabit the lands of Middle-earth?

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Q  16: The normal wing beat frequency of the annoying mosquito is what?

    a)  6 beats per sec.    b) 60 beats per sec.    c) 600 beats per sec.    d) 6,000 beats per sec.

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Q  17: ‘Cebuano’, ‘Fula’, ‘Gujarati’ and ‘Kannada’ are all examples of what?

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Q  18: What Oscar winning movie is based on the trials and tribulations of Harold Abraham and Eric Liddell?

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Q  19: Now a chance for some mega points. There are 13 official countries in the world which have a capital city beginning and ending with the same letter. (I don’t expect anyone to get them all, but have a point for each one you can name correctly. (names in the English language)).

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Q  20: Who said you could “call me Al” in 1986?

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ANSWERS

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Q  1:  We’ve all eaten M&Ms, but what do the two Ms stand for?

A  1:  The two Ms in M&Ms stand for Mars & Murrie’s, named after Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie who started producing M&M’s exclusively for the military during WWII.

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Q  2: On the back of a $1 bill, what is in the center?

A  2: ONE.

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Q  3: Who wrote ‘High Adventure’, about a spectacular mountain climb?

A  3: Sir Edmund Hilary, the first man to climb Mount Everest.

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Q  4: During World War II American factories produced approximately how many military aircraft?

           a)  200,000          b)  300,000          c)  400,000          d)  500,000

A  4: The correct answer is b), American factories produced approximately 300,000 military aircraft during WWII.

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Q  5: Captain Cook discovered which island in the pacific in 1777?

A  5: Christmas Island.

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Q  6: Who was assassinated at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968?

A  6: Martin Luther King jnr.

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Q  7: What is the name of Elvis Presley’s home and where is it located? (A point for each correct answer.)

A  7: The name of Elvis Presley’s home is Graceland and it is located in Memphis, Tennessee (3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard to be precise.)

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Q  8: What name is given to a flat stretch of land within a river valley, which is the remnant of an earlier flood plain, when the river was at a higher level?

A  8: It is called a River Terrace.

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Q  9: What is the name of the new TV series, starring John Malkovich, about the pirate Blackbeard?

A  9: Crossbones.

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Q  10: What war ended with the fall of Saigon and in what year did it end? (A point for each correct answer.)

A  10: The Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon. on 30 April 1975.

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Q  11: 4. Which country lies to the north of Austria and the south of Poland?

A  11: The Czech Republic.

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Q  12: Plus or minus 30 minutes, what was the Concorde’s record flight time from New York to London?

A  12: 2 hours. 55 minutes. 15 seconds.

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Q  13: Who was responsible for the Green Car Crash in 1963?

A  13: The Green Car Crash is Andy Warhol’s most famous painting. It was sold at auction on May 16, 2007 for $71.7m (£42.3m).

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Q  14: What team thrashed Brazil by 7 goals to 1 in this year’s soccer World Cup semi-finals?

A  14: Germany, who went on to win the competition.

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Q  15: Who wrote about a fictional, diminutive, humanoid race called ‘Hobbits’ who inhabit the lands of Middle-earth?

A  15: J. R. R. Tolkien.

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Q  16: The normal wing beat frequency of the annoying mosquito is what?

    a)  6 beats per sec.    b) 60 beats per sec.    c) 600 beats per sec.    d) 6,000 beats per sec.

A  16: The correct answer is c) 600 beats per sec.

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Q  17: ‘Cebuano’, ‘Fula’, ‘Gujarati’ and ‘Kannada’ are all examples of what?

A  17: They are all examples of languages. Cebuano is from the Philippines; Fula from Cameroon and Nigeria;  Gujarati from India and Pakistan; and Kannada from India.

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Q  18: What Oscar winning movie is based on the trials and tribulations of Harold Abraham and Eric Liddell?

A  18: ‘Chariots of Fire’ which tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

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Q  19: Now a chance for some mega points. There are 13 official countries in the world which have a capital city beginning and ending with the same letter. (I don’t expect anyone to get them all, but have a point for each one you can name correctly. (names in the English language)).

