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Showing posts from December, 2013


Our last post in 2013 is a collection of guest posts from fellow quizzers, who were invited to send in questions on events in 2013 (many thanks to them). If you'd like to send in guest questions in 2014, please use the IZ Guestionnaire.

Aditya Gadre, from his Sports quiz at Mood Indigo 2013
1. In July 2013, 80,645 flowers - "yellow marigolds and black, pink and gray petunias" - were used to make what sports-related announcement in a spectacular fashion?

2. Manu Tuillagi plays rugby for the England and Ireland Lions. In 2013, he did something that caused former England hooker Brian Moore to say "People are saying they are offended. Are they really offended, or is it more a case of Tuilagi being an absolute prat again and taking the attention away from his team-mates?"

The other person (a politician) involved in the incident played it down and said "it was just a bit of fun". So what did Tuillagi do?

B.V. Harish Kumar
3. Frederick Sanger, who passed away in 2013, is the only person till date to have won the Nobel prize for Chemistry twice. He started his work on proteins in 1943 and chose something to research, not just for its medical significance but also because he could buy it from the local drugstore. What?

Salil Bijur
4. 2008: President of France
2009: President of Kazakhstan
2010: President of South Korea
2011: President of Indonesia
2012: Prime Minister of Thailand
2013: ________

5. Following whose death in 2013 did Nicolas Maduro succeed as the President of his country?

Thejaswi Udupa
6. 'One Out Of Many' is a short story by VS Naipaul that was originally published as a supporting narrative to his 1971 Booker Prize winning novel 'In A Free State'.

What is the premise of this short story, something that closely resembled one of the big news stories of late 2013?

J. Krishnamurthi, from a Dec 2013 quiz at K-Circle
7. A December 2013 headline went: "Andhra Pradesh High Court asks Telugu actors Mohan Babu, Brahmanandam to return Padma Shri". Why were they asked to do so?

8. Saudi Arabian artist and activist Hisham Fageeh recorded a song in 2013 that used the tune, and almost the entire title, of a famous Bob Marley song. The song was meant to highlight a women's rights issue that has been gaining ground of late.

What was the name of Hisham Fageeh's song?

9. The United Nations' fight against droughts, desertification and land degradation in in Africa started in 1994 with the signing of Convention to Combat Desertification by all its member countries and the European Union. This suffered a setback in March 2013 with an industrialized country leaving this Convention. Which country?
Omkar Kamlapur, from his MELA quiz at Mood Indigo
10. In 2013 to increase road safety, Kolkata's police employed what image from the world of music with the caption "If they can, why can't you?"?

11. Sid Lowe, a writer on Spanish football has a written a book in 2013 titled '____ ___ _______ __ __ ____' on the fierce rivalry in the El Clasico. It is about how the two clubs are not exactly founded on principles. The two clubs often are bad losers and revel in each other's misery.

The title, however, is a slight reworking of the title of a 1998 movie based on a 1971 novel. Identify the title of Sid Lowe's book.

12. Very recently there was a change that was made to the rules of the Man Booker prize. Here are some of the views of people about the rule change. What is the rule change?

"The trustees have not made this decision quickly or lightly"
"I am very strongly against this decision because it will make judging impossible. At the moment the Booker is the best literary prize because all of the judges read all of the books."-AS Byatt
"I think what has forced their hands is the announcement of the Folio Prize...The Man Booker felt they didn't want to be outflanked. They want to retain their place as the most prestigious prize for fiction in this country and they felt this would steal the thunder of the Folio - the distinctiveness of that prize was that it was going to be more international, but now that's been blurred somewhat."

Rajib Phukan

13. He was selected as one of the "sexiest men of 2013" by Cosmopolitan magazine. In August 2013, he became an ambassador for Nordic Semiconductor. In 2013, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, writing that he "is a force of nature whose time has come". Who is he?

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This day last year: Q.823


A bypoll was held for the Noksen assembly constituency in Nagaland on Sept. 4, 2013. This became the first major Indian election to use the VVPAT system, which brings an innovation to Indian elections.

What is this system about?

From a quiz done at Mood Indigo 2013

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This day last year: Q.821


The English actress Helena Bonham Carter received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of another English actress in a 2013 TV film. The film is set during the run up to a 1983 production of the Noel Coward play "Private Lives", featuring the unnamed actress and her husband (played by Dominic West in the 2013 film).

The film is named after this couple: which couple?

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This day last year: Q.820


French-American chef Dominique Ansel runs his own bakery in New York. One of the city's best known bakeries, it hit the headlines in 2013 with its introduction of the 'cronut', a hybrid pastry that is considered the year's biggest culinary hit.

Such was its popularity that the name 'cronut' has been trademarked by Ansel. Which two pastries combine to make this?

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This day last year: Q.819


Which somewhat soft musical number, inspired from a fiery anthem from 1989, mentions socialist leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Mohan Singh Kaushik, and Ram Sharan in its lyrics, which were written by Udai Pratap Singh? This was made public in November 2013.

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This day last year: Q.818


In May 2013, who was invited to the White House to give representatives from the CIA, NSA, and the US Department of Defense a briefing on Afghanistan, especially on its history of the 1840s?

From my quiz at Mood Indigo 2013

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This day last year: Q.817


Only three of their kind have received this year-ending honour: the first in 1962, the second in 1994, and the third in 2013.

The last one, in doing so, was picked over an unlikely whistleblower, an unlikely activist, and a couple of extreme politicians.

What is this about?

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This day last year: Q.816


Some scientific researchers like to show off their knowledge of popular culture by naming new species of animals after famous people or fictional characters. A bunch of Brazilian marine biologists joined the pack by naming a newly discovered sea slug "Tritonia khaleesi".

That was because the slug has a "slender white body" that reminded him of a long-tressed character from which hit TV series?

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This day last year: Q.815


An app called "Nok Weed" was one of the top-selling apps on the Google Play store in late 2013. This app emits a loud whistle, and is aimed at helping protestors in an Asian country, where one of the forms of political protest is to blow whistles in rallies.

Which country is this, which has once again seen large protests against the ruling regime?

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This day last year: Q.813


Nathan Lyon, the Australian off-spinner, got an opportunity for his first solo performance after the 1st Ashes Test match against England held in Brisbane in November 2013. The last time Lyon performed was in January 2013, but then it was a duet with Michael Hussey, who has since retired.

What is this about?

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This day last year: Q.812


Former minister and environmentalist Mohan Dharia, who also participated in the freedom struggle, passed away in October 2013 in Pune. He was actively involved in politics, especially during the tumultuous 70s.

Dharia, along with the likes of former PM Chandra Shekhar and former Vice President Krishan Kant, was once among a young and more strident batch of Congressmen. What were they nicknamed?

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This day last year: Q.811


This R&B album was released in December 2013 and made waves precisely because there were no ripples prior to its publication. There was no marketing chatter or social media buildup. Named after the artist behind the work and described as a 'visual album' because each song comes with a video, what is the name of this new music release?

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This day last year: Q.810


When he passed away in 2004, Bangladesh mourned his death and honoured his memory. While Consul-General in Dhaka in 1971, he witnessed first hand the plight of the East Pakistanis, and railed strongly against the American government's support for the Pakistanis.

In 2013, a book about one of his missives and the American attitude to the 1971 crisis was authored by Gary Bass. Which book, which takes its name from this man?

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This day last year: Q.809


Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, passed away in December 2013. Here's a letter grid - in this, there are six terms (names, words, etc.) associated with him (look vertically and horizontally; some overlap). Find them!

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This day last year: Q.808


The "Diceros bicornis longipes" subspecies was declared extinct in November 2011. CNN had published an article on this annnouncement, but republished that article two years later in November 2013, which led to many people discovering this sad fact and the inevitable social media buzz.

Last found in the African country of Cameroon, which 'western' animal is this?

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This day last year: Q.807


Releasing in November 2013, "Frozen" is an animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, and tells the story of a girl in search of her sister.

The film is based on a story called "The Snow Queen", which is a fairy tale by which writer?

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This day last year: Q.806


At least two TV channels made similar mistakes while reporting an event that occurred on April 8, 2013, in the UK. One was Thailand's Channel 5, while the other was Taiwan's CTi Cable channel. The former chose to go with the actress Meryl Streep, the latter with Queen Elizabeth II.

What event, and what was the error?

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This day last year: Q.805


A vIZual connect, comprising 4 elements: the answer is a 2013 film: (click image to see a bigger sized version)

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This day last year: Q.804


Ahmet Üzümcü is a diplomat from Turkey, who has served as his country's representative to such bodies as NATO and the United Nations. In December 2013, he received a Nobel Prize on behalf of whom?

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This day last year: Q.803


She is the only surviving child of her parents - she lost two brothers, and a stillborn sister preceded her. Her parents are no longer alive.

In November 2013, which is also the fiftieth anniversary of her father's death, she was named USA's Ambassador to Japan.


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This day last year: Q.802


"Reunion" is the name of a 2013 advertisement by Google India. It told the tale of two childhood friends, on either side of the India-Pakistan border, being reunited with the help of many of Google's products.

The role of 'Yusuf', the Pakistani gentleman, is played by a well-known Indian theatre and film director, M.S.Sathyu. Incidentally, Sathyu's best known film creation is a film based on the impact of Partition on a family.

Which film is this?

Here is the ad:

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This day last year: Q.800


If and when completed, "Haidar" (announced in 2013) will be the third in a particular series. This will be set in Kashmir, while the first two were set in Mumbai and Meerut (and nearby areas) respectively.

What were the first two?

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This day last year: Q.799


"Chang'e" is the name of a set of space missions by China. In December 2013, the "Chang'e 3" mission was launched, which had on board a robotic explorer named "Yutu" (which stands for "Jade Rabbit").

In Chinese mythology, where does Yutu live?

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This day last year: Q.798


The Golden Globe awards are a well-known set of prizes in Hollywood entertainment. The Cecil B. DeMille Award is an honorary 'lifetime achievement'-type award at the Globes. In December 2013, the award for 2014 was announced, but it was clear that the recipient would not receive the award in person. Instead, a long-standing colleague of the awardee will pick up the prize.

So the questions are: who is this awardee, and who will receive the prize instead?

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This day last year: Q.797


Officially, this Act passed by the United States government and signed into law in March 2010 is called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act". In 2013, it became embroiled in bringing the shutters down in that country.

By what eponymous nickname, possibly coined by Republican politicians, is this Act often referred to in the media?

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This day last year: Q.796


These people are posing with an official certification of a Guinness World Record which says that their show was the largest ever TV show to be 'simulcast'. The 23rd November 2013 episode of the show was shown simultaneously in over ninety countries.

The man on the left remarked: "For years the ___ has been stopping everyone else from conquering the world. Now, just to show off, he's gone and done it himself!"

Which show?

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This day last year: Q.795


"I Swallowed the Moon" is a 2013 book by Saba Mahmood Bashir, which analyses the works of a well-known poet and writer. Among others, the book discusses the use of certain metaphors identified with the poet.

Who is the subject of this book?

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This day last year: Q.794


The band U2 created a song called "Ordinary Love" (released in November 2013), in honour of someone the band members know well. They were invited to write the song for an upcoming film based on that person, which is called "____: Long Walk to Freedom".

Who is this person?

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This day last year: Q.793