Answers for April 2002

Another wide field with nearly all answers not only right but witty too. The questions were too easy – sorry (as are this month’s – sorry again). Runners-up include Paul Kyle, Robert McMartin, John Andrews, Sam Ross and the inevitable Dave Hawley – but this month’s sandgroping WINNER is

Joe Scibiorski

Question 1

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

Take Your Pick:

  • The universe changed colour again – you just can’t get good help nowadays
  • The group of scientists who announced that the universe was turquoise took another look at their figures and announced instead that the universe is, in fact, beige. Creationists took this announcement to be a victory, as their God wouldn’t have made the universe turquoise.
  • It turned out that our friends the astronomers have spent too much time looking at van Gogh paintings, and too little checking their software. The universe is now supposed to be beige. Yuk. What a poor taste God must have.
  • Hey, the scientists got it wrong, na, na, na. They have now made a statement that the universe isn’t turquoise or aquamarine, but possibly beige or off-white. Oh dear me…when will they get it right, Dr. Bob?
  • The colour of the universe. It went from a lovely colour of turquoise/green to beige. Which only proves that the universe really is boring.
  • Apparently the colour of the universe was discovered to be beige, and not dark purply blue. Wow, you can’t make this stuff up!
  • Everything, the universe is in constant flux.
  • I sat on a TLR1000 and decided that I’d like one, and (this is the cosmically significant bit) I might even be prepared to consider the possibility of hypothetically maybe thinking about theoretically contemplating trading in my beloved GSX. (Some asteroid also approached within 0.039 AU of a small water-bearing planet orbiting a G-class star, which caused a certain amount of excitement amongst a vanishingly small number of the indigenous carbon-based biped life forms, but that’s hardly an event of cosmic significance.)
  • 152nd anniversary of Daniel Webster’s Union-saving plea for compromise in 1850, the Seventh of March speech to the U.S. Congress.
  • A cockroach made it snow.
  • An ascendant Aquarius moved into the third trine of Saturn for the first time since Alpha Centauri, on Christmas Day 1247BCE, last conjoined Betelgeuse’s major planet Phlogiston and Sol’s major planet Jupiter simultaneously .
  • Britney Spears broke up with Justin Timberlake (of N*Sych). Teens the world over cried, said it couldn’t be so, and then went on with their lives.
  • Britney Spears changed her navel ring? Cameron Daddo celebrated his 37th birthday and all the Daddos gathered around? The Beatles had their debut on BBC radio 40 years ago and the world hasn’t been the same since? That great game of Monopoly was invented about 69 years ago and it hasn’t saved the world but made a world of difference to Parker Bros? Nothing … Scientists still argue with each other. Thank goodness there is a healthy bit of scepticism out there. The ‘smart’ones can’t agree if some tiny, little insignificant rock in Australia has the oldest sign of life as we know it (bacteria) or just a faulty piece of rock –
  • Chandra stared at a tight cluster of nearly 1100 x-ray blips at the heart of the Orion Nebula.
  • George W., John Ashcroft and Jerry Falwell found out that the colour of the universe is turquoise, and they simultaneously found out that the Russian word for turquoise is also a slang word for “gay”. Alarmed that the universe is so imbued with un-American tendencies, they declared the universe to be a nice, conservative, un-threatening “beige” colour, and got a Constitutional amendment making it a treasonous offence to suggest otherwise. Then they sufficiently cowed the scientists into concurring by threatening to cut off their NSF funding. Punks.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope was given a new faster, higher resolution camera, allowing greatly improved imaging. This means it can see much further out into the universe, thus effectively further back in time. Also, new smaller solar wings in a tasteful blue replaced those trashy passe gold ones.
  • I got a double shift of overtime, not greatly significant to anyone but me.
  • I have absolutely no idea. But I’ll guess: Dr. Bob celebrated his half-century of being annoying.
  • Interestingly, see also:,, and this little gem from the Canberra Croquet Club
  • It was Test 2 in Astronomy 121 at the University of Oregon on that day. Those students who passed were on their way to being astronomers, those who failed had to change their courses.
  • It was the very last day I and my boyfriend were going out for a number of years less than 3. Hey, its significant to us 🙂
  • My daughter turned 18. Hey, if you dont think this is of cosmic significance, you have never had a teenage daughter.
  • My mind. I decided to stop being so modest.
  • My underwear.
  • Obviously not much, as no one noticed. [Correct answer, for Adelaide]
  • Space-drilling was demonstrated in Canada:
  • The “International Conference on Light Pollution” was held, but I don’t know that they changed anything of cosmic significance.
  • The Aliens of Nee used Pluto as a dance hall and threw a massive party to which none of us earthlings were invited 😦
  • The Answers in Genesis site finally realised, and admitted, that creation science is bogus. [Oink, flap, flap]
  • The centre of the universe (i.e. Wayne Carey)
  • The comet Hale-Bopp slipped beyond the range of astral travel on 7 March 2002, making further mass suicides rather pointless. For the next 42 years, the only way of getting to Hale-Bopp is by yogic flying. Not being an expert on this, I will ask my chiropractor about it at our next seance.
  • The earth rotated just such that the sun was seen after a long period of dark, just like every other day (that’s a cosmically significant change in my opinion).
  • The Hubble Space Telescope got a new, ultra-cool camera installed. I think it was to be used exclusively for pinpointing topless college girls, backyard wrestlers, and people breaking traffic laws, then putting shots of them on the videos you see on late night TV.
  • The largest fossil find in the whole wide world, was found to be a fraud, it was the smallest.
  • The Moon entered the seventh house, Jupiter aligned with Mars, now peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.
  • The sun exploded. Damn, I sure will miss it.
  • The universe ended as predicted by (insert you sect of choice here) only it didnt….again.
  • The universe started to contract, confounding all those wannabe-creationist big bang monotonic-expansion theorists.
  • The World did not end (again).
  • Two small groups of protons, neutrons and electrons were “changed” (allegedly) into one bigger bunch of protons, neutrons and electrons, releasing energy during the process. This apparently happened in a vessel the size of a coffee cup somewhere in Tennessee. Cold fusion? Sounds like a load of froth and bubble to me.
  • ummmm….my underwear..(i think..)
  • Venus made her triumphal entering in Aries! Obviously of “cosmic significance” and quite nice in a skeptical quiz.
  • Was this the day that Ayers Rock was discovered to be a virtual particle in a parallel universe?
  • The Date
  • I don’t know, but I’m sure it was important.
  • I lost my virginity.

Question 2

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


This was the first message to be xerox-copied. This was the second message to be xerox-copied. This was the third message to be xerox-xopied.

And copy these:

  • “10.22.38 Astoria” was the first thing ever reproduced by xerographic copy, the process used in photocopying. Unfortunately, due to the crude nature of the prototype apparatus, Chester Carlson had to escort his assistant Otto to a doctor soon after to be treated for thermal burns to his bum, which was the second thing ever photocopied.
  • 22 October 1938, in a one room apartment in Astoria, Queens, New York City, Chester F Carlson produced the first xerographic copy – see
  • A play was written by a rather short, foul smelling English man, back in 1967. It was entitled “Ode to a small piece of putty that looks not entirely unlike a piece of Wassabe found one afternoon in a pair of underpants of size 10.22.38 Astoria”. It was not a widely publicised, or indeed popular, piece of poetry.
  • aaaahhhh bobby boy, thought we wouldn’t see straight through that one? The obvious answer is that this is the first photocopy message produced, the less obvious one is that this somehow relates to pi, perhaps the first three parts of the IP address of someone who has calculated enough places of pi to fill a 6 yottabyte SAN?
  • Actually it should be 10.22.38 Ass-toria. On October 22, 1938 the first photocopy of a bare human ass(arse) was made by William Taynton. He had grown up to become an office man and was bored.
  • Astorians have different ideas about the perfect 10.
  • Death of copyright. Chester Carlson aka “forest eater carlson” got his xerox machine to work. So ended the age of the paperless office and the origin of that infamous quote “by 1990 no australian school child will live without their own individual homework question sheet”.
  • Having suddenly discovered his secret identity, Lois Lane secretly arranges to meet Clark Kent for a hotel-room assignation that causes him to crack a smile for the first time, and renders her “wide-eyed and legless”. Jimmy Olsen misses the scoop, so it doesn’t make the comics page.
  • I am here, you are there lucky bugger.
  • In addition to being the combination to my locker in junior high, it was the first message to be xerographed.
  • It was a hotel booking for a New York hotel. Dr. Bob and Nurse Janet, booked into the hotel with a photocopier and spent the entire weekend photocopying their genitalia, posteriors and other bits. [We ran out of A4 paper … so we spent the Sunday having sex instead]
  • It was a secret message from Jayne Mansfield to Diana Dors (with a cc to Sabrina and Australia’s own Abigail) chortling about the unfortunate bust, waist and hip measurements of that try-hard pretender to the title of ’60s glamour queen, Iceland’s very own Astoria.
  • It was an SMS to my mate telling him I’d lost my virginity
  • It was either a Chinese restaurant take away order, or the first xerox message. I like the first answer – number 22 at the Celestial Cafe in Diamond Creek is brilliant! [OK I’ll go and try it]
  • It was the first “thing” ever photocopied, apparently. Sometime during the party to celebrate the success of the project, the first ever photocopy of a bare backside was made and mailed internally to the boss.
  • It was the first photocopy, but of what? The office footy tipping competition? Employees’ children’s holiday programs? Leave rosters? Canteen menu? The new young girl from accounts sitting on the copier (so that’s where it started!)
  • It was the first piece copied by the xerographic process. You would have thought for such a significant event they could have anticipated copying worldwide and imaged a bum. At least it wasn’t a biblical text.
  • It was the first thing ever to be photocopied, the second was the secretary’s buttocks.
  • It was the message on the first Xerox Copy, made by pressing wax paper against an electrostatically-charged, sulfur-coated zinc plate covered with fine, dark powder. It was made by Chester Floyd Carlson on 22nd of October 1938, in Astoria.
  • It was the time and date and place of the first photocopy on paper. But the message boy got the message wrong! It should have been ’10-4-arse-on-top….’ but the copy boy got it wrong as he was new and hadn’t mastered the code too well. Well, the line was busy you know, and he thought it was a little strange, this ten to stuff plus some weird reference to Ask Gloria….
  • It’s the text on the paper that was the first Xerox copy, on October 22, 1938, Astoria, Queens, New York. The message was going to be “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” but the inventor had a strange premonition it might be needed elsewhere someday.
  • Margaret Thatcher had photocopied her bare bosom and bottom and had faxed it to Ronald Reagan with a secret message encoded in the copy: 10=”Ronnie, they’re yours for the taking,” 22=”Ronnie, it’s yours for the taking,” 38=”It’s getting a bit chilly here.” And finally, Astoria= the name of the hotel where they would subsequently have their tryst—The Astoria Arms and Legs in Coyote Tail, California.
  • My Bible doesn’t have the book of Astoria, therefore the question is outside God’s will.
  • Ol’ Chet Carlson & his buddy Otto produced the first Xerographic copy known to mankind. What they never realized is the fact that you must temper retsina with feta.
  • S.F.B.Morse sent his first experimental telegraph message on this date. Come on! Give a little more information.
  • The Astoria hotel in Knightsbridge is where Churchill met his mistress, Lady Quentin-Buckworth-Smythe for a secret tryst. Oh, but did they frolic, for Churchill only needed 4 hrs sleep a night.
  • The first Xerographic copy had that as its written message. I guess that’s the photocopy version of “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
  • The first xerographic copy, either that or an internal memo at Mattel concerning the proportions and name of an upside-down friend of Barbie’s.
  • The measures of some Astorian guy’s pants they were xerographically copying
  • The occasion was when Chester F. Carlson produced the world’s first “xerographic” copy on 22 October 1938 at Astoria, a place in the USA. (Xerographic is Greek for “dry writing”, a term which is more apt for the ravings of our right wing loonies). The actual event went like this: Chester asked his colleague Otto to write something down on paper. “What?” asked Otto. “Anything” Chester said. “The date. The place”. So Otto wrote down the date in American (10.22.38) and the place, the piece of paper was duly xeroxed, and history was made. For such a historic occasion, Otto should have written down a more memorable message, like “My girlfriend has got big tits”. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, Claudius was born, aka Derek Jacobi.
  • The tip of a rotary mower travels at over 200kmh/hr. This is the first xerographic copy (prelude to photocopy). You’d think they’d find something just a little more exciting.
  • This was the content of a message found in the body of a small bisque doll of German manufacture. It was sent by toy merchant Marion Barswell, intended for a German assassin during World War II. The message indicated that Harry S. Truman would be staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on the night of 22 October 1938, which would be a perfect time for his assassination. Unfortunately her contact moved without telling Marion, the doll was returned to the false address on the back, and the message was discovered. The German assassin, meanwhile, had had no intention whatsoever of carrying out the task and had turned himself in. Despite this, and quite cheerfully passing on the range and scope of his espionage knowledge to the Americans, he was tried by a secret military tribunal and shot. Marion was sentenced to death by electric chair, which was commuted to life after appeal and ended up released in 1955 at the age of 36, whereupon she became a devotee of the cult of Elvis. She now lives quietly in Tucson, AR, and enjoys vaccumming and trichotillomania.
  • You know my tattoo says that?! That does it, I am going to sue my OBGYN for breach of confidentiality.

Question 3

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?


This was how John Logie Baird described it years later “[after using a dummy’s head as a televisual target] I was vastly excited and ran downstairs to obtain a living object. The first person to appear was the office boy from the floor below, a youth named William Taynton, and he, rather reluctantly, consented to subject himself to the experiment. I placed him in front of the transmitter and went into the next room to see what the screen would show. The screen was completely blank, and no effort of tuning would produce any result. Puzzled, and very disappointed, I went back to the transmitter, and there the cause of the failure became at once evident. The boy, scared by the intense white light, had backed away from the transmitter. In the excitement of the moment I gave him half a crown, and this time he kept his head in the right position. Going again into the next room I saw his head on the screen quite clearly….”

On Other Channels:

  • Because nobody was watching. If no one is watching TV, then is there an image on the screen?
  • The power had been cut off. Anyone got a shilling?
  • “We apologise for the technical difficulties we are experiencing. We hope to rectify them soon, and return you to your scheduled programme. Logie Baird TV apologises for this inconvenience”
  • (sing like Satchmo) Oh man, I got dem (da-da-da-DA) technical difficulties blues, real bad, oh YEAAAH!
  • Afraid of the intense light, he backed away from the transmitter, and the operator had to pay him half a crown to sit still. Nowadays, they pay worthless actors a million bucks a show, and they won’t sit still either. Punks.
  • All office boys look blank. He was told to stay in front of light/lens but being a typical office boy he didn’t do as he was told and wandered off out of shot. You just can’t get good staff.
  • Because before that there was no TV. As you already said in the question! (ok, not exactly)
  • Because Bill Taynton was not yet in front of the camera. Acccording to the Baird’s diary, he had to pay two shillings and sixpence to stay in position; I guess the boy decided to “stay” fixed only after the sign of the contract. Scottish boy, I guess
  • Because Mr. Baird forgot to plug the cord into the electrical outlet.
  • Because Taynton ran away, afraid of the heat of the lamps. Or he was advised against appearing on TV without the assistance of a spin doctor.
  • Because the camera was stuck in his ear. The stupid inventor thought he had invented a machine to see the thought processes.
  • Because the time wasn’t right. Five minutes later, the time was right…
  • He got stagefright! The kid didn’t like the bright lights of this new fangled contraption, until the lure of fame and fortune (2/6d) and a push into the spotlight cured it! Now you can’t get the kids away from the screen! (see
  • He had not been filled out in triplicate yet.
  • He was standing next to the Easter bunny and a Man Hating Dyke
  • His manager had not yet negotiated the residuals.
  • Hmm, it can’t be because the TV was unplugged at the wall or because the camera was pointing through the window at the snowstorm outside. Too obvious. Must be because the blank screen presciently portrayed the contents of the minds of 21st century viewers of shows such as Survivor, The Footy Show and the Channel 7 News. Yep, that’s it.
  • The poor lad, who had to be bribed by Logie Baird to be the subject in the first place, was scared of the bright light in front of the “camera” and moved “out of shot” He had to be coaxed back into place with money before transmission could continue, a trend that continues to this day.
  • It took them a while to tack the xerographic copy to the front.
  • Lens cap.
  • Logie-Baird was on the wrong channel. Like all males with a TV, he was channel surfing in the hope that something interesting would come on, and he couldn’t find the remote. And Taynton had slipped away to ring his Mum to say he was going to be on the telly.
  • Nobody could program the VCR properly.
  • Screen was blank for much the same reason suffered by current child TV stars – overexposure.
  • Someone couldn’t find the remote to turn the telly on, I’ll bet. I’m thinking of inventing a remote that finds the telly remote when one wants it. I reckon it’d make me a millionaire.
  • Taking a long lunch.
  • The Channel 9/10/Fox syndicate had seized control of all transmissions and refused to air the show in prime time, especially in rural areas.
  • The picture was blanked out by an alien conspiracy to stop us polluting our minds in the future with hours of inane, boring entertainment. This was thwarted by the US Army.
  • The set had not yet been turned on. Then, once it had been turned on, Taynton had wandered off to look at all the neato stuff in John Logie Baird’s lab (I suspect it had lots of bubbling flasks and Van de Graft generators).
  • There was a transmission problem with the apparatus used by John Logie Baird, generally acknowledged as the inventor of TV. This was not unexpected as the apparatus was “Made in England”. Isn’t it interesting that the first person ever to be seen on TV had to be forced to do so with a cash bribe, but people now queue up to appear for free in crap like Big Brother.
  • They wanted to set the scene… a blank canvas so to speak, to give atmosphere and increase tension for the opening scene.
  • They were on the wrong channel, but they weren’t any channel buttons yet.
  • Two possibilities: (1) Billy Taynton was in make up at the time & (2) Someone forgot to plug the camera into the electrical outlet.
  • William, unlike so many would-bes that followed him, was scared of the bright lights and moved out of focus. John Logie Baird had to bribe him with half-a-crown. Chequebook journalism has a long history.
  • You have to turn the damn thing on *before* the show starts, Bob.
  • Young Bill backed away from the transmitter, scared of the intense light. He was bribed back into place with half a crown. I can relate to this, I have to bribe people constantly. Yours will be in the mail perhaps….
  • Young Master Taynton (hired by Baird to appear on proto-TV) had backed away from the transmitter. History records that he was frightened by the intense lights, but really he was just holding out for more money – when Mr Baird offered the boy extra financial inducement, said boy duly agreed to be on television. Apparently, not much has changed since then – Ray Martin is in fact the love-child of Taynton (genetics will out). Although never officially acknowledged by his father, Ray did inherit his dad’s toupee, which was the very latest in hair replacement technology in the 1950s.
  • The screen saver was on.

Question 4

In 1652 what drinkable substance was first introduced to London?

Three Correct Answers:

Coffee AND tea AND chocolate. It must have been a bonzer year for the Puritans.

But Who Knows:

  • Absinthe…or was it tea… or coffee? one of the three
  • Beer with bubbles in it?
  • Brandy
  • Cholera flavoured water. (With respect to all cholera victims).
  • Coca cola. Well, the name was different, but the substance is the same. Uh? What? Oh, sorry, sorry, you’re right… You said “drinkable”, so it’s impossible… ok, I give up.
  • Coffee – a super new “health” drink that stimulated intellect. It could be taken whilst indulging in another revolutionary “health” product, introduced only one hundred years prior; tobacco.
  • Coffee was introduced, then later banned. The Poms kept drinking tea, which the Yanks dumped into Boston Harbour ( and rightly so ). It was all a conspiracy started by London publicans to keep the Poms drinking pale, warm, flat lager.
  • Coffee, except if it was made with Thames water even it probably was not drinkable.
  • Coffee, inasmuch as the first coffee shop opened in London that year. Coffee promptly became, and has remained, ridiculously overpriced, like everything else in London.
  • Coffee, which is a good thing since their water was not very potable.
  • Coffee. Arguable if it was drinkable back then, but then they drank all sorts of disgustingly dirty stuff, I guess…
  • Coffee. In those den of iniquities called gentlemen’s clubs. Or maybe it was the heroin ladies tea parties? Coffee seems a little staid nowadays compared to what you can put in drinks now. But it couldn’t have been WATER! No, that’s not drinkable any where! Just ask the average person in the street and they will tell you that they know because A Current Affair’ told them so…..and we all believe them don’t we?
  • Drinkable tap water, it was withdrawn the same year.
  • Fosters classic brew.
  • Guinness, what else and only because the bastard English had ripped it out of the arms of the patriotic and peaceful Irish.
  • A Greek entrepreneur opened the first coffeehouse in London, despite the usual cries from the naysayers about the inevitable decline and fall of civilisation as we know it.
  • If you haven’t said that it was drinkable i’d guess it was coffee.
  • It must be tea or maybe it was Jolt Cola.
  • Liquid Prell.
  • London’s first coffee house opened in 1652. They were unable to get the really good Venezuelan coffee beans because Venezuela had not been invented yet, so they had to settle for Turkish coffee.
  • Methylated spirits with crème de menthe and a touch of brown boot polish. This became, and remains, the basis for a number of EXCELLENT green cocktails: Grasshoppers, Margueritas, Midori® Illusions, Splices, etc.
  • Milk. Before this date, Londoners had no access to calcium, which explains their teeth.
  • Piss, by a visiting Indian politician.
  • Semen. Someone discovered oral sex, having run out of condoms. Either that or tea.
  • Sewage!
  • Starbucks invaded town, with some alleged coffee-like substance
  • Tea was introduced sometime between 1652 and 1654.
  • The first coffee house opened in 1652 but as there was one in Oxford in 1648, some Londoners would have been introduced to it earlier than 1652.
  • The good ol’ Brits started staying up later when Coffee was introduced
  • To be quite correct, the actual introduction of Tea to London never occurred. It is happening next Friday in a ceremony with the Queen.
  • Trick question. There was, like Adelaide, no drinkable substance in London in 1652. [No – surely nothing is like Adelaide. Or should that be, Adelaide is like nothing?]
  • Urine passed by elderly gout-riddled llamas, in which has been steeped rotting armadillo entrails and volcanic mud. The generic name for this drink was ‘coffee’. Today, all coffee still tastes and smells pretty much like the original recipe. Grud, I *hate* the stuff. My husband’s current favourite blend also has what I think might be dried buffalo dung mixed into it. It makes the whole kitchen pong when he brews it; I’m pretty sure it’s grounds for divorce. (BOOM BOOM! as Basil Brush would say.)
  • Water! Prior to that they had had to make do with the Thames, which was largely urine (and becoming increasingly concentrated).

Question 5

Why was Donald Duck banned in Finland?

Dr Bob’s Wrong Answer


OK OK, Pile It On Then:

  • Donald Duck, the cartoon character, has NEVER been banned in Finland. The joke was launched by the youth group of the Social Democraphic Party of Helsinki and, to the amazement of all, including the joker, it was swallowed by the world media. After almost 30 years, it still keeps popping up in trivial lists such as the Australian Skeptics web site. Please do not present this myth as a truth any more. It has been stale for a long while. Finns are very liberal with matters concerning nudity. Many important political decisions and almost all essential trade agreements are made in the birthday suit. I know a married couple that saw each other naked before they saw each other with clothes on (in a group sauna). If any readers entertain thoughts of Nordic prudishness, I am happy to meet them and discuss the matter in the Helsinki Yrjönkatu bath house.
  • … but here’s a Warner Brothers cartoon character that HAS been banned … from the USA! [And I see this page contains the gem “What they don’t realize is that Speedy breaks this stereotype by being a smart, hardworking, fast Mexican.”]
  • Apparently all the *other* ducks in Finland wear pants. It seems that Donald Duck’s refusal to wear such clothing has seen him outlawed by the authorities.
  • Because Donald Duck was perceived to be an Americans idea of what a Finnish person is
  • Because he doesn’t wear any pants… he’s a naughty duck, and the censors didn’t want him giving the populace any ideas for the long dark winters… they should all be out playing golf with orange balls (orange golf balls I mean)
  • Because he was annoying
  • Because he was walking around bare assed, delighting the children but frightening the horses.
  • Because he wears no pants, apparently ducks in Finland are supposed to wear underwear, they don’t here!
  • Because in Finland, they’re just too depressed to watch some stupid duck.
  • Because the Finnish government is an all-consuming bureaucratic monstrosity with a life of its own and nothing better to do with its time?
  • Because the Finns, knew that there was no way a duck could wander round the Finnish countryside with his arse hanging out without something important falling off. Actually it was due to the fact that a lot of single men live in the Finnish countryside where women are few and the nights are lonely, need I say more…
  • Because the magazine was too expensive. Because the Finns thought he was too capitalistic for their neighbours taste. Because they liked swans better than ducks. They certainly did not protest against his clothes.
  • Because they said his accent was Finnish.
  • Because he’s a dirty pervert with no pants, that’s why.
  • Donald Duck was rumoured to be banned in Finland because a)he didn’t wear pants and/or b) he wouldn’t marry Daisy Duck. However it’s an Urban Legend!
  • Donald Duck was supposedly banned in Finland because he didn’t wear pants. However the real story was that an aspiring politician suggested that comics in some clubs could be replaced with good healthy sport magazines (like Playboy?) Good grief! He lost the election.
  • Donald Duck wore no pants, which was considered by the Finns to be outrageous. I can imagine the uproar when Porky Pig came along about a year later, also without pants.
  • Donald was too close to the bone. After a hard night’s drinking, tragically many Fins end up stumbling home sans pants over the ice, and if they can speak at all between evacuations of all sorts, exhibit that characteristic speech impediment. Many young Fins bear the scars (both emotional and penile) of falling unconscious, and freezing, to the ground in their dishabille. This “Donald” character just seemed like a cruel parody. (Similarly Popeye was banned in Norway. Why Homer Simpson hasn’t been banned in Australia I don’t know…)
  • Everyone knows Donald Duck’s lack of pants made the Finnish boys jealous
  • For much the same reason I’m banned in Finland. No pants.
  • For the same reason I was; not wearing pants and cavorting with an un-wed female duck. Damn those uptight Fins.
  • For wearing no pants. And fair enough too. All waterfowl should wear respectable clothing whilst entertaining.
  • He does not wear trousers. It’s not that the Finns are prudish, it’s that anyone who goes trouserless in Finland promptly gets their bum frozen off (not to mention their other bits and pieces) so the Finnish Department of Health don’t want anyone even thinking of going around trouserless.
  • He was banned because of his loutish behaviour, and because he was a Yank.
  • He was outed as an agent of the evil disney empire. The Finns being a sensitive people were the first nation to declare a global war on cultural terrorism. Their ultimate weapon… Nokia mobile phones. I lied, he wasn’t, but we are still cursed with mobile phones.
  • He wasn’t actually banned in Finland. One library stopped buying D. Duck comics for economic reasons, and later the myth arose that the comics were discontinued because the Finns were offended by Donald running about with no pants and cavorting with an unmarried female duck. The Finns could clear this up easily, but as usual, they ain’t talkin’.
  • He’s a bad influence on children, or his name translates to something obscene I imagine.
  • His butt was deemed too titillating.
  • His quacking sounds, by coincidence, sound like cuss words in Finnish?
  • In order to appease the Great God Economics. (The media got the whole ‘no-trousers’ thing wrong; in fact, Donald deliberately took off his pants in a blatant attempt to use the appeal of bum humour to raise his popularity with children, and thus have Helsinki’s youth clubs continue to purchase his comics, but it didn’t work. Now, if he’d gone on to *photocopy* his bum, that might’ve helped.)
  • Lack of trousers – apparently a crime for avians in Scandanavia.
  • No pants! The Finns are damned right! A bird (please note, a bird) without pants and panties. And, most of all, a male character. Who want males without panties?
  • Nobody can understand what the hell he is saying.
  • Of course, in the USA they take this sort of thing much more seriously:
  • Pants. The not wearing of. Or was it his Nazi connections through a maze of spy and counter-spy organisations. After all, he did talk a different language (could anyone understand what he was saying?). No, it’s obvious. He didn’t have a fin. He was a duck. Not a fish. Oh, dear me.
  • Sounds like a good idea to me. I wouldn’t question it.
  • The androgynous Anatidae, not being blessed with external genitalia, was anathema to the fastidious Finns because of their inability to categorise “Mr” Duck’s gender. This only became a major issue when the USA formally objected to Finland’s arrest of Donald for following Daisy into a ladies loo in downtown Helsinki while both were on a Scandinavian lecture tour aimed at exposing medical frauds (for later publication on this very website – in Qakatak, of course). Bowing to a threatened US trade embargo on their exports of Nokia cellphones and reindeer turds to the lucrative North American market, Finland expelled both Ducks and banned poor Donald forever from their fair but frozen shores.
  • The lascivious fowl has a tendency to walk around town without his pants on.
  • The urban myth is that he was sans pants and was of “dubious marital status”, but it was just a bureaucratic balls-up.
  • The usual answer is that it was because he didn’t wear pants or that he cavorted with unmarried females. This is ridiculous as anyone who knows the Finns would tell you. The USA is far more likely to ban DD for those reasons. In 1977, Helsinki was a bit short of the readies so Mr Markku Holopainen, a local Liberal Party representative, proposed that the city stop buying DD comics for its youth centres in favour of sport and hobby publications. The motion was approved. After that a rumour started about the half-naked DD and it has been perpetuated since.
  • There are several urban legend web sites regarding this, but he was banned because he had no pants on. Now everyone sing in a Scottish accent “Donald, where’s your troosers?” Did they also ban Fat Cat, Humphrey Bear, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo as well?
  • They couldn’t afford the comics.
  • They thought until someone drew pants on him, he wasn’t Finnish(ed). Har har har hardy har har!
  • This is an urban myth. DD was not banned in Finland, although an attempt was made. The true story is rather long and convoluted, but in summary the proposal was rejected as it was duck season. [No, it was rabbit season, […] ] The Finns made a big mistake in my opinion as I reckon that DD should be banned worldwide, not just in Finland. Any book which has, as its main character, a duck with no pants living in sin with his girlfriend should automatically be banned, along with Darwin’s “Origins” and all of Galileo’s and Copernicus’ writings.
  • You gotta wear pants- – – even in Finland!

Question 6

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


  • These are memorial plaques to people who have died while climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock). They are attached to the rock itself just near the start of the climb. [Right, and so are the plaques – boom boom]
  • All dead people have their deadness in common. But that, while correct, is but a superficial answer. Carking it on Uluru gives these folk a special cachet that even the recently departed Princess Maggie and Queen Mum could never emulate. (There’s an old Australian joke about people getting their rocks off – in this case the Rock got the people off, so to speak. Oops, sorry, bad taste…)
  • Ayers Rock … blah blah blah … Azaria Chamberlain … blah blah blah … DINGO ATE MY BABY! … blah blah blah … trial by media … blah blah blah … household name and international celebrity … blah blah blah … Meryl Streep … blah blah BLAH
  • Ayers Rock, May, 1978. These fools died there trying to chase a snail down a ledge.
  • Each of these people died of Big Red Rock. Risk factors for this disease include an inflated opinion of one’s own cardiovascular fitness, or a lack of understanding of the basic principles of gravity.
  • I can’t read, so I’m going to say they were all born on the same day. [And they couldn’t read either – at least not the sign that says BE CAREFUL OR YOU’LL DIE]
  • Someone cared enough about them to commemorate them. Lucky them. Never mind, when I die they’ll pickle my 10.20.38 Astoria tattoo in formalin and preserve it forever.
  • These people all died at Ayers Rock. Probably something to do with those Aboriginal spirits wandering around (“Hey, guys, watch me take a leak on the rock” – ZOT!)
  • These plaques are at Ayers Rock, people have died climbing the rock, what a shock, only 4, no more? Were the rest taken by dingoes? I don’t think so, perhaps it was a spaceship, that would be hip.
  • They all descended from an Australian cliff at a much higher velocity than they had expected followed by massive deceleration which resulted in those plaques.
  • They all died on Atlas Rock- that’s what one of the plaques says anyway.
  • They all died on Ayers Rock. Nothing funny about that, except that they were also The Famous Five, whose exploits have been chronicled by Enid Blyton.
  • They all died on Ayers Rock. Maybe you shoulda obscured the image a bit. [I tried, I tried – but the Webmaster is always very neat and he improved it again!!]
  • They all died on Oolarlo, Ooriyle, Ooolyoo……Ayers Rock.
  • They all died under that big rock. [hardly surprising – it is very heavy]
  • They all fell down from the Sydney Opera House, which they climbed because all other famous Australian landmarks are out of bounds for climbers.
  • They all passed on to their heavenly reward after the Mother of Elvis appeared to each of them and predicted that Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat would have disagreements over certain territories in the Middle East, but would eventually come to understand that the only way to solve their differences would be through mutual annihilation.
  • They all seem to have perished at Ayers Rock. Good grief –just how many ways are there to die in Australia? [Well – there’s drowning, box jellyfish, blue ringed octopus, and sharks. And that’s only in Darwin, and before you have even landed! Upon coming ashore, we offer death through too much beer, but if you also get speared by hostile Aborigines the beer comes out of the holes.]
  • They all, finally, got their name mentioned in the world famous Dr Bob’s skeptical quiz! Talk about dying for the cause. Jealous who me?
  • They are all dead, they are all commemorated on a wierd, melodramatic little German website, and they are all a bloody good reminder that the “feel the fear and do it anyway” edict promotes darwinian evolution…
  • They are all dead? They all have their names on little plaques? If they get one more, they can form the shape of a cross? They liked rocks? They liked this rock in particular? [Yes they did, at least, up to the point where they fell off it]
  • They died. Oh, duh. That was hard. I’m not sure. Are they the people that died while climbing Uluru (ie. through a heart attack, or falling of the edges)? What sane person would want to track up there anyway? They may have succumbed to the ancient curse of Walalkdgaahaha, the spirit that watches over all the silly people of this world, and helps them into the next!
  • They were all commemorated on this plaque. (You knew a lot of people were going to say that didn’t you). The problem with people on this site, they can be quite literal at times.
  • They’re all dead, for one thing. I couldn’t read the inscriptions on the plaques, even in the full-sized picture, so I’ll take a wild guess and say they were all abducted by alien spacecraft from that spot.
  • They’re all dead. They all suffered from plaque.
  • They are all crazy, non-Aboriginal people who died while attempting to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock). I’m surprised there aren’t more plaques there. [These were early adventurers, before the tarmac road from Adelaide was put in – there have been many more but they stopped putting up plaques. Probably not enough room on the rock.]
  • They all lost their virginity together on the same day. [These were early adventurers, before the tarmac road from Adelaide was put in – there have been many more but they stopped putting up plaques. Probably not enough room on the rock.]

