Answers for June 2003

I had to make a very close decision this month. It would help if I knew what the criteria were for choosing winners … I made the choice much easier by disqualifying all Dutchmen who keep using my comments field to send greetings to each other. This leaves as WINNER

Cathy Bannister

who admits to being good at web searches but has a poor memory …. Cathy, when are you going to give me back the money? And last time you saw me, you said you’d …

Question 1

The closest approach of the planet Mars this year is just under 56 million km on 26 August – when was the last time it came as close as that to Earth?


  • 59540 years ago. It’s typical, they are like buses. You don’t get one for ages then they all come at once. The next one is only 284 years away.
  • Wouldn’t you know it: the experts disagree on this. A Belgian guy says 73000 yrs. ago, some Italian chap says 59619 years ago, and one Myles Standish says it is as late as 59540 years ago.
  • 73,000 years ago (according to ). That was when men (who are from Mars) rowed over in their space-faring canoes to join the women (who had already arrived from Venus) and ruined everything. Well, not everything, that’s a bit overstated – it did mean that we had someone else to move the heavier rocks, take out the rubbish and beat off the sabre-tooth koalas, whilst the womenfolk got on with the important stuff (like evolving).
  • About 60,000 years ago (give or take a couple) Mars made as close an approach to Earth as the event in August, however Earth was not ready for that sort of relationship and spurned Mars’ intimate approach. Mars has consequently sulked for all that time and although it has made some close approaches since, none have been as intimate as that one so long ago. But now Mars has its confidence back and wants to get close to Earth again.
  • After many hours of research and glasses of wine and after getting into websites I really didn’t need to – 73,000 years ago or 5,000 years ago or …. who works these things out anyway.
  • As close as that what?
  • During the episode of My Favorite Martian “There is no cure for the common Martian” – The Martians wanted to see if we really knew our stuff or not. We did not, so they elected to return on August 26 to see a demonstration of Manure Loading on the 1900 Horse-Powered Farm.
  • During the time that the movie Mars Attacks was being filmed.
  • If it is coming that close then there hasn’t been a last time yet. Of course you may know something we don’t Doctor Bob…
  • If you want it to the nearest day, I’d have to guess around the 25th August, 2003
  • I’m not sure, but on my birthday on the 27th I can now say “‘you know what happened yesterday?…”
  • It says here in “Worlds in Collision”, no, wait, that was Venus …
  • Late March/early April in Iraq, it was on earth (as Mars is the God of war). Ohh, you mean the planet. Well as Carl Sagan would say ‘Billions and Billions of years ago…’
  • My astrologer advises that Mars was last trine ascendant in the Sagittarius declivity quadrant, i.e. <56 million km from Earth, on the day Di died. (Of course that was also the day Dodi died, not to mention a few million Biafran children, so the significance of Di dying is distinctly dichotomous. Except to astrologers, of course.)
