Answers for July 1997

Among a close field of witty, sarcastic and/or exasperated entries our WINNER for JUNE 1997 is:

Mike Garrett


Question 1

What proportion of people distinguish belief from truth?

Answer

15% – An amazing number of people got this right – probably a conspiracy.

Alternative answers:

  • Only Dr Bob and his sycophants.
  • Not enough, what what.
  • You mean there’s a difference?????

Question 2

Approx how many different compact discs of Greenlandic pop music are there?

Answer:

As several responses pointed out, this was an ambiguous question – “different” could mean “not the same as ‘normal’ Greenlandic pop music”, or “individual compact discs manufactured containing Greenlandic pop music” or “How many entries would you find in the “Greenlandic Music on Compact Disc” list. Well, I meant the third option –I’ve got one that is number 22 in the catalogue so my answer is “about 50”.]

Alternative answers:

  • Approx 100. And apparently every one has gone at least (the equivalent of) triple platinum in Greenland! [Presumably if they sell 25 copies they get an Ice Disk award, 50 for a Blue Ice award, 100 for a gold and for a platinum even the sled dogs would have copies. Seriously though I am very interested in the Greenlandic scene and would like to get e-mails from Greenland or other remote places. Is there any Greenlandic spam? <- no, this is not a trivia question].
  • Too many.
  • Hopefully, none.
  • 22.38946 [Wow! You must have the same CD. I like track 10 especially, Innuiaat naqissimane qarttugut kattuta, dum de dum].

Question 3

If the Bible was stored on a computer hard disk, uncompressed but without unnecessary spaces, as flat ASCII text, how many megabytes would it occupy?

Answer

4.45 megabytes. But if stored using PKZIP it exactly fills up two 1.2MB floppies with no need for a third, praise the Lord. It could be that 5MB is the “right” size for a religious text – if bigger, it would have taken too long for monks to copy it out; if smaller, it wouldn’t provide any scope for mysterious interpretation.

Alternative answers:

  • 5MB, but a more useful question would be, how long would it take to delete it?
  • Zero MB (Afraid of Vatican lawyers, illegal copying etc.)
  • Why “flat” ASCII text? I always found “sparkling” or “carbonated” ASCII text much more agreeable.

Question 4

The great 19th-Century physicist Lord Kelvin believed that the Earth was only a few thousand years old because its molten nickel/iron core would have cooled down in a longer time. Since we now know that the Earth is very old, why is its interior still hot?

Answer

Radioactive decay of the core elements.

Alternative answers:

  • It’s because Krishna likes his/her/its air conditioner up high, naturally.
  • Satan hangs out down there.
  • Sinners being burned.

Question 5

LAX is the international airline code for Los Angeles. Where is LXA?

Answer

Lhasa

Alternative answers:

  • It’s Los Angeles again – Americans can’t spell
  • Laxdaela, China [Oh boy, are you ever lost]