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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Saturday, June 09, 2007
Vitamin Q is Dead - Long Live Infowisps. URL below.

(sadly, the archives have disappeared from the VitQ front page - ah well - I have my special people and their winged monkeys on to it!)

In the meantime - check out Infowisps!
~ Friday, May 04, 2007
New trivia site from Vitamin Q:

~ Sunday, October 08, 2006

Vitamin Q tests out the theory that bad girls in songs are always called Judy...

What is the song? Judy by Al Green
What is it about? Everything has been just hip since Al found Judy.
Good Judy? Bad Judy? Good - she has beauty and 'sweet little ways'.

Song: Judy and the Dream of Horses by Belle & Sebastian
About: Judy longs to recreate a great dream she had about horse rustling and writes a sad song about it.
Good / Bad? Troubled. A former teenage rebel who can't handle the real world, she has taken to consorting with parrots.

Song: Judy by The Pipettes
About: One of the girls has a rebellious schoolfriend called Judy and warns her that naughty girls often end up in deep trouble.
Good / Bad? Oh, shocking. Below-the-veneer vulnerability is no excuse for wanting to rip out your mother's spleen.

Song: Judy Teen by Cockney Rebel
About: A racy girl, visiting from New York, who wows a group of hipster friends by taking them on funfair rides.
Good / Bad? She's 'coming to slay yer', though that may be figurative. Ultimately her insistence on slangy rants about superballs might get on your nerves.

Song: Judy In Disguise by John Fred and His Playboy Band
About: A big-eyed, bespectacled girl with a fondness for lemonade pies, showing off her brand new car.
Good / Bad? Pretty bad. Though she sounds fun, she becomes a 'circus of horrors' who steals everything John has, except for a length of kite string.

Song: Judy Is a Punk by The Ramones
About: Little Judy and her punk friend Jackie travel to Berlin to join the Icecapades then move to San Francisco to join terrorist gang The Symbionese Liberation Army. The Ramone guys are worried that these things might be dangerous.
Good / Bad? Switching from ice-based entertainment to paramilitary activity has to be a bad move, even for a runt.

Song: Jumpin Judy by Leadbelly
About: Judy, a violent character, is warned that a captain is approaching, and she is going to get told on.
Good / Bad? Sounds awful ('kicks and stomps and beats') but in other variants of the song, she is an oddly dressed kid who teaches the world how to jump.

Song: Give Judy My Notice by Ben Folds
About: The mist of infatuation has lifted and Ben realises that Judy has been taking him for granted and basically taking the piss. She is shown the Folds elbow.
Good / Bad? She's not sorry. She wasn't that keen on him anyway, but liked the slavish attention. She's upset, but only because she didn't do the ditching. What a cow!

Song: Judy Is A Dickslap by Belle & Sebastian
About: Dunno – it's an instrumental.
Good / Bad? Not sure what a dickslap is, but I know I wouldn't want to be called one, especially by a Glaswegian.

Song: Another Kind of Judy by Billy Bragg
About: Billy falls for a boozy single mother who fails to live up to expectations.
Good / Bad? She plays him The Pet Shop Boys and that, apparently, is only the worst of many faults.

Song: Judy Go Home by The Riverdales
About: Judy is a weird-looking punk chick whose face doesn't fit, though perhaps a lobotomy might help her blend in.
Good / Bad? Sounds a bit creepy, and her vegetarian recipes cause a wind problem that doesn't help.

Song: Mad Mad Judy by The Buzzcocks
About: Judy confesses to her friend that things are not at all cushy in Judy's head, but that makes things worse.
Good / Bad? You've got to feel sorry for her, but weepy, paranoid people who don't know what they want are to be avoided.

Song: Judy by Elvis Presley
About: Judy has left Elvis for somebody new.
Good / Bad? Hard to say. On the one hand, what sort of girl would wave goodbye to intravenous hamburgers by proxy? But those white suits must be a bugger for a girl to get clean.

Song: Judy by The Corrs
About: Judy is looking for love which will release her from her pain.
Good / Bad? A troubled vamp who is tripping, falling over and wants to smother you. Not today thanks, love.

Song: Judy by Hot Action Cop
About: The hot cop is a-drivin' and a-reminiscin' about his girl when he suddenly realises that their baby looks nothing like him! Woops!
Good / Bad? It seems Judy is a no-good two timing so-and-so who is about to lose her shack, her car and should expect to hear from Mr HA Cop's lawyer.

Song: Miss Judy's Farm by The Faces
About: Teenage farmworker Rod is treated mean by his boss and plans a mutiny, but she gets wise and calls in the army.
Good / Bad? Moody, apparently, and the fact that she punishes the minor infringement of kicking a poodle (who wouldn't, given a chance?) with an all-night whipping doesn't go in her favour.

Song: One Shot Judy by Ruskabank
About: Judy loves nothing more than a line of men who she takes turn to knock out with one punch
Good / Bad? Bad. 'It's what she's about'. An unpleasant hobby if you ask me.

Song: Judy Says by The Vibrators
About: Tonight, I've heard, Judy is going to knock me in the head, and then Suzie is going to shoot me.
Good / Bad? Bad, but not quite as bad as Suzie.

Song: Cracked Judy by The Von Zippers
About: People, even the President, are warned to be wary of crazy Judy from outer space who might well be the end of us.
Good / Bad? She is 'an alien stranger, dressed in danger' – people of Earth, what more evidence do you need!?
~ Saturday, September 30, 2006

Some figure skating moves:

Delayed Axel / Hydrant Lift / Doughnut Spin / Hamill Camel / Inside Spread Eagle / Illusion Spin / Russian Split / Wide Closed Choctaw / Death Drop / Boeckl / Crossfoot Spin / Regular Salchow / Cartwheel Lift / Rocker / Half Loop / Catch Foot Layback / Skid Spiral / Tabletop / Grafström / One-Hand Biellmanns / Mazurka / Flying Reverse Sit Spin / Clockwise Lutz / Scratch Spin / Lunge / One-and-a-Half Toe Loop / Flying Camel / Bracket Turn / Twizzle / Tuck Axel / Falling Leaf / Broken Leg Sit / Y Spin / Toe Walley / Attitude Spin / Tap Overhead / Butterfly Spin / Pair Camel / Shoot The Duck / Star Lift / Throw Double Toe / Flip Jump / Ina Bauer / One-Hand Lasso / Closed Mohawk / Back Scratch Spin / Bunny Hop / Death Spiral

Source: various
~ Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The native names of the leopard:

chita / adnara / tendwa (Hindustani)
palang (Persian)
diho (Baluchi)
tidua / srighas (in Bundelkand)
suh (Kashmiri)
gorbacha (Dekhani)
bibia-bagh / karda / asnea / singhal (Mahrathi)
tenderwa / bibla (among the Bauris of the Dekhan)
honiga / kerkal (Canarese)
teon-kula (of the Kols)
jerkos (in Rajmehal)
burkal / gordag (of the Gonds)
sonora (of the Korkus)
chiru-thai (Tamil)
chinna-pali (Telegu)
pali (Malabari)
kutiya (Cingalese)
bai-hira / tehr-he / ghor-he (in the Simla district)
sik (Tibetan)
syik / sejjiak (Lapcha)
binturong (Asian bearcat)
kajengla (Manipuri)
misi-patrai / kam-kei (of Kuki)
hurrea-kon / morrh / rusa / tekhu-khuia / kekhi (Nagas)
kya-lak / kya-thit (Burmese)
klapreung (Talain)
kiche-phong (of the Karens)
rimau-bintan (Malay)

Source: see below

Some Asian mammals, and their Western names:

kiang (Tibetan wild ass)
tsaine (Malaysian wild ox)
gaur (Indian bison)
sakin (Asiatic ibex)
arna (Indian buffalo)
kastura (musk deer)
zeren (Mongolian gazelle)
argali (Hodgon's sheep)
nilgai (blue bull)
barasibgha (swamp deer)
chinkara (Indian gazelle)
chiru (Tibetan antelope)
saikik (Yarkand gazelle)
hangul (Kashmir stag)
bharal (blue sheep)
chital (Indian spotted deer)
chousingha (four-horned antelope)
goa (Tibetan gazelle)

Source: The Wild Animals of India, Burma, Malaya and Tibet (R Lydekker, 1907)
~ Saturday, August 26, 2006

15 titles which were considered instead of Snakes On A Plane

1 Asps With Altitude
2 Rattlers On The Redeye
3 Mobster Mambas
4 Boeing Boeing Boa
5 Fangs On A Flight
6 Slithering Heights
7 Supersonic Sidewinders
8 Adders In The Air
9 Pilots and Pythons
10 Cobras In The Cargo
11 Die Hard With Venom
12 Sonic Boomslangs
13 The Krait Escape
14 Viper Space
15 Hand-Luggage and Hissyfits
~ Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I knew it was over when...

...the judges asked about salamander DNA
...they introduced self-service petrol pumps
...I watched Tokyo burn to the ground
...I heard about how he went and started the crusades
...the younger daughter complained that her shoes were too tight every few hours for a year
...he first started dating her and described her immediately as "strong"
...he said that Gundams were sexier than Evas
...Carrie sang that patriotic-type song on Tuesday night
...I tilted it and water came pouring out
...I got a flashback of me laying in the cell, counting time
...they started passing out the 27 page Powerpoint print out
...she started chuggin' red wine at three in the morning
...the navigator left the cockpit, came back and sat down beside me best pieces were Baltic Ave. and Waterworks
...the puck left his stick
...I got tired of hanging up their clothes for them
...the colors of the roses disappeared into bleak darkness
...Jocelyn set that golden crown with its huge purple jewels on Todd’s head
...she threw the book and screamed, "I hate math!"
...I saw the zebras
...they started the bluegrass version of Hillbilly Rock
...they had that decorating fight on season one
...I heard my mother and her sisters wailing
...I saw the French flag with the beret and moustache
...I found myself trying to determine where I fell on his list of priorities in relation to ramen noodles
...I saw the Sheraton disappear in Molly's rearview mirror
...he accused the Bizarro Liberals of ripping off girl’s religious headscarves
...I began the sickening, out of control, sideways slide on the slick mud
...he took me to a monster truck rally for Valentine's day
...he stole my air and left me breathless and aching with his words
...I heard black metal bands getting pro photo shoots
...the 6th West Coast Computer Faire had more suits than freaks
...he grabbed her ass during Girlfriend In A Coma

Source: Google
~ Sunday, April 09, 2006

British Pubs - some things to avoid:

1 Any bar serving sausage and mash for over £10, and where beer seems like a grudging sideline
2 The nearest pub to any train station
3 Any pub in a train station
4 All bars which describe their food as 'Traditional Fayre' or as 'World Famous'
5 Any trendy bar with its own merchandising (T-shirts, keyrings and other tat)
6 Any pub still clinging to the tails of the long-gone karaoke fad
7 Barn-like pubs acting as unofficial day-centres for the mentally ill
8 Barstaff clearly chosen for their looks rather than an ability to serve drinks or speak English
9 Any bar with a tips jar (attempting to usher in the US system where barstaff are minor deities) or where staff pass your change on a dinky tray and expect you to leave some of it
10 Bars with dayglo-coloured, star-shapes in the window advertising 'Half-Price Double's' and 'Hapy Hour'
11 Pubs with that carpet (the red one with the swirly pattern)
12 All Australian or South African themed bars
13 Any pub with more than two gaming machines
14 Pubs with 'No Football Colours' or 'No Hard Hats' signs, which are generally rammy magnets
15 Pubs with quizzes where a member of staff reads out the questions
~ Saturday, April 08, 2006
AT E's

A simplified list of food colourings:

E100 Curcumin, Turmeric Yellow
E101 Orange Yellow
E102 (tartrazine) Lemon Yellow
E103 Golden Yellow
E104 Quinoline Yellow
E105 Fast Yellow
E106 Yellow
E107 Yellow
E110 Sunset Yellow
E111 Orange
E120 (cochineal) Carmine Red
E121 (orcein) Red-Brown, (orchil) Blueish Purple
E122 (carmoisine) Maroon
E123 (amaranth) Dark Red
E124 Brilliant Scarlet
E125 Scarlet
E126 Bright Red
E127 Cherry Red
E128 Pinkish Red
E129 (allura red) Dark Red
E130 (indanthrene) Bright Blue
E131 Patent Blue
E132 Indigo
E133 Brilliant Blue
E140 (chlorophyll) Bright Green
E141 Olive Green
E142 Dark Green
E143 (fast green) Sea Green
E150 Caramel
E151 Brilliant Black
E152 Black
E153 Carbon Black
E154 Kipper Brown
E155 Chocolate Brown
E160a Carotene (Orange)
E160b (annatto) Orange-Red
E160c (capsanthin) Paprika Red
E161 Pink-Red
E162 Beetroot Red
E163 Reddish Purple
E170 Chalk White
E171 (titanium dioxide) Bright White
E172 (iron oxides) various shades of Brown
E173 Aluminium
E174 Silver
E175 Gold
E180 Rubine (Bright Dark Red)

Most of these are known by their chemical names, but these are the colours.
~ Friday, March 24, 2006

The real names of the Marx Brothers:

Zeppo Marx - Herbert
Harpo Marx - Adolph (changed to Arthur)
Chico Marx - Leonard
Groucho Marx - Julius
Gummo Marx - Milton

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And what their names should have been had they starred in...

a spaghetti western: Taco Marx / Poncho Marx / Bronco Marx / Gaucho Marx / Amigo Marx

a horror flick: Pyro Marx / Torso Marx / Romero Marx / Psycho Marx / Cujo Marx

a Warhol film: Nico Marx / Slo-mo Marx / Dallesandro Marx / Gonzo Marx / Narco Marx

a romance: Calico Marx / Tango Marx / Stiletto Marx / Vino Marx / Romeo Marx

a martial arts movie: Judo Marx / Kendo Marx / Dojo Marx / Sumo Marx / Budo Marx

a sci-fi film: Pluto Marx / Robo Marx / Chrono Marx / Draco Marx / Apollo Marx /

a re-make of Trainspotting: Jambo Marx / Wide-o Marx / Portobello Marx / Giro Marx / Square-go Marx

an adult movie: Porno Marx / Fellatio Marx / Gigolo Marx / Vibro Marx / Nympho Marx

a remake of Crocodile Dundee: Dingo Marx / Troppo Marx / Aggro Marx / Drongo Marx / Seppo Marx

Thirty-two synaptic shortcuts from Google:

The first thing I thought of was Humpty Dumpty on the wall
The first thing I thought of was trying to wring out a crocheted afghan
The first thing I thought of was a yellow wrench
The first thing I thought of was toxic runoff from all the groves
The first thing I thought of was that old radio on the porch of the cabin
The first thing I thought of was manned space exploration
The first thing I thought of was a word search puzzle
The first thing I thought of was the nasty ending to Seven
The first thing I thought of was street signs
The first thing I thought of was Talking Heads
The first thing I thought of was the golden age Superman
The first thing I thought of was a goodnight kiss
The first thing I thought of was your Captain Caveman feet
The first thing I thought of was a spider with a towel on its head
The first thing I thought of was Dancing Nancies
The first thing I thought of was the American flag
The first thing I thought of was having a beer
The first thing I thought of was Spock recovering Kirk's body
The first thing I thought of was spiking a volleyball
The first thing I thought of was a posse of homeless guys
The first thing I thought of was reindeer sex
The first thing I thought of was Grampa telling the story of how he died
The first thing I thought of was you in Dresden
The first thing I thought of was a big fat square white doughnut
The first thing I thought of was a short story by Roger Zelazny
The first thing I thought of was a '67 Olds Tornado
The first thing I thought of was robes
The first thing I thought of was that she was channeling me
The first thing I thought of was uh-oh
The first thing I thought of was covering the damn thing with duct tape
The first thing I thought of was an albino transvestite
The first thing I thought of was Nebuchadnezzar's dream

Ten true confessions from Google:

I lost my virginity in the backroom of a bookshop in Staines
I lost my virginity in a hotel in Birmingham
I lost my virginity in the Student Union carpark after a poetry reading
I lost my virginity in the back seat of a '54 Ford
I lost my virginity in a Detroit bus station
I lost my virginity in a strange spelunking accident
I lost my virginity in the stockroom at McDonalds
I lost my virginity in a bush during Faith No More
I lost my virginity in New York, twice
I lost my virginity in broad daylight
~ Thursday, March 16, 2006

What British people smelled of in the early 1950s:


powdered milk
a 'top-note' of 'Evening In Paris'

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boot dubbin
battery fluid
dried cuttlefish
cooked breakfasts
rough tobacco
week-old hair-oil
belched-back beer

Source: first page of Gordon Burn's 1991 novel Alma Cogan

Villains from the first 50 issues of The Fantastic Four comic:

The Mole Man
The Skrulls from Outer Space
Miracle Man
Dr. Doom
Kurrgo, Master of Planet X
Puppet Master
The Impossible Man
The Red Ghost
The Mad Thinker
Dr. Doom
Super Skrull
Rama Tut
Molecule Man
Mole Man
Infant Terrible
Invincible Man
Gregory Gideon
The Frightful Four
Medusa and Gorgon
The Inhumans

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Thanks to Velvis for this list.
~ Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Some interesting names of birds found in India:

Rain Quail / Rosy Starling / Isabelline Wheatear / Dusky Crag-Martin / Sirkeer Malkoha / Little Brown Dove / Bank Myna / Graceful Prinia / Hooded Pitta / Red-Whiskered Bulbul / Jungle Owlet / Glossy Ibis / Bengal Florican / Paddyfield Pipit / Collared Pratincole / White-Bellied Treepie / Grass Owl / Finn's Weaver / Bengal Bush Lark / Houbara / Jerdon's Baza / Indian Plaintive Cuckoo / Ashy Woodswallow / Silver- Eared Leiothrix / Indian Chat / Scarlet Minivet / Swamp Francolin / Crimson-Throated Barbet / Tickell's Flowerpecker / Whiskered Tern / Booted Eagle / Temminck's Stint / Small Buttonquail / Great Pied Hornbill

Verditer Flycatcher / Quaker Tit-Babbler / Bay-Backed Shrike / Gold-Fronted Chloropsis / Black- Crowned Night-Heron / Jungle Nightjar / Indian Hanging Parrot / Jack Snipe / Slaty-Legged Crake / Marshall's Iora / Streaked Spiderhunter / Crab Plover / Little Scaly-Bellied Green Woodpecker / Goliath Heron / Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch / Pompadour Green Pigeon / Greater Adjutant / Red-Rumped Swallow / Brahminy Shelduck / Ultramarine Flycatcher / Malabar Trogon / Changeable Hawk-Eagle / Ashy-Crowned Sparrow-Lark / Rufous Sibia / Western Reef-Egret / Painted Spurfowl / Indian Skimmer / Wynaad Laughingthrush / Laggar / Bronzed Drongo / Speckled Piculet

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A Malabar Trogon, yesterday

Source: The Book of Indian Birds (OUP)

Typical 'fight' combinations at the Roman circus:

a wolf against a hippopotamus
a rhinoceros against a giraffe
a panther against an ostrich
an Ethiopian against an elephant
a German against a bear
a woman against a dwarf
a Christian against a lion

Source: Around The Roman Table (P Faas, Macmillan)

NB There is much debate amongst historians about exactly what went on in the arena. Such contests were common though it appears, and always to the death. In times when Christianity was more dominant, although Christians would not watch fights with animals due to pagan connotations, extreme cruelty as mass entertainment was still common, especially in the form of mutilation and burning of perceived enemies.

Scottish islands with a population in single figures:

Eilean Shona - 9
Erraid - 8
Soay - 7
Sanday - 6
Auskerry - 5
Danna - 5
Gometra - 5
Oronsay - 5
Tanera Mor - 5
Lunga - 4
Gairsay - 3
Inchtavannach - 3
Moncrieffe - 3
Davaar - 2
Eilean Ban - 2
Eilan Donan - 1
Inchcolm - 2
Inchfad - 2
Rona - 2
Vaila - 2
Innischonan - 1
Sanda - 1
Shuna - 1

NB Some of these islands have larger and more populated namesakes

Source: 2001 census

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