Answers for November 2003

I set rather weak questions this month so that some people were able to get all 6 right!! Arrghh! WINNER is our tireless Gent from Gent, and unique fount of knowledge on the provenance of ISS photographs –

Paul Kyle


Question 1

Why were the Mr Bean TV programs nearly banned in Italy?

Answer

Gosh, you scared me! Mr.Bean banned here? I know we are under a pretty ridicolus government, so I feared they were going to ban Mr. Bean just to push away a dangerous competitor… then I discovered the simple truth: Rowan Atkinson likes to spend holidays in Italy, so he’d like to rest as anonimous guy here in this country, to save his holidays’ privacy. So, he was almost going to ban himself.

Other Answers

  • Not so much banned as withheld. Rowan Atkinson vacations in Italy and wished to avoid being recognized.
  • Rowan Atkinson hates the fame thing so much that he once tried to stop Mr Bean being shown in Italy so that his family could regularly go on holiday there. He failed and the subsequent trip was apparently a disaster. The Atkinsons haven’t been back since.
  • Apparently, Rowan Atkinson did not want his own T.V. series of Mr. Bean to be shown in Italy so he could remain anonymous and enjoy quiet holidays there, one of his favourite holiday destinations. Interestingly, a computer virus called Blackadder.1015 was supposedly written in Italy so maybe that’s another reason for Mr. Atkinson not to go there. The (useless) things you find when searching the internet on a Friday afternoon…
  • Atkinson didn’t want to be recognised in Italy. This is a perfectly suspicious explanation. However I am too bored by the referenced search pages to find out any more.
  • Because he portrayed catholics as silly? [Naah … no need]
  • Because it was teaching people new trics.
  • Because Mr Bean is an italian pun for a very rude act called “misterbeenigno” involving gelati and felching.
  • Because of his shocking performance in “The Rat Race”, where he played an idiotic italian tourist? (Tautology anyone?)
  • Because of the disgusting depiction in the series of Mr. Bean’s linguini. Happily, the producers saw the error of their ways, and all is well, including Mr. Bean’s linguini.
  • Because of the overuse of the colour green. For some reason unbeknownst to everyone else, italian censors hate the colour green and have even started a petition to change the italian flags colours to red and white only. [And then to ban music by Verdi]
  • Because they’re so awful…
  • Bologna bans Bean because beer breaks bread badly beyond Brescia brickworks behind Ben Bella’s bovine barnacle barns.
  • Come on Bob, you’re asking for a reason as to why something NEARLY happened? Since it never happened there was no effect, therefore the cause of the void effect is irrelevant. That’s my answer.
  • Er, um! cos Rowan wanted to go on holiday there? Or maybe the Italians just thought the show was to stupid? Nah, Mr Atkinson tried it on his movie as well. So I am told anyway.
  • Extreme good taste on the part of the censor.
  • He looked like a well known politician at the time.
  • His bear was bare, well almost.
  • I have no idea but it probably had something to do with nuns and turkeys.
  • I wish I knew. This is my first try, it’s harder than it looks. Oh damn, I was saving that for Q. 4 …
  • Italians are offended by men with naked dead turkeys on their heads, even if it is in the privacy of their own home and the turkey has consented.
  • Italians took offence to Mr Beans skit that plays out within the church: taboo in such a religious country?
  • It’s because he doesn’t talk, as such, but uses large gestures and exaggerated body language. The Italians, being a race that also communicates largely by waving their arms around a lot, represents an audience that potentially could infer something obscene from what English viewers would see as simply an amusing pratfall, i.e. Mr Bean is windmilling his arms furiously to avoid falling face first into a pile of dog droppings, but what the Italians see is a Brit implying that their best and brightest soccer players regularly have sex with demented yaks whilst standing in buckets of rancid custard and denouncing the Pope as a drinker of weak milky tea.
  • Mr. Bean is simply too deformed to appeal to Italians and, more importantly, he scares the children.
  • Poor old Eyetalians never got over the humiliation of Fiat by Mini in the original “Italian Job” movie. Bean drives a Mini…
  • Rowan Atkinson hated to register at hotels as Signor Fagiolo on his holidays.
  • Rowan Atkinson’s history of religious satire, I suspect.
  • So Rowan Atkinson could go on a holiday there without being noticed. It didn’t work.
  • So Rowan Atkinson could remain in Cognito in Condotti.
  • So that Mr Bean’s alter ego, Rowan Atkinson, and his not so famous family could holiday in Italy without being hassled. I always thought the Italians went for blondes?
  • Teddy bear abuse is illegal in Italy. Either that or he ran over a nun.
  • The characters do not wear trousers.
  • The Italians found Mr Bean offensive because they already had their daily dose of Beans.
  • The Italians have better taste than the Brits?
  • The Italians realize that Rowan Atkinson is a much better comedian than he demonstrates in that crap show.
  • The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Teddy Bears intervened.
  • The main reason was that “Mr Bean” in Italian means “*something naughty*” and so on and so on
  • The Italians couldn’t understand a thing Mr Bean was saying!
  • The Pope has a morbid fear of teddy bears.
  • The potential ban was averted because it was quickly pointed out how numerous the similarities between Bean and the Pope
  • They did not meet the national quota for half-naked blondes.
  • They mistook it for a reality TV show from the UK
  • They weren’t funny.
  • They’re crazy enough on Vespas. Imagine the potential for lethal accidents if let loose on those three wheeled cars.
  • Because he reminded them of the Pope. The same moronic expression – the same casual brutality – the same indifference to other people’s feelings.

Question 2

Mick Jagger once wrote to the Dutch artist Maurits Escher, asking permission to use one of Escher’s woodcuts on a forthcoming LP cover. What was the reply?

Answers

  • “Geachte heer Jagger, ik heb het te druk en bovendien: voor U ben ik meneer Escher”.
  • “Dear Mr. Jagger, No. And to you, I am, M.C. Escher”.
  • “Some days ago I received a letter of Mr. Jagger requesting me who designed a picture or made his available published works not to be reproduced in the cover of a LP. My answers to both requests have to be no, since I want to dedicate all my time and attention to the many commitments that I have. I cannot accept no other order or spend time in publicity. By the way, they say very sincerely to Mr. Jagger which I am not Maurits for him, but…M.C. Escher”
  • “Bring ‘em on!!!”
  • “Hey Mick, why so formal, Just call me Maurrie”
  • “I am not Maurits for you”. The LP was “Let it bleed”, Jagger’s letter started with the formula “Dear Maurits”, but the great artist probably didn’t like The Rolling Stones too much, so he refused the work and also the friendly words of Jagger. Problably(*), he was a Beatles’fan. [* This is a useful new word partially derived from “labia” and thus applicable more to Mick than Maurits]
  • “No. You cant always get what you want”
  • “Yes, you could be mine / Tonight and every night / I will be your knight in shining armor / Coming to your emotional rescue.” After translating the answer out of the original Dutch, Mick Jagger decided that the guy was too much trouble and dumped him. He did use the lyrics, however.
  • “You can’t be a man ’cause you doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me . . . “
  • Bugger off Mr Jagger and NEVER call me dear again. Or something like that, probably.
  • Bugger off, you bleeding idiot. To which Mick replied “Let it bleed, I can’t understand Dutch anyway”.
  • Dear Herr Jagger, Thank you for your boring and sycophantic letter. In a word, no. I can’t get no satisfaction, which is a double negative, so get off of my cloud. Yours sincerely, Maurits Cornelis Escher, Gent [did he live in Belgium] P.S. Brian Jones was pushed.
  • ‘Dear Maurits’. Was how the letter opened. Escher, then in his late sixties, was not amused by this informal approach. He replied very formally, refusing the offer
  • Do not address me as Maurits but regarding your request I will go up (and down and round and up) the stairs to check.
  • Don’t scratch the album inside
  • Engineer setting a quiz? Start your search outside the net. Ask a mathematician. Get even luckier and ask a Dutch mathematician. Answer in one 🙂 “No, you may not use my art, and it is not Maurits but M.C. Escher to you” And if it’s not the ‘right’ answer, it’s a better one Gottverdammen.
  • From Escher’s executor, words to the effect, “Escher’s expired – sorry, Mick”. Or it may just have been “F*** off”.
  • Go take a long walk off a short pier. The pier probably looked longer than it was. And was 4 dimensional – getting shorter proportionally to increasing time.
  • He said he could not spend the time handling the extra work or publicity that would be generated from allowing this.
  • He said something to the effect of, “No, Mr. Jagger, and to you I am MC Escher.” Brevity rules nearly as much as pissiness.
  • He said, ” Who ze hell are ze Rolling Stones? I don’t hold viss all zis modern noise you call muzik. No you can’t haff one of mine voodcuts, go avay”
  • His reply was short and sweet.
  • I don’t know, but a woodcut seems to be a rather bulky album cover.
  • I can’t sketch no satisfaction?
  • I’ve already said “I can’t sketch no satisfaction”. I just want to say it again cause its potentially the wittiest thing I’ll ever come up with.
  • Jagger started his letter with “Dear Maurits”. Mr Escher did not appreciate this informal approach and sent a very formal response refusing the offer.
  • Maybe, and I’m just guessing here, but maybe he was one of the other half a dozen people on the planet along with myself who have recognised that the Rolling Stones’ music is UTTER CRAP and has no artistic merit whatsoever and That Hideous Deformed Little Man should just stop thrusting his pelvis about and really would you want any of your artwork used by a man who impersonates a chicken for a living?
  • Men of our age should know better?
  • Mick wrote the letter in 1978, while on acid…Escher, unfortunately, passed away in 1972. Thus, “return to sender”.
  • Mr Escher, (Maurits to his mates) obviously didn’t regard Mick as one, so he said something like: Dear Mr. Jagger, No. And to you, I am, M.C. Escher
  • No
  • No.
  • No.
  • No.
  • No. And don’t call me Maurits.
  • Not having a clue that Mick Jagger wasn’t one of the Beatles, he replied, in an attempt at Dutch humour: “Ran out of wood in Norway, have they?” And Mick Jagger, being Mick Jagger, said, “What?”
  • Not unless you pay me lots of money, you fat-lipped little prat!
  • No thank you – I’m not your Maurits – our biorhythms are too incompatible (www.facade.com/biorhythm/relationship/)
  • Show me evidence of a tesselated circle, and I’ll give you permission.
  • Something rude in Dutch.
  • That’s Mr Escher to you, love — not Maurits.
  • The artist did not want to be associated with decadent music.
  • The offer was refused because Mick screwed up the salutation (Dear Maurits doesn’t cut it when you have never met). Mr Escher prefered to be called using the proper address (in the same way you wouldn’t say “hey, chuck” if you see Prince Charles walking down the street) [I think this month he would be running down the street, instead of walking]
  • The walrus will prod, poke and otherwise make merriment of your artwork in 500 years time. Only the future generations will know the accuracy of this statement
  • What’s my cut of the profits?
  • Who is Mick Jagger?
  • You must be joking Mikael,,,do you remember what you said to me when I called YOU and asked to borrow Jerry for the weekend? And now you have ze audacity to ask me for one of my wooden vaginas!!!
  • You will have to wrap your lips around something else Mick.
  • A Rolling Stone gathers no Maurits.

Question 3

According to experienced travellers, if you are driving in the remote Australian outback and your vehicle breaks down, what is the first thing you should do?

Answer

According to Jack Absalom “Outback Cooking in the Camp Oven” – Stop (but that has already been done for you), get out a can of beer or brew a billy and cogitate the situation.

Expert Opinion May Differ:

  • 1. Stay with your vehicle. 2. Panic
  • If I was an experienced traveller, I would have brought 2 replacements each for everything. Then the first thing to do is exclaim “it shouldn’t take too long to change this out”.
  • Bend over and shoot nickels out your butt.
  • Check the fuel.
  • Check, whether your cellphone is getting reception or not. And move.
  • Crack open a tinny to calm down and think clearly.
  • Cry.
  • Curse in your native tongue
  • Do the macarena whilst balancing a bucket of honey on your head. In clogs.
  • Don’t panic. Don’t leave the vehicle. Don’t drink all your remaining water on the first day, otherwise you might have to drink your own pee and that would be nasty (but not as bad as drinking Castlemaine XXXX).
  • Eat a cactus
  • Enter your GPS coordinates into your Weblog via your cell phone.
  • Find or make shade. You see staying in your car will be hot and humid even if it kinda shady in there, so you should go and gather branches if you can, use a blanket or whatever to make a little tent-like shady area next to your vehicle.
  • First you curse violently, then you start kicking the bloody thing until your toes hurt.
  • Get out and fix it.
  • Get the chauffeur to walk to town.
  • Go to the pub and phone for help. Unless the pub is far away. Then you ring them up and have them deliver. Stay with the vehicle so they know where to bring the booze.
  • Have a beer, of course! After you stop the vehicle, that is.
  • Have a cool sip of water that you’ve carefully packed, then set yourself on fire so the authorities can locate your car. (The salvage on a complete vehicle should fetch a good penny for your heirs)
  • Have a tinnie, then have a few more
  • If you’re an English tourist, abandon all hope.
  • Lock up your doors, because crazed Wallaby rustlers will try to bounce into your driver’s seat and drive you away and your car off!
  • Look surprised.
  • Lot of Australian sites say the same stuff: do not go far from your vehicle, because it is quite easier to look for a vehicle than a single silly person. But if my vehicle were a pair of rollerskates?
  • Make a cup of tea, take a bex, and have a good lie down
  • More what you shouldn’t do rather than what you should do. First rule – don’t leave your vehicle. Second rule – read Rule #1 again.
  • Move the beer esky to the shadiest spot you can find, so that it stays coolest for as long as possible. (I asked my husband about this, as he did a lot of driving about in outback Oz, and apparently the Immediate Salvaging Of The Beer is accepted, if not actually official, Army protocol.)
  • Once you have actually gotten out of the vehicle and checked it isn’t easily fixed, you should stay with the vehicle. Wandering off will usually result in a bad case of death.
  • Panic – panic again – and then really really panic when you realise you’re totally lost!
  • Panic. Then stay near the car whilst regretting the lack of spares and drinking water and not taking those tyre repair lessons.
  • Pray Steve Irwin doesn’t show up, with “Australia’s greatest ever leader” in tow.
  • Put up the awning you’ve packed for such an occasion and relax…you’re experienced…you’ve filed your flight plan with local authorities and are in 4WD vehicle loaded to the ceiling with water and food to last the duration of your breakdown. Stick by your vehicle tho…those emu can get pretty amorous. Someone will find you eventually …
  • Send a signal. Some techniques include using the Satellite phone/HF radio you brought with you; broken mirror pieces around a pile of rocks or sand; make a fire for smoke to be seen.
  • Set something on fire (like your hair) — the smoke will draw somebody nearby.
