As Syndromes Go, I Have A Good One Today. Enjoy The Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There seems to be syndromes for just about anything these days/

Maybe that would make a good post on its own.

For today however you will have to be content with just one, mixed in with a lot of other facts too.

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syndrome

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Apparently in San Francisco

it is illegal to dry your car

with used underwear.

dry your car

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Since the Space Shuttle electronics were

so outdated and nobody made them anymore,

NASA actually resorted to buying spare parts

on websites like eBay

Space Shuttle electronics

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Only about 226,000 underwater marine species

have been identified and scientists estimate that

there could be up to 25 million marine species

living in the oceans.

This means less than 1% of all underwater

marine life has been discovered.

underwater marine species

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Machu Picchu, the Incan citadel set high

in the Andes Mountains in Peru,

was so high in the mountains that it

wasn’t discovered until 1911.

Machu Picchu

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If it were a country,

McDonald’s would be the 90th richest

country on Earth.

McDonald's country

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In the 80’s Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu

had the game of scrabble banned and described it

as “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil”.

scrabble help

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Discovered in 1852 and named after

the Greek mythological figure Psyche,

16 Psyche is a one of the largest metal asteroids

in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Unlike most of other metal asteroids,

Psyche shows no sign of the presence of water

and is believed to have a purely iron-nickel composition.

16 Psyche

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After falling asleep in class and being awakened

by a teacher smacking her palm down on his desk,

a 16 year old’s parents decided to sue the

Connecticut Board of Education

for the hearing loss he suffered.

Connecticut Board of Education

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The thing that is always used

to measure your foot at the shoe store

is called a Brannock Device.

Brannock Device

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Heart attack guns exist.

According to disclosures by the CIA in 1975,

there is such a thing as a ‘heart attack gun’.

It fires a bullet made of ice, dipped in shellfish toxin

that immediately induces a heart attack.

heart attack gun

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The first solo person to circumnavigate the globe

using only human power

was Erden Eruc of Turkey who

walked and rowed right around the world!

Erden Eruc

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Paris Syndrome is a real psychological syndrome

that affects mostly Japanese people when they realize

that Paris isn’t as great a place as they thought it would be.

The Japanese embassy in France even has a

special hotline that tourists can call.

Symptoms include nausea and headaches.

 

Paris Syndrome

 

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The Quadling Country Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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You will find out what the title means later in the quiz.

For now get your thinking caps on and have a go at the following twenty questions in this week’s fasab quiz.

As always, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz01

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Q.  1:  The terms ‘curd’ and ‘whey’ are associated with making what?

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Q.  2:  Which species of animal contains the most poisonous animal in the world?

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Q.  3:  Which two metals are used to make pewter?

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Q.  4:  What two fruits grow on palms? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you are able to name both correctly.)

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Q.  5:  What would you use ‘Archimedes’ Screw’ for?

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Q.  6:  Amino acids are essential for the formation of what in the body?

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Q.  7:  What can dogs do that wolves cannot?

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Q.  8:  A ‘canton’, ‘halyard’ and ‘field’ make up what item?

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Q.  9:  What are the two largest fruit crops on earth? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you are able to name both correctly.)

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Q. 10:  Which chemical has the symbol ‘CL’?

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Q. 11:  Who wrote the famous book ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’?

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Q. 12:  Ireland is divided into two political entities, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, how many counties comprise each part? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  In what sport can you score a ‘waza-ari’, ‘ippon’ and ‘yuko’?

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Q. 14:  The Knesset is the legislature of which country?

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Q. 15:  What landlocked sea is 422m (1385ft) below sea level?

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Q. 16:  Which monarch observed “L’etat, c’est moi”? (The language should give you a clue.)

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Q. 17:  Where is the Yas Marina Motor Racing Circuit?

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Q. 18:  The name was mentioned in the news a lot towards the end of 2014, which war was fought by Britain, France, Turkey and Piedmont against Russia between 1853 and 1856?

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Q. 19:  In what land are ‘Quadling Country’, ‘Winkie Country’ and ‘Gillkin Country’ to be found?

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Q. 20:  Which singer was ‘sailing’ in 1975?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  The terms ‘curd’ and ‘whey’ are associated with making what?

A.  1:  Cheese.

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Q.  2:  Which species of animal contains the most poisonous animal in the world?

A.  2:  Frogs.

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Q.  3:  Which two metals are used to make pewter?

A.  3:  Tin and Lead.

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Q.  4:  What two fruits grow on palms? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you are able to name both correctly.)

A.  4:  Coconuts and dates.

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Q.  5:  What would you use ‘Archimedes’ Screw’ for?

A.  5:  Lifting water to a higher level

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Q.  6:  Amino acids are essential for the formation of what in the body?

A.  6:  Proteins.

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Q.  7:  What can dogs do that wolves cannot?

A.  7:  Bark.

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Q.  8:  A ‘canton’, ‘halyard’ and ‘field’ make up what item?

A.  8:  A flag.

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Q.  9:  What are the two largest fruit crops on earth? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you are able to name both correctly.)

A.  9:  Grapes, followed by bananas.

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Q. 10:  Which chemical has the symbol ‘CL’?

A. 10:  Chlorine.

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Q. 11:  Who wrote the famous book ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’?

A. 11:  Edward Gibbon. (You may have the point if you gave the surname only.)

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Q. 12:  Ireland is divided into two political entities, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, how many counties comprise each part? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  The Republic of Ireland has 26 counties and Northern Ireland 6.

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Q. 13:  In what sport can you score a ‘waza-ari’, ‘ippon’ and ‘yuko’?

A. 13:  Judo.

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Q. 14:  The Knesset is the legislature of which country?

A. 14:  Israel.

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Q. 15:  What landlocked sea is 422m (1385ft) below sea level?

A. 15:  The Dead Sea.

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Q. 16:  Which monarch observed “L’etat, c’est moi”? (The language should give you a clue.)

A. 16:  Louis XIV.

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Q. 17:  Where is the Yas Marina Motor Racing Circuit?

A. 17:  Abu Dabi.

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Q. 18:  The name was mentioned in the news a lot towards the end of 2014, which war was fought by Britain, France, Turkey and Piedmont against Russia between 1853 and 1856?

A. 18:  The Crimean War.

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Q. 19:  In what land are ‘Quadling Country’, ‘Winkie Country’ and ‘Gillkin Country’ to be found?

A. 19:  The Land of Oz, from The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.

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Q. 20:  Which singer was ‘sailing’ in 1975?

A. 20:  Rod Stewart.

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Cottontails, Cats And Caribbean Islands Feature In Today’s Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another fasab quiz.

Today’s selection features those things mentioned in the title plus a lot more to test your general knowledge.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 06

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Q.  1:  What type of animal is a ‘cottontail’?

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Q.  2:  What is a group of cats called?

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Q.  3:  What do your platelets do?

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Q.  4:  Which is the only vertebrate capable of sustained flight?

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Q.  5:  Dulles International Airport serves which American city?

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Q.  6:  What is the chemical symbol for Potassium?

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Q.  7:  What is ‘Vermicide’ used to kill?

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Q.  8:  On which Caribbean island can you find the Blue Mountains?

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Q.  9:  What are the three forms of heat transference? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can correctly name all three.)

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Q. 10:  Steel is an alloy of which 2 substances?

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Q. 11:  And a related question, what is added to steel to make it ‘stainless’?

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Q. 12:  What term is given to the activity of researching one’s family tree?

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Q. 13:  In tenpin bowling, what is a ‘Turkey’?

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Q. 14:  What flavor is a traditional satay sauce?

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Q. 15:  Which famous motor car rally was first held in January 1911 and won by Henri Rougier?

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Q. 16:  What name is given to the art of pruning hedges and trees into shapes?

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Q. 17:  What was the name for the multi-stranded knotted rope used for flogging in days gone by?

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Q. 18:  Who holds the record for the highest scoring average per game in NBA basketball?

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Q. 19:  Which future President was defeated by John F Kennedy in the 1960 election?

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Q. 20:  Which singer sang the song ‘Hanky Panky’ form the ‘I’m Breathless’ album?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What type of animal is a ‘cottontail’?

A.  1:  It’s a Rabbit.

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Q.  2:  What is a group of cats called?

A.  2:  They are called a ‘Clowder’.

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Q.  3:  What do your platelets do?

A.  3:  They assist in blood clotting.

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Q.  4:  Which is the only vertebrate capable of sustained flight?

