Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Question - 69


Answer: This is Winnipeg the bear who was the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. Standing alongside is Christopher Robin who was the inspiration for uh...Christopher Robin. Swapnaa and Iam got the bear, not the guy. Well done.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Question - 68

Today's question is courtesy Manix. Connect the visuals. It is not an exhaustive list (but only a couple of visuals are missing). There is also an ordering of the different images(top row from L to R followed by bottom row L to R).

Answer: These are the animals after which the different releases of Ubuntu are named. In order from top left, they are the warty warthog, hoary hedgehog, dapper drake, edgy eft, feisty fawn and the intrepid ibex. I left out some of the other releases. QoD and Iam got it. Well done.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Question - 67

Today's question is courtesy Ashwin Parthasarathy. Identify and connect.

Answer: The images are (clockwise from top left) Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jim Croce, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aaliyah and Randy Rhoads. The connect is that these are all musicians who died in plane crashes. Iam, Rajeev and Keshav got it. Well done.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Question - 66

Identify all visuals and connect.

Answer: The satellite picture is that of Mt. Erebus, an active volcano in Antarctica. In 1979, a sightseeing plane operating out of New Zealand crashed into the slopes of this mountain in white-out conditions killing all 257 people aboard. Edmund Hillary (third pic) was supposed to be the guide for the fatal trip but pulled out at the last minute and sent his friend Peter Mulgrew in his stead. Mekhala and Hirak got it right. Well done.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Question - 65

The top two visuals show the front and back of a coin. Identify the person being commemorated and connect with the bottom visual.

I was at a conference the last couple of days and couldn't update the blog regularly. I am now back in A2 and updates should be regular from now.

Answer: The person in the coin is Jorge Luis Borges and the bottom visual is the character Jorge of Burgos in the movie Name of the Rose. The character is similar in a lot of ways to Borges and is Umberto Eco's homage to him. If you like short stories, you should definitely give Borges a try. His "The House of Asterion" is one of my all-time favorites. Hirak, Raghu, Mekhala, Iam and Divya got it. Well done.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Question - 64

Today's question is courtesy Rajeev. What caused the anomalous downward spike?

Answer: The visual shows the stock of United airlines plummeting on Sept 8th, 2008 within just a few minutes. The reason was that Google news picked up an old news from 2002 about the airline (a bankruptcy article the airline had filed) and ran it as though the news were current. A Bloomburg analyst saw this and ran it as headline news without checking it out causing massive selling of UA stocks. Trade was briefly halted to restore order and UA lost about $300 million dollars in market value. Adi and Raghu got it. Well done.

I simply have to mention Iam's excellent guess. His answer (which he told me in person) was that the stock markets halted when they turned on the LHC to see if it created any black holes which might make trading a moot point. It doesn't explain the spike but still...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Question - 63

Identify the visuals and connect.

Answer: The connect is the chronophage (literally "time eater"), a sculptural clock in Cambridge. The clock pays homage to John Harrison (top right), a legendary clock maker who solved the longitude problem by making the first accurate clocks. His major invention was the grasshopper escapement (bottom right), a low friction mechanism for moving the clock's gears. The chronophage features a large grasshopper at the top as a reference to this. More details can be found here. Vateez, Iam, Adi, Mekhala, Manix and Hirak got it. Well done.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Question - 62

Shown are several examples of a certain phenomenon. What is the phenomenon (be as precise as possible) and what is its historical significance?
Update: I refuse to believe there is no one out there who is as geeky as me. So, I am running the question again with a clue.

Answer: The answer I was looking for was "Einstein Rings", multiple images of stars/galaxies formed due to gravitational lensing. This phenomenon served as one of the first experimental verifications of Einstein's general theory of relativity. A schematic of Arthur Eddington's experiment verifying this effect is shown in the second visual. Adi, Rajeev, capt. p j Vogon, Vikrant and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Question - 61

Connect the visuals.

Answer: The connect is George Carlin, the legendary stand-up comedian. The pictures clockwise from the top left are (a) George Carlin getting arrested for his "Seven dirty words" routine, (b) the Mark Twain award that Carlin was given posthumously this year, (c) his arrest warrant on obscenity charges and (d) the character Fillmore from the movie Cars who was voiced by Carlin. Arvind, Rajeev, Mekhala, Iam, Keshav, Adi, Rajesh, Vateez and Swapnaa got it. Well done. If you haven't watched Carlin's routines, check them about in youtube. They are absolutely great.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Question - 60

Connect the two visuals with the guy in the bottom right.

Answer: The comic strip is the graphic version of the series Artemis Fowl written by Eoin Colfer whose picture is at the bottom right. The top left picture is Simon Jones' famous BBC portrayal of Arthur Dent from Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy. The connect is that Colfer has been roped in to write the sixth installment of what was till now a trilogy in five parts. Vateez, Rajeev, Mekhala, Iam and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Question - 59

Connect the three visuals.

Answer: The connect is Lehman Brothers. The first visual shows the brothers who founded the company, the second one is their share value dropping after the company declared bankruptcy on Monday, the third is the logo of Barclays who are acquiring a portion of the company. Bala, Vijay, Rajeev, Mekhala, Hirak, Adi, Vikrant and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Question - 58

Today's question is courtesy Raghu. Connect the visuals.

Answer: The girl with the crown of candles is participating in St. Lucia's festival in Sweden. The medallion on the right is the Nobel prize. The connect Raghu had in mind is that the Lucy brides bring Lussekatt to all the Nobel laureates on the morning of the ceremony. Rajesh was the only one to get this. However, Iam, Vikrant+Keshav, Hirak and A new thought all had different legitimate connects as well. Great job all around.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Question - 57

Connect the two visuals. Apologies about missing yesterday's update.

Answer: The picture on the left is the "Hungarian patriot" - Time person of the year in 1956. The one on the right is the famous "Blood in the water" water polo match between USSR and Hungary played in the backdrop of the Hungarian revolution. There was no love lost between the countries and it reflected in the game. The player with the bloodied face is Ervin Zador. Mekhala, Raghu, Hirak, Divya, Iam, Rajeev, Vj, Rajeshk, Manix, Rajesh, Vikrant and Keshav got it right. Well done.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Question - 56

Identify the two characters and the event being portrayed.

Answer: The weaving contest between Athena and Arachne. Arachne was a great weaver who dared challenge Athena, the goddess of fine arts, to a contest. During the contest, Arachne weaved a tapestry depicting the Gods in a less than flattering manner. Enraged, Athena changes her to a spider which is why spiders are forever weaving webs and the class of spiders is termed Arachnids, the fear of spiders is Arachnophobia etc. Raghu, Rajesh, Divya, Hirak and Iam got it. Well done and apologies for the late update.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Question - 55

Connect all the visuals. Question courtesy Iam.

Answer: The connect is Snipers. The map is that of the Battle of Stalingrad where Soviet snipers fought against German troops (made famous in the movie "Enemy at the gates"), a map of JFK's parade route on the day of his assassination, the bird snipe which is supposedly very difficult to hunt and from which the term sniper came to refer to sharpshooters and finally the clock tower at UT Austin from where Charles Whitman sniped down 14 people. Ashwin, Raghu+Mekhala, Vikrant+Keshav and Divya got it. Well done.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Question - 54

Today's question is courtesy Hirak. The banner holders were planning to do something to the Xs but the police wouldn't let them. So they settled for throwing the Xs, mops, girdles, pots, pans and playboy magazines which were "instruments of female torture" according to them into garbage bins. Identify X, what they were planning to do to X and connect with the picture.

Answer: X is Bra and they were planning to burn it prompting the press to name these protesters "Bra Burners". Sica, Mekhala, Manix, Iam, Adi, Rajeev, Keshav, Rajesh and Ashwin got it. Well done.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Question - 53

Today's question is courtesy Manix. Identify all the visuals and a common theme that connects them.

Answer: The connect is Jimmy Johnson. Clockwise from left to right: (a) Janis Joplin, a classmate of JJ, (b) Jerry Jones, the cowboys owner under whom JJ coached, (c) Barry Switzer, the OU coach who is the only other man to have won a national championship and a super bowl, (d) Doug Flutie after throwing the legendary Hail Mary against JJ's Hurricanes and (e) Dan Marino who played for JJ towards the end of his career. Raghu and Ashwin got it right. Well done.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Question - 52

Depiction of what event?

Answer: Queen Victoria at the opening ceremony of crystal palace, London. It was considered a great engineering achievement and all subsequent world fairs (like the ones in New York) were inspired by this. Iam and Mekhala got it. Well done. Mekhala gives some more info in the comments.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Question - 51

I have blanked out two words labeled X & Y. Identify the words and also for brownie points, identify the comics.

Answer: X is the Large Hadron Collider, Y - Higgs Boson. They are running the first proton beams around the accelerator tonight. A whooping 15 correct responses including one with a rap song celebrating the occasion. Well done.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Question - 50

Identify these three ladies and the collective name they are given.

Answer: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas - three great primatologists who all studied with Louis Leakey and hence were dubbed Leakey's angels. As Rajesh points out, they were also known as the "Trimates". Arvind, Raghu, Mekhala, Hirak, Manix, Swapnaa, Rajesh and Rajeev got it. Well done.

I think the 50 question mark is a good time to take stock. So, let me know any suggestions/brickbats you might have regarding the blog.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Question - 49

Identify the person shown and also the event being reenacted. Update: Since this question has garnered exactly 0 tries so far, I will let it stay up for another day with a clue. The person is an author and he was in the news recently.

Answer: Alexander Solzhenitsyn - the Russian author who passed away last month. His famous work "The Gulag Archipelago" is based on the time he spent in a Russian labour camp. Here, he gives a re-enactment of him getting frisked at the Gulag. Hirak and Manix got it right. Well done.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Question - 48

Today's question is courtesy Mekhala. Identify the significance of the photo on the right and if possible the individuals as well. The visual on the left is a clue towards identifying them.

Answer: The people on the right were the so called "Traitorous Eight". They left Shockley semiconductors to form Fairchild semiconductors whose spinoff companies eventually created the Silicon valley (shown in the first visual). Rajeev, QoD, Ramji, Ashwin, Adi and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Question - 47

Identify both and connect.

Answer: Verghese Kurian and M.S. Swaminathan, the fathers of India's white and green revolution respectively. Arvind, Mekhala, Raghu, QoD, Rajesh and Vatheez + Shyam + Iam got it. Well done.

Question - 46

Identify the shaded region in the map and connect with the second visual. Be warned that the connect is rather facetious.

Answer: The map shows the pacific ring of fire - an area of active volcanic activity. The rather lame finding nemo connect that I had in mind is that there is a "ring of fire" in the aquarium atop Mt. Wannahockaloogie. However, Swapnaa offers a much better connect namely the NeMO project that is designed to explore biodiversity in the ring of fire. Iam and Swapnaa got it. Well done and apologies if the finding nemo bit misled you.