  • Nearly 60,000 years ago; first estimate was 73,000, but now the scientists improved their watches. Neanderthals’ time, less or more: does this mean that a new hominide’s race is coming to extinction? Tell me, tell me, my skeptic guru, tell me!
  • Not sure off-hand. Let me guess – 1945. No, that was Hiroshima. Er – 1957. Umm, that was Sputnik. Can I phone a friend or ask the audience?
  • Oh shit, that would have been the last ice age! And Earth, Mars and the Sun will be lined up – Help, we’re doomed, the end is nigh, the end is nigh, quick, skin me a kangaroo!!! There goes the gulf stream!
  • On October 30, 1938, when Orson Wells covered on radio an unsuccessful Martian invasion of Earth (and why didn’t the Martians attack Sydney rather than New York City)? [Because it was a Sunday and nothing happens in Sydney on a Sunday]
  • Slightly after the Big Bang, the atoms of Mars and Earth would have been very very very close together
  • Originally thought to be 73,000 years ago but has been updated to “nearly” 60,000 years. “The initial computations that brought this event to light were made by Jean Meeus of Belgium. The above distances, only very slightly refined, were supplied to on Dec. 13, 2002 by orbit expert Myles Standish at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The “nearly 60,000 years” estimate was originally 73,000 years and was updated on May 1, 2003 as new calculations were supplied.”
  • September 1988 – Mars must have wanted to come to my first birthday party!
  • Surely the distance of separation is not the point. It is how they feel about each other that counts. 56 million kilometres, 35 million miles or 56 million nanometres is neither here nor there. If they feel happy apart or together, deep in conversation or lost in their own thoughts, silences and dreams it is none of our business and we should stop interfering. Using my own logic (don’t laugh Dr Bob), and web searching principals, if it takes more than two look ups I don’t bother, I assume it was a very long time ago, otherwise you would not have asked.
  • The orbits of Earth and Mars bring the two planets closest together in a cycle of approx 15-17 years. The previous approach as close as that expected in August 2003 was in August 1924. A table giving a selection of closest approaches over the past 100 years is given below. Read as Opposition date RA Declination Disk (seconds of arc) Distance(a.u.) 1909 Sept 24 00h 10m -04° 13′ 23.8″ 0.392 1924 Aug 23 22h 19m -17° 40′ 25.1″ 0.3731939 July 23 20h 13m -26° 24′ 24.1″ 0.389 1956 Sept 10 23h 26m -10° 07′ 24.8″ 0.3791971 Aug 10 21h 27m -22° 15′ 24.8″ 0.3761988 Sep 28 00h 27m -02° 06′ 23.8″ 0.3962003 Aug 28 22h 38m -15° 48′ 25.1″ 0.373
  • They still don’t believe that I was probed that awful day…
  • Well, scientists will tell you that it was this close 65 thousand years ago–they are incorrect. The Bible proves that it is a *fact* that the world was created in 4004 B.C., which means that Mars has NEVER been as close to us as it will be on August 26!
  • When they first opened the mars bar factory
  • 26 August seems to in time proximity to the Skeptics convention. Coincidence? You be the judge.
  • Yes, well, seems just like yesterday doesn’t it?
  • Yesterday… [quite possibly, in New Zealand, which my recent researches have shown to be off the planet to some extent]

Question 2

What species of animal has the largest brain in relation to its size?


  • A triantiwontigongalope. Me and Victor Zammit challenge you to prove me wrong!
  • Victor Zammit
  • A balloon??
  • According to Monty Python, the penguin. Then again, they’re silly buggers so I tend to take their facts with a pinch of salt. Probably the dolphin, although they have yet to learn to stay the hell away from tuna.
  • After those who have won a Doctor Bob’s quiz it would be the tree shrew of course. Also after those who have won a Doctor Bob’s quiz, the African Elephant has the biggest penis (that was completely gratuitous but I thought I’d contribute it anyway) [Poor elephant. I’d hate to find that mine was completely gratuitous]
  • An ant. (Nice! “anant” sounds well. It seems a chess master, less or more). I thought it was the dolphin, or some sperm whale. Instead, here’s to you, an ant. Do antennas count in the balance?
  • It’s not Homo Australiensis, I can tell you that. No it is something small and cuddly like an ant.
  • Birds. What a cheep question.
  • Certainly no species that contains both Johnny Howard and George Dubbya. My guess is flatworms.
  • Homo sapiens sapiens, excluding homo sapiens americanus, given that they have a larger average body mass. (The question is, are they evolving in parallel to the rest of us, or just reverting to amoeba? Amoeba with guns, that is.)
  • Homo sapiens? or possibly the rat in the greenhouse that keeps evading my traps
  • Human beings (anti-evolutionists will object to our being called a species of animal).
  • Humans. Especially 13 year olds, they have enormous brains and know everything.
  • Hummingbird although says it is an ant. We both know ants aren’t animals, they are insects.
  • I believe it is the ant…. assuming an ant is an animal of course
  • I can figure this one out using logical deduction and guessing. Ok, big brain, small body. Or it could be small brain and really small body or big body and really big ol’ brain. Species… um. I know! Betty the Crow who made a tool!
  • If I tell the truth then all the other animals will feel inadequate and rightly accuse me of speciesism. So I won’t reveal that it’s the bunyip…oh shit, I gave it away, where’s the backspace key, must remember to hold it down so all this is deleted completel
  • If you mean “non-extinct animal other than man,” it’s the Proboscidea Elephantidae Loxodonta africana, AKA the African Elephant.
  • Man – 5-6ft high, so many pounds – mostly water and a bowl of blancmange in the nonce.
  • Me
  • Mulier supersapiens (Woman who knows more)
  • My grandson Tyrell. He is 53 cm tall and is the smartest little chappy I know
  • Neanderthal man. The African barking spider. It is certainly not the common politicus influencii. I don’t actually know, but they appear to have a lot more fun. At least they do at Monash, but then they do a lot of things at Monash that are frowned upon at Melbourne. [Cripes, my daughter goes to Monash]
  • Not me…
  • Quite surprisingly the animal that shows the least common sense. Whereas most animals will avoid fighting, whenever possible, Homo Sapiens has made a huge industry of fighting and killing. Obviously…. it’s not the size, but how you use it!
  • That would have to be a Governor-General. Its brain is so big, it has to leave it behind.
  • The ant has made herself illustrious By constant industry industrious.Do you think you’d be calm and placidIf you excreted formic acid?Yep, the answer is: the illustrious ant, followed by female humans, chimps, gorillas and elephants – rugby players are even further down the list than other male humans.
  • The human teenager. They know everything!!
  • The king prawn. Have you ever seen how much is inside the head when you rip it off? Yuk!
  • The marmoset.
  • The Tasmanian Tree Climbing Dog has a brain the size of a small tractor and can solve quadratic equations in its head while memorising the complete output of Messrs Mills and Boon. [No wonder it keeps falling out of the tree]
  • The tree shrew, a mouse-like animal, has the largest brain to body ratio of all mammals. Its brain is around 3% of its body weight while a human brain is approximately 2.3%.
  • What species? I got as far as ants but you want species? How does anyone know which species, not all ants have been studied or even discovered for that matter. What secret ant lore are you privy to that is denied us mortals?
  • Woman, of course. Dr Bob, please forgive this PC answer. I have to work with 8 women and a homosexual here in Amsterdam. [Cheer up, if you had one more person you could make a football team]

Question 3

What State of the USA is most often hit by lightning?


  • El estado de Florida (con el acento en el i, por favor)
  • Evil, Godless San Francisco, and it serves those lust-drenched, whoreful, soul-sucking, sweat-swapping, sprog-soaked, pussy-pillaging sodomites right.
  • First Florida, then Michigan, followed by Kansas and Pennsylvania. But Florida has no real competitor, in this rank.
  • Florida – but that’s because it has the most men (for a number of reasons which we will not attempt to cover in this limited space) – who are, by nature, far more likely to be struck given their lightening rod anatomy.
  • Florida (daily average of 3500+).
  • Florida, known as the lightning capital of the world. God must really hate that place. And in my atlas Fl. is a state, not a city.
  • Florida, the “Sunshine State,” is well known for warm temperatures and bright sunshine, providing a near perfect setting for outdoor activities. However, the same warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine that attract people to the outdoors may also indirectly threaten their safety. Florida’s tropical atmosphere, coupled with sea breeze boundaries produced by the differential heating near land and water interfaces, provides an ideal environment for thunderstorms. More than one million cloud to ground lightning strikes jolt Florida each year. For this reason, Florida has ironically earned a second nickname, “Lightning Capital” of the United States. The number of people struck in Florida during 1996 was nearly 2.5 times the average from 1959 to 1995.
  • Florida, which also features the most alligator attacks as well as the most highway robberies (Disney/Epcot area- have you priced a ticket lately?) 337 people that have died in the last 34 years from lightning.
  • Florida. God is obviously brassed off at the whole George-Shrub-For-President thing. It’s sad, but the poor daft old baggage is getting on now, and just can’t get Her eye in like She used to – lightning bolt accuracy has been a problem ever since Thor stopped coming over on pension thursdays to sight in the scope (clashes with his bingo night these days).
  • Florida. Interestingly, any US state with George W Bush in it is the LEAST likely to get struck by lightning.
  • Florida. It can’t be a very effective god if it blasts Florida every year but hasn’t got rid of it yet. [Well, there are quite large holes each side. She’s a rotten shot with the meteors, what do you expect from a female?]
  • Florida… and yet Jeb has yet to be struck down. How’s that for irony.
  • Hawaii or Florida. I worked out this answer by the well known scientific method of “The Wild Guess”. I have a 4% chance of being right, which is better than the odds of winning a lottery, but not as good as betting on a one horse race.
  • I can seee something rocky …. the mist is clearing.. ah, a flat shape, Wyoming? Hmmm, I see Wyoming – Randi- do I collect the skeptics challenge prize – I believe I’ve shown extraordinarily rare powers in answering this question, so rare that they probably won’t re-occur to one. I say, irrespective of the right answer, answers schmansers when possessed for 3 seconds of such a profound and disturbing gift.
  • It should be the Lord wreaking vengeance on the city of sin Las Vegas. However as he appears to have a superfluity of salt pillars these days, it’s probably somewhere relatively mundane like Florida or Kansas.
  • It would have to be one of the southern ones, what with all the tornados and all. Speaking of which, with all the tornados that God besets the US with, how did they miss Eminem’s trailer park?
  • It’s not a state, it’s the District of Columbia. Every time a congressperson tells a lie, God tries to strike him/her/it dead with a bolt of lightning. As the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment clearly separates religion from the state, God cannot succeed unless a referendum is held (and passed) to re-amend the constitution. At the same time, they could amend the Second Amendment to read “Congress will make no law with regard to guns”. That should send a message to them terrorists. But I digress …
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky, where Ken Ham is located, but God keeps missing.
  • Must be some hellhole of a state like Kansas. Yes, that is my final answer, Kansas.
  • Pennsylvania
  • Probably Florida, but I wish it was Washington DC. We might just get lucky.
  • Tampa Bay (Gimmee a break, I’m an Australian who doesn’t even know if that IS a US state, only that their hockey team is Lightning)
  • Texas has to be the only State big enough for lightning to hit unambiguously.
  • Texas, because lightning is God’s favourite way of firing up a Bush or two. [Groan]
  • Texas, its the biggest so it must have a higher chance of being hit.
  • Texas? I don’t know, but it’s in a state afterwards. I’ll get my coat…
  • The altered state
  • The bathroom at the White House, newly formed state with it’s own post code.
  • The same state that all the northerners migrate to when they’re ready to die, Florida.
  • This must have something to do with the Bush family, or light headedness, or struck silly, so maybe Texas. Or Florida.
  • Virginia and Maryland (tie.) Unfortunately politicians are almost never hit.
  • Well my friends and I put our heads together for this one… I think Florida, Stuart thinks Nevada and Nathan says Arizona… what do you think Dr. Bob [Not important what anyone thinks, if the fact exists]
  • Wherever golfer Arnold Palmer lives, he’s been hit about 6 times while playing golf
  • While one would think that the obvious answer would be Washington D.C, what with all those sinful politicians being smited by god. It’s not true. It is in fact Florida … god must really hate old people who live in retirement condos.
  • Wyoming

Question 4

Translate into Australian “Tabernacle à deux étages sans escalier de sauvetage, hostis”


Bloody hell (literally: like a communion wafer thrown into a two-floor synagogue with no fire escape)

Other Answers

  • “G’day hostess. Gimme a coupla Mormon churches without any savage escalators.”
  • “Up shit creek without a paddle.”
  • “Would you like Freedom Fries with that?”
  • (From the USA:) “Blimey, you bloody bloke, stop talking frenchy frog to me so’s I can understand it!”
  • Savage hostages held in a two storey tent without ladders
  • At first glance it’s “Held hostage in a Mormon church on the second floor with no staircase” – this roughly translates in Strine as “Up shit creek in a barbed wire canoe without a paddle”.
  • At last, one I can answer. This is from a French translation of an old John Wayne film. This is the apocalyptic moment of the film when Duke, as a hard working, honest rancher, confronts the mayor of the town, one Tabernacle P. Stoatpamphlet with the immortal line: “Tabernacle! Those savages have already held up two stages, pilgrim”. Alternatively it is a 2 storey tabernacle with no fire escape and a (Latin) hostage. The purpose of this escapes me, but a good quantum mechanic like you will probably know. There is no such word as “hostis” in French on the internet. Which means you are probably making it up. [It’s the wafer used at communion]
  • Babelfish says “Gate vault on two floors without staircase of rescue, hostis”, but that was translating into English. In Australian it means “Cabin crew – please arm doors and prepare for take off”.
  • Barnacles at their second stage have scales that savage the host.
  • Can’t help you there, Australian isn’t taught at schools here.
  • Drat, I was doing so well.
  • Errrr that would be: “Two stage ‘portable sanctuary in which the Jews carried the Ark of the Covenant through the desert’ without a lifesaving staircase, hostess”.
  • G day mate, some limey wants to know wat-ta-hel Tabernacle gibberish gibberish means. Let’s go tell im it means ‘I wanna join your game o rugby’ n beat the sap out o him
  • Gate vault on 2 floors without emergency stairs
  • I have lost my penis
  • I haven’t got a clue [or a penis] … is it something about being stuck between a Mormon choir and a stewardess without a fire escape? On this translation I’m “vers le haut de la crique de merde sans palette.”
  • I think this is Tasmanian for “two bottles of slops and pronto”
  • I’ll have two beers mate, give one to the digger at the end of the bar”.
  • Je m’en fou! J’ai perdu mon dictionnaire français-australien sur la roche d’Ayers.
  • Piss off you thick Aussie bastards…now.
  • Piss off.
  • Same as the Australian translation of (the Hebrew) “BAYIT DU KOMATI LELO MADREGOTH CHERUM”…
  • Scrumptious Investment Opportunity! Nice deconsecrated one room open plan apartment with no ugly fire escape or windows. Hurry! This won’t last!
  • Something about two-story blasphemy without safety staircases. I grew up in Grenoble, France and I don’t understand that. I would anticipate that it’s joual or some other slang that I don’t understand. It’s certainly blasphemous and insulting though.
  • Table for two without the escalator and sausages, mate
  • Take the Mormon choir hostage and put them on the second floor without a fire escape
  • Tan me hide when I’m dead Fred.
  • The cupboard on the second floor has no escalator
  • The hostess fell out of the plane because there was no staircase present at the aeroplane’s exit.
  • The House Of The Rising Sun.
  • There is no language called “Australian” so I chose an Australian language: Kake artepe mwernelhentye atherre ayeye ileke, intelhilentye mpwareke
  • Throw another sanger on the barbie, love.
  • Two eclairs and a sausage are being held hostage in a Mormon church.
  • Two pints of beer. Sorry. It’s something about a two floor temple with no fire escape, which makes me wonder what Australians pray for. Two pints of beer, probably, or maybe a fire escape
  • We Americans have been told that the French language is totally evil and are not allowed to even read it. I wish I could answer this question but I don’t want to be arrested. [Gosh. There may some small vestiges of civilisation in the USA after all. I shall increase my estimation thereof accordingly]
  • Yes, you can eat dessert off the waitress’ stomach in this restaurant, but not the soup. You savage.
  • Your shout mate. I’m off for a slash.
  • Two mormons walk into a bar and the barmen says “Why the strong faith?”

Question 5

What film contains the immortal spoken line “glub glub”


Carry On Doctor (1968). Dr Bob is too traumatised to recall the exact words but it was something like:

Mr Barron: Charles Hawtrey
Dr Kenneth Tinkle: Kenneth Williams
Matron: Hattie Jacques, silent in background
“You tried to molest Matron here”
“I didn’t!”
“You DID!”
“I did NOT! Newt’s honour!”
“Oooh – you’re a Newt, why didn’t you say?”
“<embarrassed> Yes, I am a Tadpole Second Class, of the Hatfield Pond”
“<puffing feathers out> I am a Grand Salamander, of the Watford Pond”
“<giving boy scout salute> Glub glub”
“<returning salute>Glub glub”
<Matron rolls her eyes heavenwards> <Cut to next scene>

Other Answers

  • (Insert silly joke involving thousands of Middle Eastern-type gentlemen cheering Glubb Pasha here – I’d make the joke myself, but I’m far too lazy for that sort of thing.)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (actually the out-take from an unfortunate scene).
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Airplane! A film achievement so fine, the lines are immortalized again and again. Rent it today.
  • Bill & Ben: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
  • Bill & Ben Flower Pot Men – drinking water while smoking weed at same time. Ever noticed, when they greeted weed they were actually drooling with anticipation. However did this film about two drug peddling druggies ever pass the censorship board? It was a slippery slope – after all, the heroes and heroine of Star Wars were on a roller coaster, one dingy crack bar after another, with what’s her name ending up as a moll for the fat guy who ran it all, after having iced Hans. And what was Luke doing – hanging out with some little hood after having run off with the fat guy’s moolah from a recent exchange. And people ponder why Darth Vader was hunting this band of desparadoes. Sick, sick , sick, is all one can say.
  • Charlie’s Angels – The Kursk Full Throttle
  • Debbie does the King of Atlantis
  • Deep Throat.
  • Deep Throat? (Sorry, the devil made me do it.)
  • Gosh, where do we start! Titanic, Jaws, A Perfect Storm, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, anything with Lloyd Bridges (including Flying High). There are plenty of them that have sunk audibly on film…
  • “Hello Down There”. A 60’s movie starring Richard Dreyfus.
  • Hello Down There, Jim Backus shouts down the hole at Gilligan in another adventure of its a mad mad mad world. Ok, I’ll stick with the first 3 words of the answer (even though he was in all 3)
  • I don’t know about a film, it sounds more like something caught deep in the back of the throat.
  • I dunno it is probably some piece of crap not worth watching like ‘Titanic’. In relation to film it sounds more like Kevin Costners “Waterworld” sinking at the box office…glub, glub, glub….
  • If it’s not Waterworld then it should be. I think it’s from the scene where the barbed wire canoe slowly sinks…
  • It took Peter Greenaway weeks to come up with this brilliant line from Drowning by Numbers.
  • It was Jaws 2, and the full line is “Glub, glub, bubble, bubble, stroke, stroke.” cf question 2.
  • Linda Lovelace in “Deep Thoat”, speaking with her mouth full?
  • Japanese porn movie…
  • Shoggoth on the Roof
  • Spartacus
  • Spoken by an immortal? Well that could only be Bert Newton, so I guess Fatty Finn.
  • Tch, Dr Bob. A spoken line can’t be ‘immortal’. Immortality is only applicable to living things like gods and souls and my mortgage, you know, stuff that lives forever and ever amen. Spoken lines may have longevity but they don’t live forever. In fact they don’t live at all. Neither do films. Your English expression is in need of immediate and serious remediation. Tch again.
  • The soundtrack from the beer swilling Bazza McKenzie.
  • That would be Caveman with THE Beetle, Ringo.
  • The bar room scene in dumbo. (you know that movie with the alcoholic elephant that could fly but had trouble landing)
  • The Cruel Sea (the line was spoken off camera, though)
  • The Grand Wizard speaks this line during the exciting Ku Klux Klan scene in D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation.”
  • The greatest movie ever made. Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.
  • The Matrix-Reloaded. The entire film was gibberish. How bad was the acting, and the casting, and the plot, and the script,… What about when Keanu Reeves went to visit Colonel Sanders and didn’t ask the question that everyone wants to know; “What are the 11 herbs and spices?”
  • The Return of the Jedi
  • The Ten Commandments, after Moses drowns Pharaoh’s host in the Red Sea (breaking the forthcoming commandment against killing).
  • Titanic
  • Titanic (both versions) – a lot of characters said this just as they drowned. Jame’s Whatsisname’s version was a very long, very crappy film, but it’s almost worth the drudgery of sitting through it to see Leonardo diCaprio turn blue and die at the end ….. What? You haven’t seen it yet, and I’ve spoiled the ending? Bollocks, you should thank me for saving you the time.
  • Titanic. At least, if you search the web for “glub glub”, a lot of Titanics come out.
  • Titanic?
  • Watership Down.
  • Waterworld. Or is this another Bill and Ben question?
  • Well I thought about the Poseidon Adventure with Shelley Williams because I remembered one of the characters in Priscilla doing an impersonation, holding his nose and going “glub, glub”. Later: I just checked – not quite but close. It is where Hugo Weaving meets his wife in Alice Springs and they talk about the “Poseidon Adventure routine”. They do the Shelley Winters impression but the noises are two raspberries rather than “glub glub”.
  • Dr. Bob’s Wellington vacation video.

Question 6

Whose foot is this?

Dr Bob’s Answers (both wrong)

  • Hers
  • Constantine’s

Correct Answer

  • Maxentius, provided that Constantine’s feet resembled his.

Even More Correct:

  • It used to be Constantine’s, but now it belongs to this young lady, namely Dr Jas Elsner (art historian, Classics Dept, Oxford). More of a mystery is how on earth she managed to smuggle it into her hand luggage. It’s even got the precise picture. Work Cited: Elsner, Jas. Imperial Rome and the Christian Triumph: The Art of the Roman Empire AD 100-450 Oxford: OUP, 1998
  • It’s the foot of Emperor Maxentius, which can se seen in the courtyard of the Musei Capitolini in Rome. After Constantine had beaten poor Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, he had the head of the statue recarved – but not the feet.
  • Ha! Trick question! Most people will say it is of emperor Constantine, but in fact he had a statue of co-emperor Maxentius remodelled after himself. See
  • A cobbler’s widest fantasy come true, the cost of the material alone plus a percentage mark up would put their kids through school.
  • This is a normal person’s foot. The lady is extremely small as she hasn’t recovered from being shrunk from the movie “Fantastic Voyage 2: The Aftermath”
  • Ah. Um. The Colossus of Rhodes? No, that can’t be it. Hmmm. Hercules. No, it’s too big. Godzilla? Not enough scales? Ozymandias? No, too Romantic. Oh, bleedin’ heck – I give up.
  • Bigfoot’s. (How’s that for originality!!)
  • Cancel my Skeptics subscription – Bigfoot does exist! Does it matter who’s foot it is? It appears to have scored a pretty hot chick to fondle it and maybe take it line dancing
  • Dr. Bob, you need to have your eyesight examined. The lady in the red top and skirt might not be the most glamorous woman alive, but she sure ain’t as ugly as your foot. As far as the lady goes, I have no idea who she is.
  • George Dubya Bush – to commemorate squashing the nuculer weppins of mass destrukshin hoarded by the axis of evil.
  • Gulliver’s (when he went to Lilliput)
  • Her’s, it’s the property of that female foot fetishist to the left.
  • Hmm, a bloody big foot but it can’t be Sasquatch’s because the toenails are too nicely trimmed. Anyway, the foot has clearly been severed from a bloody big body so it must belong to that biblical Goliath bloke because everybody knows he was defeated.
  • How did you get a hold of that? I have the rest of the body if you want it back. Just call my place on 555-Y-E-A-H-R-I-G-H-T
  • I don’t know about the foot but that is the smallest midget i’ve ever seen
  • I don’t know who it belonged to before, but now it belongs to the city of Athens.
  • I don’t know, but do you have pictures of any more gender-specific body parts from the same individual? If you do, you could lock in 50% of your audience…
  • If I could see her foot, I might recognise her.
  • It belongs to the museum of foot fetishists and is obviously a very popular item judging by the contented expression of the lady in the photo
  • It is a Greek foot (Ionic columns in background scream Greece) and the owners are: the people of Greece!
  • It is clearly Greek (the second finger is longer than the big toe, so it is Greek. Too small to be Rodi’s Colossus’, too large to be Hercules’ (they have measured this one, to make the “stadium” correct length). So, I do not know. Maybe Onassis’? Maria Callas? Ulysses? Joyce?
  • It now belongs to Abdul who hauled it off during the looting in Bagdad.
  • It was bought by William Spencer Cavendish, Sixth Duke of Devonshire. It belongs to a very large footless giant
  • It’s actually an unfortunate genetic defect causing a growth to appear from this woman’s armpit.
  • It’s either 1) a remaining piece of a statue of Constantine, in which case presumably it belongs to the people of Italy, or 2) it belongs to Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (aka Baghdad Bob) – it looks to be about the size of the one he kept putting in his mouth in such an entertaining fashion …..
  • It’s yours, Bob
  • My God, the depths they plumb for tourist moulah! This is a shrine outside that disused bank in Snowtown. Precisely whose foot it is meant to be is anyone’s guess – although the intact toes narrow the field a bit.
  • That’s more than a foot Dr Bob, or else that’s a very short woman. If it is a foot, I wouldn’t use it as a rule.
  • That’s not a foot, it’s more like a two metre…
  • The Colossus of Rhodes who missed a complete football season because of stress fractures.
  • The Colossus of Rhodes’s younger brother, Ralph
  • The Governor-General’s (it fits his mouth)
  • The Italian Government’s. I understand all the major art pieces like this in Italy (and I’m pretty sure it IS Italy – look at the decorative post behind) belong to the government “for the common wealth”. Or maybe the lady in the picture has just bought a plaster copy at a souvenir stall and is just waiting for the man to bring a bigger paper bag to take it away in.
  • The severed foot of the Constantine colossus. I think his name was Earl.
  • The woman in the red top seems to be laying claim to it so I could presume its hers – at least while the picture was being taken. The Colossus of Rhodes? No the foot isn’t big enough, and with that statue straddling the harbour you wouldn’t get the mast past the wedding tackle. Probably someone boring like Apollo or Saddam Hussein. I still think the woman in the red top is looking very pleased with herself so she’s probably just bought it. It’s hers.
  • Very Long John Silver. Aarrrrrhh Bob mate arrrhhh arrhhh arrrhhhhhhhh Its me missing foot mate arrrrhhhhhhhh.
  • Victor Zammit’s. Me and Victor Zammit challenge you to prove me wrong!


  • As a dedicated skptic [from NZ obviously] it is unlikely that I will win and that Dr Bob A) exists and B) has achieved a doctorate.
  • Congrats on getting out of Iraq quickly, may we in the USA follow your example too.
  • Do you think you might possibly be one of the first humans with the folded brain? I venture to guess you are, considering the obvious profound level of your intelligent questions month after month. Questions ever so much more important than their answers.
  • Further community service cinematic time-saving: 1) she is actually a he, 2) ‘Rosebud’ was his sled when he was a little boy, and 3) his wife is ignoring him because he’s actually a ghost himself who doesn’t yet realise he’s dead. You’re welcome. [Also 4) he never had the gift of how to make bells anyway]
  • Hartelijk dank, broer Hein, voor je vriendelijke groeten. Eindelijk kunnen we eens schrijven zonder dat die akelige Dr Bob zijn commentaar erachter zet.
  • Hiya, hope you are having a nice June, just surfed on over after looking at some cold reading stuff, funny the things you stumble up onto. Some pretty hard questions in this quiz, well I tried anyway.
  • How did I do?
  • I can’t think of a clever comment and I have to leave in 45 minutes! [Well that’s a pretty clever thing to do] Maybe next month!
  • I found out today that “Dr Bob” was one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Is there something you have not been telling us?
  • I wanna dance… I wanna get down tonight and bogie….ooo,oo,o,ooo, anyway.
  • I wasn’t within 56 million km of a correct answer this month. Mars was definitely in the wrong part of whichever astrological sign I am.
  • I wonder if “up shit creek without a paddle” is a saying used in Australia? [Oh yes, said by Governors-General especially] I have my doubts, because all an Aussie would have to do if up a creek, or even up the “mighty Murray”, would be to wait for the dry season when even the larger rivers in Australia dry up into mudpuddles, and then walk out. I’m not convinced Australia even has creeks. Other than the Murray, that is.
  • If man climbed Everest because it was there, why can’t they do the washing up?
  • I’m not wierd. I’m interestingly strange
  • Is there a Drs. Bob?
  • It takes a tough man to make a tender curry cabbage…
  • Lucky I have real work to do, or I’d kick your ass
  • Me Tarzan, you Jane
  • Mother always said I’d go far. The last time I heard her say this was as she and Dad were getting the catapult ready.
  • NO Philip Glass..NO Bill and Ben..What is the quiz coming to? I Googled for ages but still couldn’t find answers to the last couple of questions. I don’t speak French either.
  • No, I didn’t read the Jan 97 answers. I always beat hippos off with a stick – two sticks, even. It makes them much more placid–but you do have to work quickly and move fast because that stuff just doesn’t come off in water. If you don’t have sticks to hand, you could always try a pair of coconut shells, half of a squeezed orange or a handful of petroleum jelly. [Arrgh, bonk, bonk, tumble, thump – the sound of Dr Bob falling arse over tit as he realises he has been completely had and had no idea all along what you were talking about)]
  • Ooh, a tough one this month. Damn foot.
  • OS eh? Safe trip
  • Short, sharp, crisp, clear, to the point. What can’t they just say this about pile ointment and be done with it?
  • Skepticism sucks. Forteanism rules.
  • So how did I win Victor Zammit’s coveted Twisted Spoon Award? Stuffed if -I- know! He says it was because I nominated him for the Skeptic’s Bent Spoon Award™. However we have exchanged some civil emails on various subjects since then, and he has responded by retaining this rant on his website unchanged for the last two months. I do feel so privileged, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors, my fellow skeptics, my mum and dad, my 5th form English teacher, and last but not least, Dr Bob for making it all possible. Thank you. Thank you.
  • Tell me, Dr.Bob: why in the pic question there is often a lady, near the supposed subject? Do not say “to show sizes”, I’ll not believe you.
  • This remorseful Hindu bloke ran into the cathedral and cried out to the priest, “My karma just ran over your dogma.”
  • Typical, Dr Bob puts his foot in it again…
  • Why are front row seats so expensive in Polish concert halls? Because everywhere else you’d be sitting behind a Pole.