Did You Know? It’s Fascinating Fact day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s another “Did You Know” day on the fasab blog.

More random facts to get your head around.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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The first Dunkin Donuts and the first Howard Johnson’s

were both in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Dunkin Donuts

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The Pennsylvania Dutch are not really Dutch.

They are a people of German ancestry living in

southeastern Pennsylvania, primarily in Lancaster County.

“German” in German is “Deutsch.”

Pennsylvania Dutch

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The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

is as wide at its base as it is tall (630 feet).

Gateway Arch dimensions

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Ohio State offers a course called “Sports for the Spectator.”

Students are taught how to be

“an informed and appreciative sports spectator.”

obama-ohio-state-2

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Telephone cards first took off in Hawaii,

since long-distance charges from the far-flung state

were higher than anywhere else in the country.

prepaid-phone-cards

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What day were you born on?

Apparently Tuesday is the most popular day of the week for giving birth,

a fact that has nothing to do with Nature

and everything to do with hospital staffing;

elective C-sections and induced labors

are often scheduled during traditional working hours.

Calendar

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The majority of the text in the Monroe Doctrine

was actually penned by John Quincy Adams.

The Monroe Doctrine

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Despite its reputation as a cosmonaut staple,

freeze-dried ice cream only made one mission to space.

In 1968, it provided instant sugar rushes to the astronauts of Apollo 7.

astronaut_icecream

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In car design circles, a hood ornament is properly called a “mascot.”

The first American automobile to sport a mascot was the 1912 Cadillac.

1912_Cadillac

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Albert Einstein never received a Nobel Prize

for his theory of relativity.

Pigeon Books Albert Einstein Relativity

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On November 18th, 1913, pilot Lincoln Beachey was the

first person to make a complete loop-de-loop in an airplane.

Lincoln_Beachey_in_his_plane

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The first man to appear on the cover of Playboy

was the actor Peter Sellers.

sellers_playboy_cover_april_64

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West Virginia is no longer the coal-mining capital of the U.S.,

nine of the ten top-producing coal mines are currently located in Wyoming.

open cast coal mine

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The popular game Bingo was originally called “Beano”

because players used beans to cover the numbered squares.

Bingo

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Cruise control and automatic transmissions were invented

by a blind engineer named Ralph Teetor.

Ralph Teetor

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Modern scholars believe that Jericho,

settled around 10,000 years ago,

was the first walled city in the world.

jericho_walls_wide_view

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The human bone most often broken is the clavicle (collar bone).

clavicle

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Swearing to tell

“the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”

dates back to English Common Law.

Interestingly enough, there were no penalties for perjury until the 1600s;

prior to that time, it was believed that the fear of God’s wrath

was enough to keep witnesses honest.

The truth the whole truth

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According to doctors, humans have an average

of 14 episodes of flatulence per day.

(I always knew I was above average!)

humorous-fish-farting-animation-flatulence-comedy-animated-picture

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The Harlem Globetotters were originally a Chicago based team (1927).

They did not play a game in Harlem until the 1960s.

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The September Quizzes Begin Here.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Month nine of 2013 and quiz number – I don’t know how many – but here’s another one anyway.

Usual random mixture and answers to be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please, NO cheating!

Enjoy.

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Quiz 5

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Q.  1: The name of which famous band is also the Aramaic word for ‘the father, my father’?

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Q.  2:  Which popular beverage’s name is the German word for ‘to store’?

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Q.  3:  Cruciverbalists get down sometimes when they get their meaning across. What are cruciverbalists?

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Q.  4:  How many zeros are in one trillion when written out in numerical form?

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Q.  5:  In which US City was the TV police show ‘Cagney and Lacy’ set?

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Q.  6:  In which movies do each of the following play a missionary? (A point for each correct answer)

    a. Katherine Hepburn

    b. Jeremy Irons

    c. Jack Hawkins

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Q.  7:  In which fictional town did the ‘Flintstones’ live?

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Q.  8:  Which modern means of transport now usually replaces the richly adorned but antiquated and impractical ‘Sedia Gestatoria’?

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Q.  9:  Which two contributions to western tea culture were introduced by US tea merchants, one at the St. Louis world fair in 1904, the other in New York restaurants in 1908?  (A point for each)

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Q. 10:  Which sport legend was given the nickname ‘Le Crocodil’?

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Q. 11:  A plot element in a movie is often called which one of the following?

    a. Macbeth

    b. Macduff

    c. MacGuffin

    d. Macleod

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Q. 12:  Who began her show with the words ‘I was born in the Bronx in New York, in December 1941’?

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Q. 13:  In Japan, what is a ‘Gaijin’?

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Q. 14:  On a standard dart board, what is the lowest number that cannot be scored with a single dart?

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Q. 15:  Which millionaire first introduced a free school milk program in Chicago to combat rickets?

    a. Al Capone

    b. Richard W. Sears

    c. Hugh Hefner

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Q. 16:  Which vegetable has the most calories?

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Q. 17:  What was the name of Jacques Cousteau’s boat?

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Q. 18:  Which chivalrous expression is closely associated with the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead in Febuary 1852?

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Q. 19:  Who played ‘Blake Carrington’ in the TV series Dynasty and was also the voice of the ‘boss’ in Charlie’s Angels?

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Q. 20:  Still used today, what is the very popular, though sometimes frightening Anglo Saxon word meaning ‘pledge’? Three letters

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: The name of which famous band is also the Aramaic word for ‘the father, my father’?

A.  1:  Abba

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Q.  2:  Which popular beverage’s name is the German word for ‘to store’?

A.  2:  Lager.

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Q.  3:  Cruciverbalists get down sometimes when they get their meaning across. What are cruciverbalists?

A.  3:  Creators or lovers of crossword puzzles

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Q.  4:  How many zeros are in one trillion when written out in numerical form?

A.  4:  12  (1,000,000,000,000)

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Q.  5:  In which US City was the TV police show ‘Cagney and Lacy’ set?

A.  5:  New York.

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Q.  6:  In which movies do each of the following play a missionary? (A point for each correct answer)

    a. Katherine Hepburn

    b. Jeremy Irons

    c. Jack Hawkins

A.  6:    a. Katherine Hepburn in ‘The African Queen’

            b. Jeremy Irons in ‘The Mission’

            c. Jack Hawkins in ‘Zulu’

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Q.  7:  In which fictional town did the ‘Flintstones’ live?

A.  7:  Bedrock.

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Q.  8:  Which modern means of transport now usually replaces the richly adorned but antiquated and impractical ‘Sedia Gestatoria’?

A.  8:  The ‘Popemobile(s)’

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Q.  9:  Which two contributions to western tea culture were introduced by US tea merchants, one at the St. Louis world fair in 1904, the other in New York restaurants in 1908?  (A point for each)

A.  9:  Ice tea (1904) and tea bags (1908)

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Q. 10:  Which sport legend was given the nickname ‘Le Crocodil’?

A. 10:  Rene Lacoste

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Q. 11:  A plot element in a movie is often called which one of the following?

    a. Macbeth

    b. Macduff

    c. MacGuffin

    d. Macleod

A. 11:  Answer c. it is called a MacGuffin

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Q. 12:  Who began her show with the words ‘I was born in the Bronx in New York, in December 1941’?

A. 12:  Rhoda.

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Q. 13:  In Japan, what is a ‘Gaijin’?

A. 13:  A foreigner. Gaijin means ‘outside person’.

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Q. 14:  On a standard dart board, what is the lowest number that cannot be scored with a single dart?

A. 14:  23

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Q. 15:  Which millionaire first introduced a free school milk program in Chicago to combat rickets?

    a. Al Capone

    b. Richard W. Sears

    c. Hugh Hefner

A. 15:  Answer a. Al Capone

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Q. 16:  Which vegetable has the most calories?

A. 16:  Avocado.

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Q. 17:  What was the name of Jacques Cousteau’s boat?

A. 17:  The Calypso.

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Q. 18:  Which chivalrous expression is closely associated with the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead in Febuary 1852?

A. 18:  ‘Women and children first’

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Q. 19:  Who played ‘Blake Carrington’ in the TV series Dynasty and was also the voice of the ‘boss’ in Charlie’s Angels?

A. 19:  John Forsythe

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Q. 20:  Still used today, what is the very popular, though sometimes frightening Anglo Saxon word meaning ‘pledge’? Three letters

A. 20:  Wed

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Fifty-Five 55

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another numbers factoid today. This time the number is fifty-five, along with its various associations.

Enjoy.

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The Number Fifty-Five  55

 55

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In religion

  • The number 55 is used 2 times in the Bible.
  • The 55th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • At the end of his Gospel, Saint John devotes 55 verses (chapter 20 and 21) to describe the resurrection and his appearances of the Christ which took place after his death.
  • The words throne and number are used 55 in the NT.
  • 55 is the representative number of the Virgin Mary. In the New Testament the name Mary is referred to 55 times (26 times by the word mother; 10 times by the word woman; and 19 times by the name of Mary).
  • Fifty-five years separate the Annunciation from the Assumption of the Virgin.

 

  • A rabbinical study enumerates 55 prophets, divided into 48 prophets and 7 prophetess. This list appears in the Comment of Rachi on Meguilla 14a.

 

  • Epsilon, E, is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet, and Lambda, L, is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet and the product of the 3rd & 5th prime numbers: 5 x 11 = 55 = EL
  • EL is an ancient Semitic title for God. In Assyrian-Babylonian mythology, the great trinity Anu (sky), Bel (light), and Ea (sea) emanated from EL. EL was used by the Phoenicians for the high-one. Elohim is the plural form of EL. The Hebrews associated EL or Elohim with a sun-deity absorbed by Yaw (Jah or Jehovah). In Hebrew poetry EL appears as First Cause, God, Mighty One, principle or beginning of all things.
  • In Cabala, EL is a name of Chesed, the 4th Sephira.
  • EL is Celtic for angel.  

 

  • 55 represent the Divine Person, according to Abellio.
  • 55 represent the limit of the humanity, according to E. Bindel.
  • 55 represent the total and complete man, symbolized by the two hands which join at the moment of the prayer to remake the unit in the form of ten, but being able also to express that under the form of 55, “addition in the senses of the divine wisdom” according to saint Martin.
  • The Bouriates knew 99 gods, divided into 55 goods and 44 bad. These two groups of gods would fight for a very long time between them.

In Mathematics

  • 55 is the sum of the first 10 numbers: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th triangular numbers: 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the first 5 square numbers (also known as a square pyramidal number): 1 + 4 + 9 + 16 + 25 = 55
  • The sum of 5 odd heavenly numbers: 1+3+5+7+9 = 25; the sum of 5 even earthly numbers: 2+4+6+8+10 = 30; the sum of the heavenly & earthly series (I Ching): 25 + 30 = 55
  • Fifty-five is the 10th Fibonacci number and a triangular number (the sum of the numbers 1 to 10), it is the largest Fibonacci number to also be a triangular number.

Triangular 1-10

  • 55 is heptagonal number, and a centered nonagonal number.
  • In base 10, 55 is a Kaprekar number.
  • 55 is a semiprime, being the product of 5 and 11 and it is the 2nd member of the (5.q) semiprime family.
  • In Roman numeral 55 is written as LV
  • 55 in Binary is 00110111
  • In Pythagorean arithmetic, 2 is the first even number, 3 the first odd number. The even & odd tetractyes both radiate from the One, which is the source of all numbers. The sum of these two series is 55

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In Science

  • 55 is the Atomic Number of Cesium (Cs).
  • The cesium clock is used as a standard in measuring time. Its accuracy is one second in 30,000 years. The cesium atomic clock is based on the frequency corresponding to hyperfine structure transition in the atoms of cesium nuclides Cs-133.

ntp_time

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In space

  • Messier object M55, is a magnitude 7.0 globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius
Messier Object M55
Messier Object M55
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 55, is a magnitude 7.9 barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor
  • On February 9, 1986, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to the sun (perihelion) at a distance of only about 55 million miles.
  • The velocity of Halley’s comet at perihelion is 55 kilometers per second.

halleys-comet-1986

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In politics

  • 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787) and 39 signed the United States Constitution.
  • Agitation and Propaganda against the State, also known as Constitution law 55, was a law in Communist Albania.
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787

In Books, Music, Movies and TV

  • A song produced by Group X was called “Schfifty Five”.
  • 55 is the name of a song by British Indie Rock Band Kasabian. The song was released as a B side to Club Foot and was recorded live when the band performed at London’s Brixton Academy.
  • “I Can’t Drive 55”, is a song by Sammy Hagar
  • “Old 55” is the title of a song by Tom Waits and The Eagles
  • Cristian Vogel released an album in 2005 with the title “Station 55”
  • “Ol’ 55”, is an Australian rock band.
  • “Primer 55” is the name of an American band
  • “55 Cadillac”, is an album by Andrew W.K.

AndrewWK_55Cadillac 

  • “55 Days at Peking” is a film starring Charlton Heston and David Niven

55 Days At Peking

  • “55 Degrees North” (2004–2005) is a British TV series about a  London detective who moves to Newcastle after blowing the whistle on a corrupt colleague.
  • “Class of ’55”, is a TV comedy created by writer David Seltzer, and starring Alan Alda, John Archer, Sharon Cintron
  • “The Fall Of ’55”, a crime drama, written by Seth Randal, about an incident in late 1955 and early 1956, when the citizens of Boise, Idaho believed there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, investigators arrested three men on charges of having sex with teenage boys. The investigators claimed the arrests were just the tip of the iceberg-they said hundreds of boys were being abused as part of a child sex ring. There was no such ring, but the result was a widespread investigation which some people consider a witch hunt. By the time the investigation ended, 16 men were charged. Countless other lives were also touched.In some cases, men implicated fled the area. At least one actually left the country. The investigation attracted attention in newspapers across the nation, including Time Magazine. The “Morals Drive” left scars which remain to this day.

the fall of '55 

  • José Saramago’s novel “The Cave” features the Center, a vast multistoried shopping mall whose catalog runs to 55 volumes of 1,500 pages each, an entertainment complex offering Disneyland versions of virtual reality, and apartments, a hospital, a crematory and administrative headquarters.

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In Transportation

  • Speed Limit
  • 55 was the highest speed limit allowed in the United States between 1974 and 1986 per the National Maximum Speed Law.

 55 speed limit sign

  • Yoshimura R-55 GP Style Slip-On Exhaust
  • The Yoshimura R-55 is a legendary exhaust building experience that gives the sportbike rider power in a lightweight, stylish package, using a tapered trapezoidal shape, finished off in either carbon fiber or stainless steel.

Yoshimura_R-55_GP_Style_Slip-On_Exhaust

  • The R-55 on the Kawasaki ZX-14R looks seamless and will weigh less than the ones that come stock.

 Kawasaki Ninja

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  • BMW K55
  • In 1991 BMW tuner Racing Dynamics of Italy produced a special version of the 8 Series dubbed the K55 Sport Coupe. The K55 5.5 Coupe was based on the 850i, powered by the 5.0-liter M70 that was stroked to 5.5 liters, new valves, camshafts lifters and intakes along with extrude honed heads. The one US version engine producing 475 bhp (354 kW; 482 PS) and the Euro version producing 401 bhp (299 kW).
  • 40 K55s were produced for the Euro market and one in the US.
  • In addition to engine modifications, The K55 offered a variety of body, suspensions, rear end options.

BMW k-55 

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  • Mercedes-Benz S-55
  • The S-Class is a series of luxury sedans produced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz, a division of German company Daimler AG.
  • The classification was officially introduced in 1972 with the W116 S-Class, which succeeded previous Mercedes-Benz models dating to the mid-1950s.
  • The S-Class has served as the flagship model for Mercedes for over fifty years in its various incarnations and has debuted many of the company’s latest innovations, including drivetrain technologies, interior features, and safety systems (such as the first seatbelt pre-tensioners).
  • The S-Class has ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan

 mercedes-benz-s55

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  • Mercedes Benz G55 AMG
  • The G-Wagen, or Gelandewagen as it is officially named, started out as a complete off roading machine. Mercedes-Benz built it for the German armed forces and as with any military vehicle, it was designed to take on the harshest of terrain and remain rather trouble free.
  • A civilian version was introduced a couple years after the G-Class first made its debut, and it too displayed the same level of ruggedness and ‘go anywhere’ ability.
  • The G Wagen has been around since the 70s and though it has received upgrades over the years, it still remains the ultimate off roading machine that is sought after by anyone and everyone who wishes to tour the world, go lion spotting in the Savannah or drive up Mount Everest!
  • The G-Wagen’s reliability has grown to legendary heights and it commands an imposing presence as it drives by.
  • There is no doubting the fan following garnered by the G Wagen over the years and in order to cater to the growing demand, Mercedes-Benz has toyed with the vehicle to make it more exciting and usher in a level of performance and sheer ludicrousness through their AMG subsidiary.
  • The latest incarnation of the G Wagen is the G55 AMG. Considered to be the most powerful G Class vehicle yet, it boasts of having performance figures that one would normally find associated with sportscars and it can still handle the rough.
Hamann_Typhoon_Mercedes_Benz_G55_AMG_4
Photo showing the Hamann Typhoon enhanced version of the Mercedes Benz G55 AMG

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  • Mitsubishi Jeep J55
  • In 1950 the Japanese wanted a prototype 4X4 trucks and other vehicles and in response by January 1951 Toyota had produced a prototype. Toyota based their design on the Bantam vehicle that had seen military action in Malaysia. At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4X4. For this reason Toyota called it’s prototype the Toyota Jeep. These became the FJ40 that Americans found to be a rugged and reliable off road vehicle.
  • However, largely unknown to those in North America, there was another strong contender to the legend, the Mitsubishi Jeep. Their design was based on the Willys Jeep, the vehicle ultimately selected for procurement by the National Police Reserve Forces, and in 1953 Mitsubishi secured the rights to build the Willys under their own name. Thus the Mitsubishi Jeep was born.
  • In the USA the Willys was built till 1965 but in Japan Mitsubishi had a good thing going so they kept the line in production till 1998.

Mitsubishi_Jeep_J-55 

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In militaria

  • HMS Suffolk (55)
  • HMS Suffolk (55) was a Royal Navy County class heavy cruiser and part of the Kent subclass. She was launched on 16 March 1926, and commissioned on 25 June 1928.
  • Like her sister ships, Suffolk served on the China Station until the outbreak of WWII when she returned to Europe and patrolled the Denmark Straits.
  • In April 1940 Suffolk participated in the Norwegian Campaign and arrived at Tórshavn to commence the British pre-emptive occupation of the Faroe Islands. On 14 April 1940 Suffolk sank the German tanker Skagerrak northwest of Bodø, Norway.
  • On 17 April 1940, Suffolk and four destroyers, HMS Kipling, HMS Juno, HMS Janus and HMS Hereward, were sent to bombard the airfield at Sola, Norway. The operation had little effect and the retaliation from German bombers severely damaged the aft of the ship, forcing her to return to Scapa Flow.
  • Suffolk was out of action from April 1940 until February 1941 while she was repaired at the Clyde.
  • During May 1941, as part of the 4th Cruiser Squadron, Suffolk was involved in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Suffolk had engaged the battleship twice during the battle, making several salvoes on her. Using her radar, Suffolk was able to track the Bismarck through the Denmark Strait and maintained contact long enough for other units to vector into Bismarck’s path.
  • After repairs Suffolk served with the Home Fleet in Arctic waters until the end of 1942, then underwent a refit between December 1942 and April 1943. On completion of this the ship was ordered to the Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean until the end of the war.
  • Suffolk was scrapped on 24 June 1948.

hms_suffolk_55 

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  • HMS Finisterre (D55)
  • HMS Finisterre (D55) was a Battle-class destroyer of the Royal Navy (RN). She was named after one of the battles of Cape Finisterre. Launched on the 22 June 1944 and commissioned on 11 September 1945.
  • She first joined the Home Fleet upon her commissioning. After duties in the Far East, Finisterre returned to the UK via the Mediterranean. In January 1950, she took part in the rescue attempt of the submarine HMS Truculent, which had sunk after colliding with a Swedish merchant ship Divina in the Thames Estuary. The collision had resulted in the loss of 64 of those on board. The following year Finisterre became the Gunnery Training Ship, based at Whale Island, Portsmouth as part of HMS Excellent.
  • In 1953, Finisterre took part in the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The following year Finisterre was placed in Reserve. After her sister-ship HMS Hogue collided with an Indian cruiser in 1959, Finisterre replaced her in the 1st Destroyer Squadron, based in the Far East. She was one of a number of Royal Navy ships stationed off Kuwait to keep the peace as the country gained its independence in 1961.
  • In 1965 she was sold for scrap.

 hms_finesterre r 55

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  • USS Aludra (AF-55)
  • The USS Aludra (AF-55) was an Alstede-class stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy and tasked to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.
  • Originally ordered as refrigerated cargo ship “SS Matchless” she was launched on 14 October 1944 and delivered to the United States Lines under a bare boat charter on 23 March 1945.
  • She operated in the Pacific Ocean during the final months of the war and during the first four years following Japan’s capitulation and then laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet berthing area at Bay Minette, Alabama.
  • She was reactivated in November 1950, as the result of an expansion of the Fleet to meet its greatly increased responsibilities because of the United Nations decision to oppose communist aggression in Korea. Renamed Aludra on 16 January 1951, she was assigned to Service Squadron 3, Service Force, Pacific Fleet and took up the tasks of supporting Task Force (TF) 77 in strikes along the east coast of Korea and TF 72 in patrols in the East China Sea and off Formosa.
  • Ending her first deployment to the western Pacific, she returned to San Francisco, California, on 4 May 1953. Thereafter, for more than 16 years, she alternated operations on the west coast of the United States with tours in the Far East resupplying ships serving in the Orient. Among the highlights of her service was her participation in Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of thousands of Vietnamese refugees from communist-controlled areas of Vietnam after that country had been partitioned in 1954.
  • The ship again visited Vietnamese waters in March 1965 and, for a bit over three and one-half years thereafter, devoted most of her efforts to supporting American warships fighting aggression there. She left that war-torn country for the last time on 19 April 1969 and headed—via Sasebo, Japan—for home.
  • Aludra was decommissioned on 12 September 1969 and withdrawn from the reserve fleet on 19 January 1977 for stripping by the Navy prior to sale. She was purchased from MARAD by Sea World Processors Inc., for non-transportation use, 16 November 1977 and delivered, 16 February 1978. In 1981 she was burned and scuttled.

USS_Aludra_(AF-55) 

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  • USS Valcour (AVP-55)
  • USS Valcour (AVP-55), later AGF-1, was commissioned on 5 July 1946 as a seaplane tender from 1946 to 1965 and as a flagship from 1965 to 1973. She was the last of the 35 Barnegat-class ships to commission.
  • Valcour was designated as flagship for the Commander, Middle Eastern Force (ComMidEastFor) and served in the Middle East from 5 September 1950 to 15 March 1951.
  • On the morning of 14 May 1951, two months after she returned to Norfolk from her second Middle East tour, Valcour suffered a steering casualty and power failure and collided with another vessel. An intense fire broke out aboard Valcour causing the commanding officer, Captain Eugene Tatom, to order abandon ship. Eleven men died, 16 more were injured and another 25 were listed as “missing”, later to be confirmed as dead.
  • After an extensive overhaul and improvements, and from 1952–1965 she rotated yearly between the United States and the Middle East.
  • In January 1972 Valcour was for inactivationand  was decommissioned on 15 January 1973. On 1 May 1977, the U.S. Navy sold Valcour for scrapping.

 USS Valcour AVP-55

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  • Kh-55 (missile family)
  • The Kh-55 is a Soviet/Russian air-launched cruise missile, designed by MKB Raduga. It has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads. Kh-55 is launched exclusively from bomber aircraft and has spawned a number of conventionally armed variants mainly for tactical use, such as the Kh-65SE and Kh-SD, but only the Kh-101 and Kh-555 appear to have made it into service. Contrary to popular belief, the Kh-55 was not the basis of the submarine- and ground-launched RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’ and SSC-X-4 ‘Slingshot’).
  • A Kh-55 production unit was delivered to Shanghai in 1995 and appears to have been used to produce a similar weapon for China.

Kh-55 Cruise Missile

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  • RK-55 Granat
  • The Novator RK-55 Granat was a Soviet land-based cruise missile with a nuclear warhead.
  • It was about to enter service in 1987 when such weapons were banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • A version launched from submarine torpedo tubes, the S-10 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’;GRAU:3M10), has apparently been converted to carry conventional warheads and continues in service to this day.
  • The RK-55 is very similar to the air-launched Kh-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’) but the Kh-55 has a drop-down turbofan engine[3] and was designed by MKB Raduga. Both have formed the basis of post-Cold-War missiles, in particular the 3M-54 Klub (SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’) which has a supersonic approach phase.

 RK55 Granat

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  • 55th Fighter Squadron
  • The 55th Fighter Squadron was originally organized as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. By November 1917 the squadron was deployed to Issoudun, France. It was demobilized on 6 March 1919, following the end of WWI, but was reactivated in November 1930, at Mather Field, California.
  • At the beginning of World War II, the 55th continued to train aviators for squadrons in Europe and the Pacific. In May 1942, it was redesignated a fighter squadron and operated from several locations in the United States.
  • The 55th was deployed in Europe in August 1943, operating from RAF Wittering, England, and flew 175 combat missions. With the rest of the 20th Fighter Group, the 55th flew daily strafing, long-range-patrol and bomber-escort missions. In June, they provided air cover during the massive allied invasion of Normandy.
  • The 55th also performed escort and fighter-bomber missions supporting the Allied advance through Central Europe and the Rhineland. In December 1945, they took part in the Battle of the Bulge, escorting bombers to the battle area.
  • The 55th was demobilized on 18 October 1945, after the end of WWII, but was reactivated on 29 July 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas.
  • The 55th entered the jet age in February 1948, with the F-84G Thunderjet. In January 1950, and was redesignated the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron returned to England at RAF Wethersfield in June 1952, where it was redesignated the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron and then moved to RAF Upper Heyford in June 1970. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 55th participated in countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. exercises and operations, which directly contributed to containment of Soviet threats to Europe.
  • In January 1991, elements of the 55th deployed to Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. They flew more than 144 sorties, amassing 415 combat hours without a loss. These missions neutralized key facilities throughout northern Iraq and helped to liberate Kuwait and stabilize the region. The squadron was inactivated in December 1993.
  • It was transferred and reactivated on 1 January 1994, to its present home, Shaw Air Force Base, flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In July 1996, the squadron transferred its aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, and stood down.
  • In July 1997, the 55th made history when it stood up as a combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days. It has since made numerous deployments to Southwest Asia, continuing to contain the Iraqi threat. In the meantime, the squadron has earned awards and recognition, including the David C. Schilling Award in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Air Force Association Citation of Honor.
  • In the summer of 2000, the 55th deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Northern Watch. It followed that deployment with Operation Southern Watch in the fall of 2001, and in the winter of 2002, deployed again in support of Operation Northern Watch. Most recently the 55th deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2008.

55th_Fighter_Squadron

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  • Lockheed Martin X-55
  • The Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) is an experimental twin jet engined transport aircraft intended to demonstrate new cargo-carrier capabilities using advanced composites. It is a project of the United States Air Force’s Air Force Research Laboratory, and was built by the international aerospace company Lockheed Martin, at its Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works) facility in Palmdale, California.

.Lockheed_Martin_X-55_ACCA_001

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  • The T-55 tank
  • The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of medium tanks that were designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just as the Second World War ended. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world’s armed conflicts during the late 20th and early 21st century.
  • The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000. They were replaced by the T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 in the Soviet and Russian Armies, but remain in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting.
  • Soviet tanks never directly faced their NATO Cold War adversaries in Europe. However, the T-54/55’s first appearance in the West in 1960 spurred the United States to develop the M60 Patton.

t55 tank

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  • K55 SPG Self-Propelled Gun
  • Since 1985 when it entered service, and until recently, when it has been replaced by the more miodern K9 Thunder platform, the South Korean Army relied on the K55.
  • It was a localized development of the US military’s M109A2 Paladin SPG family, license-produced by Samsung Techwin / Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA).
  • Over 1,100 (1,180) of the type were procured by the South Korean government, supplying the Army with a long range, heavy hitter capable of lobbing conventional, chemical and nuclear shells at any potential enemies – namely North Korea.
  • The 25-ton K55 borrowed much from the American M109 including its conventional design consisting of an armored tracked chassis and boxy turret superstructure. The vehicle is crewed by six personnel and primary armament is a 155mm main gun of 30 caliber length. Defense is through 1 x 12.7mm K6 heavy machine gun. Power is served through a Detroit Diesel 8V-71T turbocharged, diesel-fueled engine of 450 horsepower. Maximum road speed across ideal surfaces is 56 kmh. The main gun can supply a rate-of-fire of 4 shots per minute while targeting is through manual means. A full ammunition load aboard the K55 is 36 projectiles.
  • The K55 entered a modernization program in 1994, producing the K55A1 designation.
  • The newer 47-ton K9 Thunder formally entered service in 1999 and is crewed by five personnel, carried 48 projectiles and features a rate-of-fire of 6 shots per minute with manual or automatic targeting. Additionally, the powerplant provides road speeds of up to 66 kph.

