Jan 31, 2011


The subject of speculation for many years, this was the subject of a question by the Kerala High Court in mid-January. The answer was that this was indeed man-made, and following a tradition begun in the past by tribals in the area. However, the people involved also mention the brightness of Sirius on the day. What?

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Jan 30, 2011


This ("The Bed of ___") is the latest book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb, author of "Fooled by Randomness" and "The Black Swan" (previous IZ question here). This is a book of aphorisms, and about how humans constantly try to summarise knowledge into short and crisp sentences, ideas, and categories.

The book is named after an interesting figure from Greek Mythology, who invited passer-bys to spend the night in his house, and would forcibly 'fit' them into their beds, by amputation or stretching, to exactly match the length of the bed. Which figure?

image: Black Swan Report

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Jan 29, 2011


What condition is common to these three films: 1. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
2. Kaminey (2009)
3. The King's Speech (2010)

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Jan 28, 2011


Author Jeffrey Deaver (known for books such as The Bone Collector) is posing here with the title and cover of his latest upcoming book, titled "Carte Blanche". To be published later this year, the book is the next in the series involving an iconic character, with the story being partly set in Dubai for the first ever time. Which character?

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Image: BBC

Jan 27, 2011


What is common to these two matches:

* 2010-11 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, final, Pakistan International Airlines vs Habib Bank Limited, Karachi, Jan 13-17 2011

* 1995-96 Ranji Trophy, final, Mumbai vs Delhi, Gwalior, Apr 5-9 1997

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Jan 26, 2011


This is the latest Amar Chitra Katha title, and also the result of the publication's first ever tie-up with a Hindi film. What is the name of this title, or what incident is being chronicled?

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(image: Mid-Day)

Question based on a tweet by Gopal S.

Jan 25, 2011


The American TV show "Boardwalk Empire" walked away with a few top awards at the recent Golden Globes (Best TV Drama and TV Drama Actor). The story is set in Atlantic City and is based on the life of a Prohibition-era criminal-politician. The TV's pilot episode was one of the most expensive in history ("the most" according to some reports).

Who directed this pilot?

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Jan 24, 2011


Jasmine is the national flower of this African country, and a significant cultural symbol used for courtship and other emotional connotations. This is why the recent political upheavals there leading to the ouster of its President have been termed the Jasmine Revolution.

Which country?

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Jan 23, 2011


INS Kadamba is India's third operational naval base and is situated in Karwar in Karnataka. Commissioned in 2005, it was opened last year. This is the only base to be fully controlled by the Indian Navy, which frees the navy from worrying about civilian shipping traffic.

Where are the other two such bases located?

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Jan 22, 2011


This is the latest release in a series of books called "The Art of Computer Programming" that began in the sixties. The series is far from done, with many topics left to cover. Who (I can see anyone remotely connected to computer science groaning at the sitter-ness of this question) is the author?

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(image: InformIT)

Jan 21, 2011


According to the US Ambassador to South Korea, this was the first ever film from the West to have been aired on TV in North Korea (on Christmas Day last year). The broadcast was courtesy of the British Embassy, and marked the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations ties between Britain and the North.

Which was the film (first released in 2002) which features a subject that North Koreans are known to be very fond of?

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Jan 20, 2011


(IZ contest Honourable Mention question by Mayur Srinivasan)

'A': a town in Shropshire, England; home to a society partly responsible for a grand recurring event. 'A' had its own miniature version of the event.

'B': a village in Buckinghamshire, England; home to a hospital responsible for another recurring event.

Connect A and B

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Jan 19, 2011


(IZ contest 'Honourable Mention' question by Rohan Danait, who also runs the daily quiz blog Quizlexic)

This former cabinet minister in Andhra Pradesh produced a film called "Sri Ramulayya" based on his father. Another set of films recently brought him back to attention. Which films?

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Jan 18, 2011


Thanks to everyone who sent in an entry to the "make your own question contest". The contest received 8 entries, and here are the results:

Winner: Aditya Gadre
Honorable Mentions: Rohan Danait, Mayur Srinivasan

Aditya's question is as follows: "For what specific reason was Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code in the news recently?"
(answer below as usual)

(A question each from Rohan and Mayur will be posted in the next two days. Aditya wins a Rs. 100 Flipkart gift voucher.)

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Jan 17, 2011


A referendum (the voting paper above) took place earlier this week (mid-Jan 2011) in an African country, to decide if its southern half should secede. This is a significant part of the "Naivasha Agreement", signed in Naivasha, Kenya in 2005 to quieten a raging civil war in the country. This nation is currently the largest in Africa. Which one?

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Jan 16, 2011


Steven Spielberg: "He is the best actor in the world"
He: "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'The thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world"

His most famous roles were in films such as "In The Name of the Father", "Inception", and of course, "The Usual Suspects". Which English actor, who recently passed away?

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(the answer wasn't visible earlier - apologies for that)

Jan 15, 2011


Alan Gribben, a professor of English at an Alabama, US university, is coming out with a new edition of the Mark Twain books "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". This has kicked up a lot of fuss, because the word 'nigger' is to be replaced by 'slave' in the books. One more word is also to be replaced with something less offensive, which is also the prefix of a character in the Tom Sawyer book. Which word?

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Jan 14, 2011


It finished second to "app" as being voted the "2010 Word of the Year" (the annual reason why the American Dialect Society re-emerges into public consciousness). Which word, a part of an onomatopoeic phrase made famous by The Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, is this - quite a crowd favourite in this year's selection?

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Jan 13, 2011


Created by David Peters of San Francisco, this design concept (as seen in this logo) has been created for something that will complete 10 years of existence on Jan 15 this year. The anniversary is also being marked by events all over the world.


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Jan 12, 2011


A couple of questions on the recently announced FIFA awards. (Also featured in a question earlier.)

1. This international U-17 team won the award for Fair Play, participating in the women's U-17 CONCACAF cup just weeks after a devastating calamity ravaged their country. Most of the players had lost homes and some even family. So which country is this?
2. Hamit Altintop of Turkey is receiving this year's Puskas Award for the best/most beautiful goal of the year. Why is he receiving the award from the Kazakh player Andrei Sidelnikov?

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Images: CONCACAF and (img: Rediff & REUTERS)

Jan 11, 2011


Something interesting is happening in these two pictures (Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troiki are seen in these pictures). This was done on 5th Dec, 2010. Some more people also followed suit.

Why is all this happening?

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May we also remind you of our 100 days contest.

Jan 10, 2011


"Stranger to History: A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands" was published in 2009. In the book, the author visits several Islamic countries in an attempt to understand modern times in these places. The journey is immensely personal, because he also visits his estranged father in Pakistan and is trying to come to terms with his own Islamic identity.

If the author's mother is noted journalist Tavleen Singh, who is the father?

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(image: Penguin)

Jan 9, 2011


The Association behind this annual meeting was formed by two British chemists, J. L. Simonsen and P.S. MacMahon. The meeting has happened every year since 1914 (uninterrupted), and is usually held between 3-7 January of the year. This year's venue is Chennai.


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Jan 8, 2011

100 days and a contest

Infinite Zounds completes 100 days today. It's a good time to look at what has happened here in those days:

* In total, there have been 102 questions on this blog because on two days, an extra bonus question was asked

* Entertainment (28), Sports (22), and Business (18) have been the top three categories of questions.

* There should probably be a category called "Obituaries"!

* Questions 6 and 73 seem to be the most answered questions

A Contest

To mark the occasion, here's a "make your own IZ question" contest for readers.

What to do: Submit a question based on recent events (anything in the last 6 months).
What we're looking for: The best framed, the zoundiest, the most interesting question. Be creative in the way you set the question. Find us a surprising fact. Don't be too obscure.
What we're offering: The best entry wins a voucher to an online bookstore. We'll also post the best few entries on this blog.
How to send it in: Mail infinitezounds [at] gmail with "IZ 100" in the subject line. Your question should be in plain text, between 100 to 300 characters. Images can be attached, but no word/ppt docs please. Include your name or a handle to identify you by. And don't forget the answer :-)
By when: The contest is open for a week i.e. till 15th of January, 2010.


Person 1: Nicknamed "Used Card Yard" by a former coach. Studied Aviation for his undergraduate degree and is a qualified pilot. Father works for IBM.

Person 2: Nicknamed "Frothy". Father was named to St. Kilda Cricket Club's Team of the Century.

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Infinite Zounds completes 100 uninterrupted days of zoundery today. To celebrate it, the blog is running a contest. Don't forget to read about it here!

Jan 7, 2011


What achievement is common to these people:

India: Pankaj Bhadouria (2010)
Australia: Julie Goodwin (2009), Adam Liaw (2010)
New Zealand: Brett McGregor (2010)
UK: Thomasina Miers (2005), Peter Bayless (2006), Steven Wallis (2007), James Nathan (2008), Mat Follas (2009), Dhruv Baker (2010)

It was originally introduced in the UK in 1990, but was revamped in 2005.

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Jan 6, 2011


This is a music album by a Indian academic and writer (now resident in Britain). Classified as being in the jazz or world music categories, The album is inspired by the likes of John Lennon and Leonard Cohen, and has tracks such as "Saraswati", "Norwegian Wood", and "One Fine Day".

The name "Found Music" refers to artist Martin Duchamp's "found objects" art series in which everyday objects were repurposed as art.

Who is this composer-author?

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(Image courtesy Amazon)

Jan 5, 2011


English cricketer Graeme Swann is leading his team-mates in a victory dance after they retained the Ashes by beating Australia in the Melbourne Test days ago. He describes it thus:
"Our lap of honour was a great feeling and, when we reached the Barmy Army, we just had to do The ______ [...] One arm is extended while the other hand is placed on the head. They jerk and move in a way that is meant to resemble a garden watering device!"
What does he call this dance (reportedly invented by Paul Collingwood)? (which wouldn't be out of place in a Bollywood song picturisation)

Images copyright: Getty Images and ESPN Cricinfo

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Jan 4, 2011


OWN is a new cable television channel being launched in the USA on 1st Jan, 2011. Self-improvement is likely to be a major theme with shows such as Masterclass (learning from famous people) and Enough Already! (removing clutter and unloading emotional baggage). Later, there will also be shows featuring people like Dr. Phil, Sarah Ferguson and Rosie O'Donnell.

Who is behind this channel?

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Jan 3, 2011


This image shows Blake Edwards receiving his Honorary Academy Award from Jim Carrey (and doing so in mock-Pink-Panther style). The recently deceased director was most famous for films such as The Pink Panther series, Breakfast at Tiffany's. His second wife is an actress, and acclaimed in her own right. They collaborated in movies such as Darling Lili, Victor Victoria and S.O.B.

Who is this fine lady?

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Jan 2, 2011


Dr. Jonathan Mann was the first director of the World Health Organization's Special Program on AIDS in the late 80s. He parted ways with the WHO after disagreements over the UN's approach to the problem, and later moved to Harvard to carry out his work in combating AIDS and increasing awareness on the subject. His wife and he died in an air crash in 1998. The next year, a annual award was instituted in his name, and given to a leading practitioner in health and human rights.

Who received this award in 2008?

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Jan 1, 2011


This author will be making his feature film debut as an actor in the upcoming film "7 Khoon Maaf" directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Who?

(one more cannibalised question from a recent quiz of mine - an India quiz at Mood Indigo)

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