  • Sit down and have a cup of tea. This will give you time to calm down and rationally decide what to do. Then you can go wild punching the side of the piece of crap, stupid, bloody f&%*#$g car……..
  • Start bottling your urine.
  • Stay put. You will either be found dead and fingered as a fuckwit who didn’t have the nous to travel with backup or you will be found alive and fingered as a fuckwit who hasn’t got the nous to travel with backup. Either way, your fate will be more easily discoverable than if you wander off. Exceptions are us darkies. We don’t mind taking a chance in a clapped out v8 between communities if there’s a sing at the end of it. We are true piss artists and are ready to die for our art brother.
  • Stay with the car. Find an aborigine and ask to borrow his mobile phone.
  • Stay with the vehicle, ring for help on your satellite phone, set off your EPIRB, pull out a good book and settle down with a few beers from your portable fridge.
  • Stay with the vehicle. It provides shade and water and makes it easier for emergency service planes to spot you. A vehicle is much easier to see from the air than people. Even in areas where there is little tree cover, it is extremely difficult to see people on the ground from the air. [However it’s easier if the people are dead and sort of spreadeagled over the ground]
  • Stay with your vehicle and wait until help arrives. In the meantime, ring for a pizza and sip on a few cold ones from the car fridge. Is this a non-trick question, or have I missed something?
  • Stay with Your Vehicle, do not drink for the first 24 hours (reduces kidney function and conserves body fluids)
  • Surely this is a trick question Dr Bob. First you check that your EPIRB is working, then you turn on your GPS, assuming it is not on already, then you use your mobile phone to call Penta Base or the Northern Territory Police, not that they can find a black sheep in a flock of white ones these days, or whatever and give them your exact position. If you are over 50 you can use your SSB CB radio (remember them?). Next you check your food and water and work out your rations depending on how long you will have to wait before succour, then use your tent to build a shelter as protected from the afternoon/evening sun as possible, then, as you are going nowhere, put up a deck chair, open a coldie, a good book and a packet of crisps and await rescue. Just for old times sake, get out the orange flashing beacon and put it on the top of the 4WD.
  • Swallow all your valium using all of your water. Then set your car on fire to alert planes flying overhead that you are in trouble. If you have any hot dogs with you, cook them over the flames of the car fire while you wait.
  • Swear a bit and then crack a tinnie
  • Swear, wish you had bought that book about survival in the Outback, pull out the satellite phone and call for help. (Hey, not my fault if you don’t own a sat. phone).
  • Take your foot off the accelerator pedal cos it won’t help
  • Um, figure out why your vehicle stopped?
  • Used to be: sit still, wait and light a fire to create smoke for attention and therefore help (preferably without starting a major bush fire – although that would certainly attract attention). Nowadays depending on your resources (well that has always been true) ring your nearest, dearest and most mobile mate on your satellite ‘phone
  • Well it’s what you don’t do really. Do NOT leave the vehicle. Well you can get out but no wandering off. The second thing of course is to see how much beer is in the esky. After that it all depends on the second thing.
  • Turn the heat on – it’ll cool your motor down. That’s what the SAS say. I couldn’t tell you myself. I’ve never been in the SAS and failed to pass the driver’s exam six times [Ah. Clearly you were too dangerous for the SAS]
  • Refer to your vehicle as a “bloody mongrel bastard”.

Question 4

What did the penguin say to the Eskimo?

Thanks, Ermintrude:

Oh, damn, I have to disqualify myself on the grounds of prior knowledge since I sent this one to you! But for completeness, the answer is: “Well, *one* of us is really seriously lost…..”

Dr Bob Had Not Heard This One:

  • “Less of the stupid thank you, just think of the odds you’ll get next time!” (punch line in a joke about a talking penguin bought by an Eskimo)
  • Nothing … but think of the odds he’ll get next time. (I hope we are both thinking of the same joke 🙂
  • An Eskimo bought a talking penguin from a dodgy Norwegian bloke. He took the penguin to his mate’s igloo to show off. His mate said, “I’ll give you 10:1 odds that penguin can’t talk” to which our Eskimo said, “You’re on!” Turning to the penguin the Eskimo says: “Say something then ……” Surprisingly, the penguin refused to say a word. Our Eskimo gave his friend his winnings and left. Once outside he says to the penguin, “You stupid bird, I sh…” But the penguin interrupts saying, “Less of the stupid thank you, just think of the odds you’ll get next time!”
  • G’day. Did you bring the esky mo?
  • “Are you the zookeeper? I’m hungry”
  • “Funny seeing you around here”
  • “Help I’m lost!”
  • “How about this heat?”
  • “I nu it – u’ll need to build an antigloo down here, u geographically challenged blubber-biting blunderer!”
  • “Naah, what’s up doc? Take a wrong turn at Greenland? Nome’s thataway.”
  • “One of us is lost”
  • “That hurt.” Off camera, I’m guessing he told Dr. Eskimo Bob to make finding this answer extremely difficult.
  • “We are poles apart”
  • “What on bloody earth are you doing this far south? I would ‘av thought you would take holiday in a temperate climate instead of going from extreme north to extreme south.”
  • `Damn tourists!’ What’s the Eskimo doing at the South Pole anyway?
  • “Non mangiare la neve gialla.”
  • AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Are you here or am I there?
  • Craw, craw, craw. But the Eskimo didn’t hear it it cos he was 10,000 miles away to the north.
  • Do you really think you are one of us?
  • Don’t know, but do you know what he actress said to the bishop?
  • Hey buddy, do you know where I can get one of those pies?
  • Hope you are enjoying the holiday, or alternatively, wow I’m having a great holiday. Depending which pole they are at.
  • How much more can a polar bear?
  • I guess you want that a) penguins don’t live where eskimos live and b) penguins don’t talk. But assuming the Eskimo was visiting a local zoo (or the Antarctic), the sound the Adelie penguin makes is something like trying to start a car.
  • If the penguin could talk and he was lucky enough to meet an Eskimo who could understand him, the penguin would probably have said to the Eskimo, “Hi, I’m from the south pole and I’ve never seen anyone like you before. How much did you pay to get into the zoo?”
  • I’m sorry, sir, but you will have to improve your dress if you want admittance to the seafood luncheon.
  • Is that a fish in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?
  • It would make a rather annoying shrieking call that is totally unexpected from an animal that cute and small (much like the pig grunts of koalas are unexpected). Translation of this cry would amount to “You would think you could pick a better place for a vacation, stupid human. Aren’t you a little too far south?”
  • I’ve never liked you Northerners
  • Lost…fuzzy face?
  • Not a lot actually.
  • Not a lot … penguins don’t speak Inuit! However if penguins could speak they’d be asking “What the hell are you doing this far from the Arctic circle” and “How do you like the southern hemisphere”. Penguins don’t go in for trans-hemispheric travel.
  • Nothing, penguins don’t speak Inuit.
  • Nothing, they are at the opposite ends of the earth, or something very rude in penguinese.
  • Nothing. Penguins can’t speak unless they’re nuns. But if they could, it would either be “What the …. are you doing here?” or “I’m lost”.
  • Nothing. Penguins can’t talk, and besides which they rarely meet (even socially) as they live at opposite ends of the planet.
  • Nothing–penguins live in Antarctica, Eskimos live far away from there in the northern polar latitudes. Trick question, Dr. Bob.
  • Oh, my gawd, a talking penguin? Well one would assume it would be saying “Well one of us is lost buddy!”
  • One could, of course, mess around with “I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque” or “If you had paid for your trip to Antarctica with Amex, you’d have got double frequent flyer points”, but why bother. We all know penguins can’t talk. If this question was posed to trap people with the north pole/south pole mix, it fails because the original penguin, the bird for which the name was coined, was the Great Auk, sadly extinct since June 3rd 1844. The penguin said nothing to the eskimo, it was dead.
  • Quack
  • Read any good books lately?
  • Shoot, I must have bypassed Hawaii.
  • That’s my cousin you’re wearing.
  • Wanna buy a fridge?
  • Well … penguins don’t talk; nothing they COULD say could be heard from the Antarctic to the Arctic (or even from Galapagos to the Arctic); indeed I am not sure that penguins make much noise at all. Perhaps: “Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow”
  • What are you doing here? We should be poles apart. What a terrible and obvious pun.
  • What are you doing so far from home?
  • Will you accept the call and pay the charges? I mean those looooong distance phone calls are a killer.
  • You all look the same.
  • You’re a long way from home Big Boy!
  • It’s a bit nipply. [No – that was last month’s picture]
  • Dr. Bob, put away the hallucinogens.

Question 5

A recipe for a particular dish includes oat bran, mashed bananas, chopped pears and water. What ingredient can optionally be added?

Intended Answer

  • Chopped carrots … this is the recipe for stage vomit, just like mother used to make.
  • Too easy! Do you remember my first row, Dr.Bob? “My English is a vomit”, I said, so I am an expert in this field. You should add carrots, and you’ll obtain a perfect “stage vomit”, useful in many theatre pieces and dramas. But, in my own opinion, carrots are mandatory, not optional, otherwise you’ll obtain a sad pale grey vomit.
  • Vomit, which will occur upon looking at this sick mixture …
  • You could chuck in some diced carrots. It’s enough to make you sick.

Better Answers

  • ANY ingredient can optionally be added, as the other answers to this question will amply demonstrate.
  • Guinness. I wouldn’t add it to that mixture, I’d pour it into a glass and drink it, and tip the other stuff out.
  • GROSSSSSS! As if anyone would want to eat that anyway!!!! It’s HEALTHY and not deep fried!!!! EWWWWW!
  • Is there a diabetic in the house? Somebody has serum cholestrol too near the top of the scale if they are contemplating eating all four of these things in one dish. There is absolutely nothing I could think of adding to this clag which would make me consider eating it. Therefore I think the optional ingredient is ipecac syrup to remove the last small uncertainty that the whole lot would make anyone vomit.
  • A Dutch Penguin.
  • A snake’s kidney, optionally cooked
  • A spoon
  • A stick. This would transform the meal into “Shit on a stick”
  • A turkey to stuff it into.
  • Aardvark snot would add interest. And a reason to eat your repulsive (albeit fibre filled) repast.
  • All of them – but 6 ells of buttermilk, a firkin of butter and a nogget of mace makes it a dish fit for a zoo animal.
  • Apple sauce
  • Baby formula? Sounds suspiciously like baby food.
  • Beer, of course (see Q3).
  • Cheese. “Ack! You ruined my particular dish by putting cheese in it!!” “Well I did say it was optional didn’t I? Besides everybody likes cheese, and you can put cheese in anything.” [Ouch]
  • Chocolate chips … or … dried orangatan testicles … or … a shredded photograph of Elle McPherson … or … the last teaspoon of Michael Jackson’s nose-hairs obtained thru E-Bay
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon; Strawberries; Any other suitable fruit or berries; All of the above.
  • Condensed milk
  • Curry powder
  • E110 yellow, E221 sodium sulphate, E621 sodium glutamate, reconstituted sheeps’ brains, banana extract, natural flavourings.
  • Ferment all that for a week or two and you’ve got perfect jailhouse (or uni student) brew.
  • Fosters (goes with anything)
  • Garlic
  • Glycerin – this is a recipe for an at home spa total body facial scrub and the glycerin makes it humectant for those with dry skin.
  • Heat would be good if you want to cook your muffins. I don’t like spices much. How about some strawberries? Then again as I think about it. Cheese and bacon?
  • Honey?
  • Is this the dreaded muesli? If so, and even if not “nuts” (not a comment on the question an ingredient) Suppose if it is optional almost anything – try caviar.
  • It’s a recipe for either 1) gorilla birthday cake, or 2) hash cookies. If you’re going to be feeding it to gorillas, it may not be prudent to include the marijuana.
  • Linguini
  • Milk
  • Monosodium Glutamate.
  • My grannie is Scottish, she’d add the entire contents of a sheep and call it haggis.
  • My not eating it. Sounds too healthy to actually taste good already.
  • Paper.
  • Pie
  • Plutonium? A dozen radishes? Lard? Handful of paper clips? Methylphenidate? Chocolate chips? Matzah balls? Gosh, I would think almost anything on earth COULD be added. The question is – how would it taste?
  • Salt. But that would be an unhealthy addition to this jar of baby food.
  • Sheep’s innards. This is a recipe for Tropical Haggis, wildly popular on New Caledonia (but less so in Nova Scotia).
  • Some booze instead of water is my guess.
  • Some sort of nut: nuts are the ultimate optional ingredient. Any dish: brownies, salad, meatloaf, or ice cream can be ruined by the presence of nuts.
  • Something to make it palatable perhaps
  • Sounds like a recipe for muffins – can add cinnamon if you like.
  • Sounds like something evil and healthy. Rum might kill the taste a bit… or sugar, who knows, who’d eat it
  • Sugar and/or milk
  • Sugar? Salt? Mono Sodium Glutamate? Scorpions? Saki? Whatever takes your fancy…
  • The recipe police don’t care as there are no official recipe rules. Most of us believe you are allowed to optionally add whatever you like, particularly if as in this case you have no idea of what you’re making.
  • There is an infinite number of answers to this. Were you to more carefully word the question perhaps you would enquire of us dear readers what ingredient the recipe states is optional … without this stipulation we are free to suggest something rude, or three quarters of two fifths of a metric foot and a half size bag of hens teeth to taste.
  • Vodka
  • What more could you want..maybe sugar?
  • Which “particular dish”? I have found recipes for three different breads and two different biscuits that use those ingredients. In all of them an optional extra is chopped nuts.
  • Whisky. This is drunk as a matter of course, but added to the recipe optionally. This sounds like a recipe for the fruit haggis served at festive occasions like Hogmanay and Burrrns Nicht, except in Russia, where they serve vodka. For best flavour one should use the wild haggis, which can only be caught by chasing it clockwise around the mountain. Chasing it anti-clockwise is considered unsporting. (Americans like this.)
  • Your dead grandmother’s finely ground spleen powder.

Question 6

<large spherical water droplet on a leaf> Where was this picture taken?

