Answers for November 2009


Geoff Merrell

Question 1

What was going to be labelled with these proposed new English words? Bev, obe, inter, div, veer, erv?


Proposed new generic names for the streets of Chicago.

Additional Answers

    • From my beloved Straight Dope:  Chicago streets.  “Ed [Brennans]’s wasn’t the first attempt to rationalize Chicago street names and numbers; numerous suggestions had appeared in the newspapers over the years. However, as often happens in Chicago, most of them were made by lunatics. In 1901, for example, one Charles Morrell proposed that “street” and “avenue,” being insufficiently descriptive, ought to be replaced with a collection of 16 street designations, including aisle, bev, obe, inter, div, veer, and erv, which supposedly would tell you what part of the city a given street was in and what direction it ran.”
    • Chicago streets or should I say Chicago bevs, oes,inters, divs , veers and ervs
    • Streets ahead of you here, these were to be new speak-easy club names, conveniently located on Chicago street corners…
    • Some bright spark thought ave, st, cres etc ought to be replaced with a collection of 16 new street designations, which supposedly would tell you what part of the city a given street was in and what direction it ran. What an idiot.
    • Dyslexics society web site contact details page. Inter, web, Paris Hilton?
    • It was an easy way to label the various stunts during storyboarding for the last section of the car chase in the Blues Brothers.
    • Streets in Chicago. In 1901 Charles Morrell proposed that “street” and “avenue,” being insufficiently descriptive, ought to be replaced with a collection of 16 street designations, including aisle, bev, obe, inter, div, veer, and erv, which supposedly would tell you what part of the city a given street was in and what direction it ran
    • Veer is not a new word – is describes the driving pattern of geriatric drivers in the area where I live. They do have a certain webbish feel to them – perhaps future copyrighted alternatives to .com .net and .org?
    • Scenes from a Chicago gas station:
      Patron:  Well I followed your direction and still didn’t get to Michigan Obe.
      Attendant:  Well did you turn on Washington Bev?
      Patron:  I turned on Washington Erv, and don’t call me Bev.
      Attendant:  I didn’t call you Bev, and how did you know my name was Irv?
      [Dr Bob adds: Patron: I guessed it – I’m good at guessing.
      Attendant: Well can you can guess which fcuking way it is then!
      Patron: Surely you can’t be serious!
      Attendant: I am, and don’t call me Shirley!
      Patron: You’re drunk. How many drinks does it take to make you dizzy?
      Attendant: Four or five, and don’t call me Dizzy!]

Question 2

Mrs Jones has three children. She is seen with one of them, who is a boy. What are the odds that all three of her children are boys?


1 in 7. There are 8 possibilities and only one (3 girls) is excluded.

Additional Answers

      • NSWTAB: $2.75  STAB: $3.15
      • Quite small, three boys would be together scoping out the speak-easy sites.  The other two must there-for be the girls left at home doing the domestic chores…
      • 1/7. (All girls is out.)  Unless we should weight the two boy cases higher because she is more likely to be seen with a boy in that case.  Or, unless we should assume the 52/48 split between male and female births instead of 50/50.  But, what about the higher mortality of boys?  And if you mean Ms. Jones at the end of my street, then 0.
      • The odds of all three children being male are independent, so the odds the other two are male are 1/2 x 1/2 = one in four.
      • 25%, depending on if they are from San Francisco or not.
      • 4/7 or approx 0.57
      • Pretty good probably.
      • Reasonably close to 1 in 8, given that there is a slightly higher male birthrate (even before prenatal ultrasonographic sexual identification allowed the abortion of those pesky girls), but they are fragile and have a higher all cause mortality before the age of one. However one is identified as male the probability the other two are also male now falls to 1 in 4

Question 3

What organisation stated, in explaining why they had lost $160 million on the stock market: “We did not, however, envisage the severity of the falls that occurred concurrently in the various markets due to the global financial crisis. Our diversification strategy did not provide the protection we had expected.”


The Glebe Administration Board, the investment arm of the Australian Anglican Church.

Additional Answers

      • I just prayed for some guidance on this one, instead I decided to invest my capital in the poor like this crowd should have.
      • Please let it be the holding company for one of the exchanges.  That would be priceless.
      • The Anglican church.  With a name like ‘Angle’, it’s got to be bent and masonic.  With bullshit like this, it’s got to be written by an MBA.
      • $160m, too small to be a bank, must be a charity, or a government.
      • Maybe the Anglican Church were expecting protection from God.
      • My superannuation company or N.S.W. Government.
      • Probably those bloody catholics, nobody else could afford to lose that much money and shrug and say “oh well”. Smug bastards.

Question 4

What Beatles song had the working title “Scrambled Eggs”?



Additional Answers

      • All my answers seemed so far away
      • Sniff, how poignant, Paul.  “Oh, I beeelieeeve, in Scrammmmbled Eggsssssssss…”
      • Yesterday.  All the quiz qustions were tougher I say.  How I long for yesterday.
      • I knew the answer Yesterday but now I have forgotten. Sorry, but it’s been a hard day’s night.
      • The one with Yoko bashing the cupboard. Scrambles them every time. (Give pieces a chance?)
      • Yesterday, probably because yesterday’s scrambled eggs keep recurring causing the tune to wake Paul McCartney up in the am
      • Yesterday. We used to substitute washing for loving in All My Loving – all my washing, I will send to you-oo-oo, all my washing and all my ironing too…. ah, I guess you had to be there.

Question 5

Mrs Smith has three children. Her oldest child is a boy. What are the odds that all three of her children are boys?


1 in 4. One child can be excluded, leaving 4 possibilities.

Additional Answers

      • Also very poor, as she will have been keeping up with the Jones’s.
      • 1/4, assuming a 50/50 split instead of a 52/48 split and ignoring the higher mortality of boys.  Unless of curse you know Mrs. Smith.  Then it is either 1 or 0.
      • One in four, which means she kept up with the Jones’s
      • See A2 above.  Hmm, can’t make that funny, unless it’s to mock people who think the previous womb inhabitant somehow influences the gender of the next.  Or is one supposed to do the Pascal stats of MMM/MMF/MFM/FMM/FMF/FFM/MFF of A2 vs MMM/MMF/MFM/MFF?  Or just say the odds are Titanic?
      • 1 to 3.  I know this for a fact as Mrs Smith lives three doors down from me and her two youngest are girls.
      • 1/2 or 0.5
      • 25%. Once again depending on whether they frequent Sydney at Mardi Gras time or not.
      • It is still approximately 1 in 4.
      • Oh no, another woman with three boys? Imagine the noise and mess.

Question 6

///quiz200911Q6.jpg///These two materials are used in preparation for what activity?


Mud wrestling. The straw is for making barriers, within which a slurry of bentonite is made up. Optionally, Greek Orthodox Bishops can then be thrown in.

Additional Answers

      • I wrestled for some time with this one, the result was still somewhat muddy for me.  Who knows I may yet grapple with this one to get a better hold. [Prize answer!]
      • Dr.Bob,  I hope your basement is not leaking!
      • Oh, Doctor Bob.  Apparently Bentonite + straw are used for young goat feed, as well as old goat feed as a mudwrestling platform.
      • Getting drunk. You use them to make wine. Straw to filter grape juice from skins. Bentonite to filter wine to clarify before bottling.
      • Making wine, the bentonite for fining, and the straw for packing the bottles, or reclining upon after drinking the wine.
      • Mud Bricks
      • Mulching
      • The construction of the Nationals’ climate change policy. Or flatulence. Which is the same answer, really.
      • What two? Hay and that bag of clay? The hay makes me worry but the other stuff is for detoxing, people drink that stuff! Bugger me.


    • No time for comments, I am still thinking about the last answer…Mmmmm, mud wrestling….
    • When all else fails, blame the wombats! Hmm … click the link. “The command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using.” Well, the last switch I used was the light switch. I have verified it, and it definitely turns the light on and, when applying opposite vertical force, turns the light off. However, that doesn’t seem to solve the problem of why clicking the link doesn’t open up an email template in Outlook. I blame the wombats.
    • Dennis Ferguson really should be strung up.
    • I have 100% this month!  Mark Twain once wrote: “Its not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, its what you know for a fact that just aint so!”
    • NO WAR
    • Under the old system I could create fake emails for each of my pseudonyms and just have a catch all address for them.  Now I will actually have to create the email addresses for each pseudonym and send from those.  Well, I guess I’ll have to do an honest days cheating from here on out.