Answers for September 2011

BELATED ANSWERS for September 2011. Sorry, came back from long holiday and then family reasons intervened, but all OK now. I said “the long answers will not be ready until mid-month” but I did not say which month!

I am embarking on a big trip for the middle of 2012 – not to Blagoveshchensk, but not far off – will be within 500km at one point.

WINNER, for half a dozen brilliant answers to Q6, is

Steve Mencinsky

Question 1

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?


The start of the Dadaist art movement; and a brioche

Additional Answers

  • Although Arp said he was there when Tristan Tzara invented the word ‘dadaism’ and that he himself was wearing a brioche in his left nostril, it was actually a chocolate dipped doughnut.$file/hans_arp.jpg
  • “I hereby declare that Tristan Tzara invented the word dada on 6 February 1916 at – I was there with my twelve children, when Tzara first offered the word… happened in the Café de Terrace in Zurich, and I was wearing a brioche in my left nostril”
  • All twelve children said “Look at DaDa, he’s got a brioche up his nose” and a new art movement was born.
  • Hans Arp had his hans arp in the air because both of his enemy’s hans (fingers and all) were arp Hans’ left nostril. As a result, quite understandably in such painful and potentially terminal wartime circumstances, Hans witnessed Jehovah.
  • Quote: “The origins of the term Dada are not clear but disputed origins are that it arose as a random selection of words from a dictionary; the term was used to mean a hobbyhorse in French or a baby carriage in German. It has been said to derive from the Russian word ‘yes’ – Da – expressing an affirmation of life in a negative time and also from the profound and simple ‘da-da’ noise said by small children. Or, as Hans Arp was to report ” I hereby declare that Tristan Tzara invented the word dada on 6 February 1916 at – I was there with my twelve children, when Tzara first offered the word… happened in the Café de Terrace in Zurich, and I was wearing a brioche in my left nostril”.
  • A miracle – St Euthraxes, Our Lady Of The Sacred Handkerchief, appeared unto them, held out her hanky, and commanded that he “Blow, my child.” He blew his nose, and out shot a piece of brioche, with a likeness of St Euthraxes miraculously toasted onto it. One of his children asked him “Dada, who was that lady?” then they put the piece of brioche on eBay and spent the money on an art movement. Or there may have been drugs involved.
  • He was in the Café de la Terrasse in Zurich, and he had a brioche in his left nostril, together perhaps with a bunch of casually inserted ostrich feathers up his a… And he witnessed the naming of the Dada movement with his family and the brioche and ostrich feathers.
  • “Tristin Tzara invented the word Dada on 6 February 1916 at 6pm. I believe I was wearing a brioche in my left nostril.” Hans Arp
  • A truly awful and inexplicable event, where Hans Arp accidentally snorted his infant’s heart. It’s an event commemorated in that song… “Hans Arp, baby Hans Arp, gimme your heart, gimme gimme your heart gimme gimme…”
  • Hans Arp claimed to have witnessed the invention of the word “Dada” by Tristan Tzara while having a brioche up his nose. Tzara however said: “A word was born, I don’t know how.” Other explanations see “Dada” as a word from French (hobby-horse), Romanian (yes yes), Italian (Dice, Mother)or Kru (tail of a holy cow). This overall confusion tells you all you need to know about Dada as an artistic style.
  • In a very early attempt at lyrical perfection, the great grand father of Gordon Sumner (Tristan Tzara) sang the words “Da do do do, de da da da” in his most recent shot at a number one song. It didn’t make sense then, it doesn’t now, so he chucked in the music career and invented political movements. (This may be apocryphal as Arp was snorting “sugar” attached to a sticky bun at the time.)
  • It would appear he and his brood witnessed the invention of DADA. Yes indeedy DADA came to pass, there was a brioche worn in the snout. Of course there is some confusion connected with the piddling of graphic impressions. I used to do that some times but I have stopped drinking that stuff now
  • Kids: “What’s ‘arp’ Hans?”
  • The invention of Dadaism, when an attempt to pick his nose failed catastrophically and resulted in what some neurosurgeons have called “the scrambled brains incident”

Question 2

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


Blagoveshchensk (2011)

Additional Answers

  • Blagoveshchensk; perhaps it means ‘wind of the hawk’? Hmm, couldn’t find a Hitler reference but I liked this one: During the Cultural revolution, the city was subject to Maoist propaganda ‘blasted from loudspeakers across the river 24 hours a day.”
  • Because the cold war never became hot, no Russian cities were ever hit by a Tornado or even a Hurricane. Tch, Dr Bob, don’t you know your military history?
  • I have a friend in Minsk, who has a friend in Pinsk / Whose friend in Omsk has friend in Tomsk / With friend in Akmolinsk / His friend in Alexandrovsk has friend in Petropavlovsk / Whose friend somehow is telling us now / about tornado in Blagoveshchensk
  • The tornado hit Blagoveshchensk, a city of about 200,000 in eastern Russia near the China border.
  • A tornado that struck the eastern Russian city of Blagoveshchensk on Sunday night was the country’s first ever “city tornado,” a meteorologist said. (, 1.8.2011!)
  • Gloshavebnvosk. At least, that’s how the Cyrillic characters transliterated afterwards.
  • Oh Dr Bob! How soon we forget. A tornado hit Blagoveshchensk (where else?) in Russia’s Far East Amur region on August 1, 2011.
  • 20 years after the end of the Cold War the citizens of Blagoveshchensk not only get used to “western” commodities such as bananas and porn but also experience their first tornado. Slowly but surely progress is made.
  • Blagoveschensk, which sounds like, but apparently is definitely not Bloody Vostock, despite what one might have been inclined to exclaim at the time.
  • Blagoveshchensk, apparently. Yet something seems awry with the whole thing
  • What’s this talk about “only”? I am sure the inhabitants of any city will hear a whole lot of rushin’ just before a tornado hits.

Question 3

What is the longest undammed river in the world?


The Amazon (fairly obviously)

Additional Answers

  • Wife: I am so much bothered by the strong wind again, Ivan” Husband: “Don’t be Volga, Olga”
  • Volga Volga is tempting, but I’ll say ‘Amazon’
  • As a Queenslander, I know that Qld is the world. The answer is therefore the pristine Paroo River which, if memory serves, is the longest undammed river in this wonderful state. Or, if it isn’t, it should be. Not that it has water in it all that often. The Paroo that is, not Queensland.
  • I’m damned if I can be certain but I think it’s probably the Amazon (which is also complete and unabridged)
  • The Amazon
  • Amazon river— Longest and largest river in the world, undammed as well as unbridged.
  • I was very surprised to discover that the Amazon is undammed. I thought the answer was going to be some river in Siberia or thereabouts.
  • The Amazon. The lack of dams makes it possible for books harvested upstream to be floated downstream, in order to be sent all over the world. This explains why some of my books have nibble marks on them – piranhas are a constant source of annoyance to the bookjacks. Or my dog’s been tasting them.
  • According to my big book of environmental doomsayers they are all dammed. Of course that’s not to say that other big books of doomsaying aren’t also correct and an appropriate and correct understanding of all things mystical.
  • Amazon
  • That’d be the Amazon. The longest undamned river is the Schwentine in Northern Germany. It is considered too insignificant to be worth cursing.
  • The longest freaking, blasted, sodding, smegging and cursed river in the world would be the Amazon. I mean really, it would be as effective as plugging an elephant’s fundamental orifice! And the second ‘m’ should be an ‘n’.
  • The Amazon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dam some Amazons. I just hope she’s not a dike, or things may get weir-d.

Question 4

What is the oldest river?


Meuse .. or the Finke, or the New River in the Appalachians

Additional Answers

  • The million mile long one created by Philip Jose Farmer in the Riverworld series (science fiction fans only)
  • Under Australia, but the oldest above-ground river is the ‘Finke’. And the second oldest river is the New River
  • Oldest? Paroo again, although it has significant competition in Queensland (aka the world). The Cooper has been there a while, as have all those others in western Qld. So much older/better than pissy southern rivers like the Murray, Shoalhaven and Snowy. And don’t get me started on the Parramatta, Swan, Derwent or Torrens – bloody young drains they are. Yarra? Hah – not even a drain. More like a sewer that was constructed yesterday*. No wonder bloody Batman wanted a village there – Melbourne is the only city on the planet where the sewer was in place before the white man came along. [* “yesterday” in a geological sense.]
  • Some say it’s the Finke River, but I really think they are just in de Nile.
  • The Finke River
  • The oldest rivers in the world are the Finke, Australia and and the ironically named New in the USA Appalachians. I take the Australian side, for sure, ignoring my sound belief in the Bible’s registration of the REAL old ones…
  • Oldest river? Sounds like something an unscrupulous Finke running boat tours would make up.
  • Seems to be a bit of a dispute here Dr Bob. The Finke river in Central Australia is named in some places, and also the inappropriately named New River in Nth Carolina. I’m bound to choose the wrong answer, so I’ll say the New River.
  • De Nile, of course
  • Finke
  • The New River, a tributary of the Kanawha River, which would be too easy in the world of ironic type names
  • There are several contestants. However, for its oxymoronic naming I have to go with New River (Virginia, USA).
  • You may think it’s the Mississippi, aka “Old Man River”, but that would get double klaxons on Qi. It’s Little River near Geelong. I’ve seen the band, and man, those guys are ancient!
  • Joan.

Question 5

Emperor Hirohito’s 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?


Recorded on a gramophone record, which was smuggled out in a basket of women’s underwear

Additional Answers

  • The speech was replayed from a phonograph recording made in the Imperial Palace. Believing surrender to be ‘dishonourable,’ ‘one thousand officers attempted to raid the Imperial palace on the evening of August 14, to destroy the recording. The recording was successfully smuggled out of the palace in a laundry basket of women’s underwear and broadcast the following day.’
  • Ah yes – he went on record as “saying the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage”, which put a whole new spin on things.
  • Can’t find this one. Would love to know how it was transmitted. By bicycle, probably…
  • Good old HH shoved his message in an empty sake bottle and chucked it in the Paroo, which in due course delivered it to the radio station. It is a little known fact that, in order to allow for the erratic flow of the Paroo and to ensure his words would end WWII on time, Hirohito recorded his surrender speech in 1896.
  • After making the decision to surrender, Emperor Hirohito had made a phonograph recording of a speech to be aired later on the radio to the Japanese population telling them of the surrender. This phonograph record was then hidden to prevent it from possibly being discovered and destroyed by pro war government officials. This was a real threat as young members of the Japanese War Cabinet believed their Emperor was under the influence of traitors, and if they could safely kidnap him and reverse his decision, their nation could continue fighting the war. But this final bombing of Tokyo caused a black-out that allowed the Emperor to remain free, and his phonograph record of surrender safely hidden. It’s broadcast soon afterwards to the Japanese people finally brought the cruel war to an end. [But the war against spurious apostrophes continued]
  • Quietly. Very quietly. It was recorded on a record/phonograph and smuggled out of the Imperial Palace in a laundry basket of women’s unmentionables for broadcast the next day.
  • Shhhhhhh! That was strictly off the record.
  • I actually know that one… they recorded his voice on a phonograph roll and carried it over to the station by hand. He really was on a roll that day.
  • The speech was on a phonograph recording and was smuggled over in a basket of women’s underthings. There are some very naughty and inappropriate things to be said in regard to underthings and those of Japan but that would be very inappropriate, stereotypical and wrong, here are some soothing whale sounds instead….
  • To avoid interception by opponents the recording was smuggled out of the palace in a basket of women’s underwear. Now, that’s what I call washing one’s dirty laundry in public.
  • Via underwire, concealed in a basket of ladies unmentionables.
  • Truman: “You ready to give up now?” Hirohito: “Best of two out of three?”

Question 6


Who is this?


Sigurdur Hjatarson, Curator of the Icelandic Penis Museum

Additional Answers

  • I’m struggling here Dr Bob. The phone suggests maybe something to do with the Flintstones, but it doesn’t seem to be Hanna or Barbera, although I understand a remake is in the offing. On the other hand it looks somewhat phallic, so my next guess is Sigurður Hjartarson, the director owner of the Penis Museum in ICELAND. Oh Dr Bob!! Not another Iceland question, surely.
  • Sigurdur Hjartarson, former headmaster and current curator of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, so not just another dick on the ‘phone.
  • Don’t know this chap, but he has an impressive ‘wood’…
  • It’s a Photoshopped image of an “older” Bill Shorten (or is it Doug Cameron?)engaging in phone sex. (In order to avoid an XXX classification for this month’s Quiz, one cannot see the bloke’s left hand. Quite right, too.)
  • That would be that dickhead Icelandic collector – or should that be head Icelandic dick collector? Anyway it’s good old Siggie Hjartarson,
  • Could I resist answering THIS question first? Of course NOT! This is Sigurdur Hjartarson, who runs the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Húsavík, Iceland (formerly in Reykjavík), which is a museum devoted to penises. This jolly fellow can be viewed on video in
  • A DICK-taphone.
  • Lead singer of the Little River Band, grandson of Tristan Tzara, the bloke who piqued Gordon Sumner’s interest in Tantra, wood carver and owner of an exaggerated sense of his own…. Nope, sorry… phallus sense of his own…. I’ll stop now.
  • Looks like that guy from the Icelandic Phallological Museum. That, or something related to artificial insemination for very large animals (Whales? Elephants? Americans?)
  • Sigurdur Hjartarson, founder of the Icelandic (what else) Phallological Museum. Earlier this year he added a human penis to the collection. Comics can be so very helpful at times:
  • Sigurdur Hjartarson, owner of the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
  • Somebody named Richard?
  • Someone ringing Poisons Information to try to find solvents for superglue. Alternatively, Ken Ham on his hotline to the Lord.
  • ummmm, looking at the holder on the wall using my mind I think I will step away and comment no more…
  • OK, Dr Bob, prepare for a relentless onslaught of the inevitable gags: Gag 1: I don’t recognize the name, but the face sure rings a bell. Gag 2: The phone was not a commercial success, it distorted voices and made them sound wooden. Gag 3: It’s an Irishman who on behalf of himself and his two mates is responding to an ad for “Tree Fellers Wanted”. Gag 4: Seeing it’s in Iceland, it’s a guy ordering a length of Iceland spar. He’s on hold while they redirect him to the branch office. He hasn’t twigged yet. Gag 5: (My favourite) He’s making a “trunk” call. Why don’t I stop while I’m behind? And leaf you alone …


  • Thanks for this quiz. I don’t often email in, but do it whenever I get the chance. [Wow! Lucky you – and that’d be why you don’t have time to email in]
  • Hey Dr Bob! I thought I’d get in early this month! And use search engines….. [And then wait 3 months for me to bother editing the result. 😦 ]
  • There is a trick in here, I just know it. No mention of Norway or an act of Godwin’s law, I am confused again. [But look at the location for Q6, and despair].
  • Don’t stand so, don’t stand so, don’t stand so close to me…. with THAT in your hand!
  • Hey…was it too easy or what…?
  • I see you’re in Leh. My wife and I rode over nearby Khadung La on Royal Enfield’s three years ago. Brilliant trip, but totally terrifying, too…
  • I’m terribly sorry, I’ve been amazingly slack in entering so I thought I’d better boost the numbers, dredge out some bad puns and put in a bid this month.
  • I’ve been sitting here pressing the Escape button, but it’s not working, I’m still here.
  • Okay, I wasn’t really trying very hard this month….

Have a go!

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