Questions for May 2014

Questions for May … as readers can probably tell, it is getting ever harder to formulate these, and Wikipedia provides all the answers anyway.  How I yearn for the olden days, when I could source impossible questions from obscure books.  Anyway PLEASE HAVE A GO – by posting a comment, preferably sarcastic – as I know the answers anyway; I’ll put the real answers up in early June.

  1. Which state of the USA was originally called “Franklin”?
  2. (From the USSR Book of Elementary Mathematics Problems) Volodya and Kostya, students in a metal-trade school, are doing lathework. Their teacher assigns them to make batches of metal parts. They want to finish simultaneously and [of course] ahead of the deadline, but after a while Kostya has only done half of what Volodya has left to do, and this is half of what Volodya has already done. How much faster than Volodya does Kostya now have to work, so that they will finish at the same time? (The answer, left here earlier by an idle capitalist lackey, has now been removed)
  3. At the end of the 85-km Wasaloppet ski race held annually in Sweden, a young girl presents a bunch of flowers to the winner as he/she approaches the finish line. Nice idea, but one year the “winner” was a pair of twins skiing side by side. How did the poor girl cope with that?
  4. In Iceland [and possibly in “Icleand” too if it existed beyond a mere spelling mistake] what do they say for “cheers” as they drink?
  5. Some scientists realised it would be a natty idea to mount a Foucault Pendulum at the South Pole, and set a good one up in a tall building there. The pendulum would be started by burning through a cotton thread that held it back. What went wrong?
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13 comments

  1. DR BOB’s ANSWERS –
    1. Tennessee

    2. 5/2 or 2.5 times. But of course when people see Volodya banging away at 2.5 times his usual rate they will get very suspicious. Kostya will note that Volodya is checking his progress, and will suspect Volodya of espionage, The supervisor will note that if people CAN work faster, then they should work faster – remembering Stakhanov in the 1930s. All sorts of trouble could arise – so it’s better to work at the normal pace to begin with, and keep your head down.

    3. As she stood there panicking about what to do, the winning side-by-side skiers passed by with one on each side of her, scooped her up by grabbing one arm each and carried her (and the flowers) across the finish line.

    4. Skol, but they pronounce it “SCOWL”

    5. Open flames at the South Pole are forbidden by the Antarctic Treaty.

  2. 1.Which state of the USA was originally called “Franklin”?
    A1. New Jersey. It is a little known fact that NJ was called ‘Franklindam’ at the same time that nearby NY was called ‘New Amsterdam’. But the Franklindam moniker never had legs in the USA so they later exported the name to Tasmania, where Franklin Dam also was never accepted.

    2.(From the USSR Book of Elementary Mathematics Problems) Volodya and Kostya, students in a metal-trade school, are doing lathework. Their teacher assigns them to make batches of metal parts. They want to finish simultaneously and [of course] ahead of the deadline, but after a while Kostya has only done half of what Volodya has left to do, and this is half of what Volodya has already done. How much faster than Volodya does Kostya now have to work, so that they will finish at the same time? (The answer, left here earlier by an idle capitalist lackey, has now been removed)
    A2. It would be cheating to say 5/2 so I merely observe that the answer will kostya lots, Dr Bob
    .
    3.At the end of the 85-km Wasaloppet ski race held annually in Sweden, a young girl presents a bunch of flowers to the winner as he/she approaches the finish line. Nice idea, but one year the “winner” was a pair of twins skiing side by side. How did the poor girl cope with that?
    A3. If the twins were side by side and not one in front of the other then the young girl could only hand her flowers to one of them unless, of course, the girl stood in the middle of the track putting herself in great danger of being run down by the racing competitors, which is something a sensible Swede would not do. So the answer, Dr Bob, is the same bunch went to the twin on the nearer side to the young girl.

    4.In Iceland [and possibly in “Icleand” too if it existed beyond a mere spelling mistake] what do they say for “cheers” as they drink?
    A4. Like anybody else from any other country, it is not possible to say anything at all as one drinks because one’s throat contains liquid and not air. If the Icelanders tried to say anything as they drink it would come out as “urgleaaghgaaghspeww”, no different from anyone else around the world.
    5.Some scientists realised it would be a natty idea to mount a Foucault Pendulum at the South Pole, and set a good one up in a tall building there. The pendulum would be started by burning through a cotton thread that held it back. What went wrong?
    A5. The flame not only burnt through the cotton thread but burned down the entire pendulum, of which there was absolutely foucault left.

  3. Dr Bob testing….. New WordPress theme installed (“Suits”). I hope it is clearer to read than the old theme … I am not very happy with either 😦
    And, it’s my birthday 😦 😦

  4. Sorry George, I cannot get rid of the adverts (without also paying money). It’s the price we all pay for free web pages … you don’t have to click through to the ads! Thanks for playing and for your answers in the past… I really must find time to do the Hall of Fame I said I’d do in 2001 (yes 2001), in which some of your answers would feature. Insert coin to play again, as the Atari games used to say. Cheers, Dr Bob

  5. Dear Doctor Bob.
    Being a bear of little brain, I do not know how to remove those ads without paying for the privilege. I don’t do click bait or random unsolicited ads.
    Sadly, this will be my last post before my pancreas or liver picks the winner 🙂
    Thanks for the fun.

  6. 1. I guess it was at a time they weren’t friends with France, hence Georgia
    2. Since the five-year plans called for exponential growth, the answer would be within 10% of e.
    3. She tossed them into the air, and married the one who caught them.
    4. The less time you spend toasting the more time you can spend drinking.
    5. The guy with the blowtorch thought he saw a spider.

  7. 1. The only reason i can think of why a state would be renamed would be to honour a particular person or event, which suggests the answer is Maryland or Virginia.

    2. Two and a half. Though the tenets of communism (“from each according to his ability”) suggests they’re exactly half way through the task.

    3. Volodya got 80% of the flowers and Kostya got the remaining 20%.

    4. Slainte?

    5. They were told that would contravene the fire safety regulations for a government building.

    Roy

  8. 1. The one currently called “Sheldon”?

    2. (Read this in broken English, a la the baddies in “Get Shmart”):
    Q: How you make Russian machine parts?
    A: Step one: Steal some steel. (double gag there har har har)

    3. From “Superskier”:
    “He was doing might fine,
    until he ran into that pine,
    and two one-legged skiers went from there”.

    4. Again with Icleand? I mean Iceland. I’m guessing “Cheers”, with an American accent. Coz they learn English from American TV. Sort of like Alf, the Alien Life Form. Remember him?

    5. There’s a tall building at the South Pole? Really?
    I’m guessing that it was at Scott-Amundsen, which is mainly inhabited by people from the Northern Hemisphere. So they probably forgot that the rotation would be in the other direction, and the pendulum very quickly ran into something.

  9. 1. Which state of the USA was originally called “Franklin”?
    Australia. What do you mean it’s not already the 51st state?

    2. (From the USSR Book of Elementary Mathematics Problems) Volodya and Kostya, students in a metal-trade school, are doing lathework. Their teacher assigns them to make batches of metal parts. They want to finish simultaneously and ahead of the deadline, but after a while Kostya has only done half of what Volodya has left to do, and this is half of what Voldya has already done. How much faster than Volodya does Kostya now have to work so that they will finish at the same time? (5/2 times)
    Filthy communist plot this to destroy us freedom loving Westerners. One ex-maths teacher, one trainee maths teacher and me – none of us could do it !

    3. At the end of the 85-km Wasaloppet ski race held annually in Sweden, a young girl presents a bunch of flowers to the winner as he/she approaches the finish line. Nice idea, but one year the “winner” was a pair of twins skiing side by side. How did the poor girl cope with that?
    First rule of skiing – never try to go round both sides of a tree at once….

    4. In Icleand, what do they say for “cheers” as they drink?
    Barman – just how many times do I have to tell you – NO ICE !
    Where’s “Icleland” by the way?

    5. Some scientists realised it would be a natty idea to mount a Foucault Pendulum at the South Pole, and set a good one up in a tall building there. The pendulum would be started by burning through a cotton thread that held it back. What went wrong?
    Useless piece of junk – more like a “fuck all” pendulum guys!

  10. 1. Canada. Then they found out (a) Canada wasn’t part of the USA and (b) The Franklin who disappeared there wasn’t Ben.
    2. 5/2. The Russians always tell their pupils the answers to prevent them contracting the Wesern disease of low self esteem if they couldn’t work it out for themselves.
    3. As there is no definition of the exact constitution of a bunch, the winners each received a bunch, but half the size of the bunch that previous winners had received.
    4. Skol. Just like the rest of the non-English speaking world.
    5. The scientists were actually economists. They had prefaced their project with the assumption, “Let us assume we have a tall building.”

  11. 1. Tasmania.
    2. Too many relationships have come a cropper with partners trying to finish at the same time. It is okay to be unselfish or self-centered when tooling around.
    3. Being a keen golfer, she sent them back to the start for a playoff.
    4. “Do you want no ice with that?”
    5. The rope broke, the ball fell and you killed Kenny you bastards.

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