The IoS Happy List quiz 2011

Happiness is... puzzling over some daft questions in your favourite newspaper (answers at bottom of page)


Quote me happy

Five famous sayings. Who said what?



1) "Pleasure is spread through the earth/ In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find"

2 ) "If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion"

3) "My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy"

4) "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"

5) "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with"

Happiness is ...

1) ... a warm gun – according to The Beatles. But what inspired the title?

2) ... a warm puppy – according to a much-loved Snoopy cartoon. But what was Charles M Schulz's pet beagle nearly called?

3) ... a cigar called Hamlet – according to one of the greatest commercials of all time. But in what year were tobacco ads banned from British television?

4) ... the greatest gift that I possess – according to Ken Dodd's hit song of the Sixties. But what wiped the smile of the comic's face in 1989?

5) ... the name of an acclaimed cult movie by director Todd Solondz. But what is ironic about the title?

The science of happiness

1) We know laughter is the best medicine, releasing endorphins and lowering blood pressure. But, according to William Fry of Stanford University, a hearty laugh five times a day is the cardiovascular equivalent of how long in the gym?

2) Many researchers link happiness with altruism – especially with the satisfaction gained by volunteering and helping others. But what percentage of Britons regularly volunteer with a formal organisation, charity or local group?

3) Proposed policies in which country must pass a seven-point Gross National Happiness review, to assess their likely impact, before being made law?

4) Anatomically speaking, laughter is the result of the larynx being constricted by the epiglottis. But what name do scientists give to the study of laughter's effects on the human body?

5) Introduced in 2006, the Happy Planet Index measures both the quality of life and the ecological footprint of countries around the world. Which three countries topped the 2009 list?

Laughing matters

1) In the third century BC, the Greek philosopher Chrysippus died of laughter after doing what to his donkey?

2) It may be the most heard laugh in the history of popular music – but which veteran horror movie actor provided the sinister chuckles at the end of the soundtrack to Michael Jackson's "Thriller?"

3) In a lecture entitled Funny Business, Rowan Atkinson explained that a person or object can become funny in three different ways. What are they?

4) Douglas Adams famously used the number 42 as the comedic answer to life, the universe, and everything. But according to Steve Coogan, which other number does "everyone" use when they're searching for "a random comedy number"?

5) And finally... in 2002, Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire identified "the world's funniest joke". What was it?

ANSWERS...

Quote me happy

1. William Wordsworth

2. The Dalai Lama

3. William Shakespeare

4. Mahatma Gandhi

5. WC Fields

Happiness is...

1. The phrase was the slogan of US's National Rifle Association.

2. Sniffy – he changed the name shortly before Peanuts made its first appearance in 1950.

3. 1991; the Hamlet campaign had begun in 1966 and continued in cinemas until 1999.

4. He was charged with tax evasion, and later acquitted – though not before the embarrassing revelation that he had kept £336,000 stashed in suitcases in his attic.

5. The film was agreed by critics to be among the darkest box-office hits of the 1990s.

The science of happiness

1. 15 minutes.

2. an estimated 27 per cent of adults.

3. Bhutan.

4. gelotology.

5. Costa Rica, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

Laughing matters

1. He gave it wine to wash down a bowl of figs, apparently with fatally hilarious results.

2. Vincent Price.

3. By behaving in an unusual way; by being in an unusual place; by being the wrong size.

4. 37 – as in, "that's the 37th time this has happened".

5. A 1951 Spike Milligan sketch from The Goon Show, which goes: "Two hunters are out in the woods when one collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy calls the emergency services. He gasps, 'My friend is dead! What can I do?' The operator says 'Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead.' There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says 'OK, now what?'"

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