Obvious questions with counterintuitive answers

Try this quiz. The answers are not as obvious as you might think:

1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI’s first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Remember, you need 4 correct answers to pass.

Check your answers below …


1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7) What was King George VI’s first name? Albert

8) What color is a purple finch ? Crimson

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (of course)

Building a custom conservatory

Janet and I love conservatories, and it’s a great way to save cash on food too. I;’ve always wanted an indoor orange and lemon tree!

We were inspired by this place in Dublin, a magnificent art deco masterpiece:

And this one, in Belfast, a stunning conservatory:

But this one is my favorite, a poolside conservatory:

Most of the pieces can be purchased from Lowes, ready to assemble!

I want a conservatory with multiple climates, a rain forest for tropical’s, and other areas for violets, orchids, Bonsai, flowers, and a separate space for seasonal herbs and veggies like home-grown tomatoes and green chile!

I would also love to “keep” geraniums over the winter! After a few years they grow to be like small flowering trees!

I’ve seen some geraniums over six feet tall!

See my notes here on custom conservatory ideas.

Rate that infomercial product!

Ever wonder how many people actually become real estate millionaires from those late night TV infomercials? How about those stupid “investment quality” collectors coins? Well, wonder no more, they are now being rated online!

Stupid crap for stupid people

This web site allows you to rate the products that you see on late night TV!

Take a few minutes to read the reviews, it’s very entertaining!

I like this one, where the moron blames “sham-wow” for making his father die angry!

“He started to cry and yell, and as I took my niece out of the room, my father yelled out a scream of anger and pain I had never heard before.

He never got to say his last words to me or our family, all he saw was his own failure and shame and he died in tears, thinking only of an angry world, and not of our LOVE FOR HIM!”

Man, this product must really suck, to cause all of this human misery . . .

How to criticize doctors?

Some Licensed professionals (especially doctors and lawyers) tend to give-off a God-like arrogance, and I think that part of their problem is that they are never given an opportunity to be criticized.

Too many doctors have a God Complex

For physicians it’s even worse. If a doctor is found culpable for malpractice, a settlement will often be done with a non-disclosure clause, so the public will never know.

So, how does the public learn about the qualities of professionals? For physicans, we now have this site http://www.ratemds.com/, a site which allows people to publish anonymous comments about the quality of their health care. Because licensing standards suggest that all doctors and lawyers must be perfect, many doctors are up-in-arms about this site, especially the potential for abuse.

How does one “out” a quack doctor?

A doctor’s reputation is their greatest asset, and while it’s not fair to quash fair comment about medical treatment, it’s not fair to allow anonymous people to unfairly ruin a lifetime of hard work. WE must also consider the issue of business competition, especially among the “vanity” medical areas of plastic surgery and psychiatry, areas where a business competitor might use a tool like this http://www.ratemds.com/ to launch an illegal attack. (Tortuous interference with business relationships is a crime).

This article notes that the web site hides behind section 230, a DMCA clause which holds a web site harmless for what other people publish on the site.

I thought that it was interesting that this web site does not allow commentators to identify themselves!

Given that over 95% of complaints against medical doctors are unjustified, I could see where a site like this serves no legitimate purpose, other than as a vehicle for libel.

The Chuke subculture

I’ve been noticing new “labels” being applied to different groups recently, quite interesting from a sociological point of view. Young people from certain cultures (Guido’s and Chav’s), young people all trying to express their oroginality, by doing exactly the same thing.

People are talking about these sub-cultures as-if they were a “recent” type of thing, a sub-culture that crosses boundaries, such as Swedish Guidos:

Swedish Guidos!

But these kid crazes are not new. In the USA we had the Pachuco’s! After WWII up to 1970, the “Chukes” were all the rage, decked-out in their snappy Zoot Suits:

The Pachuco’s were the parents of the “low rider”, goofy-looking cars that could not clear a pack of cigarettes without bottoming-out:

While these chukes were tough, their cars did not go too fast, and other groups took advantage of that! I remember watching kids pull-up alongside a pachuco car and insult their machismo with a taunting “que macho!” (What a Man!), before speeding away!!

The Tucson boneyard

Tucson is home to the “boneyard”, a place where old military aircraft go to stay dry and rust-free, in case any parts are needed. It’s an amazing place, a graveyard for thousands of old military aircraft, preserved in the dry hot air:

In 1946, the boneyard housed thousands of B-17 bombers, which could be bought for as little as a few hundred dollars. Today, they are national treasures . . .
Lockheed Constellation

Janet & Noel with a Lockheed “Connie”

The Pima Air and Space Museum has a great collection of antique aircraft, including a B-17 and this Lockheed Constellation. The old “Connie” was the first plane I flew in, and I vividly remember puking my guts out as she bucked and weaved through the rough air.

I still love the classic lines of the Lockheed Constellation, and at night with all of the colorful lights on the wing and rudder, she is a spectacular sight.

The Pima museum also has a rare B-17 and several Air Force One aircraft.

Lots of old B-52’s as well, including one that’s outfitted to launch an X-15. It’s hard to believe that the B-52 has been in service since 1952.

See my travel notes in Tucson here.