We Don't Need No Education
'Some of us are cursed with brains like fly-paper,' observed Sherlock Holmes once, non-canonically, and I know what he meant. When the time comes every week to deliver the Editor his latest batch of ready-mixed prose filler, I find myself mulling over various odd facts and connections, only to decide that none of them are individually substantial enough to carry a whole essay, or article, or whatever you want to call these things.
Still, it occurs to me that it's just possible other people may find these bits of (almost without exception, totally useless) information as fascinating as I do, especially if they acquire them after having gone to the effort of googling around for a bit. So here we are: the inaugural (and, if there's any hope for the world, final) Awix in Exile Cryptic Knowledge Quiz. No prize, obviously, except for a spurious sense of achievement and the fact you may end up with a few more bits of trivia to annoy the people around you.
1. What (very nearly) connects a woman dropped from a great height by King Kong in 1933 and a singer who performed on Top of the Pops with the Smiths in 1984?
2. Who released a heavy metal concept album about the life of a famous ancestor to mark their 90th birthday?
3. Who or what connects a personal view of the history of second-millennium art, an account of the doings of the first dynasty of Roman emperors and their families, and the hugely successful sequel to a legendary cult TV show?
4. The funeral of a monkey is depicted in one window of which English place of worship?
5. Who claimed they were inspired to win Wimbledon by watching the Tellytubbies?
6. US Army regulations on the wearing of uniforms led to which innovation in convenience food?
7. The title of which 1927 film gives a clue to the reason why Laurel and Hardy initially wore their trademark headgear?
8. Renowned mentalist Uri Geller made an unexpected appearance in which new medium in May 1976, and who was his co-star?
9. What distinguishing quirk is common to both Gadsby (a 1939 book) and this inquiry?
10. Who started their career hunting for the Loch Ness Monster and now spends their time following the British Royal Family about?
11. The final episode of which zeitgeist-shaping show of the 1990s and early 2000s was at one point intended to feature a cameo appearance by Martin Sheen as his West Wing character?
12. Who was known as ‘the craziest pilot in the Canadian air force’ before going on to help create the world’s most popular conlang?
13. What behavioural quirk of one mediaeval Scottish clan affected the architecture of Ferniehurst Castle, near Jedburgh, and how?
14. What connects a British computer tycoon, the writer of a 1935 dystopian fantasy that became a best-seller in January 2017, and the man who taught Dame Judi Dench to play Dungeons and Dragons?
(Answers next week. – The Mgt)