Wonders of the World

Dossier ~ Friday 29th October 2010
The Calculus Affair (1956) - Page 14

Visitors to the Hergé Museum step inside Tintin's adventures and come face to face with the amazing inventions of Professor Calculus, exhibited in the 'Laboratory' gallery. There is a fine line between Hergé, Tintin, science and technology! How knowledgeable are you in these fields ? Here's a chance to test yourself !

Tintin in Tibet page 62
Flight 714 page 55
Flight 714 page 58

Test : work out the places we are talking about...

- I am 5500.3 miles long. My current version is about 500 years old. What am I ?

- We share 99 % of our genes with you human beings. Who are we ?

- I am 15 million miles wide in diameter and I am spinning somewhere in the solar system. What am I ?

Think for a moment before reading the following paragraph, where you will find out the right answers !

The Shooting Star page 04
The Shooting Star page 04
The Shooting Star page 08
The Red Sea Sharks page 31
The Red Sea Sharks page 34

Could a monkey answer these questions ?

We hope that you have not been too confused by these questions; here are the answers :

- C'est évidemment la muraille de Chine qui se déploie sur 8851,8 kilomètres. En fait, il a fallu près de 2 000 ans pour aboutir à la version actuelle de la muraille. Au fil du temps, les Chinois ont construit des murs. Au départ, ils servaient à marquer la fin de l'empire civilisé.

- The Great Wall of China is 5500.3 miles long. It took nearly 2000 years for the version of the wall that we know today, to be built. The Chinese have been building walls for thousands of years. In the beginning, they served to mark the frontiers of the civilised empire: what lay outside the wall was the great unknown, or was considered not worth knowing ! Some sections of the wall were built as protection from Mongol invaders, yet the wall didn't manage to prevent many invaders from launching attacks that reached into the heart of China, some of which brought about changes in power. At times when the wall did appear to be impenetrable, the Mongols turned their attention to the West, for example when they invaded Hungary and threatened Poland in the thirteenth century.

- We are no longer so certain that we descended from chimpanzees : we look more like cousins, the distant ancestor of whom disappeared thousands of years ago. But how could we be cousins ? In any case, that is what results of DNA testing have shown: the fact that the genes of human beings and those of chimpanzees are 99% similar ! DNA is a formidable source of information. Through studying the DNA of the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten (1372-1354 B.C.), we have been able to establish with 99,99999981% certainty that he was the father of Tutankhamun !

- A diameter of 15 million miles across ? This is the size of the largest ring  -  the Phoebe Ring  -  surrounding Saturn, the sixth planet in the solar system. This ring was discovered in 2009. Saturn also has other surprises up its sleeve : astrologists have counted no less than 60 satellites orbiting this giant planet. The rings of Saturn are only between 50 to 100 metres thick, but they measure up to 250,000 miles wide.

The Crab with the Golden Claws page 29
The Red Sea Sharks page 49
The Red Sea Sharks page 49
The Shooting Star page 57
The Black Island page 33
Cover of the first issue of Tintin magazine

In your opinion...

- The biggest desert in the World (to the East of Arabia) stretches from the Nile to the Red Sea. It makes up part of which country ? Sudan (1), Eritrea (2), Morocco (3)

- The deepest part of the sea is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Its depth is : 8347 metres (7), 9129 metres (8), 10,924 metres (9)

- The biggest island in the Arctic has an area of 195,928 square miles. The name of the island is : Victoria (3), Baffin (4), Melville (5)

- The largest lake in the World is : The Caspian Sea (6), Victoria Lake (7), Loch Lomond (8).

Each of the multiple-choice answers has a number next to it in brackets. There is only one right answer per question. If you choose the right answers, then the numbers in brackets join up to make an important year for Tintin. Do you know what it is ? The right answers are in the following paragraph !

Questions and answers

- The right answers to the preceding questions in the winning order : Sudan (1), 10,924 metres (9), Baffin Island (4), The Caspian Sea (6). If you got all the answers right, then you have the date 1946.

- Why is the year 1946 so important for Tintin ? The first issue of Tintin magazine was published on 26 September 1946.

- Here are some other dates : 2 June 2009, 22 May 1907 and 10 January 1929. What is so important about these dates ?

- Here are a few clues. A future world-famous artist is born under the star sign Gemini. A museum is inaugurated at the end of the academic year. Just after Christmas, a little-known reporter takes a train from Brussels to Berlin.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets Page 01
The Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve
Copyright - All rights reserved
Cigars of the Pharaoh page 04
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets page 01
1934 1st edition (black and white) - 1937 2nd edition (black and white)
1955 1st edition (color)
1941 1st edition (black and white)
1943 1st edition (color) - 1966 2nd edition (color)

... and now something for the Tintinologists !

When Hergé (born in Brussels on 22 May 1907, under the star sign Gemini) sent his new comic strip character  -  a reporter for Le Petit Vingtième named Tintin  -  to the Soviet Union via Berlin (10 January 1929), he could not have imagined that one day, there would be a museum opened in his name in Louvain-la-Neuve (the Hergé Museum officially opened its doors on 2 June 2009) ! Here is some information which you will find useful during a visit to the Hergé Museum.

- The first Tintin book published by Casterman, in 1934, was Cigars of the Pharaoh. The preceding books (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo, and Tintin in America) were published respectively by Editions du Petit Vingtième in 1930, 1931 and 1932. They were later republished by Casterman.

- How can you tell the difference between Thomson and Thompson ? The ends of Thomson's moustache flare out a bit !

- How many versions of The Black Island are there Three : created in 1937, 1943 and 1965.

- Who was the first important secondary character in The Adventures of Tintin ? Captain Haddock ? Bianca Castafiore ? Professor Calculus ? The Thom(p)sons ? No... it's Snowy ! He was present in the first frame of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets !

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