Questions which need to be answered

Who decided it should be called Earth?

Why are there pitstops in Formula 1? Why don’t they all just have one big fuel tank? Is the sport really meant to be about who’s quickest at handling a hose?

Why do cereals always have to be advertised with a disclaimer about being “part of a balanced breakfast”? Why do only breakfast foods get this special treatment? McDonalds ads don’t have to put “Have a salad sometimes, fatty” across the bottom of the screen.

“Mum’s a live wire, Dad’s a-“ what, exactly?

Why is the UK the only country that has salt-and-vinegar crisps? And why do we call them that anyway? ALL crisps have salt on them, and we don’t say “salt and cheese and onion”.

What are you actually supposed to do for “Street Repairs” in Monopoly? What does it mean by “street”?

(And while we’re here, does ANYONE play Monopoly properly, with the auction rule? Is there another popular game anywhere in the world where practically everyone who plays it ignores one of the main rules?)

Why do girls’ and boys’ shirts button up different sides?


15 Responses to “Questions which need to be answered”

  1. 1) It’s named after the ground, originating in around 1400.

    2) Because that much fuel would be too heavy for the cars.

    3) Because cereals make boasts of nutritional value, that MacDonald’s certainly doesn’t.

    4) Because “salt and vinegar” is attempting to emulate the popular fish and chips topping. And you can absolutely buy them outside of the UK:

    5) Have you ever seen potholes being filled in? Those are an example of street repairs. And it’s a game in which you purchase streets.

    6) No one agrees on Scrabble’s rules for dictionary challenges.

    7) Historically women did not dress themselves, so their buttons were arranged for their handmaid to do up.


  2. 1. But who decided that was the official name?

    2. So make the cars stronger. If it’s the same for everyone then it’s still a fair race. Or, why not just make the races shorter? They’re fucking boring anyway.

    3. I’m not sure that’s true. I don’t remember the Frosties slogan being “Theeyyy’rrrrrree Nutritious!”

    4. Hmm. But it’s interesting that in the US, Walkers (Lay’s) have reverted to the proper civilised blue colour for s’n’v.

    5. So you didn’t know either. I’ve found out now, amid literally lots of people on Google all asking the same question.

    6. That’s not really the same. I’ve never even experienced anyone having a debate about whether to use the auction rule. It just never happens.

    7. But wouldn’t that also be true for gentlemen and their valets/butlers?


    • nixonradio Says:

      On 1: The name came in before the idea of there being lots of different planets in the modern sense – the contrast was seen as being between “heaven and earth”, i.e. the sky (and all the stuff in it) and the ground. Everyone seems to have been using that word to mean “the ground we’re on” throughout the early history of astronomy, and so just started using that as the name of the planet once it became clear that’s what it was and that it needed a name to differentiate itself from other planets. I believe the same thing happened in almost every language, the name of the planet is usually the local word for “the ground” or similar – its “official” name is Sol 3 or somesuch, I think.

      On 2: They’ve actually banned refuelling for the 2010 season onwards. (It was banned before 1994 as well). They still need pit stops, though, because technology hasn’t yet developed tyres that are up to the task of going at that speed for that amount of time without falling to bits/exploding. Part of the reason for the long races is historical – they were originally tests of endurance as well as speed, “Grand Prix” being a corruption of the French “grande epreuve”, “big test”, so part of the challenge is being able to last a set distance (though nowadays the time is capped at 2 hours regardless).

      On 3: Because they’re aimed at kids, probably, and there are strict rules about what you can hock to kids and in what context. Most crisps (and maybe other sugary snacky stuff) have a “LARD-O-LICIOUS MEGA BITES can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet [provided you eat four of them and not the whole bag, you grotesque fat fuck]” type disclaimer, don’t they?

      On 4: I can’t add anything more to that. I did like your earlier comment years ago pointing out that neither cheese or onions is green.

      5 and 6 I can’t help with. 7 I vaguely remember being told a purported answer to this, though I can’t remember the details (something about servants and body shapes and stuff), but it might just have been a guess.

