Quiz, Trivia, Interesting Facts, not a newspaper from Dublin

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blast from the Past: The Journey Continues

Old questions do not die - they just fade away, tucked up in old directories. You will still find these questions making their isolated comebacks in today's quizzes, sometimes spiced up with additional facts, supporting dates and visuals (thanks to Google). What you will find here is a grand revival on a Douglas MacArthur scale.

For most of you, the events and people desribed in these questions, happened way before you were born - but hopefully they are still interesting. Take the same test with the questions you have set recently - review them after 20 years - and see for yourself how many of them will be relevant, memorable and worth asking!!

1. What dish is said to have been created in Paris around the turn of the century to honour the actress SUZANNE REICHENBERG?

[A] The CREPES SUZETTE - Suzette was her stage name.

2. What was inaugurated by a binary signal from the Viking spacecraft approaching Mars?

[A] The National Air and Space Museum at the SMITHSONIAN.

3. In 1808, while governor of Australia, he tried to eliminate rum smuggling. A “Rum Rebellion” occurred and his own officers mutinied and held him prisoner until a new governor arrived. Who was he?

[A] Capt. William Bligh, against whom the sailors of the “Bounty” has mutinied earlier.

4. In Saratoga National Park, in the U.S., a monument stands, which is probably the only one in the world that honours a leg, but not a whole man. Whose leg is it?

[A] General BENEDICT ARNOLD’s. Arnold was first a hero of the American war of Independence and the monument is in memory of the wounds he received. However, his subsequent treachery made it impossible to honour his entire character.

5. Who helped launch the Czech new wave film industry in the 60’s with three social comedies “Black Peter “, “Loves of a Blonde” and “The Fireman’s Ball”, but flopped with his first American film “Taking Off”?

[A] MILOS FORMAN - his 2nd film “One flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” won him an Oscar, as did “AMADEUS” later.

6. What phrase owes its origin to the mammoth American-owned United Fruit Corporation which controlled vast tracts of land in South America and did not hesitate to manipulate govts. in deference to its interests?

[A] ‘Banana republic’.

7. Who founded the town of Kinshasha?
[A] H.M. Stanley - who founded it as a supply depot in 1881.

8. Which sporting personality was the first president of the English Bowling Association?

[A] W.C. Grace.

9. In the columns of a British newspaper about 70 years ago the following advertisement appeared - ‘Men wanted for hazardous journey - small wages, bitter cold, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success’. The advertiser was deluged with replies as if all the men in Great Britain wished to accompany him. Who was he and for what purpose did he apply for assistants?

[A] Sir Ernest Shackleton for his famous Antarctic expedition.

10. The Roman senator Marcus Porcius Cato, the Elder, ended every speech with the same sentence although frequently it had nothing to do with the rest of his speech. What was the sentence?

[A] DELENDA EST CARTHAGO, meaning - Carthage must be destroyed.

Blast from the Past

While doing some early spring cleaning on my computer, I came across these questions which were set way back sometime between 1985 and 1995. Long before there was public Internet, cable TV or cell phones. Surprisingly the questions have aged well (or at least I feel so). Hope you have fun answering them.

1. The element named after America is Americium. Which is the element named after Russia?

2. Louis Cyphares, one of the two survivors of the Mont Pelee eruption which killed 30,000 people, was a prisoner at the time of the holocaust. After he was rescued, he was pardoned. How did he spend the rest of his life?

3. Egyptians, placed their right hands on what they considered the symbol of eternity where they took Oaths etc. What was this symbol of eternity?

4. This former RAF pilot took a career analytic test which showed he could be a great author. So he dropped everything and wrote a story for a TV drama which was a hit. His second wife Sheila wrote the novel "I Married a Best-Seller." Name him.

5. What is common to the films - “Aradhana”, “Kati Patang”, “Mehbooba” “Ajnabee” and “Jheel Ke Us Paar”?

6. What is common to LPG & Skunk?

7. Robert Boyle and his French assistant invented it in 1680. The invention then took the name of the assistant rather than Boyle’s. What was his invention?

8. Who won the 1976 women’s doubles at Wimbledon?

9. What is the Tibetian word for “Thunder bolt”?

10. Where would you find the following words inscribed: ‘He who sleeps at the edge of the sea’?

11. About whom did actress Joan Rivers say, “She has more chins than a Chinese phone book”?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Answers - Baker's Dozen (revival)

No new quiz this week, but I am reviving an old post of mine from Quiznet, all the way back from April 2001. This one got 50 replies and some of the answers, as sampled below, makes interesting reading/ viewing.

1) What common vocation connects Pope Pius XI, Mao Tse Tung and Casanova?

A] Librarians

2) The first cooking demo on TV demoed what?

A] Making an omelette. Some guys said making an egg (which would be rather difficult for humans!) have been awarded 0.5 points.

3) Give me the names of the missing two members of this family: alpaca, guanaco, llama, vicuna.
A] Dromedary & Bactrian (Single and double humped camels). I have not awarded points for Camel as all the animals mentioned above belong to the Camel family.

4) What was the name of AA Milne's son?

A] Christopher Robin (He never forgave his father for having used his name!)

5) Which film director's home town is Nelliyatil?

A] Manoj "Night" Shyamalan. Ravi Verma writes - "Nelliyatil sounds quite Malayalee. But I remember reading somewhere that Manoj Shyamalan was born in Podicherry and his middle name Nelliyatil means Night in Malayalam. Since he grew up in the US he opted to literally translate his tongue twisting middle name to English. Could you please check to make sure that Nelliyatil is indeed his home town?"

6) Which city served as the capital of Portugal between 1807 and 1822?

A] Rio de Janeiro. Subhendu Roy writes - "When Napoleon's forces invaded Portugal in 1807, the king of Portugal, John VI, fled to Brazil, and on his arrival (1808) in Rio de Janeiro that city became the capital of the Portuguese Empire"

7) Which precious stone is named after a country?

A] Turquoise from Old French for Turkey. I am in a way delighted with the question, which sounds like a chestnut but was cracked only by Tathagata Chatterjee. However, Shardul Deo points out that that there are only 4 precious stones (Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire), in which case I should have used the word "gem".

8) Which acid is named after the Latin for "ant"?

A] Formic Acid. Ants live in Formicary. Quite a few answered (in jest I hope!) "Antacid."

9) On hearing what news did Jack Warner say, "Its our fault. We should have given him better parts."?

A] Reagan on being elected governor of California. Quite a few confused it for his presidential election (0.5 points) which happened after Warner's death (he died in 1978).

10) To what profession did Ellen Church and the other early air hostesses hired by United Airlines belong to?

A] Nurses. Lot of people wrote in with "Prostitutes" - giving a whole new meaning to the phrase - "fasten your seatbelts - it is going to be a bumpy ride"

11) Which was the first ship to use the SOS signal?

A] RMS Titanic. Arvind Lakshmikumar points out (supported by Sreeram) that SS Arapahoe was really the first to do it.

12) At Wimbledon, what should not be longer than 3/16th of an inch?

A] Grass. Few of you hoped that it was the ladies' skirts!

13) What was dubbed "Explosion in a shingle factory"?

A] Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase". Subhendu Roy has send me a gif (which I have attached - it is not the painting in question, but what the heck, it's interesting!). Some of you wrote in with "Pokhran Blast!"

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