Where, When and By Whom

In the Russian Lada greenhouse on board the International Space Station by Cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin on April 9, 2003. See http://science.nasa.gov/ppod/y2003/21apr_greenbubble.htm for precisely the same picture and explanation. Or is that just what they want us to believe?

Other Answers

  • In zero gravity, with a drop of water held to the plant by surface tension with an air-bubble trapped inside.
  • My guess is aboard the space shuttle or some space station. That bubble of water looks suspiciously spherical.
  • In space – only in zero gravity can you have an air bubble in a water bubble for any length of time.
  • In space somewhere, like a shuttle or a space station…that blob of water is too spherical for my liking.
  • Atlantis
  • At a place with bad fluorescent lighting. Check out the reflection in the bubble, ugh I’d hate to work there. [There’s not much choice if you work there, unfortunately]
  • On earth (am I getting close ??)
  • World’s Strongest Decumbent Spathulate Leaf Competition
  • 3415 E. 12th Ave. Probably the basement.
  • At the OB/GYN office of this young lass about six to eight weeks after a night out with Bill & Ben.
  • Ball in the ball over a probably really small leaf? Don’t know why, but I think it could be a sort of parasite plant growing inside a human body. Was the pic taken inside your ear, Dr.Bob?
  • Damn these picture questions to Hades. I can never recognise them nor think to comment on anything more than the obvious.
  • Depending on the film speed, it might be underwater with a freak bubble caught before the inner bubble falls.
  • Dunno, but I got a bad (surface) tension headache from trying to work it out.
  • During the equinox of late December, 2000
  • From within the next larger bubble, which in turn sits in an even bigger one, and so on.
  • Geelong obviously.
  • Glass eyeball factory?
  • I nearly bought that from a Franklin Mint catalogue. $299 but payable in 12 equal monthly instalments.
  • In a fishtank looking up a tadpole’s arse
  • In a hydroponic marijiuana plant.
  • In a museum dedicated to Maurits (sorry M.C.) Escher.
  • In a room where a couple was having sex. [Yes in the reflection you can see them …. And the goat]
  • In a vivarium. This is a big-eyed tanzanian saliva bubble.
  • In front of a plant with a water bubble on it.
  • In Michael Jackson’s nose.
  • In the bathroom of the naked lady in last month’s quiz.
  • In the garden just after the dog cocked his leg on the bean sprouts.
  • In the house of an old Hungarian woman who collects paperweights.
  • Near a llama [or “Near a raven” but that’s another question]
  • Out to dinner.
  • Outside of Elton Johns mansion. We all know his fondness for rings.
  • That looks like a sightscreen reflected in the water droplet so I’ll say the Sydney Cricket Ground. Of course it might be Lords…
  • The annual Amoeba Bowling Competition attended by Ents.
  • This is in the seedling module of Papa Palpatine’s Evil Empire Triffid Nursery From Outer Space (Earth orbit branch outlet)! Aaarghhh! <runs screaming into the distance calling for Ermintrude to fetch the lightsabres, the keys to the interstellar Leyland P76 and a large thermos of tea>
  • Very close to Philip Glass.
  • Well, I might as well continue guessing. I don’t have any idea. *gazes into crystal ball* It’s clearly indoors, there’s a skylight or possibly just a large fluorescent fixture centered behind the photographer, a door behind and to the right, along with some roped off area. Three spotlights overhead that have been turned off (too bad, the photo seems dark). Would have been nice if the photographer took the time to clean his/her lens before taking the photo. Those dirt spots ruin an otherwise cool photo, even if it is staged. Seems more like someone’s studio than any sort of greenhouse or botanical garden.
  • New Zealand [No, but keep going….]

Commentary:

  • 2 minute review of monthly skeptic quiz- that is all I can spare in a month.
  • A man was driving down the highway with a car full of penguins. Penguins sticking out the windows, penguins coming out the sunroof, penguins everywhere. A cop pulled him over and told him if he didn’t want a ticket he’d better take those penguins straight to the zoo. The man promised he would and drove off. The next day, the same highway, the same car, the same guy, the same cop and the same penguins – only this time the penguins were all wearing sunglasses! The cop pulled the guy over and said, “I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo!” “I did” said the guy, “Today I’m taking them to the beach!”
  • A Norwegian was walking down the street with a penguin and a policeman said: What’s going on? and the penguin said “I dunno, I just found him”]
  • Aardvarks are fuzzy.
  • Another one bites the dust! (i.e. me!)
  • Benedict Arnold was a great British patriot.
  • But I try, but I try, but I try and I try… I can’t sketch no satisfaction. Milking my witticism for all I can get is a tragic yet inherent quality in me. I’m sorry, next month I’ll try to keep it to two entries.
  • CAN WE HAVE THE CORRECT ANSWERS PLEASE [Honestly… If I gave the answers there’d be no point in having the questions!]
  • Doctor Bob, Doctor Bob, has a name that rhymes with….
  • Dr Bob, is that YOU, my sadistic grade 8 science teacher from the 80’s? You look familiar AND his name was Bob too…Or it could have been Trevor … anyhow, if it is you then I’d just like to tell you to shove it buddy, I DID amount to something after all!
  • Easier this time i reckon
  • Gee Bob last month I got one right and you didn’t even include it, but you used one that was obviously wrong. [Bwahahaha] I hope this month you include more than one of my answers.
  • Have you the derivation for “plangonologist” apparently it is a collector of dolls – neither my concise or shorter Oxford dictionary could help [Ah but Google can: Plangon = a wax figure used in Greek dramas to represent a human figure, notably of females because all Greek actors were males. Next question please ……]
  • I am but a figment of your imagination, and you are nothing more than a figment of mine.
  • I don’t do drugs anymore ’cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really quickly. [I discovered that too, when I lived in a cottage that had very low beams]
  • I hate picture questions.
  • I think the clairvoyant you seek is influencing you at a profoundly subliminal level to seek answers. Unknowable, obtuse, convoluted answers…
  • I’m still wondering why 78/sqrt(3)=39 [Well it does, for sufficiently high values of 3]
  • It rained today and it looks like we might get some more..woohoo, yay, yippee……. [Well I used to think the same, but then we had 100mm in two hours and my basement filled up]
  • I’ve driven in the remote Australian outback and you’d think I’d at least know the answer to that question. No such intellectual capacity today I’m afraid.
  • I’ve just come back from 3 weeks in Queensland but so I need to work the brain cells a bit but.
  • Just to be the first: Merry Christmas.
  • Just when I thought we were finally through with the naked ladies, I saw the reflection in the air bubble above.
  • Nice and not easy 😉
  • Our pub quiz team have played a couple of times under the team name “Dr Bob” with terrible results. Since we have changed it to “Holiday in Nebraska” we get top scores. How do you explain that?!
  • Quizzees in this window may be closer than they appear…..
  • Shouldn’t the Bill & Ben reference win by it’s elf? Or would that be Santa? Happy Holidays to you & yours….
  • Someday, we’ll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.
  • Something witty, something profound? Next month…
  • Thanks for a good laugh. I found the site in a random trawl for quiz questions. Love the results, will pass link to all I know with a warped sense of humour & the man whose New Scientist I keep borrowing.
  • Thanks for an hour or so of fun Dr Bob.
  • Thanks for some good lunchtime exercise again Dr Bob. Would you like some thumbscrews for Christmas to add to your array of instruments of torture? [No thanks, I’ve got all those things already … but do you have a CD by Kylie Minogue?]
  • The tremendous horrible forest fires in California are obviously Jehovah’s divine wrath against The Bear Flag State for permitting licentious immorality (… like having the Institute For Creation Research within its borders). [Uhhh … forest fires are so retro now – we had them here months ago – leading the world as always]
  • The trick is to answer only what you asked and not what you wanted to know. Please say that I got all the answers correct and beat Dave Hawley. [Yes, willingly: (a) You got them all correct; (b) Mr Hawley, please bend over … ]
  • This a blend of scandal and sadness…I am no longer a first timer, and announcing to the world I am a second-timer is like owning up to daily masturbation … umm, darned if I know why … [Because it gives me^H^Hyou pleasure]
  • This month’s questions are not perfect for testing general knowledge, are they? They almost invite the use of search engines. That would be cheating.
  • Too easy, I just found your site. I thought your older questions were harder. However if the rest of the crowd can’t be funnier than me about that lot? I will er! Eat Mick Jaggers Hat. So I had better NOT win thank you very much. Oh yeah, do you think you can think of some harder questions for next month? I WILL be back. Also if you think I am wrong, sorry you are wrong all my answers are fully correct. I am totally infailable. [except for spelling]
  • Umm… I like taking quizzes. I also like the Internet. However, I hate it when people go by Dr. Firstname (case in point: Dr. Phil is the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse). Two out of three ain’t bad, though.
  • Whya are you so pissed off with the world this month Bobster?
  • woohoo
  • Yahoo!! (or should I say Google) I think that I have achieved my goal and that my score is zero (bit like Namibia against Australia). Also Dr Bob you do a top job. I do not know how you have the patience to receive and reply to all our drivelly (good word) messages month after year. [That’s easy, I have nerves of steel. When plucked they go “ping”]
  • You may think this entry is late but it’s still actually November in Perth. [Yes – November 1983]
  • You wouldn’t believe how many “subjects” Sam and I have studied so far in the International Unzipped Fly and Drowning Risk Research Project. Those tourists fall in the water and drown by the dozens every day! I barely have time to work on my tan and eat key lime pie. Ok, so maybe I kick a few of them off the end of the pier to help the study along, but this is SCIENCE!
  • Si this a serious test? [Dr bob <nodding and grinning like Manuel in Fawlty Towers> replies: Si]