Further Fun Facts For January.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another round of fun facts, not just for January, but for whenever you feel like it really.

As random a mixture as ever.

Enjoy.

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fact 01

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Las Vegas casinos don’t have any clocks in

them because the owners prefer that

players lose track of time and keep gambling.

Las Vegas casinos

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Clear Coca-Cola was created for the USSR in the 1940s

because Coca-Cola was regarded in the Soviet Union

as a symbol of American imperialism.

A chemist satisfied the request by removing

the soda’s caramel color and the company

put the drink in a clear bottle with a white cap

and a red star and sent 50 cases to Russia.

Coca_Cola_Clear_by_Giluc

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Dogs can be trained to detect

the scent of lung cancer

long before symptoms develop.

Dogs can be trained to detect the scent of lung cancer

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This image of what appears to be

a humanoid on the Moon

is believed to be an optical illusion

created by a rock formation’s shadow.

Certainly not proof of alien life,

or is it!

image of humanoid on Moon

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Liam Neeson was once offered

the role of James Bond,

as were Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds,

but they all turned it down.

Liam Neeson offered the role of James Bond

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The three pyramids in Giza Necropolis

are the most famous Egyptian pyramids

but in fact, as many as about 140 pyramids

in total have been discovered in Ancient Egypt.

three pyramids in Giza

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In October 2006,

Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in stocks,

only eighteen months after it was created.

The three founders received big rewards,

Jawed Karim getting $66 million in Google stock,

Steven Chen $310 million,

and Chad Hurley $334 million.

Google bought YouTube

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A Japanese survivor from the Titanic disaster

was shamed when he returned to Japan,

he was told he should have gone down with the ship.

Japanese survivor from the Titanic

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The term ‘Make the grade’ originates from

the world of railroad construction

in nineteenth-century America.

The word ‘grade’ is short for ‘gradient’

as calculations had to be carefully made

to ensure engines did not encounter

sudden steep gradients.

Make the grade

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The polar bear is the only bear species

that does not hibernate;

they are active all year round.

polar bear does not hibernate

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Coffee can cause muscle contractions

along the final part of your intestine,

which can jumpstart your need to use the restroom.

This happens to about 50% of people that drink coffee.

Coffee can cause muscle contractions

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Every day, the heart creates enough energy

to drive a truck 20 miles.

In a lifetime, that is equivalent

to driving to the moon and back.

the heart

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J K Rowling’s publisher suggested

she use initials rather than her real name,

‘Joanne Rowling’,

in order to appeal to male readers.

She chose ‘J.K.’ borrowing the ‘K’ from

her grandmother’s name, Kathleen,

although neither ‘Kathleen’ nor ‘K’

are part of her legal name.

J K Rowling

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Marilyn Monroe had a bigger IQ than Albert Einstein.

Monroe’s IQ was 163, 3 points higher than Einstein.

She also had bigger … never mind …

Marilyn Monroe had a higher IQ than Albert Einstein

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The Beatles song “Dear Prudence” was written

about Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence,

when she wouldn’t come out and play

with Mia and the Beatles at

a religious retreat in India.

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The Quiz Is Back!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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No quiz last week.

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

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

Some easy and some quite difficult.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ANSWERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

A.  7:  The Adriatic sea.

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

A.  8:  It is called ‘ISIS’.

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

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

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

A. 10:  Mercedes.

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

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

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

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

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

A. 13:  Eva Braun.

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

A. 14:  Rio de Janeiro.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. 20:  Simon And Garfunkel.

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Another Quiz For Monday.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi, and welcome to another quiz for Monday.

A random mixture of general knowledge, history, geography, politics, sport, movies, etc., all designed to get you thinking.

As usual, if you get stuck, the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 8

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Q.  1:  Name the only boxer to knock out Mohammed Ali?

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Q.  2:  In what Clint Eastwood movie did Gene Hackman appear as the President of the United States?

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Q.  3:  When Steve Jobs set up the Apple computer company in 1976 who was his partner?

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Q.  4:  What phrase was used to describe the German empire under Hitler?

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Q.  5:  Which Shakespearean character, haunted by the ghost of his murdered father, shares his name with a small settlement of people?

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Q.  6:  Which group was made up of a cowboy, an Indian, a policeman, a biker, a GI and a builder?

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Q.  7:  Which war drama, first seen on British Television in October 1972, depicted life in a German castle used for prisoners of war?

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Q.  8:  Who murdered the well known singer Marvin Gay?

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Q.  9:  What is the Spanish word for ‘Conqueror’?

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Q. 10:  The term “Expletive Deleted” came into fashion as a result of the publication of the transcript of what?

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Q. 11:  Which notorious gang were involved in the famous gunfight against the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday at the O.K Corral?

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Q. 12:  How did David kill Goliath?

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Q. 13:  Which island volcano is west of Java, unless in the movie where it is east of Java, and erupted in 1883 causing 36,000 deaths?

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Q. 14:  Who published ‘Centuries’ in 1555, a book of rhyming prophesies going up to the year 3797?

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Q. 15:  The Clayton Bulwer Treaty signed in 1850 concerned the construction of what?

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Q. 16:  In which year was the first Afro-American elected to the US Congress?

            a) 1870,           b) 1906,           c) 1928           d) 1960

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Q. 17:  Who is the only US president to have never been elected?

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Q. 18:  Which company owned most of what is now called Canada in the early colonial days?

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Q. 19:  Which country has the world’s oldest flag?

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Q. 20:  Which famous actor sang ‘We Are Ready’ at the end of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Name the only boxer to knock out Mohammed Ali?

A.  1:  Larry Holmes, in 1980.

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Q.  2:  In what Clint Eastwood movie did Gene Hackman appear as the President of the United States?

A.  2:  Absolute Power.

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Q.  3:  When Steve Jobs set up the Apple computer company in 1976 who was his partner?

A.  3:  Stephen Wozniak.

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Q.  4:  What phrase was used to describe the German empire under Hitler?

A.  4:  It was known as the ‘Third Reich’.

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Q.  5:  Which Shakespearean character, haunted by the ghost of his murdered father, shares his name with a small settlement of people?

A.  5:  Hamlet.

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Q.  6:  Which group was made up of a cowboy, an Indian, a policeman, a biker, a GI and a builder?

A.  6:  Village People.

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Q.  7:  Which war drama, first seen on British Television in October 1972, depicted life in a German castle used for prisoners of war?

A.  7:  Colditz.

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Q.  8:  Who murdered the well known singer Marvin Gay?

A.  8:  His father.

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Q.  9:  What is the Spanish word for ‘Conqueror’?

A.  9:  Conquistador.

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Q. 10:  The term “Expletive Deleted” came into fashion as a result of the publication of the transcript of what?

A. 10:  The Watergate Tapes.

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Q. 11:  Which notorious gang were involved in the famous gunfight against the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday at the O.K Corral?

A. 11:  The Clantons.

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Q. 12:  How did David kill Goliath?

A. 12:  With a stone from a sling.

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Q. 13:  Which island volcano is west of Java, unless in the movie where it is east of Java, and erupted in 1883 causing 36,000 deaths?

A. 13:  Krakatoa.

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Q. 14:  Who published ‘Centuries’ in 1555, a book of rhyming prophesies going up to the year 3797?

A. 14:  Nostradamus.

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Q. 15:  The Clayton Bulwer Treaty signed in 1850 concerned the construction of what?

A. 15:  Panama Canal.

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Q. 16:  In which year was the first Afro-American elected to the US Congress?

            a) 1870,           b) 1906,           c) 1928           d) 1960

A. 16:  a) 1870.

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Q. 17:  Who is the only US president to have never been elected?

A. 17:  Gerald Ford.

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Q. 18:  Which company owned most of what is now called Canada in the early colonial days?