A.  4:  The Bat.

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Q.  5:  Dulles International Airport serves which American city?

A.  5:  Washington.

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Q.  6:  What is the chemical symbol for Potassium?

A.  6:  The chemical symbol for Potassium is ‘K’.

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Q.  7:  What is ‘Vermicide’ used to kill?

A.  7:  Vy ‘verms’ of course… sorry, the correct answer is ‘Worms’.

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Q.  8:  On which Caribbean island can you find the Blue Mountains?

A.  8:  Jamaica.

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Q.  9:  What are the three forms of heat transference? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you can correctly name all three.)

A.  9:  There are three forms of heat transference a) conduction, b) convection, and c) radiation.

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Q. 10:  Steel is an alloy of which 2 substances?

A. 10:  Carbon and Iron.

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Q. 11:  And a related question, what is added to steel to make it ‘stainless’?

A. 11:  Chrome.

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Q. 12:  What term is given to the activity of researching one’s family tree?

A. 12:  Genealogy.

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Q. 13:  In tenpin bowling, what is a ‘Turkey’?

A. 13:  Three strikes.

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Q. 14:  What flavor is a traditional satay sauce?

A. 14:  Peanut.

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Q. 15:  Which famous motor car rally was first held in January 1911 and won by Henri Rougier?

A. 15:  The Monte Carlo rally.

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Q. 16:  What name is given to the art of pruning hedges and trees into shapes?

A. 16:  It is called ‘Tiopary’.

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Q. 17:  What was the name for the multi-stranded knotted rope used for flogging in days gone by?

A. 17:  It was the famous, or infamous, ‘Cat o’ Nine Tails’.

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Q. 18:  Who holds the record for the highest scoring average per game in NBA basketball?

A. 18:  Michael Jordan.

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Q. 19:  Which future President was defeated by John F Kennedy in the 1960 election?

A. 19:  Richard Nixon.

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Q. 20:  Which singer sang the song ‘Hanky Panky’ form the ‘I’m Breathless’ album?

A. 20:  Madonna.

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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

.

Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

.

Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

.

Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

.

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

.

Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

.

Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

.

Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

.

Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

.

James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

.

Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

.

Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

.

Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

.

Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

.

Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

.

Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

.

Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

.

Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

.

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

.

Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

.

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

.

Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

.

Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

.

Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

.

James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

.

A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

.

Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

.

Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

.

Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

.

Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

.

Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

.

Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

.

John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

.

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

.

Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

.

Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

.

Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

.

From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

.

Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

.

Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

.

Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

.

Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

.

Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

.

Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

.

Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

.

Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

.

Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

.

Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

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

.

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

 

Can You Handle The Quiz?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to another week.

Today’s quiz has a few questions that I think you will find quite challenging, plus one or two that you should breeze through with ease.

But the only way to find out is to have a go.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1:  What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?

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Q.  2:  Who directed both JFK and Nixon?

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Q.  3:  Before being harvested and sold, an individual cranberry must bounce at least how many inches high to make sure they aren’t too ripe?

           a)  2 inches            b)  3 inches            c)  4 inches            d)  5 inches

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Q.  4:  What World War II British naval intelligence officer wrote the children’s story ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’?

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Q.  5:  Who is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President?

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Q.  6:  The ‘H-3’ and the ‘H-4’, built in 1757 and 1759 were mechanical wonders.  Who constructed them both and what were they used for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q.  7:  What does the term ‘Cornucopia’ mean?

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Q.  8:  To nearest 1000, in the year 1800 how many wild turkeys were there in Turkey?

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Q.  9:  The two oldest universities in Europe are both found in which country?  

           a) France              b) England              c) Italy              d) Greece

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Q. 10:  Who was the tallest President of the United States and who was the shortest? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q. 11:  In which 1949 movie did Sir Alec Guinness famously play the role of eight different members of the D’Ascoyne family?

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Q. 12:  Who won this year’s (2014) Formula One World Driver’s Championship and what was his nationality? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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Q. 13:  ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill’, ‘Bergrisar’, ‘Daityas’, ‘Patagons’ and ‘Nephilims’ are all examples of what?

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Q. 14:  What does ‘IMAX’, as in the large screen IMAX Cinemas stand for?

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Q. 15:  Which boxer’s first professional fight was against Tunney Hunsaker, Police Chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, on October 29, 1960?

