Answers for March 2002

MARCH 2002 – Among fierce competition (but I’m not sure for what) with honorable mentions to runners-up Pam Doyle, Joe Scibiorski, Steve Symonds, and David Wicks our WINNER this month is

Olav Rokne

who sometimes lives in Calgary, sometimes in Edmonton, and on other occasions Chicago and Mars. Sometimes, in accordance with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, he lives “halfway between Calgary and Edmonton”. Olav originally came from New Zealand. As one would.


Question 1

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

Perhaps we should have established the question better:

  • Prostitutes in Brussels have customers?
  • There are prostitutes in Brussels?

Our Brussels Sprout Scout reports:

  • Slightly cheaper for Belgians but for Dutchmen, 100 NLG is 45.38 Euro so to avoid fiddling with loose change, the price has gone up. I don’t know what you get for 50 Euro – a cup of tea perhaps. BEF is Dutch slang ………

Also:

  • It’s taken a few pounds off them
  • 1 euro = 40.3399BEF so I guess they are 0.3399BEF better off per Euro so as to keep things a round number.
  • According to a french-born prostitute in brussels-midi, the euro doesn’t chafe the crack of her ass as bad as the old currency.
  • Clients now actually pay them in something like real money, instead of whatever the hell they used to use as currency in Belgium (pretty rocks? chocolate bars? bootleg videos of Steven Segal movies?)
  • They are actually getting more clients now, as they now apparently don’t have the overwhelming stench of sprouts on their breath. Which was their usual payment before the Euro.
  • Yair, we all know Belgian pros aren’t the sharpest knives in the kitchen so the answer’s bloody obvious – the silly buggers reckon all those little furry-pouched Aussie euros hopping around Brussels these days are swamping their market so their fees have, like their daks and their reputations, fallen to new lows.
  • It hasn’t, although the pimps have apparently raised the prices…
  • There has been a reduction of 5% because they no longer have to go to the bank to exchange Marks, Francs and Liras.
  • The european commission has been rounding up 17% of the prostitutes to educate them about the euro for the past 6 months. [Why only 17%?]
  • While the cost of a blow job has increased by (on average) 5%, the price of a “fuck and suck” combo has dropped by 10%. However, we noted that the quality of the blow-jobs has declined since the introduction of the euro. We postulate that this is due to the fact that the Euro notes look like Monopoly money, and everyones mouths are sore from laughing at them so much. These figures were obtained by nights of painstaking research by my colleagues and I over two periods of 4 weeks, before and after the introduction of the euro. Our paper has been accepted by the extremely prestigious “Anals of Fucking Research” journal, and is due for publication later this year. Reprints Available on Request.
  • Apparently they don’t like being given coins, as it makes them look cheap. A bit like Quasimodo not liking glasses because they make him look stupid…
  • Skyrocketed! It’s giving my bank account a hammering, I can tell you, and I’m getting really….oops. I’ve said too much.
  • How are you meant to research things like this? The fee remains the same in value, but it will seem cheaper. The exchange rate is approximately 40 Belgian Francs to the Euro, so it will appear to be 40 times cheaper!
  • Most prostitutes have increased their fees by 40%. Trust me, I know …they work on an hourly fee. This hour consists of 40 minutes for the “business” to be done, 10 minutes to freshen up and re-apply make up, 5 minutes to grab a caffeine fix or a snort of diet coke, and 5 minutes to lira (whoops “lure”) another customer. The Euro has these working girls skeptical (I wonder why?) about the authenticity of the money being handed over, and it takes them 24 minutes with a currency expert to ascertain if the Euro is genuine. Hence adding 40% cost to their hourly rate. Footnote: Customer is held in a small room until the Euro is validated, and on occasions where the money is counterfeit (eg. Monopoly money) the customer receives a blow to the ego with words from the prostitute “Don’t worry hon, my orgasm was fake too!”
  • They now have to carry a calculator in the top of their boots – this creates a great deal of chafing on their inner thigh. The rise in fees is relative to the price of calamine lotion.
  • Golden showers henceforth to be known as “euronating”
  • I wonder how “thoroughly” Dr Bob investigates questions like these……
  • Can’t remember. I was too drunk.
  • Brussels? Exactly in Brussels? I prefer dutch girls… in Amsterdam, to solve the changeover affairs, they simple changed the word “guilders” to the word “euros”, so I and my friends are vexed with brutal 100% of increasing amount [how inconvenient – and you presumably have to pay more too]. But Brussels… no, no experience with Brussels. Till now, at least.
  • As whoreing is an inherently “inflationary” pursuit, I would anticipate that prices have “gone up.” I believe this change is helping the pimps maintain a “Nice Bottom Line” and healthy “Assets.”
  • I don’t know, but I know how to make a hormone – don’t pay her! And the collective noun for a group of prostitutes is a horde.
  • I don’t know, but if you’ll send me the airfare & a few Euro’s I’ll go and find out.
  • They have lowered their prices. Which is incredible when you realize that the bulk of their clients are the high-earning low-performing civil servants of the European Community. They’re the ones who really suck.
  • It has meant that there is no value added profit in the exchange rates between the Franc, the Guilder and the Deutschmark. They still make the profit from English customers, so …… English and Belgium gentlemen pay the same as before, while the French, Dutch and German gentlemen pay a 2% increase.
  • The only medium of exchange the prostitutes have faith in these days are small, green, bitter cabbages. Depending on what favors their customers contract with them to do, it could set a john back anywhere from a half dozen brussel sprouts to a kilo. I’ll leave it to you, Dr. Bob, to imagine what one could expect from these frisky ladies for a kilo of brussel sprouts .
  • Eu-ro me money for that, darling. This is not a free service.
  • Ladies of Negotiable Affection in Brussels have had to drop their prices along with their knickers so that clients can continue to pay with notes. Neither the ladies nor the clients want to muck about with coins and correct change – the speed and simplicity of the monetary transaction is part of the “wham, bam, merci madame” nature of the job. (I haven’t heard any report about the effects of the euro on LoNA who accept credit cards – “please insert card in slot” oh it’s all a bit dreadful isn’t it?)
  • They can no longer engender the guffaws from their Dutch-speaking customers by posting their prices in Belgian francs (i.e., BEF 6000). Also, the conversion of BEF 6000 to Euros is about 148, so they rounded up to 150, thus slightly increasing the price. The opposite happened in Italy.
  • As one of the girls who services the Spartan contingent said, “it’s got me buggered”
  • One would presume they are rounding up or down the price to a nice round figure. Surely you don’t expect me to so the conversions, do you, Bob? But if you want me to check it out for sure, I’d be more than happy to fly to Brussels (courtesy of Skeptics) and suss it out. My passport’s only got one sad little page of stamps. If you want me to check out the price changes in other European countries, that would be ok too. I’m nice that way.
  • The way she abused it make me never wanna use it – they rounded their prices up so you can never accuse them of not being tight.
  • I can’t speak for all of them but my friend Marie-Claire who works the Regentshapstraat tells me that rounding off Belgian Francs into Euros has been a bonus. No-one knows the conversion rate so prices have risen without most punters being aware of it.
  • I’m not sure, I’ll tell you next Thursday when I get back
  • It hasn’t they still charge the same as last time, although I did notice that the cost of knee pads had gone up slightly.
  • Like most things to do with prostitution, they went up. The fees that is. I presume it’s to do with the “Services” bit of their “Goods & Services Tax”.
  • They had to raise prices to cover the cost of converting all the cash registers in the brothels.
  • Rather than use those nasty euro bank notes (poisonous, carcinogenic, radioactive, ugly, and printed with ink infused with microscopic tracking devices), they formulated their own rival currency, initially named the “euro rand”, but now simply known as the “rand-e”. This has led to confusion, as the traditional method for locating prospective clients was to approach a prospective and suggest payment for sex by asking “belgian franc?”. Now guys are mistakenly thinking they’re getting freebies…
  • I really wish I had the answer for this but I think the question itself is good enough on it’s own.
  • They’re fine with it, the customers paying the fees are quite narky about it though.
  • I was young and I needed the money.

Question 2

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

An Even Better Reason Than the Real Answer

Because it’s required by Army regulations.

The Real Answer (and every soldier’s dream):

He was very conscious of being under scrutiny and worked hard to be a good soldier. He bought about 20 full uniforms – his mother and other family and hangers on, who had been moved to Germany for his tour of duty, would iron the uniforms and Elvis would often change into a complete fresh uniform at lunchtime and teatime.

Other Legends:

  • Alien starch
  • It wasn’t. It only seemed perfectly smart because he was so perfectly dumb.
  • He had 3.1415926 people to press it
  • He had a new one every day.
  • Is this a trick question, most uniforms seem extremely dumb to me!
  • Probably quite a hefty fanbase willing to help out
  • There are a great many things in this world which are smarter than Elvis.
  • The only action Elvis saw in the army didn’t involve wearing clothes.
  • Elvis, although an enlisted man, was allowed to live off base and have a personal valet to take care of business. [Couldn’t resist the last comment]
  • He was assigned to laundry duty because he couldn’t shoot worth a damn.
  • Ah… Dr Bob, you have no idea what fun comes up when you so a search for “Elvis” and “uniform” in a search engine! A Japanese one! [You’re right, I have no idea … I got a Norwegian one]
  • He had bought dozens of extra uniforms, which two Memphis friends kept clean and ironed. He bought these uniforms with his own money, which he had earned himself by singing for millions of happy people. So he had every right to do it, and if anyone makes some smart joke about Mr Presley or his clothes my mother will hit you on the head.
  • It was cardboard. Perhaps he was cardboard too.
  • Because Elvis didn’t really go into the Army, it was all a publicity stunt and he was really flipping burgers at the local Joes’ Burger Café.
  • Did Elvis ever actually DO anything in the army? I’ll bet he never peeled a single potato or even painted obscenities on the side of a bomb.
  • He was frequently out of it, with the underage daughter of his commanding officer.
  • That’s how GIs are, always spic and spam.
  • He had his mama send a nuwone ev’ryday.
  • He had his own housekeeper with him
  • Unfortunately, this is a myth. Neither he nor his uniform were ever perfectly smart. Well maybe his uniform.
  • ‘Cos he never wrestled with no Brussels broads an’ he jest lerved lookin’ cool an’ he knowed he c’d pick up any dame he wanted ‘cos all dames go all screwy an’ wobbly legged over a cool guy inna uniform like him. An’ he also knew he’d look like a tub o’ lard less than twenny years after leavin’ the Yew Ess Army so’s he hadda look good while he could, diddn’ he? (I’m better be gittin’ back ter me deep fried peanut butter ‘n’ catfish sanwiches now, yer hear Dr Bob?)
  • He was notoriously fussy. If the uniform he wore got a single wrinkle, he’d simply “Return to Sender”…..
  • *Nobody* stays pristine through army training (wise woman say: “do not stuff empty magazines down shirt and expect bra to escape unscathed”) – but Elvis was nice and neat any time he was photographed. I’ll bet that all his photo sessions were carefully staged to make sure of that; the US army brass must’ve been overjoyed at having such a PR opportunity. It’s a good thing that he never had to go into combat – can you imagine the hassle of having a team of hairdressers and make-up people in the field, having tantrums because khaki is so unflattering and cam cream leaves weird coloured patches on your face for days, not to mention the hassle of trying to find a bra that hasn’t got runs in it because you’ve been stuffing magazines down your shirt…..
  • Because he promised sexual favors to anyone who would iron his pants (wink-wink!)
  • Good press, so to speak.
  • There was some guy there to take care of all his menial tasks. My dad was in basic training with one of the kids from “My Three Sons”, and despite his far inferior celebrity status, he got the same treatment.
  • This has something to do with conservation of smartness between the person and their clothes. Each person/clothing combination tends towards an optimal total smartness value. Smart people wear scruffy clothes (engineers, scientists), whereas those who are somewhat smartorially challenged (politicians, game show hosts and televangelists for example)….. well you can work it out
  • His mumma starched/ironed before he made an appearance.
  • When? He still is… serving with in a top secret deployment within a base built in the bowels of a mountain range in the Arizona desert. Oh and why “Iron free” clothing of course
  • Oh, derr, that’s obvious. It was because he was carefully protected from having to do any real soldiering, wasn’t he. I mean, they weren’t exactly going to let their poster boy get muddy, were they?
  • He had the full logistical support of the 3rd Laundry Battalion at all times. And he was probably quite vain. I bet he thought that song was about him…
  • Pappy with the khaki sweatband…the old fart was smart – he got someone to press it for him every day. Good publicity for him, good publicity for the Army, great publicity for Brown Gouge!
  • His manager thought the stint in the Army would do him good in the PR department because it would show him to be a fine, hard-working American boy. Since he would also be photographed a lot, it was critical he look his best.
  • They were trying to perfect special fx even then.
  • Smart? A uniform is smart? Well Elvis certainly wasn’t.
  • He was used as a pawn by the US army PR department. they thought that by showing Mr Presley as being sartorially splendid the rest of the world would see the obvious advantages of capitalism and immediately undergo a paradigm shift. That this happened somewhat later than expected does not detract from the work of these magnificent thinkers.
  • Because Elvis was brought up knowing the important things in life. Also, he was auditioning for “Get Smart”. As we now know from history, he failed the audition and was later found crying in the chapel. His music career took off shortly thereafter…
  • Every day was a photo opportunity so Colonel Parker organised a 24 hour laundry service.
  • So he would look nice.

