Easiest Quiz


1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get catgut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI’s first name?
8) What color is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) How long did the Thirty Years War last?


1) 116 years. From 1337 to 1453
2) Ecuador.
3) From sheep and horses.
4) November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.
5) Squirrel fur.
6) The Latin name was Insularia Canaria — Island of the Dogs.
7) Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936, he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.
8) Distinctively crimson.
9) New Zealand
10) Thirty years, of course. From 1618 to 1648.

The Universal Explainer

by Jay Scott and Elliott Moreton.

You can now explain anything to anyone.

* reasons that something is the case
o It’s a trivial corollary of Tychonoff’s Theorem.
o It’s one of those non-hierarchical dynamic facilitation effects.
o It fits the theory better.
o Sister Mary Ignatius said so.
o That’s the natural order of things.
o By assumption.
o By definition.
o By induction.
o It’s epistemologically prior.
o Quantum effects.
* reasons that something seems to be the case, but isn’t
o It’s just a social construct.
o It’s all in the mind.
o Of course, that’s only if you believe in the axiom of choice.
o It’s just a trick of perspective.
* reasons that something was done
o It’s an election year.
o It’s in the contract.
o The court ordered it.
o For economies of scale.
o It’s good PR.
o Precedent.
o Popular sentiment.
o To maintain the dominance of the patriarchy.
o Their parents made them do it.
o It’s a stylistic convention.
o They’re only following orders.
o They did it for Jodie Foster.
* reasons something should be done
o The Russians are doing it, so we’d better do it too.
o The Russians are doing it, so we’d better not do it.
o It’ll look good on TV (or, on your resume).
* reasons that something is not so good
o They ran out of money halfway through.
o I guess they must just notta been thinkin’.
o The workers were alienated and marginalized.
o The alumni made them do it.
o EPA regulations.
o It’s a union work rule.
o It’s cultural inertia.
o Internal friction.
o Well, they’re still on the Julian calendar.
* reasons for the existence of something
o That’s just for the tourists (or, voters).
o It’s an IBM compatibility feature.
o It was tax deductible.
o That’s an artifact of the process.
o Interest rates were lower back then.
o Must be some religion.
* reasons to believe somebody
o Trust me, I’m a native speaker.
o Trust me, I majored in that.
o It’s my professional judgment.
* reasons why you can’t explain
o It would make sense if you understood Hegel.
o We’ll cover that in 402.
o I’d have to see the source code to answer that.
o It’s beyond the scope of this paper.
* other reasons
o Yeah, but that’s different!
o They were fleeing religious persecution.
o Just look at the unit circle.
o Well, they’re isomorphic.
o The speed of light is finite.

You can find lots of explanations for the same thing! Cross categories creatively!

* Why is the sky blue?
o It’s an IBM compatibility feature.
* Why don’t my friends write back to me?
o They ran out of money halfway through.
o To maintain the dominance of the patriarchy.
* Why are computer chips so cheap?
o Well, they’re isomorphic.
o It would make sense if you understood Hegel.

Actual excuse notes written by parents

These are actual excuse notes from parents (including original spelling) collected by Nisheeth Parekh, University Texas Medical Branch @ Galveston…

My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31,32, and also 33.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.

Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the shits. [words were crossed out in the ( )’s]

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wear.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

Please excuse Burma, she has been sick and under the doctor.

Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.