Answers for September 2003

Oh no!!! Sometimes the choice of winner is thrust upon me by a single correct answer – at least it saves me from having to make subjective judgements of wit and repartee. This month’s performance had more victories than usual for your poor quizmaster, but not enough to compensate for what will follow:
Q1 No correct answers
Q2 Lots of nice answers, but none the same as mine
Q3 Lots of nice answers, but none the same as mine
Q4 Everybody cut and pasted the single Web page on the topic
Q6 I have no idea what the right answer is, although I do get the last laugh (see below). He he!! But wait …
Q5 There was only one right answer, although even that was a guess. But it allows a winner to be identified. Therefore – and how it breaks my heart to have to say this – I am obliged to declare as WINNER this month:

Dave Hawley

Sorry, everybody.


Question 1

In total, how much of Sai Baba’s holy ash is handed over to devotees every day?

Real answer (from an Indian Skeptics source):

Worldwide, it used to be ten tons a day

Other Answers

  • Both cheekfuls . . . oh, you said his holy ASH . . .
  • It depends upon which day it is. Wednesday is huge.
  • Tonnes.
  • Too much.
  • 1.25 tonnes?
  • About 100 kilograms
  • 2 kg
  • 4 pounds
  • 100% of the daily total I guess.
  • Ah-ah! A very exact kilo! The only second object weighting exactly a kilogram. (Uh? sorry, I’ve missed last monthly quiz, I’m trying to make amend…)
  • All of it. Again and again and again
  • All of it. It goes very quickly when it’s icy out
  • An unbeliever would scoff – 285% was handed over just this morning – you must have come across the “loaves and fishes” example shown by another holy man. It can be done, it just needs someone who displays the appropriate incredulity.
  • As much as he can hide in his robes…I don’t believe there is a limit to his unbelievable generosity.
  • As much as they can eat.
  • Because I live in Queensland, I don’t KNOW who/what Sai Baba is/was.
  • Depends on how much dandruff control shampoo he’s been using
  • Depends on how much of the devotees’ money is handed over to Sai Baba.
  • Enough to keep the holy ash trade in India in profit for another 15 years.
  • Exactly one kilogram. This was the answer to last week’s question! Conversely, if one doubts that the ash is, in fact, “holy” then he gives away nothing remotely related to “holy ash” whatsoever.
  • Exactly the correct amount. Here in Houston an offshoot of the sect, Sai Bubba, dispenses holy juice from the Sacred Spitoon.
  • Exactly the same amount of Jesus’ body and wine is consumed in Catholic Churches every Sunday.
  • Fortunately it seems Sai Baba’s holy ash handing days are over as he has apparently been exposed as a fraud by Indian rationalists (surprise, surprise). So in total he presently hands out none.
  • Hmm, because Ali Baba weighed 80kg and his 40 thieves each received an equal bit each day for the full 1001 nights then that’s 1.998 grams/thief/day. So we may postulate that Ali’s now-deceased grandson, Sai, weighed the same when alive and of course lost 97.87% of his body weight when he went up the flue. And because the words “thief” and “devotee” are synonymous in both Arabic and Hindi, it is clear that Sai has 40 devotees who would each receive 0.042 grams/day of ash for the traditional 1001 days. QED.
  • I ashkt myshelf that yeshtidday. But why he’d hand over hish holy ash to hish devotees ish shtill a mishtery to me.
  • I’d say its just about enough to cover their faces and perhaps for a few reapplications during the day (and night if theirs a big shindig going on)
  • If i were a devotee, i’d rather be a rich devotee and get a holy gold chain. Mind you, if i were a devotee i wouldn’t be answering this quiz as most of my brain would be destroyed by some sort of meningitis from the ganges.
  • It must be less than 0.0002% because of the number of devotees
  • Just enough for one standard Kwike-mart Squishie.
  • Kilo’s and kilo’s of it, but Tommy Cooper could do better.
  • Less than 100% if they keep handing some over every day. That way it will never run out.
  • Lots apparently
  • More than enough
  • Must…avoid…making…ash…jokes…
  • None – it isn’t holy and it isn’t ash.
  • None these days, but he used to hand over a fair bit until he was caught cheating.
  • None, he’s been proven a fraud, hence the ash isn’t holy.
  • None, it’s actually cut with cocaine, soap powder and other white powder first.
  • None. It’s not holy ash, it’s just burnt rice husks.
  • None. Only pretend stuff made from kittens called Wendy
  • None. SFA. Zip. Bugger all.
  • None. Unless Sai Baba can keep recreating his ash, there is no way there could have been that much to hand out to that many people. Perhaps they cremated his cat Fluffy to replenish?
  • Not sure, but if you’re up for a laugh check out the forum on his website, Classic stuff – apparently he’s cured everything from cervical cancer to nits. He’s the Patron Saint of Nits.
  • One handful each. This lady swallowed it and was healed (http://www.connieshaw.com/saiheali.htm) immediately. Lady, for $100 I will sell you a handful of dirt to heal you also. Are you sick?
  • Only a spoonful is really distributed around temples in Shirdi. However, more is distributed around the world. About 500kg?
  • Only as much as he is able to hide in his robes before each performance.
  • Several times his own bodyweight, no doubt. Why do these con artists persist with useless stuff like producing ‘holy ash’ or statues weeping ‘holy oil’? I’ll become a devout believer when someone manifests Belgian chocolate from The Void.
  • Teaspoonful BID or as required?
  • That depends entirely on who is watching. Under the critical eye of skeptics he has failed to produce any at all but when devotees are in attendance he has filled a previously empty urn. The answer therefore would be “Whatever he can get away with”.
  • That guy has got to lose the Afro hair-do before I’ll place his photo on my body. I have no idea about the amount of magic ash but I did find out that he can cure brain cancer and will give you a free calendar.
  • The amount of holy ash handed over to devotees each day roughly equates to the same amount produced for the beforesaid devotees…
  • The exact amount in a Benson and Hedges deluxe ultra-light 100 menthol in a box
  • The old fraud goes through tonnes of the stuff a year, so I guess a tonne?
  • They really only burn the daily newspaper, and hand those ashes over, because they ran out of Sai Baba years ago
  • When I first started this quiz, I treated it seriously and researched each question (usually on company time). It did not take me long to realise that I was almost alone in this endeavour.
  • None. The stuff is as far from “holy” as I am from gaining the papacy. [Be careful Dave – the job will fall vacant real soon, and as someone who has won this quiz 4 times …]

Question 2

What, according to its composer Don McLean, was the meaning behind the song American Pie?

Answer

“It means” (said Don McLean, presumably in answer to a question about what it means) “That I will never have to work again”

Equally Correct:

  • To offer a melodic conundrum within the substantive context of symbolism equalling all other attempts to digress into a plethora of purposes
  • I’ll bet that each time he’s been asked this, he’s smirked pretentiously and said something like “It means whatever you want it to mean”, then he’s sat back and watches the pundits compose ever-increasingly elaborate theories about what it means. I’m just grateful that he wrote it, so that Weird Al Yankovic could parody it (I like the Phantom Menace version better than the original).
  • “During uni, we had a competition to come up with THE most inane and tedious song ever written”, he goes on “And I won!”
  • 42.
  • A horrible toothache he suffered while attending the funeral of his best friend’s slender but large-breasted, red-headed sister who died from an overdose of LSD-laced cloudberries while surfing off the coast of southern California in a one-piece Speedo bathingsuit made of lime green and day-glo orange gortex fibers that were soaked in the blood of three nomadic, born-again pagans, who crashed into the breath-taking Grand Tetons during a blinding, raging snow storm sometime in late February nineteen sixty something, while flying in a single-engine plane that may or may not have been called “American Pie.” Or something close to that.
  • A long long time ago, on a website on the net, there was a little skeptic quiz.A skeptic we call Dr Bob, he was the one who took the jobAnd made it unequivocally his.So now at lunchtimes, I go messingWith search engines (or just plain guessing),Musing on suggestions to Our Bob’s latest questions.I can’t remember if I criedOr choked upon my dimsims fried.My officemates just thought I’d lied -The day I won Bob’s Quiz.
  • According to Don McLean, that is for him to know, and us to find out! (the bastard…)
  • Ah! I always assumed he was on drugs, but never fear, Dr Bob knows the truth (and Dr Bob is probably on drugs, which explains lots of things). I always knew that if I was patient Dr Bob would provide the answer to all those trivial questions I wanted to know the answer to, but couldn’t be bothered looking up. Like does “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” really refer to the “Fab Four’s” dalliance with LSD? [Ans: Yes, but according to John Lennon, No]
  • American Pie is supposed to be about the death of Buddy Holly and the subsequent decline (according to McLean) of rock ‘n’ roll. BUT, at http://www.roytaylorministries.com they say the song is about the upcoming battle between Christian America and the combined heathen armies of the world!
  • Apparently Don was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. Also I have read that American Pie was the culmination of ideas gathered over ten years. “That song didn’t just happen,” said Don. “It grew out of my experiences. ‘American Pie’ was part of my process of self-awakening; a mystical trip into my past.” Don called the song a complicated parable open to different interpretations. “People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time.” What a load of crock if you ask me.
  • Canonising popular musicians who have met their ends in a slightly romantic way such as plane crashes or overdosing.
  • Composition deliberately open to different interpretations -how helpful, but not Buddy Holly’s aeroplane. The ambiguity is linked with complex statements connected to the state of society at the time. Thanks Don.
  • Don can’t be bothered to go into detail, but he will admit that it has something to do with the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly. (See the site of the crash in beautiful Clear Lake, Iowa!)
  • Don has never said. He’s rightly concluded that he cannot and should not compete with the natural evolutionary processes in which meanings are assigned to his lyrics only to be supplanted by even better meanings later on by fans and people who must know what deeper meanings the song contains. Any “official” lyrical interpretation would fall short of this ever-improving system. Extrapolating the current estimated rate of improvement of the song’s meanings, McLean will one day occupy a space alongside the greatest thinkers and singers of all time and my children will fail to worship his brilliance at their own peril.
  • Dunno what was behind American Pie but sure as eggs Jason whatisname’s schlong was inside the thing.
  • He no doubt felt it had powerful, tragic and philosophical meaning…pity therefore its been taken on board as the song du jeur of drunken uni student toga parties.
  • He was lamenting the devastating loss of pies resulting from a massive power failure caused by a ‘plane crash into a power station. This was ‘the day the music died’. The power failure also turned off radio’s, recording studio’s etc.
  • He was thinking “one day I hope Madonna will sing this and I will own a supa-slow-mo vcr so I can watch the video at home alone with the curtains drawn…and EATING at the same time”
  • He was thinking about Buddy Holly (and his death). It was then a life compilation of Don’s. He probably had some of Sai’s ash.
  • http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_398b.html – Dear Cecil: As you can imagine, over the years I have been asked many times to discuss and explain my song “American Pie.” I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur. This brings me to my point. Casey Kasem never spoke to me and none of the references he confirms my making were made by me. You will find many “interpretations” of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn’t this fun? Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence. –Don McLean, Castine, Maine
  • It speaks to the loss that we feel. That’s why that song has found the niche that it has.
  • I had read that it was the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper in an aircrash. I asked him when I met him about 20 years ago and he confirmed it. [Well, looking at the other answers, you & Don McLean seem to be in a minority of 2]
  • I hate bunnies
  • I know, but I am not telling.
  • I thought Shaft did American Pie
  • It is a tribute to Buddy Holly. All the other “deeper” meanings of the words never occurted to him.
  • It meant he’d eaten all the pies, the sad, fat piggly wiggly.
  • It was a farewell to Edna Crungge. Edna lived in a small town outside Pittsburg. She was the daughter of a Chevrolet dealer and she frequented a little pub called The Levee. Apparently the pub ran out of beer and she died from dehydration. Shit happens.
  • It was a protest over the Vietnam War.
  • It was about the death of Buddy Holly, according to his website
  • It was meant to be an Epic about America
  • It’s a tribute to Buddy Holly – basically meaning that it was shame the young songster carked it on that fateful plane ride into the never never, and how crap all the music has been since then in comparison.
  • It’s a tribute to Buddy Holly and how rock and roll music has changed since his death.
  • It’s about a guy who gets into a lot of trouble and gets caught in awkward situations, including one where he prematurely ejaculates and was broadcasted all over the internet.
  • Losing your virginity before the end of year prom. Though Don has a different opinion: “The song was written as my attempt at an epic song about America, and I used the imagery of music and politics to do that.”
  • Loss of innocence. Britney Spears told me.
  • McLean wrote “American Pie” just for himself, and was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly, to create a dreamlike, forward moving story about America using culture and politics.
  • Nobody ever went broke overestimating the gullibility of the American consumer.
  • None, he was just hoping someone’d make a movie from it
  • NOT because of Buddy Holly’s airplane. This is Dr.Bob’ vengeance against Peter Pan’s Wendy, I guess… Oh, I’ve found a lot of Don McLean’s explanation about the real “meaning behind”, but my English is too poor to understand him or he simply say nothing.
  • Not much, according to his official web site. The man says it is part fantasy, part reality. He also says it was composed as a poetic finale to a stage program. But nowhere does he even imply that the images in the song have any other meaning than as images from either his memory or dreams. A thoroughly post-modern song. I’d like to add that I’d sometimes wondered whether there could be some more complex theme behind some of the more ticky-tacky words ever to accompany ticky-tacky tune. So now I know the vacuity is indeed skin deep.
  • Nothing at all, it just rhymed.
  • Nothing. It just seemed like a good idea at the time
  • Oh, come on, everyone knows this one. It’s about Buddy Holly dying in that plane crash.
  • Originally it was about Buddy Holly’s death, he being a young paper-boy delivering the news. Subsequently, Don has become more enigmatic, allowing followers of his music to interpret the lyrics as they see fit. Considering that some of these people have yet to surface from the fog of dope that started in the sixties and seventies, it could be anything from a design for a nucular weapon (yes, spelled that deliberately), to instructions for making custard.
  • Refers to the loss of innocence that occurred with the death of President Kennedy. With the assassination we said goodbye to that apple pie innocence our nation had.
  • That boring and longwinded (should I say folk music) doesn’t mean “no sale”
  • The death of Buddy Holly. “American Pie” was the name of the plane in which he karked it. However none of this explains references to chevies, levies, moss growing on stones nor Madonna feeling the need to rehash the whole bloody lot.
  • The flying competency of musicians
  • The name or the song itself? The name was from the plane containg the Big Bopper and a couple of stooges which crashed, killing them all “the day the music died”, but Don’s on record as saying the song itself has no meaning. (Ah the advantages of Year 12 English assignments)
  • The song was about the death of Buddy Holly and the decline of popular music in America. I wonder what Don thinks of Britney or Mariah Carey..no doubt he is constantly throwing up after hearing them and all the other crap coming out of the US in 2003.
  • There are any number of cults which see great meaning in the song, but Don saw it as representing the death of America (if google is to be believed, but dont get me started on that…..)
  • Well he said, “That’s why I’ve never analyzed the lyrics to the song. They’re beyond analysis. They’re poetry” so I guess that whilst it refers to certain memories of his it has no single meaning.
  • Who knows, but I bet Don didn’t want idiots singing it for eternity in karaoke bars

Question 3

Of dead bodies of persons found drowned in the ocean, 100% are dead but 70% of them have something else in common – what is it?

Answer

Their flies are undone. (But I am not saying whether this is due to attempting to urinate while drunk before falling in, or to molestation by naughty marine life after falling in). (Sam Ross wants public money to study this phenomenon, by hanging out on the world’s famous beaches wearing apparel with flies done up, which should be safer).