Question 3

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

Answer

96%, but who needs the truth when you have ascending estimates like these:

  • 2%
  • 3.1415926 %
  • 10%
  • 15%
  • 20% only those with a two bob brain would try unsuccessfully
  • 30%
  • 50% of Australians who were trying to catch or kill a snake are bitten each year-—bitten, that is, by the other Australians who are watching the idiots who participate in Christian snake handling and want to join in the fun. My uncle Northrup has a collection of videos on this very subject and they’re for sale on e-Bay, q.v.
  • 50%. The other half were trying to dress the snakes in little dolly dresses and push them around in prams. Don’t ask me why.
  • 60%
  • 70%
  • 80%
  • 80% according to one set of figures I read. I told this to a friend recently who kills every snake he sees but he wouldn’t believe me. He thinks he is in more danger from the snakes he leaves alone.
  • 80%. The other 20% were juggling the snakes, and this appears to annoy them more than most things.
  • 80%. Didn’t figure you for a Burke’s Backyard Factsheet kinda guy, Dr. Bob, but who am I to judge? If you ever need advice on scale, you just let me know…
  • 80%. Of course, you realize that Steve Irwin (our beloved Crocodile Hunter) probably accounts for most of these incidents.
  • 85%
  • 90% per cent. The amazing thing about Australians is they can not, or will not, distinguish between types of snakes. So, when their mates ask “What kink of snake bit you?” They will just hold up their attacker and reply “This kind.”
  • 95%
  • 99%
  • 99%, the other 1% were telling them not to try and catch or kill the snake.
  • 99%. The 1% was my husband who truly believes he WAS NOT trying to catch the 2 king brown snakes that bit him (within days of each other) he was mowing the lawn and they took the opportunity to sink their fangs into his juicy and model-like leg….I know their dilemna!!
  • 99.99% – the 0.01% are the camera crew following that Steve guy around.
  • 99.999%
  • 99.9999%
  • All the ones that were bitten
  • 99% – in the other 1% of cases the snakes launched ferocious and unprovoked attacks from the trees coming in out of the sun screaming “Death to all humans!!”. At least that’s the story the people who were bitten told.
  • By the blunt end, moron, not the bit with all the sharp teeth!
  • Dunno. But if you were asking about Brussels prostitutes bitten by Elvis Presley’s trouser snake then that’s an entirely different question.
  • Far too many. Australia is very much a Darwin Accelerator
  • Haven’t we all learnt yet, that unless your name is Steve Erwin. LEAVE THEM ALONE… oh sure you can suck the poison out… if your a cowboy!!!!
  • Hint for those silly people who were bitten: don’t pick up snakes they’re not that interesting. Sure they have no legs but the then neither do fish and you don’t see people going around trying catch them do you? Wait a second…..
  • Hmmm.. Is this another Bill Bryson question? This sounds just like one of those morbid details he’s interested in, but my copy of “In a Sunburnt Country” is out on loan right now. If y’all would just make it illegal to catch or kill snakes, then 0%, but in the meantime, 13%. At least that’s what one of the Australian experts says would be the percentage drop in incidents if it were made illegal. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d ever go outside with those taipan things around.
  • I don’t know about that but I have been warned not to handle snakes while intoxicated. I have also been warned that if someone seems confused following outdoor activities, suspect snakebite!
  • I don’t know the right answer but my guess is 87%, the logic being that 87 is 13 less than 100, and 13 is an unlucky number. Not that people who get bitten while trying to chase or kill snakes are unlucky. They’re just plain stupid. Also, 13 = 42/Pi rounded to the nearest integer, thus combining two other Significant Numbers.
  • I know it’s high, probably around 90%. It’s certainly higher than the percentage of snakes bitten by Australians while the snake is trying to kill them. There’s some interesting figures on fatalities at http://members.iinet.net.au/~bush/myth.html Of course if you do get bitten you can find a treatment at http://www.herbal-treatments.com.au/snake_bite.html It probably won’t cure you but it is all natural!
  • I think a better question is, what proportion of Australians would like to see Steve Irwin bitten by one?
  • I think I understand the question – but since they’ve already been bitten, then the answer is 100%, unless they’re unlucky enough to be bitten by another snake while chasing the one that first bit them… Right! Just dig it, that’s right, the Mascara Snake, fast and bulbous!
  • I think it’s around 80%, which just goes to show that: 1) antivenom research is an affront to natural selection because any idiot who’d pester a snake until it bit them would do the human race a service by removing themselves from the gene pool, and 2) snakes are not at all intellectually snobbish; if provoked they are willing to bite complete morons (and I can sympathise with that, I know I’ve been sorely tempted on several occasions).
  • If Steve Irwin represents the average Australian, I’d say 50%. The other 50% is accounted for by Aussies being trampled by dromedaries, nibbled to death by a rare species of killer slugs (which, incidentally, were bred by the Dutch to control the excessive bunnies), or overexcited after finding out that bread can be sliced.
  • It must be an even higher proportion then statistics claim, since a lot of the victims would not admit that they provoked the snake to attack. Being bitten by an aggressive snake makes a better story than being a dumb Australian.
  • “I’ll catch it easy, it’s going the other way and won’t possibly look behind it to see – Yow!”
  • Most actually, it is a known fact that Australian Snakes are only fatal if they bite you. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Much can be said for our sharks too, who have a terrific sense of humour – there’s nothing they enjoy more than a leg pull.
  • Not enough of them – Current affairs programs could use an increase of 30% of people bitten by snakes so as to change their topics of reporting for a week and boost their ratings.
  • Over 50%. I’ve come in contact with snakes twice and my instinct was to try to kill them, which I did.
  • Probably low. A snake bite tends to take you out of the catching-and-killing field for some time, and snakes are hard to tell apart.
  • Probably something like 98% (+/- 2% or so). The only venomous Australian snake which will not take off at a million mph at the sound of approaching footfall is the Death Adder, and it’s said to be less likely to strike unless touched (but I wouldn’t tempt it). So the only people who are bitten who are not trying to catch or kill the snake are those who accidentally tread on a death adder, or in one off situations where the snake is trapped for some reason.
  • Proportion bitten Australians = (Living bite victims willing to admit stupidity) – (those that died before giving an admission) – (living bite victims from overseas) – [(tourists eaten by crocodile) + (tourist killed by blue ring octopus)]
  • Since, when bitten, one is advised to catch or kill the snake for identification purposes (so they can give the right anti-venene) I’d guess quite a few!
  • Snakes don’t want to bite people– they have much better things to do with their poison unless the person in question is bothering them. Based on this logic I’d say about 95%, the other 5% were just being idiots.
  • The limb portions – oh proportions sorry, 67.897% and a bit
  • Those who are lateral descendents of St Patrick and trying to do for Australia what “great-uncle Paddy” did for Ireland.
  • Their hands were trying to catch or kill the snake, their bodies were trying to avoid being bitten, and their legs were trying to run like hell the other way!