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Q. 16:  Which Portuguese-born navigator was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean?

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Q. 17:  Who was the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers?

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Q. 18:  Which martial art takes its name from the Japanese for ‘way of the sword’?

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Q. 19:  What color is ‘Absynth’?

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Q. 20:  Which popular singer and movie star had a ‘secret love’ in 1954 and in which famous movie did it feature? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?

A.  1:  Stairs!

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Q.  2:  Who directed both JFK and Nixon?

A.  2:  Oliver Stone.

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Q.  3:  Before being harvested and sold, an individual cranberry must bounce at least how many inches high to make sure they aren’t too ripe?

           a)  2 inches            b)  3 inches            c)  4 inches            d)  5 inches

A.  3:  The correct answer is c)  4 inches.

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Q.  4:  What World War II British naval intelligence officer wrote the children’s story ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’?

A.  4:  Ian Fleming, much better known as author of the James Bond novels.

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Q.  5:  Who is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President?

A.  5:  Gerald R Ford, who became the 40th Vice-President when Spiro Agnew resigned the position and who subsequently became the 38th President of the USA, when he took over the job after Richard M Nixon resigned.

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Q.  6:  The ‘H-3’ and the ‘H-4’, built in 1757 and 1759 were mechanical wonders.  Who constructed them both and what were they used for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A.  6:  John Harrison.   H-3 and H-4 were the first successful maritime chronometers.

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Q.  7:  What does the term ‘Cornucopia’ mean?

A.  7:  Literally ‘Horn of Plenty’, used as a symbol of abundance.

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Q.  8:  To nearest 1000, in the year 1800 how many wild turkeys were there in Turkey?

A.  8:  The correct answer is ‘None’, the wild turkey it is a native North American bird.

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Q.  9:  The two oldest universities in Europe are both found in which country?  

           a) France              b) England              c) Italy              d) Greece

A.  9:  Many people think it is England with the famous Oxford and Cambridge Universities, but the correct answer is  c) Italy.  Parma (1065 AD) and Bologna (1119 AD)

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Q. 10:  Who was the tallest President of the United States and who was the shortest? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 10:  Abraham Lincoln was the tallest at 6′ 4″, and James Madison was the shortest at 5′ 4″.

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Q. 11:  In which 1949 movie did Sir Alec Guinness famously play the role of eight different members of the D’Ascoyne family?

A. 11:  Kind Hearts and Coronets.

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Q. 12:  Who won this year’s (2014) Formula One World Driver’s Championship and what was his nationality? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 12:  Lewis Hamilton who is British.

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Q. 13:  ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill’, ‘Bergrisar’, ‘Daityas’, ‘Patagons’ and ‘Nephilims’ are all examples of what?

A. 13:  Giants.

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Q. 14:  What does ‘IMAX’, as in the large screen IMAX Cinemas stand for?

A. 14:  IMAX stands for ‘Image Maximum’.

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Q. 15:  Which boxer’s first professional fight was against Tunney Hunsaker, Police Chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, on October 29, 1960?

A. 15:  Cassius Clay. (Sorry, but you do not score a point if you only said ‘Muhammad Ali’, he did not change his name until 15 years later after converting to Sunni Islam in 1975.)

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Q. 16:  Which Portuguese-born navigator was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean?

A. 16:  Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521).

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Q. 17:  Who was the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers?

A. 17:  Lady Gaga.

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Q. 18:  Which martial art takes its name from the Japanese for ‘way of the sword’?

A. 18:  Kendo.

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Q. 19:  What color is ‘Absynth’?

A. 19:  Green.

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Q. 20:  Which popular singer and movie star had a ‘secret love’ in 1954 and in which famous movie did it feature? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get them both correct.)

A. 20:  Doris Day and the movie was Calamity Jane.

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Let’s Talk Turkey – And Other Thanksgiving Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, we are on a Thanksgiving theme this week.

So here are a few relevant facts.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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The word ‘turkey’ is said to come

from the Hebrew word ‘Tukki’

which means ‘Big Bird’ or ‘Pheasant Bird’

or ‘Indian chicken’.

turkey derived from Hebrew word ‘Tukki’

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The busiest travel day of the year

is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

busiest travel day of the year

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Turkeys can drown

if they look up in the rain.