A. 18:  The Hudson Bay Company.

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Q. 19:  Which country has the world’s oldest flag?

A. 19:  Denmark. (Maybe we should have a whip round and buy them a new one?)

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Q. 20:  Which famous actor sang ‘We Are Ready’ at the end of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?

A. 20:  Jackie Chan.

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Back To Normal Quiz

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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After a couple of festive mega quizzes it’s back to normal this week with a standard sized offering to test your knowledge.

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

Enjoy.

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quiz 06

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Q.  1:  What was Walt Disney’s Middle name?

           a) Ewart   b) Elias   c) Elliot    d) Ernest

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Q.  2:  Which was the first state in America to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, and what year did that law that come into effect? (A point for each part.)

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Q.  3:  In which year did seat belts become compulsory in Great Britain?

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Q.  4:  In Germany what is a ‘kaufhaus’?

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Q.  5:  Which country has the longest land border with Russia?

           a) Mongolia        b) Kazakhstan        c) China

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Q.  6:  ‘Hogmanay’ is another name for which day of the year?

            a) New Year’s Day        b) New Year’s Eve        c) Christmas Day

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Q.  7:  Camp David, the country retreat of US Presidents, is in which state?

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Q.  8:  The name of which Mexican snack food literally means ‘little cheese thing’?

           a) quesadilla        b) burrito        c) enchilada

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Q.  9:  Absolute government by one person called what?

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Q. 10:  The Egyptian god Anubis had the head of what animal?

            a) Jackal        b) Lion        c) Crocodile

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Q. 11:  What was the first fully computer-generated feature length movie made by Pixar?

            a) Monsters Inc        b) A Bug’s Life        c) Toy Story

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Q. 12:  Which Canadian city hosts the ‘Just For Laughs’ comedy festival every July?

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Q. 13:  Who was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus?

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Q. 14:  The US TV series ‘The Office’ was set in which Pennsylvanian city?

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Q. 15:  What is measured on the Rankine scale?

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Q. 16:  Who composed the opera ‘Cosi fan tutte’?

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Q. 17:  What is the profession of Bill Murray’s character in ‘Groundhog Day’?

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Q. 18:  ‘Mariculture’ is the cultivation of the animals and plants of which environment?

            a) Desert        b) Forest        c) Sea

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Q. 19:  Writers from which country have won the Nobel Prize for Literature most often?

            a) America        b) Sweden        c) France        d) England

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Q. 20:  What car is the prize possession of Clint Eastwood’s movie character ‘Walt Kowalski’?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What was Walt Disney’s Middle name?

           a) Ewart   b) Elias   c) Elliot    d) Ernest

A.  1:  b) Elias.

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Q.  2:  Which was the first state in America to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, and what year did that law that come into effect? (A point for each part.)

A.  2:  New York in 1984 (December 1 to be precise).

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Q.  3:  In which year did seat belts become compulsory in Great Britain?

A.  3:  1983.

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Q.  4:  In Germany what is a ‘kaufhaus’?

A.  4:  A department store.

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Q.  5:  Which country has the longest land border with Russia?

           a) Mongolia        b) Kazakhstan        c) China

A.  5:  b) Kazakhstan.

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Q.  6:  ‘Hogmanay’ is another name for which day of the year?

            a) New Year’s Day        b) New Year’s Eve        c) Christmas Day

A.  6:  Hogmanay is celebrated on b) New Year’s Eve.

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Q.  7:  Camp David, the country retreat of US Presidents, is in which state?

A.  7:  Maryland.

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Q.  8:  The name of which Mexican snack food literally means ‘little cheese thing’?

           a) quesadilla        b) burrito        c) enchilada

A.  8:  a) quesadilla.

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Q.  9:  Absolute government by one person called what?

