Answers for October 2002

Dr Bob’s WINNER this month is a person higher than most of us:

Katherine Artus

of Denver, Colorado USA (5300 feet above sea level). Goodonyer Kathy.


Question 1

A variety of solid cylinders, flat discs on edge, and solid spheres of various sizes are rolled together down a hill. (a) Why?

Answers

  • Why not?
  • It’s fun
  • Tradition
  • Why indeed.
  • Why? Because Australian kids are hoons.
  • they fall because of the effect of gravity
  • It’s that cheese race, isn’t it? [I never thought of that. But would you believe that I once helped to clear bushes and plants from that very cheese rolling slope. It’s very steep … I don’t like hospital food so have never competed in the race]
  • Dunno, I couldn’t find anything about solid spheres. However I did find something about “plasma balls” created by the “piezzo effect” (sic) which is somehow related to crop circles and UFOs. (http://www.bufora.org.uk/archive/UFOs_behind_veil.htm)
  • The Solid Cylinders are from the engine of the car that just ran into something ontop of the hill, the disks are apparently hub caps, and the solid sphere is the poor blokes bowling ball. Bowling and Driving, horrible new fad.
  • Taliban Puking Exercise step 73ssJ.
  • As an experiment to see which shape of cheese would be best for the annual cheese rolling competition.
  • The brakes failed.
  • Gravity and friction
  • Because it’s fun! and life is an endless quest for knowledge
  • To celebrate Galileo’s jubilee.
  • To test gravity
  • Because they have nothing else better to do.
  • Hmm, first I thought it might be a primitive way to create a controlled avalanche, but that wouldn’t account for the cylinders. Or, maybe it’s a way to create a drain for the crater lake of a volcano likely to blow (the cylinders being the front wheels of a steam roller – but then, they’re not quite solid). Maybe the cylinders are axles and the spheres bearings of particularly well built billy carts, which would make (b) the winner of the race. Or an ancient way of moving mega masonry – but then why various sizes? Logs into a river? AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH. Oh – it’s jaffas and musk sticks being rolled down to the front of the cinema.
  • The cause is not determinable from the available information.
  • A crooked letter that cannot be made straight.
  • They are obeying Newton’s laws.
  • Because Question One Has Decreed It So.
  • to find out how objects having the same mass can have different resistances
  • Because they roll better than cubes and other flat edged shapes.
  • Cos the science teacher has a wacky idea of fun. [Mine did too, but we don’t want to go there now do we?]
  • Sounds like some sort of physics experiment, hence I don’t know why and, frankly, I don’t care.
  • Galileo had something to prove.
  • The circus strong man had just stacked up his barbells and dumbells when the elephant trainer backed an elephant into them, knocking over the stand and sending all the weights rolling.
  • Because the teacher said to do it. [So much for inquiring minds]
  • Gravity and the incline of the hill
  • To crush the horrible, poisonous spiders crawling towards us.
  • To hit the chicken crossing the road
  • To demonstrate the effect of centre of mass and centre of gravity on objects rolling down a hill.
  • To determine their moment of inertia.
  • Because they were there.
  • To see which one reaches the bottom first.
  • Well, this is an ambiguous question, Dr Bob. By “rolled together” do you mean rolled starting side-by-side in the same direction? Or do you mean they were rolled into a common valley down different hills until they came “together”?
  • The Question “why?” can apply to many things. I am assuming that your question was the metaphysical existentialist “Why?” I am not equipped to answer this question for you; the only one who can justify your existence is you. [I agree- plenty of other people seem to find it very difficult]

(b) What reaches the bottom first?

Answer

All the spheres together, then all the disks and cylinders together. If there were any hoops, they’d also arrive together but later still.

Other Answers

  • The cheese
  • 0()-OO-() Its a Billy Cart and the sounds of childrens laughter reach the bottom of the hill first.
  • Whose bottom? Not some gay Icelandic bloke I hope. And what about the guitar?
  • Jack
  • The densest.
  • This is an experiment that we have yet to conduct…in school.
  • The obvious answer is the leading edge of the sphere, disk or cylinder. Surely you don’t expect the BACK of the S, D or C to arrive first? [Well supposing one of the objects hits a bump and turns around?] You might convince a creationist, but not me.
  • As long as they’re rolled together, they will arrive together. I would therefore say the experiment is not well conducted.
  • All spheres beat all cylinders and discs
  • The leading bit of the leading object.
  • The local catholic priest. Arr, sur, this be the annual Cooper’s Hill cheese race, where a bunch of city folks toss good vittles off a ridge an’ run after ’em. And then they say us country folk are a bit dowzy. Oh, yus, the cheese always wins, zur. Wot? There be a like race in Kentucky? Where be that? Oh, yus, the cheese always wins, zur.
  • The big cheese wheels.
  • The solid cylinders.
  • They behave differently for different disturbing factors like air resistance, ground raggedness, ground stability, friction etc. Under ideal conditions (perfect vacuum, ideally hard and even ground, no friction) they reaches bottom at the same time. Considering a normal hillside, I would vote for the largest sphere, assuming density is the same for each object. Relative air resistance and effects of ground raggedness are smaller for bigger spheres. Discs would most probably end up on their sides, slide a bit and stop. Cylinders make a longer way down than spheres would do because of the uneven ground.
  • The flat discs reached the bottom of the hill sometime in the 16th century.
  • A 7-8lb. Double Gloucester cheese
  • They all get there at the same time.
  • The students groans.
  • A disc has the least air resistance so it will reach terminal velocity at a higher speed than the others, therefore getting to the bottom first
  • I did, I was tripped up while running along side them to see which would get to the bottom first.
  • Flat disc if the hill is a galileian inclined plane: if the hill is just a hill, it strobgly depends from about 13458000 different small parameters [and most especially the amount of strob. I suppose you could see it with a stroboscope]
  • The acceleration is less for those bodies with the smaller radius of gyration (square root of the moment of inertia per unit mass). So those with greater radii of gyration get to the bottom first.
  • Some would lose momentum based on their surface area contact with the ground, so the discs on edge would move fastest.
  • The aura of all three simultaneously.
  • No, What’s on second.
  • Answer not reasonably determinable, due to insufficient information of conditions.
  • The largest sphere would be the first to the bottom
  • They’re all supposed to get there at the same time, but what actually happens is that the spheres roll into the gutter and goes down a drain, a large cylinder skittles the vicar, and the debating captain and orchestra sergeant-at-arms are playing frisbee with the discs which end up stuck on the roof of the junior school and the Physics teacher decides to stick to indoor demonstrations from then on (well, that’s what happened when I was in 6th form, anyway).
  • The money that the science teacher accidentally dropped and is chasing
  • All at the same time
  • All reach the bottom at the same time, shape making no difference to gravity
  • Apart from the driver, the solid sphere, still grasped by the young street bowler.
  • The one the 15 year old web toed virgin tossed
  • Depends – the flat disc would be faster (less air/ground resistance), but would be more likely to topple over…if that happened the sphere would win (lower air/ground resistance than cylinder)
  • What reaches the bottom first? My hand will reach your bottom first! If you dont stop asking these silly questions and get to bed! Look at the time, you’ve got work in morning. [I’ve got work NOW, I don’t know why I am doing this]
  • I suppose they would all get there at the same time if not for friction and air resistance, so probably the largest flat disc on edge would be the winner.
  • The first thing to reach the bottom would be the ass of the person who tripped and dropped all this stuff.
  • I tried to channel Galileo all day to get the answer to this one. No luck, just a lot of static and these words:? “Tu sei un proprio naso di cane, sacchetto della sporcizia. Io avete risposto a questo 400 anni fa, perchè chiedete?”
  • The elephant trainer. The strongman picked him up and flung him down the hill crying “Bring them all back here!”.
  • The spheres, unless the hill is perfectly flat and there is no cross wind the cylinders will go off course and the discs will tip over.
  • The one with the largest diameter (Am I being too literal?) [No – just wrong]
  • Honestly Dr Bob. If they are rolled together down the hill, they would reach the bottom at the same time by definition.

Question 2

What is mathematically interesting about the number 73?

Answer

Well, lots of things – Dr Bob’s answer at bottom:

  • “The most immediately notable thing about [number 73] is that it is the digit reversal of 37 [which] represents the word of God” … and it gets better … see: http://www.vic.australis.com.au/hazz/number073.html
  • Absolutely nothing about mathematics is interesting. [Gosh, that’s interesting]
  • 7 + 3 = 10 (one less than date in September when the twin towers were destroyed.)
  • 73…uh…what about, wait no…um…gee…73…that’s a tough one. Pi. [Yes please, and beer]
  • A great many things… In binary, 73 = 1001001, which has 7 digits and 3 ones.
  • As a teacher of mathematics to 15 year old boys the only thing I know they would find interesting is that 73 is four more than 69.
  • Backwards it is half itself (well, it is if you round up the 36.5 anyhows.)
  • Could it be the highest prime number under 100? [Depends on what it’s been smoking]
  • Greek philosopher Anaxithagoras believed that as a prime number whose digits added to 10, it was a symbol of virginity, and he recommended tatooing the symbol of the number on a newborn baby girl’s leg to ensure chastity. As there are no followers of Anaxithagoras left, it may have worked too well.
  • Halpin, R. (1999). Breaking the Rote Memorization Mindset of Preservice Teachers Standards-based Instruction: An Integrated Preservice Teacher Education Model. Paper presented at the Research in the Schools, 6, 2, 45-54 Fall 1999. Studied effects of a constructivist and interdisciplinary block of methods courses on the self-efficacy in mathematics of 73 preservice teachers. Significant differences were found between pretest and posttest results. Discusses implications for teacher education programs.
  • I have little interest in mathematics. However if I were to ultimately attain the age of 73, over 60% of my life has been completed. With less than 40% left, I shall not waste any more time on this question.
  • I used to live at 73 Scott St
  • If turned upside down and reversed on the horizontal axis the number 73 forms the word EL. Which proves that the Spanish are sneaky little people.
  • If you divide it by 10 it equals 7.3. If you divide it by 7 it equals 10.42857. If you didvide it by 3 it equals 24.3333. ……7 is my favourite number.
  • In binary its a palindrome 1001001. In base 8 its 111. 1 more than 72, 1 less than 74. The amount of times I’ve scored with females.
  • Is it the average IQ of mathematicians? No seriously, mathematicans love ALL numbers. I myself am fond of 1327, a number that seems to come across my path more times than statistically expected.
  • It can’t just be that its a prime, can it? Is it the largest prime which is the sum of two primes? It has to be in here somewhere: http://www.message-of-god.com/JOS11_Vol2_10_12_94.htm
  • It comes after 72 and before 74. Fills the gap nicely! Without it, we would have a difficult time getting from 72 to 74, and life would be much more miserable than it is.
  • It is 593 fewer than THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST!!!! It is the end of days!
  • It is one after 72 and the one after 74. When the two numbers are added it makes 10. The square root is 8.54400374531. When divided by 2 equals 36.5. When divided by 3 equals 24.33333333. When divided by 4 equals 18.25. When divided by 5 equals 14.6. When divided by 6 equals 12.166666666. When divided by 7 equals 10.4285714285. When divided by 8 equals 9.125. When divided by 9 equals 8.111111111. When divide by 10 equals 7.3. When multiplied by 2 equals 146. When multiplied by 3 equals 219. When multiplied by 4 equals 292. When multiplied by 5 equals 365. When multiplied by 6 equals 438. When multipled by 7 equals 511. When multiplied by 8 equals 584. When multiplied by 9 equals 657. When multiplied by 10 equals 730. Are we starting to see a pattern yet? [Yes … of flashing green and yellow spots. If you have spots in front of your eyes, should you see a doctor? No, only spots]
  • It is the number of websites I visited before deciding that I have no bloody idea.
  • It is the square root (+ or – 70) of 9.
  • It is the sum of 13 and 60! No other number can say that! eh? eh?
  • It was the age that U.S. Senator Robert Dole was when he ran for the U.S. Presidency?
  • it’s the largest integer with the property that all permutations of all of its substrings are also primes.
  • It’s got a “7” and a “3”, both prime numbers. Add them up and you get “1” and “0”, also prime numbers. Therefore Genesis 1 is a completely true and factual history of the creation of the earth. Dr Dino said so.
  • It’s L.Ron Hubbard’s IQ.
  • it’s not really 42 that’s the answer to life, the universe and everything…it’s 73!!
  • It’s so aesthetically pleasing to look at
  • It’s the 18th lucky number! and it has a famous power torpedo boat named after it.
  • It’s the number of TimTams I can eat in a single sitting before throwing up. (It’s a prime number, yes, but that’s not interesting.)
  • It’s the only prime number between 71 and 79. Even more interesting, if you take away 3 and divide by 5, you get my daughter’s age. Also, no matter how many times you multiply it by itself, you won’t get another 73 at the start of the solution. [Well, apart from 73^140= 733162792763761122994658739733094249984481596869899861635306578833448362331093662543467802397740485086320159926783525088641801002373132025150942858713716503378621825683375478674597196672057989984268028257174564587310902265255602361954395235371140282612393490401, and 73^279, 73^418, 73^579, 73^718 etc]
  • It’s the result that you get when you take the square root of dividing the height of the Great Pyramid in metres by the year of Akhnaten’s birth after subtracting it from the number of crop circles found in 1987 and multiplying it by the number of days since George W’s election and then add 2. This actually proves that not only is George W Bush the Antichrist, but that the pryamids were built by visitors from the system Betelgeuse when they ruled Atlantis in 100,000 BC. Didn’t think anyone would get that right, did you Doctor Bob? [Be careful crossing the street. Watch out especially for vehicles driven by lizards with funny aprons]
  • It’s the sixth smallest prime number whose digits reversed yield another, different, prime number. The first eleven primes that fit this pattern are: 13, 17, 31, 37, 71, 73, 107, 113, 149, 157 & 167. 73 is interesting as it is the reason for the inclusion of the only non-prime number in this answer.
  • Mathematics is interesting? OK it is a prime number, both its digits, 7 and 3, are prime numbers and if you reverse the digits, 37 is also prime. Is that interesting enough?
  • maybe because its interesting because it could be 37 backwards or its an odd number or because its the most number for people to die at that age or its a lucky number.
  • Nothing, it is just a number, and numbers don’t exist anyway. They are just useful when making bridges.
  • Nothing. It is a rather bland, uninteresting, John Howard type of a number.
  • Several things. It’s conjectured to be the highest prime of the form ((n+1)^n + n^(n-1)). It’s a reversible prime. It’s one of the factors of the numerical value of Genesis 1:1 (no I am not making this up – see http://www.asa3.org/archive/ASA/200101/0206.html). It’s the first number spelt with twelve letters. But mainly, it’s the first number to be followed by a boring number.
  • Take all the integers, divide them into two class: in the first class put all the “interesting” numbers (primes, square, cubes, Fibonacci’s, what you want…) and in the second class the others. Look at the class of non-interesting numbers: pick-up the smallest: say “Hey, this is marvellous! It is the smallest non-interesting number!”. Recognize that the fact promote the number as “interesting”, so move it to the first class. Now, look back at the second class: pick up the smallest number of the class… Should I continue? 73 is quote interesting, it is obvious.
  • the chance of someone using mathematically and interesting in the same sentence is ….. um 73 out of 10000000000000.
  • Well it’s a prime number, but most people will get that. What is truly interesting is that in Numerology the number 73 (which is the reverse of 37, an emirp) represents knowledge that is poetic and mystical, and the ability to partake in “trend-setting communications,” quite unlike the emirp, 37, which represents a flatulent, half-faced, boar-pig. 73 is also the average life-span of a non-alcohol drinking, non-Coke-drinking, non-smoking, non-swearing, sexually-active Mormon.
  • When divided by itself it gives 1, when the digits are added, it gives 10, when these two numbers are multiplied it gives 10! and when the two factors are put together it gives 101 which can be held up to a mirror along the vertical axis and still say 101! And when 28 is subtracted from 101 it gives 73! And the digits of 28 added add up to 10! wierd, and its a prime number.
  • When testing a body’s moment of inertia (I’m testing mine right now), the optimum angle for the base of the hypotenuese is 17 degrees, making the angle at the top 73 degrees. I sure hope somebody comes up with something more interesting than that.
  • There are all sorts of reasons the number 73 gets a maths fresher’s rocks off, according to http://primes.utm.edu/curios/page.php?short=73. It is the largest integer with the property that all permutations of all its substrings are primes. 73! + 1 is prime. There are exactly 73 primes, beginning with the prime 1093 and ending with the prime 1613, where 1093^2 + 1097^2 + … + 1613^2 = 11707^2. This is the first instance of a prime number of primes comprising the left member of such an equation. 73 is the smallest prime whose digits are reversed in base 22. 73 is the 2p-twin peak of height p = 73 is the smallest known twin peak. 3^12/2^19 ~ 1 + 1/73. Starting with 73, you must repeatedly double and add 1 a total of 2552 times before a prime is reached. 73 is the smallest prime whose square (5329) is the concatenation of two multi-digit primes. 389 and 17 are primes, as is their concatenation (38917). Inserting the lowly 0 between them transforms the prime into a power, i. e. 389017, the cube of 73, a prime itself. It is the only number which is 1 less than the double of its reversal which also is a prime.
  • It is the least number of 6th powers needed to represent every possible integer.

Question 3

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

Answer:

Once, during the US Civil War where the same bullet passed through the relevant parts of a soldier and a girl, in that order. Might have required some explaining later. But … this is an urban legend, sorry – see http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/bulletbl.htm. Thanks Hein.

Other Answers

  • According the Associated Press, Sept. 23, 2002: “Experts at a city aquarium are baffled by the unexpected births of three baby sharks to a mother who hasn’t been near a male shark in at least six years. The female white spotted bamboo shark gave birth at Detroit’s Belle Isle Aquarium. The births, often called virgin births, are among the few known at accredited U.S. zoos or aquariums.” Hmmm, Dr. Bob, visited Detroit lately? [<enigmatic smile>]
  • Animal, mineral or vegetable? Politicians answer a question with a question. Probably one of Dame Thatcher’s offspring warrants investigation.
  • are we talking human babies? non human i’d guess that since some ‘things’ (i’m being scientific here aren’t i) can reproduce of their own accord, so going by that lots of OTHER virgin babies have been born
  • Countless trillions in fact. All single-celled organisms are virgins, and they have lots of babies.
  • Crap. I heard something about an entirely female tribe in some jungle somewhere, but my source was unable to get more info in time [Not surprising, there’s a lot of jungle out there, and if he found them he probably wouldn’t be in a hurry to return]. So I had to resort to my trusty old web search engine, which turned up this: http://www.voy.com/59713/5.html (Score:-1, Offtopic) [But right ON topic is: http://www.moviesunlimited.com/musite/product.asp?sku=597032 ]
  • During the siege of Vicksburg, a young and proper Southern girl claimed to be pregnant via a Minie ball which had carried away a soldier’s naughty bits and lodged in her abdomen. The ball is still on display in Vicksburg, and if you look closely, you can see the words “yeah, right” engraved on it.
  • Err, only Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars that I know of in humans. Of course parthenogenesis occurs in other species.
  • Heaps! Many of the worlds millions of dairy cows have an immaculate conception a year! (And of course Michael Jackson’s kids, if you believe the media.)
  • Highly probably yes, because penetration isn’t strictly necessary for sperm and ova to meet.
  • I believe that the genesis of Krishna, Buddha, and the Celtic Sun-God Mabon ap Modron have all been put down to virgin births. Some versions of the Arthurian myth also.
  • I read, in a quality social science journal, of a case where an adolescent male masturbated in the bath, his sister used the water immediately after him and was with child as a result…..sadly it is Oct 2 not April 1….I guess IVF makes “virgin” birth possible. If a virgin is defined as one not having experienced penetrative sex.
  • I thought all babies were born to virgins, but I could be wrong. Aphids are sometimes born pregnant. Pretty strange, huh?
  • I wonder if not. We only need some deep petting with not too much care about cleaning all around, followed by a normal cesareus cut nine months after…
  • If the dead sea scrolls are to be believed, plenty, but they did not define virgin as we do.
  • I’m sure this claim has been made millions of times. “I can’t possibly be pregnant, I’m a virgin!” That’s what they all say.
  • Impressive. Very impressive. Obiwan has taught you well.
  • In the case of roosters and mules, I would say no.
  • Isis – and some virgin was supposedly impregnated when “wounded by a minnie ball” that had passed through a civil war soldier’s testicles but that never happened.
  • It depends if a turkey baster is involved and how you define virgin. Does it count if you were asleep at the time?
  • It has probably happened quite a few times. When excited, fertile little teenaged girls and boys dry hump naked, he might dump his load around the vulva and just enough sperm to impregnate the girl might find its way into the fallopian tubes. As a girl is more likely to engage in this sort of behaviour when she is ovulating, it’s statistically highly probably that not a few virgins have found themselves up the duff this way.
  • IVF- Inseminated Virgin Female.
  • Just about any time in history when it was convenient to hide a “little misfortune” due to some behind-the-play incidents that the referee didn’t notice but later appeared on the video of the game in front of judiciary, virgin births tended to be the preferred excuse. There was very little penalty time as a result, and much positive spin in the media.
  • Lots of babies were born to virgins before 1940, most of them unnamed and unloved hermaphroditic invertebrates. But none that I am aware of to humans.
  • Madonna? Didn’t she say she’s “Like a virgin?” [Me too. I like a virgin]
  • My girlfriend. If not, we’re through
  • My next door neighbours teenage daughter had a baby and her father was admant that his little girl was a virgin …. stupid stupid man.
  • No, of course not, you silly man. Only God could do that. Unless you count stories of women being shot by a bullet that has just passed through a man’s scrotum. The translation of the word virgin in the original Hebrew bible text as “woman who has not yet had sex” is questioned by authorities anyway, who say it could well mean “young woman”, or else “free of sin”.
