Nov 30, 2013


Doris Lessing, the acclaimed British writer, died in November 2013 leaving behind several novels such as "The Grass is Singing" and "The Golden Notebook".

In 2007, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature (the oldest winner in that category). Her prize acceptance speech was curiously titled "On Not Winning the ___ ____". Which words fill the blanks?

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This day last year: Q.792

Nov 29, 2013


Guest Question by W.P.Fey | contribute your questions

The 18th edition of this Indian event (which happens every two years) concluded in Hyderabad in November 2013. "Kauwboy" won the Golden Elephant.

Which event is this?


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This day last year: Q.791

Nov 28, 2013


In a profile published in 2004, Rolling Stone (a popular music magazine) called Justin Frankel "The World's Most Dangerous Geek". Frankel had just quit AOL after an expected row over Gnutella, a file sharing application. Frankel first came to attention for developing a popular application that, to many people's surprise, even bought in money.

In November 2013, it was announced that this piece of software would close down at the end of the year. Which program?

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This day last year: Q.790

Nov 27, 2013


In 2002, Nathan 'Hopey' Hope, an Australian, posted a question on the science web forum of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He had injured his lip, received stitches for it, so wanted to know whether he could lick his dry lips without undue side-effects. During the conversation, he attached a photo and apologised for the "focus" on a "(electrical) powerpoint over [his] shoulder".

Eleven years later, namely in November 2013, this conversation was pulled out by web-detectives as perhaps the earliest instance of what headline-hogging egotist?

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This day last year: Q.789

Nov 26, 2013


Diageo, the liquor maker, announced in November 2013 that a limited edition of its White Horse blended Scotch whisky will be issued in December 2013, which will be available until mid-2014. The Asia-Pacific region will see the release first, followed by some other regions.

For what specific reason has Diageo issued an edition of this brand?

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This day last year: Q.788

Nov 25, 2013


Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals (to be held in Brazil) came to an end in November 2013, with thirty-two teams being identified. Asia had four direct qualifying spots, three of which were taken by Japan, South Korea, and Iran.

Which was the fourth team from Asia?

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This day last year: Q.787

Nov 24, 2013


In November 2013, it was announced that Dr. C.N.R.Rao, Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Indian Prime Minister, would receive the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. This is not his first "Ratna" award; in 2000, he received the "Karnataka Ratna" award from his state government.

Who is the only other Bharat Ratna awardee to also have won the Karnataka Ratna?

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This day last year: Q.786

Nov 23, 2013


"Aningaaq" is a short film (about 7 minutes) released in November 2013. The titular character is an Inuit fisherman in Greenland, who answers a call on his radio set, and ends up having a short, yet meaningful, conversation with the other person.

The idea of this film emerged from another 2013 release. Which is this other 2013 release, which was directed by the father of the director of "Aningaaq"?

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This day last year: Q.785

Nov 22, 2013


In early 2013, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a circular banning the use of these "government servants". The Ministry of Urban Development was trying to get it implemented in New Delhi, where these are primarily used.

Who are these 'government servants'?

From my India Quiz at IIT Kanpur

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This day last year: Q.784

Nov 21, 2013


The European Space Agency launched a satellite named "GOCE" (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) in March 2009. The satellite, which made several useful observations about the Earth's gravity, ended its mission and burned up on re-entry in the Earth's atmosphere.

Because of its "good looks" (thanks to its aerodynamic shape), what was it compared to, resulting in its nickname?

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This day last year: Q.783

Nov 20, 2013


For the entertainment industry in the West, the holidays season is in the air. Susan Boyle, the British singer, who shot to fame in 2009 appearing on the talent show "Britain's Got Talent", released a Christmas album "Home for Christmas" in October 2013.

This has a single called "O Come All Ye Faithful", which comes accompanied by a music video. Which yesteryear star's voice surprisingly appears on the duet?

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This day last year: Q.782

Nov 19, 2013


"Parkland" is an American film that premiered in September 2013. It is based on events that took place fifty years ago in November, and traces the impact of those events on some people. Among these people were the staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Texas, USA.

Which set of events?

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This day last year: Q.781

Nov 18, 2013


In 2012, after seeing this sportsman on a edition of '60 Minutes' (an American TV programme), director J. J. Abrams offered him a small role in his then upcoming film "Star Trek Into Darkness" (which released in 2013). He had to say no, not because he didn't want to act, but because a permit to allow him to work in the USA could not be arranged in time.

The role was of an alien from the future, who played the same sport as this person. Who is this sportsperson??

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This day last year: Q.780

Nov 17, 2013



This is the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. In October 2013, it went 'pink' for the very first time. Doing so, it joined other landmarks around the world such as the White House in Washington, the Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

Why the pink?

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This day last year: Q.779

Nov 16, 2013


"Hach Maza Marg" (Marathi for "This *is* my path") is the name of his autobiography which was released, aptly, by Sachin Tendulkar in September 2013 in the presence of such guests as Amitabh Bachchan. During the ceremony, Tendulkar remarked:
"When a batsman scores 50 runs, the journey towards 100 becomes very exciting. The batsman starts predicting the balls, and is only focused towards scoring that century. [He] has completed fifty glorious years and now the journey ahead is going to be even more rewarding."
Whose autobiography?

