A Manic Monday Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A manic Monday quiz it is indeed.

Twenty questions covering the usual wide range of subjects, so hopefully there will be one or two that you find easy and one or two that you find a lot more difficult.

But remember, as always if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  According to a survey conducted by Citrix, what percentage of people thought that stormy weather affects cloud computing?

            a) 1%           b) 15%           c) 51%           d) 85%

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Q.  2:  What city is known as ‘The Harbor City’ ?

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Q.  3:  What is another name for the prairie wolf?

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Q.  4:  If your boss cuts your salary by 10% but offers to let you work 10% more to make up for it, should you accept?

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Q.  5:  Six men are widely accepted to be the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. What were their names? (You get a point for each correctly named and a bonus point if can correctly name all six.)

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Q.  6:  A follow-up question to # 5, which one of these Founding Fathers once wrote a scientific piece called ‘Fart Proudly’ ?

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Q.  7:  What percentage of the Earth’s volcanoes are underwater?

            a) 10 %           b) 30 %           c) 50 %           d) 70 %           e) 90 %

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Q.  8:  In Greek mythology who attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax, but flew too close to the Sun and perished when the wax melted?

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Q.  9:  And when we’re on the subject of flying, what area code would you use if you wanted to call the Kennedy Space Center in Florida?

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Q. 10:  What do you call the three sides of a right-angled triangle? (Hint, you get zero points for answering ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’.)

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Q. 11:  This one is the name of a famous Shakespeare tragedy and a multiplayer board game based on the popular game Reversi. What is it?

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Q. 12:  What nationality is the famous musician Richard Clayderman and what instrument is associated with him? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  ‘Equatorial’, ‘Gulf Stream’ and ‘Humboldt’ are names give to what?

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Q. 14:  Russians consume about 6 times as much what as Americans?

            a) milk           b) coffee           c) tea           d) beer            e) spirits

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Q. 15:  Which paper format has the largest area, the ‘International A4’ as used for example in the UK or the ‘Letter’ format used in the United States?

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Q. 16:  There are seven main weight divisions used in professional boxing, what are they? (You get a point for each one you can name correctly and three bonus points if you get all seven correct.)

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Q. 17:  What is the link between something to eat, something to drink, somewhere to go and something to call your daughter?

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the cat that survived the sinking of the Bismark, HMS Cossack and HMS Ark Royal? 

            a) Kit Kat            b) Wet Willie            c) Unsinkable Sam

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Q. 19:  What is the largest country in South America (a) by area and (b) by size of population? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 20:  Who had a ‘Manic Monday’ and went on to ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ ?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  According to a survey conducted by Citrix, what percentage of people thought that stormy weather affects cloud computing?

            a) 1%           b) 15%           c) 51%           d) 85%

A.  1:  Unbelievably the correct answer is c) 51%.

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Q.  2:  What city is known as ‘The Harbor City’ ?

A.  2:  Sydney, Australia.

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Q.  3:  What is another name for the prairie wolf?

A.  3:  Coyote.

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Q.  4:  If your boss cuts your salary by 10% but offers to let you work 10% more to make up for it, should you accept?

A.  4:  You should NOT accept the offer. This is a percentage question. For example, if you made $10 per hour, a 10% cut in your salary would leave you with $9 per hour. Adding 10% back would only be 10% of $9, or 90 cents so you would end up with only $9.90.

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Q.  5:  Six men are widely accepted to be the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. What were their names? (You get a point for each correctly named and a bonus point if can correctly name all six.)

A.  5:  The six men are widely accepted to be the Founding Fathers of the United States of America are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and, of course, Benjamin Franklin.

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Q.  6:  A follow-up question to # 5, which one of these Founding Fathers once wrote a scientific piece called ‘Fart Proudly’ ?

A.  6:  Benjamin Franklin wrote a scientific piece called Fart Proudly. It was all about farts.

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Q.  7:  What percentage of the Earth’s volcanoes are underwater?

            a) 10 %           b) 30 %           c) 50 %           d) 70 %           e) 90 %

A.  7:  The correct answer is e) 90% of all volcanoes are underwater.

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Q.  8:  In Greek mythology who attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax, but flew too close to the Sun and perished when the wax melted?

A.  8:  Icarus.

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Q.  9:  And when we’re on the subject of flying, what area code would you use if you wanted to call the Kennedy Space Center in Florida?