A  19: They are: Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Andorra la Vella (Andorra), Ankara (Turkey), Apia (Samoa), Asmara (Eritrea), Astana (Kazakstan), Oslo (Norway), St. George’s (Grenada), St. John’s (Antigua and Barbuda), Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Warsaw (Poland).

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Q  20: Who said you could “call me Al” in 1986?

A  20: Paul Simon.

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Did You Know? – Facts, Facts, And More Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another fact filled post for you.

The usual random mixture, so pick out the ones you like best.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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Until 2001 Disney required that all cast members

playing costumed park characters

share communal underwear.

Talk about getting into your pants!

Disney costumed park characters

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Muscle comes from a Latin root meaning ‘little mouse’.

Apparently people used to think muscles

looked like little mice under their skin.

Muscle

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Scotland is as far north as Alaska.

map north america and europe

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NASA lost a Mars orbiter because part of the team

used metric units and the other half used English.

NASA lost a Mars orbiter

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The Chernobyl disaster remains the only level 7 incident

on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES)

making it the biggest man-made disaster of all time.

Chernobyl disaster

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The US government placed some beer

next to an atomic bomb blast

to determine if it was still drinkable.

The good news is that in the event of a

nuclear war beer is safe to drink.

beer next to an atomic bomb blast

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A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball

(a bit bigger than a cricket ball).

soft ball

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Calvin Coolidge would occasionally press all the buttons in the Oval Office,

sending bells ringing throughout the White House

— and then hide to watch his staff run in.

Apparently he just wanted to see who was working.

Calvin Coolidge

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Men with hairless chests are more likely to

get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.

hairy chest

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A fact in honor of the World Cup currently underway in Brazil.

The word Soccer actually originated in the United Kingdom.

Association Football was shortened to “socca”

(derived from the middle of the word association).

This turned into the word “soccer”

that is still used in the US, Canada, and Australia.

soccer Brazil World Cup 2014

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The day of his assassination,

Martin Luther King Jr.

got in a pillow fight in his hotel room.

Martin Luther King Jr

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Cows have best friends and they tend

to spend most of their time together.

Cows

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The Dutch discovered Australia 100 years before the British

but decided to ignore it because they thought it was a useless desert.

Crikey!

Australia

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There is a ‘zip bomb’ called 42.zip

that is only 42 kilobytes when zipped,

but is 4.5 Petabytes uncompressed.

Be careful clicking on those email attachments!

42.zip

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4’33? (pronounced “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”

or just “Four thirty-three”) is a three-movement composition

by American experimental composer John Cage

for any instrument or combination of instruments,

and the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s)

during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements.

Here it is…… No it’s not. What would be the point of that???

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It’s A May Day Holiday In Some Places, But There Are No Breaks From The Weekly Fasab Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Holiday or not, no place to hide from the fasab weekly quiz.

Let’s see how you cope with today’s challenge.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 2

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Q.  1:  What does the ‘K’ in K-mart stand for?

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Q.  2:  Which way does a “no smoking” sign’s slash run?

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Q.  3:  During WWII, what popular food in the U.S. was dubbed “Liberty Steaks” to avoid a German-sounding name?

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Q.  4:  Do books have even # pages on the right or left side?

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Q.  5:  What is the name of Britain’s highest mountain?

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Q.  6:  The Triumph TR 6, Aston Martin DB6, Ferrari Dino and the early 1970s Ford Mustang all had which kind of tail or back?

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Q.  7:  Who was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Price along with Nelson Mandela?

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Q.  8:  What is the collective term for a group of tigers?

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Q.  9:  Who is responsible for saying “You’re Fired” in the American and British versions of The Apprentice? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 10:  On which card in a deck is the cardmaker’s trademark?

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Q. 11:  This small, war torn, country’s name translated means white, its Capital is divided by the ‘green line’, Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was banned there and it hosted the 2009 Asian Winter Games. What is it?

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Q. 12:  What were the early occupations of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  The name of which country means ‘go and milk it’?  

            a) Italy          b) India          c) Somalia          d) Brazil

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Q. 14:  What Nobel Prize winning writer was In Dubious Battle with The Grapes Of Wrath, East Of Eden?

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Q. 15:  Which President of the United States of America regularly bought slaves in Washington, D.C. and quietly freed them in Pennsylvania?

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Q. 16:  Towards the end of World War II, the Allied forces dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and a second, an H-bomb, on the city of Nagasaki. If it had been necessary to drop a third nuclear device what was to be the target city?

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Q. 17:  What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

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Q. 18:  In Mel Brooks’ ‘Silent Movie,’ who is the only person who has a speaking role?

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Q. 19:  Who wrote ‘A Clockwork Orange’?

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Q. 20:  Which letter of the alphabet links Boney People?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What does the ‘K’ in K-mart stand for?

A.  1:  The K stands for founder Sebastian S Kresge.

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Q.  2:  Which way does a “no smoking” sign’s slash run?

A.  2:  Towards the bottom right.

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Q.  3:  During WWII, what popular food in the U.S. was dubbed “Liberty Steaks” to avoid a German-sounding name?

A.  3:  Hamburgers.

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Q.  4:  Do books have even # pages on the right or left side?

A.  4:  Left.

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Q.  5:  What is the name of Britain’s highest mountain?

A.  5:  Ben Nevis.

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Q.  6:  The Triumph TR 6, Aston Martin DB6, Ferrari Dino and the early 1970s Ford Mustang all had which kind of tail or back?

A.  6:  Kamm (Kamm tail, K-tail or Kammback).

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Q.  7:  Who was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Price along with Nelson Mandela?

A.  7:  Former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk.

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Q.  8:  What is the collective term for a group of tigers?

A.  8:  An ‘Ambush’.

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Q.  9:  Who is responsible for saying “You’re Fired” in the American and British versions of The Apprentice? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  9:  Donald Trump in the US version and Lord Alan Sugar in the British version.

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Q. 10:  On which card in a deck is the cardmaker’s trademark?

A. 10:  On the Ace of spades.

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Q. 11:  This small, war torn, country’s name translated means white, its Capital is divided by the ‘green line’, Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code was banned there and it hosted the 2009 Asian Winter Games. What is it?

A. 11:  Lebanon.

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Q. 12:  What were the early occupations of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  He had been a teacher and journalist.

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Q. 13:  The name of which country means ‘go and milk it’?  

            a) Italy          b) India          c) Somalia          d) Brazil

A. 13:  c) Somalia.         

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Q. 14:  What Nobel Prize winning writer was In Dubious Battle with The Grapes Of Wrath, East Of Eden?

A. 14:  John Steinbeck.

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Q. 15:  Which President of the United States of America regularly bought slaves in Washington, D.C. and quietly freed them in Pennsylvania?

A. 15:  James Buchanan.

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Q. 16:  Towards the end of World War II, the Allied forces dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and a second, an H-bomb, on the city of Nagasaki. If it had been necessary to drop a third nuclear device what was to be the target city?

A. 16:  Third city to be targeted was Tokyo.

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Q. 17:  What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

A. 17:  The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119.

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Q. 18:  In Mel Brooks’ ‘Silent Movie,’ who is the only person who has a speaking role?

A. 18:  Typical of Mel Brooks’ humor, the only person with a speaking role in ‘Silent Movie’  is the famous mime Marcel Marceau.

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Q. 19:  Who wrote ‘A Clockwork Orange’?

A. 19:  Anthony Burgess.

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Q. 20:  Which letter of the alphabet links Boney People?

A. 20:  The letter is ‘M’ as in ‘Boney M’ and ‘M People’.

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The Quizzes March On!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another month and another quiz to get it off to a challenging start.

One or two relatively easy ones today, but I think most of them you will find tough enough.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 5

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Q.  1:  What is the official language of Brazil?

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Q.  2:  Which wife of a politician said in 1981, ‘Woman is like a teabag: you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in the hot water’?

