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Thematic 10Q Difficult
"Success, says author Stephen Pile, is overrated. Below are examples of things which failed, misfired, or just didn't get the point of the exercise. The questions are taken from Pile's "The Book of Heroic Failures" and "The Return of Heroic Failures"."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
During the British firemen's strike of 1978, an army unit, which had taken over emergency firefighting duties, was asked by an elderly lady to rescue her cat from a tree. How did this valiant effort end?
They rescued the cat, only to drive over it and kill it as they were leaving
One of the soldiers himself got stuck up the tree and had to be rescued
The cat climbed higher up the tree and refused to come down
They arrived at the right address, but forgot to bring ladders
Which country - admittedly not a world power, due in large part to its tiny size - found itself in the unhappy position of being still at war with Germany long after World War I had ended, because no one remembered it when drawing up the Versailles Peace Treaty?
In 1977, in what became 'the least successful memorial' U.S. Agriculture Secretary Robert Bergland opened the Alferd Packer Memorial Dining Room at the Department of Agriculture, telling us all that new eatery, named after a 19th century Colorado pioneer, "exemplifies the spirit and fare that this agriculture department cafeteria will provide".
Why then was the cafeteria hurriedly renamed several months later?
Officials found out that Packer had never existed
The food in the cafeteria was so bad no one would eat there
Packer was not a U.S. citizen, but had been from Canada
It turned out that Packer had been tried for cannibalism in 1874
Why was the 1966 rugby match between Colwyn Bay Rugby Team and Portmadoc unexpectedly abandoned?
The players forgot to bring a ball
They players were so busy fighting they couldn't be bothered to play
The referee forgot to turn up
The score was so one-sided one team left the field in embarrassment
Driving tests - as most of us can testify - offer a great opportunity to join the ranks of the unsuccessful, at least initially. Until recently, a lady from California held the record for the fastest failure, after mistaking the accelerator for the clutch and shooting straight through the wall of the driving centre.
However even this record was beaten by a British garage mechanic who managed to fail his test before the examiner had even got into the car. How did he achieve this magnificent feat?
He locked himself and the examiner out the car
His car was stolen while he was summoning the examiner
He fetched the examiner, and then forgot where he'd parked his car
He illegally sounded the horn to summon the examiner, who promptly failed him
'The Sound of Music' is one of the most popular movies of all time. Everybody - with the possible exception of one misanthropic quiz maker - thinks it one of their favourite things.
But what did the version shown in South Korea contain - or not contain - to qualify it for Mr. Pile's description of "The least satisfactory performance of 'The Sound of Music'"?
It contained the wrong subtitles
The songs were cut out
The ending was cut out
The titles weren't screened
A magnificently unsuccessful prison escape occurred in Saltillo Prison, Northern Mexico in April 1976. Why?
The tunnel the prisoners dug surfaced in a nearby courtroom
After the escape began, all the escapees got cold feet and returned to the cells
The prisoners dug a tunnel which surfaced in another part of the prison
None of the would-be escapees remembered the date of the escape
Douglas Corrigan was given a tickertape parade in 1938, after a spectacular feat of unsuccessful navigation. On July 16 he took off from New York, intending to fly to Los Angeles. He never made it. Where did he eventually end up?
An essential part of any robbery is getting away afterwards Sometimes, however, things don't always work out as planned. In 1976 a man robbed a bar in San Fernando. Why did his getaway fail?
He forgot where he'd parked the getaway car
His car had been towed away while he was robbing the bar
He was caught by the police waiting for a bus
He was knocked down by his own getaway car
The fine art of being wrong. Who predicted - not very successfully, it must be said - that "Radio has no future", "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible" and "X-rays will prove to be a hoax"?
The New York Times
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Compiled May 21 13