Answers for January 2009

Winner is the only one to identify Q6 – better than I did. Take it away, O my fellow Melburnian –

John Ganas

Question 1

What is the world’s most repeated television program? (That is, a well-defined titled program, longer than 5 minutes, identical every time that it is broadcast to the public — not the test card, the weather map or a station logo etc).


Dinner For One (“The same procedure as last year?”)

Additional Answers

  • “Dinner For One”, a 1963 comedy sketch, starring the late British comedian Freddie Frinton, is on German TV every New Year’s Eve. Bit of a tradition actually, and so far has clocked up 230 airings (and counting).
  • “The Galloping gourmet” That cooking show with too much garlic always repeats on me.
  • Anything on Fox Australia TV 1 and the most repeated show on that is Seinfeld … Definitely not anything intellectual, if that was the case it would be shown once, at 1:30 am after the tennis, on a completely different TV station to that which was showing the tennis. Please don’t say its a religious show. No really, please don’t say that. Does the Gulf War count?
  • Any of the “Idol” shows that pervade the globe. They’re longer than 5 minutes, identical every time and broadcast to the public. Of course you failed to mention it’s nauseating, puerile and completely wanky but I’m still punting it’s the answer you were after.
  • Coronation Street. And it’s bloody awful.
  • George Bush getting shoed.
  • Get Smart
  • I am thinking the roadrunner (a true classic) or perhaps the flintstones (was there really marijuana in those days) — explains why fred had a babe of a wife though— ummmmm, I dont know– its going to be one of those simple ones like I dont know, the start of the day show– either way I bet it isnt “saddam takes the dog for a walk”
  • I Love Lucy
  • I reckon it has to be MASH. Or Sesame Street or Days of Our Lives, or Neighbours (OK — not Days of Our Lives or Neighbours, each episode only seems the same as every other one)
  • I’m guessing “The Simpsons”
  • If it had only existed in one version I would guess on ‘Dinner for One’ with Freddy Frinton — sent every New Year for more than 30 years in many European TV channels. Otherwise I would guess on ‘The Plank’ with Erik Sykes.
  • If it isn’t “I Love Lucy,” then something’s very, very wrong.
  • It’s got to be “M.A.S.H” doesn’t it ? (I think i’ve learned the theme song, note for note by memory as it’s been played so many times !)
  • Kim Jong-il’s Address to The People.
  • MASH
  • Most repeated programe that is *identical every time it is broadcast to the public*? That’d be any commercial news, of course. Same format, same material every time. Opening, murder, deviant whacko sex murder, gruesome murder, gun murder, family interest murder, sports murder, weather murder, close.
  • Probably something like “Brady Bunch”… but it’s tricky without knowing where it was repeated… It would have to be shown again in the same region to qualify (else it ain’t a repeat, it’s a first screening somewhere else).
  • Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em
  • That stupid sneezing monkey on Letterman. No not Paul Shaffer.
  • The landing on the moon?
  • The news.
  • The Simpsons. I have seen every damn episode 5 times. It is coincidentally the only honest American reality show. I have met families like this in the mid west.… Scary.
  • The Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” I have no solid data to back this up, but I can turn on a TV at any time of the day or night, and some channel (usually SPIKE-TV) will be playing that specific episode of the original series of Star Trek.
  • Video of Yjbonk Gabbaskluuky’s presidential inauguration speech to the Gibberish people of Giberia, during his inauguration as president. Chiefly, its redundant distinctiveness lies chiefly in its distinctive redundancy.
  • Wiki says Dinner for One broadcast in Germany every single year on New Years Eve since 1963 but that can’t be surely? [Oh can’t it?] The Wizard of Oz or Sound of Music SURELY have to be closer to the mark? Or the Hamster episode of Fawlty Towers.

Question 2

Where is the centre of the gay community in Manchester?