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Q.  3:  Many expanses of water of varying sizes are designated as ‘seas’ such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, etc. But what is the only such sea in the world that does not have a coastline?

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Q.  4:  What book was Denzel Washington protecting in the 2010 movie?

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Q.  5:  What is both unusual and famous about the restaurant in Volterra, Italy called  “Fortezza Medicea”?

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Q.  6:  In which city is the music recording company Motown based?

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Q.  7:  The official country retreat of the President of the USA, Camp David, is located in which mountains?

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Q.  8:  Where did the Incas originate?

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Q.  9:  What was the name of the Cuban President over thrown by Fidel Castro in 1959?

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Q. 10:  Although the United States has Roswell and Area 51, and Hollywood has pushed out a unending stream of movies based on them, the government does not officially recognize the existence of UFOs. However three well known countries do formally recognize the existence of UFOs, can you name them? (A point for each and a bonus point if you can name all three.)

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Q. 11:  Who was coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in 1967?

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Q. 12:  Who was dubbed “Lenin’s left leg” during the early stages of Russia’s Marxist movement? 

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Q. 13:  In which US city was the first skyscraper built in 1883?

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Q. 14:  A double question with multiple points. The US State Department currently recognizes 194 different countries in the world, but how many take up approximately half of Earth’s land area?

HINT: It is a relatively small number of the 194 total and there is a bonus point for each of them that you can name.

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Q. 15:  What phrase is the unlikely link between Barbara Streisand and Bugs Bunny?

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Q. 16:  What is the only state in the Middle East in which there is no desert?

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Q. 17:  What former Soviet state is currently experiencing massive civil unrest and upheaval?

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Q. 18:  Which river has the largest delta?

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Q. 19:  Whoopie Goldberg played one in a movie and Patricia Arquette played another in a television series, what were they? (And bonus points if you can name the movie and the tv series.)

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Q. 20:  Which movie other than ‘The Bodyguard’ featured the song “I Will Always Love You”?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What is the official language of Brazil?

A.  1:  Portuguese.

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Q.  2:  Which wife of a politician said in 1981, ‘Woman is like a teabag: you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in the hot water’?

A.  2:  Nancy Reagan.

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Q.  3:  Many expanses of water of varying sizes are designated as ‘seas’ such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, etc. But what is the only such sea in the world that does not have a coastline?

A.  3:  The Sargasso Sea in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is surrounded by ocean currents and no land and therefore has no coast.

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Q.  4:  What book was Denzel Washington protecting in the 2010 movie?

A.  4:  The Book Of Eli. You also get a point if you said The Bible.

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Q.  5:  What is both unusual and famous about the restaurant in Volterra, Italy called  “Fortezza Medicea”?

A.  5:  “Fortezza Medicea” is a maximum security prison – the cooks and waiters are all doing  sentences of at least seven years.

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Q.  6:  In which city is the music recording company Motown based?

A.  6:  Detroit.

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Q.  7:  The official country retreat of the President of the USA, Camp David is in which mountains?

A.  7:  Appalachians.

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Q.  8:  Where did the Incas originate?

A.  8:  Peru.

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Q.  9:  What was the name of the Cuban President over thrown by Fidel Castro in 1959?

A.  9:  General Batista.

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Q. 10:  Although the United States has Roswell and Area 51, and Hollywood has pushed out a unending stream of movies based on them, the government does not officially recognize the existence of UFOs. However three well known countries do formally recognize the existence of UFOs, can you name them? (A point for each and a bonus point if you can name all three.)

A. 10:  France, Italy and Chile have all formally recognized the existence of UFOs.

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Q. 11:  Who was coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in 1967?

A. 11:  Sidney Poitier.

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Q. 12:  Who was dubbed “Lenin’s left leg” during the early stages of Russia’s Marxist movement? 

A. 12:  Joseph Stalin.

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Q. 13:  In which US city was the first skyscraper built in 1883?

A. 13:  Chicago.

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Q. 14:  A double question with multiple points. The US State Department currently recognizes 194 different countries in the world, but how many take up approximately half of Earth’s land area?

HINT: It is a relatively small number of the 194 total and there is a bonus point for each of them that you can name.

A. 14:  Seven countries take half of the Earth’s land area and they are Russia, Canada, USA, China, Australia, Brazil and Argentina.

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Q. 15:  What phrase is the unlikely link between Barbara Streisand and Bugs Bunny?

A. 15:  “What’s up, Doc?” is Bugs’ catchphrase and the name of a 1972 comedy/romance movie starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neill.

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Q. 16:  What is the only state in the Middle East in which there is no desert?

A. 16:  Lebanon.

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Q. 17:  What former Soviet state is currently experiencing massive civil unrest and upheaval?

A. 17:  The Ukraine.

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Q. 18:  Which river has the largest delta?

A. 18:  The River Ganges.

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Q. 19:  Whoopie Goldberg played one in a movie and Patricia Arquette played another in a television series, what were they? (And bonus points if you can name the movie and the tv series.)

A. 19:  They played ‘mediums’, Whoopie Goldberg in the movie ‘Ghost’ and Patricia Arquette in the hit tv series ‘Medium’.

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Q. 20:  Which movie other than ‘The Bodyguard’ featured the song “I Will Always Love You”?

A. 20:  ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’, a movie starring Dolly Parton who wrote the song.

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Did You Know? – It’s A First Tuesday Fact Feast!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s the first Tuesday of 2014 so here are a few lesser known facts about the New Year, its traditions and its celebrations.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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January is named after Janus, the god with two faces,

one looking forward and one looking backward.

janus

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The Scottish ‘First Footer’ tradition or superstition originates

in the belief that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring

either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year,

depending on who he/she was.

First Footer

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The tradition of fireworks and making loud noises on New Year’s Eve

is believed to have originated in ancient times,

when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

New-Years-Desktop-Pictures-New-Years-Eve-in-Sydney

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Traditionally, it was thought that people could alter the luck

they would have throughout the coming year

by what they did or ate on the first day of the year.

It has, therefore, become important to celebrate first day of the New Year

in the company of family and friends.

new year party

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Almost half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions,

mainly about losing weight, stopping smoking, being better organized,

staying fit and healthy and spending less and saving more.

new year resolutions

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More than half of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions

are able to keep them for less than a month.

resolutions broken

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In Denmark, it is a good sign when you find broken dishes in front of your door.

Danish people specially keep a few plates that they break

to place at their friends’ doors on New Year’s Eve.

broken plates

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Many parts of the U.S. celebrate New Year by consuming black-eyed peas

and other legumes, as it has been considered good luck in many cultures.

Black-Eyed-Peas

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Ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs,

which symbolized productiveness.

Eggs

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“Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

It was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788

and may have based it on a folk song.

The words “auld lang syne” mean “times gone by”.

Robert Burns

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More than a third of a billion glasses of Champagne and other sparkling wine

are consumed during the Christmas / New Year celebrations.

champagne glasses

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In Brazil at New Year many people dress in white

as a sign or hope for peace for the coming year.

brazil new year

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The Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks.

The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball

adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs.

Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds,

is 12 feet in diameter and is bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.

The only time the New Year’s Eve ball was not lowered was

in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions.

times-square-ball

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The tradition of ringing in the New Year dates back four thousand years,

to the time of the Babylonians who celebrated it at

the first full moon after the spring equinox.

HNY Bells

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In 46 BC Julius Caesar made January 1st the first day of the year.

In England and its colonies, including America,

we didn’t do the same until 1752.

julius caesar

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The top three destinations in the United States

to ring in the New Year are

Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.

Las Vegas New Years

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Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year,

in the shape of a ring is good luck,

because it symbolizes “coming full circle”.

rings

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In America more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day

than on any other holiday throughout the year.

StolenCar

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The Spanish ritual on New Year’s Eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight.

The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

12-uvas-nocheviejas

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The Ethiopian Calendar has twelve months with 30 days each and a

thirteenth month called Pagume with five or six days depending on the year.

Their current year is still 2006 and they celebrate New Years on September 11.

ethopian calendar

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