Answers for May 1999

Our repeat WINNER for May is yet again –

Dave Hawley

Dave, if you can win for June as well perhaps Manchester United will sign you up!

Question 1

From which city in the Eastern United States might you see the sun setting over a watery horizon with big ships on it?

Correct Answer

Buffalo, in the state of New York. Buffalo is on the eastern end of Lake Erie, whose long axis is roughly WSW-ENE. Being quite a few hundred kilometers (or in US weight, miles) long, from water level at Buffalo a large part of the western horizon consists of water. The sun sets slightly south of west in the northern latitudes (!?), and thus should be “into the water”. Heavy shipping plies north-south between USA and Canada on Lake Erie. Buffalo is also home to the crap view of Niagara Falls – the much more romantic view is on the Canadian side. [Thanks Dave. I got it from an Isaac Asimov detective story based on this fact.] Also Cleveland, Ohio and possibly St Petersburg, Florida (not sure how big the ships are).

Equally Correct Answers:

  • Hawaii. Depends on how far “east” you want to go…
  • Any US city if you have access to a video
  • All of them – every known cheap hotel contains prints of the famous watercolour “sunset over big ships”
  • Any that have a decent art gallery… which may be a problem
  • Any, with a pool, toy ships and a bit of imagination.
  • It looks like Tampa, Florida [No it doesn’t – it looks like Buffalo, NY – unfortunately]
  • From no city, accumulated smog levels in almost all American cities prevent viewing anything more than a few hundred metres away !
  • Note that the sun also sets into the sea in Vietnam – see the closing scene of the John Wayne movie The Green Berets.
  • If you’re on drugs, anywhere! However if you want added realism, then standing on the cnr of W46th Street and 12 Ave overlooking pier 86 on the Hudson river in Manhattan, NY, you’ll see the air craft carrier, Intrepid, the destroyer, Edson and the submarine, Growler.
  • Mackinac City and any other Cities on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan like St. Ignace, see Even further east is Cleveland, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania
  • New York (if you had a powerful enough telescope to see the horizon off the Californian coast!).
  • New York. However, San Francisco et al will be watching watery sun-everythings when the ‘biggie’ hits. All the media will be telling what a tragedy it is. We more enlightened people will of course be saying, “Der…..”
  • Sarasota (mmm polar bears)
  • Tampa, if they are really big ships and that little peninsula doesn’t get in the way

Question 2

Where, if anywhere, did Hitler meet Stalin?

Correct Answer:

The only place where they can possibly have met, and unlikely at that, is in the crowd in Vienna, 1913. Stalin was attending a Bolshevik party conference. There was this guy in the street selling paintings….

Alternative Answers:

  • In the afterlife, at the barbeque … where the guests ARE the barbecue
  • Hell transit I. (anagram of Hitler & Stalin).
  • Apparently not at all – they never even spoke on the telephone! Such a meeting probably would have happened only by pushing Hitler into the same room as Stalin with a bulldozer while under general anaesthetic. Then they would have shot each other anyway.
  • As kids on a summer camp outside of St Petersburg. Late that night Adolf blitzkrieged young Joseph’s camp fire by throwing little cans of vegemite in it, causing them to explode. Joseph responded by eating Adolph’s cat. They were life long friends from that point on.
  • At the 1944 Berlin Beerfest. A lot of bloody good it did them both!
  • Hitler and Stalin never met, although Hitler made a concerted effort to crash Stalin’s birthday party in 1942. Upon finding that Stalin had moved all the schnapps and sauerkraut east to Siberia they were eventually forced to go home.
  • At a mass murderers conference in 1938.
  • In a thick paperback biography on my bookshelf.
  • I have the Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives book, but I’m only up to page 178, and they haven’t meet yet [Woops, go back look at page 44 – that’s where I got it from]
  • In the dried fruit aisle of the Payless Supermarket, King Street, Newtown.
  • In the infant cranial care unit. They both were dropped on their head when they were born.
  • On “Perfect Match”
  • Over a nice cup of earl grey tea… with biscuits.
  • In 1939 at the inaugural European convention for dictators who believe in the predictions of Nostradamus [No – Stalin was smarter than that]
  • They didn’t. It was von Ribbentrop that signed the non-agression treaty. I want to find something amusing to say about this, but the prospect of those two together is infinitely depressing.

Question 3

What happened in Bermuda in 1609?

Correct Answers:

  • A whole lot less than is happening there now.
  • Well, on the morning of January 1st, 1609, a lot of people started waking up and went about their morning business … no!! No-one got up to go about their business in Bermuda on 1/1/1609, ‘cos there wasn’t anyone there yet!
  • The sun rose and set approximately 365 times. Oh, and on July 28 there was a fairly famous shipwreck near the islands, triggering a sequence of events culminating in the colonization of the islands.
  • There were no nuclear holocausts, the sun rose in the East and water continued to surround the island.

Historically Liberal Answers:

  • In a meeting of the newly formed Bermuda Tourist Authority, it was decided to change the name of the region’s premier tourist attraction from the “Bermuda Octagon” to “Bermuda Triangle”.
  • A mysterious time/space vortex spat out a few planes offshore.
  • A number of new agers developed the Theory of Paranoid Triangulation.
  • The Marie Celeste was found abandoned? I was away the day we did history.
  • Rum was invented
  • Shorts were invented
  • The Mayflower sank and one of the pilgrims invented America’s first conspiracy theory.
  • Mrs N.Fernandes dropped her bagpipe down the stairs
  • The sun rose and set about 365 or so times, the good people of Bermuda slept, ate, sang, shouted, shat, screwed, fought, laughed, cried, finished one new year’s party and started another, shall I go on?

Question 4

Where does Mrs N Fernandes live?

Correct Answer, Which Nobody Got:

19 Gen Kariappa Marg, Pune, India (formerly 19 Frere Rd, Poona). Ye gods, doesn’t anyone buy those Indian curries and pickles called Fern’s in the jars with the green top? The address is on the label. Honestly, what is the world coming to. One day I would like to make a pilgrimage to 19 Frere Rd – it is probably not a house but a bloody great factory with thousands of starving, exploited proletarian workers.

Equally Correct Answers That Were Not Quite What Was Wanted:

  • 12401 Dutch Forest Place, Edmond, Oklahoma 73013
  • 5 Wantirna Rd, Ringwood, 3134
  • 52 Cooper St, Waterloo 2017.
  • 921 Centre Rd, South Oakleigh 3167
  • 83 Nineveh Crescent, Greenfield Park, 2176 (02) 9823-2210
  • No.12 Rillington Place, North Kingswood

Alternative Answers:

  • Bermuda
  • A Mrs N Fernandes lives in Karachi, Pakistan. She is listed as the Headmistress of Karachi Grammar School Kindergarten. In a strongly patriarchal society this is an achievement of note. Brava, Mrs Fernandes!
  • Is this a trivia question or did you lose her number after a cocktail party?
  • As one of the Church of Scientology’s original “converts” Mrs N Fernandes having donated all her worldly wealth to the church is now living happily on another planet of her choice.
  • If shes’s rich, could you give me her phone number?
  • In a small drug making house outside the suburbs of Northern Los Angeles, California.
  • Mrs Nina Fernandez – telephone 1 407 786 5007 – 630 Steamboat Drive – Altamonte Springs – Florida 32714-4544. I called out of curiosity … she said if I can find her, why couldn’t Dr Bob. She wants you to know that it was a girl and what’s happening with the alimony payments?
  • Where doesn’t she live!?!?!?!
  • Who?

Question 5

Can gorillas swim?

Correct Answer


Even More Correct Answer

Yes, but they cannot do backstroke

Yet Even More Correct Answer

ditto, and they would have to swim like mad to avoid sinking

Probably More Useful Answers:

  • Not in OUR pool, they can’t
  • Yes, but only in the Dead Sea
  • As gorillas live high in the mountains the probably don’t learn, not having access to a pool and flippers.
  • I referred this question to my father who is adamant the answer is yes. He has always claimed I am living proof that Darwin was right. He also taught me to swim by heaving me off the end of the local jetty – the hard part was getting out of the bloody bag! (Yeah, an old joke, but it sort of works here)
  • If they’ve got their swimmers on and have mum’s permission then why not?
  • It depends on the density of the fluid with which they are trying to swim in.
  • No, they can’t. A gorilla just eats, roots and leaves … bet I wont be the only one to come up with that line!! [Boinggg!! You lose]
  • Well I’m not going to try and stop one.
  • Would YOU throw one in the water to find out?
  • Yes – I saw one wearing an insy-winsy-tiny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini
  • Yes, but it’s difficult to get them in the Speedos.
  • Yes, for the length of time that it takes them to sink to the bottom
  • Yes. They can also paraglide, mud wrestle and bottle preserved fruit. The current 1400m backstroke world record is, in fact, held by a gorilla called Mobu. Unfortunately, Mobu is under investigation for corruption in the selection of Sydney for the 2000 games.


  • Can you be bribed? [Give me something and I’ll tell you]
  • I have yet to actually know the answer to any of these… that hasn’t stopped me answering them, though
  • I know I didn’t know any of these but hopefully my ignorance will amuse.
  • I’m sorry for the stupid attempts at humour but the last few months have really had me stumped. Good quiz though keep it up.
  • It’s great fun reading the answers each month.
  • What is the point of this quiz, are we supposed to know the answers? [Not really]
  • Why do such simple questions end up taking up such a ridiculous amount of my time?
  • Error with REALITY.DLL – Reinstall Universe and Reboot
  • Why is there air? [Hmm.. science only shows THAT there is air, it doesn’t tell why]