A.  9:  Autocracy.

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Q. 10:  The Egyptian god Anubis had the head of what animal?

            a) Jackal        b) Lion        c) Crocodile

A. 10:  a) Jackal.

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Q. 11:  What was the first fully computer-generated feature length movie made by Pixar?

            a) Monsters Inc        b) A Bug’s Life        c) Toy Story

A. 11:  c) Toy Story.

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Q. 12:  Which Canadian city hosts the ‘Just For Laughs’ comedy festival every July?

A. 12:  Montreal.

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Q. 13:  Who was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus?

A. 13:  Jupiter.

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Q. 14:  The US TV series ‘The Office’ was set in which Pennsylvanian city?

A. 14:  Scranton.

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Q. 15:  What is measured on the Rankine scale?

A. 15:  The Rankine scale measures temperature.

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Q. 16:  Who composed the opera ‘Cosi fan tutte’?

A. 16:  Mozart.

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Q. 17:  What is the profession of Bill Murray’s character in ‘Groundhog Day’?

A. 17:  He plays the part of a TV weatherman.

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Q. 18:  ‘Mariculture’ is the cultivation of the animals and plants of which environment?

            a) Desert        b) Forest        c) Sea

A. 18:  c) Sea.

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Q. 19:  Writers from which country have won the Nobel Prize for Literature most often?

            a) America        b) Sweden        c) France        d) England

A. 19:  c) France.

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Q. 20:  What car is the prize possession of Clint Eastwood’s movie character ‘Walt Kowalski’?

A. 20:  Gran Torino

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Do You Know What Day It Is?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If you do know what day it is then you’re off to a good start.

Yes, today is Quiz Day. No points for that answer, but lots to be had below.

And as usual the answers are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below – but NO cheating, please!

Let’s get started.

Enjoy.

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quiz 8

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Q.  1:  What was the name of the blind Benedictine monk who allegedly invented Champagne?

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Q.  2:  Which cartoon dog spars with Tom and Jerry?

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Q.  3:  What was the first war in which jet airplanes fought each other?

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Q.  4:  Who first played James Bond in the cinema?

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Q.  5:  Which civilization built Machu Picchu?

Q.  6:  The small Russian buckwheat pancakes that are often served with caviar are called what?

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Q.  7:  What is a part of the digestive system and the currency in Costa Rica?

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Q.  8:  In which 1964 movie did Clint Eastwood play ‘The Man With No Name’?

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Q.  9:  Who played the title role in the TV series Cannon?

Q. 10:  Parker and Barrow were the surnames, what were the Christian names?

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Q. 11:  Louisette was the original name for a famous decollator. What is the more common name for this device?

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Q. 12:  Which bird is said to embody the souls of dead mariners?

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Q. 13:  Which Japanese city was devastated by an earthquake on January 18th, 1995?

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Q. 14:  Which famous horror movie takes place in the sleepy little coastal town Bodega Bay?

Q. 15:  Which detective character used the catch-phrase “Book ‘um Danno”?

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Q. 16:  Plus or minus 1, how many centimeters in height does a woman lose (on average) between her 40th and 70th birthday?

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Q. 17:  Who was famously assassinated with an Ice Pick in Mexico?

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Q. 18:  What was codename of Bob Woodward’s Watergate contact?

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Q. 19:  In which city would you find the bar Cheers?

Q. 20:  Which astronomical occurrence popularized in a song title never occurs in February? (2 words)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What was the name of the blind Benedictine monk who allegedly invented Champagne?

A.  1:  Dom Perignon

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Q.  2:  Which cartoon dog spars with Tom and Jerry?

A.  2:  Spike

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Q.  3:  What was the first war in which jet airplanes fought each other?

A.  3:  The Korean war

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Q.  4:  Who first played James Bond in the cinema?

A.  4:  Sean Connery

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Q.  5:  Which civilization built Machu Picchu?

A.  5:  The Incas

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Q.  6:  The small Russian buckwheat pancakes that are often served with caviar are called what?

A.  6:  Blini

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Q.  7:  What is a part of the digestive system and the currency in Costa Rica?

A.  7:  Colon

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Q.  8:  In which 1964 movie did Clint Eastwood play ‘The Man With No Name’?

A.  8:  A Fistful Of Dollars

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Q.  9:  Who played the title role in the TV series Cannon?

A.  9:  William Conrad

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Q. 10:  Parker and Barrow were the surnames, what were the Christian names?

A. 10:  Bonnie and Clyde.

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Q. 11:  Louisette was the original name for a famous decollator. What is the more common name for this device?

A. 11:  Guillotine

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Q. 12:  Which bird is said to embody the souls of dead mariners?

A. 12:  Albatross

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Q. 13:  Which Japanese city was devastated by an earthquake on January 18th, 1995?

A. 13:  Kobe

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Q. 14:  Which famous horror movie takes place in the sleepy little coastal town Bodega Bay?

A. 14:  The Birds

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Q. 15:  Which detective character used the catch-phrase “Book ‘um Danno”?

A. 15:  Steve McGarrett – Hawaii Five-O

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Q. 16:  Plus or minus 1, how many centimeters in height does a woman lose (on average) between her 40th and 70th birthday?

A. 16:  5 cm.   (3 cm. for men)

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Q. 17:  Who was famously assassinated with an Ice Pick in Mexico?

A. 17:  Trotsky

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Q. 18:  What was codename of Bob Woodward’s Watergate contact?

A. 18:  Deep Throat

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Q. 19:  In which city would you find the bar Cheers?

A. 19:  Boston

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Q. 20:  Which astronomical occurrence popularized in a song title never occurs in February? (2 words)

A. 20:   Blue Moon 

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Clever Celebrity Caricatures

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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As most of you know, the main focus of this blog is on the stupidity of the politicians and bureaucrats who do all that they can to make our lives less enjoyable and free than they could be without such unwanted and idiotic interference.

Occasionally, however, I like to feature quite the opposite, things and people who are exceptional in their chosen field, whether that be science, sport, engineering, music or whatever.

Today’s post is one of the latter and is a wonderful selection of caricatures that I received in a recent email. Unfortunately I don’t know the names of the exceptional artists who did these drawings, otherwise I would be more than happy to acknowledge them. Nonetheless I think as wide an audience as possible deserves to be able to view their work and what follows I hope will be a small part of that.

Enjoy, I think you will. And if you feel the urge please let me know you favorite or favorites.

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Caricatures.

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Einstein

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Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown

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Barack Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Benedikt XVI and Prince Charles

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George W Bush and Vladimir Poetin

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Bill Clinton and Gerhard Schroder

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Donald Trump and Bill Gates

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Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali

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Pablo Picasso and Karl Lagerfeld

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Quentin Tarantino and Alfred Hitchcock .

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Steven Spielberg and Roman Polanski

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Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt.

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Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich.

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Bill Murray and Bruce Willis

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Christopher Walken

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Clint Eastwood and George Clooney

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Humphrey Bogart and Harrison Ford

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Jack Nicholson and Jamie Lee Curtis

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John Wayne and Klaus Kinski

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Lee Marvin and Marilyn Monroe

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Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage

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Paul Newman and Orson Wells

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Penelope Cruz and Robert de Niro

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Rowan Atkinson and Sarah Jessica Parker

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Sean Connery and Sophia Loren

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Sylvester Stallone and Tom Cruise.

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Tom Hanks and Uma Thurman

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Whoopi Goldberg and Bruce Lee

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Bjork and David Bowie

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Chet Baker

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Dolly Parton and Duke Ellington

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Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton

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James Brown and John Lenon

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Keith Richards and Kylie Minogue

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Lou Reed and Michael Jackson

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Madonna

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Mick Jagger and Neil Young

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Paul McCartney and Steve Tyler

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Tina Turner and Katarina Witt

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THE END

(Copyright to all drawings belong to the original artists)

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Forty-Four 44

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Okay, this week’s significant number was either going to be 44 or 45, but, rightly or wrongly, the American people voted for Barack Obama and so the number is 44  –  hard luck Mitt.

