1. Which prominent member of the family Corvidae, amongst the smartest birds, is referenced in a common American colloquialism where a person claiming wisdom, later proved to be foolish, may be told to "eat _____"?
2. Be a wise linguist and tell me what is the common meaning of the 16th Century rhyming couplet: "a foole and his monie be soone at debate, which after with sorrow repents him too late".
A fool and his money are soon parted
Fools should not have money
Fools with money are unhappy
Money makes everyone a fool
3. He was born Lawrence Tureaud in 1953, but very few recognize that name. He has been a student, soldier, bouncer, wrestler, bodyguard, and well-known actor. I PITY THE FOOL that doesn't recognize his stage name. Do you know it?
J. T. Quincy
B. A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus
4. Even kings, in all their wisdom, sometimes play the fool. This "King" cut at least three records about love and foolishness. But which tune did Elvis Presley NOT sing (like many of us, you may have to resort to singing the songs aloud in order to find the lie, man)?
Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Falling In Love With You
A Fool Such As I
5. Calling someone a name to make them feel bad about themselves is not the way to be a good friend. Which of these words would be something nice to say to your friend?
6. Time to chose a name for your new baby girl. Let's find one that starts your child off on a good note. Which of these popular girls names means wise in Greek?
7. Which of the following islands is fictitious, having been invented by the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper as part of an April Fool's Day hoax in 1977?
Tristan da Cunha
8. In August 1914, at the start of World War I the British Commonwealth made some wise, but often overlooked, decisions to limit German power in the South Pacific. Which Commonwealth island nation's first action was to send an "expeditionary force" to invade the German territory now known as Samoa?
9. During your tarot reading you turn over the Fool card. In most circumstances the Fool indicates you should expect what major event in your life?
Finding true love
Loss of income
Opportunity for change
10. It is an oft stated sentiment that those with the least to say often say the most. In what Shakespearean history does "Boy" succinctly sum up this concept by saying "the empty vessel makes the greatest sound"?
11. Who wrote the lines "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise"?
12. Which of these international films exposes bureaucratic foolishness when an escaped lunatic is mistaken by city authorities for a construction worker?
The Getting of Wisdom (Australia)
The Big Dig (Israel)
Where Angels Fear to Tread (United Kingdom)
The Idiot (Japan)
13. In 1940, famed songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to this song that tells us that "romance is a game for fools". Can you name this song where "wise men never go" that was originally sung by Tony Martin and has been covered by such diverse artists as Etta James, Ricky Nelson and Bow Wow Wow?
Fools Rush In
Everybody Plays the Fool
Poor Little Fool
What A Fool Believes
14. Who says that there are no more Renaissance people? Don't be foolish and tell me what feat of wisdom and creativity links such diverse luminaries as Hedy Lamarr, Mark Twain, Jamie Lee Curtis, Abraham Lincoln, Zeppo Marx and Paul Winchell?
Discovered a chemical element
Members of MENSA
Granted US patents
Awarded Doctorate degrees
15. The fifth century BC was an amazing time for Eastern religions, as the founders of four major faiths were believed to have lived. Which of these great men sagely noted "by three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest".
16. Chemists may know it as FeS2, but we mere mortals call the mineral iron pyrite by its foolish name. What is it?
17. A 1930 April Fools' Day hoax article stated that this rotund Yankee had lost so much weight that he would have to quit baseball and become a horseracing jockey. Can you swat the incorrect choices and pick the correct name?
18. This beloved UK television series won the BAFTA for Best Comedy Series in 1985, 1988 and 1996. The show focuses on two brothers who expend great effort to get rich quick and avoid paying taxes. What is the apropos title of this show?
Fools pay Taxes
House of Fools
Wise Men Dont Work
Only Fools and Horses
19. Contrary to what you might have been told as a child, it turns out playing video games may have been a wise decision after all. Scientific studies have indicated that playing action-based video games may help improve the player's what?
20. What popular investment advice company founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner is named after the medieval court jester who cold tell a King the truth without losing his head?
The Money Fool
The Foolish Bard
The Motley Fool
The Wise Fool
Eating crow after a bad prediction of future events is sadly a pursuit I am well versed in. The origin of the expression is not widely known but most believe it is simply that a crow does not make a very appealing prospect for a meal, and likewise, accepting that you were wrong (to say nothing of enduring the gloating of those who were right) can be a bitter lump of pride to swallow. However, the saying can also be meant as a way to symbolically inherit the bird's wisdom and thus increase your chances in your next bout of forecasting.
Crows have shown adaptive wisdom in numerous settings, making the most of their environment even in highly developed urban areas, which are generally hard on wild animals. My favorite such instance is a report of carrion crows in Japan which have figured out how to use traffic lights and cars as nutcrackers. When cars stop on a red light, the crows will swoop in and drop a nut in front of the tire of an idle car. The crows vacate the scene before the light changes, let "nature" take its course and return afterward to claim their handily opened prize.
2. A fool and his money are soon parted
16th Century English poet, farmer and business advisor Thomas Tusser crafted the rhyming couplet about the propensity of the unwise to lose money as one of his "Five Hundreth Pointes of Good Husbandrie" a book of poems, advice and stories about rural Tudor England. In 1557, Tusser published a shorter series of ideas, "A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie" but the set was expanded in 1573. In Elizabethan England Tusser's pithy quotes and advice were well received and were widely read by peasant and noble alike.
Tusser is also credited with quipping such popular advice as "sweet April showers do bring May flowers" and returning to words for the wise added "who goeth a borrowing goeth a sorrowing. Few lend (but fools) their working tools". Tusser died in 1580 and was remembered by British historian Thomas Fuller as a thinker who had limited success in business with this rhyme "he spread his bread with all sorts of butter, yet none would stick thereon".
3. Mr. T.
The three incorrect choices were in fact, roles played by Mr. T. His breakout role was as Clubber Lang in "Rocky III". He garnered greater success from 1983-87 as Baracus in TV's "The A-Team." Mr T played Quincy in the 2001 movie "Judgment."
In earlier years, Mr. T was never seen in public without wearing a plethora of ostentatious gold neck chains. In 2005, while assisting in the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, he witnessed directly the suffering and tribulations of the victims. Shortly thereafter, he stopped wearing the gold, saying that it would be a sin before God, and insensitive to the people who had lost so much.
4. Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Elvis Presley cut "Love Me" in 1958. The opening lines are: "treat me like a fool, treat me mean and cruel..." His 1959 hit is sometimes listed as "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I." The title alone probably helped you eliminate it. The third Elvis tune is from 1961, and was featured on the movie sound track of "Blue Hawaii." Different sources cite slight title variations of "(Can't Help) Falling In Love With You."
"Why Do Fools Fall In Love" is a 1956 Rock & Roll classic by Frankie Lie, man. Oops - make that "Lymon" and the Teenagers". The song has since been covered by numerous artists, including the Beach Boys, Diana Ross, and Gale Storm (yes - "My Little Margie"). But it was NOT recorded by Elvis.
Sagacious means to have wisdom or show good judgment. I am sure your friend would like to know that you find them to be intelligent and wise. The English word "sagacious" comes form the Latin word "sagacem" which means to have quick perception. The antonym of sagacious is to be foolish or unwise. Other words that also mean to be foolish include calling someone feeble of mind, senseless or incompetent.
Each of these words can be found on a standard US fifth grade student's vocabulary list.
Sophia is derived from Greek and means wise one or wisdom. Variations of Sophia include Sonja, Zosia and Sofka. Adhita is a Sanskrit name that also means wise and is a popular name in Hindi families. Kaya, Sage and Mackenzie are also names that derive from words meaning wisdom.
On the other hand, while a lovely name, be advised that Jaymie (and James for that matter) comes from the Hebrew word meaning "he who supplants". Campbell comes from the Gaelic words for crooked and mouth and originally was not used as a compliment. Mallory (with all due respect to people so named or to Mallory Keaton on "Family Ties") means unfortunate or ill-fated.
7. San Serriffe
On April Fool's Day 1977, the Guardian published a special supplement on the non-existent island nation of San Serriffe in the Indian Ocean, purportedly to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the island's independence. The supplement described the island's tourism potential and economy, and featured a map based on a shrunken outline of New Zealand. Although many of the place names were taken from printing terminology, quite a number of people were fooled and travel agencies received an influx of requests for holiday bookings to San Serriffe.
Formosa was the former Portuguese name for Taiwan. It was used in an early 18th century hoax perpetrated by George Psalmanazar who became famous in Britain by claiming to be the first Formosan to visit Europe. In 1704, he published 'An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa', which contained entirely fictitious accounts of polygamy, human sacrifice and cannibalism. Predictably, the book was hugely successful, running through two English editions before being translated into French and German.
Tristan de Cunha is part of a British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean which also incorporates St Helena, the site of Napoleon's final exile.
Kiribati is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of around 100,000 people.
8. New Zealand
At the start of World War I, Germany was in possession of Samoa, having established trading posts there in the latter part of the 19th century and annexed the territory in 1899. At the behest of the UK, New Zealand sent a 1370 man invasion force to invade German Samoa. The small group of ships and marines narrowly avoided disaster by evading the superior German East Asian Naval Squadron. These actions served to deny Germany the use of the radio stations and harbours on these strategic Pacific islands.
Australia invaded and occupied German New Guinea, the German Solomons and Nauru, also at the request of the British Government at the outset of the War. Japan declared war on Germany and seized among other territories, the Marianas, Caroline, and Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.
9. Opportunity for change
The Fool card in a tarot deck is one of the major arcana cards that indicates great importance. The Fool is usually represented as a brightly dressed young traveler, carrying a sack, walking along a narrow mountain road and daydreaming. The Fool usually is accompanied by a dog who is trying to get the character to pay attention to the danger of the cliff he is approaching. As such the Fool often represents the expectation of choice or the possibility of change. The card acknowledges that change can be fraught with risk but is also the opportunity to take a new path" or "seize the day".
The Fool is something of an oddity in modern tarot. The Fool is the only major arcana card that does not contain a Roman numeral. As such the Fool represents the zero. Like all tarot cards the Fool is influenced by the other cards in your deck. A Fool followed by the Devil may mean your new opportunity is going to end poorly. While the Fool followed by one of the higher ranking cards from the suit of swords may mean a new chance to increase your wealth.
10. Henry V
Shakespeare, as is so often case, is the source of timeless and acute wisdom. In 1599's "Henry V" the Bard retells the historic battle of Agincourt, where the young king Henry V rallies an English army that is outnumbered by five to one to route the French army. During the battle Pistol, one of the soldiers who spends more time looking for battlefield booty than fighting, captures a French soldier. Unable to speak French Pistol uses "Boy" to translate and secure a rich ransom. Disgusted with the loutish soldiers boasting the Boy remarks that "the empty vessel makes the greatest sound".
The Greek philosopher Plato is often credited as the first to express the sentiment that "wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something". However, despite extensive etymological research there is no scholarly evidence to suggest Plato ever made the statement. A common variation on the idea is in the Bible at Proverbs 17:28 that "even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue". This phrase was refined and is commonly (for no scientific reason) attributed Abraham Lincoln (sometimes to Mark Twain) to wit that "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt".
11. Thomas Gray
Yes, the quote was made by the guy who wrote the "Elegy". This is from the end of the snappily titled "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" and the last verse runs in full: "To each his sufferings: all are men,/ Condemned alike to groan;/ The tender for another's pain,/ The unfeeling for his own./ Yet ah! why should they know their fate?/ Since sorrow never comes too late,/ And happiness too swiftly flies./ Thought would destroy their paradise./ No more; where ignorance is bliss,/ 'Tis folly to be wise."
12. The Big Dig (Israel)
Ephraim Kishon's off-beat 1969 comedy "The Big Dig" or "Te'alat Blaumilch" in Hebrew satirises bureaucracy in contemporary Tel Aviv. In the movie Israeli actor Bombur Tzur escapes a sanatorium and while obviously deranged starts to build a canal in the middle of a major Tel Aviv street. The police and city officials believe this crazy scheme must be sanctioned and allow the activity. The city planner who tries to stop the project is as you might expect in a comedy declared "insane."
"The Getting of Wisdom" (1977) is an Australian film set in a Melbourne boarding school. Akira Kurosawa's "The Idiot" (1951) is based on the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel. "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (1991) is a dramatisation of a book by E M Forster who took his title from a line in Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Criticism" ("For fools rush in where angels fear to tread").
13. Fools Rush In
"Fools Rush In" was written in 1940 by Johnny Mercer with music by Rube Bloom. Popular singer/actor Tony Martin released a recording of the song that topped at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The song has been covered and recorded by scores of artists including Ricky Nelson in 1963 where the tune reached 12th on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Nelson had his first number one song in 1958 with the foolish reference in "Poor Little Fool".
Prolific songwriter Johnny Mercer penned the lyrics to over 1500 songs. Mercer won four Oscars for Best Song and was nominated 19 times. Mercer wrote the lyrics to 1959's "Moon River" as well as such standards as "Hooray for Hollywood" and "I am an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande".
14. Granted US patents
Remarkably there is no shortage of entertainers, politicians and musicians who not only excelled in their primary field, but have also have been awarded patents for new discoveries. US President Abraham Lincoln received a patent in 1849 for a method to buoy ships over shoals. Actress Hedy Lamarr was the co-creator of a frequency hopping radar system to guide torpedoes and avoid enemy jamming techniques. Lamarr's device was implemented in naval operations in 1962. More importantly, the "frequency hopping" process served as the basis for the spread spectrum technology that fuels GPS and Bluetooth networks in the 21st century.
Actor and ventriloquist Paul Winchell can be considered a modern-day da Vinci as he held over 15 patents for such diverse products as artificial hearts, warning lights on refrigerators and pumps for transferring liquids. Mark Twain, who was a close friends with Nikola Tesla, held three patents including one for a highly successful self-sticking scrapbook process.
The great Chinese philosopher and statesman Confucius lived between 551 BC and 479 BC. Unlike many religious leaders Confucius not only taught and wrote, but also served as a high ranking minister and accomplished diplomat in the Lu area of China during the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius saw firsthand how virtue and ethics are tested by practical application. Confucian philosophy became the hallmark of a humanistic faith that continues to influence Chinese and Asian society.
In addition to Confucius, Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as Buddha lived during the same time. Scholars believe Buddha was born around 563 BC and died in or around 483 BC. Lao-Tzu is credited as the founder of the Taoist faith and was also active during the 5th century BC. While there is some debate, modern historians believe that Zarathustra or Zoroaster, the Persian mystic that Zoroastrianism is based upon, also lived during the 5th century BC.
16. fool's gold
Iron sulfide or iron pyrite has a deceptive appearance that slightly resembles gold - thus the common term. Despite the disparaging nickname, this mineral has several uses. Pyrite was used in crystal radios and was the sparking agent in early firearms. Pyrite is currently a component of lithium batteries and paper. The term "fool's gold" has been used in the names of a music video, a recording company, and a movie, and even a sandwich! Foolscap is a type of cheap writing paper; a fool's cap is a classic jester's hat generally found with three belled tufts. Fool's parsley is a poisonous herb native to Europe and Western Asia.
I couldn't find any documented cases of the use of iron pyrite being used to dupe "fools" into a belief that the fake metal is gold. But I did find a business that claims a person can boost their energy, confidence, assertiveness and vitality simply by wearing their iron pyrite pendants and jewelry. It would seem that a fool and his gold really ARE soon parted.
17. Babe Ruth
The story appeared in the Miami News-Record. Known as the "Bambino" and "Sultan of Swat," George Herman Ruth was a big man by any standard. Various sources give his weight as somewhere between 215 - 250 pounds. An apparent joke of the time was that the Babe was able to cover more ground than any outfielder in the game - while sitting down! The article went on to state that if Babe's jockey career didn't pan out, he might try his luck as a pole vaulter!
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris also played for the Yankees, but their era was much later (1950's-60's). Frank Gifford was a famous NY Giants football running back from 1952 - 1964 before becoming a football broadcaster most notably on the "Monday Night Football".
18. Only Fools and Horses
"Only Fools and Horses" was one of the BBC's most successful situation comedies. The brainchild of writer John Sullivan the show followed the attempts of South London brothers Derek "Del Boy" and Rodney Trotter as they wheel and deal and scheme to make a fortune by skirting the edges of legality and avoid paying taxes. "Only Fools and Horses" was named the BBC's most favorite comedy in a 2004 poll and in 2008, "Empire Magazine" voted the show the 45th greatest TV show worldwide.
The title "Only Fools and Horses" refers to an old cockney (Eastside London) saying that "only fools and horses work for a living".
19. Decision-making skill
Who ever said that playing video games was a waste of time and a mind-numbing activity might just have been wrong. A number of university research studies indicate that playing action-based video games may actually improve strategic thinking and decision-making. The theory is that in order to be successful in action-based video games such as "Halo" or "StarCraft" a player must make frequent split second decisions.
Prophetically, former US President Ronald noted the potential use of top video gamers as far back as 1983 when he said "many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets".
20. The Motley Fool
In 1993, brothers Tom and David Gardner turned a love of financial investing and humor into a multimedia financial advice company named The Motley Fool. The company was one of the first financial advice outlets to aggressively tout investment in and by using the internet, gaining early fame for predicting success for on-line companies such as Amazon, Google and eBay.
The name "Motley Fool" derives from the character of the court jester who was said to be the only person who could tell the King the truth and not risk losing his head. In literature, Shakespeare amongst others was fond of including a character that dressed in the "motley" or brightly colored mismatched clothes and provide witty sarcasm often at the expense of the nobility.