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Christmas Quiz and a short rant


Derek McMillan
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<RANT>Happy Blooming Christmas

This year the annual moan (this time in the letters page of the Guardian). A correspondent jovially asks: how dare you atheists celebrate Christmas. Surely a loving God would deprive my children of any fun because of the beliefs of their parents.

In fact historically Christians never did exchange presents on Christmas day, it was Twelfth Night.

My ancestors used to mourn the sickness of the sun (the days just went on getting shorter) then they held a ceremony and a festival and probably had the odd horn of mead in a bid to make the sun cheer up and get well. It always worked. The days started getting longer. So if you aren't a sun (small s) worshipper - no celebrating for you!</RANT>

I posted a quiz on the TES website, I reproduce it below:

Try these ten excuciating questions for size!

1.Who said “cannabis is the opium of the people”?

2.Which story begins “The Marleys were dead, to begin with.”

3.What were the names of the seven dwarfs in the original story?

4.What is the name of the tenth reindeer?

5.Who invented the steam engine?

6.Who invented the steam train?

7.In which book did Sherlock Holmes say “Elementary, my dear Watson?”

8.MVEM what comes next?

9.According to Rutherford, how important was splitting the atom?

10.Which musical was condemned with these words: “No legs, no jokes, no chance!"

The winner shall be the person who wins. My answers are the correct answers *especially* and I want to make this absolutely clear when they are blatantly wrong.

We ended up getting into a Dickens (chortle) of an argument about the steam engine issue so just accept my answer with a good grace!

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<RANT>Happy Blooming Christmas

This year the annual moan (this time in the letters page of the Guardian). A correspondent jovially asks: how dare you atheists celebrate Christmas. Surely a loving God would deprive my children of any fun because of the beliefs of their parents.

In fact historically Christians never did exchange presents on Christmas day, it was Twelfth Night.

My ancestors used to mourn the sickness of the sun (the days just went on getting shorter) then they held a ceremony and a festival and probably had the odd horn of mead in a bid to make the sun cheer up and get well. It always worked. The days started getting longer. So if you aren't a sun (small s) worshipper - no celebrating for you!</RANT>

I posted a quiz on the TES website, I reproduce it below:

Try these ten excuciating questions for size!

1.Who said “cannabis is the opium of the people”?

2.Which story begins “The Marleys were dead, to begin with.”

3.What were the names of the seven dwarfs in the original story?

4.What is the name of the tenth reindeer?

5.Who invented the steam engine?

6.Who invented the steam train?

7.In which book did Sherlock Holmes say “Elementary, my dear Watson?”

8.MVEM what comes next?

9.According to Rutherford, how important was splitting the atom?

10.Which musical was condemned with these words: “No legs, no jokes, no chance!"

The winner shall be the person who wins. My answers are the correct answers *especially* and I want to make this absolutely clear when they are blatantly wrong.

We ended up getting into a Dickens (chortle) of an argument about the steam engine issue so just accept my answer with a good grace!

The trouble with Christmas is that more and more spirtituality seems to be creeping into the season year on year. What should a good old winter party gets infected with a load of guilt and superstition

I'm not feeling clever enough to answer the quiz questions but a very happy Yule to you Derek.

There is nothing of course wrong with atheists celebrating Christmas, infact we tend to do it a lot better than the Christians :lol:

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Happy Chrisrmas Eve Derek - just to let you know how seriously I take you here are our answers to your quiz - this has provided hours of fun for my entire family and has put tonights meal in jeopardy!

1. Karl Marx said 'Religion is the opium of the people'

2. Dickens' Christmas Carol begins with 'The Marleys were dead'

3. Seven dwarfs were - Happy, Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy

4. Tenth rendeer is 'Olive'

5. Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine

6. Richard Trevithick invented the steam locomotive

7. Did Sherlock Holmes not say 'Elementary, my dear Watson' in all the books

8. J, S, U, N

9. Rutherford said that splitting the atom was of 'far greater importance than a war' referring to the First World War

10. The musical was 'Away We Go'

Hope you're impressed

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Happy Chrisrmas Eve Derek  -  just to let you know how seriously I take you here are our answers to your quiz  -  this has provided hours of fun for my entire family and has put tonights meal in jeopardy!

1. Karl Marx said 'Religion is the opium of the people'

2. Dickens' Christmas Carol begins with 'The Marleys were dead'

3. Seven dwarfs were - Happy, Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy

4. Tenth rendeer is 'Olive'

5. Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine

6. Richard Trevithick invented the steam locomotive

7. Did Sherlock Holmes not say 'Elementary, my dear Watson' in all the books

8. J, S, U, N

9. Rutherford said that splitting the atom was of 'far greater importance than a war' referring to the First World War

10. The musical was 'Away We Go'

Hope you're impressed

Does Anne win a prize??? :D

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I would definitely want Anne on my pub quiz team, especially as she had the right answers (i.e. my answers) on the steam engine questions.

1

2

3

7

and 10 have slightly trickier answers than that. Any takers?

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But tell the truth Derek. You pinched the quiz, as I also did on the Jokes thread, from the TES website - even left the bit on the bottom that the TES poster had added about being right. The posters on TES gave some interesting alternative answers, but I think Ann's was a great effort. Happy Christmas from the southern hemisphere. it's 6.30pm and have too much to eat and too much to drink, but feeling very satisfied with my day!

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Anne is the winner.

The answers to the quiz:

1. Hemingway (who was parodying a Marxist)

2. The Muppet Christmas Carol (there was only one Marley in the book, the Muppets wanted a role for the two grumpy old men characters so made it two)

3. They had no names. Disney invented them.

4. Olive the other reindeer (used to laugh and call him names)

5. Newcomen. (though no doubt other people might claim to have done so) Watt refined it.

6. Trevithick, (though no doubt other people might claim to have done so)

7. None of them. It has been used on TV and film but never in the original Strand magazine stories.

8. J for Jupiter

9. It had no practical applications :P

10. Oklahoma!

(All inventions are actually the work of a number of people but we like to attribute them to one. Newcomen certainly "invented" the steam engine and didn't copy it from someone else)

I also posted this quiz on the TES site and my weblog as well and thus confused Jean FWIW I also use the TES website to promote the virtues of this one!

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5. Newcomen. (though no doubt other people might claim to have done so) Watt refined it.

I am surprised you have fallen for this capitalist propaganda. I have a history textbook from the Soviet Union (published in 1951) that says that: "A self-taught Russian mechanic, Ivan Polsunov... invented and built a steam-engine, twenty years ahead of Watt. His engine worked well, but the use of steam-engines spread slowly through Russia, owing to serfdom which made manual labour cheap."

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5. Newcomen. (though no doubt other people might claim to have done so) Watt refined it.

I am surprised you have fallen for this capitalist propaganda. I have a history textbook from the Soviet Union (published in 1951) that says that: "A self-taught Russian mechanic, Ivan Polsunov... invented and built a steam-engine, twenty years ahead of Watt. His engine worked well, but the use of steam-engines spread slowly through Russia, owing to serfdom which made manual labour cheap."

This always ends up with a dispute about steam engines. According to Molesworth (How to be Topp) it was invented by Stalin. Steam driven toys existed before Newcomen but there is no evidence that he had ever seen one.

It is instructive to read books of inventors published in different countries. An American schoolchild might be forgiven for believing everything was originally invented in the USA and mutatis mutandi it must be the same for an Italian child or a Russian one.

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It is instructive to read books of inventors published in different countries. An American schoolchild might be forgiven for believing everything was originally invented in the USA and mutatis mutandi it must be the same for an Italian child or a Russian one.

I agree. I recently came across this speech made by Albert Einstein at the Sorbonne, Paris (December, 1929)

"If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew."

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