Monday, June 30, 2008

Things that Smart People Don't Know

I was forwarded one of these silly trivia quizzes about things that smart people know but that most people are clueless about. After reading the questions and looking at the answers I decided that in many cases the "Smart people" are clueless as well.

The following questions were sent to me with the disclaimer that none of the questions had trick answers

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

Their answer: Boxing

Comment: What about Olympic and Sumo Wrestling? I guess the World Wrestling Federation would be excluded from this because the participants tend to know who the winner will be before the match but not in Olympic and Sumo Wrestling. The winner is unknown until the contest ends, it is also difficult to know who is ahead in these sports until the contest ends. So get a life Braniacs there isn't just ONE sport like this.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

Their answer: Niagara Falls

Comments: What constitutes "Backwards" in this case? Couldn't these falls be just as easily moving West or North West? I realize this one is picky but still, why backwards?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

Their Answer: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Comment: They missed some. (A) Prickly Pear Cactus is native to North America but is now grown commercially all over the world. It produces a very sweet and sticky fruit but the pads can also be eaten and quite commonly are. While the fruit is fruit the pads would qualify as a vegetable and it is a perennial plant. (B) Mesquite is a tree that grows in the US South West and Northern Mexico. It is, I believe the world's largest legume and produces bean pods that native American tribes ate all the time. I am not saying they are very good but they can be eaten. (C) Bamboo is also, I believe a perennial plant, it grows all over the world and many parts are edible. (D) Roses are perennial and a member of the apple family and the "rose hips" are commonly eaten as a fruit. But, the leaves can be picked, washed and eaten in a salad, and the leaves qualify as a vegetable. (E) The tops of the taro plant can be chopped up and eaten like spinach, if you cut only the top and leave the tastier tuber in the ground the top will grow back does that qualify as perennial plant? (F) There are several trees, I don't know which ones right off hand that have edible leaves. Those would qualify as vegetables though they are not commonly eaten, they could be and trees are perennial plants.

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

Their Answer: Strawberries

Comment: I may have to give them this one though I find it hard to believe that there isn't another fruit like this.

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

Answer: The bottle is placed over the pear when it is a pollinated bud and the pear then grows to maturity inside the bottle.

Comment: Kind of the only way to do this and a curious product but you don't have to be smart to be able to figure this out. I guess this just prove that these smart people are also heavy drinkers.

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters 'dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

Their Answer: Dwell, Dwarf, Dwindle

Comment: These people are not as smart as they think they are: Each of the words above have various forms that give the words shades of meaning. What about Dwelling, Dwelt, Dwells, Dwellings, Dwarven, Dwarfish, Dwindled, Dwindling, Dwindles are those words? Why do they not count the different tense as a separate word? After all a Dwarven Woman is not necessary the same thing as a woman who is a dwarf. What about first names like Dwight, Dwayne, and so forth, are those not English words?

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

Their Answer: period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

Comment: I thought a hyphen and a dash were the same thing. Please show me on a standard keyboard where a hyphen is versus a dash and what the difference is? This is a matter of usage not symbol. Two separate words are made into a hyphenated word by placing a "dash" between them. Also when was the last time anyone ever used "brackets" or "braces" in a sentence? You don't even use them in citations anymore. I am not sure they are punctuation for English so much as operators in mathematical equations.

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

Their Answer: Lettuce

Comment: Wrong! You can buy pickled lettuce in any Asian grocery store and the Chinese cook it all the time. However I've never seen lettuce frozen, wait I have because I sometimes used to see frozen sandwiches in deli's at bait shops and those sandwiches had lettuce on them. But they were not very good sandwiches and the people who made up this quiz probably wouldn't buy anything from a bait shop anyway.

9. Name at least 6 things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'

Their Answer: shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts

Comment: Inconsistent application of rules in a game is the mark of a cheater. In question 6 of this silly quiz it did not use variant forms of the words here they use four words that are near synonyms - sneakers, sandals and slippers are all types of shoes. If they list those then why not saddle shoes, surf shoes and sand shoes? Then they could have 9 thing that start with "S" that you can wear on your feet. It also seems to me that you do not wear stilts, skis or snowshoes on you feet, they are attached to your shoe which you wear on your feet. So you do not, in a technical sense wear skis, snowshoes or stilts on your feet unless you are barefoot beforehand. The same is often true of skates which are wheels or blades attached to a shoe or boot and are sometimes a separate device clamped to or over a shoe. But if those items are listed then why not spats? For that matter, if the people who put this silly quiz together had ever walked through a barnyard they'd know that there is at least one more thing that starts with "S" that you can wear on your feet and that is why you always wear boots instead of shoes in the barnyard!

There is a lot going on; riots in China, Bangkok and South Korea, high fuel prices, earthquake relief, shop signs falling off of building and killing pedestrians in Wan Chai and a horrible traffic accident in Central yesterday but I guess it is a measure of my jaded intellect that I chose to deal with this today.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who may be smarter than the Hoity Toity Set thinks he is

No comments: