Friday, 6 March 2009

How High Is Your IQ?

Most IQ tests focus upon mathematics-based questions, which, if you can't stand the stuff, give you a score equivalent to the kid in your class who stapled himself to the desk and then set fire to himself. However, there's a rather nice Vocabulary based IQ test out there. I like it. My score was 183...
If you have fifteen minutes to waste, try it out:


  1. The link just takes me to your results, not the test itself.

  2. Bugger! Righty-ho, about to change it.

  3. I think I'm too nervous to try!

  4. It's fun! Some lovely words in there like 'gallimaufry' and 'dehisce'

  5. Best word in the world is 'umbelliferous'.

  6. Oooh... I prefer 'obdormiton'. Lovely way to describe one's leg going to sleep. Or 'eleemosynary'. Oh, no, actually my *absolute* favourite is 'perihelion': the point in a planet's orbit when it is nearest the sun. I plan to have that as my epitaph (says she modestly)

  7. Eleemoysynary is a good one, I agree. I prefer heliopause to perhilelion. So much more outer space.

    Ineluctable is quite good. Learned that one from James Joyce. Not to be confused with unelectable, Mr Brown.

    (If anybody else reading this is thinking what a pair of pretentious ***** then they can **** off and read Russell Brand's new book). That's one thing that's wrong with this country. Enjoying knowledge for its own sake is ridiculed.

  8. Oooooh, what fun that was. I managed to score 156 with 23 questions unanswered. That means my vocabulary isn't as good as I thought it was.

  9. Hmm, we do like 'heliopause'. And Heliosheath, for that matter. Ah, what fun the exploration of unknown space is...
    (Though trying to describe it is a different matter. I'm writing a trilogy of children's books and depicting a coronal mass event for a 13 year old is no piece of cake.)
    Would you really wish Russell Brand's book on *anyone*? Really?

  10. Ah, coronal mass ejections. You've got to love them for what they do to the aurorae and satellite TV. Are you planning a planetary occlusion at any point? Best not I'd suggest, unless you wish to illustrate that some celestial events depend entirely on perspective. Nothing subjective about a CME.

    I was going to write a book about multiple sum-over universes myself but that idea is everywhere nowadays.

    You have made me question my vindictiveness. I try to shall limit my tendency to catastrophic retaliation to only the most deserving.

  11. Speaking of sundials, as one of the beered and sundials brigade myself, I meant to ask, how do you feel about 'pathognomonic'? I've always found that to be useful, especially when watching van-drivers eating kebabs.

    A man needs a hobby, officer.

  12. I'm not sure about 'pathognomonic'. Medical jargon always fills me with a slight distaste, for some reason; perhaps I'm naturally too fastidious, a la Beau Brummell. Do said drivers crash vans as a result of myocardial infarctions (ha) post-kebab??
    Yes, I'd reserve Russell Brand related retaliation for human spitoons like Derek Draper. Only the *most* deserving, after all.
    No planetary occlusions as yet. Universes being sliced in half, yes; goddesses being turned into chess pieces also. (I did say it was for children, right??)

  13. It's the pointer on the sundial and its shadow that I like about that word. Always leads me on to sciamachy, which leads me to post on the internet.

    Goddesses being turned into chess-pieces sounds most interesting. Transmutation. Daughters of fission, as the nuclear physicists say.

  14. Gah! A word that I don't know! (Sciamachy, that is...)
    The children's book is wonderful. In fact, all three of them are (she says modestly: I'm being very modest of late); the kind of books I want to come home to on a rainy day, to light the fire, throw some Ella Fitzgerald or John Coltrane on the stereo, pour a glass of good Merlot and unplug the 'phone. Daughters of fission? interesting; but my descriptions are a little more metaphysical ("REAL" metaphysics - Aristotle, Avicenna - rather than woolly arty-farty pentacles and holistic synergy nonsense that you find being offered as a BA on t'Internet)

  15. I hate woolly pentacles with a passion.

    Yes, sciamachy. This is logomachy, I suppose. Although I must be careful. 'Words are the tokens of the wise and the currency of fools'. Mr Brown again, take note. Not that he knows anything about currency, That much is obvious.

    I did some consultancy work for the nuclear indusrty a few years back which is where I learned of the daughters of fission. Like the Brides of Dracula but with higher energy fast neutrons.

    But James Joyce taught me more words than did anybody else. Thing was, I only went round to borrow a cup of sugar and the next thing I know he's spouting a lot of gibberish and I'm press-ganged into writing it down for him cos his eyes were bad. 'Sorry, Jimmy, how do you spell "perkodhuskurun..."? Whatever it was. 'Nora, if you can't find the sugar it's OK, I said I'd drop in on Gertude and Alice and it's already twenty past three'.

    'Work in Progress' my Royal Irish Arse. My first and last time as an amanuensis, I can tell you that.

  16. OI va voi, I've just been studying Joyce. A brilliant man to be sure but an infuriating one at that; reading Ulysses reminds me of Norse mythology - you know, when they gave Thor the drinking horn and he drained the oceans by 2/3rds. Long winded. But for long winded Begorrah-me-auntie sure isn't it herself there, coming up the hill just as O'Leary comes from the Mass to the pub, immortal soul my arse, would you look at him now Paschal? Don't you ah now me, Paschal get down on my knees in church t'ree times a day for you pray for your immortal soul. So now.
    Roddy Doyle's a pain in the unmentionable, too. Now I come to mention it.
    Am intrigued by these daughters of fission. Please explain more?? Energy leaching creatures? Light or dark? -matter?

  17. Joyce. Yes. I only got out of there when some other Irish bloke called Samuel something took over. Apparently he'd been kept waiting outside for a long time. He had a faraway look in his eyes like he's just had quite a good idea. And I STILL had no damned sugar.

    Read the lot thirty years ago including his wholesale saftey-pun factory, his crossmess parzel. Then Richard Ellman's stuff. Attended a lecture that R.E. gave shortly before he died. Wonderful, warm, funny man.

    Joyce did my nut in. Agenbite of inwit. Never recovered.

    'Daughters of fission' is the term for the elements produced by the fission of the primary fuel, usually uranium doxide. When it's put into ther reactor it's not particularly radioactive. You wouldn't want to cuddle up to it but holding a pellet for a few seconds probably wouldn't do you any damage. By the time it comes out of the reactor as depleted fuel it's lethal because it's not uranium any more. It's caesium, lanthanum, etc. (daughters of fission) and highly radioactive active isotopes of those elements at that, with very short half-lives - they shoot off their radiation much more quickly than the original fuel. A physicist at the plant I was working in put it this way, 'If you were to come around a corner in this plant and meet a depeleted fuel-stringer, in the time it takes you to understand what you're looking at, you will have received a lethal dose. As you walk away, your body will fall to atoms about you'. One thing that happens is that the water in your body turns to hydrogen peroxide. That's just one of the things.

    Give me the Brides of Dracula over those daughters, any evening.

  18. Element 57 of the Periodic table suddenly has some meaning...rather than something I recite as an insomnia-combatting method.
    Fascinating stuff. Oh, I can do so so much with this... think I'll tie it into the legend of Lilith (Gilgamesh version). Good way to amalgamate my theological, english lit. backgrounds with the little I know of physics. (Which I'm learning piecemeal.)
    Try Katherine Mansfield - a welcome relief to garrulous Southside Homers. More precocious and provocative by far. Plus all that wonderful Fauvist imagery.

  19. I'm pleased if I've been able to contribute to your work in any way. I glow in the dark you know.

    You know Tom Lehrer's song, I presume. In case not:


Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison