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

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Answers - Through the Quizzing Glass

Answer to the third set of questions.

The title of all the quizzes on this blog including the name of the blog have some direct or oblique reference to the origin of quizzing as a word and a pastime. Have fun figuring these allusions.

The quizzing news in 2007 is upbeat. Apart from the comeback of KBC (which does its venal bit to boost quizzing in general), there is also the comeback of Navin Jayakumar as Quizmaster. The news is that he will be conducting both the Chennai and Bangalore Landmark quizzes in 2007. Pune can derive some satisfaction from the arrival of the Landmark quiz in the city - however it is a masala version of the original product (like a Hollywood remake of Solaris, Insomnia or Rashomon). Let us hope, Pune, Bombay and Calcutta can enjoy the original quiz with Navin, soon. Corporates have been taking up internal Quizzing to either improve employee morale (e.g. WIPRO in Feb'07) or to improve their brand image in B-Schools (UTI in Jan'07).

1) This domestic appliance was the first one to use plastic in its construction because of its use primarily by women and also because it had to be continuously lifted for use. What equipment?

A] Hair Dryer

2) Which chemical is named after the Latin for "island" because of its production in the endocrine cells of the pancreas which are distributed the way islands are distributed in a sea? See illustration.
A] Insulin produced in the Islet of Langerhans.

3) This place is Asia’s largest wholesale market. Built by a king for his favorite daughter in 1650 AD so that she could shop all she wanted to, this market place derives its name from the canals filled with water that sparkled like silver in the moonlight. What place in contemporary Asia is this?

A] CHANDNI CHOWK - built by Shah Jahan for Jahan Ara.

4) During the late 1960's, Boeing had proposed the building of a Concorde-style airplane. It never got built, but the name lives on today – how?

A] In the name of the team - Seattle Supersonics.

5) The idea originated through an American businessman named William Willett who wanted it primarily because he wanted to play golf in the evenings. It was briefly instituted during World War I as a way to conserve energy supplies but such was the antagonism to the idea that it was dumped and not revived till 1966. Now it is standard in much of Europe as well.

A] Daylight Saving or Summer Time. Incidentally, this year DST in USA is happening a few weeks earlier (to save energy) - leading to chaos across global IT systems.

6) The French thought that this bird came from India and called it the Chicken of India. The German, Dutch and the Swedes thought that these specifically originated from Calicut and called it Kalkoen/Kalkon. When the bird was introduced in England, where were they thought to have come from?

A] Turkey. Incidentally in Turkey they are called American Bird which is quite correct because they originated from North America.

7) This brand name was a synonym for Icebox since the 1820s. In 1918, a small company (owned byGeneral Motors from 1919 to 1979 and now by Electrolux) seized upon the idea of building cold storage device for consumers and became the largest producer of this equipment and a by-word for this category. Which company?

A] Frigidaire

8) This military term which was in news in India in late 2006 comes from the technical term for a hand grenade. What term?

A] The grenade is technically a fragmentation device. This was commonly used to kill other officers. Thus "to frag" is to kill a fellow officer.

9) The name of this oilseed was changed so that it does not offend any delicate sensibilities. In America it is now called Canola. What is it called in India?

A] Rape-Seed (from "rapa," latin for "turnip").

10) The legends of ancient Zoroastrians worshipping pillars of fire and nomads in Rajasthan creating fire for cooking with virtually nothing, is now explained by science as what phenomenon?

A] Natural Gas escaping through fissures in the rock.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Writing on the Wall - Answers

Here are the answers.

I was reading about the way you audition for Who Wants to be a Millionaire in the US. You apply through email, you are called for a written test, the qualifiers have a viva voce and if the producers think you are telegenic enough - you are on TV! Contrast that with KBC. You send SMS worth a few thousand rupees, get shortlisted through a lucky draw, answer a question, get selected again through lucky draw, reach KBC and then reach the hot seat through a fastest-finger-first. Life is tough or what?

Anyway, here is redemption at hand. If you cannot make it to KBC, answer these questions, instead. No designer watches and designer hugs if you do not know the answers, but at least you did not wear out your fingers SMSing to reach this far.

The next set of 10 questions on topics of general interest. Send answers to my yahoo email id (given on the right). Answers in 10 days.

Coming Up Next: The Odyssey Quiz 2007 - My favorite questions!

1) WHO AM I?
a) I was the Union Army's youngest general at the age of 34.
b) I was the son of a governor and myself the governor of New Mexico. I signed the death warrant of Billy the Kid and sent sheriff Pat Garrett to shoot the Kid. I was also the US minister to Turkey.
c) I was a judge at the court martial of Abraham Lincoln's killers.
d) I wrote a best selling novel which has never been out of print and three movies have been made out this novel.
A] I am Lew Wallace (the writer of Ben Hur)

