Answers for April 1997

>There were quite a few all-correct entries this time but the sandgroping WINNER FOR APRIL 1997 IS: –

Chris Vernon


Question 1

What proportion of American households buy no books?

Answer

90%

Alternative answers:

  • Quite high – 10-15%
  • Based on the appearance of Infomercials it must be high – say 30% [Oh boy, have I got news for you two – Dr Bob]
  • Some Americans have no money
  • Do comics count as books?
  • 100% because everybody knows the Gideons give the Holy Bible away, and since this is the only book required for life in modern American society, and given that all Americans are perfect economic rationalists, it follows that Americans see no need to buy a book.

Question 2

What is the ratio of men to women who are killed by lightning?

Answer

7 to 1 – more men than women work outdoors and there are more male than female golfers, for example. Indeed in previous decades the proportion used to be higher still and it is now reducing.

Alternative answer:

  • It varies, due to experimentation by God with his new life forms … “I wonder if the male ones conduct better than the female ones” [Dr Bob recalls berating a trade union official over a poster stating the fatal electric current to be 17 milliamps for men and 10 for women]

Question 3

How many PhDs did McDonalds hire to work on the development of carrot sticks?

Answer

45 – and after all that work, at least in Australia, we never saw the carrot sticks – probably far too healthy.

Alternative answers:

  • Too many – they should put them to work on making their fare edible.
  • Carrots are stick shaped already, but perhaps a PhD would not notice this

Question 4

What Shakespeare play begins with the words “Who’s there”?

Answer

Hamlet

Alternative answers:

  • Julius Caesar – (the first draft)
  • MacDonaldsBeth
  • Knock Knock – A Comedie in Four Partes
  • The Wreck of the Titanic
  • Hmmm …. a tricky one. The Merry Wives of Windsor AND Hamlet both start this way. (OK, I cheated – http://www.cs.usyd.edu.au/~matty/Shakespeare/nsearch.cgi) [Dr Bob’s version has the first one starting “Sir Hugh, persuade me not”, although a Page(Within) soon says “Who’s there”. Of course he could have said “Who’s that without” then the answer could have been “A eunuch”, but Bill wrote on a higher level than that].

Question 5

How was the Moon formed?

Answer:

Of the four basic choices – captured, formed at same time, spun off, accreted from impact debris – the fourth is the most likely. Gravity is too weak to capture a passing Moon, simultaneous formation does not go well in models, and the maths is also all wrong for spinning off a glob of material; but the chemical composition of the Moon well fits the concept that something heavy hit the young Earth, scattering much debris into space, much of which then accreted into a separate body.

Alternative answers:

  • Where do you think all the uneaten cheese ends up?
  • As part of a snooker set to go with Mars, Venus and some black holes
  • Haven’t you read Genesis chapter 1? [Yes I have – quite a lot]
  • It was built by aliens so they could hide behind it so as not to be seen by intelligent life (excluding those who buy no books)
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