It’s Friday 13th!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There is a lot of nonsense surrounding Friday 13th.

Many superstitious people consider it to be unlucky. So much so in fact that they spend most, if not all, of that day in their homes, afraid to venture out into the great world beyond in case something bad happens to them.

In fact it has been estimated that around a billion dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because people are scared to work and travel on this date.

The really unfortunate thing is that sometimes circumstances play right into their hands, which only serves to reinforce their superstitions.

You can find some of them below along with other facts about Friday 13th that I hope you enjoy reading.

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Friday-13th

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Every month has a 13th but no single year

has more than three Friday the 13th’s

and on average there are two.

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Months with a Friday the 13th

always begin on a Sunday.

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Folklore remedies for triskaidekaphobia

include climbing to the top of a mountain

or skyscraper and burning all the socks you own

that have holes in them.

Another is to stand on your head

and eat a piece of gristle.

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It is from the Norse goddess Frigg, or Freyja,

that we get Frigg’s Day, or Freyja’s Day

which became the English Friday.

Norse goddess Frigg

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On Friday 13 2006,

36 inches of snow fell on upstate New York.

The ensuing chaos claimed three lives

and caused $130 million worth of damage.

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On a Friday 13th in 1307.

thousands of soldier monks of the powerful

Knights Templar were massacred

by French king Louis IV.

Many people believe this is where

our fear of the date springs from.

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Friday 13 January, 1939

in Australia is known as Black Friday

because on that date bushfires

decimated 20,000 km² of land,

killing 71 people and

destroying several towns entirely.

Victoria Australia Black Friday fires 1939

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Retired bus conductor Bob Renphrey of North Wales

decided to spend every Friday 13 in bed

after a run of bad luck on the

fateful day during the early 1990s.

Among other misfortunes

he wrote off four cars,

got made redundant,

fell into a river,

crashed a motorcycle

and walked through a plate glass door.

When Bob died of cancer in 1998,

his widow Betty, who on previous Friday 13ths

had fallen downstairs,

been hit by falling guttering

and been hospitalized

after Bob hit her in the face

with a stick he was throwing to a dog,

decided to book his funeral for

Friday 13 March as a final tribute.

Alas, all Rhyl’s undertakers were too busy.

“Bob would have seen the funny side,”

said Mrs Renphrey.

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On Friday 13 July, 1951

in Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

left 2 million acres of land underwater,

causing $760 million and killing 24 people.

Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

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Friday 13 August, 1976

was particularly unlucky

for New York man Daz Baxter.

Having elected to stay in bed

to ward off bad luck,

the floor of his apartment block collapsed

and he fell six storeys to his death.

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Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

was released in the UK on

Friday, February 13, 1970.

It wasn’t unlucky for them.

Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

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Michelle and Gary Docherty had a

memorable wedding on Friday 13 August 2004.

First, a swarm of wasps attacked guests

at East Kilbride Registry Office, Lanarkshire,

as they waited for Michelle’s arrival.

Her aunt Mary Strachan

smashed an expensive digital camera

trying to swat one of the pests,

and when Michelle finally did turn up,

an insect flew up her dress,

triggering a panic attack.

After the ceremony,

two minibuses booked to transport guests

to the reception failed to turn up

and the couple lost their wedding video.

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On Friday November 13, 1970

a monster South Asian storm hit Bangladesh

killing 300,000 people in Chittagong

and creating floods that killed one million people

living on the Ganges Delta.

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Women drivers have a 64% increased chance

of death when driving on Friday the 13th.

Woman driver

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Friday 13 February, 1998

was simply business as usual for Manchester man,

John Sheridan, dubbed Britain’s unluckiest man

after once having his car stolen five times in one day,

making 16 trips to casualty in two years,

seeing eight TVs explode in six months

and losing out on a £4000 lottery win when he

put the ticket in the washing machine with his jeans.

John’s big day began when his Saab ran out of petrol.

He hitched a lift with a sympathetic policeman,

whose car broke down at the garage.

John returned to his car with a can of petrol,

got it started but lost a wheel as he turned a corner.

He returned home on a bus, which broke down.

Completing his journey on foot,

he realized he’d left his keys inside the car

and had to return in case in was stolen.

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Friday, October 13th, 1989,

the stock exchange suffered a serious crash,

the second most damaging in market history at the time

(this was in the pre-recession era). 

Brokers were in a state of shock,

as the Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 190.58 points.

In Britain a deadly virus crashed IBM computers,

terrifying people and deleting lots of data

that could not be recovered.

This was before backup systems were used.

stock exchange crash

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A full moon on Friday February 13 1987

drove troubled Robert Bullard, 21,

to attempt suicide by putting his head in a gas oven.

Not only was his methodology flawed,

suicide by natural gassing is virtually impossible

since Britain moved from lethal coke gas

to less dangerous natural gas,

but a flicked light switch caused an explosion

which injured his mother and a policeman

and caused £35,000 of damage.

Robert was unharmed.

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On Friday the 13th, 2012,

the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank

killing more than 30 people.

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Friday 13 October 1972 was the date

a plane carrying Uruguayan rugby team

Montevideo Old Christians crashed

on its way from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile.

When rescuers finally found the fourteen 

survivors two months later,

it emerged that they had survived

by eating human flesh from some of the

thirty-one crew and passengers

who had perished in the crash.

In 1992, the story was filmed as

Alive, starring Ethan Hawke.

movie Alive

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On the same day, Friday October 13, 1972,

an Aeroflot Il-62 airplane carrying 176 people

took off from Paris on a commuter flight

bound for Leningrad and Moscow.

The plane landed at Leningrad

and then took off for Sheremetyevo airport,

located just outside Moscow.

The weather was bad with rain and poor visibility.

The pilots were told to descend on approach to

the airport, but for unknown reasons,

they attempted and failed to land twice.

On the third attempt to land,

the plane crashed into a large pond

about 4 miles short of the airport.

There were no survivors.

No cause of the accident was ever established.

At the time, the crash resulted in one of the worst

loss of life incidents for a single plane crash, in history.

It remains the 44th worse loss of life in

an airplane crash in aviation history.

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On Friday the 13th August, 2010

at 13 minutes after the 13th hour (1 PM),

a 13 year old boy was struck by lightning

as he was watching an air show

at Lowestoft, England.

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The Hollywood sign above Los Angeles, California,

was first unveiled by the owner

of the Los Angeles Times newspaper,

Harry Chandler,

on Friday the 13th of July, 1923.

Hollywoodland sign

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According to at least one interpretation

of the Mayan calendar the world will end

on 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0

or in the Gregorian calendar,

Friday, October 13, 4772.

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But before then,

on Friday the 13th in 2029,

Asteroid 99942 Apophis

is forecast to pass earth at a

closer distance than any of our satellites.

Crikey!

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Did They Really Mean To Say That? Newspaper Headlines Nightmares, Part Six!!!!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Today part six of the newspaper headline series.

I’m sure you already have your favorites but there’s more to come.

These mistakes are a lot more commonplace that you might at first think.

If they get enough exposure then maybe in future the people who write these headlines will take a bit more care over their work, but I doubt it.

And all the better for us!

Here we go again.

Enjoy.

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np_Tennesseeaglowovernuclearjobs

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np_thebrahasapairofmilestones

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np_theftoccuredbetweenJanuaryandSunday

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np_tightend

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np_topmiddleandbottomhalf

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np_topsecretmissiontolaunchTuesday

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np_totallunareclipse

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np_TurkeysmanurepassthroughSenate

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np_useclothingtokeepwarmer

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np_veteransofthecivilwar

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np_volunteerism

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np_warmerandcoolerweather

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np_warmerweatherwillmakesnowdisappear

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np_wehatemath

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Did You Know…. Another Random Selection Of Facts From The Fasab Files

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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More from the fascinating fact file.

Here are a few more things that you didn’t know you didn’t know.

Enjoy.

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did you know 5

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There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

change for a dollar

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A healthy (non-colorblind) human eye

can distinguish between 500 shades of gray.

So the book is wrong!

500 shades of gray.

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A pregnant goldfish is called a twit 

–  especially by her parents!

goldfish.

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If you plant an apple seed,

it is almost guaranteed to grow a tree

of a different type of apple.

apple tree.

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Andorra, a tiny country between France & Spain,

has the longest average lifespan:

83.49 years.

Andorra.

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“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”

is said to be the toughest tongue twister in English.

tongue twister.

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‘Duff’ is the decaying organic matter found on a forest floor.

forest.

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Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer are the only angels named in the Bible.

archangels.

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Abraham Lincoln’s ghost is said to haunt the White House.

lincoln ghost.

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Only female mosquitoes bite.

mosquito female.

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The past-tense of the English word “dare” is “durst”

past tense.

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Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th.”

friday the 13th.

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Ninety percent of New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants.

(and ninety percent of that ninety percent have no clue where they are going!)

NY cabbies rogues.

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The volume of the earth’s moon is the same

as the volume of the Pacific Ocean.

moon.

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The New York phone book had 22 Hitlers before WWII.

The New York phone book had 0 Hitlers after WWII.

phone book.

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King Louis XIX ruled France for about 15 minutes 

–  he succeeded with abdication of Charles X

only to abdicate in favor of Henry V.

Louis_antoine_artois.

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Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves

when they rode past their king.

This custom has become the modern military salute.

armored knight.

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Winston Churchill was born in a ladies room during a dance.

(and all new babies look just like him, except your own of course!)

 Churchill babies

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Time For A Mid-Week Test

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for a mid-week test.

Today a selection of questions, some of them easy, some tricky, and one or two rather difficult.

So grab a cup of coffee and have a go.

As usual the answers are waaaaaay down below, but no cheating!

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 puzzle, test, exam. quiz, assessment

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Q. 1:  What becomes wetter the more it dries?

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Q. 2:  A red-house is made of red bricks, has a red wooden door and a red roof.

A yellow-house is made of yellow bricks, has a yellow wooden door and a yellow roof.

What is a green-house made of?

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Q. 3:  There are six eggs in the basket.

Six people each take one of the eggs.

How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

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Q. 4:  Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

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Q. 5:  A New York city hairdresser recently said that he would rather cut the hair of three Canadians than one New Yorker. Why?

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Q. 6:  There are six glasses in a row.

The first three are full of water, and the next three are empty.

By moving only one glass how can you make them alternate between full and empty?

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Q. 7:  Three men in a cafe order a meal the total cost of which is $15.

They each contribute $5.

The waiter takes the money to the chef who recognizes the three as friends and asks the waiter to return $5 to the men.

The waiter is not only poor at mathematics but dishonest and instead of going to the trouble of splitting the $5 between the three he simply gives them $1 each and pockets the remaining $2 for himself.

Now, each of the men effectively paid $4, the total paid is therefore $12.

Add the $2 in the waiters pocket and this comes to $14.

….where has the other $1 gone from the original $15?

