Gray And White Matters.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
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Yes, apparently gray and white matters as you will find out in one of today’s selection of unusual facts.
Hope you enjoy the others as well.
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facts22

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During the production of the video game Deus Ex,

one of the artists forgot to add

the Twin Towers to New York City.

His mistake was explained by

way of a terrorist attack.

The year was 2000.

Deus_Ex_charity[1]

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Switzerland has

208 mountains over 3,000 meters high

and 24 over 4,000 meters.

switzerland-swiss-flag-on-mannlichen

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The male brain contains more gray matter

whereas the female brain contains more white matter.

White matter basically increases the speed

of transmission of all nerve signals,

which ultimately allows women to process thoughts

more rapidly than their male counterparts.

Don’t fret guys, you’ll get this

in another nano second or two.

female-brain-male-brain

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Genghis Kahn wanted the location

of his grave to be unknown

(somewhere in present day Mongolia)

so his funeral escort killed everyone they met

along the way and he even demanded that

a river be diverted to run across his grave

so it could never be disturbed.

Mongolian river

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Although their civilization has declined and been conquered,

in many rural parts of Mexico and Guatemala

Mayan language and culture perseveres.

In fact, there are an estimated 7 million Maya

still living in and around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Yucatan Peninsula map

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The modern chainsaw was invented  by Scottish

doctors to help with Symphysiotomy.

This is a surgical procedure that widens the

pelvis in order to assist in childbirth.

Symphysiotomy chainsaw

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China is among the countries with

the highest air pollution in the world.

Breathing air in Beijing, the country´s capital,

increases the risk of lung cancer in the same way

as smoking 21 cigarettes a day.

Breathing air in Beijing

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In 1883 Sir Hiram Maxim created the Maxim gun.

The world’s first machine gun would go on to

revolutionize warfare and was used in both World Wars.

Maxim gun

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Some rich people in Moscow buy

ambulances and use them to drive around

because the traffic is so bad.

Volkswagen_T4_ambulance_car,_Moscow,_Russia,_2011

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Operation Mockingbird was a secret campaign

begun in the 1950s by the

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

to influence media.

Operation-Mockingbird

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After being frustrated by the service

he was receiving at Bank of America,

Dalton Chiscolm sued them

for $1.7 billion trillion.

During the trial a professor of mathematics

was even called in to testify about

how big the number was.

To give you an idea,

Earth’s total combined GDP was $60 trillion that year.

That is still over 28 million times smaller

than what he was asking for.

Dalton Chiscolm sues Bank of America

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Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf

in the Lord of the Rings trilogy,

a decision that cost him $300 million

(he was offered 15% of the film’s profit).

Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf

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A Right Old Mess!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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political hypocrisy

It seems there is no end to the political hypocrisy that has taken over our well surveilled world.

I wrote a post a few days ago about the Belgian government wanting Skype to hand over confidential customer data. I called it ‘Taking A Swipe At Skype’ (if you want to read it click here )

In a previous post called, ‘What Is The German Word For Hypocrite?’ (if you want to read that one click here) I had a bit of rant against the hypocrisy of Germen Chancellor Angela Merkel who professed great anxiety publicly about the Americans snooping in on her phone calls while she and her intelligence agencies were in cahoots with the US to spy on other European countries.

Now a week or so later the two stories have merged with yet another piece of hypocrisy, this time by the Belgians who have announced that they are starting an official investigation into allegations that Belgium’s telecommunications networks were spied on by a consortium of German and American intelligence agencies.

telecommunications network

In other words, it is okay for the Belgians to snoop on Skype users, but not okay when someone else wants to snoop on the Belgians.

If that’s not another good example of hypocrisy I don’t know what is.

Specifically the targets in Belgian sights are the United States National Security Agency and Germany’s Bundesnach-richtendienst (BND) and an operation that they referred to as ‘EIKONAL’.

The Belgians found out about the snooping when Austrian politician Peter Pilz blew his whistle at a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, saying that EIKONAL had targeted European telecommunications carriers for at least four years, from 2005 to 2008.

