# 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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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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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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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 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.

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’.

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# Were YOU Part Of The Secret Facebook Experiment?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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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.

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!

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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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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

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• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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’.

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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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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)

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

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Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

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Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

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Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

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Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

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Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

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Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

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Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

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Casey Kasem

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

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Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

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Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

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James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

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Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

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Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

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Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

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Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

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Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

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Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

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Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

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Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

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Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

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Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

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Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

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Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

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From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

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Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

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Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

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Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

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Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

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From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

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Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

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Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

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138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

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James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

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A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

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2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

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Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

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Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

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Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

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Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

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John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

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Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

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Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

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From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

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Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

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Malcolm Glazer

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

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Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

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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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

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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.

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.

• 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.

• 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.
• 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.

• 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.

# 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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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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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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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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# Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – What It Means To Be Governed.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I had intended to indulge myself today with a bit of a Sunday Sermon about the increasing intrusiveness of government.

But then I found a quote from a Frenchman named Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and I decided to let him use my pulpit on this occasion.

He didn’t know about the “En ess a” snoopers who have been listening to our phone calls, reading our emails, and spying on the leaders of nations that are supposed to be friends and allies of the United States, because he was speaking about what it means to be governed more than two hundred years ago.

Nevertheless, his words ring eerily true.

Nothing, it seems, has changed.

In fact today’s technology has made things far worse.

This is what he had to say all those years ago….

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To be governed is to be

watched over,

inspected,

spied on,

directed,

legislated at,

regulated,

docketed,

indoctrinated,

preached at,

controlled,

assessed,

weighed,

censored,

by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue.

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To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction,

noted,

registered,

enrolled,

taxed,

stamped,

measured,

numbered,

assessed,

authorized,

forbidden,

reformed,

corrected,

(and) punished.

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It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be

placed under contribution,

trained,

ransomed,

exploited,

monopolized,

extorted,

squeezed,

mystified,

(and) robbed;

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Then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be

repressed,

fined,

despised,

harassed,

tracked,

abused,

clubbed,

disarmed,

choked,

imprisoned,

judged,

condemned,

shot,

deported,

sacrificed,

sold,

betrayed;

and, to crown all,

mocked,

ridiculed,

outraged,

(and) dishonoured.

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That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

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The man knew what he was talking about.

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, (1809 – 1865) was a French politician, the founder of Mutualist philosophy, an economist and a libertarian socialist. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist and is among its most influential theorists. He is considered by many to be the “father of anarchism”. He became a member of the French Parliament after the revolution of 1848, whereupon and thereafter he referred to himself as a federalist.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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In the town where I went to school the local photography shop was the place to go when you needed a photo for a passport or driving license or whatever. The guy who owned the store invariably came out with the following line when he got you positioned and was ready to take the shot…

“Would you like a good photograph

…..or one that looks like you?”

It’s easy to be cynical and complain about new technologies. Although on the whole I embrace new technology, I have at times been highly critical about some aspects (as with recent short series about the awful auto-correct cell phone feature – check out the “Bloopers” section if you want to see them).

But new technology has on most occasions made life easier or more convenient. And at times a lot less expensive.

Photography is one area where there can be no doubt that for most people the advances made with digital photography is a big plus.

Just as with musical recordings there are still purists out there who use reel-to-reel tape and prefer the crackly authenticity of vinyl LP records, with photography there are some who prefer to develop and print their own photographs.

For my part, however, the days of running down to the local pharmacy with my 35mm film and then repeating the process the next day to get the prints, many of which weren’t worth the expense and bother, are over. And thank goodness for that!

Nowadays you can snap 100 photos, pick out the best 20 or so, use your personal computer software (even free stuff like Google’s Picasa) to crop and improve them and then print off either professionally or on your own home printer only the ones you really like (the ‘keepers’ we call them).

Of course, there’s always a downside. And the BIG downside to all this is that there really is no excuse nowadays for taking a bad photo – and printing it!

Unfortunately that message hasn’t reached a lot of people yet, as the following examples illustrate.

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# Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twenty-Five 25

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s been a while since I did a number factoid.

My only excuse is the time it takes to compile these, which I haven’t managed to find for a few months, so if you missed them my apologies.

However, there is one today, so if you like this sort of thing I hope you enjoy.

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## The Number 25

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In religion

• In the Bible the number twenty-five is of cardinal importance in Ezekiel’s Temple Vision (Ezekiel 40-48).
• Twenty-five is also seen near God’s throne in heaven. God’s throne, plus the thrones of the twenty-four elders, makes for 25 total. (Revelation 4:1-4)
• Twenty-five pictures ‘grace upon grace.’ Redemption (20) plus grace (5) also equals 25. (John 1:14, 16-17)
• Levites were to begin serving at age 25 in assisting with sacrifices — which were a physical type of forgiveness and redemption for the people.
• Jehoshaphat, considered one of the best kings to rule the Kingdom of Judah, reigned for 25 years (872 – 848 B.C.).

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• In Islam, there are twenty-five prophets mentioned in the Quran.

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In mathematics

• 25 is a square number, being 5² = 5 × 5.
• 25 is the smallest square that is also a sum of two squares: 25 = 3² + 4². Hence it often appears in demonstrations of the Pythagorean theorem.

• 25 percent is equal to 1/4.
• Within base 10 one can readily test for divisibility by 25 by seeing if the last two digits of the number match 25, 50, 75 or 00.
• In base 30, 25 is a 1-automorphic number (displayed as the numeral ‘P’ or ‘R’ dependant on the chosen digit set), and in base 10 a 2-automorphic number.

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In science and technology

• Atomic Number of Manganese (Mn) = 25  (25 protons & 25 electrons)
• It is part of the name of LSD-25 molecule
• 25 is the usual TCP port for SMTP.
• 25 is the per-second frame rate of the PAL video standard
• And probably most significant of all, the internet or world wide web turned 25 this year!

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In space

• Open Cluster M25 (also known as Messier Object 25 or IC 4725) is an open cluster in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745 and included in Charles Messier’s list in 1764.
• NGC 25 is a lenticular galaxy situated in the Phoenix constellation
• The Sun rotates once in 25 days near the poles and about 30 days near its equator.
• 25 is the number of days approximately that takes the sun to do a complete rotation on itself.

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In politics

• William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. He was also the last President to have served during the Civil War.

• The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President, as opposed to an Acting President, if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 23, 1967.
• 25 is the minimum age of candidates for election to the United States House of Representatives.
• 25 is the (critical) number of Florida electoral votes for the 2000 U.S. presidential election
• 25 is the number of the French department Doubs

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In books, music, movies and TV

• “25” is a song by Veruca Salt from their 1994 album American Thighs.
• “25th Floor” is a song by Patti Smith Group from their 1978 album Easter.
• Twenty Five is the name of a 2006 George Michael compilation celebrating 25 years in the music business (1981–2006).
• “In the Year 2525 (Exordium et Terminus)” is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
• The 25th Hour is a MGM film (1967) with screen-play by Henri Verneuil based on C. Virgil Gheorghiu’s novel.
• Not forgetting our old friend, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”

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In sport

• Twenty-five is the value of the outer bullseye on a dart board.
• Twenty-five is the size of the full roster on a Major League Baseball team for most of the season, except for regular-season games on or after September 1, when teams may expand their roster to no more than 40 players.
• In baseball, the number 25 is typically reserved for the best slugger on the team. Examples include Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Mark Teixeira.

• The number of points needed to win a set in volleyball under rally scoring rules (except for the fifth set), so long as the losing team’s score is two less than the winning team’s score (i.e., if the winning team scores 25 points, the losing team can have no more than 23 points).
• In U.S. college football, schools that are members of NCAA Division I FBS are allowed to provide athletic scholarships to a maximum of 25 new football players (i.e., players who were not previously receiving scholarships) each season.
• In the NBA the number 25 jersey has been retired by the Boston Celtics for K. C. Jones; by the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mark Price; by the Los Angeles Lakers for Gail Goodrich; and by the Washington Wizards for Gus Johnson (the team was then known as the Baltimore Bullets).
• In the NHL the number 25 jersey has been retired by the  Winnipeg Jets for Thomas Steen.

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In automotive and transportation

• In the United States 25 is the designation of United States Interstate 25, a freeway that runs from New Mexico to Wyoming.
• In Britain M25 is the designation of the London Orbital motorway.

• And in Russia Municipal Okrug 25, until March, 2010, was the name of Knyazhevo Municipal Okrug in Kirovsky District of Saint Petersburg.

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• The Carlsson C25 Supercar
• Carlsson’s first supercar, the C25, made its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. With a limited run of 25 units, the C25 is powered by a twin-turbocharged V12 engine that generates 753 hp (562 kW) and 848 ft·lbf (1,150 N·m) of torque. Estimated acceleration from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and top speed is 219 mph. (355 km/h).

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• Donkervoort Prototype J25
• Under the code name J25, Donkervoort developed – right before its 25 year jubilee – a completely new car. This model went a step further in its styling than its predecessors the S8 and D8. The, for that period, very modern lines and a number of details, such the little doors and nose used, were derived from the D20. The J25 was also the first Donkervoort to be produced with 270 bhp.

