Answers for December 2002

Quite a good set of responses this month – some worthy of the Hall of Fame, which I must get around to doing (but first I need an Ibex, a cup of tea and a good lie down). Special congratulations to Cathy Bannister, Win Fowles, Roderick Shire and Joost Verduin. And Dave Hawley yet again, he should be in his own Hawl of Fame. The WINNER this month is

Wendy Robertson

an Australian who lives in California. Her middle name is Joy (probably because she hasn’t discovered yet that she is living in the same town as the Institute for Creation Research).

Question 1

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?


King Victor Emanuel III of Italy, hiding, half-naked (he was changing into his swimming togs too).

Equally Likely Answers:

  • A bear behind.
  • A big consignment of hallucinogenic drugs
  • A big goldilocks stuffed with porridge.
  • A big stuffed bear poo, next to a poo-stained stuffed rabbit. The King of Italy was in the garden, fully naked, folding washing.
  • A Big Stuffed Owl
  • A blind gay Icelandic guitarist
  • A fish walking a tight-rope, whilst balancing a 7-dimensional castle on one fin.
  • A half naked Gala, holding a razor blade to they eyeball of a stuffed owl – enough to terrify anyone.
  • A half-naked Queen of Italy – everyone knows there’s no such thing as a King of Italy!
  • A koala with an inferiority complex
  • A melted clock on crutches
  • A naked woman
  • A painting of King Victor Emanuel III, half naked (which half, I’m not sure).
  • A tale.
  • A three-foot tall famulus with a flaccid clock in his fistula.
  • A volume of air, somewhat less in mass to that in a 747 Jumbo jet.
  • Aha! A web search question – let’s see – Achilles, George Bush, The Pope, Dr. Bob, the carabinieri, fat lot of good that was. Guess: the King of Italy? [Yes!!]
  • Atoms. Electrons. Some exotic particles. Oh, and the odd socks from the dryer.
  • Bananas in pyjamas trying to catch them unawares
  • Being Dali and therefore eccentric it probably was the King of Italy half naked, but it could also have been either King Zog of Albania (no I am not making it up) fully clothed or King Peter of Romania (he was the one with the big…) and his mistress Marie both fully unclothed.
  • Drooping clocks.
  • Either umbrellas or coats. Depending on which web site I rely upon, the stuffed bear has been labeled either an umbrella stand or coat rack.
  • Half open drawers:’)
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Mr Bean at Art Class.
  • Pablo Picasso, asleep in a chair, shirtless. Dali called him “the King of Italy” as a reference to Picasso’s adopted country of France (Napoleon once was crowned “King of Italy”).
  • The bear (bare) behind
  • The big stuffed bear’s big stuffed butt.
  • The corner. Where else do you stand a stuffed bear?
  • The King of England, half-naked.
  • The King of Spain was behind it half-naked
  • The Pope!
  • The toilet
  • What a joker! It was actually the king of Spain half naked.
  • Wouldn’t it have been the King of Spain hiding there half-tanked, rather than the King of Italy half-naked? (Although it could well have been Charles and Camilla there half-naked as usual and they were merely mistaken for the King of Italy because of the uncanny resemblance between Camilla’s face and a swarthy Italian backside.)
  • And a chair as well. And people with games. And stories to tell. Open wide. Come inside. It’s Dali…

Question 2

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?


Very easily. They killed the horses. The Pakistanis were offended anyway.

More Diplomatic Solutions:

  • They swapped the horses with a market stall vendor for some hollowed out coconuts, and cunningly managed to keep “clip clopping” for the rest of their visit, only to have the coconuts confiscated by Swedish customs when they returned home. The Swedes involved are still known to this day as the “Mounted Regiment”
  • Ate the horses on the trip back
  • By inviting the Pakistanis to an impromptu BBQ and feeding them on spare ribs (& legs & other bits) of the nearest animals to hand, which curiously enough happened to be horses.
  • By serving them in a mutton biryani. Very cruel those Swedes.
  • Called a two week United Nations summit conference with over 2,000 delegates from around the world. Passed a motion with revised wording making the horses UN citizens thus eligible for residence in New York.
  • Declared the horses t/b hindu and slaughtered them immediately.
  • Dyed the manes blonde. Every Swede loves a blonde.
  • Horse rollmops?
  • I don’t know how they did, but they should have considered eating them. That way they can take a least part of them into Sweden without having to return them.
  • I’m guessing they shot the horses. Never mind, they were only thoroughbreds.
  • Pakistan and Sweden arent allies [Well, they were, but are not any more]
  • Said the horses were actually donkeys
  • Send them to Woomera detention centre until the horses begged to go back to Pakistan.
  • Sent them home via Australia
  • Shoved them into their volvo and saabs and drove to afghanistan, where they let them run free across the border, where the horses were summarily shot and eaten by a family of starving afghans.
  • The Queen issued a special declaration, giving the horses diplomatic status, thereby creating an exception to the law.
  • The sneaky Swedes slaughtered and stuffed the high-stepping stallions, swiftly sold them surreptitiously to Spain’s Salvador Dali, and slipped the startled Pakis a piece of the profits in order to promote a prolonged period of peace.
  • The Swedes ate every last tasty one of them, thereby enabling them to accept the horses and bring them into their country without breaking any laws.
  • The Swedes had to send the horses to the USA first, where they were interrogated for possible links to terrorism and then given citizenship. After this, the newly American horses were sent to Sweden which DOES allow American horses. However, after a taste of the good life in the ol’ US of A the horses never stopped complaining about how cold it was in Sweden and how much the food sucked.
  • The Swedes simply laundered the horses through Switzerland, by having the Pakistanis give the horses to the Swiss, then importing the horses from Switzerland. (At least that’s how I would have resolved it.)
  • They ate the horses. Europeans, unlike Aussies, have nothing against a tender horse steak.
  • They declared that all horses were fish for a one day period and imported them as haddock.
  • They feasted on them
  • They had a BBQ in honour of the Pakistani’s.
  • They had another joint exercise and some pizza, man.
  • They killed them. Since there was no restriction on the sale of horsemeat, the horses could now be imported.
  • They must have killed them, otherwise you wouldn’t have asked this question. How very Swedish.
  • They politely chopped them into tiny pieces, made them into samosas and served them in the officers’ mess.
  • They put the thoroughbreds in the famous Skane horse stew, with onions, vinegar and molasses. Serve with red cabbage and mashed potatoes. Wash down with aquavit. Yields enough for a couple of platoons [I knew a girl like that once …]
  • Used them as payment for ransom money for the US for taking ABBA hostage and making them play “Fernando” for Elvis Presley while he was being whipped with a stocking filled with pork fat by Aretha Franklin. “Kiss my grits, Arabian Horses”.
  • Went to war with Pakistan [Yes, very nearly]

Question 3

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

Easy, this one:

“Some day I intend reading it.” (Groucho Marx)


  • “… until I wet myself. I then opened your book.”
  • … because my girlfriend wouldn’t stop tickling me the entire time I was holding the book.
  • Thomas Vernon Vestibule (1964 – 1998) who died shortly after picking up one of my books (it belonged to me I didn’t write it). What actually made me laugh though was that his nickname was “TV”, due to his initials, yet he died from a book, and never got the chance to see it on video. By the way the book was “An introduction to Neurolinguistic Programming”
  • “Some day I intend reading it.” Or “Man, that vellum cover tickles.”
  • “Sometime I intend reading it.” Groucho Marx in a blurb to a 1928 book by S.J. Perelman. Perelman did not particularly like the Marx Brothers. He found them too bigheaded.
  • “Someday I intend to grow a real moustache.”
  • You really shouldn’t have inserted that NO2 canister in the cover.
  • … and weariness.
  • … over your photo on the back cover.”
  • And having seen your name as the author, I realised reading it would be a waste of time.
  • I would rather force my arm down my throat and into my gullet, drag out my intestines and strangle myself with them, than consider subediting your work, Mr Proust.
  • I wouldn’t want to answer any quiz that accepted my answers…quote me as saying I was misquoted.
  • It was actually a quote from Moses who said “from the moment I picked up those stone tablets lord, I was convulsed with laughter” [Which is possibly how he came to drop and break them. The Lord then provided another much less amusing set]
  • I’ve never read such a book as how to win friends and influence people
  • That is the most pathetic attempt I have ever seen at fishing for compliments.
  • The password is “swordfish”
  • The title on the front cover was as fas as I got!
  • “…We must do lunch. Yours sincerely, Hannibal Lecter.”

Question 4

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


About 1 ton. They have to allow for it when doing computer simulations of how the jet will fly

Other Answers

  • 876 cubic metres, and it gets changed many times per hour. See for extraordinarily interesting technical stuff about the Jumbo Jet. Yep.
  • A mass of panicking people as the 747 jumbo jet crashes into the sea.
  • ‘Abide with me’
  • about 7 more than a 737
  • About half the mass of air when the jumbo is flying at 20,000 feet.
  • Aha – it depends which series of 747 you are talking about 🙂 but as an approximation, about one ton.
  • Approx. 2 tonnes
  • At last a mathematical question. Interior cabin width 6.1m overall length 70.6 m. Assume a cylindrical shape and an air density of 1kg/m^3 you get roughly 1353 kg. However, as the cabin is pressurised (and not a perfect cylinder), pick any number you fancy within say 20% either side of this. Other factors which would affect the actual answer would be any payload (human or freight) on the plane and the amount of fuel in tanks. (A 747-400 has a fuel capacity of around 217 m^3 which could add another 217 kg to the mass of air if they were empty)
  • Change the pressure, change the gases, you can have a blast with that one
  • Co-incidentally the same as a bag of dry roasted peanuts.
  • Depends how long the passengers have been on board, converting the air to flatus.
  • Depends on how many people are bailing out as it crashes.
  • Depends on the cargo – the heaviest atmosphere recorded was with the exhalations of 420 boozy poms aboard bound for Lanzerote.
  • Enough to keep it in the air, i hope
  • I asked my cousin who works for Boeing. He said, “Who cares?”
  • I can’t answer this question as you did not specify the temperature nor whether the jet was fully loaded or completely empty.
  • It took a bit of research, but according to one site at least one model of the 747 had about 1653865.44 litres of air, including the cargo hold. The Molar mass of air is about 29g/mol. Using n=V/22.4 and m=nM its possible to work out that at 101.3kPa, 273 degrees kelvin, the mass of air inside the plane is 2141.16 kilograms.
  • It would be its force divided by its acceleration if my high school physics is correct.
  • Mass? Mass? Why this Catholic crap, Bobby boy. It’s ‘communion’ to us more enlightened souls. Tch.
  • Mostly nitrogen, with some oxygen, a little bit of carbon dioxide, methane etc.
  • Mostly sweat, garlic, dogs breath… and that’s just from the guy setting next to you.
  • Moving or stationary? With or without capstan wiring. Right now? I can’t see the plane, how I am I supposed to know.
  • Not enough information provided. Air mass varies with differences in temperature and humidity. Also, the volume of air would depend on the volume of cargo and passengers.
  • One for the physicists I suppose. It depends whether the 747 is full of politicians or not. If it is, this is a rare occasion of the sum of the parts exceeding the whole, the political mass of air quintupling that normally found in a 747. If it is empty, how about 250 tons (long or short).
  • Same as outside the plane
  • Stale
  • That depends. If it’s in the Netherlands or somewhere else where the plane can simultaneously be at sea level and not filling with water, then the mass of air is the same as it is similarly laden, at any other altitude. If the plane has crashed, it might be pretty close to zero. And if the plane has ditched in the sea, then the point at which it is on average at sea level is when it has half sunk, so the mass of air would be about 2 thirds normal (allowing for the mass of seats, passengers etc in the lower half). The actual value of the mass depends on many things, not least of which is airline (because, as we all know, the cheaper the airline, the more internal space is taken up with excess passengers.).
  • The google search i did came up with mass suicides and a holiday to venus leaving june 8th 2001 so i don’t know what to say… 40tonne?
  • Uhhhh… I have to go home now.
  • Very, very massy.
  • With or without the booze?
  • Without bean salad on the in-flight menu – 2kg With – 10kg
  • Yes what IS it? Not me! The one who smelt it dealt it!

Question 5

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


A bit of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat, some other plant, possibly a herb or other green, and ibex and other meat.

But What Else Is On The Menu?

  • Nothing, he died just after breakfast.
  • By the analysis so far, in which blackened pieces of primitive coarse bread were found with just a hint of some sort of meat, it must have been Macdonalds. See
  • A bit of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat some other plant, possibly an herb or other green, and meat.
  • A mammoth Maccas washed down with water passed fresh from the kidneys of his wife who, strangely enough, was the ancestor of the founder of a modern bottled water company whose product tastes just the same as that produced by Otzi’s long-dead but beloved Evia.
  • A mouse sandwich.
  • A subway “sandwich” (ROLL!!! Damn you Yanks!), containing 6 grams of fat or less.
  • An ill-fated 5,000 year old Tyrolean chicken.
  • Dairylea lunchables?
  • Eidelweiss. And traces of turkey-ham.
  • Everyone knows Icemen don’t eat lunch, they are too busy chasing mammoths. . . or moths.
  • Fire-cooked flatbread, herbs and meat although he was thought to be vegetarian… what’s that about?!
  • Fungus
  • Gasoline
  • Grain, meat, bones and hüttenkäse, where he got the nice umlaut from.
  • Grains and venison. For tea the night before he had grains, salad and Ibex meat.
  • His next-to-last meal was apparently ibex ( a type of wild mountain goat), as well as grains from cereal, and some plant material …that would be lunch since his final meal was deer meat and wheat bread (einkorn)
  • I don’t know, but it sure did repeat.
  • I reckon the bratwurst sausages were just to die for that season
  • I would suggest that he was not, in fact, ill-fated, as he is now famous and none of his relatives or contemporaries are.
  • Ill fated tyrolean spaetzle, speckknödel mit apple strudel und a nice bottle of Lagrein Dunkel
  • Judging by his trim, taut appearance, i’d say a six-inch chicken breast sub (hold the cheese and mayo). Otzi Fogle?
  • Kranski, sauerkraut, sachertort, eine kleine Mocha und ein bissien Frau Oetzi.
  • Muesli and funny triangle-shaped chocolate.
  • Snow cones
  • Some fava beans with a nice chianti
  • Spaetzli with spit roasted woolly mammoth. Why do you consider him ill-fated – he may have enjoyed his end, whatever it was. [I suppose it depends how you die … but I can think of more fun ways than getting speared as you walk along] More important and interesting, what had Otzi for lunch?
  • Tyrolian cheese, which gave him severe indigestion, which caused his ill-fate.
  • Venison and grain. The grain was for him, the venison a little something for his whipworms.
  • Venison. To take away the taste of the goat he’d had for breakfast.
  • Well, I can’t be certain about it having been lunch, but his last meal was unleavened bread made from einkorn wheat, some other plant (possibly an herb) and some sort of meat. See, he should have listened to his mom when she told him to come in out of the cold for some nice hot soup!
  • Ibex, a cup of tea and a good lie down.

Question 6

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?


He returned on the Monday as instructed and asked for Zanchevsky (the man who had interrogated him on Friday). He was told to go home again as during the weekend, Zanchevsky himself had been arrested as a spy. Now if only Zanchevsky had known his fables, he would have realized that the hunter usually falls in his own trap.

  • …his heart stood still (he do run run, run he do run run)
  • 24 hours elapsed. [Nearly not for Shostakovich though]
  • A bus strike, possibly pre-emptive.
  • Absolutely nothing, because Stalin had ordered that Shostakovich not be arrested. Poor bloody Dmitri then perfected the art of sarcastic music.
  • A large, frozen Tyrolean chicken inexplicably fell from the steel-gray Moscow sky and landed on Mr. Stalin’s head. At once, he instructed the NKVD not to knock on Shostakovich’s door and escort him to the hinterlands. I’m not sure if it was a Monday, maybe it happened on a Saturday night. But I’m sure about the chicken.
  • Any commie composer responsible for an opera called “Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District” deserved to be run over by a bus, not ride in one.
  • He bought a return ticket but ended up in some other country
  • He did not show up, having only bought a one way ticket to get home on the Friday.
  • He forgot the advice and bought a return bus ticket.
  • He got stabbed instead?
  • He travelled in a railway cattle truck to the Stalingrad front.
  • He was given his own car.
  • If my memory serves me right, old Sho grovelled, Stalin (and his henchman Zdanov – very good in shooting people artistically in the neck) rehabilitated him and Peter Sheaffer wrote a play about it. [No, he was not humiliated that much]
  • It rained
  • Lady Macbeth of Mtensk in 1936 (initially a great success). When Stalin walked out Shostakovitch was denounced in Pravda. He was on tour in Arkhangelsk when he read the review in Pravda, and for him it meant the end. He was now an enemy of the people and was ridiculed and reviled by every critic. He cancelled the performance of his 4th Symphony and wrote his 5th Symphony which ‘crawled’ to the Communist Party and got extreme applause.
  • Monday night football.
  • Nothing much. He was a bit of a pariah for a while, but eventually was allowed to perform again after conforming his music to that approved by the Soviets. He waited until after Stalin died before performing any more sarcastic pieces.
  • Option 1. they killed him. Option 2 He caught a taxi home
  • See “In January 1936, Stalin went to hear ‘Lady Macbeth’. Enraged by its content, he walked out before the last act and expressed his opinion in an article he dictated for the newspaper Pravda soon afterwards. Shostakovich’s opera was thoroughly condemned for its ‘formalism’ and ‘decadence’, and its non-socialist themes, unrealistic musical language and lack of heroism. … Forced to apologise in a public show trial, Shostakovich was stunned and crushed. Everyone feared for his safety but Stalin had secretly ordered that he was not to be arrested. Many artistic friends were also condemned and disappeared. In terror, Shostakovich withdrew his ambitious Fourth Symphony and retreated into himself for a year.” [I bet that hurt – might have been nicer to be shot after all]
  • Shostakovich had to walk back, and not take the bus.
  • Shostakovich turned up to find that his interrogator had been arrested and eliminated, by order of Stalin, over the weekend. The Opera was “Lady Macbeth of the Mstensk District” or “Katarina Ismailova”. Shostakovich then wrote his fifth Symphony, one of his greatest works, subtitled “A Creative Artist’s Response to Just Criticism”, except that it was the first of his “Secret History of Russia” works, which are only now being partially understood.
  • Shostakovich was sent to the West to infiltrate and destroy culture.
  • Shostakovich went back to the NKVD but the inspector who had interrogated him had been arrested, and so he was sent home again. Typical bloody bureaucrats, can’t pass a case from one to another.
  • Shostakovich’s new sugar daddy set him up in a revolutionary workers inner urban accomodation unit.
  • Something tells me that boy got out of town in a big hurry.
  • Stalin demanded a quick re-enactment of the third act and drove Dmitri home in a fire truck.
  • Stalin put Dmitri on a little list. [Yes – the list of persons to be spared from the purges. A very small list – the other list was much bigger]
  • The beginning of a slow, creative transformation, which eventually enabled Shostakovich to write very fast, superficially joyous pieces, while simultaneously clenching teeth and buttocks.
  • The interrogator had been arrested and Shostakovich was allowed to leave. Some argue that this should not have been allowed to happen.
  • They got a lift back on the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour bus.
  • Shostakovich woke up to find a 30-day bus pass by his pillow, complements of the NKVD.

Question 7

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


From the web site of one of them: “…. suggested the name The Anderson Council, combining last names of the late blues musician Pink Anderson and the classic jazz musician Floyd Council”. Hmmmm, might be a good idea.