Spokesmen for the Belgian government have said that if the alleged espionage is confirmed, it would have “not only legal implications, but will also affect relations between Belgium, Germany and the US”. It also threatened to “take appropriate action” but didn’t specify what that would be – they probably don’t know yet.

Switzerland and the Netherlands flags

Needless to say, the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands were not amused by the revelations either and immediately launched their own investigations into this thing called ‘EIKONAL’.

It’s all turning into what they call “a right old mess”.

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Titanic, Tic Tacs And Trailers. It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another fact day at the fasab blob.

Last one for May 2015. Time flying as always.

This selection includes facts about the Titanic Tic Tacs and trailers, and lots more.

Enjoy.

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did you know3

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Light pollution usually doesn’t have a

significant impact on humans but it

causes major problems to many animals.

Birds often confuse days and nights and

scientists found out that light pollution can

change migration patterns in some animal species.

 Light pollution

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The Titanic was so big that 176 men were needed

just to shovel coal into its furnaces

 Titanic boiler room

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Although Tic Tac’s claim to have 0 sugar,

they consist of nearly 98% sugar!

This is because the size per serving is

.49 grams and according to the FDA a food

cannot be labeled “sugar free” unless it

contains less than .5 grams of sugar per serving!

How sweet!

 Tic Tac

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Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and

it hasn’t changed its name since 681 AD

 Bulgaria map

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When Soviet archaeologists opened the tomb

of Tamerlane, a Mongol descendant of Genghis Khan,

they found an inscription that read,

“Whoever opens my tomb will unleash

an invader more terrible than I.”

It was June 20 1941.

Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22.

 tomb of Tamerlane

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The only part of a Swiss Army Knife not

made in Switzerland is the corkscrew.

It is made in Japan.

 Swiss Army Knife

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Mothers become emotionally attached to their

children prior to birth by the virtue of

carrying the child in their wombs.

According to some studies men won’t become

emotionally bonded to the child for several months

after birth when the infant begins to smile, respond,

and interact with him.

 mother baby bond

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During Peter the Great’s reign in Russia

there was a beard tax which

anyone with a beard had to pay.

 Beard_token

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Nobody knows how the Mayan Empire declined.

Long before the Spanish came many of the great

cities had already been long abandoned and lay in ruins.

Scholars have hypothesized reasons ranging from

drought and famine to overpopulation and climate change.

 Mayan Empire

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JRR Tolkien’s estate only received $62,500

for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy

until a lawsuit was filed.

 Lord of the Rings film trilogy

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In June 2010 Oscar the cat received bionic limbs

to replace his original ones lost in an

accident with a combine harvester.

 Bionic-Cat

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Movie trailers were so named because they

were originally designed to play AFTER the movie,

but when marketers realized that people don’t tend

to stick around when a movie has finished they

started to play them at the beginning of the main movie!

Here’s an example…

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Blind, Buildings And Buttermilk Are Just Some Of Today’s Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A host of random facts today, as always.

Buttermilk included.

So make some pancakes and…..

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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The Home Insurance Building was erected

in Chicago in 1884 and has been called the

“Father of the Modern Skyscraper”.

It was 10 stories high.

 Home Insurance Building was erected in Chicago

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Every year, more than 14 billion pounds

(6 billion kilograms) of garbage

is dumped into the world’s oceans.

Most of it, is plastic that is toxic to marine life.

 garbage is dumped into the world's ocean

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Contrary to popular belief,

the Mayans don’t have just one calendar

and none of their calendars predicted

the world would end in 2012.

Now you tell me!!!

 Mayan calendar

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80% of infants are

born with a birthmark

 born with a birthmark

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Buttermilk is NOT milk containing butter.

Buttermilk is actually the part of the milk

that’s left after you churn the butter out.

 Buttermilk

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Russia’s surface area is bigger

than Pluto’s surface area

 Russia's surface area

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Malcolm X was shot and mortally wounded

by three members of the Nation of Islam

on the stage of the Audubon ballroom in Harlem

on February 21, 1965.

