The Question Master is still always right
Yes, its a first outing of 2009 for the (n)ever popular debunking of those stubborn understains of the quiz world, the wrong'uns. Here's just a few more that have come to my attention in the last few weeks.
How Does Van Helsing Kill Dracula ?
Well, there's no argument about this one, is there ? Surely its that
He drives a stake through Dracula's heart.
You've seen it in the cinema with your own eyes, right ? Right. Only it doesn't quite happen like that in the book. Yes, Van Helsing does kill other vampires with a stake, but no, he doesn't kill Dracula this way. Instead
he dispatches him with two knives
but then for some reason that's hardly as poetic and gothic as driving a wooden stake through his heart.
This next one is one that I promised you a few weeks ago. It was sent from David Bodycombe, who recently scored such a hit with the superb series "Only Connect " : -
Which is the closest star to the Earth ?
"On the subject of the Questionmaster is always right, there’s quite some mileage in “What is the nearest star to Earth?” (not Proxima Centauri!) And it’s interesting how many reference books fudge the issue between Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri. I had to dump a series question on Only Connect because of that."
David also kindly supplies us with
"Another pet hate of mine is: “What is the next number in the series: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13...” – the answer being 17 but the first term shouldn’t be there. I’ve seen it in at least two Mensa puzzle books"
What is the origin of the nursery rhyme "Ring a ring of Roses " ?
Actually, the answer you're likely to give to this , the one that you were taught in school, namely -
It commemorates the Black Death
does make perfect sense. However the problem is that this is a nursery rhyme that was first written down in the 19th century. So this means that for over 500 years it existed, but nobody thought to write it down, despite its obvious significance. even if we say that it commemorates
The Great Plague of 1665
there's still 200 years to account for, with no evidence to back up the claim at all.
When it was translated into japanese, what title was given to John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath " ?
Alright, I'll come clean.When I heard this question asked it was actually asked the other way round. The QM gave the translated title, and asked us how we know the book in its original english title. So according to him, the japanese title of the novel translates into english as
Now, you've got to admit, that's funny. There's only one problem with it, though. Funny it may be, but true its not. In japanese, the title of The Grapes of Wrath is just that, a japense phrase which does equate to the sense of The Grapes of Wrath. But then that's not anything like as funny, is it.