Answers for December 2008

ANSWERS for December 12008. Lot of nice answers but I choose the WINNER this month who gave a lot of detailed and correct answers – well done

Sarah Hood

of Hobart, Tasmania. As distinct from any other Hobarts in other places. Crikey, might there be more than one? What a tedious prospect.

Question 1

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


The hydrogen gas was mixed with garlic odour to help detect leaks

Additional Answers

  • 2 reasons: (1) garlic bread required toasting, and the airship engineers at the time had heard that large volumes of hydrogen may be flammable. All food on board was served cold… just in case. (2) The passenger cabin was quite small, and there were concerns of garlic breath ruining the first-class experience.
  • After eating Garlic one’s breath was considered toxic and flammable.
  • Amazing that Hitler allowed Hindenburg hydrogen to smell of low class Franco-Italian garlic and not of a superior Aryan perfume such as Teutonic sausage or good Bavarian beer. No wonder the thing fried so spectacularly. Oh, the humanity! Oh, the untermenschen stenchen!
  • Because it was wog food and offended Aryan sensibilities.
  • Because the Hydrogen used in the Hindenburg was odorised with a garlic smell so they could detect leaks. Enormous trouble occurred when Hitler’s mate El Duce Mussolini had a ride.
  • Because they “perfumed” the hydrogen in the ship with garlic smell.
  • Because when it made people’s breath stinky you could not get away – and if people had wine with lunch they became “close talkers” and that’s not pretty
  • First of all, being in Canada, “tucker” is the last name of a hockey player (and not a very good hockey player at that), and not food. So I had to google what the heck you were talking about. [You think you’ve got problems! I had to google ‘Canada’] So, I’d have to guess that the reason there was no garlic bread on the Hindenburg was because it was too smelly. Unlike sauerkraut, of course which is fragrant – like flowers…
  • Garlic Bread wasn’t invented yet. It was invented in 1945 by an Aussie Digger who thought it would rid the world of nazis. [Well, it seemed to work]
  • Garlic bread’s fumes were thought by superior Aryan scientists to cause hydrogen gas to explode. Which it did.
  • Garlic had to be imported from Molvania, and Germans didn’t like Molvania back in those days for being Slavic.
  • Garlic trioxide and helium form heligarliosulphate which goes “boom” when you light up a cigar.
  • Garlic was in short supply during the depression years in Germany. The military had requisitioned what little garlic there was for use in experimental weapons, so there was none left for civilian craft like the Hindenburg.
  • Garlic was the odorant that was used to allow detection of hydrogen leaks.
  • Garlic would have made people fart too much and risked a catastrophic explosion caused by the excess of methane in the gondola.
  • I imagine that they didn’t have garlic prawns or Escargots in garlic butter, either… Hindenberg lifted using hydrogen gas, rather than helium. Hydrogen is of course highly flammable, but odourless. As a safety precaution, the hydrogen was impregnated with the odour of garlic, in order that a leak could be identified more easily (in the same way that modern natural gas has its distinctive odour added). Hence the restaurant would presumably not serve food redolent of garlic. [or hydrogen]
  • In case it crashed, they didn’t want anyone thinking they were French.
  • It would mask the smell of leaking gas, which was laced with garlic to make it easy to detect.
  • It’s a bit too gassy.
  • The flammable bad breath might ignite the hydrogen. Garlic lovers snuck it aboard anyway, and this is the true cause of the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Oh, the humanity!
  • The garlic bread to which you refer (breadstick sliced, buttered with a mix of butter and mashed garlic, wrapped in foil, heated in the oven) was not around until the 1940s when Italian eateries of the red and white checked tablecloth and melted candles in fiascos type began to proliferate in the US so it was not available to the chefs of the Hindenburg, which was baked in 1937 (or on the Titanic either, for the same reason)
  • The Hindenburgs were vampires whose hobbies included ferocious make-out sessions.
  • The hydrogen, being odorless and colorless, had garlic odor added (much like your natural gas or propane). Of course, being confined in close quarters for a week perhaps the passengers got a bit ripe if they had garlic.
  • The order had gone through, but Pizza Hut didn’t exist until 21 years later.
  • They had plenty of garlic and bread but couldn’t make the required butter in the relatively short flight time from the on-ship cow, Hilda.
  • Ve ver nicht zerving ze Knoblauchbrot on ze Hindenburg because ve did not vant to deaden ze sense of der smell. Zis is how ve tell if der Missus is having ein Rooting mit der Frenchman.
  • What, in an enclosed atmosphere? The passengers were better bread than that. No german sausage either, because that would have been the wurst.
  • You wouldn’t want to be on an airship with a whole lot of garlic-smelling Germans.

Question 2

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


“Fo shizzle, ma nizzle” –

Additional Answers

  • “Climate change we can believe in!”
  • “fo shizzle ma nizzle” and they say that in Iceland too.
  • “Right-on brother”
  • “True.”
  • “Yeah, bro.”
  • “Yo, bro – you is all go.”
  • “shizzle my nizzle”. Which completely bamboozles me.
  • *@#% @*$# *#*$*, #@%* @*@*###@******
  • Don’t shoot?
  • Fo’ shaw!
  • G’day mate how ya goin’?
  • High Court judge Kim Lewison ruled that it meant ‘for sure’ after declaring it almost a foreign language and having to consult Urban Dictionary. Kim, like Weird Al, is probably ‘whiter than sour cream’ but does not seem to want to ‘roll wid da gangstas’. The delicious prospect of such nonsense being decided in a court (and in an intellectual property action at that) brings to mind the US court which was forced to declare, after numerous hearings at various speeds, that ‘Louie Louie’, far from being obscene and corrupting, was actually unintelligible and probably meaningless. Unless a relative of one of those involved was lost at sea early last century in a collision between a ship and an iceberg I can’t immediately see a connection with the famous maritime accident.
  • I say, yo bro, what? Jolly good.
  • The phrase is “fo’ shizzle my nizzle” (derived from “For sure, my Nigger” (Sorry, can you still say that?)). Unfortunately, Lewison J and his brothers were unable to find a satisfactory translation for the phrase “Mish mish man”.
  • What up my g-dog?! Brother you my pimp!
  • Word to your mother.
  • Yes, Mr. President-elect.
  • Yo Bro !
  • yo mutherf*er, I dig you man, you da man
  • Yo, my Nigga!

Question 3

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?


Ancestral wisdom from when there was a land bridge between Britain and Europe … now ancestral stupidity.

Additional Answers

  • About the time the channel opened up, someone put in a route variation form, but it was in the wrong format. It’s been passed around and around and now it’s stuck somewhere in an intray at the bottom of the pile, somewhere under feeding and spawning suggestions.
  • According to Aristotle, these fish are scared of white rocks – so they probably take one look at the White Cliffs of Dover and turn in the other direction (i.e. the long way ’round) – that and the fact that the migration routes are no doubt hard-wired into their little fishy psyches…
  • Because when they start off they are a bit chubby and they want to sport their best figure for the fun times
  • Because then the female fish will want to cuddle afterwards.
  • Because tunnies are thick, thick, thick – you’d think they’d remember to take the bloody Garmin at least once in a breeding cycle.
  • English channel not nice. Clogged with damn British vessels tryin’ to smuggle garlic bread out of the country into Germany (after getting through France and all that, of course).
  • Following the gulf stream
  • I reckon its got something to do with the depth of the water and predators, but that’s just guessing….
  • Is it because of the current or the temperature?
  • It’s boring.
  • It’s too noisy.
  • My guess is that it’s warmer that way – following the Gulf Stream. Finding these fish in the North Sea in the last century is generally taken to be a result of global warming or at least a rising in sea temperatures. Are you sure that they are breeding in the North Sea? McKeown’s Fish Migration (a riveting bedtime read! and yes, I looked it up out of curiosity) says that the fish spawned in the Mediterranean make this journey (who knows why? so far the tunny aren’t telling) and that they return there to spawn in their turn. Titanic connection? Hmmmm … The Titanic must have sailed over them as it left Ireland!
  • Nothing deflates the sexy mood of fish mating like anything English…
  • Prudish English sex standards would inhibit copulation.
  • The Channel is too polluted and not of high quality/salt balance.
  • The English Channel didn’t always exist (even tho there will always be an England). Last Ice Age it was a land route to far away places like Dunkirk and Le Havre (before the chunnel).
  • The English Channel was covered in ice 10,000 years ago and they don’t know that it has melted.
  • The English Channel was formed after they established this migratory pattern.
  • The English Channel wasn’t open when they first started to breed in the North Sea.
  • The lazy sods prefer to be aided by the warmer Atlantic drift – which takes them on the longer, scenic route.
  • There is a no right hand turn sign at the junction of the Bay of Biscay and the Channel. Its got to do with food Dr Bob. Also, they like going past Iceland.
  • They are scared of the French who like to eat them with a nice garlic sauce.
  • They have learned that the greatest arousal is in the anticipation of mating rather than just going for the ‘quickie’ approach.
  • They used to, but the tunnies proved to be ponderous in the act of foreplay. The female tunny thus sought a quick act with a new arrival … not a long slow affair with a fish that had been hanging around for weeks or months. Thus, selective pressures eliminated the short-cutting tunny in favour of its geographically challenged, but enthusiastically fornicating brother.
  • They’re English fish. It’s to avoid the smell of garlic.
  • To avoid larger, predatory fish at the mouth of the channel. Also, it’s theorized that they are avoiding fishermen who are more numerous in the channel.
  • To avoid paying tolls
  • Too much stuff floating around in it.
  • Zer Tom Tom ist nicht gut undervasser. Ze electrics, zey make mit ze short out. Nicht very gut on ze Hindenburg eizer.

Question 4

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?


An unexpected extra supply boat happened to turn up

Additional Answers

  • 12 men stayed in the sea but holding onto the boat
  • 3 trips are needed to get 12 people off. 5 can be taken off on the first and second trip – and last trip takes the remaining 2 (including the coxwain). Alternatively they work in shifts
  • 6 jumped in the boat and rowed like hell! The other 6 held a quick Sunday service and prayed for a miracle !
  • 6 men in the boat & 6 men clinging to its sides until rescued. (I don’t recall a mass drowning during construction). Eventually a cabin was built on stilts so they could safely stay on the site at high tide.
  • 6 people got wet.
  • Boss Robert Stevenson blamed the incident on an attack of Bell’s Palsy – an affliction of the devil – thereby absolving both God and himself of any untoward failings, and life just inchcaped along.
  • Build a house on stilts of course. Slackers need to work 20 hours a day 7 days a week .. haruumph…
  • Each man caught a Tunny back to shore.
  • Easy, management did not know about the problem, even if they did they would have given some half baked idea on how to solve it with a bloody committee, and anyway, they were sipping chardy while eating au douves in the sun on a sunday. Like most problems the workers solved it. They climbed the lighthouse to escape drowning- six blokes went back in the boat and a bigger boat was sent to pick up the rest.
  • Fight to the death! 12 men entered, 6 men left!
  • Management told the workers that only the six most hardworking people would get to go on the boat. The others would be left on the rock to drown.
  • Monday
  • Nothing, they were too busy calculating the costs of different courses of action – compensating relatives vs salaries saved sort of stuff – by the time the tide rolled in and forced the issue.
  • paper, rock, scissors
  • Robert Stevenson arranged for a rescue ship to be sent to the men – but as the lighthouse was incomplete, the men were left with bells to direct the incoming boat to their rocky refuge. As the boat was approaching, a man by the name of Wishart, who went on to become the world’s first legless lighthouse keeper was rallying the men to “Jingle Bell – Jingle Bell – Jingle Bell Rock!”. It was Christmastime, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • The lighthouse was invaded by an army of giant talking fascist candles, which blew it up, dealing with this opportunity once and for all.
  • The six strongest killed the six weakest and called it the will of god.
  • They all got mumps. Then found oil.
  • They all prayed like maniacs and the waters parted. Like, yeah.
  • They built a 15 foot platform really, really quick, with no tea-break. The Shop Steward was unsurprisingly supportive of management that day.
  • They built a house on stilts on the rock.
  • They climbed up to 15 feet or even further on the new building.
  • They did nothing. Just as Stevenson (the engineer) was about to address the 32 workmen on the desperation of their situation, the pilot boat turned up in the nick of time to deliver some letters and rescued them all. They gave the pilot a life pension as a reward.
  • They didn’t did they Dr Bob. Robert Stephenson was about to tell the men they were stuffed when out of the blue (pun intended) came the Bell Rock Pilot, James Spink who turned up with the mail in a large boat which they all got on. An interesting aside Dr Bob but neither Stephenson nor Spink ever went to Iceland.
  • They worked overtime and finished the lighthouse very quickly.
  • Wow! How topical! Everyone who didn’t see Seven Wonders of the Industrial World on the ABC is, I guess, now watching it on the commercial channel (though the massive number of ads may be affecting their concentration). What happened next? They filled the boat with the requisite number and the other six had to cling to the gunwales. They did not have to get back to the coast – it was only a mile to the ship they were living on while they were building the lighthouse for two (or so) hours a day but providentially, in the Spaghetti Monster’s usual taking with one hand (tormenting them with imminent death by slow degrees) and giving with the other, the storeship arrived early and saved those hanging on from doing it for too long. See, working on the Sabbath MUST have been alright with Her! They were already building the beacon house which was to house the workers and save time rowing back and forth each day and when it survived a more than usually scary storm the workers gained faith in Stevenson’s designs (or decided that they really were doing the lord’s work so it was OK) and continued to work on the Sabbath. Is this just a maritime accident reference? The Titanic went down in winter so clinging to the lifeboats wouldn’t have helped – well, not for long! Jack! … Jack! … gurgle gurgle …
  • Wrote off six salaries and started drawing straws.

Question 5

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


The Leaning Tower of Pisa – see for example Comment: it is not in the only European country that exports bananas.

Additional Answers

  • ‘World famous’? I don’t know … the main hospital in the Vendee, Centre Hospitalier at La Roche sur Yon, has a paediatric/obs/gynae ward which is banana-shaped from the air? The Chiquita Center in Cincinnati is also banana-shaped from the air – deliberately as it is one of the biggest distribution organisations for bananas? The United Fruit Co warehouse (an even bigger banana distribution multi-national exploiter of the third world etc etc) at Weehawken has just been knocked down but it was called the Banana Building? There is a Banana Building in Sundbyborg near Stockholm? There is also one in Zurich, but it is decorated with bananas, not shaped like one? There is the Wiertz Banana Building in Brussels which is banana-shaped and houses office workers for the European Parliament? Are these world famous? Now I’m really stumped! Was the iceberg shaped like a banana?
  • “… The Vendée’s main hospital, the Centre Hospitalier in La Roche-sur-Yon is to be extended and refurbished. The first phase, which will take three years to complete, will be the construction of new blocks mainly at the back of the existing building. A large building shaped like a banana will house paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology…” ’cause Google said so !!
  • Australian Parliament House – but that’s what you get when being smashed on opium. “Baaa-nana!”
  • Every dumb-ass building in downtown Toronto. You’d think the city’s architects were looking in their pants for inspiration on new building ideas…
  • First, a quote:”The Acropolis, in Athens, Greece, looks to my eyes very much shaped like a banana, even though it was not deliberately designed so.”- By me (December 2008) I therefore believe the answer to this quiz question is the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, which was very, very recently described as “shaped like a banana”. By the way, the Big Banana is not in Queensland, it’s in Woolgoolga, New South Wales.
  • I dunno – I looked it up in Wikipedia and only found references to UFOs and other strange uses for a banana. Could it be the terminal at Charles de Gaulle? Mon dieu!!!
  • I REALLY don’t wanna know.
  • Parliament House, Canberra
  • Tch, Dr Bob, the Big Banana is in NSW, not sunny Queensland. (Typical Southerner – never lets the facts stand in the way of a good anti-godzone gibe. Tch again!)
  • Terminal 2E of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, but I’m not sure whether it was before, during or after it collapsed. (Refrains from ugly North and South Tower jokes.)
  • The building I’ve most often heard described as “banana-shaped” is the Campanile del Duomo di Pisa (also known as the Torre Pendente or Leaning Tower of Pisa). However, I think the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai actually looks much more like (one end of) a banana!
  • The Burj Dubai
  • The Chrysler Building in New York, with its stainless steel glittering art-deco design was described by noted architect Wolfgang von Buren in 1947, “This is building would be the single greatest architectural achievement of mankind – if only it were shaped like a banana”.
  • The Chrysler Building, apparently. I can only assume the observer was a bit bent.
  • The Empire State Building.
  • The head office of “Dolly Magazine”
  • The little banana of Dapto.
  • The London eye. well, a banana end on maybe…..
  • The one next to the big banana – it’s an optical illusion
  • The one where all the people who are bananas work — AKA the whitehouse
  • The parliament house in Iceland.
  • The penis of Bill Clinton.
  • The quote is from George W Bush who was describing the White House when he first moved in.
  • The regional tourist office in Borgarnes. And it does, a bit:,-21.917896&sspn=0.016333,0.087547&ie=UTF8&ll=64.543271,-21.910762&spn=0.002043,0.010943&t=h&z=17
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is SO shaped like a banana! (although technically it is not strictly a building.)
  • The town library in Charleswood, Mississippi.

Question 6

What’s this?


Eraser for pencil marks.  The corners of such are more effective for erasing, so those fiendish Japanese have invented one with 28 corners –

Additional Answers

  • A blank white box with a line around it that I am typing in.
  • A bit of nanunanutechnology from the planet Ork.
  • A brand new Tetris piece?
  • A virus
  • An electromicrograph of the pollen of the Ice Cream Tree (Confectia popularis).
  • An optical illusion. Woooooooooooo!
  • An outdated container once used to package selenium phosphate triode rectifiers in F-111 jets.
  • Banana!
  • Blurry cubes stuck together.
  • Damn you, Dr Bob, in the nicest possible way. I’ve seen that before but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is.
  • Er… pie.
  • I could tell you but then I would have to kill you. Four of these put in proximity to a cup of tea will open a portal to another dimension.
  • Icelandic Lego
  • Its a picture of something that I have to guess as part of my (sometimes, ok once or twice) hilarious answers to Dr Bobs quiz. This time I am out of ideas so I will call it the chip from SkyNet
  • Miniature models of minimalist modern furniture. Or possibly a molecule of some sort of salt.
  • no idea
  • Oh, right, it’s a stem cell. See, if you had a lot of them you could build anything, couldn’t you.
  • One lump or eight?
  • One of Escher’s rejected works after he realised that it made geometric sense !
  • OOH! I actually know this one! It’s a pencil eraser…. isn’t it??
  • Something Lego sells for about $20 each.
  • Sugar cube sculpture!
  • The worlds most useless eraser
  • This is a new device recently released by The Independent Company of Enterprising Feminists for Equal Misery for Males Everywhere (ICEFEMME for short). It is called a MANPON. On the first day of your partners menstrual cycle, the device is fitted in the rectum of the male partner by the suffering female partner of same. It then released large doses of oestrogen, and a copyright protected drug that makes males cry a lot, eat chocolate and actually want to watch movies starring Hugh Grant.
  • Ummmm … Multi dimensional Lego? A love seat for swingers (seats five!)? A visual representation of a molecule, a salt perhaps? Part of a three dimensional jigsaw, something by Escher maybe (this would be a bit of the iceberg!)? A small piece of the iceberg carefully shaped as a souvenir? A key to open a wormhole in the space-time continuum? … geez I don’t know …
  • Very painful to step on. (actually, it’s probably not. It’s probably some sort of neat nanoparticle and I bet it turns out to be dreadfully carcinogenic.)
  • Yet another packaging material; it appears to be cheap, light, and flexible.


  • Am I right? [Yes, but not as much as Hitler]
  • Garlic bread … wherefore art thou for that but not what thou art?
  • Good stuff, the previous answers are a scream
  • Hey, Dr.Bob, these are tough ones!
  • I hope you put in a bid for Iceland on eBay the other day – I tried but they’d taken it off already! I think it’s a good idea – it can’t be saved just by Bjork and Sigur Ros … Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Or as we say in Iceland (I’m saving up!) Gleðileg jól og farsælt komandi ár and Gleðileg jól og farsælt nýtt ár
  • I’ve been walking a lot lately, in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, so I’m a bit tiiiired……………………………………………………………………………….
  • It is a few minutes before New Year’s Eve, the quiz questions were unconscionably late, my brain is mush, and comments are quite beyond me. Sigh.
  • It wasn’t John Donne after all, it was my father-in-law in his coffin with a sneer stretched across his face at the thought of his last act, which was to ask his son to copy his personal diary, spanning 20 years and featuring ugly comments about people and utterly gruesome sex details, to everyone in his family. (Any sex details are utterly gruesome when the participant is over sixty…)
  • Last entry for the year….. or first entry of this year….
  • Lots of Iceland this month Dr Bob or did I get some wrong?
  • Mein Arsch Schwimmen mit Blut. Ist es bereits dieses mal des Monats?
  • MerryDay to you Dr Bob!
  • Merry Christmas Bobbo.
  • Merry Newtonmass and a Happy New Year. It’s been a while since I posted but I’m pleased to see you’re still going strong. Good on ya.
  • Nice quiz, Dr. Bob. Thank you!
  • President-elect Obama says in The Audacity Of Hope that he accepts evolution.
  • Thanks for visiting.
  • Thanks!
  • These questions are not what I asked for last month. Are you stupid like an idiot? (with acknowledgements to Weebl’s Stuff) P.S. I’m moving to Melbourne next year, so you’d better watch out! P.P.S. Are you related to Bob Bobertson, of Weebl & Bob fame?
  • Without stooping to an internet search, that’s it. Pathetic.