Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Daily Teaser - 31-3-2012

Wait a minute, hang on …

What … ?

You’re joking … ?

I’ve got to admit, following the news is … strange, sometimes: and likely to give you a very cynical view of people.

Although, given the panic buying as a result of the potential tanker driver strikes, something like it was inevitable.

It seems a woman called Diane Hill has been seriously injured after pouring petrol from a jerry can into a jug.

In her kitchen. While the oven was on.

While the oven was on … !!!!!

Now, I’ll happily admit I’m aware she’s suffered 40% burns: and I’m not unsympathetic, I’m really not.

But … I’ve GOT to ask how daft was that … ?

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

»»^««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and, along with admitting she swiped the videos I’d posted* ALSO bagging 5 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 31st March, 1990, saw 200000 people take to the streets of London to protest against what … ?

Q2) 31st March, 1986, saw the abolition of the Greater London Council: who was the final council leader … ?

Q3) More to the point, name any of the other Metropolitan councils abolished that day.

Q4) 31st March, 1921, saw the founding of the Royal Australian Air Force: which marsupial is featured on RAAF aircraft … ? (On what’s called it’s roundel, rather than the coat of arms.)

Q5) 31st March, 1972, saw the Explorer 1 probe re-enter Earth’s atmosphere: after how many years in space … ?

Q6) And finally … 31st March, 1992, saw the last US battleship decommissioned: what was its name … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 30th March, 1856, saw the signing of the Treaty of Paris: which war did this bring to an end … ?
A1) The Crimean War.

Q2) 30th March, 1858, saw Hymen Lipman patent the eraser tipped pencil. Which of Shakespeare’s play’s features a (minor) character called Hymen … ?
A2) As You Like It.

Q3) 30th March, 1746, saw the birth of which notably artistic Spaniard: Dali, Goya or Picasso … ?
A3) Francisco Goya.

Q4) 30th March, 1822, saw the incorporation of the Territory of Florida: when first discovered, in 1513, Florida was a colony of which European country … ?
A4) Spain.

Q5) And finally …30th March, 1978, saw the Conservative’s hire which advertising agency … ?
A5) Saatchi & Saatchi.
Enjoy those, everyone.

I’ll leave you with Herb Alpert’s Keep Your Eyes On Meª, as it’s his birthday.
Oh … and I’ll leave you with news that SOMEONE† in Maryland is VERY lucky … !












* Hmmm … Debbi, should I be getting SERIOUSLY retro, and playing this tune … ?


ª Now I come to watch it, it’s a better video than I thought at the time. But those opening shots are … ah … worrying, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks …

Debbi … ? If that’s YOU … ? Mine’s an iMac with the optional extras … !!!!!

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Friday Question Set — 30-03-2012

Can I make a confession, here … ?

Can I … ?

I’m mildly ticked off.

If’ve you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll know I’ve mentioned what I call the Comantra Scam.

What the scammers are doing is phoning people: and then tricking them into handing over remote control of their machines.

It’s been around for a while, let’s put it that way.

Well …

I’ve just had ANOTHER call from them. You’d think “I’ve got a Mac, I don’t need help from a Microsoft Gold Partner” would work, wouldn’t you … ?

»»·««

At ANY rate … ?

At ANY rate, it is, of course, Friday: which obviously means that it’s now Friday Question Set day.

So with-out much further ado …

Here’s the Friday Question Set: released, as ever, under the Creative Commons License
Online 145: Copied From Harold 3
ROUND ONE. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.

Q1) How old was the Queen, on her birthday, in 2006?
A1) 80.

Q2) Oxfam is actually short for the Oxford Committee for … what?
Q2) Famine Relief.

Q3) The Knesset is which country’s parliament?
A3) Israel.

Q4) Saint Stephen’s Day is more commonly known as what?
A4) Boxing Day.

Q5) Octavia Hill founded which national organisation, in 1895?
A5) The National Trust.

Q6) Grand Lodges, & Grand Orients are the head offices of various European branches of what?
A6) The Freemasons.

Q7) Who made a last gasp move from Arsenal to Chelsea, just before the August 31st transfer deadline, in 2006?
A7) Ashley Cole.

Q8) How many members does the US Senate have?
A8) 100.

Q9) The Camorra of Naples, is a branch of which organisation?
A9) The Mafia.

Q10) If Prince Charles dies before the Queen, who inherits the throne of the UK … ?
A10) Prince William.



ROUND 2. BLINDED WITH SCIENCE.

Q11) Which scientist invented mill-edged coins?
A11) Isaac Newton.

Q12) What does the D stand for, in RADAR?
A12) Detection. (In full, it stand’s for Radio Detection And Ranging)

Q13) Which German doctor gave his name to a version of Senile Dementia?
A13) Dr Alois Alzheimer.

Q14) Manya Sklodowska is better known under what name?
A14) Marie Curie.

Q15) Paralysis Agitans is better known under what name?
A15) Parkinson’s Disease.

Q16) In 1898, Marconi made the first wireless broadcast across where: the English Channel, Atlantic ocean or the Indian Ocean?
A16) The English Channel.

Q17) What does the V stand for, in IVF?
A17) Vitro.

Q18) Carbohydrates are made up of Carbon, Hydrogen … and what else?
A18) Oxygen.

Q19) If you’re pasteurising something, what you doing to something to kill the bacteria present?
Q19) Heating/boiling.

Q20) Who wrote A Brief History Of Time?
A20) Professor Stephen Hawking.



ROUND 3. MUSIC AND LIGHTS.

Q21) Which UK number One could have been released by Dwight and Matthews, if its singers had used their real names?
A21) Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, by Elton John (Reginald Dwight) and Kiki Dee (Pauline Matthews.)

Q22) Who released an album called Blondes Have More Fun?

Q23) What was Chuck Berry’s only UK Number One?

Q24) The video to which Madonna song was denounced by Pope John Paul the 2nd?

Q25) Hollywood star Wesley Snipes appears in the video for which Michael Jackson song?
A25) Bad.

Q26) Kurt Wiell wrote the words to The Thrupenny Opera. Who wrote the music?
A26) Bertold Brecht.

Q27) Chopin wrote almost exclusively for which keyboard instrument?
A27) The Piano.

Q28) Which Beatle was the first to have a solo US Number 1?

Q29) Which British rock star was the first to make a complete album available for downloading?

Q30) Which country star got the Lifetime Achievement Grammy, in 2000: Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, or Johnny Cash?



ROUND FOUR. SOAP & FLANNEL.

Q31) Which popular soap is set in Albert Square?
A31) EastEnders,

Q32) In The Archers, which character is notorious for his black satin sheets?
A32) Nelson Gabriel.

Q33) Which soap is set in the fictional village of Beckindale?
A33) Emmerdale.

Q34) On which street is Neighbours set?
A34) Ramsey Street.

Q35) In which year of the 60’s was Coronation Street first broadcast?
A35) 1960.

Q36) Which BBC1 soap ended in 1993, after just one year?
A36) Eldorado.

Q37) Which Aussie soap is set in Summer Bay
A37) Home and Away.

Q38) What was the name of the slow–witted handyman in the original series of Crossroads’?
A38) Benny.

Q39) Tamsin Grieg plays Debbie Aldridge in one soap, and Doctor Caroline Todd in another. Name either. (Two points for both.)
A39) The Archers and Green Wing.

Q40) Who is Coronations Street’s repetitive butcher?
A40) Fred Elliot.



ROUND FIVE. AT THE MOVIES.

Q41) Who starred in the silent movies, Easy Street and The Kid?
A41) Charlie Chaplin.

Q42) Which English director directed Lawrence of Arabia?
A42) David Lean.

Q43) Anton Karas wrote The Harry Lime Theme for which Orson Welles film?
A43) The Third Man.

Q44) Which 1969 film revolves around a Chicago dance marathon, with a $1,500 prize?
A44) They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?.

Q45) Who played the lead, in the 1977 film, Jesus of Nazareth?
A45) Robert Powell.

Q46) Which Hollywood star made his last appearance in a western called The Shootist? (Bonus point for the star’s real name.)
A46) John Wayne. (Marion Morrison)

Q47) Whose Hollywood screen test notes famously said ‘Can’t act, slightly bald … can dance a little’?
A47) Fred Astaire’s.

Q48) In which film did Russell Crowe play Captain Jack Aubrey?
A48) Master and Commander.

Q49) Who’s the only person to have won a posthumous Best Actor Oscar?
A49) Peter Finch. (For his performance in Network, filmed in 1976.)

Q50) Which Kris Kristofferson film entered movie legend in 1980, for losing more money than any other film?
A50) Heaven’s Gate.



ROUND SIX. GENERAL IGNORANCE.

Q51) The month of January was named after which Roman god? (Bonus for saying what they were the god of)
A51) Janus. (God of doorways and portals.)

Q52) What is the main ingredient of Hummus?
A52) Chick peas.

Q53) Which philosopher founded a famous academy in Athens, in 387 BC?
A53) Plato.

Q54) Who became Conservative party leader, in 1965?
A54) Edward Heath.

Q55) Who released the album, Atom Heart Mother?
A55) Pink Floyd.

Q56) Amethyst is the birthstone for which month of the year?
A56) February.

Q57) Which Greco-Roman hero killed the Nemean Lion?
A57) Hercules. (Heracles was the Greek version of the name.)

Q58) In the Annual University Boat Race, Oxford’s reserve boat is called Isis. What’s the name of the Cambridge reserve boat?
A58) Goldie.

Q59) In which 20th century war was Napalm first used as a weapon?
A59) World War 2.

Q60) Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon & C. J. Parker were central characters in which US series?
A60) Baywatch.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later …

The Daily Teaser - 30-3-2012

Hmm …

Well, that’s probably a turn-up for the books.

It looks like former Labour party member — and Celebrity Big Brother contestant — George Galloway, has managed to get himself back into the House of Commons, after being elected as MP for Bradford West.

Hmmm …

Just goes to show, I think: that mainstream politics has its work cut out for it.

Especially when you consider that the Liberal Democrats in the area lost their deposits: and the Monster Raving Looney Party managed to get — for them — a nice number of votes.

I guess we’ll have to see what this implies for the by-elections on May 3rd!

Let’s move on, shall we … ?

»»·««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and, along with admitting she’d thoroughly enjoyed the video I’d posted — of John Cleese’s Eulogy for Graham Chapman — and posting up a piece* from the Bloggess she’d found inspiring, also bagging 5 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 30th March, 1856, saw the signing of the Treaty of Paris: which war did this bring to an end … ?

Q2) 30th March, 1858, saw Hymen Lipman patent the eraser tipped pencil. Which of Shakespeare’s play’s features a (minor) character called Hymen … ?

Q3) 30th March, 1746, saw the birth of which notably artistic Spaniard: Dali, Goya or Picasso … ?

Q4) 30th March, 1822, saw the incorporation of the Territory of Florida: when first discovered, in 1513, Florida was a colony of which European country … ?

Q5) And finally …30th March, 1978, saw the Conservative’s hire which advertising agency … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 29th March, 1871, saw Queen Victoria open which London concert hall … ?
A1) The Royal Albert Hall. (At one point, one or two blues fans I know would — as a result of Eric Clapton’s annual gigs, there — laughingly refer to it as Eric’s … )

Q2) 29th March, 1981, saw the first London Marathon take place: in which London borough will this year’s marathon start … ?
A2) Greenwich.

Q3) 29th March, 1549, saw the founding of Salvador da Bahia: this was the first capital city of which country … ?
A3) Brazil.

Q4) 29th March, 1857, saw Sepoy Mangal Pandey begin the Sepoy Mutiny: against whom … ?
A4) The British East India Company.

Q5) And finally … 29th March, 1974, saw the Mariner 10 probe fly by where … ?
A5) Mercury.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from birthday boy — and recovering rapper — the Reverend Stanley Burrell …







* Words are such important things at times, Debbi, aren’t they … ? I think THAT collection of words is something that should be more widely read. And confess, I immediately hit the tweet buttonº.

º I’ll work out how I did it, at some point, but I’ve linked my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It comes in handy …

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Daily Teaser - 29-3-2012

Arggghhhhh …

I know perfectly well that I HATE sleeping through my alarm.

I really do.

Equally … ?

I have to admit to kicking myself when I forget to put my alarm on.

I HATE doing that as well … !

Hmmmm …

Let’s see if I can’t get a post done at speed, shall we?

I’d HATE to not give myself a deadline.

««·»»

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and , along with admitting she’s excited about the upcoming book from Jenny Lawson*, the Bloggess, ALSO bagging 6 out of 6.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 29th March, 1871, saw Queen Victoria open which London concert hall … ?

Q2) 29th March, 1981, saw the first London Marathon take place: in which London borough will this year’s marathon start … ?

Q3) 29th March, 1549, saw the founding of Salvador da Bahia: this was the first capital city of which country … ?

Q4) 29th March, 1857, saw Sepoy Mangal Pandey begin the Sepoy Mutiny: against whom … ?

Q5) And finally … 29th March, 1974, saw the Mariner 10 probe fly by where … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th March, 37AD, saw who given the Roman Imperial titles?
A1) Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus: otherwise know as Caligula.

Q2) More to the point, in which year was that Emperor assassinated … ?
A2) 41AD.

Q3) 28th March, 845, saw which French city sacked by Vikings … ?
A3) Paris. (I have a confession: it’s TEMPTING to tell you that Ragner Lodbrok went up to Paris, and said “You’re fired” … But I’ll forbear, shall … ? I mean, it’s not a very good joke … )

Q4) 28th March, 1930, saw the Turkish city of Angora change its name: to what … ?
A4) Ankara.

Q5) 28th March, 1819, saw the birth of engineer, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who famously deigned London’s sewers: his great-great-grandson, Peter Bazalgette, is one of the brains behind which TV company: CNN, Endemol or Turner?
A5) Endemol.

Q6) And finally … 28th March, 1991, saw an inquest deliver a verdict of Accidental Death, on 95 people: at which sporting disaster … ?
A6) Hillsborough.
Enjoy those, everyone: as it’s Eric Idle’s birthday, I’ll leave you with a tune that’s deeply symbolic of the nature of our amazingly expanding universe …


Oh, ta hell with it: I’ll ALSO point you at his saddest song: or, at least, that’s how I remember it from Graham Chapman’s funeral …











* I’ve got to admit, I’m intrigued, Debbi: especially once I read her Wil Wheaton Collating page. Wonderful way of dealing with that sort of message, I’ll have to come up with something along those lines!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Daily Teaser - 28-3-2012

You know, in between yawning, drinking some tea, and listening to Radio 4, I’ve GOT to admit, I’ve got a song on my mind.

Why, I don’t know.

But to be frank … ?

I’ve had Billy Joel tune, She’s Alway’s A Woman To Me, floating around my head since I got up.

Lord knows why … !

I mean … I’ve alway’s preferred Goodnight, Saigon.

Let’s get moving on, shall we? Before I start singing along, and ruining a pair of perfectly good tunes …


‹‹•››

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — all on her ownsome — putting in her answers: and, along with reminding us depression* is a terrible thing, AND how awesome the ’netª is, also bagging 6 out of 6.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 28th March, 37AD, saw who given the Roman Imperial titles?

Q2) More to the point, in which year was that Emperor assassinated … ?

Q3) 28th March, 845, saw which French city sacked by Vikings … ?

Q4) 28th March, 1930, saw the Turkish city of Angora change its name: to what … ?

Q5) 28th March, 1819, saw the birth of engineer, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who famously deigned London’s sewers: his great-great-grandson, Peter Bazalgette, is one of the brains behind which TV company: CNN, Endemol or Turner?

Q6) And finally … 28th March, 1991, saw an inquest deliver a verdict of Accidental Death, on 95 people: at which sporting disaster … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th March, 1886, saw which Apache warrior surrender to the US Army … ?
A1) Geronimo: or Goyaałé — ‘One Who Yawns‘ — in his native tongue.

Q2) 27th March, 1915, saw Mary Mallon put into quarantine: which disease was she carrying … ?
A2) Typhoid.

Q3) More to the point, what was her nickname … ?
A3) Typhoid Mary. (Obviously … )

Q4) 27th March, 1854 saw the UK declare War on Russia: how was this war known … ?
A4) The Crimean War.

Q5) Equally to the point, which noted British statistician came to prominence during that war … ?
A5) Florence Nightingale: who basically invented a version of the pie chart to show the British Government exactly WHAT was killing troops, during the conflict.

Q6) And finally … 27th March, 1981, saw which union go on strike for four hours … ?
A6) Solidarity, in Poland.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with a quick tune from birthday girl, Reba McEntire.


Oh …

And I’ll ALSO say Goodnight Saigon























* Depression Lies’ … ? That’s a nice turn of phrase, Debbi, that really is … ! I’ll be honest, I know where she’s coming from, as well … (Turns out her autobiography’s out, this year … )

ª ¿Hang on, that’s cat’s sitting in WHAT … ?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Daily Teaser - 27-3-2012

Hmmm …

Well, that’s a result.

Do you remember me saying, yesterday, that my bed had collapsed … ?

Well, I HAVE to admit, I’ve now officially spent my first night on the floor.

Well …

On a mattress, on the floor: I’ve actually had to dismantle the bed, as a couple of important crossbars have bent.

Oh, well …

Guess I’ll have to see what happens …

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

‹‹•››

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: an, along with admitting she’s misread a question, yesterday*, ALSO bagging 6 out of 6.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 27th March, 1886, saw which Apache warrior surrender to the US Army … ?

Q2) 27th March, 1915, saw Mary Mallon put into quarantine: which disease was she carrying … ?

Q3) More to the point, what was her nickname … ?

Q4) 27th March, 1854 saw the UK declare War on Russia: how was this war known … ?

Q5) Equally to the point, which noted British statistician came to prominence during that war … ?

Q6) And finally … 27th March, 1981, saw which union go on strike for four hours … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 26th March 1979, saw Egypt and Israel sign a peace treaty, at the White House: who was the US president that helped broker the deal … ?
A1) Jimmy Carter.

Q2) More to the point, who was the Egyptian President … ?
A2) Anwar Al-Sadat.

Q3) Equally to the point, who was the Israeli PM … ?
A3) Menachem Begin.

Q4) Moving on … 26th March, 1973, saw women allowed into the London Stock Exchange: in which London Square is the current LSE building … ?
A4) Paternoster Square.

Q5) 26th March, 1934, saw the UK introduce what … ?
A5) A driving test.

Q6) 26th March, 1636, saw the formal founding of which Dutch university … ?
A6) Utrecht University.

Q7) And finally … 26th March is one of the traditional dates of which prophet’s birthday … ?
A7) Zoroaster. (Also known as Zarathustra.)
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with the magnificent voice of the late Billy MacKenzie, born this day in 1957ª.























* I wouldn’t worry THAT much, Debbi: what do you think got me checking Faisal’s place of birth in the first place … ? *Bows extravagantly at the Old Peculiar’s Resident Big Beast and Legal Brain* :D

ª And who committed suicide in 1997: depression is a terrible condition, especially when it kills someone with a voice like MacKenzie’s. I should probably get hold of more of those albums, I really should …

Monday, 26 March 2012

Pontypool: Now, that’s what I CALL a movie … !


*Spoilers*

(Before you go on to the main part of this post — at the end, I give away the film’s central plot device — let me point out I’ve given Pontypool ★★★★, the most I tend to hand out. I’m a touch less conservative about these things than fellow Movie maven, Kevin D, but still STILL believe Pontypool is worth my highest rating, despite wanting to initially give it ★★★½☆. Either way, I wrote this little intro to tell you what I thought, just in case you DIDN’T want to spoil things for yourself.)
You know, I’m thinking, right now, that my day had something of an awkward start to it, it really did.

After all, it’s not THAT often that your bed collapses on you.

Or, at least, collapses with you on it, I should say.

Which is what happen to me, this morning.

Hopefully, if all goes well, I’ll be able to find a replacement, somewhere, though.

I’ll let you know.

Suffice to say that, for the moment … ? I’ve had to dismantle the old one: as a couple of metal crossbars that held it together had well and truly bent.

And aren’t going to be repaired with the help of a blacksmith: not easy to find, even with the big wide Essex countryside being only a few steps away.

~≈Ê≈~

BBC News - Dementia research funding set to rise to £66m by 2015




You know, my long term readers will probably be very aware that I’m a long term Terry Pratchett fan, and have been for some time.

I’m also someone who’s seen a much loved grandmother die, after suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease for many years.

So … ?

So catching the above news — that the government is to double the amount of funding put towards Alzheimer’s — is a good thing.

I personally wish it had come a few years earlier, but none the less, it’s still something to be welcomed.

However …

I’m ALSO aware that, during the recent budget — last Wednesday, so you know — saw a HUGE uproar about the Granny Tax: the reduction in personal allowances for pensioners.

Knowing the age group that Alzheimer’s usually targets … ?

I can’t help but think that someone has been thrown a bone, to make up for losing that money.



Dr Who: The Series Seven Trailer … !

Oh, now HANG ON … !

Even WITH the Great Collapsing Bed Disaster, there’s something to smile about, today: the Dr Who series 7 trailer is now officially online,at the BBC’s Dr Who site.

Here it is …


Enjoy that folks: if nothing else, we can say River Song is in it: and SOMETHING’S using a Dalek eyeball …