Questions for March 2015

OK guys and gals, here’s the Q’s for this month.  Please have a go by posting a comment – witty and sarcastic answers are preferred as I already KNOW the real answers, derrr.

Currently I am reading “How to Sharpen Pencils” by David Rees. I just thought you’d all like to know that.

  1. What got Nikolai Tesla interested in studying static electricity?
  2. At the beginning of the Renaissance, when late-medieval gentlemen were preparing to conduct a scientific experiment, was everyone welcome to stay in the room?
  3. From an examination of historical news broadcasts, which particular day was determined to be the most boring day of the twentieth century? (Useless clue: it was a Sunday)
  4. What politicogeographical feature is unique to Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan? (OK, I suppose it’s not unique if they both have it … peculiar?)
  5. Why were the “Tiredness Can Kill” warning signs removed from the British M1 motorway in 1997?
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8 comments

  1. Dave Hawley got them all correct, as ever. Bloody Hawley .. bloody Wikipedia … bloody universal spread of free knowledge … Grrrr! The scope of his answer #2 can be widened. My answers were:

    1. Due to static-electric shocks from his pet cat
    2. All women were thrown out, to avoid hysteria and so that an air of scientific seriousness could pervade the room
    3. 11 April 1954
    4. Doubly landlocked
    5. So they would not show up in the TV coverage of Diana Spencer’s funeral cortege
    – The Bobster

  2. 1.What got Nikolai Tesla interested in studying static electricity?

    His power bills were ‘shocking’

    2.At the beginning of the Renaissance, when late-medieval gentlemen were preparing to conduct a scientific experiment, was everyone welcome to stay in the room?

    Nudge nudge wink wink – say no more………!

    3.From an examination of historical news broadcasts, which particular day was determined to be the most boring day of the twentieth century? (Useless clue: it was a Sunday)

    That would have to be any day of the week in Wellington (NZ)

    4.What politicogeographical feature is unique to Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan? (OK, I suppose it’s not unique if they both have it … peculiar?)

    They both make Tasmania look exciting.

    5.Why were the “Tiredness Can Kill” warning signs removed from the British M1 motorway in 1997?

    All public service announcements are highly sleep-inducing and irritating. Transperth’s ultra-boring “Don’t leave unattended luggage (ie bombs) lying round the station” every THREE minutes” would drive anyone round the twist, even the most dedicated terrorist.

  3. 1. It was a step towards X-static electricity
    2. Yes, but it only happened once. The outcome of the first attempt was studied by Auric Goldfinger and used at another meeting.
    3. This result was an artefact due to the great journalists strike in February 1926.
    4. If you were a citizen of both countries, the visa application forms would extend beyond the number of characters allowed for nationality
    5. a) Sir Walter Tiredness objected
    b) The BBC were setting up a period drama about the construction of the M1.

  4. 1. What got Nikolai Tesla interested in studying static electricity?

    According to the official biography it was static electricity from his pet cat which shocked him. So I suppose we can cue all the double entendres for “shocking pussy” about now… Unofficially and in truth, it was Hitler-like aliens. On the Titanic.

    2. At the beginning of the Renaissance, when late-medieval gentlemen were preparing to conduct a scientific experiment, was everyone welcome to stay in the room?

    Witches were not welcome. Surprisingly they were welcome for breakfast and other meals. But for scientific experiments, they had to take their pointy hats and broomsticks and go stand outside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8gOh0wEgLg

    3. From an examination of historical news broadcasts, which particular day was determined to be the most boring day of the twentieth century? (Useless clue: it was a Sunday)

    It was 11 April 1954 and on that day…….fuck it, who cares. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/april-11-1954-declared-the-most-boring-day-of-the-20th-century/story-e6frep26-1225961653082

    4. What politicogeographical feature is unique to Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan? (OK, I suppose it’s not unique if they both have it … peculiar?)

    They are both doubly landlocked – requiring crossing two countries to reach an ocean. Neither country, I understand, has a navy. Interestingly, Switzerland does. http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/uzbekistan-natural-gas-energy-central-asia/11/11/2009/id/25396

    5. Why were the “Tiredness Can Kill” warning signs removed from the British M1 motorway in 1997?

    Along the route of Princess Diana’s funeral procession. A little bit late after the fact, but the Brits are nothing if not sensitive. Incidentally, the first car to drive down the M1 after the signs were removed was a white Fiat Uno. http://www.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/boards/topic/2948-2-4-6-8-motorways-at-fifty/

    There! My usual exhaustive research (six minutes, I must claim overtime).