Also –

  • “licnuoC nosrednA” is Yiddish for “We Are Satan’s People”
  • After blues duo Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Next thing you know, some band will call themselves Pink Floyd. Nahhh, too far fetched.
  • As a tribute to Pink Floyd, who named themselves after Pink Anderson/Floyd Council. One band even got carried away and called their first album “Desires street mice-and-men wall river”. It didn’t sell.
  • At least two groups used the name, one of which decided on the name “Pink Floyd” instead. See There is also at least one band alive today with that name, supposedly a “tribute band” to Pink Floyd. But wouldn’t you think they could write their own stuff??
  • Basically as a tribute to Pink Floyd … Bands called Anderson Council usually include Pink Floyd covers in their repertoire.
  • Because pop groups don’t have enough brain cells to think of a better name
  • Because some of them were too stupid to realise the name had already been taken. Why didn’t they check the ‘melband website!’
  • Because they didn’t know how to spell Beatles.
  • Because they don’t like the removal of import restrictions on recorded music.
  • Because, like Pamela Anderson, their major instrument is the hooter. And they all have their fair share of knockers.
  • Blame Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd was named after a couple of ole blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Coucil. After “Pink” and “Floyd” are taken away, what is left is “Anderson Council.”
  • Cause it is a cool name
  • Cos they are hung up on the sixties man.
  • It’s the same group reforming themselves post Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Like most pop groups they are boring reppppetive little turds.
  • More to the point, why have so many rock groups called themselves “The Orignials”. [Because they can’t spell, that’s why]
  • Only Syd Barrett knows this one, and where’s his mind gone?
  • Originally they were known as the Ku-Ring-Gai Council but they moved.
  • People will do anything to avoid being likened to “Human Nature”
  • Probably because the Anderson City Council has done such a good job of renovating the Anderson Oaks Apartment Complex, site of a massive drug raid in February 2000 in which 21 people were arrested.
  • Probably because they are too stoned to realize the name was already taken. Alternatively, they were all founded by the same person who could not think of any other name. Or they were founded by brothers whose father had left them money only if they started a pop group called etc…
  • Probably because they lack the imagination. Given some minuscule amount of thought they could have some other name, like “The Dr Bob Fan Club”, which would make for an even more trivial question [and a smaller band]. They could of course by mindlessly naming themselves after a couple of guys called Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, two American bluesmen.
  • The inspiration behind Pink Floyd came from two blues artists named Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, whom one of the band members of Pink Floyd liked.
  • The trustees council of Anderson Township, in Hamilton County, Ohio, to get publicity, have paid groups to name themselves after them.
  • The Voices told them to.
  • To get a fairly good placing when pop groups are listed alphabetically.
  • That is what they should have taken instead of starting to play. Anderson is a common name among music teachers.

Question 8

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


  • 1.76 somethings per square something else. Choose units appropriately.
  • 16 to 21 tonne.
  • 20 tons of force on the strings
  • 40,000 to 60,000 pounds according to This is approximately $80,00 to $120,000 in Australian dollars.
  • 45,000 lbs of tension is exerted by the strings (and for those of you who insist upon metric, that’s 20,700 kgf).
  • 60 thousand pounds, and that’s before euro conversion
  • A concert grand or a baby grand?
  • A lot.
  • According to Bluthners, about 20 tonnes. So you could easily slice your cheese through it if you had a mind. And also if you didn’t have a mind. See
  • Another one for the physicists. (I am waiting for them all to give the same answer.) Not enough, however, to prevent Harpo Marx from removing them from pianos and playing them as harps.
  • Approx 20 tonnes
  • Approximately 40,000 to 60,000 pounds of force
  • Enough to bend quite a lot of spoons.
  • Enough to break your finger nails
  • Enough to keep me out of piano tuning business.
  • Exactly enough to tension the strings so that they generate the correct vibrational frequencies. Anyway, it all balances out (Newton and all that), otherwise the piano would accelerate across the room with unpredictable results.
  • Falling from a great height or already crashed into the ground on an unsuspecting coyote?
  • Fortissimo. (Ha, ha, ha.)
  • Gravity?
  • Huge. About 3100 Mpa. Hey, that’s a good trick for the next Bond movie. Have a bunch of surly gangsters in a nightclub standing around a piano, Bond throws a knife into the piano and the strings fly up, taking the baddies eyes out. I know, I know, physically impossible, but this is Bond. [“Good evening Misterrrr Bond, will you join me in a piano duet before I strap you to my killing machine that does not work very well while I describe my plans to you so the audience can hear?” “Yes, I like to play the piano, especially when the force exerted on the harp by the strings is at the correct value of 17 to 20 tons … “]
  • Is the piano in good tune?
  • None. A tensile force pulls something apart or elongates. The harp is experiencing a compression force from the strings. [Woops]
  • One finger’s worth
  • Presumably less than the tensile strength required to snap the aforementioned piano strings, or else the laws of physics need to be looked at.
  • Same as that of the elastic cuffs on a trainspotter’s anorak.
  • Strings are never forced in the construction of a grand piano, just very gently persuaded.
  • Tensile force #7.
  • Tensile, Tensile, hmmm, wasn’t he the bloke who conquered Everest along with that Kiwi Hillary feller? Yep, Tensile Norgay, that’s him, not Tensile Force, tch, tch. Dunno what that’s got to do with harps and pianos though.
  • The force was actually exerted by the bloke who built the piano, the strings just sit there uninterested as they’ve heard it all before.
  • The kind when a student plays really badly and the teacher forces the student to play until it is right. Both get a little bit tensile about it
  • What testicle force is exerted on the harp of a grand piano by the piano strings? Well, if the pianist has been strung up by the testicles . . .
  • Where I come from, we call it “hammeristic force”. But your answer may vary.
  • Yes it is isn’t it.
  • Yes, I agree completely.

