We asked you five general knowledge questions. Here come the answers!
- Italy has the only three active volcanoes in continental Europe. Can you name them?
Mount Etna in Sicily, by far the largest of the three; Stromboli, a volcanic island to the north of Sicily; and Vesuvius, just east of Naples. Etna and Stromboli are continuously active. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 but is particularly dangerous because it’s so close to the Naples metropolitan area. It was of course the volcano that caused the destruction of Pompeii in the year 79 CE.
- The Swatch watch company was originally founded in Switzerland as a response to what crisis?
The so-called “quartz crisis” of the 1970s and early 1980s. The Swiss watch industry supplied half the world’s demand after the Second World War but failed to recognise the rising threat from quartz technology that could produce watches offering marine-standard accuracy at disposable prices. After a decline from 1,600 watchmakers to just 600, a consortium was formed to save the industry. Swatch was the result.
- BBC radio DJ Steve Wright appeared as a boy in which film?
Ferry Cross the Mersey. The film was the first to be shot in Liverpool after the city’s surge to musical prominence (The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night was based in London). Several other performers featured in the film, including Cilla Black, The Black Knights and The Fourmost. Coronation Street creator Tony Warren was originally contracted to write the script but had to pass on the task after failing to find inspiration even after downing bottles of whisky.
- Scottish inventor John Logie Baird is most famous for inventing the television. However, he previously had considerable success with the invention of a garment. What was the garment?
A thermal undersock. Baird suffered from cold feet and discovered that an extra layer of cotton inside his socks provided additional warmth. His other footwear innovation, the pneumatic shoe, was less successful. The semi-inflated balloons he used to provide the air cushion kept bursting.
- In men’s tailoring, what is the “button stance”?
It’s the configuration of buttons on a suit jacket, usually described in a formula A × B, where A is the total number of buttons on the front of the suit and B is the number that are intended to be done up. Thus a double-breasted suit with a 6 × 2 button stance has three buttons on each breast, but only two buttonholes – the top button is purely decorative.
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