Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today's question:

The name of this company was originally an in-house brand name used by the mail-order company, Sears-Roebuck. They claim to be a company that makes everything and their slogan is "For fifty years, the leader in creative mayhem".

Their products are typically unreliable, leading National Lampoon magazine to run a feature about the company, cataloguing the repeated failure of their products and the frequent resulting physical injuries to its customers (naming one customer in particular). Which company?

Answer to yesterday's question:

All these people have played the role of God in movies.

Alanis Morisette played God in Kevin Smith's Dogma (1999)
Morgan Freeman memorably played God in Bruce Almighty (2003)
And finally, W.G. Grace was the face of God in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ctrl + Alt + Del (or Alt + SysReq + RSEIUB)

Here is an attempt to resurrect what seemed to have died a slow and laborious death. Quizzical Expressions is officially back!

I intend to post questions from quizzes that I have done recently. These questions are from a Movies & Entertainment quiz I did at Antaragni 2006, IIT Kanpur's cultural festival [Thanks guys, for inviting me - I had an awesome time!].

Answers will be posted along with the next question on the following day. I will attempt to post a question a day, or close enough.

Let the fun begin!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Off To Nihilanth

I can't believe that I've never visited Kolkata before! Well, there's no better excuse than Nihilanth, the annual inter IIT-IIM quiz fest which is being held this weekend at IIM Kolkata. The contingent of 13 members (we're not really superstitious) is all set to leave on Friday morning to the land of rasogollas, Satyajit Ray and the birthplace of Indian quizzing. Let's hope we come back with a few goodies, in the form of prizes!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Antaragni General Quiz

Kiritee and myself conducted a general quiz at this year's Antaragni - IIT Kanpur's cultural festival. Although the quiz started more than an hour late and went on until late in the night, participants were happy with most of the questions and said that the quiz was very enjoyable.

Here is my half of the quiz.

1.With which sport would you associate the following teams?

# Appleby Arrows
# Ballycastle Bats
# Caerphilly Catapults
# Chudley Cannons
# Falmouth Falcons
# Holyhead Harpies
# Kenmare Kestrels
# Montrose Magpies
# Pride of Portree
# Puddlemere United
# Tutshill Tornados
# Wigtown Wanderers
# Wimbourne Wasps

2. (starred)The Asiatic Society of Bombay houses
several rare books, but perhaps none rarer than this.
There are only two surviving copies of the first draft
of this book, written in the 14th century AD. One of
them was given to the Society by Mountstuart
Elphinstone, governor of Bombay and President of the
Society from 1819-1827 and bears his signature. In
1930, the Italian government under Mussolini offered
the society one million pounds, calling the book a
national treasure. Mussolini believed that the offer
could not be refused, but to his shock, the Society
turned down his request stating that it was donated by
an ex-member of the Society and hence it was their
property. A visit to the Society by the Italian
Minister of Culture in 2002 confirmed that it was in a
much better condition than its other survivor which is
currently in Milan. Which book?

3. Fill in the blanks:

(All blanks are identical)

The original version of this oath is:

"...and I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,
The light of the _____ _______!"

However, the most popular version of this oath is:
"In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power, _____ _______'s light! "

Another, more informal version is:
"You who are wicked,evil and mean
I'm the nastiest creep you've ever seen!
Come one, come all, put up a fight
I'll pound your butts with _____ _______'s light!
Yowza. "

4. In 1801, Giuseppe Piazzi who was the director of
the astronomical observatory of Palermo, in Sicily
discovered a new star-like object in the Taurus
constellation. He followed the displacement of this
object during several nights, but subsequently lost
sight of it. Astronomers around the world tried to
rediscover this object in the night sky, but failed. A
relatively unknown mathematician named Karl Freidrich
Gauss then announced that he had calculated the
position at which it could be found again.

Subsequently, the object was rediscovered by Franz
Xaver von Zach on December 31, 1801 in Gotha, and one
day later by Heinrich Olbers in Bremen at the exact
position predicted by Gauss. Zach noted that "without
the intelligent work and calculations of Doctor Gauss
we might not have found ______ again." The discovery
made Gauss an instant celebrity throughout Europe and
inspired him to write his "Theory of Celestial
Movement", considered one of the seminal works in
astronomical computation.

What was the celestial object? (Give a specific

5. Where would you find the poem “The New Colossus” by
Emma Lazarus?
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

6. Identify A-F

A is considered one of the greatest rock songs ever
written. It was written by B to declare his love for
C, who was the wife of D, who also happened to be one
of B's best friends. C soon left D to marry B, but
later divorced B as well. E was another member of D's
band. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, E
famously said "That's what happens when you become
famous - you get shot". The rights to the music of E's
band are held by F, who is also a famous singer.

7. _____ ____ (1674–1740) was an English agricultural
pioneer who was born in Basildon, Berkshire. He is
considered to be one of the early proponents of a
scientific approach to agriculture. He helped
transform agricultural practices by inventing or
improving numerous implements, the most notable being
the seed drill, which he invented in 1708. A
progressive metal band named itself after him. Which

8. Identify this river (name blanked
out) which gives rise to 2 famous phrases - one
historical and the other contemporary.

9. Connect the 3 pics shown to "The Marriage of Figaro" - a piece by Mozart.

10. In Greek myth, what was the curse given by Zeus to mankind for
receiving the knowledge of fire from Prometheus?

1. Egg PLC is a bank originally established as
Prudential Banking PLC, a division of Prudential PLC,
the UK life assurance company. It has grown steadily
since its inception in 1998, and today has over 3.6
million customers. It won the Best Credit Card
Provider in Personal Finance Magazine's 2005 Awards.
It is now the largest bank of its kind in the world.
What is unique about this bank?

2. Jeffrey Katzenberg was named the head of the
Feature Animation unit at the Walt Disney Company in
1984. Under him, Disney produced several top-rated
animated movies including Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the
Beast (1991, the first animated feature to be
nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture),
Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994). In 1994,
Michael Eisner, the CEO of Disney refused to promote
him after his superior died. Frustrated, Katzenberg
quit Disney, to start his own company. In this
venture, he had two partners - one of whom was David
Geffen (founder of Geffen Records). Who was his other

3. The U.S. FBI kept a 1,427 page file on his
activities and recommended that X be barred from
immigrating to the United States under the Alien
Exclusion Act, alleging that X "believes in, advises,
advocates, or teaches a doctrine which, in a legal
sense, as held by the courts in other cases, 'would
allow anarchy to stalk in unmolested' and result in
'government in name only'", among other charges. They
also alleged that X "was a member, sponsor, or
affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between
1937-1954" and "also served as honorary chairman for
three communist organizations." Identify X.


This panel is an example of a series of Batman
comics in the 1950's and 60's which suggested
that Batman and Robin might be involved in a homosexual
relationship. In 1954, the book "Seduction of the Innocent"
by psychologist Fredric Wertham used Batman and Robin,
among several examples, as evidence that the comic book
medium corrupted the morals of the young.
There was massive public outcry at these suggestions
and this resulted in two significant developments. One was
the establishment of the Comics Code Authority (CCA) -
an organization founded in 1954 to act as a de facto censor
for American comic books.

What was the other?

5. A came from a distinguished family of
intellectuals. His grandfather, B was a renowned
biologist, a Fellow of the Royal Society and specially
known for his passionate support for the ideas of C (B
was nicknamed "C's Bulldog" for his spirited public
defense of C. One of A's brothers was the first
director of UNESCO and his half-brother was a Nobel
Laureate in Medicine. A is most widely admired in
critical circles for his book D and in popular culture
for another book, E, which gave H their name. When A
taught French for a short while at Eton, one of his
students there was F, who later became a famous writer
himself and wrote G. D and G are considered to be the
greatest novels of a particular genre. Identify A-H.

6. The following are all taken from Norse mythology:

Yggdrasil is "world tree", thought to connect the nine worlds of Norse mythology.

Valkyries (meaning choosers of the slain) are minor female servants of Odin.

Valhalla is the "warrior heaven". All warriors slain gloriously
in battle are taken to Valhalla where they are welcomed by the

The Aesir are the principal gods of the Norse pantheon.

Apart from the Norse myth connection, all these names are connected in
a specific manner. What? Clue: Think computer games.

7. What are these 6 pictures examples of?
(There is atleast one more example which is extremely
famous and therefore not shown here :) )

Hexa Connect:

The answers to these 6 questions (all personalities) are connected by a
common theme.

1. These were the contenders:

Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Barbara
Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Susan Hayward,
Carole Lombard, Paulette Goddard, Irene Dunne, Merle
Oberon, Ida Lupino, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young,
Miriam Hopkins, Jean Arthur, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan
Bennett, Frances Dee, and Lucille Ball.

Finally, the selected candidate was an unknown actress
whom producer David O. Selznick had seen in a film
called "A Yank at Oxford". The decision to cast her
was seen as a wild gamble, but it paid off handsomely
in the end. Who was the actress and what was the role?
(No part points)

2. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge where he
became an admirer of Communism. In 1965, he became the
first Englishman to be awarded the Order of the Red
Banner, one of the highest awards of the Soviet Union.
He is featured in many novels and movies, notably in
Frederick Forsyth's book "The Fourth Protocol". He was
also a close friend of author Graham Greene. Identify.

3. He considered such possible pseudonyms as "Kenneth
Miles" and "H. Lewis Allways" before settling on a
name that stressed his lifelong affection for the
English tradition and countryside - a combination of
the patron saint of England and the river _____ in
Suffolk, one of his favourite countryside spots. He
also thought that having a surname starting with the
letter he chose would position his books optimally on
a librarian's bookshelf. Identify.

4. In 1928, aged sixteen, he encountered Albert
Einstein's work; not only did he grasp it, but he
extrapolated Einstein's questioning of Newton's laws
of motion from a text in which this was never made
explicit. He worked in such diverse fields as
computability, cryptanalysis and mathematical biology.
He was also a world-class runner, whose personal best
in the marathon was 2 hours, 46 minutes, 3 seconds,
only 11 minutes slower than the winner in the 1948
Olympic Games. In 1952, be admitted to being a
homosexual at a time when homosexuality was illegal in
Britain. He was arrested and forced to undergo
hornmonal treatment. He died of cyanide poisoning
eating a poisoned apple in 1954, but some believe that
his death was suicide due to this persecution. It is
also (falsely) believed that the logo of Apple
Computers (the half-bitten apple) is a tribute to him.

5. This former assistant editor and overseas
corespondent from Allahabad for The Pioneer, has his
wrtings inscribed on the entrance to Centre ourt,
Wimbledon. In 1899, he wrote the following poem:

Take up the _____ ____ ______ —

Send forth the best ye breed —

Go, bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need;

To wait, in heavy harness,

On fluttered folk and wild —

Your new-caught sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child.

The phrase coined in this poem became extremely famous
and used in popular culture at the time (For example, in this ad
for Pears soap - the phrase has been blanked out)

Who was the poet and what was the phrase? (Connect clue: poet)

6. This Wisden cricketer of the year for 1928, once
famously and aptly described cricket as:"Cricket is
battle and service and sport and art." Who?

** End of Hexa Connect. So, what's the connection?

Special Topics:


1. In the 1972 Munich Games, the terrorist group Black
September kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes and held them
hostage for 3 days. As a result, all sporting events
were suspended for 3 days. What significance does this
break have for Indian sport in the 1990s?

2. The Olympic Rings were designed by Baron Pierre De
Coubertin in 1913. However, the symbol did not gain
significant popularity until more than two decades
later. It was discovered that a similar symbol was
carved into a stone altar at the ancient Greek city of
Delphi, spawning the myth that they were a symbol
dating back more than two millennia.

In addition to the the interest caused by this
discovery, the rings became the center of a massive
media campaign and ultimately came to be identified
with the Olympics in public consciousness. What was
the reason for this campaign?

(Trials & Lawsuits)
1. Connect:

"And, so that you will be more cautious in future, and
an example for others to abstain from delinquencies of
this sort, we order that the book Dialogue of _______
be prohibited by public edict. We condemn you to
formal imprisonment in this Holy Office at our

As a salutary penance we impose on you to recite the
seven penitential psalms once a week for the next
three years. And we reserve to ourselves the power of
moderating, commuting, or taking off, the whole or
part of the said penalties and penances.

This we say, pronounce, sentence, declare, order and
reserve by this or any other better manner or form
that we reasonably can or shall think of. So we the
undersigned Cardinals pronounce."


"_______ sensed the presence of the Creator who,
stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him,
anticipating and assisting his intuitions. _______, a
sincere believer, showed himself to be more perceptive
in this regard [the relation of scientific and
Biblical truths] than the theologians who opposed

2. K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra was a 1959
Indian court case involving Naval Commander Kawas
Manekshaw Nanavati, who was tried for shooting dead
Prem Ahuja, his wife Sylvia's lover.

The incident both shocked and riveted the entire
country. Such a crime of passion, as it was termed,
was unusual, especially by a highly decorated Naval
officer. The entire Parsi community was up in arms and
several public demonstrations were held in Nanavati's

The trial itself was dramatic. The Greater Bombay
Sessions court found Nanavati guilty of culpable
homicide. The prosecution appealed to the The Bombay
High court which then overruled this judgement and
ordered a fresh trial. This time, he was found guilty
yet again and sentenced to life in prison. The Supreme
Court upheld the judgement in 1961.

The incident was later adopted by Bollywood in 1963's
"Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke" starring Sunil Dutt and
1973's "Achanak", starring Vinod Khanna.

This case is particularly significant to the Indian
Judicial system - a fundamental change was brought in
directly because of this case. What?

(Names Of Rock Bands)

1. This alternative rock band takes its name from the specific
implements used to crucify Jesus Christ. Identify.

2. A and B are both legendary rockers. A was the pioneer of
"Shock Rock" and is cited as an inspiration by many modern rockers,
including KISS, Judas Priest, U2, Guns N' Roses, Michael Jackson,
Megadeth and "B". A took his strange name after he apparently discovered
during a seance that he was the re-incarnation of a 17th-century witch.

B claims to be one of A's biggest fans and modeled his act after A.
B even took a strange name as a tribute to A. B's name is derived from
the names of a Hollywood movie star and an infamous serial killer.

Incidentally, A quipped about B:
"He has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original."

Identify A and B.

Whew! That took me all of 2 months to upload.
I'll put up the answers in another couple!
Happy Quizzing!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Off To Rendezvous!

The IITK Quiz Club team is going to participate in Rendezvous, the cultural festival of IIT Delhi to be held the following weekend. While our strength seems to have been diminished since last year following the graduation of many senior quizzers (including "Grand Daddy" George :) ), we still have a few experienced people around and some enthusiastic youngsters. Let's hope we can show the Delhi teams a thing or two!

Here are 12 questions (why 12? It's three short of 15 - I overslept and missed making enough questions to meet my target!) from a quiz I did at last night's meeting.

1. Connect:

a) Anchor Pickle and Vinegar Works
b) "57 Varieties"
c) John Kerry

Ans: Urvam Gbzngb Xrgpuhc / Gur U W Urvam Pbzcnal.Bevtvanyyl pnyyrq (n), vgf zbfg snzbhf fybtna vf (o) nybat jvgu "Ornam Zrnam Urvam". Wbua Xreel'f jvsr, Gurerfn Urvam Xreel vf gur jvqbj bs U W Urvam'm terng-tenaqfba, Wbua Urvam naq n gehfgrr bs gur Urvam sbeghar. Xreel'f cerfvqragvny pnzcnvta jnf bsgra qhoorq "Gur Xrgpuhc pnzcnvta" ol pevgvpf.

2. Dr. Andrew Bell was the principal of St George's school, Madras. While in Madras, he concieved of a modification to the current educational system. When he went back to his native Scotland in 1796, he founded a school in St. Andrews (called the Madras College) there and in it, implemented this system. The system (initially called the Madras System) was considered so influential and proved to be so popular that upon his death, he was interred in Westminster Abbey. What system am I talking about?

Ans: Gur flfgrz bs "Cersrpgf", "Urnq Obl" naq "Urnq Tvey" va fpubbyf - gur Zbavgbevny flfgrz. Vg gbbx gur ybnq bss grnpuref naq ranoyrq pbagvahbhf zbavgbevat bs lbhat fghqragf. Vg bevtvanyyl vaibyirq byqre fghqragf grnpuvat lbhatre fghqragf, ohg jnf yngre fvzcyvsvrq gb whfg zbavgbevat bs lbhatre fghqragf.

3. Simple music connect:
Bryan Adams, The Scorpions, Van Morrison, The Band, Tim Curry, Cyndi Lauper, Sinéad O'Connor, Marianne Faithfull, Joni Mitchell, and Thomas Dolby.

Ans: Gurfr jrer gur negvfgf jub cresbezrq ng "Gur Jnyy, yvir ng Oreyva" jvgu Ebtre Jngref ba 21 Whyl 1990.

4. _______-________s (meaning disorganized, leaderless in Turkish) were irregular soldiers / mercenaries of the Ottoman army. They were notorious for being brutal and undisciplined, thus giving the term its second, colloquial meaning of "undisciplined bandit". The phrase has since become extremely famous because of its frequent usage by a fictional character. What is the term?

Ans: Onfuv-Onmbhx (Pncgnva Unqqbpx!)

5. The phrase "Jumping the Shark" refers to a scene in a three-part episode of the American television series Happy Days first broadcast on September 20, 1977. In the "Hollywood" episode, Fonzie — wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket — jumps over a tank containing a shark while on water skis. This term has since become widely used in popular culture in a specific television-related context. What does it mean?

Ans: Gur cuenfr, cbchynevmrq ol Wba Urva ba uvf jro fvgr, whzcgurfunex.pbz, vf hfrq gb qrfpevor gur zbzrag jura n gryrivfvba fubj vf va ergebfcrpg whqtrq gb unir cnffrq vgf "crnx" naq fubjf n abgvprnoyr qrpyvar va dhnyvgl. Znal unir abgrq gur Unccl Qnlf funex rcvfbqr nf gur zbzrag jura gurl ernyvmrq gur fubj jnf ab ybatre jbegu jngpuvat. Zber Rknzcyrf: Xavtug Evqre, XVGG'f zrrgvat uvf onq-zvaqrq oebgure XNEE, Gur Fvzcfbaf univat zber guna bar thrfg fgne cre rcvfbqr rgp. Svpgvbany rknzcyrf: Qe. Qenxr Enzbenl qlvat va "Qnlf bs Bhe Yvirf" ba SEVRAQF.

6. This term was coined by Cold War military strategist Herman Kahn in his 1961 book "On Thermonuclear War" in order to discuss the likely consequences of conducting wars with weapons of mass destruction. The name was adopted by a famous thrash metal band in 1983. What is the term?

Ans: Zrtnqrngu (Zrtnqrgu) - 1 zvyyvba qrnguf

7. Arturo Di Modica, a resident of New York created this in response to the 1987 stock market crash. In December 1989, he trucked it to Lower Manhattan and placed it in a strategic location. He called it his Christmas gift to the people of New York. The police seized his creation and placed it in an impound lot. However, after a massive public outcry, it was removde from the impound lot and re-installed in its present location, where it has come to become a symbol of its locality. What am I talking about?

Ans: Gur Jnyy Fgerrg Ohyy / Gur Punetvat Ohyy / Objyvat Terra Ohyy - n 7000-cbhaq oebamr fphycgher. (uggc://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Jnyy_Fgerrg_Ohyy)

Bonus: What is this form of art called? Ans: Threvyyn Neg.

8. What phrase was coined in this essay titled "You and the Atomic Bomb" on October 19, 1945 in the Tribune?
"We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham's theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications - this is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a State which was once unconquerable and in a permanent state of "____ ___" with its neighbours."

Ans: Pbyq Jne (Trbetr Bejryy)

9. In 1927 at the age of 32, bankrupt and jobless, living in inferior housing in Chicago, Illinois, he saw his beloved young daughter Alexandra die of pneumonia in winter. He felt responsible, and this drove him to drink and the verge of suicide. At the last moment he decided instead to embark on "an experiment, to find what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity." For the next half-century he contributed a wide range of ideas, designs and inventions to the world. He was ultimately to be awarded 25 US patents and many honorary doctorates.

Ans: Ohpxzvafgre Shyyre - gur nepuvgrpg, guvaxre naq vairagbe jub qrfvtarq gur trbqrfvp qbzr naq nsgre jubz Ohpxzvafgreshyyrerar vf anzrq.

10. Indian chief Tecumseh (and sometimes to his brother Tenskwatawa, aka The Prophet, who was defeated in the Battle of Tippecanoe by Harrison), is said to have inflicted this curse upon America. Some versions of the story indicate that Tecumseh's mother pronounced the curse when Tecumseh died.

Called "The Tecumseh Curse", it was supposed to come into play every 20 years and proved to be valid each time from 1840. It finally failed to come true in its 1980 edition, though it almost did in 1981. What was the supposed curse?

Ans: Gung rirel HF Cerfvqrag ryrpgrq va 1840 naq rirel 20 lrnef yngre jbhyq qvr va bssvpr, rvgure ol angheny zrnaf be ol nffnffvangvba.

* 1840 - Jvyyvnz Urael Uneevfba, qvrq bs carhzbavn va 1841
* 1860 - Noenunz Yvapbya, nffnffvangrq va 1865
* 1880 - Wnzrf Tnesvryq, nffnffvangrq va 1881
* 1900 - Jvyyvnz ZpXvayrl, nffnffvangrq va 1901
* 1920 - Jneera T. Uneqvat, qvrq bs urneg nggnpx va 1923.
* 1940 - Senaxyva Q. Ebbfriryg, qvrq bs preroeny urzbeeuntr va 1945
* 1960 - Wbua S. Xraarql, nffnffvangrq va 1963.

Vg snvyrq gb pbzr gehr va gur pnfr bs Ebanyq Erntna, jub fheivirq na nffnffvangvba nggrzcg va 1981 juvyr va bssvpr. Vg erznvaf gb or frra jurgure vg jvyy erfhesnpr va gur pnfr bs Trbetr J. Ohfu!

Nyfb pnyyrq gur mreb-lrne phefr.

11. During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), Baron Kitchener of Britain arrived with Lord Roberts and the massive British reinforcements of December 1899.

In order to remove civilian support for the Boers, Lord Roberts came up with the idea of seizing the farms of alleged supporters, which Kitchener proceeded to implement. In conjunction with this idea, Roberts also came up with another technique as a form of humanitarian aid to the families whose farms he had destroyed. While this started out as a positive step, it began to rapidly degenerate as the large influx of Boers outstripped the minuscule ability of the British to cope. Despite being largely rectified by late 1901, the concept led to widespread opposition both at home and abroad. This strategy was later infamously refined and re-applied by others. What am I talking about?

Ans: Pbapragengvba Pnzcf

12. Lastly, a simple one, but my favourite in this quiz:

Douglas Adams has many connections with Pink Floyd. His official biography is called "Wish You Were Here". Disaster Area in The Hitchhiker books is inspired by Pink Floyd.
He was a close personal friend of David Gilmour's and picked out the name "The Division Bell" for Floyd's 1994 album. On 28th October, Douglas Adams appeared on stage with Pink Floyd "I played the easy lead guitar bit on Brain Damage and then rhythm on Eclipse. I used a left-handed Bahama Green Jerry Jones Neptune (a copy of a Danelectro)." What was the occasion?

Ans: Vg jnf n oryngrq sbegl-frpbaq oveguqnl cerfrag sbe Qbhtynf Nqnzf sebz Qnivq Tvyzbhe (Nqnzf jnf obea ba Znepu 11, 1952, ohg gur pbapreg jnfa'g hagvy Bpgbore 28gu). Jbexnoyr, ohg vagrerfgvat gb xabj!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Quick 15

As promised, here are the questions from part of a quiz that I did tonight. Answers are given below, encoded in ROT-13.

1. (Pic) Where is this monument located and what is its geographical significance?

Ans: Mreb-Zvyr Fgbar, Antche. Guvf vf pbafvqrerq gur trbtencuvpny pragre bs Vaqvn naq nyy qvfgnaprf sebz Vaqvn ner zrnfherq sebz urer.

2. This award was designed by Eva Yuonne Linda Maday-de-Maros Mrs who,later married an Indian and became Mrs. Savitri Khanolankar. By sheer coincidence, the first recepient of this award was her son-in-law. The award itself is designed to symbolize Rishi Dadichi who donated his thigh bones to the gods for making Vajra (with which Indra killed the demon, Vritrasura) and contains an image of Shivaji's sword Bhawani on the other side.

Ans: Gur Cnenz Ive Punxen

3. This city was previously known as Bhagyanagar, a name derived from the name of a Hindu danseuse (devadasi), Bhagmati, who married the Muslim Prince of the kingdom despite opposition from the King. After she converted to Islam she took another name and the city was again renamed after her. Which city?

Ans: Ulqrennnq. Fur gbbx gur anzr Ulqre Orthz nsgre pbairefvba.

4. The Yoni massage is a kind of sexual massage described in the Kamasutra and in carvings at Khajuraho. The word Yoni originally meant "Divine Passage" and referred to the arrangement of stars when a person was born (his/her Yoni of birth) but later came to mean the female reproductive organ. In ancient times, a special set of people were trained in the art of giving Yoni massages. Nobody else was allowed to perform these massages. Once trained, these people were hired by kings for a specific purpose. What was special about these people and why were they hired by Kings? (specific answer)

Ans: Bayl rhahpuf (uvwenf) jrer nyybjrq gb yrnea naq cenpgvfr guvf neg. Xvatf uverq gurz orpnhfr gurl bsgra unq unerzf svyyrq jvgu zber jbzra guna gurl pbhyq fngvfsl ba n erthyne onfvf. Va nqqvgvba, xvatf jbhyq bsgra or njnl, svtugvat jnef. Gb cerirag gur vazngrf bs gurve unerzf sebz fhpphzovat gb oberqbz, gurl jrer tvira lbav znffntrf. Shegure, va beqre gb cerirag gurz sebz tvivat vagb grzcgngvba, gur lbav znffrhef jrer arprffnevyl uvwenf engure guna zra.

5. Nehru first got this idea when he visited Russia which was under Stalin's rule, in the late 1920s. The first such Russian endeavour was launched in 1928 and the concept was referred to as "Piatiletka". However Nehru was dissatisfied with the Soviet interpretation of the idea and wrote "The human costs are unpayable". He later modified the concept to suit India and used it after independence. What am I talking about?

Ans: Gur Svir-Lrne Cyna

6. He was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Zanzibar to Zoroastrian (Parsee) parents from India. His parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara had immigrated to Zanzibar so his father could continue his job at the British Colonial Office. He also had a sister, Kashmira. He was educated at St. Peter's boarding school in Panchgani near Mumbai, India. At this school, he picked up a nickname that he later started using as his legal name. At the age of 18, he arrived in England where he pursued a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College. This training helped him later in his career, particularly when he designed this logo. (Pic)

Extra Hint: He is also mentioned in one of the most famous suicide notes of this century.

"...when we're backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for ______ _______, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy."

Ans: Serqqvr Zrephel, gur yrnq fvatre bs Dhrra. Gur ybtb fubja vf Dhrra'f bja ybtb, qrfvtarq ol Zrephel. Gur navznyf va gur ybtb ner fnvq gb ercerfrag gur mbqvnp fvtaf bs gur onaq zrzoref. Gur fhvpvqr abgr vf bs pbhefr, ol Xheg Pbonva bs Aveinan.

7. In 1935, Romanian authorities banned X's films from cinemas after they feared that children would be scared to see a ten-foot high version of X in the movie theatre. In 1936, Adolf Hitler declared X to be an enemy of the state in Nazi Germany. On November 14, 2002, an image was discovered during restoration of a church's outside wall in the town of Malta, Austria. It is part of a 14th century fresco depicting Saint Christopher of the Catholic Church, who is often shown accompanied by fabulous creatures. This image prominently features a character who looks remarkably like X. Finally, X has been a regular contender in the U.S. Presidential elections for over half a century, because protest voters often wrote X's name on the ballot. Identify.

Ans: Zvpxrl Zbhfr. Gur vzntr bs gur serfpb pna or frra ng (uggc://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Vzntr:Zvpxl.wct)

8. When the milk ocean needed to be churned, the Devas took the help of the asuras, with the agreement that they would share the "Amrit" that would come out. When the amrit did come out, the Devas regretted their offer and prayed to Lord Vishnu to help them (since they did not want the asuras to become immortal). Vishnu took the form of a woman to seduce the Asuras and cleverly avoided giving them the amrit. Now, an Indian dance form which literally means "Dance of the Enchantress" is derived from this incident. Which dance form?

Ans: Zbuvavnggnz (Xrenyn).