Canal St

Additional Answers

  • I’ve heard its canal street, but Im not sure if thats just a jive wikipedia statemnt. If I were a homophobe I’d say it’d be in someone gay’s manchester, but no where near my sheets. If I were gay I’d say the gay community always resides around my manchester, ducky. If I were smart I’d stop typing now because I’ve already insulted enough minorities. If I were from Manchester I’d say it was somewhere in Liverpool
  • 14 Sidney St. They have coffee, meeting rooms (nudge nudge wink wink) and phone lines. Would you like their phone number as well Dr Bob?
  • A dildo.
  • Any ‘straight’ guy who guesses this correctly, or knows the answer, is officially gay.
  • Canal street (the ‘C’ was a typo on part of the street sign writer). It is after all Man-city.
  • Canal Street (rim shot!)
  • Canal Street is a street in Manchester city centre in North West England, which is the centre of the Manchester Gay Village. The street, which runs along the side of the Rochdale Canal, is lined with gay bars, clubs, cafés and shops. At night time (and in the daytime during the warmer months) the street is filled with drinkers, many of whom are gay and lesbian tourists from all over the world. The Manchester Gay Pride festival, formerly known as “Mardi Gras” and “Gayfest”, is held in the gay Village during the second half of August each year. The event culminates with a three day festival known as the ‘Big Weekend’, which is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The street looks across the Rochdale Canal into Sackville Park in Manchester City Centre. ~~ Or So Wikipedia reckons
  • Chesterman
  • Gay Village
  • I am neither gay nor British, so it could hardly be expected of me to know.
  • In the Gay Village of course — Just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Gardens.
  • It must be the triangle between Happy Street, Laugh Road and the Merry-Go-Round. Which Manchester do you mean?
  • Man U football club. I watched a game once. Talk about soft. Every second player took a dive and cried only to get up and dry hump his mate once the free was awarded. Where is Mr. T and his nuts when you need him?
  • Manchester. Duh!
  • Me darling, it always centres around me, me, me.
  • Middlesex ha ha ho ho heeee…
  • My husband’s Uncle Ronny’s house. He lives there and he’s as camp as a boy scout jamboree.
  • No idea in Manchester, but in Helsinki it’d have to be Pederasto.
  • See the picture in Q6 below
  • The “i” in community is the centre– but if this is not a trick question it would be the local jail
  • The Gay Village is centred around Chorlton Street and Canal Street
  • The most popular comedy club in Manchester.
  • The steel mills
  • The steelworks, naturally (since as everyone knows, all steelworkers are gay)
  • The YMCA. On Canal Street. It’s where the only gays in the village hang out.
  • Wayne Rooney.
  • Wherever Julian Clary sprinkles his sequins.

Question 3

Who (or what) is (or was) the Complutensian Polyglot?


The Complutensian Polyglot was the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament (together with other languages). It was printed 1514 – 1517 in a Spanish town named Alcala (Latin name: Complutum). I bet you needed to know that. Well, you will, because there will be further questions about it 🙂

Additional Answers

  • Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible. Or is it something I wiped off my shirt after having an acute onset of sneezing? A compulsion to marry lots of overweight people? The defined factors between trying to sound funny, and being seen as being an idiot from many different angles? The FDA approved replacement for MSG? That question you had in Year 12 exams that you were sure you got right? A translation of the TV guide in Hebrew, Greek and French, but didn’t include SBS listings? He was the man who started the Sensible Names Association, and promply changed his name to Frank Lomez?
  • A bundle of multiple glots given out as a consolation prizes for not winning the quiz.
  • A dictionary with definitions in Fortran, Basic , Cobol and Paradox.
  • A plutonese glottal computer pole.
  • A polyglot bible published at the Complutense University of Madrid
  • A relatively early copy of the Old Book of Jewish Fairytales (a.k.a. ‘Bible’) that has the text in multiple languages side-by-side.
  • An obese geometry teacher.
  • Are you even speaking english?
  • Bible compiled by the Spaniard Cardinal Ximenes, who combined the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin versions of the Septateuch. Hmmm, can’t make any double entendre out of that except polyglot, nudge nudge.
  • Bible printed in several languages
  • Com — communist, plut — from Pluto, en — English, sian — blue-green, Poly — a parrot, glot — a glottal stop. So I’m guessing it’s a blue-green English communist parrot from Pluto that talks in glottal stops.
  • I think I may have one developing in my gallbladder. Is that bad?
  • In a time where most people hardly could read their own language someone printed a book in 3 foreign languages. How silly can people be?
  • It’s a polyglot bible with various translations side by side — different languages, same garbage.
  • My mate
  • Ok, I’m well aware that all these new age people are naming their kids really silly names but do you have to take the piss? I mean next thing someone will be having a laugh at the kid at my son’s daycare whose parents felt fit to name Atilla.
  • Pie.
  • Some magalomaniac from Apple (Steve Jobs?)
  • The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible, initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros — But I much prefer to think it was a dyslexic Irish Priest who liked a dram or three & thought “Complutensian Polyglot” was a snappy title.
  • The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible, initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436 – 1517). It includes the first printed editions of the Greek New Testament, the complete Septuagint, and the Targum Onkelos. Of the 600 printed, only 123 are known to have survived to date. ~~ Gotto Love Wikipedia
  • The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible, initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436 – 1517). It includes the first printed editions of the Greek New Testament, the complete Septuagint, and the Targum Onkelos. Of the 600 printed, only 123 are known to have survived to date. Wiki is your friend!
  • The first mass printed bible in multiple langauges or the first propaganda leaflet.
  • The first printed polyglot (that contains side-by-side versions of the same text in several different languages) of that wondrous book of fairytales, The Bible.
  • The Greeks news testaments, ands the wholes Bibles ins three languages.
  • There’s no such thing — the phrase was invented as an April Fool’s joke.
  • This is the alien that came down to earth and invaded George Bush’s brain. Thankfully the world is safe as this alien starved to death
  • You don’t want to know. But I will give you a tip.…There’s lots of them (and they’ve got glots) so be careful.

Question 4

Maxwell Smart is Agent 86 – his female assistant, never given a personal name, is Agent 99. What other name or title was originally proposed for Agent 99?


Agent 69

Additional Answers

  • 42 — because she was the answer to life the universe and everything
  • 99 Agent — but it was politically incorrect.
  • Agent ‘69’, dude!
  • Agent 100
  • Agent 36 – 23-34 due to her “easy on the eye” measurements.
  • Agent 66 of course!
  • Agent 69
  • Agent 69 — but they thought it wouldn’t ‘go down’ well !!
  • Agent 69 but that was deemed too rude and suggestive. I can’t see why. Can’t be worse than Seaman Staines from Capt Pugwash can it?
  • Agent 69, but that’s just rude.
  • Agent 69.
  • Agent 69.
  • Agent Soixante-Neuf…
  • Agentti Yhdeksänkymmentäyhdeksän — but it was too confusing so they opted for the English version.
  • Amanda Hugenkis? Patty Cake? Kat Burgler?
  • Anne Hathaway.
  • Assistant? How dare you, sir — she was his partner! I am offended by this slur… well ok, I’m just hiding the fact that I don’t know the answer, but still…
  • Chicky babe
  • Deep Throat, but it sounded too much like a cough lozenge. (Hey, it’s 12.43am on 30 January. I’m workin’ to a deadline. Ya don’t expect wit?)
  • From my looking on this intercaboble weblicopedia it seems she was originally supposed to be called 100 because she was 100% — apparently buck henry (writer and general annoying influence on the show) thought 99 sounded more feminine — there are also rumours that she was supposed to be called Agent 69, which was a replacement for the original Agent 666 but that according to neilsen demographics at the time would have put off everyone white in that country, as well as 100% of any other nationality
  • Hot sexy bitch.
  • How dare you mention females in your quiz! That is so sexist against women!
  • I heard they wanted to call her 62, but couldnt ignore the cruel irony when they realised how old she’d be before she started cashing her royalty cheques to pay for cat food
  • I just know I’m going to be about the 10,000th person to suggest the number 69.
  • I think Max calls her Susan once
  • It is amazing what could have been if that first nine was upside down– but as I won’t be the only one with a bloke mind I wont say it– her name was going to be “Joyce” and she was going to be the tea lady, until agent 89 saw her legs and said “any more and she would be a ten” once the decimal was dropped there was her name.
  • It wasn’t Sara Hilton or Ernestine because she says they aren’t her names. Hmm, Mel Brooks conceived it as a Bond spoof so it was probably Miss Penny Money.
  • Legs
  • Lumpy, on account of the fact she had mammory glands
  • Maxwell Smarts Biarch!
  • Minnie Depres agent 17, considered a minor and not given a front line job in control or a gun in case she got hurt. Anyway, this was just a job to fill in time until she got married and started a family.
  • Monocalcium tetraphosphate peroxide?
  • Please say it was Agent 69 [Your wish is granted. But only that wish!]
  • She was originally to be called Agent 322, until the Skull and Bones objected because they dont allow female membership
  • Supreme sex goddess
  • There was never another name proposed for her.
  • Who cares, she’s hot!

Question 5

What are those 5-metre-square things, in the back of the shipyard at Evensk?


(61* 54′ 46″ N, 159* 13′ 44″ E) —  They are relics of apparatus for catching herring.

Additional Answers

  • Look, I’m sorry about leaving those things there, but if you give me a couple of days I’ll have them right out of the way.
  • Shipping crates filled with Jane Fonda Fitness programs on original Beta tapes
  • Cirque De Sole’s next performance rehersal props — Cube de Cuban missile crisis
  • Christo’s next big public art works entitled “Who cares now about Evensk?”
  • WMD’s that never made it to Iraq
  • WMD’s now on their way to Syria
  • Crates filled with the New Obama Dolls
  • I’ve heard it has something to do with sheep, and its not pretty
  • It’s where the Colonel stores all the beaks, feet and feathers
  • Chess boards
  • Evensk eskys?
  • I have no idea, but they would fit nicely into the crop circles I have in the back yard
  • I knew there were some more left! They are the left over monoliths from 2001. Bloody Kubrick had a habit of losing things. He was too busy thinking about Clockwork Orange already, and shipped them off to Evensk by mistake. Hope the Droogs liked them.
  • I suppose “shipping containers” would be too obvious an answer, so I’m gonna say, “low cost housing”
  • Is it Pie? I wouldn’t mind having that much pie!
  • Lobster traps. Evensk is the Inuit word for ‘really good lobster fishing area right here in this 5 metre square area’. The Inuit are just really efficient with their words and condensed it into 1 word.
  • Mollusks!
  • No idea, but if you turn around 180 degrees you’ll see this:
  • Nuclear powered buildings– these were build there in response to the movie “Speed 2″. They said if Hollywood made another “speed” movie they were to be let off
  • Oddly shaped Russian women.
  • Oddsk n’ evensk. Bad pun eh?
  • Oh god, you’re really going to make me look this up arent you [No she’s not, but I am]  — ok .. google earth .. well I didn’t find anything about any 5 metre square things but I’m sure I’ve been flagged by Echelon now LOL
  • Pizzas
  • Rafts.
  • Reactors
  • Russian roulette wheels.
  • Russian roulettes. I bet no-one else has come up with that one!
  • Russian submarines, no! Secret stocks of Lada Nivas! no. My Dad says floating nuclear reactors except looking with google earth nothing is floating there. So I’ll go for reindeer stables.
  • See “Complutensian Polygot” above.
  • Shipping containers
  • Soviet-era holiday cottages — very snazzy.
  • Squares
  • The foundations of ship docks left high and dry after the water levels of the Garmanda river became low.
  • They are actually almost 6 meters and I had to leave those when I worked on the latest Vodka-driven secret submarine project there.
  • They look remarkably like square things, five metres a side. Could they be coal bunkers or oil tanks?
  • They were the left-over parts from a ship reconstruction years ago, which somebody forgot to put back in !
  • Those bits that Google Earth hasn’t uploaded yet. Top Secret, Comrades…
  • Since it’s a nuclear sub dock, are they horizons? Evensk Horizons?

See the appendix below for Dr Bob’s adventures with Question 5.

Question 6

Where’s this?



Pyongyang, which has traffic cops, and very nice ones too, but no traffic! This is probably the junction at 39°01’55.25“N 125°46’32.81“E, and almost certainly the same place as

Additional Answers

  • ‘Ground Zero’ marker — Hiroshima ??
  • The intersection outside of Dr Bob’s house. note the urination stain out the front of the bottom curb in the picture.
  • The winner of Ugly town intersection 2008
  • It’s the holy intersection of Rome, or the 17th sign of the cross, where Jesus went all the way to Italy and decided to take a break and see the sights
  • It’s the site where Xenu made the Thetans stand to wait before they went into the 3D Cinema
  • It’s where I lost my virginity
  • It’s the dimension between space and time — the Twilight Zone
  • A city
  • A metaphorical representation of the centre of the gay community in Manchester.
  • A really, really bad place to try to catch a plane.
  • An intersection in Manchester, the person in the centre is gay. If we could zoom in more closely we would see he is wearing one of the (late) Queen Mother’s hats.
  • An intersection. Peh. […yongyang]
  • Area 51. This is an illusion of a 4 way intersection with a tell tale give away sign of the antenna sticking out in the middle .… It is actually a fully camo delta wing anti gravity alien craft responsible for abductions of Elvis and JFK’s real assasin.
  • Devil’s crossroads, NJ.
  • err Pyongyang? Reykjavik? USA somewhere? I’d probably say the last, judging by the poorly made roundabout.
  • Good question. Buggered if I know. Based upon the evidence presented, it’s a road somewhere in civilisation. A civilisation that enjoys endangering its traffic coppers obviously.
  • Ground Zero
  • Ground Zero of course — dummy
  • I have no idea. I’ve looked at every intersection in Evensk and it’s not there! Google maps came up with nothing when I searched for “small white circle in the middle of an intersection”
  • I’m guessing that that is a traffic cop standing in the circle. China? [No … flesh]
  • In a city, looks like an intersection, perhaps Melbourne, maybe Richmond. The no traffic lights makes me think it’s probably a side street. The person walking in the middle of the road, makes me think that it is early in the day. But, one cannot really say judging from this pic alone, where it is, unless you had been there and taken the photo yourself!!! PS: Who would cross an intersection like that? How high risk.
  • In my brain, greatly magnified (I have a prosthetic one, you see, consisting of 6 microprocessors and a cooling water-pipe network).
  • In some poor country where they can’t afford traffic lights (such as Antarctica) or a proper roundabout (such as the USA).
  • It’s an intersection in Evensk during peak hour in Summer
  • It’s not Sydney thats for sure– with our transport system there is no way that you would be able to get a picture of an intersection without cars or a road rage gun battle going on. I would say that this is in Vegas– and the guy in the circle is George Bush– he was put in the circle and told to stand in the corner– you may laugh but he is still there—
  • Let’s use some logic here. It’s an intersection of two roads — the more travelled road runs bottom left to top right (evidenced by the wear marks). It’s not Australia, UK, NZ or Japan because the intersecting road shows they drive on the right. There’s what appears to be some sort of controller box at the top — possibly for traffic signals. There’s a round island with something on it in the centre. Do you know, after all that I have absolutely no idea whatsoever…
  • My back yard. Go on, prove me wrong Dr B, I’m feeling all PMT right now and I’m desperate for a bit of confrontation.
  • North Korea
  • Obviously this is a wrongly phrased question. It should be ‘Who’s this?’ And the answer is that it is my wife standing in the center of the shop area in our town deciding which shop she should go to next.
  • On a road in a town, somewhere.
  • Pederasto, Helsinki. That’s why the roundabout is so gay.
  • Pyongyang, check out the link. The white thing on the footpath matches pretty well so I’m guessing this is the same intersection. Cute cop as well 🙂
  • See question 2.
  • The centre of a cross intersection
  • The centre of the gay community in Manchester…?
  • The middle of an intersection.
  • The scene before the LA riots and that trucker guy was beaten in front of live TV.. either that or somewhere which loves leaving stupid posts in the middle of intersections
  • The shipyard at Evensk? Somewhere in Iceland? Is it Heathrow?
  • Where isn’t this?


  • Well, I was in Myrtleford, anyway. Fascinating place…
  • 5 metre square things indeed…
  • Always a pleasure, even if I don’t get any right!
  • Don’t say the mornings come, Don’t say the mornings come so soon … Must we end this way, When so much here is hard to lose?
  • Dr Bob, what is it with you and roads?
  • Dr Bob … You once worked at a place where no-one was allowed to use the word ‘problem’ ! That wasn’t T*lstr* was it ? [No, but not far off. It was a major bank]
  • Happy New Year, Dr. Bob! Was in Australia for Chrissy, but didn’t see any skeptics about: protective colouration?
  • I have the pervading feeling that I am destined to be the mother of Dr Bob’s babies, however I really don’t like Iceland … what a dilemma.
  • I hope I did better this time LOL
  • I liked your survey Doctor bob. It amused me that I don’t know most of the answers because I secretly pride myself on my intellect. [Oh dear, Q6 is not Melbourne, it’s Pyongyang — the joke being that there IS no traffic. That’s a traffic policeman in the middle, not a pedestrian. The questions are meant to be amazingly hard, but Wikipedia and Google nowadays give away a lot of the answers. You will hardly ever know an answer to these questions from the top of your head! ]
  • I suspect I am not very clever.
  • I think I’m skeptical unless you can make me believe otherwise
  • Tomorrow evening I become a Melburnian. Bring on the red carpet, Dr Bob.
  • I thought I asked quite clearly for a red carpet. Preferably one with a hammer & sickle. Ah well.
  • I’m back again!
  • If I was a jellyfish I wouldn’t give a shit.
  • No comment. Too hot. It was nice looking at the ice in Evensk though, that made me feel cooler. 🙂
  • Put that in your smoke and pipe it.
  • What The Fudge? I just turn up and you’re leaving? Well. Now I’ve seen it all
  • Wow. Too easy Bob. Just send me the prize.
  • Am I allowed to advertise my things in these comments?
  • You’re kinda vague with a couple of your questions. The shipyard one case in point. Also, what do you mean by WHERE is Manchester’s gay community? It’s in Manchester!