Turkeys can drown if they look up in the rain

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Historians have proven that

the pilgrims didn’t really wear those

funny hats and buckles on their shoes.

They dressed really colorfully.

No one knows how the pilgrim image began.

pilgrims clothes

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The first meal eaten on the moon

by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren

was a roasted turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

first meal eaten on the moon

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The first balloon in the

1927 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

was Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

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Turkeys are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats.

However, most turkeys are found

in hardwood forests with grassy areas.

turkey habitat

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On June 20, 1998, in Bellevue, Ohio,

Dale Gasteier built a 52’ free-standing

illuminating star to celebrate

the American Thanksgiving holiday?

map_of_bellevue_oh

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It was Sarah Joesph Hale, a magazine editor

who persuaded President Lincoln

to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

She had previously persuaded Zachary Taylor,

Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan.

Sarah Joesph Hale

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Almost 280 million turkeys

are consumed during Thanksgiving

celebrations in the United States.

turkey meal

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Turkeys have heart attacks.

When the Air Force was conducting test runs

and breaking the sound barrier,

fields of turkeys would drop dead.

TurkeyCartoon

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The real Plymouth rock is cracked,

it happened during the revolutionary war.

Plymouth_Rock,_Plymouth,_MA

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Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation

presents a live turkey and two dressed turkeys

to the President on Thanksgiving.

The President pardons the live turkey

and it is sent to a historical farm

where it lives the rest of its days.

president-obama-pardons-turkey

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Thanksgiving was not an official holiday

until Lincoln proclaimed it.

Before that, presidents would declare it

a holiday or not, depending on how they felt.

The official Thanksgiving Proclamation

was signed on October 3, 1863

by Abraham Lincoln.

According to this proclamation,

the last Thursday of November was

to be celebrated as Thanksgiving.

President Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving

one week earlier to stabilize the economy

during the Great Depression in 1939.

In 1941, the Congress passed an

official proclamation and made

Thanksgiving a national holiday

which would be observed on the

4th Thursday of November every year.

joint-res-m

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Did You Know? – Prepare To Increase Your Knowledge Base.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another fact day and a list of very random things that certainly will increase your knowledge base, if you can remember them.

The only way to find out is to read on.

Enjoy.

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did you know1

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The first explorers who discovered the West Indies

thought it was Southeast Asia.

map West Indies

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At Disney there used to be paint brushes

hidden on Tom Sawyer island

and if you found one,

you could present it to the barge driver and

you and your party would get golden Fast Passes.

paint brushes hidden on Tom Sawyer island

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If the average male never shaved,

his beard would be 13 feet long when he died.

long beard

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Sorry to bust a much believed myth,

but sugar does not actually make you hyper,

the whole idea of a “sugar rush” is not real,

in fact, according to recent science from Yale University

it’s all just a placebo effect.

sugar rush myth

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Cracking your knuckles won’t lead to arthritis

cracking-knuckles

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The Chernobyl disaster region has become

one of the world’s most unique wildlife sanctuaries

with thriving populations of wolves, deer,

beavers, eagles, and other animals.

Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary wolf

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Pamphlet comes from the title of a Latin love poem called Pamphilus

that was supposedly passed from person to person

Pamphilus

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A cubic inch of bone is about

four times as strong as concrete.

bone smashing concrete

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The 8 lane, 26 mile long Qingdao Bridge in China

cost 14.8 billion yuan to build

but gets almost no traffic.

The-Jiaozhou-Bay-Bridge-1

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Napoleon was actually taller than the average Frenchman

napoleon height

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Not only is Reno, Nevada, west of Los Angeles,

but so are six other state capitals.

map north america

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William McKinley almost always wore

a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm.

While greeting a line of people in 1901, 

he gave the flower to a little girl.

Seconds later, he was shot by an assassin,

and died eight days later.

William McKinley

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Buck, the slang term for an American dollar

comes from the fact that on the American frontier

deerskins were used as units of commerce.

American dollar

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The coldest inhabited place on earth is Oymyakon, Russia,

where sometimes the temperature drops

below freezing in mid September and stays there until May.

The average temperature in January is -46 °C.

The village has a population of less than 500 people.

oymyakon-coldest-village-on-earth-amos-chapple-04

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Hacky-sack was invented in Turkey.

Hacky-sack

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