Do you believe the answers?

Today I said I’d post the answers to the quiz I set within the Seven Strange Things post. Congratulations to Amy for getting the answers nearly all correct – as I explain below I don’t think you can find an answer to question (i) on the Internet. Here are the questions again:-

i) How many vertebrae does a giraffe have?
ii) Whose moment of flame came on 25th July 1992
iii) Which of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Stories takes its name from a racehorse?
iv) What is the connection between Citizen Kane and The Brownies?
v) How many people have walked on the moon?
vi) What was the loudest noise ever recorded on earth?
vii) Who wrote the chart topping hit (for Maria Carey amoungst others) “Without You”

(i) Like most mammals the giraffe only has 7 vertebrae in its neck, but that wasn’t the question. Amy, like others before her, I assume found the website that erroneously states 24. The answer is between 45 and 51, slight variations taking place between species of giraffe.

When I originally set the quiz, 4 years ago, I had to go to a Natural History Museum (in Dublin) to count the vertebrae on a giraffe’s skeleton! That one had 48. The person who got the answer correct used to carry out postmortems on giraffes when working as a zoo pathologist…

So don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!

(ii) Antonio Rebello (Robollo) was the blind Para-Olympic competitor who fired a burning arrow in the air to light the Olympic flame at the Barcelona Olympics.

Think about it. If that had really happened, he would have been as likely to kill a spectator as light the flame!! He did fire an arrow, but directed away from the crowd and the effect of his arrow lighting the flame needed a bit of help from camera trickery.

So don’t believe everything you see on television!

(iii) Silver Blaze. As I explained in my post Do you believe in fairies?, the creator of Sherlock Holmes had some strange beliefs – including the existence of fairies. A very self confident person, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle strongly rebutted any argument made against his beliefs.

This is a huge topic – many of us have beliefs that give a framework for our everyday lives, which we find helpful. But beliefs about ourselves, formulated by years of negative feedback from others (and negative self talk), can undermine our self confidence.

(iv) Rosebud. The Brownies were originally called Rosebuds; Rosebud was the name of Citizen Kane’s sledge that became his dying word (and led journalists on a fruitless journey to discover what or who Rosebud was).

Citizen Kane was Orson Welles masterpiece. In 1938 he broadcast a radio adaptation based on the “War of the Worlds” – about a Martian invasion of the earth. He heightened the dramatic tension by performing the play as a newscast – unfortunately many people believed it was real! There was real panic as people took steps to fend off the Martian invaders and protect themselves from poisonous grasses.

(v) 12. What do you mean, you don’t believe me? There are those who believe the whole moon landing was a hoax – the conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories! For me, as someone who watched Neil Armstrong’s famous step as an 11 year old, I’m prepared to believe in NASA.

(vi) The Krakatoa eruption in 1883. Did anyone record it? Unlikely, given the lack of technology to do so, but it was supposedly the loudest noise ever created.

(vii) Not Harry Nilsson, who originally make the song a huge hit. It was written by Tom Evans and Peter Ham, who were then members of Badfinger. Legally, the song is credited to “Badfinger”. Tragically Peter Ham commited suicide in 1975 and Tom Evans in 1983. I used to work with, and remain in contact with, Tom Evans sister in law. Understandably she would get very irate if people attributed the creation of the song to Nilsson – who also, of course, died tragically young.

Gill March 19, 2008 at 4:25 am

Someone challenged me to find out about a week ago how many vertebrae a giraffe has and I have been frantically searching since then! Google had no answers whatsoever so THANKS!

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