So here we go, and just like President Obama we’re not sure exactly where.

Enjoy.

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44 Forty-four

 44

 

 

In politics

  • In the U.S. presidential election of 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt won reelection over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey, becoming the only U.S. president elected to a fourth term.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

  • A few days ago Barack Obama was elected to his second term as the 44th US President.
Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America
Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America

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In mathematics

  • 44 is a tribonacci number, a happy number, an octahedral number and a palindromic number.

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In science

  • 44 is the atomic number of ruthenium

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In space

  • STS-44 was the 44th Shuttle mission. It was cut short after one of its three navigational units failed.

 sts-44-patch

 

  • Messier object M44, also known as the Beehive Cluster, is a magnitude 4.0 open cluster in the constellation Cancer,
Messier object M44
Messier object M44

  

  • 44 is the Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on April 30, 1448 BC and ended on June 7, 168 BC . The duration of Saros series 44 was 1280.1 years, and it contained 72 solar eclipses.
  • The Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on October 1, 1363 BC and ended on March 27, 153 . The duration of Saros series 44 was 1514.5 years, and it contained 85 lunar eclipses.

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In sport

  • 44 is the retired number for former baseball players Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey and Reggie Jackson; the number is sometimes considered to be a “hitter’s number”.

Hank Aaron

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  • In the NFL 44 was the number of Floyd Little (Denver Broncos) and Pete Retzlaff (Philadelphia Eagles)
Floyd Little
Floyd Little

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  • In the NBA 44 was the number of Dan Issel, (Denver Nuggets); Jerry West (L.A. Lakers); Paul Westphal (Phoenix Suns); Sam Lacey (Sacramento Kings); and George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs).
Dan Issel
Dan Issel

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  • A number of football legends at Syracuse University also wore 44, most notably by Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, and Rob Konrad. Although the number was officially retired in 2005, the legend of 44 remains an important part of the identity of Syracuse University.

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In WWII

1944 was arguably the most interesting year of World War II. Incidents of note included:

 

  • The Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome when 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the Italian Resistance from various groups.

 

  • The real “Great Escape” (as opposed to the famous movie version) when 76 Royal Air Force prisoners escape by tunnel “Harry” from Stalag Luft III. Only three made it back to the UK, and of those recaptured, fifty were executed.

 

  • Exercise Tiger, or Operation Tiger, was the code name for one in a series of large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, which took place on Slapton Sands or Slapton Beach in Devon.
  • The first practice assault took place on the morning of 27 April. H-hour was set for 7:30 am, and was to be preceded by a live firing exercise to acclimatize the troops to the sights, sounds and even smells of a naval bombardment. During the landing itself, live rounds were to be fired over the heads of the incoming troops by forces on land, for the same reason. This followed an order made by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, who felt that the men must be hardened by exposure to real battle conditions.
  • The British heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins was to shell the beach with live ammunition, from 6:30 to 7:00 am, giving the beachmasters half an hour to inspect the beach and declare it safe.
  • However, several of the landing ships for that morning were delayed, and the officer in charge decided to delay the bombardment until 8:30am. This message was received by HMS Hawkins, but not by a number of the landing craft, with the result that troops were landing on the beach at the same time as the bombardment was taking place. This unfortunate mix-up resulted in a “friendly fire” incident with 946 American servicemen losing their lives.
  • The incident was under the strictest secrecy at the time due to the impending invasion, and was only nominally reported afterward. As a result it has been a largely “forgotten” disaster of WWII.

