Questions for February 2015

This is Dr Bob’s belated quiz for February 2015 – Please post your witty/sarcastic answers as comments, in the box at bottom. I’ll try to moderate them quickly!

  1. If you have a cold, on average how many people will you give it to?
  2. How many Solar System bodies have an atmosphere?
  3. When did people start to divide the hours of the day into minutes, and seconds?
  4. When you learn to ride a unicycle, how many times do you have to fall off it before you get reasonably good at it?
  5. (H/T to Randall Munroe) What would happen if you had a very highly souped-up but ordinarily bodied sedan car, got it up to 300 mph and came to a speed hump?

For cut & paste:
(1) Cold (2) Atmosphere (3) Divide (4) Unicycle (5) 300mph

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10 comments

  1. DR BOB’s ANSWERS –

    (1) Exactly one person. If fewer than one, the cold would die out rapidly. If more than one, everybody would soon get it.

    (2) Nine – Earth, Mars, Venus, the 4 gas giants, Titan, the Sun. I recall that Pluto was found to have an atmosphere, based on a fuzzy occultation of a star.

    (3) 1345. No, not quarter to two – 1345 BCE. I wonder what happened in 1345 for people suddenly to require an accurate knowledge of the time. Probably they didnlt and it was the invention of clocks that showed hours/minutes, and were accessible to most people . Anyway 3 years later the Black Death wiped everyone out.

    (4) 500. But you soon learn how to fall off gracefully, so these are not really falls. Except for the first few, which hurt.

    (5) Unless it had a rear spoiler like a modern racing car, if that speed could be sustained (by rocket or some other non-ground-touching method) the car would lift off and fly over the speed hump. See http://what-if.xkcd.com/61/ and don’t try this at home!

  2. (1) Cold : No one. As I stay indoors away from the Daywalkers.

    (2) Atmosphere : Mars is the only one. Earth is totally lacking any atmosphere and culture. It’s rather dull actually …

    (3) Divide : On a late friday afternoon, heading near 5pm, trying to workout how long it was to go till beer o’clock.

    (4) Unicycle : Once – then you realise how ridiculous that damned thing is, how stupid you look on it, and then you get a real bike instead.

    (5) 300mph : What would happen? You would get a speeding fine and lose your license, you dull witted, speeding yobbo drongo twitt.

  3. (1) Cold
    Look, I couldn’t give a rats about how many people catch it from me, I only care about the bastard that inflicted their viral misery on me.

    (2) Atmosphere
    Venus, Earth, Mars, Kim Kardashian’s derriere.

    (3) Divide
    Usually on about the second (hah!) day of their first ever job. That’s when they realise that each hour is divided into about 700 minutes and thousands of interminable seconds.

    (4) Unicycle
    In Soviet Russia, you do not fall from unicycle, you have patriotic face-first reunion with Rodina.

    (5) 300mph
    This sounds like a Top Gear challenge to me….

  4. 1. Being of Scots/Jewish extraction, I would be reluctant to give anything away.

    2. Every one that has sufficient mass/gravity to retain floaty bits. Especially those fluro spaghetti pool aid things.

    3. If they had lazy parents, probably when they started kindy.

    4. If I fell off once I would get angry and go to a bicycle. If I fell off that I would get angrier and go to a tricycle. Fall off that, very angry, quad bike. Fall off that, angriest, menstrual cycle.

    5. Either nothing much, or you are in the running for a Darwin Award.

  5. 4.When you learn to ride a unicycle, how many times do you have to fall off it before you get reasonably good at it?
    – Just once. It’s easy to become good at falling off a unicycle – it’s the staying on that’s the hard part.

    Arghhh, DDDBMT, you got me there. But it’s true, some hobbies have easy and difficult parts – parachuting for example. And being Tony Abbott.

  6. 1.If you have a cold, on average how many people will you give it to?

    The next bastard that coughs and sneezes on me on the train will have too short a life expectancy for it to be measured.

    2.How many Solar System bodies have an atmosphere?

    Why wouldn’t you take your date to a restaurant on Mars ? No atmosphere……

    3.When did people start to divide the hours of the day into minutes, and seconds?

    Someone’s got way too much time on their hands.

    4.When you learn to ride a unicycle, how many times do you have to fall off it before you get reasonably good at it?

    Just once. It’s easy to become good at falling off a unicycle – it’s the staying on that’s the hard part.

    5.(H/T to Randall Munroe) What would happen if you had a very highly souped-up but ordinarily bodied sedan car, got it up to 300 mph and came to a speed hump?

    Release the seat belt and slowly bend over. Grasp your ankles firmly with both hands. Take a deep breath and kiss your ass goodbye.

  7. (1) Cold. I do not give people colds. I give them the hots.

    (2) Atmosphere. The seven billion Solar System bodies on Earth, if left to their own bodily devices, each boast an atmosphere that is less than salubrious. In other words, we stink. That’s why I’ve invested heavily in underarm deodorant companies. I don’t care about extra-terrestrial SS bodies but they probably stink too.

    (3) Divide. The ancients discovered that hours were too long so they sought a more minute measure that they chose to call “minute” in recognition of their need, albeit with a different pronunciation. Later, they found that the minute was also not minute enough so they invented the second, the name of which came about because it was the second name that they thought of, the first name, “first”, being thought inappropriate.

    (4) Unicycle. N times, where N is a large positive integer. In my case in regards to riding unicycles, N approaches infinity and may well, as the immortal Buzz Lightyear would say, be beyond it.

    (5) 300mph. How does one hump a speed? I believe it is possible to come in regards to humping other things, but speeds??

  8. (1) Cold: Possibly 42. Or none – colds aren’t contagious
    (2) Atmosphere:42. 14 we know about, the other 28 await discovery
    (3) Divide: 42 years after the birth of someone really important. No one knows who he/she was. (4) Unicycle: 42.Why do you bother?
    (5) 300mph: It initially rises 12.80 metres in the air. However due to drag, weight and the absence of sufficient lift and thrust, its ability to sustain flight is marginal.

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