Answers for August 2004

A lot of good efforts this month, notably from first-timers Peter L, Sue J, Madge/1337 and Linus W, as well as the usual tired old crowd. But this month’s WINNER is overdue after a series of brilliant answers –

Mr Mutwehir

Good on yer, Mutty. What did Hutty tell you?
PS I have been tidying up my resource of future questions and thrown out a lot of dull ones, thus hoping to improve the standard in the future. Already I have had three e-mails saying that this month’s (Sept 04) are the best ever! Imagine what the others must have been like.

Question 1

Why is the start of Tarkovsky’s amazing film _Solaris_ (1972) so long and boring?


Tarkovsky hoped that the Soviet censors would get fed up with having to watch it, nick out and skip the rest of the film where the deeper and more controversial statements were.

Other Answers, Deep with Meaning

  • Because that was how he wanted it. Who are we to question the work of Tarkovsky?
  • All of Tarkovsky’s films are probably long and boring so why change? Probably Icelanders like them.
  • Because he didn’t have Michael Winslow to work with.
  • Because it is not short and breathtaking!
  • Because it opens with a slow pan of the Icelandic landscape, shot at midnight on 22 December, with a somnolent Philip Glass score (for nose flute and yak-hide drum) thrumming away inoffensively in the background zzz…
  • Because it’s like all his movies – overlong and boring. The absence of what would commonly pass for a soundtrack, just the bucolic sounds and scenes of a babbling brook, gently falling rain, the view through the windscreen of a car, the sight of ………zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  • Because the rest of it was, Tarkovsky was nothing if not consistent.
  • Boring? I found it enthralling allowing me to contemplate my own mortality while the prologue rambled along on the screen. The prologue is necessary to explain the final sequence of the film as well. Evidently Lem, the author of the book on which the film was based, didn’t think much of the prologue either but what would he know?
  • Did you know that John Cage’s work, ‘Organ²/ASLSP’ is being performed at the St. Burchardi Church, Halberstadt, Germany? This performance started September 5, 2001 and is scheduled to finish in the year 2640. The start of Solaris is a damn walk in the proverbial park.
  • Getting to the theatre late, as usual, buying popcorn and a soda (and some twits), it allows for lazy bastards like myself to see the substantive part of the movie…that was that three and a half minutes there in the middle…no…it’s gone now…
  • Have to get back to ya on that. I’ll hire it tonight. It should be in the $1 weeklies by now I hope. [Heaven forbid! The Melbourne Age newspaper published a list of three reasons for borrowing Andrei Rublev on DVD. Aaargh, only three reasons? Besides, there are only two copies of it on DVD in Melbourne – I know this because the guy with the other copy would not sell it to me for any price so I had to import my own, at fabulous expense]
  • He uses length to slow the audience down, and boredom to make us reflect on what has come before. This leads to a long and boring movie.
  • I read somewhere that Tarkovsky said he would have to kill himself if he couldn’t make a long and boring film. That could have been someone being ironic I suppose.
  • If I can’t watch a long, boring film, I’ll shoot myself.
  • I’m an idiot! According to Tarkovsky, the start of Solaris is so long and boring “so the idiots will leave before the actual movie starts”. Well, I didn’t really leave, but I was ‘bemused’ to say the least.
  • It depicts the sex lives of the Russians
  • It is a long scene introducing the concept of water as a journey and continuum. However, the flowing water caused its usual effect on lots of bladders already filled by the giant soft drink serves. Many of these people had to bolt from the cinema to relieve their bladder. The producers predicted this and made the first scene long enough to allow time for these weak-bladdered people to return and not miss any of the plot.
  • it is a very long conversation between a psychologist and a cosmonaut
  • It is because he forgot to put in a middle and end, the start runs from credits to ending and is boring as buggery.
  • It isn’t boring, it’s beautiful.
  • It isn’t long and boring if you’re stoned. As you were meant to be in the seventies.
  • It seems he’s been quoted as saying “If I can’t make a long, boring film, I’ll shoot myself”, so it seems he did it on purpose to avoid suicide.
  • It’s the economy, stupid.
  • Largely because Soviet party members and other dignitaries were habitually late, films had to have a long and meaningless preamble to avoid them missing anything important when they finally arrived fashionably late (the queues for Uncle Joe’s Georgia-style popcorn didn’t help much, either). Otherwise the director might well find himself invited to explain the plot personally and at great length to some men from the Lubyanka Film Critics Association.
  • Let’s talk about entertainment. Did you know Detroit is hosting the Super Bowl and Baseball All Star Game in the next two years? For the rest of the world that would be like hosting the Soccer World Cup and the Cricket World Cup in consecutive years.
  • Life is too short for finding out.
  • Long – because it lasts all the way until the end? Boring – because there is very little sound, if any, and the scenes are slow, continuous shots without any Hollywood-style action. But, if you have an attention span of longer than seven seconds, perhaps the opening is not so boring?
  • Ok. Amazing Film? let’s discuss. Pulp Fiction, THAT was an amazing film… Citizen Kane, THAT was an amazing film… Kinky Naked Eskimo Fiends – THAT was sure as heck-fire an amazing film. Solaris is long and boring because it has NO NAKED ESKIMOS. Totally end of argument.
  • So that George Clooney’s acting would look positively animated by comparison…
  • So that the idiots in the audience will leave before the actual movie starts.
  • Someone said to me once. “It’s art Jim, but not as we know it”. Tarkovsy wanted the audience to contemplate, to meditate, to reflect. Thanks for the warning Dr Bob.
  • suspension of disbelief
  • Tarkovsky filmed the opening scenes in Osaka. Because foreign travel was hard to obtain in the USSR, he shot a lot of footage to justify his trip
  • Tarkovsky’s films are about tone, mood, inner conflict, and paradigm. The start of the film was to set the tone and the mood over time.
  • That would be a value judgement of yours, unless you believe me to be a mind reader able to discern the root of your opinion there seems little point me answering it.
  • The explanation for this is long and boring. However, I will do my best. Everyday experience indicates that in a given field of gravity, such as the field caused by the Earth, the greater the mass of a body the greater the force acting on it. That is to say, the more massive a body the more effectively will it tend to fall toward the Earth; in fact, in order to determine the mass of a body one weighs it – that is to say, one really measures the force by which it is attracted to the Earth, whereas the mass is properly defined as the body’s resistance to acceleration. Newton noted that the ratio of the attractive force to a body’s mass in a given field is the same for all bodies, irrespective of their chemical constitution and other characteristics, and that they all undergo the same acceleration in free fall; this common rate of acceleration on the surface of the Earth amounts to an increase in speed by approximately 32 feet (about 9.8 metres) per second every second. This common rate of gravitationally caused acceleration is illustrated dramatically in space travel during periods of coasting. The vehicle, the astronauts, and all other objects within the space capsule undergo the same acceleration, hence no acceleration relative to each other. The result is apparent weightlessness: no force holds the astronaut to the floor of his cabin or a liquid in an open container. To this extent, the behaviour of objects within the freely coasting space capsule is indistinguishable from the condition that would be encountered if the space capsule were outside all gravitational fields in interstellar space and moved in accordance with the law of inertia. Conversely, if a space capsule were to be accelerated upward by its rocket engines in the absence of gravitation, all objects inside would behave exactly as if the capsule were at rest but in a gravitational field. The principle of equivalence states formally the equivalence, in terms of local experiments, of gravitational forces and splodge. Einstein argued, however, that in the presence of gravitational fields there is no unambiguous way to separate gravitational pull from the effects occasioned by the noninertial character of one’s chosen frame of reference; hence one cannot identify an inertial frame of reference with complete precision. Thus the principle of equivalence renders the gravitational field fundamentally different from all other force fields encountered in nature. The new theory of gravitation, the general theory of relativity, adopts this characteristic of the gravitational field as its foundation. And there you have it. [Er, I got lost … have what?]
  • The scenic shots of the non-Icelandic landscape last up to 4 minutes each. If they had been shots of Iceland, the movie would have been fascinating, rather than boring.
  • There is no right or wrong answer to this question Dr Bob. Boredom is so subjective. After all, some people like the “Ring Cycle”!!! If you want true boredom A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) (Exempt Taxes, Fees and Charges) Determination 2000 (No. 2) or New Business Tax System (Consolidation and Other Measures) Act (No. 2) 2002 may well be your cup of camomile tea. It has been 30 years since I saw Solaris, so I can only conjecture that Tarkovsky forgot to turn the camera off when they broke for lunch and couldn’t afford an editor. I suppose it might simply be a metaphor for the vastness of space and the limitlessness of space time. Too obvious?
  • This was done so to encourage children to read Lord of The Rings. Maybe, just maybe, books can be better that films.
  • To allow for people who inevitably drag into the theater 10 minutes into the beginning of the film, yell at each other about available seats, block everyone’s view, step on people’s feet and spill their soft drinks.
  • To discourage anyone without a bit of patience from watching it long enough to make a crappy remake.
  • To make the later parts seem fast-paced and stimulating
  • To soften the viewer up for the longer and more boring finale.
  • Trick question. If it’s an amazing film, the start can’t be long and boring.
  • Well this question can be taken many ways can’t it? You really should know better by now… A few possibilities [one of which is dead right]: Because nothing happens.Because no-one says anything.Because there’s no music (apart from the singing of birds and the gentle plashing of water).Because it is Earth-bound.Because he departed from Lem’s book.To keep the censors happy.To lull the censors to sleep.Because vast expanses of boredom are an intrinsic aspect of Russian genius.(And anyway, who are you to say it’s boring. Maybe it’s mystical or spiritual and you’re such a silly old skeptic that you can’t even tell…)
  • Well with that review I’m not going to watch it to find out!
  • Who said the film was amazing. It was absolute rubbish.
  • You mean it’s intended to be boring? No wonder I couldn’t get through the first 2½ hours.

Question 2

The first book that Gutenberg printed was the Bible. What was the topic of the second book that he printed?


Come on now, what do you think …. Pornography! Gutty was broke and he thought this would make money.

Other Answers

  • “Judas: 30-bit whore or Atheist idol?”
  • “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”
  • “The first books printed by Gutenberg and others were Latin texts and printed in the Gothic letterforms that mimicked monastic calligraphy.” That’s the best I can do. I’m a googler. It’s probably something like a sex manual, though.
  • “The Word Of God For Dummies”
  • “Unix in a Nutshell” by Daniel Gilly et al, O’Reilly & Associates
  • $$$ Make Money Fast!!! $$$
  • A book of psalms printed in 1457.
  • A movie script called “Police Academy”, and Mr Gutenberg professed that one day it would be made and that a distant relative of his would be the star.
  • A pscintillating pscroll of psalms.
  • Aha a trick question. He didn’t even print the Bible his printing press did though. The next book it printed was a book of Psalms. Gutenberg did print a latin grammer before he was kicked out of the business by his partner. Then after a brief holiday in Iceland he set up shop in a different city. He didn’t print much though. No more books anyway.
  • Also the Bible. He did have a print run of more than one book, that was the point of the printing press. The next book after his Bible printing was finished was a psalter.
  • And now for something completely different, lets do Psalms. Or did he go broke first?
  • Bondage on a Budget. All about using things around the house for your bondage needs.
  • Christianity. It was another bible. That was the point. (The first 100 people to give this answer will split the question 2 prize money for this month).
  • Corrections to the misprints!
  • Do you want to make money by working from home? Ask me how.
  • Dr Seuss’s little known failure, The Cat with a Fat.
  • Ephemera.
  • From books to music printing information in bulk has changed the world. And from Motown to Mitch Ryder to Kidd Rock Detroit is home to modern rock music. You can still feel the influence of these artists in the music at the many Detroit casinos and night clubs.
  • Gutenberg was nothing if not ecumenical – book #2 was the Koran.
  • Hard core smut and pornographic obscenity (because he was illustrating some of the dirty Old Testament stories).
  • He didn’t print any more. He had been sacked for misappropriating funds
  • He printed a turkish calendar before his partners kicked him out
  • Herr Gutenberg never printed a second book because he went broke soon after publishing his first. This was because his financier, a wealthy burgher named Johann Fust, decided to play hard ball by repossessing the printing press which was security for his venture capital loan to Gutenberg. How could you possibly go broke selling Bibles and backed by burgers? Must be a lesson in that somewhere.
  • Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams was actually a fraud. His trilogy actually DOES have a basis in fact and dates back many thousands of years (42, perhaps).
  • How to find the ideal location to weigh your pie…just don’t tell her what the scale reads.
  • How to treat a ganglion (Hit it with the family bible)
  • I assume you mean Steve here….. Maybe, ‘My career after Police Academy’. It is a short book. More of a pamphlet really.
  • I don’t think the Bible was Gutenberg’s first book, but after he printed the Bible I think he printed the Bible again!
  • I tried all sorts of ways to find an answer for this, but I couldn’t. The guy who ‘repossessed’ Gutenberg’s printing presss printed a Psalter, but that’s not Gutenberg, is it?
  • Ideally, it would have been a treatise on how difficult it was for an entrepreneur to get enough venture capital together in 15th century Germany to get his new printing business up and running. Although realistically it was probably some sort of calendar telling the farming community when to plant and harvest their turnips, combined with humorous (but ultimately erroneous) predictions, such as “August 21st: expect rains of fish near Magdeburg”. Either that, or since the whole point of the printing press was to make it easier to print in volume, the second book would have been the bible too. But that sounds too easy somehow.
  • Indulgences for the relief of the Kingdom of Cyprus. (Issued by Pope Nicholas V in April 1451 – usual deal: sin a bit (though don’t try robbing the Papal treasury), take cross, go East (in this case Cyprus), kill infidels (in this case Turks), if killed go straight to Heaven (do not pass Purgatory) – You don’t make offers like that, do you Dr Bob?) The success of these Indulgences may be judged by the fall of Constantinople in 1453, after which Gutenberg printed expanded versions of the Indulgences.
  • It could have been a Psalter – a book about the Psalms, or it could have been “The Aeneid”, or maybe dissertation on the weighing of pies.
  • It would have been another copy of the bible, so the answer is religion.
  • Just so much is wrong on so many levels with THIS question. Sigh! Gutenberg’s first book was a Latin grammer of 28 pages. He didn’t print the Bible his assistant did. He had already been sued out of the business. Although he did do most of the typesetting. Afterwards he was given a printing press but is not known to have printed anymore books.
  • Method acting in Police Academy 14.
  • My guess is your intended answer is a collection of naughty drawings and etchings (no known copy exists today). However, this is one of those times the Doctor is mistaken. You see, contrary to popular belief the Bible is only the third book Gutenberg printed. The first book was a 28-page Latin primer on the art of writing and delivering speeches, and the second one a copy of his wife’s recipe collection. Ah… isn’t that sweet? (from
  • Naked Ladies, and a Turkish Calendar
  • Pawn for queens that get bored at knight.
  • Pornography.
  • Psalms
  • Retractions
  • Tarkovsky’s “Solaris”
  • The Aeneid.
  • The art of speechmaking
  • The Bible! Surely he did not print just one copy of the Holy Bauble?
  • The book of psalms. How boring.
  • The errata to the Gutenberg Bible – well no-one gets it right the first time!
  • The first ever printing of the Bible.
  • The second book Gutenberg published was a series of papal indulgences, used to drum up support (and money) for the upcoming Wars of Religion (at a cinema near you). Rather like George Dubbya really. The first book Gutenberg published was not the Bible, it was a set of Latin grammars for the local schools in Mainz. By the time he was ready to publish the Bible (and the Catholicon, a sort of biblical encyclopaedia, which is probably the answer you were looking for) he had been replaced as printer. He was either in a supervisory role, or had been removed completely for political reasons (either answer is acceptable).
  • The second book was Volume 2 of the Gutenberg Bible. I suppose the topic was religion.

Question 3

How many people mentioned in the Bible were known to be ambidextrous?


Only 23 persons are actually named and stated to be ambidextrous – in 1 Chronicles 12:2. Take it away Ahiezer, Joash, Jeziel, Pelet, Berachah, Jehu, Ismaiah, Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah, Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Joelah, and Zebadiah.

