Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Question - 145

Today's question is courtesy Iam. Despite some suggestive imagery, he assures me there is nothing improper about the question. Connect the visuals. The images enclosed within the black borders are to be regarded together.

Answer: The visuals show the different new year traditions across the globe. 1) throwing broken dishes on the front door of friends - Denmark, 2) Dropping molten tin or lead in water and reading fortune on the shapes formed - Germany, Finland 3) Hanging mistletoe on the door and kissing people who stand under it - some European countries 4) Eating 12 grapes for each of the 12 chimes - Spain and Latin America 5) Wearing colored underwear that symbolises love, peace etc - Spain and Latin America 6) Burning effigies - Colombia, Ecuador and Peru 7) Making Kadomatsu - a decoration of bamboo, pine and springs - Japan. Manix was the only one to get this. Bravo and a happy new year to all of you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Question - 144

The person in the visual is a Pulitzer winning American cartoonist. He is most famous for a series of cartoons which feature a common theme that is now named after him. The visual in the top right shows a contest revolving around this theme while the bottom two visuals are popular instances of this theme. Identify all the visuals and their connections to the theme/person.

Answer: The person is Rube Goldberg whose cartoons featured extremely complicated machines to perform some really simple tasks. Such machines have come to be named after him. The contest is essentially to build such machines. Tom & Jerry cartoons feature several such machines. Honda had a famous ad campaign where a Rube Goldberg machine is built from various car parts to start the car. See the comments for more information/very interesting links. Iam, Divya, Arvind, Raghu, Anshul, Kr!sh, Swapnaa, Manix, Hirak, Rajesh and Ashwin got it. Well done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Question - 143

The first visual shows one of the entrances into London's Old Trafford stadium while the second is that of a clock in the stadium that always shows the same time. Why the references to Munich in a British stadium?

: The references are to the infamous Munich air disaster of 1958 that killed 8 Manchester United players and several staff members and journalists that were traveling with them. Anand, Arvind, Vateez, Vijay, Anshul, Manix and Hirak got it. Well done.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Question - 142

The man shown in the top left took some secret photos like the ones shown in the bottom left and ended up as shown in the top right as a result. The bottom right visual is a cartoon depicting his plight. Identify him.

Answer: The visuals are (from the top left counterclockwise) Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear scientist who blew the whistle on Israel's nuclear program to the British in 1986, a covert photo of a glove box at the Negev nuclear research center, a cartoon depicting his plight and Vanunu being arrested by Israeli authorities in Egypt. More details can be found here. Swapnaa, Arvind, Mekie, Raghu, Vijay, Adi, Manix, Divya, Rajesh, Hirak and Iam got it. Well done.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Question - 141

The two directors are acting out some scene to their producer. Identify all.

Answer: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera acting out a scene from Tom & Jerry's Two Little Indians to Fred Quimby. Iam was the only one to get this. Bravo.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Question - 140

What do the red, green, brown and yellow lines stand for? The other markings in the map should help in working out their significance.

Answer: The lines are the continental divides of North America and partition the continent based on the water body into which the rivers located in that region would drain. The divides are (in the same order as asked in the question) the great, northern, St. Lawrence seaway and eastern respectively. Iam, Harish, Adi, Mekie and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Question - 139

These two novels are prime examples of what genre of speculative fiction? The question is a bit obscure and so, not much has been blanked out from the visuals.

Answer: The novels are The man in the high castle by Philip K. Dick and Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabakov. They both deal with alternate history scenarios - Dick's work speculates on what would have happened had the axis powers won WWII and Nabakov speculates on what would have happened had Tsarist Russia prevailed. Actually, the connect is a bit deeper. In both novels, there is a novel within the novel which itself is an alternate history novel. For example, Dick's novel has a novel called the The Grasshopper lies heavy which speculates on what would have happened had the Allies won WWII. So, I was hoping somebody would go for alternate alternate history. But Iam, Mekie, Manix, Harish and Adi all contended themselves with alternate history. Well done.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Question - 138

Connect the logo shown in the top left with the other visuals. Identify the people as well. Some part of the logo has been blanked out. Question is courtesy Manix.

