Questions for March 2016

Here’s this month’s stuff – enjoy reading, and feel free to post sarky comments. Answers next month.

  1. Eratosthenes derived the size of the Earth from the angles of shadows at Syene (Aswan) and Alexandria, knowing how far apart they were. How did he measure how far apart these places were?
  2. Did Lumpy Stevens bowl John Small?
  3. Why did the (Soviet) Russians build the Friendship Bridge, across the Amu-Darya in Uzbekistan?
  4. Rudolf Virchow opposed Bismarck’s financial policies. What is said to have happened as a result?
  5. Why is the Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a thin man” a.k.a. “Mr Jones” featured in the Danish TV series The Bridge series 3?
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7 comments

  1. Dr Bob’s answers –

    1. He hired a man to pace it out

    2. Sort of, they only had 2 wickets in those days and 3 of his balls went between the two wickets

    3. To send friendly supplies to their troops who were making a friendly visit to Afghanistan

    4. Was challenged to a duel and opted to fight it with sausages, one poisoned

    5. Dylan liked the first series so much he wanted one of his songs to be used in a future series

  2. Q1.Eratosthenes derived the size of the Earth from the angles of shadows at Syene (Aswan) and Alexandria, knowing how far apart they were. How did he measure how far apart these places were?
    A1. His laser rangefinder made the task easy.

    Q2.Did Lumpy Stevens bowl John Small?
    A2. Are we talking cricket or ten-pin, Dr Bob?

    Q3.Why did the (Soviet) Russians build the Friendship Bridge, across the Amu-Darya in Uzbekistan?
    A3. The kindly & courteous Soviets merely wanted a tangible expression of gratitude to the generous Uzbeks and Afghans. So much better than just saying “Tanks, guys.”

    Q4.Rudolf Virchow opposed Bismarck’s financial policies. What is said to have happened as a result?
    A4. Rudolf vanished into virchowal reality and was never seen again. There is no evidence he changed his name to ‘Tron’.

    Q5.Why is the Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a thin man” a.k.a. “Mr Jones” featured in the Danish TV series The Bridge series 3?
    A5. Because ‘The Bridge’ series 3 is set in downtown Copenhagen outside a McDonalds and the song represents a cry of Danish despair aimed at those venturing inside.

  3. 1) Lasers. Primitive Greek lasers. He bounced them off the moon and measured some angles and stuff. Remember, this was WAY before we had semiconductor lasers like those tiny little torches on keyrings.

    2) Yes he did bowl him but only a few feet down the pitch. Small wasn’t. Lumpy should have bowled a cricket ball instead.

    3) So they could make a super-friendly invasion with their peace-loving flag-waving armed forces driving their merry tanks and make Uzbekistan into the brave new world it has become today. I’ll take my meds now.

    4) Bismarck was removed from office by his own party in a parliamentary party coup a few weeks later. He retired to the backbench of parliament, from where he launched non-attacks on Virchow while pretending very badly he wasn’t doing so. This caused the whole thing to descend into a fucking farce and stalemate… Oh, sorry – I got this all mixed up with something else while I was reading a Murdoch newspaper.

    5) Both sound whiny, sucky and basically fucking awful?

    As promised!

  4. 1. Lasers. Primitive Greek lasers. He bounced them off the moon and measured some angles and stuff. Remember, this was WAY before we had semiconductor lasers like those tiny little torches on keyrings.

    2. Yes but only a few feet down the pitch. Small wasn’t. Lumpy should have bowled a cricket ball instead.

    3. So they could make a super-friendly invasion with their peace-loving flag-waving armed forces driving their merry tanks and make Uzbekistan into the brave new world it has become today. I’ll take my meds now.

    4. Bismarck was removed from office by his own party in a parliamentary party coup a few weeks later. He retired to the backbench of parliament, from where he launched non-attacks on Virchow while pretending very badly he wasn’t doing so. This caused the whole thing to descend into a fucking farce and stalemate… Oh, sorry – I got this all mixed up with something else while I was reading a Murdoch newspaper.

    5. Both sound whiny, sucky and basically fucking awful?

    As promised!

  5. 1. Eratosthenes derived the size of the Earth from the angles of shadows at Syene (Aswan) and Alexandria, knowing how far apart they were. How did he measure how far apart these places were?

    Erastothenes: Hey Abdul – how far is it between Syene and Alexandria?
    First Egyptian: Any idea what he’s talking about?
    Second Egyptian: Can’t understand a word mate – it’s all Greek to me……

    2. Did Lumpy Stevens bowl John Small?

    It is a little known fact but cricket was how the British Empire colonised most of the world. They got the locals hooked, waited for them to fall asleep and simply marched in.

    3. Why did the (Soviet) Russians build the Friendship Bridge, across the Amu-Darya in Uzbekistan?

    To get to the other side,

    4. Rudolf Virchow opposed Bismarck’s financial policies. What is said to have happened as a result?

    Schweinhund. Vee haff vays und means of getting you not to oppose our financial policies dumbkopf !

    5. Why is the Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a thin man” a.k.a. “Mr Jones” featured in the Danish TV series The Bridge series 3?

    Because it’s dismal, incomprehensible, depressing and pointless. Ideal material for Danish films then.

  6. 1. I suspect it was something involving the Antikythera Mechanism, so a lot a stories were made up to conceal the existence of this device. But if you are going to try to walk a straight line on the same meridian for any distance, Egypt is a most plausible place for your attempt.

    2. Morally yes but physically no as the bails weren’t disturbed. The controllers of the game (cricket) then came up with the bright idea of arranging three stumps so that the distance between them was less than that of the ball’s diameter, so that the bails would then fall if a stump was hit. As an aside, Lumpy was not only an early great bowler, but a practicing curator as well. Hmmm.

    3. The Russians were actually showing the depth of their friendship with Afghanistan, by providing a means of rapid transit for that typical symbol of Russian friendship the T-90 tank to assist the locals in their war with whoever.

    4. Bratwurst v Liverwurst, a landmark episode in an early German version of Whose Kitchen Rules?

    5. This is the detective series so convoluted that even the writers don’t understand the plot.
    They take their cue from Dylan’s mid 60’s masterpiece: “There’s something happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr Jones”. The Mr Jones of the song is unlikely to be the same Mr Jones, statistics lecturer at Melbourne Uni in the 60’s, to whom I referred in an answer to an earlier quiz on this site.

  7. !. His Rockin’ forebear Obeseus Domino, helped him by Walkin’ to Neapolis”
    2. No. He was given out LBW.
    3. To make it easier to blow the crap out of them.
    4. Knight to King’s Bishop 3.
    5. They paid royalties to use it.

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