Forget The Cold War, The Summer Is Here

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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2nd cold war

The world breathed a great sigh of relief when the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, but somehow we’re in the middle of another cold war that nobody wants or needs.

How did that happen?

As most things do, it all started with a huge mistake. That mistake was the West, particularly America, treating Russia like a defeated country after 1991, instead of the formidable nation that it still was despite the breakup of the USSR. Mikhail Gorbachev has acknowledged that fact.

Unfortunately Americans have no clue about foreign affairs and never have had. That, plus a ton of arrogance, led us to the Ukraine which America thought it could more or less capture as an ally to be slotted into NATO. They wanted a fully armed NATO nuclear arsenal on the Russian’s doorstep.

The Americans quite rightly didn’t like it when the Russians tried to do it to them in Cuba way back in the early 1960s, so what idiot thought that the Russians would like it when they did it to them?

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Whoever formulated the plan, it was heavily influenced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor during President Carter’s administration. His theory was that the only way to prevent Russia becoming a great power again was to remove the Ukraine from its sphere of influence.

Thus America initiated an eastward expansion of NATO, using the EU to present the Ukraine with a choice between Russia and Europe. Some Ukrainians, like those in the Crimea favored Russia and others in other parts wanted closer ties with the EU.

Like many other countries, the prospect of joining the EU is attractive to a significant proportion of Ukrainians. But the way America tried to bring it about was just a step too far. The Ukrainian President, who had been duly elected, was removed in what would have been called a “coup d’etat” had it happened elsewhere, or had Russia been the culprit.

That is why a lot of the tensions between the West and Russia is centered on the internal troubles within the Ukraine.

If one looks into the history of the Ukraine another significant part of the puzzle presents itself.

ukraine-map

In much the same way as stupid English bureaucrats redrew borders in the Middle East without any consideration for the people who lived there, (for example, the Kurds), which resulted in wars and upheaval ever since, when the Soviet Union broke apart somewhere in the region of 25 million Russians were left outside the borders of Russia. A lot of them were in the Crimea in the Ukraine.

But the Ukraine had only been independent for three years in its history (1917-20), after the collapse of the tsarist armies.

The post-December 1991 Ukraine was thus a composite entity, its western regions had belonged to Poland between WWI and WWII; its eastern regions were Orthodox and Russian-speaking; and its Black Sea coast had been Ottoman.

The Crimea had never been Ukrainian until Nikita Khrushchev decreed it should be in 1954.

Thus, for anyone with any degree of understanding of foreign affairs, the troubles now being suffered by the various peoples in the Ukraine were both predictable and avoidable.

But the stupid bureaucrats in power were not able to predict it and thus the mess became inevitable.

Ukraine crisis

Sadly the situation has now deteriorated into what amounts to a civil war in the Ukraine. On one side there is the Ukrainian army plus “volunteer battalions”, supported by the US and its allies, and on the other the “separatist” militias who draw their support mainly from Russian-speakers in the east, and who are supported by Russia.

Outside of what is happening in the Ukraine itself, the US and EU implemented severe sanctions against Russia which have hurt, but not nearly as much as they were supposed to. In turn Russia announced counter-sanctions on food and looked to emerging markets, particularly China, to diversify its foreign trade and industrial cooperation.

And so the Cold War part two has begun and shows little sign of ending just yet.

In fact it looks like the Ukraine will remain in a mess until it gets its act together and decides whether it wants to remain on friendly economic terms with its huge neighbor Russia, or whether it will settle for becoming subservient to the whims of the US, via some kind of economic agreement with the EU.

It has a third option, though, perhaps its best option, and that is not taking sides, but rather remaining on friendly terms with both East and West.

However, they may never get the chance to choose option three. In plain language, I don’t think that the people who arrange assassinations and coup d’etats will let them do that.

Meantime, summer or not, the chill continues.

snow in summer sun

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Need To Spend A Penny? Find Out Where You Can’t In Today’s Fact File.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Spending a penny is becoming more and more difficult these days, especially if you are in the US military as you will see. But then they are trained to take the pressure.

More fabulous facts below.

Enjoy.

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US penny

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Stores on US military bases around the world

don’t accept pennies as currency because they are

“too heavy and are not cost-effective to ship”.

Stores on US military bases

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A person’s pupils will dilate if they are lying.

In fact, because this is an involuntary behavior

it is usually a good indication.

dilated pupil

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The world’s first female American self-made millionaire,

Madame C.J. Walker, made her fortune

in the early 20th century cosmetics industry.

A black man appeared to her in a dream

and told her the mixture which would help

her falling-out hair grow back in.

It worked, and she enjoyed a lengthy career

selling her cosmetics products.

Madame C.J. Walker

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Australia’s National Science Agency

claims to have basically invented wi-fi

and has even sued over it.

But sure we all know it was Al Gore,

or was that the internet he didn’t invent?

Australia's National Science Agency CSIRO_headquarters

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Still on the subject of the internet,

when Montenegro gained its independence

from Yugoslavia its top level internet

domain went from .yu to .me

Montenegro

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And yet more Internet goodies,

in 1993 there were only 623 websites.

Today, more than 100,000 domain names

are registered every single day

List-of-Internet-top-level-domains

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The Incas constructed buildings without mortar,

the huge stones they used fitting together

so perfectly and tightly that

nothing could get between them.

machu-picchu-masonry - Incas constructed buildings without mortar

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In China reincarnation is illegal.

Unless you have permission from the government.

(But how would they know if you came back

as an American or maybe a dog?)

China reincarnation is illegal

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The first submarine attack in history

took place in New York Harbor in 1776.

The colonists attempted to attach gunpowder

to the hull of the British ship HMS Eagle

using a submersible they called ‘The Turtle’.

Turtle_submarine_first submarine attack in history took place in New York Harbor in 1776

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NASA will send you a text message

whenever the International Space Station

passes over your location.

International Space Station

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Is there such a thing as a jinx?

Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln

was by his father’s side as he passed away.

He then went on to witness the assassination

of President James Garfield.

Twenty years later, in 1901,  President William McKinley

invited him to the Pan-American exposition in New York

and on that day President McKinley was also assassinated.

Robert decided to decline any presidential invitations

from that day forth.

Robert Todd Lincoln

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Maths Puns Are The First Sine Of Madness.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I wonder what the second sine is?

But let’s not go off at a tangent.

Let’s just enjoy another Pun Day instead.

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rofl

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The first rule of Innuendo Club is

you can only enter via the back door.

 please use back door

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I’ve been sitting here all day trying to

think of anagrams of the word ‘wired’

but I can only think of one.

Which is weird.

 

weird

 

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This morning my physiotherapist

tapped my knee with a plastic hammer

and made my leg jerk.

The nerve.

 knee tapped with a plastic hammer

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Are people who believe in

ghosts very ghoulable?

 ghost

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No matter how much you push the envelope,

it’ll still be stationery.

 push the envelope

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My friend was arrested for drunk driving

on a motorized shopping cart at WalMart.

Apparently he led the police on a chase

that reached 90 aisles per hour.

 motorized shopping cart

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“All you ever talk about is golf!”

My wife shouted.

“Golf, golf and more bloody golf!”

“Calm down love,” I said.

“Don’t let this driver wedge between us.”

 golf

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I went to buy pork chops and told

the butcher to make them lean.

He said, ‘Which way?’

 pork chops cartoon

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Many scientists agree the only way to solve

the planet’s worsening energy crisis

is for the whole world to convert to solar power.

That’s not going to happen overnight.

 solar power

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I was the first person to install trampolines

in musician’s tour buses and now

everybody is jumping on the bandwagon.

 trampoline

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I said to my blind date, “I actually take

a plane to work and back every single day.”

“Wow, you must be wealthy.” She said.

“Everything but,” I replied,

“I’m just a carpenter.”

 carpenter's plane

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I bumped into the guy

who invented the globe.

It’s a small world.

 globe

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Why did the poet kill himself

by walking into the road?

Because he thought there

was nothing left to right.

 walking into the road

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I never thought I’d buy into Feng Shui.

But oh how the tables have turned.

 feng-shui-color-chart

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I was in a music group

called ‘Illegal imports’.

We were a contraband.

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Silly Statistics!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Mark Twain is famous for having said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Well, just to prove you can have a bit of fun with statistics have a look at this set of nonsense that came to me in an email a while ago.

They are a complete reversal of the usual figures which continually highlight the increasing world population and the problems that will cause in the future.

These numbers look at the world if it was scaled down to just one hundred people.

It might make you think or it might not.

But it is a new way of looking at population statistics, so I hope you enjoy them anyway.

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 If The World

Was Scaled Down

To Only 100 People

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SEVEN

would have a college degree

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TWENTY-TWO

would own a computer

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TWENTY-SIX

would be children

 

THIRTEEN

of those children would live in poverty

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SEVENTY-FOUR

would be adults

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EIGHT

of those adults would be 65 years or older

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FIFTY FIFTY

There would be an equal

number of males and females

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There would be

SIXTY

Asians,

FIFTEEN

Africans,

FOURTEEN

people from the Americas,

and

ELEVEN

Europeans

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SEVENTEEN

wouldn’t be able to read or write

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TWENTY-THREE

wouldn’t have any shelter

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ONE

would be dying of starvation

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FIFTEEN

would be undernourished

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TWENTY-ONE

would be overweight

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THIRTEEN

wouldn’t have access to clean water

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FIFTY-ONE

would live in cities

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TWENTY-TWO

wouldn’t have electricity

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Of those that do have electricity,

most would only use it for light at night

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SIXTEEN

wouldn’t have toilets

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SEVENTY-FIVE

would be cell phone users

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THIRTY

would be active internet users

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FORTY-EIGHT

would live on less than $2 per day

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SEVEN

people would own an automobile

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THIRTY

would be employed in Agriculture

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FIVE

would own 32% of the wealth

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The poorest

THIRTY-THREE

people would only receive 3% of the income

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By the end of the year

ONE

person would die and

TWO

new people would be born.

 

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‘Bruce’? Did You Say ‘Bruce’? – Yes, Quiz Day Again.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, everyone it’s Quiz Day again at the fasab blog.

You will find out about ‘Bruce’ when you do the quiz, which I hope you will.

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

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz01

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Q.  1:  In radio what does ‘FM’ stand for?

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Q.  2:  What breed of dog is the tallest in the world?

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Q.  3:  And what is the smallest breed of dog?

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Q.  4:  The marine mammal, the ‘dugong’, is the supposed original of what?

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Q.  5:  Chance to build up a good score here with a possible 7 points available. In the business world what do these well known acronyms stand for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all 6 correct.)

           a) IBM          b) HP          c) CNN          d) DHL          e) HTC          f) CVS

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Q.  6:  What common chemical compound is represented by the formula ‘nh3’?

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Q.  7:  What is a ‘quadruped’?

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Q.  8:  What Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance, has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”?

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Q.  9:  Still on the subject of space, what recently landed on an asteroid after a ten year journey, bounced twice, ended up in the wrong place and then shut down after its batteries were depleted?

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Q. 10:  What is the name of the little naked bow-carrying statue that historically represents ‘intimate love’, and ‘desire’? (You can also earn a bonus point if you can name his ‘brother’.)

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Q. 11:  Of what is Bamboo the tallest variety in the world?

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Q. 12:  Which bacteria is responsible for typhoid and food poisoning?

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Q. 13:  What is the name given to someone who studies plants?

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Q. 14:  What is the mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur better known as?

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Q. 15:  What is ‘-459.7ºf’ also know as?

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Q. 16:  What common medical procedure and what type of drink are included in the standard phonetic alphabet?

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Q. 17:  How many cubic inches are there in a cubic foot?

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Q. 18:  How many years is it since the start of the ‘Great War’?

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Q. 19:  The invention of what in 1867, made Alfred Nobel famous?

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Q. 20:  His nickname was ‘Bruce’ and he was the star of what became the highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release in 1975, and the most successful motion picture of all time until Star Wars. What was the name of the movie?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  In radio what does ‘FM’ stand for?

A.  1:  Frequency Modulation.

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Q.  2:  What breed of dog is the tallest in the world?

A.  2:  No, not the Great Dane, the correct answer is Irish Wolfhound.

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Q.  3:  And what is the smallest breed of dog?

A.  3:  The Chihuahua. (In fact I think it is so small it doesn’t merit the extra ‘hua’.)

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Q.  4:  The marine mammal, the ‘dugong’, is the supposed original of what?

A.  4:  The Mermaid, the name ‘dugong’ means ‘lady of the sea’.

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Q.  5:  Chance to build up a good score here with a possible 7 points available. In the business world what do these well known acronyms stand for?  (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get all 6 correct.)

           a) IBM          b) HP          c) CNN          d) DHL          e) HTC          f) CVS

A.  5:  a) IBM International Business Machines   b ) HP Hewlett Packard.

           c) CNN Cable Network News                            d) DHL Daisey Hillblom Lynn

           e) HTC High Tech Computer                             f) CVS Consumer Value Stores

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Q.  6:  What common chemical compound is represented by the formula ‘nh3’?

A.  6:  Ammonia.

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Q.  7:  What is a ‘quadruped’?

A.  7:  Any four footed animal.

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Q.  8:  What Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance, has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”?

A.  8:  His name is Galileo, or more properly Galileo Galilei.

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Q.  9:  Still on the subject of space, what recently landed on an asteroid after a ten year journey, bounced twice, ended up in the wrong place and then shut down after its batteries were depleted?

A.  9:  The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta Mission Philae comet lander. (You earn a point if you said either ‘Rosetta’ or ‘Philae’ in your answer.)

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Q. 10:  What is the name of the little naked bow-carrying statue that historically represents ‘intimate love’, and ‘desire’? (You can also earn a bonus point if you can name his ‘brother’.)

A. 10:  His name is ‘Eros’ and his brother’s name is ‘Anteros’ who supposedly represents reflective or returned mature love.

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Q. 11:  Of what is Bamboo the tallest variety in the world?

A. 11:  Grass.

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Q. 12:  Which bacteria is responsible for typhoid and food poisoning?

A. 12:  Salmonella.

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Q. 13:  What is the name given to someone who studies plants?

A. 13:  A Botanist.

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Q. 14:  What is the mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur better known as?

A. 14:  Gunpowder.

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Q. 15:  What is ‘-459.7ºf’ also know as?

A. 15:  Absolute Zero. (So now if anyone asks you what the government has achieved you can answer ‘-459.7ºf’.)

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Q. 16:  What common medical procedure and what type of drink are included in the standard phonetic alphabet?

A. 16:  X-ray  =  X  and Whiskey = W.

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Q. 17:  How many cubic inches are there in a cubic foot?

A. 17:  1728.  (12 x 12 x 12)

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Q. 18:  How many years is it since the start of the ‘Great War’?

A. 18:  100 years this year. The Great War is also now known as World War I.

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Q. 19:  The invention of what in 1867, made Alfred Nobel famous?

A. 19:  Dynamite.

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Q. 20:  His nickname was ‘Bruce’ and he was the star of what became became the highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release in 1975, and the most successful motion picture of all time until Star Wars. What was the name of the movie?

A. 20:  The movie was ‘Jaws’, and ‘Bruce’ was the nickname give to the ‘shark’ they used in it.

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Anyone Feel A Chill?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

USA-and-USSR-Flag

I know the summer is coming to a close, but the chill I’m talking about in this post is the one coming from the Cold War.

You remember it?

The thing that we though we had got rid of in 1992 when Daddy Bush said, “A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one, sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America.”

That ended the Cold War and everyone was happy. America had won.

So why did it start again? And why did our politicians not have the gumption to avoid it?

Two pretty good questions, I think.

I suppose the answer is that it all started again because America desperately needs a bogey man – a global one, not some terrorist organization like Al Qaeda or ISIS.

It gives them a reason to keep the war machine going which is good for the economy.

It gives them the chance to tell the world that the choice they have to make is between America and Russia (in other words, between ‘good’ and ‘bad’).

good_v_bad

And indeed it used to be that way, when the Russian regime was hell bent on imposing their failed communist philosophy on the free world.

The problem is that America wasn’t content with winning. For some reason it felt it needed to win again.

This time it is trying to do so by bribing and coercing former Soviet satellite states into joining an economic and military (EU/NATO) alliance against Russia.

That has, understandably and predictably, provoked the Russians into once again flexing their muscles, the result of which we are starting to see in the Ukraine.

And so the Cold War begins again.

But it won’t be the same as the last one. Some things are very different.

This time America is bankrupt, not Russia, which on the contrary has massive wealth at its disposal. This time America is being perceived by the rest of the world as dithering and incompetent.

nsa-spying-scandal

And, thanks to the arrogance of organizations like the NSA, this time it is America, not Russia, who is perceived by the rest of the world as untrustworthy and untrusting of its allies. That’s quite the reversal of the old Cold War when it was the Russians who were notorious for listening in on conversations, bugging hotel rooms and the like.

In addition Russia is not currently bound to an outdated and failed communist dogma.

Despite all the bogus posturing of President Obama, who it seems can’t make up his mind to do anything, Russia will not allow NATO to set up shop in its backyard.

America has made a huge tactical mistake interfering so close to Russia. They are leaving Putin with little alternative but to do his own bit of posturing. The only difference is he means it.

When a bear is sleeping, poking it with a stick is never a wise move. Neither is trying to force it into a corner.

This time it may well bring consequences that none of us will like.

poking a sleeping bear

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These Quizzes Might Not Quite Be Legend, But Today One Of The Questions Is!

Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes indeed, today one of the questions is legend.

So get your thinking caps on and have a go.

And remember if you get stuck you can find all the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 05

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Q.  1: George Washington was the first President of the United States of America, who was the second?

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Q.  2:  Barbie’s friend Ken has a last name, what is it?

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Q.  3:  Most of us have played the board game “Monopoly”, but can you name the six tokens available to the players? (And yes, you get a point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  4:  Which capital city is also the name of a very hot spice used in the kitchen?

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Q.  5:  American writer Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel called “I Am Legend” was adapted for a movie of the same name in 2007 starring Will Smith. But this was the third adaptation of the novel, what were the first two and what were the names of the actors in the starring roles? (A point for the name of each movie and further points if you can name the starring actors.)

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Q.  6:  The world was declared safe from which virus in 1979, after it had killed more than one billion people?

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Q.  7:  What is the second highest mountain in the world?

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Q.  8:  Which famous World War II general, who just before retreating from the Philippines in 1942 said, “We shall return”?

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Q.  9:  Which Colombian city was notorious for being the center of the cocaine smuggling business, the drug cartel responsible even taking the name?

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Q. 10:  Which island did Turkish troops invade in 1974?

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Q. 11:  The 25th President of the USA had the highest peak in North America named after him, what was his name?

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Q. 12:  Who was the British actress who starred in the epic movie “Gone With The Wind” and what part did she play? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the national airline of Belgium that operated from 1923 until bankruptcy forced its cessation in 2001?

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Q. 14:  Much in the news currently, what is the capital city of Ukraine?

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Q. 15:  Josip Broz led the Communist partisans to victory against foreign occupation forces in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. By what name was he later better known?

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Q. 16:  What was the name of the seafaring people based in Scandinavia, who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands, from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries?

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Q. 17:  What is the name of the Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces?

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Q. 18:  Which Russian word meaning “Speaking Aloud” was a policy of Mikhail Gorbachev in order to liberalize various aspects of Soviet life?

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Q. 19:  Who was the South African surgeon who carried out the first heart transplant operation?

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Q. 20:  Which famous singer songwriter and guitarist from the 1950s had his most famous hit, and only number one recording, in the 1970s with his ding-a-ling?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: George Washington was the first President of the United States of America, who was the second?

A.  1:  John Adams.

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Q.  2:  Barbie’s friend Ken has a last name, what is it?

A.  2:  It’s Carson, the little dude’s full name is Ken Carson!

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Q.  3:  Most of us have played the board game “Monopoly”, but can you name the six tokens available to the players? (And yes, you get a point for each correct answer.)

A.  3:  The Monopoly tokens are a Battleship, a Boot, a Dog, a Flat Iron, a Racing Car, and a Top Hat.

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Q.  4:  Which capital city is also the name of a very hot spice used in the kitchen?

A.  4:  Cayenne (French Guyana).

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Q.  5:  American writer Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel called “I Am Legend” was adapted for a movie of the same name in 2007 starring Will Smith. But this was the third adaptation of the novel, what were the first two and what were the names of the actors in the starring roles? (A point for the name of each movie and further points if you can name the starring actors.)

A.  5:  The first big screen adaptation of the novel was “The Last Man on Earth” (1964) which starred Vincent Price, and the second adaptation was “The Omega Man” (1971) starring Charlton Heston.

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Q.  6:  The world was declared safe from which virus in 1979, after it had killed more than one billion people?

A.  6:  Smallpox.

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Q.  7:  What is the second highest mountain in the world?

A.  7:  Located Pakistan, “K2” (also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen) is the second-highest mountain in the world with a peak elevation of 6,811 meters (28,251 feet).

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Q.  8:  Which famous World War II general, who just before retreating from the Philippines in 1942 said, “We shall return”?

A.  8:  General Douglas MacArthur.

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Q.  9:  Which Colombian city was notorious for being the center of the cocaine smuggling business, the drug cartel responsible even taking the name?

A.  9:  Medellin, now thankfully a much more peaceful place.

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Q. 10:  Which island did Turkish troops invade in 1974?

A. 10:  Cyprus.

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Q. 11:  The 25th President of the USA had the highest peak in North America named after him, what was his name?

A. 11:  William McKinley.

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Q. 12:  Who was the British actress who starred in the epic movie “Gone With The Wind” and what part did she play? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara.

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the national airline of Belgium that operated from 1923 until bankruptcy forced its cessation in 2001?

A. 13:  Best known internationally by the acronym Sabena (SABENA), which is the answer I’m looking for, it was The Societé Anonyme Belge d’Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne, or Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services.

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Q. 14:  Much in the news currently, what is the capital city of Ukraine?

A. 14:  Kiev.

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Q. 15:  Josip Broz led the Communist partisans to victory against foreign occupation forces in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. By what name was he later better known?

A. 15:  President Tito.

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Q. 16:  What was the name of the seafaring people based in Scandinavia, who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands, from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries?

A. 16:  They were called Vikings or Norsemen, take a point if you gave either answer.

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Q. 17:  What is the name of the Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces?

A. 17:  Sashimi. (Not Sushi, which includes cooked vinegared rice.)

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Q. 18:  Which Russian word meaning “Speaking Aloud” was a policy of Mikhail Gorbachev in order to liberalize various aspects of Soviet life?

A. 18:  Glasnost.

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Q. 19:  Who was the South African surgeon who carried out the first heart transplant operation.

A. 19:  Dr Christian Barnard.

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Q. 20:  Which famous singer songwriter and guitarist from the 1950s had his most famous hit, and only number one recording, in the 1970s with his ding-a-ling?

A. 20:  Chuck Berry, have a listen….

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