Answers for February 2008

ANSWERS for February 2008 – Er, I tried to retire and now I find that I am busier than ever … well, if you count nice dinners, overseas trips and fun times as work …. anyway here are the much delayed answers, and I welcome our WINNER this month to the Triple Winners Club:

Steve Symonds


Question 1

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

Answer

Yes, several times, but it had state-of-the-art lightning conductors.

Additional Answers

  • A church Darwin visited in Colonia was, but not the ship [Where the hell is Colonia?  On second thoughts, don’t answer that.]
  • Ah yes, lightning, but not the natural sort. It was sent down by the Red Baron, who had access to the highest technology of the day. But the Beagle will not surrender!
  • Could not tell. The guy in the crows nest was too burnt to tell them what happened.
  • Define lightning
  • Ever seen a beagle struck by lightning – not a good sight, and the smell ….
  • Hard to say. The Beagle was fitted with primitive lightning conductors in the mast through to the hull, to dissipate lightning strikes harmlessly into the sea. So she may have been struck, but no-one may have known…
  • I doubt it, I don’t think those old wooden ships would survive a direct hit.
  • It had lightning conductors on board and was illuminated by a type of lightning called St Elmo’s Fire near Montevideo [But what do they call it elsewhere, oh, never mind].
  • maybe, who knows, there were such lies told in those days to talk up their braverydoes it make much differnce?
  • No, because it was equipped with lightning conductors to get rid of it.
  • no, it was an electricty generator Darwin was using to make a cuppa and he wired it up incorrectly, ouch
  • No, only St. Elmo’s fire on the newfangled “Harris lightning conductors”, so no god-zots
  • No, the Beagle was travelling back in time with my time machine, the lightning was when the Beagle ‘snapped’ back into the past
  • No. Repeated attempts were repelled by Fitzroy’s Fabulous Faith Force Field.
  • No. God missed.
  • Nope. Well it would have been but they had you beaut lightning conductors that worked.
  • Of course it was. And so was Jim Caviezel while filming The Passion of the Christ.
  • Of course, Darwin himself got struck with the lightning insight of evolution (although it took him some years to realize that…) From: (Fitzroy, R.) 1839. Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836: “During the five years occupied in her voyage she was frequently exposed to lightning, but never received the slightest damage, although supposed to have been struck by it on at least two occasions, when—at the instant of a vivid flash of lightning, accompanied by a crashing peal of thunder—a hissing sound was heard on the masts; and a strange, though very slightly tremulous, motion in the ship indicated that something unusual had happened.”
  • Oh no of course not. I mean wooden ships don’t attract lightning. In Montevideo they were caught in a huge thunder storm. But did god dare mess with Charlie Darwin? God was the lightning guy in those days. But Darwin rules man.
  • Well, it was sort of “struck” by lightning, in that the ship experienced St. Elmo’s fire while sailing between Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo, but The Beagle was equipped with new lightning conductors to prevent a catastrophic electrical discharge, so in that sense it wasn’t really stuck by lightning, maybe sort of rubbed by lightning.
  • Yea, ’twere God’s vengeance, uponne Charles Darwin, for rejecting ye Booke of Genesis. Unfourtunatelie, God missed, and, He doesn’t miss, often!
  • Yes, but not as much as the fascination it had for thunder.
  • Yes, the Lord tried to destroy the godless evolutionist but it was saved by the satanic lightning conductors that were attached to the masts that averted St Elmo’s fire.
  • Yes,it was. Or was it?
  • Yes. (http://darwinbeagle.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html)

Question 2

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

Answer

To give to the native Fuegians, in order to help them to become ‘civilised’

Additional Answers

  • “We were 28 in number & the yawl carried the outfit given to Matthews by the Missionary society. The choice of articles showed the most culpable folly & negligence. Wine glasses, butter-bolts, tea-trays, soup tureens, mahogany dressing case, fine white linen, beaver hats & an endless variety of similar things shows how little was thought about the country where they were going to. The means absolutely wasted on such things would have purchased an immense stock of really useful articles.”http://darwinbeagle.blogspot.com/2008/01/19th-january-1833.html
  • Ah this is easy. In order: To put soup in, to serve tea on, to but on beavers who didn’t have hats, most of them I assume, to piss in and to unpack and dine with. Always handy stuff to trade with as well.
  • An outfit given to R.Matthews by the Missionary Society. Beagle Diary: “The choice of articles showed the most culpable folly & negligence.”
  • As items of trade for the natives they expected to meet.Beaver hats are the odd one out. In a hot climate they are worthless,so what the ?
  • Beagles are very clever dogs; they often carry (as in this case) all that is necessary for the currently planned excursion.
  • Charles was a member (distant) of the Wedgwood family after all wasn’t he
  • Crockery to eat those toasted marshmallows, of course.
  • For tea and soup silly! Too much pea and ham soup means the chamber pot was also a must.
  • For trading with savages, to give them some civilised weating habits.
  • For ye helle, of itte.
  • It was for the Missionary Rev. Richard Matthews’ mission, provided to him by the Missionary society. Darwin notes that “The choice of articles showed the most culpable folly & negligence.”
  • It was outfitted with them by the Missionary society in the hopes of converting natives.
  • Lifestyle makeover products for the pilot of “Queer Eye for the Native Guy”. (I’d include the gal, but hey, they were sexist as well as racist back then.)
  • Serving soup, carrying tea, wearing on heads, pissing in and serving meals on would be the logical answer. In fact they were donated by the Missionary Society to the Rev Matthews. Of course it could have been worse, they could have been something really useless – like a stack of religious tracts for distribution to the natives.
  • Soup tureens – for soup. Tea Trays – to serve multiple cups of tea. Beaver Hats – To look one’s best. Chamber Pots – You don’t seriously expect me to go over the side now do you, my good fellow? Sets of Crockery – To put on the tea trays
  • That’s how they used to smuggle then
  • Then, as now, people asked to donate to charitable causes donate useless stuff, in this case, to the Missionary Society:”The choice of articles showed the most culpable folly & negligence…an endless variety of similar things shows how little was thought about the country where they were going to. The means absolutely wasted on such things would have purchased an immense stock of really useful articles.”
  • They were going cheap at the local “crazy bargains bazaar” and Darwin just couldn’t go past a bargain
  • They were part of the package given to the Rev Richard by the Missionary Society to give to the natives. Darwin thought them completely inappropriate. [And the articles too]
  • To civilise the Fuegians, with the help of Jeremy Buttons. It did not work. They re-nativised him instead.
  • To give the natives something satisfying to smash when they discovered God.
  • to trade with the pacific people
  • Tupperware was yet to be invented
  • you never know when this stuff is going to come in handy, like who wants to be caught out without a chamber pot?

Question 3

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

Dr Bob’s Wrong Answer

Both names mean “I do not understand you”

Correct Answer, from Mr Steve Symonds:

“Teke nika” means “I do not understand what you say” and the supposed link with kangaroos perpetuates a myth that should have been buried decades ago. Joseph Banks collected many words from the local people when the Endeavour put into what is now the Endeavour River near present day Cooktown to repair damage sustained when the ship hit the Reef. He gave his collected words, including kangaroo, to his friend Arthur Phillip who tried them out on the locals when he arrived in Sydney. They hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. It was not until Phillip reached Wisemans Ferry and met the Awabakal people north of the river that he realised that there were different languages in Australia. In 1972, an anthropologist working with the Guugu Yimidhirr people of the Cooktown area rediscovered “kangaroo” in their language. It means the eastern grey kangaroo. It was the lack of understanding of the Dharuk people in Sydney that led to the myth that “kangaroo” means “I do not understand what you say”. It doesn’t and never did.

Additional Answers

  • “Tekenika” (= teke uneka) merely means “I don’t understand what you are talking about”.(http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/chapter54/text-Fuego/Languages/text-Fuegianlanguages.htm)”kangaroo” means “I don’t understand” your question.(www.koalaexpress.com.au/kangaroo%20facts.htm)
  • A wild guess: it has something to do with the story that in Aboriginese “kangaroo” supposedly means “I don’t understand you”, and early European discoverers mistook it for the name of the animal they were pointing at. That story has been debunked.
  • As opposed to the bizarre South American skiing kangaroo? Erm…. do they fight by gripping the upper torso and kicking the bejesus out of each other?
  • Both have pouches and live south of the equator.
  • Both their tails make awful soup
  • I could point out the answer, but you wouldn’t understand, then you’d misquote me, it would get out and a falsehood would be preserved forever.
  • Is it that Kangaroo in aboridgional means “i dont understand” and so does that name?
  • Neither likes to be shot at??
  • None. You silly bastard, trying to fool us!
  • Pass.
  • Tekenika = I don’t understand you, but kangaroo is no longer thought to mean that, right?
  • The can jump really high
  • The internet?
  • Their connection is the origin of their names. When James Cook a local asked about the name of the strange creature he saw he got as answer Kangaroo. That is “I do not understand you” in Aboriginal language. The same happened to Fritzroy when he named the tribe from Jemmy: the “Yapoo Tekeenica,” which in Yamana means, “Otter I do not understand.”
  • Their fine diners served kangaroos with truffle oil and zucchini flowers too.
  • They also hopped around like roos and carried their babies in a pouch in front of their bellies.
  • They are marsupials
  • They are related. Even marsupials have a common ancestor with Homo. My wild guess late at night is about 200 million years ago. Unless this question relates to Skippy in which case I have no idea.
  • They both live in the Southern Hemisphere? They were a fairly jumpy lot? They had pouches and long tails?
  • they both speak the same “tssk tsssk”
  • they hop alot
  • They hop.
  • They sleep in holes dug in the ground is the closest similarity I can find.
  • They tasted delicious.
  • Theye hoppe, arounde, similarlie.

Question 4

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

Answer

He had just finished eating one for dinner

Additional Answers

  • Accidentally backed over it while reversing out of his driveway
  • Actually I find it a little more puzzling as to why he chose to include the underscores in the official names.
  • By eating it… Darwin himself: “it was cooked and eaten before my memory returned” after thinking that it was a not full-grown bird of the common sort (bones and wings told him a different story…)
  • By going ashore in Mexico, 1883
  • By seeing it in the bushes while taking a crap.
  • During dinner, literally. He actually preserved the leftovers.
  • He ate it.
  • He ate it. He had been looking for it and realised that it was being served up for dinner. He sent the inedible parts back to England.
  • He ate it.”…When at Port Desire, in Patagonia (lat. 48°), Mr. Martens shot an ostrich; and I looked at it, forgetting at the moment, in the most unaccountable manner, the whole subject of the Petises, and thought it was a not full-grown bird of the common sort. It was cooked and eaten before my memory returned. “(http://www.bartleby.com/29/5.html)
  • He did, not. ‘Twere alle, a Hoaxe.
  • he got a zit in his face and when he scratched it, what do you know out jumped a nest full of the little criters
  • He sat down to dinner with his tea tray in front of him, took the silver lid off, and there , on his crockery it was. It was delicious.
  • It bit him in the bum while he was inspecting a colony of the rare “little ostrich” dung beetle.
  • It bit him on the arse.
  • It was investigating his pockets as he slept.Curious critters they are.
  • Lunch? Well he watched them being hunted. Probably just ate the roast Armadillo actually. Picky eater Darwin whatever he said later. Trust me I was created in God’s image so I can in theory know everything. In practice after half a century of reading, inquiring and studying I might actually find that I know bugger all.
  • Mr. Martens shot it in Patagonia, and it was prepared for cooking after Darwin inspected it and dismissed it as a juvenile of another more common species. After it had been cooked Darwin realised it was one of the rarer birds he was looking for, so he managed to collect the “leftovers” (head, neck, legs, wings and large feathers)which was later given to the Zoological Society Museum.
  • Roasted, on a plate with peas and spuds!
  • ’twas a dark and stormy night…..then all of a sudden the camp was attacked……..by a teeny little harmless bird…..it tasted like……..big ostrich (funny that)
  • when he cracked his egg for breakfast- there was the little fella in the pan
  • When he was having it for Christmas dinner.
  • When parking the beagle they accidentally ran over it..
  • When the beautiful daughter of the leader of the Tekenika tribe offered him a blanket made of ostrich feather down to keep warm after they, um, got “close”…
  • With great difficulty?
  • You should have said “How did he find his first specimen of the rare _Avestruz petiso_” because then I could have said “Delicious.” He “discovered” it on his plate.

Question 5

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?

Answer

Oh dear. What line of work would you expect for a lonely English-speaking female in a remote place where the crews of passing ships visit for shore leave?

Additional Answers

  • More than ten years later leaving with York Minster, sealers told a story that in the western part of the Straits of Magellan not far from where Fuegia Basket had originally been captured, a Fuegian woman came on board who astonished all with her ability to speak English. Darwin heard the story and sadly commented in a footnote “she lived (I fear the term probably bears a double-meaning) some days on board”. A number of contradictory stories were told about Fuegia’s later life. Some said she was killed on a sealing boat, others that she reached a ripe old age but lived in permanent fear that her family was going to strangle her. Nothing further is known for sure of her fate.
  • As she was involved in licentiousness and sexual scandal in London, she probably ended up as a missionary or schoolteacher but I don’t know.
  • Avestruz petiso farming for export
  • Awww, Dr. Bob, too sad. The Tierra del Fuegans were to be educated as missionaries, but within 3 years, 12 year old Fuegia Basket was raped, and they were returned to their home. In later accounts, “Fuegia Basket had become a prostitute turning tricks on the beach” and according to Darwin, had a ‘Breaking the Waves’ encounter with a sealing ship. Some accounts say she died on board, others that she lived to a paranoid old age, convinced her neighbours were plotting to kill her.
  • Became Fitzroys missus.
  • Became the wife of one of the other natives? Was a basket case? May have been seen years later on a sealing ship? Died eventually? Was not nominated for a Darwin Award?
  • Become a teacher to all the children,teaching them a new fangled language called “Engelisch”.
  • being the liberated woman she now was she demanded that the men contribute to the household chores and she refused to be seen without mascara
  • Dishes, ironing, mending, marrying, complaining, breeding and proselytising. And all the other wonderful things she learned in England.
  • For a while she lived but eventually she died.
  • Fucking the locals, missionary style. Apart from reading Bruce Chatwins book (fiction) this is a guess, but probably right!
  • Fuegia Basket was her name. She was left in Tierra del Fuego in 1839 with one of the other “trained” Fuegians, York Minster, whom she married and they both returned to his home area after building a canoe. Darwin notes that around 1842 a sealer reported meeting someone fitting her description, and that she lived some days on board his ship. Darwin also notes that the term “lived on board” probably “bears a double interpretation”.
  • Going back to her savage ways, because the brits snooty nose way of life sucks hard.
  • Housework
  • If it’s like any other female of my acquaintance, she went shopping…
  • Prostitution
  • Resting. She was very tired.
  • She did lots apparently, but speaking english was a handy talent, well, handy around english people at least
  • She married York Minster, had a couple of kids, got remarried when York was killed and she lived out her days with her own people the Alacaloofs, at London Island in the extreme west of Tierra del Fuego. Apparently. Another source says she became a prossie turning tricks for British sailors but I refuse to believe that.
  • She wore clothes??
  • The girl “…Fuegia Basket had become a prostitute “turning tricks on the beach” for British sailors…”(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4429006.stm)
  • The question is not what, but who.
  • Triede, to flusshe, her toilette.
  • Washing the dishes and doing the laundry, of course. Skilled female professionals are still doing most of the housework in OUR society as we speak; why would you expect otherwise in the old days?
  • Running the local chapter of Skeptics Tierra Del Fuego.

Question 6

Which body part in this picture have you seen somewhere before?

Answer

The foot at the bottom left – is the foot that comes down to squash a lot of Monty Python graphics

Additional Answers

  • All of them, every day!
  • So that’s where the Venus di Milo’s arms went.
  • I’ve seen them ALL, honey.
  • Isn’t that hand from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
  • Venus’ face is familiar for some reason.
  • ET phone home, it’s Adam’s hand reaching for god’s hand, sistine chapel style.
  • Hmmm…let me see…closer now…yes…ah, no…not that…
  • http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=-2029083848550868795The…um…naughty bits.
  • I have seen all of them at one point in my life, its just that t hey belonged to different people to those in the painting. but seriously….mmmmmmmm, Im gonna go with the leg (and check out the second and third toe of the lady eewwwh)
  • I remember an interview with Terry Gilliam where he said he’d often go to the National Gallery (or Tate Gallery) and sit there for hours staring at the paintings until inspiration for his next animation would come. The foot on the bottom left kept staring back…
  • I’ve seen Cupid’s foot, reversed, quashing Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python Flying Circus titles.
  • I’ve seen many of those bodyparts on the internet, but that head behind the kid on the blue sheet looks sus.
  • Is that Mona Lisa looking faintly amused in the background?
  • It’s the hands, I’ve seen hands before – but never bums and breasts and genitals and ohhh god your quiz iz good.
  • Most of them, I’ve been around you know – nudge, nudge, wink wink – say no more…
  • None – I am taught not to look at other people’s body parts.
  • Ooh! Ooh! I know this one! It’s the foot from the Monty Python’s Flying Circus opening credits (bottom [no, not that bottom]left of painting).
  • That must be Terry Gilliam’s foot for the Monty Python credits…
  • The foot of Cupid was used by Terry Gilliam in the opening animated titles of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, usually crushing cartoons or the title of the show (and a portion of the image from Bronzino was used by Enigma in the cover for the single “Principles of Lust”).
  • The foot of Cupid which can also be seen in the Monty Python opening thingo. What an interesting painting.
  • The foot, cupid’s foot. I wondered how Dr Bob knew we had all seen it before but we have. Terry Gillam used it as the foot in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s a very famous foot.
  • The girl in the background reminds me of a picture on a playing card, but that’s a wild stab in the dark… [Yes I knew that girl too … a “wild stab in the dark” indeed, you naughty boy]
  • The old man’s arm and head in an ad somewhere
  • The right leg of the figure on the far left is the leg used by Monty Pythons flying circus
  • The wings on the individual on the left are modelled on those drawn by Darwin when he sketched some finch. Other than that it is just filth.
  • This que?tione is not ?pecificke enough. Dost thou meane, the?e EXACTE bodie partes? Then, nay. But if, perchance, thou meane?t the?e general partes, on ?ome differente humans, I regret to ?aye: yea, all of them.
  • Venus’s right foot, used to squash the animated opening sequence of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, and more recently, ‘The Simpsons’:www.simpsoncrazy.com/gallery/screenshots/lists/cg_041.jpg Is there a connection with Darwin? [No – the pictures come from a different source than the questions.  It’s too hard to get the pictures to match the theme (if there is a theme).]
  • Very difficult? Who are you kidding! Any Monty Python aficionado who fails to recognise Terry Gilliam’s famous foot should go back and watch all the programs and films again.
  • Well, I am sure I have seen most of them but I think I saw the foot of the boy in the left side of the painting at the beginning of Monty Pythons Flying Circus. In fact I am sure of it so that’s my answer
  • What the! Dentist on the Job? Proudfoot company and Dreem on the boxes for the intro? Oh it’s OK many have been sacked it seems. Oh that’s for the credits. Oh they didn’t use the foot in the intro just went straight on to Arthur. I’ll try another one. Nope that’s just anther bloody wrong messiah. Ha ha, they want to praise the infant. Oh my god I’m doomed now. I can’t get a freeze of the foot it seems. Cupid’s foot, bottom left hand corner of the painting. Oh now I’ve missed something about a big nose. No It’s blessed are the meek. Off to the stoning now. Still no foot though. I must have it here somewhere. Ah, it’s the Monty Python foot that crushes things. The more you look at it and think about it the more obvious it becomes.

Comments

    • And I thought I knew a fair bit about Darwin.
    • Are you able to recognize well researched answers, obviously provided by people with way too much time on their hands? [Yes if they are stolen from Google or Wikipedia]
    • Blah
    • Glad to know Mr Dave Hawley is still well. Hi Dave! Here’s someone who’s been your fan since you won thrice in a row! (Dr. Bob: please pass my email address on!) Oh, and to all: Happy Leap Day!
    • Hi again!
    • I have learned much with this one Dr Bob. Thank you again. Very much. And not one Titanic reference in sight. xx
    • I just had to get in early with the answer to the picture question. Very clever indeed. But I have to catch a train. Bye.
    • I might just try that again later!
    • I’ll be back. Can you enter in instalments? [Yeah go for it.  All the e-mails get boiled down and sorted by question number, the blank ones get thrown out].
    • I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a comment. No luck today…
    • If I win this it proves it is not a general knowledge quiz….
    • interesting interesting
    • Is the Bronzino question here because Venus’s doves mirror Darwin’s love of his pigeons? Or because of the embodiment of Syphilis?
    • One swallow doesn’t make a summer.
    • Q3 was the really hard one…!
    • Thanks for this Dr Bob, it prompted me to read more of Darwin’s diary. Say, did you know he had this to say about Australia upon leaving?!:”Farewell, Australia! you are a rising child, and doubtless some day will reign a great princess in the South: but you are too great and ambitious for affection, yet not great enough for respect. I leave your shores without sorrow or regret.” Cheeky bugger … but you have to wonder sometimes if he pretty much nailed it, even way back then.
    • The picture question did seem very difficult. However I do know a bit about painting. So you know, Cupid, Venus, etc found the picture then wikipedia had the Monty Python info.
    • third time lucky hey Dr Bob? I was just about to give up on the picture one then there it came to me!!
    • Well, i didn’t look up a single answer, and doesn’t it show….
      And Finally, Dr Bob replies to an e-mail that evidently took a long time to arrive …

 

      Why are thy quizzes alwayes so obscene?

I Venture ye Reason to be, Because, yea verily, ye Questionnes are y-taken from ye very Depths of my Soule.  And forsooth, such be a Plaice not Easily Ventured to; unless one were to Equip oneself with ye necessarie speleological and sanitary Devices.  Verily, I tell thee; ye Tittes and Bummes represent ye lesser Partt of mine Knowledge.  Well Acktually, some are ye rather large Parttes.

      Thou shalt go to ye Pornographers’ Helle!

– Nowe in Truthe, nowe that thou hast said this, I canne scarcely Waite; inasmuch as many of my divers Pleasures and a Number of my Acquaintances are Alreddie to be Found There; and moreover, with ye Central Heating.

      P.s. Doest ye long letter S work?

– With the Deepest Regrette, in ye e-mail I must answer nay; but let us see if ye Quizmaster’s Word Processour canne but Fixe it. Fain would I ask ye Webmaster to have a Go, as he is sorely Vexed by ye Wastes of ye Time, the like of Thisse.
– Er, my Goode Fellowe and wise old Novocastrian Fruitte: if, supposing, on a Goode Daye that I were to Consider Thy Goodself as ye Winner at some future Time; by what Name wouldst thou be Known, such thatte thou mayest show it Offe on ye Webbe Page with much Pride, to thy Grandmother and sundry other Persons; for verily, ye Winner’s Prize in alle Other Resspects, Amounteth to ye Sweete Bugger All.
Yr servant,

Dr ROBERT