Questions for all 2008


Wendy Mooney January 2008
Steve Symonds February 2008
John Coffin March 2008
Bob Bills April 2008
Steve Merdith May 2008
Alan Needham June 2008
Keith Frampton July 2008
Sue McLeod August 2008
John Wilson September 2008
Michael Carland October 2008
Laurence Boyd November 2008
Sarah Hood December 2008


January 2008

Q1  One 14th-century manuscript of the Gospel according to Luke had, in chapter 3, the human race’s oldest ancestor named as Phares, and God as being the son of a man named Aram.  How come?

Q2  Did Jesus ever get angry?

Q3  Is homoeoteleuton a reasonable explanation for periblepsis?

Q4  The apostle Paul mentions a man named Junias (in Romans 16) – a name that never occurs anywhere else in history. What is the hidden agenda here?

Q5  Why did Lobegott Friedrich Constantine von Tischendorf’s mother give him the first name “Lobegott” (=Praise God)

Q6  Who are these people? (a young Bill & Hillary Clinton)

February 2008

Q1    Was the Beagle, on its epic voyage with Darwin aboard, struck by

Q2    Why did the Beagle carry: soup tureens, tea trays, beaver hats,
chamber pots, and packed sets of crockery?

Q3    Tierra del Fuego has one tribe of natives called by Europeans
“Tekenika” or “Tekeenica” – what connection do they have with the
Australian kangaroo?

Q4    How did Darwin discover his first specimen of the rare _Avestruz
petiso_ or “little ostrich” _Rhea darwinii_ ?

Q5    Capt Fitzroy abducted four natives from Tierra del Fuego, brought
them to England and trained them in the ways of civilisation. One of
them was female, when she was returned to her homeland what did she end
up doing?

Q6    (VERY DIFFICULT) Which body part in this picture have you seen
somewhere before? [Monty Python foot]

March 2008

Q1    Who was generally believed to be the world’s heaviest smoker?

Q2    Sir Isaac Newton took a punt at the density of “gopher wood” and calculated the displacement tonnage of Noah’s Ark; what was his estimate?

Q3    On what date was the first issue of “Islamic Tourism” magazine published?

Q4    What was the single occasion in the 20th century when a Head of State, upon being shot at by assassins during an official function, pulled out his own pistol and returned fire?

Q5    When Sir Cliff Richard is driving his car around London, how does he know that God is looking after him?

Q6    Who’s this? (King Zog in a military hat)

April 2008

Q1 The earliest recorded garden gnome was one placed by Sir Charles Isham in 1847 – why did he do that?

Q2 Why did the clock on the UK Houses of Parliament (“Big Ben” is the hour bell) fail to keep correct time at one point in 1945?

Q3 The most decisive election result in history was in North Korea with 100.00% turnout and 100.00% vote for the Workers Party.  When & where was the _second_ most decisive election result in history?

Q4 To which man have the most statues been raised?

Q5 Willie Darden killed a shopkeeper in 1973; he was interviewed for TV some time before being executed.  What happened, that interrupted this interview?

Q6 What is noteworthy and famous about this page from an old book? (Fermat, margin)

May 2008

Q1    How does the song that starts “1, 2, 75, …” continue?

Q2    How many pancakes did Sambo have for supper?

Q3    In Werner Herzog’s film, under the new laws of Lope de Aguirre (Wrath of God), into how many pieces would anyone considering desertion be cut?

Q4    Ancient Egyptian burials began to include small human replicas called “shabti”, to serve the deceased in the afterlife.  At first there were only one or two shabti per burial, but later the number rose and steadied at 401 SPB.  Why 401?

Q5    In the mythology of the Urantia book, how many beings sided with Cadastria in his/her battle with Dadastria?

Q6    <13th.jpg> Where’s this? (Corner of 13th st, 13th ave)

June 2008

Q1    In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, what happened to people who found a message in a bottle, washed up on a beach?

Q2    Before King George II gifted the building to Sir Robert Walpole in 1732, who was the last private resident of the house at 10 Downing Street?

Q3    Who is, or was, the longest-serving leader of a British political party?

Q4    How might the town of Bridgnorth, Shropshire have featured more prominently in British politics?

Q5    Why was the perennial parliamentary candidate Screaming Lord Sutch refused permission to change his name to “Mrs Thatcher”?

Q6    <volcanoes.jpg> Although these are not exactly in Britain, two of these volcanoes are called Aryk and Korijakski – what is the name of the third one?

July 2008

Q1    What question has the answer: “9W”

Q2    What is long, thin and sticky?

Q3    What famous opera features a happy cow?

Q4    An advert on a Melbourne tram for eye drops began “When Bill and Ben went outside in the dusty summer heat, their eyes began to water.  “What should we do?” said Bill.”  Now, some wag with a Texta had written a brilliant answer to this … can anyone do better?

Q5    Complete this sentence – “The speed bumps in our street don’t work at all – they … … … ”

Q6    <picture> This clock was built in 1999 and was designed to run for very many years, as a protest against the current fashion for short-term corporate vision.  What tiresome question was asked of its designer, and what was the reply?

August 2008

Q1    When was the first call using the code “SOS” transmitted?

Q2    The New York Times was just one of many newspapers local to New York, but is now world class – what great scoop began its move to this pre-eminent position?

Q3    Why did the London Hippodrome offer Senator William Alden Smith (Republican – Michigan) $50,000 to give a one-hour lecture on any subject he liked?

Q4    British Standard BS3704 states the quality requirements for rubber condoms. On condom dispensing machines, what was commonly graffiti’d under the statement “Compliant to BS3704”

Q5    What is the term for a resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia?

Q6    <steamgauge.gif> What, apart from the low steam pressure, is wrong in this picture?

September 2008

Q1  What is the greatest altitude at which bagpipes have been played, in the open air?

Q2  The score for the ballet “Appalachian Spring” – What aspect of the Appalachian Spring inspired Aaron Copeland to write this music?

Q3  For several decades Richard Strauss (1864-1949) carried on a long and deeply intimate musical collaboration with the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal.  After how many years did they begin to call each other “Du” instead of “Sie”?

Q4  When Mick became Sir Michael Jagger, Keith Richards took a break from performing, having reputedly said  “I don’t want to step out on stage with someone wearing a f…ing coronet and sporting the old ermine”.  Anyway .. Which Rolling Stone was the first to meet the Queen?

Q5  George Frideric Handel once lived in a house in Mayfair, London. Later, what famous musician lived in the house next door?

Q6 <street.jpg> This is a street in Bolton, NW England.  What pop star lived here, _after_ achieving fame?

October 2008

Q1  The first telescope in 1608 was refused a patent – on what grounds?

Q2  Which way is the Tower of Pisa leaning?

Q3  Galileo had some correct, early ideas about relativity – particularly that experiments in a steadily moving environment should be identical to those in a stationary one.  To which set of persons did he speak, to confirm this hypothesis?

Q4  The Earth orbits around the Sun at 0.01% of the speed of light.  At what fraction of the speed of light is the whole Milky Way moving towards something called the Great Attractor?

Q5  Who had interchangeable noses?

Q6  What cosmic event is depicted here? (Creation of universe by FSM)

November 2008

Q1  The Roman emperor Galba was extremely unpopular; after his death 120 different people claimed to have killed him.  What did all these people have in common?

Q2  When persons were publicly burnt at the stake, if they were not particularly famous (or particularly guilty), and if the authorities had a generally lenient attitude at the time – well, not so lenient as to actually cancel the execution, but more lenient than usual – what were the condemned’s family and friends allowed to bring along to the occasion?

Q3   How did this conversation, between two old friends, continue.
“Hullo, Tish.”
“Hullo, Tosh.”

Q4  Marcus Garvey, now recognised as a hero of Pan Africanism, was commemorated by TWO obituaries, printed at different times, instead of the usual one.  What caused him to qualify for the second one?

Q5  In 1994 an application was made to the House of Lords to declare the innocence of Timothy Evans, who was wrongly hanged in 1950 and pardoned (somewhat too late) in 1966.  Why did they turn it down?

Q6 This is a renowned mediaeval cleric and poet.  What’s he doing, as depicted here?

December 2008

Q1  The Hindenburg airship had a restaurant that provided lots of top tucker, but no garlic bread.  Why not?

Q2  What, according to a British judge, is a more succinct way of saying “I wholeheartedly concur with you, O my African-American brother”

Q3  Tunnies (fish) breed in the North Sea.  To get there, they migrate out of the Mediterranean and go up past Ireland and over the top of Scotland and down to the North Sea, which leaves hardly any time for frantically mating before it’s time to go back the same way.  Why don’t they take the quicker route through the English Channel?

Q4  During construction of the world’s first offshore lighthouse (on Bell Rock in the North Sea), it was decided that work on Sundays was necessary, in contravention of religious observances; on the first Sunday worked, one of the boats drifted off leaving only a 6-man boat for 12 people, as a 14-foot tide began to rise, 11 miles out to sea. How did management address this opportunity?  (Dr Bob once worked at a place where nobody was allowed to use the word “problem”.)  That is, what happened next?

Q5  What world-famous building – not deliberately shaped like a banana, e.g. the Big Banana of Queensland – has been described as “shaped like a banana”?

Q6  What’s this? (Kokuyo 28-cornered eraser)