Questions for April 2016

I am perpetually travelling these days; today I am in NZ, for example. My son and his GF have walked the entire 3000-km Te Araroa trail; they are crazy. Invercargill never looked so good. Anyway, have a go at these –

  1. The book Outlaw relates a child’s grim view of Soviet Russia in 1935. One day, each child in the author’s school class was given a poster of Stalin to take home. One wretched child brought his back the following day. What was his excuse?
  2. It is told that the Kings of Norway and Sweden once rolled two dice to determine the owenrship of an island. The King of Sweden rolled first, scoring a double 6. The King of Norway could have given up at that point, but how did he end up with the island?
  3. In the Great Pyramid, two very narrow passages lead upwards from the Queen’s Chamber. In 1994, a robot camera was sent up one of these passages and discovered a metal door at its end; then in 2002, a small hole was drilled in this door and another camera was poked through it. What lay behind it?
  4. What problem are Apple having with their new voice-activated controller, in New Zealand?
  5. Queenstown NZ is a rather silly place but from here you can see a mountain range called The Remarkables. Apart from this being a spectacular view, what else is remarkable about The Remarkables?
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8 comments

  1. Dr Bob’s real, if belated, answers –

    (1) Please, Miss, we don’t have a wall … there are 5 families living in the one room, one family in each corner and we’ve got the middle

    (2) He slammed the dice down violently; one showing 6, the other die splitting in half showing a 6 and a 1

    (3) Another door

    (4) It cannot understand the New Zealand accent

    (5) They run North-South

  2. 1) The child had no wall. Stalin had nicked all of them for his own plywood-and-planking dacha.

    2) They rolled a joint instead of a dice. Everyone got mellow and went out for munchies after they agreed on stuff yadda yadda yadda. Actually, it’s a cool story. He threw a double-six also, but one of the dice split so that one half had the six showing and the other half the one (i.e. opposite face). Total of 13.

    3) Nania? The Hidden Garden? Liechtenstein? Do Not Pass Go? A Macdonalds?

    4) Unzud is untranslatable. What US equivalent is there to “bowling it underarm”? Or “shooting the possum”?

    5) They are actually unremarkable for some inane reason? They run in a straight line?

  3. 1. a) The dog ate one bit of it and died
    b) He also got one the day before
    2. From the King of Norway’s point of view it was double 9
    3. a) saw a sign saying ‘this fire exit must not be kept closed’
    b) It was a portal that led back to the chamber
    c) the camera was taken over by Sutekh the destroyer
    4. Problems getting an accurate GPS fix in Christchurch
    5. They had to be CGI’d out in Lord of the Rings.

  4. A 3000 km walk in New Zealand? C’mon Dr Bob – the whole bloody country is only 1800 km from top to bottom !

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    The book Outlaw relates a child’s grim view of Soviet Russia in 1935. One day, each child in the author’s school class was given a poster of Stalin to take home. One wretched child brought his back the following day. What was his excuse?

    No home ! Was turned into a collective farm while he was at school.

    It is told that the Kings of Norway and Sweden once rolled two dice to determine the owenrship of an island. The King of Sweden rolled first, scoring a double 6. The King of Norway could have given up at that point, but how did he end up with the island?

    He pointed out there was something “fishy” about the dice. (think about it….)

    In the Great Pyramid, two very narrow passages lead upwards from the Queen’s Chamber. In 1994, a robot camera was sent up one of these passages and discovered a metal door at its end; then in 2002, a small hole was drilled in this door and another camera was poked through it. What lay behind it?

    MH370

    What problem are Apple having with their new voice-activated controller, in New Zealand?

    The poor Fedex guy got lost at Auckland Airport. Couldn’t find the chicken counters or even when the next sivvun four sivvun was supposed to arrive. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, he ran out of tin sints for the parking meters. At least he was able to enjoy his fush and chup dinner that night.

    Queenstown NZ is a rather silly place but from here you can see a mountain range called The Remarkables. Apart from this being a spectacular view, what else is remarkable about The Remarkables?

    They’re not.

  5. Q1.The book Outlaw relates a child’s grim view of Soviet Russia in 1935. One day, each child in the author’s school class was given a poster of Stalin to take home. One wretched child brought his back the following day. What was his excuse?
    A1. Khrushchev told him to, and the kid didn’t realise K’s advice was two decades too soon.

    Q2.It is told that the Kings of Norway and Sweden once rolled two dice to determine the owenrship of an island. The King of Sweden rolled first, scoring a double 6. The King of Norway could have given up at that point, but how did he end up with the island?
    A2. Because he could spell “ownership”.

    Q3.In the Great Pyramid, two very narrow passages lead upwards from the Queen’s Chamber. In 1994, a robot camera was sent up one of these passages and discovered a metal door at its end; then in 2002, a small hole was drilled in this door and another camera was poked through it. What lay behind it?
    A3. According to the latest “The Skeptic”, another door lay beyond. But one doubts that metal doors would be found up a Queen’s passage so I’m sceptical re “The Skeptic” claim.

    Q4.What problem are Apple having with their new voice-activated controller, in New Zealand?
    A4. Voice-activated gadgets plus strangulated vowels are an unfortunate combination that even Apple cannot overcome. NZ is condemned to doing things manually for ever and ever. Amen.

    Q5.Queenstown NZ is a rather silly place but from here you can see a mountain range called The Remarkables. Apart from this being a spectacular view, what else is remarkable about The Remarkables?
    A5. They were discovered by Bilbo Baggins.

  6. 1 On holiday with grand kids. Will answer next lot.
    2,3,4,5… Dictus

  7. 1. He was one of Stalin’s inlaws, and thus scheduled for time in a gulag at best and execution at worst.
    2. They were playing with loaded dice, and were matching each other’s throws of 12 until King Olaf the Wizard of Numbers threw a 13 by balancing a die on one edge. Craps players and casino owners have been trying to replicate this result ever since.
    3. A large earthenware bowl, with hieroglyphics indicating its function as the Queen’s Chamber Pot.
    4. Most complaints begin with “You can’t …”, and as is known from the NZ stage presentation of The Sound of Music, these two words in combination take on an unintended meaning when spoken with a Kiwi accent.
    5. It’s full of schist.

  8. 1.Has it got something to do with Jane Russell’s push-up bra? That’s the only Outlaw I know of from that era, and her bra was very controversial I hear.

    2.If, like me, the King of Sweden was innumerate then it really would’t have taken much to confuse him. But I sense that isn’t what happened. I saw a film where a conman uses confusion and fast maths to convince a teller to give him more change than the amount he originally handed over. I suspect it’s something tricky like that.

    3.Another Kardashian reality tv show?

    4. It has to be the accent, bro.
    5. Remarkably, they’re not a mountain range.

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