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21529464

12 August 2010

Trivia time.  What is the significance of the number 21,529,464 in Mexican (and world) history?

One clue:  2010 Winter Olympics

100 pesos (or equivalent) to the first correct answer to your palpal account or your favorite website’s “tip jar”.

WOW.. you guys are good!

Sarah submitted the correct answer within SIX MINUTES of posting.  Either she is a Volkswagen Beetle trivia buff, or a reader of Algarabía, a somewhat high-brow version of “Readers’ Digest” and an excellent resource for anyone learning Spanish… lots of fun little articles on… well, a bit of  everything.  The August issue had a short excerpt (in Spanish) from one of Fanny Calderón’s 1839 letters from Mexico, as well as interesting short articles on Roman military footware, on Aztec cannibalism, the always popular topic of sex, on Bugs Bunny and– a short piece on the VW bug.

The VW Sedan — or Vocho, or Bug (or “escarabajo” — see, I told you it was great for expanding your Spanish vocabulary) — was manufactured in Puebla, introduced into Latin America by a German aristocrat who was one of the many, many European refugees from the Nazis to rebuild their lives and contribute to Mexican development.  The Vocho, in some ways, was probably the most important artifact of the War in Mexico.  The effect of the VW, both in creating a strong Mexican automotive industry and in creating an explosion in automobile ownership in Mexico, is incalculable

Prinz Hubertus zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the scion of the Mexican VW fortune financed out of his own pocket the entire Mexican team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Of course, he was the entire team.

The VW Sedan remained in production in Mexico well after the line was discontinued elsewhere, mostly because until 2003, there weren’t enough inexpensive Mexican built autos that could both meet Mexico City’s strict air pollution standards  and could withstand the inevitable dents and dings to which Mexican taxis are prone.

21529464 was the serial number of the last bug to roll off the Puebla assembly line, on 30 July 2003.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. sarah permalink
    12 August 2010 3:12 pm

    last beetle made

  2. 12 August 2010 3:30 pm

    DAMN! You are good! I’m sending you an email about sending the prize. And I thought this one would be hard.

  3. 12 August 2010 3:58 pm

    Typing the number into Google brings up the answer witrh the first result! But I’m mystified by the clue. The Vancouver Olympics? Let me in on the secret…

  4. 12 August 2010 3:59 pm

    Time you changed theme by the way, amigo! I’m sure WordPress updated your theme with the Coraline theme, which may explain why things are looking wonky.

    When was the last time you had a blog spring clean??

    🙂

    • 12 August 2010 4:27 pm

      That is exactly what happened… I’m not happy with it, but I just consider WordPress a tool for distributing the text, not an end in itself… maybe I’m showing my age, but I go back to the era of mimeographed pamphlets and never concerned myself much with the design. I’d prefer spending my time on editing, and correcting my stupid spelling errors and run on (and on and on) sentences.

      When I get time, perhaps I’ll play around. Until then, I’ll live with it. I’m always fond of the great Texas journalist Molly Ivins’ remark when people complained about newspapers going on-line. “Ah hell, the biggest interview of all times was when God spoke to Moses, and it was printed on stone tablets. “

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