  • Not that I know of, yet. Although my wife might as well be one. What is it about women. Don’t they like sex with blokes who are fat, smell, pick their nose and fart all night long. I might as well go to the pub.
  • Oh, all the time – many genii of insects undergo parthenogenesis, and female sharks in captivity without male company have reportedly produced offspring. But don’t worry, fellas, even if single sex human reproduction could become the human norm, we could never do without you. Someone has to take the rubbish out, mow the lawns, shift the furniture and do all those mindless tasks beneath female notice.
  • Only me… my parents don’t have sex… thats way too creepy
  • Probably. I read of a case whereby a young woman had supposedly gotten pregnant from swimming in a pool with discharged semen. That’s what she claimed anyway…
  • Probaby heaps, if you believe the mothers.
  • Pythagoras.
  • Quetzalcoatl’s Virgin Birth. The feathered serpent of Mexico
  • Some teenage girls swear that they had no penile penetration of their vagina occur during a heavy embracing session, that the sperm swam up her vaginal canal when the boy leaked outside her vagina, so that even though she got pregnant and had a baby, she is still virgin. (The source of these stories is the Dear Abby advice column; I don’t believe any of them. The had penile penetrative sexual intercourse and are just trying to keep the title of virgin about themselves.)
  • There was a case during the US Civil War where a soldier had a testicle shot off and the bullet then entered the body of a young woman standing behind him. The bullet carried sperm from the man to the woman and fertilisation took place. That is the story she told Daddy anyway. I read about this case years ago. I could Google and get names but as your question could be answered with a simple “Yes” I think I’ve given you enough.
  • There was a story about a bloke in the US during their civil war (a mostly uncivil exercise, I might add) who was shot through the scrotum. The tale goes that the bullet picked up his sperm and then lodged in a girl’s reproductive bits. She was a virgin and this is how she conceived – so the story goes. HOW DID THE SPERM STAY ON A SPEEDING BULLET? It must have had teeth like a conger eel. [Or have been faster than a speeding bullet]
  • This girl from Brisbane – I SWEAR I never touched her, now she’s hasseling me …
  • Thousands. Mostly parthenogenetic lizards. Or sharks. And one recorded case of a chicken , but that happened recently so presumably doesn’t count. There’s a rumour about a US civil war incident where a bullet passed though a soldier’s gonads before lodging in a young lady, picking up some sperm en route. And many heroes, kings and demigods of antiquity were supposed to have been born of a virgin. There’s a case report in the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (95(9):933-4, 1988) of oral pregnancy, but again, too recent; and another described in the London Sunday Pictorial magazine from 1956 (though experts remained doubtful).
  • Virgins? You mean babies born without a bloke being involved, and with nil exchange of bodily fluids? Not really. Lots of claims of the opposite though. “Me, pregnant? Oh, doctor, that cannot be true. I haven’t been at arm’s length to a man.” “Impressive. And who is he?”
  • We can’t know for sure. It must have been rare, though you don’t need sophisticated medical knowledge to get a virgin pregnant without penetration.
  • Well I heard an unauthenticated report that during the civil war in the USA there was a case in a southern town where a bullet traveled through a man’s groin and into the gut of a woman in a house. According to the tale, she gave birth nine months later, her maidenhead still intact. I want to point out that I really really don’t believe the story.
  • Well, discounting artificial insemination and those born in the Virgin Islands 🙂 many similar instances of immaculate conception and virgin birth occur in mythologies. One of my favourite is Zeus who gave birth to his daughter Athena without the necessity of having to impregnate a woman. Romulus and Remus were born of a virgin, Silvia. Buddha was born of the virgin Queen Maya. Horus was born of the virgin Isis, and even visited by three kings. Attis was born of the virgin Nama. Adonis was born of the virgin Myrrha. The gods Indra and Mithra were born of virgins, as was Zoroaster. Not to be outdone, Krishna was born of the virgin Devaki, Dionysus to Semele, and Aion of Kore. To name a few.
  • Why yes. Oh you wanted to know specifics? Uh…in that case, No.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes or no or otherwise there could have been or their could not have.
  • Yes, a virgin shark was born in a detroit aquarium recently. Three wise sharks turned up bearing gifts.
  • Yes, women are able to recieve artificial insemination. Which does not taint the Virginity of a woman. In the opinion of the guy sitting behind me (classmate) All his girlfriends.
  • Yes. I do think it’s unfair that I can’t be counted, having been born since 1940 but under the terms of my secret agreement with the Illuminati and the Lizards which renders me immortal, if I tell you who the others are I’ll have to kill you!
  • Yes. I don’t know where when or how, but I’m guessing that you wouldn’t ask if it hadn’t happened. … I’m wrong aren’t I
  • You mean Mary was a virgin. Wow! Poor Joseph.
  • NEVER EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME EVER!!! THIS IS THE SKEPTICS PAGE ISN’T IT???

Question 4

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

Answers

  • A necrophiliac, by the sound of that comment. Err, do we want to go there, Dr Bob???
  • A very good friend of the late Aleister Crowley. He was call late because he didn’t have a watch worth a damn.
  • Certainly more than one person. I’ve often said it myself about Al, my good, but habitually tardy, friend.
  • Dr. Bob, in the midst of sacrificing a chicken to the Dark Lord.
  • Everyone who met him on that glorious late summer day in July of 1948.
  • George Costanza
  • I did, just now… I read them out loud off the computer screen. They didn’t make much sense.
  • I did, yesterday, whilst channelling him. Why this sudden obsession with the occult, Dr. Bob? [Well, it’s because …. aarghhhh]
  • I don’t know so I’ll guess… Hitler! Or was it Ron Hubbard?
  • I dont know that one. [Well, you’re lucky]
  • I really would like to answer this question. Really. But since my answer would naturally include some kind of disparaging remarks that would draw the attention of cos attack lawyers, and coupled with the fact that this entry contains my real, live email address, I’m afraid I can’t. Sorry.
  • It would not surprise me if it was Aleister Crowley, given the roundabout way he had of expressing everything else.
  • Jimmy Page [aged 3 when Crowley died? Possibly they met ….]
  • L Ron Hubbard. Thanks for that question, I spent the afternoon reading about Thelema and Scientology!! [Oh shit what have I done …. no doubt you mean “thanks” in a sarcastic tone of voice]
  • L. Ron “old mouther” Hubbard, hack, quack and religious profit.
  • L. Ron Hubbard founder of the Church of Scientology. It also turns out that Jimmy Page guitarist from Led Zeppelin was a big Crowley fan….
  • L. Ron Hubbard in “Conditions of Space/Time/Energy” Philadelphia Doctorate Course cassette tape #18 5212C05
  • L. Ron Hubbard, in his not-so-famous companion work to “Dianetics”, called “Diarrhetics”. Later on, Rick James incorporated this famous line in the song “Super Freak”.
  • L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
  • L. Ron Hubbard.
  • L. Ron Hubbard. A close friend of Crowley, God, Elvis and the voices in his head.
  • L.Ron Hubbard made the comment in reference to a book on occult magic in the Middle Ages by Crowley. Hubbard described the book as “fascinating work in itself ….. written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend.” What an odd couple they must have been – Crowley, who described himself as the Anti-Christ, the Beast of Revelations and 666, and Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. I guess that neither of them used anything like 10% of their own mental potentials.
  • Obviously someone spared from being eaten by him.
  • Probably one of Aleister Crowley’s very good friends, most likely L. Ron Halfwit.
  • Ron Hubbard in 1952, his obituary reader, possibly the priest at his funeral. [I don’t think there would have been too many priests at that]
  • His Class Professor, in response to Aleister Crowley’s contant tardiness.
  • Ron Hubbard. Do you mind if I do not spend any other word about this guy? I still don’t know english well enough to say all the insults I’d like to use.
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Someone he stood up for dinner?
  • Someone waiting for Aleister. He is never on time but his friends still like him very much.
  • Sounds like a python bite to me!
  • Surely no-one. How about a punt on Arthur Conan Doyle? He was a sucker for all that stuff.
  • That would be John Howard, but only past midnight in the parliament house private garden, with ouija board, goat, black candles and Jeannette.
  • That would be the sci-fi writer Lafayette R Hubbard.
  • The guy who was making excuses for A. C. showing up late for gatherings.
  • The late L Ron Hubbard.
  • The late L. Ron Hubbard.
  • The mind control freak, L. Ron. Hubbard
  • The very scary L. Ron Hubbard.
  • The wonderful L Ron Hubbard. He saw himself as the spiritual successor to Crowley and in fact referred to December 1st, 1947 (the date of Crowley’s death) as the true date of the founding of Scientology. Scientologists have issued an apologia for this however claiming that LRH was actually working undercover for Naval Intelligence at the time to “break up black magic in America”. (Damn, I’ve gone and put in a serious answer this time – well as serious as anything about these two fruitcakes can be!)
  • The world famous, goatish, hedge-born jolthead and founder of the moronic cult, the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.
  • Three people. Interestingly, they all went on to establish loony cult followings: L. Ron Hubbard, Ozzy Osbourne and Margaret Thatcher. (Poor Ozzy: he’s been condemned to Hell before he’s even properly dead. Just watch five minutes of ‘The Osbournes’ and you’ll see what I mean.)
  • Was it that scientology bloke? By the way – Nicole had a very lucky escape if you ask me – which you weren’t of course, but when has that ever stopped anyone from giving unwanted opinions)
  • Who but ‘the Devil himself’.
  • You’ll probably get this one a lot but, Aleister Crowley’s very good friend

Question 5

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

Postally Correct Answer:

Not at all, just stick the stamp on it

Other Answers

  • Obvious answer is, “Until it’s wrapped”, since not all coconuts are the same, except at AiG and Dr Dino’s place, where all the coconuts ARE the same and run the place.
  • Perhaps, enough to stick a stamp on? Not at wrapped all? Throw the bastard? Float it on the outgoing tide and pray? Why are you wanting to send a coconut by mail in the first place? Surely these days it can be sent ZIPped up by SMTP with secure encoding?
  • 100 times
  • 42 – Answer to all questions
  • 73 divided by (the radius of the coconut squared), times the amount of toilet paper in L. Ron Hubbard’s boudoir.
  • what kind of ning-nong sends a coconut b) what kind of ning-nong sends a coconut by mail c) a coconut is wrapping for the milk inside, if the ning-nong sent this coconut by air mail it could blow up mid flight d) coconuts are on every continent but Antarctica e)if you really want an answer, Ali G will tell you, he can rap things up to perfection.
  • About $1.50
  • All of it, twice, with paper sufficiently thick to prevent coconut lice from escaping.
  • All you need is a few stamps, at least in the U.S. Also, you can write a check on a coconut if you include your bank information. Handy information when paying the utility bill.
  • As much as you want to . . . or not at all. A little like at the beaches of Innsmouth.
  • Did you know that the milk of young coconuts makes and excellent blood plasma substitute? The only problem is that cannibals want to put you in a pot with a little curry powder and vegetables for an excellent curry.
  • Enough that those greedy postal workers don’t realise what it is and eat the thing.
  • Entirely?
  • First you have to make it flat.
  • Have you received many lately? It seems to me that coconuts have pretty good wrapping by themselves. Hell to get the stamp to stick, though.
  • How much what? If the area of wrapping material – a minimum of 4.pi.r² (r being radius of the coconut) – all assuming that the coconut is in fact spherical.
  • I never send them by mail. They have little eyes so you can just throw them out the door and they will roll to the person you are sending them to.
  • I’d be inclined just to stick the stamps straight onto it, but more importantly, where am I sending this coconut – Africa or Europe? By regular post, or by swallow?
  • If by ocean currents to the next island, none at all. I’m told they last a few hundred days at sea. Although there might be a problem in sealing it up with the mail inside.
  • If it still has it’s husk then stick a stamp and write the address on it and she’ll be right
  • If it’s whole you can just address it and put a stamp on it. If it’s shredded then I’d put it in a sealed plastic bag and wrap it securely. If it’s the whole tree then this is a trick question. I asked at the Post Office and they won’t let you send the whole tree by mail. Personally I usually send coconuts via the Coconut Telegraph, it’s much quicker. (sorry, I couldn’t resist a Jimmy Buffett reference there). Of course if it’s “The Coconuts”, the classic Marx Brothers film – you know the one with the why a duck – then I would buy one of the special boxes that Australia Post use for sending videos through the mail unless it’s a DVD version in which case I’d use a special DVD case.
  • It depends on how far you want to send it. Within a country, you might be able to get away with just covering the holes to protect from puncture wounds, except that the local parcel smashing department would take it as a challenge and hurl it onto concrete walls until it cracked. I would wrap it with bubble wrap, and then pack it in a sturdy box with about 4 cms worth of polystyrene chip clearance at any point. To post the same item to just about anywhere other than the UK, you have to pack it into a lidded casserole dish, which is then treated as above (bubble wrap, sturdy box, chip, 4 cms clearance), so that it passes through customs. Oh, and of course, you mustn’t declare it (but then, who in their right mind declares their coconuts?)
  • Make sure it can breath…or if you are sick in certain ways, kill it, wrap it enough so nobody will realize there is a dead coconut in the mail, and don’t use your real addy.
  • Minimal wrapping would have to consist of something the address label could stick to, and that would necessarily be paper or cardboard. The shape of the coconut being round would make it prone to roll away, or under something, so posting it in a box would be the most sensible ‘wrapping.’ But that doesn’t really answer your question. The answer is, I would need $5.95 to get the fellows down at the Post Office to wrap it.
  • More if you have taken off the outer coating than if you are sending it straight off the tree.
  • Nil if you send it seamail. Just drop it in the ocean.
  • Not at all if green. Out of kindness to mail sorters who may find the fibres irritating a deskinned coconut should be wrapped in brown paper and string.
  • Not at all. Just attach address label and stamps. But don’t try to use a mail-box – they don’t fit through the slot. [Oh. That’d be why nobody ever sends me one]
  • Nothing, it appears. Kind of spoils the effect if it’s a surprise present.
  • Nothing. You just have to classify it as packaged milk and stick a stamp on it
  • Oh, I would desperately need to wrap it. As anyone who gets a lot of parcels could tell you, the amount of wrapping a parcel receives is proportional to the neuroses of the wrapper rather than the any intrinsic fragility of the item, the answer to this depends on the individual doing the wrapping.
  • Only slightly or it will break
  • To wrap a coconut? Is it really necessary? Anyway, just buy an easter-egg, and reach the answer by a sperimental way.
  • Until you feel happy. A personal choice that we respect. I need to wrap until no more little hairs are sticking out. Then I unwrap it and do it again.
  • What’s a coconut?
  • Where is it being sent to? I think that would make a difference. Personally I’d wrap it in bubble wrap…about .5 metres ought to do the trick, then put it in a box … while your mailing that, why not throw in a bag of hooch just to really test the system out.
  • Why send coconuts when there are watermelons?
  • You better not send it to Australia or AQIS will kill you. So, enough postage to send it anywhere other than here. But actual wrapping would be a waste.
  • You can’t send a coconut by mail, at least not on my computer. But if you could, it would have to be .gif wrapped. [AAAARGGHHHH!!]
  • You don’t
  • You don’t need any wrapping – you just put the stamp and the address on it.
  • You don’t need to wrap it at all as long as the coconut has not had its husk removed. Write the address on the skin, affix the stamp and post it. My grandmother had one sent in just such a manner from southern India. [The first time I have heard of this actually happening. I once got a message from a remote part of Sweden written on birch bark – without even a stamp]
  • You don’t need to wrap it, they could grip it by the husk
  • You don’t need to wrap the coconut. However I’d highly recommend varnishing a small portion to enable the adhesion of postage stamps. More varnish may be required if your coconut has been husked, or you want to use an address label too. Note also that your particular postal service may charge by cubic volume (ie. the volume of the smallest cuboid that could enclose your package), so it may prove more cost effective to pulverise your coconut and place the fragments in a small box.
  • It needn’t be wrapped at all. Just write the name and address on its shell of the unfortunate person who has you as a friend and mail it off.

Comments:

  • I started out to give you a complete set of made up answers this month but I can’t resist a good sect story!
  • A great set of questions. I could think up completely wrong answers without even trying hard.
  • Bob Bob show us ya knob, Bob Bob ya do a great job, Bob Bob …. YYAAAHHHAAAAAYYY Bob……<cheerleader stance>
  • Boo. [Please elucidate – is this fright or criticism?]
  • Can you have a mean time in Greenwich?
  • Dear Dr.Bob, With sincere condolences, we respectfully, require, nothing. Other than a shrubbery. The Nights Who Till Recently Said NI!
  • Dr Bob, first your page says you want the most “cute and witty” answers – and then you upbraid your Fabulous Quizzees for not submitting technically correct answers! ORGANISE YOURSELF! (Or I’ll have the swallow drop the coconut on you.)
  • Far too hard. I’m currently having trouble telling my arse from my elbow. Oh well . . . can’t write much, must get back to work and stop sitting around on my elbow.
  • Having fun. Just not quite as much as I should.
  • Here you go Dr. Bob I hope that you like my answers concidering that I am only 20 and I haven’t even finished scholl more less past the 8th grade…..anyway thanks for the quiz very interesting and mind thinking
  • Hi Bob [Yes, sorry, it must have been those raw mushrooms]
  • Hi, Dr. Bob. Do you think there will ever be any questions about magic talking ants? I’m really good in that category.
  • I bet you sent that bloody coconut didn’t you?
  • I have two pickles today, two pickles today…hey hey hey hey…two pickles today…two pickles today…
  • I think monkeys at the zoo should have to wear sunglasses so they can’t hypnotize you.
  • I went sailing…sailing is fun :O) Have you been on holidays anywhere recently?
  • If I don’t win soon, I’ll hold my breath until I turn purple!
  • Interesting a bit hard though but it was worth a try doesnt hurt to have a try
  • Lessons learned this month: apparently the gall bladder isn’t required (28 days, so far 🙂 )
  • My first attempt. Just as I feared, I know nothing.
  • No google at all, this time. Too sleepy. But I guess the answers’ level could be exactly the same of always… less or more, low as Ron Hubbard’s QI.
  • No.
  • No Comment
  • Should pipeline workers be welding/grinding metal (?) in the bush on a total fire ban day?
  • Show me your bookmarks and I’ll show you who you are.
  • Sorry, no answers. Running out of time on my prepaid connection. Spent my hard earned money searching … oh shit! only a few seconds le
  • Strangely enough I only just found out that Null and Void was not the nicknames of the Australian Prime Minister and his Treasurer.
  • The Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky tearfully admitted in a public news conference in September, 2002, that he is a fornicator and adulterer. He asked the people and government of Kentucky to please forgive and pray for him. Should we be skeptical of such public confessions? (They are reminiscent of the public confessions that New England Puritan congregations required their members to make for gross wrongdoings.) I think that he should wear a large scarlet “A” for the remainder of his time in office, through 2003.
  • The weekend newsreader on SBS has really frightening hair and a scary voice. [And then there’s the news itself…]
  • Well, I’ve been on a bit of a sabbatical this past month or two, but now the various crises that have affected my life are over, and I have regained the time and energy to devote to the important things in life, viz: DR BOB’S QUIZ! [So you still have one crisis left] Aaaah! That’s better! A jug of bread, a loaf of wine, a cow… as the poet said. Dr Bob, I think I’m losing it. What do I do now? Why are you holding that butterfly net? [To catch it again, of course]
  • What I find much more interesting than primes is the concept that modern economics is based on a very pretty but totally erroneous model of human behaviour which came out of game theory, developed by someone who clearly had Asperger’s Syndrome and therefore had absolutely no idea how human societies functioned.
  • Where’s my graduation gift from you, Dr. Bob? [Right here]
  • You probably know of it, but WWW.RANDI.ORG is a good web site, especially his commentaries. James Randi, magician, skeptic and close friend of uri geller.