Answers for July 1999

I have waded through a very extensive set of answers (including 4 complete passenger lists of the Titanic) and I decree that this month’s WINNER is

Sir Jim R Wallaby

Question 1

What really happened to the Tsar’s daughter, Anastasia?

Correct Answers:

  • My name isn’t Anastasia and I do not know what happened to the Tsar’s daughter.
  • She died.
  • She was killed along with the rest of the family on the 17th July 1918 in the basement in the Ipatiev House, Ykaterinburg. The difference was that she was bayonetted rather than shot.
  • They found her in Russia [Yes, but in a very poor condition]
  • Well, she was born, grew up a bit and then things sort of went downhill.
  • She joined the family mining venture.

Alternative Conspiracies:

  • After being shot dead in that rather noisome cellar I was reincarnated as a poodle and run over by a truck four years later.
  • She became a driving and flight instructor to the Kennedy family.
  • Moved to England, called herself Margaret Thatcher, and, well, the rest is history.
  • She dis-Tsar-peer’d.
  • She escaped to England and boarded the Titanic.
  • She married Vladimir (John) Lenin, thereby precipitating the dissolution of his group, the Beatsheviks. The other members, Paul McTrotsky, George Bukharrison and Ringo Starlin, objected when she insisted that Lenin give all his press conferences nude and in bed.
  • From the anagram of “Anastasia Romanov” – amass anon aviator – she probably ran off with Amelia Eirhardt and Richard Peirce
  • She was doomed to live in Florida and appear as an extra on “The Nanny” forever more – oi vey.
  • She was kidnapped by the Walt Disney Corporation, shrunk down to minute size and transmogrified into a two-dimensional cartoon character.
  • She was saved at the last minute by a freak occurrence of a rain of fish.
  • She escaped to small town America where she lived a life of relative seclusion, married a dentist called Don Baker and had a daughter called Norma Jean. But that’s another story.
  • Stacey survived the massacre and lived a full and happy life in Madrid married to an onion seller. Her grandson Georgy (15) returned to Russia in 1996 and was reinstated by Boris Yeltsin as the Russian token royal. He lives in a dacha outside Moscow and attends a military academy where he is secretly plotting to overthrow Boris.
  • A creationist dinosaur from the Old Testament ate her.
  • Something involving a big, bad wolf.
  • She was kidnapped by space aliens who took her aboard their mother ship, anally probed her and returned her to Earth in 2010, from which date she will assume the role of Grand Imperial Ruler of the 43rd Galactic Sector, including Earth, Venus and Comet Bart. I know all this because I channel her and can put you in contact with her for only $45.00. No personal cheques, please.

Question 2

Which is the most dangerous method of electricity generation per kilowatt produced – nuclear, coal, oil, sea (waves), geothermal, or wind?

Dr Bob’s Answer:

Wind power causes the most deaths (from people injured by, or falling off, windmills) per kWh that is actually produced. Coal is next. Both of these are vastly worse than all other methods.

However, opinions differ:

  • Anything burning fossil fuels, because the operators often burn their fingies.
  • Geothermal. If a nuclear plant goes, it leaves a crater. If a volcano goes, you’re lucky if it leaves the island
  • I’m going for geothermal as steam burns HURT LIKE HELL! [Volcano burns and nuclear detonation burns are probably worse]
  • I’m not sure ‘bout dangerous, but wind energy is by far the smelliest.
  • None of the above. It’s the ‘electricity of love’, baby.
  • Nuclear, if you’re changing broken rods dressed only in your swimmers. Waves, if you’ve been asked to dig a new sand bank a hundred metres out to sea to alter the flow pattern in the waves and you’re dressed only in your swimmers. Wind, if you’re fixing a broken vane at the top of a windmill, dressed only in your swimmers, the wind changes and the windmill turns and knocks you off the top. Can you see the pattern emerging? All energy sources are potentially dangerous if you’re dressed only in your swimmers.
  • Pass. [wind?]
  • Sea, of course. Water & power tend not to mix well. Imagine trying to fix the bugger during a storm.
  • Sea – ships crash into it
  • The Electric Light Orchestra, their music kills me!
  • Wind. Producing enough inflammable flatulence to produce commercial quantities of electricity really takes it out of you! It’s not a job for just anyone, you know. Creationists and politicians rate well, but creationist-politicians are reputed to be the best source of concentrated flammable wind. They well exceed the outputs of orange juice, soybeans, or Diet Coke™.
  • Wind. Don’t light that cigarette!
  • WIND. When I blow a fart everyone within a 100Km’s knows about it.

