Saturday, January 31, 2009

Question - 173

Today's question is courtesy Manix. One western great is playing with two eastern greats. Identify all.

Answer: The people are Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Ravi Shankar (sitar) and Alla Rakha (tabla). Rahul Trivedi, Keshav, Hirak, Rajesh, Arvind, QoD and Rajeev got it. Well done.

Update: Regular updates will resume from tonight. I missed Sunday's update as well thanks to a combination of laziness and the Federer/Cardinals double heartbreaks.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Question - 172

The blog needs a little color if only in black and white. Identify the ladies and also what they are doing.

Answer: The ladies are Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell imprinting their hands in wet cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Iam, Manix, Rahul Trivedi, Swapnaa, Keshav, Hirak, J, Schmetterling, Rajesh, Ashwin and an anon got it. Well done.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Question - 171

The first visual is the cover of a book detailing the story of the guy in the top left of the cover and how the three people at the bottom (including him) were part of a very significant moment in history. The second visual involves the same three people (the guy in the top left of visual 1 is in the coffin and the other two are the pallbearers) and shows the respect the pallbearers had for the dead man. Identify all three and the historic occasion they scripted together.

Answer: The people are athletes Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman who were the medal winners in the 200m event at the 1968 Mexico city Olympics. During the American national anthem, Smith and Carlos raised their fists in their now famous power salute while Norman wore a badge in their support. All three men came under severe flak for mixing sports with politics and suffered heavy repercussions. Norman's story is especially tragic considering he is an outsider to the situation. Read wiki for more details. Iam, Anand, Keshav, Hirak, Swapnaa, Ashwin, Schmetterling, Adi, Sha, Rajesh, Rajeev and an anon got it. Well done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question - 170

What used to be based out of the place in visual 1 is now based in the place shown in visual 2. Identify both places.

Answer: The visuals are Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet and McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. They are the former and current locations of the Tibetian government in exile and the Dalai Lama. Hirak, QoD, Mekie, an anon, RajeshK, Arvind, Manix, Anshul, Iam, Adi, Schmetterling and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Question - 169

Connect the lady in the top two visuals to the visual on the top right. The visual in the bottom is somewhat tangentially related to those in the top three. Identify that one as well.

Answer: The lady is Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) whose symbol is in the far right. In what is considered a case of Stockholm syndrome, Hearst turned sympathetic to SLA's motives and robbed banks with them (first visual). Her prison sentence was commuted by Carter and she was granted a presidential pardon by Clinton. The visual at the bottom is from the movie Network which spoofs the media drama surrounding the Hearst kidnapping. Iam, Rajeev , Hirak and Manix got it. Well done. A picture of Orson Welles at the bottom as Rajeev suggested would have been a nice radial connect (Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst who was famously played by Welles in Citizen Kane).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Question - 168

The discovery shown in visual 1 (top left) was so immense it was introduced in the case argued by the two gents in the bottom left, it caused the work of the man in the top right to be greeted with much skepticism and was used in a seminal book by the founder of the organization whose logo is shown in the bottom right. Identify the discovery and all the visuals.

Answer: The discovery is the Piltdown man, one of the biggest scientific hoaxes ever. It was so influential (partly because it was discovered in Eurasia and it was a comforting feeling to many that mankind's origins were there and not in Africa) that real discoveries such as Raymond Dart's Taung Child (top right) were ridiculed for not being in accordance with it. Clarence Darrow used it as evidence in the Scopes monkey trial (bottom left) some 10 years before the hoax was exposed and L. Ron Hubbard (bottom right is the logo of scientology) used it in his "influential" Scientology: A History of Man. Despite being up for 2 days, Hirak was the only one to attempt and crack this. Bravo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Question - 167

Identify this beautiful painting, the painter and a term that the event depicted gave rise to.

Answer: The painting is The incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio and the term is "Doubting Thomas" in reference to people skeptical of something. Arvind, Manix, Iam, Swapnaa, Rajesh, Hirak and an anon got it. Well done.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question - 166

Today's question is courtesy Rajesh. Identify the instrument and its creator.

Answer: This is Dr. Lippold Haken, an ECE professor at the University of Illinois who built the continuum fingerboard shown in the second visual. Hirak and Iam got it. Well done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Question - 165

The people in the first two visuals acted as guides to the person in the third visual through the places shown in the fourth visual. Identify all.

Answer: Virgil and Beatrice guided Dante through hell and heaven respectively in the medieval classic Divine Comedy. Arvind, Hirak, Schmetterling and Keshav got it. Well done.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Question - 164

The person in the top left created a sculpture parts of which are shown. Also one part which turned out to be very controversial is not shown. Identify him, the sculpture and the controversy.

Answer: David Cerny, the eccentric Czech sculptor who decided to make fun of all European countries in the EU with his Entropa. Each country is portrayed here in a less than flattering light. The controversy was that Bulgaria was portrayed as a squat toilet which really enraged the Bulgarian government. Divya, Iam, Arvind, Raghu, Schmetterling, Hirak, Manix, Keshav, J, Rajesh, Vijay and an anon got it. Well done.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Question - 163

Shown is the country, its rulers, stamps and coins. Identify the country.

Answer: The principality of sealand, a micronation off the coast of Britain. The second picture shows the "monarchs" Roy and Joan Bates. For a micronation, it seems remarkably well known with 17 people answering correctly. Vijay, Rahul Trivedi, Manix, Iam, Raghu, Schmetterling, Hirak, Anshul, Rajeev, Swapnaa, Arvind, Divya, Rajesh, Keshav, Adi and 2 anons got it. Well done.

Question - 162

When and where was this picture taken? (nothing profound about the question. Just a freaky coincidence).

Answer: This is Vishy playing Kasparov atop World trade center on September 11, 1995. Arvind, an anon, Anand, Raghu, Manix, Vijay, Adi, Iam, Hirak, Rajeev, J, Divya and Keshav got it. Well done.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Question - 161

The guy in the top left designed the apparatus shown in the bottom left. The person in the right is named after the person in the left because of certain similarities between them. Identify all.

Answer: The top left is B.F. Skinner, a renowned behavioral psychologist who designed the skinner box shown in the bottom to study rodent behavior and the character on the right is from Pixar's Ratatouille who is named Skinner as a reference to the psychologist. Vijay, Anshul, an anon, Manix, Rahul Trivedi, Hirak, Swapnaa, Schmetterling, Adi and Arvind got this. Well done.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Question - 160

Connect the painting, the comic and the movie poster. The connect has been in the news recently.

Answer: The connect is Andrew Wyeth, the painter who passed away yesterday. The first picture is his muse Helga whom he painted on multiple occasions, his art features prominently in Peanuts and Snoopy is a collector of his paintings, Manoj Night Shyamalan's Village was shot in and around Wyeth's house and the movie's color schemes were inspired from his paintings. Arvind, Schmetterling, Iam, Anshul + Nithya and Vijay got it. Well done.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Question - 159

The man is posing with his prized possession. Identify him.

Answer: This is the famous psychic Uri Geller who shot to international fame for his supposed psychokinetic spoon-bending capabilities. The Cadillac is adorned with various bent silverware including spoons and such given to him by celebrities such as John Lennon. Vijay, Anshul and Schmetterling got it. Well done.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Question - 158

The visual in the top left is mocking the first efforts made to overcome this while the three gentlemen in the top right are gladly proclaiming that they have managed to do so. However, they aren't completely successful due to the bottom two visuals. What am I talking about?

Answer: The smallpox virus. The top left spoofs Jenner's vaccination methods based on cow lesions (the people are sprouting bovine appendages after getting inoculated), the top right shows health officials declaring that the smallpox virus has been eradicated from the world. However, US and Russia continue to hold stockpiles of the virus (heavily guarded) at the locations shown at the bottom despite several pleas to have them destroyed. The locations are CDC in Atlanta and VECTOR somewhere in Russia. Vijay, Raghu, Iam, Manix and Divya got it. Well done.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Question - 157

The statue in the first visual depicts the etymology behind the name of this empire whose extent at its peak is shown in the second visual. Identify the empire.

Answer: The empire is the Hoysala empire that takes its name from Sala, the warrior killing ("hoy" in old Kannada) a tiger. Read the comments for more information. Vijay, Divya, Arvind, Swapnaa, Manix, Rajesh, Raghu, Ashwin and Rajeev got it. Well done.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Question - 156

This model is named for the person shown in the first visual. The person shown in the second visual perpetrated the largest instance of this model in history. The person in the third visual fell victim to it and in fact, killed himself last month. Identify all people. Note: The word model might not describe the answer best but is used here for reasonable obfuscation.

Answer: The people are Charles Ponzi, an Italian swindler at the turn of the 20th century, Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ who was arrested last December for investor fraud and the French billionaire Rene-Thierry Magon de Villehuchet who committed suicide after he lost all his money to Madoff. The connect ofcourse is the Ponzi scheme, a form of pyramid scheme first successfully pulled off by Ponzi himself. Vijay, Sinndhuja, Arvind, Hirak, Raghu, Manix, Anshul, Iam (who also laments my unfortunate choice of words), Divya, Swapnaa, Rajesh and Adi (barely in time :)) got it. Well done.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Question - 155

The picture of the two friends talking to each other now enjoys iconic status in their country after they were assassinated within two months of each other. (The first visual is a poster showing the picture while the second is a plaque in the international airport of their city). The third visual shows the crowning point of their life's work. Identify the visuals.

Answer: The two people are Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, two Italian anti-mafia magistrates who tried to bring the Mafia to justice and were assassinated as a result. The third visual shows Tommaso Buscetta, a mafioso who turned state's witness. His trial led to the conviction of 360 people associated with the Mafia. Swapnaa, Arvind, Vijay, Iam and Divya got it. Read their comments for more details. Well done.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Question - 154

Connect the visuals. (The connect isn't completely football related though recognizing the players would help). The question (not a great one at that) is for non-football enthusiasts as well.

Answer: The people are Troy Polamalu of the Steelers, Ladanian Tomlinson of the Chargers, director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight club) and Eli Wallach (the Ugly) from the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The connect is the new Nike Fate ad directed by Fincher featuring the two players. The background to the ad is Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of gold" which is the BGM of the famous graveyard scene at the end of the movie. Ashwin and an anon got it. Well done.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Question - 153

The landscape shown is man-made and cover more than 4000 square miles. Where are they located?

Answer: Banaue rice terraces in Philippines. Divya, Arvind, Sinndhuja, Rajesh and Swapnaa got it. Well done. Like Adi says, there is nothing distinctive in the picture to distinguish it from any other step farming place but I thought it looked real impressive.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Question - 152


Answer: Will Shortz, the crossword creator/solver extraordinaire. Raghu, Iam, Anshul, Hirak, Rajesh and Swapnaa got it. Well done.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Question - 151

Connect the map on the left to the visuals on the right.

Answer: The connect is the Iditarod trail Sled dog race which commemorates the courageous 1925 serum run to Nome. The map shows the trail, the statue is that of Balto, a sled dog who delivered the serum in the last leg of the journey and Todd Palin is a 4-time champion of the Tesoro Iron dog competition the route of which follows large parts of the trail. Maybe the Palin connect is a bit of a stretch and it pushed a lot of people in slightly wrong directions. Apologies for that. Also, another perfectly valid Todd Palin connect would have been that the race originated in Wasilla which is where the Palins are from. Swapnaa, Raghu and Rajesh were bang on while Sinndhuja, Arvind, Divya and Iam were thereabouts. Well done.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Question - 150

The people are from different eras but are connected by a common theme which has bestowed them with memorable nicknames. Identify them, the nicknames and the theme that connects them. (The top right visual doesn't quite fit the theme but nonetheless has a memorable nickname.)

Aside: Thanks to all of you for your continued support of the blog through 150 questions. Please let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas, grouses etc about the blog. Also, if you enjoy the blog, please spread the word to any one you know who might enjoy it.

Answer: These people are radio broadcasters during different wars who did propaganda against their own country and acquired derisory nicknames due to such activities. They are (from L to R, top to bottom) Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally, Baghdad Bob (he is an exception in that his propaganda wasn't against his birth country), Lord Haw-Haw, Hanoi Jane (this is the actress Jane Fonda) and Hanoi Hannah. Manix, Raghu, Divya, Rajesh and Shyam + Swapnaa got it. Well done.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Question - 149

Identify all visuals and connect.

Answer: The connect is Captain Alfred Dreyfus and the Dreyfus affair. The first visual shows Dreyfus being cashiered, the second visual is the poster for the movie The life of Emile Zola and the third is Julia Louis Dreyfus from Seinfeld. Emile Zola wrote a rousing open letter to the French president titled J'accuse in which he accused the government of Anti-Semitism and wrongful imprisonment of Dreyfus. The actress is a distant relative of the Captain. Vijay, Raghu, Manix, Divya, Swapnaa and Iam got it. Well done.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Question - 148

Person in visual 1 took the things in visual 2 from the person in visual 3. Something immortal (not metaphorically speaking, literally immortal) was born and there have been suggestions that this immortal being be named after the person in visual 4. Identify all.

Answer: George Otto Gey took the so called HeLa cells from Henrietta Lacks, a cancer victim. These cells were the first human cells which were observed to proliferate rapidly (well past the Hayflick limit) outside the human body. This is supposedly due to the active presence of the enzyme telomerase in these cells. For reasons I don't quite understand, these cells possess a different number of chromosomes from normal human cells and so it has been suggested that they form a new immortal species and that it should be named after Stanley Gartler who has done a lot of work in this area. Mekie, Arvind, Raghu and Anshul got it. Well done.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Question - 147

Man in visual 1 did something for the man in visual 2 the blueprint of which is shown in visual 3. Visual 4 was inspired by this work. Identify all visuals and connect.

Answer: Frank Lloyd wright designed the famous Fallingwater house for Edgar Kaufman Sr. The house and Wright were the inspiration for the title character being an architect in Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. Arvind, Iam, Manix, Rajesh and Vijay got it. Well done.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Question - 146

Identify the 4 visuals and the phrase that connects them.

Answer: The pictures are the assassination of Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Timothy McVeigh (the culprit behind the Oklahoma city bombing) and the seal of Virginia. The connecting phrase is Sic Semper Tyrannis (thus always to tyrants) - it was supposedly said by Brutus while assassinating Caesar and by Booth while assassinating Lincoln, the seal bears the phrase and McVeigh had a T-shirt with this slogan when arrested. Iam, Arvind, Raghu, Manix, Adi, Harish and Rajesh got it. Well done.