Mar 30, 2012


This music director passed away in March 2012, at the age of 86. Best known for his association with B.R.Chopra (for films like "Waqt", "Gumraah", and "Nikaah"), he also composed for films such as "Chaudhvin ka Chand". Later in life, he had a successful innings in Malayalam films, with the word "Bombay" prefixed to his first name (he was always known by that first name).


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This day last year: Q.181

Mar 29, 2012


He died in 2008 and among his papers was a draft for this book, "Micro". The book was given to Richard Preston to complete, which he duly did. HarperCollins published this book in November 2011. The plot is that of a machine that can shrink people to small sizes.

Who was this posthumous author?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.180

Mar 28, 2012


Boccia is a sport that belongs to the same family of sports as lawn bowls. The rules and field of play for Goalball involve putting a ball into the opponents goal. What marks out these two sports, along with a variant of rugby, with respect to this year's Olympic Games?

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This day last year: Q.179

Mar 27, 2012


The National Tourism Awards are given away annually; the awards for 2010-11 were given out in February 2012. Among the winners were various travel agencies, governmental tourism departments, and hotels.

In which category was Ruby Hall Clinic of Pune among the winners?

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This day last year: Q.178

Mar 26, 2012


Formula One's 2012 World Championship kicked off on 18th March of 2012. The first F-1 champion was an Italian, the first marker of the close ties that Italy has always had with the sport, be it through constructors, fans, and drivers.

Which is why it is remarkable that 2012 will be the first time no Italian driver takes part in the F-1 season (as of the beginning of the season). This after the Caterham team (formerly Lotus Racing) replaced its Italian driver with the Russian Vitaly Petrov. Who was this driver?

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This day last year: Q.177

Mar 25, 2012


In Jan/Feb 2012, Google hosted a conference to which were invited several leading technologists, scientists, and other innovators & entrepreneurs to discuss some of the world's most interesting & difficult problems. They called this an exercise in "moonshot thinking" i.e. solutions that are just beyond what is currently feasible but just enough within reality.

Given the nature of the gathering (and that many videos were posted), the gathering drew comparisons with TED. The name chosen for this (and more are planned) is something that would often be the last line in an algebra problem.


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This day last year: Q.176

Mar 24, 2012


These ladies from Iran came second in the first ever Women's World Cup in their sport. What sport?


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This day last year: Q.175

Mar 23, 2012


What is interesting about this TED talk, delivered by a chap called Peter Weyland at TED2023?

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This day last year: Q.174

Mar 22, 2012


Wang Shu, an architect from China, has become the first citizen of his country to receive this prestigious award. The official announcement said:
"The fact that an architect from China has been selected by the jury, represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals."
The prize which includes a bronze medallion with the words "firmness, commodity and delight" inscribed on it, will be presented in May.

What prize?

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This day last year: Q.173

Mar 21, 2012


What place, the third largest city in its country, is in the middle of this map (which depicts an area that has seen severe fighting in early 2012)?

Image: Wikimedia Commons & VOA

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This day last year: Q.172

Mar 20, 2012


The first ever edition came out on November 17, 1969, with the lead story "Horse Dope Sensation". A new variant of this has been launched on Sunday, 26 February, 2012, featuring Amanda Holden, a reality TV judge, on its first issue.

What is the new variant called?

Base image: The Guardian

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This day last year: Q.171

Mar 19, 2012


Britain and several scientific organisations are celebrating his hundredth birth anniversary in 2012. As part of these celebrations, the Royal Mail issued this stamp as part of its "Britons of Distinction" series, which depicts a machine that he was closely identified with.

His legacy continues to influence modern technology. Who?


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This day last year: Q.170

Mar 18, 2012


This is the logo of something, which when ready, will be the first of its kind in India, and among the longest in the world. This is being built in Mumbai, and had a sucessful trial in February 2012, over a couple of kilometres.

What's this called?

Image: Wikipedia

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This day last year: Q.169

Mar 17, 2012


Mubarak Shah of Pakistan won this event in the 1958 Asian Games with a timing of 9:03 mins. Japanese athletes picked up silver and bronze. You won't remember these names, which are minor footnotes in another tale. This tale has gained prominence in India in March 2012, about someone who did not make it to the medals.


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This day last year: Q.168

Mar 16, 2012

Mar 15, 2012


Vidya Balan won the National Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Dirty Picture" (announced in the 59th National Awards in March 2012). Earlier, she had also won the equivalent Filmfare Award, for the same film. That puts her in a select group of actresses to have won these two awards for the same film role.

The previous one was Priyanka Chopra in 2009 ("Fashion"). Which two other actresses have done this same double?

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This day last year: Q.166

Mar 14, 2012


This Indian product was widely seen all around Australian grounds during the India-Australia Test series without anyone in Cricket Australia finding out its tobacco connections in India. Sponsorship had been granted after the Australians were informed this was just a mouthwash brand.

Eventually, the ads were removed, leaving Cricket Australia potentially facing a fine for violating Australian tobacco advertising laws.

Which brand?

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This day last year: Q.165

Mar 13, 2012


The Gagosian Gallery is spread across 11 locations around the world. During Jan to Feb 2012, all locations featured the work of a single artist, Damien Hirst. Moreover, each painting was part of the same theme, one that Hirst is now almost notorious for.

This work consists solely of thousands of identical paintings of one type of object, only varying in colour, and arranged symmetrically. More controversially, only a few of these paintings were done by Hirst. The rest were carried out by assistants.

What is this theme?

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This day last year: Q.164

Mar 12, 2012


Jacob Goldman, who passed away in 2011, trained as a physicist and eventually became chief scientist at a major technology corporation. His biggest contribution, however, is likely to be seen as the founding of a lab dedicated solely to research, in one of the earliest companies to make such a focused investment in its domains of work.

What did he found?

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This day last year: Q.163

Mar 11, 2012


This Indian state, formerly a Union Territory, became a state in 1987 and is thus celebrating twenty-five years of statehood in 2012. Before 1972 (when it formally became a Union Territory), it was governed through the nearby state of Assam and the Ministry of External Affairs.

Which state?

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This day last year: Q.162

Mar 9, 2012


Base image: The Telegraph

Each year, the Ascot Racecourse hosts one of the premier sporting-cultural events of the British calendar, where people go not only to watch and bet on the racing, but also to be seen.

2012's event was marred by some controversy. As seen above, many visitors had an orange sticker pasted on to their dresses. Some of them complained at being treated in this way, despite shelling out hefty amounts to get in.

What was the kerfuffle about?

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This day last year: Q.160

Mar 8, 2012


Until Feb 2012, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria were the only members to be on this list, and thus to have an unwanted medical status. The World Health Organization took India off this list in Feb 2012, recognizing that concerted efforts in India in this regard had indeed paid off. India still has some progress to make in order to achieve a further milestone by 2014.

What is this about?

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This day last year: Q.159

Mar 6, 2012


Virasat-e-Khalsa is a new museum dedicated to Sikh history and culture. It was formally inaugurated in November 2011 after more than a decade's construction.

This sandstone complex is situated in one of the holy places of Sikhism in India, which was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Sikh Guru. Which city?

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This day last year: Q.157

Mar 5, 2012


The Economist has blogs on several themes and prides itself on giving them highly apt names (such as "Banyan" for Asia or "Johnson" for language). Their most recent blog is China-centric.

A couple of months ago, the newspaper ran an article calling on its readers to suggest names. A popular choice was the name "X", as were words invoking cliches such as dragons and the Great Wall. Eventually, "Analects" was chosen.

"Analects" is a collection of thoughts by "X" (the same person mentioned before). Who is X?

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This day last year: Q.156

Mar 4, 2012


IZ 491 was about a sportsman who is making his acting debut playing himself in a cameo in the film "Expendables 2". Another player, from the same sport, will be making his feature film debut in a 2012 film titled "Rajdhani Express", in which, according to reports, he will be playing a terrorist.


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This day last year: Q.155

Mar 3, 2012


In Feb 2012, DC Comics announced a set of seven new mini-series of comics called "Before ___", all based on characters introduced in a highly influential and critically acclaimed graphic novel that came out in 1986-87. All these stories will be prequels and detail the lives of these characters.

Predictably, many fans of the original don't like this, and the original author has spoken out against the need for such spin-offs.

So which novel are these based on?

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This day last year: Q.154

Mar 2, 2012


Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo is a Congolese man who lives in Belgium. Since 2007, he has been fighting a legal campaign in Belgium to get a book banned on grounds of breaking racism laws in the country. In February 2012, a court finally ruled against him, saying the book could not be considered to have infringed any laws or to incite any racial hatred.

Which book was the subject of this case?

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This day last year: Q.153

Mar 1, 2012


This British performer experienced bleeding in her vocal cords in the second half of 2011 after suffering a series of laryngitic episodes. This eventually demanded surgical treatment to alleviate the haemorrhage.

She recovered in time to take part in a major awards ceremony of her profession. Who?

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This day last year: Q.152


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