Questions for Sept/Oct 2016

I’m travelling a lot these days and will have to end this quiz soon, after 20 years!! but I will soon put up a “Best of” compilation of a few of the earlier questions that got the best sarcastic answers. (I remember promising to do that 15 years ago, in August 2001). So here are some picture questions until I get home … witty comments are welcome.

1. This is Leonardo’s idea for a tank. What’s wrong with it?

2. These men are, would you believe, looking for a job. What job?

3. What does this device do?

4. This is a list. What are the items listed?

5. These are post-war Germans in Berlin. What are they looking for?

Questions for August 2016

This is Dr Bob’s quiz for August 2016. I’m travelling, and running out of text questions, however I have a lot of of pictures to use. When I get the hang of it I will move on to use those; here’s two for now. Please send witty answers by hitting “Comment”, or just enjoy them when they come up.

1. The graph shows the percentage of Norwegians watching television; NRK2 is traditionally the least watched channel. What did NRK2 broadcast that made it more popular?

2. This is the civic Coat of Arms of the Polish coastal town of Ustka. How was its design modified in 2004?

3. Which author has had the most books banned from public libraries?

4. The Enindhilyagwa language has five genders of nouns … I bet you are going to look this up on Wikipedia.

5. The Norwegian explorers Fritdjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen tried to reach the North Pole in 1895, but after a series of mishaps ended up stranded in a snow shelter for eight months. The Norwegian language, like French and German, has formal and personal forms of address, for example for the word “you” and Norwegians were dreadfully formal in those days. What caused the two stranded men to adopt the personal form of address in their conversation?

Questions for June/July 2016

By the late Dr Bob … I am still travelling, see my other blog ( for daily-ish updates of my adventures. These are good questons IMHO, that I have been saving.

  1. During the construction of London’s Westminster Bridge in the 1860’s, why was the use of a diving-bell replaced by individual diving-suits?
  2. The Great Wall of China has towers with arrow-slots so that archers can fire northwards at the approaching Mongols. But the part of the Wall near Beijing also has arrow-slots in the south face, towards China – why?
  3. In English law, situations or things can be described as existing “since time immemorial”. When did “time immemorial” officially end?
  4. What was Arthur Conan Doyle supposed to be doing, when he devised and wrote the first Sherlock Holmes stories?
  5. Peter Jackson and his crew, on their first visit to the farm which would become the location for Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings, were shoo’ed away by the farmer – why?

May 2016 – sorry no questions!

I hope this sticks on the site, I am travelling in China and cannot see WordPress or use my email which goes via Google, or access my list of future questions so I am sending this post ‘blind’ from an internet cafe. Normal service, well, the usual service will resume in early June. Do not adjust your set.

Questions for April 2016

I am perpetually travelling these days; today I am in NZ, for example. My son and his GF have walked the entire 3000-km Te Araroa trail; they are crazy. Invercargill never looked so good. Anyway, have a go at these –

  1. The book Outlaw relates a child’s grim view of Soviet Russia in 1935. One day, each child in the author’s school class was given a poster of Stalin to take home. One wretched child brought his back the following day. What was his excuse?
  2. It is told that the Kings of Norway and Sweden once rolled two dice to determine the owenrship of an island. The King of Sweden rolled first, scoring a double 6. The King of Norway could have given up at that point, but how did he end up with the island?
  3. In the Great Pyramid, two very narrow passages lead upwards from the Queen’s Chamber. In 1994, a robot camera was sent up one of these passages and discovered a metal door at its end; then in 2002, a small hole was drilled in this door and another camera was poked through it. What lay behind it?
  4. What problem are Apple having with their new voice-activated controller, in New Zealand?
  5. Queenstown NZ is a rather silly place but from here you can see a mountain range called The Remarkables. Apart from this being a spectacular view, what else is remarkable about The Remarkables?

Questions for March 2016

Here’s this month’s stuff – enjoy reading, and feel free to post sarky comments. Answers next month.

  1. Eratosthenes derived the size of the Earth from the angles of shadows at Syene (Aswan) and Alexandria, knowing how far apart they were. How did he measure how far apart these places were?
  2. Did Lumpy Stevens bowl John Small?
  3. Why did the (Soviet) Russians build the Friendship Bridge, across the Amu-Darya in Uzbekistan?
  4. Rudolf Virchow opposed Bismarck’s financial policies. What is said to have happened as a result?
  5. Why is the Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a thin man” a.k.a. “Mr Jones” featured in the Danish TV series The Bridge series 3?

Questions for February 2016

Here’s some new and some old that I have been saving for years. Yes I am scraping the barrel this month! Feel free to post comments. Answers next month.

  1. Andre Tchaikowsky was a Polish pianist. (Not that other, Russian Tchaikowski bloke). He had a strange ambition – to act in Hamlet, but not in the title role – no, he wanted to play Yorick, the jester. Did he manage it?
  2. Georg Steller described a tribe in (Tsarist) Siberia who improved their wretched existence by drying out hallucinogenic mushrooms, that contained ibotenic acid, and eating them. Demand and fashion led to the mushrooms becoming expensive, and thus no longer affordable by poorer tribe members. What did they do instead?
  3. The German Tank problem: you spot ten German tanks of a particular model, and you know the Germans have numbered them in order starting at 1. The highest number that you see is 250. Roughly how many tanks of that model are there?
  4. Dr Johnson compiled his famous Dictionary of the English Language. Later he was told off by a woman for not including obscenities in it. What was his reply?
  5. The list of the largest known prime numbers known to humanity includes the values 23217-1, 24253-1, 24423-1, 29689-1. OK, this was years ago, we are up to 274207281-1 now. For how long was 24253-1 the largest known prime?