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This day last year: Q.778

Nov 15, 2013


In June 2013, this group of Americans inaugurated a controversial monument in the premises of a courthouse in Bradford County, Florida, USA. It consisted of a granite bench with quotations from the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. This bench is near a slab of stone that has the Ten Commandments written on it.

This monument is being touted as the first such in the US on government property. What is the 'first'?

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This day last year: Q.777

Nov 14, 2013


On the 11th of November, 2013, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh released a postal stamp to commemorate fifty years of a government agency - quite ironic that he should do it, in many ways.

Which agency?

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This day last year: Q.776

Nov 13, 2013


Prof. David Nutt is a British pharmacologist who was once the Chief Drugs Advisor to the United Kingdom government. He was rather unceremoniously dismissed from this post after disagreements over policies over 'harmful drugs' (he had called for reclassifying drugs based on scientific evidence rather than beliefs about their effects).

In 2013, Nutt was awarded the second "John Maddox Prize for Standing Up for Science". This award is named after John Maddox, who was the long-serving editor of which famed journal?

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This day last year: Q.775

Nov 12, 2013


Publisher's Weekly

This drawing was made public in March 2013, announcing the arrival of the eighth in a popular series, and indicating further misfortunes for the lead character. The book arrived in early November and soon made its way up the bestseller charts.

So what's the titular nickname of the person whose face has been hidden in the image above?

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This day last year: Q.774

Nov 11, 2013


Guest Question by Rajib Phukan | contribute questions

Now considered one of the most influential rock albums, the musician-producer Brian Eno once famously said that "everyone who bought one of those [initial] copies started a band". Vaclav Havel credited this album with inspiring him to become president of Czechoslovakia, and the album is even said to have influenced the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.

The singer of the band behind the album (whose cover was designed by Andy Warhol) died on Oct. 27, 2013 at the age of 71. Who, and which band?

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This day last year: Q.773

Nov 10, 2013


The IgNobel Prizes are given annually for curious, weird, and usually interesting works in science and other disciplines. 2013's prizes were awarded went to authors of papers such as "Are Cows More Likely to Lie Down the Longer They Stand?" (for "Probability") and "'Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder': People Who Think They Are Drunk Also Think They Are Attractive" (for "Psychology").

The Peace Prize was awarded to the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. A couple of years ago, he made it illegal to do something in public. The prize was also given to the Belarus State Police, who arrested a one-armed man for doing that very thing the President had banned.

What had been banned?

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This day last year: Q.772

Nov 9, 2013


In June 2013, UNOOSA, a United Nations agency, organised a special event to mark fifty years of a famous achivement (which took place on June 16, 1963). There were five special guests, four of them being: Roberta Bondar of Canada, Janet Kavandi from the USA, Chiaki Mukai of Japan, and Liu Yang of China.

The fifth was the reason the event was happening: it was her achievement that they were commemmorating. Who, and what stellar achievement?

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This day last year: Q.771

Nov 8, 2013


The idea has been around for over a century, but has finally found fruition in 2013 (at least officially; it's far from complete). The project is called "Marmaray", getting its name from a portmanteau of a nearby water body and the local word for "rail".

What and where is this new international connection?

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This day last year: Q.770

Nov 7, 2013


He has always had a poor time at the Olympics, except for the 1988 Seoul edition where he won gold. In 1984, there was a boycott; in 1992 and 2004, he didn't qualify for the finals; in 2000, he was injured.

In 2013, in another Olympic contest, he finished last in the final round. Who, and what contest?

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This day last year: Q.769

Nov 6, 2013


A bit of a party-hopper, Rasheed Masood has been in parties such as the Lok Dal, the Samajwadi Party, and in the Congress (INC) since 2011. He's had five terms in the Lok Sabha, and got his first Rajya Sabha term from 2011, representing Uttar Pradesh.

He has been part of Parliamentary committees on Health and Family Welfare; this dates back to when, in 1991, he became Minister of State for those areas in the V.P.Singh government. Which is what ultimately led to his present downfall.


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This day last year: Q.768

Nov 5, 2013


The singer Norah Jones features on the title track of a 2013 album called "Traces of You". In this album, she collaborates with another artiste, the main driving force behind the album (who is seen on the track cover).

Who is this?

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This day last year: Q.767

Nov 4, 2013


Literally meaning "strait" in French and founded in the 18th century, this American city filed for bankruptcy in April 2013, easily the largest city ever to do so, and also the largest debt ever owed by a city.

Once a big name in the history of American business, which city is this?

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This day last year: Q.766

Nov 3, 2013


Thirty different predecessors were shown in the run-up to the winner, apparently rustled up in a weekend's worth of hard work. The blueprint behind the winner is what you see in the image above (click it to see a bigger image).

What logo is this blueprint (released in September 2013) depicting?

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This day last year: Q.765

Nov 2, 2013


One of this sport's biggest ever doping scandals was made public in April 2013 and involved the "Godolphin" team (a famous name in the sport) owned by Sheikh Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Its employee, Mahmood Al Zarooni, was found guilty of giving anabolic steroids to eleven of its 'players', resulting in several bans.

Which sport?

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This day last year: Q.764

Nov 1, 2013


In March 2013, the then Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard made an apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament, taking responsibility for a rather insensitive policy that had been practiced by the Australian establishment for several decades until the 80s. This followed apologies by various Australian states, starting with Western Australia in 2010.

Speaking in front of an emotional audience, what was Gillard apologising for?

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This day last year: Q.763


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