Comments, from those not rendered speechless:

  • A bit easy this time Dr Bob [Sorry – I was in more of a hurry than usual. I see even this month’s are coming in easy too. Buggeration.]
  • Dr. Bob, I was very upset no Fart or Knob jokes this month. If you don’t keep feeding me the straight lines I can’t fill in the one liners.
  • Are you related to Bert Nudge? He had a pie cart on the corner of Hamstead road.
  • I’m too tired to come up with clever comments this month. I’m afraid you’ll just have to live with that.
  • Including gratuitous references to Captain Beefheart lyrics in my answers didn’t work – I won’t make that mistake again…. [Well … it worked for Joost Verduin!]
  • Doctor Bob, I think I’ve fallen in love with a co-worker who has split up with her husband after twelve years of marriage. She is as beautiful as she’s vulnerable, but she has rather small breasts. What should I do? [Dr Bob advises: This should be an advantage – I find that my hands keep slipping off large breasts. Once you do get a good grip, imagine you are honking the rubber bulb of a car horn. There is a scene in Bunuel/Dali’s “L’Age d’Or” (1930) very like this – but eventually the girl runs away. So perhaps you should say to the girl “Despite your small breasts I nevertheless wish to copulate with you”. Bring your diary, so you can make an appointment if she says yes. Let us know how it goes. With JPG’s if possible.]
  • Dr Bob, I think that your quizzes are far better than the ones on TV in Australia. Friends at home tell me that Eddie won the Logie for best game show… I reckon that you should take his place, you questions are more interesting. I hereby nominate Dr Bob for the GOLD Logie…
  • Did you know that blues/rock performer Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was a closet intellectual, who made good grades, wrote long, meaningful letters home, and was an avid newsmagazine (TIME) and book reader (Kerouac, Sir Walter Scott, Tolkien, etc.), who had a tough, rowdy pose to survive in the male-dominated music industry, yet whose friends and family testify to her kindness, brains, and sensitivity toward them? [Well, actually, yes I did.] We should be skeptical of surface appearances (and we should judge people by how they lived their lives, not how they ended them). Read about the real Janis in the fine biography, “Love, Janis” by Laura Joplin.
  • I think Google search engine must be your favourite too!
  • Damn. Every question right except the first. Damn you Dr. Bob, damn you to….well, its a good job I’m an atheist
  • None of my responses are funny tonight – I decided to look up the actual answers!
  • The questions are really good, but you should show the answers to questions already asked. [Thanks, well actually I did used to show the answers, then I found quite often that my answers were wrong! So I always try to make it so that you can tell the correct answer from the many that I put up. A good example is the Einstein picture – my “right” answer was that there really was a mistake in the equations on the blackboard, but I forgot exactly what it was – anyway I never knew that Einstein was left handed, and that is really a better answer anyway. Now it’s happened again with the Donald Duck question, for which my “right” answer was spectacularly wrong!]
  • Dr Bob’s April quiz has now passed into the constructed communal consciousness, and will fill the world with enlightenment and understanding.
  • What happened to Quiz Results for March??? Are you recycling the results now? Why are we deprived of the opportunity (and pleasure) of reading March results? In fact, March questions were not there either! What happened? Has Dr Bob stolen the month March? Looks like I have to cope with this withdrawal syndrome for another month. Aarrrrgggghhhhhh…..
  • What, no pie or other food questions this month? You must be off your diet Dr Bob. [It’s all stored in Tupperware®]
  • With motherhood, one’s reason falls into desuetude. [I bet that spoils the pudding]
  • Dear Dr. Bob, One can’t get a job at McDonald’s in Denver unless one speaks fluent Russian and/or Spanish. One can’t even request food in a McDonald’s unless one speaks Russian or Spanish. I guess I’ll have to turn to a life of crime. [For which Russian would also be helpful – boom boom]
  • Re the legacy of John Logie Baird: Better a blank screen than a blank mind.
  • Will a skeptickle make me laugh or do I need to see some convincing evidence first?
  • Four minutes on Google for all six- you will have to do better than that [yes Sorry]
  • If Dr Bob’s Fabulous Quizzees are going to start a cult, can I be one who dances along rattling a tambourine? Hare Bob’s quiz, Hare Bob’s quiz, Dr Bob’s quiz, Dr Bob’s quiz, Hare comments, Hare comments, Bob’s quiz Bob’s quiz, Bob’s quiz Bob’s quiz…..
  • Well this was eeeeeasy. You must make it harder next time.
  • Please put more Dr Bob pithy comments in the answers. I said “pithy”, not…well, you know what I mean.
  • I fear the comments about too much sex on your questions were taken seriously, dr. Bob. Well, I want you know that there are people who liked them a lot. Don’t let moralism win!
  • No, it’s my comment, Dr Bob can’t have it.
  • Never try to burp and fart at the same time. And don’t ask me how I know.
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement!
  • Why do there appear to be so many Skeptics in South Australia? Do we just have more paranormal piffle here or what? [You said it – there APPEAR to be so many. But it is an illusion – like the fun palaces of Adelaide]
  • I was actually able to answer each question for once. Woops, have to go, my wife has come home.
  • Have you had a look at the two brains quiz on The Times (London) web site? Some good questions from time to time. [Yes – I have had half a mind to look at it!]
  • Banning Donald Duck. Yeesh, next thing you know they’ll decide that one of your fingers has no name… Oh, have they?
  • Greetings, Dr. Bob. Can I perhaps express the hope that you will favor the assembled company with some of your little facetiae? [Sorry – I just pulled the chain]
  • comment.
  • Hooray hooray, I don’t live in Australia any more. [OK so now you’re safe against falling off Ayers Rock]