Plaque commemorating those killed in Operation Tiger

 

  • On June 6 Operation Overlord, or the D-Day landings, took place, when 155,000 Allied troops shipped from England land on the beaches of Normandy in northern France.
  • It was the largest amphibious military operation in history and was the beginning of the liberation of France and the other countries in Europe invaded by Nazi Germany.
D-Day Landings
D-Day Landings

 

  • Also in 1944, on July 20 there was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler led by Claus von Stauffenberg.
Führerhauptquartier, Stauffenberg, Hitler
Führerhauptquartier, Stauffenberg, Hitler

 

  • At the beginning of August 1944 the Warsaw Uprising began and lasted until October 2, when it was finally ended by Nazi troops.
Warsaw Uprising Symbol
Warsaw Uprising Symbol

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  • Also in August of that year, the Gestapo, acting on a tip off from a Dutch informer, sealed-off an area in an Amsterdam warehouse and captured Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family.
  • They were placed on the last transport train from Westerbork to Auschwitz, and on October 30, Anne Frank and sister Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Anne Frank diary
Anne Frank diary

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In militaria

  • The .44 Remington Magnum or .44 Special are popular large-bore cartridge calibres. Originally designed for revolvers, a their introduction, they were quickly adopted for carbines and rifles as well.
44 calibre ammo
44 calibre ammo

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  • However many people mistakenly believe that the Smith & Wesson (S&W) .44 calibre revolver heavily featured in numerous Hollywood movies, particularly Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry is called the .44 Magnum (the most powerful handgun in the world), neither of which are true. The revolver used in those movies is actually the Smith & Wesson Model 29, a six-shot, double-action revolver chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge. It comes in a variety of models with 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, 6½”, 8″ and, later, 10″ barrel lengths.

Smith & Wesson Model 29

 

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  • StG 44
  • The StG 44 (Sturmgewehr 44) is an assault rifle developed in Nazi Germany during World War II that was the first of its kind to see major deployment and is considered by many historians to be the first modern assault rifle.
  • It is also known under the designations MP 43 and MP 44 (Maschinenpistole 43, Maschinenpistole 44 respectively).
Sturmgewehr StG44
Sturmgewehr StG44

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  • Pzf 44 
  • Panzerfaust 44 “Lanze” (or Pzf 44 in short) is an antitank weapon. Development of this weapon commenced circa 1960, with grenade and launcher developed by German company Dynamit-Nobel AG.
  • The Pzf 44 entered German service during mid-sixties and in several modifications served until mid-eighties, when it was replaced by moremodern Panzerfaust 3 (Pzf 3) weapon.
  • It is a .44 Magnum carbine with a synthetic stock and stainless steel fittings. In common with many Ruger carbines it uses a rotary magazine which holds 4 rounds and fits inside the stock under the breech.

 

Panzerfaust 44 "Lanze" Pzf 44
Panzerfaust 44 “Lanze” Pzf 44

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  • DL-44 
  • The BlasTech Industries DL-44 heavy blaster pistol was a powerful sidearm from the time of the Galactic Civil War (yes, a little bit of sci-fi talk here). The DL-44 is described as a powerful, highly modifiable and accurate blaster pistol.
BlasTech Industries DL-44 heavy blaster pistol - tech drawing
BlasTech Industries DL-44 heavy blaster pistol – tech drawing
  • However, in outward design it is uncannily like the (real) German “Broomhandle” Mauser C96 pistol, used by both its German creators and the Ottoman Empire during World War I, and wound up in the hands of such notable figures as T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and Winston Churchill, and also saw service among various revolutionary movements throughout the world following the First World War.

 

"Broomhandle" Mauser C96
“Broomhandle” Mauser C96

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  • T-44
  • The T-44 was a medium tank first produced towards the end of the Second World War by the Soviet Union. It was the successor to the famous T-34. Fewer than two thousand T-44s were built, but the design became the basis for the T-54/55 series of main battle tanks, the most-produced tank of all time.
Soviet T44 tank
Soviet T44 tank

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  • TKX
  • The TKX is a relatively new Japanese tank with a 120mm gun, costing approximately $7 million and weighing in at 44 tons weight.

