Answers for January 1997

Here are the answers for my first web quiz of January, 1997. (If you read this at a later date, please allow for some of the facts to have changed since the questions were posed!). I was delighted to get a number of better answers than mine in the responses, so I include these. WINNER for January 1997 is: (taraaaa) –

Phil Giffard

Question 1

What percentage of adults lose faith in their religion?

Dr Bob’s answer


Other responses:

  • 0% since religion is part of your true soul, thus proving it!
  • Very few % since the faith that most adults appear to have in their religion is that it will foster social cohesiveness – and the percentage that lose this may not be all that high, blah blah blah ……. actually I have no idea
  • 66.6%
  • 100%, minus those who can hear one hand clapping.
  • 100%, and those who don’t won’t admit it

Question 2

If you see a polar bear coming charging towards you, which way should you jump?

Dr Bob’s answer

Left! LEFT!! Everybody knows that most bears are left-handed. Indeed the Inuit of Kalaallit Nunaat (ex Greenland Eskimos) objected to the official seal (sic) of the Royal Greenland Trading Company which depicts a bear extending its right paw. (Dr Bob would like to hear from someone in the area). The bear will swipe with its front left paw; therefore if you and the bear are facing, you wait till the last moment then jump to the bear’s right, which is your left.

Other responses:

  • Don’t jump, just play dead [“Mmmm, dead meat. Chomp chomp chomp”]
  • South
  • Towards your rifle
  • Up [but what about gravity?]
  • If at the zoo, jump back over the enclosure fence

Question 3

A man was forty-eight years old on his first birthday. In what year was he born?

Dr Bob’s answer

When Sweden lost their 11 days to move from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, to avoid riots and salary-related ripoffs they simply omitted the leap years 1704-1744. So anyone born on 29 February 1700 had to wait till 1748 for another birthday.

Other responses:

  • 4052BC [* Dr Bob’s Favourite Answer of the Month]
  • Various times in India or other places where they have rarely used lunar months
  • The year that he disembarked from his near-lightspeed spaceship
  • Since a birthday is “the day of one’s birth” (Macquarie Dictionary), by this definition every person has only one birthday. So everybody has their first (and only) birthday at the age of 0 and therefore this person is not a man (“an adult male person” – Macquarie Dictionary again). Based on this the question does not make sense.

Question 4

What European country exports the most hippopotamuses?

Dr Bob’s answer

Hungary – it’s a terrible place, you can’t walk around on the Great Plain without having to bat herds of them off with a stick. The spotty pink ones are the worst – randy little buggers – yes I do believe I’ll have another slivovitch

Other responses:

  • Lappland, especially before Christmas
  • Andorra – they need the space
  • Vatican City – ditto [or for obscure ritual reasons?]

Question 5

A celebrated cartoon joke shows two ski tracks, one going each side of an isolated fully-grown tree. Give several essentially different explanations as to how this might have been done.

Dr Bob’s answers:

  • 1. Two skiers go down, each lifting one ski at the tree.
  • 2. One skilful skier takes one foot out of the ski as he passes the tree.
  • 3. No skiers – two free running skis are released at the top of the slope.
  • 4. No skis – the tracks were melted by airborne laser/underground wires
  • 5. One skier stops at the tree (painfully), skis carry on, skier is still in the tree.
  • 6. The tracks were first made on a treeless slope, then a sharpened tree is planted from a helicopter. (Sorry – but just suppose there was money involved?)
  • 7. The snow is hard enough to support a vehicle without making tracks, from which someone drags a heavy ski.
  • 8. The tree is flexible enough to allow the skier to pass over it.
  • 9. It was a bonsai tree.
  • 10. Are you sure you have read the question properly?
  • 11. Er, it wasn’t really true about the tree
  • 12. Question? What question?
  • 13. Are you sure this is the real world?

Other responses –

  • 14. Second track each side was erased.
  • 15. One skier on very tall, bowlegged stilts.
  • 16. Two skiers stop at the tree and urinate, then climb into the tree.
  • 17. The tracks were made long ago in snow that has now turned to glacial ice, then the tree grew.
  • 18. Avalanches or geological activity brought the tracks and tree together.
  • 19. It was a really short slope and someone with really long skis climbed out of the tree and started downhill from it.
  • 20. A really heavy skier with amazingly powerful chainsaws attached to head and feet, quickly chops out the bottom part of tree and continues on, holding it, while gravity drops the rest of the tree back into position.
  • 21. Skier with detachable wooden leg.
  • 22. Telekinesis.
  • 23. Ghost on skis.
  • 24. Drawn with ink on transparent plastic – check the question again