Equally Urban Mythologically:

  • A bullet in the back of the neck? Concrete boots? Shark bites? A startled expression on their faces? The correct answers to Dr Bob’s quiz?
  • 70 % are mermaids.
  • 70% are female.
  • 70% are men.
  • 70% has a penis, and so do I [Gosh, mine’s about 70% too]
  • 70% of dead bodies found drowned in the ocean are people who get sucked out of the dunny in high flying aircraft. Typically the aircraft will suddenly rise in the stratosphere and what with inertia and other physics stuff that are too complicated to go into in this forum, the go arse first into to ocean and drown. They can easily be identified because of the ring around their ring.
  • A tattoo on their left buttock of Mother Teresa and Elvis reading a book in the nude [Ah – Time for a joke. A lady has two intimate tattoos of pop stars under her knickers, and wishes to have them removed. (The tattoos that is – the tattoos – look do I have explain everything?) Plastic surgeon says “Well, I can get rid of Tom Jones on the left and Englebert Humperdinck on the right, but that middle one of Rolf Harris chewing on a teabag…”]
  • Assuming a global POV, 70% of all drownees would be literate. 70% would have jobs. 70% would be above the UN extreme poverty line. Also, around 80% would have a normal (OAB) blood type, which is more than your given 7 out of 10, but its still really interesting. [Oh.] From a boaty perspective, 70% would not have life preservers and the same percent would die due to poor decisions of the boat operator. These boating percentages are rough [indeed very rough, especially if you are one of the 70%]
  • Being unsure whether seaweed with a fetish for crawling up waterlogged human orifices are good at mathematics…well, I’m not quite sure
  • can’t swim very good
  • Concrete boots
  • Fishing rod in hand – died of boredom.
  • Floating face down
  • Had a few many drinks, probably to keep themselves warm in case they hit any icebergs and have to swim for it, or they could have been hoping to use the empty bottles as floatation devices
  • I am not sure about 70%, but I know that most drowning victims have no water in their lungs – as people drown their lungs produce mucus to prevent the water invading. Most people actually drown in the mucus – not the water.
  • I have no idea but I suspect it is something simple like 70% of people who drown in the ocean are male.
  • I think the 70% would have this factor in common – they didnt mean to drown, the others were suicidal (this includes the ones that changed their minds too late).
  • If one can believe the “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health” 70% of the bodies are male. It also says that New Zealand’s unintentional drowning rate is twice that of Australia’s [Probably because NZ has twice as many islands, of course]. Don’t know about intentional.
  • In Finland over 80% of persons found drowned are male. Almost all have traces of alcohol in their bodies and almost half have their fly open. I don’t know if that applies to oceans.
  • Japanese tourists
  • Little wrinkly bits on their fingers from being in the water too long. The other 30% don’t have wrinkly bits because the sharks got there first. Finger food, you see.
  • Lobsters.
  • Male? Eaten by fish? Dead? (if 100% are dead 70% must also be dead)
  • Males? Surfers? Netsurfers? Snorkelers? Australians? Half-digested?
  • Maybe 70% didnt have a life jacket? Ok ,thats my answer, 70% didnt have a life jacket.
  • Pissed. have a squiz at this page.. http://www.dundee.ac.uk/forensicmedicine/llb/water.htm
  • Rock fishermen or Indonesian ferry passengers
  • Since our bodies are made up of 70% water, the commonness is water. Duh, 100% dead, 70% water; ironic that water killed them.
  • Testicles? Naked? Alcohol in blood? Mullet haircut?
  • They all have a throat full of Holy Ash..no..wait..they are all clutching a copy of Robert Burns’ ‘To A Mouse’ or could it be they are naked. Who knows? Who cares? Tune in next month for Dr Bobs answer. Same Bob Time ..Same Bob channel.
  • They are different from the other 30%
  • They are found clinging to a volleyball named “Wilson”?
  • They are male. If you could get more female sailors, the percentages would change.
  • They are wearing life jackets. (Just a guess.)
  • They are wet. Have I missed something here???
  • They aren’t alive. 30% return as undead.
  • They belonged to people who couldn’t swim very well.
  • They couldn’t swim
  • They could’ve been saved if they had a life-jacket
  • They have all suffered from overexposure to the substance dihydrogen monoxide.
  • They have something in common with creationists–they’re both all wet.
  • They were dead before they fell into the ocean (foul play, etc).
  • They were drunk/been drinking. They are also named Stanley. No one knows why this is so, but speculation is just that.
  • They were trying to do that “I’m flying” thing from “Titanic” and the railing on their boat wasn’t up to the task.
  • They were wearing life jackets? Which also means, when reversed, that only 30% of people that drown are NOT wearing life jackets. There goes that argument!
  • They’re not the other 30%
  • They’ve been chewed on by fish.
  • This is going to be something silly, isn’t it? Let’s say, and I’m guessing here, that no water was found in their lungs. They died from heart attack, suffocation, stab wounds, etc. How am I going so far?
  • Y chromosomes?
  • They neglected their grandmothers’ advice, and as a result would have been mortified all over again to know that when fished out of the water they are NOT WEARING DECENT UNDERWEAR.

Question 4

Why do gypsies translate the name “Stanley” into Romany as “Beshaley”?

Answer:

As the single Web page (http://www.20000-names.com/gypsy_names.htm) on the subject confirms – I got it from an obscure book on linguistics – Gypsies don’t have a word for “stand” so they used their word for “sit” instead. When someone is asked to “stand down” in a court, he sits down …

Other Answers

  • “besh” is Romany for “sit” which for many obscure reasons they misunderstood for “stand”. Suffice to say, my best friends, the Stanleys, are Irish.
  • A bit of confusion in translation. Romany “besh” is to “sit”, so Stanley obviously is translated to Beshaley. Don’t know what they did with Sittly.
  • As a warning to others who would try to make literal translations of names from one language to another. This one didn’t even get twisted into something humorously rude.
  • Basically it comes down to bad enunciation. Some person saying the name Stanley was making it sound like ‘Stand’ley and the nearest word in Romany to meaning ‘stand’ was besh ..so Stanley became Beshaley. Or something close to it anyhow.
  • Because having your palm read by Stanley is not nearly as romantic sounding as having your future foretold by Beshaley.
  • Because in Romany a “stanley” is “an incessantly flatulent, gourd-faced, horny toad,”and it would be cruel to give that name to a gypsy boy. “Beshaley, “ although somewhat close in sound, has an entirely different meaning, which is: “an occasionally flatulent, gourd-faced, horny gypsy.” Next question.
  • Because it is much more manly
  • Because Romany gyspies are laid back and informal by nature. (It’s true, think about it).
  • Because STANLEY in Romany means “stick your head up a dead bear’s bum”.
  • Because Stanley is cursed
  • Because Stanley means “Stony Field”. Since most of the stones in the fields are/were like shale, and shale was first used to make knifes, this resulted in the invention of the retractable shaley knife called “Stanley”. The gypsies on the other hand, don’t succumb to change and they confused with the reference to the famous retracting knife, so they just wanted “Stanley” just to “Be Shaley”
  • Because Stanley’s a bloody stupid name.
  • Because they couldn’t read. Or spell. Or pronounce.
  • Beshaley means sit. A mistranslation (hey, these guys don’t like education) was the reason. They translated Stan into stand and ley into down – thus stand down. They took this to mean, sit, so Beshaley results.
  • Cos they can’t spell
  • Don’t know if they are standing or sitting
  • Ever been on a gypsy bus? There’s no STANding room, only BESHAding room
  • For exactly the same reason that pommies translate the name “Shropshire” into “Salop” and yanks translate “toilet” into “bathroom” [which is actually the same euphemism]. ‘Cos gypsies and pommies and yanks are all dickheads, that’s why.
  • Good Question. Why DO gypsies translate the name “Stanley” into Romany as “Beshaley”? [Because some days it rains, and there is nothing else to do except go outside the caravan and get wet]
  • Gypsies apparently have no word for “stand”. So they made Stanley a Sidney.
  • I can’t “stand” these kinds of questions. Neither can the gypsies.
  • If you sit down I’ll explain it to you.
  • Ignorance of Spanish?
  • I’m not going to reproduce the whole answer, since it is found here on this page: http://www.20000-names.com/gypsy_names.htm. basically, it’s because gypsies have wax in their ears.
  • In what part of the world? I thought Romany has split into so many splinter dialects that Romany peoples do not necessary understand each others.
  • It begs to ask…who said they ever did?…let alone ask why would they want to bother.
  • Just sort of rolls off the tongue better.
  • Oh oh, I saw this on the Goodies. “We are the GYPSIES, we come to steal HORSES”. None of the Goodies where named Stanley however which kind of blows that theory but you must admit its a pretty cool reference to the best show Britain ever put out. Did you happen to see the one on the submarine with the radio station. “A Walk in the Black Forest”. Classic stuff.
  • Oh, please… I discovered the reason, please believe me; but how can I explain, chum? Oh, gosh…Well, gypsies mistook Stan(ley) for Stand(ley); then they mistook “Stand down” and “Sit down” (I do the same, by the way…); now, consider that the gypsian “ley” means “down”, and that “Besh” means “sit”. So, at least, it easy to understand that the final translation of “Stan(d)ley” has to be “Besh-down”. But they say, instead, “Beshaley”. Don’t ask me why.
  • Stanley comes from “stone + lea”. The Gypsies took the “stan-” part as being “stand”. They do not have a word for “stand” but linked “stand down” with “sit down” and thus put together “besh” meaning “sit” with “aley” meaning “down”. Beshaley therefore means “sit down”. Next time you have visiting Gypsies, ask them to beshaley and offer them a cup of tea.
  • The Gypsy’s reckoned that all people called Stanley were loud mouths and decided that they would call them Beshaley (or Beshley as it is sometimes spelled) as when ever they opened their big mouths they would all shout out “Sit Down you idiot” after a while it was just a given that they meant ‘you idiot’ so they just shortened it to Beshaley because it was easier than saying the whole thing.
  • The Roms thought the “stan” part of the name came from “stand” and since their most frequent encounters with “stand” came in court with “You may stand down.” They selected “Besh” which means to sit down. This explanation sounds horribly apocryphal and slightly racist.
  • There is no T sound in Romany
  • They think it’s a pansy name and want to translate it as such
  • They’re both styles of knife
  • To confuse Stanley while they pick his pockets.
  • To honor the great mythological gypsie folk hero Beshaley, who won a controversial trademark lawsuit against the evil villain Stanley.
  • Tricky question (are you a gypsy?). I will have to sit down and think about it.
  • Who are you to question their beliefs???
  • Why do gypsies do anything?
  • Wow, search on Yahoo for Beshaley and you get THIS quiz and 2 other pages. One of which get’s the cut’n’paste: When they rendered Stanley by Beshaley or Beshley, … … … ………

Question 5

January 25 is Burns Night; in which country are the most celebrations held?

That bloody Dave Hawley!!

  • Russia. Just a guess!

Wrong Answers:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Hmmm, a little-known fact – it’s Burkina Faso.
  • Upper Volta, now known as Burkina Faso
  • I can only assume that the interpretation of the question is “in which country do they have more instances of a Burns Night celebration?”. This obviously refers to the famous Burkino Faso Burns Night parties. Every household in Burkino Faso has a party that includes a reading from the family’s favourite Burns poem. Usually “My Heart’s In The Highlands”, but some recalcitrants also read from “To A Louse”, my personal favourite.
  • Aah, trick question from Dr. Bob. Can’t be Scotland – too obvious. Can’t be USA – too Irish. Can’t be Australia – too close to Australia Day and everyone’s at the beach anyway. Must be NZ – with places called Dunedin and Invercargill and with weather modelled on the Shetland Islands on a bad day there’s no other possibility. Except maybe Tonga.
  • Australia – it’s the day before Australia day & the first fleet burned all their undies that night.
  • Being a Hiberno-Scot of dubious origin I would expect this to be Scotland. It is followed by 26th of January which is less famously known as “Having Haggis Repeat on You all Day” day.
  • Canada?
  • China
  • China – it has the most people
  • Could be Iraq this year.
  • Europe
  • Germany – they don’t understand the language Robbie used and therefore do not have to read his poesy. [Indeed, that would be worth celebrating]
  • Hmmm, I’d say: the YouSay (a country very good at appropriating other countries’ and cultures’ traditions if there’s a buck to make out of it), or Australia (any excuse for a good feed and a piss-up).
  • How should I know? I will guess the U.S. of A. because of all the Scots wannabees and/or claimants of Scottish heritage here.
  • I am presuming it isn’t Scotland otherwise you probably wouldn’t have asked the question. The likely contender is the USA but it could be something more obscure like Canada or New Zealand or even China. Even so, I’ll go with the likely candidate and say the USA.
  • I dinni ken, but I’ll guess the US.
  • I don’t know. But it’s also my best friend’s birthday, and we have HUGE celebrations in Australia for it!
  • I don’t remember, I was drunk at the time. I believe it is Canada. [Gosh if I was ever in Canada I am sure I would never forget it]
  • It is very popular at Concord Repat – they have Burns nights almost every day of the year. That is a joke, Dr Bob. A tasteless one, but a joke nonetheless. Why do I have to explain everything? ( ) (Place to insert your sardonic commentary.)
  • I would have said Scotland, but it seems too obvious. As Antarctica Spans all 24 time zones, it would be another obvious choice, as there is a 24 hour window for celebrations to occur. Alas, the Scottish population is probably too small to matter there [or in Scotland <duck>]. So my final answer would be the USA, which is situated in a large number of time zones, and would have a significant number of Scottish celebrators.
  • I’d like to say Scotland but I guess, like St Patricks day, people who have absolutely no attachment to the country of origin of these things celebrate it the most so I guess it is probably the United States.
  • I’m guessing not Scotland. South Africa?
  • In America, where gypsy Sai Baba devotees drown themselves in the ocean after trying to cool down their tongues from the burns received from eating too hot american pie!?!
  • In Burnsanny, in honor of their president Burns.
  • India!
  • Just a guess. The USA? (Southern States)
  • Let’s see. Burns is Scottish, so my answer is the US.
  • My guess is in England, as most scots I know are too sensible to go in for all the “wee mousie” stuff
  • New Caledonia – the French and locals burn each other down.
  • New Zealand, only they think it’s George Burns they’re celebrating. Say good-night, Gracie.
  • Not in this neck of the woods [i.e. Finland] it isn’t. If anything, 25 January is the continuation of the night that started mid-December and will continue for a month or so.
  • OK. While Smithersville seems too obvious, I will guess: Kenya.
  • One would think Scotland, but one would be wrong. As there are more Irish-Americans than actual Irish, the same holds true for Scots. If not, then it should.
  • Outer Mongolia
  • Robbie Burn’s Birthday party is celebrated everywhere, but I suspect the Haggis flows most freely in Scotland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Scotland, ye muckle sumph.
  • Scotland.
  • Scotland.
  • Scotland. NOTE:Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in south-west Scotland, on January 25th 1759. Exactly 209 years before me. So that makes me important!!! [maybe, but not as much as someone else born the same day: see http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/pedigree/913.html%5D
  • Scotland is too obvious so I will guess Canada – I am informed by Canadian friends that Nova Scotia is more like Scotland than Scotland.
  • Scotland would be the obvious choice, but since Scotland now holds only a small fraction of the World’s total population of Scots it is probably some other country. India!
  • Seeing as he was from Scotland, the most obvious choice is there. So, is this one of the obvious choice answers, or, no one in a million years will guess, answers? I’ll go with obvious. [You should have known better]
  • Silly question…it’s the country over that way which has a wee cottage industry making highly inflammable and volatile birthday candles one day of the year so they can have the rest of the year off…it just happens to be Jan 25
  • Since Burns night is in honour of Scottish poet Robert Burns I’m assuming the answers Scotland, but knowing how these quizes go I’m also assuming my assumptions wrong
  • Springfield
  • The land of haggis, tartans and bagpipes
  • The most celebrations are held in the United Kingdom, although mainly in Scotland because they love to get smashed on wine and tell each other how much they love each other – “I love you” – “No, no, I love you”
  • The old country.
  • The United States Of America, which celebrates Scottishness much more than native Scots do (U.S. Senator Trent Lott, of “support a segregationist for president” ill-fame, sponsored celebrating the Scottish “Declaration Of Arborach [sic]” as an ancestor of the U.S. Declaration Of Independence until historians debunked it).
  • USA ‘cos they’ve got no culture of their own. They did, but they wiped it out.
  • Usually it’s celebrated in Scotland, but with a recent fad of pseudo-Celtic hogwash flooding the country, the USA is probably home to the most Burns Night celebrations, all run by people who have named their daughters “Mackenzie” and think traditional Gaelic music is played on a pennywhistle and a synthesizer.
  • Vatican City. I have a Scottish friend living there, and he accurately celebrates Burns Night. Even if he could be the only guy doing that there, the rate is 1 celebration per half square Km. Is there any country with a better rate?
  • Well apparently since everyone in the US claims to be Irish on St Patrick’s day I’d bet they’re at it on Robbie Burns night too.
  • Zambia, well-known for it’s love of Rabbie Burns

Question 6

What book is she reading?

Dr Bob’s Desperate Guess:

I have no idea, but from the site where I found this: it could be Mein Kampf. Although she has not coloured in all the pages yet. Yes this has been a Hitler question!!! Well sort of.

Other Answers

  • “Moby Dick”
  • “Shane Warne – My Autobiography”
  • “Easy Stain Removal” – Chapter 3: Upholstery.
  • “Fashionable Lingerie for the Three-Breasted Woman”.
  • “Great ideas in Foreign Policy” by Alexander Downer
  • “The Naked Ape”
  • “101 things to do in the nude”
  • “Alice in Wonderland”
  • “Beginners Guide to Trout Fishing”: Learn how to land a big fish in 21 days!
  • “Bikini lines, a new approach” by A A Minge
  • “Bondage on a Budget: the ultimate guide to low cost lust”. Available from Amazon.com
  • “Dress for Success”
  • “Dress Sense for Young Ladies” by Mrs. Manders. As for me, I’m reading “Roots”.
  • “Dressmaking For Beginners”
  • “How To Become Wallpaper On A Computer”
  • “How To Look Demure While Horney Australian Male Skeptics Are Ogling You”
  • “How To Make An Award-Winning Photocopy Of Your Own Butt”
  • “How to Put on Clothes”
  • “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
  • “Kama Sutra”
  • “Making Your Own Clothes For Dummies”
  • “Men of Mathematics 1” – (E.T Bell)
  • “Nudity for Dummies”
  • “Playgirl”
  • “Scientific Evidence of Creationism”… thats why the pages are blank
  • “Sons and Lovers”
  • “The Beautician’s Guide to Full Body Waxing” by Fanny Bare
  • “The Importance of Being Earnest”
  • “The Poems of Robert Burns”
  • The Bible.
  • “The Bride Stripped Bare”
  • “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
  • “The Idiot’s Guide to Repossession” Chapter 15: Clothing
  • “The Naked Truth”
  • “Unix in a Nutshell” O’Reilly & Associates Inc.
  • “What Not To Wear”
  • “Who’s afraid of Vagina Wolfe?”
  • “Zen and the Art of Live Modelling” by Robert M Pirsig
  • Buggers me. The Bible, probably.
  • God that looks like me. Truly. I can be contacted at redheadonaloungereadingadirtybook.com.
  • Hmm, based on the dating of when this was painted and knowing that most literature of the time was either short (e.g. Shakespeare) plays or religious in nature (Bible, Koran, etc.) and noting the light skin color (implying Western Civ)- I vote for the Bible. Maybe she was reading Genesis 2:25
  • I can’t see, the spine and cover are facing down.
  • I don’t know what the book is called, but I don’t think she’s got past the prolegomenon yet.
  • Is that book really capturing enough of her attention for her to be accurately described as reading it?
  • Is this one of those trick questions, because i’ve stared at this picture for a few hours now and damned if i can see a book?
  • It is probably the Kama Sutra. Obviously she is (un)dressed for a good nights slap and tickle and she is just brushing up on a few pointers before her lover arrives…OR…it could be the expurgated version of Olsens Book of Standard British Birds (no gannets thank you)…OR…maybe she is getting ready to go to sea and drown and is reading Robbie Burns.
  • It looks vaguely French and 19th centurish, so it would be “A la recherche du vêtement perdu”.
  • Penthouse Letters, looks like the January 2001 hard-back edition. She would be up to the story about the truck driver, his wife, the 18 year old cheer leader and the Great Dane they picked up a couple of months ago. Either that, or it is one of my engineering text books while she waits for me to stop studying (a matter of seconds away, from the looks of her…;-))
  • Probably “Fermats Last Theorem” (Simon Singh), but the shape & texture of the book would suggest “So Long and Thanks for all the Fish” (Douglas Adams). It couldn’t be “e-business, the law & you” (Mark Allen), cause that wouldn’t be conducive to getting your gear off.
  • Really Dr. Bob, how the hell are we supposed to know what she’s reading? In fact she’s not reading anything as she’s just a painting not a real person and that book is also just a painting, and therefore not a real book, and a painting can’t read another painting so hah!
  • She is reading a book about how to improve your station in life – I wont state the obvious as to why.
  • She must have really good eyesight to read from that distance. Hard cover, about an inch and a half thick [yes but what about the book] which rules out the Bible or anything by De Sade, 18th century, too skinny for Rubens, something by Dante maybe? Damnit, I’ll say Inferno.
  • She’s not reading, she’s looking at the pictures like me
  • She’s pretending – its only a painting of a book
  • Something with snatches of poetry?
  • Teach Yourself JAVA in 21 Days. I read it in the nude, too.
  • The art of touching oneself. By P. Ness
  • The awfully obvious answer is a book.
  • The one by her right thigh. In other words no idea – do not mention Jane Fonda’s get fit book – I said do not ment………..
  • The one on the bed, but I’m sure she’s got Harry Potter on the go as well.
  • What book? I see no book. I haven’t got past the tits yet [and there appear to be 3 of those]. Who painted this filth anyway? This is meant to be a wholesome family web site is it not? I will set Senator Alston (the Minister For Telling Us What We Are Allowed To Watch Or Not) on to you and you will be banned, publicly humiliated and flogged. Excited?
  • Who flarking cares!?!? Sigh: probably Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • Book? What book?
  • Book?! What book?!
  • Whatever it is it must be very absorbing if she hasn’t noticed she’s been painted starkers
  • Please take that photo of my mother off your quiz question.

Comments:

  • I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about this quiz.
  • A pleasure, as usual! [yes, but ……]
  • “Wendy Welsh”- i.e. When the Welsh. Geddit?? I guess it wasn’t that funny, anyway. The Welsh were shortening Gwendolyn to Wendy for years before JM Barry.
  • …………………period.
  • Ahh that’s better. Gratuitous Nudity!
  • Can we have a picture of a naked guy next month???? [Sorry – it’s a girl in the shower]
  • Dr Bob – I need a simpler quiz or more time to research. I like your site and will be a regular visit.
  • Dr Bob, is it true that you fled to Australia heartbroken because Mrs Thatcher wouldn’t leave Dennis for you?
  • First time visitor totally hooked and you will do much for trans-Tasman relations if I ever see my name in print (even in a column where you admit to just being nice to Kiwis in case the all Blacks win the rugby World Cup)
  • Going to see Akhnaten? [Unfortunately no it has sold out. Let’s storm the place together. And get the roof off so the sunlight comes in]
  • Great site, just discovered it [I also said that once, but in a totally different context…]
  • Hmm this is a bit short Bob [Many people say that.] As a fellow doctor (I wish) I recommend a serious diet consisting of quantum theory and mechanics. With any luck this might serve to provide a plethora (sorry had to fit that in) of long and complicated questions. It might also send you (and anyone else in the vicinity) to sleep. Expect serious decline in number of quiz returns as another inherent side effect.
  • Hope you find these amusing.
  • I am failing with more style each time (I think)
  • I had a great time in Italy and England, so nice of you to ask Dr Bob. Unfortunately it is back to reality now. Trying to answer impossibly difficult trivia questions set by a cruel and vindictive master. Even the questions I get right are wrong. Was I really supposed to know that Wendy was a boy’s name from 1797? At least you didn’t either. I may never win, but at least I received an honourable mention one month. Ah me!
  • I have NO idea about the answers. But this was harder than last months!
  • I promise to actually try at some point. Until then I’ll just make stuff up as usual
  • I think you’re really neat. I’m not very neat.
  • If the meaning of life is 42, what is the meaning of death?
  • I’m directly under the sun right…..NOW!
  • In a way I didn’t missed August! I was in the Comments section! Thanks a lot, Dr.Bob. I feel better now.
  • It’s not a good idea to shove common pins up one’s nose while attending a performance of “Cavaleria Rusticana.” [I agree. Someone else’s nose is much less painful]
  • It’s amazing what you find when you search for “nude woman reading book”
  • Just found you…Brilliant
  • My sincerest apologies for my short and pointless answers this month.
  • Nil by mouth.
  • Please stop putting pictures of naked ladies here, this is not a porn site (I hope)! Anyway, Skeptical Inquirer magazine gave the details in its Sep/Oct 2003 issue of how Australian Skpetics helped block a taxpayer funded subsidy of “complementary medicine” and that your government may soon require greater regulation of complementary medicine. You do great work when you’re not posting dirty pictures.
  • Sorry to be pedantic, but lingonberries are not cultivated. They grow all over the place and, thanks to every man’s right [the ancient Swedish law that says that anyone can walk over anyone else’s land, etc], can be picked freely.
  • Still the best net entertainment Dr Bob.
  • Still waiting for Godot. Perhaps he send Bardot?
  • Thanks for the question about Sai Baba. I never heard of him before today but now I am planning to dedicate my life to worshipping him. Magic ashes appeared on my computer screen!
  • There is a diurnally challenged rooster living beside me. Does anyone need one for some covert voodoo ritual? Going cheep! (boom boom).
  • This is risky, no more nudes as work will bust me. [Sorry. At least this month you will see only the head and the left paw] How about abstract art?
  • This is the first time I’ve ever done the quiz. I feel significantly less intelligent. Thanks. [No worries – I am glad to have increased your future potential]
  • Well done chap an excellent selection this month, my congratulations. Of course my answers are totally meaningless crap but it’s the thought that counts. [Must have been well hidden – I could find no trace of it]
  • What I find most amazing is that somebody in the world is interested enough in gypsies to document old Stanley on the web.
  • Woo-woo.
  • In accordance with the instructions for this quiz, I have attempted to answer none of the questions. When determining the winner, please consider this flawless execution of a valid response, containing no incorrect answers. Furthermore, please also consider this cute and/or witty statement: I am interested to see how my answers will be edited in an attempt at brev…
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