Question 4

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

Answers

  • As Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth explained in his autobiography: The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say “Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . .” This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.
  • So that they could be sure that the concert organisers read the contract, but the trick to this question is that they never played a major gig!!
  • It was a way for the band to determine whether a promoter had read their contract carefully. The theory was that if they didn’t get the M&Ms right, then they probably didn’t get the technical requirements for the stage and equipment right, either – apparently there was an incident with a stage set falling right through a stadium floor because the organisers hadn’t read the specs. I also remember thinking that there’s something highly attractive about the thought of the floor opening up and swallowing David Lee Roth.
  • Originally this was a neat idea designed to test how well contractors had read, understood and complied with the specifications of the contract. If the M&Ms were not to specification, the chances of the rest of the set being to specification (and therefore, safe) were pretty slim. The only problem with this fine piece of justification is that now everyone knows Van Halen go psycho if they see a brown M&M, which renders the clause completely bloody useless. Therefore the only reason it is included now must be as an excuse for contractually sanctioned property destruction and mayhem.
  • After van halen been in-halen some mighty fine weed, van contracten some hallucination, causen him to believe that those little rabbit turds don’t belong in the bowl.
  • Becasue they were self absorbed wankers surrounded by brown nosing parasitic toadies.
  • Because all M&M’s taste like sh*t, but the bright colours lead the brain and body to ignore this fact. This is impossible with the brown ones – if its tastes like sh*t AND LOOKS LIKE sh*t then the brain isn’t fooled.
  • Because brown is the color of feces, and Van Halen does not like to be reminded of the quality of its music.
  • because brown was a sign of bad luck
  • because eddie van halen is a racist pig.
  • Because he is colour blind.
  • Because spiteful roadies always try and replace the brown ones with rabbit droppings.
  • Because they are the ones with “W” printed one them.. clearly a bad omen
  • Because they like to reserve all the brown ones for when they play a minor gig…MMMMMM!
  • Because you never know what’s in them.
  • Brown M&M’s have less artificial colouring and therefore don’t taste the same as other m&m’s
  • ‘Cos he’s watched Wayne’s World a few too many times?
  • ‘Cos they saw it in Spinal Tap
  • coz they’re stupid bastards who want to be prats to their roadies
  • David Roth says it the band once put the clause in just to test if all parties had read the technical details of the concert contracts. Wonder what technical details might be so important to deserve this ruse. At a Van Halen concert the music has to be bloody loud & there should be enough beer. Can’t think of anything else worth while to put on paper.
  • Eddie van Halen doesnt like the brown ones.
  • Everybody knows that anything with brown in it is good for you.
  • Give me all the brown ones baby or the venue gets it (sounds of serious destruction in background)
  • Goes when he was young Van Halen (well known Dutch Rock Star) owned a Guinea Pig and one day, unknown to him, the Guinea Pig, pigged out in his bowl of Smarties and promptly defecated in the bowl and started to eat its own droppings (a common complaint with Guinea Pigs). Being a Rock Star, and subject to various late nights, heavy parties and the occasional orgy, Young, Van Halen being off his face saw the Guinea Pig tucking in with much gusto (an italian sauce of dubious quality) to the Smarties decided he needed a quick sugar fix. Well you can imagine his surprise when he realised what he had eaten, so for that reason all Brown M&Ms are banned (Young Van Halen enjoys them later at home in the quiet time with his Guinea Pig, with the lights down, maybe a little Barry White on the stereo…, sorry perhaps thats just wishful thinking on my part.
  • I don’t think this is true..got to be skeptical about this one.
  • I read about this on the internet and it made absolutely no sense to me. This was after enjoying some incredible shit my nephew brought back from an unnamed Central American country…never mind. It just made no sense. I have no clever riposte for this inanity. Did I mention it made no sense?
  • I thought it was the green ones removed, because, as every American teenager knows, green M&M’s make teenage girls feel romantic, and the band wanted them all to dispense themselves.
  • I would too, if I were him, cos I like green and yellow ones. As an Australian you got to show respect to your country somehow. I don’t know what this says about Van Halen though.
  • In the early club days the band were constantly being ripped off by promoters. When they were discovered by Gene Simmons (KISS) he gave them advice to put into the contract some small item that could be overlooked by lazy, greedy promoters. The brown M’M’s was this detail. On three occasions I know of, the band trashed their green rooms at the venue because they found the offending M’M’s.
  • It is a clause buried deep in the fine print. You have to have uh flies eye to see it! It’s there to ensure the organiser has thoroughly read the entire contract. The presence of even one brown M&M meant the conditions had not been thoroughly adhered to. This could prove dangerous, even deadly, if other parts of the contract had also not been read, especially those conditions which co-ordinated aspects of the light shows and pyrotechnics involved. It was also a great excuse to trash hotel rooms at the organisers’ expense.
  • It sounds stupid but in fact it is a quick and exact method of telling whether the promoter has read the contract. The contract for performances involves umpteen pages of specifications for the lighting and sound systems. It would be difficult, if not impossible to check every aspect before the performance so clause 126 (or thereabouts) has the specification about M&Ms. If they find a brown one in the bowl, they know they have to check all the other specifications. If the bowl is brown M&M free, they know the promoter has read the contract and they can presume s/he has followed the other clauses.
  • It started as a joke to see how far they could push contract negotiations. When they found out that the promoters took them seriously on this point, they kept it in the contracts just to be SOBs.
  • marrónaphobia…
  • memories
  • Nice this one! And nice even the official Van Halen’s answer. Van Halen’s contracts are quite complexes and detailed. The little point about “no brown M&Ms in the M&M bowl” is used to verify if the contractors read completely and accurately the contract; they use the silly M&M stuff as an indicator of the rest… Nice.
  • Nothing must resemble the ear secretions exuding from the fans ears after the show at the back stage party. Ear wax is not very palatable
  • So that they can catch out crappy contractors who don’t read the specifications in the contract, on the reasoning that if they don’t get that detail right, they probably won’t get important show set up details right either. At least, that’s the excuse. In reality, it’s just a justification for Eddie to destroy property.
  • Some unfortunate previous experience involving some smarties and an incontinent rabbit ?
  • That’s not all! After ensuring no brown ones remain, they also ask for them to be lined up in alphabetical order.
  • The brown ones are instruments of evil.
  • The question is why they want to eat that crap in the first place.
  • The reason for this dates back to about 60 years ago, when van Halen was told by his father that brown M&M’s bring bad luck. Being the stubborn guy he used to be, he continued eating them, much to the disgust of his dad. All changed when one day Eddie was abducted by aliens who forced him to eat 10.000 kilo per square minute of brown M&M’s.
  • There are several theories behind this one. The first is that brown M&M’s are actually printed with W’s. This belief is because of a rumor that the machine for the brown M&Ms faces the opposite direction.
  • They can’t stand to be reminded of the colour of the substance forced into the underdaks of people who unwittingly listen to their execrable ‘music’.
  • They like watching the little people suffer to make their whims reality. I’d do the same thing were I rich and famous.
  • They reminded him of rabbit droppings
  • To ensure that the entire contract had been read by all. So if the band members saw brown M&Ms, they would have forewarning that the groupie posse at the end of a show didn’t consist of only blonde big breasted trollops. Eddie did end up with Valerie Bertinelli, so really, it was a very clever clause.
  • Van Halen is the name of a Radiation Belt not a rock and roll band, so the question is a furphy. Oh no, hang on, that was Van Allen. Ah, maybe because brown M&Ms are close to the average colour of the universe? I knew there was a relationship between the two Vans.
  • What’s a gig? At fundamentalist class I was told a gig was an orgy. [That’s probably why they sell so many tickets]
  • If I received as much money as Van Halen did for turning up my amplifiers to the max, I would demand no green smarties in my bowl. Why? because I could and for no other reason than “because!”
  • They don’t like the brown ones.

Question 5

When was sliced bread invented?

Real Answer:

A young bloke called Otto (bless him) began work on the bread slicer in 1912. But of course, there are always naysayers, and his reckoned that the bread would go stale. So in 1928 Otto made a machine that would slice and wrap the bread. Let’s hear it for Otto Rohwedder – champion of unco people around the world. [He also gained many other patents, all relating to bread slicing, including two inventions for holding the bread together again after it had been sliced]

Also:

  • 1840 by the Earl of Sandwich.
  • 1900
  • 1906
  • 1912 by Otto Rohwedder, though the invention was unavailable for common use till 1928. Though Erich von Daniken and his cronies claim that Aliens had given that technology to the Aztecs in about 200 BC.
  • 1928, if you are talking about the automatic machine that slices and wraps the industrial bread. Without this restriction, about 12.000 BC, I guess. It’s the period in which bread was invented, and the use of stones as knives probably already in use.
  • 1928. At least that’s when Otto Frederick Rohwedder turned out his machine for slicing and wrapping bread to preserve the freshness.
  • 1928. So there have not been that many things that have been ” a greater invention since sliced bread”. Take out air travel, automobiles, telecommunications, antibiotics, radio etc etc.
  • 38 seconds after the pop-up toaster…
  • About 5 minutes after the bread slicer was invented. That reminds me of the joke about the gherkin slicer, but I won’t bother typing it in because (1) you’ve probably heard it before, (2) I can’t be bothered, (3) it’s a bit smutty for a family-friendly website, (4) I haven’t got the time, (5) you can find it in Phillip Adams joke books and (6) I can’t remember the punchline.
  • About three minutes before toast was invented.
  • According to Rosemary Hill, in 1928 by Otto Rohwedder after 26 years of hard work and setbacks. It remains the second best invention: liquid bread (with lots of hops) is number one.
  • Actually, the first bread-slicer was to be a free-energy device, powered by bread to solve the fuel problem. It was to be used as some sort of hyperdrive to power a saucershaped flying machine. When the aliens found out about this they stole the technology and brainwashed the inventor. Later the aliens found out that the machine actually worked better on brown M&M’s, which were then obtained from certain abductees in whom they implanted posthypnotic suggestions to save brown M&M’s. Actually, in Belgium the invention of the breadslicer has gone unnoticed and they still cut their bread with hockeysticks.
  • All this time spent on evolution and the greatest thing the 20th century can do to improve the age old practice of producing bread is… Slicing it. Now there’s a notable achievement for us… What’s next?
  • Apparently in 1912 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. Though bakers apparently weren’t impressed at first saying that the bread would go stale too quickly. In 1928 he came up with a machine that wrapped the bread as well and the idea took off
  • Archaeologists suggest that the Egyptians were probably the first to bake risen bread rather than flat rounds; sliced bread may well have been invented one morning when a Mrs Neffir Kanhotep of Maatkare Avenue, Memphis, took her husband Aksun to task over not eating a proper breakfast. She quickly cut a couple of pieces of bread and spread some honey on them, saying “Here, eat this on the way, my great big hunky chunky bull crocodile, you can’t possibly oversee obelisk quarrying on an empty stomach”. The commercial slice-it-and-wrap-it machine invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder went into production in 1928 (although he’d been working on the design since 1912). Tragically, this deprived countless children of the fun of eating the middle out of a loaf of bread, and then seeing the look on Mum’s face when she finds out.
  • Around 2000BC, when someone realized that lopping the loaf into bits with a sharp pointy object was easier than shoving the whole loaf into one’s mouth.
  • As in, mechanically pre-sliced bread, or just bread cut into slices? Gerald Lord Sandwich was probably the first to think of cutting it rather than just ripping the stuff up, so around the time he came up with the idea of stuffing the meat between the bread.
  • Because we had already invented sliced ham.. can you imagine loaf of bread, a wedge of pig with another loaf of bread on top, not to mention the pound of butter either side…. Cholesterol!! hello!!
  • Before all slightly less good inventions. I’ve always wondered what was the invention for comparisons before sliced bread. Dead meat?
  • Bread was originally baked in “sliced” form, the idea of creating a whole “loaf” didn’t come about until the 1920’s.
  • Commercially produced factory packed sliced bread appeared in 1928. Aliens… blood sucking, brain eating aliens brought it to earth hundreds of years before this but humans lacked the technology to make the bread slicing machines.
  • During the French revolution. The revolutionaries would test the guillotine by placing a loaf (a french stick, I guess) where the neck would usually be place. When the boiled egg was invented, the sliced bread gained further popularity when used for dipping into the gooey egg yolks.
  • Hmmm, technically speaking, bread could be sliced by any sharp object so sliced bread would have been ‘invented’ sometime after bread and objects sharp enough to slice were invented. Sliced bread, in nicely wrapped plastic packages, was invented just after the bread slicer machine in 1928 – read all about it at http://www.cbc4kids.ca/general/the-lab/history-of-invention/slicedbread.html
  • I don’t know, but it was very much the watershed for a huge collection of inventions that weren’t quite as good but came later
  • I don’t know, but there hasn’t been anything better since… Except maybe Televison, and Computers, and Free-View Porn.
  • I don’t know, but what I want to know is: What was the greatest thing BEFORE sliced bread?
  • In 1905, by the Italian Massimo Floppi, the inventor of the floppy disk, among many other things.
  • in the period between the invention of bread and the invention of the bread slicer. This period is also known as the “age of bread tearing”.
  • It is a little known fact that sliced bread pre-dates whole loafs. The rich and powerful thought it too democratic and demanded an item that could be divided in a more unequal fashion, hence the term “upper crust.”
  • It was not invented, it was the product of secret CIA research which involved splicing the DNA from an unsliced loaf and an armadillo. The results were then back crossed to result in sliced bread as we know it today.
  • It was originally invented by an Irishman, a gentleman named Gil O’Teen. Gil invented it after he got sick and tired of dumping and entire loaf of bread into his Irish Stew to sop up the gravy. Seems by the time he had retrieved his soggy lump of mush it was no fun to eat.
  • It wasn’t , it doesn’t exist, stop asking me, just stop!
  • Just before the greatest thing invented since then.
  • Not long after these two important discoveries (1) bread and (2) the knife
  • One week after sliced cheese, sliced salami, and roasted red peppers.
  • Otto Frederick Rohwedder in 1928 – or possibly 12,000 years ago. Dr Bob, you are the best thing since 1928!
  • Otto Frederick Rohwedder is considered the father of sliced bread. He started working on a bread slicer in 1912. When Rohwedder took his idea to bakers, they told him that pre-cut loaves would quicky go stale. Rohwedder tried find ways to keep the bread from going stale. Among his inventions was a device that would hold the slices of bread together with hat pins. Unfortunately, the pins kept falling out. In 1928 Rohwedder’s designed a machine that would slice and wrap bread. The wrapper would keep in the bread’s moisture and keep it from going stale. Later that year, a bakery in Battle Creek, Michigan, used Rohwedder’s invention and began making and selling pre-cut loaves. In true British fashion they waited a couple of years and sliced bread appeared in Britain in 1930 under the Wonderbread label. I have no idea when it appeared in Australia!
  • Probably several thousand BCE. You didn’t say “pre-sliced.”
  • Same time as the breadknife ?
  • Sliced bread was first commercially sold in 1928, but the idea was originally that of Otto Frederick Rohwedder. He started working on a bread slicer in 1912.
  • Two years after the greatest thing since sliced bread (also known as a toaster)!
  • when a sharp enough knife was made
  • when bread was invented
  • When cavemen got etiquette, tearing wasn’t cool anymore
  • When the Earl of Sandwich was on a diet
  • When they invented the toaster and wanted something to put in it.

Question 6

Spot the mistake

Answers

  • Einsteins face and hands were coloured by flesh tones and were not pale white until days after he had passed on.
  • He has just farted. Look at his guilty look. It’s a good thing the camera was loaded with silent film or we’d hear it as well.
  • 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841 is missing in the 2nd column
  • Einstein’s fly is open.
  • Someone else has just farted – hence the surprised expression.
  • aaaaah Bob. Like myself and every other “right” thinking person in this silly old world of ours, Albert was cack-handed.
  • Albert Einstein was left handed and in this picture he is holding the chalk in his right hand!
  • Alberts’ hair is combed wrong.
  • The equation does not allow for the effect of the euro on prostitutes in Brussels
  • Einstein appears frozen in time, which cannot be true. Time never stops.
  • Einstein was left handed, yet his chalk is in his right hand.
  • Einstein was left-handed. However, this could be an image of a reflection in a mirror, thus making his hand preference shown correctly, requiring me to wade through some physics equations. Or that could be an impostor Einstein.
  • As any left handed person will tell you, a man as brilliant as Einstein must have been a left hander.
  • Even my 6 year old knows that P (I->f) = ((8 * pi * h * v **3)/ c**3)) -b(ij)) N(v) I just don’t know what the education system of today is coming to.
  • He doesn’t have his tongue out.
  • He forgot to carry the 2.
  • He left out the answer
  • I always thought Spot was the dog. Just goes to show. Yes that man is an imposter. Albert Einstein was never able to tie a Tie, not only that but he could never comb his hair worth a damn either.
  • I can’t, the moustached fellow has smudged it over.
  • I speak a terrible english, and I am quite surprised by the sentence above this pic question. No question mark at all. A strange verb, if it is a verb. I read Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and the “spot” of Lady Macbeth is an object, not a verb. And I see a spot on the blackboard. So, I guess that the correct sentence should be “Spot, the mistake!”. And, obviously, the absence of the comma is the real mistake. Did I spot, Dr. Spock?
  • I’m guessing where that smudge is. He made a mistake, rubbed it out and wrote over it.
  • Isn’t it obvious? I mean, look at his hair do? LOOK AT IT!
  • I’ve got buckleys of working out the equations, so lets assume that they are correct and that Einstein is holding the chalk in the wrong hand as he was left handed.
  • Me doing this quiz a second time trying to be funny is always a mistake.
  • Mistake??? The mistake is that it should be Rutherford there, not Einstein. (and besides, for that shadow to appear like that would imply that the sun is in the room with them, and that would melt him-<maniacal giggling, choking, ambulance sirens, white men in white coats dragging me away…isn’t it strange what the lack of sleep can do to one’s sense of humour?>)
  • No full stop after the word “mistake”.
  • No high school maths dropout could ever write such material.
  • Not quite sure [Which is what Albert seems to be thinking too]
  • OK, I’m really proud of myself here. I didn’t even have to enlarge the picture. Big Al was left handed, and in the piccy he is holding chalk in his right hand. Everyone is going to get this right, but I knew it straight away, dammit! Arrrrrgh, the humanity!
  • Photographer should have used remote/diffuse flash to avoid harsh shadows.
  • That’s right. The big white spot is a mistake.
  • The domain (or “limits”) aren’t set… good one EINSTEIN!
  • The grain of the wood in the chalkboard frame is wrong for the timber in the region at the time. This image is obviously a crude forgery…
  • The mark on the blackboard would come from someone who brushed the writing with their right sleeve. Einstein was left handed.
  • The mistake is in the shampoo being used. Einstein was notorious for wanting to try something different all the time, and this is the result of using orgone-enhanced ultrafluxvitamin (which is a by-product of slicing brown M&M’s) shampoo (or so I was told)
  • The mistake is just above the Lagrangian function, see? Where Albert has rubbed something out, and then written over it. Wait, wait. Aha! that’s not Albert Einstein, it’s Elvis in some very smart looking Eastern European get up.
  • The picture of Albert has been reversed. He was left handed.
  • The recipe has the salt quantity missing.
  • The shirt – wing collars are just soooooo last season
  • There are a number of spots on this photograph, so why am I supposed to believe any one in particular is a mistake? Given this photograph was taken quite some time ago, is in black and white, and that this is a reproduction of poor quality, there are bound to be rogue spots here and there.
  • There is a mistake in the formula. I don’t know where.
  • There is an error in the maths. I know there is coz I read about it somewhere, but I can’t remember which bit of the maths. Bob, I’m a geologist not a physicist. Why don’t you ask more questions about continental drift or palynomorphs or petroleum geochemistry?
  • There should be more chalk dust over Dr. Einstein’s coat, what with all the vigorous “schwartzboard” writing he’s been doing . . .
  • Well, apart from the fact that nobody scribbling away with chalk while wearing a dark suit could possibly remain that dust-free, Albert is depicted holding the chalk in the wrong hand for writing. He was left handed, as is the case for so many of us geniussess geniii genieeii geniae geneese guinness us real smart buggers.
  • Well, there’s a white smudge on the blackboard where something has been hastily erased and written over. That’s one possible mistake. The man in the picture is very likely to be Albert Einstein, a famous left-hander, so could the mistake you are asking us to spot therefore be that he is holding the chalk in his right hand, presumably also his non-writing hand?
  • With a little more gold jewellry.. it could be Don King.. now there’s a man who can work some figures!!
  • z = z1 Surely not. if my calculations are correct, as also backed up by the other calculations in the picture, ‘Fancy writing looks like ‘flyp’, sigma, swirly thing, little v = sigma, Swirly thing with a line above little v xxx and sigma, different swirly thing = sigma, swirly thing same as the most recent swirly thing but different to the first two swirly things, with a line above it (the most recent swirly thing), swirly thing totally different to all the other previous swirly things’ means that z cannot possible equal z1. how can it?
  • Z=Z1, how can that be???
  • There are in fact THREE mistakes: Einstein was left-handed, Tuesday was casual dress day at the University, and he is in the first year girls sex education classroom. [Which may explain his expression]
  • Well, since Einstein was left-handed, this photo must be a reverse image, but then the equations would prove that matter does not exi

Commentary:

  • Are you related to the other famous Dr. Bob? The Muppet? No, that’s silly, he’s just a character that Ralph the Dog plays.
  • Are you serious or do you like wierd answers? [Both]
  • Come on Bob you know I can’t search for things about prostitutes at work. The network administrator would go nuts if he saw that.
  • Congratulations….. I love this section of skeptics. […she said, putting down the chain saw]
  • Everyone is dirhinous, but few know it.
  • Good quiz, shame about the questions though
  • Great quiz, Doctor Bob. How much slimy ingratiating praise is required to boost my chances of winning?
  • great site, really great site!
  • Haven’t you got better things to do than read our comments?
  • Hi Dr. Bob. I’m looking for a job so if you know of any vacancies, keep me in mind. [Well the only vacancies I know of in Denver are the expressions on the people in McDonalds]
  • I am glad you are over your pie fixation but with bread and M&Ms this month, you are still far too concerned about food.
  • I could really use some M&M’s now [What for? Snooker?]
  • I got a new job! Isn’t that exciting? [I don’t know. What do you excite in your new job?]
  • I got one right this time. [Perhaps you mean, “I got a right one this time”]
  • I have a pain down the left side of my back.
  • I have no witty, pithy, smart arse comments today, my pet three toed sloth just died after a weekend of sexual high jinks with the neighbourhood Wombat, or possibly I need to loosen my tie.
  • I think I’ve discovered how many cups of coffee are “too many” ….. yes too many… ha ha… ooh yes.. lots and lots… mmm caffiene…
  • i=squrt(-1). 1/i=(1/i)*(i/i)=i/-1<BR>BUT! 1/i=squrt(1)/i=squrt(1/-1)=squrt(-1)=i<BR>Therefore i=-i<BR>QED<BR><BR>Thankyou, thankyou very much UranicleBobPythan. This proof from 1927 is truely THE greatest thing since sliced bread!
  • It’s against my religion to have a religion.
  • love this quiz,
  • Love yer quiz.
  • Me, ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
  • MORE PORN PLEASE
  • My trousers are missing a button.
  • Now listen carefully: s i l e n c e.
  • Oh bugger, my brain just exploded all over the keyboard and it’s shorting through my fingers.
  • Owing to the condition of the author and the environment of the answer writing, … we can only guess at the real meaning (with apologies to CBAHMB)
  • Q: What goes stiff and hard after three strokes? A: Princess Margaret.
  • Thank God the footy season is here. Now I’ve got something to do on the weekend. Go Port!!
  • Thanks for stopping my brain from falling into disuse, Dr. Bob!
  • The key is to understand your limitations and try to be neither factually correct nor funny.
  • The situation remains uncertain in Ohio as to whether so-called “intelligent design” will be forced into the public schools science curriculum. We, the pro-science people, are organizing and extensively discussing strategies (for example, if the State Board of Education caves in to the “ID” advocates, do we take it to court, or work to replace the board, etc.).
  • To the person whose comment last month was that 215 minutes constitutes taking this too seriously: WANNABE! AMATEUR! I spent the first three weeks of February working on the answer to question 8, to the point where I was neglecting my real job. I wrote high-level software to perform this task. I wrote low-level software to assist. I produced encoded lookup tables of every prime number below 4,294,967,296 (stored in 202MB files…). I subjected each of the 1000 test numbers to trial division (to the limits of my lookup tables). That was not enough! I had only found 4 confirmed primes, 974 composite and 22 inconclusive! Argh! Next came three days of working out, implementing and debugging Lucas’ n-1 primality test, only to have all 22 inconclusives remain inconclusive! Aaaargh! After returning to the trial division approach (but with 64 bit lookup tables, not 32) and making a start on the storage problem (storing hundreds of millions of 64 bit numbers in RAM ain’t easy when you only have 1GB) when three weeks of neglected work hit me in the back of the head……..
  • URRA’! Yoooooupppppppieeeeeeehhhhh! wow WOW wow WOW wow wow wow wow wow WOWWWWW! (playing a Queen CD) “I am the champion, I am the CHAMPION, no time for losers ’cause I am the champion ……” “Open an other can, buddy! YUPPPOEH!” Aleeeeeeeeee oh-oh! Aleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Oh -Oh! <sounds of an opening bra, a strange moaning by italian and feminine voices, beer flooding on the floor, little laughs> [Yes I’d moan too, if I spilt the beer]
  • What? No pi?
  • Ying tong! Spike Milligan is not dead – he’s gone to Avalon, but one day when our need is dire, he will return.
  • what are we going to do now? what are we going to do now? what are we going to do now? what are we going to do now?
  • Your morbid interest in Belgian prostitutes’ prices is a bit of a worry…