2) This legendary ship was named after a German town. She was the last piston engine warship to be commissioned into the Navy. She was based out of the Chinese town of Tsingtao, now more famous for its beer.
When the World War I started, she ventured out into the Indian Ocean. She acquired the nickname "Swan of the East" because of the graceful lines of the ship. While ravaging ships in the Indian Ocean (she must have sunk over 30 ships), she put up a dummy fourth smokestack to fool other ships which were deployed to hunt it down. Its sally into the port towns of south-east Asia created panic and added words into Sinhalese and several other languages. It was eventually defeated and destroyed by HMAS Sydney at the Battle of Cocos. Identify.
A] EMDEN (phrase and words in Malayalam, Tamil, Sinhalese)

3) If George W Bush and Dick Cheney were both to resign (a mouth watering supposition!), who is next in line to become the President of the USA? Hint: It would create a first in the history of USA.
A] Nancy Pelosi - the current speaker of the House of Representatives - the highest-ranking woman in the history of the American federal government - and the closest a woman has come to becoming President

4) A multifaceted personality, he started as a professor in Medicine and Surgery and later become a professor in chemistry and pharmacy. He was the first to distinguish between organic and inorganic substances. He discovered the law of constant proportions and developed the chemical notation which we all know (representing water as H2O etc). He discovered silicon, selenium, thorium, cerium and helped discovered lithium and vanadium. He coined the term protein. He wrote a well-respected text book on Chemistry. He also studied the famous stone Runamo - and concluded that the supposed runic inscriptions were nothing but natural cracks in the rock (the accepted conclusion today). Who?
A] JJ Berzelius

5) It has been speculated that the crew of the DC-6 incorrectly used altitude data for Ndolo (915 ft, 279 m), which is in Congo and at lower altitude, rather than Ndola (4167 ft, 1270 m) in Northern Rhodesia. What is this an explanation for?
A] Death of Dag Hammarskjöld in Sep 1961 at Ndola in Northern Rhodesia
6) Isabella Eugenie Boyer (1841—1904) was born in Paris to French and English parents. Isabella married Isaac Merritt Singer, the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Co., in New York, in 1863 when Isaac was 52 and Isabella was 22. Isabella was still a striking lady when she met this sculptor . He asked her to be his model - for what? Note: This is one of the two popular theories regarding this sculpture.
A] Statue of Liberty. Sculptor was Bartholdi.
7) In the world of aviation, what is the significance of this spectacular crash?
CLUE: No wonder Rainman travels by car!
A] The QANTAS crash in Bangkok in 1999, which marred a straight 20 year clean run by the airlines.

8) Connect these four animals.
Clue: 21st Century.

A] Western black rhino, the Chinese River Dolphin, Pyrenean ibex and Miss Waldron's red Colobus monkey. These four mammals have gone extinct in the 21st Century.
9) What title was given to the English king for constructing the Westminister Abbey?
A] (King Edward) the Confessor

10) This was the first item in the world to be taxed in 2200 BC in China. Ancient Greek traders bartered their slaves for this extremely precious substance. A lazy or rebellious slave was therefore was deemed not worth the amount of this commodity paid. Roman soldiers were paid a dispensation to be able to buy this substance - giving rise to a common modern word.
What commodity?
A] Salt. The slaves were not worth their salt and the Roman soldiers were paid salarium argentum (Salary).

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Answer to a "Simple Set of questions"

I promised answers in a week, and I am back after nearly 9 months. Apart from the usual "week" apologies (my excuse is a move to Bombay!), I will try to be more regular (some questions and answers once in 10 days). I got around 25 responses, nobody could identify the lady (Q5). I will skip the scores and stats, since I do not have the mails with me.

1. Identify the missing company: Agilent Technologies, Barnes Group, _________, Dominion Resources, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi SpA, Ford Motor Company,...

A) Citigroup. These companies are the onwers of the single letter NYSE tickers - A, B, C, D, E & F. G, H, I & J are currently up for grabs.

2. Identify the parent organization of these famous companies: HBO, Tegix (predictive texting - T9), Mirabilis (ICQ), MapQuest, Nullsoft (Winamp), MAD magazine, New Line Cinema, Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball team), DC Comics.

A) Time Warner.

3. This one is for Sumo. Connect Lisa Snowdon, Christa Miller and Priyanka Kapoor.

A) Cover girls for the first Maxim issues in UK, USA and India.

4. Lintas opened shop in India to service Hindustan Lever. Why did J Walter Thompson setup its Indian operations?

A) To service General Motors.

5. Identify the lady. Surname should suffice.

A) Anousheh Ansari standing next to the Spaceshipone. The Ansari X prize is named after her family.

6. This American company advertises that "they are _______, and everyone else's are just hot tubs". European immigrants, they started out by picking oranges and building small airplanes. They built a unique propeller known as the "toothpick". They built the first enclosed cabin monoplane. It was used by the U.S. Postal Service to carry passengers from the San Francisco Bay area to Yosemite National Park. Because of their knowledge and design experience in airplane hydraulics, they turned their attention to the need of the agricultual community for ground water and created a new design which won them a Gold Medal at the California State Fair in 1930. Fill in the blank.

A) Jacuzzi.

7. What was originally a wooden board or leather screen at the front of a horse-drawn vehicle to protect the driver and those sitting alongside from the mud splashed up by the horse's hooves?

A) Dashboard.

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