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Quiddities: an interactive review of the oddities of the year

1. How many camels were killed in Britain by lightning in 1997?

a) 0, b) 1, c) 2.

2. How many married couples of orang-utans are there in Thailand?

a) 0, b) 1, c) 2.

3. How many babies has Brenda Gaskin of Jacksonville, Florida, given birth to on the back seat of her 1991 Mercury Topaz car?

a) 0, b) 1, c) 2.

4. If the answer is: "squelching your hand in a yogurt pot, then throwing a wet towel on to some straw" what is the question?

a) which traditional practice has been outlawed in the Turkish dairy foods industry? b) What did the Australian health minister give as an example of how not to treat burns suffered in the recent bush fires? c) How do they make the sound of a baby lamb being born on The Archers?

5. James Bunce of Cirencester has appealed for museum space, as he is being squeezed out of his house by his collection of ... what?

a) gas cookers, b) hospital bedpans, c) milk bottles

6. Which country banned the eating of green iguanas between 1 February and 30 April?

a) Iran, b) Mexico c) Nicaragua

7. In Springfield, Virginia, Muffin had a cataract removed from her eye in what is believed to be the first operation of its type on her species. What animal is she?

a) Komodo dragon, b) llama, c) mule.

8. What action did the mayor of Bocaiuvo do Sul in Brazil take in an attempt to maintain a government grant dependent on the size of the town's population?

a) He offered to pay the expenses of any family inviting relatives to stay with them on Census Day.

b) He declared all pet dogs and cats to be citizens of the town.

c) He banned the sale of condoms and contraceptives.

9. The traditional "Krakelingen Festival" in the Belgian town of Geraardsbergen aroused protests from animal rights groups because:

a) it involves drinking fish, b) it involves dropping a goat from a church tower, c) it includes a live-chicken plucking contest.

10. Chan Koon Shing was convicted in Hong Kong of extortion after demanding protection money from a doctor. What was the fatal mistake that led to his arrest?

a) He gave the doctor a receipt with his name and ID card number on it,

b) He declared the money in his tax return,

c) He took the doctor to court for non-payment.

11. Picture question: a saucy saucepan display by Ulrika Jonsson, but what term have the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists come up with for the space between a woman's breasts?

a) intermammary sulcus, b) mammarine interstice, c) suprathoracic duct.

12. What have scientists discovered about the Rheodytes Leukops, also known as the Fitzroy River tortoise?

a) It can rotate through 180 degrees in its shell

b) it breathes through its mouth on land but through its bottom underwater

c) It is not a tortoise at all, but a type of armadillo.

13. Complete the following sentence: 36 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds ... ?

a) have experimented with drugs; b) say they love the Spice Girls; c) claim that they tidy their rooms at least once a week.

14. Ali Cirkecioglu of Istanbul beat his wife unconscious then jumped from his window in a suicide attempt. Why?

a) He had discovered that she had been unfaithful to him

b) She had discovered that he had been unfaithful to her

c) His football team had lost 1-0 at home.

15. Psychologists have matched items in people's supermarket trolleys with personality traits of the trolley-pusher. Can you match the following items and traits?

a) Cocktail cherries b) Pasta c) Brussels sprouts d) fish fingers;

A) I'm unadventurous between the sheets, B) I am down to earth and enjoy a stable lifestyle C) I am rather shallow and pretentious D) I am passionate and love romantic suppers for two.

16. What was sold on the streets of Rio de Janeiro for $25 per 100 grams?

a) cocaine b) cocoa beans c) cockroaches

(The answers will be found in the right-hand column, just above the crossword.) answers to the quiddities quiz

1b - It happened at Knowsley safari Park on Merseyside.

2b - And they had a baby this year.

3c - one in 1995, one in 1997.

4c - one of the secrets revealed in the 12,000th programme of the series.

5a - He has 160 in all, 56 at home.

6c - They are part of a traditional soup served during Holy Week.

7a - on loan from a zoo in Tokyo.

8c - despite objections from the municipal health department.

9a - goat-throwing is only in Spain

10a - He was jailed for a year.

11a - part of a revised world anatomical vocabulary.

12b -It can stay submerged longer that way.

13c - Middlesex girls are the tidiest.

14c - Fenerbahce 0 Besiktas 1

15: a-C, b-D, c-A, d-B.

16c - needed for scientific research.