 

Japanese Army TKX 44 ton tank
Japanese Army TKX 44 ton tank

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  • A-44
  • Sometimes known as the ‘mystery tank’, the A-44 was developed as T-34 modernization program in 1941. 29-30 tonns, Hull front armour – up to 75 at 60 degrees, sides – 60mm, 76.2mm and 57mm cannons, 600hp enqine. Only paper project.
A-44 'mystery' tank
A-44 ‘mystery’ tank

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  • XB-44
  • One B-29A was handed over to Pratt & Whitney to be used as a testbed for the installation of the new Wasp Major 28-cylinder engines in the B-29. They came up with the XB-44 variant.

 

XB-44-1 variant of the B-29A
XB-44-1 variant of the B-29A

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  • X-44 MANTA
  • The Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft) was a conceptual aircraft design that has been studied by NASA and the U.S. Air Force. It was intended to test the feasibility of full yaw, pitch and roll control without tailplanes (horizontal or vertical), attitude manipulation relying purely on 3D thrust vectoring. The aircraft design was derived from the F-22 Raptor and featured a stretched delta wing and no tail surfaces.
The Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft)
The Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA    (Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft)

 

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  • T-44A
  • The T-44A “Pegasus” aircraft is a twin-engine, pressurized, fixed-wing monoplane, manufactured by Beech Aircraft Corporation, Wichita, Kansas, whose mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots.

 

The T-44A "Pegasus"
The T-44A “Pegasus”

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Other stuff

  • Cities on the 44th parallel include, Minneapolis,  Simferopol (Ukraine), Bordeaux  (France),  Belgrade and Šabac (Serbia), Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada), Bucharest (Romania), Pierre (South Dakota), Augusta (Maine), and Montpelier (Vermont).
  • Cities on the 44th line of longitude include, São Luís (Brazil), Sana’a (Yemen), Baghdad (Iraq), Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), Hargeisa (Somalia), Arbil (Iraqi Kurdistan), Yerevan (Armenia), and Tbilisi (Georgia).
  • 44 is the international direct dial code for phone calls to the United Kingdom;
  • Interstate 44 is the freeway that runs from Texas to Missouri;
  • U.S. Route 44, is the highway that runs from New York to Massachusetts;
  • In Pennsylvania Route 44(PA 44), is the long state highway in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
  • The name of a mysterious savior of Poland was prophesied by the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz in his masterpiece dramatic poem Dziady (Forefathers). In scene 5 of act 3, the priest Piotr announces a “reviver of the nation” who is to bring back the lost freedom of Poland, and describes him as: “Born from a foreign mother, his blood of ancient heroes, And his name will be forty and four.”
  • 44 is the name of a variant of the card game poker.
  • +44 is the name of a band that includes Blink-182 vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.
  • A blues song, Forty-Four, also known as “44 Blues”
  • Vicks Formula 44 is a cough suppressant
  • The 44 Cent Cure is the cost of treatment of intestinal worms that affect 400 million children in various arts of the world and leads to stunted physical and mental development in both boys and girls. They also cause nausea and diarrhea and in severe cases, they kill.
  • 44 is the largest number for which Wolfram Alpha offers a visual representation.
  • Wyoming was the 44th state to join The United States of America.
  • There are 44 candles in a box of Hanukkah candles.
  • An agent in the American Television series Get Smart goes under the title of 44, usually assigned to small, enclosed, unexpected spots, to meet Maxwell Smart, agent 86.
  • On January 15 1944 An earthquake hits San Juan, Argentina, killing an estimated 10,000 people in the worst natural disaster in Argentina’s history.
  • In 1944 meat rationing ends in Australia.
  • On March 4, 1944 in Ossining, New York, Louis Buchalter, the leader of 1930s crime syndicate Murder, Inc., was executed at Sing Sing, along with Emanuel Weiss, and Louis Capone.
  • In 1944 IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).
  • On September 14, 1944 the ‘Great Atlantic Hurricane’ makes landfall in the New York City area.
  • And on October 20 an LNG explosion destroyed a square mile of Cleveland, Ohio.

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