Tuesday 17 May 2005

quiz - with answers

1) Which balding, sport jacket wearing local celebrity is it usual to see either drinking heavily, Singing Karaoke supprisingly well, or walking towards some pub or club, but virtually nowhere else?
Bonus point: What is his real name?

The Birdman, his real name is John Allen.

It's very difficult to explain the Birdman to someone who hasn't experienced him, but he's a very popular harmless local nutter. Whenever he walks into a pub, which he does frequently, a ripple of conversation will fill the whole place with one person telling the next that the birdman has just come in. Then there will be a brief period during which people that haven't seen the birdman before will receive a rough explanation of who he is, and the more generous or drunk revellers will clamour to buy him a drink. There is litterally nowhere in Plymouth with a bar that he doesn't frequent, he even arrived at one of my friend's house-warming parties. You never see him doing mundane, non-alcohol related things like shopping or going to the launderette. He works in the prepared veg industry, and his mother was a piano teacher. He says that he got his excellent musical ear from her side of the family. Nobody but nobody knows for sure why he's called the birdman, but he once told me "it might be cos o' how I dances".

2) What unit of time is equivalent to 20.16 min?

One millifortnight.

There is a geek system of using the most cumbersome and outdated units of measurement called firkin-furlong-fortnight where the fundamantal units of mass, length, and time are the mass of a firkin full of water, the furlong, and the fortnight. In the VMS operating system there a numerous tuning parameters which are defined in microfortnights or millifortnights.

3) Holders of which position have been lost to, amongst other things, gardening accident, spontaneous combustion, and choking on vomit?

'Spinal Tap' drummers.

I suppose you just have to be a fan of the band to know this.

4) What is a large, primitive, power-hungry active electrical device, similar in function to a FET but constructed out of glass, metal, and vacuum. Characterized by high cost, low density, low reliability, high-temperature operation, and high power dissipation?


This definition is taken straight out of the 'new hackers dictionary'

5) If I bought seats U580 through to U585 and thought I had bought 5 seats, what type of counting error have I made?

Fencepost error.

FENCEPOST ERROR n. The discrete equivalent of a boundary condition. Often exhibited in programs by iterative loops. From the following problem: "If you build a fence 100 feet long with posts ten feet apart, how many posts do you need?" (Either 9 or 11 is a better answer than the obvious 10.)
I have to say that nobody got this right, either my education was non-standard or all of yours was deficient.

Best wrong answer: "Schoolboy type"

6) Where would you buy a half yarder?
Bonus point: What do you receive if you consume the whole thing?

Cap'n Jaspers. You get a badge.

Cap'n Jaspers is a long established fast food stand on the Barbican, one of their delicacies is an 18" long hotdog served in a french stick and called a half yarder. If you eat the whole thing you get a stylish badge (I typed 'badger' there first time) bearing the legend "Half Yard Club". In case any of you want to see the badge, I'm wearing one on my coat.

Special mention to Rob Mccarthy who owns another Half Yard Club badge.

Most Frightening wrong answer: Anne Summers

7) What does dl do in vi?

Delete one character to the right.

vi is a unix text editor. It is interesting in that it takes about 6 months of practice and tuition before a new user can perform even simple edits to a document. One of the reasons that it is so hard to use is that every letter on the keyboard has a special meaning (rather than just inserting that letter into the document) 'd' means 'delete' and 'l' means 'right' honestly.

8) What happens at GUPA-P?

They fit tyres.

GUPA-P is a tyre shop in Coxide. I include it here because it's a favourite janner haunt, and it sounds like it might be a technical term.

9) Why would it be funny to refer to a business which specialises in removing laquer and anodizing from metalwork as "Diamond Lil's"?

Because they do stripping at both places.

"Diamond Lil's" was a filthy little strip joint on Plymouth's salubrious Union Street.
Special Mention to Rob Mccarthy, who has been there, and probably seen the birdman in there.

10) What is the second rule of robot club?

The second rule of Robot club is "No Smoking".

In Spaced series two there is a parody of 'Fight Club' The dialog goes something like this.
Host: The first rule of robot club is you do not talk about robot club, the second rule of robot club is you do not talk about... No sorry I've made a mistake. The second rule of robot club is no smoking.
Tim: Why aren't we allowed to smoke?
Mike: Shh, we're not supposed to talk about it.

First place: Rob Mccarthy - 9 - Janner Geek Second Palce: Dee - 6 Third place: Kris, JohnW, Morven - 4.
Rob and Dee, come and get your prizes when you're ready.