Thursday, April 30, 2009

Question - 242

Connect the visuals. Be as specific as possible.

Answer: The people are index cases (or patient zeros - the initial patient in the population sample of an epidemiological investigation). They are (from top left anticlockwise) Mary Mallon aka Typhoid Mary (Typhoid), Mabalo Lokela (Ebola), Gaetan Dugas (AIDS) and Edgar Hernandez (Swine influenza). Nice try, Srivats and Rajesh K got the entire connect while Mekie came really close. Well done.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Question - 241

Which famous geographical feature is shown here?

Answer: These are the famous white cliffs of Dover. Srivats, Mekie, Raghu and Arvind got it. Anshul came really close but went for the lesser known seven sisters of Sussex. Well done.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Question - 240

The person shown in the first visual left the things shown in the second visual. Identify him and the place. The logo in the third visual can be taken as a clue to the identity of the man/location.

Answer: The first visual shows the mysterious "Poe toaster", an unidentified man who has been visiting Edgar Allan Poe's grave every year on his birthday since 1949. The visitor drinks a toast in Poe's honour and leaves a cognac bottle and some roses at his grave. The logo is that of the Baltimore Ravens, a NFL team located in Poe's home town and which takes its name from his most famous poem. Hari, Srivats, Raghu and Manix got it. Well done.

Question - 239

Identify all the visuals and the common theme connecting them.

Answer: These are the standard images/3D objects used to benchmark and compare image processing and graphics algorithms. They are (from L to R) Lenna (the famous playboy centerfold), the Utah teapot, the Stanford bunny and the Cornell box. Srivats, Raghu, Ashwin, nice try, Rajeev, Iam and Avi got it. Well done.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Question - 238

Who is being caricatured?

Answer: Ferdinand de Lesseps, the man behind the Suez canal who also tried to build the Panama canal. Once again, Manix is the only one to get this. Bravo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Question - 237

The woman in visuals two and three had a remarkable change of mind culminating in the events shown in these visuals. The man in the first visual is connected to her in a famous way. Identify both.

Answer: The woman is Norma McCorvey who appeared under the legal placeholder name Jane Doe in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case which legalized abortion in the US. The man in the first visual is Henry Wade. After the case, she had a change of heart and became a born again christian. The second visual shows her getting baptized in a swimming pool by Flip Benham, an event that was nationally televised. She now actively supports pro-life movements. I thought this should be crackable given the third visual but Manix was the only one to get it. Bravo.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Question - 236

Identify the subject of the painting.

Answer: This is a depiction of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They appear in the Book of Revelation and are supposed to represent pestilence, war, famine and death. Srivats, Raghu and Iam got it. Well done.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Question - 235

Shown is the start of a Japanese video game with English subtitles. Identify the dialogue that has been replaced with question marks in one of the frames.

Answer: Keeping with the poor translation of the previous frames, the blanked out subtitles read "All your bases are belong to us". The phrase became a huge internet meme and keeps appearing in many places (for instance, when youtube is down for maintenance, the homepage had this phrase). Tsp, Adi (thanks!!!), Kr!sh, Arvind, Srivats, Iam, Rajeev, Vetti, Avi, Divya and nice try got it. Well done.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Question - 234

Today's question is courtesy Swapnaa. These are types of what?

Answer: The visuals represent kitten, stiletto, spool, cone, plateau and wedge. These are different kinds of high heels. Vetti got it right while Iam's moral strictures would only allow him to vaguely hint at an answer which I can't clearly decipher. Well done.

Question - 233

Identify the person in the first visual who is also the speaker in the second visual.

Answer: This is Trofim Lysenko, an agronomist who was influential in Stalinist Russia. His theories of genetics contradicted those of Mendel but his political clout ensured that his views reigned supreme in Russia till the dismissal of Khrushchev. He was the main reason for Russia's severe backwardness in biology and particularly genetics and might have contributed to huge famines through his wrong policies. He also had many of his opposers who believed in Mendelian genetics imprisoned and killed. Srivats, Iam and Manix got it. Well done.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Question - 232

The biplane shown in the picture was the type of plane chosen to carry the very first air mails in the U.S. Something designed to commemorate this selection is now extremely precious and famous. What?

Answer: This is the Curtis Jenny biplane that was the plane of choice for the first air mails. To commemorate the event, the airmail stamps were supposed to carry the picture of the plane. However, the plane was printed upside down in the stamps as a mistake. The mistake was rectified very soon and there are very few "Inverted Jenny"s in existence making them among the rarest and most priced stamps. and are now valued at nearly a million dollars. Srivats, Iam, Shweta, Avi and Swapnaa got it. Well done.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Question - 231

These people are reuniting to commemorate the 40th anniversary of what?

Answer: These are the Von Trapp family children from the film sound of music. Adithya, Rajesh K, Raghu, nice try, Swapnaa, Anand, Srivats, Avi and Shyam Sunder got it. Well done.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Question - 230

Identify the person and the controversy connecting the other two visuals.

Answer: Li Ning, the Chinese gymnast who lit the Olympic torch in the 2008 Olympics. He runs a shoe company which is a huge rival of Adidas, the official sponsor of the games. This created an ambush marketing for his company much to Adidas' dismay. Vetti, Vijay and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Question - 229

The top visual shows an early 20th century ad for this famous product. The product is named after and used to be produced from the tree in the bottom left. A part of the manufacturing process is shown in the bottom right. Identify the tree and the product.

Answer: The ad is for Chicklets, named so for the Chicle tree shown in the bottom. Raghu, Vetti, Swapnaa, Iam, Adi, Avi, Shweta and Vijay got it. Well done.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Question - 228

Identify this volcano. It is often listed among the seven natural wonders of the world.

Answer: This is the Paricutin volcano in Mexico, a volcano that virtually sprang up overnight in the backyard of a farmer in the village of Paricutin. It was five stories tall within a week and its eruption destroyed the village. Iam, Swapnaa, Srivats, Vetti, Rajesh and Avi got it. Well done.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Question - 227

The chart shows the organizational structure of the operations conducted by this billionaire (according to Forbes). Identify him and the organization.

Answer: This is the organizational structure of the notorious Sinoloa drug cartel in Mexico. The head is Joaquin Guzman who debuted in the 701st place in Forbes annual billionaires list. Srivats, Adi, Iam, Manix, Shweta, Avi, Swapnaa and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Question - 226

What resulted as a result of the event depicted in the painting? (The answer is an actual historical event though the event depicted may be apocryphal. The painting is an artist's imagination of a scene in a work of literature about the historical event.)

Answer: This is a depiction of a scene from Shakespeare's Henry VI Part I. In the scene, supporters of the rival factions of Lancaster and York pick roses of different colors (red and white respectively) to signify their allegiance. King Henry selects a red rose and sets into motion a series of events that resulted in the Wars of the roses, a series of civil wars between the two houses for the throne of England. The cricket matches between Lancashire and Yorkshire are also referred to by this nickname. Raghu, Adi, Manix, Srivats and Avi got it. Well done.

Question - 225

Sculpture by whom? What influential work of art is it inspired by?

Answer: This is Salvador Dali's Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas, inspired by Albrecht Durer's woodcut Rhinoceros. Durer's woodcut is remarkable because it was made despite him having never seen a rhino. Durer made the woodcut from rough sketches and descriptions of an animal sent to the Portuguese king Manuel I as a gift from India. Dali repeatedly uses rhinos in his works which, according to him, signify the themes of chastity and the Virgin Mary (don't ask me how). In his apperarence on the Tonight Show, he came with a leather rhinoceros and refused to sit on anything else!!! Raghu, Vetti, Srivats, Anshul, Arvind and Adi got it. Well done.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Question - 224

The group of people on the right share a nickname that is a modification of the nickname shared by the group on the left (both pictures don't show all the group members). Identify both nicknames.

Answer: The rat pack featured actors and performers such as Bogart, Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. The frat pack is the name given to a group of Hollywood comedy actors such as Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson etc. Iam, Kr!sh, Johnny Walker, Hari, Raghu, Srivats, Vetti, Arvind, Keshav, Manix, Schmetterling and Avi got it. Well done.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Question - 223

Today's question is from a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous . The person in the top left made some sketches of his observations. On account of a mistranslation, his observations assumed a lot of significance. The man in the bottom left was inspired by this theory and made his own set of observations shown next to him. Identify all.

Answer: The person on top is Giovanni Schiaparelli who observed and sketched channel-like structures on Mars. He called them canali meaning channels which got mistranslated to canals sparking interest in martian civilization. The person in the bottom is Percival Lowell (after whom Pluto is named) who totally bought into the idea and made his own set of sketches. Srivats and Iam got it. Well done.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Question - 222

Today's question is courtesy Iam. Connect all the visuals. The visual in the center is a clue to the connect.

The connect is portmanteau words - words made by combining two other words. The words are (from top left anticlockwise) motorcade (motor + cavalcade), chunnel (channel + tunnel), wikipedia (wiki + encyclopedia), spork (spoon + fork), breathalyzer (breath + analyzer), napalm (naphthenic + palmitic) and Tanzania (Tanganyika + Zanzibar). The visual in the middle is John Tenniel's illustration for Lewis Carroll's glorious Jabberwocky. The poem is replete with nonsensical portmanteau words of Carroll's own invention some of which have entered the English language today (eg., chortle - chuckle + snort). Srivats, Rajeev, Anshul, Trevor Burnham, Manix, Adi and Avi got it. Well done.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Question - 221

Identify the common theme behind all the visuals. The two visuals on the extreme right (the man and the moth) can be taken as one for the purposes of the connect.

Answer: The common theme is orchids. The first visual is Nero Wolfe, an American fictional detective who spends four hours every day with his orchid collection, Chris Cooper depicting the real life orchid poacher John Laroche in the movie Adaptation, the chemical formula for Vanillin, an extract from an orchid, Vanilla. The person is Charles Darwin who wrote an influential book on pollination of orchids where he first outlined his theory of evolution along with testable predictions. One of them was the prediction that there must be a moth with a probascis long enough (35 cm) to pollinate the Star of Bethlehem orchid. Sure enough, 41 years later such a moth was found (Morgan's Sphinx). Iam was the only one to get this. Bravo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Question -220

Connect the visuals.

Answer: These are some of the more famous April fool's day hoaxes over the years. The hoaxes are Spaghetti trees, write-only memory, the island of Sans Serriffe (a play on the font), Water on Mars (I haven't seen a more groan-inducing hoax than this one and it featured on NASA's front page) and a Buddhist pitcher Sidd(hartha) Finch who can pitch at 168 mph. I should have posted it a day earlier but didn't realize what the day was till I got fooled myself. Iam, Shweta, Anon, Mekie, Vetti, Anshul, Avinash and Rajesh got it right. Well done everybody.