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Warm-up Questions

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326934.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:26 am Reply with quote

If anyone has a question that doesn't fit into any of the given topics, or perhaps isn't quite strong enough for the show, I'd be thankful if you could post it here, then perhaps I can use it as a warm-up.

326937.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:32 am Reply with quote

Question: Who is the most prolific author of all time?

Answer: Philip M Parker

Notes: Parker has only been producing books for 5 years, and already has more than 85,000 books to his name. The professor of management science has invented an algorithm that will automatically write books by taking information from an enormous database linked to the internet, his titles (which can be found on Amazon, amongst other places) include:

The 2007 Import and Export Market for Seaweeds and Other Algae in France

The 2007-2012 Outlook for Chinese Prawn Crackers in Japan


The 2007-2012 Outlook for Edible Tallow and Stearin Made in Slaughtering Plants in Greater China.,,2252153,00.html

326939.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:36 am Reply with quote

Question: Where is the most expensive place to buy a pint in the world?

Answer: Monaco.

The website follows the price of a pint of lager around the world. The most expensive place is monaco at 7.56 for a beer, way ahead of its nearest rival Guadeloupe at 6.00. Other countries in the top ten include Norway at three, France at five and Iran in 7th place, where a pint will set you back 3.88.

Conversely, the cheapest pint in the world can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their 10p pint is half what you would pay in the second cheapest country, Ethiopia.

326950.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:13 am Reply with quote

That's an interesting site, although those places on which I'm able to comment seem to have some underestimating going on.

No proper pints are to be had in Gdańsk, but a half liter is the equivalent and is usually around 7 zł. - more like 1.50 than 1.10 with the current strength of the złoty. 2.39 in Canada looks a bit optimistic too - it was about that last time I was there two years ago.

As for the UK, well nowhere that I go comes as low as 2.51, but then I do live in the south. 2.80 is more like it around here.

The relatives look about right though, so I'll not doubt that the beer in DR Congo is as cheap as it gets.

326960.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:29 am Reply with quote

You'll be hard pushed to pay 2.50 for a pint in Bolton; I think the locals will revolt when it reaches that high. Probably around 2.30 is more like it, though I paid 1.80 in the Manchester Student Union last night.

327138.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:16 am Reply with quote

Question: What do Japanese "puller-offs" do?

Answer: Pull people off trains.

Due to the extremeness of Japanese rush hours, some of the busier railway stations employ "oshiya" or "pushers" to make sure everyone who wants to get onto a train, can do. The staff will distribute passengers to less-busy carriages, will ensure items are not stuck in the doors, and will physically push people into trains if they are not quite in the doors.

They also do the job of a "puller-off" or "hagitoriya" who drag passengers off the train who try to get on too late, or when the train is too full.

328977.  Fri May 02, 2008 11:28 am Reply with quote

Question: What is Quite Interesting about Greek Lesbians?


Last week, residents of the Greek Island of Lesbos started legal action against the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union, attempting to ban them from using the word "lesbian", claiming that the seizure of the word caused them "psychological and moral rape".

The word "lesbian" does come from the Island which was the home of the poet Sappho, who expressed her love of other women in her poetry written in the early sixth century BC.


330116.  Sun May 04, 2008 12:54 pm Reply with quote

Q. How would you spot the difference between Chinese Wisteria and Japanese Wisteria?

A. Viewed from above Japanese Wisteria spirals clockwise and Chinese anticlockwise.

Handedness in nature is known scientifically as 'chirality'. Chirality in plants like Wisteria is thought to occur as a result of interaction between gravity and plant growth hormones called Auxins. Auxins can be bad as well as good. The chemical defoliant agent orange was composed of two synthetic auxins.

Some modern varieties of Wisteria are hybrids of Japanese & Chinese sorts. These can be confused and spiral both ways.

340762.  Wed May 21, 2008 5:06 am Reply with quote

Chirality also affects how the living organisms process complex molecules. A great example is that the chemical that makes lemons smell lemony, and the chemical that makes oranges smell orangey are, in fact, chemically identical. The only difference is chirality: one molecule is the mirror image of the other.

340964.  Wed May 21, 2008 8:30 am Reply with quote

WB wrote:

Some modern varieties of Wisteria are hybrids of Japanese & Chinese sorts. These can be confused and spiral both ways.

As commented on by the immortal Flanders and Swann.


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