Answers for July 2002

Our WINNER this month

Heather Billings

comes from Cincinatti, OH (but I am not sure if OH means “Whoopee” or “ouch”) Heather was one of the very few people to get Q6 right!


Question 1

If/when the SETI team do find an alien radio signal, who (in Australia) will they tell first?

Answer

The Prime Minister

  • AC/DC, since they’re the only ones in Australia anyone’s even heard of.
  • According to Jonathan Vos Post, Grote Reber, the “father of the radio-telescope” is on a list of folks to be informed straight off. He lives in Tasmania, and is the only Australian listed.
  • Alana Mctiernan, to let her know it’s time to go home.
  • Angela Bishop. She gets all the “big” interviews.
  • Australia? Why Australians? Bill Gates will buy the station, and sell listening time!
  • Barry Jones.
  • Bob Hawke. After all, he is an alien and would probably be able to interpret. Which is why he has trouble speaking and also explains the eyebrows.
  • Channel 10 Executives…So they can score a spot on Good Morning Australia with Bert.
  • Dr Bobbie Vaile’s family, or Jo Bijelke Petersen, so Flo can make some pumpkin scones in preparation for ET2’s arrival.
  • Eddie Maguire, who will announce to the general public on Channel Nine’s Football Show. (That’s a better reply than the official SETI website which states “Prior to making a public announcement that evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence has been detected, the discoverer should promptly inform all other observers or research organizations that are parties to this declaration, so that those other parties may seek to confirm the discovery by independent observations at other sites and so that a network can be established to enable continuous monitoring of the signal or phenomenon. Parties to this declaration should not make any public announcement of this information until it is determined whether this information is or is not credible evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. The discoverer should inform his/her or its relevant national authorities. After concluding that the discovery appears to be credible evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, and after informing other parties to this declaration, the discoverer should inform observers throughout the world through the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams of the International Astronomical Union, and should inform the Secretary General of the United Nations in accordance with Article XI of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Bodies. Because of their demonstrated interest in and expertise concerning the question of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, the discoverer should simultaneously inform the following international institutions of the discovery and should provide them with all pertinent data and recorded information concerning the evidence: the International Telecommunication Union, the Committee on Space Research, of the International Council of Scientific Unions, the International Astronautical Federation, the International Academy of Astronautics, t he International Institute of Space Law, Commission 51 of the International Astronomical Union and Commission J of the International Radio Science Union”).
  • Good question. Who would actually believe them? And how do we know they haven’t been told already? Maybe they’ve already been in radio contact and are keeping it all under a veil of secrecy!
  • I have no idea, but I hope it is Steve Irwin. He has been waiting for his “phone home” for an awfully long time.
  • I imagine it would be the boss of the guy who gets the message.
  • It will be broadcast in the Woomera detention centre to find another lost alien to help define the meaning of mankind and reply without prejudice
  • It’s supposed to be the local CIA agent, but the moment, John Laws has the highest bid.
  • Jodie Foster to tell her that she was right in the movie “Contact” !!!!!
  • John Howard’s Eyebrow’s.