Other Answers

  • 1 – God
  • 1 – Onan
  • 2 – Firstly there was Jesus and on the second hand there was…
  • 3 – Dr Bob, Tarkovsky and Iceland
  • 30
  • A host. On the other hand, it is possible that they may be to numerous to mention.
  • A lot, but the bible isn’t true so they don’t count.
  • About 700 Benjamites. Look Bob, I’ve got questions better than this.
  • According to Micah 7:3, everyone in Israel was ambidextrous. Apparently it’s possible to do evil equally with either hand, although I prefer my left. (I’m a sinister character). This leaves my right hand free to hold the magazine open.
  • According to Micah 7:3-6, everybody in Israel, since both hands did evil (and what else really matters in the Bible?) equally well.
  • According to my cricket bible (Wisden) about 5% of test cricketers are ambidextrous. The rest would give their right arm to be ambidextrous.
  • All of them: according to some research, everyone used to be ambidextrous.
  • Ambidextrous?! Is that some vile sexual perversity that The Lord in His wraith smote heavily?!
  • By most standards, I’d say that none were “known” to be ambidextrous. All of the Israelites were ‘said’ to be ambidextrous – and, more interestingly, polar bears are said to be left-handed [refer January 1997 quiz, Q2]. I am left-handed and ambidextrous, therefore I must be an Jewish polar bear. I’m confused!
  • Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.
  • Dunno, but I know I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
  • Everyone in Israel according to Micah. They could do evil equally well with either hand. He is such a depressing read, please have someone more entertaining in your next Bible reference or at least some smiting and mass slaughter.
  • Everyone is ambidextrous to a point, so I would have to assume all of them, however most did not know this.
  • God knows. No really, she does.
  • I believe God would’ve been at least one. Which of course meant there were at least 3 altogether. But still just one, with full use of his 6 hands.
  • I was afraid that if I typed “Ambidextrous people in the Bible” (which I mistyped anyway) into Google I would be sucked into the usual morass of right wing, fundamentalist, proselytising, religious loonies who predominate on Biblical websites. I was right. What a load of rubbish!
  • I wish you’d left this one off. It’s a sinister question. I’ll never get it right.
  • Just the one
  • Know? well another fine question to be sure. About 2% of the population are ambidextrous. But the Bible is a made up story so we don’t need to worry about that. So let’s see. In the book of Micah 7:3 it says that everyone in Israel was ambidextrous. “Both hands did evil equally well”. Then. When fighting the Israelites, the 26,000 Benjamites had a large number of lefties and ambidextrous men. “They carried bows and could sling stones or shoot arrows with the left hand or the right”. (1 Chronicles 12: 2). Some people think Jesus was but that’s not “known” for sure. So take your pick. Most of them, the standard about 2% of the population, or about 300. Which ever you like.
  • Known by who? Did anybody know someone from the bible? Personally? If so, have they ever thrown them a tennis ball to see if they catch it with both hands? Anyway, doesn’t ambidextrous mean “left-handed” in the context of the Bible? Sorry to answer a question with so many other questions.
  • More important how many were ambisinsterious
  • None, or at least they didn’t own up to it. Self-appointed interpreters of What God Wants Or Else have always been pretty much dead-set against it; they claim it’s unnatural. Fred Nile especially hates ambidextrous people, he tries to disrupt their fun at Mardi Gras every year, the self-righteous old killjoy (why he’d get upset about someone who can write with either hand has never been clear to me).
  • None, the Lord despises such imperfections and [This answer ended here. Obviously from a left-hander]
  • None. The book of Leviticus strictly outlaws such practice.
  • None. God is omnidextrous!
  • Only Brian.
  • Probably none. I mean they crucified people for less than that. Maybe Jesus “cured” a few poor souls with Ambidextria, they probably spent a page or two of Leviticus stoning the bi-manually skilled, OOH! I hope the Whore of Babylon is ambidextrous. That would make a great sequel to the eskimos. So that adds up to what? 3? 4? I’ll say 4.
  • Speaking of religious books, the Detroit area is known for having one of the United States largest Catholic populations and for having one of the largest Muslim populations in North America. Also, the Holocaust Museum is located in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield. Whatever your faith you’ll find a place to worship in the Detroit area. [No wonder it’s also famous for people singing the blues]
  • Supposedly everyone in Israel, and by association, God, as these people were made in God’s image.
  • That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. Micah 7:3 … when you’ve deciphered that you’ll have the answer. (I think it basically means everyone)
  • They all were – they lived to be several hundred years old and had to do something to fill their time.
  • This is very tricky, Dr Bob. When you ask “known to be ambidextrous” do you mean (1) there is some other evidence of this elsewhere than the bible, or do you mean (2) “known to be ambidextrous” because the Bible tells me so? (1) Very few since there are not many sources for corroboration, but probably somewhere between 1% – 3% just like now. (2) According to Martin Luther, the Big Fella himself was ambidextrous. But there are lots and lots. Just some: (1 Chronicles 12:2 – somewhere further on, it got a bit boring after a while). Far too many to count.
  • To discover the answer, I’ll immediately embark into the project of reading the book. Should I include the apocryphal books too?
  • Which Bible would this be, then? Are we including the “New Testament”? It doesn’t matter because I have no idea.

Question 4

Where would be a good place to weigh a pie?


(Sorry about this) Somewhere, over the rainbow ….

