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.
- 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?
- Walter Gregg built a playhouse in the woods for his children, but it turned out to be a risky place to play – why?
- Where is Albania’s only remaining oil-refining plant?
- 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?
- A geek friend of mine reckons his car burns fuel at 1 parsec per cubic mile. Is that too thirsty, or what?