Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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“Remember, remember the fifth of November,” is something that kids used to chant on this day in Britain as a memento of a character called Guy Fawkes, whose claim to immortality was that he tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England in what became known as the Gunpowder Plot.

Guy_Fawkes_portrait
portrait of Guy Fawkes

It all took place in 1605 and was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Roman Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

They had planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, when the King would be certain to be in attendance. That event was then supposed to trigger a popular revolt in the English Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Roman Catholic head of state.

Catesby’s fellow plotters were John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham.

gun_powder_plot_conspirators

Fawkes, who is remembered while most of the others have been forgotten, was a man with some military service and was therefore chosen to be in charge of the explosives.

The plot failed when an anonymous letter was sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605 and a subsequent search of the House of Lords at midnight on 4 November 1605, revealed Guy Fawkes guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder.

He was arrested and in good conspiratorial fashion his comrades fled from London leaving him to face the consequences alone. One or two did try to make a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at a place called Holbeche House, and in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed.

At the trial of those who survived, held on 27 January 1606, eight conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, a particularly cruel form of punishment used for traitors in those days. (Think of the final scenes from the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart and you will understand the gruesome process.)

Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Guy Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.

The failure of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells. This evolved into the present tradition of ‘Bonfire Night’ when effigies of Guy Fawkes are traditionally burned on bonfires, accompanied by fireworks. Many such displays which will be held throughout Britain later today.

Interestingly, the ‘anonymous’ face mask currently in use by many anti government groups is based on the visage of Guy Fawkes.

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anonymous face mask

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They’re At It Again, Confounding All The Laws Of The Intellect – Yes, It’s More Quiz Show Answers!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The title of this post says ‘confounding all the laws of the intellect’, and I don’t think that is any exaggeration. These people take questions, often simple questions, run it through what passes for their mind and then out of their mouths come answers that are so far away from correct it is sometimes quite staggering.

Anyhow, enough from me.

Here is the latest selection.

Enjoy.

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Q:  What country does the spiritual leader the Dalai Lama come from 

A:  Scotland.

Q:  What is the currency in India?

A:  Ramadan.

Q:  Skegness is a seaside resort on the coast of which sea:

a) Irish Sea,

b) English Channel,

c) North Sea?

A:  Oh, I know that, you can start writing out the cheque now, Dale. It’s on the east coast, so it must be the Irish Sea.

Q:  Bob Hope was the fifth of how many sons?

A:  Four.

Q:  Which ‘S’ is a kind of whale that can grow up to 80 tonnes? 

A:  Ummm .. .

Q:  It begins with ‘S’ and rhymes with ‘perm’.

A:  Shark.

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Q:  Which literary hunchback lived in Notre Dame and fell in love with Esmeralda 

A:  Nostradamus.

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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 

Q:  In which country is the Parthenon 

A: Sorry, I don’t know.  

Q:  Just guess a country. 

A: Paris.

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Q:  What’s 11 squared?

A: I don’t know.

Q:  I’ll give you a clue. It’s two ones with a two in the middle.

A: Is it five?

 

Q:  What religion was Guy Fawkes?

A: Jewish. 

Q:  That’s close enough.

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Q:  What was signed to bring World War I to an end in 1918?.

A: Magna Carta?

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Q:  What ‘K’ could be described as the Islamic Bible?

A:  Er…

Q:  It’s got two sylla-bles… Kor…

A:  Blimey?

Q: Ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run…

A:  Silence

Q: Okay, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I…

A:  Walked?

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Q:  What name is given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?

A:  Nostalgia.

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Q:  In which European country is Mount Etna?

A:  Japan.

Q:  I did say European country… I can let you try again.

A:  Er… Mexico?

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Q:  How long did the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel last?

A:  (long pause) 14 days.

Q:  In which country would you spend shekels?

A:  Holland? 

Q:  Try the next letter of the alphabet.

A:  Iceland? Ireland?

Q:  It’s a bad line. Did you say Israel?

A:  No.

 

Q:  Where is Cambridge University?

A:  Geography isn’t my strong point

Q:  There’s a clue in the title 

A:  Leicester?

 

Q:  Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?

A:  Barcelona 

Q:  I was really after the name of a country

A:  I’m sorry, I don’t know the name of any countries in Spain

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Q:  Where did the D-Day landings take place?

A:  (after pause): Pearl Harbor?

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Q:  What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?

A:  I don’t know, I wasn’t watching it then

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The cast of hit tv series Dallas
The cast of hit television series Dallas

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