Answers for September 2001

Oh shit what a month. There was the appalling incident in New York, which has been written about elsewhere, but I find that several of my questions for September have a bearing on it. Barry Williams having a bad day on Sept 10th told me “all I need now is for an Ansett plane full of Afghans to crash into my house” Oh shit. I even put a Taliban joke in the original August answers, oh shit, shit. On my radio show I had just played the complete Philip Glass’s 1000 Airplanes On The Roof.
Ah yes, the August answers. Just for once, for one time only, I tried, I really did. I busted a gut to get them done on time, and the Web master had them by 5pm on Sept 1. And just this month the bloody Web page crashed and my answers vanished. Neither of us noticed what happened, I went away on a business trip serene in the mistaken belief that the answers were sitting there. Web master equally serene in the equally mistaken belief that they weren’t there because I was too preoccupied with business (as if….).
I even answered several enquiries, wondering why people were so interested in my health, still blissfully unaware of no answers. Eventually on the 28th I noticed what had happened. Oh shit shit shit. Apologies all round. Part of the problem is that I don’t read your trivia e-mails until the end of the month – that’s the only favour I ask of you all in running this page. In guilt and mitigation I will (eventually) compile a Hall of Fame with all the very best answers WITH NAMES.
Anyway, at the end of this wretched, wretched month, it pleases me to name as the winner someone who has tirelessly (or tiresomely) answered the quiz every month for years; this is his 21st entry, and it’s about time. So take it away

Steve Symonds

Question 1

We all know St Thomas is the patron saint of Skeptics. Who is the patron saint of computers and the Internet?

Infallible Answer:

St Isidore of Seville. (Who on his throne in the high heaven, must have been baffled by the sudden wave of prayers for faster connections, just after the Vatican dobbed him in for this duty). The Observation Service for Internet, which drew its mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint that best reflects the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users and came up with Saint Isidore of Seville (Born: c.560 in Cartagena, Spain. Died: April 4, 636. Feast Day: April 4). The saint who wrote the well-known ‘Etymologies’ (a type of dictionary), gave his work a structure akin to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as ‘flashes;’ it is very modern, notwithstanding the fact it was discovered in the sixth century. Saint Isidore accomplished his work with great coherence: it is complete and its features are complementary in themselves.

Heretical Answers:

  • “Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Amen indeed. Truly, in these troubled times, I find this prayer, and the knowledge that Saint Isidore guides me, to be very helpful when faced with the many sins and temptations of the internet. Although I am somewhat surprised to find that Saint Isidore seems to have a liking for hardcore lesbian porn websites.
  • St Bill the Unneccessary, e.g. “Hi! Windows has detected that you are trying to ask a quiz question? Would you like to run the “Quiz Wizard? Are you sure? Are you sure you’re sure?” … “Hi. Windows has detected that you are not sure. Please wait while Windows builds a database of known Ontological Insecurity Issues and cross references these with your internet profile and your software and hardware configuration. This may take several hours..”
  • After 1st year computer science I would have said Lucifer
  • Al Gore thinks he is, Bill Gates knows he is
  • Anyone who has ever worked in computer will tell you that it is St. Jude. Patron Saint of Lost Causes.
  • Dictionary: Saint n. an outstandingly devout and virtuous person; one of the blessed in Heaven. Sorry, can’t think of anyone in the computer business that even comes close – not even me!
  • I don’t think they’ve got one – unless it’s Thomas Jefferson (see But the proposed patron saint of computer and the internet _users_ is St. Isidore of Seville. Though St. Jude (hopeless causes) might have been a better choice.
  • Some guy who got killed by an abacus?
  • Insert predictable ‘Saint’ Bill Gates joke here.
  • Isidore of Seville. Apparantly, he did a lot of work linking abacuses via network cables.
  • My guess would be Marvin the paranoid Android. “Brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to play chess games….”
  • No one. The patron saints of computer users and internet users, however, are Saint Isidore of Seville and St Titus.
  • Not a clue, although it’s another sign that the Pope’s just blessing everyone in sight
  • OK, the closest I can come: the Archangel Gabriel, patron saint of information workers, St. Claire, patron saint of television, the Archangel Raphael, patron saint of diseases of the eye, and St. Jude, patron saint of desperate situations and hopeless cases.
  • Patron saint of the Skeptics? St Oxymoron rather.
  • Saint Isidore has been proposed as the patron saint of the internet. He is also the patron saint of farm laborers [peons] so that may tell you what the Vatican thinks of people on the net.
  • Saint Isidore of Seville (c.560-636) He was an early encyclopedist, by some stretch of the imagination this qualified him to be chosen patron of the Internet. I would have though the duty could be shared with whoever is the Patron Saint of Pornography.
  • Saint Murphy- because Murphy’s law bites you in the bum every time one of these things are used
  • Saint Telephonus was, now its St Cable Perspexus
  • St Bill of the window
  • St Cathode.
  • St Christopher should be – computers and the bloody Internet drive me to distraction.
  • St Figgins the Nerdy. A Benign hardy sole, with very poor posture.
  • St Isidore. I made some stupid joke about the Devil and Bill Gates, finished the quiz and it crashed before I could submit, so that’ll teach me, won’t it Isidor?
  • St Isidore of Seville, one of three saintly siblings, got the guernsey. I fancied the Blessed Virgin on the Ridikulos myself.
  • St Mongrel Bastard Bloody Computer Work Ya Bugger. I invoke his intercession all the time. Doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.
  • St Nerd
  • St Oscar the cookie monster
  • St Procrastinus
  • ST sPAmfo*Rd–;;
  • St William of the Gates
  • St. Athanasius, who was martyred by a legion of Romans trying to sell him the NEW X10 Digital Camera.
  • St. Cisco.
  • St. Isidore of Seville. [Dave Briggs says:]The Observation Service for Internet, who drew it’s mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint that best reflects the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users. The saint chosen by the Observation Service for Internet was Saint Isidore. “The saint who wrote the well-known ‘Etymologies’ (a type of dictionary), gave his work a structure akin to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as ‘flashes;’ it is very modern, notwithstanding the fact it was discovered in the sixth century. Saint Isidore accomplished his work with great coherence: it is complete and its features are complementary in themselves.
  • St. William of Gates. He did more than any other living, or non-living, person to make the wicked Internet (which we all know is an invention of The Devil) totally unusable by implementing so many proprietory (non) standards that only one person at a time could possibly have their computer configured in such a way as to use it.
  • Technically it’s St Isidore of Seville – but I reckon that if there is a supernatural being who takes a personal interest in the functioning of computers and the internet, it must be Satan, Monarch of Hell, Fiend of the Pit and Father of Lies Himself. (I once read a novel in which Satan had a PC sitting on his desk, which was hooked into every single computer on Earth – in order to keep himself up to date with what humans were doing, saying and thinking, he had the IT department of Hell write a program that snatched files at random from all of Earth’s computers, for Satan to peruse. That’s the best explanation I’ve heard as to why files sometimes vanish without trace. I just hope he enjoyed reading that draft of chapter three of my thesis.)
  • The angel St. Gabriel, who downloaded to St. Mary via E-mail the file that informed her that she was pregnant out of wedlock and would bear a fatherless child. (Which would make her ineligible to graduate from several of my country’s (USA) private religious secondary schools.)
  • There are not one, not two, but three saints involved, one each for software, hardware and the internet. It’s clearly too big a job for one man or woman. (Do saints have a sex?) (Do saints have sex?) My nomination for software, especially Microsoft’s, is St Jude, also the patron saint of lost causes and hopeless cases. The internet’s patron would have to be St Peter – he had the biggest net of all. Hardware has got me stumped though…
  • Why, that would have to be St Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes.
  • Yes. St Who.
  • Isadore necessary for the Internet?

Question 2

How many times have steel elevator cables actually broken?

Intended Answer:

The only time that ALL the steel cables supporting an elevator were simultaneously severed was on 28/7/1945 when a B-25 Mitchell bomber struck the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. Nobody in the elevator was hurt. Now I find this sort of thing has happened again. I am really, really sorry to link to the event in this way.

Elevated Answers:

  • According to a rather official sounding elevator safety web site, accidents due to steel cable breakage are unheard of.
  • At least twice. Good old Eli Otis, with a flair for showmanship that modern inventors rarely display, cut the cables to prove that his new safety elevator was not a death trap, and during the War when a bomber staffed by a bunch of nitwits crashed into the Empire State Building, severing cables, causing a freefall – but the poor slob inside lived to tell about it. Although nobody from “RealTV” was there to record it.
  • Because I can’t be bothered researching this, I will work on the basis that because “actually” is in the sentence, the answer is in fact none. Then again, you probably put “actually” in the sentence to put us all off. So I’ll still guess none and outwit all of you.
  • Before September 11, 2001, only one that resulted in an elevator free-fall. I don’t know how many other cases there may have been where cables have broken but the elevator hasn’t gone into free-fall due to the presence of four or five other supporting cables. Here’s a snippet from the website entitled “Could the cables snap and send an elevator plummeting down the shaft?” This is every rider’s worst fear, but experts say there’s no need to worry. You’re being supported by four to eight cables, each of which could support the weight of the car by itself.
  • Every time, eventually.
  • I´m tempted to say never…. but by the odds i would say a lot (and counting)….
  • In buildings, once – the empire state building in 1945 after an encounter with a B52. In aeroplanes, at least twice, probably more. You did know that some aeroplanes use steel cables to control their elevators, didn’t you?
  • In May 1995, more than 100 South African miners were killed when a locomotive severed the cable of their elevator. They fell 1500 feet, and the locomotive fell down the shaft after them. Just in case they didn’t feel unlucky enough already.
  • Just the once. Then they figured they better add emergency brakes.
  • Lots of times. Steel cables are tested to destruction to determine the breaking strain.
  • Most of them, never. The rest, probably only once. One assumes a broken cable would be replaced rather then repaired. Much less frequently than the bronze ones and the less said of the lead ones the better. Lift (not the bloody “e” word) travel is easily the safest form of mechanised transport ever devised when you count the deaths/passenger km. I’ll go for <5.
  • Never, it’s usually the connection between the lift and the cable that breaks….. aaarrrrrggghhh…
  • Never. They were always *sawn* through, by evil men in black cloaks and large twirly moustachios.
  • None, except under the extreme duress of listening to recorded elevator voices 24 hours a day. There’s only so much a cable can bear.
  • Not as many as Hollywood would have us believe, I would think. Probably none. Hmmm, this looks like a Dr Bob Fiendish Trick Question (TM) – next you’ll be telling me that elevator cables aren’t even made of steel as such, but of tin-coated liquorice or some such. Does anybody have Mr Otis’s phone number?
  • Not as many times as Microsoft Operating systems have crashed, or else they would have been banned under some Geneva convention or other.
  • Not as many times as one might think. HOWEVER, the long anticipated “MS Elevator 2002” program contains “smart cables” which anticipate their own breakage – i.e. “Hi! Elevator 2002 has detected that your elevator cable is about to break. We suggest you re-install the entire Elevator 2002 suite, however, you must first purchase a new elevator shaft.” and “Hi! Elevator 2002 has detected that elevator cable has just broken and as a result, your underwear now needs changing. Would you like to compose a prayer? Are you sure?”… Unfortunately, Elevator 2002, contains 2,376,900,000,000 lines of code, the annual licence fee is $54 million and it generally requires the demolition and redesign of the entire building in order to house its enormously increased size.
  • Not nearly enough, seeing as the majority of elevators are in big corporate offices
  • Only once, then they replace them.
  • Quite a few…and normally the villain is under it, and the hero is on top of it when they snap.
  • Schindlers’ Lifts … think about it. Anyway, apart from the “Speed” movie by De Bont, twice it seems and wouldn’t you believe it, in the same building! July 28th, 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25 slammed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building severing the lift’s governor and hoist ropes but the operator lived to tell. Then on January 25th, 2000, before being stopped by the safety system, an Empire State elevator with 2 people aboard plunged 40 stories when a compensating cable sheared. Of course, after the events on Tues September 11th, it could be 3 but I’m not going to touch that one.
  • The tensile strength of steel is unusually high, due to additives in its manufacture, which also reduce the amount of rust, or oxidation. Furthermore, with better building regulations since steel has become widely used, it is not generally used outside of its known tensile capacity. The fear of steel cables breaking is more a fear of misapplication than a fear of steel weakness, so in truth steel elevator cables probably haven’t broken as much outside of laboratory experiments than during them.
  • There are no elevators made only of steel, therefore the cable on a “steel elevator” could never have actually broken.
  • They can break??!?? AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh
  • Too many
  • Um, none! Ok 13 or 27 or ….. Well I do know a lot (many hundreds actually) of people were killed or maimed in the 19th century, so some must have broken. (Makes you wonder why the silly buggers didn’t take the stairs and keep fit.)
  • Ummmm…none? Never? Zip? Zilch?
  • Usually only once, after that the steel elevator cables become giant steel whips. Slicing and dicing all and sundry into tiny little bits.
  • What a timely question. At least twice – once in the north tower of the WTC, and once in the south tower. Before that, probably never.
  • Zero– no, that’s too obvious, one– wait– zero.
  • (Shamelessly pinched from last months answers) Toda
  • None that I was in at the time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to think about building failure at the moment.
  • I was going to say something slightly witty about the time in 1945 a light airplane crashed into the Empire State Building, but somehow it isn’t funny anymore.

Question 3

On what day of the year do more deaths than average occur?

Calendrical answer

December 26.

Algorithmic Answer

The day after one’s birthday

Other Answers

  • 50% of the days of the year have more deaths than average while 50% of the days have fewer deaths than average. In Australia, more deaths occur in July and August than in any other months so we should consider that it is more likely that the days of those months will have more than average. If you want one date, why not July 22nd, the original World Health Day.
  • About half of them.
  • Probably Jan 1st, due to – winter (in northern hemisphere) – drunkenness – hanging on until the new year
  • According to the Mayans: December 23, 2012.
  • According to: The facts of death. by Brad Edmondson. American Demographics, April 1997 v19 n4 p46(8) Winter is deaths favorite season. In 1995, January had many more deaths than any other month (220,000). It was followed by March, April, and December. (February would have been second if it had had 31 days instead of 28). The month with the least deaths was September (178,000), followed by June, August, and May. THE TOP DAY FOR DEATH IN 1992, THE MOST RECENT YEAR FOR WHICH DAILY DATA ARE AVAILABLE, WAS JANUARY 3, WHEN 7,422 AMERICANS DIED. That is about 25 percent more than an average day in 1992. Death’s slowest day was July 22, with just 5,347 deaths. That’s about 10 percent below average. I assume that would make July 3rd the most popular day for kicking Australian buckets.
  • All of them, since every day many people die but only a few figure averages.
  • All those drunken yobbos and depressives realising what a lousy time they’ve had during the year? It would have to be Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
  • Approximately half of the days of any given year 🙂
  • Boxing day, just after people have received their ‘Death kit’ for Xmas.
  • Christmas Day in Western countries. The end of Ramadan in Islamic countries. The hottest day in Buddhist countries. St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
  • Christmas day. “Socks!!! Wow!!! Aarrggh!” *clutches chest* *keels over* Or something like that…
  • Christmas Day. Having some fat Scandinavian weirdo in red pyjamas break into your home in the wee small hours, stinking of cheap port and cooking sherry, and leaving plastic socks full of cheap crap behind is just so creepy that lots of people have heart attacks when they see him. It’s not true that nobody ever sees Father Christmas; it’s just that everybody who does see him dies. Tell that to small horrible children who refuse to go to bed on Christmas Eve.
  • Christmas Day? (If you don’t stop riding that bicycle in the house I’ll kill you! Turn off that bloody Ghetto Blaster!).
  • Christmas, if I have to spend one more bloody hour with my family. Whinging kids, bloody drunken pig brothers in law, bloated stuffed carcasess laying all around the house, the place steaming due to the 40 degrees temperature and the roast food, sweet deserts, too much food and drink and not enough brain cells, kids fighting, dog puking behind the couch, wives fighting because the in-laws bought the kids scooters, and then off to the hospital as one of the kids breaks a bone playing on the bloody scooters. If there is a god take me now.
  • December 28 (“Childermas”) is touted as the unluckiest day of the year but perhaps not the day when most deaths occur. What about any Friday the 13th for all the triskadekaphobics out there?
  • Day of most deaths … deaths of what?! I shudder to think how many poor bacteria die each day, not to mention on Christmas Day with all that gluttony happening!
  • Dunno, but the least number would die on February 29th.
  • Good Friday – more folk are bored to death on that day than any other. Because everything’s closed, is why.
  • Good Friday, as hordes of blissed-out christians emulate their god’s blessed sacrifice. They’re all resurrected three days later, which is why nobody makes a fuss about it.
  • I can’t answer this without more specific information, in what country? What kinds of deaths (disease/accident/violence)? What calendar? What year? For instance, 1994 was a particularly bad year for Rwandans.
  • I think Christmas Day, due to over eating, drinking, and various heartstopping sightings of Santa Claus or his reindeer.
  • In my case, the mean is zero, the standard deviation is zero, and the range is zero to zero. More than the average number of deaths has never occurred on any day of the year, so far. Alas, one day my long-term average will be exceeded by exactly one. I don’t want to know when this event will happen, just where. So I’ll never go there.
  • In the USA, it is Labor Day as people hurry back from vacation.
  • International Euthanasia Awareness Day
  • It’s a tie between Xmas Day and Fathers’ Day for reasons we won’t go into.
  • January 1st. Probably because of all the partying going on. Drunken riots are destructive, you know.
  • New Years Day. All of that alcoholic poisoning – oh my!
  • New years Eve
  • On Birthdays
  • On the days when new versions of Microsoft operating systems are released…
  • One would expect that, since the population of the earth has steadily risen over the last few hundred years that likewise has the resultant number of deaths. Therefore, the average number of deaths per day over the period of time where humankind can be said to have existed would be quite low compared to today, so technically *everyday* more deaths occur than average.
  • Surely there is more than one day a year where there are more deaths than average. My guess though is New Years Eve, or New Years Day, or some other day maybe.
  • The day after Christmas, because dying people are motivated to live through that day.
  • The day after Superbowl Sunday.
  • The day the quiz comes out from blood loss due to too much hair pulling.
  • The first Monday after Mother’s Day
  • The Glorious Twelfth (well you didn’t say what species)
  • The last day of their lives.
  • The last, for everyone slated for that day.
  • The day ending in “y”
  • tuesday… or maybe wednesday
  • Valentines Day? Or is that just because of my choice in boyfriends.
  • Well I was going to say New Years’ Eve, but now it would have to be September 11. Hey, you haven’t been taking flying lessons, have you? Just to alter the results on your quiz?
  • Well in the UK it’s the August holiday, ‘cos of the sheer number of car crashes, and daft bastards thinking that if they leave a bit early they won’t get stuck in traffic and the engine won’t burst and stuff… Other than that I’d reckon judgement day…
  • When was the running of the bulls?
  • Yesterday.
  • Yes-ter-die.
  • September 11, 2001. [O how droll]

Question 4

There are two different versions of the Ten Commandments – what major commandment is missing from the second version?

Dr Bob’s Favourite Answer (there being a wide choice)


Alternative Exegeses:

  • “Thou shalt not be a humourless squit who reads the bible all the time.” It was missing from the first version too, but that’s not what you asked 🙂
  • “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife”, which was deleted after Moses got a bad case of the hots for his neighbour, Adaminaby’s, wife, Kylie.
  • “Thou Shalt Not Forget This Bit…”
  • “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger.” Exodus 23:9, but not listed in Exodus 34. Definitely a major commandment, since it forbids slavery. Has been replaced by Exodus 34:26 “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk”, which is obviously far more important.
  • “Thou shalt not permit thy neighbour’s trousers to touch thy best place mats, nor shalt thou pick thy nose with those pointy things used to make kebabs with.”
  • “Thou shalt not proclaim the Word through cable television.”
  • “Thou shalt remember that ‘Thou shalt not kill’ also meaneth that thou shalt not massacre those of other nations thou meetst in The Promised Land.” Unfortunately, this commandment was dropped and the Hebrews committed genocide against their new neighbors.
  • A trick question. If it’s missing, it can’t have been major. Incidentally, if both versions contain Ten Commandments, which one has been added? And why.
  • Do not commit adultery (because the second version has been adulterated…)
  • You can break all the commandments at once if you wake up this Sunday, run over to your neighbors’ house, steal his wife and his car, make out with the lady, burn her alive as a sacrifice to Satan, and then blame it all on your parents when the cops show up. Something to shoot for…
  • Have you ploughed through Exodus recently? I could build you a good temple or tabernacle following the instructions if you can point me in the direction of a good supply of shittim wood. The Lord was much into smiting and slaying so you would think that “Thou shalt not kill” would be one conveniently forgotten. I have no idea, I got bogged down in construction but for the convenience of the world, I’ll go for the ban on adultery. Evidently there was a 17th century version of the Bible where the printer left the “not” out of “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. This proved a very popular version.
  • I am the Lord Your God, yadda yadda yadda.
  • I do hope it is “Thou shalt not commit adultery” [Ptoofff! Thy wish is granted. For I may be a mean old God much of the time, but I do have my benevolent aspects.]
  • I don’t know but the Finnish version has 11 commandments. The last one is: Thou shalt not drink alone.
  • I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ve broken them as well.
  • If I remember correctly, there is some debate whether the first commandment about honoring God and no idols is one or two commandments, depending. . .
  • Isn’t Exodus just the 3457 commandments? (The missing one is “Thou shalt not tell other people how to live their lives.”)
  • No. 4, The Sabbath. Thanks to St. Paul, the Christians were exempt as the original 10 were a covenant between God and the Nation of Israel (read, the Jews) at Mt. Sinai.
  • Several, as far as I can tell. But the important one missing is “Thou shalt not kill”. Justifiable though, because they really did have to fit in that clause about not seething a kid in its mother’s milk and let’s all hope they’re talking about a baby goat.
  • The Exodus version differs from that in Deuteronomy in giving a religious motive, instead of a humanitarian one, for observing the Sabbath; also, in prohibiting covetousness, it classifies a man’s wife with the rest of his possessions, instead of separately.
  • The number of thy commandments shall be no greater than the number of thy forelimb digits.
  • The one that says that you should not covet your neighbour´s wife
  • The second set of Ten Commandments (the Ex.34 ones that God made to replace the Ex.20 ones that Moses didst break) actually bear little resemblance to the first. All of them are either missing or significantly reworded.
  • The very same one that is the extra one in the first ten…a miracle! a miracle!
  • There are much better Alternative Commandments at http//
  • Thou shall not covet your neighbors ass.
  • Thou shall not double-dip.
  • Thou shall not commit adultery
  • Thou shall not worship a big golden sheep.
  • Thou shalt cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with…a herring!
  • Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  • Thou shalt make perfect copies
  • Thou shalt not alter this text too much.
  • Thou Shalt Not Boil A Kid In Its Mother’s Milk. Or have I gotten the capitalization wrong? Darn. Alternatively, assuming that the higher up the commandment the more major it is: #3: The feast of the unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s onions.
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours ass
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s cable modem
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’s ass.
  • Thou shalt not forget … ummm … errr …
  • Thou Shalt Not Forget Thy Commandments
  • Thou shalt not get caught
  • Thou shalt not have fun
  • Thou shalt not kill, or is it the bit about coverting asses…that’s a bit freaky
  • Thou shalt not leave any commandments out.
  • Thou Shalt Not Leave The Seat Up [Thank you, Samantha]
  • Thou shalt not look up “shalt” in the dictionary.
  • Thou shalt not make graven images
  • Thou shalt not proof-read
  • Thou shalt not scratch it, or it will never get better.
  • Thou shalt not take Dr Bob’s quiz if thou be as stupid as I
  • Thou shalt not tell pork pies
  • Thou shalt not truncate command~1.db
  • Thou shalt not vote One Nation. Unlesseth, of course, thou hast losteth thy marbles.
  • Thou shalt not wantonly murder everyone over 20, who looketh like they might be a threat.
  • Thou shalt not watch Warrick Moss wandering around dimly lit cellars in a crackpot outback town in South Australia – see Australia’s Most haunted Town c/o channel 9.
  • Thou shalt upgrade to a new version of MS Windows every 3 months…
  • Thou shalt write all this down so the Lord thy God does not have to repeat Himself.
  • Though shalt be skeptical [of spelling]
  • Thou shalt not pick thy nose. Due to the fact Moses was Jewish and it was dry in the desert, God couldn’t talk to Moses without the boy having something up his nose digging for nose treasure. As Moses thought this was just God having a hissy fit he left it off.
  • Trick question, what commandment ISN’T missing? The second set of commandments, which God tells Moses is a duplicate set to replace the tablets he broke, is almost entirely different. Anyway, when was there a surfeit of ‘molten gods?’
  • Uh, Dr Bob? The other version of the Ten Commandments is in Deuteronomy. [You mean there’s another other version? With more commandments I have almost certainly broken? Now I’m in even deeper shit]

Question 5

These words, for example, have no rhyme : month, rhubarb, orange. What rhymes with Australia?


  • “There is no rhyme for ‘Orange’!I was told by one known for ing–enious questions each monthin a quiz, the minus-onethquestion to which all true barb–arians respond ‘rhubarb’.”
  • Banannarepublica
  • derailleur
  • Paraphenalia
  • Gus saw a snail, y’all.
  • Probably not a lot (apart from maybe Westphalia, whatever that is). However this is no reason to leave this entry blank! There are plenty of things that one could say about things other than whether or not there is a word which rhymes with Australia. I mean what are ya? Some sort of poofta or something? Real Australian men don’t write poetry, they get drunk and shoot things. Madly. Desparately. It’s all part of the never-ending struggle to prove that one is not homosexual. Unfortunately most of them are so busy getting drunk and shooting things, they they’ve forgotten than having sex with women is what proves you’re not homosexual, not drinking with the boys or shooting things. Anyway, enough philosophy – look at the guy in the next picture – he’d make a good Australian, if he could just loosen up a bit, put on a pair of shorts and a singlet, ease up on the genocide/world-domination shit, sink a few tinnies and go out kangaroo shooting with the boys…
  • Coprolalia. Appropriate, isn’t it?
  • Austria? Austrian? Australian? Australasia? (Why don’t front letter rhymes count?)
  • Dahlia. Thalia. Azalea. Regalia. Bacchanalia. Paraphenalia.
  • Failure, azalea, bacchanalia and paraphernalia. Amalia, anencephalia, battalia, Coppelia, Dalia, Eulalia, Idalia, Mahalia, Natalia, vedalia, Vidalia, and Visalia! (Internet access in this room is fantastic.)
  • Penis gourd because it is (inter alia) paraphernalia of the genetalia.
  • Antidisestablishmentarianalia: paraphernalia belonging to antidisestablishmentarians – such as horsewhips and shaker furniture.
  • If you’re Bob Dylan, the Beatles, or the Steve Miller Band, damn near anything.
  • 1th, new carb, syringe, regalia. To preempt your objection, let me offer the following: “I’ve got a new carb for my 308. – the 1th carb wasn’t big enough.”
  • paraphenalia, regalia, carpet burn
  • Failure of course. After all who can forget the Australians 50 year long attempt to raise the iceberg that sank the Titanic, or the Australian Masturbation Team at the Sydney Olympics (didn’t come anywhere) [Groannnnn]
  • Westphalia. Or, depending on accent, Thalia, shalier, barleyer, failure, or Boz.
  • No, ‘what’ doesn’t have a rhyme either. But Australia rhymes with ‘lost ray lea’.
  • No it doesn’t. “What” rhymes with grot, snot, clot…..
  • Well Hansonesque English it rhymes with buyer, tryer, flyer, Myer, I err.
  • Failure & genitalia. Explains a lot really.
  • I was going to say failure but as I’m from NZ and there’s some saying about pots and kettles I’ll put paraphernalia instead – the end bit rhymes
  • Westphalia, regalia, I won’t fail ya.
  • Decked out in triumphal regalia,John Howard said “I am no failure!Though I’ll grant you old Ruddock’sA bit xenophobic,Now get on the boat, let it sail, ya?”
  • The southern land australia contains people who, inter alia, moved from westphalia to nathalia
  • Westphalia, echolalia, mammalia, inter alia (rhymes only IN Australia), paraphernalia, Azalea, bacchanalia
  • While I normally prefer to rhyme alone, I wouldn’t be averse to having Australia join me once in a while.
  • Nostalgia. Or player if you speak like an ocker.
  • A plant pot … Azalea paraphenalia.
  • Month shmonth, rhubarb shmubarb, orange borange, Australia shmalia.
  • Saturnalia also rhymes and interestingly it is an anagram of Australian
  • Bankruptcy, exploitation, ‘Straylya.
  • “Moss-failure” – this is a little known, but embarrassing garden problem.
  • I did what so many of the responders to this quiz do, and cheated outrageously (thanks to Australia! We’ll not derail yaAs long as there’s azalea to espalier.So inter alia unveil yer dahliaAll hail yer gay regaliaOur Australia.
  • There was a young man from AustraliaWho painted his arse like a dahliaThe colour was fineSo too the designBut the perfume – that was a failure
  • A husband and wife from Australia Poured wine over their genitalia,But the grog was well chilled,And the end result killedTheir desire for a lewd bacchanalia.

Question 6

<Mr Hussein firing a sort of blunderbuss into the air> Caption please

Dr Bob’s Favourites

  • Any more questions from the gallery?
  • Anyone else think my hat doesn’t match my suit?
  • Don Saddam, il Capo di Tutti il Golfo Arabico
  • I dunn told ya to git dem planes outta here!
  • If I’ve told you kids once, I’ve told you a thousand times! DON’T play on the roof!
  • Iraqi surface to air defenses are nearing exhaustion.
  • Saddam Hussein demonstrates the new Baghdad Enterprises steam cleaner.
  • Shhhh! Be Vewwy, vewwy quiet. I’m hunting wabbits.

Also Not Bad:

  • A photo demonstrating the use of light, shade and focus to effectively draw the reader’s eye towards the plume of smoke emerging from the gun.
  • And this is the wrong way to get your cat down from the tree.
  • As Saddam wishes to be the tallest person in Iraq he has systematically shot anyone taller than himself. Here he is seen giving an example of how he would shoot a 7 foot tall man.
  • Aspiring Iraqi actor auditions for role in new felafel western.
  • At the final of the All-Iraq 1,000Km run-for-your-life. On your marks, get set…
  • Baghdad autumn fashions: pigeon-grey suit, pigeon-grey tie, pigeon-grey pullover, pigeon-grey moustache, pigeon shoot.
  • Damn Kurdish Pigeons!
  • Dude, I am such a great actor!
  • Elections called off after opposition leader falls off balcony onto bullet
  • Elliot Ness foils Dillinger’s attempt to escape by hang-glider.
  • Flash Tie, Flash Hat, Flash coat, Flash Muzzle…. The gun going off looks kewl too!
  • ‘Freud was right,’ claims Kurd leader as Iraqi dictator ejaculates, ‘Holy smoke!’
  • Ghost photography, HAH!
  • Hey guys – relax – it went off accidentally.
  • Hot favourite in the Saddam Hussein look-a-like competition ensuring there’s no competition this year.
  • How far is it again to the United States?
  • How To Make Friends And Influence People
  • I hereby declare this Heroic Democratic Peace-Loving Iraqi People’s Liberation Army Annual Baby-Shooting competition, OPEN!
  • I kill mosquitoes because they’re pests. I kill bears and deer because it’s fun. I kill pigs and cows because I’m hungry. I kill quails and birds because its fun, and I’m hungry. And I kill people, because they’re pests. And it’s fun.
  • I’ll even destroy those pesky chimera sent by the great Satan.
  • Let this serve as an example to any other infidel who doesn’t like my hat!
  • Meanwhile, unnoticed in Manhattan, Saddam Hussain delivers the coup de grace
  • Mr Hussein demonstrating his method of solving refugee problems to John Howard.
  • Next person to ask if I’m Walter Matthau dies.
  • Now you see that guy over ther-… oops. Sorry. Send that man’s wife a card.
  • Oils aint just oils, Sol
  • Okay you primitive screwheads, this is my boom stick! Think smart! Think S-mart! (Army of Darkness)
  • One armed bandit.
  • Patriots! I’ll show you how to bring down a scud…
  • Pesky Americans!
  • Pull! … That’s one more psychic surgeon down …. Pull!
  • Release the hounds!
  • Saddam always impresses, with his fine taste in stylish shooting apparel, designed for the everyday madman about town.
  • Saddam Hussein tests Iraq’s latest decoy device for the US Missile Defence system.
  • Saddam Hussein trying out the latest model of a djinn container, where a trigger is pulled rather than a lamp rubbed. Note that the djinn has already granted his first wish of changing his military uniform to civilian garb.
  • Saddam Hussein’s bid to reinvent himself as a good global citizen backfired when, during the Baghdad Goodwill Games, he started taking pot-shots at the pole-vaulters, proclaiming that he would not tolerate any form of aerial surveillance by Western nations.
  • Saddam making minor adjustments to family hierarchy.
  • Secret Agent Saddam Hussein, pictured here demonstrating the awesome power of his new pop gun – “It has real smoke and real bullets and is great for despatching those pesky pigeons in Trafalgar Square.”
  • See – I can be a toff without my AK47
  • See, I told you I’m not shooting blanks!
  • Take that, Wyatt Earp. Eat lead, Davy Crockett.
  • That’ll scare off those photogra- Damn!
  • That’s the last special Warrick Moss will ever do.
  • The Commodore of the Baghdad Yacht Club fires the starting gun for the Jakarta to Christmas Island Boat Race.
  • The mouse epidemic reaches plague proportions. [and one of them has a gun]
  • The remake of the Good the Bad and the Ugly had an unexpected entrant.
  • The trick, Fatima dear, is to get them synchronised (What a dapper little terrorist he is).
  • This mother of all Big Bangs will balance your energy, fill the holes in your aura and realign your planets. Book early to see the Grand Master – seats are limited.
  • Walter Matthau never did understand how to play “Duck Hunt”.
  • Whaddaya mean, arsenal. I don’t have an arsenal. This here is just a walking stick, whoops, the bloody CIA must have rigged it.
  • Where’s my violin case? Hussein revisits his mafioso roots
  • Who forgot the Mortein?
  • Whoops – apocalypse
  • Yet another enemy of Ansett Airlines.
  • You’re right Ahmed that new ‘pistol’ gadget is gonna be much handier.

Optional Comments

  • /* This is optional */// This is optional(* This is optional *){ This is optional }# This is optional’ This is optional* THIS IS OPTIONALREM This is optional% This is optional[Hey what about Fortran on punched cards? THIS IS OPTIONAL starting in column 1]
  • A message from beyond: When the long night comes, return to the end of the beginning.
  • Aaaargh. I want more Hitler questions!
  • All the world seems in tune on a Spring afternoon when we’re poisoning pigeons in the park (la da dee)…
  • Australia. Failure. Bwahahahahahahahahaha.
  • Been away for a bit. Couldn’t find any bits, so I came back
  • First time here, I had a really good time on your website. keep it up
  • Have you heard the new version by Philip Glass of a Hawkwind song? 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 …..
  • Hi Dr Bob.
  • Windows has detected that you are trying to write an optional comment. Would you like to run the “optional comment wizard”? Are you sure? Are you sure that you are sure? Please wait while Windows checks Bill Gates’ bank balance and builds a database of optional comments. This may take several minutes… Windows has erased the entire contents of your hard drive, but has detected that it is still not large enough to house the complete database of optional comments. We suggest you buy a new computer immediately and upgrade to MS “Optional Comments 2001”. Please enter a random 256 digit prime number to continue…
  • Hmmmmm…..[Sorry Miffy, even if you do hum it, I still can’t play it]
  • How does the bonus work? [Well, it helps to be skeptical about prizes]Do people actually get 6 out of 5. I remember in Year 7 I once got 35 out of 31 for a science test. My mother was so proud.
  • Humans are the only animal that copulates face to face. Stands to reason; animals aren’t religious …
  • I can bend spoons. Large amounts of concentrated heat energy are required, though.
  • I know. “Pedant.”
  • I wish to exercise my right to remain silent.
  • If the photo is held upside down you can see a Madonna and Child in the muzzle flash
  • If you’re ever stuck in some thick, leafy undergrowth in the Amazon in your underwear, don’t stop and think of what other words have “under” in them, because that’s probably the first sign of jungle madness.
  • Is there such a thing as “small-scale nuclear warfare?”
  • It seems from month to month that I either know 4 or 5 answers, or, like this month, none at all.
  • James Randi says he had a great recent visit to your fine country. Thanks so very much for the great Australian hospitality you showed him.
  • Just wanted to say we are looking forward to Warrick going into contention for the Bent Spoon Award!
  • My PC just told me it couldn’t detect my modem. Funnily enough, with the amount of crap all over my desk, neither could I.
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  • Optional comments indeed!
  • Some tautologies: surface outcrop, intrusive dyke, triggering catalyst, multiple layered, flowing stream, public service bureaucracy.
  • Sorry I’ve nothing funny at all to say this month.
  • This site has cemented my feelings that Australians are cool. [Yes this concept is customarily kept under 3 feet of concrete]
  • This space intentionally left blank. Although there is a pizza sauce stain, if you look hard enough.
  • We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.
  • Where on earth are the answers for Augusts Quiz, It is the 18th of Sept. already, and yet no sign of any answers?? Wake up to yourself Dr Bob, if in fact that is your real name, Osama Bin Ladle
  • Why haven’t we got the August answers yet, Bob? Huh? Huh? [Because I don’t read the e-mails till near the end of the month, and I stuffed up. See top paragraphs]
  • Yesterday upon the stair, I saw a man who wasn’t there,He wasn’t there again today,I think he’s from the CIA