Alternative Sources of Energy

  • Feline Frottage: You try holding a cat down long enough to generate a kilowatt of electricity.
  • A mouse on a treadmill attached to a generator is the most dangerous method of electricity generation known to man.
  • Holding a baseball bat in your hand while at the top of a giant sequoia in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.
  • Hot air; have you seen what happens in the State Parliament here? (me neither, I keep falling asleep and missing the declarations of civil war)
  • The oily radioactive magma-ish coal kind, riding the rough seas in a stiff breeze.
  • The most dangerous method is by rubbing a plastic comb through really dry hair on a day with very low humidity. In 1984, 342 people died trying to generate electricity this way while they were driving.
  • Holding the cord of your appliance in one hand and a long metal pole up in the air during a thunderstorm on the deck of the Titanic.
  • If you get things wrong enough, at least they’ll name the crater after you.

Question 3

In the song Killing Me Softly (With His Song) – what is the song referred to?

Dr Bob Blunders Again:

  • It is referred to as a “good song”! You didn’t mean to say: What is the ‘name’ of the song that the song named “Killing me softly (with his song)” is referring to?, did you?
  • It’s “Killing me softly (with his song)”. If you can’t even read your own clues, what hope is there for the rest of us?
  • The effects of advertising on (particularly female) body image and the process of personality poisoning as a market positioning tool. I really wish this was a joke answer.
  • I referred it to a good defense attorney.

A Legally Correct Answer, Not Only to This Question But To All Other Questions

Due to federal legislation I am not allowed to say unless my ISP is hosted in the Australian Capital Territory.

Dr Bob’s Actual Answer:

American Pie, by Don MacLean. I forget where I read about this, but for a long time I have been thinking that this fact was so obscure that nobody would ever, ever get it right. Little did I realise …

Dave Hawley’s Wife’s Answer

My wife knows the answer to this because she was a fan of Roberta Flack, the most renowned singer of the song. Therefore by definition I don’t know anything about this, so I’ll just ask her…dum de dum dum dum … (yes, dear?) Don McLean was the artist in question, American Pie was the song (thanks, dear!) And furthermore see See? My wife DOES know everything! [Now go back to peeling the potatoes Dave]

Other Songs Nominated As Having Possibly Inspired “Killing Me Softly”:

  • The song of a canary in a coal mine.
  • Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goal Posts of Life
  • I am the Antichrist by the Sex Pistols.
  • Yes, We Have No Bananas
  • 1,000 Green Bottles Hanging On the Wall
  • Achy Breaky Heart – if I hear it once more I’ll certainly kill somebody.
  • The Fugees’ cover version
  • The Macarena
  • Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides, Now
  • Vincent (Starry starry night), by Don Mclean
  • Anything by Barry Manilow
  • Boris Yeltsin’s attempts to sing in public.
  • Empty Chairs sung by Don McLean
  • It’s a metaphor (or is that meteorite? = rock star, geddit?) for his guitar playing, although how a guitar can sing I don’t know. No wonder the youth of today are confused.
  • Any ELO song, which still kills me.
  • Don McLean must have sung to her at close range.
  • The fact the all radio stations now seems to play only ‘Classics’ or ‘Golden Oldies’, driving most of us nuts.
  • The song referred to is the song being sung by the singer she’s singing about and the singer she’s singing about is apparently singing about her life and blabbing out all her secrets. And does he give a damn – No. And does she have an identity crisis or what?
  • Dunno

Question 4

When did the Titanic sink (exact time and date)? Passenger list is optional.

Complete Answer:

  • It hit the iceberg at 11.40 pm on Sunday April 14th 1912. The bow went underwater at 02:17 (some sources say 02:18) and the ship disappeared completely below the surface at 02:20 in the early morning of Monday 15 April 1912. It would have hit the bottom at about 02:38. The passengers are listed below:
    Allen, Miss Elisabeth Walton … (etc etc, for 45 pages)
  • Well, really it started sinking bit by bit as the passengers embarked at Southampton, Cherbourg and Queenstown. Upon departure, it stopped sinking for a few days as fuel was used, then it started to sink again in earnest after a mishap at sea that wasn’t in the White Star Line’s brochure.
  • For a good passenger list: see

Answers Demonstrating The Influence of the Media:

  • 11:03pm on Tuesday, May 12th 1998 at Hoyts Cinema, Cannington, Perth WA.
  • 9:37pm on Sunday 18 July 1999, on Channel 7, immediately after the commercial for the Demtel home aromatherapy course.
  • Daily at 1.30pm, 5.30pm, 9.30pm, plus 1.30am on weekends, and occasional matinees.

Alternative Concepts:

  • As soon as it filled up with water.
  • A few minutes after the captain said ‘I meant left’
  • After hitting the iceberg.
  • At a quarter past iceberg.
  • Earlier this century (exact on a geological time scale)
  • Passenger list:
    Aaron A. Aardvark
    Anastasia Romanov
    Me, with my pole and hair-dryer.
    Zzzxy Z. Zzzebra
  • It depends what you mean by ‘sink’. Do you mean when the boat was first submerged, or when it hit the ground, or when it hit the iceberg. Also, how ‘exact’ do you want the answer? I doubt it would be known to an infinite accuracy. [But it is known to an exasperating accuracy]
  • It didn’t. This is an Urban Legend. Not many people know that the Titanic still plies the seas as a Tasmanian Ferry.
  • Grammar, please! “Passenger list WAS optional.” [Yes – this was obvious because some of them were seen to be standing up straight. Boom Boom]
  • Monday 15 April 1912 …. e-mail me if you want the crew & rodent list as well … PS Dammit !!! List is not complete – I ran out of room [So did the Titanic]
  • Ship’s time 2.20am , Monday 15 April 1912. All the clocks on board stopped.
  • Sink? It made over $600 million!
  • Errr…Dr Bob, do you have a LOT of books about the Titanic in your library by any chance? [Well I did have one, and I had nearly finished colouring it in, but an iceberg took it away]

Question 5

In the USA 3 million teenagers play the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons and in 1992, 28 teenage suicides were related to it. Is this significant?

Statistically Significant Answers:

  • No
  • The Dungeonmaster tells me that this has no significance, but I’ll roll my ’28’-sided ‘die’ to make sure.

Even Less Charitable Views:

  • Not even slightly. You can always get more teenagers.
  • YES!! YES!! a thousand time YES!! – Now we’re all hoping for a dramatic increase in these numbers. Problem is, many American teens are unable to read and play the game correctly. If one helps them read the rules, cards etc. is that assisted suicide?
  • No. People who play D&D aren’t significant.
  • Not really. They were all nerds anyway.
  • The big question is DID IT WIN THEM THE GAME ???!!
  • Gamers have a lower suicide rate than everyone else. They are too busy trying to get their 20-sided dice out from under the couch.
  • Yes – Dungeons and Dragons is an evil game inspired by Satan to lead our children from the path of righteousness and to open their hearts to the evil influence of the Prince of Darkness. Only the Lord can replace the evil in their hearts and, through the grace of God, I can help them to turn from their evil ways for only $45. No personal cheques please.
  • Based on my significant understanding of American life from watching TV shows about lawyers, I would suggest that the only real significant aspect is the fact that the parents thought they could blame (and thus sue) someone else with deep pockets.
  • Definitely not, as any stats student know. Doesn’t even begin to achieve a Test of Spericity. [That’s from another game …as a Novitiate Acolyte grade 3 you must now pass the fiendish Test of Spericity – hey, where did the goat go? Anyone seen the goat … Ho well where’s that grade 1 acolyte … Dave, come over here]
  • It shows that Dungeons and Dragons has very little to do with teenage suicide. In the USA, the average teenage suicide rate was 1 in 10,000. If anything, this suggests people who role-play are less likely to commit suicide than the average person.
  • More worrying is the fact that 3 million teenagers in the USA are still able to play a board game despite the attempt by network television to remove all sense of imagination.
  • No. In a recent survey, 8% of students at one US High School said they would commit suicide if given the opportunity [Says a lot about US teenagers – everyone always has the opportunity]. 28 out of 3 million is negligible.
  • Not to me. However if you look under chapter 8 of the DM’s guide, subsection qz17 (a) it does mention out of body astral traveling and the silver thread experience.
  • Nothing related to Dungeons and Dragons is remotely significant to anyone or anything.
  • Statistically not. 28 in 3 million is less than the normal suicide rate for teenagers. However, it is the principle that matters here! All these spawn of Satan are in the grip of the unholy one Beelzebub and little know that they are but pawns in his evil game. They should be burned like those evil Lichtensteinian women and their graves salted to ensure that this foul stinking corruption does not spread!!!!!
  • Yes, Dungeons and Dragons is clearly safer than any of, driving a car, falling in love, or glue sniffing
  • Yes, particularly to the relatives and friends of the 28.
  • Yes. It shows that while 28 people chose suicide as a cure for boredom, that solution did not occur 2,999,972 others. The poor state of public education in the US is to blame.
  • According to a recent survey – I asked my cats, my dog, and teddy bear – this is the reason 99% of people love statistics. [A dangerous practice here – after what Hitler’s teddy bear told him]
  • The problem is insufficiently defined. You have not specified a value you will accept for incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis (that there is no significance). If this value is taken as being 0.00000000001 (since we are skeptics and would want to be really sure) then the answer is no (accepting that there is a larger chance that we have actually falsely failed to discard the null hypothesis). But strictly, to answer this I would need to know the suicide rate per million US teens in 1992. Then, separate out the variance attributable to the teens who play D&D AND suicide, so that the D&D suicides and non-D&D suicides can be compared. Also, I need to know the other causes of suicide and . . .The hell with this, I’m going to top myself.


  • I want to join your organisation, but I seem to be having a lot of trouble. One of you guys has emailed the Sydney guys, but they haven’t said hello to me yet. I’m feeling unwanted :O( [Correct – we don’t want you, we just want your money]
  • Mirror Mirror on the wall; which was the large US company with all the spare time to produce witty answers?
  • PLEASE WORK [This was the Webmaster seeing if the form works properly. But it was possibly the CEO of a large US company]
  • “We all live in a Capital I, in the middle of the desert, in the centre of the sky. And all day long we will sing a happy tune ‘It’s so good to be so happy on a sunny afternoon’.”
  • 0/5, I couldn’t be bothered scouring the internet to get at least one right this month.
  • Always a pleasure, Dr. Bob. [I must have missed something here]
  • Can one enter twice? [Yes]
  • Dear Bob, why do you persist in putting my answers in the alternative section when I am really Dave Hawley in disguise? [Sorry Dave]
  • Do you expect people to know the answers to these questions? [No – I already know them myself]
  • Dr. Bob, what can I say, you are… well…… [No – I have a hangover this morning, after celebrating the failure of Nostradamus’ prediction that the world would end in July 1999]
  • General Humor Failure…Please re-boot
  • Haven’t you gotten over the Titanic yet? [What pisses me off is that I was berserk about it long before it became trendy]
  • How many answers do you have to wade through each month? [Approx 200 – and I read them only at the end of the month. But it does cheer me up no end]
  • I hope I’m getting funnier because I’m sure not getting any brighter. [No – we are all laughing at how bad your answers are]
  • I suggest multiple choice answers, particularly for the Titanic’s passenger list. [Too late – many of them died in 1912 and the rest are dead of old age]
  • Sorry about the conspiracy theory theme of my answers. I’m having a darkly cynical mood swing.
  • Why do you ask for email addresses? [I don’t need it or use it – I certainly don’t pass them on. They are automatically put in by the e-mail form software]
  • Why is my spleen teal?
  • Would 3 (not in a row) rate a skeptical membership? What, not even if I’m married to a South Australian?
  • Are you going to enforce the ‘three times & you’re out’ rule for that Hawley chap?
  • You can tell us. Is Dave Hawley your brother-in-law or do you just hang out in the same pubs? [No – he likes cold beer with bubbles in it]
  • I [Dave Hawley] just want to state publicly to all Dr Bob’s Quizzers that I am not related to Dr Bob by blood or marriage, and that he does not owe me any money or favors. We have never met, and apparently he lives over 1000 kilometers away (that’s 600 miles in the USA). I don’t think I even look like his dog/cat! It’s just that I probably don’t have a life… Anyway, I reckon most of the other quiz answers are a LOT better than mine.