Questions for May 2013

This is Dr Bob’s quiz for May 2013 – please give your answers to this quiz by posting a comment. But as I already know the answers, I prefer to see witty or sarcastic comments! I have to moderate the postings to avoid spam (and abuse), but I will try to do that quickly. The real answers will appear in early June. Go for it!

  1. Samuel Beckett and the wrestler Andre the Giant were friends. Yes really! What did they talk about most?
  2. What was the British weather like on Saturday, 24 August 1867?
  3. King Mithridates VI (120-63 BC) had the brilliant idea of ingesting small doses of every known poison, to build up immunity. Why did he come to regret doing this?
  4. How do you catch a Kakapo (NZ bird)?
  5. Amazon can delete books from all Kindles, without asking permission from the people who paid for the books and thought they were the owners. In 2009 whose books were so removed?
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9 comments

  1. DR BOB’S REAL ANSWERS

    1. Cricket

    2. The nutter who killed poor little Fanny Adams wrote in his diary “24 August 1869. Killed a young girl. It was fine and hot.” – although he did not expostulate on whether he was talking about the weather or the killing. But here’s a hint for would-be murderers: Do not write down your crimes in your diary!! It will get you into all sorts of trouble.

    3. When the Romans defeated Mithridates’ army and he tried to poison himself, he was unable to do so. Had to get a passing soldier with a sword to help out.

    4. The kakapo defends itself by freezing motionless, so basically you walk up to it, bend over it and pick it up.

    5. The works of George Orwell were deleted. Oh, the irony. But, people got their money back.

  2. Q1.The sleeper hold. Sam often asked Andre for a demonstration while they were waiting together for a sign from God.
    Q2. Warm and bright. The sort of day for John Wisden to note in his diary, for future publication in his recently established almanac, that he had just witnessed the future of cricket and its name was WG Grace.
    Q3. As he had run out of methods to self-euthanase, he had to outsource the task. It’s never the same when performed by a contractor who is only in it for the money and overstates his ability to complete the task successfully.
    Q4. With a kakaponet. Unfortunately the intellectual property rights to this ingenious device are so tightly held that mere mention of its existence is enough for its inventor to commence legal action. Even now his lawyers are busy …
    Q5. Lord Baden Powell. A large number of clergymen were posting such negative reviews of his most famous publication, Scouting for Boys, that it was deemed necessary to remove it from general circulation. Due to an administrative error, all his publications were excised.

  3. Q1. Samuel Beckett and the wrestler Andre the Giant were friends. Yes really! What did they talk about most?
    A1. TV shows & movies mainly – “The Wrestless Years”, “The Godot, the Bad & the Ugly”, “Fraud of the Ring”, that sort of stuff.
    Q2. What was the British weather like on Saturday, 24 August 1867?
    A2. Same as for the other 364 days of 1867 or any other year for that matter, bloody awful.
    Q3. King Mithridates VI (120-63 BC) had the brilliant idea of ingesting small doses of every known poison, to build up immunity. Why did he come to regret doing this?
    A3. Because that twit Hahnemann got all the credit (if that’s the right word for homeopathy) nearly two millennia later, while poor King Mith got none.
    Q4. How do you catch a Kakapo (NZ bird)?
    A4. Stand behind a tree and make a noise like a rimu fruit.
    Q5. Amazon can delete books from all Kindles, without asking permission from the people who paid for the books and thought they were the owners. In 2009 whose books were so removed?
    A5. All C.S. Forester books vanished – Amazon thought a character called Hornblower must be an unacceptable paedophile.

  4. 1. The British class system does not permit fraternisation between Chauffer and transportee. The friendship was more likely between André’s dad and Beckett, and it appears the lad was a little large for regular transport so Beckett’s Trucking service intervened to pay a builders debt.
    2. According to a psychotic child murderer it was fine and hot, but it is doubtful that this applied to the weather and was more likely a description of the joy of murder and dismemberment. Meteorological records tended to focus on the Navy for some reason. The probability was that it was smoggy, cold and miserable given the use of coal fires in Autumn.
    3. Ah !, the Levant, land of myth and legend. Greek one day, Roman the next. The legend states that unnamed ‘poisons’ were ingested to build a tolerance, and when suicide was required, failed due to said tolerance. In honour of this noble feat such drugs were henceforth called Mithrodatic. For some drugs such as opiates this theory applies, heavy metals however are cumulative, alkaloids do not show much tolerance. So in reality the old king was really an opiate addict spreading the story that he was indulging in the opium to avoid being poisoned. If only he had saved some Belladonna, he could have emulated Socrates.
    4. Unlike Kea’s who can be attracted readily by parking a car the Kakapo was hunted at night when the males boomed for mates. The whitefellas used dogs, nowdays following their radio tracking signal is the only reliable method.
    5. Now folks how can we stimulate the paranoia about corporate and government surveillance. I know! let’s publish a classic novel about totalitarianism electronically then steal it back. The irony alone will generate more publicity than we could ever hope from paid advertising, and Orwell is dead so we don’t have to worry about financial restitution.

  5. 1. Samuel Beckett and the wrestler Andre the Giant were friends. Yes really! What did they talk about most?
    I was going to say Buttercup and Billy Crystal’s ham acting, but apparently it was cricket. Inconceivable!

    2. What was the British weather like on Saturday, 24 August 1867?
    Crap, like it always is, except in Georgette Heyer novels.

    3. King Mithridates VI (120-63 BC) had the brilliant idea of ingesting small doses of every known poison, to build up immunity. Why did he come to regret doing this?
    Stomach ache? It made him glow in the dark? He was captured and tortured and when he tried to kill himself with poison, it didn’t work?Or because he died attempting to immunise himself against poison.

    4.How do you catch a Kakapo (NZ bird)?
    Well, like most birds in New Zealand, it doesn’t fly. (Okay, can they really be birds if they don’t fly?) So I guess you get someone to throw it to you and you catch it in a net–like a game of feathery lacrosse.

    5.Amazon can delete books from all Kindles, without asking permission from the people who paid for the books and thought they were the owners. In 2009 whose books were so removed?
    Are you asking for authors names or the people who bought the books on Kindle? I’m not a Kindle user (I’m ‘old skool’ like that) and none of my friends were affected, so I think you might mean authors. Let’s see, I’ll go for: God’s autobiography, Katie Price’s autobiography; American Psycho; Dr Suess; Waiting for Godot; Albania: laws and by-laws for tractor drivers; Harry Potter (one or all of them; not a fan so don’t care), maybe a bit of Orwell and TRRRRRRRTolkien’s stuff. Stab in the dark.

    COMMENT:
    Dr Bob, I thought Andre the Giant was Spanish. Why on earth would I think something that? Well, I’ve learnt something new today. Thanks.

  6. 1. Load-bearing weight of vehicle axles
    2. Ohhh, Dr. Bob 😦 Sweet Fanny Adams, ‘it was fine and hot’.
    3. Was Dorothy Sayers right, and then he couldn’t off himself?
    4. Fling some merde [caca po] or shake ’em out of the tree!
    5. If only ’twere Steve Jobs, but ’twere Big Bro.

  7. 1. They would trade painful rhymes, a la Inigo and Fezzik.
    2. The only day in recorded history where the sun shone from the North Sea to the Channel.
    3. I’m guessing because one of them gave him the dreaded blue balls. I’m sure there’s a chemical that does that (and is not just something in an early Peter Carey story.)
    4. How does one catch a Kakapo? Easy. One doesn’t. It’s illegal. Kiwis have little sense of humour over such things. (Although you could probably lure one away with car door seals or a tasty backpack.)
    5. Amazon acted like rats in a cage and swallowed a certain author’s works, refunding $2+$2 to the purchasers. But for it to have been truly Eric Blairian, they would have had to have been watching people via the webcams in the kindles, and everyone knows only Apple, Google and Facebook do that.

  8. 1. Samuel Beckett and the wrestler Andre the Giant were friends. Yes really! What did they talk about most?
    When Andre the Giant was just a little ‘un of 12 he was already over 6 ft (in the old money!) and upwards of 240 lbs. He didn’t fit in the local Grenoble school bus – well if he got on none of the other kids could too, I guess, so Samuel Beckett, who was a neighbour and a card playing mate of Andre’s dad, offered to drive him to school. He probably had a convertible or a sunroof (it was a truck actually). It is tempting to think that they discussed esoteric subjects like tramps or religion or the ramifications of living in garbage cans or human impotence in the face of modern life or even that Samuel told the young Andre stirring stories of his time in the Resistance but apparently they mostly discussed cricket, of all things. This is rendered even more bizarre when you consider that an Irish intellectual was discussing it, en Francaise, with an acromegalic boy of Bulgarian and Polish heritage in the middle of the French Alps.
    2. What was the British weather like on Saturday, 24 August 1867?
    Presumably, the weather was variable across the whole of Britain as it usually is. In Alton, Hampshire at any rate it was ‘fine and hot’ according to the diary entry of Frederick Baker who had just spent a jolly afternoon murdering and dismembering (horribly!) and disposing of the body of an eight year old girl – one Fanny Adams, subsequently described as ‘Sweet’.
    3. King Mithridates VI (120-63 BC) had the brilliant idea of ingesting small doses of every known poison, to build up immunity. Why did he come to regret doing this?
    Mithridates VI lived in dangerous times – he was not much of a family man as he had to imprison both his mother and his brother to get the sole rule of his kingdom (mum probably died of natural causes but he had his brother executed) and at the end of his life had to murder his eldest remaining legitimate son when he refused to help his dad raise yet another army for yet another crack at the Romans. But he originally got the kingdom left to him (and his brother) when his father was poisoned at a lavish banquet when Mithridates was 14. During his seven year exile, and after he returned to rule Pontus, he built up his immunity to poison so he wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Sadly, however, after fleeing from Pompey and his legions after a sound defeat in the Third Mithridatic War, failing to raise another army and failing to put down a rebellion led by another son, Mithridates VI, after poisoning his wives and remaining children, tried to end it all himself with poison. Presumably to avoid the prospect of capture and being paraded through Rome as a trophy in Pompey’s inevitable triumph. This attempt failed as he was, of course, immune and he had to persuade his bodyguard to kill him with a sword. (Another Roman source says the bodyguard murdered him, however – given his luck in life that’s probably true)
    4. How do you catch a Kakapo (NZ bird)?
    Kakapos were hunted by the Maoris, and later by the European settlers, with dogs. Though they’re flightless they are pretty good at running, and climbing, and very good eating!
    5. Amazon can delete books from all Kindles, without asking permission from the people who paid for the books and thought they were the owners. In 2009 whose books were so removed?
    Amazon’s Big Brother act in 2009 was of truly Orwellian proportions. The problem was one of a lack of universal copyright law – the author’s works were in the public domain in some countries but still under the control of the author’s estate in others. The books had been uploaded by a company that didn’t have the full rights to them so Amazon fixed the problem by removing them even though the Kindle owners had purchased them in good faith. Amazon refunded their $5. It was as though they had never been bought or even existed at all. So in 2009, George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ were sent down the ‘memory hole’.

  9. 1: Both were keen amateur entomologists and would while away many an hour discussing their favorite insect family Gryllidae.

    2: As I know sweet FA about meteorology, I would guess some parts were fine and hot.

    3: So confident was he of his immunity, while back-packing in Scotland he tried the local delicacy, Deep Fried Skewered Polyglot, prepared by Jock ‘Bit’ Uitus He never recovered.

    4: Use an Underfeather Vice Parrot to pose as a young chick in a craigslist squawk room. When he tries to meet up, swoop. Best he be kept in a separate cage to stop the other jailbirds trying to pluck him.

    5: It actually happened in 1984 when books about bestial agriculture were banned in what was later known as the Blair Ditch Project.

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