      • “They’ve actually banned refuelling for the 2010 season onwards.”

        Man! Nobody can say WoSblog doesn’t deliver fast results!

  3. lasermink Says:

    The thing to remember about Formula 1 is, it is not a sport. They will introduce whatever arbitrary rules and systems they believe will make people watch it more.

  4. nixonradio Says:

    Oh yeah, and EVERYONE plays Monopoly with “free parking” being a way to collect all the fines and stuff, don’t they? And I think a lot of people believe it’s in the rules that you can’t collect rent while you’re in prison (which officially you can).

  5. Formula 1 – no its not, which is why there is going to be no refueling in 2010 season.
    But all the cars will be the same (heavy) weight, then the sport will become all about who is best at choosing tires. So they will (further) restrict the tyre choices. Then the sport will be criticized for being a procession with no overtaking, so they will allow refueling during races to promote overtaking, and… oh.

    I’ve always been frustrated by the Taz Dad question too. Apparently it’s an American expression, “like a bump on a log”, meaning he’s not much good for anything. I’ve never heard it used anywhere else, probably because it’s a pretty crap expression. I mean, who looks at logs and thinks ‘Yes, but what are the bumps for??’

  6. This suggests that the words are ‘bump on a log’

    I don’t necessarily believe it though.

  7. Re. Monopoly.

    The game always goes on forever, well past the point that everyone is bored. This is nearly always true.

    The reason this happens is because:
    a) people ignore the auction rule and
    b) people put the money from fines on Free Parking

    The game ends through people going bankrupt. If you do b) it increase the amount of money in circulation hence extending the game hugely.

    Doing a) basically kills any strategy in the game whatsover. It means you can only get a group by getting lucky and landing on the right spaces. Which again means stuff doesn’t get built for ages and drags the whole thing out. New copies of Monopoly even come with a speed die these days to speed up the boring early parts of the game.

  8. I can confirm we have salt and vinegar here in Ireland too, in fact our own Tayto Ltd invented them (

    However our indigenous brands have green for cheese and onion, and blue for salt and vinegar which is the opposite of the UK brands like Walkers which we also have.

    It’s a head-wrecker and no mistake.

  9. Yeah, salt and vinegar in Canada too. Better question is how come Canada is the only place with “all-dressed” flavour crisps, which are (I think) a combination of paprika, vinegar, salt and onion.

    They’re rather delicious.

  10. Oh man. I want some of those a LOT.

  11. How strange. I’ve always performed the Taz-Mania verse in my popular concerts as “Mom’s a live wire / Dad tees off on the lawn / Molly’s all fired up / And Jake plays with his dog.”

    What’s baffled me is the next verse, where they run through the supporting cast: the line about the hoteliers sounds like “Bushwhacker Bob and his Marigold Mum.” Are they referring to her brand of yellow rubber gloves (which may not be called Marigolds in Oz)? Is it something like “merry old mum” instead? Why did we swap from Mom to Mum in the first place? Luckily I restore momentum or possibly mumentum by following up with crowd-pleaser Yakko Warner Sings All the Capitals Of the World, which I whip through in 47 seconds flat with a special dance.

  12. I always thought it was “his mother Gold Mum”, though I’ve seen it interpreted as “called Mum”.

  13. sinister agent Says:

    I read that the blouse vs. shirt thing is based on the practicalities of armour or fighting with a shield for men, and breast feeding for women. No idea where though, so it could have been a load of old rubbish.

    As for monopoly, Dean is quite right. The free parking thing is just introducing a pointlessly random element for no good reason. The auction thing, though, brings strategy into the game rather than dumb luck – sure, you might not want pall mall when you land on it… but if you don’t buy it, someone else might get it for twenty quid.

    What bothers me much more than the cereals thing is those yoghurts that bang on about their ‘unique culture’ and list the latin name to sound like they’re not just yoghurt that costs four times as much as non-branded , but effectively identical yoghurt. I make it a point of principle to elbow anyone who uses the phrase “friendly bacteria” in at least one of their genitals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: