Friday, July 31, 2009

Question - 295

Connect the two comic strips to the guy in the right.

Answer: The humor in both strips is based on Pascal's wager - a reasoning developed by Blaise Pascal (on the right) to convince agnostics/atheists of the logic of believing in God. For more details on the wager and the atheistic rebuttals, go here. Anon, Raghu, Kr!sh, Trevor Burnham, Rajesh, tsp and Rajeev got it. Well done.

Question - 294

What is happening? Identify all the people.

Answer: This is Sachen Littlefeather declining the Academy award for Best Actor given to Marlon Brando for Godfather in 1972. Brando wanted to attract attention to the discrimination of Native Indians in Hollywood and mainstream media. The two confounded people are Roger Moore and Liv Ullman. Watch the video here. Mekie, Hari, Raghu, Rajesh K, Vetti, raklodramA, nice try, Mihir, Hirak, Iam, Shyaps and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Question - 293

Visual 1 shows an instance of a wide spread phenomenon in a certain geographical area in the early 20th century. Visual 2 is a screen shot from a famous movie. Identify the phenomenon, the movie and the connection.

Answer: The visual is a dust storm that was widely prevalent in the Oklahoma/Texas region in the 1930s which led to the area being nicknamed the dust bowl. The movie Grapes of Wrath tells the story of an Oklahoma farmer family that had to migrate from the dust bowl in search of greener pastures. Mekie, Anshul, Hirak, Trevor Burnham, Rajesh, Vetti and Rajesh K got it. Well done.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Question - 292

The unfortunate event in the first visual also gave the man in the second visual a dubious distinction as the only American to do something. Identify the event, the man and the distinction.

Answer: The first visual shows the mass suicide at Jonestown, a cult community in Guyana formed by people who moved there from America. The second visual shows Congressman Leo Ryan who went to Jonestown shortly before the mass suicide to investigate if anybody is being held in the town against their will. He was shot dead as he was leaving Guyana by some cult members thus making him the first and thus far only U.S Congressman to die in the line of duty. The whole story is too convoluted and frankly too weird to recount here. Head to wikipedia for more details. Rajesh K, anon, Raghu and Manix got it. Well done.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Question - 291

Connect the two visuals.

Answer: The connect I was looking for was Toblerone chocolates. The anti-tank embankments in the first visual are called Toblerones (or more commonly, dragon's teeth) while the second visual shows the Alpine peak Matterhorn whose shape the chocolates are designed to resemble. Iam and Srivats got it. Well done.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Question - 290

Today's question is courtesy Manix. Connect the two images.

Answer: The first visual shows the impact craters when comet Shoemaker Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter back in 1994. Last weekend, a similar impact event happened which left a bruise the size of the Pacific ocean near Jupiter's south pole. This was first discovered by Anthony Wesley, an amateur astronomer in Australia. Iam, Mekie, Anshul and Rajesh got the second visual while the first one goes uncracked. Well done all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Question - 289

Identify the city.

Answer: Duckburg in the state of Calisota (California + Minnesota). The tower with the dollar sign is that of Scrooge McDuck, the world's wealthiest duck. Raghu, Hari, Anirudh Patil, tsp, nice try, anshul, rajeev, Trevor Burnham and Iam got it. Well done.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Question - 288

The old man throwing the punch did so because he was so offended that the man in the dark suit questioned the authenticity of something he did 40 years ago and which he is most famous for. With due apologies to the poor visual quality, tell me who the people involved are and what the fight is about?

Answer: The old man is Buzz Aldrin who was confronted by the moon landing conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel. Sibrel repeatedly hassled Aldrin who finally had enough when Sibrel called him "a coward, a liar and a thief". Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Rajesh K, Hari, Iam, Schmetterling, Raghu, Hirak, Rajeev, Manix, nice try, Srivats and Mihir got it. Well done.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Question - 287

Where is this marker located? What is the significance of the number on it?

Answer: This is the end of the Trans-Siberian railway at Vladivostok. The number on the marker is the distance the trail travels from Moscow to Vladivostok. Srivats, Schmetterling, Hari, Iam, Renuka, Raghu, Vetti, Swapnaa, Adi, Rajesh and Anshul got it. Well done.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Question - 286

This is the zoology department at a very famous university. Why is the statue the way it is?

Answer: The statue is that of the poor zoologist Agassiz whose fate it is to be buried head first at the entrance to the department in Stanford University. His statue fell off the pedestal during the notorious 1906 San Francisco earthquake and it has been left as such as a memorial to the event. Vetti, Iam, Anand, Renuka, Srivats, anon, Schmetterling, Adi, Hirak and Rajesh got it. Well done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Question - 285

Identify the woman in the picture.

Answer: This is Agatha Christie with her second husband, the renowned archaeologist Max Mallowan. She accompanied him on several expeditions and many of her novels such as Death on the Nile draw inspiration from these trips. Srivats, Raghu, Rajeev, Rajesh and Hirak got it. Well done.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Question - 284

This art piece is a reference to what?

Answer: This is a map of the London underground metro system (the tube) helpfully painted from a tube. The map is famous for being topologically rather than geographically accurate. Arvind, Hari, Swapnaa, Johnny Walker, Anand, anon, nice try, Rajesh K, mekie, Schmetterling, Vijay, Raghu, Srivats and Mihir got it while tsp came up with a wonderful guess. QM flicking away tears of joy at two consecutive days with more than 10 attempts. Well done all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Question - 283

This cartoon is a reference to the introduction of which famous policy?

Answer: The New Deal by FDR that brought America out of the great depression. Iam, Hari, Schmetterling, Raghu, Vetti, Rajesh K, nice try, Vijay, Srivats and Samrat got it. Well done.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Question - 282

The sketch is from the diaries of a very famous person. Who is it and what is this sketch the very first example of?

Answer: The sketch is from the diaries of Charles Darwin and is the first example of an evolutionary tree or a "tree of life" as Darwin himself called it. Iam, Vetti, Srivats and Divya got it. Well done.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Question - 281

Early Sears catalogs contained a number of advertisements such as the one shown here as part of a marketing campaign for which fictional company? (all blanked words are the same).

Answer: The company is Acme from the roadrunner cartoons. The name supposedly stands for A company that makes everything. Rajesh, Raghu, Hirak, anon, nice try, Schmetterling, tsp, Divya and Srivats got it. Well done.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Question - 280

Who is the creator of this chart? The person in question developed a modified version of the pie chart (of which the shown visual is an example) and is the first female member to be elected to the Royal Statistical Society.

Answer: The chart was developed by Florence Nightingale and is known as the Nightingale rose diagram. The chart shows the casualties experienced by the British forces in the Crimean war. Florence Nightingale rose to fame for her services as a nurse during this war. Hari, Vijay, anon, Vetti, nice try, Anshul and Adi got it. Well done.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Question - 279

Which role is the character in the TV screen playing? Where is this screenshot taken from?

Answer: This is big brother from Apple's famous ad (directed by Ridley Scott) during the 1984 super bowl. The ad is widely regarded as one of the best of all times and is influenced by Orwell's classic 1984. Hari, Iam, Raghu, Rajeev, Hirak, Trevor Burnham, Renuka (who went for the equally correct 2004 ad which had an ipod digitally added to the hammer thrower) and Johnny Walker got it. Well done.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Question - 278

Connect the two paintings.

Answer: The paintings are "Liberty leading the people" by Eugene Delacroix and "Viva la vida" by Frida Kahlo. The connect is Coldplay's latest album Viva la vida whose album cover featured Delacroix's painting. Mekie, Hari, Raghu, Hirak, Iam, Rajeev, tsp, Rajesh and Swapnaa got it. Well done.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Question - 277

Artist's conception of what place that is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi?

Answer: The answer I had in mind was the Ferrai theme park that is now under construction (as signified by the distinctive red color of the roof). I have since learnt that the new F1 track in Abu Dhabi also is located in the same place and so either answer is acceptable. Vetti, Iam, Hari and Vijay got it. Well done.