.Q. 1:  

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Q. 8:  How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live?

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Q. 9:  If:

2 3 = 10

7 2 = 63

6 5 = 66

8 4 = 96

9 7 = ??

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Q. 10:  Name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday.

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Q. 11:  Many shops have prices set just under a round figure, e.g. $9.99 instead of $10.00 or $99.95 instead of $100.00 . It is assumed that this is done because the price seems lower to the consumer. But this is not the reason the practice started. What was the original reason for this pricing method?

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Q. 12:  How do you get from cold to warm in four steps, changing only one letter at a time?

C O L D

_  _  _  _

_  _  _  _

_  _  _  _

W A R M

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Q. 13:  A snail creeps 10 feet up a wall during the daytime, then falls asleep.

It wakes up the next morning and discovers it slipped down 6 feet.

If this happens each day, how many days will it take to reach the top of a 22 foot wall?

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Q. 14:  You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus.

An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

An old friend who once saved your life.

The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose?

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ANSWERS:

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Q. 1:  What becomes wetter the more it dries?       

A. 1:  A Towel

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Q. 2:  A red-house is made of red bricks, has a red wooden door and a red roof.

      A yellow-house is made of yellow bricks, has a yellow wooden door and a yellow roof.

     What is a green-house made of?

A. 2:  Glass

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Q. 3:  There are six eggs in the basket.

     Six people each take one of the eggs.

     How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

A. 3:  The last person took the basket with the last egg still inside.

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Q. 4:  Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

A. 4:  Round covers cannot be dropped or fall down a manhole, unlike square ones.

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Q. 5:  A New York city hairdresser recently said that he would rather cut the hair of three Canadians than one New Yorker. Why?

A. 5:  Because he would earn three times as much money!

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Q. 6:  There are six glasses in a row. The first three are full of water, and the next three are empty.

     By moving only one glass how can you make them alternate between full and empty?

A. 6:  Pour the water from the 2nd glass into the 5th glass.

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Q. 7:  Three men in a cafe order a meal the total cost of which is $15.

      They each contribute $5.

      The waiter takes the money to the chef who recognizes the three as friends and asks the waiter to return $5 to the men.

      The waiter is not only poor at mathematics but dishonest and instead of going to the trouble of splitting the $5 between the three he simply gives them $1 each and pockets the remaining $2 for himself.

      Now, each of the men effectively paid $4, the total paid is therefore $12. Add the $2 in the waiters pocket and this comes to $14.

      ….where has the other $1 gone from the original $15? 

A. 7:  The payments should equal the receipts.

      It does not make sense to add what was paid by the men ($12) to what was received from that payment by the waiter ($2)

      Although the initial bill was $15 dollars, one of the five dollar notes gets changed into five ones.

      The total the three men ultimately paid is $12, as they get three ones back. So from the $12 the men paid, the owner receives $10 and the waiter receives the $2 difference. $15 – $3 = $10 + $2

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Q. 8:  How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live?

A. 8:  The baby fell out of a ground floor window.

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Q. 9:  If:

      2 3 = 10

      7 2 = 63

      6 5 = 66

      8 4 = 96

      9 7 = ??

A. 9:  f(n,m) = (n + m) * n

e.g. f(2,3) = (2 + 3) * 2 = 10

Hence, f(9,7) = (9 + 7) * 9 = 144

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Q. 10:  Name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday.

A. 10:  Yesterday, today and tomorrow

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Q. 11:  Many shops have prices set just under a round figure, e.g. $9.99 instead of $10.00 or $99.95 instead of $100.00 . It is assumed that this is done because the price seems lower to the consumer. But this is not the reason the practice started. What was the original reason for this pricing method?

A. 11:  The practice originated to ensure that the clerk had to open the till and give change for each transaction, thus recording the sale and preventing him from pocketing the bank notes.

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Q. 12:  How do you get from cold to warm in four steps, changing only one letter at a time?

C O L D

_  _  _  _

_  _  _  _

_  _  _  _

W A R M

A. 12:  

C O L D

C O R D

W O R D

W O R M  or  W A R D  

W A R M

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Q. 13:  A snail creeps 10 feet up a wall during the daytime, then falls asleep.

     It wakes up the next morning and discovers it slipped down 6 feet.

     If this happens each day, how many days will it take to reach the top of a 22 foot wall?

A. 13:  4 days

     Day 1: up to 10, down to 4

     Day 2: up to 14, down to 8

     Day 3: up to 18, down to 12

     Day 4: up to 22 and done

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Q. 14:  You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus

     An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

     An old friend who once saved your life.

     The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

     Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose?

A. 14:   The old lady of course!

    After helping the old lady into the car, you can give your keys to your friend, and wait with your perfect partner for the bus.

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Forty 40

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The factoid number for this Friday is forty. As usual there is more associated with it than you might think. Whatever your interest you will probably find something in here that you didn’t know about the number forty.

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The Number Forty 40

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40

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In religion

40 is probably the most frequently used number in the Bible and corresponds to many major events. For example,

  • During the great flood it rained for forty days and forty nights [Genesis 7:4, 12, 17,8:6].
  • Isaac was forty years of age when he married Rebekah [Genesis 25:20].
  • Moses’ life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out.
  • Moses spent three consecutive periods of “forty days and forty nights” on Mount Sinai; during the forty days during which he received the Law of the Sinai Covenant [Exodus 24:18], the children of Israel were tested [Exodus 32:1].
  • The Hebrew people lived in the Sinai desert for “forty years”. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
  • Forty days after his birth a male child of Israel was dedicated to God at the Sanctuary [Leviticus 12:1-4].
  • The Israelite spies reconnoitered the land of Canaan for forty days [Numbers 13:25]; and Caleb was forty years of age when Moses sent him to reconnoiter Canaan [Joshua 14:7].
  • There were forty year intervals of peace in the age of the Judges (Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28)
  • There were forty years of war between Israel and the Philistines.
  • Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years”, that is, a generation. (Examples: Eli, Saul, David, Solomon.)
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.
  • Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days before His temptation [Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2].
  • Jesus taught His disciples for forty days after the Resurrection. On the fortieth day He ascended to the Father [Acts 1:3].
  • In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.

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  • In Islamic belief Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel.
  • Masih ad-Dajjal roams around the Earth in forty days, a period of time that can be as many as forty months, forty years, and so on.
  • The Quran says that a person is only fully grown when they reach the age of 40.

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  • Some Russians believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for forty days.

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  • In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas). The most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).
  • In Hindu system some of the popular fasting period consist 40 days and is called the period One ‘Mandl kal’ Kal means a period and Mandal kal means a period of 40 days. For example the devotees of ‘Swami Ayyappa’, the name of a Hindu God very popular in Kerala, India ( Sabarimala Swami Ayyappan ) strictly observed forty days fasting and visit ( Only male devotees are permitted to enter into the God’s Temple) with their holy submittance or offerings on 41st or a convenient day after a minimum 40 days practice of fasting. The offering is called ‘Kanikka’.

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In science

  • Forty is the atomic number of zirconium.
  • Negative forty is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, -40°F=-40°C. It is referred to as either “minus forty” or “forty below”.
Negative forty  -40°F=-40°C
Negative forty -40°F=-40°C

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In space

  • The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression (some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
planet venus
planet Venus

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  • Messier object M40, is a magnitude 9.0 double star in the constellation Ursa Major
Messier Object M40
Messier Object M40

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  • STS-40
  • Although designated STS-40, this was in fact the 41st flight of the Space Shuttle and the 11th flight of Columbia. Its mission was to conduct the Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) experiments, the first spacelab dedicated to life sciences research. This included experiments that explored how the heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and hormone-secreting glands respond to microgravity, the causes of space sickness and changes in muscles, bones and cells during the microgravity environment of space flight and in the readjustment to gravity upon returning to Earth.
  • Launch took place on June 5, 1991, 9:24:51 a.m. EDT. It was originally set for May 22,1991, but postponed less than 48 hours before launch when it became known that a leaking liquid hydrogen transducer in orbiter main propulsion system which was removed and replaced during a leak testing in 1990, had failed an analysis by vendor. Engineers feared that one or more of the nine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen transducer protruding into fuel and oxidizer lines could break off and be ingested by the engine turbopumps, causing engine failure.
  • In addition, one of orbiter five general purpose computers failed completely, along with one of the multiplexer demultiplexers that control orbiter hydraulics ordinance and orbiter maneuvering system / reaction control system functions in aft compartment.
  • New general purpose computer and multiplexer demultiplexer were installed and tested. One liquid hydrogen and two liquid oxygen transducers were replaced upstream in propellant flow system near 17-inch disconnect area, which is protected by internal screen. Three liquid oxygen transducers replaced at engine manifold area, while three liquid hydrogen transducers here were removed and openings plugged. Launch reset for 8 a.m. EDT, June 1, but postponed again after several attempts to calibrate inertial measurement unit 2 failed. Unit was replaced and retested, and launch was rescheduled for June 5. Launch Weight: 251,970 lbs.
  • The Commander STS-40 was Marine Corps Col. Bryan D. O’Connor. Other crew, Air Force Lt. Col. Sidney M. Gutierrez (Pilot), James P. Bagian, M.D.; Tamara E. Jernigan, Ph.D.; and Margaret Rhea Seddon, M.D. The payload specialists, Francis Andrew Gaffney, M.D., and Millie Hughes-Fulford, Ph.D.

sts-40-patch

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In politics

  • South Dakota ranks 16th in size among the 50 states. It was the 40th state to join the Union in 1889. South Dakota encompasses 77,123 square miles, averaging 10 people per square mile.
South Dakota State flag
South Dakota State flag
  • Ronald Reagan, former actor and Governor of California (1967-75) was the fortieth President of the United States of America, from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. His Vice President was George H. W. Bush.
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
  • Reagan’s Presidency was notable for at least two incidents.
  • On March 30, 1981, only 69 days into the new administration, Reagan, his press secretary James Brady, Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were struck by gunfire from would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Although “close to death” during surgery, Reagan recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. The attempt had great influence on Reagan’s popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%. Reagan believed that God had spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a greater purpose.
  • A couple of videos, the first rather long but interesting in that it shows the live story of the assassination attempt developing, and the second President Reagan recounting the assassination attempt from his personal perspective.

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  • Another controversial incident involving President Reagan happened in summer of 1981 when PATCO, the union of federal air traffic controllers, went on strike, violating a federal law prohibiting government unions from striking. Reagan declared the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, and stated that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated”. They did not return and on August 5, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order, and used supervisors and military controllers to handle the nation’s commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained. As a leading reference work on public administration concluded, “The firing of PATCO employees not only demonstrated a clear resolve by the president to take control of the bureaucracy, but it also sent a clear message to the private sector that unions no longer needed to be feared.”

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In sport

  • In football (soccer), forty is generally considered to be the number of points that a Premier League team (or, by extension, a team in any 20-team league with a standard home-and-away season) needs to avoid relegation.
  • In baseball, each team in Major League Baseball is allowed to have 40 players under major-league contracts at any given time (not including players on the 60-day disabled list). From September 1 to the end of the regular season, teams are allowed to expand their game-day rosters to include the entire 40-man roster.
  • In tennis, the number 40 represents the third point gained in a game. A score of 40-40 (three points each) is called “deuce”, at which time a player must score two consecutive points to win the game.

deuce

  • Beginning with the 2013 season, forty cars will run each race in NASCAR’s second-level Nationwide Series.
  • The jersey number 40 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
  • In Major League Baseball: the Houston Astros, for Don Wilson; the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Danny Murtaugh, most noted as the team’s longtime manager.

Danny Murtaugh

  • In the NBA: the Denver Nuggets, for Byron Beck; the Detroit Pistons, for Bill Laimbeer.
Byron Beck
Byron Beck
  • In the NFL: the Arizona Cardinals, for Pat Tillman; the Chicago Bears, for Hall of Famer Gale Sayers; the New England Patriots, for Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; the New York Giants, for Joe Morrison; the Philadelphia Eagles, for Tom Brookshier.
Gale Sayers
Gale Sayers

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In militaria

  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • Manufactured by Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Buffalo, New York and designed by Donovan Berlin, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk’s first flight was on 14 October 1938. Over 13,700 were built and during its twenty year life it was used by the United States Army Air Forces, the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and many others. A single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft, it was used extensively by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war.
  • The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF

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  • PPD40
  • The PPD (Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova) was developed by famous Russian small arms designer Fedor Degtyarov. It was formally adopted by the Red Army in 1935 and entered limited production as the PPD-34. Made in small numbers, it was mostly relegated for NKVD use, mostly for border guards. Slightly modified in 1938, it was then produced until 1939 in PPD-34/38 variation, with newly developed 71 rounds drum with long neck.
  • After the Winter War experience (1940 war between USSR and Finland), new version of PPD has been rapidly developed, with the most visible change being the two-part stock, cut to accept new pattern of drums, which had no neck. This became the PPD-40.
  • After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic Warin 1941, it was soon been discovered that the PPD-40 is less than ideal for wartime production, so it was quickly replaced by the more efficient and inexpensive PPSh-41, which appeared in great numbers and was widely used by Red Army.
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40

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  • MP40
  • One of the most famous submachine gun designs in history, the M.P. 38 submachine gun started its life under requirements from German Heereswaffenamt (HWA, Army Weapons Office), which saw the need for a compact submachine gun, suitable for use by armored vehicles crews and paratroopers.
  • German arms-making company Erfurter Maschinenfabrik Gmbh, better known under its trade name Erma, began the development of a new weapon under HWA specifications. It was manufactured for just 2 years, when it was replaced in production by externally similar, but less expensive MP-40, which used more stamped parts instead of machined parts, found in MP-38.
  • There also were minor variations in design of MP-38, such as shape of cocking handle etc. MP-40 was also produced in a number of variations, which differed in shape of certain parts; also, toward the end of the war, several production shortcuts were introduced to save the costs of manufacturing. probably the most interesting variation of the MP-40 were the MP-40-II and MP-40-II. These guns featured dual magazine housings which hold two magazines in a laterally sliding bracket. This increase the total ammunition capacity “in the gun” to 64 rounds, in a desperate attempt to catch up with 71-round magazine capacity of Soviet PPSh-41. The later variant, MP-40-II, was made in limited numbers, but turned out to be a failure – sliding dual-magazine housing was a constant source of jams and failures, and was very sensitive to dirt and fouling.
  • Nevertheless, the MP-40 submachine guns were of good design, and set the pattern for so called “second generation” of submachine guns (“first generation” being represented by the wood-stocked and carefully machined MP-18, MP-28 and the like). The second generation weapons usually were of compact design, and made using mostly steel stampings and pressings, or castings.
  • Many MP-40 that survived the WW2, continued to serve up until late 1970s or early 1980s, in few European armies such as Austrian or Norwegian.

MP-40

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  • Taurus MP40
  • During the 1990s Taurus replaced in production its MT-12A submachine gun (licensed copy of the Beretta PM-12) with another foreign design, this time purchased from Chile.
  • Originally known as the FAMAE SAF, in Brazil it is made in a slightly modified form as the Taurus MT-9 (in 9mm Luger) and MT-40 (in .40SW, especially for the Brazilian police forces that favor this caliber). In this case, the MT index stands for Metralhadora Taurus – Taurus Submachine gun, and the digits denote a caliber.
  • Taurus also makes an interesting offshoot of the MT-40, the CT-40 semi-automatic carbine, which is also intended for police and security use but is restricted to semi-automatic fire and has somewhat longer barrel.

Taurus MP40

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  • SVT-40
  • The SVT-38 (Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva – Tokarev Self-loading rifle) was originally adopted in the 1938 after more than 20 years of the research and development, done by famous Russian arms designer Fedor Tokarev. 
  • This rifle was made in relatively large numbers (more than 1 million made prior to 1945), and was originally issued as a standard infantry rifle, replacing the obsolete Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 bolt action rifles. A few SVT-40 were also manufactured in the sniper variant, (only about 50 000) equipped with scope mounts and telescopic sights, but accuracy was not sufficient. 
  • The SVT-40 had a somewhat controversial reputation. It was highly regarded by the enemies (Finns and Germans) and it was a very sought-after war trophy, re-issued to both German and Finnish troops. On the other hand, it was often considered unreliable and over-complicated by the Soviet troops (when comparing with old Mosin-Nagant rifles), but it was more to the poor training and maintenance, than to the rifle itself. Some better trained and educated Soviet troops, such as Sea Infantry (Marines, which always were some kind of elite in the Soviet army) used the SVT-40 with great deal of success.

SVT40

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  • Husqvarna M/40
  • The ‘Luger-like’ L-35 pistol was developed by the Finnish designer Aimo Lahti and manufactured by Finnish company VKT from 1935 until 1985 or so. It was adopted as a standard sidearm for Finnish army in 1935. 
  • In 1940, Sweden purchased a license for Lahti pistol, simplified it and began production as a Husqvarna M/40 pistol. Due to simplification and poor quality of steel used in M/40, these guns tended to crack when fired 9mm “submachinegun” ammunition, and also M/40 were less reliable than original L-35s, so in the 1980s almost all M/40s were recalled from military service and replaced by older m/07 pistol (licensed Browning M1903 pistols) as an emergency feature.

Husqvarna M40

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  • HK-UMP40
  • The UMP (Universal Machinen-Pistole = Universal Submachine Gun) had been developed by the Heckler & Koch company of Germany in the mid- to late- 1990s and first appeared on the markets in 1999. The key idea behind the UMP was to create a lightweight and powerful submachine gun, that was also cheaper than one of the H&K’s flagships, the MP-5. UMP, being targeted primary for USA law enforcement market, first appeared in .45ACP and .40SW chamberings, and later – in 9mm. 
  • The UMP is a blowback-operated select-fire submachine gun, being fired from the closed bolt. The receiver is made from the polymer, the controls are fully ambidextrous. UMP can be fired in full-auto, in single shots, and in 2 or 3 round bursts (optional). UMP also has bolt hold-open device, which traps the bolt in the open position when the last round from magazine had been fired. UMP has side-folding buttstock and two set of picatinny rails – one on the top of the receiver, and the other – on the forend. These rails can accept wide variety of sighting and other equipment, such as red-dot sights, laser pointers, tactical grips and flashlights. The barrel has quick mount for snap-on silencer.
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole

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In books, music and movies

  • Forty Shades of Green is a visual term for rural Ireland, Johnny Cash popularised it with his 1961 song of the name.
  • “40” is a 1983 song by U2 from their album War
  • “40′” is the title of a song by Franz Ferdinand
  • The American-Japanese rock band Crush 40 from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog video game series with Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli and guitarist Jun Senoue
  • Canadian hip-hop producer Noah Shebib is known as “40”.
  • A well known radio program is the American Top 40
  • Rick Dees hosts a Weekly Top 40 radio program
  • The best known story from a Thousand and One Nights is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves which has been made in movie and cartoon versions

ali baba and the forty thieves

  • Movies with ’40’ in their titles include 
  • “40 Carats”, about a forty year old woman who was vacationing in Greece
  • “40 Days and Nights”, a modern take on a Noah’s Ark tale
  • “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, a comedy about, well, a 40 year old virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

  • “This is 40”, a sequel to the 2007 movie ‘Knocked Up’ about at the lives of characters Pete and Debbie a few years on. 

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Other stuff

  • The expression “forty winks”, meaning a short sleep
  • There is the famous Saying “Life begins at forty”
  • Forty years of marriage is a ruby wedding anniversary
  • The international direct dial phone code for Romania is 40
  • The number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy, counting from the woman’s last menstrual period is forty.
  • There is an Arabic proverb that says, ‘To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days.’
  • A regular work week in some western countries consists of forty hours.
  • There are forty spaces in a standard Monopoly game board

monopoly board

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And finally,

Last, but definitely not least, perhaps one of the greatest ever inventions also carries the ’40’ tag. It is WD-40.

WD-40 is the trademark name of a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray, developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, in San Diego, California.

The term ‘WD-40’, is an abbreviation of the phrase “Water Displacement, 40th formula”.

Larsen was attempting to create a formula to prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles, by displacing the standing water that causes it. He claims he arrived at a successful formula, which is primarily composed of various hydrocarbons, on his 40th attempt.

WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin, and more importantly, the paper thin “balloon tanks” of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.

WD-40 first became commercially available on store shelves in San Diego in 1958

WD40 product range
The WD40 product range

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We’ll Call Today ‘Sneaky Sunday’

 “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Why is today Sneaky Sunday?

Because this Sunday there is a test for you. They’re no good unless they sneak up on you by surprise. This way there’s no time get a sick note or prepare another excuse.

Some of the questions are easy, some of them are hard, some of them are tricky, and some are a combination of one or more of the above.

So sharpen your pencils and whatever else you need to do and begin when you are ready.

(As usual the answers are waaaaaaaay down below, but no cheating!)

Enjoy!

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Q 1: Launched on February 1, 1958 what was the name of the first American satellite in orbit?

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Q 2: Most people know what a bibliophile is, but what is a bibliopole?

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Q 3: Train ‘A’ leaves from New York City heading toward Los Angeles at 100 mph. Three hours later, train ‘B’ leaves from Los Angeles heading toward New York City at 200 mph. Assume there is exactly 2,000 miles between Los Angeles and New York City. When they meet, which train is closer to New York City?

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Q 4: There is the only royal palace in the United States of America – where is it?

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Q 5: What sort of paper are US dollar bills made out of?

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Q 6: What does the ZIP in “ZIP code” mean?

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Q 7: Nowadays they go for tens of millions of dollars each, but how many paintings did Vincent Van Gogh sell during his entire life?

