Answers from our monthly quiz:
- In 1993 city officials in Cologne, Germany imposed a new regulation on people jogging through the city park. Runners were required to pace themselves to go no faster than six mph. Any faster, the city officials cautioned, could disturb the squirrels who were in the middle of their mating season. April Fool, courtesy of a radio station.
- In 1998 the Alabama state legislature voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the Biblical value of 3.0. NASA engineers in Huntsville, Alabama were reportedly disturbed by the decision. April Fool. But not before many people got quite angry about it!
- In 1991 prehistoric murals were discovered on the walls of an underwater cave in eastern France revealing that penguins and man once lived side-by-side in that region. Historians, accustomed to seeing prehistoric depictions of animals such as bison and deer, were extremely surprised to find the penguins. True.
- Recently a Russian beverage company announced a new product designed to appeal more specifically to Russian tastes: chewy Vodka bars. The company hopes the candy bars will compete successfully against popular western imports such as Mars and Snickers bars. The Vodka bars will be available in lemon, coconut, and salted cucumber flavours. April Fool. But chewable rice wine does exist.
- Engineers recently unveiled the world’s first tooth telephone, perfect for those who want to talk hands-free while on the go. When implanted into a tooth, the tiny device vibrates to let the user know there’s a call. Users speak normally, and the tiny microphone picks up their voice. Incoming sounds are transferred to the inner ear by means of bone resonance. True. Invented at MIT but not yet in circulation.
- Faced with a growing number of unruly passengers, one town in Ukraine recently adopted a unique solution: Karate-trained fare collectors. The number of passengers trying to ride without paying was said to be down sharply ever since the new collectors were introduced. True, following an increasing number of attacks on inspectors in Chernivtsy.
- Tired of overcooking the carrots? Now there’s a solution. British scientists announced last year the development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ Tapered airholes inside the carrot cause it to whistle when properly cooked. April Fool. But advertised by Tesco. Sainsbury’s did try marketing purple carrots though in the early 2000s.