Other Answers

  • You really have to learn to get your jokes right. In full it is “If you can weigh a whale in a wailway station, where can you weigh a pie?” To which the answer is “Somewhere over the rainbow”. Mind you, Gail at the Mallanganee pie shop will weigh one of her excellent pies for you if you ask her nicely. You can also rent a video there to watch while eating your pies. [Would be a bit dull, but maybe Mallanganee does not have much else to offer. If you could also borrow the VHS player to play the video, however…]
  • On a scale – if it is a fish pie!!
  • “Somewhere over the rainbow, weigh a pie…” (I could give you the music too – trust me, I’m also a musicologist – but under the FTA it would probably fall foul of the copyright Nazis.)
  • According to Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg: “Somewhere, over the rainbow, Weigh a pie …”. Sorry, that’s “Way up high”. Sorry. I really am sorry. But, it made everyone laugh when I told them – or maybe it was my singing. So, sorry.
  • Are you looking for a good place, Dr. Bob? There is a nice scale available to the public at the post office near my house. What kind of pie?
  • As the word “pie” is an obscene slang term for female genitalia, a good place to weigh it would be a gynaecologist’s office.
  • At a Weighbridge. All you would need to do is drive onto it in your truck with a pie and then do the same without the pie. [What, eat the pie and drive back on?]
  • Dearborn, a Detroit suburb is well known for its Dearborn Bakery. Livonia, another Detroit suburb has four different bakery outlet stores. There are plenty of pies to weigh in any of these bakeries!
  • Depends if you are buying or selling. At the poles for the former (or better still, in space) and at the equator for the latter.
  • Depends why you wanted to weigh it. If you were on a calorie blitz you should weight it in deep space, where essentially 0 kg of pie would yield 0 calories, and you could eat all you wanted, guilt free. If you were selling the pie, deep in the heart of the sun would be a good place if you priced it per kg. Just have to hope no-one noticed it was a little over cooked. [Actually it would weigh LESS as you got further down inside a massy body, ultimately being weightless when at the centre. Maximum weight occurs at the surface. You should weigh it at the surface of a black hole – but then you would have trouble selling it].
  • Great old Tellies those. Maybe ‘Bing Lee?’
  • Halle Berry’s cleavage (alternative answer: Kylie’s bum)
  • Here.
  • I think I dreamed about it once in a lullaby.
  • i thort the anser was pie arr squared but me mum sed its pie dee so i spose i’m rong again oh bugger i’ve gone full circle on this one dr bob. (i do know i woodn’t weigh it ennywhere near that michael moore bloke tho – bloody pie’d be snaffled befor i cud say four n twenty.)
  • If paying by the kilo, then anywhere with zero gravity would be ideal.
  • In a chicken house, of course.
  • In a shop before you buy it.
  • In your belly: You stand on the scales before and after…..and you get to eat the pie!
  • In your Chevy, at the levee – do it when the levee is dry (this will minimise the chance of you getting your scales bogged).
  • I’ve just tried it, and it seems to give pretty much identical results all over the house, except the bath; the additional buoyancy from the water made the reading come out too light, then the crust disintegrated and the cherries started floating away. Although in general it worked better on the scales than any other combination I cared to think of.
  • My House. That’s right, bring ALL your pies to my house. Especially the lemon meringue ones. I’ll digest – I mean test – each delicious pie and then bake – I mean make – sure you know the correct weight of your delicious cream covered sugary baked pastry *drool*
  • Oh! Dr Bob, really! Ok then if it was me I’d go downstairs to the Food Science lab (really). But practically everyone else on the internet goes somewhere over the rainbow.
  • Out of reach of Dr Bob if you want to see it again.
  • Oz. I fail to see what is trivial about this.
  • Piescales, a town in East Yorkshire. I have no expectations of emulating the immortal Dave Hawley and winning three times in a row, so I might as well enjoy my answers. Anyway, you have spent so much time insulting my tastes in music and means of reproducing it that I might as well take my bat, ball, turntable and LPs and leave in a huff (and if that is too much trouble, I will leave in a minute and a huff (Groucho Marx)). You know, or being a physicist you should know, that it is impossible to reproduce the whole of an analogue sound digitally, don’t you? It may have something to do with what you can’t hear which cannot be sampled digitally. Correct me if I am wrong.
  • Pieweigh Highway.
  • Ships weigh anchor by lifting it out of the ocean. The precedent having been set, you obviously need to be in an area of water with a depth greater than the height of the pie. A bath would be OK, a shower would be silly.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow (weigh a pie). Try not to sing when you read the line, otherwise you’ll go mad because the song will be stuck in your head. Who’d want to weigh a pie anyway?
  • somewhere over the rainbow, near the pot of gold the leprechauns keep hidden there
  • Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow, weigh a pie!
  • Somewhere over the rainbow.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow. Failing that, on some scales.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow. That has to be the easiest question ever in Dr Bob’s quiz. Where would be a good place to weigh a whale?
  • Somewhere over the rainbow. This is what Adam and Will call a “dad’s joke”. [I have to confess, I heard this one from my daughter]
  • Somewhere, over the raiiiiiiiiiinbow…. Weigh-a-pie…..
  • Somewhere, over the rainbow, weigh a pie. I feel the quiz is degenerating a little.
  • Spain. But do you mean a pie of copper tubing, a pie of 3 cm steel rod, a pie of yarn . . .?
  • The Leaning Tower, provided you can weigh it before the Catholic Church condemns you for heresy.
  • The Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • There are two and they are to be performed, in order: 1) with a pie weight chain coiled on top of the crust and baked for a bit to keep it flat prior to filling the crust with something yummy; and 2) I weigh myself first, then eat the pie, then re-weigh myself.
  • Who would want to weigh a pie, Dr Bob? Why would anyone want to? Just eat it or throw it. If you really must weigh it, I suppose a good place would be somewhere where there is a pie-weighing device.
  • At Blickling Hall in Norfolk – Oh sorry, this belongs to the next question.

Question 5

It’s well known where Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn died. But where was she born?


Nobody knows either when or where she was born. The Boleyn family owned Blicking Hall, among other places, but were still not renowned enough for anyone to bother recording pedigrees for the stud book.

Other Answers

  • It’s not well known partly because it’s not known for sure at all (except by non-skeptics). The place most likely would seem to be Blickling Hall, with Hever Castle a possibility. (Did you think you knew when you set this question, or did you not know that you did not know? Same goes to quite a few of your questions, really, doesn’t it? Not that I’m being disrespectful or anything, Heaven forbid – if there were a Heaven – but it isn’t easy being a skeptic, is it?)
  • She was born in a trunk, in the Princess Theatre, in Pocatello, Idaho, or was that somebody else? Actually, nobody knows. It is believed that because her family owned Blickling Hall in Norfolk, not the one that is there now, that is a Jacobean substitute, she was possibly born there. Logical enough n’est ce pas? Because her family were rich, however, she could have been born somewhere else, to somebody else. The rich always made somebody else do the painful things while they lived it up at Monte or Gstaad or Biarritz. She could have been born in Barts, or Guys, or the maternity wing at Kings Lynn General. She was born in 1501 and again in 1502 and then once more in 1506 or possibly 1507.
  • That depends on which historian you read. She was born somewhere between 1500 and 1509 and probably at Blickling Hall in Norfolk but no-one is sure. Her parents and the midwife are long dead so we can’t ask them.
  • According to the Nun who taught me history she wasn’t born but created in the fires of Hades by Beelzebub himself
  • Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling Castle in 1501
  • Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling Castle in 1501. Norfolk, England.
  • Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling Castle in Norfolk,in 1501. Did she really have three breasts? And I thought it was syphilis that caused his madness!
  • Apparently in a ‘Blickin’ Castle’. Or a ‘Blickin’ Hall’ Man, those history guys can be rude. I was only asking a Blickin’ question.
  • Between her mother’s legs, I would think. Which happened to be in Blickling Castle at the time.
  • Blickling Castle, Norfolk England 1501 and then again 6 years later. Like q3 .. a matter of interpretation.
  • Blickling Hall in Norfolk. She was a queen of England, all us Pommies know where all the queens were born.
  • Blickling Hall, Aylsham, Norfolk, England.
  • Blickling, Norfolk
  • Er, would you believe Detroit? Seriously, Detroit is the birthplace of assembly line manufacturing and the labor movement. All of this and more is commemorated at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.
  • Europe. Probably England. In a cabbage patch.
  • From what I’ve seen of Henry VIII’s wives, UNDER THE UGLY TREE. Then one of the ugly branches blew off and knocked the newborn into the ugly pond where she was attacked by the ugly duckling. And Now She’s DEAD. I think the moral of THAT story speaks for itself.
  • Her biography says Norfolk. It doesn’t say whether it is Norfolk, Virginia, or Norfolk, Connecticut.
  • If you don’t know where babies get out of Mummy’s tummy by now, Dr Bob, there’s no hope for you and you’d just better stick with “Ye Olde Cabbige Patch”
  • In a bed.
  • In a little hospital in Queen’s Rd, opposite the Albert Park lake.
  • In Hell with all the other 11-fingered witches! Bwahahaa!
  • In the 3rd Bedroom of Blickling Castle, Norfolk, England in 1501. Took me two minutes to find the address, but I needed to ask mum about the bedroom part.
  • It would appear to have been Blickling Hall, although a second school of thought holds that it was Hever Castle. Which means it was probably really neither, but somewhere distinctly unglamorous, such as the back room of a local tavern, or a hatshed. And considering how she ended up [where a hat-shed would not have been much use], it might have been better if she’d just come clean about the whole affair and married someone with a nice steady job, like printing or pie-weighing, rather than marrying royalty.
  • It’s unlikely that she was born outside, so I will say inside.
  • Just outside Wedlock (sorry, nicked that one from Benny Hill).
  • Norfolk. (Doctor Bob, why are you bothering to tell me that someone who was born about 500 years ago is dead? Furthermore, why do you need to couch it in terms of it being general knowledge? ….er…how old are you? )
  • On a chicken farm near Nashville, Tennesee.
  • Probably at Blicking (Norfolk), at least according to one website which quotes “most historians believe that…”
  • Right between her mothers knees
  • She was borne up the scaffold, where her head was chopped off.
  • Solaris
  • St Hugh’s Hospital, Sun Hill.
  • The planet earth, possibly europe.
  • Through a vagina, just like everyone else. Tch, Dr. Bob, didn’t your parents tell you anything about the birds and the bees and all that squalid sex stuff?
  • Two skiers go down, each lifting one ski at the tree. I was sort of hoping that there is some sort of 90 month cycle, so I’ve put in this Jan 1997 answer in the hope it’s correct. [Oh dear, then you will be vulnerable to the concept that by coincidence I have just re-read the ancient Martin Gardner book where Q5 was posed, and he alludes to getting 23 different answers from someone … the most I could think of was 17. I might re-run this one again soon, as my audience is a bit bigger & sharper now than it used to be then. Ah 1997! Now I am old and grey, but in those days I was a mere slip of a lad – women used to thump and claw on my door … but I had to let them out.]
  • Under a wandering star
  • Well Dr. Bob, it’s like this. When a man and a woman like each other very much, they have a special grown-ups’ hug…
  • Well known? Perhaps to people who have been exposed to the chauvinistic Anglo history education. Henry’s spouses are NOT interesting.
  • Women have always lied about their age, and this was the real reason for her beheading…she said she was born in 1507 at Hever Castle, when she was actually born seven years prior at Blickling Hall. The inquest took 1000 days.
  • You tell me when she was born first, and then I’ll tell you where she was born. Her family was a bit shifty – if she was born before 1506, it would have been at Blickling (Norfolk), but if she was born in 1507 it would have been Hever Castle. My guess is on Hever Castle, after all Henry preferred the young ones.

Question 6

Who is this?


Will everyone please stand. Well OK, not the Americans. This is the 16-year-old Miss Elizabeth Windsor, described as “the young girl most likely to succeed”.

Correct Answers:

  • A heroic female fighting serviceperson of Australia. [Yes!! She is Commander in Chief of all the armed forces]
  • Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
  • Janette Howard, in that special dream that Johnnie has.
  • Alexander Downer [? in that special nightmare Johnnie has ?]
  • Anna Bjarnadóttir famous Icelandic freedom fighter who when trapped behind the lines in Norway managed to escape to England. Where she changed her name and married a Pom.
  • Barbara Cartland circa 1862
  • Baron Manfred Von Richtofen. Not many folks realise he looked so ‘Girlie’
  • Bonnie lass… Definitely not blue blood with that milk-maid complexion, chipmunk cheeks and succulent lips. Solid Teutonic stock perhaps. Related to Saxon-Gotha-Goburg line? [You bet]
  • Bruce.
  • Colonel Hogan in drag.
  • Diana Dors
  • Dr bob’s mum [No, but if I spoke to her I would call her “Mum”]
  • ER II. What sort of a question is this? Are you a Monarchist? I’ll bet you are a Pom. Most Poms are Trade Unionists. That makes you a Pinko. Good God, is this quiz a front for the CPA?
  • Eva Braun
  • Good question. She is terribly familiar, but I can’t place her. She looks as if she is wearing a Grenadier Guards cap badge for reasons that we should not dwell upon.
  • How am I supposed to google a picture? I mean, really!
  • I almost know this… almost. Hitler’s niece Geli? [Almost]
  • I don’t know but it could be Nancy Wake.
  • I dunno. Your mother. An actress from “Solaris”. Anne Boleyn. An ambidextrous, pie weighing tart. [Well, if she was Queen of Hearts she would at least own some tarts]
  • John Howard BEFORE the controversial operation.
  • Just some guy.
  • Let me guess.. Vivian Bullwinkel, Nancy Wake, QEII (when she was just Lizzie), Cate Blanchette or Princess Bjork of Iceland?
  • Looks a bit like a young Jack Palance. But in drag. Either that or it’s Queen Elizabeth II (of England & Wales; technically only I of Scotland since they had their own monarchy up until James VI of Scotland became James I of England too. And even then many Scots complain about being ruled by English monarchs. Go figure).
  • Looks like Eva Braun. Or possibly Don van Vliet’s mum.
  • Looks like Liz in her WWII driver clobber. It’s a pommy sheila of some sort, anyway.
  • Looks like mom…but when she was young…no…when she was alive.
  • Miriam.
  • My great aunt Esmirelda – where did you get this from!! [Did I ever tell you about the time I was half way across the Sahara Desert and this dusky maiden came out from behind a sand dune … No? Well, to cut a long story short, that was your great aunt Esmirelda, and ….]
  • Oh I don’t know. A young Nancy Wake, perhaps. (I thought she had dark hair, but what with her being a mistress of disguise you never know…)
  • OMG! It’s the lead actress from Kinky Naked Eskimo Fiends from one of her earlier lesser known films which I believe is titled “Stars and Spanks Forever.”
  • One of the seventy two blackeyed virgins waiting for you in heaven, Dr Bob, if you repent for your numerous sins. [But if I truly and permanently repented for all my sins, then the virgins would not be of much use after that]
  • Queen Cleopatra the third.
  • Shirley Temple
  • Shirley Temple
  • Shirley Temple Black, age 18.
  • Shirley Temple? Shirley Strickland? Shirley you can’t be serious?
  • Someone masquerading as a serviceperson.
  • Stuffed if I know. Because I don’t, I thought that some guesses might be in order – it’s not Anne Boleyn, and it’s not Dorothy (wouldn’t that be a bugger of a trick to play!). I wondered about Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II – and that led me to thinking about Baroness Thatcher. That was way too scary, so I stopped it at once. I think I’ll just wait for you to tell, thanks Dr. Bob.
  • Tarkovsky
  • That’s my father. Before the operation.
  • The centrefold from Gutenberg’s third venture into printing.
  • The seal on the hat is probably a good clue . . . if I had a clue. Amelia Earhart?
  • Too easy – QE2 (and I dont mean the boat!!)
  • Tries to google black and white picture search, fails, crashes, burns, watches anvil land on his head.
  • Whoever she is, she’s a woman in the military service, and you know what we say about those.
  • Could I remove my early month wild guess to A6 and replace it with a late month educated guess of Jackie Cochran? [Yes, but that is equally wrong]
  • Well, its not Anne Boleyn [but very, very close – the essential difference being that the head is still on the shoulders]

Comments from Victims:

  • Gosh! How do you find the time to research all these questions, Dr Bob? You must have an indulgent boss. [Yes I do. My boss lets me do whatever I like. And despite this quiz interfering with the paid work to some extent, we still get on pretty well together. Maybe it’s because we are so close. Closer than two people can be ….]
  • Dear Dr. Bob, I’ve been a passive participant in the Quiz for way too long, but now I’ve made the leap to be an active one! [More like a plunge into the abyss, than a leap] Do I get a medal for that? Or, do I just have to sit through an election. Election, I said, what were you thinking? I have used some of your quiz questions as ‘icebreakers’ at workshops – they’re great! Just last week, a facilitator used the “Introduce yourself, and tell us something about yourself that you think that no-one will know” line. I was pleased to announce that I knew what ‘agene’ was, and why it is famous! No-one thought it was funny, in fact, they all looked at me strangely. Well, never mind, there’s always another time (and another useless fact to pass on). Keep up the good work!
  • Did you know that Australian law requires Michael Moore’s latest cinematic effort to be renamed “Celsius 487.8”? [No I didn’t, Win, because that is 910.04°F – I always thought you were one degree short of a disaster ]
  • Forget Iceland – vacation in Detroit. [And learn to use nouns as verbs]
  • Happy Horses Birthday!!!!
  • hi ho
  • I do like the limerick writer’s [it’s Sam Ross] recent work. It’s a shame that the quizzes have 6 questions instead of 5. Also, that limericks have 5 lines instead of 6. Well one, or the other actually. If both we’d still have a problem. [Maybe I’ll set 14 questions one month, then Sam can write a sonnet about them]
  • I maintain my reverence for your work… [I had better not ask where you maintain it]
  • I never realised how incredibly good Google is for this quiz. I plan to use it in the future. Then I may win a prize! *pause* What the hell are the prizes for these things, anyway? Will there be chocolate? [I’d be skeptical about prizes if I were you. However if the person Q6 really IS your parent, oh boy, you are in line for a prize wayyy beyond your wildest dreams!]
  • I only entered this month because I could not resist Q4. (Been in hospital many months trying to recover from cancer and I have missed doing this damn quiz.)
  • I should really be asleep right now.
  • I think I peaked with the Steve Gutenberg answer [I can’t tell, I’ve only got your answers as text, no video]. It all went horribly wrong after thet [and then you got a NZ accent. What a tragic day]
  • I’m barracking for Kerry.
  • I’m going to have to dispute your answer about the Egyptians inventing the 7 day week from a couple of months ago, I’m afraid. I’ve have found the definitive answer: –
  • Last month’s Pre-Emptive Attack on Dr Bob’s quiz [where Sam tried to guess the answers before the questions were put up] had more errors than I’d hoped for. I blame my advisers for sexing up the report on what the questions were likely to be. However I would like to point out that the questions for these answers are in all probability still out there somewhere – we just haven’t found them yet. We know that Dr Bob has stockpiles of questions; we know from previous experience that he’s prepared to use them on his own Fabulous Quizzees. Recent intelligence suggests that he’s using a highly mobile, Hidden Enquiry Assembly Depot – he concocts and stores those questions in his H.E.A.D. (he’s admitted as much before). Dr Bob moves his H.E.A.D. around, even across national borders, and to date nobody has been able to get into Dr Bob’s H.E.A.D. We will continue the War On Error until these Weapons of Mass Procrastination are found, or at least until someone strikes oil in Dr Bob’s backyard and we have a financially sound reason to invade.
  • My job is really boring but I will never find another one so here I am. At least I have time to goof off.
  • Nothing is better than eternal happiness. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. A ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.
  • OK then, start all answers with A so they get up near the top and I can find them.(check) Include Iceland in every answer.(check) Sort of make the answers seem a bit like I was interested in the facts.(check) Forget to make them funny enough to win.(check) No probs, how about a spell check? Nah!
  • Pretty easy this month, especially if you’re not worried about getting the answers right.
  • Quite a mixture this month. Keep up the er, um, work. Weigh a pie? Geeze!!!
  • Sorry about the last-minute submission. I worked some of these out (mostly without Google even) a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to submit an entry until the true significance of the last day of the month dawned on me. And since I’d never abuse the facilities of the University of –, I had to wait until I got home. And then I had to read my own handwriting… By the way, have you ever asked a question about “Thomas Saga Erkibyskups” and if not, why not? [Because Google finds dozens of bloody Web pages about it, that’s why] As I remarked on my previous attempt, “Trust me, I’m a librarian.” And it’s all about trust and not telling lies, isn’t it? (“But Little Johnny, you don’t even have a dog.” “Some people may say that, Miss, but it is my recollection that the dog ate my homework, and nobody can produce pages of my homework without canine toothmarks to prove otherwise.”)
  • Thankfully, your pictured female has clothes on this time, Dr. Bob. [If only I could get nudie pictures of this one …. She already makes me stand ]
  • The dog sat on the tuckerbox nine miles from Gundagai,If e’er that hound should see your face he’d surely growl “Dropped Pie”
  • The first time I actually try, and the picture question is annoyingly answerable, just I don’t have said answer.
  • This is my first time. I’m not sure I got the hang of it. Do you provide detailed feedback? Or will I have to keep guessing until further notice?
  • This is the first picture question I have known the answer to. [But not in the Biblical sense, I hope]
  • Too busy for ‘real’ answers! Anyway describing Lester Bangs as a great critic is similar to saying Tom Waits has an operatic voice! [T Waits would be able to sing the part of Fafner in Wagner’s “Ring”. Or Uncle Ernie in “Tommy”.]
  • Ugly as a box of feet
  • Um…no
  • Which weighs more a pie of apples, or a pie of blueberries?
  • Why do I always have to rush to get this completed before EOM. BTW I’m rushing to patent the latest web image searching product, having failed to work out how to find pictures of someone vaguely familiar via google without a name for ammunition.
  • Great questions 🙂 [Thanks, Sindre Aarsbog, but they are not as great as your Norwegian name]