Dec 31, 2010


This is the masthead of the Times of India on Dec 2nd this year. What newly launched product was being advertised on the front and back pages that day?

(yet another qn from a recent quiz of mine - an India quiz at Mood Indigo)

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Dec 30, 2010


This actress of yesteryears was once voted as being the most photogenic Indian actress by a Filmfare poll of cinematographers in the 50s. She was a cousin of the actress Shobhana Samarth and some of her best known work was in the film "Kaalapani" with Dev Anand, particularly in the songs "Nazar Laage Raajaa" and "Hum Bekhudi Mein Tum Ko".

She passed away recently. Who?

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Dec 29, 2010


This is an image from the recently concluded "TAPI" summit (or "sammit" (sic)), in which four Asian countries signed a deal that allows a gas pipeline to be built spanning these four countries. This will bring gas from the Caspian Sea right up to India. Also known as the "Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline", the project is also named after an acronym. What does this stand for?

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Dec 28, 2010


Identify this author, who won The Hindu's award for Best Fiction in 2010 for his book Serious Men, though he is probably now better known for opening a Pandora's Box of sorts.

(from a recent quiz of mine)

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Dec 27, 2010


The man to the left recently beat the man to the right to claim a record. Though by some calculations, he had already done so about ten weeks ago. Identify the record and the people involved.

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Dec 26, 2010


An adaptation of a much loved series of books, this is an image from a new BBC One TV serial that begins this December in Britain. Featuring a feisty boy-hero, the books have been turned into audio books before and an ITV version in the 70s (later shown on Doordarshan). Which series of books?

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Dec 25, 2010


According to the Google Zeitgeist results for 2010 (showing the most searched terms on Google's search engine), "micromax mobile", "youtube videos" and "fifa" were the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most 'fastest rising' terms in India. The top result is a perennial favourite indicating users looking for a very oft-used resource. Its search volume pattern is shown in this chart. Which term?

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Dec 24, 2010


This character from an upcoming Hindi film is the focus of some legal trouble, with someone suing the film for modeling the character after him. Who is suing whom?

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Dec 23, 2010


Total Wipeout is a British game show aired on the BBC in Britain that seems almost identical in spirit and form to Takeshi's Castle. Challengers compete in a set of setpieces based in mud or water and involving overcoming obstacles. Co-hosted by Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame, who will be hosting the Indian version of this show (called "Zor Ka Jhatka")?

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Dec 22, 2010

Infinite Zounds now available on Quiz Blogs

Quiz Blogs helps aggregate quizzing blogs from around the world, especially in India. The latest addition is Infinite Zounds, which now gives you one more way to follow this blog (apart from Twitter and the blog's RSS feed). Quiz Blogs is or aims to be the world's biggest quiz blog roll, and apart from Infinite Zounds, you can follow several other interesting quiz blogs from that site.


A TIME Person of the Year special:

a. If Mark Zuckerberg is the 2nd youngest person to be named TIME Person of the Year, who is the youngest individual person thus named to do so?

b. Though Julian Assange won the online poll on TIME's website, who received the most votes on their Facebook poll? (not surprisingly, it wasn't Zuckerberg).

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Dec 21, 2010


This logo features the native 'sidra' tree which grows even in the country's harsh climate. It is a traditional symbol of knowledge and a source of ingredients for medicines. This logo is likely to become extremely well-known from 2011-12 onwards. Why would this be so?

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Dec 20, 2010


Bollywood is responsible for the genesis of this group. In 2010, some Bollywood production houses hired a company called "Aiplex Software" to launch cyber (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on websites that failed to adhere to software takedown notices. This group of hackers came together to retaliate against this company. They then went after other anti-piracy groups such as the RIAA and MPAA in the US, and the opponents of The Pirate Bay.

Who are they and what do their most recent targets (in the first week of December) have in common?

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Dec 19, 2010


1988: Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard
1989: Marco Van Basten, Franco Baresi, Frank Rijkaard
2010: Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta (not in order)

What connects these three sets?

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Dec 18, 2010


The last time this happened was in 1989, when the US invaded Panama under "Operation Just Cause". This happened again on 7th December this year, thanks to heavy rains which caused flooding. This time it was temporary. What?

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Dec 17, 2010


James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been revealed as hosts of the 2011 Oscars. James Franco could be in the running for a Best Actor nomination for his upcoming "127 Hours" (see a previous question on that film here). The last time this happened was in 1987 when this actor co-hosted the Oscars and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay (which he lost to Woody Allen for "Hannah and Her Sisters").

Name this actor who duly began his Oscar hosting duties with "G'day viewers!"

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Dec 16, 2010


The Sunset Club is a recently released book about a year in the life of three octogenarians: Preetam Sharma, Barkatullah Baig and Buta Singh, who meet each evening in Delhi at sunset. The author, a former octogenarian himself, claims (for the umpteenth time) that this will be his last book.

Who is the author?

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Dec 15, 2010


Countries have met at the Conference of the Parties since 1995. The sixteenth such conference just concluded in Cancun, Mexico. The next will be held in Durban. This is a list of all hosts. What is at #3?

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bonn, Germany
The Hague, Netherlands
Bonn, Germany
Marrakech, Morocco
New Delhi, India
Milan, Italy
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Montreal, Canada
Nairobi, Kenya
Bali, Indonesia
Poznan, Poland
Copenhagen, Denmark
CancĂșn, Mexico
Durban, South Africa

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Dec 14, 2010


"Selective about Reality" is the (rather appropriate, some would say) tag line for Vaishnavi Communications. Clients include the likes of Ginger Hotels, Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinic, The IMG Chennai Open 2011, and TCS, So why has the firm been in the news lately?

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Dec 13, 2010


In a couple of controversial (though not unusual) decisions, FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. This would make these countries the biggest and the smallest FIFA members (by area) to host the World Cup.

Until then, which FIFA members will be the biggest and smallest World Cup hosts?

update: 13 Dec, 3 pm: there has been a correction to the earlier printed answer - please open the answer to see it.

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Dec 12, 2010


NASA recently published a paper in the journal Science about experiments that involved 'persuading' a bacterium to use arsenic instead of phosphorus in its basic bio-chemistry. Despite some reports in the mainstream press about its earth-shattering significance of having discovered arsenic-based life, most scientists have concluded this is just an interesting addition in understanding how life works.

Many articles reminded people of the acronym "CHNOPS" - a mnemonic for the most abundant elements in bio-chemistry. If P is for Phosphorus, what are the rest? [+ Show Answer]

Dec 11, 2010


Late November 2010, citizens of Iceland participated in an election, in which 25 people from various walks of life were elected. These 25 people will collaborate on producing something which Iceland had never created before. The previous one was borrowed from Denmark, with a few minor changes. So what will these people be doing? [+ Show Answer]

Dec 10, 2010


He was dubbed the "Olivier of spoofs" by movie critic Roger Ebert. A Canadian, he appeared in TV shows before becoming part of a hit film called "Forbidden Planet" (sci-fi meets The Tempest) - (this image is a scene from the film). He was most famous for his role as Frank Debrin in a series of films, two of which had fractions in the titles. Which actor, who died recently?
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Dec 9, 2010


Viv Richards : West Indies as
Basil D'Oliveira: England as
Krish Mackerdhuj (in the image): India (in a lesser fashion).
How is this so?
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Dec 8, 2010


Stainboy is a character created by director Tim Burton, and has featured in several short films. Connect this unsure superhero with a creative technique known as "cadavre exquis" or "exquisite corpse".
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Dec 7, 2010


England and Wales typically have eight Bank Holidays (public holidays) in a year. However, 2011 will be different: they will have nine. Why will this be the case?

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Dec 6, 2010


Kevin Pietersen, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson are part of something which was conceptualised in 1999 in Australia and has since spread to New Zealand, UK, and to the US. The aim is to increase awarenness about issues affecting male health, particularly prostrate cancer.

In this event, there are specific definitions about what isn't a moustache, such as:

"1. There is to be no joining to side burns – That’s a beard."
"2. There is to be no joining of the handlebars – That’s a goatee."
"3. A small complimentary growth under the bottom lip is allowed (aka a tickler)."
A participant has to start clean-shaven since no head-starts are allowed.

What is the name of this event, which is a portmanteau involving the item in question and the month in which it is held?
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Dec 5, 2010


This incident at the Asian Games blew up into a massive diplomatic row between Chinese Taipei and China after Taiwanese sportswoman Yang Shu-chun was accused of cheating during a match against her Vietnamese opponent. Two extra foot sensors had been found in Yang's socks, which had been found and removed before the match began (according to the Taiwanese version). But only mid-way through the match (with Yang leading 9-0) did the judges suddenly disqualify Yang. An official said that she had replaced the sensors again.

So which is this sport which requires its participants to have these foot sensors thereby making it possible to score more accurately?

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Dec 4, 2010


This accidental "malamanteau" became the talk of internet-town, especially after the tweeter deleted it soon after. The word not only entered the New Oxford American Dictionary, but also became its Word for the Year 2010, generating humorous linguistic commentary on its relative merits.
The word, defined as "a verb used loosely to mean 'reject'" is a mixture of "repudiate" and "refute". So, (largely) peaceful quizzers, who is the tweeter?
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Dec 3, 2010


Excerpts and versions of this work (a loose collection of personal thoughts and reminiscences) have appeared in print as early as 1924 and 1940. The first volume of the authorized version released last month. Some have likened the book's structure to that of a blog because the author chose to "start it at no particular time of your life; wander at your free will all over your life; talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale". This attitude to an autobiography was quite innovative then, and perhaps reflects the author's personality as well.

Which book?

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Dec 2, 2010


Sebastian Vettel, this year's F-1 champion, is the youngest-ever winner of the title (at 23 yrs and 133 days). The oldest man to have done so was double his age (46 yrs, 41 days), in 1957. Who?

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Dec 1, 2010


The last time this happened was in 1936 when the German journalist Carl von Ossietzky was not allowed to leave Germany. The other occasions when this almost happened was in 1975 (with Andrei Sakharov of USSR), 1983 (Lech Walesa of Poland), and 1991 (Aung San Suu Kyi). It's quite likely to happen this year. What?

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