Answers for December 2009

WINNER is — welcome back —

Sharla Millett

Question 1

What was described as: Wheezy, Sneezy, Freezy, Slippy, Dippy, Nippy, Showery Flowery, Bowery, Wheaty, Heaty, Sweety?


Ironic names for the months of the year as experienced in England (starting with Wheezy = September), in the style of the new names for months assigned by the French Revolution.

Additional Answers

  • It could describe a days weather in Melbourne hour by hour — but it’s the English version of the French Revolutionary Calendar (and an improvement on the pompous original too)
  • These were the 12 dwarfs created as a marketing campaign for a short-live HRT/anti-histamine combination therapy. Each month another of the dwarfs would meet an untimely end on film at the hands of a vengeful Snow White who blamed them for the loss of her figure and the fact that “happily ever after” was just a marketing line.
  • The Liberal leadership saga and the various players involved. [Answer of the month!]
  • It’s the Brits’ response to the French revolutionary calendar which was all about embracing the Egyptian calendar of reason and naming seasons after what happens in that month.
  • Doctor Suess (aka Theodor Geissel).
  • The English all seasons cricket team. When they played in Melbourne we saw them all out in one day.
  • The Four Seasons
  • The Roast Beef poms mocking the French Revolutionary calendar months.
  • They are all characters in the latest Disney movie, “Snow Whiteout and the Eleven Climate Change Denying Dwarfs” (assuming that the absence of a comma between ‘Showery’ and ‘Flowery’ is deliberate. If not, make it twelve.)

Question 2

You arrive late at a mud-wrestling contest between two Greek Orthodox bishops, wearing full regalia (the bishops, not you; but strictly, I don’t know what you wear, especially if you go to places like that) and you want to barrack for the one who comes from Mt Athos. With everything already being covered in mud, how can you identify that one?


In the Athonite tradition, the epanokamelavkion is simply laid over the kamilavka and allowed to hang freely, but in other traditions it is permanently attached. Look under “klobuk” in Wikipedia (or on one of the bishops) … who would have thought that religion could be so difficult?

Additional Answers

  • Fire hose, I take one with me to all wrestling events. One can never be too prepared, and the bishops can be a little hard to separate at times…(just try and separate them from the state)
  • If you are early enough though, or it has been a genital wrestle, look at his hat. It may save you lots of time rolling hoses etc.
  • Athos, wasn’t he a musketeer? I’d just check out his sword.
  • He is the one with the big left leg. Mt Athos monks always walk in the one direction round the mountain. (Bit of a bugger when you have to go all the way around to get back to where you have just been) Their left leg gets bigger because being the lower leg it bears more weight. It’s all got something to do with the coriolis effect.
  • He would have a prayer rope
  • He’s the one who ignores you when you yell loudly, “Go Porthos! Go Aramis!”.
  • If either of the other bishops was Bronwyn or Julie they’d be flinging the mud!
  • No idea, but if he’s managed to keep it on then he’s got a pretty wicked looking mitre. I hope it’s not something to do with using dirty tactics or the colour of his undies or something.
  • He’s the one wearing a chador-esque poncho embroidered with his wrestling name, The Phelonion Phenomenon. Plus he’s twelve days late from using the Julian calendar.

Question 3

In Albania, how much of the food is organically grown?


All of it — they can’t afford the chemicals.

Additional Answers

  • Some say that all the money spent building bunkers, and funding a 1940’s style army and being an internationally reclusive state was the product of Stalinist paranoia and that it held Albania back decades…But now look, hey? They have all organic food ( and the warm and fuzzy feeling that that brings). What better way to keep Dow Monsanto at bay than to be so poor that you can not afford anything that they sell. Not only are they 100% organic, but they are off the marketing radar of those evil companies that want to sell them things so that they can grow more. Hunger is good for the soul (just maybe not the body).
  • All food everywhere is grown organically — carbon hydrogen nitrogen oxygen sulphur other odds and sods — how organic can you get?
  • All of it, of course, just like in any other country. Tch, Dr Bob, how can any food not be organic? Food may well be inedible or indigestible but it is not inorganic. Using “organic” to describe food is merely an excuse for the vendor to charge double while the customer thinks s/he’s got a good deal. What tripe. It’s as bad as bottled water. Here endeth the lesson…
  • As much as they can sell without falling under suspicion.
  • in 2007: 13,700 hectares which is 2% of its arable land. Hmm. Can’t find anything amusing in that one, since it’s not titanic, and it’s not more than one hill ter plough
  • It all is. They’re so poor they can’t afford pesticides or chemicals. Who would have thought being poor was so good for you health?
  • Probably most of it — they can’t afford the fertiliser. Although I’m not sure that fergesa (liver & ricotta cheese) can strictly count as food…

Question 4

Long before Batman ever unfurled his cape, or whatever he does, where might you have found Batmania?


It was the original (unofficial) name of Melbourne.

Additional Answers

  • The Melbourne Cricket Ground cricket gear supply shop. They started out as The Willow Shop, but no-one knew what they sold, and it precluded them sell Dennis Lilly’s new Aluminium bat so they name was changed.
  • Aargh — surely you don’t mean Melbourne, Dr Bob? Actually, Batmania would be a terrific moniker for Bleak City because it works on a number of levels. It immortalises its founder (check); stops us perpetuating the name of an upper class colonial oppressor (check); demonstrates to all Australians that Bass Strait really does have maniacs on both its shores (check); and most importantly gives Victoria, at long last, something unique to boast about other than its dreadful weather, viz that it is the only state where the last letter of the names of both the state and its capital are identical. I mean, like, wow! (In fact it is the last two letters but we would not want youse Victorians getting uppity, would we now, Dr Bob?)
  • At Bearbrass (Melbourne of course)
  • First recorded celebrity mania was for early Melbourne settler and Victorian founder John Batman. His appearance on the deck of the chartered schooner Rebecca saw his 800,000 hysterical fans go completely nuts and storm the gangplank. Celebrity sketchers lived in trees outside his original hut for a glimpse of his life so they could sell the results to the daily tabloids. Batman sold the portrait rights of his wedding to the Argus for a record 50 pounds. Actually, according to my friend Ben Melbourne was originally called Batmania, which, now I think about it, was something I probably learnt in year 7 history but have since deleted from my database.
  • Holey leaping eels.…..on the banks of the Yarra.. when I die bury me by my brown Yarra.…. wrap me up in a broken fridge, drop me off Princes Bridge.
  • In Northern Melbourne, circa 1835
  • Taking a nap under a Robinia
  • Melbourne-side by Geelong. Imagine what he might have done if he’d used a condom and didn’t have syphilis.

Question 5

When the Cossack warrior Stepan Razin married, his followers muttered that he had abandoned the way of the warrior. What was his reaction?


Hurled his bride into the river Volga. What a lad, that Stepan Razin!

Additional Answers

  • He cancelled their invites to the reception. On hearing this, the blushing new bride flew into such a range (at the loss of all the gifts that they were meant to be bringing) that she needed a quick dip in the river to cool down. Minor issue high heels meaning that she couldn’t get to the water unaided (thrown) and large wedding dress soaking up lots of water (sank) resulted in…boys nights restored.
  • he chucked her in the local creek.…. not the Yarra but next best thing
  • He threw his wife in the river because he refused to share her with his followers. Very logical…
  • He threw his wife into the River Volga
  • My friend Ben has found the answer for this too. Originally I thought he’s killed her or he’s become a monk, but this is the real story. Razin was married and his followers weren’t. After a particularly bountiful piratical rampage, they were all drunk one night when his men demanded, in the true Cossack tradition of sharing everything, that he share his wife with them. Razin, also probably drunk, decided to sacrifice her to the Volga River rather than share her. It was the beginning of the end for Razin.
  • No free grog for you at the wedding, then!
  • To abandon the way of the warrior, of course. Step had no time for fighting as he settled down with his new bride for serious snogging and sex while catching up with their favourite Cossack tv shows such as “The 39 Steppes” and “From Russia Without Love” as well as their all-time porn channel biggies, “Cleave It To My Beaver” and “The Great Gape of Kiev”.
  • Aqua-uxoricide. Volga Volga Volga! “With mighty energy he lifts the beautiful princess high /and throws her overboard into the approaching waves.”

Question 6

This is a wonderful Australian invention that sold badly and was finally taken off the market. What is it?



It’s a combined refrigerator and clothes-airing cupboard. The warm air from the back of the fridge circulates and dries/airs the hanging clothes.

Additional Answers

  • This is the 1960’s Design by an Australian Government Committee in order to update the image of Australia, the Formica Aga stove. Kitchen decor was soooo much easier to coordinate with this laminex and wood cooking range, as opposed to all that 19th century cast iron. Unfortunately the overall finish proved a little hard to maintain, and as such warranty claims were a higher than the manufacturer could support.
  • A portable camp stove
  • An Early Television
  • It looks to be some sort of computer desk. I suspect it’s
  • Its a Runcible Cabinet. I saw one on the original ABC Inventors but it was a different colour.
  • It’s gotta be an outdoor entertainment unit with an electric bbq, a fridge, and preparation areas for food (organic, of course). The unit did not sell well because it was made of chipboard & kept catching fire, particularly when the sozzled user, after too many reds, would close the lid before turning off the barbie.
  • Trick question: Australia doesn’t make inventions that fail badly; it’s a Kiwi invention that we refused to adopt. I think it’s a 1950s invention — a portable kitchen, a portable drinks bar or a portable games table. But it’s not very portable, which could be why it didn’t work. However, my friend Linda says that even when she doesn’t have her glasses on it looks like a photocopier machine.
  • Good grief! It looks like the bastard child of a gynaecologic exam table and a photocopying machine. Looking forward to the answer.


  • Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
  • Dr Bob, what happened last time? I tried to answer the quizz but it wouldn’t let me do anything. My work is strict, I know, but I think last month’s commentator was right: it’s the wombats. Have a Cool Yule Dr Bob and I look forward to some sizzling questions next month! My prediction for 2010: an election will be called. Maybe we can have a political theme next year in honour of it? Just no pics of Mr Abbott in his speedos.
  • Thanks to your wise advice at Briskepticon, Dr Bob, I worked out that if I opened the Aust Skeptics site in Firefox instead of IE, Thunderbird would open when I clicked on the link to the quiz. That’s good for me but the downside for you is that after an absence of many months because I could not get the wretched quiz to work, you now again have to read my pathetic offerings. Or not, I suppose…
  • Greetings from the Peoples Republic of Moreland!
  • I won again and I didn’t even know it! That’s what happens when you allow yourself to get distracted by trivial things like work.