In March of 1964, Malcolm X announced

a break with the Nation of Islam,

leading to conflict, threats,

and ultimately his assassination.

 Malcolm X

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If you want to make a pineapple sweeter

you actually need to use salt!

 pineapple

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The escalators in London’s underground

travel two times the circumference of the Earth

every week!

 escalators in London's underground

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Foreigners account for 23% of

Switzerland’s roughly 8 million people

 Switzerland

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Various studies show that during

a time of extreme stress or in a crisis,

women tend to react with reference to their feelings,

while men tend not to react with logic and deductive reasoning.

 man and woman reacting to stress

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Finally, Braille, the tactile writing system

used by blind and visually impaired people,

is named after its creator, Louis Braille,

who was blinded in both eyes in an accident

during his early childhood.

He mastered his disability while still a boy

and, in 1824 (at the age of just 15), presented

his system of tactile code that would eventually

allow blind people to read and write.

Louis Braille

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Columbia, Switzerland, North Korea And Mongolia. What A Collection Of Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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What a collection of facts indeed and not one of them about Cinco de Mayo. How I resisted that I’, not sure. Maybe next year???

But today it’s facts that somebody knows and facts that nobody knows.

But at least after you read today’s post you will know the facts that nobody knows, except that then somebody will know them.

Enough of that, here they are.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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Nobody knows who owns the patent

for fire hydrants because the patent office

in which the records were being held burned down.

 fire hydrant

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You could fit all the platinum every mined

into an average size home.

 generic-platinum-bars

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During the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965,

Ed White became the first American

to conduct a spacewalk.

The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean

near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes,

ending over the Gulf of Mexico.

 white_edward

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Colombia is estimated to be the

second largest economy in South America,

right behind Brazil.

 Colombia flag map

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When the Persians beheaded the Mongolian envoy,

Genghis Khan retaliated by killing nearly 90% of their population.

According to some estimates, Iran’s population didn’t

reach its pre-Mongol levels until the mid-1900s.

 Genghis Khan destruction

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Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea,

was born on the same day that the Titanic sank.

It wasn’t really a great day, was it?

 Kim Il-Sung

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The first man to die working on the Hoover Dam

was killed on December 20 1922.

He was J G Tierney.

The last man to die working on the Hoover Dam

was killed on December 20 1935.

He was J G Tierney’s son.

 Hoover Dam

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Italians don’t usually drink

cappuccino after 11 AM.

 cappuccino

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The term ‘Zero tolerance’ was first used

by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

in referring to their policy on pesticides

in food items (e.g. no mercury in milk).

It was later attributed to the famous

War on Drugs by strictly applying

the law in problem areas.

 Zero tolerance

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The Bada Bing strip club location used throughout

the hit TV series ‘The Sopranos’

is actually a go-go bar in Lodi, NJ, called Satin Dolls.

 Satin Dolls Lodi New Jersey

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Switzerland has some of the most

liberal gun laws of any country,

with 2.3 to 4.5 million guns in

a population of 8 million.

It also has one of the lowest

crime rates in the world.

 Sig Sauer

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The budget for the two “The Hobbit” movies

is almost twice the budget of 

the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

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He’s Back …… I Think.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

putin

It seems that after a mysterious disappearance from public view for the past eleven days or so, Vladimir Putin has re-emerged.

Over the past week and more there was a frenzy of speculation as to why he was nowhere to be seen and what had happened to him. His absence was significant, that much was agreed, but nobody knew why he had disappeared.

One of Putin’s former advisors, Andrei Illarionov, who has become one of his strongest critics of late, was quick off the mark to say Putin had been toppled in a backstage coup.

Many, well-connected in Russian matters, speculated that there was a full-scale Kremlin power struggle under way.

Other rumors quickly followed.

General Viktor Zolotov, Putin’s long-time bodyguard, was said to be dead. This was confirmed and denied and confirmed and denied, etc.,

Another of Putin’s top allies, Vladislav Surkov, was speculated to have fled to Hong Kong with his family.

The questions from the media and on the internet were also many and varied.

Had there been some kind of retaliation for the recent murder of opposition leader and former first deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov?

Would there be more bloodshed?

Was a coup under way in Russia?

Was Putin finished?

Was he perhaps unwell, which I suppose could be taken as a sign of weakness and spur on those who wished to topple him?

Was he in Switzerland celebrating the birth of a child by his secret lover, the gymnast Alina Kabaeva?

Would he re-appear soon, shirtless, macho and galloping on a horse to show everyone he is still a force to be reckoned with?

Or was the whole thing just a distraction from the murder of Nemtsov and the war in Ukraine?

putin_shirtless_on_horse

The Kremlin, on the other hand, wasn’t asking any questions. It dismissed all such rumors and insisted that nothing was wrong with either Putin or his regime, apart from maybe a dose of the flu.

There is no doubt that, for all his political savvy, Putin has managed to get himself stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He made his reputation by winning the war in Chechnya, and he cannot afford to cross the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. At the same time he cannot side against the politicians from the security or military services, often the officers of the former KGB, GRU, FSB, and all that, who came into power with him.

As usual, of course, most commentators missed the main question, which was apart from all the usual faffing around, ‘how should we react if such a thing were really to happen’?

Here in the West we, (including those in the intelligence community who are supposed to know about these things and brief world leaders like President Obama), don’t have much of a clue about Kremlin politics. You can be almost certain therefore that, if anything were ever to really happen to Putin, the danger is that the West would respond in entirely the wrong way.

A new Russian leader would be greeted by America and its allies as a more predictable and easier to deal with partner than Putin. But that is forgetting one crucial element. All Russian leaders are tough. Not just Putin. And the person who had the steel to oust someone of Putin’s caliber would have to himself be a very hard man and a shrewd operator.

More significantly, he would have to quickly stamp his authority and hold on power in Russia. The quickest and easiest way of doing that would be with more repression of opposition factions in Russia itself and with more flexing of Russia’s considerable muscles abroad, particularly in the Crimea and the Ukraine.

That would be a real puzzler for Obama, were it to happen during his last few months in office. And a defining moment for his successor.

Sometimes the devil you know is easier to deal with than one you don’t.

putin devil

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Final Fasab Quiz For February.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Last quiz for February already.

How are you quizzers doing this year?

Scores don’t matter though, as long as you enjoy doing the quizzes.

Usual format today, general knowledge, geography, history, science, nature and even a little music.

Varying degrees of difficulty, but if you get stuck you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1:  What city is known as the ‘Peace Capital’ of the world?

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Q.  2:  What is the only gemstone to be composed of one single element?

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Q.  3:  What type of monkey possesses a blood factor that is shared with humans and was the first type of monkey launched into space?

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Q.  4:  If the ‘DC’ in Washington DC was actually Roman Numerals, what number would it represent?

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Q.  5:  What term is given to a territory which is part of a country but is surrounded by other countries so it is physically separate from the rest of the country?

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Q.  6:  The ‘First Battle of Bull Run’ and the ‘Battle of Edgehill’ were the first battles of which wars? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you answer both correctly.)

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Q.  7:  What is the title of the head of the Church of England?

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Q.  8:  What is the home of a Beaver called?

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Q.  9:  Which famous action painter was nicknamed ‘Jack the Dripper’ ?

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Q. 10:  Orbiting 35,900km above the equator, what term is given to satellites that remain above the same point on the Earth’s surface in their orbit?

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Q. 11:  In which city are the Petronas Towers, formerly the world’s highest building?

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Q. 12:  What name is given to the condition created by too much bile in the bloodstream that causes a distinct yellowing of the skin?

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Q. 13:  What do 1,000 ‘gigabytes’ make?

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Q. 14:  Where was a speed record of 11.2mph set in 1972?

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Q. 15:  Of which republic are ‘English’, ‘Malay’, ‘Mandarin Chinese’ and ‘Tamil’ the four official languages?

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Q. 16:  Which Ray Bradbury novel, also made into a famous movie, opens “It was a pleasure to burn”?

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Q. 17:  The name of the human-like inhabitants of the land of the Houyhnhnms, discovered by Captain Lemuel Gulliver in 1711, has become one of the best known names in the modern business world, what is it?

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Q. 18:  Among other meanings this word as a noun can mean a large wading bird, or a device for lifting and moving heavy weights, and as a verb it can mean to stretch out one’s neck, especially to see better –  what is the word?

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Q. 19:  ‘JAT’ airways is the national carrier of which country?

            a) Switzerland          b) Serbia          c) Senegal          d) Somalia

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Q. 20:  Who sang about an ‘Uptown Girl’ in 1983?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What city is known as the ‘Peace Capital’ of the world?

A.  1:  Geneva, Switzerland.

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Q.  2:  What is the only gemstone to be composed of one single element?

A.  2:  Diamond.

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Q.  3:  What type of monkey possesses a blood factor that is shared with humans and was the first type of monkey launched into space?

A.  3:  The Rhesus monkey.

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Q.  4:  If the ‘DC’ in Washington DC was actually Roman Numerals, what number would it represent?

A.  4:  DC in Roman Numerals is 600.

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Q.  5:  What term is given to a territory which is part of a country but is surrounded by other countries so it is physically separate from the rest of the country?

A.  5:  An Exclave.

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Q.  6:  The ‘First Battle of Bull Run’ and the ‘Battle of Edgehill’ were the first battles of which wars? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you answer both correctly.)

A.  6:  The American and English Civil Wars respectively.

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Q.  7:  What is the title of the head of the Church of England?

A.  7:  He is called the ‘Archbishop of Canterbury’.

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Q.  8:  What is the home of a Beaver called?

A.  8:  A ‘Lodge’.

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Q.  9:  Which famous action painter was nicknamed ‘Jack the Dripper’ ?

A.  9:  Jackson Pollock.

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Q. 10:  Orbiting 35,900km above the equator, what term is given to satellites that remain above the same point on the Earth’s surface in their orbit?

A. 10:  Geostationary.

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Q. 11:  In which city are the Petronas Towers, formerly the world’s highest building?

A. 11:  Kuala Lumpur.

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Q. 12:  What name is given to the condition created by too much bile in the bloodstream that causes a distinct yellowing of the skin?

A. 12:  Jaundice.

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Q. 13:  What do 1,000 ‘gigabytes’ make?

A. 13:  A ‘Terabyte’.

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Q. 14:  Where was a speed record of 11.2mph set in 1972?

A. 14:  On the Moon (by John Young of Apollo 16 driving the Lunar Rover!)

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Q. 15:  Of which republic are ‘English’, ‘Malay’, ‘Mandarin Chinese’ and ‘Tamil’ the four official languages?

A. 15:  Singapore.

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Q. 16:  Which Ray Bradbury novel, also made into a famous movie, opens “It was a pleasure to burn” ?

A. 16:  Fahrenheit 451.

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Q. 17:  The name of the human-like inhabitants of the land of the Houyhnhnms, discovered by Captain Lemuel Gulliver in 1711, has become one of the best known names in the business world, what is it?

A. 17:  They were called Yahoos.

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Q. 18:  Among other meanings this word as a noun can mean a large wading bird, or a device for lifting and moving heavy weights, and as a verb it can mean to stretch out one’s neck, especially to see better  –  what is the word?

A. 18:  The word is ‘crane’.

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Q. 19:  ‘JAT’ airways is the national carrier of which country?

            a) Switzerland          b) Serbia          c) Senegal          d) Somalia

A. 19:  The correct answer is b) Serbia.

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Q. 20:  Who sang about an ‘Uptown Girl’ in 1983?

A. 20:  Billy Joel.

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