Question 9

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

Ghastly but true answer

Because they look Jewish – pale olive skin, big nose, etc etc. In other words they feel they would look even more frightening without the makeup! And people might think they were watching the re-run of Oliver!

Other Answers

  • Because it seemed like a good idea (at the time) when they did their first gig and they decided to keep the make-up on, partly for their image, but mainly because it influenced mindless teenagers (and others) to part with their money and buy KISS albums. The only alternative for the mindless teenagers would be to form their own bands, but then they’d have to think of a name (other than ‘Anderson Council’ that is).
  • Because they are all cross dressers.
  • Because they are poncey twits! (Originally in the 70’s the band never appeared in public except in heavy make-up which disguised their real identities. The band stopped wearing their make-up in the 1980s, and put it back on in 1996 when they began touring as a nostalgia act.)
  • Because they are ugly b*****ds.
  • Because they be so ugly? (Yo’ mama so ugly, she could make a freight train take a dirt road.)
  • Because they didn’t want to look all old and wrinkly when they were still doing their gig at 70, hence the heavy makeup
  • Because they have no bananas.
  • Because they were too embarrassed to show their faces in case their mothers were watching.
  • Because they’re a _heavy_ metal band?
  • Because they’re butt ugly
  • Because they’re worth it?
  • Can you say “gimmick?”
  • ‘Coz they’re embarrassed. Wouldn’t you be?
  • Each member wears a unique design of makeup that truly shows their inner character.
  • For fear they will be recognised by lovers of Smetana’s three act opera “The Kiss” and beaten to death for screwing up good music.
  • In an attempt to live up to their name.
  • It helps sell their music
  • It was all part of their success …the mystique of it all — what faces lied behind all that makeup
  • Light makeup would melt and fall off their faces under the hot stage lighting
  • Merchandising!
  • So even their mothers cannot recognize them.
  • So nobody will recognize them when they take off the make-up. It makes it easier to live a normal life if the paparazzi don’t know who you are without your makeup on. They probably learned this trick after a few dates gone awry (woke up in the morning next to someone they didn’t recognize without her makeup).
  • So their fans don’t recognize them without it.
  • So they can change line-ups easily.
  • The members of the rock band KISS have to wear heavy make up to hide the fact that they are so good looking that any heterosexual male within a 100 metre radius of them will fall violently in lust with them.
  • The original concept of wearing makeup on-stage was influenced mainly by bands like the Harlots of 42nd Street and the New York Dolls who wore feminine makeup when performing. Releasing that an androgynous look would in no way suit KISS’ style of music or what they wanted to achieve, it was decided to go a step further than anyone had ever imagined – for each musician to find a unique design of makeup that truly showed their inner character.
  • The words “ugly as sin” immediately spring to mind.
  • They always claimed it was because they were incredibly ugly without it. Aesthetics-wise, I don’t know why they bothered.
  • They are ugly with it, and VERY ugly without it.
  • They can’t afford Michael Jackson’s surgeon
  • They do not like the look of the their faces
  • They purport to hide their innate fear and insecurity.
  • They saw what the “white” treatment did to Michael Jackson.. and I guess they are just not dedicate to their craft enough
  • They tried more conventional makeup and thought it too effeminate. The white face with stars, bat-wings, etc are much more masculine, don’t you think?
  • They’re ugly.
  • To cover up their continuing severe adolescent acne.
  • To disguise their persistent acne.
  • To hide the squamous lesions and/or smallpox scars.
  • To pick up the hot chicks, why else! Yeah! Like, whatever, man! Whatever gets you through the night is cool, OK? See
  • Uh derr!! cos they is uggly buggers!

Question 10

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?


Oh how he did! By swapping “he” and “did” around in the question, so it made sense. By dropping the “how” from the question.

OK, let’s try How DID HE select the records….

  • Why was he buying records when they only had broken radios?
  • Abhorrent Brilliancies
  • Ah-hah – found it! Phil’s dad would bring home the records he couldn’t flog in his shop, the miserable bastard! His excuse was that he was trying to find out why the records did not sell. In reality he was saving a fortune on presents.
  • All the scratched ones and ones with pressing defects.
  • Anything returned by teenagers with the complaint, “This is totally LAME, man. I want my money back.”
  • Ben Glass brought home the records that sold poorly, and played them to his kid to discover why they didn’t appeal to the customers. Does that make sense? [Yes and it explains a lot about Mr Glass’s music, in my wife’s humble opinion]
  • Ben Glass carried a line of records and, when certain ones sold poorly, he would take them home and play them for his three children, trying to discover why they didn’t appeal to customers. These happened to be recordings of the great chamber works, and the future composer rapidly became familiar with Beethoven quartets, Schubert sonatas, Shostakovich symphonies and other music then considered ‘offbeat.’
  • By random selection of the records he had left at the end of the day, once he’d excluded the KISS and Anderson Council ones.
  • Easy–the ones he couldn’t sell.
  • eeny meeny miny mo…
  • Everything I found just says young Philip worked in the record store himself, so papa didn’t need to bring the records home, he got to choose them himself while at work.
  • He chose them at random by filming a lava lamp and determining the percentage of the screen which was filled with the coloured part of the lamp and putting this number into a complex formula involving sheep and socket sets.
  • He didn’t. The records selected him.
  • He listened to them first. There may have been other reasons also, but that was the main one.
  • He must have picked all the records that skipped. That would account for much.
  • He only brought home the cracked records, which were the only ones he would not have been able to sell. These records would then have stuck…would then have stuck…would then have stuck…would then have stuck [!!]
  • He’d say: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe / Which of these discs shall I throw / At Phil my own small whining Glass? / Let me pull one from my arse. / One, two three – PULL.”
  • In addition to servicing radios, Ben Glass carried a line of records and, when certain ones sold poorly, he would take them home and play them for his three children, trying to discover why they didn’t appeal to customers. These happened to be recordings of the great chamber works, and the future composer rapidly became familiar with Beethoven quartets, Schubert sonatas, Shostakovich symphonies and other music then considered ‘offbeat’
  • Let’s see… The unbroken ones? The ones with the hole in the MIDDLE? The non-Disney ones? No! He picked the crap ones! Sheesh! Fancy subjecting your little boy to anything but the best ear-bursting rock from KISS! See
  • Mr. Glass threw them up in the air, and the ones that stuck to the ceiling were the ones he brought home to the young Philip
  • Philip could only speak one language, so that narrowed the choices
  • Spun a bottle?
  • The broken ones he could stick back together
  • The losers — the ones that wouldn’t sell — were brought home. I wonder what this explains?
  • The ones nobody bought. Did he bring unsold radios home too?
  • The ones that got played on the radio he was fixing at the time
  • The ones which sold poorly, and so tried them out on his children to see why. I would imagine Peter Sculthorpe had a similar treatment.
  • The ones with the label in Braille.
  • The records no one else would listen to.
  • The top 40…………… off the pile.
  • They must have been heavily scratched classical records, which would have plenty of repetition of little staccatto choral sections and arpeggios repeated ad nauseam.
  • Using his hands, he selected the records.
  • With his K Tel record selector.
  • Hoping to give Young Philip a thorough grounding in the production of unlistenable music, Glass senior would bring home the least popular music in the store.

Question 11

Who’s playing (earcover.jpg)


Glenn Branca ensemble (many guitars, wall of industrial sound) in front of Danish royal family.

Answers that are music to my ears:

