I Love Grandfather Clocks. Big Time!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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And I love puns as well.

So brace yourselves for another selection of word plays.

Enjoy or endure!!

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rofl

.

It pains me to say it,

but I have a sore throat

 sore throat

.

.

There was a knock at the door this morning,

so I opened it and there was a basin on the doorstep.

I thought, “I’d better let this sink in.”

 sink

.

.

For the record I bought

a vinyl cleaning machine

 record

.

.

Having just punched a midget selling watches,

I know I’ve hit an all time low.

 watches

.

.

Are there any fat people in Finland?

 fat people in Finland

.

.

Have you ever wondered what the

word for ‘dot’ looks like in braille?

 braille

.

.

My girlfriend broke up with me

because of my obsession with puzzles.

There were a lot of cross words

 crossword

.

.

I can’t undo wrongs.

But I can write them.

 write

.

.

A friend dared me to steal a

flat-bottomed boat from the river.

I thought, “Why not. I’ll take a punt.”

 punt

.

.

Everyone loved the baker.

He had a massive flan base.

 massive flan

.

.

I don’t regard being a toastmaster a job,

it’s more a calling.

 toastmaster

.

.

The ten largest baseball stadiums hold

between 46,000 – 56,000 people.

Just some ballpark figures for you.

 baseball stadium

.

.

My girlfriend asked me what I’d do with my life if I lost her.

I said it would be like breaking a pencil.

She said, “Do you mean it would be pointless?”

I said, “No, I’d just go out and buy another one.”

 breaking a pencil

.

.

I’ve just bought some ghost-shaped laxative tablets.

They scare the crap out of me.

ghost-shaped laxative

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FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Hi folks,

Last day of this year and time for my recollections of 2014’s main events.

As always this is by no means meant to be a complete coverage of all the events that happened during 2014, just a personal blog post about some of the things I remember, and a few that I had forgotten until I started to compile this list.

I hope you enjoy.

.

farewell 2014

.

The Weather

We will start off with the weather since so many of us seem to be obsessed with it.

  • In the United States there were weather extremes. In California, for example, January was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Only four other Januaries since 1878 had been completely dry in Los Angeles until January 2014. Alaskans experienced their third warmest January in 96 years of record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

California drought 2014

  • In many parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, 2014 was the coldest winter since the late 1970s or early 1980s. And some southern states of the US became the victims of, firstly, winter storm Kronos which brought a rare blanket of snow as far south as Louisiana, and sleet as far south as Harlingen, Texas and Pensacola, Fla. in late January, and then, just days later, a second winter storm, Leon, hit many of the same areas causing commuter chaos in both Birmingham, Ala. and Atlanta. Leon also spread ice and sleet to the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle, and the Low country of South Carolina.
  • And worse was on the way. Winter Storm Pax deposited an inch or more of ice in a swath from east-central Georgia into South Carolina, including Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. Pax was the second heaviest ice storm dating to 1947 in Wilmington, N.C. The accumulation of ice from Pax claimed the famed “Eisenhower tree” at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pax marked the first time since January 1940 that Columbia, S.C. saw snowfall for three straight days.

Winter Storm Pax Washington

  • In complete contrast, the week after Pax, Columbia, S.C. tied its all-time February high of 84 degrees. Augusta, Ga. warmed into the 80s two straight days on Feb. 19-20.
  • Elsewhere in the world, severe Atlantic winter storms took their toll on many parts of England which in 2014 experienced storms and rain not seen since the late 19th century.

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

  • In Tokyo, Japan, which usually averages only about 4 inches of snow each year, there were also severe snow storms. In February, snow blanketed the city with 11 inches of snow in less than a week, the heaviest snowfall in 45 years for Tokyo and in 60 years for the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. The following weekend, parts of eastern Japan, including parts of the Tokyo metro area, received another round of snow. Some smaller communities were isolated by more than 3 feet of snow.
  • And in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that more than 10 percent of Queensland and almost 15 percent of New South Wales experienced their record hottest day on Jan. 3. A second heat wave hit parts of southern Australia in mid-January, with temperatures peaking above 41 degrees Celsius (just under 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for four straight days from Jan. 14-17, and reaching a sizzling 43.9 degrees C (111 degrees F) on both Jan. 16 and 17.

