Here’s some new and some old that I have been saving for years. Yes I am scraping the barrel this month! Feel free to post comments. Answers next month.
- Andre Tchaikowsky was a Polish pianist. (Not that other, Russian Tchaikowski bloke). He had a strange ambition – to act in Hamlet, but not in the title role – no, he wanted to play Yorick, the jester. Did he manage it?
- Georg Steller described a tribe in (Tsarist) Siberia who improved their wretched existence by drying out hallucinogenic mushrooms, that contained ibotenic acid, and eating them. Demand and fashion led to the mushrooms becoming expensive, and thus no longer affordable by poorer tribe members. What did they do instead?
- The German Tank problem: you spot ten German tanks of a particular model, and you know the Germans have numbered them in order starting at 1. The highest number that you see is 250. Roughly how many tanks of that model are there?
- Dr Johnson compiled his famous Dictionary of the English Language. Later he was told off by a woman for not including obscenities in it. What was his reply?
- The list of the largest known prime numbers known to humanity includes the values 23217-1, 24253-1, 24423-1, 29689-1. OK, this was years ago, we are up to 274207281-1 now. For how long was 24253-1 the largest known prime?