Thursday, May 27, 2010

Question - 498

Whats the tongue-in-cheek name for this phenomenon? Its supposed to happen twice a year and tomorrow will be one of those days.

Answer: Manhattanhenge is a semi-annual occurrence when the setting sun aligns itself with the direction of Manhattan's grid system. The title is a reference to the stonehenge whose is suspected to have been built for a similar reason of alignment with the sun. AJ, Raghu, tsp, Akshay, Karthik, Ameya, Matti Tapaninen, Vetti, Jaggi, Krithi, Kr!sh, Rajesh K, Kamal Rathi, Renuka, anon and abstract randomness got it. Well done.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Question - 497

A controversial strip that led to a famous book whose cover is shown on the right. Identify all and also the resulting storyline changes.

Answer: This panel shows Batman and Robin and the homosexual overtones are hard to miss. This and other similar issues in the comics industry (such as the bondage subtext in Wonder Woman) led to an outraged polemic called Seduction of the Innocent by a psychiatrist called Fredric Wertham in which he claimed that such comics corrupt America's youth. In response, the batman franchise introduced Bat-woman and Bat-girl into the Batman universe. AJ, White Jack and Black Lagoon, Kamal Rathi, Ramki, Jamie, anon, Manix and tsp got it. Well done.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Question - 496

Identify him.

Answer: Though he does look like the generic 19th century geriatric (Walt Whitman, Darwin, Mendel and John Muir were among the guesses), there is a clue behind him. This is Claude Monet standing in his beloved gardens at Giverny. v.chandrashekar, Matti Tapaninen, Kamal Rathi, Jaggi, White Jack and Black Lagoon and an anon got it. Well done.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Question - 495

Model of which building?

Hint: No attempts so far. There is a big clue on top of the building.

Answer: This one turned out to be tougher than I thought it would be. This is the model of the US Embassy in Saigon. The helipad on top is famous from the picture here. Jamie, Ramki, anon and Ameya got it. Well done.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Question - 494

What are these guys up to?

Answer: They are playing Pac-Manhattan where real life characters recreate Pacman on the streets of New York. Hopefully, all of you wasted hours today on the google home page playing the game. Raghu, Mekie, Manix, anon, Iam, Krishnan, Hari and Hirak got it. Well done.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Question - 493

Identify the island.

Answer: This is the fictional island of Audioslave nation - a marketing gimmick by the band using Google earth. v. chandrashekar, Karthik, Pranav, Raghu, Krithi and Manix got it. Well done.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Question - 492

Complete the blanked out headline. The front page has other news articles unrelated to the question as well. Wikipedia tells me the blanked out part is now used as an idiom as well though I have never heard it used.

Answer: The headline hails "wrong way Corrigan" - who "mistakenly" flew from NYC to Ireland instead of to California. However, he had on several occasions applied for permission for a cross-atlantic flight only to be denied each time. Though he maintained that the whole thing was a mistake till his death, it is likely that he knew all along where he was headed. Raghu, Karthik, Mekie, Manix, Ramji, Krithi, Kamal Rathi and prasanna got it. Well done.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Question - 491


Answer: George Lucas took out this ad to congratulate James Cameroon on Titanic overtaking Star Wars as the all-time highest grossing film. There are similar ads taken out by the respective directors when Star Wars beat Jaws and again when E.T beat Star Wars and so on. AJ says this is a tradition in hollywood. For these other ads, see here. Karthik, Arvind, Prachi, Anand, Raghu, Iam, Ramji, Manix, Jaggi, Mainak, AJ, v. chandrashekar, Hari, hotmanoj (kind of ), Kamal Rathi, anon and prasanna got it. Well done.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Question - 490

Today's question is courtesy Iam. The object in A owes its origin to the man in the stamps. The object in B uses a creature that shares something with the statue. Objects A & B are unique inventions that share a common theme. Identify all and how the cartoon connects to the theme. C is an example of a related idea.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Question - 489

Identify or connect.

Answer: The connect is Luis Ramirez de Lucena (bottom right). He is the author of the oldest existing printed book on chess - RepeticiĆ³n de Amores e Arte de Axedrez or Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess published in 1497 (a page from the book is shown on the left). The Lucena postion (top right) is a famous chess endgame position named after him. Matti, Kamal, Manix, Divya, Anand, and Rajeev got it right. Well done. Dinky is back at the helm from Monday. It's been fun. Thanks for playing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Question - 488

Identify and connect.

Answer: The connect is Flashman, a character in Thomas Hughes's Tom Brown's Schooldays (right) later developed into the antihero Henry Paget Flashman in the Flashman novels (left) by George MacDonald Fraser. Karthik, Mekie, Dinesh, Anon, and Kamal Rathi got it. Nicely done.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Question - 487


Hint: Origin of the McMeme.

Answer: Gray's/Grey's Anatomy. On the left is Henry Gray, the eponymous author of the classic medical textbook Gray's Anatomy, now in its 40th edition. On the right is Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the popcult classic Grey's Anatomy -- which gave us McDreamy, McSteamy, and other McMemes. Dinesh, Mekie, and Kamal Rathi got it right. Well done.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Question - 486

This is the procedure for doing what?

Answer: Harvesting the Mandrake root. According to legend, the screams of the Mandrake root could kill the person uprooting it. So an elaborate procedure was devised involving a sacrificial dog. Of course, J. K. Rowling used the more animal-friendly "earmuffs" approach in her books. Dinesh, Ameya, Anon, Adi, Jaggi, and Mekie answered correctly. Well done.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Question - 485

Identify this uniquely original manuscript.

Answer: This "scroll" is the original manuscript of On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Dinesh, Rajeev, Adi, Karthik, Mekie, Matti Tapaninen, and Hirak got it right. Well done. Apologies for the goof up of leaving the file names of the images unaltered (since corrected).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Question - 484

Connect (non-exhaustive).

Answer: The connect is authors whose characters have been portrayed by Johnny Depp. Clockwise from top left: J. M. Barrie (as himself in Finding Neverland), Roald Dahl (Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Hunter S. Thompson (Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Paul Kemp in the upcoming The Rum Dairy), Lord Byron (Don Juan in Don Juan DeMarco), Stephan King (Mort Rainey in Secret Window), and Lewis Carroll (Mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland). Tough one. Rajeev, Dinesh, Abstract Randomness, and Rithwik got it. Awesome crack.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Question - 483


Answer: The connect is Saki. It was the pen name of the brilliant H. H. Munro (bottom right) and supposedly referred to the cupbearer in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (top right). It may also refer to a South American primate of the same name (left). Ramji, Dinesh, Mekie, Arvind, Adi, and Karthik got it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Question - 482

Identify and connect. (Hint: Microsoft Office and Martha Stewart)

Answer: The folks (clockwise from the top) are software architect and space tourist Charles Simonyi, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, and ethologist Richard Dawkins. The latter two have held the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Tough one, but kudos to Dinesh for cracking it before the hint. Ramji, Arvind, Adi, and Karthik got it too. Well done.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Question - 481

What originated as a result of this statute?

Answer: The Statute of Anne gave rise to copyright law. Mekie, Karthik, Prachi, Paragbm, Matti Tapaninen, Rajesh K., Hirak, Nemani, Iam (credited for previous question as well), and Dinesh got it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Question - 480

Connect. (Hint: Hindi)

Answer: The elephant logo belongs to the HathiTrust, which is in an alliance of several universities that have a partnership with Google Book Search to digitize all their books. Hathi is the Hindi term for an elephant and was used because elephants can remember. Hotmanoj and Hirak got it. Great job.