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Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Posted by midnightsmum 4b ON (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 1, 12 at 10:03

Happy Sunday Morning, Cottagers, and Happy Canada Day to Annette and I!! 145 years of history!! Weather today is clear, sunny and hot!! Perfect, in other words. The only backlash from the weird American weather that we are getting is the heat, they say. It's kinda funny, cause at one point or another, every day this week was scheduled to have T-storms. Glad we didn't get what Cynthia and her neighbours got - I watched the news last night ( normally get my news from other estates) and saw the freaky weather you are having. I hope that everyone is safe!

I read a great article a week or so ago, about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I have been thinking about who is remembered, after last weeks question. The author was talking about which one left the greater legacy; who would be remembered in 50 years. He opined that the memory of Steve Jobs would fade, while Bill Gates would be remembered!! And here's why: philanthropy!! Jobs never really got into that in a big way, while Gates has. In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000. Huh! I guess time will tell.

So, we have another mystery man with us this Sunday. I am hoping to have better clues, or that he will be easier for all of you to guess!! I fear that again, this may be too easy for our Thin Man. I'll be miserly with clues that might be a dead giveaway, if I can!!
In 1888, our man was astonished to read his own obituary, titled "The merchant of death is dead", in a French newspaper. As it was his brother Ludvig who had died, the obituary was eight years premature. The article disconcerted our guy and made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will. On 10 December 1896 he died in his villa in San Remo, Italy, from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was 63 years old. And his obituary was significantly different!!

Hmmmm....is this easy?? Perhaps, but I do have clues - really!!

Nancy.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

I started to write that this isn't an easy question, but suddenly a thought exploded in my brain (I am always telling my students to make their brains light up and I think mine did-what a surprise).

Cynthia


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

lol. I'm glad that it did. I was starting to worry that no one was coming to the Trivia page today!!

So glad that you're illuminated - care to share with the class?

Nancy.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Just came in from an hour of hoeing in the garden, cleaning out the zinnia and statice rows. Only uprooted 1 zinnia by mistake.

Does this question ring a bell? No? Well, maybe. If it is the man I'm thinking of, the substance kieselguhr played a big role in his fortune.

TM


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Uhoh...no idea what kieselguhr is. I still think I have it though, but TM probably wins the prize again for his in-depth body of lifetime knowledge as opposed to my one-off answer.

Cynthia


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

TM, you blow my mind, in German, no less!!!

Well, here is another clue or two for Cyn and the others: He was a chemist, engineer, and inventor. In 1894 he purchased an iron and steel mill, which he made into a major armaments manufacturer. He also invented ballistite, a precursor to many smokeless military explosives, especially the British smokeless powder cordite.

Any more illuminations??

Nancy.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

I've been racking my brain 'ballistite' brought one name to mind but I'm probably way off base. Does his first name start with an "A"?

Annette


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Even though I don't know what TM's German reference is, I still am sticking with my answer. I also picked up on another clue from TM, I think. yes, Annette, think his name starts with an 'A'.

Dynamite question, Nancy

Cynthia


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Sorry Annette - I thought that I had posted a reply to you. And yes, his name does start with an A. I have a feeling that everyone knows??

Nancy - who is just back from the park - sitting in a open field in 30C heat, listening to a Stompin' Tom tribute band!! I'm having a cold one to cool down.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Sounds like a fun evening, Nancy.

I am watching Masterpiece Mystery-Endeavor with a young Inspector Morse. I always feel a bit sad when I think of the original series with John Thaw. He was so marvelous.

So, to trivia...my guess is Alfred Nobel.

Cynthia


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Endeavor- I'll have to watch for that. I was such a fan as well - you know, the Queen was too!!

Well, I don't think I fooled anyone!! At least not for long. Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, into a family of engineers. The couple married in 1827 and had eight children, although, beset by poverty, only Alfred and his three brothers survived past childhood. Following various business failures, Nobel's father moved to Saint Petersburg in 1837 and grew successful there as a manufacturer of machine tools and explosives. He invented modern plywood and started a "torpedo" works. In 1842, the family joined him in the city. Now prosperous, his parents were able to send Nobel to private tutors and the boy excelled in his studies, particularly in chemistry and languages, achieving fluency in English, French, German and Russian. As a young man, Nobel studied with chemist Nikolai Zinin, then in 1850 went to Paris to further the work and at 18, he went to the United States for four years to study chemistry, collaborating for a short period under inventor John Ericsson who designed the American Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. Nobel filed his first patent, for a gas meter, in 1857. The family factory produced armaments for the Crimean War (1853 - 1856) but had difficulty switching back to regular domestic production when the fighting ended and they filed for bankruptcy. In 1859, Nobel's father left his factory in the care of the second son, Ludvig Nobel (1831-1888), who greatly improved the business. Nobel and his parents returned to Sweden from Russia and Nobel devoted himself to the study of explosives, and especially to the safe manufacture and use of nitroglycerine (discovered in 1847 by Ascanio Sobrero, one of his fellow students under Theophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Turin). Nobel invented a detonator in 1863 and in 1865 he designed the blasting cap. On 3 September 1864 a shed, used for the preparation of nitroglycerin, exploded at the factory in Heleneborg Stockholm, killing five people, including Nobel's younger brother Emil. Dogged by more minor accidents but unfazed, Nobel went on to build further factories, focusing on improving the stability of the explosives he was developing. Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin. Dynamite was patented in the US and the UK and was used extensively in mining and the building of transport networks internationally. In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a forerunner of cordite. Nobel's brothers Ludvig and Robert exploited oilfields along the Caspian Sea and became hugely rich in their own right. Nobel invested in these and amassed great wealth through the development of these new oil regions. During his life Nobel issued 350 patents internationally and by his death had established 90 armaments factories, despite his belief in pacifism.

In 1888 Alfred's brother Ludvig died while visiting Cannes and a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred's obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite and is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead")and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." Alfred was disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered. On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel's will gave 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (equivalent to about 1.8 billion kronor or 250 million US dollars in 2008) to fund the prizes. There was room for interpretation by the bodies he had named for deciding on the physical sciences and chemistry prizes, given that he had not consulted them before making the will. In his one-page testament, he stipulated that the money go to discoveries or inventions in the physical sciences and to discoveries or improvements in chemistry. He had opened the door to technological awards, but had not left instructions on how to deal with the distinction between science and technology. Since the deciding bodies he had chosen were more concerned with the former, the prizes went to scientists and not to engineers, technicians or other inventors.

In 2001, Alfred Nobel's great-grandnephew, Peter Nobel (b. 1931), asked the Bank of Sweden to differentiate its award to economists given "in Alfred Nobel's memory" from the five other awards. This has caused much controversy whether the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is actually a "Nobel Prize"

Interestingly, cordite is the name we remember! It was used until well after the Second World War, and still has uses today. No one remembers who invented it, though!! Few of us have the chance to see our own legacy. I wonder who would change, and what we might change, if we knew!!

So, for TM, Annette and Cyn:
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Thanks to everyone for playing!! And to my American cousin, have a great Independence Day!!

Nancy.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Sorry I didn't get back yesterday, I wasn't getting anywhere until I picked up on one of the clues.

CYN, thanks for the heads up on Inspector Morse I looked it up and it's airing at 3 AM on wednesday here so I set the PVR, so little worth watching on TV these days other than the old movie channel which I'm addicted to.
I've watched all of Doc Martin to date, they're doing one more season then I think that's it :(. How Martin Clunes stays in character throughout the whole show, those facial expressions the way he walks, not to mention his bedside manner, in a word brilliant. I bought the first 4 seasons on DVD plus the two movies and have season 5 on the PVR. I can watch these over and over they are so hilarious. I think this has to be my favorite series of all time.
Midsomer Murders, another favorite of mine, was sorry to see John Nettles leave the series but Neil Dudgeon playing the younger cousin is doing a great job, looking forward to the next episodes that come my way.

Annette


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Annette - have you watched Sherlock?? Very cool updated Sherlock and Watson, set in present day London. They only do three of episodes a year - but sooooo good. Cerebral, as it should be, not the dirty(I'm sure they mean to be gritty) movies with Robert Downey Jr. Not a fan of those.

Nancy.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Just went looking for local listing!! Acckk, Cyn, it's Endeavour - got to spell it British, don't you know!!

Nancy.


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RE: Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

Oh darn! I knew that! Much prefer the British spellings of so many words. Next Sunday night is Lewis again. Maybe Endeavour isn't a series yet. :(

We are still seeing the old Midsomer Murder shows. Good to know you like the new fellow replacing John Nettles. I also like the new Sherlock. I didn't realize they made so few each year. Something to look forward to, I guess. Here, PBS seems to move or drop things at a whim and I am forever missing my favorites. I also like Doc Martin, but haven't watched on a regular basis.


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