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Fifty Amazing, (but Completely Useless), Facts

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1351504.  Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:22 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
21. is claimed as true here, but I'm skeptical.

That article asserts that the gun in question was a ".45 Colt British service revolver". The Colt 45 was an American bullet, which makes it an unlikely choice for a British service revolver. Wouldn't Bond's original service weapon have been a Webley, just as Dr Watson's was?

It might well have been a Webley, but it could have also been in .45 Colt calibre. Being an essentially unarmed nation at the beginning of hostilities, we would take anything we could get while industry caught up with the new demands. One of the many things we were short of was pistol ammunition. The Americans of course had imperial sh*tloads of it, but in US calibres. It was far easier for us to rebore Webleys to take the new ammo, than for the US factories to retool for .455 Webley or .38 Webley, so we got .45 Colt Webleys

1351509.  Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:58 am Reply with quote

Thanks crissdee. You will imagine my surprise when it was you who clarified a point about guns, which had a tangential reference to Dr Watson!

Since I don't know much about guns, to me Colt 45 is a strong American beer before it is anything else. While the company that makes the stuff doesn't seriously deny that the beer is named after the bullet, it has a semi-official alternate history for anyone who thinks that isn't how beers ought to be named.

The National Brewing Company which created the beer in 1963 was based in Baltimore. At that time, the NFL team in Baltimore was the Baltimore Colts - and as of 1963, its #45 shirt was worn by one Jerry Hill, a third season running back out of Wyoming. And the beer was, of course, named after him.

Mr Hill is now 80, and lives in retirement next to a golf course in Wyoming. He says that he's not a big drinker, but he's entirely happy to accept the case of product that the brewery sends him every Christmas.

1351511.  Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:58 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Thanks crissdee. You will imagine my surprise when it was you who clarified a point about guns, which had a tangential reference to Dr Watson!

I imagine that "not very much at all" would cover it!

1351521.  Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:29 pm Reply with quote

You imagine correctly!

31. is false. The so-called Adak National Forest is a clump of trees barely large enough to be called a copse, the remnants of a load of Christmas trees planted by the US Navy when it had a base on Adak Island in the 1940s.

The base is long gone, but a few dozen of the Christmas trees survived - and some local wag erected a sign referring to them as a "National Forest". This was a joke. You can see the entire "forest" and its sign here.

32. sounds like nonsense, and as already noted any such rule in Israel would be more likely to covers Saturdays than Sundays.

33. used to be true. Education in New Zealand is compulsory from the age of 6, but it is funded from the age of 5 and it used to be common for children to start school immediately on their 5th birthday.

The government now prefers the cohort system whereby children only start school at the beginning of a term. The old ways are still in use in parts of the country, but it's probably not "most" any more. (source)

34. is true.

35. is true. The point was that Germany was flooding the British market with cheap tat bearing copied British branding. That led to the Merchandise Marks Act 1887, which required such items to be marked with the country of origin.

36. is a half truth. It's a circus more than a theatre, but it really exists and most of the performing animals are cats. The "ringmaster" is human though, and there are also a handful of dogs.

37. is true. After all, American courts have heard cases far more ridiculous than claims to own Mars - but bizarre cases are rarely successful, and the Yemenis didn't win theirs.

38. is false, as mentioned upthread and several times previously on these forums.

39. is probably true. Anyone who really knows the details of Premier Mao's ablutionary practices probably isn't going to talk, but - outside the urban elite - Chinese people mostly don't brush their teeth. There have been recent campaigns advocating toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dentists - but many Chinese don't trust such Western ideas.

40. is true. Antarctica is a desert, as we all know.

Big Martin
1351525.  Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:12 am Reply with quote

22 is not true. UC-78 was rammed and sunk by by the British steamer Queen Alexandra on 9 May 1918.

1351552.  Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:20 am Reply with quote

Ooh, good work Big Martin! Score lots of points, as we had into the home straight and the final ten questions.

41. is true.

42. is false. There is indeed a post office inside the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan, but there is also one inside the Wieliczka salt mine in Poland. There is possibly a third in China.

43. is a half truth, as noted upthread. John Lennon did adopt vegetarianism for a time, but unlike the other three Beatles he returned to meat.

44. is true. He got the idea from Friedrich II (Frederick the Great), who also had a saddle-shaped office chair.

45. is true.

46. is false. Hockey and lacrosse are both the national sport of Canada.

47. is more or less true. State Religious Affairs Bureau Order #5 (2007), which requires permission for reincarnation, applies only to designated schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The point here is that Beijing wants to be sure that the Dalai Lama is someone "suitable".

48. rather depends how you define a "lake". Finland defines a lake as being at least 500 square meters in area, and under that definition it has 187,888 of them. But it does not dispute that under just about any definition, Norway has more.

49. is true. It's Law #108.

50. is true-ish. It was the first baby to be born at the hospital where TV cameras were waiting for such an event, and was actually born a few minutes before independence. But the mother did indeed tell the TV cameras that she would call her baby the local language equivalent of Independent.


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