The 1810 betrothal of Princess Theresa to Crown Prince Ludwig not only resulted in the meadow where the event took place to be named Theresienwiese but also started what?
Their wedding took place on Theresienwiese in 1810. Since then, the Oktoberfest is celebrated every year to commemorate this event. Theresienwiese now serves as the official ground of the Munich Oktoberfest.
The painting Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny which was thought to be lost was rediscovered by a art historian in unusual circumstances while he was doing what with his daughter?
Watching a movie! (Stuart Little)
The painting appeared in scenes of “Stuart Little” involving the stars of the film, yet it wasn’t until 2009 that the painting was identified. The eagle-eyed viewer, who is also an art historian, notified people associated with the Columbia Pictures film and the painting was tracked down.
A set of six medieval tapestries that are said to represent the five senses and maybe love/understanding that are currently on display in a Paris museum are called The Lady and the ... what mythical beast?
Unicorn (The Lady and the Unicorn)
They are often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe. The novelist George Sand brought public attention to the tapestries in her works at the time.
Christmas decorations commonly seen in German homes during the holiday season and which are said to be the predecessors for Christmas trees are usually in what shape?
A Christmas pyramid is a kind of carousel with several levels, some depicting Christian motifs such as angels or manger scenes, and others with more secular motifs such as mountain-folk, forests, and other scenes from the everyday life. The spinning motion of the pyramids is traditionally achieved with the help of candles whose rising heat spins a propeller above.
Which colorful military personality of the 20th century purportedly carried a lucky charm called "Charlie", a lump of lava rock carved into a Hawaiian warrior?
General George S. Patton
This is according to The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max Hastings.
A type of whole foot shoes called sabots were associated with the working classes in France and neighboring countries. When the workers were disgruntled, they allegedly threw them in workplace machinery and this is one possible origin of what word?
Sabotage, of course!
According to the video trailer promoting a 2014 spiritual movie, Autobiography of a Yogi was the only book on the iPad of which person who died on Oct 5, 2011?
This claim is made in the trailer of Awake: The Life of Yogananda.
The Pushkar Fair, an annual event in the desert state of Rajashtan in India, witnesses sales of thousands of livestock with a focus on what?
It also features several offbeat competitions like the "Longest Moustache" and attracts thousands of tourists.
François Coty’s Chypre, Paul Parquet’s Fougère Royale, and Aimé Guerlain's Jicky are three of the many representations at an archive in Versailles, France that was founded in 1990 to preserve what?
The Osmothèque is internationally responsible for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation and reproduction of thousands of perfumes gathered from the past two millennia.
What is the defining property of the Coffeepot for Masochists object designed by Jacques Carelman which is often used as an example in design studies?
Handle and spout are on the same side
The object is also featured on the cover of The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman.
As seen on Jessica Simpson's show Price of Beauty, some would-be-brides in Uganda are confined to huts before their impending wedding with what motive?
The tradition stems back centuries ago, where women who were overweight were representative of wealthy men; they were considered property, like cattle and land.
What distinctive Chinese practice (no longer in vogue) seemingly has its origins in a Sung dynasty prince asking his concubine to perform a toe dance after undergoing this procedure?
The general consensus is that the roots of foot binding lie in the Sung dynasty (960-1279 AD), although there are numerous folk lore and legends surrounding its actual origin. It was not until 1911 when the Manchu dynasty was toppled by Sun Yat Sen's revolution that foot binding was outlawed. In 1915 the Chinese government declared the practice illegal and sent inspectors to issue monetary fines to those who continued to uphold the tradition.
To spare themselves from a plague, in 1633 the residents of the village of Oberammergau in Germany made what heavenly promise which is kept to this day?
Stage a passion play
It has been performed since 1634.
Said to be aimed at youth venturing into adulthood, what is the defining feature of the statues at the Khajuraho temples of India that were constructed between the 10th and the 12th centuries?
They are about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi.
Which person who died in Hoosick Falls, New York aged 101 had her first solo exhibition with the title "What a Farm Wife Painted" in October 1940?
Grandma Moses (1860-1961)
She is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age.
On the way to the Vatican Museums are the Sistine Chapel (which obviously features Michelangelo's frescoes) and a suite of rooms that features frescoes of what other great?
The four Raphael Rooms form a suite of reception rooms, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican.
Once when he was hunting, he came across a stag but was out of bullets. He used the pit of the cherry he was eating and shot the stag between the eyes but the stag still ran away. After a few years, he apparently encountered the same stag in the forest but with a cherry tree between its antlers.
This is one of the fantastical stories attributed to which 18th century German nobleman?
His reputation as a storyteller has been exaggerated by writers, giving birth to a fully fictionalized literary character.
French artist Yves Klein created a series of works he called Anthropometry using what as paint brushes?
He used naked female models covered in blue paint and dragged across or laid upon canvases to make the image, using the models as "living brushes."
Because it was worn by recently freed slaves in Ancient Rome, what cap became the symbol of liberty?
In Ancient Rome, a slave was freed in a ceremony in which a praetor touched the slave with a rod called a vindicta and pronounced him to be free. The slave's head was shaved and a pileus was placed upon it. Both the vindicta and the cap were considered symbols of Libertas, the goddess representing liberty.
One of the earliest representations of the human face was an ivory figurine discovered in 1892 at Brassempouy, France. Which mythic figure's name is used to describe it?
Venus (Venus of Brassempouy)
About 25,000 years old, it is one of the earliest known realistic representations of a human face. The name of Venus is used an umbrella term for a number of prehistoric statuettes of women from the Upper Palaeolithic, mostly found in Europe. It is because prehistorians of the early 20th century assumed they represented an ancient ideal of beauty.
Dr. Byron McKeeby and a lady named Nan are immortalized in art - how?
They are the two people in American Gothic by Grant Wood
Nan is the sister of Grant Wood and the doctor was his dentist. The painting can be seen in the Art Institute of Chicago.
What name was given to the group of hedonistic British and Irish aristocrats who lived in an area overlapping Kenya and Uganda between the 1920s and the 1940s?
Happy Valley set
From the 1930s the group became infamous for its decadent lifestyles and exploits following reports of drug use and sexual promiscuity.
In April 2014, a porcelain object from the Chenghua period of Chinese history sold for £21m, setting a record for any Chinese porcelain. What is its colloquial name?
It is considered one of the most sought-after items in Chinese art, held in a reverence equivalent to that of the jeweled Fabergé eggs. The last time a similar cup was auctioned was in 1999. With just 16 known Chenghua chicken cups surviving, most in public museums, few come to auction. Four remain in private hands.
If Georgia O'Keeffe is to Taos, New Mexico, which German artist known for his surrealist paintings is to Sedona, Arizona?
Max Ernst (1891-1976)
He was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.
Who is the person of religious history whose pardon was the subject of a 1950 novel by Pär Lagerkvist as well as a 1961 portrayal by Anthony Quinn?
He is a figure in the accounts of the Passion of Christ, in which he is freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, instead of Jesus.
The crowning of King Momo is an event that kicks off what festivities?
Carnivals, particularly in Latin America
Each carnival has its own King Momo, who is often given the key to the city. Probably the most famous of the King Momos are found in Rio de Janeiro where the tradition of a presiding king goes back to 1933.
The Marie de' Medici Cycle is a series of twenty-four paintings by which artist?
Peter Paul Rubens
Marie de' Medici was the wife of Henry IV of France. Twenty-one of the paintings depict Marie's own struggles and triumphs in life.
So what if he failed, he tried, didn't he? The Hellenic Air Force Academy was renamed after which mythological character in 1967?
The figure of Icarus forms the centrepiece of the academy's badge.
Because of the flexibility of its branches and growing characteristic, what tree species is most popularly used for bonsai? (hint: gin!)
The hint refers to the fact that juniper berries are commonly used in gin making.
A tourist attraction near Alliance, Nebraska created by Jim Reinders using vintage cars is styled after what monument?
