What's the most stupid question ever asked

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While not a question, my favourite loopy " What Cpt. Smith should've done " theory ( apart from running her aground !!!) was the sublime idea of, once all the lifeboats were filled, depositing the remaining hundreds of passengers on to a nearby iceberg till help arrived.
My favorite stupid question came from a parent of one of my students two years ago...

Let me give a bit of a disclaimer...this is no joke but this parent knew NOTHING about history...and proved it many times.

She asked me, and I quote, "the Titanic was real? I always thought it was a tall tale or something!"

I think I win this post...
Sir John Simon asked Fred Barrett a badly worded question and got a suitable answer.

Sir John: "Where did the water come from?"
Fred Barrett - "Well, out of the sea, I expect."

I like Fred Barrett!
Hello everyone, how are you doing?

One that immediately leaps to mind is the question that was posed to Second Officer Lightoller regarding whether or not the falling funnel hurt anyone. Granted, Senator Smith did not know all of the details, but still...

Kind regards,
>>Sir John: "Where did the water come from?"
Fred Barrett - "Well, out of the sea, I expect."

PPpppppppppfffffffffffffffttttttttttt...(Spews coffee all over monitor)
Good one, Dave! It just goes to show that Yankee senators have no monopoly on some really dumb questions!
Sir John was trying to find whether the water came through the side of the ship, through a bulkhead, from port or starboard or whatever. He rather over-simplified his question!

Hope Michael's monitor's OK. I hope none of his cats were harmed!
Sharon: Look up thread on this page to the post on May 30th at 12:26 AM and several posts that followed from there. It's always a good idea to see what was said before. I'm guilty of doing the same more than once, so don't feel bad about it.
I don't really think I can be too hard on Senator Smith for the questions he not only asked, but even had to ask even knowing that they would be fairly lame and even assinine. He was under a lot of public scrutiny and had constituants to answer to who could give him a pink slip in the next election.

That question about the possibility of people being trapped in watertight compartments with air pockets came from some of those voters and were intended to clear the air.

His "Trial Lawyer" style of questioning could be irritating, but it was a good way of ferreting out information from people who might not have any real incentive to share it. (And even a vested interest in hiding something.)
If you quote any of these guys (Smith, etc.) out of context, they can appear really foggy and uninformed. Example:

Senator FLETCHER. I will get you to state, not only from your actual knowledge of the immediate effect, but also from your experiences as a navigator and seaman, what the effect of that collision was on the ship, beginning with the first effect, the immediate effect; how it listed the ship, if it did; what effect it had then, and what, in your opinion, was the effect on the ship that resulted from that collision.

Mr. LIGHTOLLER. The result was she sank.

The Senator's question was pompously worded, to be sure, and on the face of it, Lightoller's reply seems to be the perfect squelch. But follow along a little further and it becomes clear Sen. Fletcher was driving at something else entirely:

Senator FLETCHER. I understand that. But what was the immediate effect?

Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Immediate effect was she began to go down by the bows.

Senator FLETCHER. But what did the boat do first? Did she tremble, did she shake, did she keep on her course, or what was the immediate effect? Was she obstructed?

Mr. LIGHTOLLER. I do not know. I was in my berth. I do not know what course she kept on. There was a slight shock.

(Even Sen. Smith's famous apparent gaffe over whether the Titanic sank by the bow or by the head, in context, shows greater understanding of the two terms than he's usually given credit for.)

There have been people who've asked if the stern was the bow....clearly they're spoiled by the big, bulbous, rounded, raked, flaired schnozzes on modern passenger ships (yes, i know that plumb bows are illegal). My recollection is vague, but someone, I think, asked me about 8 years ago about whether they found the Heart of the Ocean
One person asked me why the ships radar didn't pick up the iceberg. I had quite a hard time explaining to this person, I think it was a kid in my school, that radar wasn't invented until much, much later.

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