Feb 29, 2012


In February of 2012, the Kellogg Company announced its decision to purchase a well known food brand. This brand has been around since the late 60s, and is best known for its combination of distinctive packaging, shape (a "hyperbolic paraboloid"), and branding.

Which brand?

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This day last year: Q.151

Feb 27, 2012


Image: Wikipedia

This is a partial view of an emblem created via a 2011 competition for children. A children's TV show "Blue Peter" ran this contest which was won by 10-year old Katherine Dewar. On previous occasions, such an emblem was created by professional designers.

For what 2012 event was this design made?

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This day last year: Q.150

Feb 26, 2012


Oscar 5

Our last question in this Oscar series:

Several things made this multi-Oscar nominated film's production different from its peers. One such aspect was that instead of shooting at the now traditional rate of 24 frames per second, the film was shot at a slightly slower rate, at 22 frames second. This deliberate choice was made to evoke the period the film is set in.

Which film?

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This day last year: Q.149

A cameo

If you are a movie fan, here's something for you. Harsh Nene, a good friend of IZ (and guest contributor) along with Kedar Vaidya, has created a beautiful visualization of recent Hollywood films. While you're waiting for the Oscars, give it a spin and if you have feedback, let him know!

Feb 25, 2012


Oscar 4

This alread much-feted film is widely tipped to win at least one Academy Award; it has been nominated in two major categories. The film's full title is "Jodái-e Náder az Simin".

What is the English title given to this film? (which should be easily translatable by those of us who can speak Hindustani.)

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This day last year: Q.148

Feb 24, 2012


Oscar 3

With respect to this year's Oscars, what is common to these three people?

Images: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.147

Feb 23, 2012


Oscar 2

This composer is nominated twice this year for Best Original Score, raising his career Oscar nominations to an astonishing forty-seven, the second highest in history. His long and productive association with Steven Spielberg is reflected in this year's tally as well, with both these 2012 nominated films being the Spielberg films "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin".


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This day last year: Q.146

Feb 22, 2012


Oscar 1

Like last year, the first in a set of 5 questions about this year's Academy Awards in the run up to the ceremony:

The "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" is the body that awards the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars). It also has a "Motion Picture and Television Fund" involved in helping needy people involved in the entertainment industry.

Jean Hersholt was its President once, and for him is named the "Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award", an honorary Oscar. This year's prize has gone to a former Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress, someone with her own rags-to-riches story, for her charitable work.


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This day last year: Q.145

Feb 21, 2012


In an interview to the Indian Express in November 2011 about this anti-establishment song, he said:
After Operation Blue Star in Punjab, the final examinations were postponed. [I] led a group of students demanding a month’s notice as preparation. We made banners saying, "____ ____". and went about raising this slogan.”
Who, and which song?

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This day last year: Q.144

Feb 20, 2012


This map is marking the terminal route of something that its owners hoped would bring the message of peace and harmony among European countries (and instead, led to lots of anguish within Italy). What?

Image: The BBC

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This day last year: Q.143

Feb 19, 2012

IZ 121 - III

Set III (VIZuals, Connections, Awards & Obits)
Download Set III here or view here:


This shuttle service will operate in London during the Olympics, connecting St Pancras station and Ebbsfleet station to Stratford station (inside the Olympic Park).

What appropriate "swift as an arrow" name from the world of athletics has this been given?

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This day last year: Q.142

Feb 18, 2012


This person is getting a rousing welcome by friends and well-wishers in Manali, in December 2011 after a remarkable achievement in Nagano earlier that month. Who, and what achievement?

Image: The News Himachal

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This day last year: Q.141

Feb 17, 2012


This is the trailer for director-writer Sriram Raghavan's "Agent Vinod" starring Saif Ali Khan. At 0:43 seconds in the video, Saif Ali Khan claims his name is "Mahender Sandhu". Why is that a fitting name for Agent Vinod to assume?

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This day last year: Q.140

Feb 15, 2012


Sharing its name with a 2011 Hindi film, this district court in Delhi is located in the former residence of a Maharaja of a former Indian princely state. The court has relentlessly been in the news in 2011 and now in 2012.

What is this place called?

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This day last year: Q.138

Feb 14, 2012

IZ 121 - I

Set 1: India, Sports, SciTech
Download Set I here or view here:


This word originates from Aramaic, morphed into Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, and eventually found itself in Jewish and Christian culture. Usually uttered in an exclamatory manner, it is a cry of worship or for help.

The word is in the centre of an unseemly (and unnecessary, as is the case in these cases) controversy of late, for having 'offended' the sentiments of a religious forum. What word?

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This day last year: Q.137

Feb 13, 2012

IZ 121

This blog hit 500 days (now 600!) of up-time yesterday, for which we thank the internet, all our readers, Wikipedia, and the electricity distribution network around the world. Not to mention the Mayans for keeping the world alive so far.

To mark this 500+ milestone, here is "IZ 121", a collection of questions from the last 1.5 years, over the course of this week. Hope you will like them.

As usual, write in to us if you have any suggestions. If you relished what you see on this blog, consider making a one-time million euro payment to me (hurry! this may be your last chance before the euro goes defunct). If not, I will settle for meagre social media cop-outs like retweets, 'likes', or laudatory emails.

In Fun, Zen, Idiots to you all,

Set 1: India, Sports, SciTech

Set 2: Books, Entertainment & Media, Language & Etymology

Set 3: VIZuals, Connections, Awards, & Obits

Set 4: Business and Economics, Social Sciences, Culture)


What's the bookish connect here?

Images: Wikipedia, Nina Paley

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This day last year: Q.136

Feb 12, 2012


This flag was adopted by a country as its national ensign in 1951 when it became an independent kingdom under King Idris. He was overthrown in 1969 in a coup d'etat, so this flag was replaced, and was followed by two other designs.

In 1977, the country's flag was simplified to the point that anyone could easily paint it.

Finally, after another regime change in 2011, the 1951 flag was restored. Which country's flag history are we discussing here?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.135

Feb 11, 2012


Kim Schmitz is a German computer programmer who has been to jail a couple of times on charges of illegal hacking and infringing data security. He turned into an entrepreneur in 2005, starting the site Megaupload.com. This popular site was shut down in January 2012 after allegations of copyright infringement.

In 2005, he also changed his last name to something unusual, but very appropriate. What's his last name now?

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This day last year: Q.134

Feb 10, 2012


The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the BCCI have an exchange programme: as a result, Peter Hartley got to be involved in the Ranji Trophy season of 2011-12. In particular, he was part of the semi-final and the final.

In what capacity?

Also asked at the Nihilanth 2012 Sports Quiz

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This day last year: Q.133

Feb 9, 2012


This Italian far right organisation calls itself "CasaPound" and was founded in 2003 on a plank of finding cheap housing ("Casa" means "home" in Italian"). It doesn't shy away from accusations of being fascist, and openly professes to the economic ideals of Benito Mussolini.

The group has been in the news in 2011 after being accused of being involved in various violent things and after a poet's daughter planned to sue it.

Which poet and why is she suing the group?

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This day last year: Q.132

Feb 8, 2012


A franchise of this Chinese fine dining restaurant opened in Mumbai in mid-2011, joining cities like Abu Dhabi and New York, among others . The original is in London and was created by Alan Yau, a Chinese-British restaurateur. It has a Michelin star and is named after a sub-group of Han Chinese people, usually found in the southern parts of China.

Most Indian food eaters would have heard their name at the neighbouring "Chinese" food stall. Which people, or what's the name of the restaurant?

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This day last year: Q.131

Feb 7, 2012


In December 2011, the managers of this country's official Twitter account decided to devolve control to their citizens. Each week, a new person from that country gets to tweet using that account, talking about whatever they feel like. As a result, messages have been sent out by the likes of a priest, a female truck driver, and a school teacher.

This is perfectly in keeping with the ideals this country espouses (or wants to). Which country?

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This day last year: Q.130

Feb 6, 2012


Over fifty Indians have been honoured with this award, with Havildar Bachittar Singh and Naik Nar Bahadur Thapa being the first recipients, for their gallantry during the Hyderabad Police Action in 1948. It has also been given to civilians like the airhostess Neerja Bhanot.

The latest recipient is Lt. Navdeep Singh. What?

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This day last year: Q.129

Feb 5, 2012

Now the Featured Blog on Quizblogs.com

Many of you may know of Quizblogs.com, the website that aggregates an astonishing number of quizzing blogs, websites, and forums from around the world. "Infinite Zounds" has been on that list almost since the very beginning of its own existence and a peek at the backroom numbers has always shown the amount of traffic that Quizblogs.com pulls in.

Which is why we are happy to announce that "Infinite Zounds" is now a Featured Blog on Quizblogs.com (on the left sidebar here). And it comes with some kind words too.

Just the kind of fillip we needed as we head towards the 500 posts mark. Thanks to everyone who reads this blog, and especially to those who regularly send us feedback. Got anything to tell us? Do write in at infinitezounds[at]gmail[dot]com. And if you're looking for lots more quizzing, you know where to head to.


Lytro is a startup that began selling its Lytro brand of cameras in the US in 2011 and was instantly voted as one of the innovations of the year by many. It was founded by Ren Ng, who is applying ideas from his doctoral thesis that also had won him an ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Lytro and companies like it are selling "plenoptic cameras" also known as "light field cameras". What photography basic do these cameras eliminate the need for when you take a picture?

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This day last year: Q.128

Feb 4, 2012


Unlike other tournaments of its kind, this is held every two years. Since it was held in even-numbered years, it would invariably clash with the sport's World Cup, making life difficult for sportsmen and administrators.

After much thought, the organisers have decided to switch to an odd-year cycle, beginning from 2013. However, the 2012 tournament will be held as scheduled. So, there will be consecutive tournaments in Jan 2012 and Jan 2013.

Which tournament?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.127

Feb 3, 2012


"The Expendables" was a 2010 action film whose USP was its ensemble cast of action stars. Apart from Sylvester Stallone (who directed it), it features the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, and Jason Statham, and guest appearances by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A sequel is in the works. In addition to these musclemen, a sportsman will make a cameo appearance (playing himself). He has been known for his acting prowess, though not yet on screen.


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This day last year: Q.126

Feb 2, 2012


He burst into prominence after creating a Facebook page in memory of Khaled Said, a victim of a police crime in Alexandria. This page and its offshoots soon became the unlikely rallying points for an entire revolution.

He's now come out with a book on his experiences. Who?

Image: The Telegraph

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This day last year: Q.125

Feb 1, 2012


As expected, this word won the annual race to be crowned "Word of the Year" for the year 2011 as rated by the American Dialect Society. This beat out the likes of "FOMO" ("Fear of Missing Out"), "99%", "humblebrag", and "job creator". Unlike the choice of "Squeezed Middle" by the OED (IZ 436), this met the approval of critics and laymen alike.

Uniquely, the winning word-concept was deemed so influential, spawning several associated words in 2011, that the Society even created a special category named after this word. This category was won by "99%" while the Word of the Year 2011 was humbled into taking 2nd spot. In a category named after it. Complicated?

What's the good word?

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This day last year: Q.124


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