Questions for all 2002


Joost Verduin January 2002
Piero Fabbri February 2002
Olav Rokne March 2002
Joe Scibiorski April 2002
John Bourke May 2002
David Wicks June 2002
Heather Billings July 2002
Hein Verduin August 2002
Phillip Mitchell September 2002
Katherine Artus October 2002
Robert McMartin November 2002
Wendy Robertson December 2002



Q1 What was Vincent van Gogh doing at 8pm on 16 Jun 1890?

Q2 At the Battle of Hastings the combatants on both sides had similar helmet with nose guard, weapons and clothing. How could they tell which side a person was on?

Q3 What sport is the most dangerous – that is, the largest number of people die while playing it?

Q4 How fast is Australia moving northwards?

Q5 Calculate (180+52√3) / (45√93 + 39√31 -201√3 – 217) where, in case it doesn’t come out, “√” is a square root sign

Q6 Picture: (3 bathers) What is the girl on the right saying -or- what is going on -or- where is this?


February 2002 – With Special Pi Supplement

Q1 How far does the average North American walk in a week?

Q2 What colour is the Universe?

Q3 Why do crusty pies make a crunching sound when you bite into them?

Q4 In the early 1800’s John Dalton pioneered the concept of atoms of chemical elements – what did he die of?

Q5 During the soccer match “Ajax vs Helmond Sport” in 1983, the famous player Johan Cruijff took a most bizarre penalty kick. Instead of kicking the ball in the direction of the goal, he passed the ball to his left side where his colleague Jesper Olsen picked it up. What happened next?

Q6 If Pi is written out accurately in binary, what is the quadrillionth (10^15) bit? 0

Q7 If you write out the 1,000 numbers from the start of pi: 3, 31, 314, 3141, 31415, etc – how many of these numbers are prime?

Q8 What is unusual about the paper The Computation of Pi to 10,000,000 Digits – Academia Sinica Computer Centre, Peking – Wei Gong-yi, Yang Zi-quiang, Sun Jia-chang Li Jia-kia? (book p158)

Q9 Dr Goodwin drafted the ill-fated Indiana legislation of 1897 which would have set pi equal to five different values 2.56, 3.2, 10/3, 32/9, and 4. Where did he get these values from?

Q10 If you write out the first 1,000 digits of pi – does anything non-random appear?

Q11 <Penis enlargement clinic> – real or fake?


MARCH 2002

Q1 How has the introduction of the Euro affected the fees charged by prostitutes in Brussels?

Q2 When Elvis Presley served in the US Army, why was his uniform always perfectly smart?

Q3 What proportion of Australians who are bitten by snakes were trying to catch or kill the snake that bit them?

Q4 When Van Halen play a major gig, why does their contract specify the provision of a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed?

Q5 When was sliced bread invented?

Q6 <Einstein & blackboard>


April 2002

Q1 What (of cosmic significance) changed on 7 March 2002?

Q2 What was the context of the historic message “10.22.38 Astoria”?

Q3 William Taynton, an office boy, was the first character to be shown on a television screen(in 1925). However at first the picture was blank, why was this?

Q4 In 1652 what drinkable substance was first introduced to London?

Q5 Why was Donald Duck banned in Finland?

Q6 (Picture: Plaques) What did the people commemorated by these plaques have in common?


May 2002

Q1 What was Ms Brownie Wise’s contribution to the development of Tupperware®?

Q2 Silly Putty® was provided on NASA spacecraft for two purposes – one was to hold things down; what was the other?

Q3 What was the original purpose for which Post-it® notes were invented?

Q4 What is unusual about the Velcro® used for ammunition boxes?

Q5 In 1916 the world’s first self-service supermarket was opened in Memphis, Tennessee and the chain is still operating. Why was the name Piggly Wiggly® chosen for the store?

Q6 Picture: <angel.gif> (A) What language is this? (B) What are they saying?


June 2002

Q1 When Sen-no-Rikyu, master of the tea ceremony, was ordered to commit seppuku by the emperor Hideyoshi, how did he demonstrate his displeasure?

Q2 Like many Japanese, the author Osamu Dasai committed joint suicide with a lover. What record did he set in so doing?

Q3 One hot day in July 1724, the residents of Edo (now Tokyo) were unhappy to note a shortage of eels. Someone had bought all the eels in town. Why did he do this?

Q4 The newspaper Asahi sponsored an expedition to the South Pole; when the explorers radioed that they would have to abandon the attempt, what were they ordered to do?

Q5 Why are there comparatively few jokes told by the Japanese?

Q6 [Picture of Japanese businessmen] What is happening here?


July 2002

Q1 If/when the SETI team do find an alien radio signal, who will they tell first?

Q2 The first message sent publicly by Morse code was “What hath God wrought?” What was the reply from the other end?

Q3 Apart from its small size, what was remarkable about the brain of the stegosaurus?

Q4 Recently some wretched Pom was dragged through the courts for selling something by the pound instead of the kilogram. What was he trying to sell?

Q5 Which is the best web site for information on British Rail timetables?

Q6 <picture – chemistry text> What is covered by this patent application?


Aug 2002

Q1 In Thunderbirds, the puppets actually do change expression – how many heads were there for each major character?

Q2 In the film Casablanca how many times does Bogart say “Here’s looking at ya, kid”

Q3 In the King James Version of the Bible “his” is used as the neuter possessive. When did the word “its” enter the English language?

Q4 Which (non-human) animal causes the most injuries to zookeepers?

Q5 If you were 1 mile (sorry – 1.609km) away during the Battle of Hastings, what sounds of the battle would you have heard?

Q6 (What opera, doc?) An opera is in progress here, believe it nor not… which one?


Sept 2002

Q1 What is the Pope’s favourite movie?

Q2 On 9 Feb 1567 the unpopular Lord Darnley awoke at 2am with a curious feeling that his house was about to be blown up. What happened next?

Q3 What can you say about the musical style of half-blind Icelandic homosexual guitarists?

Q4 In Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten (1987) who wrote the libretto for the Hymn to the Sun?

Q5 Mike Batt and John Cage have each composed a musical piece consisting entirely of silence. Which one is better?

Q6 Picture – who’s this? (Sigur Ros)


Oct 2002

Q1 A variety of solid cylinders, flat discs on edge, and solid spheres of various sizes are rolled together down a hill. (a) Why? (b) What reaches the bottom first?

Q2 What is mathematically interesting about the number 73?

Q3 Apart from one famous occasion some time ago, and discounting anything since 1940, have there been any OTHER babies born to virgins?

Q4 Who spoke of “The late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend”?

Q5 When sending a coconut by mail, how much do you need to wrap it?

Q6 Where’s this? (top of Washington Monument)


Nov 2002

Q1 What is the only reliable way to identify the species of a snake?

Q2 How did Grigory Rasputin die?

Q3 Over whose territory did the first sunrise of 1/1/2000 occur?

Q4 What did Jesus say in conducting an exorcism?

Q5 What is Donald Duck’s middle name?

Q6 What’s this? (nuclear warhead)


Dec 2002

Q1 A guest visiting Salvador Dali’s house by the sea wanted to change into his bathing togs, and Dali told him “You can go anywhere in the house to change, but don’t go behind the big stuffed bear in the hall because the King of Italy is hiding there half-naked.” What was really behind that big stuffed bear?

Q2 After a joint exercise, the Pakistani army gave its Swedish counterpart three thoroughbred horses as a token of admiration. Unfortunately, Sweden does not permit the import of horses from Asia, but to return the horses would offend the Pakistanis. How did the Swedes resolve this?

Q3 Complete this quote “From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter…”

Q4 What is the mass of air in a 747 jumbo jet at sea level?

Q5 What did Ötzi, the ill-fated Tyrolean iceman who lived 5,000 years ago, have for lunch?


Q6 After Stalin walked out of one of his operas, Shostakovich was interrogated by the NKVD on a Friday and told to come back on the Monday, and not bother to buy a return bus ticket. What happened on the Monday?

Q7 Why have several pop groups called themselves “Anderson Council”?

Q8 What tensile force is exerted on the harp of a grand piano by the piano strings?

Q9 Why do the members of the band KISS wear heavy makeup?

Q10 In the 1940s Philip Glass’s father repaired radios and also sold records from his shop. How he did select which records to bring home for the young Philip to hear?

Q11 Who’s playing (earcover.jpg)