Tuesday, May 29, 2007

People are Talking About Me on TV

And nope, it's not incipient schizophrenia. On the People's Quiz Wildcard Show - the supermarket Value brand equivalent of the quiz show - they said I was "tougher" than Mark. Tougher in the sense that my general knowledge is better and more resilient, hopefully. I'd hate to take Mark down in a fight, or rather see him sit on me and suffocate me to death, as is likely in reality. I am a slight and delicate creature.

I have been especially unproductive the last few days. Damn the bank holiday weekend! But I think I have decided on a schedule and route of action for the next ten days. And yes, I think I will be going to the Worlds in Wellingborough. Will prolly do the individuals, then scurry off to a corner and practice on rubbish mainstream questions. Anyway, I'm off home on the train for some LA cramming. Can't seem to do it in London on account of not being able to smoke in my room. Nicotine is my thinking drug. That may, of course, be a lie. I'm really into lies and exaggerating and conspiracies at the moment.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

BH115: Rough as Shanty Town Houses

Fulfilling Jesse's expectations of my dissolute blogging self
I feel rough. I am living in a world of perpetual twilight pockmarked by thousands of quiz questions, mostly to do with Arabic mathematicians, African empires and Russian painters. Yes, it's revision time for the Worlds. Hooray ... not. I do wonder if I am learning anything, or if my brain is too Swiss cheesed to be of any use. It's mostly to do with my irregular periods of shut-eye. These sleep problems stemmed from a timely internet failure and a pertinent work deadline early Tuesday morning, which forced me to decamp to a KX cyber-cafe, having waited bloomin' hours for my connection to come back (it didn't by 5.30am; I paid £6.50 ... grrrr). Ever since I have been catching up (Xmas ATP 2005 being one very bad, sleep deprived example). I feel like my mind is coated with some kind of nasty fur. Fan-bloody-tastic.

Buy it! I order you!
Part of my revision has been to put my finishing touches to the next 505-question e-mail quiz. It has been sent out to and returned by Pat Gibson and Ken Jennings, and now I am waiting on one other party, assuming he's actually got it. The putting together of a new World knowledge based quiz has been long in the making and pernickety proof-reading and swapping (token African recording artist! Check! Roman battle! Check! And so on!). I believe only about 150 questions have survived from the original. I also believe that it is a darn sight harder than the last, which is good since you'll be getting original questions you might be glad to learn for the first time, and very bad, because it might put off future participants. Oh well. All I can say is: love the questions you have never seen before. Please love them.

And it now has a predictable name: Tis The Behemoth.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. (Or you could always just answer the questions. Up to you, really).

And that People's Quiz thing; it's a bit of an afterthought at the moment. I did look at the 21st century UK number ones on Everyhit, but after about five minutes realised I was actually, positively dying from extreme boredom. Haven't done any buzzer practice either. Though I'm sure I will. Once I start sleeping at normal times and eating properly (I am subscribing rather too well to the chocolate, toast, pasta and Chinese takeaways diet ... the fresh fruit and vegetables are nothing to me at the moment). I also have to excuse any future rubbish quotes I will come out with, with regards to TPQ Grand Final show. Anything that paints me as the mega-favourite with enough arrogance perhaps to even vaguely overshadow Mark's utterances was forced out of my mouth by the TV people. I swear. I'm a nice, modest boy really, with no aspirations to world domination - either political or the trivia kind.

Still, whenever I do feel rough at the moment, which is permanently, I turn to this music video from The Format. It makes me smile, if only momentarily. Look at all those cute kids singing about adult dating rituals in a possibly subversive way ... awwww.

Here: Quiz one off
1 Who was inspired to compose The Cat's Fugue by his pet Pulcinella?
2 The man who scored One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, who composed the track The Last Race for Quentin Tarantino's latest film Death Proof?
3 An article in the right-wing Polish magazine Ozon by historian Bogdan Musial has alleged that which eminent Polish sociologist, author of almost 50 books including Modernity and the Holocaust (1989) and the soon to be published Consuming Life, was for a while in the pay of the Polish secret service and participated in the political cleansing of the incumbent regime's opponents?
4 Which 25-year-old won the 1836 architectural competition to design Liverpool's St George's Hall, its Great Hall being modelled on the Baths of Caracalla in Rome?
5 The "micro-rover" on NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission was named after which US abolitionist (1797-1883)?
6 Since 1981, which Foundation has handed out "Fellowships" or individual prizes of $500,000 to between 20-40 US residents working in any field and doing innovative work, something that has led to them being labelled "genius grants"; the youngest winner being 21-year-old British mathematician Stephen Wolfram?
7 According to legend, the mythical ancestor of the Premyslid dynasty, Libuse, founded which city during the 8th century?
8 Based on episodes of Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata/Jerusalem Delivered and first performed in Her Majesty's Theatre in Haymarket on February 24, 1711, which opera about a Christian knight was the first opera Handel produced for London and the first Italian opera composed specifically for the London stage?
9 Originating in West Africa, what sort of musical instrument is a "Djembe"?
10 The lysergic acid from which LSD is synthesised is itself derived from which grain fungus in the genus Claviceps that typically grows on rye?
11 On May 1, 1956, a doctor in Japan reported an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system" marking the official discovery of which neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning?
12 Which UNESCO World Heritage site - the first ever natural site to be given that status in Russia on its recognition in 1995 - is located in the Northern Ural mountains is at 32,800km2, the largest virgin forest in Europe?
13 With a libretto by Rudolf Schanzer and Ernst Welisch, which Austrian composed the music to the three-act operetta Madame Pompadour that opened at the Berliner Theatre in Berlin on September 9, 1922?
14 Bogota is officially named Bogota DC. What do the letters DC stand for when translated into English?
15 Which low-paid "wool carders" revolted against the rule of the Guelphs in Florence in 1378?
16 On which river is the Spanish city of Valencia situated?
17 Mujos and Pazari are the two oldest neighbourhoods, located between the geographical centre and Elbanasi Street on either side of the Lana River, in which capital city?
18 What two-word term describes the longest phase in a star's lifetime?
19 From the Persian for "chief", what is the hereditary ruler of the Marathas called?
20 Often drunk and disillusioned, Lieutenant Mario Conde is the hero of Havana Blue, the recently published third instalment (in the UK) in whose Havana Quartet?
21 Named from their idealized scenes of an eponymous river valley, which American art movement dedicated to landscape painting arose in c.1825 and included among its group Thomas Cole, Frederick E. Church and Asher B. Durand?
22 Park Dong-jin is seen as the leading voice of which traditional Korean method of storytelling through music, performed by one kwangdae (singer) and one gosu (drummer), and deriving its name from the words for "a place where many people gather" and "sound"?
23 Which Augsburg-born composer, music teacher and violinist published A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing/Versuch einer grundlichen Violinschule, in 1756?
24 Which pontiff commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel in 1534?
25 Whose fourth place in the Indy 500 two years ago is considered the best result by a women in all forms of motor racing?
26 What is the sci-fi-sounding name of Norewegian R&B pop producer duo, Mikkel S. Erikesen and Tor Erik Hermansen, who have had a hand in such hits as Beyonce's Irreplaceable, Rihanna's Unfaithful and Ne-Yo's So Sick?
27 The artist and founder of Die Brucke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, lived in which Swiss town from 1917-38, now home to a museum which holds the world's largest collection of his work and is designed by Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer from Zurich?
28 Which Austrian supermarket chain, which claims to be "the seriously sexy supermarket", has had each of its 130 stores designed by up and coming architects and are each fast becoming tourist attractions?
29 Born in Mendrisio in Switzerland in 1943, who rebuilt the 17th century chapel - Church of St John the Baptist - in the Swiss village of Mogno after it was destroyed by an avalanche, and has also designed Tour de Moron in the Jura and Santa Maria degli Angeli on Mount Tamaro, near Lugano, as well as Evry Cathedral in France, the Cymbalista Synagogue in Tel Aviv and the Santo Volta Church in Turin?
30 Which Canadian publisher has agreed to buy Reuters for £8.7 billion, thus creating the world's biggest financial news and data group?
31 Which country won the 2007 IIHF World Championship after a 4-2 win over Finland in the gold medal game in Moscow?
32 Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta has won which country's presidential election after defeating Francisco Guterres of Fretilin by 69 per cent to 31 per cent?
33 Which French Elle editor wrote using the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly/Le scaphandre et le papillon using his left eyelid about his suffering a massive stroke and subsequent "locked-in" syndrome?
34 The chickens of which eastern area of France, located in the Rhone-Alpes region between Bourgogne and Jura, (formerly ranging free), were the first animals to have an Appellation d'Origine Controlee, the are being noted for the 1.2 million chickens per year it raises primarily outdoors by 330 stockbreeders with a minimum of 10 square metres per bird?
35 Affiliated since last year to al-Qaeda, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat is based in which country?
36 Which small town in the French department of Haute-Vienne was destroyed by soldiers of the Der Fuhrer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich, who killed a total of 642 men, women and children, on June 10, 1944?
37 Named after a Danish ecologist, the Raunkier System is used to classify what?
38 During which conflict was Archimedes killed during the sack of Syracuse in 212 BC?
39 Vinson Massif, the highest mountain of Antarctica, stands in the Sentinel Range of which mountains?
40 Who directed the 1946 Rita Hayworth film Gilda?
41 Home to the hill El Panecillo and the Parque Metropolitano (the largest urban park in the continent), which capital could lay claim to be the oldest in South America and was officially founded by 204 settlers led by Sebastian de Benalcazar, who captured the Inca war general Ruminahui and effectively ended any organised resistance?
42 Which printmaking method was invented by the German professional soldier Ludwig van Siegen (1609-c.1680), the earliest print dating back to 1642 and portraying Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Cassel?
43 Bought by Robert P McCulloch for $2.46 million, what is said to be the largest antique ever sold?
44 Founded as Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd. in 1907, which Japanese car company takes its name from the first kanji for Osaka and the first word of "engine manufacture"?
45 Which deceased cartoon character has the real name Jerome McElroy Jr.?
46 Founded in 1876 and having its HQ at Indianapolis, which global pharmaceutical company invented Prozac?
47 Which Pole won the gold in the women's 100m at the 1932 Summer Olympics, and the silver medal in the event four years later, though it was discovered after her death in 1980 that she was intersex and therefore ineligible to participate?
48 Starring Norah Jones and Natalie Portman, My Blueberry Nights is a road movie directed by which Asian filmmaker?
49 One of the Three Jewels to which Buddhists give themselves and, in return look toward for guidance in a process known as "taking refuge", what term describes "The Community" of those great people who have attained enlightenment?
50 In office since 1998 (though he was acting commissioner from 1992 to 1998), who is Commissioner of Baseball for Major League Baseball?






Answers to BH115
1 Domenico Scarlatti 2 Jack Nitzsche 3 Zygmunt Bauman 4 Harvey Lonsdale Elmes 5 Sojourner Truth 6 MacArthur Foundation 7 Prague 8 Rinaldo 9 Drum 10 Ergot 11 Minamata disease (also called Chisso-Minamata disease) 12 Virgin Komi Forests 13 Leo Fall 14 Distrito Capital 15 Ciompi 16 River Turia 17 Tirana 18 Main sequence 19 Peshwa 20 Leonardo Padura 21 Hudson River School 22 Pansori 23 Leopold Mozart 24 Clement VII 25 Danica Patrick 26 Stargate 27 Davos 28 Mpreis Supermarket 29 Mario Botta 30 The Thomson Corporation 31 Team Canada 32 East Timor 33 Jean-Dominique Bauby 34 Bresse 35 Algeria 36 Oradour-sur-Glane 37 Plants 38 Second Punic War 39 Ellsworth Mountains 40 Charles Vidor 41 Quito 42 Mezzotint 43 London Bridge 44 Daihatsu 45 Chef from South Park 46 Eli Lilly and Company 47 Stanislawa Walasiewicz 48 Wong Kar Wai 49 Sangha 50 Bud Selig

Monday, May 14, 2007


I'm guessing nobody knows that a cutting edge, non-fiction magazine called Bad Idea has covered OUR quizzing world this issue (no. 3) in the form of an interview with myself, an overview of the whole darn kaboodle and a review of the only QLL match we lost this season against the Allsorts.

Yes, you will find factual inaccuracies (such as Stainer not being mentioned as one of the non-participating supporters and many other niggly little things), but it is pretty good and filled with some likeably purple prose. I mean, we're so used to tabloids writing about quizzers and quiz shows with all the handling skills and subtleties of ogres that it is nice to get a different kind of outsider's view written with some care and attempt to extract some real insight.

And, no, "feline" Alyssa who plays/has played bass for Scritti Politti, I do not want to hunt you down and kill you. My portrait is fair enough. Especially, with the me ignoring complete, albeit friendly, strangers coming to my table at The George. Though, Chris does tend to introduce a parade of different people each week who confuse me and distract me from the business at hand that of: getting moderately pissed, smoking my arse off and answering quiz questions in as definitive manner as possible. I just want to amass the beer tokens and drink beer. The phrase "joyless silence" is perfectly apt one sometimes, I suppose.

And we might as well always dream about and plan for THE BIG SCORE anyway. The dough is a very nice bonus. Very nice. If you do quizzing in a serious manner, you might as well make the very best of it and clear up those silly real-life financial concerns

Sample line: "He didn't even look up when I introduced myself" (Eek, if only I had known. I can be such an idiot sometimes. And slightly autistic too when it comes to trivia time.)

It costs £4.50 if you fancy it and there be a MySpace page here you can visit too and groove along to the pretentious genre-mashing hip music it is soundtracked by.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BH114: The things complete strangers say about you! Honestly!

So many wasted plans for posts. Such energy expended on eviscerating Edmonds. And completely forgetting about doing important stuff to finish, to start and to carry out, while occupying myself with the thought that I'm bored out of my skull and there's nothing to do. It's like a really lame version of cognitive dissonance.

And then you trawl the interweb for what people are saying about the People's Quiz (and you, of course) because ultimately you are a vain and pitiful creature with too much time on your hands. I admit it. I said on TPQ that "I am weak and cowardly" and was about to quote Smiths lyrics to emphasise these sad character traits. (How Soon Is Now, of course, like duh!)

But the vast jets of vitriolic filth that people spray on their computer screens! It's disgusting and vile and mostly about Mark. And they really get going when Mark is seen to be in tandem with internet forum hate figure CJ. Why do people have to hate so much? Why can't everyone just get along, as that great poet Rodney King once implored?

Thankfully, in comparison I've stayed safely anonymous Princess Leia-style, with practically the only bad thing someone has said about me coming from one Rhythmbastard on the forums at Moopy: "The asian guy who was on last week obviously has no friends or social life and lives in the library."


Well, Mr Rhythmbastard, if I do win the Grand Final and hold my putative carnage-filled victory party, I will invite you along and, as the centre-piece of the drink-sodden shenanigans, get you up on an elevated stage where a Sicilian hitman I have paid for with some of my winnings and flown in specially for the occasion, will blow your gonads off with a really fat shotgun and then cut off your ears, which I will wear in a special necklace homage to Universal Soldier for the rest of the summer.

No, I joke. I'd just kick him in the shins really hard (having hired a private detective to track him down from his IP address). Because, there's absolutely nothing wrong with living in a secret catacomb under Marylebone Library, from which I often emerge to scorn the company of every one of my fellow human beings. I bloody love it.

However, it's always nice to know that teenage gothettes have become so obsessed with you (in that comical he's on the TV way) that they have put me top of their MySpace "Who I'd Like To Meet" section and have had really bad old photos of me put in their comments box (2001 version - yucky, smuggy, jowly, hair too long; 2003 - twatty gimp smile). Eek.

I don't think I'll put up links to any of them though. For obvious, multiple reasons.

Here's the quiz
1 Known by the acronym INN, what is the official or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance as designated by the World Health Organisation?
2 Which former region on the east coast of the Baltic Sea comprises most of present day Latvia and Estonia and took its name after the crusading order of knights who conquered and converted it to Christianity in the early 13th century, and stayed independent until 1583 when it was divided between between Poland and Sweden before being ceded to Tsar Peter the Great in 1721?
3 Cachupa, a stew of several kinds of beans, corn and various meats like bacon, fish or sausage, is the national dish of which island nation in the Atlantic Ocean?
4 The Pearl Monument and the Al-Fatih Mosque, which non-Muslims are allowed to enter, are popular sights in which island capital city?
5 From which area of North America does Oka cheese (of which there are four types: Regular, Classic, Light and Providence) come?
6 Which public company has overtaken Microsoft to be named the biggest brand in the world?
7 Nicknamed Buddy, which musician and New Orleans' first "cornet king" is considered one of jazz's founding fathers, although he died before the age of 30 mostly due to severe mental illness, while the most reliable rendering of his self-titled trademark tune or "Blues" was released by Jelly Roll Morton years after the man in question's death?
8 The comedy act, The Moustache Brothers, are famed dissidents who have served substantial jail time in which Asian country?
9 Taimur Zulfikarov is which former Soviet Republic's most popular living writer?
10 Which line of kings and dukes ruled Poland from its beginnings as an independent state up to 1370, and had for its last member George William, Duke of Bzeg and Legnica, who died in 1675?
11 The spectacular annual Umhlanga dance and Incwala ceremony take place in which Swaziland valley, considered the royal heartland?
12 Which Archbishop of Warsaw resigned in January 2007 after an intelligence file revealed that he had agreed to spy for the communists in the 1970s?
13 In which Galician resort is the Fiesta de Exaltacion del Marisco - a showcase for Europe's finest seafood - held during the first two weeks of October?
14 Part of The Other Russia opposition coalition, the former chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov founded which social movement in Russia that he currently leads in 2005?
15 Also called the V4, which alliance of the central European states of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia originated in a summit meeting of the heads of state or government of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland held in an eponymous Hungarian city on February 15, 1991?
16 First opened in 1888 and unaltered ever since, which rumbling funicular railway climbs 373m to give spectacular views of Hong Kong?
17 NASA has announced that it will use a spacecraft, known by the initials AIM, to spend the next two years studying the hitherto mysterious physics and chemistry of noctilucent clouds from its orbit 370 miles above the poles. What does AIM stand for?
18 In which European country was an authoritarian, conservative dictatorship known as "the 4th of August Regime" established in 1936?
19 Identified by the five scutes along the middle of the carapace, which sea turtle characterised by a large head and blunt jaws is the only member of the genus Caretta and is known as Caretta caretta?
20 Composed by Chen Shou in the 3rd century, the official and authoritative historical text Records of Three Kingdoms collects the smaller histories of which three rival Chinese states into a single text?
21 Which Argentine composer, who has lived in Cologne, Germany since 1957, is most famous for his interest in developing the the theatrical side of musical performance in such works as the absurdist "ballet for non-dancers" Staatstheater (1971), which utilises such unconventional musical instruments as chamber pots and enema equipment, while he has also produced the radio play Aufnahmezustand (1969), which concerned itself with the incidents surrounding the recording of a radio play, and the 1970 film Ludwig Van, in which a fictive visit to the Beethoven House in Bonn sees everything papered with sheet music of Beethoven's pieces?
22 The site of Mozart's baptism, the 17th century baroque Salzburg Cathedral is dedicated to which saint in the Roman Catholic Church and founder of the Austrian city, who transformed and renamed it from the ruined Roman town of Juvavum through promoting its salt mines?
23 Which Ukrainian-Soviet athlete set the current world record for the men's hammer at the 1986 European Championships when he threw 86.74m?
24 What thermal underwear was created in the Fifties by three French brothers named Despature, who owned a weaving business in the town of Roubaix?
25 A type of shaman, what name describes a traditional healer and practitioner of herbal medicine, divination and counselling in traditional Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa, Ndbele and Swazi) societies of southern Africa, who undergo a period of training called Thwasa?
26 Which term for an aspect of the Hungarian roots revival of traditional culture that began in the early 1970s and remains an active part of the national culture across the country, means "dance house" and derives its name from a Transylvanian tradition of holding dances at individual's homes?
27 Founded in 1952, which outdoor wear company's founder Nathan Schwartz began his shoemaking career in Boston, Massachusetts as an apprentice stitcher in 1918?
28 What is the southernmost Greek island, located to the south of its far large neighbour Crete, of which it is administratively part, in the prefecture of Chania and is therefore the southernmost point of Europe?
29 Which member of Special Reserve, 2 Squadron Royal Flying Corps won the airborne services' first Victoria Cross after bombing a rail line in Courtrai, Belgium, although he was mortally wounded he managed to fly 35 miles to report the success of his mission before dying?
30 The prehistoric-themed comic strip B.C. was launched in 1958 by which cartoonist, who died in April 2007?
31 In MotoGP, who is the Yamaha team-mate of the American Colin Edwards?
32 Featuring a 12.5-ft high central chamber found via a 23-ft tunnel, the passage grave of Maes Howe is found on which island?
33 What term has been used to describe crops, such as willow and poplar trees and elephant grass, which can be used to make electricity?
34 Teaching its students a new method of breathing, what sort of therapy is the Maguire programme?
35 Which country's football team won the first Copa America in 1910?
36 Born in southern Indian in 1887, which amazing self-taught mathematician and "Prince of Intuition" found an out-of-date textbook at the age of 15 and proceeded to produce hundreds of complicated theorems and formulas that eventually helped him win a scholarship to Cambridge University? He died in 1920 aged 32.
37 Which French company has brought out the Downtown bag?
38 In which capital city was the Organisation of American States established on April 30, 1948?
39 In 313AD, which Roman emperor of Dacian peasant origin (reign 308-324) unified the entire Eastern Roman Empire during his rule, but submitted to his brother-in-law the Western ruler Constantine after making a last stand at the Battle of Chrysopolis near Chalcedon in September 324 and was eventually murderered with his former co-emperor Sextus Martinianus the following year?
40 Which TV star of the 1980s once claimed that he modelled his distinctive hairstyle on a Mandinka warrior he had seen in National Geographic magazine?
41 Which pop star embarked on The Re-Invention Tour, visiting nine countries from May 2004?
42 Which unsteady and clumsy motion of the limbs or torso due to a failure of the gross co-ordination of muscle movements takes its name from the Greek for "failure to put in order"?
43 Topia, Toluca and Colima are brightly coloured varieties of which flower?
44 Considered the first work of Rabbinic Judaism and redacted in about 200AD by Yehudah Ha-Nasi ("Judah the Prince"), what is the first written recording of the oral law of the Jewish people, as championed by the Pharisees and as debated between 70-200AD by a group of rabbinic sages called the Tannaim, and has a Hebrew name meaning "repetition"?
45 Believed to have been born in today's Sens in France, which Frankish merchant (d.658) was the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe whose name is known, having supported them in their fight against the Avar rulers?
46 Which hill is considered the omphalos or mystical navel or ritual centre of Ireland, whereupon rests a great stone (Ail na Mirenn, meaning "stone of divisions") marked with lines indicating the provincial borders of Connacht, Leinster, Ulster and Munster?
47 In which country is good food, as well as reassuring family traditions, wine and comfortable furniture, believed to be a vital part of the concept of hygge, a word best translated as a "warm, fuzzy, cosy, comfortable feeling of well-being"?
48 Written in 1809 and dedicated his patron and pupil Archduke Rudolf, what is the more common name of Beethoven's Concerto No. 5 in E flat major - his last piano concerto?
49 Which silent film star and comedian (1869-1940) took out a $25,000 insurance policy with Lloyd's of London in case his famous crossed eyes were ever uncrossed?
50 Which Italian company manufactures the kettle models: "the Bird" (designed by Michael Graves, with a little blue bird on the spout) and "the Melodic" by Richard Sapper (with two pitch pipes for harmonica-style alert)?





Answers to BH114
1 International Non-Propriety Name (sometimes known as rINN: the r standing for recommended) 2 Livonia 3 Cape Verde 4 Manama 5 Quebec 6 Google 7 Charles Bolden 8 Myanmar 9 Tajikistan 10 Piast dynasty 11 Ezulwini Valley 12 Stanislaw Wielgus 13 O Grove 14 United Civil Front 15 The Visegrad Group or Visegrad Four 16 Peak Tram 17 Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere 18 Greece (by General Ioannis Metaxas) 19 Loggerhead Sea Turtle 20 Wei, Shu, Wu 21 Mauricio Kagel 22 St Rupert of Salzburg 23 Yuriy Sedykh 24 Damart 25 Sangoma 26 Tanchaz 27 Timberland 28 Gavdos 29 2nd Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse 30 Johnny Hart 31 Valentino Rossi 32 Orkney 33 Biomass 34 Speech therapy 35 Argentina 36 Srinivasa Ramanujan 37 Yves Saint Laurent 38 Bogota 39 Licinus 40 Mr T 41 Madonna 42 Ataxia 43 Dahlia 44 The Mishnah 45 Samo 46 Uisnech Hill 47 Denmark 48 Emperor Concerto 49 Ben Turpin 50 Alessi

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Having a Popeye Wanting to Eat Some Spinach Moment: All Thanks to Mr Edmonds

Misleading Intro
This is the dark time. The weeks before the big events. The weeks that will zip by in a supersonic swoosh of "now where did the time go? We had so much time. And now we have nothing. Let's cry a little". And then I will be faced with two question papers (no excuses to hide behind; no surgical wreckage and super-duper painkiller blitz this year), and a few days later I will be standing up in a BBC studio made up like a rosey-cheeked rent boy and hyperventilating in anticipation at some potentially LIFE-CHANGING happenings. Then I will explode in a shower of Gap polo shirt scraps, cascades of caramel foundation and strips of cute and cuddly face chops, as rivulets of my sweat mingled blood start flowing down the contestant podium like a macabre stream. Then, at last, I will be at peace. At one with the cosmos.

On the other hand, I may just freeze and choke and smile wanly as others surge past me into the glorious, monetorious light.

You do know that Noel Edmonds is the Antichrist
Sorry. The word "Cosmos" has triggered something irrational in the ranty side of my brain. The phrase "Life-changing" has well and truly entered the game show lexicon and, quite frankly, it can shove off back to the abyssal pits of Hades or as is my more concerted opinion, Noel Edmonds' bullshit-crammed cakehole.

Didn't game shows and quizzes change people's lives before Deal or No Deal? Of course they did. They always have: Going for Gold, for instance, apparently gave Daphne Fowler ME. But now every host and presenter with a fair bit of dosh at their hand bandies it about like a cheap trinket designed to invoke at least one or two people's vague awe, and aping, of all things, the C4 teatime ratings titan, for the purpose of selling the drama and getting more of those hard-to-find viewers out of their cubby holes or underground nuclear bunkers or wherever they are.

It's not A Change. It's a Life-Change. These fortunate TV contestants will be plunged into money, these television creators seem to be implying, the poor sods will puke on the lucre, it will mutate their DNA and brain. Forever. Maybe even in an Incredible Hulk way. If they're LUCKY.

Everything will change. These poor wretches who needed the blessed touch of television from up on high to put their lives right and make them even better. This change may possibly involve the endowment of the chosen few with golden plated skin and flawless diamonds for teeth. Who knows? Change is good. Right?

But were our ordinary lives so humdrum, nay, so utterly and completely meaningless and desperate, that we had to succumb to the contestant calls of the goggle box and let it make our dreams come true AND CHANGE OUR LIVES? As if we were phoning up the local branch of the Samaritans.

This is a hill of cack after all. It's only money. It is not a trio of wishes from the Wishmaster is it? Nor an operation to ensure a lifelong chemically-heightened endorphin rush to our brains, of the kind that will make us smile and laugh and wonder why anyone could ever frown, let alone shed a tear or two.

The only thing it changes is the bank balance. Look at those zeroes go. I don't see the Millionaire winners I am acquainted with acquiring Savile Row suits and an insatiable taste for Waygu beef and driving Porsche Boxsters through Mayfair on their way to Chinawhite's as soon as the cheque swelled their accounts.

They still wear the same clothes and they do the same things they used to do. They seem as content as always and you soon forget natural thoughts like "Jesus Christ, you have a lot of money. Buy me something". Just because they can now afford to buy a three-bedroom flat in central London with wads of notes no less, doesn't mean they will change anything drastically.

People who watch and therefore go on quiz shows aren't the biggest dreamers in the world. Many are pretty happy with their lot and don't feel the need to circumnavigate the world in an entirely new record breaking manner or climb the north face of the Eiger just because it looks like one bad-assed sonufabitch of a mountain and they sure could go a few rounds with the Swiss bastard just to prove they're into feeling alive. They don't have the kind of pioneering and dynamic ambitions that turn thousands into millions. They liked the thrill of the quiz show experience and answering the questions and the bonus is that they get the security of the cash boost and the chances it affords to go on some really decent holidays on a far more regular basis.

This isn't Lottery jackpot money - I mean if I had Michael "Lotto Lout" Carroll's cash, maybe I would go beserk in a hilarious and highly visible way by burning fields full of cars and wearing enough gold to OG, just because I had the means to. Or maybe he's even an bigger magnification of the "life hardly bleeding changes" scenario. Carroll buys the same atrocious clothes, the same grease-splatted junk food; in fact the same old tasteless garbage, but in bigger quantities that he can now share out amongst his equally thuggish friends. His tastes stay the same and so his life stays in the same rancid sty of wonderfully, beautifully vulgar trappings. Not exactly an Eliza Doolittle transformation is it?

Now Michael's got loads more dosh than quiz winners. In the game show world it's a few thousand, tens if you play it right and a million if you're bloody lucky with a consecutive chain of 15 questions. If life changes it does so in a sotte voce way - imperceptibly.

Then my thoughts drift back to the Noelster - the source of this catchy, meaningless phrase. Since Noel got hold of a TV show where tens of thousands of pounds can be won in high drama, and where people jump and scream in delight and wither or bite their lips in disappointment on a daily basis, he just knows the audiences at home are eating it up like starved Deadwood pigs and he suddenly becomes the master bloviator (is that a word? It is in Noel's kingdom or sodding dream factory), the pontificating Don King of game show hosting. He can big it up like no man (aforementioned promoter excepted). A man who glides around the set like a bulletproof archangel dispensing the kind of self-help hokey-cokey BELIEVE! BELIEVE! brand of wisdom that would make anyone who had never seen the show and had somehow stumbled onto the set for the purpose of some pre-ordained cosmically divined act of retribution, kick him in the balls and then the head repeatedly for his outrageous and egredious chutzpah. Hopefully, the smackdown would continue that Noel was talking with a Shane MacGowan slur.

But this would not stop him. His Messianic fervour has grown far too strong He would skip over it daintily. Well, not quite so daintily now because if the beating had gone down well enough the now wheelchaired one would be using a ramp and tapping words into a speech synthesiser and still be saying the same outlandish, infuriating things about the gods of fate and chance and how we can manipulate them with the power of our mind!! If we try rilly rilly hard and hold hands.

For Noel has no grasp of the notion of shame (it explains the steadfast face rug and tucked-in shirts - he doesn't know how twatty he actually looks, which means he must be impervious to the mental brickbats everyone else must contend with every day of their lives ... it's a Heroes superpower perhaps?) and therefore a brilliant, brimming confidence added to a psychopathic need to home in on the real and obvious emotional crux of the matter and exploit it to draw the viewers in and make them think "He's so right. Because he sounds like he means it". That's how despotic leaders suck in their loyal flock. He's like Mussolini crossed with Bilbo Baggins. And yes, even I think that is a wild and crazed allegation.

I never used to notice all that bloated clap-trap. In the beginning I only wanted to know how much money the contestant was going to get. Ooh the tension. I always loved it when hopes ebbed and flowed and the crowd cheering drove them on and on, only to see their deals steadily deteriorate to a heartbreaking vanishing point - the vapour of hope makes for a pretty threadbare tea at 5pm. The undeniability of the gambling urge is ever present in the show, and you can see how that particular trait changes lives. Not in the good monetary way, but in the regretful Terry Malloy mewling about what could have been if things went their way. Just as in poker, DOND players get "bad beats" too and the downward spiral was car crash TV entertainment at its best.

But when they won incredible sums, I liked it too. Schadenfreude and empathy can be truly interchangeable things when faced with the fluctuating fortunes of complete strangers. As long as it went one way or the other I didn't mind. And it was brilliant to see someone take a chance and explode in euphoria when it came off.

So I got my daily shot of high drama. One day doleful, the next joyful, the next a bit meh and so on. The unpredictability kept me coming back at the start. Even if after a few viewings you concluded that it was televised bingo, albeit one laced with the scent of mystic dung and beautiful self-delusion.

It was after I had watched DOND for four or five months that I realised the contestants were a consistently great bunch of people; Albion folk in all their weird, life-affirming variety, eyes-shining bright all the time. Meanwhile, the beady-eyed circusmaster was becoming more hideous looking and sounding by the episode. All those spewing geysers of melodramatic crap heightening whatever tension there was, even if there was nowt. His goading and inciting the crowd with well-placed words (oh, he breaks them like horses beforehand, whispering in each of their ears; they be his puppets one and all), and doing down the poor person in the high chair when they got one sucker punch of a bad reveal and then pumping up their chances to utterly unreasonable degrees when a penny blue popped up when you knew the odds of their winning massively had long since receded.

I now thought this Noel, this Channel 4 afternoon reincarnation of the ever-grinning anodyne sweatered gimp that had ruled Saturdays like his own peak time fiefdom, was an absolute dick. Even if he didn't know it (you realise he is all thick skin). He was a truly monumental knob, whose genial shamelessness was manifesting itself constantly in words so bloated and insane I could not watch an entire show anymore (yeah, I can watch the endgame. How much money? How much money?). Not since last summer have I glimpsed more than five minutes. And that is more than enough.

On a nakedly contrarian tip, I prefer the US version: more pizzazz and showmanship and Howie Mandel being the pleasantly bland presence you need in a place where everyone is going hyper American-style, and less of the whole desolate warehouse ambience and ordinary folk/police line-up suspects behind the boxes who aren't Perfect 10 models and who certainly do not flash sweet smiles that could melt your heart in a second; and, I do mean to go on about this: will Noel please stop equating the potential loss of money people never had to that of having your entire family infected with a flesh-eating virus so contagious that the Government has been forced to burn your home down with them inside it? I would go more into the perspective thing, but I may be ready to admit that, okay, maybe it is only about the identically dressed models across the Pond. They're luvverly.

It's the differing images each version projects you see. You can imagine The US Banker being some evil Gordon Gekko genius type eating companies for breakfast, even if this is patently rollocks and he is some ham actor whose sole skill is leaning back in his chair in an especially smug manner. But this was opposed to the British version, who I imagine as a kind of passive-aggressive Captain Mainwaring financial spod whose only vague pleasure in life is his 10-year affair with his mousey secretary Susan and the occasional visit to a dominatrix. One looks at the stars and tries to seize them. With his genitals. The other one's a dreary perv with about as much dangerous allure and cocksure power as a slightly irate water vole.

Noel tries to raise us - the players, the viewers, the entire world - up into the starry sky with all that hyperbolic, well, bollocks about this awesome juggernaut of an emotional game show phenomenon changing lives every day. Then you eventually see through that. We be humble Brits. We like the odd treat; the occasional echo of glamour in our lives. Then Noel steams in with talk of destiny and dreams and you think: what a load of complete rubbish. The Americans have their Dream encoded in their genes, and such blabber makes perfect sense to them, used as they are to furthering their horizons and drinking up gallons of aspiration as Barney Gumble would at a Duff brewery prize winners' party.

The American DOND set screams demented opulence and phrases like "Bright lights! Models! Models!". Our equivalent setting is like a carefully lighted shed with depressing brickwork. It's like the Blue Peter team decided to make their own (i.e. our UK) version of the US set by using materials scrounged from a demolition site and secondhand computer store.

DOND ain't real life. It's TV. British TV. Conveyor belt entertainment. It's neither the Battle of the Somme nor a withdrawal trip to Scrooge McDuck's vault - its a ramshackle studio in Bristol where perfectly pleasant people get to make a nice little bit of dough. And whenever I heard Noel swerve from one end of the emotional spectrum ("Brilliant! Going great guns!) to the other ("this is a bloody disaster you brought on yourself!") in the blink of the eye, I felt cheapened by his undoubtedly skillful act and well-trodden spiel (doesn't he even have an ounce of self-awareness? ... oh wait, if he did he would have long stabbed his eyes out and chewed his own tongue off, and maybe, just maybe, torn off that fruity little goatee and begged everyone for forgiveness for ... everything). You can only raise and raise the expectations of the audience and toy with them for so long before they realise they are being fed the same dish every time and it's getting somewhat tired. Everyone's tolerance levels will start to falter and then freefall to the infintesimal, if they have not already done so. And I would say that in all confidence if we lived in an ideal world. Maybe like the one The Christians once sang about.

But it could just be me. I forget the great British viewing public. They've got their own ideas and critical yardsticks. They are the ones who got My Hero recommissioned and recommissioned and then even got it recommissioned when Ardal O'Hanlon had had enough and thought that guy off Gimme Gimme Gimme AND The Thin Blue Line would do just as well (Camp? Irish? What's the difference? It's a laugh). Oh yes, they are powerful. So very powerful.

That wonderful mass of loyal fans probably don't notice a single thing wrong or even a mite squiffy with it. Maybe it's all about seeing reflections of themselves and the all too human stories and how these get milked by Noel ... wait, that's it. I'm having a Tina Turner moment - "I don't wanna fight no more". I can see when I am beaten, just by muttering to myself and tapping away at my laptop in an increasingly futile and violent manner. You just keep on watching the show. Everyone will. Its heart will go on.

Too many have found the evil genius of the DOND format - what's going to happen next? They're going to pick a random box! What could be in it? I WANT TO KNOW! Because it's bloody random it is! - aided by its evil host genius and master manipulator of drama, too strong to resist. They make an fabulous Emperor and Darth team. Them and simplicity. In every corner and every crevice of this show. Keep it simple. Keep everything simple. Every component that adds up to crushing ratings success. Simple. You know what I mean.

Still, you know in your heart of yours that Noel is a supremely mentalist cockmaster. *he says as he runs away in a playground fashion and giggles at his naughty, phallocentric name-calling*

Thursday, May 03, 2007

BH113: Mr Moaner Moanerson Me

Ooh. I feel a bit under the weather at the moment. My Brighton weekend trip, of the kind which would confirm the BBC's suspicions that I am a "caner" (their terminology not mine), really hit me; the consequences dragging me into bed at regular intervals and for far longer periods than are deemed sensible.

Then a couple of days ago my stomach came under attack from a bug of nastiness of the like I will not discuss here, which in turn forced me to huddle up in bed foetal-style while watching Season Four episodes of Peep Show on YouTube and any old random crap that popped into my head and might amuse me for all of five minutes (no, I did not watch the Avril Lavigne video for Girlfriend for the seventh time), when by all accounts I should have been doing some proper work. One of the other signs that I am out of sorts this week comes in the form of my forgetting to turn off the oven three times. If the oven actually worked properly, I'd be worried, but since it is about as much use at heating food as an umbrella protecting against a nuclear attack, I'll just take it as a sign of my own incipient dementia.

So, I'm thinking, it's Thursday and where did the week go, and then I'm thinking I've just explained haven't I? I think I'm just going to pull my duvet over myself and shut my eyes. Which is plain silly really because I only got up at 2pm and that was because I was getting phone calls about copy I should have filed yesterday. Darn work commitments and having to live in the real world. Us Lotus Eaters truly resent such demands on our time.

Before I leave you with yet another fiendish quiz, take a look at this gimp. What a smug bastard. He's GOING DOWN...

1 Produced by an eponymous company founded by Lyndon "Duke" Hanson, Scott Seamans and George Boedecker in 2002, which reptilian-sounding US slip-on plastic clogs are alleged to generated enough static electricity to knock out medical equipment at Blekinge hospital in Sweden?
2 The title figure of William Dalrymple's history The Last Mughal, which descendant of Genghis Khan was the last such emperor and acted as a puppet ruler for the East India Company until 1857 when he supported a mutiny by its native contingent of sepoys, resulting in a bloodbath that destroyed Delhi and led to capture by the British and his exile in Burma?
3 Which author is best known for her Grant County series, among them Blindsighted, Kisscut and A Faint Cold Fear, which feature paediatrician and part-time coroner Sara Linton and chief of police, Jeffrey Tolliver?
4 By what title do we otherwise know Georges-Louis Leclerc, the French naturalist, mathematician and all round brilliant polymath known for his influence on Darwin's theory of natural selection, and best remembered for his great work Histoire naturelle, generale et pariculiere (1749-1778, in 36 volumes, eight additional volumes being published posthumously by Lacepede) and such other works as Les epoques de la nature (1778) in which he discussed the origins of the solar system?
5 Deriving its name from a former south-west province of France located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, which sauce of clarified butter and egg yolks flavoured with tarragon and shallots, and with chervil and tarragon simmered in vinegar to make a reduction, was likely first made by the chef Collinet, the inventor of puffed potatoes (pommes de terres souffles) and served at the 1836 opening of Le Pavillon Henri IV, a restaurant at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris?
6 Which writer famously punched Gabriel Garcia Marquez in a Mexican cinema 31 years ago, his biographer Dasso Saldivar suggesting Marquez had become too close to his wife Patricia from whom he was temporarily separated?
7 The Robertson collection, in fact an assortment of rubbish an eponymous electrician rescued from a west London skip, recently fetched £965,490 for 45 lots. It was trash that had been dumped by which painter nearly 30 years ago?
8 Sharing its name with a failed automobile introduced by Willys-Overland in 1948 and the record label that released Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol's early albums, Jeepster was a 1971 UK no. 2 single for which rock band?
9 What term has been applied to the phenomenon of buying limited edition items, such as designer handbags, and then auctioning them off via the web or similar means in order to make a substantial profit?
10 Also given the name Middle Woodland, which culture began in c.200BC in the Ohio valley region of present day USA?
11 The Conn Smythe Trophy and the Jack Adams Award are given in which sport?
12 The Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo (b.1958) is considered one of the greatest figures in which sport's history?
13 Which of Isaac Newton's laws states that every single point mass attracts every other point mass by a force heading along the lines combining the two?
14 Sharing its name with a Sean Connery film and dedicated to Rimsky-Korsakov, which 1893 fantasia for orchestra (Op.7) by Rachmaninoff was his first orchestral score to be published and was written before the disastrous premiere of his First Symphony in 1897?
15 Derived from the Arabic for "bench" because when seen from a distance it looks like a mud bench, what name is given to the flat-roofed, mud brick, rectangular building with sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminent Egyptians during their country's ancient period?
16 Which English philosopher wrote the 1693 treatise Some Thoughts Concerning Education, considered the most important philosophical work on education in Britain for over a century?
17 After a career in the army and a stint as tribune in Syria in 35, which Roman writer (4-70AD) took up farming and wrote the 12-volume work, De Re Rustica, still completely preserved and our most important source on Roman agriculture?
18 Who eventually won the 1994 Formula One San Marino Grand Prix in the aftermath of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, saying he "couldn't feel satisfied, couldn't feel happy" with his victory?
19 Which Scottish botanist (1737-1804), said to have introduced it from China, gave his name to any oleaceous shrub of a genus bearing numerous yellow flowers in early spring before the leaves?
20 With which poet, author of such poems as Les Feuilles mortes/Autumn Leaves and collections like Paroles/Words (1946), Spectacle (1951) and La Pluie et le beau temps/Rain and Good Weather (1955), did director Marcel Carne regularly collaborate on screenplays for such films as Le Jour se leve/Daybreak (1930) and Les Enfants du Paradis (1945)?
21 Which small coin of Turkey and several former dependencies derived its name from the Italian for "plate of silver"?
22 Horning in Norfolk is located close to which RAF museum?
23 What is the only train station on the island of Venice, due to Mestre station being on the other side of the Ponte Della Liberta/Freedom Bridge on the mainland?
24 Rosa Maria Ojeda was recently forced to change Miss Universe pageant due to its depiction of scenes from which 1926-29 Mexican conflict, which saw Catholic rebels rising up against state persecution?
25 Named after the 3rd Duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804), Roxburghe is a style of what?
26 Malacology is the study of which creatures, the second largest phylum of animals in terms o described species?
27 The uninhabited islands of Henderson, Ducie and Oeno are part of which British crown colony?
28 Which Swedish chemist discovered the element tantalum in 1802?
29 Which German anatomist invented the ophthalmoscope in 1851 and published his Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik/Handbook of Physiological Optics in 1856?
30 Once located at 26 Wall Street before its demolition in the 19th century and replacement with the first United States Customs House, which New York City building was the first capitol of the US and was where George Washington took the oath as the first President of the USA on April 30, 1789?
31 Which Colombian city and municipality, located on the southern edge of Bogota and the capital's most populous suburb, gained national notoriety when presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan was assassinated there on August 18, 1989 during his campaign visit?
32 Which paper recycling millionaire still holds the English record for the greatest number of penalties scored in one season?
33 What is commonly called the fruit of a fig is actually a specialised structure or accessory fruit; an involuted or nearly closed receptacle with many small flowers arranged on the inner surface. What is its name?
34 What was the first man-made object launched into space, during test flights that reached an altitude of 189km/117 miles in 1944?
35 Founders of the an eponymous Toronto footwear museum, which large, family-owned company is currently headquartered in Lausanne and was founded in 1894 in Zlin, then in Austro-Hungary territory and today the Czech Republic?
36 Which semi-soft cheese made from Danish cow's milk is named after the experimental farm on which it was first made during the mid-1800s?
37 In the TV series, Tony Soprano has another sibling who is not Janice and who moved away years ago. What is her name?
38 On April 30, 1006AD the brightest supernova in recorded history - the Supernova SN 1006 - appeared in which constellation?
39 Launched by Estee Lauder in 1968 and originally based on a 3-Step System, what was the first dermatologist-guided, allergy-tested and fragrance free cosmetic brand and the oil-free formula Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel, helping it become one of the world's largest prestige make-up and fragrance product suppliers?
40 Which religious movement with premillennialist expectations sprang from the teachings of CT Russell during the 1870s, though a schism after Russell's death in 1917 led to the forming of such offshoots as the Jehovah's Witnesses?
41 Ultimately seeking to re-establish the caliphate, which worldwide Sunni Islamist movement was founded by Sufi schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928 and is the world's largest and most influential Islamist group and the largest political opposition organisation in many Arab nations, especially Egypt where it seeks to impose Sharia law?
42 What is the highest peak of the Black Forest (in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg) at an elevation of 1493 metres or 4,898 feet?
43 Also the name of a lake indigenous to the country, which Japanese short-necked fretted lute is the chosen instrument of Benten, Goddess of music, eloquence, poetry and education in Japanese Buddhism; its name being derived from the oud of the Middle East?
44 The logo of the animation film company Studio Ghibli features the eponymous grey, three-metre tall friendly forest spirit in a 1988 film, whose name is a mispronunciation of the Japanese word for "troll"?
45 Important foreign visitors to Paris are hosted not at the Elysee Palace, but at which palatial residence and property of the state since 1872?
46 Examples including the so-called Racetams (Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam), Amineptine and Rolipram, what are "nootropic" drugs also called?
47 Turning pro in 1955, which Thai boxer became the first world flyweight champion to win the title on three separate occasions when he beat Hiroyuki Ebihara in 1964?
48 The ancient kingdom of Parthia was located in the north east of which modern country?
49 Currently embroiled in a row concerning whether he should be allowed to have a girlfriend, which German cartoon water sprite was created by 86-year-old Ellis Kaut 45 years ago?
50 Which 39-year-old black British playwright graduated from his theatre-writing degree with The No Boys Cricket Club, and is known for such other works as Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads (2002) and Fallout (2003)?







Answers to BH113
1 Crocs 2 Zafar or Bahadur Shah II or Bahadur Shah Zafar 3 Karin Slaughter 4 Comte de Buffon 5 Bearnaise 6 Mario Vargas Llosa 7 Francis Bacon 8 T-Rex 9 Flipping 10 Hopewell 11 Ice hockey 12 Cycling 13 Newton's law of universal gravitation 14 The Rock 15 Mastaba 16 John Locke 17 Columella (or Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella) 18 Michael Schumacher 19 William Forsyth 20 Jacques Prevert 21 Piastre 22 Royal Air Force Defence Radar Museum 23 Santa Lucia station or Stazione Ferroviaria Santa Lucia 24 Cristero War/ the Cristiada 25 Bookbinding 26 Molluscs 27 Pitcairn Island 28 Anders Ekeberg 29 Hermann Helmholtz 30 Federal Hall 31 Soacha 32 Francis Lee 33 Syconium 34 V-2 rocket 35 Bata Shoes 36 Havarti 37 Barbara 38 Lupus 39 Clinique 40 The Bible Student movement 41 Muslim Brotherhood 42 Feldberg 43 Biwa 44 Totoro as in My Neighbour Totoro 45 Hotel de Marigny 46 Smart drugs 47 Pone Kingpetch 48 Iran 49 Pumuckl 50 Roy Williams