Special Appendix: Dr Bob’s Adventures with Q5

I had no idea of the answer when I set the question, hoping that somebody would tell me. I should spend less time looking at Google Earth. But having set the question, my conscience (and the fear of embarrassment at answers time) led me to conduct many days of research; I e-mailed people in the region, but all the e-mails bounced! However, I found it out from a geologist who once lived there and published some photos of other parts of the town.

I sometime set a question without knowing the answer – confident that several smart-arse respondents will hunt down the answer and give me all the details, usually better than I could have done. But as the month wore on, my elation that nobody could answer this question was mixed with an increasing feeling of doom that *I* at least would have to answer it.

So I got googling and found a Japanese school that had twinned with the kids’ school in Evensk, and the Russian web pages for the civic administration of the area. My joy was short lived, as you will see.


To ten.epacstennull@otomakoyten Hello,

I have an unusual question, which I hope you could help me answer. I am a member of a group that likes to know about, understand the culture of, and possibly travel to remote places (I have been to Liberia, Mongolia, Tierra del Fuego, far north Australia, Norfolk Island, and Bangla Desh, plus of course a lot of holidays with my family in less remote places). And I spend a lot of time looking at Google Earth.

I see that your school has connections to a school in Evensk. Looking at the satellite photos on Google Earth, I see there are a lot of 5-metre-square structures abandoned on the beach, and within the shipyard at Evensk. I want to know what these are, or were. Maybe they are the ruins of rafts that brought materials from Magadan in the terrible times when these places were being expanded by Soviet prisoners.

I cannot find anyone else to ask, but could you please put me in touch with someone in or near Evensk? I can translate Russian and Japanese. Thank you very much, .…

REPLY —  —– Transcript of session follows —– .… while talking to « 550 MAILBOX NOT FOUND 550 5.1.1 … User unknown

SECOND E-MAIL – to the Administration of the Severo_Evensk region, in Magadan

Dear Mr Akhnazarov, Sorry to write to you in English, but I can read Russian. I have seen your web page at

I spend a lot of time looking at Google Earth, and I am interested in the culture and way of life in remote places. At Evensk I see there are many square objects, 5 metres square, on the sea edge, and inside the factory on the edge of the sea (? a shipyard ?). All are the same size, in ruined condition and have been there for many years.

Can you tell me what these were? I think, maybe, they were the flotation parts of rafts that brought materials from Magadan, in the times of foundation of Magadan and Evensk. But I would like to know.

Thank you for reading my e-mail. Life must be very difficult in the Severo-Evensk region, and I do hope that the region can rise and be prosperous. With best wishes, .…

REPLY —  —– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —– (reason: 550 5.7.1 Relaying denied. (may be forged)

THIRD E-MAIL – To a friend whose wife’s brother was once politically active in Siberia

Thanks for that, Joe, and by the way I cannot for the life of me find the answer to this month’s question about the square things on the beach at Evensk. My best guess is they are the flotation parts of rafts that were sent from Magadan to get the town built. I can’t find these square things anywhere else. I have even written to goverment agencies in Siberia and a school in Japan (twinned with the Evensk school in 2002), all emails bounced and my very last hope is a photographer on Flickr who lived there once. I have a feeling I have again dug up something ghastly, like, they are huts from the Gulag time, etc.

REPLY: My wife is adamant that these are roofless huts. Maybe the doors are not obvious from afar. When I blew up the images I could see what I think are dividing walls in some of the huts.

FOURTH ATTEMPT – Photograph on Panoramio by a Russian geologist

Dear Wanderer68, Great photo. I hope you can help me. Further along that beach there are old, 5-metre square objects – did you see them and what are they?

REPLY — These are fragments of tools for fishing a herring. About a beach ruins of factory processing a fish are located.

So there you have it! I add two comments, firstly that it would have been better if I’d prompted him to reply in accurate Russian rather than broken English, but I reckon he means “These are the remains of herring-fishing gear. Near the beach is the ruins of the factory for processing herring”.

Secondly, as a connoisseur of surstromming (rotten herring in a tin), I wonder if there are any herrings left in the “ruins”, in which case by now that humble little shed at Evensk is probably the world’s primary surstromming resource. Wow.