# Wish You Were Here

Australia’s tallest mountain and most populous city were named for people who never visited the country. Mount Kosciuszko was named after Polish military hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, because of its resemblance to a prehistoric mound in Kraków, and Sydney was named for British politician Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.

# Misc

• A pound of dimes has the same value as a pound of quarters.
• The French word hétérogénéité has five accents.
• 32768 = (3 – 2 + 7)6 / 8
• Can you deceive yourself deliberately?
• “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” — Thomas Paine

In 2000, Guatemalan police asked Christmas revelers not to fire pistols into the air. “Lots of people die when bullets fall on their heads,” National Civilian Police spokesman Faustino Sanchez told Reuters. He said that five to ten Guatemalans are killed or injured each Christmas by falling bullets.

# Misc

• Will Rogers died at the northernmost point in the United States.
• 94122 + 23532 = 94122353
• TO BE OR NOT TO BE contains two Bs.
• If you stop me being mute, what sound do I make?
• “Better to ask twice than to lose your way once.” — Danish proverb

# A Double Mnemonic

George the Third said with a smile,
“Seventeen sixty yards to a mile.”

This gives two unrelated pieces of information: the date of George’s accession and the number of yards in a mile.

# Countdown

There are exactly 10! seconds in six weeks.

# Flip Day

January 10, 2011, is a palindrome in four different notations: 1/10/2011, 1/10/11, I/X/MMXI, and I/X/XI.

# Indoors and Out

The world’s smallest country is smaller than the world’s largest buildings.

Vatican City occupies 44 hectares, or about 4,736,120 square feet.

The Pentagon, by comparison, has a total floor area of 6,636,360 square feet.

# Misc

• Holmes and Watson never address one another by their first names.
• Until 1990, the banknote factory at Debden, England, was heated by burning old banknotes.
• The vowels AEIOUY can be arranged to spell the synonyms AYE and OUI.
• 741602 + 437762 = 7416043776
• “In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” — Mark Twain

Two trick questions:

Who played the title role in Bride of Frankenstein? Valerie Hobson — not Elsa Lanchester.

Did Adlai Stevenson ever win national office? Yes — Adlai Stevenson I served as vice president under Grover Cleveland in 1893.

# Time and Chance

A deck contains 52 cards, 12 court cards, 4 suits, and 13 ranks.

A year contains 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of 13 weeks.

If A=1, J=11, Q=12, and K=13, then the values in a deck of cards total 364.

See Apropos.

# Misc

• It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
• More than half of Uganda’s population is under 15.
• 176502 + 381252 = 1765038125
• Uzbekistan is surrounded by “stans”: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
• Great Britain never puts its name on postage stamps.

In June 2011, 49-year-old Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov of Russia woke up in a coffin surrounded by weeping relatives. Realizing she was at her own funeral, she began screaming and was rushed back to the hospital, which declared her dead of a heart attack. “I am very angry and want answers,” her husband, Fagili, told the Sun. “She wasn’t dead when they said she was, and they could have saved her.” (Thanks, Mark.)