A Little Quiz for the Holiday
Ben Uri Collection
IT has been a bloody, awful year, with Israel's wars on Gaza and Lebanon, the escalating slaughter in "liberated" (occupied) Iraq, the resumption of Sudanese government-backed killing in Darfur, and savage sectarian terror attacks in south Asia.
Tony Blair has returned empty-handed from his Middle East "peace" mission, having sown more strife, and done nothing for Britain's abysmal image under his premiership. The Middle East deserves peace with justice. The British, US and Israeli govenments deserve no peace until their leaders are brought to justice.
No doubt those good God-fearing leaders George Dubya Bush and Tony Blair will be taking time from ordering more massively-destructive bombs to say a prayer and talk about "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All Men". If I believed in prayer I'd hope they choked on their turkey and Christmas Pud.
But seeing as my readers, by contrast, deserve a Winter break whatever their beliefs or non-belief, I thought I'd lighten up a little in offering, with my Goodwill, this quiz to pass your time:
IT WAS ALSO IN THE NEWS....
1) Which US preacher had to step aside from a projected 125 acre evangelical Christian theme park near the Sea of Galilee, after announcing that assassinated Israeli premier Rabin and stricken Ariel Sharon had been punished by the Almighty for relinquishing occupied territory? (clue: he also called for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to be assassinated).
2) Which British MP confessed to the News of the World that he'd had both hetero and gay affairs and used a gay chatline; and which political campaigner magnanimously commented "let bygones be bygones"?
3) Who said of her home town, Erith in Kent, "It's not twinned with anywhere, but it has got a suicide pact with Dagenham" ?
4) Who evidently mistook his judge friend for a quail, while out shooting in February; but went on to score no less than eight standing ovations when addressing the March conference of US Zionist lobby AIPAC, though he only rated 20 per cent approval in US opinion polls?
5) "I used to be a Communist", he has said, "I used to believe in Santa Claus". Once the guest of Radovan Karadzic, he came Home to a new job in May, but who is he?
6) A man was shot during an "intelligence"-led police raid on a home in Forest Gate, east London, in June. Despite thorough searching no terror materials were found. With no national news coverage, two men were arrested in Lancashire in September after police found a record haul of explosive chemicals at a home in Colne. For which political party had one of the arrested men been a candidate?
7) How did Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's 's daughter Dana make news front-pages in her own right last June?
8) Who, from where, got held up with Teddy the bear and a Martian by "the Devil" at Ben Gurion airport, in July?
9) What "Pixie" (not Noddy, but supposedly bravehearted in his passion) had to apologise for giving an antisemitic rant when he was stopped for drunken driving?
10) Which politician founded a new party called Solidarity after winning £200,000 damages against the News of the World this Summer; but has this month faced union protests in solidarity with parliamentary staff he refused to pay?
11) Which notorious Duke was among the guests at a conference hosted in Tehran in December?
12) What job is to be advertised this coming week after Eliza Manningham-Buller announced she was quitting early?
True or False? Relatively speaking
1) Actress Angela Lansbury's grandfather was once sent to prison.
2) Lauren Bacall is a cousin of veteran Israeli minister Shimon Peres.
3) Elsa Lanchester, who starred in Bride of Frankenstein, was daughter of a Midlands motor car manufacturer.
4) Actor Albert Finney was born in Preston, Lancs, the son of Preston North End soccer legend Tom Finney.
5) Jamaica's first Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamente and later prime minister Michael Manley were cousins. (Take care with this one)
Who lived there?
Which famous people once lived at these addresses?
1) Hughenden manor, near High Wycombe.
2) Mentmore towers, Buckinghamshire.
3) Savehay farm, Denham, Bucks
4) Ayot St.Lawrence, Herts
5) 45 Cranley Avenue, Ruislip
6) 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
What do they make at...?
For what particular products have the following English towns been traditionally known:
1)Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire?
2) High Wycombe, Bucks?
3) Willenhall, Staffs
4) Witney, Oxfordshire
5) Kidderminster, Worcs
6) Keswick, Cumbria
7) Pontefract, Yorkshire
8) Honiton, Devon
Out of the Ground
Delving deeper, what mineral products have been obtained at these places:-
1) Whitby, in Yorkshire.
2) St.Austell, in Cornwall.
3) Blaenau Ffestiniog, in N.Wales.
4) Castleton, in Derbyshire.
5) Egremont, in Cumbria
6) East Leake, Nottinghamshire
7) Portland, Dorset
8) Wytch Farm, in Dorset
9) Alva, in Clackmannon, Scotland.
What famous persons made the following statements, in the years in parenthesis:
(1948) "We are nationalised now, but the same engines still work the Region. I am glad too, to tell you that the Fat Director, who understands our friends' way, is still in charge, but is now the Fat Controller".
(1956) "We are not ar war with Egypt. We are in armed conflict".
(1957) "If you carry this resolution ...you will send a Foreign Secretary, whoever he was, naked into the conference chamber".
(1979) "The nuclear arms race has no military purpose. Wars cannot be fought with nuclear weapons..."
(no date, but born 1966) "I am very mistrustful of people who are constantly overintellectualising things. It kills passion. You have to allow yourself to lose control from time to time."
"FANCY them making such a fuss over some Yiddishe fellow's birthday!", marvelled Mum. With a drink and some good grub I'm all for it. But leaving religion aside, what do we know about this festival's traditional ingrediants and their international origins?
1) "Good King Wenceslas", sing the carollers. But where was he king, and became patron saint?
2) 'Twas the night before Christmas...", originally titled "A visit from St.Nicholas"; but where, and of what nationality, was St.Nicholas born?
3) Rudolf was a red-nosed one, according to the song. But how are they related to North American caribou?
4) We know the sprouts were first grown around Brussels, but who first ate the bird that English-speakers call turkey?
5) Your children may be hoping Santa Klaus will fetch their gifts tonight, but from whom do Spanish children hope for their presents on January 5?
On which note, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, and Froehliche Weihnachten, and while I'm at it:
Ideh Saiden wa Sanah Jadidah!
(all answers will be given in the fulness of time and the New Year)