Did You Know? The Fact File Reveals More Random Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fascinating facts never seem to come to an end, thank goodness.

Here is the latest selection from the fasab files. Always random, but I hope always interesting, there has to be at least one thing in here that you didn’t know.

Enjoy finding out.

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The Lion King is the top grossing Disney movie of all-time

with domestic gross intake of $312 million.

Lion King

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The winter and summer seasons on Uranus

last the equivalent of 21 Earth years.

uranus-planet

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‘Cow’ is a Japanese brand of shaving foam.

Cow-Soap Shaving Cream

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The Nobel prizes (in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine,

Literature, and Peace) were first awarded in 1901.

first-nobel-prize

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The idea of Christmas cards was invented

by Englishman Henry Cole in 1843.

xmas card

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Before its name was changed, the ‘African’ Penguin

used be called the ‘Jackass’ Penguin

because of its donkey-like braying call.

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The largest diamond that was ever found was 3106 carats.

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More than $1 billion is spent each year on neck ties in the United States.

neckties

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Ballroom dancing is a course at

Brigham Young University in Utah.

Ballroom1

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New York’s famous Central Park has 125 drinking fountains.

drinking fountain

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Before soccer referees started using whistles in 1878,

they used to rely on waving a handkerchief.

referee handkerchief

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Jackrabbits (or Hares) can reach a speed of fifty miles per hour

and can leap as far as twenty feet.

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Cheesecake was invented in Ancient Greece

and served to athletes at the very first Olympic Games.

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As a rule, European carousels rotate clockwise,

while American merry-go-rounds spin counterclockwise.

carousel merrygoround

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In a study conducted regarding toilet paper usage,

Americans are said to use the most toilet paper per trip to the bathroom,

which was seven sheets of toilet paper per trip.

toilet paper

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The trunk of an elephant can hold up to two gallons of water.

elephant_spraying_water_trunk

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In the movie “Babe”, the piglet was played by

over 30 different piglets as they outgrew the part so quickly

during the production of the film.

Babe

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There are more Barbie dolls in Italy

than there are Canadians in Canada.

Italy-Barbie-Doll

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Bird droppings are the chief export of Nauru,

an island nation in the Western Pacific.

bird-poop-art-car

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Despite the horrific display, nearly two-thirds of those

aboard the LZ 129 Hindenburg survived its fiery crash in 1937.

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If It’s Monday It Must Be Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another chance to pit your wits against the fasab quiz archives with another random set of twenty questions.

Although there are one or two very easy ones, I think quite a lot of them are difficult this time, but here’s your chance to prove me wrong.

As always the answers are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below – but NO cheating.

Enjoy and good luck!

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Q.  1: What does the http:// in web URLs stand for?

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Q.  2:  What is the hood ornament on a Rolls Royce called?

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Q.  3:  Which former president of the United States, in his college days, worked as a male model, and even appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan?

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Q.  4:  In what country would you find the strangely named lakes “Titicaca” and “Poopo”?

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Q.  5:  Sleeping through the winter is called “hibernation,” but what is the word that describes sleeping through hot and dry periods like summer?

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Q.  6:  Members of the band “ZZ Top” are famous for their beards, but what was the surname of the only member who hadn’t got one?

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Q.  7:  In 1918 the so-called “Spanish Flu” spread around the world killing tens of millions of people, but where did the outbreak start?

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Q.  8:  Who was the only U.S. president never to sign a bill into law?

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Q.  9:  On which continent are the 50 tallest mountains on Earth are all located? (This is easy if you think about it)

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Q. 10:  Which world famous company’s name means “three oceans” in Japanese because the company’s founder wanted to sell his wares across the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans?

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Q. 11:  How old was Albert Einstein, a genius if ever there was one, when he learned how to drive?

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Q. 12:  What was the first ever registered domain name?

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Q. 13:  What city is America’s skyscraper capital?

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Q. 14:  Earlier this month the United States celebrated its birthday, but what is the only other country in the world to celebrate its birthday on July 4th?

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Q. 15:  Who is O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois named after?

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Q. 16:  The citizens of which country eat more donuts per capita than any other?

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Q. 17:  What European country is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth?

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Q. 18:  At more than 3.3 million square miles, what is the name of the world’s largest hot desert?

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Q. 19:  We have all seen a Snellen Chart, but what is it?

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Q. 20:  Possibly some of you have said “!#@%” when faced with a difficult question in this test, but what is the name for symbols such as “!#@%” that are used to indicate swearing in comic strips?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: What does the http:// in web URLs stand for?

A.  1:  The http:// in web URLs stands for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.”

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Q.  2:  What is the hood ornament on a Rolls Royce called?

A.  2:  The Spirit of Ecstasy.

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Q.  3:  Which former president of the United States in his college days, worked as a male model, and even appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan?

A.  3:  Former president Gerald Ford wasn’t always gray-haired and paunchy — in his college days, he worked as a male model, and even appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

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Q.  4:  In what country would you find the strangely named lakes “Titicaca” and “Poopo”?

A.  4:  In Bolivia, South America.

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Q.  5:  Sleeping through the winter is called “hibernation,” but what is the word that describes sleeping through hot and dry periods like summer?

A.  5:  Sleeping through hot and dry periods like summer is called “estivation.”

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Q.  6:  Members of the band “ZZ Top” are famous for their beards, but what was the surname of the only member who hadn’t got one?

A.  6:  Ironically, the only member of ZZ Top without a beard has the last name Beard.

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Q.  7:  In 1918 the so-called “Spanish Flu” spread around the world killing tens of millions of people, but where did the outbreak start?

A.  7:  The so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918 started at a military camp in Kansas before spreading around the world and killing millions.

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Q.  8:  Who was the only U.S. president never to sign a bill into law?

A.  8:  William Henry Harrison was the only U.S. president never to sign a bill into law — he died before having the opportunity.

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Q.  9:  On which continent are the 50 tallest mountains on Earth are all located? (This is easy if you think about it)

A.  9:  Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth is located in the Himalayas in Asia so since it has to be one of the 50 tallest mountains on Earth, they all have to be located in Asia.

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Q. 10:  Which world famous company’s name means “three oceans” in Japanese because the company’s founder wanted to sell his wares across the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans?

A. 10:  Sanyo means “three oceans” in Japanese.

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Q. 11:  How old was Albert Einstein, a genius if ever there was one, when he learned how to drive?

A. 11:  Albert Einstein never learned how to drive.

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Q. 12:  What was the first ever registered domain name?

A. 12:  The first registered domain name was symbolics.com. It was registered on March 15th, 1985.

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Q. 13:  What city is America’s skyscraper capital?

A. 13:  Chicago is America’s skyscraper capital. The city has more 1,000-foot tall buildings than any other U.S. city.

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Q. 14:  Earlier this month the United States celebrated its birthday, but what is the only other country in the world to celebrate its birthday on July 4th?

A. 14:  The only other country in the world to celebrate the United States’ birthday, July 4th, is Denmark.

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Q. 15:  Who is O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois named after?

A. 15:  O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois is named after Al Capone’s lawyer’s son, Lt. Cmdr. Butch O’Hare.

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Q. 16:  The citizens of which country eat more donuts per capita than any other?

A. 16:  Canadians eat more donuts per capita than any other country.

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Q. 17:  What European country is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth?

A. 17:  Liechtenstein is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth.

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Q. 18:  At more than 3.3 million square miles, what is the name of the world’s largest hot desert?

A. 18:  At more than 3.3 million square miles, the Sahara Desert is as large as the world’s next 20 largest hot deserts combined.

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Q. 19:  We have all seen a Snellen Chart, but what is it?

A. 19:  The eye test chart with the big ‘E’ on top is known as the Snellen Chart.

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Q. 20:  Possibly some of you have said “!#@%” when faced with a difficult question in this test, but what is the name for symbols such as “!#@%” that are used to indicate swearing in comic strips?

A. 20:  Symbols such as “!#@%” that are used to indicate swearing in comic strips are called grawlix.

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Lost In Translation

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There was a movie a few years ago called ‘Lost In Translation’ starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. It was about a jaded film star and a neglected wife who form an unlikely bond after meeting in a hotel in Tokyo, with the problem of translation between English and Japanese forming a sub theme.

It wasn’t a movie to everyone’s taste, but if you haven’t seen it definitely worth a look. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Bill Murray, and Best Director for Sofia Coppola, with Coppola winning for Best Original Screenplay. Scarlett Johansson won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

All that is by way of introduction to today’s post which is also about how the real meaning of what you try to say can sometimes be lost in translation.

The following signs are good examples that illustrate the point and hopefully amuse.

Enjoy.

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Sixty-Four 64

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another significant numbers day.

In case you are wondering these numbers are picked quite randomly. Only after it makes itself known does the search start for things associated with it.

Sometimes there is a lot, sometimes not so much. Sixty-four seems to be a well used number so a lot of information below.

If you are into numbers, enjoy.

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The Number Sixty-Four  64

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64

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In religion

  • The 64th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • King David prays for deliverance from his enemies in the 64th Psalm;
  • The 64 Dakinis or Yoginis are 8 Mother goddesses each with 8 attendants in India religious traditions; each of the 64 can be further correlated to the currents or winds of the human “etheric” body;
  • The Lord Shiva has 64 forms or manifestations.

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In mathematics

  • Sixty-four is the square of 8, the cube of 4, and the sixth power of 2;
  • Sixty-four is the smallest number with exactly seven divisors;
  • Sixty-four is the lowest positive power of two that is adjacent to neither a Mersenne prime nor a Fermat prime;
  • Sixty-four  is the sum of Euler’s totient function for the first fourteen integers;
  • Sixty-four is also a dodecagonal number and a centered triangular number;
  • In base 10, no integer added up to its own digits yields 64, hence it is a self number;
  • Sixty-four is a super-perfect number – a number such that s(s(n))=2n.

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  • Base64
  • Base64 is a group of similar binary-to-text encoding schemes that represent binary data in an ASCII string format by translating it into a radix-64 representation. The term Base64 originates from a specific MIME content transfer encoding.
  • Base64 encoding schemes are commonly used when there is a need to encode binary data that needs to be stored and transferred over media that are designed to deal with textual data. This is to ensure that the data remain intact without modification during transport.
  • Base64 is commonly used in a number of applications including email via MIME, and storing complex data in XML.

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  • Graham’s number
  • Graham’s number, named after Ronald Graham, is unimaginably larger than other well-known large numbers such as a googol, googolplex, and even larger than Skewes’ number and Moser’s number.
  • The number gained a degree of popular attention when Martin Gardner described it in the “Mathematical Games” section of Scientific American in November 1977, writing that, “In an unpublished proof, Graham has recently established … a bound so vast that it holds the record for the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof.” The 1980 Guinness Book of World Records repeated Gardner’s claim, adding to the popular interest in this number.
  • Specific integers known to be far larger than Graham’s number have since appeared in many serious mathematical proofs (e.g., in connection with Friedman’s various finite forms of Kruskal’s theorem).

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In Computing

  • 64-bit
  • In computer architecture, 64-bit computing is the use of processors that have datapath widths, integer size, and memory addresses of 64 bits (eight octets) wide. Also, 64-bit CPU and ALU architectures are those that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. From the software perspective, 64-bit computing means the use of code with 64-bit virtual memory addresses

64 bit is the future

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  • Commodore 64
  • The Commodore 64, commonly called C64, CBM 64 (for Commodore Business Machines), or VIC-64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International.
  • Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595.
  • Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes (65,536 bytes) of RAM, and had favorable sound and graphical specifications when compared to contemporary systems such as the Apple II, at a price that was well below the circa US$ 1200 demanded by Apple.
  • For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC compatibles, Apple Inc. computers, and Atari 8-bit family computers.
  • Sam Tramiel, a later Atari president and the son of Commodore’s founder, said in a 1989 interview “When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years.”

C64 computer

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  • Dragon 64
  • The Dragon 32 and Dragon 64 are home computers that were built in the 1980s. The Dragons are very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo), and were produced for the European market by Dragon Data, Ltd., in Port Talbot, Wales, and for the US market by Tano of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, which have 32 and 64 kilobytes of RAM, respectively.

Dragon-64 computer

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In science

  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Number of Gadolinium (Gd), discovered by Jean de Marignac 1880 (Switzerland), and named after the mineral gadolinite;
  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Weight of Copper (Cu).
  • There are 64 codons in the RNA codon table under genetic code.

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In space

  • Messier object M64, is a magnitude 9.0 galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, also known as the Black Eye Galaxy;
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 64, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus;
  • WOH G64 is a red hypergiant in the Large Magellanic Cloud. With 1540 times the radius of the Sun, it is one of the largest known stars and the largest known in the LMC. The physical parameters are still poorly known due to the distance, visual faintness, several solar masses of shrouding dust, and the possibility of a bright hot companion.

WOH_G64_Particular

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  • STS-64
  • STS-64 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 9 September 1994, to perform multiple experiment packages.
  • STS-64 marked the first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for “light detection and ranging”, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth’s atmosphere.
  • On day five of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using the Remote Manipulator System arm.
  • STS-64 was the first mission to see the use of the new full-pressure Advanced Crew Escape Suit, which eventually replaced the partial-pressure Launch Entry Suit.

sts-64-patch

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In politics

  • Department of State Form DS-64 is the one US Citizens need if they lose or have your passport stolen;
  • Department of Labor Chapter 64 regulates the employment of workers with disabilities at special wages;
  • In the United States presidential election of 1964, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964, Democratic candidate and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson who had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, and who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy’s popularity, won 61.1% of the popular vote, the highest won by a candidate since 1820.

United States presidential election  1964

  • In Chinese the “Six Four Incident” refers to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

tiananmen-square-1989

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In sport

  • There are 64 teams participating in the NCAA Basketball Tournament;
  • In chess or draughts, there are a total of 64 black (dark) and white (light) squares on the game board;
  • The Knight’s Tour of a chessboard is a sequence of moves by a knight so that each of the 64 squares is visited only once. The numbers of the knight’s moves form a magic square where each row and column adds up to 260;
  • 64 is the name of the premier Russian chess magazine;
  • NFL Hall of Famers with jersey #64 include Dave Wilcox, Linebacker (Boise Junior College, Oregon) and 1964-1974 San Francisco 49ers; George Blanda, Quarterback-Kicker, 1949, 1950-58 Chicago Bears, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1960-66 Houston Oilers, 1967-1975 Oakland Raiders; Joe Delamielleure, Guard, 1973-1979, 1985 Buffalo Bills, 1980-1984 Cleveland Browns; Randall McDaniel, Guard, 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Y.A. Tittle, Quarterback, 1948-1950 Baltimore Colts (AAFC/NFL), 1951-1960 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-1964 New York Giants.

Y A Tittle

  • In the National Hockey League, jersey #64 is used by James Robert McGinn IV is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

James McGinn

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In books, movies, music and TV

  • The $64,000 Question is an American game show broadcast from 1955–1958, which became embroiled in the scandals involving TV quiz shows of the day. The $64,000 Challenge (1956–1958) was its popular spin-off show.
  • When I’m 64 is a song by John Lennon & Paul McCartney from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (1967).


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In militaria

  • HMS Vansittart
  • HMS Vansittart was an Admiralty modified W class destroyer built for the Royal Navy. She was ordered in January 1918 from William Beardmore & Company with the 13th Order for Destroyers of the Emergency War Program of 1918-19. She was the second Royal Navy ship to carry the name which was first used in 1821 for a hired packet.

HMS_Vansittart (D64)

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  • HMS Beverley (H 64)
  • Completed in July 1920 as USS Branch (DD 197) for the US Navy, on 8 Oct, 1940 she was transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Beverley (H 64).
  • On 9 Apr, 1943, during WWII convoy duty in the North Atlantic, HMS Beverley had been seriously damaged in a collision with the British steam merchant Cairnvalona and had taken station in the rear of the convoy. When it was subsequenty attaced by a German U-Boat, U-188, 30 hours later she was hit by torpedos and sunk. HMS Clover (K 134) (Lt P.H. Grieves, RNR) later picked up five survivors and recovered two bodies, but one of the survivors later died on board.

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  • HMS Fencer (D64)
  • The USS Croatan (CVE-14) (originally AVG-14 then ACV-14) was transferred to the United Kingdom on 20 February 1943 under lend-lease where she served as HMS Fencer (D64). As an anti-submarine warfare carrier, Fencer escorted Atlantic, Russian and African convoys, even participating in a strike on the German battleship Tirpitz before being transferred to the Pacific.
  • Following World War II, she returned to the United States 21 December 1946, stricken for disposal on 28 January 1947 and sold into merchant service 30 December as Sydney.
  • The ship went through a series of renamings, first to Roma in 1967, then Galaxy Queen in 1970, Lady Dina in 1972 and finally Caribia in 1973 before being scrapped in Spezia in September 1975.

HMS_Fencer_D64

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  • HMS Scorpion (D64)
  • HMS Scorpion (D64) was a Weapon-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Originally named HMS Centaur, the ship was renamed Tomahawk and finally Scorpion (in September 1943) before her launch.
  • Scorpion was the only Weapon-class ship fitted with the Limbo depth charge mortar rather than the older Squid.
  • In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

HMS Scorpion D64

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  • HMS Theseus (R64)
  • HMS Theseus (R64) was a Colossus-class light fleet aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 July 1944.
  • Theseus was laid down to serve in the Second World War, but was not completed before peace was declared in 1945. She was utilized as a training vessel until the outbreak of the Korean War when she was deployed to Korea, commencing standard carrier operations.
  • In 1956, Theseus was used as an emergency commando carrier, along with her sister-ship Ocean, during the Suez Crisis. From November to December, helicopters from Theseus transported troops ashore, as well as evacuating wounded soldiers. Compared to her actions during the Korean War, her role at Suez was relatively quiet. The following year she was placed in reserve. She was subsequently broken up at Inverkeithing in 1962.

HMS Theseus (R64)

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  • USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
  • The USS Wisconsin (BB-64), “Wisky” or “WisKy”, is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was launched on 7 December 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid).
  • During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions.
  • During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned.
  • She was reactivated 1 August 1986, modernised and participated in Operation Desert Storm in January and February 1991.
  • Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, as well as a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the January/February 1991 Gulf War.
  • She currently functions as a museum ship operated by Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. .

Uss_wisconsin

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  • USS Constellation (CV-64)
  • The USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk–class supercarrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the “new constellation of stars” on the flag of the United States and the only naval vessel ever authorized to display red, white, and blue designation numbers.
  • One of the fastest ships in the Navy, as proven by her victory during a battlegroup race held in 1985, she was nicknamed “Connie” by her crew and officially as “America’s Flagship”.
  • She was launched 8 October 1960 and delivered to the Navy 1 October 1961, and commissioned 27 October 1961, with Captain T. J. Walker in command. At that time, she had cost about US$264.5 million. Constellation was the last U.S. aircraft carrier (as of 2010) to be built at a yard other than Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company.

USS_Constellation_CV-64

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  • USS Gettysburg (CG-64)
  • The USS Gettysburg (CG-64) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser in the United States Navy, built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and named for the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
  • With her guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons, she is capable of facing and defeating threats in the air, on the sea, or ashore, and underneath the sea. She also carries two Seahawk LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters, but mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
  • She is based in Mayport, Florida.

USS_Gettsyburg_(CG-64)

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  • U-64
  • The first U-64 was a Type U-63 class submarine in the Kaiserliche Marine that served during World War I. She was built in 1916 and served in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • On 19 March 1917, while on patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea, U-64 torpedoed and sank the French battleship Danton 30 miles south of Sardinia, with the loss of 296 men. She herself was lost on 17 June 1918.

u_64_u_63_type_u_boot 1915-1918

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  • In 1937 another German submarine U-64, a Type IXB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine, was ordered in July 1937 and launched in September 1939.
  • This U-64 had a very short career and sank no enemy vessels. Having left her home port of Wilhelmshaven for her first war patrol on 6 April 1940, she was intercepted by Allied aircraft seven days later off the coast of Norway during the invasion of that country and was sunk by a bomb from a Fairey Swordfish aircraft of HMS Warspite. Of her crew of 46, eight men died and 38 escaped from the sinking submarine.

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  • K-64
  • The K-64 Designation was first given to the first Alfa Class Submarine, launched on April 22, 1969.
  • In 1972, the submarine suffered a major reactor problem in the form of a leak of liquid metal coolant. The superheated metal solidified on contact with the colder outside air, freezing and damaging internal components of the reactor. She was removed from service and towed to Severodvinsk.
  • The K-64 designation was again given to a Delta IV class submarine launched on February 2, 1986 as the fourth ship of its class, entered in service in the Russian Northern Fleet. The sub was laid down in December 1982 and was built at Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk.
  • This ship is still in active service.

Soviet submarine K-64

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  • P-64
  • P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s.
  • Six NA-68s ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force were seized before export by the US government in 1941, after the Franco-Thai War and growing ties between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. These aircraft were used by the USAAC as unarmed fighter trainers.
  • Seven NA-50s were purchased by the Peruvian Air Force, which nicknamed it Torito (“Little Bull”). The Peruvian NA-50s subsequently saw action during the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941.

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  • The Grumman G-64/111 Albatross
  • The Albatross is easily the largest of Grumman’s series of utility amphibians, and was the only one originally developed specifically for military service.
  • The Albatross resulted from a late 1940s US Navy requirement for a general purpose amphibious transport. The first Albatross prototype flew for the first time on October 24 1947, with more than 400 production HU-16s subsequently delivered to the US Navy, US Coast Guard and 12 other nations. Military Albatross missions included general reconnaissance, maritime patrol, anti submarine warfare (in which role it could be armed with torpedoes and depth charges) and search and rescue.
  • In the late 1970s, Grumman and major US flying boat operator Resorts International began work on a program to convert the Albatross for civil airline service. The conversion incorporated numerous changes to the basic Albatross, including a 28 seat passenger interior, a galley and provision for a flight attendant, upgraded avionics and other improved systems.
  • In all only 13 aircraft were converted, 12 for Resorts International, and 1 for Conoco Oil/Pelita which operated from Singapore. Several of these are still active, together with ex military examples.

Grumman albatross

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  • AH-64 Apache
  • The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.
  • Originally, the Apache started life as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975.
  • The AH-64 was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986.
  • The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems; is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage; and has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
  • The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded version of the original Apache, was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security; over 1,000 AH-64s have been produced to date.
  • The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. U.S. AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; both British and U.S. Apaches have seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AH-64D_Apache_Longbow

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  • Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
  • The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter, the civil version of the United States Army’s CH-54 Tarhe. The S-64 Aircrane is the current production version, manufactured by the Erickson Air-Crane company.
  • Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certificate and manufacturing rights in 1992 and since that date they have become the manufacturer and world’s largest operator of S-64 Aircranes. The Aircrane can be fitted with a 2,650-gallon (~10,000 litre) fixed retardant tank to assist in the control of bush fires, and it has proved itself admirably in this role.
  • Erickson is manufacturing new S-64s, as well as remanufacturing existing CH-54s, with each being assigned an individual name, the best-known being “Elvis”, used in fighting fires in Australia alongside “The Incredible Hulk” and “Isabelle”.
  • Other operators, such as Siller Brothers, have followed with their Sikorsky S-64E, Andy’s Pride. The Erickson S-64E nicknamed “Olga” was used to lift the top section of the CN Tower into place in Toronto, Canada.
  • The S-64 is the first helicopter built with a rear-facing pilot’s seat—this allows the pilot to watch exactly where the load is being placed as he’s flying the helicopter. The feature came in handy in 1993, when an S-64 removed and replaced the Statue of Freedom from the US Capitol building during a renovation. When transporting a big load like that, the S-64 uses an anti-rotation rigging system that prevents the aircraft from twisting and swaying.

Sikorsky S64

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  • T-64
  • The T-64 is a Soviet main battle tank, introduced in the early 1960s. It was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62: the T-64 served tank divisions, while the T-62 supported infantry in motor rifle divisions. Although the T-62 and the famed T-72 would see much wider use and generally more development, it was the T-64 that formed the basis of more modern Soviet tank designs like the T-80.

T-64 tank

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  • W64 nuclear warhead
  • The W64 nuclear warhead was the Los Alamos Laboratory’s entry into a brief competition between Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Los Alamos to design an “enhanced-radiation” nuclear warhead (i.e., a “neutron bomb”) for the United States Army’s MGM-52 Lance tactical surface-to-surface missile.
  • The Los Alamos design, the W64, was canceled in September 1964 in favor of Livermore’s W63. In November 1966, the W63 was canceled in favor of the W70, the model that finally entered production.

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  • L64
  • The L64 was an intermediate calibre British bullpup layout prototype assault rifle developed in the 1970s. The British Army had considered bullpup designs with intermediate calibre rounds in the 1950s, and officially adopted one of these as .280 British in 1951 in the EM-2 and Taden gun. However, US intransigence during NATO standardization efforts, and Winston Churchill’s interest in standards above all, led to the adoption of the significantly more powerful 7.62×51mm NATO round and the British and Canadian armies adopted the L1A1 SLR, a licensed version of the FN FAL, itself originally designed for the .280.
  • In the late 1960s a new L64/65 “Individual Weapon” was developed, outwardly similar to the earlier EM-2, but adopted a firing mechanism very similar to ArmaLite’s latest AR-18 design. The first examples were available in 1972.
  • By 1976, NATO was ready to standardize on a small calibre round, and testing of the various rounds head-to-head started in 1977. As designed, the British round out-performed the standard US 5.56 mm. However Fabrique Nationale’s entry based on the 5.56 mm, the “SS-109” performed as well as the British cartridge. In the end it was selected largely due to its similarity with existing US ammunition.
  • The L64 pattern was later developed into the SA80 family of weapons, which entered service with the UK in the 1980s.

L64-Enfield_bullpup_prototype

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  • P-64 Pistol
  • The P-64 is a Polish 9mm semi-automatic pistol designed to fire the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. The pistol was developed in the late 1950s at the Institute for Artillery Research, which later became the Military Institute of Armament Technology.

P64 pistol

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In other fields

  • Cities situated on longtitude 64 degree west are:  Charlotte Amalie,  US Virgin Islands; Hamilton,  Bermuda; Road Town,  British Virgin Islands; and Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Cities situated on latitude 64 north are:  Fairbanks, Alaska; Skellefteå, Sweden; Anadyr and Arkhangelsk, Russia; Nuuk (Godthåb), Greenland; and Reykjavík, Iceland.
  • There are 64 gems in total number in a standard Bejeweled game board.
  • 64 is the code for international direct dial calls to New Zealand.
  • There are 64 Braille characters in the old 6-dot system.
  • Since 1996, the number 64 has been an abbreviation or slang for Nintendo 64 (though N64 is more common) along with the games Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and more.

Nintendo_64_Logo

  • 64 is the maximum number of strokes in any Chinese character.
  • There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching.
  • There are 64 sexual positions in the Kama Sutra.
  • There are 64 demons in the Dictionnaire Infernal.
  • There are 64 classical arts listed in many Indian scriptures. They include: singing, dancing, painting, poetry, playing cards, making arguments, making flower garlands, etc.
  • The 64th French department is Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
  • Unsurprisingly it is the number of crayons in the popular Crayola 64 pack.
  • 64 is the maximum stack size in the popular game Minecraft.
  • 64 (dog) is a character in the Donald Duck comics universe.
  • Number of golden disks in the myth of the Tower of Hanoi.
  • The S64-1.25 MW has a well-suited ratio of rotor diameter to generator for most sites in a medium wind speed regime. The wind turbine concept is based on robust design and is efficiently handled by the Suzlon controller. These technologies are all well-known in the wind power industry and have proven themselves over time.

Suzlon_S64-1.25-MW

  • PARALOID B-64 solid grade acrylic resin provides an outstanding combination of hardness, flexibility, and adhesion to various substrates. This general-purpose resin permits wider latitude in formulating in solvents that are suitable for specific applications.
  • Group f/64 was a group of seven 20th century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.
  • 64 is the slang term referring to a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, often configured as a lowrider, a popular subject among early-90’s gangsta rap.

1964_chevrolet_impala_ss_convertible front_view

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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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Coffee Anyone?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If you are a regular reader of this blog you will have realised that I like facts about various subjects.

One of them is food.

I have already done a post about peanut butter (click here) and one about chocolate (click here) , both everyday items that almost all of use and enjoy. ‘

Today’s post is about probably THE most loved and enjoyed drink that we use everyday.

So here we have lots and lots of things you probably never knew about you coffee.

Enjoy (with a nice cup of coffee or three perhaps).

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Coffee Bean Man

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According to legend during the 9th century Ethopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and ‘dance’ after eating coffee berries.

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Originally coffee was eaten.

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African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat to make energy balls

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Coffee has been used as a beverage for over 700 years.

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The rise of Islam contributed greatly to the popularilty of coffee. The religion prohibited drinking alcohol, but coffee was considered an acceptable drink

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In Turkey, the bridegroom as once required to make a vow during the wedding to always make sure to provide their wives with coffee. If they did not do so it was considered grounds for divorce.

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Also in Turkey, the intended bride is required to serve coffee to her parents and future husband when he comes to ask for her hand in marriage; however, she has no say so in the outcome of the request. Tradition has it that her response is in the sweetness or lack thereof of the coffee. Sweet coffee supposedly means she is okay with the arrangement while salty means she is not.

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All the coffee grown in the world grows in the bean belt which is the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

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Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee

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The heavy tea tax imposed on the American colonies in 1773, which caused the ‘Boston Tea Party’, resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee became an expression of freedom.

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Black coffee with no sugar contains no calories.

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Drinking a single cup of coffee that has been brewing for 20 minutes provides the body with 300 phytochemicals which act as antioxidants and stay in the body for up to a month.

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New Yorkers drink almost seven times more coffee than other cities in the US.

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Coffee is a psychoactive. And at high doses it can make you see things… It can also kill you…The lethal dose of caffeine is roughly 100 cups of coffee.

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The French philosopher Voltaire is said to have drank 50 cups of coffee a day.

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In 1675 Charles II, King of England issued a proclamation banning Coffee Houses. He said that they were places where people met to plot against him.

 coffee house.

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Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, after oil.

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70% of the world consumes Arabica coffee, which is mild and aromatic. The remaining 30% drink Robusta, which is more bitter tasting but has 50% more caffeine than Arabica

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Coffee grows on trees, which can grow up to 30 feet tall but commercially are cultivated to around 10 feet in height for easier picking

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A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.

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When it is in bloom, the coffee tree is covered with 30,000 white flowers which begin to develop into fruit after 24 – 36 hours.

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A coffee tree can flower eight times in any one year – depending on rainfall.

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The coffee cherries turn from yellow to orange and then bright red, 6 – 8 months after flowering.

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One coffee tree yields less than half a kilo of coffee per year.

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A French doctor in the 1600s suggested Cafe Au Laits for patients, inspiring people to begin adding milk to coffee.

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The coffee bean is actually a seed inside a bright red berry

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Coffee berries are picked, dried and stripped down until all that is left is the green bean

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Once shipped the beans are roasted at around 500F, after a few minutes the bean will pop and double in size, a few minutes after that the bean will pop again which means the bean is ready

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The aromas in coffee develop at the 10th minute of roasting.

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Coffee increases in volume during roasting by 18.60%.

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Caffeine is not the main bitter compound in coffee. Rather, the pungent perpetrators are antioxidants.

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George Washington invented instant coffee. No, not him, the George Washington from Belgiun, living in Guatemala in 1906, although the invention has also been claimed by a Japanese American chemist known as Satori Kato in 1901.

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Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life

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Espresso is not a particular roast, bean or blend, just the way the coffee is prepared by shooting pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee

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Brewed espresso has 2.5% fat, while filtered coffee contains 0.6% fat.

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It takes 40 coffee beans to make an espresso.

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In 1822 the French were the first to innovate a crude espresso machine. The Italians then perfected this machine and became the first to manufacture it.

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Contrary to popular belief, espresso has one-third the caffeine of a cup of coffee, simply due to serving size differences.

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In 1785, the coffee revolt broke out in Prussia because coffee consumption was restricted to the nobility, the clergy and high officials.

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James Mason invented the coffee percolator on December 26, 1865.

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30% of coffee drinkers in US added a sweetener of some kind to their coffee, compared with 57% in UK.

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Coffee sacks are usually made of hemp and weigh approximately 132 pounds when they are full of green coffee beans. It takes over 600,000 beans to fill a coffee sack.

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October 1st is official “Coffee Day” in Japan.

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Scientists have discovered more than 800 different aromatic compounds in coffee.

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Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars, and still growing.

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The term Americano comes from American GIs during WWII who would order espresso with water to dilute the strong flavor

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The term cup of Joe also comes from American servicemen in WWII who were known as big coffee drinkers

cuppa joe .

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The custom of tipping waiters originated in early European Coffee Houses, in order to receive good service in that loud, dirty, hectic place you needed to Tip Big.

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In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee.

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Melitta Bentz a housewife from Dresden, Germany, invented the first coffee filter in 1908.

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Johan Sebastian Bach wrote an opera about a woman who was addicted to coffee.

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There is a way to brew coffee with marijuana in it and it is described as producing a “dreamy” kind of coffee buzz.

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In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is always served their coffee first.

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Some of the worlds most powerful businesses, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started life as a coffee houses.

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In the 1600s there was a controversy over whether or not Catholics could drink coffee, luckily for them Pope Clement VIII loved coffee and authorized its use.

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Caffeine, which is found in coffee, increases the effect of some painkillers, especially aspirin and paracetamol.

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Dorothy Jones of Boston was the first American coffee trader, In 1670 she was granted a license to sell coffee.

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In Africa coffee beans are soaked in water mixed with spices and served as candy to chew.

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A regular 6oz cup of coffee contains about 150 milligrams of caffeine, most physicians call this a “therapeutic dose”.

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There are over 50 species of coffee world wide. Though only 2, arabica and robusta, are commonly used in commercial coffee production.

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Robusta coffee beans have twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, but our of less quality.

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If you drink five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, you could get as much caffeine as from one or two cups of caffeinated coffee, a study found.

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To produce decaffeinated coffee the beans are steamed, so that dissolved caffeine rises to the surface, where it is washed off using an organic solvent called methylene chloride.

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Coffee can actually be used to fuel a car.

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At one point, Brazil had such a coffee surplus that they tried to find other uses for it, including using it to make plastic.

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The world record for most coffee consumption is 82 cups of coffee in 7 hours.

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Contrary to popular belief light roast coffee actually has more caffeine than dark roast coffee. The reason for this is that the longer coffee is roasted the more caffeine cooked out of the bean.

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An expert in preparing Turkish coffee is known as a “kahveci”.

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The Nicaraguan Margogpipe is the largest of all coffee beans.

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King Frederick of Germany created a special task force to search out illicit coffee smugglers. The task force was known as the Kaffee Schnuffler. The king believed that soldiers who drank coffee were not dependable.

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Both the French and American Revolutions were planned in coffee houses.

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‘Excelso’ or ‘supremo’ do not mean a better quality of coffee when used to describe coffee beans, it refers to the size of the coffee bean.

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Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets got his start doing coffee ads.

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One the largest misconception in the U.S. today about coffee is that Mocha Java coffee is a chocolaty beverage. In fact there is no chocolate in the Mocha or Java bean at all. Mocha is the name of the largest port in Yemen, here is where all of the African coffee beans are traded and transported. Java is the name of an island in Indonesia where the Java Bean comes from. Both coffees are a dark bean and provide a very rich and bold coffee, when you mix the two together you get Mocha Java coffee.

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Coffee at one stage in its life or another provides a living to more than 100 million people.

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During World War II there was a coffee drinking competition between the branches of the military. The Marines claimed to drink the most – twenty cups a day.

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Coffee was so scarce in Germany that during WWII “coffee bombs” or bags of coffee were dropped from planes to turn the people against their government.

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In Staten Island, there’s a restaurant owner that drinks fifty cups of coffee a day.

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The actress who played the Wicked Witch Of The West in the Wizard Of Oz, Margaret Hamilton, was promoting Maxwell House in the 1970’s.

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In December 2001 Brazil produced a scented postage stamp to promote its coffee – the smell should last between 3 and 5 years.

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No matter what people tell you, caffeine cannot help you sober up.

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The first webcam was invented at The University of Cambridge to let people know if the coffee pot was full or not.

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The Japanese believe that bathing in coffee grounds fermented with pineapple pulp will reduce wrinkles and beautify the skin and there is a spa in Japan that lets you bathe in coffee, tea, or wine. I wouldn’t drink it though…

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Before coffee caught on in the US in the 1700s, beer was breakfast drink of choice. Difficult choice!

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Irish coffee was actually invented to warm up cold American plane passengers leaving from Ireland.

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On May 11, 1926, the slogan “Maxwell House Good to the last drop” was trademark registered.

 Coffee-Posters.

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There is a tourist agency for people wanting to take coffee vacations called Cafe Away.

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Norway drinks the most coffee per person. The United States is ranked number 12.

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Teddy Roosevelt is and was the greatest American coffee drinker, consuming a gallon a day. But you probably shouldn’t attempt to do that.

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The name cappuccino comes from: the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks.

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A study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo found that sperm motility was markedly higher in coffee drinkers versus non coffee-drinkers. And it turns out that it doesn’t matter whether you drink one or ten cups a day: The only detectable difference was found between coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers.

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Beethoven counted the number of coffee beans he used to make his coffee and insisted on 60 beans per cup.

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During the American Civil War soldiers who were craving coffee and couldn’t get it tried roasting sweet potatoes and corn to make a beverage similar to coffee. It obviously didn’t become a popular choice.

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In 1674 a group of London women formed a group called WPAC (Women’s Petition Against Coffee). They didn’t like the amount of time their husbands spent in coffee houses rather than being home where they belonged.

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According to David Levitsky, PhD, professor of nutritional science at Cornell University, “Caffeine decreases the rate at which the stomach dumps its contents into the duodenum – a part of the small intestine where digestion takes place – and also increases metabolic rate.” so sipping a cup post-meal could, in small part, help promote a healthy weight.

coffee maker .

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Water is the only beverage more popular than coffee.

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Coffee contains over 1200 chemicals and over half of those are responsible for creating its flavor.

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The average coffee drinker consumes 3 cups of coffee per day.

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Three countries consume 65% of the world’s coffee: America, France, and Germany.

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Coffee grounds sprinkled on the ground around plants and the garden will stop snails and slugs from eating the plants.

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Kenyan coffees are graded as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. ‘AA’ is the best coffee. In Costa Rica, coffees are graded as ‘Strictly Hard Bean’, ‘Good Hard Bean’, ‘Hard Bean’, ‘Medium Hard Bean’, ‘High Grown Atlantic’, ‘Medium Grown Atlantic’, and ‘Low Grown Atlantic’. Those coffee beans from Colombia are labelled as ‘Supremo’, ‘Excelso’, ‘Extra’ and the lowest grade, ‘Pasilla’.

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In 1763, there were over 200 coffee shops in Venice.

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Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per millilitre of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee.

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Coffee was first known in  Europe as Arabian Wine.

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It was said that cowboys made their coffee by putting ground coffee into a sock (hopefully a clean one) and immersed it in water heated over a camp fire. When ready, they would pour the coffee into tin cups and drink it.

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A study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that women who regularly drink fully caffeinated coffee have a 20% lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers. The study, which followed a group of women for 10 years, found that as more coffee was consumed (up to six cups per day), the likelihood of depression decreased.

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There are two major coffee markets in the world. One is in London, which deals with the buying of Robusta coffee. The other is the ‘C’ contract market, known as Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE), which is in New York. It handles the trade of Arabica coffee. The ‘C’ market is also a futures market.

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Finally, can you see the man?

coffee test

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It’s More Moronic Madness, Yes, It’s Quiz Show Monday!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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So how many idiots got elected last week? Not all of them I hope, but I bet there are at least a few intellectually challenged newbees in the corridors of power in Washington. 

On the lighter side, some of those who didn’t make it in politics made it on to television and appeared in quiz shows.

The results are not that much different to some of the dumb things said in Congress (oh, oh, I feel another post forming in my head) so here is a selection to get the week started with a smile.

Enjoy!  

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Q: In craps, what are the numbers you will need to roll an ‘Easy 10’?        

A: What are 9 and 1?    

craps dice

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Q: Paul III roared at him, “I have waited 30 years for your services. Now, I’m pope. Can’t I satisfy my desire?”        

A: Who is Lady Godiva?

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Q: If a Japanese “isha” (doctor) asks you to stick out your “shita”, he means this.           

A: What is your behind?

proctologist cartoon

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Q: To get to Wallace, Idaho from Boston, get on I-90 West, and the first one of these you ‘hit’, you’re there.        

A: What is a buffalo?

Buffalo

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Q: 2 of the 3 countries classified as extending across two continents     

A: What are Africa and Europe? 

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Q: The original one of these on Massachusetts’ Little Brewster Island was built in 1716; automation didn’t come until 1998.           

A: What is Kebert Xela?

Kebert Xela 

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Q: [The language that this statement, meaning “I love you guys”, is in:] Yr Wyf I’n Dy Garu Di      

A: What is Klingon?

A:  What is Welsh?       

klingon

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Q: He is the only sitting Vice President since Martin Van Buren to be elected President   

A: Who is Al Gore?

Al Gore cartoon

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Q: This nursery rhyme was based on actual events at a 1900 schoolhouse.         

A: What is ‘There once was a man from Nantucket?’       

There once was a man from Nantucket

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Q: In 2002, an elaborate dinner party was held at No. 10 to celebrate this many years’ reign by Elizabeth II           

A: Who is Tony Blair?   

Tony Blair cartoon

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Q: The Timon puppet in “The Lion King” was inspired by Bunraku, the traditional puppet theatre of this country     

A: What is Africa?        

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Q: Of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, the one that is smallest in size         

A: What is my apartment?         

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Q: George Bernard Shaw called this condition “the greatest of evils and the worst of crimes.”       

A: What is marriage?

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Q: Of Pastism, Presentism or Futurism, the literary movement that began around 1909    

A: What is Modernism?

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Q: According to the old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for…” what?          

A: Jim Beam

Jim Beam

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Q: Franklin D. Roosevelt is found on the head side of what American coin?        

A: $50 Bill

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Q: “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.” What city does that describe?

A: Phoenix

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Q: What was the magical item that brought Frosty the Snowman to life? 

A: Corncob pipe

corn cob pipes 

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Q: What vehicle is used in the Tour de France race?       

A: SUVs

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Q: What eye ailment is the more common name for “myopia?”    

A: You think you’re right

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 A myopic video

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