September Questions

I am travelling but I have set these questions to come up in time for September. Please have a go – I will try to moderate them quickly, but I will be away from the internet most of the time.

  1. At the start of the 20th century, good quality lenses for binoculars and gunsights were made only in Germany. By 1915, for some reason the British Government was enduring a critical shortage of these things for military use. With which country did they negotiate to buy optical parts?
  2. Walter Gregg built a playhouse in the woods for his children, but it turned out to be a risky place to play – why?
  3. Where is Albania’s only remaining oil-refining plant?
  4. The Japanese word “manzui” – “man” means “1,000”, “zui” means something like slipping or sliding – is used to refer to male self abuse. Given that “sen” means “10,000” what does “senzui” refer to?
  5. A geek friend of mine reckons his car burns fuel at 1 parsec per cubic mile. Is that too thirsty, or what?
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5 comments

  1. Dr Bob’s answers –
    (1) Yes, they asked Germany. They said no. No sense of humour, those Germans.
    (2) An atomic bomb fell on it. Dropped by accident from a passing aircraft and failed to detonate. it also ruined his vegetable garden. Presumably there would have been a “please explain” among the aeronauts. And a slab of beer sent to the hapless Walter Gregg.
    (3) Ballsh
    (4) Female self abuse
    (5) Not bad, 1 pc/cu.mi = 17.5 mpg

  2. 1. Germany, I’d wager? “Send zem ze ones vhat make our soldiers look like giants, Hans. I peed my Lederhosen vif lafter last time ve did zat!”
    2. It was in Rendlesham Forest, and they occasionally got lost and wandered into that strange blinking thing next to it.
    3. Albania?
    4. Something ten sailors play together after a long time at sea
    5. Slightly more economical than one of those Yank SUV’s. So, yes. I mean, these things are both used to fight wars for oil and make them necessary.

  3. 5. For an imperial star cruiser perhaps but 17mpg is pretty poor for most cars.

  4. At the start of the 20th century, good quality lenses for binoculars and gunsights were made only in Germany. By 1915, for some reason the British Government was enduring a critical shortage of these things for military use. With which country did they negotiate to buy optical parts?

    They simply did without as they didn’t want to make a ‘spectacle’ of themselves.

    2. Walter Gregg built a playhouse in the woods for his children, but it turned out to be a risky place to play – why?

    Next door was the local institution for trainee catholic priests.

    3. Where is Albania’s only remaining oil-refining plant?

    The same place they make their wine from the taste of it..

    4. The Japanese word “manzui” – “man” means “1,000”, “zui” means something like slipping or sliding – is used to refer to male self abuse. Given that “sen” means “10,000” what does “senzui” refer to?

    Does anyone really give a ‘toss’ ?

    5. A geek friend of mine reckons his car burns fuel at 1 parsec per cubic mile. Is that too thirsty, or what?

    It’s them dilithium crystals captain. Ye canna change the laws ‘o physics !

  5. 1. Japan. Most of the population appeared to western eyes to be wearing glasses, so it was a logical choice.

    2. It was situated on a lateral extension of the San Andreas Fault, and close to a nuclear deterrent facility.

    3. Switzerland. It was outsourced for tax reasons and to overcome the shortage of skilled labour..

    4. Repetitive strain injury. Or Blindness.

    5. The units chosen are so unimaginably vast I have no idea. As Bert Bryant (dec) used to say when he couldn’t decipher the form in a horse race to come up with a tip for the likely winner, the answer’s a pineapple. Perhaps in this case, a millionth of a pineapple.

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