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• Infiniti G25
• Infiniti debuted the G25 sedan at the 2010 Paris Auto Show. The G25 is powered by a 2.5 L V6 VQ25HR producing 218 hp (163 kW) and 187 lb·ft (254 N·m) of torque. The G25’s JDM relative, the Nissan Skyline 250 GT Sedan which features the same engine, had been on sale for several years already.

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• BMW R25
• The 1951 the 250cc R25 single was BMW’s first postwar single-cylinder motorcycle with a rear suspension.

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• Yamaha R25
• The Yamaha R25 is the first motorcycle by Yamaha in the 250cc segment. It is a 2-cylinder, liquid cooled motorcycle, using an advanced fuel injection system. It also has a tubular chassis with telescopic front suspension.

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• C25 Standard RV
• The C25 is a traditional motorhome with the self-contained features you expect, including most with a power generator in the USA.

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• David Brown DB25 Tractor
• David Brown developed the 25hp and 30hp engine, and so the DB25 and DB30 tractors came into existence, lasting from 1953-58. The petrol/TVO models were known as the David Brown 25C and 30C, while they called the diesel versions 25D and 30D. They are still collected and restored by enthusiasts today.

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J25 Steam Engine

The NER Class P1 (LNER Class J25) was a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotives of the North Eastern Railway in Great Britain. Class P1 was a development of Class P, having a boiler four inches longer, and a firebox six inches longer. To accommodate these, the wheelbase was increased by nine inches. The cylinder stroke was also increased by two inches.

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In militaria

• B-25 Mitchell
• Named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, the B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation that saw service over four decades. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.
• It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, including The Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Dutch Air Force, Soviet Air Force, China Air Force, Brazilian Air Force,  and by the Free French.

• However, the incident for which the B-25 is perhaps best known is one that happened in America. At 9:40 on Saturday, 28 July 1945, a USAAF B-25D crashed in thick fog into the north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors.
• Fourteen people died – eleven in the building and the three occupants of the aircraft including the pilot, Colonel William Smith.
• Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent in the elevator.
• Partly as a result of this incident, Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand an aircraft impact. However, this design was based on an impact by a Boeing 707 aircraft in common use in the late 1960s and early 1970s, not the larger Boeing 767, two of which, (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175), struck the towers on September 11, 2001, resulting in their eventual collapse.

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• Boeing VC-25
• The Boeing VC-25 is the United States Air Force designation for a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner. The A-model (VC-25A) is the only variant of the VC-25.
• The VC-25 is most famous for its role as Air Force One, the call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The two aircraft currently in U.S. service are highly modified versions of Boeing’s 747-200B, with tail numbers 28000 and 29000.
• Although the Air Force One designation technically applies to the aircraft only while the President is aboard, the term is commonly applied to the VC-25s more generally.
• They often operate in conjunction with Marine One helicopters that ferry the President to airports in circumstances where a vehicle motorcade would be inappropriate.

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• MIG-25
• The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service.
• It was designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau. The first prototype flew in 1964, and the aircraft entered into service in 1970.
• It has a top speed of Mach 2.83 (as high as Mach 3.2, but at risk of significant damage to the engines), and features a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles.
• When first seen in reconnaissance photography, the large wing planform suggested an enormous and highly maneuverable fighter. This was during a period of time when U.S. design theories were also evolving towards higher maneuverability due to combat performance in the Vietnam War.
• The capabilities of the MiG-25 were better understood in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. It turned out that the weight of the aircraft necessitated large wings.
• Production of the MiG-25 series ended in 1984 after completion of 1,190 aircraft. A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in Russia and several other nations.
• It is the second fastest and second highest-flying military aircraft ever fielded after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.

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• USS Terry (DD-25)
• Launched on 21 August 1909 and commissioned on 18 October 1910, the USS Terry (DD-25) was a modified Paulding-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I, and later in the United States Coast Guard, designated CG-19. She was the first ship named for Edward Terry.
• During WWI USS Terry patrolled along the Atlantic coast escorting merchantmen bound for Europe. In January 1918, Terry put to sea for operations with the destroyer force based at Queenstown, Ireland where she escorted convoys through the submarine-infested waters surrounding the British Isles.
• In December 1918, Terry returned to the United States, and after 11 months of extremely limited service, she was decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 13 November 1919.
• She remained there until she was transferred to the Coast Guard on 7 June 1924. Based in New York, she served as part of the Rum Patrol, until 18 October 1930, when she was returned to the Navy and restored on the Navy list in a decommissioned status, listed as a “vessel to be disposed of by sale or salvage.” On 2 May 1934, Terry was sold for scrapping. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 June 1934.

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• USS Salt Lake City (CL/CA-25)
• Launched on 23 January 1929 and commissioned on 11 December 1929, the USS Salt Lake City (CL/CA-25) was a Pensacola-class heavy cruiser sometimes known as “Swayback Maru” or “Old Swayback”. She had the (unofficial) distinction of having taken part in more engagements than any other ship in the fleet. She was also the first ship to be named after Salt Lake City, Utah.
• From August–October 1942, Salt Lake City was in the south Pacific to support the campaign to seize and hold Guadalcanal. She escorted Wasp during the landings of 7–8 August and subsequent operations.
• Surviving two atomic bomb blasts, she was decommissioned on 29 August and laid up to await ultimate disposal. She was sunk as a target hull on 25 May 1948, 130 mi (110 nmi; 210 km) off the coast of southern California
• Salt Lake City received 11 battle stars for her World War II service, and a Navy Unit Commendation for her actions during the Aleutian Campaign.

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• USS Potomac (AG-25)
• The USS Potomac (AG-25), formerly USCGC Electra, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht from 1936 until his death in 1945.
• On 3 August 1941, she played a decoy role while Roosevelt held a secret conference to develop the Atlantic Charter.
• She is now preserved in Oakland, California, as a National Historic Landmark.

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• USS Copeland (FFG-25)
• The USS Copeland (FFG-25), the first ship of that name in the US Navy, was the seventeenth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates. She was named for Rear Admiral Robert W. Copeland (1910–1973).
• Copeland was launched on 26 July 1980, and commissioned on 7 August 1982.
• Decommissioned and stricken on 18 September 1996, she was transferred to Egypt the same day as Mubarak (F911). After the 2011 revolution the ship was renamed to remove the former ruler’s name. The ship is currenty named Alexandria (F911) and remains in active service with the Egyptian Navy.

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• USS Bainbridge
• The nuclear powered USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25/CGN-25) was initially classed as a guided missile destroyer leader in the United States Navy, and later re-designated as a guided missile cruiser in 1975.
• In 1966–67, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972–73, USS Bainbridge was involved Vietnam War combat operations, as well as voyages to Australia, the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
• In 1982 she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award.
• After receiving her final nuclear refueling overhaul in 1983–85, Bainbridge operations included counter-drug smuggling patrols in the Caribbean, several deployments to northern European waters and four Mediterranean cruises including combat operations off Libya.
• During 1994 she was deployed to support UN resolutions that became part of Operation Sharp Guard, enforcing sanctions against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia.
• Finally deactivated in October 1995, Bainbridge was decommissioned in September 1996 and towed to Bremerton, Washington in mid-1997 where she was put in dry dock to begin “recycling,” the process by which nuclear-powered warships are scrapped.

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• USS Somerset (LPD-25)
• The USS Somerset (LPD-25), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is the fifth ship of the United States Navy of that name; in this case in honor of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
• The name honors the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 whose actions prevented terrorist hijackers from reaching their intended target, forcing the airplane to crash in Stonycreek Township in Somerset County, PA, on September 11, 2001. In the words of Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, “The courage and heroism of the people aboard the flight will never be forgotten and USS Somerset will leave a legacy that will never be forgotten by those wishing to do harm to this country.”
• Some 22 tons of steel from a crane that stood near Flight 93’s crash site have been used to construct Somerset’s stemhold.
• She was launched on 14 April 2012, and was christened three months later, on 28 July.

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• HMS Medway
• HMS Medway was the first purpose-built submarine depot ship constructed for the Royal Navy. She was built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness during the late 1920s. The ship served on the China Station before the Second World War and was transferred to Egypt in early 1940.
• Ordered to evacuate Alexandria in the face of the German advance after the Battle of Gazala in May 1942, Medway sailed for Lebanon at the end of June, escorted by a light cruiser and seven destroyers.
• Despite her strong escort, she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine on 30 June.

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• HMS Warwick (D-25)
• HMS Warwick (D-25) was an Admiralty ‘W’ class destroyer built in 1917.
• She saw service in both the First and Second World Wars, before being torpedoed and sunk in February 1944.

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• T-25 Tank
• The T25 Medium Tank was a prototype tank that was produced by the United States during World War II.
• It had an armament consisting of a 90 mm anti-tank gun, two .30 MGs, one mounted coaxially and one in the bow, and a .50 Browning M2 mount on top of the turret. The vehicle had a crew of five, a weight of 35,100 kg, used the same 474 hp, GAN V8 engine as the earlier T23, and had a top speed of 48 km/h.
• The T25 was developed with a variant which itself was virtually the same, the only difference was that the T25 was built with horizontal volute spring suspension, and the variant T25E1 had the torsion bar suspension later adopted for use in the M26. Only 40 T25 and T25E1 prototypes were built.

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• M25 “Three Shot Bazooka”
• Bazooka is the common name for a man-portable recoilless antitank rocket launcher weapon, widely fielded by the United States Army. Also referred to as the “Stovepipe”, the innovative bazooka was among the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat.
• Featuring a solid rocket motor for propulsion, it allowed for high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads to be delivered against armored vehicles, machine gun nests, and fortified bunkers at ranges beyond that of a standard thrown grenade or mine. The Bazooka also fired a HESH round, effective against buildings and tank armour.
• The universally-applied nickname arose from the M1 variant’s vague resemblance to the musical instrument called a “bazooka” invented and popularized by 1930s U.S. comedian Bob Burns.
• The M25 “Three Shot Bazooka” was an experimental tripod mounted rocket launcher with overhead magazine circa 1955.

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• Remington R-25
• The Remington R-25 is a hi-tech hunting rifle that uses the direct-impingement gas system, where gas is ported down a tube into the action and the bolt carrier is cycled via the gas blowing the carrier off the tube.
• The upper and lower receivers are made from aluminum forgings, and the handguard is turned aluminum, all impervious to the weather; climate changes will have no effect on accuracy or bedding.
• Additionally, the R-25 has a Mossy Oak Treestand coating, so if you aren’t careful in the woods, you may spend some time hunting for the rifle you set down while doing something else.
• The magazine holds four rounds, a prudent choice since the purpose of the R-25 is hunting.

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• Glock 25
• The Glock 25 in low-recoil .380 AUTO was introduced in 1995 in Germany. This small-dimension firearm was developed for markets where civilian personnel are not allowed to possess handguns featuring military calibers.
• In the USA, the G25 .380 AUTO is reserved for law enforcement agencies only.

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• Zastava P25
• The Zastava P25, manufactured by Zastava Arms of Serbia and nicknamed the Dark Lady, is a blowback-operated, single-action, semi-automatic pocket pistol chambered in .25 ACP.
• The pistol frame is made of aluminum alloy and the barrel is made of alloy steel, while the handgrips are usually made of walnut or polymer materials.
• The P25 is aimed extensively at the civilian market as a self-defense weapon due to its concealability, but is somewhat less favorable compared to the M57, M88 and CZ 99 pistols due to its small caliber.

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• A&K SR-25
• The A&K SR-25 Full Metal AEG is very accurate and a good  range for this type of weapon It is semi and full auto capable and has a 300rd High Capacity magazine and fast rate of fire
• This airsoft sniper rifle is built like a tank, with a full metal upper and lower receiver and a full metal rail system. The A&K SR-25 performs better than almost all other SR-25 AEGs on the market, and includes more accessories than any other SR-25 AEG.

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• K-25
• K-25 is a former uranium enrichment facility of the Manhattan Project which used the gaseous diffusion method. The plant is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the southwestern end of the Oak Ridge Reservation.

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In other stuff

• Illinois is the 25th largest state in America.
• Nashville, Tennessee is the 25th largest city in the United States by size of population.
• South Africa is the 25th largest Country in the world by area.
• France is the 25th richest country in the world, based on Gross Domestic Product (PPP) Per Capita 2009-2013.
• There are 25 cents in a quarter.

• A ‘Pony’ is British slang for £25.
• Christmas Day is December 25
• 25 is the number of years of marriage marked in a silver wedding anniversary.
• 25 is the name of the national card game of Ireland related to the classic Spanish game of ombre. It was played under the name maw by the British King James I and was later called spoil five from one of its principal objectives. From it derives the Canadian game of forty-fives.
• Pachisi, which is Hindi for 25, is the name of the national board game of India.

• “twentyfive”, is a design studio in the Czech Republic
• 25 is the total number of playable characters in Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
• “25 boy” (read as “two-five boy”), in Cantonese Chinese, is a slang term meaning “traitor” as used in the Chinese movie Over the Edge.
• 25 random things about me, an Internet meme utilizing Facebook’s Notes feature
• 25 is the usual minimum age for car rental in most countries.
• “Under 25″ provides a common cut-off point for designating youth.
• The year 25 BC was a leap year.
• 25 Burgers opened its first Location in Bound Brook NJI in the Spring of 2009, serving 25 Choices of Fresh Made to Order Gourmet Burgers in a Clean and Friendly Environment.

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