Feb 28, 2011


World Vision is a charity working in the areas of relief and development. The World Community Grid is an effort to create the world's largest public computing grid. These two organisations, along with Seattle's Village Reach and Lancaster (Pennysylvania)'s Community Foundation, came into considerable sums of money in mid-February. How did that happen?

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Feb 27, 2011


Oscar 5

Easy one to round things off. If Colin Firth wins the Best Actor Oscar, this will probably be the only time (not a 100% sure) that two characters based on a real-life father-child pair win acting Oscars. So who will be associated with Firth in this way?

(Aside: In the Godfather films, actors playing Vito (father) and Sonny & Michael (sons) were nominated, but only the Vitos won.)

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Feb 26, 2011


Oscar 4

Four nominations in this year's Foreign Language Film category are from Mexico, Greece, Denmark and Algeria. Just like the Algerian film, the languages in the fifth country's film are Arabic and French. Which non-Arabic country is this film "Incendies" representing?

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Feb 25, 2011


Oscar 3

Filmmakers Kevin Brownlow and Jean-Luc Godard are among the three recipients of the Academy "Honorary Award". The third is the actor Eli Wallach, probably best known for playing the role Tuco in an iconic film. What was the unofficial nickname of Tuco?

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Feb 24, 2011


Oscar 2

"Exit Through the Gift Shop" is nominated for Best Documentary, and tells the story of a French street artist. The director of the movie is unlikely to attend the Oscars, though it does seem like he is in Los Angeles already (evidence: sketches on the walls of buildings, like the one above). What is the pseudonym of this artist-director?

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Feb 23, 2011


With the 83rd Academy Awards just days away, we start a special 5-part series of questions about this very fecund land of trivia, concluding on the day of the event. All the questions are about the nominees from this year.
Oscar 1
Posing with A.R.Rahman is someone whose middle and last names are 'Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley'. Also co-nominated this year is her brother Rollo. She is named after a Queen of Carthage from Roman myth. She won't be performing at this year's Award ceremony since she is expecting.

Who is this?

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Pic: A.R.Rahman's Facebook page

Feb 22, 2011


Jim O'Neill is an economist with Goldman Sachs, who contributed the acronym 'BRIC' to the business-political lexicon to collate four emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Now he has come up with 'MIST', a next set of emerging economies. What are these countries?

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Feb 21, 2011


In the 'egg' that is being borne by these five people is someone, who is being taken to the recent Grammy Awards ceremony, along the red carpet. The reason was a typical headline-grabbing stunt to promote "Born This Way", a new song by the artist inside.

So who was inside?

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(image: CBS News)

Feb 20, 2011


A French sporting federation recently held a poll to decide the future venue of an annual event. In essence, the vote was whether to move the event from its current location, and if so, to choose among the following three: Versailles, Marne-la-Vallee (close to the Paris Disneyland) and Gonesse.

In the end, the members voted not to move at all. So where will this event continue to be held?

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Feb 19, 2011


Further development on this series of video games has been stopped by its parent company Activision due to poor sales. First released in 2005. which hugely popular game franchise is this?

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Feb 18, 2011


The image is the tweet profile of Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian Google employee who shot to fame during the recent revolution by helping to organise and coordinate the protests (and for being abducted for a while).

On 26th Jan (a day after the first major day of organised protests), he tweeted:

Hey @"[left blank]", #Jan25 proved you wrong. Revolution can be a #Facebook event that is liked, shared & tweeted. http://nyr.kr/bYKeLq

The person he was addressing had written an article in the New Yorker (the url in the tweet points to that article) last year called "Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted.", the main thesis of which being that many exhibit a slack form of activism on new-age social media .

Who was this person with whom he disagreed?

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Feb 17, 2011


Henry Cavill is a British actor, who has played parts such as Albert Mondego in "The Count of Monte Cristo" (2002) and the brother-in-law of Henry VIII in "The Tudors" TV series. He is also known for several unlucky casting near-misses, losing out on playing parts such as 'Cedric' in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and 'Edward Cullen' in "Twilight" (both went to Robert Pattinson), and 'James Bond' in "Casino Royale".

However, he has now bagged the chance to play the lead in a reboot of a major movie franchise. What will he get to act as?

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Feb 16, 2011


"The Iron Lady" is a newly announced film, based on the life of Margaret Thatcher. To be directed by Phyllida Lloyd (who previously made "Mamma Mia!"), and centred around events in Britain just before the Falklands War, who will be playing Thatcher? (see the edited image above - a recently released publicity still)

Image: The Guardian.

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Feb 15, 2011


She was nominated five times for the Booker prize, but not even once did she win. Thus she came to be known as the "Booker Bridesmaid", even to her face. Her book "The Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress", to be released this year, will not be considered for this year's Man Booker Prize, because alas she is no more and the Booker does not consider posthumous nominations.

In her honour, the organisers of the prize have instituted a special "Best of " award. An online poll will be held to select a winner among her five earlier nominated novels (The Dressmaker (1973), The Bottle Factory Outing (1974), An Awfully Big Adventure (1990), Every Man for Himself (1996) and Master George (1998)). Who is this author?

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Feb 14, 2011


Connect these two elements:
* "What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last gleaming" (sic)
* this little icon, seen accompanying certain tweets on Twitter

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Feb 13, 2011


TIME magazine came out with yet another list in February this year, this time a list about the 25 Top Political Icons ever (thus keeping trivia blogs like this in business :-) ). Two questions about this list:

1. The list was released on 6 Feb 2011, to mark the 100th birth anniversary of a former US President, who was included in the list. Which president?

2. Though a list of 25, there are actually 26 people on the list. One entry is a pair of these two medieval leaders. Who are they?

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(image: Hulton Archive / Getty Images; Mary Evans Picture Library / Everett Collection and TIME)

Feb 12, 2011


Born _____ Stassinopoulos, this person previously created 'Resignation.com' and '___online.com' (the blank is the first name). Married (and later divorced) a businessman who made his fortunes in oil. This is how the more famous surname was acquired. Ran for Governor of California in 2003, against the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger (and lost).


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Feb 11, 2011


This is "Chhaua", a sambar deer, and it is the mascot for the 34th edition of an event. This edition has been postponed six times before, and is finally poised to take place in February this year.


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Feb 10, 2011


This image shows something being launched here, supposedly one of the first of its kind. This event took place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on 2nd Feb this year.


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Feb 9, 2011


Why did the words (or non-words) "hiybbprqag ", "mbzrxpgjys", " indoswiftjobinproduction", etc. became widely searched and talked about on the world wide web in early February this year?

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Feb 8, 2011


This Google Doodle (shown locally to a country's Google users earlier this year) commemorates a certain day in the country's calendar. This year's theme was summer (evident from the items in the doodle). The day marks the arrival of a fleet of ships in the country in 1788. Indians mark the day differently.

What day and which country?

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Feb 7, 2011


This phrase was first used for an event held in Washington, D.C, USA on Oct 16, 1995. The leading organisers were the 'Nation of Islam' and was largely to highlight various issues regarding African Americans. Expectedly, the estimate of the actual attendance widely varies.

This phrase has now been applied to a much more recent event. What phrase?

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Feb 6, 2011


Kim Clijsters won the women's crown at the recently concluded Australian Open. She was seen in a new line of tennis clothing by FILA, the sports goods maker. Part of their 100th anniversary celebrations, this paid tribute to an earlier tennis great, one who shares similarities with Clijsters (both seen in this photo).

Which former tennis player?

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Question courtesy Sandip Shahane.
Image: FILA

Feb 5, 2011


These are Nilgiri class frigates of the Indian Navy. The lead ship is called "Nilgiri", and the rest of the vessels in this class are also named after hills. They are Himgiri, Udayagiri, Dunagiri, Taragiri, and what?

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Feb 4, 2011


Composer John Barry (who recently passed away) twice lost court cases to Monty Norman, another composer, over claims of authorship of something. Norman had also successfully sued a couple of publications who had attributed the composition to Barry. The common understanding is that while Norman composed it, Barry made the definitive arrangement.

What famous piece of music?

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Feb 3, 2011


China routinely blocks searches for various phrases on search engines and blogging sites, usually to prevent its citizens from looking up anything remotely threatening to the ruling regime. Which country's name has recently been added to this list of banned words?

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Feb 2, 2011


Charles Portis wrote this book in 1968. It was made into a movie the following year. The book was once again turned into a film last year, and has led to many Academy Award nominations for the movie this year.

The previous film is well known in Oscar-trivia circles for something. What?

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Feb 1, 2011


Described as follows, this is the newly announced logo for what?
"It stands strong and true, resilient and universal as the markup you write. It shines as bright and as bold as the forward-thinking, dedicated [...] you are. It's the standard's standard, a pennant for progress. And it certainly doesn't use tables for layout. We present..."

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