Sacre Bleu! – Er, Make That Red White And Bleu!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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sacre bleu cartoon

There has been a lot of activity in France lately concerning the United States government spying on three French Presidents.

The current President of France even called an emergency meeting of the Conseil de la Défense, the country’s highest national security forum to discuss the emergence of documents that appear to implicate the US National Security Agency (NSA) – now who’da guessed that? –  spying on Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, who ruled France from 1995 to 2012.

The documents further indicate that the NSA may have also targeted the personal communications of Francois Hollande, France’s current head of state.

The files were published by WikiLeaks, which described them as “top secret intelligence reports and technical documents”, detailing NSA spying operations against the French presidency, as well as espionage directed at several French government ministers and at France’s ambassador to the US.

French President Francois Hollande at meeting to discuss Wikileaks revelations

The documents include intelligence briefs, which detail the thoughts and diplomatic maneuvers by French presidents and other senior officials, on subjects such as the Greek economic crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and the United Nations.

This is further evidence of more disgraceful and arrogant behavior by US spy agencies.

The thing is, however, no one is surprised any more.

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations the world has come to expect illegal and bad behavior from Americans. It is as simple as that. And for the reputations of Americans it is as bad as that. Which is a great pity because these activities do not represent in any way the vast majority of the American people.

So, if they aren’t a surprise to anyone, will the latest revelations cause trouble between America and France? I think the undoubted answer is “Oui”, but only a “petit oui”.

As befits normal protocol in these kinds of things, the American ambassador to France was summoned for what was called ‘an official protest’, but little or nothing more happened apart from President Obama getting on the phone with the French President, groveling and apologizing and assuring him in no uncertain terms “that the US is no longer spying on France”.

No, I don’t believe him either, but there it is.

President Obama on phone

There was no need for America’s snooping. As with Germany, French and American intelligence agencies cooperate with each other regularly. They jointly monitor international issues of mutual concern, such as what is happening in Syria, Iraq, the Ukraine, Libya, and even the financial catastrophe that is Greece.

For now that will continue, but the road ahead looks bumpy.

Wikileaks has already made good on its promise that its “French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future”.

The latest release from the whistleblower website contains more documents that indicate that the National Security Agency (NSA), under orders from Washington, were tasked with collecting secret information not only about the economic policies of the French government and the country’s financial sector, but on export contracts by French companies.

In fact every French-registered company involved in negotiations for international projects or other sales contracts valued at over $200 million, like car makers Peugeot and Renault and financial institutions like BNP Paribas and the agricultural credit union, were also subjected to US government secret snooping.

Washington’s pathetic statements that none of this information is ever used to benefit American companies competing for international contracts rings mighty hollow with the French, and the rest of the world come to that.

This latest information is a lot more damning and may necessitate a much stronger response from the French – even if it is just to save face.

Like their attitude over the invasion of Iraq, I think any further reaction would include little or no cooperation in any future American interventions in the Middle East and maybe the use of a veto or two in the United Nations.

We might be at the start of a new meaning to the term “non” cooperation?

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non merci button

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No More Quizzes – Not This June Anyway. (Except For This One!)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to final fasab quiz for June 2015.

Half the year almost gone, but not before you get the chance to try out these questions.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 6

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Q.  1.  What was bought by the United States from France in 1803?

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Q.  2. ‘Black’, ‘Hooper’ and ‘Bewick’ are all types of what bird?

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Q.  3.  What city in South America is known as ‘The City Of The Kings’ ?

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Q.  4.  Very recently in the news for all the wrong reasons, what organization do the letters ‘FIFA’ represent?

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Q.  5.  Who was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953?

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Q.  6.   What did Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discover by accident on November 8 1895?

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Q.  7.  He was born in Illinois and died in Idaho and during his lifetime he published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works, and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature. Who was he?

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Q.  8.  What name is given to calfskin, dressed and prepared for writing on?

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Q.  9.  Which sea is sometimes called the Euxine Sea?

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Q. 10.  What is the name given to the person who is appointed the chief lawyer of the U.S. government?

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Q. 11.  Name the famous Russian ballet dancer who changed the face of modern ballet?

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Q. 12.  Who invented the rabies vaccination?

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Q. 13.  Who is the current (2015) British Prime Minister?

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Q. 14. Big points opportunity. How many countries lie between Canada and Colombia? (A point for the correct number and a bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

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Q. 15.  What fruit is ‘Calvados’ distilled from?

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Q. 16.  What is ‘Scooby’ short for in the name ‘Scooby Doo’ ?

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Q. 17.  What does ‘RADAR’ stand for?

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Q. 18.  In which French city was Joan of Arc put to death?

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Q. 19. What are the seven most popular sports in America? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name them in the correct order.)

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Q. 20.  He was famous as ‘Dracula’, ‘Scaramanga’ and ‘Saruman’. Who was he?

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ANWERS

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Q.  1.  What was bought by the United States from France in 1803?

A.  1.  The Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles).

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Q.  2. ‘Black’, ‘Hooper’ and ‘Bewick’ are all types of what bird?

A.  2. Swans.

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Q.  3.  What city in South America is known as ‘The City Of The Kings’ ?

A.  3.  Lima, Peru. (Ciudad de los Reyes)

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Q.  4.  Very recently in the news for all the wrong reasons, what organization do the letters ‘FIFA’ represent?

A.  4.  The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer.

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Q.  5.  Who was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953?

A.  5.  Joseph Stalin.

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Q.  6.   What did Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discover by accident on November 8 1895?

A.  6.  X-rays.

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Q.  7.  He was born in Illinois and died in Idaho and during his lifetime he published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works, and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature. Who was he?

A.  7.  Ernest Hemmingway.

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Q.  8.  What name is given to calfskin, dressed and prepared for writing on?

A.  8.  It is known as ‘Vellum’.

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Q.  9.  Which sea is sometimes called the Euxine Sea?

A.  9.  The Black Sea.

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Q. 10.  What is the name given to the person who is appointed the chief lawyer of the U.S. government?

A. 10.  He/she is known  as the ‘Attorney General’.

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Q. 11.  Name the famous Russian ballet dancer who changed the face of modern ballet?

A. 11.  Rudolf Nureyev.

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Q. 12.  Who invented the rabies vaccination?

A. 12.  Louis Pasteur.

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Q. 13.  Who is the current (2015) British Prime Minister?

A. 13.  David Cameron.

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Q. 14. Big points opportunity. How many countries lie between Canada and Colombia? (A point for the correct number and a bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

A. 14.  There are 9 countries that lie between Canada and Colombia – they are The United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

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Q. 15.  What fruit is ‘Calvados’ distilled from?

A. 15.  Apples.

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Q. 16.  What is ‘Scooby’ short for in the name ‘Scooby Doo’ ?

A. 16.  Scoobert.

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Q. 17.  What does ‘RADAR’ stand for?

A. 17.  ‘RADAR’ stand for ‘Radio Detection and Ranging’.

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Q. 18.  In which French city was Joan of Arc put to death?

A. 18.  Rouen.

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Q. 19. What are the seven most popular sports in America? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name them in the correct order.)

A. 19.  1.  American Football     2. Baseball     3. Basketball     4. Ice Hockey    5. Soccer    6. Tennis    and    7. Golf

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Q. 20.  He was famous as ‘Dracula’, ‘Scaramanga’ and ‘Saruman’. Who was he?

A. 20.  He was the wonderful actor Sir Christopher Lee.

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Some Baby Facts Included Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, baby facts and a lot of grown up facts too in this selection.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In spite of their crying sounds,

babies tears don’t begin to flow until they

are around 4 to 13 weeks old.

 baby crying

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Anne Parrish, an American writer was browsing

in a Paris bookstore one day when she came across

a book called, ‘Jack Frost and Other Stories’.

She began to tell her husband how she loved

the book when she was a child.

He took the book, opened it,

and inside the cover were written the words

“Anne Parish, 209 N Weber Street, Colorado”.

 Anne_Parrish,_children's_author,_head_shot

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The Titanic had its own newspaper

called The Atlantic Daily Bulletin.

 The Atlantic Daily Bulletin

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The term ‘Geek’ first showed up in northern Britain

in 1876, when it was used to refer to a fool.

Americans tweaked the meaning and by 1957 it meant

‘an unsociable and over-diligent student’.

Of course, once computers turned up in the 80’s,

‘geek’ took on a second meaning as

‘an expert in computers or science’.

 Bill_Gates_Paul_Allen_1981

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The first modern lighter was invented by

German chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner in 1823,

three years BEFORE the match was invented

by John Walker in England.

 Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner

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One of the most iconic military vehicles of all time has to

be the Willys MB Jeep, manufactured from 1941 to 1945.

This small four-wheel drive utility vehicle has

a maximum speed of up to 65 mph (105 km/h)

and an operational range of 300 miles (almost 500 km).

It was used by several countries in WWII,

including the US, UK, France and the Soviet Union.

 Willys MB Jeep

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Technically Europe is not a continent,

it’s separation from Asia was actually a Greek idea.

 Europe map

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While filming Lord of the Rings

in the mountains of New Zealand,

Sean Bean refused a helicopter ride to a set

that was high in the mountains

due to his fear of flying.

He instead hiked up to the set

in his full Boromir armor

every day that they shot up there.

 boromir

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In Indonesia the government has restricted some

lanes of traffic to only cars with 3 or more people

to try to cut down overcrowding on the roads.

Some poor people from the city outskirts

take advantage of this law by offering drivers a

Professional Hitchhiker service,

so they can drive in the fast lanes.

 Indonesia traffic jam

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Genghis Khan believed that a man could be measured

by the number of children he fathered

and consequently his harem included thousands of

women with whom he had a great many children.

So many, in fact, that geneticists have found

that roughly 8% of men in Asia carry his genetic legacy

in their Y-chromosome.

 Genghis Khan  descendents map

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127,000 trees are chopped down every day

in order to keep up with the global demand

for toilet paper.

Holy S***!!!

 toilet paper

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The original ER movie was to be directed

by Steven Spielberg until he became more interested

in another of Crichton’s projects: Jurassic Park.

Spielberg Jurassic Park

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Grab A Cup Of Coffee And A Croissant, It’s Quiz Time!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A cup of coffee and a croissant is pleasant at any time, but particularly on the first morning of the week if you have a quiz to try.

The usual wide range of questions, some rather difficult in this selection.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

 

Quiz 5

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Q.  1:  What is ‘The Forbidden City’ better known as?

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Q.  2:  What is the connection between the Academy Awards and the Phonetic Alphabet?

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Q.  3:  Where are the breakfast delicacy of Croissants originally from?

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Q.  4:  What sea creature has the largest eye of any animal? .

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Q.  5:  What is studied in the science of cryogenics?

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Q.  6:  What are motorways called in France?

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Q.  7:  What business organization underwent a “big bang” in 1986?

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Q.  8:  Which musical Roman Emperor was originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus?

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Q.  9:  ‘A Woman of Substance’, published in 1979, was a best-selling debut novel for which well-known writer?

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Q. 10:  Named after a town in Surrey, England where a spring containing it was discovered, how is hydrated magnesium sulphate better known?

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Q. 11:  Who killed Grendel and Grendel’s mother?

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Q. 12:  What North American mammal has a black and white face mask and a bushy tail with between five and seven rings?

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Q. 13:  Saint Paul’s Cathedral is in which European city?

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Q. 14:  Who played John Walton Sr. in season 1 thru 8 and the six movie sequels of The Waltons? (Five bonus points if you can name the actor who played the role in the pilot for the series.)

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Q. 15:  Where was a major treaty in the history of the EU signed in February 1992?

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Q. 16:  In literature which 1719 book has gained wide acceptance as ‘the first English novel’ ?

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Q. 17:  What is the state capital of Nebraska?

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Q. 18:  Magnetite, hematite, limonite and siderite are ores of which metal?

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Q. 19:  What color jersey is worn by the winners of each stage of the Tour De France?

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Q. 20:  Name the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What is ‘The Forbidden City’ better known as?

A.  1:  Beijing.

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Q.  2:  What is the connection between the Academy Awards and the Phonetic Alphabet?

A.  2:  Oscar.

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Q.  3:  Where are the breakfast delicacy of Croissants originally from?

A.  3:  They come from Vienna, Austria, NOT Paris, France.

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Q.  4:  What sea creature has the largest eye of any animal?

A.  4:  The giant squid.

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Q.  5:  What is studied in the science of cryogenics?

A.  5:  Very low temperatures.

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Q.  6:  What are motorways called in France?

A.  6:  Autoroutes.

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Q.  7:  What business organization underwent a “big bang” in 1986?

A.  7:  The London Stock Exchange.

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Q.  8:  Which musical Roman Emperor was originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus?

A.  8:  Nero.

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Q.  9:  ‘A Woman of Substance’, published in 1979, was a best-selling debut novel for which well-known writer?

A.  9:  Barbara Taylor Bradford.

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Q. 10:  Named after a town in Surrey, England where a spring containing it was discovered, how is hydrated magnesium sulphate better known?

A. 10:  Epsom salts.

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Q. 11:  Who killed Grendel and Grendel’s mother?

A. 11:  Beowulf.

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Q. 12:  What North American mammal has a black and white face mask and a bushy tail with between five and seven rings?

A. 12:  A Raccoon.

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Q. 13:  Saint Paul’s Cathedral is in which European city?

A. 13:  London.

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Q. 14:  Who played John Walton Sr. in season 1 thru 8 and the six movie sequels of The Waltons? (Five bonus points if you can name the actor who played the role in the pilot for the series.)

A. 14:  Ralph Waite was the actor who played John Walton Sr. in seasons 1 thru 8 and the six movie sequels. For your five bonus points, Andrew Duggan played the role in the pilot.

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Q. 15:  Where was a major treaty in the history of the EU signed in February 1992?

A. 15:  Maastricht.

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Q. 16:  In literature which 1719 book has gained wide acceptance as ‘the first English novel’?

A. 16:  Robinson Crusoe.

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Q. 17:  What is the state capital of Nebraska?

A. 17:  Lincoln.

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Q. 18:  Magnetite, hematite, limonite and siderite are ores of which metal?

A. 18:  Iron.

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Q. 19:  What color jersey is worn by the winners of each stage of the Tour De France?

A. 19:  Yellow.

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Q. 20:  Name the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

A. 20:  Peter Jackson. .

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Make Sure You Smile – It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s not that the facts today are particularly funny, in fact some of them are the exact opposite.

But if you are in Milan and reading this post I bet you are smiling anyway.

Find out why.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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Trakr, a German shepherd survivor detection dog,

made history when he became the dog that found the

last survivor of the World Trade Center attack on September 11.

For his accomplishments, Trakr was named

one of history’s most heroic animals by Time.

Trakr died in 2009 at age fourteen.

Trakr, a German shepherd survivor detection dog, made history when he became the dog that found the last survivor of the World Trade Center attack on September 11

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75% of the world’s population

speaks more than one language,

but 75% of the world’s population

speak no English.

Homer Simpson English

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Having a pet makes you happier

because petting an animal

releases oxytocin in our brains,

which is sometimes known as

the “cuddle hormone”.

cuddle hormone oxytocin

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The eyes blink on an average of

17 times per minute,

that’s 14,280 times per day

or 5.2 million times a year.

obama-blink

 

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In the early Middle Ages,

Europeans divided the day

into seven hours of equal length and,

because summer days are longer than winter ones,

a winter hour was about sixty minutes,

but a summer one was about 150 minutes.

A little bit confusing I think.

Middle Ages, Europeans divided the day into seven hours of equal length

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Trampolines contribute to at least

two deaths and numerous serious injuries

each year.

Trampoline

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Giacomo Casanova was an 18th century

Italian adventurer and nobleman famous for

his numerous elaborate affairs with women.

Today, if a man is referred to as a ‘Casanova’,

it can mean anything from an

attentive seducer to a mere lecher.

Giacomo Casanova

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In January 2012, dozens of turtles

were found dead in Keystone Heights, Florida,

at the end of Pinon Road.

No one, including the

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,

has been able to figure out what happened.  

turtle deaths unexplained

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The most powerful non-nuclear bomb

ever created by the US military is the

Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb,

better known as ‘MOAB’.

It is also more popularly known as

the “Mother of All Bombs”.

Mother of All Bombs

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Charles Dickens’s house had a secret door

in the form of a fake bookcase.

The fake books on its shelves included

titles such as ‘The Life of a Cat’

in 9 volumes of course.

bookshelves-hidden-door

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Ford’s F-150 has been the best-selling

vehicle in America for the past 33 years

and the best-selling truck since 1977.

Ford have sold over 34,000,000 of them

since they started production in 1948.

Last year alone they sold 753,851,

which is an incredible 2,065 a day,

or one every 35 seconds.

If you parked every Ford F-150

ever made side by side,

they would stretch for 49,802 miles (80,150 km),

the equivalent to twice around the Equator.

Ford F150

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The first black astronaut was Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.,

but he died before he could travel to space.

The first black astronaut in space

(spending more then 28 days there)

was Guion Bluford in 1983.

He was inducted into the

International Space Hall of Fame in 1997 and into

the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.

Guion Bluford first black astronaut in space

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The world’s greatest disaster suffered

as a result of animal attacks on humans

happened on Ramree Island during WWII.

The island is infested with saltwater crocodiles

and nearly 500 Japanese troops were eaten alive there.

The-Crocodile-Massacre-of-Ramree-Island

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When Star Wars: A New Hope was

first being shown in movie theaters

France was still executing people by guillotine.

guillotine

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Ending today’s facts on a happy note,

if you want to visit Milan, Italy,

make sure to smile all the time as the

Italian city has imposed a ban on frowning.

It is a legal requirement to smile at all times,

except during funerals or hospital visits.

If you don’t you can face a fine.

Milan

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Don’t Beam Me Up Just Yet, Scotty!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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You will get what the title is all about later. Let’s just say for now I’ll still be buying my airplane tickets and enduring the rigors of airport security for a few years longer.

As for now it’s Fact Day so have a look at the current offerings.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In cold weather keeping your cell phone

as close to your body as you can,

or in the inside pocket of an insulated base layer

will help keep it warm and prolong battery life.

 warm cell phone case

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In the West women usually start shopping for baby things

as soon as they discover they’re pregnant

but in China a pregnant Chinese woman will avoid

getting a stroller before her baby is born because

according to Chinese tradition it’s considered

bad luck to have an empty stroller in the house

while you’re pregnant.

 stroller

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The world’s oldest-known formula for toothpaste

was created by the ancient Egyptians

who used crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers,

and pepper and mixed them to create a cleaning powder.

Research suggests this ancient toothpaste was more

effective than formulas used as recently as a century ago,

although it did have the unfortunate side effect

of causing bleeding gums.

 toothpaste

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A scientific study has suggested that if you

are stressing over an important test or exam,

writing down your feelings on a piece of paper

before an exam will allow you to achieve higher scores.

 writing down your feelings on a piece of paper

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Contrary to many theories,

the tongue does not have specific receptor areas

for bitter, sour, salty, and sweet flavors.

In fact, there is a fifth taste (umami, for savory/meaty flavors)

and all zones of the tongue can sense all flavors.

 all zones of the tongue can sense all flavors

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After banning the Nobel Prize,

Adolf Hitler developed his own version

– the German National Prize for Art and Science.

Ferdinand Porsche was one of the awardees

for being the man behind the world’s first

hybrid car and for the Volkswagen Beetle.

 German National Prize for Art and Science

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In a statement he gave to the New York Times in 1909,

Nikola Tesla predicted that it would soon be possible

to transmit messages via personal devices.

Today, we have wireless communication devices

that we bring with us anywhere we go.

 Nikola Tesla

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A month after the USSR sent Sputnik 1 into space,

they sent Sputnik 2, which was the first spacecraft

to carry an animal (a dog named Laika) into space.

However, despite the Soviets initially claiming that

Laika had survived in orbit for a week,

decades later official Russian sources revealed

that Laika lived only a few hours

before dying from overheating.

Brave little doggie though.

 Laika

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During WWI “Hello Girls,” as American

soldiers called them, were American women

who served as telephone operators for

Pershing’s forces in Europe.

The women were fluent in French and English

and were specially trained by the American

Telephone and Telegraph Company.

In 1979, the U.S. Army finally gave war medals

and veteran benefits to the few Hello Girls who were still alive.

 WWI Hello Girls

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In its early days YouTube’s founders used

Craigslist to try to popularize the site

by offering $100 to attractive girls who would

post ten or more videos of themselves.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get a single response.

 craigslist logo

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The phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’

goes back to at least the mid-nineteenth century

as found in George Eliot’s ‘The Mill on the Floss’ (1860),

where Mr. Tulliver uses the phrase in discussing

Daniel Defoe’s ‘The History of the Devil’,

saying how it was beautifully bound.

Its general meaning today, of course, is that

we shouldn’t judge or make a decision about

someone or something based on a brief

impression or outward appearance.

Wise advice.

 Don’t judge a book by its cover

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Just as true champagne must hail from France,

tequila has Denomination of Origin,

meaning that it has to be produced in Mexico,

mainly in the western Mexican state of Jalisco.

The states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit,

and Tamaulipas are also acceptable.

 taquila bottles

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Located in the city of Taipei in Taiwan, the

D.S. Music Restaurant has nothing to do with music at all.

In fact, it is a bizarre hospital-themed restaurant

where waitresses are all dressed as nurses,

tables are made from metal hospital beds,

drinks are served in IV bottles and

walls are decorated with X-ray scans.

 D.S. Music Restaurant Taiwan

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Remember the teleporter Star Trek?

Well, it’s no longer science fiction because now

matter can be dissolved into particles, transported

and reassembled at another location.

However, it won’t be available for use on humans

in the near future because at the moment,

whilst it is indeed possible to scan every molecule

in the human body and reassemble it in another area,

according to Quantum physics, scanning and

reassembling changes the entire object.

You can’t make an exact copy.

So don’t beam me up just yet, Scotty!

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Lots Of Names In Today’s Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, lots of names in today’s quiz, either as the answers or as part of the questions.

Some easy and some quite difficult, but you’ll have to have a bit of knowledge of various subjects to answer them all correctly.

And as usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 2

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 Q.  1:  In which city does the American football team the ’49ers’ play?

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Q.  2:  These two men had the same name, one was sentenced to death by hanging in the United States in 1859 and the other was a Ghillie who became close to Queen Victoria after the death of her husband Prince Albert –  what was their name?

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Q.  3:  And still on the subject of names, separated only by a vowel, what were the surnames of two famous painters born in Paris, France during the 19th Century who had a significant impact on the ‘impressionist’ movement? (There is usually a point for each correct answer in questions like this, but in this case if you get one right you’ll get them both right, so just one point up for grabs.)

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Q.  4:  What type of animal is an Ibex?

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Q.  5:  Who and what is ‘Tristan da Cunha’ ? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  6:  Which treaty with Germany brought a formal end to the First World War?

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Q.  7:  What city is known as the ‘fashion capital of the world’ ?

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Q.  8:  ‘Entomology’ is the study of what?

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Q.  9:  In which organ of the body is insulin produced?

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Q. 10:  As well as skiing, which other sport takes place on a piste?

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Q. 11:  Who had himself crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1306?

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Q. 12:  Who performed the first human heart transplant?

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Q. 13:  Who is the victim of ‘The Murder in the Cathedral’ in T S Eliot’s play of that name?

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Q. 14:  In the Crimean War, Roger Fenton was the first person to be accredited in what capacity?

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Q. 15:  What fictional character famously ‘tilted at windmills’ and who served as his ‘squire’ ?

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Q. 16:  Which chemical element, number 11 in the Periodic table, has the symbol ‘Na’ ?

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Q. 17:  What is the longest bone in the human body?

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Q. 18:  In which spacecraft did Yuri Gagarin become the first man in space?

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Q. 19:  In which country are two islands linked by the Seikan rail tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in the world? (Two bonus points are available if you can also correctly name the islands.)

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Q. 20:  ‘Professor Henry Higgins’ and ‘Eliza Doolittle’ central characters in which George Bernard Shaw play and which Hollywood musical?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  In which city does the American football team the ’49ers’ play?

A.  1:  San Francisco.

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Q.  2:  These two men had the same name, one was sentenced to death by hanging in the United States in 1859 and the other was a Ghillie who became close to Queen Victoria after the death of her husband Prince Albert –  what was their name?

A.  2:  John Brown.

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Q.  3:  And still on the subject of names, separated only by a vowel, what were the surnames of two famous painters born in Paris, France during the 19th Century who had a significant impact on the ‘impressionist’ movement? (There is usually a point for each correct answer in questions like this, but in this case if you get one right you’ll get them both right, so just one point up for grabs.)

A.  3:  They are Édouard Manet (born 23 January 1832) and Oscar-Claude Monet (born 14 November 1840).

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Q.  4:  What type of animal is an Ibex?

A.  4:  A Mountain Goat.

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Q.  5:  Who and what is ‘Tristan da Cunha’ ? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  5:  ‘Tristan da Cunha’ is the name of a famous Portuguese navigator and the name of an island in the South Atlantic that he first sighted it in 1506.

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Q.  6:  Which treaty with Germany brought a formal end to the First World War?

A.  6:  The Treaty of Versailles.

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Q.  7:  What city is known as the ‘fashion capital of the world’ ?

A.  7:  Milan.

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Q.  8:  ‘Entomology’ is the study of what?

A.  8:  Insects.

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Q.  9:  In which organ of the body is insulin produced?

A.  9:  The Pancreas.

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Q. 10:  As well as skiing, which other sport takes place on a piste?

A. 10:  Fencing.

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Q. 11:  Who had himself crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1306?

A. 11:  Robert the Bruce. (Think back to the final scene in the movie Braveheart.)

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Q. 12:  Who performed the first human heart transplant?

A. 12:  Doctor Christian Barnard.

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Q. 13:  Who is the victim of ‘The Murder in the Cathedral’ in T S Eliot’s play of that name?

A. 13:  Thomas Beckett.

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Q. 14:  In the Crimean War, Roger Fenton was the first person to be accredited in what capacity?

A. 14:  War Photographer.

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Q. 15:  What fictional character famously ‘tilted at windmills’ and who served as his ‘squire’ ?

A. 15:  Don Quixote and his squire was Sancho Panza. (From the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.)

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Q. 16:  Which chemical element, number 11 in the Periodic table, has the symbol ‘Na’ ?

A. 16:  Sodium.

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Q. 17:  What is the longest bone in the human body?

A. 17:  The femur, or thighbone, either answer gets you the point.

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Q. 18:  In which spacecraft did Yuri Gagarin become the first man in space?

A. 18:  Vostok 1.

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Q. 19:  In which country are two islands linked by the Seikan rail tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in the world? (Two bonus points are available if you can also correctly name the islands.)

A. 19:  The country is Japan, and for your two bonus points the names of the islands are Honshu and Hokkaido.

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Q. 20:  ‘Professor Henry Higgins’ and ‘Eliza Doolittle’ central characters in which George Bernard Shaw play and which Hollywood musical?

A. 20:  The play is called ‘Pygmalion’ and the movie version ‘My Fair Lady’.

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