Sunday, February 28, 2010

Question - 439

Identify the building.

Answer: This is the latest incarnation of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. buckingfastard, Raghu and Krithi got it. Well done.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Question - 438

A trilogy that he wrote has led to the design of the flag shown. Identify him and the flag.

Answer: Kim Stanley Robinson wrote a trilogy about terraforming Mars. The three books were Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars reflecting the changes the planet undergoes as time goes on. The colors have since been adapted into a (unofficial for now) flag for the planet. Kamal Rathi, Ajinkya, Bharath, anon, Matti Tapaninen, anon, Krithi, Karthik, Rajesh, An0n, Adi, Kaushik, Arvind, buckingfastard, Arun Mallya and Jaggi got it. Well done.

Question - 437

Identify the lady. The answer is workable from the image.

Answer: This is Eleanor Thornton, secretary of mistress of Lord Montagu, a British politician and an avid motorist. Montagu created a mascot called The Whisperer for his beloved Rolls Royce using Thornton as the model. A variation of this mascot called The spirit of Ecstasy has adorned all Rolls Royce models since 1911. reeju, Matti Tapaninen, AJ, Abhra, Prachi, anon, Krithi, Jaggi, Rajesh K, Karthik, Iam, Paddy, anon, Arun Mallya and Krishnan got it. Well done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Question - 436

Logo of which organization? Which now common phrase owes its etymology to this symbol?

Answer: This is the logo of the Pinkerton detective agency the members of whom served as a kind of private militia. The agency was employed by many industrialists to infiltrate and keep a check on labour unions including the Molly Maguires, a case that was fictionalized in the Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear. The logo gave rise to the term Private eye for a detective. Kaushik, Karthik, Matti Tapaninen, Arvind, Raghu, Ajinkya, Iam, Abhra, Rithwik, Ramji, v. chandrashekar, Adi, Rajesh, the novice and Hari all got the agency right. Some got the etymological connect I had in mind as well. Well done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Question - 435

Identify the (in)famous photograph.

Answer: This is the final and most famous photograph in a series of photographs of fairies taken by two girls in Cottingley around 1917. Many mystics including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took the photos to be real and took it as proof of the existence of fairies. The girls maintained that the pictures weren't fake for the longest time. Kamal Rathi, Ajinkya, Karthik, Kaushik, Mekie, Raghu, Reeju, Hirak, nice try, Pavan, Manix and Prachi got it. Well done.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Question - 434

Today's question is courtesy Anand. Identify the three occasions and connect.

Answer: All 0ccasions involve US in a sporting event against a country that the US is in war with (officially or unofficially). The events are the Miracle at Lake Placid in the 1980 winter Olympics, US vs Iran in the 1998 World cup and the recent Twenty20 match between US and Afghanistan. Ajinkya, Arvind and Rajesh got the connect right while many others had the events right. Well done all.

Question - 433

Identify the guy in the middle and the occasion.

Answer: This is Nikita Khrushchev who once took off his shoe and started banging on the table to attract attention at the United Nations general assembly. Krithi, Hirak, Manix, Ramji, Rajesh and Pavan got it. Well done.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Question - 432

This is an exhaustive list. Connect.

Answer: The people are Winston Churchill, Raoul Wallenberg, William Penn, Hannah Callowhill Penn, Mother Teresa, Marquis de Lafayette and Kazimierz Pulaski. These are the only people to date who have been conferred the honorary citizenship of the United States. Kaushik, Rajeev, Bharath, Anshul Kharbanda, Adi, Hari, Rajesh, Ajinkya, Swapnaa and Aparna got it. Well done.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Question - 431

Whose tombstone is this?

Answer: Ok, this one is embarrassing. Apparently, this isn't his real tombstone and the question is also a repeat as Debasish points out. It would have been a singularly appropriate tombstone for George Carlin and his seven dirty words routine. Debasish, Karthik, Kaushik, Divya, Anand, Schmetterling, Iam, Amresh, Manix, Krishnan, Arvind, Shweta, Hirak, Rajesh, Bharath, Rajeev, Krithi and Matti Tapaninen (by mail) all got it anyway. Well done all and apologies for the inaccurate question.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Question - 430

Identify man and object labeled A.

Hint: Few correct responses so far. The man is shown with the invention he is famous for. The object labeled A is a famous dummy which was used in place of an actual human being because the machine got too hot for any human subject to be used.

Answer: This is John Logie Baird posing with his first television. The incandescent bulbs used made it too hot for any human being to be used as a test subject. Instead, Baird used a ventriloquist's dummy named Stookie bill as the test subject. The first images of Stookie bill (there are no pictures from Baird's experiments. These images are recreated now by rebuilding Baird's setup) look rather like the guy from the Saw movies. Karthik, Saswata Das, Ajinkya, Jaggi, Amresh and Venkatakrishnan got it. Well done all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Question - 429

Where is this? Why does it look the way it does?

Answer: This is the "meeting of the waters" when the sandy Amazon river meets the black waters of the Rio Negro. For some 6 km, the two rivers run side by side without mixing due to differences in water temperature, speed etc. I came to know of this in an excellent documentary on the amazon called Amazon: Super River. Kaushik, Mythreyi R, Iam, Krithi and Ajinkya got it. Well done.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Question - 428

What is happening?

Answer: This is Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517 sparking the Protestant reformation. Ramki, Raghu, Ajinkya, Mohan Phadnis, v.chandrashekar, Kaushik, Hirak and Bharath got it. Well done.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Question - 427

This is the cover of a French comic book. Something depicted fictionally in this book inspired people to simulate it in reality and it is now gaining popularity. What?

Answer: Chess boxing came into being thanks to this comic. The sport alternates rounds of chess and boxing and an opponent can be beat in either sport. Truly weird stuff. The boxer's gloves in the foreground serve as a clue. Anand, P, Debasish, Kaushik, anon, Schmetterling, Raghu, Shweta, Aparna, Rajesh, Rithwik and Abhinav Kadambi got it. Well done.

Question - 426

Identify this woman who has been called the most kissed woman of all time.

Answer: She is L'Inconnue de la Seine (the unknown woman of the Seine). More precisely, this is the death mask of an unknown woman that a doctor made because he was taken with the beauty of her features. This rather macabre image was quite famous in Paris's bohemian circles and was used as the model for Resusci Anne, the CPR training mannequin (thus the "most kissed" part). Kamal Rathi, Kaushik, Meenakshi, Mekie, Krithi, Vetti, Raghu, Ajinkya, Aparna, Schmetterling, Anand, Iam (sorry for the disappointment), Adi and Amresh got it. Well done.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Question - 425

The paintings are by the artist A and are titled simply as the professions of the men depicted. There is a theory that the artist used the scientist B as his model for both paintings . Both A and B were contemporaries hailing from the same small city and that has led some credence to this theory. Further, a controversial theory suggests that B produced the optical device shown in the last visual to help A in his paintings. Identify the visuals and the people involved.

Update: Several correct responses but I will let it stay one more day with a hint. Both A and B are from the city of Delft in Netherlands.

Answer: A & B are Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek (remember him from high school?). Though there is little facial resemblance, there is a theory that Vermeer used Leeuwenhoek as a model for his paintings. Also, Leeuwenhoek supposedly designed a camera obscura for Vermeer to use. This is an example of a controversial theory (Hockney-Falco thesis) that suggests that the realism in the paintings of the Old Masters could have only been made possible by means of artificial aid from optical instruments. Kaushik, Ajinkya, Iam, AJ, Schmetterling, Anand, Karthik, Shweta, Adi & Amresh got it. Well done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Question - 424

Identify the movie from the poster.

Answer: The movie is Late Shift, a made for TV movie about the messy struggle between Jay Leno and David Letterman to succeed Johnny Carson as the host of the Tonight show. After all these years, there is now again a controversy regarding the host of the Tonight show with Leno fighting it out with Conon O'Brien. Krithi, Hari, Ramki, Schmetterling, Raghu, Ajinkya, Rajesh K, Jaggi, nice try, Manix, rajesh, Amresh, Kaushik, Shweta, Iam and rajeev got it. Well done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Question - 423

Identify the jewelery. Only two people have ever worn it. Identify the more famous of the two.

Answer: The diamond in the necklace is the Tiffany yellow diamond, the largest yellow diamond to have ever been discovered. It was worn on only two occasions - once by Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse (wife of some politician and chairwoman of the Tiffany ball) and on the publicity stills of Breakfast at Tiffany's by the divine Audrey Hepburn. Amresh, Schmetterling, Ajinkya, Krithi, Iam, Anand, Hari, Aparna, Kaushik and Rajesh K got it. Well done.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Question - 422

The first visual shows a famous cartoon. The second visual parodies the two most prominent characters associated with the first cartoon and is drawn in the same style as the cartoon. Identify all and the etymological connection.

Answer: The cartoon is the yellow kid, from Richard F. Outcault's Hogan's Alley. The two characters are Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolf Hearst. Their papers ran the cartoon and were known as yellow kid papers. Soon, the name yellow journalism came to mean the papers' practice of taking sensationalism (even down to fictionalized stories) and profits as priorities in journalism. anon, Mitun, Kaushik, Hasan, Schmetterling, Raghu, rajesh, nice try, Amresh and Ajinkya got it. Well done.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Question - 421

This is a screen shot from a film. Identify the character highlighted.

Hint: Only 2 correct replies so far. The film is Italian and the question is etymological.

Answer: The movie is Fellini's La Dolce Vita and the character is an annoying photographer named Paparazzo from whose name we get the word paparazzi. Fellini supposedly took the name from a dialect of Italian in which it describes an annoying noise like the buzzing of a mosquito. Raghu, Rajeev, Anand, v.chandrashekar, Kaushik, rajesh, Amresh, Ramji, Ajinkya, Karthik and Arvind got it. Well done.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Question - 420

Today's question is courtesy Rajeev. Connect the 6 images.

Hint: Four correct replies so far. I will let it stay another day with a hint. The connect is television related and quite topical.

Answer: The visuals are in order Led Zeppelin's Album IV cover, the character 8 from "Battlestar Galactica", the 15 puzzle, a sixteenth note, Jim Carrey's movie "The number 23" and the 42 puzzle from HHGTTG (this was in fact the 42nd question on the blog). The numbers 4,8,15,16,23 and 42 form one of Lost's most prominent recurring themes. The much anticipated final season of Lost premiered on Feb 2nd. Ajinkya, Manix, Raghu and Amresh got it. Well done.

Question - 419

Connect the images in that order.

Answer: William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell contains the line "if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite". Aldous Huxley (2nd visual) described his experiences while taking the psychedelic drug Mescaline in a book titled "Doors of perception" taken from Blake's work. The band Doors (3rd visual) took its name from Huxley's book. This turned out to be a popular question. Raghu, v.chandrashekar, Iam, Vetti, AJ, Karthik, Manix, Ajinkya, Rajesh, Amresh, Kamal Rathi, Rithwik, Anand, Hasan, Rajeev, Arvind, Prachi, Hari, Jaggi, Mekie and Divya got it. Well done.