A.  9:  The telephone area code for the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is ‘321’ which imitates the countdown before liftoff. It was assigned to the area, instead of suburban Chicago in November 1999 after a successful petition led by local resident Robert Osband. Try it out, call the Kennedy Space Center on (321) 867-5000.

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Q. 10:  What do you call the three sides of a right-angled triangle? (Hint, you get zero points for answering ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’.)

A. 10:  They are called ‘opposite’, ‘adjacent’ and ‘hypotenuse’.

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Q. 11:  This one is the name of a famous Shakespeare tragedy and a multiplayer board game based on the popular game Reversi. What is it?

A. 11:  Othello.

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Q. 12:  What nationality is the famous musician Richard Clayderman and what instrument is associated with him? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  Richard Clayderman is French and he is a pianist.

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Q. 13:  ‘Equatorial’, ‘Gulf Stream’ and ‘Humboldt’ are names give to what?

A. 13:  Ocean currents.

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Q. 14:  Russians consume about 6 times as much what as Americans?

            a) milk           b) coffee           c) tea           d) beer            e) spirits

A. 14:  The correct answer is c) tea, Russians also consume about 6 times as much tea as Americans.

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Q. 15:  Which paper format has the largest area, the ‘International A4’ as used for example in the UK or the ‘Letter’ format used in the United States?

A. 15:  A4 has the largest area. (A4 is 210 mm (8.25”) wide and 297 mm (11.75”) long or 62,370 m2, and US Letter is 216 mm (8.5”) wide by 279 mm (11”) long or 60,264 m2.)

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Q. 16:  There are seven main weight divisions used in professional boxing, what are they? (You get a point for each one you can name correctly and three bonus points if you get all seven correct.)

A. 16:  Although modern additions have been added, the seven main weight divisions used in professional boxing are ‘Flyweight’, ‘Bantamweight’, ‘Featherweight’, ‘Lightweight’, ‘Welterweight’, ‘Middleweight’ and ‘Heavyweight’.

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Q. 17:  What is the link between something to eat, something to drink, somewhere to go and something to call your daughter?

A. 17:  Margarita.

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the cat that survived the sinking of the Bismark, HMS Cossack and HMS Ark Royal? 

            a) Kit Kat            b) Wet Willie            c) Unsinkable Sam

A. 18:  The correct answer is c) Unsinkable Sam.

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Q. 19:  What is the largest country in South America (a) by area and (b) by size of population? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 19:  The correct answers are (a) Brazil with an area of 8,514,877 Km2, and (b) Brazil with a population of more than 195.5 million.

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Q. 20:  Who had a ‘Manic Monday’ and went on to ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ ?

A. 20:  The Bangles.

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The Internet Of Things.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Internet of Things courtesy of kpcb.com

Last year the ‘new thing’ that all the techies were talking about was the ‘Internet of Things’.

For those who are not up to speed on this ‘new thing’, the ‘Internet of Things’ is about getting all of our household devices connected online.

This is not just a ‘new thing’ but it’s a ‘BIG thing’ too.

Already there are about 10 billion net-connected devices and predictions are that by 2020, just five years from now, the number will have grown to 50 billion devices.

More importantly, for the businesses involved in this industry, and for investors, the ‘Internet of Things’ market will be worth at least three-quarters of a trillion dollars – that’s an ‘illion’ with a ‘tr’ in front of it!

As you would expect, the big technology players aren’t wasting any time getting involved.

Samsung's 'SmartThings Hub

Samsung has developed what it calls a ‘SmartThings Hub’ which will organize all of the connected devices in your home regardless of what platform they run on. The company’s CEO has promised that by 2017, 90% of its products would be connected to the Web.

The Samsung ‘SmartThings Hub’ is compatible with the Apple ‘HomeKit’ for iOS8, which was introduced last summer.

A lot of the ‘IoT’ devices are aimed at the home security market. Many of these are already available, but with the development of the ‘IoT’ they will become much more sophisticated, have additional features, such as cameras with facial recognition capabilities, and be more affordable for the average consumer. At the moment most of the better systems carry a hefty price tag and are aimed at the high-end market.

Another big market is babies, with a number of devices coming to the market that monitor almost everything about your baby and send that information to you wherever you are via a mobile device.

Other ‘IoT’ devices for the home include smart light bulbs, Bluetooth speakers, WiFi repeaters and lots of other home entertainment applications.

You will even be able to control your coffee maker or tea kettle via wifi.

fitbark

And your pets have not been forgotten either. If you just can’t bear to be unconnected to your dog, for example, you can get a smart collar like the ‘Fitbark’ or ‘Motorola Scout 5000’. If this was pun day I’d tell you it came with a paws control.

It all sounds great, for those who like that kind of thing. And indeed some of the devices will be useful and hopefully cost effective and energy saving for the home. I don’t think you’re going to have any choice because new devices for the home will come with all this new technology built in.

The big problem will be sophisticated burglars and malicious tech savvy people, who will no doubt figure out ways of hacking your system and possibly gaining control of the whole set up.

A password like ‘password’ will no longer suffice in the era of the ‘Internet of Things’.

you have been hacked

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Were YOU Part Of The Secret Facebook Experiment?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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subliminal advertising

Many years ago subliminal advertising was banned by law because it manipulated how people thought – brainwashed them to a degree. Since then the practice has been frowned upon, but, with the popularity of social media, are some people, particularly in some government agencies, trying to secretly manipulate us again?

In January 2012, Facebook ran a secret experiment on 689,000 of its users.

The purpose of that experiment was to see if the company could change those peoples’ moods by altering their news feeds.

The scary thing is that it worked.

The study found that by manipulating the News Feeds displayed to 689,003 Facebook users, it could affect the content which those users posted to Facebook. More negative News Feeds led to more negative status messages, and more positive News Feeds led to more positive statuses.

This means, as the report on the experiment stated, “that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.” To put it another way, it is the manipulation of the herd, or zombie, mentality.

Facebook-apologizes-for-manipulating-emotions

Such mass manipulation is only possible now with the immediacy and vast scale of social networks such as Facebook. Now, because of the numbers of people involved, even minor manipulations in how they think can have far reaching consequences.

One of the groups funding the experiment was the US Army which flags up big question marks over their motives and over Facebook’s place as an independent commercial operation.

The fact that government agencies are experimenting as to how they can influence people online has been known for some time, but you have to search for the evidence because they never tell you what they are up to.

The mass surveillance that whistleblower Edward Snowden highlighted is only the first step in a more sinister process. The big question everyone should be asking is, once the government and its agencies have gathered all of that information on us, what are they going to use it for? There must be some end goal. You can be sure that just leaving terrabytes of data languishing in remote computer server farms is not it.

The most obvious use of that information is to manipulate people, which is essentially what the Facebook experiment tells us. Only the moronically naïve or dumb would think otherwise.

In the commercial online world where everyone is used to free services paid for by advertising, information can be used to manipulate consumers into becoming indirect paying customers by simply turning their private information into cash. The more personal, detailed and intimate the data on you is, the more valuable it is to the company collecting and selling it, either directly, or indirectly via targeted advertising especially for you. Yes, what you see when you go to a Google search page is not what I see!

Secret Facebook Experiment

In the world of government control, some of their spy agencies will collect information just for the bureaucratic hell of it. Don’t believe that the NSA, that Snowden highlighted, is the only government data-thief. It may well be the biggest and best funded, but there are many others busy snooping away. And not just in the USA, but in Britain, China, Russia, and many other powerful countries too.

These groups will justify their unwanted intrusions into our private lives by hanging a ‘national security’ sign on it, it’s the excuse they always use. To an extent that is true at the moment since they use information collected by these snooping techniques to smear the reputations of what are deemed to be ‘enemies of the state’. They used to do much the same via planted news reports and information given to friendly newspaper journalists to disseminate. At the moment ‘enemies of the state’ are terrorist groups, particularly Islamic terrorists like ISIS. But in the future, who knows?

Increasingly government agencies will use the manipulation of social media to influence the general population and thereby bring about outcomes that suit their needs.

George Orwell had the right idea about what would happen. His only problem was that he chose the wrong title for his book. By 1984 technology had not caught up with the aspirations of those who wish to exert such control.

Now it is almost here.

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FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks,

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

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

I hope you enjoy.

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farewell 2014

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The Weather

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

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

California drought 2014

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

Winter Storm Pax Washington

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

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

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

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

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

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

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

APphoto_Russia Economy

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

Quantitative Easing cartoon

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

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

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

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

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

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

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

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

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

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

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

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

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

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

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Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

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Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

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Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

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Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

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Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

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Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

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Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

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Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

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Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

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James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

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Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

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Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

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Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

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Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

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Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

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Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

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Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

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Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

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Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

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Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

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Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

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Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

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From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

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Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

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Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

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Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

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Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

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From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

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Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

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Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

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Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

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James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

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A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

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Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

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Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

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Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

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Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

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Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

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John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

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Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

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Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

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From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

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Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

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Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

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Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

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

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

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Health

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

ebola_map Africa

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

Politics

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

President Viktor Yanukovych

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

Putin Obama

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

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

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Space

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

Rosetta Philae

Sport

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

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

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

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

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

Tragedies

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

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

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

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

First Day Of September, First Quiz Of September

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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First day of September 2014 and because it’s a Monday that means the first Quiz of September 2014.

Get your thinking caps on, you’ll probably need them for some of these questuons, although there some easy one in there too. Easy if you know the answers, that is!

As usual if you do get stuck you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 06

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Q.  1:  Where are human triceps muscles to be found?

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Q.  2:  What aviation first was performed by Ellen Church in 1930?

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Q.  3:  ‘Captain John Joseph Yossarian’ is the central figure of which 1961 novel?

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Q.  4:  Which artistic movement was founded by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso?

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Q.  5:  Which former country was originally called ‘The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes’?

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Q.  6:  In what unit do barometers and weather maps usually display atmospheric pressure?

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Q.  7:  Which famous horror novel is subtitled ‘The Modern Prometheus’?

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Q.  8:  Who led the Luftwaffe in the Second World War?

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Q.  9:  What piece of computer equipment was invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute in 1963?

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Q. 10:  Which acid is found in car batteries?

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Q. 11:  “Egghead weds hourglass” was the headline when playwright Arthur Miller married which actress?

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Q. 12:  Edmund Barton in 1901 was the first prime minister of where?

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Q. 13:  The ‘Battle of Balaclava’ is a famous battle in which war?

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Q. 14:  Fulgencio Batista was overthrown as the leader of which country on January 1 1959?

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Q. 15:  The Canary Islands were named after which animal?

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Q. 16:  What was Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name?

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Q. 17:  Which ancient battle gave its name to an athletics race?

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Q. 18:  What is a four letter word ending in ‘k’ that means intercourse?

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Q. 19:  In which ship did Captain James Cook sail on his first voyage of exploration between 1768 and 1771?

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Q. 20:  Who was The Quiet Man?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Where are human triceps muscles to be found?

A.  1:  At the back of the upper arm

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Q.  2:  What aviation first was performed by Ellen Church in 1930?

A.  2:  She was the first air hostess –  or female flight attendant as they now like to be referred to.

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Q.  3:  ‘Captain John Joseph Yossarian’ is the central figure of which 1961 novel?

A.  3:  Catch 22.

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Q.  4:  Which artistic movement was founded by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso?

A.  4:  Cubism.

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Q.  5:  Which former country was originally called ‘The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes’?

A.  5:  Yugoslavia.

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Q.  6:  In what unit do barometers and weather maps usually display atmospheric pressure?

A.  6:  Millibars.

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Q.  7:  Which famous horror novel is subtitled ‘The Modern Prometheus’?

A.  7:  Frankenstein.

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Q.  8:  Who led the Luftwaffe in the Second World War?

A.  8:  Hermann Goering.

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Q.  9:  What piece of computer equipment was invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute in 1963?

A.  9:  The Mouse.

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Q. 10:  Which acid is found in car batteries?

A. 10:  Sulphuric.

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Q. 11:  “Egghead weds hourglass” was the headline when playwright Arthur Miller married which actress?

A. 11:  Marilyn Monroe.

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Q. 12:  Edmund Barton in 1901 was the first prime minister of where?

A. 12:  Australia.

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Q. 13:  The ‘Battle of Balaclava’ is a famous battle in which war?

A. 13:  The Crimean.

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Q. 14:  Fulgencio Batista was overthrown as the leader of which country on January 1 1959?

A. 14:  Cuba.

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Q. 15:  The Canary Islands were named after which animal?

A. 15:  Dogs.

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Q. 16:  What was Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name?

A. 16:  It was ‘Moon’.

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Q. 17:  Which ancient battle gave its name to an athletics race?

A. 17:  Marathon.

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Q. 18:  What is a four letter word ending in ‘k’ that means intercourse?

A. 18:  Talk. (Well, really, you should be ashamed of yourself.)

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Q. 19:  In which ship did Captain James Cook sail on his first voyage of exploration between 1768 and 1771?

A. 19:  The Endeavour

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Q. 20:  Who was The Quiet Man?

A. 20:  John Wayne, playing American/Irish ex-prizefighter Sean Thornton. Here he is being not so quiet in the movie…

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Twenty Questions – Are You Up For It?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another fasab quiz day.