K55_155mm_self-propelled_howitzer_tracked_armoured_vehicle_South_Korea_Korean_army_001

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Other stuff

  • 55 is the code for international direct dial phone calls to Brazil
  • 55 gallon is a standard size for a drum container
  • Gazeta 55, an Albanian newspaper
  • An Emerald wedding anniversary celebrates 55 years.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress was assigned Lot #55 at the Christie’s Auction on October 27, 1999.  It sold for a record price for a dress— $1,267,500. 

Marilyn Monroe birthday dress

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A Little Surprise Test For Easter

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Okay, its Easter time again, Semana Santa some call it, so how about taking a little test to see how much you know about it?

Here we go.

Good luck and as usual the answers are given waaaaaaay down below – but NO cheating!

Enjoy.

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Easter Quiz

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Q 1:  On what street in New York does the city’s famous Easter parade take place?

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Q 2:  Which month is the English and German names for Easter or Ostern associated with?

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Q 3:  From which Anglo-Saxon goddess do we derive the name Easter? 

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Q 4:  The Good Friday agreement, signed on Good Friday 1998, is also named after which city? 

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Q 5:  Who was the first person to speak to Jesus after he had risen from the dead?

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Q 6:  Every Easter who gives his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ to the world?

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Q 7:  The customary act of painting what, is known as Pysanka?

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Q 8:  What color was the cloak that Jesus wore when he went to the cross?

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Q 9:  Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and Pancake Day are also known as what?

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Q 10:  Name any of the main stars of Easter Parade (1948)?

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Q 11:  Until 1941, from which Asian country were most Easter lilies exported to the United States?          

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Q 12:  The White House Easter Egg Roll was inaugurated by which President’s wife?

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Q 13:  In whose tomb was Jesus buried?

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Q 14:  Which goldsmith produced bejewelled Easter eggs for the Tsars of Russia?

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Q 15:  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was greeted by cheering crowd on which day?           

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Q 16:  Which type of cake is traditionally made at Easter?

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Q 17:  Easter island is a territory of which country?

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Q 18:  In which country do boys traditionally throw buckets of water over girls at Easter time as part of an ancient fertility ritual?  

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ANSWERS

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Q 1:  On what street in New York does the city’s famous Easter parade take place?

A 1:  5th Avenue

Q 2:  Which month is the English and German names for Easter or Ostern associated with?

A 2:  April

Q 3:  From which Anglo-Saxon goddess do we derive the name Easter? 

A 3:  Eostre

Q 4:  The Good Friday agreement, signed on Good Friday 1998, is also named after which city? 

A 4:  The Belfast Agreement

Q 5:  Who was the first person to speak to Jesus after he had risen from the dead?

A 5:  Mary Magdalene

Q 6:  Every Easter who gives his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ to the world?

A 6:  The Pope

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Q 7:  The customary act of painting what, is known as Pysanka?

A 7:  Eggs

Q 8:  What color was the cloak that Jesus wore when he went to the cross?

A 8:  Purple

Q 9:  Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and Pancake Day are also known as what?

A 9:  Shrove Tuesday

Q 10:  Name any of the main stars of Easter Parade (1948)?

A 10:  Judy Garland and Fred Astaire

Q 11:  Until 1941, from which Asian country were most Easter lilies exported to the United States?          

A 11:  Japan

Q 12:  The White House Easter Egg Roll was inaugurated by which President’s wife?

A 12:  James Madison (Dolley Madison)

Q 13:  In whose tomb was Jesus buried?

A 13:  Joseph of Arimathea

Q 14:  Which goldsmith produced bejewelled Easter eggs for the Tsars of Russia?

A 14:  Peter Carl Fabergé

Q 15:  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was greeted by cheering crowd on which day?           

A 15:  Palm Sunday

Q 16:  Which type of cake is traditionally made at Easter?

A 16:  Simnel cake

Q 17:  Easter island is a territory of which country?

A 17:  Chile

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Q 18:  In which country do boys traditionally throw buckets of water over girls at Easter time as part of an ancient fertility ritual?  

A 18:  Poland

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Time To Put The Fears Behind Us

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, time to put the fears behind us. This is the final selection of curious and sometimes amusing fears and phobias that affect some people. Irrational but very real to them. Irrational and very silly to the rest of us.

So here we go, ‘T’ thru ‘Z’.

Enjoy.

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scared 4

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Tachophobia ……….fear of speed.

 

Taijin Kyofusho ……….a phobia which occurs most typically in Japan, is the fear of offending others by one’s inappropriate social behavior or appearance

 

Taeniophobia or Taeniophobia ……….fear of tapeworms.

 

Taphephobia Taphophobia ……….fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.

 

Tapinophobia ……….fear of being contagious.

 

Taurophobia ……….fear of bulls.

 

Technophobia ……….fear of technology.

 

Teleophobia ……….fear of 1) definite plans; 2) religious ceremony.

 

Telephonophobia ……….fear of telephones.

 

Teratophobia ……….fear of bearing a deformed child or fear of monsters or deformed people.

 

Testophobia ……….fear of taking tests.

 

Tetanophobia ……….fear of lockjaw, tetanus.

 

Teutophobia ……….fear of German or German things.

 

Textophobia ……….fear of certain fabrics.

 

Thaasophobia ……….fear of sitting.

 

Thalassophobia ……….fear of the sea.

 

Thanatophobia or Thantophobia ……….fear of death or dying.

 

Theatrophobia ……….fear of theatres.

 

Theologicophobia ……….fear of theology.

 

Theophobia ……….fear of gods or religion.

 

Thermophobia ……….fear of heat.

 

Tocophobia ……….fear of pregnancy or childbirth.

 

Tomophobia ……….fear of surgical operations.

 

Tonitrophobia ……….fear of thunder.

 

Topophobia ……….fear of certain places or situations, such as stage fright.

 

Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia ……….fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned.

 

Traumatophobia ……….fear of injury.

 

Tremophobia ……….fear of trembling.

 

Trichinophobia ……….fear of trichinosis.

 

Trichopathophobia or Trichophobia ……….fear of hair. (Chaetophobia, Hypertrichophobia)

 

Triskaidekaphobia ……….fear of the number 13.

 

Tropophobia ……….fear of moving or making changes.

 

Trypanophobia ……….fear of injections.

 

Tuberculophobia ……….fear of tuberculosis.

 

Turophobia ……….fear of cheese

 

Tyrannophobia ……….fear of tyrants.

 

Uranophobia or Ouranophobia ……….fear of heaven.

 

Urophobia ……….fear of urine or urinating.

 

Vaccinophobia ……….fear of vaccination.

 

Venereophobia ……….fear of catching a venereal disease.

 

Venustraphobia ……….fear of beautiful women.

 

Verbophobia ……….fear of words.

 

Verminophobia ……….fear of germs.

 

Vespertiliophobia ……….fear of bats.

 

Vestiphobia ……….fear of clothing.

 

Virginitiphobia ……….fear of virgins.

 

Virginitiphobia ……….fear of rape.

 

Vitricophobia ……….fear of step-father.

 

Vokephobia ……….fear of returning home.

 

Walloonphobia ……….fear of the Walloons.

 

Wiccaphobia ……….fear of witches and witchcraft.

 

Xanthophobia ……….fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.

 

Xeniaphobia ……….fear of foreign doctors, usually having to do with strong foreign accents making it difficult to understand their English. Also, if travelling in a foreign country, the fear that doctors may have inadequate medical skills.

 

Xenodochiophobia ……….fear of foreign hotels that could include the fear that there won’t be soap, the kind of toilet paper that you like, clean towels, or good maid service.

 

Xenoglossophobia ……….fear of foreign languages.

 

Xenonosocomiophobia ……….fear of foreigners who are pick-pockets.

 

Xenophobia ……….fear of strangers or foreigners.

 

Xerophobia ……….fear of dryness.

 

Xeroxophobia ……….fear of using anything made by Xerox, or fear of office equipment in general.

 

Xylophobia ……….fear of 1) wooden objects; 2) Forests.

 

Xyrophobia ……….fear of razors.

 

Zelophobia ……….fear of jealousy.

 

Zemmiphobia ……….fear of the great mole rat.

 

Zeusophobia ……….fear of God or gods.

 

Zoophobia ……….fear of animals.

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I Have Finally Decided On My New Year’s Resolution – It’s 1024 x 768!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

Well, if you haven’t guessed already from the title, the year may be new but the puns probably aren’t!

But I figured if we get some of these in early then there’s a chance that the year will improve later.

Strap yourselves in. Here we go.

Enjoy.

Does chasing the American Dream not count as exercise?

american-dream 

Protons have mass?

I didn’t even know they were Catholic.

protons have mass 

Is Marx’s tomb a communist plot?

Marx tomb 

I was checking into a hotel the other week.

At the counter, a guy in front of me said curtly to the receptionist, “I hope the porn channel is disabled.”

Unbelievable what some people are into.

XXX 

I went for a job interview as a blacksmith yesterday.

He said, “Have you ever shoed a horse?”

I said, “No, but I once told a donkey to f*** off.”

Cartoon_Donkey_by_Airdin 

I’ll stop at nothing to avoid using negative numbers.

negative numbers 

An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard and a German are all standing watching a street performer do some excellent juggling. The juggler notices that the four gentlemen have a very poor view, so he stands up on a large wooden box and calls out,

“Can you all see me now?”

“Yes.”

“Oui.”

“Sí.”

“Ja.”

English French Spanish German 

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I’ve just taken up speed reading.

Last night I did war and peace in 20 seconds.

I know it’s only 3 words but it’s a start!

Speed Reading 

I can’t see an end.

I have no control and I don’t think there’s any escape.

I don’t even have a home anymore.

Definitely time for a new keyboard.

broken-keyboard 

“Watch Back to the Future:- Tomorrow, on Yesterday” WTF????

Back To The Future 

My laboratory assistant has invented a device that allows you to steal other people’s ideas and then permanently delete them from the subject’s memory. Why didn’t I think of that?

stealing ideas 

I’m always frank with my sexual partners.

Don’t want them knowing my real name, do I?

I'm Frank 

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I Can Hardly Believe it, They’re Getting Dumber – More Quiz Show Answers

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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What I said in the title of today’s selection of quiz show answers is very true. They are getting dumber!

Another thing that we can establish beyond reasonable doubt is that stupid people should not be allowed near bicycles.

Here’s this week’s lot, you’ll see what I mean.

Enjoy.  

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Q: In books that are written in English, each line is printed and read starting at which side of the page?     

A: The right      

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Q: The song by Elvis that on its reissue in 2005 became the 1000th number one single in UK chart history is entitled “One…” what?   

A: A Little Less Conversation     

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Q: In solid geometry, What H is the name given to half a sphere?            

A: Half a circle  

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Q: Which iconic cartoon family made their film debut in 2007, 20 years after their show was first broadcast on American television?        

A: The Osbournes

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Q: How many wheels does a unicycle have?       

A: Two 

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Q: In medicine, the phrase “contagious disease” literally means an illness that is spread by which of the five senses?        

A: Sight.          

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Q: In science, what was the surname of the German physicist who is credited with the invention of the mercury thermometer?            

A: Mercury       

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Q: In slang, which three-letter word precedes “shop” to make a rhyming term for a police station? 

A: Nick

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Q: The role of the plump teenager Tracy Turnblad, played by Nikki Blonsky in the 2007 film “Hairspray,” was played in the 1988 original by Ricki who?        

A: Tomlinson

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Q:  Name the funny men who once entertained kings and queens at court. 

A:  Lepers.

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Q:  Which French Mediterranean town hosts a famous film festival every year? 

A:  I don’t know, I need a clue.

Q.:  OK. What do beans come in?

A:  Cartons?

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Q:  Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World? 

A:  I don’t know.

 

Q:  I’ll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?

A:  Arm.

 

Q:  Correct. And if you’re not weak, you’re . . .?

A:  Strong.

 

Q:  Correct – and what was Lord Mountbatten’s first name?

A:  Louis.

 

Q:  Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful

World?

A:  Frank Sinatra?

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Q:  What is the capital of Italy? 

A:  France.

 

Q:  France is another country. Try again.

A:  Oh, um, Benidorm.

 

Q:  Wrong, sorry, let’s try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?

A:  Sorry, I don’t know.

 

Q:  Just guess a country then.

A:  Paris.

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Q:  What is another name for ‘cherrypickers’ and ‘cheesemongers’? 

A:  Homosexuals. 

Q:  No. They’re regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.

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Q:  Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: prison, or the Conservative Party? 

A:  The Conservative Party.

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Q: How many wheels are there on a unicycle? 

A:  Three.

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Q:  In traffic, what ‘J’ is where two roads meet?

A:  Jool carriageway

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Q:  How many metres are there in a kilometre? 

A:  Three.

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Q:  How many wheels does a tricycle have? 

A:  Two.

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Q:  What was Gandhi’s first name?

A:  Goosey, goosey

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The French Don’t Have A Word For “Entrepreneur”

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Despite the fact that it has huge corporations like Cartier, Dassault, L’oreal, Lafarge, Michelin, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, and many more, President George W Bush once astutely remarked that the French don’t have a word for “entrepreneur”.

It’s hard to say whether he thought they had no entrepreneurs in France, or that the French had borrowed the word we used for themselves. But it is too dangerous territory to delve too deeply into trying to understand how Dubya thought or why he said some of the things he said. Let’s just instead enjoy the humor of them. 

But what is interesting is to delve a little deeper into the words that the English language has borrowed, and then assimilated, from other languages.

I have only noted a few examples here, a comprehensive list would run into the thousands. It makes me think that they didn’t say very much to each other in Britain before they were invaded and new words brought into their language.

Here is a short list. The origin of some of the words may well surprise you.

 

ARABIC: admiral, adobe, albatross, alcohol, alcove, alfalfa, algebra, algorithm, apricot, arsenal, artichoke, assassin, candy, carat, cipher, coffee, cotton, giraffe, guitar, harem, jar, jumper, lacquer, lemon, lime, magazine, mattress, muslin, orange, safari, sequin (clothing ornament), sofa, spinach, sugar, talc, tangerine, tariff, tuna, zenith , zero

 

DUTCH: ahoy, bamboo, bazooka, Brooklyn, bundle, caboose, coleslaw, cookie, cruise, dam, decoy, dike, dope, easel, elope, freebooter, gherkin, Harlem, holster, landscape, loafer, rucksack, scone, sketch, skipper, spook, trigger, wagon, yacht, yankee

 

FRENCH: abattoir, amateur¸ architect¸ astronomy, balloon, banquet, bikini, boutique, bureaucracy, cadillac, caliber, canon, carbon, cartel, chandelier, chauffeur, dagger, delicious, denim, deputy, diagram, education, ejaculation, election, empire, eviction, fiancée, flamboyant, flatulence, foreclose, fraternity, galoshes, glacier, gourmet, hangar, harassment, harmony, homicide, hypocrisy, identity, ignorance, imagination, immunize, irrigation, jealousy, jeopardy, journalism, kennel, kilometer, laundry, lemonade, liberty, lieutenant, lunatic, macabre, magician, mathematics, medicine, millionaire, mortgage, music, narcotic, native, negligee, nonchalant, oblique, occupy, optician, organism, ounce, pacific, panache, paragraph, perfume, pigeon, pirate, pistol, prejudice, president, psychiatry, quantity, queue, quote, racism, raconteur, rapport, rendezvous, residue, rhubarb, sabotage, salon, scabbard, secret, soufflé, tart, tourniquet, trenchant, trespass, turbulent, turtle, umpire, union, universal, vacation, valiant, vampire, vestibule, voyeur

 

GERMAN: hamburger, pretzel, larger

 

HEBREW: alphabet, jubilee, sycamore

 

INDIAN: avatar, bandana, bangle, bazaar, bungalow, cashmere, catamaran, chutney, curry, dinghy, doolally, dungarees, guru, gymkhana, hullabaloo, jungle, juggernaut , khaki, loot, polo, pukka, pundit, pyjamas, shampoo, shawl, swastika, thug, typhoon, veranda, yoga

 

IRISH: brogues, galore, gob, hooligan, poteen, shamrock, slob, whiskey

 

NATIVE AMERICAN: caribou, cisco, Eskimo, hickory, moccasin, moose, pecan, skunk, tomahawk, as well as many place names including, Mississippi, Michigan, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois

 

And finally for this example,

 

SPANISH: alligator, armada, avocado, barbecue, bonanza, burro, cafeteria, California, canyon, cargo, Caribbean, chocolate, cigar, Colorado, corral, desperado, Florida, guerrilla, hurricane, jerky, Montana, mosquito, Nevada, oregano, patio, plaza, ranch, stampede, tobacco, tomato, tornado