Answer: The logo is that of the Clinton foundation. The people are Bill and Melinda Gates, Amar Singh, Lakshmi Mittal and Michael Schumacher. These were some of the donors to the foundation the list of which was released to the public recently. The list was released to avoid any potential conflict of interest in light of the fact that Hillary Clinton in about to become the secretary of state. Arvind, Harish, Ajit, Raghu, Iam and Adi got it. Well done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Question - 137

Connect the visual in the top left to the other three.

Answer: The statue in the top left is Kryptos by James Sanborn. The cover of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code contains the latitude/longitude coordinates of this statue in code, the seal is that of CIA and the statue is in front of the CIA headquarters at Langley and the egyptian thing is the tomb of Tutankhamen. Kryptos contains a code which when partly decoded contains Howard Carter's message on opening Tut's tomb. Iam got it while Raghu, Anand and Adi were thereabouts. Well done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Question - 136

Shown is a painting by a little known German artist and illustrator. This was one of his many paintings that got printed in a postcard. It was recently auctioned in Sotheby's for £84,000. Its significance is that the painting inspired someone to create something. What?

Answer: The painting is "Der Berggeist" by Josef Madlener. Tolkien bought this postcard while on a trip and was inspired to create the character of Gandalf for the story that he was telling his children which eventually became The Hobbit. Madhu, Mekie, Raghu, Manix and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Question - 135

Today's question is from Swapnaa and I. All visuals connect to a person (in different ways). Identify the person and the connects. Update: 0 tries so far which means the question stays up for another day with hints. The mask visual and the black and white visual are clues to two movies (in fact by the same director), the wigged person in the middle is a composer, the person below was the CEO and later chairman of a huge multinational company (his connect to the person in question might be an urban legend, albeit a popular one). I might have botched Swapnaa's idea for this question beyond recognition and in the process made it too hard. Apologies.

Answer: The visuals are as follows: The mask is the one Tom Cruise wears in "Eyes Wide Shut". The composer is Haydn. The businessman is Norio Ohga, chairman of Sony, the second movie is "A Clockwork Orange" and the flag is that of the European union. The person that connects these is Beethoven. The connects are: 1) the password to the famous orgy scene in Eyes Wide Shut is Fidelio, Beethoven's only opera, 2) Haydn was Beethoven's teacher, 3) Legend has it that Ohga insisted that the newly developed compact disc be able to hold all of Beethoven's 9th symphony which ran for 74 minutes, 4) the lead character in Clockwork Orange is a huge Beethoven fan and there are countless references to Beethoven and his music throughout the movie, 5) the anthem of the European union is "Ode to Joy", a part of Beethoven's 9th symphony. Incidentally, December 16th was Beethoven's 238th birthday. Rahul Trivedi and Raghu got this one. Well done.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Question -134

The two maps are from two different eras and represent different things and are obviously correlated. Identify them and the reason for the correlation. This question is courtesy Manix.

Answer: The first visual shows in blue the counties that voted for Barack Obama in the recent presidential elections while the second shows the production of cotton in the same areas from the Civil war area. The strong correlation shows that most African Americans who were employed in the cotton plantations have settled down in the same areas and they voted for Obama in the elections. Iam, Harish, Mekie, Raghu and Swapnaa got it right. Well done.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Question -133

Identify the three people, connect them and identify the significance of the connect in Indian history.

Answer: Kawas Nanavati, his wife Sylvia and Prem Ahuja who had an affair with her. Nanavati shot Ahuja dead on learning about the affair. The case was tried in an Indian court where the jury returned a 8-1 verdict of not guilty. Believing that the jury was swayed by intense popular and media support for the wronged husband Nanavati, the Indian government abolished the jury system. Keshav, QoD, Hirak and Raghu got it. Well done.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Question -132

Identify this billionaire.

: Amar Bose, the chairman and founder of Bose corporation. Iam, Keshav, Raghu, Rajesh and Dhivakar got it. Well done.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Question -131

Identify and connect.

Answer: The connect is the Westinghouse time capsules which were buried beneath the Flushing Meadows in 1939 and 1964 on the occasion of New York's world fairs. The capsules are to be opened in 6939 AD and are supposed to give the future an idea of our current civilization. The unisphere shown in the third visual is a symbol of the 1965 World fair. Iam, Manix, Raghu, Anshul and Swapnaa got it. Well done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Question - 130

Identify all visuals and connect.

Answer: The fort at Golkonda, the Hope diamond which was mined here and Rene Magritte, the Belgian surrealist who had a famous painting called Golconda. Rahul Trivedi, Iam and Raghu got it while Hirak got the person wrong. Well done.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Question - 129

What is happening? Where?

Answer: The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Rahul Trivedi, Ashwin, Vikrant, Keshav, Iam, Harish, Arvind, Anshul, Mekie, Raghu, Swapnaa and Adi got it. Well done.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Question - 128

Today's question is courtesy Manix. Identify the three men and connect them.

Answer: The people are Magic Johnson, Tommy Morrison and Greg Louganis. The connect is that they are all HIV-positive. Keshav, Arvind, Raghu, Madhu and Iam got it. Well done.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Question - 127

The first visual is the poster of a movie based on the person in the second visual. Identify the movie and the person.

Answer: The movie is The World's fastest Indian based on the legendary New Zealand speed racer Burt Munroe. A whooping 18 correct responses from Madhu, Vikrant, Vateez, Manix, Iam, tsp, Arvind, Harish, Raghu, Mekie, Swapnaa, Anshul, Anand, Divya, Trevor Burnham, Hirak, Ashwin and an anon got it. Well done.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Question - 126

Today's question is courtesy Iam. Connect the people.

Answer: The people from the top left counterclockwise are Hank Paulson, John Keynes, Neil Kashkari and Alistair Darling. These are the key figures associated with the financial bailout packages of the U.S and United Kingdom. John Keynes was a famous economist who was the first to champion interventionist government policy to mitigate the adverse effects of recessions. The others are in charge of the current bailout packages. Raghu was the only one to get it. Bravo.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Question - 125

What is happening? Why ? Where? (The events themselves or the people in them are not momentous in any historic sense but the photographs are iconic of that period).

Answer: The photos show the effect of hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic during 1921-1923. The first visual shows a woman burning banknotes because it was a cheaper option than buying firewood with them. The second visual is that of a man sweeping away currency notes because they were literally worthless. Swapnaa+Madhu and QoD got it completely right. Well done.

Question - 124

Whose statue? More importantly, where is it located?

Answer: The statue is that of Lenin and is located at the pole of inaccessibility (the farthest point in Antarctica from the Southern ocean. It is supposedly much more remote and harder to get to than the geographic south pole. Iam and Hirak got it, Raghu and Swapnaa stopped with the south pole while others had some great guesses. Well done.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Question - 123

Identify the man in the first two visuals. The third visual is meant to be a clue and shows an application of the theories developed by him.

Answer: The guy is Konrad Lorenz and the theory is filial imprinting, a phenomenon where young animals learn the characteristics of their parents (or any suitable moving stimulus) that they see during a critical period soon after they are born. Lorenz demonstrated the phenomenon by imprinting himself on some geese. The third visual shows some birds being imprinted with a hang glider by a filming crew. When these birds grow up, they let the hang glider fly with them providing for great shots like the ones in the excellent Winged Migration. Iam, Raghu, Hirak and Harish got it. Well done.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Question - 122

Today's question is courtesy Swapnaa. Something spontaneous happened in front of the building shown in the first visual in 1969 that has come to be viewed as a defining event in U.S history. Visual 2 shows people marching in commemoration of the event during its first year anniversary. Identify the event/building.

Answer: Stonewall riots, the first significant event in the gay and lesbian rights movement named after the Stonewall inn in front of which the first riots occurred. Iam, Raghu, Mekie, Keshav(excellent guess), Hirak and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Question - 121

Map of what?

Answer: Its the map of Malgudi from R.K.Narayan's universe. Keshav, Vikrant, Swapnaa, RajeshK, Anirudh Patil, Harish, Arvind, Raghu, Hirak, Rajesh, Ashwin and QoD got it. Well done.