If you know about history, geography, politics, technology, music, movies, cars and a lot of other stuff then you should do okay.

And as always, if you get stuck , you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 10

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Q.  1:  Who or what is a ‘FLOTUS’?

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Q.  2:  Most of you will have heard of the company called ‘3M’ but what do the three ‘M’s stand for?

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Q.  3:  Everyone has heard about the Titanic and probably seen at least one of the movies depicting its fateful inaugural voyage, but to which shipping line did the Titanic belong?

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Q.  4:  What waterway did Britain buy a share of in 1875?

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Q.  5:  In 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by which male member of his family?

            a) son            b) grandson            c) nephew           d) father

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Q.  6:  What are the terms ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ abbreviations of? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  7:  In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a ‘death ray’ that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. What did he invent instead?

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Q.  8:  General Leopoldo Galtieri was president of which South American country in 1981 and 1982?

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Q.  9:  When did the construction of the Berlin Wall begin and in what year was it demolished? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 10:  What makes of car were featured in the following movies? (A point for each correct answer, and a bonus point if you get them all correct.)

            a)  Herbie, The Love Bug                                  b)  Back To The Future

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit                              d)  Bullitt

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Q. 11:  In which year did South Africa have its first all-race elections?

            a) 1990            b) 1992            c) 1994            d) 1996

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Q. 12:  One of the best television mini-series ever made was the western ‘Lonesome Dove’, but what were the names of the two lead characters and who were the actors who played them? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all four names correct.)

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Q. 13:  Held by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, what is the current Men’s High Jump World Record?

            a)  2.37 m             b)  2.39 m            c)  2.41 m            d)  2.45 m            e)  2.47 m

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Q. 14:  ‘Operation Barbarossa’ was the codename used by the Germans for their plans to invade which country in 1941?

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Q. 15:  What is considered to be the hottest desert in North America?  (A bonus point if you know in which State it is located.)

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Q. 16:  Who was ‘Mork’ and who was ‘Mindy’ in the hit TV sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ originally broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on ABC? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name both correctly.)

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Q. 17:  From which country did Norway secure its independence in 1905?

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Q. 18:  Approximately how many rifles did American factories produce during World War II?

           a)  1 million        b)  3 million        c)  5 million        d)  7 million       e)  9 million

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Q. 19:  It is the name of a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange and Winston Churchill’s wife, what is it?

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Talking To The Moon’ in 2011?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Who or what is a ‘FLOTUS’?

A.  1:  FLOTUS is the First Lady Of The United States, or currently Mrs Obama.

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Q.  2:  Most of you will have heard of the company called ‘3M’ but what do the three ‘M’s stand for?

A.  2:  ‘3M’ is an abbreviation of ‘Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing’.

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Q.  3:  Everyone has heard about the Titanic and probably seen at least one of the movies depicting its fateful inaugural voyage, but to which shipping line did the Titanic belong?

A.  3:  The name is mentioned in the movies, it is the White Star Line.

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Q.  4:  What waterway did Britain buy a share of in 1875?

A.  4:  The Suez Canal.

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Q.  5:  In 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by which male member of his family?

            a) son            b) grandson            c) nephew           d) father

A.  5:  Answer c) his nephew.

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Q.  6:  What are the terms ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ abbreviations of? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  6:  ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ are abbreviations of ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Wireless Fidelity’.

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Q.  7:  In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a ‘death ray’ that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. What did he invent instead?

A.  7:  Robert Watson-Watt’s ‘death ray’ evolved into RADAR, otherwise known as ‘radio detection and ranging’.

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Q.  8:  General Leopoldo Galtieri was president of which South American country in 1981 and 1982?

A.  8:  Argentina.

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Q.  9:  When did the construction of the Berlin Wall begin and in what year was it demolished? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  9:  Construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961 (August 13th) and it was demolished in 1989.

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Q. 10:  What makes of car were featured in the following movies? (A point for each correct answer, and a bonus point if you get them all correct.)

            a)  Herbie, The Love Bug                                  b)  Back To The Future

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit                              d)  Bullitt

A. 10:  a) Herbie, The Love Bug featured a Volkswagen Beetle    

            b) Back To The Future featured a DeLorean DMC-12

            c)  Smokey And The Bandit featured a  Pontiac Trans Am

            d)  Bullitt featured a Ford Mustang GT fastback

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Q. 11:  In which year did South Africa have its first all-race elections?

            a) 1990            b) 1992            c) 1994            d) 1996

A. 11:  The correct answer is c) 1994.

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Q. 12:  One of the best television mini-series ever made was the western ‘Lonesome Dove’, but what were the names of the two lead characters and who were the actors who played them? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all four names correct.)

A. 12:  The two lead characters in the Lonesome Dove TV miniseries were ‘Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae’, played by Robert Duvall, and ‘Captain Woodrow F. Call’, played by Tommy Lee Jones.

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Q. 13:  Held by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, what is the current Men’s High Jump World Record?

            a)  2.37 m             b)  2.39 m            c)  2.41 m            d)  2.45 m            e)  2.47 m

A. 13:  The correct answer is d) 2.45 m (8 ft 1/2 in), achieved in Salamanca, Spain on July 27th 1993.

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Q. 14:  ‘Operation Barbarossa’ was the codename used by the Germans for their plans to invade which country in 1941?

A. 14:  It was the codename for their plans to invade Russia.

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Q. 15:  What is considered to be the hottest desert in North America?  (A bonus point if you know in which State it is located.)

A. 15:  The Mojave Desert, located primarily in southeastern California is considered to be the hottest desert in North America.

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Q. 16:  Who was ‘Mork’ and who was ‘Mindy’ in the hit TV sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ originally broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on ABC? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can name both correctly.)

A. 16:  The series starred Robin Williams as Mork and Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell.

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Q. 17:  From which country did Norway secure its independence in 1905?

A. 17:  Sweden.

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Q. 18:  Approximately how many rifles did American factories produce during World War II?

           a)  1 million        b)  3 million        c)  5 million        d)  7 million       e)  9 million

A. 18: The correct answer is d) approximately 7 million rifles were produced in American factories during WWII.

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Q. 19:  It is the name of a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange and Winston Churchill’s wife, what is it?

A. 19:  Clementine.

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Talking To The Moon’ in 2011?

A. 20:  Bruno Mars. Here he is……

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Thinking Of Buying A Smart Phone?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We all know that one of Steve Jobs favorite things was selling people well designed goods at vastly over inflated prices. People who were obsessed by having the latest gimmicks, bought his stuff in droves at whatever price Jobs put on them and in the process made Apple one of the richest companies in the world.

That’s what you call business, not quite ethical perhaps, but if you can get away with it and you can find people who are silly enough to pay far too much for your goods then why not?

What the creation of this ‘new’ market also did was spawn clones or look-a-likes from companies wanting to cash in on the windfall initially created by Apple.

Many of these are quite legitimate, like the Samsung Galaxy models which have become just as popular as the iPhones and are just as good, if not better, IMHO.

But what has also happened is that the same success has spawned a series of non-legitimate clones – from China – which look the same and provide many of the same functions, although the build quality as with much of the junk emanating from China is very poor.

smart phones
Apple Iphone, Samsung Galaxy S5, Star N9500

So, getting back to the question posed in the title of this post, if you are thinking of buying yourself a smart phone – and you are also thinking of saving a bit of money and buying one of those iPhone or Samsung Galaxy look-a-likes from China – think again.

This week a German firm called ‘G Data’ (which has a US subsidiary) released information that a popular brand of Chinese-made smart phone, the ‘Star N9500’, which is sold internationally by several major retailers, including Amazon.com, has been found to contain pre-installed monitoring software – that’s spy software to you and me.

G Data said it discovered the spy software hidden deep inside the proprietary software found on the Star N9500, which is a cheap smart phone based on the popular Samsung Galaxy S4.

malware

The hidden software contained within the phone’s operating system includes applications that could allow a third party to access and steal the telephone user’s personal information.

There are also secret applications that could permit a hacker to place calls from the telephone, or utilize the device’s microphone and camera without the consent of its owner.

And malware like this can not only allow hackers to access the telephone, but also any computers connected to it.

spy software

It was also discovered that the stolen data was being sent to a server based in, where else, China.

Adding to the intrigue, G Data’s team of experts and several journalists tried for “over a week” to track down the manufacturer of the Star N9500 by contacting several companies located in China’s southern province of Shenzhen, known as the center of the country’s telecommunications industry, but were unable to do so.

This isn’t the first time hidden spyware has been discovered in the operating software of telecommunications hardware made in China, and it probably won’t be the last.

But don’t get completely paranoid just because you read this post or other articles like it.

Just realize that the convenience that this latest technology provides, also provides criminals (which includes spying governments, you listening ennn esss ey?) easier access to your personal information.

And act accordingly.

Phone Spy Software

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