Questions for all 2011

Glenn Brady January 2011
James Harkin February 2011
Tom Black March 2011
Tom Black April 2011
Edi Winkler May 2011
Glenn Brady June 2011
Wendy Mooney July 2011
Amit Elazari August 2011
Steve Mencinsky September 2011
Alan Christiansen October 2011
Wendy Mooney November 2011
John Wilson December 2011


January 2011

Q1 Burma-Shave promised a free trip to Mars for 900 empty jars. Somebody heroically collected 900 empty jars, and was offered a one-way trip. So, tiresomely, he sent another 900 jars in. What happened then?

Q2 Who had the idea to serve meals in separate courses, instead of all the food arriving at once?

Q3 Where did the original choice of age 65 for retirement come from?

Q4 Ovid wrote a tragedy “Medea”, but only 4 words survive. What four words?

Q5 The Duke of Monmouth at his execution in 1685 heavily bribed the axeman to make a clean job of it, and whinged that the axe was rather blunt, before kneeling at the block. And indeed, the axeman’s first blow failed to achieve much. What happened next?

Q6 Where is this?

February 2011

Q1 Why – and it doesn’t involve other people – was the 16-century artist Daniele da Volterra nicknamed “The Trouserer”?

Q2 Who is the principal critic of the early philosophical works of Wittgenstein?

Q3 On 1 May 2004, the adventurer Ben Saunders arrived, on foot, at the North Pole. Elated by the success of journey, he pulled his mobile phone out of his sledge pack, connected the battery and called his mother, his girlfriend, and the CEO of the company that sponsored his trip. What did they say?

Q4 When an eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull hindered air travel in Europe, John Cleese was stranded in Oslo but need to be in London within 48 hours. How did he get there?

Q5 How many people have played over the years in one of Dr Bob’s favourite bands, Hawkwind?

Q6 Where (in the USA) is this?

March 2011

Q1 Was Gandhi randy?

Q2 What, or when, was the first use of the expression “Old Fart” to describe a person?

Q3 Why does the drumming come in rather late (0m50s) in the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”?

Q4 What curiousity is situated about halfway between Egglesberg and Tittmoning?

Q5 What is the formula for the chemical that dilates arteries, thus causing an erection?

Q6 Picture: Where is this?

April 2011

Q1 What instrument did Jimi Hendrix play before he got an electric guitar?

Q2 Pliny the Elder recounts the story of two painters who brought covered paintings to see who was the better artist; one unveiled his painting, which was of grapes so realistic that birds immediately swooped down to peck at it. He then leaned over to pull the veil from his rival’s painting – and what happened?

Q3 In the 1970s the King of Sweden applied for a parking permit to park his car in the Stockholm CBD. What happened?

Q4 After the Pilgrim Fathers had landed in America, the first Native American to walk into their camp said, to their amazement “Hello, Englishmen!” and what did he ask for next?

Q5 There are several regular, powerful or otherwise remarkable winds that have names – Mistral, Fremantle Doctor, Simoom, etc – but only one is native to Great Britain. What is it?

Q6 What show is this, and who is allowed to see it?

May 2011

Q1 Ants are known for their hard work – how much time off do they get?

Q2 Dr Ignaz Semmelweis made his medical students wash their hands before doing the rounds of his maternity ward, and the mortality rate dropped from about 80% to near zero. What was the next change made in ward practice?

Q3 Poor old Iggy Semmelweis ended his days as a resident of an insane asylum – but what actually killed him?

Q4 Which team won the Icelandic Football League in 1913 and again in 1914?

Q5 Are there more book titles that start with “1001” compared to starting with “1000”?

Q6 What is the purpose of the cone in this picture?

June 2011

Q1 How were the winners determined in the first (1956) Eurovision Song Contest?

Q2 When the Great Falls (Montana) High School building was built in the 1890’s, after the foundations were laid, how was the surrounding backfill compacted?

Q3 If boys playing cricket in the streets of Abbottabad happen to whack a six and the ball sailed over the wall of Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, did they get the ball back?

Q4 What is the town of Katamatite (NE Victoria, Australia) famous for?

Q5 In Blinman, South Australia what location “has much to commend it – good scenery, good company, hundreds of tales to tell”?

Q6 (a) Was Ludwig van Beethoven somebody’s uncle? (b) What film is this?

July 2011

Q1 Whose wife and child were recently noted as having rendered “incalculable” services to literature?

Q2 According to Ambrose Bierce, what two instruments are worse than a clarinet?

Q3 What was the original manuscript of Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion used for, before being carefully preserved for posterity?

Q4 In the remote city of Bodo, Norway – (a) In the church, why is there a light globe shining under the bowl of water in the font? (b) What is depicted by a granite statue in the children’s paddling pool?

Q5 Carpet pythons eat mice. Therefore if a carpet python is removed or killed, disturbing the balance of predators, there will be more mice, which will breed, producing yet more mice, etc., until equilibrium is again reached. How many mice are not born due to the predatory ingestations of one carpet python?

Q6 Just after this iconic picture was taken, of the tank storming the Saigon Presidential Palace in 1975 – where did the tank go when it got inside?

August 2011

Q1 According to Catholic doctrine, was the Virgin Mary not a virgin at any time?

Q2 Starting with St.Peter, how many Popes have there been?

Q3 Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, compiled a catalogue of his own sins. How long did it take him?

Q4 Who said “On the whole, the Inquisition [of the Middle Ages] was humanely conducted”?

Q5 Pope Paul IV decided to imprison all the prostitutes of Rome. Why did he change his mind?

Q6 The hand gesture is thought to be Masonic; who else has been caught out making this gesture?

September 2011

Q1 What happened at 6pm on 6 Feb 1916, as witnessed by Hans Arp and his twelve children, and what was stuck up Arp’s left nostril at the time?

Q2 What is the only Russian city to be hit by a tornado?

Q3 What is the longest undammed river in the world?

Q4 What is the oldest river?

Q5 Emperor Hirohito gave his speech which effectively ended World War II (he did not use the word for “surrender”) in a private room at the Imperial Palace. How was it transmitted to the Tokyo radio station for broadcasting?

Q6 Who is this? quiz201109q6.jpg

October 2011

Q1 The Vatican City plans to be come the world’s first carbon-neutral state; how will they accomplish this?

Q2 What did Dr Johnson sneak out to buy in person, rather than embarrass his servant by sending him out to buy it?

Q3 What is the bigggest country that has no river in it?

Q4 If a basketball team, over one or more games, scores X points and has Y points scored against them, what is the formula for the percentage of their games that they are generally expected to win?

Q5 Why is bubble gum pink?

Q6 This is a Mini Hatch, stuck in Melbourne traffic. Why does its exhaust pipe have that distinctive design? quiz201110q6.jpg

November 2011

Q1 What animals would dine at Wilson’s Cafeteria?

Q2 In the 18th century when a cordial relationship had been agreed between some eastern states of the USA and the local Native Americans, the whites invited the hapless locals to send over some of their boys for “a classical education”. What was the reply?

Q3 What book was said by “Field and Stream” magazine to contain “many pages of extraneous material” and thus be inferior to J.R.Miller’s Practical Gamekeeping?

Q4 What vessel sank the submarine USS Tang in 1944?

Q5 The ten avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu are: fish, tortoise, hog, lion, dwarf, ram, Purushu ram, Krishna, horse, and finally “kalki avtara” (“another one yet to come”). Who was claimed to have been this tenth avatar?

Q6 What event is here depicted? quiz201111q6

December 2011

Q1 Those Tibetans blowing their great big alpine horns – why do they always have two?

Q2 Why do you gain especial merit – more than from just the music – when you play the CD “Coming Home” by the Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo?

Q3 Sigur Ros were scheduled to play a big open-air concert in Reykjavik in 2007, but in the afternoon the weather looked decidedly bleak. What action did they take to improve things?

Q4 When Sigur Ros played in Djupavik (population: 2), which building did they play in?

Q5 Why were some copies of Sigur Ros’s first CD unplayable?

Q6 What Icelandic material is this (that produces a musical note when struck)?

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