Boffin Bollocks!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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mad scientist cartoon

I would love to have been a scientist.

Not a real one, I’m not clever enough or dedicated enough for that. Rather, I would have loved to have been one of those idiots who try to make a name for themselves off pronouncements on things about which they know absolutely nothing.

I saw another one of their headline grabbers (that I like to call “boffin bollocks”) recently. The headline went something like “Shock Warning Aliens Are Coming.” And it wasn’t about more Mexicans making their way north across the US border.

It was from NASA’s Chief Scientist, Ellen Stofan, and claimed that first contact with alien life will happen “very soon” – very soon being not tomorrow, but within the next decade or two.

“We know where to look,” she confirmed.

Yes, “UP” would be my non-scientific guess at the best direction.

“We know how to look,” she added.

Again I am forced to agree. Personally I’d use a telescope, and a great big one, but that’s only me!

astronomer cartoon www.davidreneke.com

Ms Stofan was ably backed up by a colleague, John M. Grunsfeld, who came out with good sound bite words and phrases like “solar system”, “galaxy”, “the icy crusts of Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa” (my favorite I think) and “the internal water within Saturn’s moon Enceladus”.

Mars and the Martians also got mentioned, but only with suggestions that life may have at one time been present on the planet. H. G. and Orson Wells had beaten them to visits by the ‘real’ Martians many, many years ago.

War of the Worlds

More scientists, this time at the Parkes Observatory in Australia, have been carefully studying peryton-a type of radio signals similar to Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) which are known to come from somewhere else in the galaxy.

For years, they had been puzzled by these brief but intense bursts of radio waves that in some ways appeared to be coming from deep space. There have been dozens of reported perytons, some dating back to the 1990s, and theories about the signals’ origin included ball lightning, aircraft, and components of the telescopes themselves.

Then this year they made a break through. They discovered the source of the rogue signals. They were coming from – no, not somewhere deep in the galaxy – but instead from the microwave oven in the next room.

In what has to be the understatement of the year, Emily Petroff of Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology admitted, “It was quite surprising that it ended up being microwaves.”  I bet it was!

microwave aliens

I must add that I’m a big fan of space exploration, always have been, since I was a kid and was captivated by the television coverage of the Apollo missions. My only regret is that it all takes so very long that I will have gone ‘supernova’ before we see any tangible results of that exploration. There’s never a handy wormhole around when you need one, is there!

I am also a big fan of TV sci-fi series like the Star Treks, the Stargates and so forth, and of movies from ‘War of the Worlds’, thru ‘E.T.’ to ‘Independence Day’ and beyond. But I also have the wit to realize I’m being entertained and these things are not real.

So is there life out there?

I wouldn’t rule the idea out for a second. But what I would rule out is that intelligent life is ever going to be found within our Solar System, maybe not even within our Galaxy. But it could be out there somewhere.

The question we should be asking is, assuming it is benign and not hell bent on conquering all in its path, or maybe viewing us as a culinary delicacy, would that intelligent life really want anything to do with a planet full of people who, for almost their entire existence, seem to want nothing better than to continually wage war on each other?

I think having observed us for a while they would probably pass us by without calling in to say hello.

If I were in their shoes – or space boots – that’s what I would do – and at warp speed too!

alien observers

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Dogs, Dickens And Drink! – It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Today’s post is another assortment of random facts, at least some of which I hope you find interesting.

And they do include dogs, Dickens and drink!

Enjoy.

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Research indicates that 42% of Americans

have tried marijuana at least once.

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The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

is considered to be the birth place of modern golf;

it has been played there since the 15th century.

Old-Course-Hotel-with-Golfe

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At the time ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ was filmed,

the actress who played Hogwarts student ‘Moaning Myrtle’

was 37 years old.

Moaning Myrtle

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At any given time approximately 0.7%

of the world population is drunk,

in other words about 50 million people

are drunk right now.

Cheers!

drunks

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The town of Gibsonton, Florida is

a favorite retirement spot and official home of

people who have worked (or still do) in the circus industry.

The town is also famous for its many exceptional museums

on the carnival and circus lifestyle.

Gibsonton, Florida

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It has been estimated that

as many as 800,000 people

were involved in the construction

of the Great Wall of China.

Great Wall of China

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Orlando Serrell is what is known as an “acquired savant”.

He began to exhibit enhanced mental skills

after being hit on the side of the head by a baseball

when he was ten years old.

Since the accident he has been able to

remember the weather of every single day.

Orlando Serrell

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There are more than 12,000 known species of ants,

ranging in shape and color and size

from just 0.03 to 2 inches in length

ants

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Pluto’s surface is one of the coldest places in the solar system

at roughly minus 375 degrees F (minus 225 degrees C).

Pluto's surface

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 ‘Sergeant Stubby’ is the most decorated war dog of World War I

and the only dog in US history that was promoted to sergeant

because of his time in combat.

Stubby served for eighteen months and participated

in seventeen battles on the Western Front

during the course of which he saved his regiment

from many unexpected mustard gas attacks

and found and comforted several wounded soldiers.

It is also said that he once caught

a German spy by the seat of his pants,

holding him there until American soldiers

found and captured him.  

Sergeant Stubby Wearing Military Medals

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Fear on an empty glass

is called Cenosillicaphobia.

empty glass

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Every year in Finland, since 1992, there is a

‘Wife Carrying World Championship’

in which male competitors race through a

special obstacle course in the fastest time

while each carrying a female teammate.

Most competitors use the piggyback or fireman’s carry

technique, though a few prefer to go Estonian-style

where the wife hangs upside-down with her

legs around the husband’s shoulders,

holding onto his waist.

Wife Carrying World Championship

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In Tribeca, New York,

there is a Japanese Ninja Restaurant

where your meal will include Kung fu fire tricks,

sword-carrying waiters and exploding food.

Japanese Ninja Restaurant

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Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were pen friends

and even met once in Philadelphia

when Poe was 34-year-old and Dickens was 31.

Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe

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On July 16, 1959, the Juno II rocket which was

meant to take the Explorer S1 satellite into orbit

was launched but after a few seconds the rocket

performed a near 180 degree flip

and hurtled back towards the launch pad.

The safety officer exploded the rocket

to protect those at the site.

From December 1958 to May 1961, five out of ten

Juno II rockets malfunctioned during launch.

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Hope You Know Something About Camels – It’s Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Strange how these things happen, but today’s quiz seems to feature camels.

Not to worry though, there is the usual random selection of questions to go along with that so you may do okay anyway.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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Q.  1:  Which Ocean goes to the deepest depths?

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Q.  2:  What kind of animal is a ‘St Lucia Parrot’?

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Q.  3:  What is the common name of the stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food or as meal in Thai restaurants.

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Q.  4:  Each year the Moon moves away from the Earth by what distance?

           (a)  two inches             (b)  two feet            (c)  two yards            (d)  two miles?

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Q.  5:  What do you call a triangle with two equal sides and equal opposite angles?

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Q.  6:  Where is the world’s largest aquarium located?

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Q.  7:  What continent do camels originally come from?

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Q.  8:  And on which continent do you find the most camels today?

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Q.  9:  What are the first and the last letters of the Greek Alphabet? (You need both answers to score a point.)

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Q. 10:  What does the chemical symbol ‘U’ represent?

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Q. 11:  What word is used to describe someone who is neither left handed nor right handed, but can use both hands with equal ease?

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Q. 12:  What type of insect is a ‘Spanish fly’?

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Q. 13:  What is 61 degrees Fahrenheit in degrees Celsius?

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Q. 14:  What allegedly happened to British scientist Sir Isaac Newton that made him think about his theory of universal gravitation?

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Q. 15:  The sum of two numbers is 53 and their difference is 9. What are the two numbers?

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Q. 16:  What two creatures are on the Australian coat of arms?

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Q. 17:  What planet in our solar system has the strongest surface winds?

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Q. 18:  What are sticks of blackboard chalk made from?

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Q. 19:  What is the wizard called ‘Olórin’ from ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ better known as?

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Q. 20:  How many colors are there in the rainbow?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Which Ocean goes to the deepest depths?

A.  1:  The Pacific Ocean.

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Q.  2:  What kind of animal is a ‘St Lucia Parrot’?

A.  2:  It’s a Parrot, from St Lucia. You coulda guessed it!

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Q.  3:  What is the common name of the stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food or as meal in Thai restaurants.

A.  3:  It is called Pad Thai.

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Q.  4:  Each year the Moon moves away from the Earth by what distance?

           (a)  two inches             (b)  two feet            (c)  two yards            (d)  two miles?

A.  4:  The correct answer is (a)  two Inches.

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Q.  5:  What do you call a triangle with two equal sides and equal opposite angles?

A.  5:  It is known as an ‘Isosceles Triangle’.

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Q.  6:  Where is the world’s largest aquarium located?

A.  6:  At Disney World’s Epcot Center in Florida.

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Q.  7:  What continent do camels originally come from?

A.  7:  North America, not Africa.

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Q.  8:  And on which continent do you find the most camels today?

A.  8:  Australia.

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Q.  9:  What are the first and the last letters of the Greek Alphabet? (You need both to score a point.)

A.  9:  Alpha and Omega.

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Q. 10:  What does the chemical symbol ‘U’ represent?

A. 10:  Uranium.

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Q. 11:  What word is used to describe someone who is neither left handed nor right handed, but can use both hands with equal ease?

A. 11:  Ambidextrous.

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Q. 12:  What type of insect is a ‘Spanish fly’?

A. 12:  It is a ‘Beetle’.

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Q. 13:  What is 61 degrees Fahrenheit in degrees Celsius?

A. 13:  This is one of the easy ones to remember, just reverse the numbers, 61 degrees Fahrenheit is 16 degrees Celsius.

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Q. 14:  What allegedly happened to British scientist Sir Isaac Newton that made him think about his theory of universal gravitation?

A. 14:  The story goes that an apple fell on his head.

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Q. 15:  The sum of two numbers is 53 and their difference is 9. What are the two numbers?

A. 15:  22 and 31.

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Q. 16:  What two creatures are on the Australian coat of arms?

A. 16:  A Kangaroo and an Emu.

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Q. 17:  What planet in our solar system has the strongest surface winds?

A. 17:  Neptune. (If you guessed ‘Uranus’ you don’t get a point but I like the way you think.)

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Q. 18:  What are sticks of blackboard chalk made from?

A. 18:  Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate).

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Q. 19:  What is the wizard called ‘Olórin’ from ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ better known as?

A. 19:  He is better known as ‘Gandalf’.

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Q. 20:  How many colors are there in a rainbow?

A. 20:  Seven. Known as the spectral colors they are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.   What do you think, Peggy….

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Time To Take The Brain Out For Some Exercise!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, brain exercise it is. Quiz day again folks.

Another random mixture of subjects and questions, some easy, some difficult and some you know you should know.

As usual the answers are given waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 10

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Q.  1:  What name links the standard infantry rifle of the US Army from 1873 to 1936 and the popular animated television series ‘The Simpsons’?

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Q.  2:  ‘Backrub’ was the original name for what well known company?

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Q.  3:  ‘Robert’, ‘Aurore’, ‘Apple’, ‘White’, ‘Mornay’, ‘Ivory’ and ‘Reform’ are all examples of what?

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Q.  4:  What nationality was Winston Churchill’s mother?

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Q.  5:  What does the Russian word ‘Sputnik’ mean?

           a. Satellite    b. Little traveler    c. Star light

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Q.  6:  Brian Warner is the real name of which American singer?

           a) Kid Rock        b) Axl Rose         c) Marilyn Manson

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Q.  7:  The Simplon Rail Tunnel links Switzerland with which country?

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Q.  8:  In which animated Disney movies would one find the following characters? (One point for each correct answer)

           a) Pumba,     b) Si & Am,     c) Pongo,     d) Edna E. Mode

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Q.  9:  Which French philosopher is associated with the quote, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)?

            a) Jean Paul Sarte         b) Rene Descartes         c) Blaise Pascal

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Q. 10:  ‘Blepharoplasty’  is cosmetic surgery on what part of the body?

            a) ears         b) upper arms         c) eyelids

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Q. 11:  It’s the stage name of WWF wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson and the name of a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, what is it?

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Q. 12:  Which baseball star married Marilyn Monroe in 1954?

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Q. 13:  The herb ‘coriander’ belongs to which family of vegetable?

            a) carrot         b) beetroot         c) cabbage

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Q. 14:  Excluding television, radio and ‘unofficial’ versions, six actors have played the role of James Bond, name them. (A point for each and a bonus point if you get them in the correct chronological order.)

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Q. 15:  The Earth’s position in the solar system gave the inspiration for what television series?

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Q. 16:  What kind of Christmas present is ‘oil of Lebanon’?

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Q. 17:  Who did Omar Sharif play in a famous movie set in the USSR?

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Q. 18:  Everybody knows that the name of the Lone Ranger’s horse was ‘Silver’, but what was the name of his sidekick Tonto’s horse?

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Q. 19:  The name of which European country ‘apparently’ stems from a Carthaginian word meaning ‘Land of the rabbits’?

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Q. 20:  In which movie series are dilithium crystals used for fuel?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What name links the standard infantry rifle of the US Army from 1873 to 1936 and the animated television series ‘The Simpsons’?

A.  1:  Springfield.

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Q.  2:  ‘Backrub’ was the original name for what well known company?

A.  2:  Google.

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Q.  3:  ‘Robert’, ‘Aurore’, ‘Apple’, ‘White’, ‘Mornay’, ‘Ivory’ and ‘Reform’ are all examples of what?

A.  3:  Sauces.

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Q.  4:  What nationality was Winston Churchill’s mother?

A.  4:  American, Winston Churchill’s mother was born in Brooklyn.

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Q.  5:  What does the Russian word ‘Sputnik’ mean?

            a. Satellite    b. Little traveler    c. Star light

A.  5:  a. Satellite.

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Q.  6:  Brian Warner is the real name of which American singer?

           a) Kid Rock        b) Axl Rose         c) Marilyn Manson

A.  6:  c) Marilyn Manson.

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Q.  7:  The Simplon Rail Tunnel links Switzerland with which country?

A.  7:  Italy.

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Q.  8:  In which animated Disney movies would one find the following characters? (One point for each correct answer)

           a) Pumba,     b) Si & Am,     c) Pongo,     d) Edna E. Mode

A.  8:  a) Pumba in The Lion King;   b) Si & Am in The Lady & the Tramp,

    c) Pongo in 101 Dalmations; and,   d) Edna E. Mode in The Incredibles

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Q.  9:  Which French philosopher is associated with the quote, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)?

            a) Jean Paul Sarte         b) Rene Descartes         c) Blaise Pascal

A.  9:  b) Rene Descartes.

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Q. 10:  ‘Blepharoplasty’  is cosmetic surgery on what part of the body?

            a) ears         b) upper arms         c) eyelids

A. 10:  c) eyelids.

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Q. 11:  It’s the stage name of WWF wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson and the name of a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, what is it?

A. 11:  The Rock.

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Q. 12:  Which baseball star married Marilyn Monroe in 1954?

A. 12:  Joe DiMaggio.

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Q. 13:  The herb ‘coriander’ belongs to which family of vegetable?

            a) carrot         b) beetroot         c) cabbage

A. 13:  a) carrot.

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Q. 14:  Excluding television, radio and ‘unofficial’ versions, six actors have played the role of James Bond, name them. (A point for each and a bonus point if you get them in the correct chronological order.)

A. 14:  Sean Connery,  George Lazenby,  Roger Moore,  Timothy Dalton,  Pierce Brosnan  and  Daniel Craig.

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Q. 15:  The Earth’s position in the solar system gave the inspiration for what television series?

A. 15:  The very successful sitcom ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’.

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Q. 16:  What kind of Christmas present is ‘oil of Lebanon’?

A. 16:  Frankincense.

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Q. 17:  Who did Omar Sharif play in a famous movie set in the USSR?

A. 17:  Zhivago.

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Q. 18:  Everybody knows that the name of the Lone Ranger’s horse was ‘Silver’, but what was the name of his sidekick Tonto’s horse?

A. 18:  The answer I’m looking for here is ‘Scout’, although if you answered ‘White Feller’, the name of his first horse you also get a point – 2 points if you knew both!

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Q. 19:  The name of which European country ‘apparently’ stems from a Carthaginian word meaning ‘Land of the rabbits’?

A. 19:  Spain. (Ispania from ‘Sphan’ meaning rabbit).

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Q. 20:  In which movie series are dilithium crystals used for fuel?

A. 20:  The ‘Star Trek’ movie series.

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More Random Samples From The Fasab Fact File

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If its facts you want we have them!

So here is another selection.

If you can’t find something you don’t know in here then you know far too much.

Enjoy.

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did you know3

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“Kemo Sabe”, the name Tonto called The Lone Ranger

means “Soggy Shrub” in Navajo Indian.

The Tonto in Spanish means “a fool”.

Lone Ranger and Tonto

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Ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as medicine.

ketchup

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Killer whales have such a good sense of touch

that if you dropped a pill into a bucket

and feed it to the orca

it would eat the fish and spit out the pill.

Shamu_the_Killer_Whale_Sea_World_Orlando

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Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks.

Kleenex

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Knitted socks discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

have been dated back as far as the 3rd century AD.

Oh mummy!

knitted socks

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Larry Lewis ran the 100 yard dash in 17.9 seconds in 1969,

there by setting a new world’s record

for runners in the 100 years or older class.

He was 101.

old-runner

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5% of Canadians don’t know the first 7 words of the Canadian anthem,

but know the first 9 of the American anthem.

Canadian Anthem

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7% of Americans don’t know the first 9 words of the American anthem,

but know the first 7 of the Canadian anthem.

American Anthem

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85,000,000 tons of paper are used each year in the U.S.

paper

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99% of the solar system’s mass is concentrated in the sun.

sun-etc

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There is a company in Taiwan makes dinnerware

out of wheat, so you can eat your plate.

wheat dinnerware

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About 70% of Americans who go to college

do it just to make more money.

(The rest are just avoiding reality for four more years.)

college

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America once issued a 5-cent bill.

5 Cent Bill

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The Aztec emperor Montezuma had a nephew named Cuitlahuac,

whose name meant “plenty of excrement.”

Now there’s revenge for you!

cuitlahuac_realista

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Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of

their unwanted people without killing them

used to burn their houses down

– hence the expression “to get fired.”

youre-fired

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Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland

because he doesn’t wear pants

– the little pecker!

donald_duck

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Marijuana is not as chemically addictive

as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine.

One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today

is because in the 1930’s cotton growers lobbied against

hemp farmers whom they saw it as competition.

marijuana-leaf

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Special playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII.

If captured, they could be soaked in water

and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.

map-card

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The three best-known western names in China are

Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.

Nixon and Elvis

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Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill,

‘If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee’.

To which Churchill replied,

‘If you were my wife, I would drink it’.

Astor vs Churchill

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Another Bunch Of Interesting Things You Probably Never Thought About – Until Now!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”.

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As the title says, another  list of interesting bits and pieces that you may not have though about until now.

Feel free to whip them out and impress people if and when the occasion arises.

Enjoy.

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The tip of a bullwhip moves so fast that the sound it makes is actually a tiny sonic boom.

Bullwhip

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Only 1 in 2,000,000,000 people will live to be 116 or old.

old-couple-cartoon

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Dogs and humans are the only species that have prostates.

prostate cartoon

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The zebra is basically a light-colored animal with black stripes.

cartoon_zebra

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Natural pearls melt in Vinegar.

Pearl1

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The greatest weight lifted with a human tongue is 12.5 kg (27 lb 8.96 oz)

by Thomas Blackthorne (UK)

who lifted the weight hooked through his tongue

on the set of El Show Olímpico, in Mexico City, Mexico, on 1 August 2008.

Thomas Blackthorne

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Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

personal ad cartoon

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Americans are responsible for about 1/5 of the world’s garbage annually

(and 2/3 of it is from Washington).

garbage

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The dot over the letter “i” is called a tittle.

letter-i

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There are 318,979,564,000 possible combinations of the first four moves in Chess.

chessboard setup

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The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”.

Born In The USA

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IBM’s motto is “Think”.

Apple later made their motto “Think different”.

ibm-vs-apple

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The Michelin man is known as Mr. Bib.

His name was Bibendum in the company’s first ads in 1896.

michelin_man

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There are more types of insects in one tropical rain forest tree

than there are in the entire state of Vermont.

insects

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An ostrich’s eye might not be bigger than its belly,

but it is bigger than its brain.

cartoon-ostrich-7

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Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after a god;

it was named by God.

Genesis 1 King James Version (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

earth

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I Miss Him

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, I miss him, I really do.

And from what some of you have said recently, I’m not the only one.

So, today I have the honor of recalling probably some of the greatest political statements ever made or ever likely to be made.

For those of you who were privileged to live through these wondrous years I hope you enjoy recalling some of these important moments. For those who were too young to appreciate them at the time, you are I think in for a delight.

But that’s enough of an intro.

Without further ado I present to you some of the immortal words of United States of America President, George W Bush.

Enjoy!

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Former United States President George W Bush

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“Public speaking is very easy.”

-George W. Bush

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“The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.”

– George W. Bush

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“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.”

– George W. Bush

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“One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.”

– George W. Bush

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“I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”

-George W. Bush

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“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.” 

– George W. Bush

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“We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world.” 

– George W. Bush

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“The future will be better tomorrow.”

– George W. Bush

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“We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.”

– George W. Bush

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“A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.” 

– George W. Bush

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“We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

– George W. Bush

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“For NASA, space is still a high priority.”

– George W. Bush

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“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”

-George W. Bush

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“It’s time for the human race to enter the solar system.”

– George W. Bush

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“You’ve also got to measure in order to begin to effect change that’s just more — when there’s more than talk, there’s just actual — a paradigm shift.” 

– George W. Bush

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“I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.”

– George W. Bush

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