  • John Laws (Everyone talks to him first)
  • Kerry Packer or Rupert Murdoch
  • Laurie Oakes, so that everyone will know
  • Me because then i have to go and hit whoever it was that let it slip that we exist! (i bet it was one of those bloddy oogy miesters wasn’t it!)
  • Microsoft Technical Support – to find out if it’s a known issue or a new one that will be resolved by a Service Pack.
  • News of the World as EVERYONE knows it has the most accurate information.
  • Our alien overlords.
  • Pauline Hanson, because she knows how to treat aliens!
  • Pauline Hanson, so she can be prepared to fight off the impending invasion of Australia by aliens.
  • Phillip Ruddock – so he can warm up a few beds at Woomera for our latest alien arrivals.
  • Phillip Ruddock. There is a detention facility, known to only a very few in government, called “Area 7” in the Simpson Desert which is administered by the immigration department. This is where any potential visitors will be asked to land.
  • Probably the University of Western Sydney (damn those bogans) since they sponsor the SETI program in Oz.
  • Secretary of the Australian regional UberMinion of the Galactic Overlords (Department of Recent Acquisitions).
  • Stan Zemanek … he will then include it with all his own alien radio signals.
  • Telstra, either broadband, or landline, we know who you are and how we can screw you for a dollar.
  • The Australian Skeptics.
  • The guy who sent it.
  • The news will never reach Australia, the men in black will see to that.
  • The person offering the largest sum of money for the scoop.
  • Their Mothers
  • Their significant others, then the people they are supposed to.
  • They already have, and they call it channel 9.
  • They’ll tell to Dr.Bob of Australian Skeptics. It’s obvious. In that eventuality, SETI will need a skeptic (“Little green men? Don’t be silly…”), an astronomer (“Where on Earth did you say you come from?”) and a rhetorical fine-speaking guy (“Listen, Bug-Eyed-Monster, now I’ll show to you why it is better for everybody if you put down that laser-blaster gun…”). How many other persons do you know that are so courageous to let themselves to be photographed under a “Schola Astronomiae et Rhetoricae” plaque?
  • Tom Allenby of Brisbane. It will be a message from his mother asking him to please be home for dinner. (And to bring a pound of Spam -not a kilogram- with him.)
  • Well actually, Dr. Bob, I’ve already received an alien radio signal. It contained instructions for constructing a mind warping drug, which can be used to enslave everyone (except for a few skeptics. . . ). The main ingredient is Stegosaurus Brains — 5 Pounds of Stegosaurus Brains, to be exact. The message was encoded in a copy of a British Rail Timetable, which was sent by Morse Code over the sound waves. I was not planning to tell anyone, and just take over the world. Now that I’ve told you this, do I have to kill you? Oh, you are now the first person in Australia to know. About the Alien radio signal, I mean.
  • Well if I found the signal in the data analysed using the seti@home screen saver, the answer would be me. However the International Astronomical Union would be the first ones to know and as our man in the IAU, Wayne Orchiston, would be the first to know. [Hey I know Wayne – G’day Wayne]
  • Whichever of New Idea or Australian Women’s Weekly offered the highest price for an exclusive story, probably titled “How I overcame heartache and found extra-terrestrial love/life”.
  • Whoever is in the pub at the time I suppose. Little Johnny isn’t interested so we had better not get an alien radio signal until we get a government with even a slight interest in science.
  • Why, “Ian” of course. That’s the Australian that Jodie Foster talked to in the movie “Contact.”
  • Why, the good people of Australia of course, who must get the news before the government can suppress, deny or change it.
  • You’d assume it’d be someone in authority, but it’ll probably be New Idea or TV Week

Question 2

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

Answer

“Yes”

Other Replies

  • “?thgourw doG htah tahw”. A little known fact is that Morse’s assistant, Vail, was Japanese and always read bottom to top when he resent the message back to Morse.
  • “An Iron Fence!” 😉
  • “Did you hear that?”
  • “God hath wrought a bunch of dots and dashes.”
  • “God hath wrought nought, what?”
  • “Well that creation in six days thing sounds like a wrought”
  • “What is the news from Washington?” (ie, you pillock, witnessing is not allowed on this message board).
  • “What is the news from Washington?” followed by “Over here, God hath wrought a big wind which has put leaves on the line and made the train late again.”
  • “Would you like fries with that?”
  • -. — ..- –. …. – / -… ..- – / – .-. — ..- -… .-.. . –..– / – …. . / -… .- … – .- .-. -.. .-.-.-
  • 42
  • A delightful iron curtain rod with pretty curly bits.
  • A nice set of pearly gates
  • A/S/L?
  • And the same to you!
  • Busy signal
  • Cadbury chocolate
  • Ditto
  • dot dash dash dot dot
  • eerm just to confirm…was that last one a dash or a dot?
  • For customer service, please press — ..- —.For sales, please press …. ..– -.-. -..-For technical support, press … — …Otherwise, please hold and wait for an operator.
  • Gerrof the line, I’m expecting an important call!
  • Goddammit … I told you not to transmit until Fred Nile arrived.
  • I can’t find the reply recorded anywhere. Was there one? Probably “Two thin and crispy super supremes, no pineapple, with anchovies and a large Pepsi, please”
  • I didn’t know God hath a lithp!
  • I just work here
  • If I told you, I’d have to kill you. That would be very messy. So, to save myself the trouble, and to save you the pain, I think I will not answer this question. Oops. I think I just did. Answer the question, that is.
  • If you wish to proceed press 1.
  • Iron?
  • “Please insert 40c for the next 3 minutes”?
  • “Don’t forget to pick up bread and milk on the way home”?
  • Lacking imagination, the other end also replied “What hath God wrought?” If you look carefully at a scanned image of the original message, there don’t appear to be any dots or dashes for the “?”. Methinks the “?” was not sent. Methinks it was inserted because it’s in the Bible.
  • LET THERE BE LIGHT
  • nak nak nak
  • No thank you.
  • No, I’m sorry – you must have the wrong number. There’s no God here….
  • none because it didn’t work
  • Nothing, for some time, as nobody else knew the code yet. Then, apparently forgetting that they were involved in something momentous, came the marvelous reply: “What is the news from Washington?”
  • peep – peep – peeeeep – peep – peep – peeeeep – peeeeep – peep – – – peeep – peep – peep – peeeeep – – – peep – peep – peeeeeep – peep – – –
  • Please repeat, I had to dash.
  • Say what? “a wog bought a rat?” “a wrath of a dogs hat?” or maybe “lots of things. Just tell Pam to get over here right now!” I dont really know, I’m just guessing.
  • Serious, You can smell that from over there?
  • Sorry, he’s on the pot, can I take a message?
  • Sorry, wrong number.
  • Supposedly: “What is the news from Washington?” Other sources state that there was no immediate reply.
  • The answer was “mi ne komprenas la anglan lingvon”
  • The answer was “What hath God wrought?”, obviously. If the first phrase told by a Martian BEM is “ Fhtruck ioiu, exsthufrid mhammhatruc”, you’ll probably answer “Fhtruck ioiu, exsthufrid mhammhatruc?”, just to have the confirmation of what your ears told to you. By the way, a real Star Wars Episode I will begin a couple of seconds later…
  • There was none. Whoo, scary!
  • Work on your spelling.
  • wrought,hath; not in dictionary, try again.
  • Wsat sats God wrougst?

Question 3

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

Answer

It had two brains, one in the head and another near the tail (which was a long way away). As this 1954 poem laments –

Behold the mighty Dinosaur, Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his weight and length, but for his intellectual strength.
As you observe by these remains, the creature had two sets of brains–
One in the skull (the usual place), the other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason
a priori, as well as a posteriori.
No problem bothered him a bit – he made both head and tail of it.
So wise was he, so wise and solemn, each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong, it passed a few ideas along.
If something slipped his forward mind, ’twas rescued by the one behind.
And if in error he was caught, he had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke, he had no judgement to revoke.
Thus he could think without congestion upon both sides of every question.
O gaze upon this Model Beast – defunct ten million years at least!

Other Answers

  • Hey-hey-hey, wait a moment! Do you remember the rules, Dr. Bob? I am the Italian with terrible English, not you! You’re a respectable fine-speaking Aussie scientist! I can forget the final “s” in plural nouns, the final “s” in third person verbs, capital letter in national adjectives, and mix up a lot of grammar and syntax errors, not YOU! So, until you’ll never write down the question in its correct form, i.e. “Apart from THEIR small size, what was remarkable about the BRAINS of the stegosaurus?”, I’ll refuse to answer.
  • I haven’t a clue.
  • It (the brain) was one-twentieth the size of a large pelvic neural plexus. This used to be described as a “second brain” or – presumably because it was as big as 20 walnuts – the Stegosaurus was sometimes said to have its brain in its tail.
  • It could do algebra in its head
  • It didnt have hemispheres
  • It had some neural thingy in its rear to control its limbs. That, and it was highly specialized for playing cribbage (I’ll bet not too many people know about that one.)
  • It had two, one in its head and the other in its arse, much like Australian politicians. Although Australian Politicians of both political persuasions have two mouths – one in their head, for kissing babies, and the other in their arse for talking through.
  • It is much larger than the brain of any actor on Home and Away.
  • It tasted remarkably good, especially with white wine from the Jura.
  • It was chewy. Allosaurs used it to clean fang and keep their breath fresh.
  • It was delicious in breadcrumbs.
  • It was hard wired to believe the world was made in six days.
  • It was larger than its penis (the only species in history)
  • It was located in his tail. Some things are just like that. I have a friend with six nipples, but I don’t ask him why. We don’t make remarks about it, not when he’s around anyway.
  • It was located in its hip.
  • It was made of cheese
  • It was shaped like a small harp, made beautiful sounds when plucked and was at least twice the size of the brain of any legal practitioner.
  • It was the exact color and shape of a pea. In fact, it WAS a pea.
  • It was there at all
  • It was used to clone the brain of Stan Zemanek.
  • It was very tasty
  • It wasn’t big enough to control the whole animal so the beast had a ganglion, a nerve complex, in its hind quarters to control the back end. The ganglion was bigger than its brain.
  • Its ability to transmit and interpret radio frequency waves and therefore communicate with aliens
  • It’s amazing that we know that the wonderful brain of a stegosaurus was small, when, (as far as I know) there’s not a Stegosaurus left alive.
  • It’s amazingly bigger than that of Ken Ham.
  • It’s only 6006 years old!
  • It’s remarkably similer to that of John Howard
  • Located in the tail.
  • Nothing, except that the stegosaurus was the direct antecedent of modern man. We have been constantly told that men’s brains are between their legs – exactly where the stegosaurus’s proto-brain ganglion thingy indeed was. And like the stegosaurus, we only think it is.
  • Only 10% of it was used – and that was for thinking about sex.
  • Paleontologists used to think that Steggy had a second brain (or nerve centre) near its hips to control the movement of the hindquarters, but now they’re not so sure.
  • People used to think it had two. Hopefully they’d generally agree on all important issues like which one gets to go in front
  • Small size?! Small volume maybe, but something which has its frontmost extremity in the head, and its rearmost extremity a few metres back around the hind legs can hardly be called small. But I digress. The most remarkable feature of the stegosaurus brain was that it tasted like chicken, an animal which had not yet been invented. This fact was first documented in cave paintings by early cavemen, and recently confirmed in studies conducted by InGen on a small island in Costa Rica.
  • Steggy’s brain bore precisely the same relationship to its body weight as Pauline Hanson’s brain does to hers.
  • Stegosaurus Brains are the main ingredient in a mind-warping drug. Specificially, a mind-warping, over the counter drug. If you’d like, I’ll send you a copy of how to prepare the Stego’ brains – by morse code, of course.
  • Stupidity.
  • That it was located in the Penis, a situation which has not changed during the evolution of the male species. [Gosh. That would explain why I have an IQ of 795]
  • That it was still bigger and more useful than the average lawyer or politician’s brain.
  • That it worked at all. Why is it that a stegosaurus brain is always compared in size with a walnut or golf ball? Why not a palaeontologists left testicle or a Chinese gooseberry? Interestingly, the stegosaurus also had a second brain near its bum (actually a sacral ganglion in its hip area) to help coordinate its movements. This is paralleled by modern men who have a second brain in the penis area (so my wife says).
  • The brain was incapable of keeping a single Stegosaurus alive. Come on, they’re all dead!
  • The males of the species actually used them.
  • The stegosaurus actually had a second brain to control his lower region since the main brain was not large enough to do it all. And now a direct line from the stegosarus to men can be traced, allowing for the evolutionary changes along the way. In modern man the lower brain has taken over completely and been renamed the “penis” while the upper brain has the equivalent value of an appendix, having atrophied due to lack of use.
  • The stegosaurus’ brain was smaller than a ganglial clump located in it’s hips. As is Anthony Mundine’s.
  • They had a great ability to create train timetables.
  • Walnuts hadn’t evolved yet.
  • Well, if it was a male stegosaurus it’s brain was probably further south than its navel, but that’s normal isn’t it?
  • While the stegosaurus’ brain was considerably larger than the ‘brain’ of most modern day politicians the stegosaurus second brain and the politician’s only ‘brain’ are both located in a similar location.

Question 4

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

Answer

Bananas, which are (a) not native to Britain and (b) must be sold by the integral unit, and cannot therefore be sold by the pound or kilogram.

Other Answers

  • “Pom” must be some Aussie term, being completely unknown to us Yanks which means this test is culturally biased. That means I don’t have to answer it and it shouldn’t be held against me and if you do, I will send in the troops!
  • <insert some stupid comment about a currency trader forced to deal in “Kilogram Sterling”…>
  • Air. Compressed. Make that bottled air.
  • An obvious answer would be Pommy money
  • Assorted fruits and vegetables. But he was dealing crack on the side
  • Bananas, mackerel, or Brussels sprouts. <insert clever Brussels-bashing witticism here, preferably something about refrigerator mountains>
  • Bananas.
  • Bananas. At least, some poor persons went in troubles for selling bananas by the pound in England (and no rumours at all about Genesis, who sold the whole England by the pound). But I quite do not know if these persons can be “Pom”. Collins online and Webster Unabridged Edition onpaper ignore the word POM, and so do I. People Of Melbourne? Poor Old Mummies? Parallax Outrageous Methodists?
  • British currency?
  • Cocaine.
  • Crack.
  • Dogs are sold by the Pound. So are cats. I’m quite sure that the RSPCA does not operate Kilograms. This is a most confusing question, Dr. Bob.
  • Dr Bob, what is a pom? Are you one yourself? [Not any more. I had the operation in 1988 <insert joke about man who wants to be Irish and after recovering from the requisite brain surgery, the surgeon comes along to apologise for sneezing and cutting off a much bigger piece than intended and the man says “Ah she’ll be right, no worries eh mate?”>]
  • English currency by weight.
  • Enriched plutonium? Soap? The Queen Mother? Honest politicians? Books on weights and measures?
  • Euro’s
  • Fish and Chips
  • Flesh
  • Fruit
  • Fruit & veg – although why there was a problem with him selling by the pound when that IS their currency unit, I don’t know….
  • Half a pound of tuppeny rice, half a pound of treacle dum-de-da I’ve forgotten the words – POP goes the weasel, yes, he was trying to sell weasels.
  • He was hawking his pound of flesh.
  • He was selling England by the pound (probably inspired by Genesis)
  • Heroin
  • Homes for lost dogs
  • I don’t Bob, but I tell you, the world has gone bananas.
  • If I recall correctly, it was fresh produce. Of course, in some parts of Britain you can get locked up for selling fresh produce at all. They seem to think it’s poisonous or immoral if it doesn’t come out of a can. That’s why it’s so hard to get so much as an apple in Little Woodplumpton.
  • If it is Steve Thoburn we are talking about then it was bananas. The Poms just can’t get it right, they allowed both imperial and metric to run in parallel so no-one learned metric.
  • Imperial measures.
  • Marijuana? Sorry, fruit and veg
  • Mr Steve Thoburn, a Sunderland greengrocer, sold a pound of bananas for 25p to an undercover trading standards officer and was subsequently prosecuted for contravening the British Uniform Metric Standards (BUMS) Act. And about time too, considering that the Pommy Parliament recommended Britain go metric way back in 1865 when Darwinism was all the rage. But the real question is why are bananas cheaper in England than in Australia?
  • My best guess is that he was trying to sell the money he had brought from home.
  • Offcuts from the last lot of cows that succumbed to BSE or Mad Cow Disease.
  • Oh for god’s sake when will they ever learn? The sooner the metric system is accepted and used the better. Stupid luddites, still insisting that their stupid backward xenophobic ways are something to do with tradition and culture. Get a life. By the way I’m British, just lucky not to live on those pissy rainy shores anymore. Vegetables I think.
  • One minute steak – the one that you have to “pound” to get that thin? British cookbooks suggest 47 pounds of the mallet to one kilogram of steak. How about bananas?
  • Potatoes. He has since given up the street market and has moved into the fish and chips business. He now sells pomme-frittes by the cubic centimetre. (And fish at halfpennies per ounce – he always was a stroppy bugger)
  • Pound cake.
  • Resistance
  • Spam – it can only be sold by the pound. A pound is more than enough for anyone. Leave him alone, you uptight bastards! Her name was Pam, by the way, not Pom.
  • Stegosaurus brains
  • Sterling? Abandoned dogs?
  • The pound instead of the kilogram…you just told us this (was it drugs though? that’d be some fun having all those at once)
  • The pound prototype.
  • The Sunderland Metric Martyrs; Neil Herron was selling fish, Steven Thoburn was entrapped by an undercover nark who asked to buy a pound of bananas. There are many others, including a supermarket chain that jumped on the bandwagon by reverting to imperial measure. The Metric Martyrs org. has created an annual “booby prize”. In keeping with British literalness and plain speaking, the prize is an actual pair of transparent plastic breasts.
  • Thousand year old eggs. (In China, thousand year old eggs are a delicacy. In Britain, they are standard fare.)
  • Weights [Yeah my dad used to smoke those]

Question 5

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

Answer

German Rail http://www.bahn.de

Other Answers

  • A bit subjective, what? There is some talk of a German transport site including listings handier than the home product.
  • Almost certainly not the British Rail site.
  • Any website that offers random number generator
  • As long as you know your start and destination points, Qjump is the easiest to use.
  • British Rail do not have timetables. [yes they do!! It is so that they can see how late the trains are].
  • British Rail no longer exists. It is now called Railtrack, a tautological name if ever there was one. The best timetables for Railtrack, including connections, are to be found on the Deutches Bahn website.
  • Britishrailsux.com.uk
  • Check for either British Historical Papers or Modern British Fiction
  • Crikey.com
  • Daily Express: Astrological predicion for the week
  • Dunno, but it has to be some kind of TrainSpotters site.
  • For me and the other Polish gentlemen it is http://www.gromski.com.pl/pociagi/wielkabrytania
  • Google
  • Hmmm. What does best mean? How do you measure best? Do you mean best for me or someone else? Does best refer to information content, site design, user-friendliness or ability to satisfy certain unspecified arbitrary criteria? Methinks this question is too vague and subjective to be answered meaningfully. Apart from that, I don’t know.
  • House and Garden, as the trains run as fast as a snail it is only fit and proper that a snail is consulted for the scheduling information, after all Brit Rail do.
  • http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/e
  • http://www.random.org/nform.html
  • http://www.thomasthetankengine.com
  • http://www.travelvantage.com/chi_lkcr.html
  • http://www.wonderfulbritishrailtimetables.uk.com
  • I was just looking for the same information myself as I’m planning a trip to the U.K. soon. I’ve come to the conclusion there is no good website for such information. But I’m eagerly awaiting the suggestions others provide.
  • I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say The Britrail Web Page? But this is probably a trick question.
  • In my opinion http://www.porno.xxx, and you can’t debate opinions.
  • Isn’t the word “best” kind of subjective? My idea of the best site may not be someone else’s idea of the best. At least Britain actually HAS a rail system or sorts, unlike the USA. I say forget about British Rail and spend some quality time at the Random Chicken site http://www.randomchicken.com
  • It can’t be as easy as http://www.rail.co.uk/ukrail/planner/planner.htm, can it? [No]
  • It couldn’t be British Rail, so it must be either http://www.ira.org or http://www.iengageinthemostboringhobbyimaginable.com
  • My own site. It contains absolutely every information about British Rail timetables I need, and it’s quite impossible to improve it in that section. “Best” is a so relative word…
  • None-British Rail is in such a mess they cant even read thier own timetables. Case in Point…www.railtrack.co.uk tell me to get to Fareham I have to go to Southampton Central from Waterloo to change. The guy @ Waterloo info tells me I have to catch a train to Poole and change at Winchester and the ticket office tells me to catch a train to Poole and change at Eastleigh. Who do you believe??? [Why would you wnat to go to Fareham anyway … I bet they asked you that too]
  • Not any british ones…they lie…no trains run in britain and if they do they run at random times and it’s just a matter of luck. then of course you have to just pray that 1 it leaves the station 2 it doesn’t stop somewhere down the track where you will be advised to wait for half an hour in the rain for a bus replacement service 3 that it won’t crash.
  • PamsSpamShop.com which also has a very nice menu. The information about the trains is not very accurate but it is the BEST WEB SITE! Pam topless holding 2 pounds of Spam! yum yum.
  • railtrack.co.uk or playboy.com
  • satirewire.com
  • The Irish Republican Army site.
  • http://www.TheBestWebSiteForInformationOnBritishRailTimetables.co.uk
  • There isn’t one. The trains don’t run according to any timetables. They run on the individual drivers biorhythyms.
  • There’s a little site not seen by the search engines, which not only lists arrivals and departures, but also about half of the delays, maintenance problems and glitches, and it’s maintained, of course, by Ian Paisley. (Why is left as an exercise for the reader 🙂
  • Train spotters guide, Spike Milligan scripts.
  • Why waste time to look for schedules that will not be accurate? Better start looking for a way how to explain to your boss why you are late again for the 4th time this week at The Mother of All Excuses Place: http://members.tripod.com/Madtbone/
  • http://www.antarcticgetaways.com
  • http://www.gass-grass-or-ass-no-one-rides-for-free.com
  • http://www.platform-nine-and-three-quarters.com (read the Harry Potter books before you email me asking what i’m talking about, please.
  • http://www.sadbastardswithnolifewholikespottingtrains.com.uk
  • http://www.thelateshow.com
  • http://www.thinkofanumber.anynumber.com
  • http://www.urbanlegends.com
  • http://www.wheredontyouwanttogotoday.co.uk
  • http://www.whowantstorideinsmellyoldtrainsthatcrashfrequently.com

Question 6

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

Answer

(which only 1 person – a female – got right): Viagra

Other Answers

  • a blurry haze
  • A chemical.
  • A circular movement facilitation device.
  • A hop-scotch grid for a one legged person? [Well, it is a way of helping people at play. And it’s for the middle leg …..]
  • A large portion of the screen underneath this box! Ha! Ha! The molecule in question is a molecule of Spam.
  • A means of rendering wargaming/conflict simulation boards illegible?
  • A new approach to bee hive design
  • A road map to the queen bee’s boudoir.
  • Aardvark flavoured tooth paste.
  • An application for a patent.
  • Aspirin.
  • Bee hives.
  • Chanel number 5
  • City Link in Melbourne. This is what it will look like when it is finally finished.
  • Considering the fact that it is impossible to me to give an answer better than the ones arriving from thousands of professional chemists that usually answer to this quiz, I can only proceed by deduction. So… there is a patent, and that means that the object is something pretty saleable, so it is probably nice to get it. There are five aromatic rings, and that means that it smells, probably in a nice way. The formula seems an organic chemistry’s one, so the thing is organic, probably alive. Conclusions: pretty, organic, smelling, soldable, alive… Heaven! Do they really manage to synthesize IT?
  • Dolly the Sheep
  • Ecstasy
  • Formula for a self flushing toilet
  • Fragments of chicken wire?
  • The page behind it?
  • Honeycomb
  • I think that tiny text requires some VIAGRA to enlarge it a bit.
  • Ink
  • It’s a licence to print money, innit?
  • It’s a special substance that could be the ‘key to defeating one of the modern era’s last great scourges – hyperbole and propaganda’. A spokesperson for the Gundagai research laboratory where the historic breakthrough was made told the Listener exclusively that the discovery was made by accident. Our researchers had isolated a rare headline virus called Elvis Sighting type 3 when a bottle of the substance was spilt over the entire paper. Every page of this publication had been riddled with hysteria but once the serum had soaked in, the hysteria cells ceased to function. The substance works by blocking the pathways by which hysteria cells proliferate. One rogue hysteria cell is enough to set off a chain reaction but the substance interferes with this process at a critical stage. Yes, gentle readers – the substance is scepticism. Compared to current treatments like cynicism, which kills everything indiscriminately, scepticism is like a laser beam. The big test howeve r will be large scale clinical trials on various media organs. These are known by experts to be most susceptible to virulent strains of hysteria. Only time will tell.(Taken from the editorial of NZ Listener)
  • It’s either Oleastra or some aromatic additive for unleaded petrol. Or not.
  • My guess is that it’s EU approved genetically enhanced manure.
  • NFI It looks like a mentally disturbed bee’s home.
  • Nothing?!?! Perhaps my periodic table is a bit old but what the heck is R? [Standard organic name of an alkyl group, -CH3 or -C2H5 etc]
  • Outline of Pamela Anderson’s breast implant surgery
  • Oxygen – that’s right you all owe me lots of $$$’s for breathing MY invention !!
  • Pass
  • Resublimated thiotimoline (patented by one I.Asimov in 1948)
  • Some sort of chemical thing, I should guess.
  • Spam, of course. Or maybe not. I’m not very decisive today.
  • Stegosaurus Brains in breadcrumbs.
  • That’s the latest breed of marihuana Dutch scientists have developed for the pleasure of hapless young tourists. And the good news is it’s already on sale at coffeeshop The Big Blow, Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 12 in Amsterdam (ask for Willem).
  • That’s the secret mind-warping drug the Aliens sent me! However did you get it? You must be in contact with the aliens, too.
  • The “R” has me stumped. It looks like its the same set of atoms. How about “buggered if I know, I’ll get back to you”.
  • The 20c urban design of new towns in holland where N =neighbourhood, o =organisers, R =rich, OR=organisationally rich, HN=heathen neighbourhoods, SON=senior organised neighbourhoods. The upper numerals refer to the power of distance, the lower numerals refer to a caste system which is inversly proportional to the above, the lines represent the great lengths that architects go to to make curious and obtuse relationships between things that have no relationship with one another – in other words to create and build a picture with meaning and content far beyond the true meaning of society.
  • The background of this page: http://www.skeptics.com.au/features/quiz/quizcurr.htm
  • The formula needed to correct short sightedness. No wonder all the rest of the page is blurry. [Is it really blurry? I just thought it looked blurry because I had been enjoying too much Viagra. Can you also hear the buzzing sound and the bells ringing?]
  • The latest drink from Bacardi. Tastes like shit, but a kick like a mule.
  • The new floorplan for Australia Post call centre.
  • The page behind it
  • The patent application that lies underneath this patent application.
  • The picture is of a banana flavour molecule. The patent is owned by a Mr Steve Thoburn of Sunderland, who set up a chemical factory when his greengrocery business went belly up.
  • The stuff we used to coat our peril-sensitive sunglasses with.
  • The web page background. After that I’m a little out of my depth. Looks like a set of roundabouts just outside Cambridge
  • This is a wonderful drug/medication which we are told is designed to heal the world, but really it’s a mind-warping drug, designed to enslave the world. Wonderful, huh?!
  • This seems to be a sheet of Danish newspaper “Extrabladet”, which – according to commercials – covers everything.
  • Undoubtedly this is the patent application of Lex Luthor for the production of Kryptonite (which he stole from Jor-El by the way). This was the old version where sulfuric acid was still used to break the double bonds of the phenylic chain. Today with the use of palladium the catalytic reaction takes place at lower temperatures.
  • Viagra. I think. I’ve never needed it so I don’t bother knowing its chemical formula. [Ah well I can help you there, it’s C6H5-CH2– … woops]
  • What do I know about chemistry? Stuff all. It is probably the patent for the Philosopher’s Stone. If it is, it would have saved Harry Potter a lot of bother.
  • What’s a patent application?

Comments:

  • After last month expect to be sued by some Americans for putting subliminal suicide messages in your quiz. If you answer them backwards, you get a headache.
  • All hail our almighty messiah Smokey!
  • Can we have a big brother theme next month? [yes…. you’re evicted] are you going to go on celebrity big brother? i love big brother. i didn’t like pete and marty though…i thought it sucked that one of them had to win. I soooo prefered the first series. Am I sad?
  • Cricket, darts, tennis and now Rugby League. Prithee, Dr. Bob, what hath the Poms done to deserve drubbings from we colonials in these their very own sports? But they’re pretty good on trying to turn their destroyers into submarines so I suppose one should not be overcritical…
  • Did you ever notice that “Austria”, “osteopath”, “awestruck”, “ostrich”, and “Australian” sound something alike? Thank you. Your welcome.
  • Doctor your comments for Bob.
  • Dr Bob, whenever I see sweet Margaret my heart starts pounding, my thoughts wander, I can’t seem to focus and I start talking gibberish. Could it be that I’m in love? [with Mrs Thatcher? I hope not]
  • Hey, do I get the prize for the shortest ever entry? [No, but I got a prize for the shortest ever … anyway see Q6]
  • http://www.ectopia.net/safi/entry.jpg – david requested that the entry be shrunk to be ineligible, as certain words could assist in the interpretations of these answers. The title of the page remains legible at its reduced size.
  • I actually tried to find the answers this time – not too successfully I agree, but it’s given me a head ache, so next time I think I’ll stick to either knowing the answer or attempting to compete with some of the very humorous responses I’ve read in the past. Love your work.
  • I want to be just like you [no you don’t], I love you, and your work…. but I bet you hear that from girlies ALL the time
  • I was so tempted to answer “Me” to all questions.
  • If you had any shame you would quit now. [If I had any shame I woudn’t be running the Skeptics trivia page in the first place]
  • I’m still unemployed and about half of my state is on fire. I certainly don’t want to waste time looking for a job if the entire state is going to burn down. What do you think, Dr. Bob? [Get a job in the fire brigade! Seriously, to help with bushfires, throw the ice from your martini into the bushes. We find this always works well here in Australia. The worst thing about bush fires is that they warm up the beer, then we think we are in England.]
  • Is “Wretched Pom” a tautology?
  • No comment
  • No comments whatsoever.
  • One One was a racehorse, Two Two was one too, 1 1 1 1 race, and 2 2 1 1 2
  • Pleas stop following me. [Presumably a misprint for “Fleas”. They stopped following me too. Fleas have standards, you know]
  • Q: What is the difference between a pyromaniac and Carlton Football Club? A; The Pyromaniac wouldn’t waste 18 matches…
  • So, when I finally finish the mind-warping drug, you want to buy some? Of source, the stego brains have to finish stewing. . .
  • Some easy ones this month, oh wise and great inquisitor. [Well I suppose they are easy if you get 5 out of 6 wrong 🙂 ]
  • Sorry about the dodgey answers but I wanted to rant about BR…they are incompetent. [Join the queue]
  • Tell the truth, Dr. Bob… you are one of the authors of the “Evpatoria Message”, aren’t you?
  • Tune in next time, when Doctor Bob says to Nurse Janet”Nurse pass me the scruworth”.Nurse Janet says “What’s a scruworth?”Dr. Bob says “I’d say dinner and a movie, sound ok to you?”
  • WARNING!! Too many CUB products can make answering these questions difficult.
  • Well, at least I know I got the bonus question right. Does that count for anything? [You bet! You swallow the whole packet and …]
  • What do you know about the eye of Horus?
  • What hath Bob wrought?
  • What the hell is this “hippopotami” bullshit? Hippopotamus is a bloody English word [well it’s Greek actually – river horse], and as a bloody English word it is made plural by adding “es”. Anyone who claims otherwise is a wanker. Pseudo-intellectual pus-brained morons too busy getting their hands sticky to consult an OED just shouldn’t bother, you know.
  • Wierd. Really, really wierd. Maybe my answers would have made sence if I hadn’t made them up!
  • Yeah, right, can’t you do an easy quiz for we bears-of-little-brain? What the f*** is that molecule anyway? [Correct]