9 X was born on 29 September 1941, Bradeley, Staffordshire and became a British sporting hero when Tony Greig picked him for the English cricket team in 1975. He was close to retirement from county cricket for Northamptonshire where he was a middle-order batsman and appeared much older than his 33 years, with grey hair and spectacles. However in the eight test matches he played he showed great courage against the fastest and most intimidating bowlers in the world; Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson for Australia and Anderson Roberts, Michael Holding, Wayne Daniel, and Vanburn Holder for the West Indies. Having charmed the public he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975, and was awarded Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1976. Identify.

Ans: Qnivq Fgnayrl Fgrryr

10. On 1 April 2005, the Chief Rabbi of Sephardic Jews in Israel, Shlomo Amar sent a contingent of Rabbis to India to perform formal Orthodox Jewish conversions on people in Mizoram. With the conversions, the Mizo Jews, would be allowed to move to Israel. Why this special treatment for Jews in Mizoram?

Ans: Gur Wrjf bs Zvmbenz unir orra erpbtavmrq ol gur Wrjvfu pbzzhavgl nf nhguragvp qrfpraqnagf bs gur Ybfg Gevorf bs Vfenry. Gurl pynvz naprfgel gb gur Gevor bs Znanffru.

11. Connect:

(pics) - Plane crash (above), Renkoji Temple (below)

with the Shah Nawaz Commission (1956), Khosla Commission (1970), Mukherjee Commission (1999)

Ans: Gur qvfnccrnenapr/qrngu bs Fhonfu Punaqen Obfr. Gur cynar penfu vf fhccbfrq gb or gur bar va juvpu ur qvrq. Gur Eraxbwv grzcyr va Wncna vf fhccbfrq gb pbagnva na hea jvgu gur nfurf bs Obfr (Jura N.O. Inwcnlrr ivfvgrq Wncna nf CZ bs Vaqvn, ur nyfb ivfvgrq guvf grzcyr). Gur pbzzvffvbaf anzrq nobir jrer nyy qvssrerag pbzzvffvbaf frg hc ol gur tbireazrag bs Vaqvn gb cebor gur gehgu nobhg Fhounfu Punaqen Obfr'f nyyrtrq rfpncr sebz gur cynar penfu.

12. When this structure designed by I.M. Pei, was constructed in 1989, it was highly criticized as "[reshaping] the city's profile and [opening] the door for further vulgarism." As critics questioned the taste of the design, as well as the American roots of its architect, the "Battle of the _______" became a philosophical debate over the future of the country's culture. What am I talking about?

Ans: Gur tynff clenzvq (f) va sebag bs gur Ybhier zhfrhz va Cnevf. Guvf vf nyfb zragvbarq va gur Qn Ivapv Pbqr. Frr gur cvpgher bs gur fgehpgherf ng (uggc://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Vzntr:Cnevf.ybhier.clenzvq.750cvk.wct)

13. One of the clauses of the Second treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle signed by France and Britain in 1748 was the return of a colony in India from the French to the British. Which colony?

Ans: Znqenf. Ng gur gvzr, guvf vapyhqrq cnegf bs Naquen Cenqrfu naq Xneangnxn nf jryy.

14. This is a banner associated with a certain office/position. Who is the current occupant of this office/position? Note that a portion of the banner has been blanked out.

Ans: NCW Noqhy Xnynz - Guvf vf gur perfg bs gur Cerfvqrag bs Vaqvn. Gur zvffvat cneg bs gur perfg vf gur sbhe yvbaf sebz gur Fneangu vafpevcgvbaf.

15. Connect

Ans: Gur pbaarpgvba vf gur 1857 Frcbl Zhgval. Gur evsyr fubja vf gur Rasvryq C-53, jubfr pnegevqtrf nyyrtrqyl hfrq orrs naq cbex sng nf ternfr naq urapr fcnexrq bss gur eribyg ng Zrrehg. Gur jngpurf ner cneg bs Gvgna'f "Gur Evfvat" pbyyrpgvba, juvpu ner orvat cebzbgrq ol Nnzve Xuna sbe uvf arj zbivr, Gur Evfvat/Znatny Cnaqrl, juvpu vf nobhg gur riragf bs gur Frcbl Zhgval.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Southern Spice

This is a small quiz I did for a friend who needed some questions with a distinctly Chennai-Tamil-Southern flavour. The answers are given below in ROT13.

1. Ellis R. Dungan, a cinematography graduate of the
University of Southern California, arrived in India in
1935 with Michael Ormalev, a college-mate, at the
invitation of another USC student, Mani Lal Tandon of
Bombay, whose family was planning to enter the film
industry. When those plans did not take off, Tandon
invited them to Calcutta where he was directing the
Tamil film "Nandanar." There, he introduced them to a
Tamil film producer who was making "Sathi Leelavathi"
and suggested that, tied up as he was, Dungan be hired

in his place to direct the film. When the American was
hired, it was to be the beginning of a new era in
Tamil film-making, Dungan - with Ormalev having
vanished along the way - making a major contribution
to it.

Many of the minor actors in this movie later became
big names in the Tamil film industry - including N.S.

Krishnan (Gemini Studios) and T.S. Balaiah.
Who was the other famous debutante in this movie?

Ans: Z T Enznpunaqena cynlrq n zvabe ebyr va guvf zbivr.
Qhatna nyfb qverpgrq "Zrren", juvpu vf perqvgrq jvgu znxvat
Z F Fhoohynxfuzv n angvbany fgne.

2. Before 1947, when India was fighting against
British occupation, companies and individuals often
included "Contribution to Freedom movement" as an item
in accounting statements. Most often accounting

statements would not tally because management funneled
money out. "Contribution to Gandhi's freedom movement"
provided an excellent means to account for the
"missing" money.

Which phrase in Tamil slang originates from this?

Ans: "Tnaquv Xnanxxh".

3. What is this a description of?

1. Take one step with your foot.
2. If you just brought your left foot forward,
point your left fist to the sky and your right fist
directly ahead, otherwise do the opposite.
3. If you bring your left fist skyward, look
straight ahead or slightly upwards, otherwise look
down at your feet.
4. The above three steps must be done

5. Bob your torso up and down once.
6. Repeat with the other foot and continue doing
7. Maintain a pace of one step every second, with a
bob equidistant between every two steps.
8. Pelvic thrusts between steps can also be
introduced to provide some variation.

Ans: Qnccnnaxhguh
Jneavat: V qba'g xabj ubj zhpu bs guvf vf uhzbhebhfnaq
ubj zhpu vf snpg :)

4. The James Bond film Octopussy features a chase
scene in which Bond (Roger Moore) and a fellow MI6
agent (Vijay Amritraj) elude villains. The sequence
has one liners with Bond going "Vijay, we have
company" and Amritraj (Noted Tennis player of the
'70s) the driver replying "No problem sir, this is a
company car" while villain Kabir Bedi takes pot
at them using a shotgun. The chase ends with the
vehicle heading for a brick wall covered by the
handbills of a Hindi movie which turns out to be the
well hidden entrance to the local MI6 office. What is
specially Indian about this chase sequence?

Ans: Obaq naq Nzevgenw ner geniryyvat va nanhgb-ev
Zber shaqnrf: Gur nhgb vf pnyyrq n Ghx-Ghx vaGunvynaq, n
Onwnw va Vaqbarfvn naq n Zbgbgnkv vaCreh.

5. Tulu is one of the Dravidian languages of India
with under 2,000,000 speakers. Most of its speakers
are in the district of South Kanara in the west of the
state of Karnataka. Tulu is generally spoken as the
local language by Mangaloreans. The question is, who
is the most famous native speaker of Tulu in the
world? Clue: This person also speaks Hindi, a bit of
Marathi and some broken Tamil.

Ans: Nvfujneln Env. Fur fnvq fb va ure erpragvagreivrj ba
Qnivq Yrggrezna'f fubj.

6. What is special about this carving of a lion's head
at Mahabalipuram?

Ans: Guvf jnf hapbirerq nsgre gur Gfhanzv pneevrq njnlynetr cbegvbaf bs
fnaq sebz gur ornpu.

7. Which Chennai landmark is named after George
Frederick Samuel Robinson, the 7th Viceroy of India,
from 1880-1884?
Ans: Evcba Ohvyqvat (Ur jnf znqr gur Rney bs Evcba va1859)

8. The first mention of it in writings occurs ca. 920
A.D. One description ca. 1025 says the lentils were
first soaked in buttermilk, and after grinding,
seasoned with pepper, coriander, cumin and asafoetida.
The king and scholar Someshwara III, reigning in the
area now called Karnataka, included a recipe in his
encyclopedia, the Manasollasa, written in Sanskrit ca.
1130 A.D. There is no known record of rice being added
until some time in the 17th century. What are we
talking about?

Ans: Gur Vqyv

9. This movie had cinematography by Balu Mahendra,
music by Ilayaraaja and starred Anil Kapoor and
Lakshmi. The movie was divided into two parts - the
first forms the episode of an Estate Manager deserting
his Wife and Kid, after being caught red-handed with
another Woman. The second part narrates the story of a
young Guy who comes to the neighbouring Estate for
work and his relationship with the deserted Woman. The
question is, whom did this film introduce to Tamil

Ans: Znav Enganz. Gur zbivr jnf "Cnyyniv Nahcnyyniv",
uvf svefg zbivr - gur 2-cneg fgbel vf gur pnhfr bs gurgvgyr -
gur svefg fgbel vf gur cnyyniv naq gur frpbaqvf gur nahcnyyniv.

Qhoorq nf Cevln B Cevln va Gnzvy.

10. He can be spotted among the dancers behind Karthik
in the song "Raja Rajadhirajan Indha Raja" in Agni
Natchathiram. He has become one of the most famous
people in his field and has won two national awards.
Incidentally, his father is also a legend
in the same field.

Cenouh Qrin (Angvbany Njneqf - Zvafnen Xnanih naqYnxfuln)