To give you a bit of a break from the normal quiz day – yes, I’m still watching the World Cup football and the final was yesterday. Well done Germany, commiserations Argentina.
So instead here is one taken by other people.
Twenty questions from a SAT Science Exam and, as well as being amusing, it is also a good commentary on the state of the education system these days.
Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
Q: What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A: If you are buying a house, they will insist you are well endowed.
Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.
Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.
Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.
Q: What is artificial insemination?
A: When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow.
Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.
Q: How are the main parts of the body categorised? (e.g., abdomen.)
A: The body is consisted into three parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O and U.
Q: What is the Fibula?
A: A small lie.
Q: What does “varicose” mean?
Q: What is the most common form of birth control?
A: Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.
Q: Give the meaning of the term “Caesarean Section”
A: The caesarean section is a district in Rome.
Q: What is a seizure?
A: A Roman emperor.
Q: What is a terminal illness?
A: When you are sick at the airport
Q: Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A: Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.
Q: What does the word “benign” mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.
Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fourteen, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.
The number 14 seems to have some regal significance, particularly where these two Royals were concerned:
ascended to the throne on May 14th, 1643 (1+6+4+3=14);
he was saved by Turenne at Blema in 1652 (1+6+5+2=14);
in accordance with an Edict of Charle V, he was declared major at 14 years and governed himself in 1661 (1+6+6+1=14);
he built the Hotel of the Invalids in 1670 (1+6+7+0=14);
he died in 1715 (1+7+1+5=14), at the age of 77 years old (7+7=14);
having reigned 72 years (7×2=14).
England’s King Henry IV
was born 14 centuries, 14 decades and 14 years after the Christian era;
he came into the world on December 14th ;
he died on May 14th :
he lived 4 x 14 years, 14 weeks and 14 days.
The atomic number for Silicon is 14.
The approximate atomic weight of nitrogen 14.
There are fourteen ascending and downward days of the moon.
The fourteenth year is, for the man, the year of the puberty.
The fingers of each of the two hands are composed of fourteen phalanxes.
February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, a fact most men are not allowed to forget.
In the Bible
There are fourteen generations from Abraham to David;
The fourteen epistles written by saint Paul, having on the whole 100 chapters and adding up 2335 verses;
With the return of Exile, after the rebuilding of the Temple, the Israelis celebrated the Passover the fourteenth day of the first month; (Ezr 6,19)
Jacob worked fourteen years for his uncle Laban in order to be able to marry his daughter Rachel, they had fourteen sons and grandsons; (Gn 29,15-30 and 46,22)
The sufferings of the Christ would have begun fourteen days before Passover to finish with his passion;
Every year, the celebration of the Easter is never done in the same date. At the fourth century after Jesus Christ, it was established that this major feast of the liturgical calendar would be celebrated the first Sunday following the 14th night of lunation of March;
In the Book of Enoch (not included in the Bible) it talks about the fourteen preferential trees which remain always green for all season of the year.
According to the Egyptian legend, the body of Osiris was cut into 14 pieces, 13 of which were found by Isis, the 14th, the penis, having been devoured by the fishes.
In Egypt, the Amenti, area westward of the Nile, where go the souls of deaths, was divided in 14 parts.
Among Greeks, the fourteen days “alcyonians” were the 7 days preceding and the 7 days following the solstice of winter. During this period, the sea was supposed calm so as to allow the “alcyons” to build their nest and to brood. The alcyons came from the Metamorphosis of Ceyx, son of the Star of the morning, Eosphéros (in Latin Lucifer) and his wife Alcyon, girl of Eole.
Fourteen also is:
The number of days in a fortnight;
In traditional British units of weight, the number of pounds in a stone;
A number supposedly ‘encoded’ in much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach may have considered this number a sort of signature, since given A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc., then B + A + C + H = 14;
A common designation for the thirteenth floor in many buildings for superstitious reasons;
The number of lines in a sonnet;
The Number 14 airship by Alberto Santos Dumont that was used to test the aerodynamics of his 14-bis airplane;
The number of the French department Calvados;
A Storage server manufactured by IBM. It goes by name of “XIV” and is pronounced as the separate letters “X”, “I”, “V”;
The Piano Sonata No. 14, also known as Moonlight Sonata, is one of the most famous piano sonatas composed by Ludwig van Beethoven;
Age 14 is the earliest that the emancipation of minors can occur in the U.S.
Minimum age at which one can work in many U.S states. Some require parental consent while others don’t;
Minimum age at which one can work in most Australian states with parent’s consent;
Minimum age at which one can drive a vehicle in the U.S. with a driver’s license (with supervision of an adult over 18 years of age, and with a valid, unmarked driver’s license, and at least 365 days of experience driving an actual automobile);
The minimum age limit to drive a 50cc motorbike in Italy.
The fourteenth President of the United States was Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) of the Democratic Party, who served from March 4th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857. His VP was William R. King (March 4th, 1853 to April 18th, 1853, when he died of tuberculosis only 45 days into office, the position being vacant from April 18th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857.)
Then There Was The Fourteen Points
‘The Fourteen Points’ was a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. It was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I, and was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe.
The Fourteen Points were:
There should be no secret alliances between countries;
Freedom of the seas in peace and war;
The reduction of trade barriers among nations;
The general reduction of armaments;
The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers;
The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations;
The restoration of Belgian territories in Germany;
The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine;
The readjustment of Italian boundaries along clearly recognizable lines of nationality;
Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary;
The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia;
Protection for minorities in Turkey and the free passage of the ships of all nations through the Dardanelles;
Independence for Poland, including access to the sea;
A league of nations to protect “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike.”
The Fourteen Points was accepted by France and Italy on November 1, 1918. Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The United Kingdom also wanted Germany to make reparation payments for the war, and thought that that should be added to the Fourteen Points.
The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had little to do with the Fourteen Points and was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In aviation the designation 14 has been used for several famous aircraft. Best known would be the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which entered the fleet in 1973, replacing the F-4 Phantom II. New variants were introduced in 1987 (the F-14B) and in 1990 (the F-14D).
The designation has also appeared on Soviet/Russian aircraft, the most notable being the Antonov An-14 Pchelka, a utility transport introduced in 1966 and primarily used by the Soviet Air Force, Aeroflot, Afghan Air Force and East German Air Force. Production continued until 1972. Known as the “Little Bee”, it was a twin-engined light STOL utility transport first flown on 15 March 1958. Serial production started in 1966, and about 300 examples were built by the time production ended in 1972. A small number of An-14 are still in airworthy condition.
The Ilyushin Il-14 was a commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft that entered service in 1954.
Apollo 14, launched on January 31st, 1971, was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions”, targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.
The astronauts were Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell.
Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5th in the Fra Mauro formation (this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission).
They spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth.
Apollo 14 landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9.
Finally, the No. 14 chair is the most famous chair made by the Thonet chair company. Also known as the bistro chair, it was designed by Michael Thonet and introduced in 1859. It became one of the best-selling chairs ever made with some 50 million being sold between 1859 and 1930. Millions more have been sold since.
Movement 1 from Ludwig Van Beetoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata