America, Asia and Australia – It’s A Global Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Questions relating to most continents today so truly a global quiz.

Twenty more questions to test your general knowledge.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz7

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Q.  1.  In Australia are there are more people than kangaroos or more kangaroos than people?

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Q.  2.  In America what commemoration day was in honor of the Union and Confederate soldiers fallen in the American Civil War, and known as the Decoration Day?

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Q.  3.  To be officially considered an astronaut by NASA you must travel how many miles above the surface of the Earth?

            a) 50 miles           b) 100 miles           c) 150 miles           d) 200 miles

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Q.  4.  In 755 AD the An Lushan rebellion in which over 30 million people died (almost a sixth of the world population) occurred in what country?

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Q.  5.  On what part of your body would you find Rasceta?

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Q.  6.  What is a young rabbit called?

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Q.  7.  What is the most translated book in the world, available in 2454 languages?

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Q.  8.  Approximately what proportion of the Earth is covered by the Pacific Ocean?

            a) one eighth          b) one fifth          c) one quarter          d) one third

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Q.  9.  In what year (excluding test flights) was the first Space Shuttle launched?

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Q. 10.  In what year (excluding test flights) was the last Space Shuttle launched?

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Q. 11.  What city is known as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ ?

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Q. 12.  What is measured on the Beaufort scale?

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Q. 13.  What English naval commander reputedly refused to stop a game of bowls when an enemy fleet was sighted?

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Q. 14.  What famous novelists works include ‘Brighton Rock’, ‘The Quiet American’, and ‘Our Man In Havana’ ?

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Q. 15.  Which two figures are normally found in a Pietà sculpture?

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Q. 16.  What are the three main functions in trigonometry?

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Q. 17.  What word links a castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur and the presidency of JFK?

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Q. 18.  Who did Cassius Clay first defeat to win the boxing Heavyweight Championship of the World?

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Q. 19.  What are the 12 long triangles on a backgammon board called?

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Q. 20. In music what band is known by the acronym ELO?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1.  In Australia are there are more people than kangaroos or more kangaroos than people?

A.  1.  In Australia there are approximately 23.87 million people, but current Federal Government estimates puts the number of kangaroos at 50 – 60 million.

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Q.  2.  In America what commemoration day was in honor of the Union and Confederate soldiers fallen in the American Civil War, and known as the Decoration Day?

A.  2. Memorial Day.

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Q.  3.  To be officially considered an astronaut by NASA you must travel how many miles above the surface of the Earth?

            a) 50 miles           b) 100 miles           c) 150 miles           d) 200 miles

A.  3.  The correct answer is a) 50 miles.

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Q.  4.  In 755 AD the An Lushan rebellion in which over 30 million people died (almost a sixth of the world population) occurred in what country?

A.  4.  In China.

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Q.  5.  On what part of your body would you find Rasceta?

A.  5.  The lines on the back of your wrist are called Rasceta.

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Q.  6.  What is a young rabbit called?

A.  6.  A young rabbit is called a ‘kitten’ or a ‘kit’, not a bunny.

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Q.  7.  What is the most translated book in the world, available in 2454 languages?

A.  7.  The Bible.

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Q.  8.  Approximately what proportion of the Earth is covered by the Pacific Ocean?

            a) one eighth          b) one fifth          c) one quarter          d) one third

A.  8.  The correct answer is d) one third.

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Q.  9.  In what year (excluding test flights) was the first Space Shuttle launched?

A.  9.  It was launched in 1981, on April 12th.

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Q. 10.  In what year (excluding test flights) was the last Space Shuttle launched?

A. 10.  It was launched in 2011, on July 8th.

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Q. 11.  What city is known as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ ?

A. 11.  Budapest.

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Q. 12.  What is measured on the Beaufort scale?

A. 12.  Wind speed. It’s full name is the Beaufort wind force scale, although it is a measure of wind speed and not of force in the scientific sense.

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Q. 13.  What English naval commander reputedly refused to stop a game of bowls when an enemy fleet was sighted?

A. 13.  Sir Francis Drake.

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Q. 14.  What famous novelists works include ‘Brighton Rock’, ‘The Quiet American’, and ‘Our Man In Havana’ ?

A. 14.  Graham Greene.

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Q. 15.  Which two figures are normally found in a Pietà sculpture?

A. 15.  The Pietà sculpture depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

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Q. 16.  What are the three main functions in trigonometry?

A. 16.  They are ‘Sine’, ‘Cosine’ and ‘Tangent’, often shortened to ‘sin’, ‘cos’ and ‘tan’.

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Q. 17.  What word links a castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur and the presidency of JFK?

A. 17.  Camelot.

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Q. 18.  Who did Cassius Clay first defeat to win the boxing Heavyweight Championship of the World?

A. 18.  Sonny Liston.

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Q. 19.  What are the 12 long triangles on a backgammon board called?

A. 19.  They are known as ‘Points’.

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Q. 20. In music what band is known by the acronym ELO?

A. 20.  The Electric Light Orchestra.

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Give That President A Cigar …er… A Great Big Cuban One!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Cuban American flags

Strangely, when President Barack Obama was elected with ease in 2008 and had a comfortable Congressional majority he didn’t really capitalize on his advantage. He may have gotten elected promising ‘change’ but he didn’t make many when he made it into the big seat.

Now, perhaps sensing the end of his term as President, and in spite of the Democrats’ recent crushing defeat, he is becoming ‘Obama the bold’, maker of decisions, changer of things.

Hence his recent decisions to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and an amnesty for five million illegal immigrants in the US.

JFK imposed the embargo on Cuba way back in 1962, in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In JFK’s day the embargo was America’s way of thumbing its nose at the Soviet Empire. Cuba was less than 100 miles from the continental US and its defiance of the mighty Uncle Sam was an embarrassment, particularly after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Cuban missile crisis

Curious therefore that Obama cannot see the similarities with Putin’s stance in the Ukraine, but that’s another story.

However, getting back to the Cuban embargo, it was a decision that has been condemned by almost every nation in the world ever since. I think it smacked too much of the big rich kid in the schoolyard picking on the little poor kid.

But, like a lot of things that are half a century old and more, the Cuban embargo was well past its sell-by date. Not least because it didn’t work!

Neither of course did the Cuban system, which failed mainly due to the disintegration of the Soviet Empire that had kept Cuba financially afloat long after Castro’s communism would have bitten the dust if left to its own devices.

In Cuba today there is a realism and a recognition of that very fact. Fidel Castro himself admitted that their model “….no longer works even for us,” when he was speaking in support of his brother Raúl’s “liberal” reforms announced a few years ago.

For the moment, that ‘liberalization’ in Cuba means allowing employees, most of them former civil servants, to become the owners of the small businesses that employ them.

I call that capitalism. What do you think?

Lots of US corporations are queueing up to develop their business interests in Cuba. Big names, like American Airlines, Hilton Hotels and PepsiCo are already in the starting blocks.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the new US regime sweeps into power.

In the meantime I think I’ll buy a nice big box of cigars.

A-Box-Of-Cigars

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Can You Handle The Quiz?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another week.

Today’s quiz has a few questions that I think you will find quite challenging, plus one or two that you should breeze through with ease.

But the only way to find out is to have a go.

And remember, as always, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1:  What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?

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Q.  2:  Who directed both JFK and Nixon?

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Q.  3:  Before being harvested and sold, an individual cranberry must bounce at least how many inches high to make sure they aren’t too ripe?

           a)  2 inches            b)  3 inches            c)  4 inches            d)  5 inches

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Q.  4:  What World War II British naval intelligence officer wrote the children’s story ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’?

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Q.  5:  Who is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President?

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Q.  6:  The ‘H-3’ and the ‘H-4’, built in 1757 and 1759 were mechanical wonders.  Who constructed them both and what were they used for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q.  7:  What does the term ‘Cornucopia’ mean?

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Q.  8:  To nearest 1000, in the year 1800 how many wild turkeys were there in Turkey?

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Q.  9:  The two oldest universities in Europe are both found in which country?  

           a) France              b) England              c) Italy              d) Greece

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Q. 10:  Who was the tallest President of the United States and who was the shortest? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q. 11:  In which 1949 movie did Sir Alec Guinness famously play the role of eight different members of the D’Ascoyne family?

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Q. 12:  Who won this year’s (2014) Formula One World Driver’s Championship and what was his nationality? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q. 13:  ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill’, ‘Bergrisar’, ‘Daityas’, ‘Patagons’ and ‘Nephilims’ are all examples of what?

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Q. 14:  What does ‘IMAX’, as in the large screen IMAX Cinemas stand for?

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Q. 15:  Which boxer’s first professional fight was against Tunney Hunsaker, Police Chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, on October 29, 1960?

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Q. 16:  Which Portuguese-born navigator was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean?

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Q. 17:  Who was the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers?

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Q. 18:  Which martial art takes its name from the Japanese for ‘way of the sword’?

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Q. 19:  What color is ‘Absynth’?

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Q. 20:  Which popular singer and movie star had a ‘secret love’ in 1954 and in which famous movie did it feature? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?

A.  1:  Stairs!

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Q.  2:  Who directed both JFK and Nixon?

A.  2:  Oliver Stone.

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Q.  3:  Before being harvested and sold, an individual cranberry must bounce at least how many inches high to make sure they aren’t too ripe?

           a)  2 inches            b)  3 inches            c)  4 inches            d)  5 inches

A.  3:  The correct answer is c)  4 inches.

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Q.  4:  What World War II British naval intelligence officer wrote the children’s story ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’?

A.  4:  Ian Fleming, much better known as author of the James Bond novels.

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Q.  5:  Who is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President?

A.  5:  Gerald R Ford, who became the 40th Vice-President when Spiro Agnew resigned the position and who subsequently became the 38th President of the USA, when he took over the job after Richard M Nixon resigned.

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Q.  6:  The ‘H-3’ and the ‘H-4’, built in 1757 and 1759 were mechanical wonders.  Who constructed them both and what were they used for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A.  6:  John Harrison.   H-3 and H-4 were the first successful maritime chronometers.

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Q.  7:  What does the term ‘Cornucopia’ mean?

A.  7:  Literally ‘Horn of Plenty’, used as a symbol of abundance.

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Q.  8:  To nearest 1000, in the year 1800 how many wild turkeys were there in Turkey?

A.  8:  The correct answer is ‘None’, the wild turkey it is a native North American bird.

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Q.  9:  The two oldest universities in Europe are both found in which country?  

           a) France              b) England              c) Italy              d) Greece

A.  9:  Many people think it is England with the famous Oxford and Cambridge Universities, but the correct answer is  c) Italy.  Parma (1065 AD) and Bologna (1119 AD)

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Q. 10:  Who was the tallest President of the United States and who was the shortest? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 10:  Abraham Lincoln was the tallest at 6′ 4″, and James Madison was the shortest at 5′ 4″.

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Q. 11:  In which 1949 movie did Sir Alec Guinness famously play the role of eight different members of the D’Ascoyne family?

A. 11:  Kind Hearts and Coronets.

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Q. 12:  Who won this year’s (2014) Formula One World Driver’s Championship and what was his nationality? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 12:  Lewis Hamilton who is British.

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Q. 13:  ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill’, ‘Bergrisar’, ‘Daityas’, ‘Patagons’ and ‘Nephilims’ are all examples of what?

A. 13:  Giants.

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Q. 14:  What does ‘IMAX’, as in the large screen IMAX Cinemas stand for?

A. 14:  IMAX stands for ‘Image Maximum’.

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Q. 15:  Which boxer’s first professional fight was against Tunney Hunsaker, Police Chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, on October 29, 1960?

A. 15:  Cassius Clay. (Sorry, but you do not score a point if you only said ‘Muhammad Ali’, he did not change his name until 15 years later after converting to Sunni Islam in 1975.)

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Q. 16:  Which Portuguese-born navigator was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean?

A. 16:  Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521).

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Q. 17:  Who was the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers?

A. 17:  Lady Gaga.

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Q. 18:  Which martial art takes its name from the Japanese for ‘way of the sword’?

A. 18:  Kendo.

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Q. 19:  What color is ‘Absynth’?

A. 19:  Green.

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Q. 20:  Which popular singer and movie star had a ‘secret love’ in 1954 and in which famous movie did it feature? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 20:  Doris Day and the movie was Calamity Jane.

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J.F.K.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fifty-one years ago today the United States 35th President, John F Kennedy, was assassinated at Dealy Plaza, in Dallas, Texas. We all know the story and the various conspiracy theories that have been written about ad nauseam over the past half century so this post is not about that.

Rather it is about one of the legacies of the JFK name, the USS John F Kennedy, the only ship of her class (a variant of the Kitty Hawk class of aircraft carrier) and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.

Although it was retired in 2007 after nearly 40 years of service in the United States Navy, the Kennedy was a very impressive ship. For those who like the details it measures 1,052 feet long, has a beam of 130 feet, and draws 37 feet of water. The flight deck is 1,046 feet by 252 feet.

The JFK displaces 81,430 tons at full load and her compliment is 155 officers, 2,775 enlisted (ship’s company), and 2,160 enlisted and 320 officers (embarked air wing).

it’s top speed is 32 knots, and her cruising speed is 20 knots. The operational range at 30 knots is 4,000 miles while the maximum cruising range is 12,000 miles.

USS JFK is equipped with 4 aircraft elevators and features 4 steam-powered catapults and 4 arresting wires. The carrier was capable of launching and recovering aircraft simultaneously and could embark 80+ aircraft, depending on mission requirements.

Aircraft on board included 56 F/A-18 hornet strike fighters, 6 S-3B Viking ASW aircraft, 4 EA-6B Prowler offensive electronic warfare aircraft, 4 E-2C Hawkeye electronic early warning aircraft, 2 ES-3A Shadow electronic warfare (SIGINT) aircraft, 4 SH-60F Seahawk ASW helicopters, and 2 HH-60H Seahawk combat search and rescue aircraft.

Its armaments included two Mk 29 Sea Sparrow Guided Missile Launch Systems, two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) systems, and two Mk 15 Phalanx 20mm CIWS (Close In Weapon System.)

During it’s service it was stationed some of the time in the Mediterranean area.

If you have never seen one of these babies up close and personal and wanted to get an idea of just how big and impressive they are have a look at the aeriel photograph below, taken as the JFK berthed at the island of Malta.

Compared to the houses, cars and people you can see in the shot I’m not sure the word ‘big’ is big enough to describe it.

I mean I wouldn’t want to mess with it. Would you?

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uss jfk in malta

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Saturn In A Bathtub? Just One Of Today’s Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the usual unusual mixture of facts for you today.

You’ll have a job trying to get Saturn into a bathtub, but in the meantime there are a lot of other facts to explore.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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If you could put Saturn in a bathtub it would float.

(But you will need a very large bathtub.)

saturn in a bathtub

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If saliva cannot dissolve something,

you cannot taste it.

taste

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Your brain accounts for about 2% of your mass

but uses up to a quarter of your oxygen and energy

brain

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Chocolate contains phenylethylamine,

a naturally occurring amino-acid

which is believed to have aphrodisiacal effects

and is even said to be able to “cure” hangovers.

chocolate

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Roger Woodward goes down in history

as the youngest person to go over the

Niagara Falls unprotected and survive.

It was unintentional and happened

after a boat he was in capsized.

miracle of Niagra

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Marc Okrand, the linguistics professor responsible

for coming up with the fictional language of Klingon,

spent 3 years teaching his son when he was little.

His son went on to forget everything.

klingon

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At its height in 480BC the first Persian Empire

covered 44% of the world’s population.

This is the largest percentage of any empire in history.

By comparison the British only had 20%

persian_empire

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Life expectancy in the middle ages wasn’t as low as you think.

The average age was brought down

but that was mostly because of a high infant mortality rate.

Most adults lived well into their 60s.

the middle ages

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Animal Kingdom was supposed to have had

a land devoted to mythical creatures,

but it was abandoned at the last minute.

However, no one thought about

changing the Animal Kingdom sign,

which still includes a dragon

disney-animal-kingdom-logo

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Gorgias of Epirus, a Greek teacher

was born in his dead mother’s coffin.

The pallbearers heard him crying during the burial.

Gorgias of Epirus

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Heresy comes from a Greek word meaning choice

Heresy-stamp

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JFK was a huge James Bond fan.

He first met the author of the series,

Ian Fleming, at a dinner party in 1960.

They allegedly bounced around ideas

about how to get rid of Fidel Castro.

007

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The world’s highest road is the Aucanquilcha mining road.

This mining road was once used by trucks

to climb this Chilean volcano to an altitude of over 6,000 meters.

Aucanquilcha mining road

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In ancient Rome, urine was used as mouthwash.

(Now that really is taking the piss!)

urine was used as mouthwash

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The musical Grease is one of the highest grossing of all time

with receipts Worldwide of $394,955,690.

I think this is the one that you want….

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Is Obama Making A Bad Korea Move?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It was either a title with a pun in it or just call today’s post “The Sunday Sermon”, but as you can see the pun got the better of me as usual.

If you hadn’t guessed, this one is my take on the goings on in North Korea.

Here we go….

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Before the sermon starts I should preface it by saying we are in the current mess because politicians faffed about instead of stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons when they had the opportunity. It’s their mess, but unfortunately we are all in it with them.

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JFK had Cuba and now BHO has North Korea, both countries run by dictators and both in their time posing a nuclear threat.

Why do the Democrats always get the best crises? Poor old Dubya and his greedy and power hungry ally in Britain, Tony Blair (often deliberately spelled Bliar for good reason), had to make up an excuse to start a war with Saddam Hussein. Remember the Weapons Of Mass Destruction that never actually existed?

Of course, when JFK was doing his statesman like thing, during his brief breaks between his girlfriends, I was far too young to know or care about nuclear threats or more world wars. I had other more important things to be getting on with like battling invaders from Mars or trying to pluck up the courage to explore that eerie wood just a short distance from the bottom of our garden.

So what I know about the Cuban crisis of the early 1960s is all gleaned from books and reports from that period which are now a matter of history. (We’ll leave the debate about just how accurate and reliable that is for another time.)

The truth seems to be that the Cuban nuclear crisis had very little to do with Cuba or Castro. It was a posturing competition between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, and to a lesser degree a pissing contest between Kennedy and Khrushchev.

Khrushchev-Kennedy
Khrushchev-Kennedy

In both Washington and the Kremlin, although there were the warmongers, there were more people who were sensible enough to realize that devastating each other’s countries would leave them both weaker and achieve very little. They were able to reach that conclusion simply because they were people who were not completely insane or delusional.

It probably seemed difficult at the time, but for JFK it was a relatively easy crisis to manage.

The ‘nuclear crisis’ facing Obama, if indeed it is that, is a different kettle of fish because Kim Jong-un shows all the signs of being both delusional and ever so slightly insane.

He can’t be held entirely to blame for this. He is the son of a long time dictator, who himself suffered from multiple delusions. And he was brought up in a militaristic and jingoistic regime, which is what dictators like to create for themselves simply because it makes their own people easier to control. North Korean propaganda has taught the public that military goals and economic goals are intertwined and therefore that Kim Jong-un’s actions are for the good of his people.

Kim Jong Un, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chun
Kim Jong Un, flanked by Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chun

In the latest moves to up the ante, the North Koreans have told Britain and Russia that they should consider the evacuation of their embassies in Pyongyang. They have also moved another missile to their east coast as a further threat to US Pacific bases.

This in itself is just the latest response to UN sanctions and South Korea-US military drills, both of which have done nothing to ease tensions and in fact have annoyed the North Koreans immensely.

Now the North Korean army is saying that it has received final approval for military action, possibly involving nuclear weapons, against the threat posed by US B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers taking part in the joint drills. And all this has been accompanied by a series of apocalyptic threats of nuclear war in recent weeks.

The trouble with all this posturing is that Washington, which always gets a ‘F’ for ‘FAIL’ in Foreign Policy, very seldom, if ever, gets it right at the right time.

Washington doesn’t seem to understand that the macho culture in many other countries makes it extremely difficult for them to be seen by their own people as the one who blinked first. Losing face has a terrible stigma for them.

Further military ‘exercises’ and posturing will probably have the result of leaving the Jong-un regime with little alternative (in their eyes) but to act aggressively.

How that aggression will manifest itself is anybody’s guess. Least likely would be an attack on America – it’s too far away for the type of missiles North Korea currently has.

An attack of some kind on the US base at Guam is possible, as is an attack on neighboring South Korea. The latter, depending on the scale and the number of casualties, could spark of retaliatory strikes by the US-backed South Koreans and from there it is a short step into a conventional and probably very bloody war.

And we should remember that the Korean war during the 1950s was a spectacular waste of human lives. Generals sacrificed their men for years and ended back at the 38th parallel, more or less the same place they started.

military-trucks-crossing-38th-parallel
military-trucks-crossing-38th-parallel

Admittedly things might be a lot different this time if China decides that the North Korean regime is too out of control to support militarily. I doubt very much if it is in China’s long term interest to have a whacky dictatorship armed with nuclear weapons on their doorstep. After all it’s only 1,000Km to Beijing and more than 5,000Km to Hawaii, the closest state of the US to North Korea. At the same time would China want an economically united and strong US dominated state on its borders?

The jury is still out on that one.

Another thing that Washington gets badly wrong is that it thinks that because it is the most powerful military nation on earth – and it is by a long way – that therefore other countries will be afraid to take it on.

Rather than a comparison with the Cuban Crisis that everyone is concentrating on, I see parallels between North Korea today and Imperial Japan in the 1930s. Both are/were jingoistic regimes with an ’emperor’ having complete control, and both created a military style regime more as a way to suppress and control their own people, and therefore to cling to power, than to attack another nation.

But things being what they are, and people being so bloody stupid it’s unbelievable at times, there comes a time when those in power in such regimes lose their sense of reality and get carried away believing their own propaganda.

Hence Pearl Harbor when Imperial Japan forgot that when something big and powerful is asleep you should never poke it with a sharp stick, coz when it wakens up it will kick the crap right out of you! Pearl Harbor attack WWII

And hence, the North Koreans are not afraid of taking on America. They should be, but they aren’t, which again makes some kind of attack more possible the more they are backed into a corner.

Thankfully there are some signs that Washington might be getting the message and preparing to step back from the rapidly approaching brink. American officials have reportedly decided to “pause” the recent show of US force in Korea because

– wait for it, it’s a good one –

they are surprised at the intensity of the North’s response.

I mean who could have seen that coming? Well the answer is just about everyone except for the cretins in Washington!

What is surprising, however, is that the most sense talked about the whole affair recently has been from the world’s number one cigar salesman, Fidel Castro. In fact, make that doubly surprising, in that he has said some things that I am in agreement with and that he is still around to say it!

Fidel Castro and cigar
Fidel Castro and cigar

He said “If a war breaks out there, there would be a terrible slaughter of people” in both North and South Korea “with no benefit for either of them.” And also that the “duty” to avoid the conflict is in the hands of Washington “and of the people of the United States.”

Castro hasn’t quite figured out that once elected US Presidents do whatever THEY want, not whatever the PEOPLE want.

But what he must have figured out is that politicians like to be liked because he also warns President Obama that his second term, “would be buried in a deluge of images that would portray him as the most sinister personality in the history of the United States.”

Ouch!

Equally, he cautions the North Koreans that now they have, demonstrated their “technical and scientific advances, we remind them of their duties with those countries that have been their great friends.” And he urged them to remember that “such a war would affect … more than 70 per cent of the planet’s population,” and decried “the gravity of such an incredible and absurd event” in such a densely populated region.

Do you think he is hankering after one of those Nobel Peace Prizes, like the one Obama got for not being George W Bush?

Who knows.

And who knows what is going to happen in the Koreas?

Certainly not the mob in Washington I think!

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Two Post Tuesday

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s not often that I post twice in one day. I did the funny post earlier but there is something else that I want to say and today is the day to say it. Strap yourselves in!

I don’t remember where I was when JKF was shot. It was a bit too far back in time for me to be worrying about such things. I do remember where I was when I saw my first movie about the assassination, though. I was in a cinema. The movie was called Executive Action and starred Burt Lancaster. Some critics panned it at the time but I thought it was very good, based on a conspiracy theme naturally enough. I actually thought it was better that Stone’s acclaimed effort, ‘JFK’, made many years later.

I also remember where I was this day eleven years ago. It was the day that the world changed for ever and I was sitting in my study at home battling with a few spreadsheets for a business plan I was putting together. The TV was on in the background and the normal programs suddenly cut to what was happening in New York.

 

World Trade Center, New York City,   September 11,  2001
World Trade Center, New York City, September 11, 2001

Of course that was the end of my spreadsheets for the day. I became totally enthralled in the news coverage which was to say the least confused. By that time the first tower was belching out a steady stream of smoke. It was clearly on fire and had been very badly damaged.

The reporters were speculating as to what may have been the cause. They talked about ‘accidents’ and eyewitness reports of a small private aircraft hitting the building. But, to anyone with any wit at all, it had to have been much more than a small airplane to do that amount of damage to a building that huge.

Then, as I continued to watch, the second plane hit the other tower. Some of the reporters still could not come to grips with what was happening. The second plane was clearly a large commercial jet and, equally clearly, it had been flown deliberately into the second tower.

This was the real deal. And all of the multi-billion dollar military/intelligence defense network had been caught with their trousers down round their collective ankles.

A massive terror attack was in progress and we were able to watch it in real time on our televisions. It was at the same time mesmerizing, engrossing and, not least, horrifying.

The horrific nature of what had happened became clearer when everyone began to realize that, not only had many innocent people probably lost their lives when the airplanes had struck the buildings, but also that there was little or no hope of saving those on the floors above where the impact had occurred. It got even worse when some of the trapped people threw themselves out of the building and could been seen falling to the ground and to certain death.

Emergency services rushed to the scene. Many acts of extreme bravery followed as police and firefighters went into the burning buildings with little or no regard for their own safety. I can’t say this for sure, but I imagine at least some of them knew there was little chance they would get back out again. But they did it anyway.

Then we heard that the Pentagon had been the target of a further attack and yet another airplane, also bound we were told for the Washington DC area, had gone down somewhere en route.

In all 2,977 people were murdered as a result of the terrorist attacks that morning.

We know who was responsible for the attacks. We know that many of their terrorist comrades, including the figurehead Bin Laden, have since been killed. And we know the terrible cost in terms of lost lives and serious injuries to the various armed forces who were sent to do that job.

September 11 is now officially ‘Patriot Day’, a day of remembrance. And we should all take at least a moment in honor of the victims.

Sadly the aftermath of these terrorist attacks eleven years ago brought only knee-jerk reactions from jerk politicians. They had the audacity to call it the Patriot Act, but it attacks the freedom of innocent law-abiding citizens just as much as it does the terrorists and criminals.

Contaminated by the hellish liberal inspired ‘guilt’ that now pervades all government decisions and means that it is no longer perceived as acceptable if we take our own side in a fight, a raft of idiotic, unnecessary and unfair legislation has, and is, being enacted.

This is being done in the name of defending the homeland, but unwilling to only target the national, ethnic or religious groups who are responsible for the vast majority of the terror, poor old law-abiding Joe Public gets targeted as well.

Everyone is now guilty until they can prove their innocence. Get on an airplane at an airport and you are treated as a potential terrorist and irradiated and probed and so forth. Open a bank account and you are treated as a potential terrorist trying to launder money – despite the fact that it was the banks themselves who were doing that job.

It’s not that any of this is a great hardship. It’s just that it is completely unnecessary and unproductive. It is the typical politician’s and bureaucrat’s way of trying to con the populace by substituting activity for real progress.

A lot of potential terrorist attacks in America and elsewhere have been thwarted during the past eleven years, but not one of them as a result of all the overt claptrap at airports and so forth.

Will it change? Will sanity and intelligence take over?

Not a chance.

Will it get worse? Will the bureaucrats’ hunger for control and interference increase?

Of course it will, regardless of whether the regime is Republicrat or Democrican.

So who really did win?

The terrorists may well have lost, but the people certainly didn’t win!