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Showing posts from October, 2016


The African countries of South Africa, Burundi, and The Gambia have all threatened to pull out of this international organisation, saying that its decisions were against Africans. Gambia even said the "C" in the middle of the organisation's abbreviation stood for "Caucasian".

Which organisation?

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In Oct 2016, "The Sellout" became the first book by an American author to be awarded the Man Booker Prize. The satirical book follows a character named "Me" who lives in a place 'wiped off the map' and sells watermelons and marijuana. How Me and others try to bring the town "back" drives the rest of the novel.

The name of the town is shared with a legendary English author, whose books also wrote about society, occasionally with a comic touch. What's the name?

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The third was Nowroji Saklatwala, who did not share the last name of the first two or the next two. The sixth was like him. What are we talking about? (we could have framed this as "what mystery are we talking about", but we chose not to.)

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#usedtothinq Edition VII: Diwali!

Diwali is here! And so is the seventh #usedtothinq themed around Diwali! Join us on 30th of October, Sunday at 2 PM on Twitter by following @choosetothinq. Over 20 prizes curated by (Curated Products from Handpicked Vendors)


In Oct 2016, this 75-year old was named a honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls by the United Nations. Some UN staffers did not like the choices for reasons ranging from the lady's image, clothing, and inability to have an opinion, to be able to travel and be interviewed.

Who was this controversial choice?

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After much analysis by some researchers and editors, the 2016 edition of the New Oxford Shakespeare, a compendium of the Bard's plays, will feature some important changes to the title pages of plays like Henry VI and All’s Well That Ends Well.

What important change?

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In 2014, a Punjab animated film called "Char Sahibzade" featured the story of the sons of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. A 2016 sequel is about another disciple of the Guru, a legendary Sikh warrior originally called Lachman Das. Which leader?

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In Oct 2016, French authorities began clearing a huge refugee settlement in the port town of Calais. Most people in this camp wanted to settle in neighbouring Britain, often using illegal means to do so. What was the one word unofficial name given to this settlement which later became a generic name for such camps in the area?

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Sara Danius is a Swedish professor of Aesthetics and Literature. In Oct 2016, while interacting with the media after making an important announcement on behalf of a group of 18, she was asked whether the decision changed the way they looked at literature, she replied "The times they are a-changing, perhaps".

What was this decision?

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In Oct 2016, General Admiral Air Chief Marshal Prem Tinsulanonda became the Regent of which country? (he was once a controversial Prime Minister of the same nation).

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#usedtothinq edition 6: Superheroes

We bring you the sixth #usedtothinq quiz on the 23rd of October, Sunday, at 2 PM. Follow the twitter handle @choosetothinq. The quiz is on Superheroes and prizes are sponsored by (Curated Products from Handpicked Vendors) .


In Nov 2016, the Nat Geo TV channel premieres a part-fiction part-documentary mini-series simply titled 'Mars'. As you can guess, the series is about Man attempting to reach the Red Planet: the fictional part is set in 2033 while the documentary has scientists and technologists talking about the science that could get us there.

The fictional Mars crew is in a spacecraft named after a character in a famous Greek mythological story. He was a skilled creator who also tried to escape the bounds of Earth, and the father of a disobedient son. Which character?

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Taschen, a publisher, is republishing "Le Diners de Gala" in time for Christmas 2016. It's an exotic cookbook with unusual recipes (like "Casanova Cocktails" and "Frog Pasties") paired with quirky illustrations. Gala was the name of the cookbook author's wife. The author was also a renowned artist. Together they threw many remarkable parties.

Who is the artist-author?

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Which team made its Ranji Trophy debut in the 2016-17 season, led by a cricketer who captained the Andhra team in the previous season?

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American playwright Edward Albee died in Sept 2016. He won several Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Surprisingly, what is arguably his best known play didn't win a Pulitzer amidst controversial circumstances.

What was the name of the play, whose last line is, aptly, "I am, George...I am."?

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Whose career highlights and what comes next?

  • Secretary-General of the Socialist Party, 1992
  • Prime Minister of Portugal, 1995-2002
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2005-2015
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    Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske. Her Jewish parents had emigrated from Eastern Europe. Via her father's side, she was related to a man named Szymon Perski (whose family also emigrated from the same region but not to the USA).

    Perski died in 2016 after a life of accomplishments. How do we better know him?

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    #usedtothinq edition 5: Operations of the Indian Armed Forces

    The fifth edition of the #usedtothinq TwitterQuiz will be on thr Operations of the Indian Armed Forces.

    See you all on the 16th October, Sunday, at 2PM on the Twitter handle @choosetothinq.

    Teaser: Which Operation of the Indian Armed Forces to capture the Siachen Glacier shares its name with a Kalidas Play?


    "Days of our Lives", the American TV drama, has been on air since 1965, and has thus seen a large cast over the years. One of its characters is called Nicole Walker, a waitress with a troubled life. Why did this character and the soap burst into international prominence in Oct 2016 in a very different but fairly entertaining domain?

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    The 1954 original: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Daisuke Katō, Isao Kimura, Minoru Chiaki, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba

    The 1960 version: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz

    What, and what's the 2016 connection?

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    Before 2016, the last time he did this was in 1999 for a movie titled after an Indian game. In 2016, he returned with a Punjabi folk-tale. Who and what are we talking about?

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    There are 10 such instances. The latest happened in Oct 2016. The countries associated with the first nine countries are:

    USA (1906), USA (1919), Egypt (1978), Costa Rica (1987), USSR (1990), South Africa (1993), South Korea (2000), USA (2009), and Liberia (2011).

    What's the tenth and latest, and what are we talking about?

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    Britisher Harnaam Kaur has a condition called "polycystic ovary syndrome". In Sept 2016, she entered the Guinness World Records as the youngest woman to have a full ____. In March 2016, Kaur, who is popular on Instagram and works in improving body confidence among people, also became the first such person to model during London Fashion Week.

    What unusual side-effect of her condition got her into the record books?

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    In Oct 2016, a new railway service linked Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to this nation's capital. The latter is a port, so it gives landlocked Ethiopia better transport infrastructure to the Red Sea. The service was built and will be operated for some time by the Chinese.

    Which neighbour of Ethiopia are we talking about?

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    In Sept 2016, the State Assembly of the US state of California announced it had made a choice for the official 'fabric' of the state. Though tracing the origins of its name to a French city, the fabric has a legendary association with California's history. Which fabric?

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    In Oct 2016, Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on 'autophagy' i.e. cells eating themselves. He had primarily studied which group of micro-organisms, a household name around the world?

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    #usedtothinq Twitter Quiz: Cricket Controversies

    Calling all Cricket Enthusiasts! We bring you the fourth #usedtothinq quiz
    Follow the twitter handle @choosetothinq at 8 PM on Saturday, 8th October to discuss 'Cricket Controversies.
    Prizes given away by - Marketplace for Curated & Handmade products.
    #quiz #usedtothinq #cricket

    Trial Ball: In the 1979 Perth Test between Eng & Aus, Dennis Lillee famously threw away a bat made of which material?


    Ex-cricketer and politician Navjot Singh Sidhu walked out of the BJP in 2016 and formed a new political outfit in September, called the "Awaaz-E-Punjab".

    Which other former sportsman, who left the Akali Dal in 2016, is also part of this party?

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    "1" became the new record in September 2016. The previous record was comparatively a longer stint, that of "18" held by two men: Kevin Keegan and Steve McClaren. What is this record about and who now owns it?

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    This city is famous for its white marble. This fact has been cited as the etymological origin of its name, as well as its nickname "ash-Shahabaa" (which means a variant of white). Its old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but it's been in the news for all the wrong reasons, especially in 2015.

    Which famed ancient city?

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    In 2006, M. Chandrakumar a.k.a 'Auto Chandran' (he is an auto rickshaw driver) wrote 'Lock Up' about his experiences being jailed in the 80s. What honour did an 'interrogative' work derived from this novel receive in 2016?

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    In Oct 2016, the US government formally ceded control over this space, handing it over to a global group of stakeholders. A last minute legal challenge by the US states of Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada was dismissed, allowing this handover to take place. What space, which is now truly a 'global commons'?

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