  5. There is a video clip somewhere showing a drill bit being replaced by a pencil in a power drill. That’s How to Sharpen Pencils . . . if you like very short pencils.

  6. 1. As a школа дете in Serbia, he discovered that by feet shuffling he could then magically raise the frocks of his classmates and achieve a frisson of excitement. They recoiled at his behaviour and reported it. Accused of battery, he was never charged.

    2. In this era, “scientific experiment” was a euphemism for same-sex shenanigans. Doors would be locked, gents would place the keys of their palanquins into a chaperon. They would then experiment until their poulaines curled up.

    3. From memory, the first Sunday after the 19th of March, 19** (thanks Mum) must have been the day. Buggered if I can remember anything happening.

    4. The answer to this must have been announced on the Sunday before the 19th of March 19**. Buggered if I can remember that either.

    5. They removed them from the motorway and placed them on the verge. This improved vehicular ingress,egress and regress.

  7. Tesla: according to the historical documentary “The Prestige”, Nikolai Tesla came to the realisation one morning while shaving that he looked too much like David Bowie to make it as a pop singer so designing death rays was the next best option.

    Renaissance: Given the propensity for late-medieval experiments to result, Bunsen Honeydew-style, in explosions, flying machine parts, wildy spraying corrisive chemicals, or often all three, these early experiments acted as a crude Darwinistic selector for scientists of poor judgement or ability. Invitations to remain in the room during said experiments was thus not an attempt at gentlemanly politeness, but part of a secret grand plan to breed better scientists.
    The obvious flaw in this grand plan is that the secret plotters should have first conspired to breed better secret plotters, as one branch of their selection process ultimately culminated in “Lord” Christopher Monckton.

    Boring: When a computerised search in 2010 revealed what its program decided was the most boring, un-newsworthy day, this revelation actually added a point of interest to the date meaning that it was now a quite interesting date. Thus, the *second*-most boring day, as revealed by the computer search, was then promoted to being the most boring day – at which point, its noteworthiness gave it renewed interest, thus resulting in the *third*-most boring day becoming the most boring day, and so on. By this line of flawless inductive reasoning, we come to the amazing conclusion that every day in the twentieth century was, simultaneously, the most boring AND the most interesting.

    Politicogeographics: In one of the few Dr Bob questions that was easily answered by Wikipedia, it appears Liechtensein and Uzbekistan are particularly kinky in that they take their level of border bondage to a higher threshold than other countries.
    Either that, or they are the only two countries left that have funny names and Sacha Baron Cohen hasn’t yet used as a base for a politically-incorrect character.

    Tiredness: The signs were removed in the interests of accuracy when the British Union of National Pedants (BUNP – try saying that five times quickly) pointed out that tiredness, in of itself, rarely kills, but it is the rapid deceleration and subsequent physical trauma to the body when one *collides* with a “Tiredness Can Kill” sign at motorway speeds that kills. Experiments with signs that read “Rapid deceleration from motorway speeds upon impact with a ‘Tiredness Can Kill’ sign can kill” proved less than successful, especially after BUNP further intervened, noting that typical motorway speeds on the M1 would generally result in nothing more than a scratched bumper if one collided with a “Rapid deceleration from motorway speeds upon impact with a ‘Tiredness Can Kill’ sign can kill” sign.

  8. 1. Regarding the human body as a machine, Tesla thought his renowned flashes of Inspiration might be caused by static electrcity.
    2. Yes. Everyone joined hands as a seance was conducted with the aim of contacting the late medieval gentlemen. This was regarded as science at the time.
    3. January 2, 2000. The papers were full of news of what didn’t happen on January 1, 2000. Particuarly unnewsworthy were the absence of any effects caused by the so-called millenium bug and the encore non-appearance of the well known son of a much adored deity in defiance of widespread predictions to the contrary.
    4. Both countries being mountainous have large areas soemetimes including entire electorates or provinces in which the population is zero. These are much sought after by practising nepotists as there is no chance of anyone disputing appointment of the local representatives.
    5. The Press has a field day when a dozing driver ran off the road and wrote off himself and his vehicle on one of the ‘Tiredness can kill’ billboards.

Have a go!

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