  • Not me, I can’t keep my fingers in my ears and type at the same time, this is a silly game.
  • 60,001 pounds of tensile force, hence the dismay.
  • A russian heavy metal band
  • Abba! I tried looking “Lydterror” up in dictionaries on the Web, but neither Swedish, Danish nor Norwegian could help. [lyd=sound, noise] I found 5 sites on the web, all in one of the 3 Scandinavian languages. Unfortunately, my Scandinavian these days is pretty rusty, i.e. non-existent. I was able to glean, however, one was about Rolv Wesenlund’s Age People’s Action Group in Oslo. One related to computers. One was about tortue in Travbanen (now that is what I call a web site). On was about some industrial lydterror music festival in Sweden. The last was about music and referred to something called Throbbing Gristle. It was Norwegian, so I assumed it was fairly innocuous, but there was a reference to something called Depeche Mode whom I happen to know are a British rock group, so i assume it is not so innocuous after all. My conclusion, after all this, and my Throbbing Gristle confirms this, is that these people are listening to some Techno Punk Grunge music and if music, definitely not Abba.
  • Abba
  • According to the caption, it’s “Drowndog Margrethe”.
  • Alvin and the chipmunks
  • Any of the three tenors. They make me do that too!
  • Bezerk-Project! Is it playing, or is it Norwegian Synth-Punk in the form of Stephan Groth and his Bezerk-Project? I’m sure Groth makes Kraftwerk sound melodic.
  • Bjork!
  • DJ Phil (AKA Phillip Glass) rockin’ da house! (playing his collection of scratched records)
  • Du. Du Hast. Du Hast Mich Gefragt. Obviously Rammstein.
  • First base!
  • Has to be the Beatles.
  • Hymans (ghastly) band
  • I don’t know but the Queen of Denmark rather seems to enjoy the racket. She is known to be deaf.
  • If only they were playing. Unfortunately, they are in deadly earnest.
  • I’m not sure of the group, but from the looks of the guy second from the left, I’d say it’s a boogie…
  • It doesn’t matter, really. All these Swedish(?) folks are talking on their mobile phones with earpieces and making beeping noises with the handset and ruining the KISS concert for everyone else, the bastards. Probably playing Snake.
  • It seems to be a Swedish newspaper so lets guess ABBA.
  • Mick Jagger
  • Nobody. They are spectating, with fingers in ears.
  • Phillip Glass, Captain Beefheart, Kiss and some blind Icelandic guitarist, going hammer and tongs at the Festival Overture. [Sorry, I have already found a winner for this month]
  • Philip Glass
  • PM John Howard – guest base guitarist appearing with Santana
  • Really it’s obvious a channel nine benefit.. daryl sommers, tony barber, frankie j holden…. It’s obvious a sick packer joke that no one else understands.. but who am I to argue with God?
  • Santa Claus, obviously.
  • Someone not very good. I did learn that Musikhuset is a karaoke bar in Denmark. This doesn’t look much like the crowd that would venture into a karaoke bar, but perhaps that’s why they are so dreadfully pained by the performance?
  • Spanish music. The guy with the piece of paper is about to throw up
  • That would be the famous German band, Lydterror i Musikhuset.
  • The Aarhus Sudden Loud Noise Ensemble.
  • The Glenn Branca Ensemble … <either that or they are listening to a speech by President Bush>
  • The lady at the end whose hands you can’t see.
  • The old chook on the right, yep, the milliner’s nightmare, is the only one whose hands aren’t visible so it must be her playing. With herself, presumably.
  • The Ramones. Lobotomy… LOBOTOMY… L O B O T O M Y!
  • The Who.
  • They all are. They are playing the game ‘Name that tune without listening to it’. (apart from the man eating his programme in desperation and the deaf lady on the end).
  • Victor Borge–as part of a joke, he’s asked the audience to put their hands near their heads.
  • Wayne Newton backed by Thorpie and the Aztecs
  • Yanni


  • Can anyone tell me how to get to the Muppets website? [I dont know, but I can pull a few strings to find out]
  • 4 and 2 halves this month. Not good.
  • A joyous Yuletide to you. Even though you are withering the heat and dust of Orstrilia. Hahahahahahaha.
  • A welcome return for the mathematically minded.
  • cool site (sight) Dr. Bob!!
  • Darn, I don’t know the picture question, and now I know that’s the key to fame and fortune…okay, fame anyway.
  • Dr Bob, for three months I’ve been unable to submit my answers because of a broken heart. Now I’m slowly getting over the loss. Please be kind to me.
  • eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
  • Eleven questions, Dr. Bob? Bloody hell, my brain is mush.
  • Here is a question for you: Have telescopic photographs ever been t[Showing that it’s easy to make an easy question into a hard one by cutting off half the text]
  • I couldn’t be bothered checking the answers so I just made ’em up – well except the ones I did look up, which was the stalin one and the anderson council one, I knew the Groucho Marx one, the rest were just made up, although after you read them you would’ve probably aleady guessed that – somedays its just not worth chewing through the restraints. [At least YOU can do that – they took my teeth away so I can’t anymore]
  • I enjoyed the extra questions this month, Dr. Bob. Since I usually just make up answers (as though you couldn’t tell) more questions means more creative fun!
  • I like the quiz, but this is the first time that I have been able to answer any of the questions (4th month). I leave you to work out which one(s) they are. [Gosh, I found this very difficult. May set it as a future question]
  • I suffer from aprosexia, therefore I am unable to complete this quiz. Can you help me out here, Dr. Bob? [Wow you too! I also suffer considerably, whenever New Age acoustic rock music is played by bands from Central NJ. One possible cure is shown in the photo for Q11]
  • I’m sorry I couldn’t think of anything funny for the ones I didn’t know. Not just sorry to you but to anyone who reads this.
  • It is not enough merely to succeed, others must be seen to fail.
  • Saw the second Harry Potter movie (too many “deus ex machina” interventions) and hope to see “The Two Towers” soon. Great escapism to take the minds of the USA public off a forthcoming disastrous war with Iraq (if Australia sensibly stays neutral, I won’t call you all “betrayers”).
  • So what do I win for this?
  • Stimulating challenge. Thanks.
  • Thanks, Dr. Bob. I found you on the way to looking up other things. It’s fair dinkum that y’all are the cat’s pajamas.
  • There once was a Doctor named Bob, whose tool was so long that it…let’s see… Anyway I forget the rest, but gee it was funny!
  • When you’re an atheist, who is there to complain to?
  • You can quote me as saying I was misquoted, again.
  • You keep me up way too late, Dr Bob.