He called it Carhenge.
The festival of Naadam that features wrestling, archery and horse-racing is an annual event of what land-locked country?
What controversial objects of the world of culture are by far the biggest attraction in the purpose built Duveen Gallery of the British Museum?
They are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin obtained a controversial permit from the Ottoman authorities to remove pieces from the Parthenon while serving as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803.
In an Aesop fable that shows the power of persuasion over force, what element fights the sun?
The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The challenge was to make a passing traveler remove his cloak.
Which legendary queen is said to have claimed an area of North Africa by using thin strips of oxhide?
Dido, Queen of Carthage
While fleeing with her followers, she arrived on the coast of North Africa and asked a Berber king for temporary refuge until she could continue her journey, asking for only as much land as could be encompassed by an oxhide. Dido cut the oxhide into fine strips so that she had enough to encircle an entire nearby hill. This event is commemorated in modern mathematics: The "isoperimetric problem" of enclosing the maximum area within a fixed boundary is often called the "Dido Problem" in modern Calculus of variations.
In the world of US theater, it has become customary to encourage audience to clap to save which character of a popular children's play?
Susuk that is practiced by the Malays is the loose equivalent of what practice of Chinese culture?
In susuk, needles made of gold or other precious metals are inserted into the soft tissues of the body to act as talismans.
America's oldest and still-running wooden roller coaster that can be found at Coney Island has what 'stormy' name?
It opened in 1927 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The Patterson-Gimlin film shot on October 20, 1967 has a large hand in perpetrating what legend?
Most scientists have judged the film a hoax with a man in an ape suit, but many Bigfoot believers contend the film depicts a cryptid, a creature unknown to science. Both Patterson and Gimlin have always insisted they encountered and filmed a real Bigfoot, not a man in a costume.
An ankle length overcoat and a bird-like beak mask filled with lavender were prominently worn by what group of professionals in the days past?
The purpose of the mask was to keep away bad smells, which were thought to be the principal cause of the disease in the miasma theory of infection, before it was disproved by germ theory. Doctors believed the herbs would counter the "evil" smells of the plague and prevent them from becoming infected.
In Russian folklore, the witch Baba Yaga travels in a hut which has what as landing gear?
The Tree of Life, a sculpture that can be seen in the British Museum, was created by four artists in Mozambique from what? (hint: sure to please peace advocates!)
It was built from the surrender of 600,000 weapons that were notably converted into art following an initiative started by Bishop Dinis Sengulane.
The Spoonmaker's Diamond is a major attraction of a museum at what location that used to be the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years?
Several mutually exclusive accounts exist regarding its origin including one about a naive fisherman who gave it up without knowing its value.
May you live for ten thousand years if you get this right. What is the particular type of skydiving which involves throwing a parachute out of a plane and then jumping after it?
During World War II, banzai served as a battle cry of sorts for Japanese soldiers. Ideally, kamikaze pilots would shout "banzai!" as they rammed their planes into enemy ships. In various East Asian languages, the phrase "ten thousand years" is used to wish long life, and is typically translated as "long live" in English.
The planet Dagobah is the site of exile of which wise master voiced by Frank Oz throughout a seminal series?
Grand Jedi Master Yoda is the most powerful Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe.
Devil begone! The term 'asperges' is given to the rite of sprinkling of what?
The name comes from the first word in the 9th verse of Psalm 51.
Two punsters who call themselves Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy designated September 19 as the annual what day? Arrrrrrrrrrr!
Talk like a pirate day
An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, matey!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.
Mohini the enchantress is the only female manifestation of which male deity of the Hindu pantheon known for his avatars?
What aspect of the folktale Hansel and Gretel has been adapted in user-interface design to help users navigate among various screens?
The term comes from the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular fairytale.
A Japanese painting in the simplistic style of haiga is also likely to contain what?
Matsuo Bashō, known worldwide as the definitive master of haiku, frequently painted as well.
In an episode of Mythbusters, what was speculated to have been used by sailors to adjust to light and darkness as they went above and below a ship's deck?
The strong sunlight while above deck on an oceangoing vessel could require minutes of adaptation to the dim lighting below deck. With virtually no light sources below deck, sailors would have to rely heavily upon their eyes to adjust. In the critical moments of modifying the rigging, navigating, and especially during battle, those minutes were too precious. A simple switch of the patch from one eye to the other might have saved time when going between decks.
The staged performance at what renowned location in Vienna includes the levade, capriole and courbette and ends with School Quadrille?
Spanish Riding School (that of the Lipizzan horses)
It was named for the Spanish horses that formed one of the bases of the Lipizzan breed, which is used exclusively at the school.
What is traditionally broken at the funeral of a magician, the practice starting from Harry Houdin's funeral in 1926?
It indicates that with the magician's death, the wand has lost its magic.
Lapot in Romania, Ubasute in Japan and Ättestupa in the Nordic world are all terms for what custom in difficult times that is commonly associated with the Inuit?
The abandonment to death, suicide or killing of the elderly.
Catoptromancy is the term for predicting the future using what object? Who's the fairest of them all!
In the 1950s, because of what fad did the price of a certain mammal skin jump from twenty-five cents a pound to eight dollars a pound?
By the end of the 1950s, the fad slowly died out. It is recalled by numerous cultural references, such as the wearing of coonskin caps as part of The Junior Woodchucks uniform in Disney's Donald Duck comics.
If Lisa Gherardini the wife of Francesco del Giocondo is the subject of Da Vinci's masterpiece (Mona Lisa), who is the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer who was the subject of Klimt's record setting 1907 painting?
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I sold for US$135 million in 2006. Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt when he completed a second picture of her, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, in 1912.
What is the missing word in graffiti artist Banksy's 2005 compilation ___ and Piece?
Banksy has been long criticized for copying the work of Blek le Rat, creator of the life-sized stencil technique in early 1980s Paris.
The trickster god Anansi who has a prominent place in African folklore is what type of creature?
Stories of Anansi became such a prominent and familiar part of Ashanti oral culture that the word Anansesem — 'spider tales' — came to embrace all kinds of fables.
In Aboriginal myth, if Dreamtime is the era when spirit beings created the world, what are the paths they traversed?
A knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena. In some cases, the paths of the creator-beings are said to be evident from their marks such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints.
In Greek mythology, if ambrosia is the food of the gods and nectar their drink, what is 'ichor'?
It is said to be golden in color, as well as lethally toxic to mortals.
If Cerberus is to the Greek Underworld, the dog Garmr is to what location?
Hel (Norse myth)
Garmr is described as a blood-stained watchdog that guards Hel's gate.
A traditional Chinese religious painting depicts three men tasting vinegar and ascribing sourness, bitterness and sweetness to it reflecting different religious beliefs. Whom are the men said to represent?
Confucius, Buddha and Laozi respectively
Confucianism saw life as sour, in need of rules to correct the degeneration of people; Buddhism saw life as bitter, dominated by pain and suffering; and Taoism saw life as fundamentally good in its natural state. Another interpretation of the painting is that, since the three men are gathered around one vat of vinegar, the 'three teachings' are one.
In Greek myth, the constellation Leo represents what beast best known from a list of dozen?
Killed by Hercules during one of his twelve labors.
To Muslims, if Umrah is minor, what is major?
The Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year. It is sometimes called the 'minor pilgrimage' or 'lesser pilgrimage', the Hajj being the 'major' pilgrimage and which is compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended. It does not contain as many steps as Hajj.
One of the most recognized pieces of Japanese art from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai that depicts a huge tidal wave is titled The Great Wave off what place?
As in all the prints in the series, it depicts the area around Mount Fuji under particular conditions, and the mountain itself appears in the background.
The Pactolus river in Turkey which once contained electrum (an alloy of gold) was said to have been the place where which mythic figure washed off his curse?
King Midas, who rid himself of the golden touch by bathing here
What 1841 invention of the art world that replaced the usage of pig bladders was called by Renoir as indispensable for Impressionism?
It allowed the artists to travel outdoors as the drying of paint was no longer an issue. The paint tube superseded pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport. Paints could now be produced in bulk and sold in tin tubes with a cap. The cap could be screwed back on and the paints preserved for future use, providing flexibility and efficiency to painting outdoors.
Spirits known as loa are appeased by the practitioners of what belief system?
Vodouisants believe in a supreme being called Bondyè but because he is unreachable, they aim their prayers to lesser entities, the spirits known as loa.
The name of what celebration popular is many countries comes from that on certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics and Christians shunned meat?
Carnival (from carnelevare, to remove/raise meat)
It occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. It is traditionally held in areas with a large Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox makeup.
In March 2013, rapper Gucci Mane was arrested for attacking a man in a bar and a tabloid headlined the news as 'Rapper Mistook Man for a Ship.' What object did Mane use for his assault?
Christening ships using champagne bottles is a tradition that goes back a long way.
What is the main feature of Chinese artist Liu Bolin's work?
His most popular works are from his 'Hiding in the City' series where he stands in front of various places and tries to 'blend in' by painting his own body.
Which animal was depicted with an armor and a breastplate in a 16th century woodwork by a German artist with the object signified as "probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound influence on the arts"?
Rhino (Dürer's Rhinoceros)
The image was based on a written description and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros that had arrived in Lisbon in 1515. Dürer never saw the actual rhinoceros, which was the first living example seen in Europe since Roman times.
If a Chinese friend brings you a cheongsam or a changshan, what would you do with it?
The cheongsam is the traditional looking body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women; the male version is the changshan. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, cheongsams were the uniforms for the medal bearers.
Kamadhenu the wish-granting cow, Kaustubha the jewel, and Parijat the divine flowering tree are some of the items that emerged during what episode of Hindu mythology?
Churning of the Ocean of Milk
It was done using a mountain and with a snake by the gods on one side and the demons on the other.
The distinctive wooden carved and bright red colored Dala horses are associated with which country?
A 1480s painting by Albertus Pictor in Täby Church located north of Stockholm that inspired a film director depicts a man playing chess with whom?
Director being Ingmar Bergman and the movie is of course The Seventh Seal.
The killing of the Beast of Gévaudan, a wolf-like animal in 18th century France using a particular projectile (supposedly) is said to have introduced what belief into folklore?
Vulnerability of a werewolf to a silver bullet
This idea does not appear in stories about werewolves before the 20th century (the claim that the Beast of Gévaudan, an 18th-century wolf or wolf-like creature, was shot by a silver bullet appears to have been introduced by novelists retelling the story from 1935 onward. The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized parts of France from 1764 to 1767.
The Greek custom of paiderastía, the erotic relationship between a man and a youth, is said to have been modeled after a myth of whose abduction by Zeus? (hint: cup-bearer)
He is abducted by Zeus in the form of an eagle to serve in Olympus.
The Roman Empire themed Caesers Palace casino in Las Vegas features an indulgent buffet that has what appropriate 'festive' name?
From bacchanalia, the wild and mystic festivals of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus.
What Hindu pilgrimage that takes place every twelve years in which people participate in ritual purification in rivers (mainly the Ganges) is said to be among the largest gatherings of humanity?
The Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, at four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Allahabad. According to the Mela Administration's estimates, around 70 million people participated in the 45-day Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, in 2007.
Who needs telescopes! In Greek mythology, what was caused by a spilling accident when Hera was breastfeeding Heracles?
Milky Way was formed
It is also described as the road to mount Olympus, and the path of ruin made by the chariot of the Sun god Helios.
In legend, the Seal of Solomon possessed by King Solomon gave him the power to command demons and to do what else?
Talk to animals
What is the name of the first man in Māori mythology? The name can also refer to the most distinctive artifacts of Polynesian cultures.
In the Māori language, the word 'tiki' was the name given to large wooden carvings in roughly human shape, and the carvings often serve to mark the boundaries of sacred or significant sites.
In 1914 a paleontologist suggested that what legend might have originated from Greeks interpreting the nasal cavity in the skull of prehistoric dwarf elephants as a large single eye-socket?
A cyclops, in Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his forehead.
There are several theories for the origin of this symbol. One states it is an English corruption of 'Ali Raja', another states it is a name for the devil, yet another links it to the French words for a red flag.
The artist Lee Krasner who used to cut her own paintings to create collages was married to which other artist?
Krasner and Pollock gave each other reassurance and support during a period when neither's work was well-appreciated.
In folklore, what did the 16th century raabi Judah Loew ben Bezalel create to defend the Prague ghetto from antisemitic attacks?
Depending on the version of the legend, the Jews in Prague were to be either expelled or killed under the rule of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor. To protect the Jewish community, the rabbi constructed the Golem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava river, and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations. As this golem grew, it became increasingly violent, killing gentiles and spreading fear. The Emperor begged Rabbi Loew to destroy the Golem, promising to stop the persecution of the Jews. To deactivate the Golem, the rabbi rubbed out the first letter of the word 'emet' (truth or reality) from the creature's forehead leaving the Hebrew word 'met', meaning dead. The Golem's body was stored in the attic genizah of the Old New Synagogue, where it would be restored to life again if needed.
Wayang in Java/Indonesia and Karagiozis in Greece/Turkey refer to what type of street entertainment?
Puppetry or shadow puppets
According to its artist, the main objects in what 1931 modernist masterpiece were inspired not by the theory of relativity but by the perception of Camembert cheese melting in the sun?
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí
The main objects are of course melting clocks.
A 1863 caricature in Punch shows the British Prime Minister steering a ship between a craggy rock in the form of Lincoln and a whirlpool that has a likeness of Jefferson Davis. What are the rock and the whirlpool said to represent?
Scylla and Charybdis
Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters that were regarded as hazards located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding one meant passing too close to the other. The caricature illustrated how the PM tried to maintain a strict impartiality towards both combatants in the American Civil War.
In one version of Greek mythology, who spent a night at Apollo's temple where snakes cleaned her ears so that she was able to hear the future?
She was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy but when she did not reciprocate his love, Apollo placed a curse on her so that her predictions would not be believed.
O'zapft is! What is the better known name of the annual celebration called by the locals as 'Wiesn' referring to the grounds where it is held?
It is a 16-day festival held annually in Munich from late September to the first weekend in October. "O'zapft is" meaning "it is tapped" is usually the first statement at the inauguration.
The myths contained in the texts Kojiki and Nihan Shoki are the inspiration behind the practices of what belief system?
Kojiki is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century (711-2) and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. It is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami. The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan.
What furniture accessory whose name ultimately derives from an Indonesian port was developed because of the fad of oiled hair in 19th century England?
Macassar oil was commonly applied to the hair in the early 19th century. The fashion for oiled hair became so widespread that housewives began to cover the arms and backs of their chairs with washable cloths to preserve the fabric coverings from being soiled. Around 1850, these started to be known as antimacassars. Macassar oil was so named because it was reputed to have been manufactured from ingredients purchased in the port of Makassar in Indonesia.
In response to a request by Gypsy Rose Lee, what term for a striptease performer was coined by the H. L. Mencken after he channeled his inner Greek and thought of invertebrate molting?
Suzanne Collins said that the main theme in The Hunger Games was derived from a Greek myth in which King Minos has Athens send seven youths and seven maidens to what monster?
He dwelt at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth, which was designed by the Daedalus and his son Icarus. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.
What belief system purports that ancient Americas were once populated by groups called the Nephites, Lamanites, Jaredites and Mulekites?
What legend which some sources say is a site founded by seven catholic priests was first perpetuated by Cabeza de Vaca, the Spanish explorer who traversed the American southwest in the 1500s?
Seven Cities of Cíbola
In 1968, the dictator Franco expressed a desire to have this artwork be returned to Spain but the artist refused to allow it until the Spanish people enjoyed a republic. The move finally happened in 1981 after Spain became a democratic constitutional monarchy in 1978.
What anti-war work of art is this?
Guernica by Picasso
It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.
In the film Labyrinth, a character is taken to a stairwell that alternately goes up and down seemingly defying gravity. In the credits of the film, which Dutch great's artwork was acknowledged for this set-piece?
M. C. Escher (1898-1972)
The staircase resembles the picture Relativity.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis explored in the award winning 1966 novel Babel-17 states that human thought is strongly influenced by what?
The idea was first clearly expressed by 19th century thinkers who saw language as the expression of the spirit of a nation.
Observations from the Hubble in 2004 suggest that the artist might have based what 1889 masterpiece on his view of the V838 Monocerotis star and the cloud of gas surrounding it?
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
The painting depicts the view outside his sanitarium room window at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (located in southern France) at night, although it was painted from memory during the day.
What invention of Mary Quant whose users were subject to raids by the moral police in the 60s was named after her favourite make of car?
It was introduced in 1964 and was named after the Mini.
Treskilling Yellow from Sweden, Bull's Eye from Brazil, Inverted Jenny from the United States, Basel Dove from Switzerland and Benjamin Franklin Z Grill from the United States are some of the famous specimens of what?
Treskilling Yellow holds the world's record auction sales price for a single postage stamp.
What phrase that means 'to discard, or dispose of' originates from the practice of burial at sea that requires a minimum depth of water to be carried out?
"To deep six"
A burial at sea (where the body is weighted to force it to the bottom) requires a minimum of six fathoms of water.
A figurative use of what artifact was in a 1979 Scientific American article where it was said "... the spectrum of the hydrogen atoms has proved to be the ___ ___ of modern physics: once this pattern of lines had been deciphered much else could also be understood ..."
What are the missing words?
The most-visited object in the British Museum, it is inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BCE on behalf of King Ptolemy V. Because it presents essentially the same text in the three scripts of Ancient Egyptian, Demotic, and Ancient Greek, it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The term has been used idiomatically to represent a crucial key to the process of decryption of encoded information, especially when a small but representative sample is recognized as the clue to understanding a larger whole.
In Islamic mythology, what bottled-up creatures make up the three sentient creations of Allah along with humans and angels?
The Qur'an mentions that Jinn are made of smokeless flame. They can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent.
In Arthurian legend, the castle Corbenic that is the location of the Holy Grail is the domain of whom?
Fisher King (or) Wounded King
Versions of his story vary widely, but he is always wounded in the legs or groin, and incapable of moving on his own. When he is injured, his kingdom suffers as he does, his impotence affecting the fertility of the land and reducing it to a barren Wasteland. Little is left for him to do but fish in the river near his castle Corbenic. Knights travel from many lands to heal the Fisher King, but only the chosen can accomplish the feat.
The most important text of what popular practice, varieties of which include hatha, mantra and raja is attributed to Patañjali?
The opinion of most scholars is that Patañjali was not the creator of Yoga but an expounder.
What type of porcelain developed by Josiah Spode originated in a factory that was proximate to slaughterhouses (and thus had access to animal byproducts)?
It is noted for its high levels of whiteness and translucency, and very high mechanical strength and chip resistance. From its initial development and up to the later part of the twentieth century, bone china was almost exclusively an English product, with production being effectively localised to Stoke-on-Trent. The raw materials for bone china are comparatively expensive, and the production is labour-intensive, which is why bone china maintains a luxury status.
The 500 peso note issued by the Bank of Mexico in 2010 contains the image of the artist Diego Rivera on the obverse side. Whose image is on the reverse side?
Akira Yoshizawa, to whom Google paid a tribute with a doodle of folded letters on March 14, 2012 is said to have elevated what craft into an art form?
Although Akira Yoshizawa pioneered many different origami techniques, wet-folding is one of his most significant contributions.
What concept of Hinduism is traditionally classified into three kinds - Sanchita (accumulated), Prarabdha (ripened) and Kriyamana (produced in the current life)?
It literally means 'deed' or 'act', and is the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, which Hindus believe governs all consciousness. It is not fate, for we act with what can be described as a conditioned free will creating our own destinies.
The sedia gestatoria, a portable throne that was in use till 1978 was used to carry whom?
It was mainly used to carry popes to and from ceremonies and was used for nearly one millennium. Pope John Paul I at first declined to use the sedia gestatoria but was eventually convinced by the Vatican staff that its use was necessary in order to allow crowds to see him. Pope John Paul II refused to use the sedia gestatoria completely.
A biblical themed 1888 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau depicts a couple grieving over the body of a young man. Can you name the three people represented in the painting if told that the title of the work is The First Mourning?
Adam and Eve grieving over Abel
According to the biblical account, this was the first human death.
In Impressions of America, Oscar Wilde tells the story of a man who orders a plaster cast of a statue and sues the railroad company because it arrives without arms. Wilde recounts the story as an example of the lack of art knowledge as the statue was supposed to be an impression of what?
Venus de Milo
According to Wilde, the man apparently won the case! Although the statue is widely renowned for the missing arms, evidence suggests that it did have arms at the time of its creation.
What head wear whose popular name reflects its shipping origin is also known as a Jipijapa, the name of a town in Ecuador?
Like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, straw hats woven in Ecuador were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations. For some products, the name of their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin stuck, hence 'Panama hats.'
If Lisa Giocondo is Mona Lisa, the undetermined subject of what painting was speculated at various times to be Maria (the artists' eldest daughter) or Magdalena (the patrons' daughter) and was also imagined as Griet in a 1999 novel with the same name as the painting?
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
It is sometimes referred to as 'the Mona Lisa of the North' or 'the Dutch Mona Lisa.'
The Cenacle, a derivative of the Latin word cena that means dinner is a term for the site of what seminal event of a major religion?
Since at least the fourth century CE a structure identified as the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper, has been a popular Christian pilgrimage site on Mount Sion in Jerusalem.
The Easter of 1885 marked the twentieth anniversary of the betrothal of Czar Alexander III and Czarina Maria Fedorovna. The Czar needed an exceptional gift for his wife and he placed an order with a young jeweler whose beautiful creations had recently caught his wife's eye. The young man did not disappoint with his delight that contained many surprises inside.
This is the origin of what cultural treasure?
The most famous eggs produced by the House of Fabergé were the larger ones made for Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia; these are often referred to as the Imperial Fabergé eggs. Of the 50 made, 42 have survived.
What word internationally recognized as a distress signal and always given three times in a row derives from the French for 'come help me'?
Mayday (venez m'aider)
The call-sign was originated in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford (1897-1962). A senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London, Mockford was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word 'Mayday' from the French m'aider.
When this 19th century man was growing up in Białystok in present-day Poland, he was frustrated by the disputes among the Yiddish-speaking Jewish majority and the ethnic groups of Poles, Germans, and Belarusians. Attributing the quarrels to a lack of neutral language, he decided to do something about it and followed through with his ideas.
L. L. Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto
If Deucalion is to Greek mythology and Utnapishtim is to Mesopotamian mythology, who is the equivalent figure in Christianity? (hint: all saved themselves in a particular way)
All are associated with the flood myth.
What 1911 painting that depicts peasants, animals and elements of Yiddish folklore is the artist's reflection of his childhood memories of a Hasidic community in Belarus?
I and the Village by Marc Chagall
The significance of the painting lies in its seamless integration of various elements of Eastern European folktales and culture, both Russian and Yiddish.
A corroboree is a ceremonial meeting of what group of people?
What legal term, whose etymology comes from how editors traditionally indicated corrections to a written copy, means that a portion of contract is void but the other part is enforceable?
Blue pencil doctrine
Blue was used specifically because it will not show in some lithographic or photographic reproduction processes. With the introduction of electronic editing, blue pencils are seen more rarely, but still exist in metaphor. The term is also used to mean censorship.
Lucy in the Field with Flowers, Sunday on the Pot with George and Juggling Dog in Hula Skirt are the noted works in MOBA, a Massachusetts museum dedicated to what type of art?
The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) was founded in 1994, after antique dealer Scott Wilson showed a painting he had recovered from the trash to some friends, who suggested starting a collection. To be included in MOBA's collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.
The 15th century Russian artist Andrei Rublev is best known for what type of work that is strongly associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church?
He is considered to be the greatest medieval Russian painter of Orthodox icons and frescoes and was also the subject of an acclaimed 1966 film by Andrei Tarkovsky.
In Greek mythology, while going back from the Trojan War, whom did Menelaus successfully capture despite that person taking the form of a lion, a serpent, a leopard, a pig, and even that of water and a tree?
He could foretell the future but would change his shape to avoid having to; he will answer only to someone who is capable of capturing him. From this feature of Proteus comes the adjective protean, with the general meaning of 'versatile', 'mutable', or 'capable of assuming many forms.'
In times gone by, shepherds used to place a bell around the neck of a castrated ram that was leading a flock of sheep so that the movement of the flock could be noted.
What was another term for the castrated ram?
This is the story behind the word bellwether.
What word that was chosen as an alternative to terms like 'Mister', 'Miss', or 'Missus' saw its first known use in the now familiar context in a socialist magazine called Justice in 1884?
The political usage of the term was inspired by the French Revolution. Upon abolishing the titles of nobility, and the terms monsieur and madame, the revolutionaries employed the term citoyen for men and citoyenne for women (both meaning 'citizen') to refer to each other. The deposed King Louis XVI, for instance, was referred to as Citoyen Louis Capet to emphasize his loss of privilege. When the socialist movement gained momentum in the mid-19th century, socialists chose 'comrade' as their preferred term of address.
What legendary place was protected by the Scaean Gates?
The annual Mount Hagen Cultural Show that began in 1961 both as a celebration of tribal culture and as a forum for friendly competition (in place of tribal war) is one of the biggest draws of which large island nation?
Papua New Guinea
Mount Hagen is also the third largest city in Papua New Guinea.
The Kiswa, a 658 sq. m. silk cloth embroidered with gold threads drapes what religious object?
Kaaba in Mecca
It is draped annually on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day pilgrims leave for the plains of Mount Arafat during the Hajj. Every year the old Kiswa is removed, cut into small pieces and gifted to certain individuals. The Kiswa is wrapped around the Kaaba and fixed to the ground with copper rings.
In 18th/19th century England, mercury was used in the production of felt, which was used in the manufacturing of hats. Some workers in these factories developed dementia because of mercury poisoning.
What expression for insanity has this etymological origin?
Mad as a hatter
"The straight line belongs to Man. The curved line belongs to God."
This statement by which Spanish architect captures the essence of his work that is sometimes called Organic Architecture?
Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926)
His masterpiece, the Sagrada Família in Barcelona is one of the most visited monuments in Spain. Between 1984 and 2005 seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
A group of Christian youth who wanted to escape persecution for their faith took refuge in a cave near Ephesus around 250 AD and fell asleep. They woke up 150-200 years later and were reportedly seen by some people before they died.
What legend whose best known version appears in Golden Legend is thus summarized?
The Seven Sleepers (or) The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus
The Nine Worthies were personalities established in the Middle Ages who were said to represent the ideals of chivalry. Which 'tamer of horses' and heroic defender from Greek mythology is missing in the Pagans section?
Pagans: ___, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar
Old Testament Jews: Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus
Chivalric Christian Heroes: King Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon
Homer places Hector as the very noblest of all the heroes in the Iliad: he is both peace-loving and brave, thoughtful as well as bold, a good son, husband and father, and without darker motives.
What is the better known name of the Mawlawi followers of Sufism who are known for their 'rotating' motion during a ceremony called Seema?
Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi path; the whirling is part of the formal Sema ceremony which is meant to remember God.
The name of what military formation in which members are arranged diagonally has also come to mean a level of command or rank?
The name comes from the French for 'ladder.' Use of the formation dates back to ancient infantry and cavalry warfare when attempting to flank an enemy or to break one wing with overwhelming numbers.
What name that is the Gaelic equivalent of 'James' is sometimes used as a slang word for a private detective in the US?
Shamus from Séamus
What item of clothing did the economist Joseph Schumpeter refer to when he said "The evolution of the capitalist style of life could be easily and perhaps most tellingly described in terms of the genesis of the modern ___ ___."?
Everyone knows the famous riddle of the Sphinx that was solved by Oedipus. But according to some accounts, there was a second riddle that goes "There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first."
What is the answer?
Day and night
K Street in Washington D.C. that is appropriately not far from government is home to several offices of what 'influential' industry?
"K Street" is a common often-derogatory metonym for Washington's lobbying industry.
In 2008, China submitted a proposal to UNESCO to make which 13th century 'poetic' city, with its ruins of a 'stately pleasure dome', a World Heritage Site?
The city was located in what is now called Inner Mongolia, 275 kilometers (171 mi) north of Beijing and was the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China. At its zenith, over 100,000 people lived within its walls. In 1369 Shàngdū was occupied by the Ming army and put to the torch.
The notion of God having two forms and ten Sefirot mediating between them is central to the belief system of which mystical tradition?
The Sefirot are the ten emanations and attributes of God with which He continually sustains the universe in existence. The word "sefirah" literally means "counting", but early Kabbalists presented a number of other etymological possibilities.
On April 1, 2011 a painting titled Two Tahitian Women was attacked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. by a woman who thought it was evil. The work was part of an exhibit that was highlighting the work of which artist?
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Artist + Tahiti = Gauguin.
What piece of furniture that has a prominent place in legend has no head or sides implying that no one sitting at it is privileged?
The idea stems from the Arthurian legend about the Knights of the Round Table in Camelot.
Although never part of international maritime law, which phrase was popularised by its usage on the RMS Titanic as a consequence of which 74% of the women and 52% of the children were saved but only 20% of the men?
"Women and children first"
The practice arose from the chivalrous actions of soldiers during sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852, though the phrase was not coined until 1860.
Connect the following list with oriental mythology.
Fish, tortoise, boar, half man-half lion, dwarf, sage, king, king, renouncing prince, eternity/time.
Avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu
The concept of avatar within Hinduism is most often associated with Vishnu, the preserver or sustainer aspect of God. Vishnu's avatars typically descend for a very specific purpose.
Who is the English weaver who purportedly destroyed two knitting frames in 1779 and whose name is now synonymous with 'anti-technology'?
Ned Ludd (from whom the Luddites took their name)
Although no actual proof of his existence has been found, it is believed that he came from the village of Anstey, just outside Leicester in England. The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested - often by destroying mechanized looms - against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. In modern usage, "Luddite" is a term describing those opposed to industrialization, automation, computerization or new technologies in general.
What name given to an autumn full moon in the northern hemisphere alludes to the brightness of the night sky that aids the shooting of migrating birds?
It is the first full moon after the harvest moon (which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox). The name is also said to have been used by Native Americans as they tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead.
In Satire X, the poet Juvenal complains that Romans have given up political involvement only to be concerned with eating and frolic. What phrase that is now a metaphor for superficial means of appeasement comes from this work?
Bread and circuses (panem et circenses)
Juvenal makes reference to the Roman practice of providing free wheat to Roman citizens as well as costly circus games and other forms of entertainment as a means of gaining political power through populism.
The etymology of what form of entertainment may come from the valley of 'Vau de Vire' in Normandy where satirical songs were common?
The term vaudeville, referring specifically to North American variety entertainment, came into common usage after 1871 with the formation of Sargent's Great Vaudeville Company of Louisville, Kentucky.
What portmanteau word refers to a type of swimsuit for women designed by Aheda Zanetti that is meant to preserve Muslim modesty?
Burquini or Burkini
The suit covers the entire body except the face, the hands and the feet. It was described as the perfect solution for Muslim women who want to swim but are uncomfortable about 'revealing' bathing suits. 'Burqini' is a portmanteau of burqa (body) and bikini, and is a registered trademark.
What concept of Hinduism is the equivalent of Buddhism's nirvana?
In Hinduism, self-realization is the key to obtaining moksha. The Hindu is one who practices one or more forms of Yoga - Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja - knowing that God is unlimited and exists in many different forms, both personal and impersonal.
The festival of San Fermín that features a famous 'chase' is an annual celebration of which European city?
Chase refers to the running of the bulls. It is held 6 July to midnight 14 July. Its events were central to the plot of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, which brought it to the general attention of English-speaking people. It has become probably the most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain. Over 1,000,000 people come to watch this festival.
The name of what toy is a portmanteau of the Japanese word for 'egg' and the English word 'watch'?
It was first sold by Bandai in 1996 in Japan. Over 70,000,000 Tamagotchis have been sold world-wide as of 2008. Most Tamagotchis are housed in a small egg-shaped computer with an interface usually consisting of three buttons, although the number of buttons may vary for different variations.
During the Falklands War, because a British aircraft lacked a conventional 'chaff' dispensing mechanism (used as a radar countermeasure), engineers designed one using welding rods, split pins and string.
This eccentric make do was given the name of which cartoonist?
In the UK, the term 'Heath Robinson' has entered the language as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contraption, similar to 'Rube Goldberg' in the US.
In Greek mythology, a group of fierce fighters called the Myrmidons were commanded by which mighty warrior?
First used in the context of folklore in 1885, what term describes a god/spirit/animal who disobeys normal rules and tries to survive the dangers of the world using deceit?
Examples of the type are Bugs Bunny and The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) and Pippi Longstocking.
What word that means 'cheap' or 'gaudy' is derived from the practice of trinkets sold at St. Audrey's fair in England?
In Greek mythology, what river flowed around the cave of Hypnos in the Underworld and caused forgetfulness in all those who drank from it?
From which we get the word lethargic.
What Russian term for a functionary of the Communist Party is now derogatorily used to describe people appointed to positions on the basis of political loyalty rather than competence?
Members of the "apparat" were frequently transferred between different areas of responsibility, usually with little or no actual training for their new areas of responsibility. Thus, the term apparatchik, or "agent of the apparatus" was usually the best possible description of the person's profession and occupation.
What classical ballet tells the story of Odette who is turned into a creature by an evil sorcerer's curse?
It was composed by Tchaikovsky.
How do we better know Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru who embody a famous proverb?
As 'The three wise monkeys' of "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
he three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of "do no evil." He may be shown covering his abdomen or genital area, or crossing his arms.
The 1633 painting The Storm on the Sea of Galilee that depicts the miracle of Jesus calming the waves was stolen in 1990 from a Boston museum in what is considered to be the biggest art theft in history. This painting is the only known seascape of which great artist?
It is widely believed, because of the fourteen people in the boat, that Rembrandt painted himself in the boat. (twelve disciples, Rembrandt and Jesus).
Toru Iwatani, the creator of which popular video game admitted in a 1996 interview that the story of a pizza missing a slice being the inspiration of the game's main character was only half true?
What satanic name was used to describe an apprentice who performed a number of tasks such as mixing tubs of ink in a printing establishment?
The origin of printer's devil is not definitively known and there are several origin stories.
The rivers of Alpheus and Peneus were used for what sanitary task in Greek mythology?
Cleaning of the Augean stables, Hercules' fifth labor
The fifth of the Twelve Labours set to Hercules was to clean the Augean stables in a single day. This assignment was intended to be both humiliating and impossible, since the livestock were divinely healthy and therefore produced an enormous quantity of dung. These stables had not been cleaned in over 30 years. However, Hercules succeeded by rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to wash out the filth.
What decorative order is divided into the five following degrees?
1. Chevalier (Knight)
2. Officier (Officer)
3. Commandeur (Commander)
4. Grand Officier (Grand Officer)
5. Grand'Croix (Grand Cross)
Legion of Honor (the highest decoration in France)
It is a French order established by Napoleon in 1802.
The term 'Urbi et Orbi' ('to the City and to the World'), a standard opening of Roman proclamations is now used to denote whose address?
The blessing takes place at each Easter and Christmas celebration in Rome from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica.
Candlemas, which occurs on Feb 2 represents the first dawning of spring when animals start to venture from their dens.
What annual event of American culture, which Bill Murray should know, also takes place on the same day?
What annual event of American culture, which Bill Murray should know, also takes place on the same day?
What annual event of American culture, which Bill Murray should know, also takes place on the same day?
According to folklore, if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day fails to see its shadow, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. The repetition is meant to evoke the movie Groundhog Day.
Done with the will of an owner, what type of emancipating act is a 'manumission'?
Freeing of slaves
What derogatory name for the British has its origins in sailors eating something to avoid scurvy?
The term is believed to derive from lime juice, referring to the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy practice of supplying lime juice to British sailors to prevent scurvy. The benefits of citrus juice were well known at the time thanks to the acute observations of surgeon James Lind who studied the effects of citrus on scurvy in 1747.
When is a riderless or caparisoned horse with boots reversed in the stirrups most commonly seen?
It follows the caisson carrying the casket in a funeral procession. The custom is believed to date back to the time of Genghis Khan, when a horse was sacrificed to serve the fallen warrior in the next world. The caparisoned horse later came to symbolize a warrior who would ride no more. In the United States, the caparisoned horse is part of the military honors given to an Army or Marine Corps officer who was a colonel or above; this includes the President, by virtue of having been the nation's military commander in chief and the Secretary of Defense, having overseen the armed forces.
If you plan to use a Bateson's Belfry, what are you trying to prevent?
What is the name given to ceramic mugs sold in Britain that have caricatures of old sailors?
In racing, jockeys need to keep a tight rein in order to encourage their horse to run. But if someone is far ahead, s/he can afford to slacken off and still win. This is the origin of what expression that means to win easily?
In 1933, which Mexican artist commissioned by the Rockefeller family to create a mural caused controversy by including Lenin in it?
Rockefeller asked Rivera to change the face of Lenin to that of an unknown laborer's face as was originally intended but the painter refused. The Rockefeller-Rivera dispute is covered in the films Cradle Will Rock and Frida.
What non-woven cloth that is produced by matting and pressing fibers is the oldest form of fabric known to humankind?
It predates weaving and knitting.
The Scarlet Sails celebration is the culmination of what annual festival that takes place during the season of the midnight sun in St. Petersburg?
White Nights Festival
The most famous symbol of what people of North Africa is the Tagelmust, an indigo blue-colored veil that gives them the name 'People of the Veil'?
They are the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa.
Which legendary king, the stories of whom were popular in Europe in the middle ages was said to have ruled over a Christian nation lost amidst the pagans in the orient?
Prester John (also Presbyter John)
Written accounts of this kingdom are variegated collections of medieval popular fantasy. Reportedly a descendant of one of the Three Magi, Prester John was said to be a generous ruler and a virtuous man, presiding over a realm full of riches and strange creatures, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. His kingdom contained such marvels as the Gates of Alexander and the Fountain of Youth, and even bordered the Earthly Paradise. He was a symbol to European Christians of the Church's universality, transcending culture and geography to encompass all humanity, in a time when ethnic and interreligious tension made such a vision seem distant.
In Greek mythology, Eos sought the gift of immortality from Zeus for her lover Tithonus but committed what mistake?
She forgot about eternal youth
In later tellings of the myth he eventually turned into a cicada, eternally living, but begging for death to overcome him.
If you shop in Netherlands for klompen and wear them, you are likely to make a lot of noise. Why?
They are clogs
Saint Sarah (also known as 'Sara the black'), whose place of pilgrimage is Camargue in France is the patron saint of whom?
Roma (gypsy) people
Legend identifies her as the servant of one of the Three Marys, with whom she is supposed to have arrived in the Camargue. The day of the pilgrimage honouring Sarah is May 24; her statue is carried down to the sea on this day to re-enact her arrival in France. Roma participation in pilgrimage and their veneration of Saint Sarah has been recorded since the middle of the 19th century by travellers and parish priests.
The story goes that England's Edward III, after a victory in the Battle of Crécy, laid siege to Calais and Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out at all costs. After Philip failed to lift the siege and the city surrendered, Edward offered to spare the people of the city if any six of its top leaders would surrender themselves to him, presumably to be executed.
How is this story immortalized in art?
As Rodin's The Burghers of Calais
One of the wealthiest of the town leaders, Eustache de Saint Pierre, volunteered first and five other burghers soon followed suit and they stripped down to their breeches. Saint Pierre led this envoy of emaciated volunteers to the city gates and it is this moment and this poignant mix of defeat, heroic self-sacrifice and the facing of imminent death that Rodin captures in these figures, which are scaled somewhat larger than life. In history, though the burghers expected to be executed, their lives were spared by the intervention of England's Queen, Philippa of Hainault, who persuaded her husband by saying it would be a bad omen for her unborn child.
What (racist) American expression has its origin in the days of exploration when Native Americans would lend items to the settlers, and the settlers thought that this was a gift and hence were shocked when the Native Americans asked for their items back?
Sauna culture is strongly associated with which country?
There are five million inhabitants and over two million saunas in Finland - an average of one per household. Saunas are an integral part of the way of life in Finland. They are found everywhere: on the shores of Finland's numerous lakes, in private apartments, corporate headquarters, and even from the depths of 1400m at Pyhäsalmi Mine or the Parliament.
What unique Paris theater closed down in 1962 with its director saying "We could never equal Buchenwald. Before the war, everyone felt that what was happening onstage was impossible. Now we know that these things, and worse, are possible in reality."?
From its opening in 1897 to its closing in 1962, specialized in naturalistic horror shows. The name is often used as a general term for graphic, amoral horror entertainment. The theater owed its name to Guignol, a traditional Lyonnaise puppet character, joining political commentary with the style of Punch and Judy.
Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted three words.
This is the origin of the common name of what plant/flower whose scientific name is Myosotis?
Other stories exist, but are even less plausible. Nowadays the common Forget Me Not symbolizes true love, and is prized as a garden flower as well as a wildflower. Forget Me Not is the State Flower of Alaska.
Which French painter is most closely associated with scenes of Parisian night-life and portraits of popular cabaret entertainers?
Toulouse-Lautrec is known, along with Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gaugin as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period.
Which major 20th century art movement is divided into two parts called Analytical and Synthetic?
Analytic cubists "analyzed" natural forms and reduced the forms into basic geometric parts on the two-dimensional picture plane. Colour was almost non-existent except for the use of a monochromatic scheme that often included grey, blue and ochre. Synthetic Cubism was the second main branch of Cubism developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and others between 1912 and 1919. It was seen as the first time that collage had been made as a fine art work.
What is 'Gehenna' for Jews, 'Naraka' for Hindus, 'Tartarus' for Greeks, 'Jahannam' for Muslims and 'Xibalba' for the Mayans?
Hell or underworld
What psychological phenomenon states that when two people live in close proximity during the first years in the life of either one, they are desensitized to sexual attraction?
It was first formally described by anthropologist Edvard Westermarck. The Westermarck effect has since been observed in many places and cultures, including in the Israeli kibbutz system, and the Chinese Shim-pua marriage customs, as well as in biological-related families. Freud argued that as children, members of the same family naturally lust for one another, making it necessary for societies to create incest taboos, but Westermarck argued the reverse, that the taboos themselves arise naturally as products of innate attitudes.
What present-day tradition that is a favorite among the working class originated in the U.S. Navy in the 1920s where it was a slang for a scheduled entertainment period?
"Happy hour" entered civilian use around 1960, especially after a Saturday Evening Post article in 1959. Happy hour has become a tradition for many workers, white and blue collar alike.
If someone wants to be called a 'hafiz' or 'hafith' by Muslims, they must possess an incredible memory. Why?
Hafiz is one who has memorized the Quran
It literally means 'guardian.'
What is the Japanese practice of 'jigai' that is the female equivalent of a more gory procedure prescribed for males?
Traditional method of ritual suicide
Jigai is the female equivalent of seppuku, the ritual stomach-cutting suicide practiced by Japanese men. Although the term literally means "self damage" and in principle can refer to suicide in general, in practice it normally refers to the ritual suicide of women by the cutting of the jugular vein with a tantō (15-30 cm (6-12 inch) knife) or kaiken (15 cm (6 inch) knife). Often, they would be hidden prior within the sash of their kimono.
What is the term for the fine pattern of cracks formed on old paintings, which is sometimes used to detect forged art as it is a hard-to-forge signature of authenticity?
The precise pattern of craquelure depends upon where the picture was painted. There appear to be distinct French, Italian and Dutch "styles" of craquelure. Craquelure can furnish a record of the environmental conditions the painting has experienced during its lifetime, and also can reveal details about the painting's history of handling, transportation, and restoration.
The name of what mythical medieval land of plenty where the harshness of peasant life does not exist is commonplace in medieval Goliard verse?
Specifically, in poems like 'The Land of Cockaigne', Cockaigne is a land of contraries, where all the restrictions of society are defied (abbots beaten by their monks), sexual liberty is open, and food is plentiful (skies that rain cheeses). It represented both wish fulfillment and resentment at the strictures of asceticism and dearth.
What cultural symbol of Mexico is said to represent both the Virgin Mary and the Aztec goddess Tonantzin?
Our Lady of Guadalupe
It is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is Mexico's most beloved religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe is known in Mexico as "La Virgen Morena", which means "The brown-skinned Virgin." Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is celebrated on December 12, commemorating the account of her appearances to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from December 9 through December 12, 1531.
A snare is tied near the base of a bird's throat, which allows the bird only to swallow small fish. When the bird tries to swallow a large fish, the fish is caught in the it's throat and when it returns to the fisherman's raft, he helps the bird to remove the fish.
Historically in China, Japan and Macedonia, the fishing skills of which bird have been put to good use this way?
In Japan, traditional forms of it can be seen on the Nagara River in the city of Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, where cormorant fishing has continued uninterrupted for 1300 years, or in the city of Inuyama, Aichi. In Guilin, China, cormorant birds are famous for fishing on the shallow Lijiang River. The method is not as common today, since more efficient methods of catching fish have been developed.
Alluded to by Alexander Pope in his An Essay on Criticism, in Greek mythology it was believed that drinking from what body of water would bring you great inspiration?
Pieria, where the sacred spring was situated, was a region of ancient Macedonia, also the location of Mount Olympus, and believed to be the home and the seat of worship of Orpheus and the Muses, the deities of the arts and sciences. The spring is believed to be a fountain of knowledge that inspires whoever drinks from it.
What is the illustrated manuscript produced by Celtic monks around 800 AD that has been described as the zenith of Western calligraphy and illumination?
The Book of Kells
It contains the four gospels of the Bible in Latin, along with prefatory and explanatory matter decorated with numerous colourful illustrations and illuminations. Today it is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland.
The medieval practice of appointing a cardinal who was a nephew of a pope gives us which English word that means bestowing favors to relatives/friends?
The practise of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17th centuries.
What is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese art of penjing?
"Bonsai" is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term penzai.
In Irish, Icelandic, and Scottish mythologies, selkies are creatures that are capable of taking what form apart from human?
The form of a seal
The legend apparently originated on the Orkney Islands, where selch or selk(ie) is the Scots word for seal. Selkies are able to transform to human form by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their selkie skin back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form.
The temple of the Hindu god Lord Venkateshwara in Tirupathi, India holds what distinction? You won't miss the crowds.
It is the second most visited religious center in the world, following the Vatican.
The town owes its existence to the sacred temple situated on the Tirumala Hills. Tirumala is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, located atop Seshachala hills often called as "Yaelu Malai" or "Yaedu Kondalu" (seven hills).
What valuable commodities were called as 'sweat of the sun' and 'tears of the moon' by the Incas?
Gold and silver
What monument was described by the poet Rabindranath Tagore as "a teardrop on the cheek of time"?
When this great artist was once criticized for creating unrealistic art, he asked his accuser "Can you show me some realistic art?" The man showed him a photograph of his wife. The artist observed: "So your wife is two inches tall, two-dimensional, with no arms and no legs, and no colour but only shades of gray?"
Who is this artist who went through a 'Blue Period' and a 'Rose Period'?
What measures 15 feet × 29 ft and can be found in the back halls of a dining hall at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy?
The Last Supper by Da Vinci
Unlike many other valuable paintings, it has never been privately owned because it cannot be moved easily.
What is the name of the ritual practiced by some Bedouin tribes for the purpose of lie detection in which the accused is asked to lick a hot object?
If the person undergoing the ritual is found to have a scarred or burnt tongue, it is concluded that he was lying. It is the best-known of various trials by ordeal which are practiced by the Bedouin, which are now dying out.
Western Red Cedar trees are typically used by the indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America to carve what distinctive artifacts?
What is the name of the water management system developed in ancient Persia that is used to provide a reliable supply of water in hot and arid climates?
The technology is known to have developed in ancient Persia, and then spread to other cultures, especially along the Silk Road as far east as China as well as by Arabic cultures as far west as Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula. Traditionally qanats are built by a group of skilled laborers, muqannîs, with hand labor. The profession historically paid well and was typically handed down from father to son.
P. T. Barnum once sent an agent to buy this hoping to use it as a circus attraction. When it arrived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the public was not impressed and Barnum had to keep it hidden while he tried to decide how to recover some of the high cost.
What expression for a costly burden originated from this incident?
The metaphor was popularized in the United States after New York Giants manager John McGraw told the press that Philadelphia businessman Benjamin Shibe had "bought himself a white elephant" by acquiring the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team in 1901. The Athletics manager Connie Mack subsequently selected the elephant as the team symbol and mascot. The team is occasionally referred to as the White Elephants.
Tourists beware! What is referred to by the phrases 'Montezuma's revenge', 'Gringo gallop' or 'Aztec two-step'?
Diarrhea suffered when travelling to foreign parts
Montezuma was Emperor of Mexico, 1502-20. The sickness, more formally called "traveller's diarrhea", is usually caused by drinking unsterilised water or eating spicy food that visitors aren't accustomed to. It is a bacteriological illness, always uncomfortable, and occasionally serious. Most cases are caused by E. coli. The revenge element of the phrase alludes to countries that were previously colonized by stronger countries and are now, in this small way, getting their own back.
Typically worn in rural areas while hunting, what type of hat became a stereotypical head wear of a detective because of its association with Sherlock Holmes?
In Arthur Conan Doyle's stories Holmes is never actually described as wearing a deerstalker. The public perception of Holmes as a "deerstalker man" was derived from the original illustrations for the stories by Sidney Paget, Frederic Dorr Steele and others. The deerstalker is not the appropriate headgear for the properly-dressed urban gentleman and Paget and the other illustrators who portrayed Holmes in a deerstalker always placed him in the proper setting for such attire (i.e., operating in a rural outdoor setting).
What item of clothing invented in 1946 was named after the site of a nuclear weapons test on the reasoning that the burst of excitement it would cause would be like a nuclear device?
Bikini from Bikini Atoll
The modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim in Paris in 1946.
Until the 80s, visitors to Disneyland would purchase books of coupons that were in different alphabetical denominations with the highest one being the most expensive and reserved for the most popular rides.
What expression for a thrilling situation originates from this practice?
E ticket ride
What is the name given to a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar?
The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyai", an ancient town of Peloponnese.
The Ouroboros, one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world was the inspiration behind the discovery of the structure of the Benzene molecule. How is it represented?
Serpent swallowing its own tail
Most mosques in the world contain a niche in a wall that indicates the qibla. What is it?
Direction that should be faced when praying
The qibla is the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.
What breed of dog was a favored imperial pet in ancient China?
These dogs are also called Dogs of Foo (or Fu) by the Chinese and they were considered a guardian spirit as they resembled Chinese lions. Interestingly, the lion is not indigenous to China. When Buddhist travelers, probably out to trade, brought stories about lions to China, Chinese sculptors modeled statues of lions after the travelers' descriptions--and after native dogs, since no one in China had seen a lion with his or her own eyes. The mythic version of the animal was originally introduced to Han China as the Buddhist protector of dharma.
Auguste Rodin's famous sculpture The Thinker was originally meant to depict whom?
Dante in front of the gates of hell, pondering his great poem
More than any other Rodin sculpture, The Thinker moved into the popular imagination, as an immediately recognizable icon of intellectual activity; consequently it has been subject to endless satirical use.
What is the correct term for a tomb or monument erected in honor of those whose remains are elsewhere?
The word derives from the Greek words kenos, one meaning being "empty" and taphos, "tomb." Although the vast majority of cenotaphs are erected in honour of specific individuals, many of the best-known cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the war dead of one specific country or empire. Probably the best-known cenotaph in the modern world is the one that stands in Whitehall, London.
In the US, baseball parks are often designed so that the batter is facing east, in order that the afternoon sun does not shine in his eyes. This means that left-handed pitchers are always throwing from a particular direction. What term for a left-hander originated from this practice?
The first use of the term is credited to Finley Peter Dunne. However, the Oxford English Dictionary lists a non-baseball citation for "south paw", meaning a punch with the left hand, as early as 1848, just three years after the first organized baseball game. In boxing, someone who boxes left-handed is frequently referred to as southpaw.
The Temple of the Tooth which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha (a tooth) is located in the city of Kandy in which Asian country?
The relic has played an important role in the local politics since ancient times, it's believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, which caused the ancient kings to protect it with great effort. Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified by the terrain of the mountains and the difficult approach. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to the temple.
During the canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church, what was the lawyer who argued against the canonization of a candidate called?
The Devil's advocate was opposed by God's advocate, whose job was to make the argument in favor of canonization. The office was established in 1587 during the reign of Pope Sixtus V and was abolished by Pope John Paul II in 1983. This abolition streamlined the canonization process considerably, helping John Paul II to usher in an unprecedented number of elevations: nearly 500 individuals were canonized and over 1,300 were beatified during his tenure as Pope as compared to only 98 canonizations by all his 20th-century predecessors.
Made famous by the movie Midnight Express, what is the punishment of 'falaka' or 'bastinado'?
Soles of the feet
This torture is effective due to the clustering of nerve endings in the feet and the structure of the foot, with its numerous small bones and tendons.
In Greek mythology, Achilles' mother dipped him in a river and held him up by his ankle which remained dry and thus vulnerable. Name the river.
Legends state that Achilles was killed in battle by an arrow to the heel, and so an Achilles' heel has come to mean a person's only weakness.
The name of what eponymous color is derived from an artist's use of brownish orange, especially for the hair of his early portraits of courtesans?
Titian (the color titian)
Recognized by his contemporaries as "the sun amidst small stars" (recalling the famous final line of Dante's Paradiso), Titian (1485-1576) was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits and landscapes (two genres that first brought him fame), mythological and religious subjects.
What word meaning a person devoted to luxury is derived from the name of an ancient Greek city that was noted for the pleasure-seeking habits of its inhabitants?
In 1940, U.S. paratroopers at Fort Benning saw a biopic before their first mass jump and started a certain trend. Who was the subject of the picture?
The trend was shouting "Geronimo!" during jumps.