Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Quiz 3

 Last week I hosted the final canteen quiz before the end of lockdown. These are the questions that I asked:


General Knowledge

1) Who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

2) What was the name of the popular 2020 video game in which players guide jellybean like characters through obstacle courses?

3) What sport is played at Lord's (London)?

4) What colour is a raw lobster?

5) Who became the world's richest man in January 2021


Famous Albums (name the band or artist)

1) Kind of Blue

2) London Calling

3) 21

4) Electric Ladyland

4a) Electric Landlady (1/2 point)

5) Bridge over Troubled Water

5a) Trouble over Bridgewater (1/2 point)


TXT ABBRV (what do these text abbreviations mean?)

1) LOL

2) BRB

3) AFAIK

4) SMH

5) WFH


Explain a Film Plot Badly (name the film)

1) Terrorists, robbers and a jealous husband ruin an office Christmas party.

2) Telephone repairman makes a sculpture out of mashed potato and leaves his wife and kids.

3) Andy is a disgraced banker and geology enthusiast who provides tax advice to prison guards before retiring to Mexico.

4) Thirteen year old boy involved in sexual relationship with mature woman after visit to the fun fair.

5) Rebellious princess provides the nephew of a murdered farmer with the weapons and intelligence to attack a military base.


All Must Have Prizes (In what field are these prizes awarded?)

1) Fields Medal

2) Booker Prize

3) Turner prize

4) Ansari X prize

5) The Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement


U.S. Cartoon Families (give the family name or the name of the show)

1) Peter and Lois, their children Chris, Meg and Stewie

2) Fred and Wilma and their daughter Pebbles

3) Hank and Peggy, their son Bobby, and Peggy's niece Luanne

4) Matriarch Malory, her son Stirling his wife Lana and their daughter Abbiejean

5) Homer and Marge and their children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie


Units of Measurement (what is measured in these units?)

1) scoville units

2) denier

3) hands

4) millibars

5) decibels


What the F do these people do?

1) farrier

2) furrier

3) flautist

4) florist

5) Philatelist


You know the rules

1) What does Godwin's Law tell us about discussions and comment sections on the internet?

2) What does Dilbert's law tell us about the career progression of the least effective workers?

3) What does Rule 34 of the internet tell us about what exists online.

4) What does Muphry's law (also called Bell's first law of usenet) tell us about criticising grammar, spelling or language online?

5) What does the Streisand Effect tell us about attempting to suppress or remove information from the internet?


Old Jokes Home (all the answers are a first name)

1) What do you call a woman who gets thrown into the sea by a fisherman?

2) What do you call a man walking though dry leaves?

3) What do you call a tall man standing at the edge of the sea?

4) What do you call a man that comes through the letterbox?

5) What does a woman with one leg longer than the other call herself?



Richard "first big weekend of the summer" B


General Knowledge
1) Rishi Sunak
2) Fall Guys
3) Cricket
4) Blue (or green or grey or brown)
5) Elon Musk

Famous Albums (name the band or artist)
1) Miles Davis
2) The Clash
3) Adele
4) The Jimi Hendrix Experience
4a) Kirsty McColl
5) Simon and Garfunkel
5a) Half Man Half Biscuit

TXT ABBRV (what do these text abbreviations mean?)
1) Laugh Out Loud
2) Be Right Back
3) As Far As I Know
4) Shaking My Head
5) Working From Home

Explain a Film Plot Badly (name the film)
1) Die Hard
2) Close Encounters of the Third Kind
3) The Shawshank Redemption
4) Big
5) Star Wars (A New Hope)

All Must Have Prizes (In what field are these prizes awarded?)
1) Maths
2) Literature
3) Art
4) Space Flight
5) Excellence

U.S. Cartoon Families (give the family name or the name of the show)
1) Griffin – Family Guy
2) Flintstone – The Flintstones
3) Hill – King of the Hill
4) Archer
5) Simpson – The Simpsons

Units of Measurement (what is measured in these units?)
1) chilli peppers (heat of)
2) tights (thickness of fibre)
3) horse (height of)
4) atmospheric pressure
5) sound level

What the F do these people do?
1) Makes Horseshoes
2) Makes furs (coats hats etc.)
3) Plays the flute
4) Sells flowers
5) Collects stamps

You know the rules
1) The longer they go on, the more likely they are to mention Hitler or the Nazis.
2) They end up where they can do the least damage, which is in management.
3) If you can think of it there is porn of it – no exceptions.
4) You’re almost certain to make a spelling/grammar error in your correction.
5) It draws attention to the information.

Old Jokes Home (all the answers are a first name)
1) Anette
2) Russel
3) Cliff (also accept Piers)
4) Bill
5) Eileen


Sunday, 18 July 2021

Brake Fluid Level Switch

 The brake fluid cap on my Caterham leaks. I have spent a good bit of my free time this week completely over-engineering the replacement. It's easy enough to go and buy a genuine Girling cap and I have every faith that it will seal tight, but it doesn't have a fluid level switch for the warning light. I also bought a very high quality float switch from Compbrake Motorsport. Then I just had to work out how I could fit the switch to the cap and connect it to the car in such a way that you could unscrew it without tangling up the wires.

Stock.

Roughed out.

Close enough to final size

Marked out a rectangular hole

Cut the hole

Bent up

It's a mounting bracket for a very high quality, waterproof, quick release two pin plug.

Drilled the cap

Drilled a new breather in the cap

New float switch

Electrical connectors for the float switch

Float switch is now inside the reservoir, the plug and socket is mounted on the firewall.

Richard "overspecified" B


Wednesday, 14 July 2021

It Didn't Come Home

 I'm proud to be English, and I love Englishness: Not making a fuss. Talking about the weather. Stoically accepting misfortune. Understatement and bathos. Politeness, honour and decency. Recognising and using an umbrella stand in a foreign restaurant as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Sarcasm. Not running in the street. Never raising your hand so high that your elbow is above the level of your shoulder while waiting at the bar. Queueing. Apologising and so forth.

While England yet again didn't win the European football championships I've never been so proud of our football performance. From the end of the semi-final to the beginning of the final the entire national discourse was about a questionable refereeing decision that went in our favour. Every player, pundit, commentator and fan was wrestling with, justifying or rationalising the possibility that we might have accidentally cheated. We beat the Italians in an honesty competition but not in the football.

Richard "Seeing Piccadilly, Fanny Smith and Willy, Being rather silly, And porridge oats" B


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Embarrassment

 A couple of weeks ago I was insulted in a poetic and brilliant way by one of my friends. We were watching a music quiz on tv, where you had to quickly identify the title and artist of a song that they were playing. We all knew that the song was by Madness. I said that the title was "Embarrassment" but my friend shouted out "You're an Embarrassment". It turned out that I was right and he was wrong. He turned to look at me and said "no, I was just telling you that you're an embarrassment".

Richard "popmaster" B

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Stupid Wildlife

 Years ago one of my brothers spent some time living in rural France. A neighbour had a goat on a chain in his garden and when the goat would tangle itself up in the chain my brother would untangle it. It was apparently funny and charming to see my brother tenderly freeing the animal while berating it for its stupidity. The anti-caprine tirade was delivered in sweary English so the goat never understood a word of it.

On Sunday I found myself in a similar situation when I wasted hours trying to free a juvenile blackbird from my garage. I was furious with it and its stupidity, but I still wanted it to be reunited with its mother. My garage has a pitch roof. The bird hopped in through the door and was then scared when it saw me working at the vice. It's tree instincts kicked in and it went up into the rafters and wouldn't come down. My first attempt was to let its mother lure it out, she had a treat in her beak and was calling encouragingly, but it didn't work and she gave up after about an hour. I failed to trap it in a duvet cover, and I failed to frighten it towards the door. I spent another hour harassing it with a stick so that it could only rest on the lower level beams within sight of the door. It still didn't really work but the mother came back into the garage. With her calling it from below and my stick threatening it from above it did eventually leave. Team work!

Richard "Bird Brain" B

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

The parable of the silent electric milkfloat.

I work in software, and one of the things that I designed and wrote gets a lot of fault reports and feature requests. It's too slow, it doesn't do what we want, it set the database on fire, these results don't make any sense, etc. I won't bore you with the details of the software, instead imagine that I had designed a vehicle. I designed a very specialised vehicle that was quiet enough not to wake people up when it drove past their houses in the night, that ran on electricity, and that could carry a good number of milk bottles.

The problem with my creation was that it started getting used. It was easy to understand, it shipped as standard with our product offering and my friend did an excellent job on the manual. All the fault reports I get involve people using it for things that I never foresaw or intended. There are silent-electric-milkfloat race series, silent-electric-milkfloat taxi services, fleets of them getting used for heavy haulage, people commute in them, people are building cranes and ambulances out of them.

I'm sure there's a profound lesson about specialisation, generalisation and availability here, but I haven't quite learned it yet.

Richard "There's nothing like the right tool for the job" B