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

  • In the world of business and technology 2014 was the year the Obama administration decided to stop inversion deals, where US companies bought foreign domiciled businesses and moved their profit centers to a much more tax friendly location.
  • In technology buys, one of the largest was Facebook’s purchase of smartphone application WhatsApp for $19 Billion.

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

  • In other sectors 2014 saw world oil price plunge to around $50 per barrel, good news for consumers, not so good for producers.
  • Under pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices, along with the economic sanctions imposed by the west because of the ongoing situation in the Ukraine, the Russian Ruble went into free fall in December.

APphoto_Russia Economy

  • Also in 2014, in March, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific but commercial and refused to grant further permits.
  • With Quantitative Easing having been ended in the US (for the moment anyway) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for a new $29 billion fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job-creating programs, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.

Quantitative Easing cartoon

  • After their embarrassing foul up last Christmas, this year both FedEx and UPS managed to deliver more than 99 percent of express packages as promised on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to shipment tracker ShipMatrix.
  • South Korean prosecutors arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts. Most of the rest of the world tends to think that the idiot executive should suffer the consequences of her stupidity, not the whistleblower.

korean-air-lines-macademia-nut-scandal Cho Hyun-ah

  • And finally, after their embarrassing hack attack and cringe-worthy capitulation to what amounted to a terrorist cyber attack which was rightly criticized publicly by President Obama, Sony finally decided to release its movie ‘The Interview’.

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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.

Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

  • In April an estimated 276 girls and women were abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria. The following month, Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala and terrorists in Nigeria detonated bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

  • June saw the emergence of a Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (also known as the ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’). It began an offensive throughout northern Iraq, with the aim of eventually capturing the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrowing the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The group has been responsible for beheading of hundreds of people including several from the United States.

Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’

  • In July and August tensions between Israel and Hamas grew following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July. Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed.
  • Also in July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 souls on board. There are conflicting claims as to who was responsible, some blaming pro Russian forces for a missile strike and others blaming Ukrainian forces.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

  • In August and September the United States military began an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants and the following month the United States and several Arab partners began an airstrike campaign in Syria.

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

During 2014 we said farewell to many well know people from various walks of life. Here is just my selection of those I remember.

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

.

P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

.

From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

.

Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

.

Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

.

Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

.

Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

.

Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

.

Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

.

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

.

Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

.

Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

.

Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

.

Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

.

James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

.

Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

.

Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

.

Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

.

Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

.

Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

.

Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

.

Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

.

Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

.

Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

.

Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

.

Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

.

Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

.

Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

.

.

From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

.

Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

.

Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

.

Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

.

Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

.

Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

.

From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

.

Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

.

Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

.

Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

.

James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

.

A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

.

Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

.

Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

.

Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

.

Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

.

Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

.

Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

.

John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

.

Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

.

From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

.

Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

.

Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

.

Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

.

From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

.

Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

.

Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

.

Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

.

Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

.

Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

.

Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

.

Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

.

Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

.

Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

.

Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

Alfredo-Di-Stefano-Dies-at-Age-88

.

Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

.

Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

.

Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

.

Health

  • The big health scare of 2014 that dominated the headlines was the of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in February, that initially infected over 19,000 people and killing at least 7,000, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.

ebola_map Africa

  • In other news, also in February, Belgium became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.

Politics

  • On January 1, Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.
  • In February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest that left around 100 people dead in Kiev. The pro-Russian unrest lead to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

President Viktor Yanukovych

  • In March, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
  • Also in March, an emergency meeting, involving the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspended Russia from the G8.
  • In April, also in response to the Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution temporarily stripping Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.
  • The same month, United States President Barack Obama began new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin Obama

  • In May the Royal Thai Army overthrew the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.
  • Back in Europe, in June, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who ascended the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
  • And the political year ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century.

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

.

Space

  • The major space event of 2014 happened in November when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Philae probe successfully landed on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

Rosetta Philae

Sport

  • The two major world sporting events of 2014 were the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and won by Germany, during June and July.

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

  • In American sport the Super Bowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, the MLB World Series  winners were the San Francisco Giants and in basketball the San Antonio Spurs came out on top.
  • Ice Hockey had three champions in 2014, Canada becoming Olympic champions, Russia world champions and in the NHL the Los Angeles Kings were the victors.
  • In tennis at the world famous Wimbledon Tournament in England Novak Djokovic became Men’s Singles Champion and Petra Kvitova Ladies Singles Champion, while the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open were Marin Čilić  and Serena Williams respectively.

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

  • In Soccer, as noted above, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The European Champions League winners were Real Madrid and the English Premiership was won by Manchester City.
  • The Formula 1 motor racing champion for 2014 was British driver Lewis Hamilton, who also picked up the award of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • In golf’s major championships, the Masters Tournament, held in April, was won by Bubba Watson by three strokes. It was his second Masters championship.
  • May saw the BMW PGA Championship where young Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to win by one stroke over Irishman Shane Lowry, who also birdied the 18th hole.
  • In June, U.S. Open winner was Martin Kaymer who won by eight strokes to become the first German player to win the U.S. Open, and the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.
  • In July, the Open Championship Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy, was on top again winning by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García. It was his third career major championship, and his first Open Championship. With the win, he became the fourth player ever of 25 years old or under to have won at least three majors.
  • In August, McIlroy was back, winning the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. He was having quite a year, it was his fourth career major and his second PGA Championship.PGA Champion Rory McIlroy
  • Then in September, in the Ryder Cup, Team Europe (also including McIlroy) defeated Team USA by a score of 16½ – 11½. It was the third consecutive Ryder Cup victory for Europe, and also Europe’s fifth consecutive home victory in the Ryder Cup.

Tragedies

  • In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • In April Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized and sunk after an unmanageable cargo shift. More than 290 people were killed, mostly high school students.

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

  • In May hundreds of workers were killed in mining accident in Turkey.
  • In July, Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.
  • And just a few days ago AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed, wreckage has been found off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast.

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

Did You Know? The Fact File Is Open Again.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the fact file is open again.

Another random selection covering science, music, history, archaeology, nature and even brain surgery!

Enjoy.

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did you know5

.

Women blink twice as much as men.

Women blink twice as much as men

.

.

Picking up baby birds and returning them to their nests

will not cause their mothers to reject them.

baby bird

.

.

It takes food approximately seven seconds

to get from your mouth to your stomach.

mouth to your stomach

.

.

The brain has no pain receptors so it doesn’t feel anything.

This is why doctors are able to perform open brain surgery

on patients that are still awake.

Hannibal Lecter brain

.

.

But brain surgery is not something new.

In the past some cultures practiced “trepanation”,

or the act of drilling holes in the brain

to alleviate pain and cure sickness.

trepanation

.

.

More than 5 million people live in areas

that are considered to be “contaminated”

with radioactive material from the Chernobyl disaster.

Chernobyl disaster

.

.

The body of the last English King to die in battle, Richard III,

was finally found buried under a Leicester car park

in what was one of the most astonishing

archaeological discoveries of the last few decades.

Richard III grave found in Leicester carpark

.

.

The Chinese government

attempted to crack down on gift giving

by banning certain luxury commercials.

The economy immediately started falling.

Chinese government

.

.

Disney Park employees are required to point

with either the whole hand or using two fingers.

This is because some cultures see pointing

with one finger as disrespectful

Disney two finger point

.

.

Dropping a penny from the top of the

Empire State Building would not kill someone

Dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building

.

.

Lemur comes from a Latin word that means

“spirit of the dead”.

The person that named them cited their

nocturnal nature as a source of influence.

Lemur

.

.

For many years scientists couldn’t figure out

how the Earth’s solid inner core spins one way

and the liquid outer core spins the other.

Scientists at Leeds University recently found

that the answer lies in a simple “equal and opposite” reaction

based around Earth’s magnetic fields.

Earth’s solid inner core spins one way and the liquid outer core spins the other

.

.

The word “Addict” comes from ancient Rome

when soldiers were awarded slaves known as “addicts”,

which is the Latin word for slave.

It eventually came to refer to a person

who was a slave to anyone or anything.

Addict

.

.

Air Force One is not the name of a specific plane,

but the name of any plane carrying the president.

Air Force One

.

.

The Beatles still hold the record for the

most number-one singles in the Billboard Charts.

They had twenty in all

and their biggest seller was “Hey Jude”.

.

.

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The Rats Are Squealing!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.

Foreclosure-Homes

However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.

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=================================

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Twenty More Questions – But Have You Twenty More Answers?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Time to test yourself with the weekly fasab quiz.

Another twenty random questions, with the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below.

But please, NO cheating!

Good luck and enjoy.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  Which epic Hollywood film was the most expensive movie made during the 1960s?

.

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Q.  2:  Polynesia means ‘many islands’. What does Melanesia mean?

.

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Q.  3:  Which Beatles song title is mentioned in Don McLean’s hit song ‘American Pie’?

.

.

Q.  4:  Which female tennis player won a record 62 Grand Slam titles?

            a) Billie Jean King

            b) Steffi Graf

            c) Martina Navratilova

            d) Margaret Smith Court

.

.

Q.  5:  What was unusual about the Roman Senator Incitatus?

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.

Q.  6:  What two countries signed the so called ‘Pact of Steel’ on May 22, 1939?

.

.

Q.  7:  Who travels from Spain to the Netherlands by steamboat in late November?

.

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Q.  8:  In what prison drama movie, based on a Steven King book, does Morgan Freeman play a starring role?

.

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Q.  9:  The scientific name for which animal is ‘Ursus arctos horribilis’?

            a) Grizzly bear

            b) Great White shark

            c) Grey wolf

            d) Killer whale

.

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Q. 10:  What was the name of the German engineer who invented the first rotary engine?

.

.

Q. 11:  Formerly called ‘Tsaritsyn’ and then ‘Stalingrad’, what is it called today?

.

.

Q. 12:  Lutz, Axel and Camel are terms associated with what sport?

.

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Q. 13:  What is the name for a treat with currants squashed between two thin, oblong biscuits/cookies?

.

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Q. 14:  Name the French cartoon skunk that is madly in love with a reluctant cat?

.

.

Q. 15:  What is an ice hockey puck made from?

.

.

Q. 16:  On the Voyager 1 spacecraft there is a golden record with greetings in different languages and a collection of various Earth sounds. There is also a 90 minute recording of music from many cultures. Which two composers appear the most on this record?

.

.

Q. 17:  The name of which popular US band from the 1970s is an aboriginal expression used to describe an extremely cold evening?

.

.

Q. 18:  Which four of the following seven Grand Slam winners were leftys? 

            a) Rod Laver

            b) Jimmy Connors

            c) Bjorn Borg

            d) John McEnroe

            e) Martina Navratilova

            f) Boris Becker

            g) Pancho Gonzales

.

.

Q. 19:  What is the name for a Google search query consisting of exactly two words (actual words found in a dictionary) without quotation marks, that returns exactly one hit?

.

.

Q. 20:  Which catchy hit song beginning with the words “Once upon a time there was a tavern” is an English version of a melancholic Russian gypsy song?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Which epic Hollywood film was the most expensive movie made during the 1960s?

A.  1:  Cleopatra

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Q.  2:  Polynesia means ‘many islands’. What does Melanesia mean?

A.  2:  Black islands

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Q.  3:  Which Beatles song title is mentioned in Don McLean’s hit song ‘American Pie’?

A.  3:  Helter Skelter (“Helter Skelter in the summer swelter”)

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Q.  4:  Which female tennis player won a record 62 Grand Slam titles?

            a) Billie Jean King

            b) Steffi Graf

            c) Martina Navratilova

            d) Margaret Smith Court

A.  4:  d) Margaret Smith Court

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Q.  5:  What was unusual about the Roman Senator Incitatus?

A.  5:  Incitatus was a horse.

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Q.  6:  What two countries signed the so called ‘Pact of Steel’ on May 22, 1939?

A.  6:  Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

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Q.  7:  Who travels from Spain to the Netherlands by steamboat in late November?

A.  7:  Sinterklaas / Santa Claus / St. Nicholas

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Q.  8:  In what prison drama movie, based on a Steven King book, does Morgan Freeman play a starring role?

A.  8:  The Shawshank Redemption

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Q.  9:  The scientific name for which animal is ‘Ursus arctos horribilis’?

            a) Grizzly bear

            b) Great White shark

            c) Grey wolf

            d) Killer whale

A.  9:  a) Grizzly bear

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Q. 10:  What was the name of the German engineer who invented the first rotary engine?

A. 10:  Wankel (the Wankel Rotary engine)

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Q. 11:  Formerly called Tsaritsyn and then Stalingrad, what is it called today?

A. 11:  Volgograd

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Q. 12:  Lutz, Axel and Camel are terms associated with what sport?

A. 12:  Figure skating

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Q. 13:  What is the name for a treat with currants squashed between two thin, oblong biscuits/cookies?

A. 13:  Garibaldi

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Q. 14:  Name the French cartoon skunk that is madly in love with a reluctant cat?

A. 14:  Pepe le Pew

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Q. 15:  What is an ice hockey puck made from?

A. 15:  Rubber

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Q. 16:  On the Voyager 1 spacecraft there is a golden record with greetings in different languages and a collection of various Earth sounds. There is also a 90 minute recording of music from many cultures. Which two composers appear the most on this record?

A. 16:  Bach and Beethoven

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Q. 17:  The name of which popular US band from the 1970s is an aboriginal expression used to describe an extremely cold evening?

A. 17:  Three Dog Night.

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Q. 18:  Which four of the following seven Grand Slam winners were leftys? 

            a) Rod Laver

            b) Jimmy Connors

            c) Bjorn Borg

            d) John McEnroe

            e) Martina Navratilova

            f) Boris Becker

            g) Pancho Gonzales

A. 18:  a) Rod Laver

            b) Jimmy Connors

            d) John McEnroe

            e) Martina Navratilova

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Q. 19:  What is the name for a Google search query consisting of exactly two words (actual words found in a dictionary) without quotation marks, that returns exactly one hit?

A. 19:  A ‘Googlewhack’. Published googlewhacks are short-lived, since when published to a web site, the new number of hits will become at least two, one to the original hit found, and one to the publishing site.

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Q. 20:  Which catchy hit song beginning with the words “Once upon a time there was a tavern” is an English version of a melancholic Russian gypsy song?

A. 20:  Those Were The Days

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Fact File Fun Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fact file fun facts it says and fact file fun facts they are.

As random as ever, you’re sure to find something that you didn’t know before.

Enjoy.

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did you know 4

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A shrimp can swim backwards.

shrimp

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Kathleen Casey-Kirschling of Philadelphia

was born at 12:00:01 A.M., Eastern time, on January 1st, 1946.

This not only made her the first child born in the United States that year,

but also made her the first “Baby Boomer.”

first boomer Kathleen Casey-Kirschling 

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At 6000 degrees Kelvin,

the surface of the Sun is actually one of its coolest spots.

Both the Sun’s interior and its corona

measure in the millions of degrees Kelvin.

sun

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Sir Isaac Newton was only 23 years old

when he discovered the law of universal gravitation.

Sir Isaac Newton

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When Burger King decided to sell fast-food Down Under,

they found that there was already a local carry-out restaurant called “Burger King.”

As a result, if you’re looking for a Whopper in Australia today,

you’ll have to go to a chain called “Hungry Jack’s.”

hungry_jack__s_updated__by_tectris

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More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones.

blue toothbrush

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If you combine the electoral college results

of the ’80 and ’84 elections, Reagan won 1014-62.

reagan-mondale-1984-electoral-college-map

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In the United States the two-digit Interstate numbers

are designed to let drivers know the general direction of the highway.

If the Interstate has an odd number, it runs north-south.

Interstates with even numbers run east-west.

interstate sign

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More people are afraid of open spaces (kenophobia)

than of tight spaces (claustrophobia).

confined_space_caution_sign_2__77519

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Goosebumps are actually caused by a muscle.

It is called the arrector pili muscle.

Doesn’t knowing that give you…

I mean, stimulate your arrector pili muscle?

goosebumps

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The word “samba” means “to rub navels together.”

samba

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Paul Hunn holds the record for the loudest burp,

which was 118.1 decibels, which is as loud as a chainsaw

Paul Hunn burp

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All dogs are the same species, meaning that

(notwithstanding the obvious physical challenge)

a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard could procreate.

Louisville Fall Festival Dog Show

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Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

were born on the exact same day.

darwin-vs-lincoln

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The Chicago River used to flow into Lake Michigan,

but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers switched it to flow backwards,

AWAY from the lake, for sanitation purposes.

Chicago River

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Swedish pop sensations ABBA had to negotiate the rights

to their name with a canned fish company.

Abba

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In the 16th century, gin was referred to as “mother’s ruin”

because people thought it could induce an abortion.

gin-and-tonic

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The Neanderthal’s brain was actually

bigger than yours is, not smaller.

Neanderthal

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The area where Washington, D.C., now stands

was originally a mosquito-infested swamp.

It took years to drain and clear the land before the

nation’s government was moved to the city in 1800.

washignton-dc

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William Wrigley originally started in the baking powder business.

With his powder, he gave a free pack of his gum.

He later abandoned the baking powder business

when he learned that people were buying it just to get the gum.

william_wrigley_jr_1891

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How Smart Do You Feel Today?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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So how smart do you feel today?

Smart enough to try your hand at today’s quiz?

I hope so. And remember if you get stuck the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below – but NO cheating!

Begin any time you are ready – and enjoy.

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quiz 09

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Q.  1:  What superseded the autogiro (or autogyro) in the late 1940s?

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Q.  2:  What kind of leaves were often used as currency in 18th century Siberia?

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Q.  3:  In the USA, what is (you can have a point for each correct answer)

  a. the nickname for the president’s limo

  b. the nickname for the brief case with the nuclear codes

  c. the name of the helicopter that transports the US President

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Q.  4:  What kind of star is our sun?  (2 words)

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Q.  5:  Which Pink Floyd album is also a chapter in ‘The Wind in the Willows’?

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Q.  6:  Which national dance can apparently cure a spider’s bite?

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Q.  7:  In Paris, where would you find Franklin D Roosevelt, Victor Hugo and George V?

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Q.  8:  What do many men collect in an ‘omphalo’?

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Q.  9:  The original ‘two bits’ (quarter coin) looked like a cake or pie shaped wedge and was one quarter of what?

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Q. 10:  General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (of Alamo fame) had two funerals. The first one took place while he was President of Mexico and he himself was a mourner. What was put to rest in this pompous ‘funeral’?

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Q. 11:  After the investigation, why was all the Challenger Space Shuttle wreckage buried under 50 tons of concrete?

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Q. 12:  On a ship, what is a ‘dead head’?

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Q. 13:  A Scottish woman was nominated six times for the Oscar for best actress and came away empty handed each time. A record. Who was she?

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Q. 14:  The name for which vehicle probably stems from a World War I phrase for a dirty weekend in Paris?

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Q. 15:  Which TV family lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane?

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Q. 16:  Which suave and sophisticated actor played the role of Beau Maverick, Bret Maverick’s English cousin in the US television series Maverick?

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Q. 17:  Paris attracts the most visitors in France each year. Which French town attracts 5 million visitors a year and has more hotels than any other French city except Paris?

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Q. 18:  Which large vehicle is also a name for Krishna meaning ‘Lord of the Universe’?

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Q. 19:  Why did many radio stations around the world observe two minutes of silence in late July, 1937?

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Q. 20:  Citizens of which country coined the term ‘Molotov Cocktail’ or ‘Molotov Bread Basket’ to describe their incendiary weapon used against the Soviets in 1939?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What superseded the autogiro (or autogyro) in the late 1940s?

A.  1:  The Helicopter

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Q.  2:  What kind of leaves were often used as currency in 18th century Siberia?

A.  2:  Tea leaves

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Q.  3:  In the USA, what is

  a. the nickname for the president’s limo

  b. the nickname for the brief case with the nuclear codes

  c. the name of the helicopter that transports the US President

A.  3:  Three Answers

    a. “The Beast”

    b. “The Football”

    c.  “Marine One”

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Q.  4:  What kind of star is our sun?  (2 words)

A.  4:  Yellow dwarf

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Q.  5:  Which Pink Floyd album is also a chapter in ‘The Wind in the Willows’?

A.  5:  The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

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Q.  6:  Which national dance can apparently cure a spider’s bite?

A.  6:  The Tarantella

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Q.  7:  In Paris, where would you find Franklin D Roosevelt, Victor Hugo and George V?

A.  7:  In the Paris Metro. They are all Metro stations.

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Q.  8:  What do many men collect in an omphalo?

A.  8:  Fluff (The omphalo is the belly button)

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Q.  9:  The original ‘two bits’ (quarter coin) looked like a cake or pie shaped wedge and was one quarter of what?

A.  9:  The Spanish silver dollar, the dollars were called pesos de ocho (pieces of eight).

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Q. 10:  General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (of Alamo fame) had two funerals. The first one took place while he was President of Mexico and he himself was a mourner. What was put to rest in this pompous ‘funeral’?

A. 10:  His amputated leg.

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Q. 11:  After the investigation, why was all the Challenger Space Shuttle wreckage buried under 50 tons of concrete?

A. 11:  To prevent the parts being sold as souvenirs.

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Q. 12:  On a ship, what is a ‘dead head’?

A. 12:  Some people think it’s a broken toilet but actually it is a non paying passenger.

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Q. 13:  A Scottish woman was nominated six times for the Oscar for best actress and came away empty handed each time. A record. Who was she?

A. 13:  Deborah Kerr

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Q. 14:  The name for which vehicle probably stems from a World War I phrase for a dirty weekend in Paris?

A. 14:  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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Q. 15:  Which TV family lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane?

A. 15:  The Munsters

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Q. 16:  Which suave and sophisticated actor played the role of Beau Maverick, Bret Maverick’s English cousin in the US television series Maverick?

A. 16:  Roger Moore

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Q. 17:  Paris attracts the most visitors in France each year. Which French town attracts 5 million visitors a year and has more hotels than any other French city except Paris?

A. 17:  Lourdes

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Q. 18:  Which large vehicle is also a name for Krishna meaning ‘Lord of the Universe’?

A. 18:  Juggernaut

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Q. 19:  Why did many radio stations around the world observe two minutes of silence in late July, 1937?

A. 19:  A tribute to Marconi after his death. 

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Q. 20:  Citizens of which country coined the term ‘Molotov Cocktail’ or ‘Molotov Bread Basket’ to describe their incendiary weapon used against the Soviets in 1939?

A. 20:  Finland

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