Pop Quiz: 15 for 15
In celebration of Skeptoid's 15th birthday, I decided it's time to give myself a break from researching and quiz you all on past episodes — since that's all work I've already done in the past. But fear not; these are all pretty good general knowledge questions, and you shouldn't need to be absolutely fluent in all the myriad oddball details in some 800 Skeptoid episodes. All you need do is appreciate that every question involves the number 15. If you can get all 15 right, then you are indeed a Skeptoid superstar. Let's get started.
Question 1: The Mentor's Hair
In 1827, 15-year-old music student Ferdinand Hiller went to the home of his mentor who had died the day before, and took a lock of his hair — hair which today has been wrongly claimed to prove the great mentor died of lead poisoning. Who was the mentor?
Question 2: The Russian Lab Rats
An urban legend speaks of Russian scientists who left a group of political prisoners alone in a sealed chamber for 15 days. When they went to check on them, they had committed horrors beyond any human experience. What was this experiment?
Question 3: How to Spot Pseudoscience
In an earlier episode, I created a 15 point checklist called "How to spot pseudoscience". This was based on the baloney detection kit developed by who?
Question 4: The Phantom Bombers
In 1942, antiaircraft batteries were stationed around a major American city when the AAA commander reported a fleet of 15 enemy aircraft over the city. Batteries opened fire for over an hour, raining tons of shrapnel over the city and causing much damage. It was soon determined there were no enemy aircraft, and some now say the batteries were firing at UFOs. What city was this, after which this battle is named?
Question 5: The Besieged Country Folk
In 1955, a Kentucky family was besieged by as many 15 small creatures they believed were aliens, and which we now believe was probably one pair of owls. In what town did this famous event take place?
Question 6: The Twin Assassins
A popular urban legend claims there is a huge list of uncanny similarities between the assassinations of two US presidents. Among them is that both killers are known by their three names, and both those names have 15 letters. Name both assassins.
Question 7: The Multitalented Element
In several episodes about global warming, we've discussed one particular element that plays an important role, and of its 15 isotopes, only 2 are stable. What is that element?
Question 8: The Prolific Rockets
15 years before Sputnik 1 was launched, some 3,000 of these suborbital rockets were launched.
Question 9: The Vanishing Colonists
In one of several early attempts to establish this famous New World colony, Sir Walter Raleigh left a garrison of 15 men in the 1580s, none of whom were ever seen or heard from again. What was the colony?
Question 10: The Magicians in the Room
In the 1990s, the Society for Psychical Research held a series of seances in an attempt to prove that they are real contacts from the afterlife. These seances involved 6 mediums and 15 investigators. What was the experiment called?
Question 11: The Aggrieved Ambassadors
In October 2017, the United States expelled 15 Cuban diplomats in retaliation for what?
Question 12: The Passionate Worshipers
When this alleged religious miracle took place in Egypt in 1968, 15 people were trampled to death by crowds trying to see it. What was this event?
Question 13: The Funky Beverage
This fad beverage claims to be a superfood, but in a typical 2-ounce shot you get only 15% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. What is it?
Question 14: The Violated Scientist
When this famous researcher died, government investigators entered his home and reported:
Who was he?
Question 15: The Reclusive Cryptid
In the 1990s a pair of British cryptozoologists began a 15-year search in Sumatra for this cryptid, including taking plaster footprint casts. What is it?
So how did you do? If you got all 15, you are a Skeptoid superstar. If you got 10 or more, you have my respect and I tip my glass to you. And if you got fewer than 10, then you are my next most favorite kind of listener, because it means you've got plenty of podcasts to catch up on, and I'll be seeing you in your podcast player many more times!
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