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Q 8: A certain five letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it. What is the word?

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Q 9: What is the only planet in our solar system that rotates clockwise?

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Q 10: What is a rhinoceros horn made of?

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Q 11: Name an English word that ends in “mt”

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Q 12: What was the first novel ever written on a typewriter?

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Q 13: If an electric train is traveling northwest at 95 miles per hour, and the wind is blowing southwest at 95 miles per hour, in which direction does the smoke blow?

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Q 14: Who was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital?

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Q 15: How long would you have to hold your breath before you kill yourself?

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Q 16: What are the six official languages of the U.N.?

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Q 17: “Big Ben” in London, England is what?

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Q 18: There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long. What are they? (And you know them all)

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Q 19: Who is Robert Zimmerman?

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Q 20: While on my way to St. Ives,  I met a man with seven wives.  Each wife had seven sacks;  Each sack had seven cats;  Each cat had seven kittens.  Kittens, cats, sacks, wives;  How many were going to St. Ives?

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ANSWERS

Q 1: Launched on February 1, 1958 what was the name of the first American satellite in orbit?

Explorer

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Q 2: Most people know what a bibliophile is, but what is a bibliopole?

A bibliophile is a collector of rare books, and a bibliopole is a seller of rare books.

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Q 3: Train ‘A’ leaves from New York City heading toward Los Angeles at 100 mph. Three hours later, train ‘B’ leaves from Los Angeles heading toward New York City at 200 mph. Assume there is exactly 2,000 miles between Los Angeles and New York City. When they meet, which train is closer to New York City?

Two answers are allowed to this one, either

When they meet, they’re both exactly the same distance from New York City.

or,

if you consider “meeting” to be nose to nose, the one that left from New York City is closer to New York City by a train length.

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Q 4: There is the only royal palace in the United States of America – where is it?

Honolulu, Hawai

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Q 5: What sort of paper are US dollar bills made out of?

US Dollar bills are made out of cotton and linen.

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Q 6: What does the ZIP in “ZIP code” mean?

Zoning Improvement Plan.

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Q 7: Nowadays they go for tens of millions of dollars each, but how many paintings did Vincent Van Gogh sell during his entire life?

Vincent Van Gogh sold exactly one painting during his lifetime, “Red Vineyard at Arles”.

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Q 8: A certain five letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it. What is the word?

Short

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Q 9: What is the only planet in our solar system that rotates clockwise?

Venus

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Q 10: What is a rhinoceros horn made of?

Compacted hair

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Q 11: Name an English word that ends in “mt”

Dreamt

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Q 12: What was the first novel ever written on a typewriter?

Tom Sawyer

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Q 13: If an electric train is traveling northwest at 95 miles per hour, and the wind is blowing southwest at 95 miles per hour, in which direction does the smoke blow?

Smoke? It’s an electric train, there ain’t no smoke!

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Q 14: Who was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital?

Jimmy Carter

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Q 15: How long would you have to hold your breath before you kill yourself?

You cannot kill yourself by holding your breath, with the best will in the world, even if you held you breath long enough to pass out your body reflex would then take over and you would start to breathe again involuntarily

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Q 16: What are the six official languages of the U.N.?

English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic

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Q 17: “Big Ben” in London, England is what?

Many people mistakenly think it is a clock. Actually, it’s the bell.

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Q 18: There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long. What are they? (And you know them all)

Eye, hip, arm, leg, ear, toe, jaw, rib, lip, gum.

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Q 19: Who is Robert Zimmerman?

Bob Dylan’s real name is Robert Zimmerman

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Q 20: While on my way to St. Ives,  I met a man with seven wives.  Each wife had seven sacks;  Each sack had seven cats;  Each cat had seven kittens.  Kittens, cats, sacks, wives;  How many were going to St. Ives?

Read it again, it was only you who was going to St Ives, so the answer is one

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Did ya do good???

Stupid Politicians And Bureaucrats Make What? Yes, That’s Right – Stupid Laws, Part Three

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Today we have the third of my three-part series highlighting some of the stupid laws that have been made by the stupid politicians and bureaucrats that we have allowed into positions of power.

So here are some more of the lesser known laws that govern the good citizens in the United States (listed by state alphabetically, part 1 covered A to L, part 2 covered the M’s and N’s, this week it’s O to W.).

Enjoy (or cringe, perhaps).

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OHIO

  • Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public. (I hope that’s no reflection on them.)
  • It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday. (And immoral any other day.)
  • It is illegal to get a fish drunk. (Would Sir like some water with that?)
  • The Ohio driver’s education manual states that you must honk the horn whenever you pass another car. (But I want to ‘beep’.)
  • If one loses their pet tiger, they must notify the authorities within one hour. (That’s greeeaaaatttttt!)

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OKLAHOMA

  • It is illegal for the owner of a bar to allow anyone inside to pretend to have sex with a buffalo. (And the real thing is okay???)
  • Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.
  • It is illegal to have the hind legs of farm animals in your boots. (That reminds me of a joke about…… no, better not.)
  • People who make “ugly faces” at dogs may be fined and/or jailed. (What happens if you just have a ugly face to begin with?)
  • Cars must be tethered outside of public buildings.
  • Oral sex is a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. (Well, blow me, that’s expensive!)
  • It is illegal to conceal the birth of a child that would be a bastard. (But you never know how they are going to turn out until they get a bit older???)

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OREGON

  • Babies may not be carried on the running boards of a car. (That’s okay, you need both hands to hang on to the car anyhow.)
  • It is illegal to whisper “dirty” things in your lover’s ear during sex. (So where do you whisper them?)
  • Ice cream may not be eaten on Sundays. (Ridiculous!)
  • It is illegal to buy or sell marijuana, but it is legal to smoke it on your own property. (To pot with that!!)
  • You cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city street. (Well, maybe YOU can’t, but….)
  • Juggling is strictly prohibited without a license. (And quite difficult even with one.)
  • It is a crime to publicly scrape clean a skeleton in a cemetery. (And let’s make no bones about it.)

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PENNSYLVANIA

  • It is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors. (This is another one of those ‘how many people were doing this that a law was needed against it’ kind of things.)
  • Any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and continue.
  • A special cleaning ordinance bans housewives from hiding dirt and dust under a rug in a dwelling. (Ya hear that one ladies?)
  • In Harrisburg it is against the law to wear lead nipple shields. (I bet Superman goes there – a lot!)
  • You may not sing in the bathtub.
  • You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth. (I don’t think I could catch a fish with my mouth.)

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RHODE ISLAND

  • No one may bite off another’s leg. (Ears, noses, arms, etc., are okay?)
  • Any marriage where either of the parties is an idiot or lunatic is null and void. (I’m saying nothing.)
  • One must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left. (Can do!)
  • The penalty for biting off another’s limb is twenty years in jail, but only if it was intentional. (Whoops, sorry, there’s your leg back. I didn’t mean it.)
  • It is illegal to wear transparent clothing. (Clearly!)
  • You may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday.

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SOUTH CAROLINA

  • It is considered an offense to get a tattoo. (I just consider it stupid.)
  • Horses may not be kept in bathtubs. (I guess there’s no room, what with all the donkeys in there.)
  • It is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays.
  • It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide. (You mean if you are attempting suicide or you can’t kill the person who is attempting suicide?)

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SOUTH DAKOTA

  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory. (But is there a law about cutting the cheese?)
  • If three or more Indians are walking down the street together, they can be considered a war party and fired upon.
  • In Huron it is an offence to cause static. (Shocking law that one.)
  • Otherwise illegal explosives can be set off in sunflower fields.

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TENNESSEE

  • It is a crime to share your Netflix password in Tennessee. (Is it okay in English?)
  • It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish. (And very difficult.)
  • “Crimes against nature” are prohibited.
  • Skunks may not be carried into the state. (Yeah, let the little stinkers walk.)

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TEXAS

  • It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. (What sort of a guy ‘sips’ beer? Come on!)
  • Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
  • It is illegal to milk another person’s cow. (Is that a double entendre?)
  • The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.
  • In Dallas it is illegal to possess realistic dildos.

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UTAH

  • It is illegal not to drink milk.
  • It is illegal to detonate any nuclear weapon.
  • Birds have the right of way on all highways.
  • In Salt Lake County an official milkman is limited to casual contact with his customers. (What’s all this about milk in Utah?)
  • A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence.
  • No one may have sex in the back of an ambulance if it is responding to an emergency call. (So turn the sirens off??)
  • It is illegal to cause a catastrophe. (So are these laws not breaking this law?)

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VERMONT

  • Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. (By gum!)
  • At one time it was illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole.
  • All residents shall bathe every Saturday night.

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VIRGINIA

  • Not only is it illegal to have sex with the lights on, one may not have sex in any position other than missionary. (Just how did the people who thought this one up think that they were going to enforce it?)
  • It is illegal to tickle women. (You just said that, see above!)
  • A man may face 60 days in jail for patting a woman’s derriere. (How long for a good slap?)
  • Women must wear a corsette after sundown and be in the company of male chaperone.

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WASHINGTON

  • The harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. (Do tell how exactly do you harass an ‘undiscovered’ species? Wouldn’t you have to discover it first, and once discovered it is no longer ‘undiscovered’ and therefore can be harassed?)
  • All lollipops are banned. (This law really sucks.)
  • People may not buy a mattress on Sunday.
  • In Washington it is a misdemeanor to sell poison without a license.
  • In Seattle possessing an electro-magnetic wave generator is a crime.
  • It is illegal to pretend that one’s parents are rich. (Can you pretend that they are poor?)
  • You may not carry a concealed weapon that is over six feet in length. (And where would you be able to conceal it anyway?)

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WEST VIRGINIA

  • It is legal for a male to have sex with an animal as long as it does not exceed 40 lbs. (And I would imagine dangerous if it does!)
  • It is illegal to snooze on a train.
  • One may not walk a lion, tiger or leopard, even on a leash.
  • Firemen may not whistle or flirt at any woman passing a firehouse.

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WISCONSIN

  • Condoms were considered an obscene article and had to be hidden behind the pharmacist’s counter.
  • At one time, margarine was illegal.
  • It is illegal to kiss on a train.
  • It is illegal to cut a woman’s hair. (People from Brazil please take special note.)
  • The government may not prohibit manual flushed urinals. (That’s handy.)
  • Cheddar cheese must be “highly pleasing”.
  • Followers of the Ho-Chunk religion may hunt deer without a license.
  • It is illegal to produce baby Swiss cheese without well-developed eyes. (Otherwise how could you see what you were doing… Duh!!)

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WYOMING

  • If one is drunk in a mine, he or she could land in jail for up to a year. (Prospects aren’t good then?)
  • It is illegal for women to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking. (Iron or wooden?)
  • You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit. (That really bugs me.)
  • It is illegal to charge for the use of a toilet. (No sh**!)

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