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Showing posts from November, 2014

Q.1521

"Million Dollar Arm" was a 2008 reality TV show that sought to discover baseball pitching talent in India. It was the subject of a 2014 film as well.

Sports agent J.B.Bernstein, the brain behind this show, launched a new show in 2014, which in some sense is the geographical and sporting opposite of the Million Dollar Arm. So what is his new show a Million Dollar quest for?

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This day last year: Q.1156

A Twitter quiz this Sunday

We''ll be doing a twitter quiz this Sunday from 3 to 4 pm, on this famous person.


Prizes: a copy of that person's autobiography for the winner; a gift coupon worth 248 for the runner-up, and a voucher of 100/- each for two lucky winners. Do attend! (and please do tell your friends)

Q.1519

Based on a guest question by Shaival Patel | contribute questions

His parents chose a conventional (British) way to announce this actor's upcoming marriage to a theatre director named Sophie Hunter, by publishing an announcement in the classified section of The Times newspaper in Nov 2014. It read:

The engagement is announced between _____, son of Wanda and Timothy _____ of London, and Sophie, daughter of Katharine Hunter of Edinburgh and Charles Hunter of London."
Who is this famous actor?

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This day last year: Q.1154

Q.1518

This American director won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival for a film that took him a long while to complete. Reportedly, he had made an informal arrangement with one of the actors in the film (and a frequent collaborator) for the actor to finish this film in case the director died before its completion.

Which highly acclaimed 2014 film?

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This day last year: Q.1153

Q.1517

In early 2014, policemen in Kerala cracked down on any merchandise with this person's face on it, saying that he was a mascot for drug culture in the state. In Nov 2014, this person's family announced they were to sell products such as lotions and creams under a brand bearing his name, all containing cannabis.

Who is this person?

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This day last year: Q.1152

Q.1516

Fairlife is a new dairy brand launching in the US in 2014, that claims to sell nutritious milk that also tastes good. It has registered the trademark 'from grass to glass'. This is a joint venture between American dairy farmers and which company, whose involvement in this is leading to Fairlife being dubbed as 'Milka-___'.

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This day last year: Q.1151

Q.1515

A vIZual question today:

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This day last year: Q.1150

Q.1514

The Indian film actor Naseeruddin Shah published his autobiography (it's quite interesting - do read it) in 2014. "And Then One Day" talks of an incident from Shah's life where, on a whim, he runs off to Bombay in his teens to become an actor, landing a role as an 'extra'. Eventually, a family acquaintance traces him and brings him home to her brother's house.

The brother was a famous film star, who would go on to tell Shah that boys from good families didn't get into films. Incidentally, this film star published his own autobiography in 2014.

Who was this star?

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This day last year: Q.1149

Q.1513

In an article published in Sept 2014, noted economist Ajit Ranade wrote about an important and impending decision (to be made in a part of India). Some of his points:
  • Such proposed decisions inevitably cause 'real estate frenzy'
  • To avoid such problems, in this case, perhaps this should be located in the middle of nowhere (such as Timbaktu, for there is such a place)
  • Or perhaps this should be 'virtual' as there is no real need for this to be located in an actual place.

What decision, which will come into play latest by 2024?

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This day last year: Q.1148

Q.1512

On 16 Nov 2014, Indian badminton player K. Srikanth defeated Chinese player Lin Dan to become the first Indian male player and 3rd non-Chinese to win the China Open. This came on the same day when compatriot Saina Nehwal became the first Indian female player to achieve the same feat.

16 November also happens to be the birthday of which badminton player who was the first person from his country to beat Super Dan?

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This day last year: Q.1147

Q.1511

He guest-edited the Dec 2014 edition of the technology and science magazine WIRED. He collaborated with comic-book artist Sean Gordon Murphy to co-create a story called "Absolute Zero", which is about the Lazarus mission that serves as a prequel for one of his works.

Who is this guest editor?

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This day last year: Q.1146

Q.1510

"Selfie" was a 2014 American TV sitcom that didn't make much of an impression (like most selfies). The show was about a lady, Eliza Dooley, who attempts to gain fame via social media. She meets Henry Higgs, who is her opposite in his dislike for social media, who tries to help her with this obsession.

The names of the characters are derived from what in the world of entertainment & culture?

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This day last year: Q.1145

Q.1509

"Big Hero 6" is a 2014 Disney animated film about Hiro Hamada who assembles a superhero team. The film is set in a fictional city, which according to the film's art director Scott Watanabe, is set in a future in which a city is devastated by an earthquake in 1906, and was redeveloped by immigrants from another country.

This leads to the new name of the city: a portmanteau of the old name and the capital of the other country. Which two cities form the name?

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This day last year: Q.1144

Q.1508

Based on a guest question by Deven Deshpande | contribute questions

Carol Ann Susi passed away in Nov 2014. She was Italian by descent and was an acclaimed actress, known particularly for her TV roles. Where have we famously not seen her?

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This day last year: Q.1143

Q.1507

Based on a guest question by Deepak | contribute questions

This English word was originally a term used in law. It is derived from early Anglo-French and Latin words for - "bind, tie up, fasten, tether; bind by obligation". A Congress candidate in J&K for the 2014 Assembly elections created an uproar in the media when he described his daughter as 'X' in his affidavit when he filed his nomination. What word is this X?

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This day last year: Q.1142

Q.1505

Morocco was supposed to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Jan 2015, but declared its refusal to do so in Nov 2014. This resulted in the Confederation of African Football also taking out Morocco from the tournament.

Why did Morroco pull out of hosting?

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This day last year: Q.1140

Q.1504

The 2014 book "What If?" is a collection of interesting questions and answers posted to a popular blog. In this column, the blog's owner tries to provide scientifically valid answers to strange questions, such as "What if everyone actually had just one soul mate - one random person somewhere in the world? Could they ever meet?"

Who is the author and what popular website does he run?

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This day last year: Q.1139

Q.1502

Kuntal Patel was accused of trying to kill her mother, a magistrate in London, for opposing her marriage with her boyfriend. She was cleared of the charges of trying to kill her mother by poisoning her Diet Cola but was sentenced for three years after being convicted of acquiring a biological agent or toxin. She is supposed to have been inspired by which TV series to take this extreme step?

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This day last year: Q.1137

Q.1501

The Sunna (Islamic legal custom) prescribes them as only pollutants and doesn't ban them. But since they had a place of importance in Zorastrianism (Iran's state religion before the Muslim invasion and conversion) the state went after them to put Zorastrianism down. Now, this has become a symbol of silent resistance by the middle and upper middle classes of Iran. Some legislators are trying to pass a law which would make trading or keeping them at home punishable by 74 lashes as they see this as a 'sign of Western influence and is unsafe especially for kids and women'.

Iranian police forces, among few others will be exempt from punishment. What are we talking about?

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This day last year: Q.1136

Q.1500

Based on a guest question by Shaival Patel | contribute questions

In Nov 2014, Arnold Abbott, a 90-year old man wearing a chef's white coat, was arrested in Florida. He risked being fined $500 and spending time in prison for about 60 days. While arresting him, a police officer said 'Drop that plate right now'.

What was the reason for the arrest?

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This day last year: Q.1135

Q.1499

This month's Q.IZ theme is 'the Nobel Peace Prize'

Famed rock band Pink Floyd released an album in 2014, their first in twenty years. The album is called "Endless River", and is based on music created by the group during their last album 'The Division Bell'.

Among the studios in which this album's material was made and recorded was 'Astoria', which is owned by group guitarist David Gilmour. What is unusual about 'Astoria' (which is apt given the album's title), and where in London is it located?

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This day last year: Q.1134

Q.1498

This month's Q.IZ theme is 'the Nobel Peace Prize'

In late 2014, the Pakistani cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq equalled Viv Richards' record for the fastest Test century (in 56 balls). On which ground did Richards score that 100 in 1986 (he said he had extra motivation that day to entertain the crowds) - a ground that has seen two other records being broken?

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This day last year: Q.1133

'Q.IZ' - a monthly contest - this month's theme


Themes:

* Dec 2014: "Sanskrit".

* Nov 2014: "The Nobel Peace Prize". Results.
* Oct 2014: "Mars". Results.
* Sept 2014: either "Ice" or "Buckets". Results.

Guidelines

Here's how you play:

  • At the beginning of each month, we will announce a theme - the theme will be open-ended enough for you to write different kinds of questions.
  • Unlike our guest contributions and this blog's major focus, your questions DO NOT have to be about current affairs. You are allowed to interpret the theme in anyway you like, but there should ideally be a strong connection to it.
  • Our preference is for interesting questions, well-framed, creatively told, and about facts that will surprise even our jaded quizzing brains. Naturally, these are going to be a subjective choices, but we shall try and explain what we liked in a winning question.
  • As with our guest contributions: zero tolerance for plagiarism.
  • Use this form to submit your questions. If you have images or other media, please send a link or the file via email with the words "Q.IZ" in the subject line.
  • Submissions will be open until the 25th of the month. We will announce winners by the end of the month.

And we have prizes! Typically in the form of gift cards to online bookstores, the prizes are sponsored by Choose To Thinq who believe that a question a day keeps your brain cells grey. Prizes will be for between 1 to 3 submissions.

Q.IZ Oct '14 ('Mars' edition)- Results


15 entries entered the second Q.IZ contest, on the theme of "Mars".

Here are our 3 prize-winning entries (in no specific order):

By Tamal Dutta


X is an infamous animated Disney movie that released in 2011. It was a box office catastrophe and holds the second place in Wikipedia's list of 'Biggest Box Office Bombs' with an estimated loss of over $130 million. The title of the movie, X, tells that a certain predominantly red object is in want of a parental figure.

Unwittingly, in 2013-14, India "obliged" the red object by sending such a parental figure to it.

Identify the movie X. And what did India do?"

comment: Interesting linkage between the two facts!


By M.Lionel

Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a microbiologist at NASA in Pasadena, sensationally suggested that the space probes 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity' in 2004 might have infected Mars with a bacterium, Bacillus safensis, that probably now exists in a form there which is highly resistant to gamma and UV radiation. How does the bacterium get its name?

comment: interesting fact that we had not heard of before.


By Ameya Mardolkar


Pictured is a person who keeps shuttling between our neighbouring planets, NOT literally but 'literally'. Neither an Astronomer nor an Astrologer, but his work has been aimed at striking harmony between the two entities. And almost all of his works (some of which appropriately collaborated with his wife) have references to this heavenly bodies. Identify him.

comment: nice use of the theme in a different field, and nice framing as well.



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All the winners will receive Flipkart vouchers from Choose To Thinq in a week's time. Congratulations!


Nov 2014's theme is "the Nobel Peace Prize".

Q.1497

Based on a guest question by Rajib Phukan | contribute questions

After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, a very special team of spies shifted their loyalties to the Russian Navy. Created in the 1970s in the Soviet Union and based in the Crimean State Oceanarium, what is unique about that team of spies?

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This day last year: Q.1132

Q.1496

November 2014 marked 30 years of the gruesome anti-Sikh riots that followed the death of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The advocate H.S.Phoolka, who has been in the forefront of the legal fight to provide justice to riot victims, co-wrote a book on that episode from Indian history.

The title of the book, "When a Tree Shook Delhi", refers to what infamous quote (and by whom)?

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This day last year: Q.1131

Q.1495

Image: Forbes Life

For what 2014 event did the watch-maker Hublot create this watch model?

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This day last year: Q.1130

Q.1494

Based on a guest question by Krishna Prahlaadh | contribute questions

On Halloween 2014, the author J.K.Rowling published an essay on the origins of a character from the Harry Potter series, also one of the least liked. (The author Stephen King even called this character "the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter").

Which character?

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This day last year: Q.1129

Q.1493

Based on a guest question by Samridh Kapur | contribute questions

The 2014 Hollywood film "The Interview" is about a group of journalists, who are on a secret mission to kill a real life dictator of a country. The film has not gone down well with the locals of the said country, with threats of being ready to go to war if the movie is released.

Name the dictator, whose father was known to be a big Hollywood movie buff.

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This day last year: Q.1128