Jan 30, 2012


The full title is "To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes". The short form is H.R. 3261. The introducer is Lamar Smith of Texas.

What is the acronym?

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This day last year: Q.122

Jan 29, 2012


The film "Chittagong" is directed by Bedabrata Pain and features Manoj Bajpai and Barry John among others. It was ready as far back as 2010, but was not released then. It was alleged that Amitabh Bachchan had a hand in ensuring it did not come out as this film directly clashed with his son's film releasing around the same time. The director said it was merely a pragmatic choice by the distributors.

Finally scheduled to release in February 2012, what is the central theme of this film and which is the Abhishek Bachchan film being referred to?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.121

Jan 28, 2012


The writer P.D.James, perhaps best known for her Adam Dalgliesh books of crime, released her latest book towards the end of 2011 and is called "Death Comes to Pemberley".

The book is a period piece and brings crime to a fictional place, the setting of a classic novel which is reportedly the Baroness James's favourite book. The central characters from the old novel are key figures here too.

Which place or which novel?

Image: Washington Post

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This day last year: Q.120

Jan 27, 2012


The last time this happened was on Dec 31, 2009, 23:59:59 UTC. The next time this will happen is on June 30th, 2012, 23:59:59 UTC. There was some speculation whether the practice would be scrapped after this year. The U.N. body in charge of this decision heard arguments for (by the UK and others) and against it (by the US and others), and decided to maintain the status quo. It will be reviewed in 2015.

What scientific adjustment?

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This day last year: Q.119

Jan 26, 2012


This year's theme at the World Economic Forum summit is "The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models" and as usual, the venue will be located at Davos in the Swiss canton of Graub√ľnden.

Just as usual will be the appearance of protestors, who unfailingly show up at events like these. People affiliated to the "Occupy" movement will make their debut under the Occupy Davos banner.

What do they plan to build there, as part of their protests? (and this year's Davos weather certainly has been amenable to it)?

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This day last year: Q.118

Jan 25, 2012


Forbes and the design group JESS3 have produced a short graphic novel about a period in the life of this person. Called "The Zen of ___ ___", it explores this person's significant friendship with a Zen priest named Kobun Otogawa.

This image (source: Amazon.com) is a panel from the book.

Who is the person?

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This day last year: Q.117

Jan 24, 2012


Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images/The Guardian

This music band re-issued all its (fourteen) studio albums in 2011, via the record label EMI. To mark this, the band and the label recreated something (see the image) which had been first staged in 1976. (The idea was to shoot an image for an album cover).

The location was Battersea Power Station in London and prominently featured a tethered object. In 1976, the object broke loose and wandered off into, appropriately, a field of cattle even before it could be photographed. This time, there was no such problem.

Which band or album or object?

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This day last year: Q.116

Jan 23, 2012


Image: The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom has issued this commemorative coin as part of a set issued for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. This particular design was sent in by sports journalist Neil Wolfson.

Wolfson thought this design might serve as a handy guide to anyone trying to demystify a particular sporting rule. What rule?

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This day last year: Q.109

Jan 22, 2012


What are these pairings about (with reference to 2010-11):
  • Col. C.K. Nayudu : Ajit Wadekar
  • Polly Umrigar : Rahul Dravid
  • Madhavrao Scindia : S. Badrinath, Bhargav Bhatt
  • M.A. Chidambaram: Vijay Zol, Avi Barot, Suryakumar Yadav, Jhulan Goswami, Mona Meshram
  • Dilip Sardesai: Ishant Sharma, R. Ashwin
  • Lala Amarnath: Iqbal Abdulla, Sumit Narwal

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This day last year: Q.114

Jan 21, 2012


Image: The Economic Times

The film "San Ge Sha Gua" has been one of the big hits in Chinese cities in 2011, especially with young audiences, with whom it seems to have struck a natural chord.

How do we know this film in India?

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This day last year: Q.113

Jan 20, 2012


This is from the official website for which event:

Click to see a bigger picture

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This day last year: Q.112

Jan 18, 2012


This 1991 film was the first animated film ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture (in fact, it received this honour when only five films were selected for Best Picture; "Up" and "Toy Story 3" were nominated when ten films were chosen). It won Oscars for Best Song and Score.

In keeping with the modern fad, this has been re-released in early 2012 in 3-D form. Which film?

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This day last year: Q.110

Jan 17, 2012


Contrary to public and media perception in India, it was a specific book on the Bhagavad Gita (and not the Hindu sacred text in general) that was sought to be banned in Russia in 2011. The case gained prominence in India around December when the trial resumed - the case was dismissed in court. The book is called "Bhagavad Gita As It Is".

This book was written by a man formerly known as Abhay Charan De and first published in 1968. Reports say that part of the reason behind the attempted ban was to curb the activities of the organization he founded.

What's he better known as?

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This day last year: Q.109

Jan 16, 2012


British director Stephen Daldry has directed more plays than films, but has notably won three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for films like "Billy Elliot", "The Hours", and "The Reader".

On the other hand, Danny Boyle has achieved only one nomination for Best Director, but memorably won it for "Slumdog Millionaire".

These two filmmakers are collaborating on something in 2012; Daldry will be a kind of an overall creative producer, while Boyle will direct one specific aspect.

What collaboration?

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This day last year: Q.108

Jan 15, 2012


Images: Amazon.com

"The Art of ______" is an upcoming book by Chad Harbach (out in January 2012). Such was Harbach's struggle to get the book written and published that his friend Kieth Gessen wrote an article about it in Vanity Fair magazine, later expanded into an e-book whose cover you also see above. This book-about-a-book has already been published (in 2011).

About a baseball player who finds his skills have deserted him, it has already won several favourable reviews, with the likes of Mike Atherton calling it "an outstanding novel about sports". At first glance, this could easily be a novel about cricket and could find place on a shelf with books by Sir Don Bradman and Mike Brearley.

So what's the missing word?

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This day last year: Q.107

Jan 14, 2012


Image: Wikipedia

This image shows an artist's rendering of a planet whose discovery was announced by NASA in September 2011. It is the first ever example of a "circumbinary planet" i.e. one that orbits two stars. This has led to it being dubbed "Tattooine" after the fictional circumbinary planet from the Star Wars movie franchise.

Formally, its name is ___-16(AB)-b, where the word in the blank is shared with its binary star, which gets its name from the NASA spacecraft that was used to study it. The spacecraft was named for a famous German astronomer.


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This day last year: Q.106

Jan 13, 2012


This rail service was introduced in 2004 by a state, seeking in part to emulate the success of a similar service by a state to the north. However, the service never saw an overwhelming response and took a big hit after late 2008 with all bookings cancelled.

It has now been revived in late 2011 with a new itinerary and refurbishments. What service?

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This day last year: Q.105

Jan 12, 2012


Images: Wikipedia

Named after her to mark her stay there; the man in the middle resided there for a long, long time; will it be named after the man on the right? What's going on here?

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This day last year: Q.104

Jan 11, 2012


A list of some of the major honours received by this gentleman. Who, and what is the missing honour?
Guggenheim Fellowship (1991-92)
Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2003)
Member, National Academy of Sciences, USA (elected 2004)
Datta Medal and Lecture, FEBS annual meeting, (2007)
Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2007)
Heatley Medal, British Biochemical Society (2008)
Foreign Member, Indian National Science Academy (elected 2008)
Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge (elected 2008)
_____________ (2009)
Knight Bachelor for services to Molecular Biology (2012, Queen's New Year Honours List)

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This day last year: Q.103

Jan 10, 2012


Karnataka has set up a "Special Protection Force" consisting of a fifty-plus member squad which, after receiving training specific to their terrain and objectives, has become operational in early 2012. They will be working in two specific areas of the state. Madhya Pradesh also had announced a similar squad a couple of years ago, but that has not come to fruition yet.

States like Orissa, and Tamil Nadu may also come up with their own squads. For what?

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This day last year: Q.102

Jan 9, 2012


After elections in Jamaica in late 2011, the country has a new Prime Minister: Portia Simpson Miller. One among the many policy changes she plans to undertake is a radical change that she hopes will come into force by August 2012. That's when the country will celebrate fifty years of its independence from the United Kingdom.

If Simpson Miller is successful, Jamaica will join the likes of Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago in making this change. What change?

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This day last year: Q.101

Jan 8, 2012


Not everyone likes Sherlock Holmes. In August 2011, a school board in Albemarle County, Virginia took out the first Holmes story "A Study in Scarlet" from the reading curriculum for sixth-graders after receiving a complaint from an annoyed parent.

The parent said it was an "inaccurate introduction to an American ____", and the board agreed, ruling it "age-inappropriate".

What was the parent complaining about?

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This day last year: Q.100

Jan 7, 2012


The "Dr." attached to his name was an academic one: he studied Mass Communication at Columbia University and completed a PhD in the early 50s for his work on trying to apply mass communication techniques to Indian education.

He eventually quit a full-time academic position in India to take up music and movies. He did dabble in politics, once serving as an independent MLA (in the late 60s) and once losing a Lok Sabha election as a BJP candidate in 2004.


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This day last year: Q.99

Jan 6, 2012

Jan 5, 2012


2012 will see many tourist operators (particularly in Britain) offering special tours and cruises centered around places like Belfast and Southampton. This is expected to peak around April 2012.

Belfast will also see the unveiling of a building (seen in accompanying image) built under a "Signature Project" floated a few years ago. It is slated to open on 31st March. All this is to mark the centenary of what?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.97

Jan 4, 2012


11/22/63 is Stephen King's latest book, about Jake Epping, a time-traveller who travels back in time to 1958 attempting to stop not just JFK's assassination but also change an ordinary person's future.

If the front cover is this, what is on the back cover?

Image: Stephenking.com

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This day last year: Q.96

Jan 3, 2012


First awarded in 2008 as a prize in Mathematics, this prize was extended to four other scientific categories from 2009 (two prizes are awarded under the Social Sciences segment, making it 6 'laureates' per year). It is meant to reward and encourage high quality scientific research by Indians; the prize includes a fifty lakh rupees award.

You see this year's winners above. The name of the prize comes from the corporate entity that has instituted this. Which entity?

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This day last year: Q.95

Jan 2, 2012


Four versions of the "Vivek Express" have been launched by Indian Railways in 2011, in various parts of the country. These commemmorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Among these is train no. 15906, which is now India's longest running train.

This train will traverse 4,286 km in about eighty-plus hours. Like the previous holder of this record (the Himsagar Express), one of the train's termini is Kanyakumari. What is the other end-point?

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This day last year: Q.94

Jan 1, 2012


The Christian group The Seventh-day Adventist Church is called so is because of its belief in the second coming of Christ (i.e. the Advent). The other reason explains the phrase "Seventh Day". Unlike most other Christian denominations, believers observe the Sabbath (i.e. the day of rest in Semitic religions) on the Saturday of a week, not the Sunday. This is akin to how Jews mark the Sabbath.

This year, in the end of December, a group of Seventh-day Adventists in the little island country of Samoa were faced with a dilemma around this observance, and eventually most parishes decided to observe it on a Sunday from now on. Why?

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This day last year: Q.93


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