Didier Delsalle who wrote the following words confirming his May 14, 2005 achievement became the first person to land a helicopter where?
"No, nobody went out of the helicopter as I was alone and quite busy to stabilize the helicopter on this windy ...! The terrain characteristics prevent any full landing on the ... as you can see on the videos and only a hover landing..."
According to the 2003 Guinness Book, what dubious and macabre 'distinction' does Ratu Udre Udre, a tribal chief from Fiji, hold?
World's most prolific cannibal
Fiji was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles.'
In 2014, CNN reported that FBI and other law enforcement agencies send their trainees to what Washington, D.C. museum so they can see for themselves how not protecting civil liberties can lead to bigger horrors?
In 2000, the co-discoverer of DNA structure James Watson sought to connect skin color and sex-drive and said the following while showing slides of bikini-clad women to an audience. Fill in the missing words with names of ethnicity/race.
"That's why you have XXX lovers...you've never heard of an YYY lover. Only an YYY patient."
Amala and Kamala (Bengal, India), Genie (California), Kaspar Hauser (Germany) and Victor of Aveyron (France) are all known for being whom?
Defined as a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and crucially, of human language.
The legendary Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, also the site where an all-time great mystery novel was conceived, was built in 1892 for passengers who arrived in the city by what (specific) transport?
It was here that Agatha Christie got the inspiration for her acclaimed mystery.
What is the name of the mall in Kenya where terrorists attacked shoppers in 2013 and took 67 lives? (hint: sounds similar to the name of the complex that is associated with Nixon)
The attack has been described as one of the worst acts of terrorism in Kenya since the bombing of the U.S. embassy in 1998.
In his 2013 book Serve to Win, a certain European personality wrote about his experiences of watching an F-117 bomber drop laser guided bombs as a child. He also wrote that he looks back on his childhood positively because he could skip school and practice what?
Tennis (Novak Djokovic)
Writing about the conflicting need of humans for both intimacy and solitude, Schopenhauer in his Studies in Pessimism used the analogy of what animals that may want to huddle but cannot do so without causing harm to themselves?
Hedgehogs are also used to illustrate this dilemma.
Once when he was fishing on his boat Pilar, he and his friend caught a giant marlin. To prevent sharks from getting to it, he used a machine gun to gun them down but it proved detrimental as the blood attracted even more sharks which ate away half of the caught fish.
Who is the person in question?
His classic The Old Man and the Sea contains some elements of this incident.
What annual observation started in 1889 by members of Second International who wanted to commemorate the Haymarket Riot in Chicago (1886)?
International Workers' Day (or) May Day
Five years later, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation to make Labor Day the official U.S. holiday in honor of workers.
What organization that operates with the slogan "The Opinion and The Other Opinion" started in 1996 with a loan of 500 million Qatari riyals?
It is based in Doha, Qatar.
What one word connects the following?
1. In a certain comics universe, the dimension in which criminals are held in a state of suspended animation.
2. Lee Falk's popular creation with the nickname The Ghost Who Walks.
3. Erik, who haunts the Paris Opera House.
1. Superman comics - Phantom Zone 2. The hero Phantom 3. Phantom of the Opera
The Montreal Convention signed by several countries in 1999 concerns rules surrounding the compensation for the victims of what? (hint: likely to be in focus till an object missing since 8th March 2004 is found)
As of February 2014, there are 105 parties to the Convention. The hint of course refers to MH 370.
Labour Party politician Aneurin Bevan is known for his role in establishing what seminal institution in Great Britain?
National Health Service
The systems are primarily funded through central taxation. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use for people legally resident in the United Kingdom.
The much-hated help icon that used be part of Microsoft's Office Suite was shaped like what workplace product?
The feature was removed altogether in Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, as it drew criticism from customers and even Microsoft employees. Smithsonian Magazine called Clippy "one of the worst software design blunders in the annals of computing." Time magazine included Clippy in a 2010 article listing fifty worst inventions.
Photographer Walter Iooss who also shoots swimsuit models among others is known for his contributions to which magazine?
He has been called "the poet laureate of sports."
Try your 'fortune' and take a guess. What is the name of the Maltese dog owned by celebrity Wendy Diamond that holds a Guinness record for posing with celebrities?
The words burcad badeed mean "ocean robber" in what African language?
It is the closest Somali term for a pirate. Piracy has impeded the delivery of shipments and increased shipping expenses, costing an estimated $6.6 to $6.9 billion a year in global trade.
What profession connects Bob Burton, Duane Chapman and Domino Harvey?
Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind (1949) is a critique of the notion propounded by Descartes that the mind is distinct from the body. What phrase did Ryle famously use to describe his concept?
"Ghost in the machine"
The Police named their 1981 album after this concept.
What famous case investigated by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren was located at the address 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York?
The case has been adapted into ten films. The debate about the accuracy of The Amityville Horror continues and, despite the lack of evidence to corroborate much of the story, it remains one of the most popular haunting accounts in American folklore.
In 1922, the magazine The American Girl suggested selling what for fund-raising?
A paradox that asks if an object stays the same if all the parts making it have been replaced is called the 'Ship of ___' which person of myth?
The paradox is most notably recorded by Plutarch in Life of Theseus from the late 1st century.
Because it was seen to be trivializing complex tasks, what software was banned by United States Brigadier-General Herbert McMaster?
He said "It's dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control" and "Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable."
A memorable phrase in the annals of American polity, who was called a 'bloviating ignoramus' by columnist George Will in 2012?
George Will said this while criticizing Mitt Romney for associating himself with Trump.
The Berne Convention of 1886 was an international agreement that established rules governing what?
It requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals.
A 2012 research study in Australia determined that the most perceived trustworthiness in a particular profession was of someone wearing what instrument as compared to a reflex hammer, surgical scrubs, otoscope, or a pen?
The names of the command module and lunar module of Apollo 10 were named for the characters of what story that was told in nearly 18,000 strips?
Charlie Brown and Snoopy were the names.
Who is the icon of linguistics who composed the sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" to demonstrate the difference between structure and meaning?
He is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy, the universal grammar theory, and the Chomsky-Schützenberger theorem. He is also well known as a political activist and as a leading critic of American foreign policy.
Perhaps the most prestigious of all the categories of the Pulitzer Prize is the Gold Medal awarded to an American newspaper. While one side of it shows an unnamed printer, whose image is on the other side?
In 1918, a year after the Prizes began, the medal was designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French and his associate Henry Augustus Lukeman. Franklin's image apparently based on the bust by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.
Anthropologist Lévi-Strauss proposed that two animals achieved mythic status in Native American cultures as they are the mediators between life and death. Can you name one of the two?
Coyote (or) raven
Many Native American stories involve these two animals.
What was the subject of French sociologist Émile Durkheim's 1897 work that studied Catholic and Protestant populations and that resulted in sociology getting established on its own?
In his book Durkheim distinguished the forms of suicide as egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic.
Can you connect the Dalai Lama with Curious George with a colorful 2-word term?
The Dalai Lama is from the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism while the Man with the Yellow Hat is the only recurring character in the original Curious George adventures (other than George himself).
The writing system of Elder Futhark (that was later simplified to Younger Futhark) is the oldest form of what alphabet?
This is the gist of a paradox in management studies. Identify the destination.
In a family gathering, a member suggests that they take a trip to a place. Though none/very few of the members want to go, all of them say yes. After returning with miserable memories each person then confides that they did not want to go.
The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of many of the individuals in the group.
Hibakusha is an Asian language term for the people effected by either of what violent incidents?
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Japanese word translates as 'explosion-affected people.'
In 1962 when minister Pat Robertson decided to prop-up a failing TV channel, he set a membership goal with each member contributing $10 a month to sustain the channel. How many people did Robertson plan on making members?
Robertson referred to these members as the '700 Club' and the name stuck. The telethon was successful and is still held annually. The 700 Club is the flagship television program of the Christian Broadcasting Network, airing in syndication throughout the US. In production since 1966, it is one of the longest-running television programs in broadcast history.
Which entity headquartered in Lyon, France is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN by member states count (190)?
In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids it to undertake any interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature.
In a famous American novel, the effectiveness of what object is being conveyed in this passage?
"In most land animals there are certain valves or flood gates in many of their veins, whereby when wounded, the blood is in some degree at least instantly shut off in certain directions. Not so with the whale; one of whose peculiarities is, to have an entire non-valvular structure of the blood-vessels, so that when pierced even by so small a point as a ___, a deadly drain is at once begun upon his whole arterial system ..."
From Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
Whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in jail for revealing what to the British press in 1986?
Details of Israel's nuclear program
Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 1987.
What is the last name of the Russian inventor who discovered in 1939 that if an object on a photographic plate is connected to a high-voltage source, an image is produced?
Kirlian photography has been the subject of mainstream scientific research, parapsychology research and art. To a large extent, It has been co-opted by promoters of fringe science and paranormal health.
Pitman, Gregg and Teeline are all forms of what type of 'writing'?
It is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to a normal method of writing a language. The process of writing in shorthand is called stenography.
What type of relationship first explored in Symposium by a famous philosopher was described as 'Christian apology' of Greek love?
The English term dates back as far as 1636.
The term 'flensing' is used to describe the processing of what creatures?
Imagine a society and decide on its principles for the distribution of rights, positions and resources. You must do this without knowing your position in this society.
What is the term for this method of determining the morality of an issue that was first proposed by John Harsanyi and later made famous by John Rawls?
Veil of ignorance
For example, in the imaginary society, one might or might not be intelligent, rich, or born into a preferred class. Since one may occupy any position in the society once the veil is lifted, the device forces the parties to consider society from the perspective of all members, including the worst-off and best-off members. It is part of the long tradition of thinking in terms of a social contract.
In Rainbow Gatherings, the communities of bohemian/counter-culture folks, what old city's name is typically used to refer to mainstream society as a representation of everything unhealthy and unsustainable?
The original Rainbow Gathering was in 1972, and has been held annually in the United States from July 1 through 7 every year on National Forest land.
The photograph The Falling Man by Richard Drew that was called "the most powerful image of despair at the beginning of ..." (a particular century) was taken on what day?
The subject of the image, whose identity remains uncertain, was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who either fell searching for safety or jumped to escape the fire and smoke.
Before he became famous for another work, who sculpted the monumental The Lion of Belfort in 1880 to symbolize French resistance of a Prussian assault?
Frédéric Bartholdi, best known for the Statue of Liberty
Yale (1969), Princeton (1969), Brown (1971), Harvard (1972), all US military academies (1976). What happened at these institutions during the indicated years which must have made education far more interesting for college-goers?
Admittance of women
The word 'parbuckle' means 'a sling for raising or lowering an object vertically.' The Parbuckling Project with a budget of $400 million raised what entity that sank in 2012?
Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that sank in Jan 2012
It struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 30 bodies have been located, and two more passengers are missing and presumed dead.
What metaphor to describe obsessive types first appeared in the 1969 book Between Parent & Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott in which a teen complains that his mom constantly hovered over him?
It is a colloquial term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to their child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.
The term 'lucid dream' coined by the Dutch psychologist Frederik van Eeden describes what type of a dream?
One in which the dreamer is aware that s/he is dreaming
In a lucid dream, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreaming has been researched scientifically, and its existence is well established.
What otherwise beautiful man-made location in the western part of the United States holds the morbid distinction of being the place where more people commit suicide than at any other site in the world?
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Various methods have been proposed and implemented to reduce the number of suicides. Attempts to introduce a suicide barrier have been thwarted by engineering difficulties, high costs, and public opposition.
The Voga alla Veneta technique of rowing that allows a boat a great deal of maneuverability is notably practiced by what group of professionals?
Gondoliers of Venice
The technique is considerably different from the style used in international sport rowing, due to the oarsman facing forward in a standing position. Competitive regattas are also held using the Venetian rowing technique, using both gondolas and other types of vessels.
What was the focus of a report published on January 11, 1964 by a committee chaired by Luther Terry, Surgeon General of the United States that had enormous significance for public life?
It highlighted the negative health effects of smoking. Although it was not the first such declaration, or the first declaration by an official of the United States of America, it is notable for being arguably the most famous, and certainly had lasting and widespread effects on the tobacco industry and on the worldwide perception of smoking.
Bishop's Mark introduced by the Englishman Henry Bishop in 1661 to prevent delays was the world's first what?
It was designed to show the date on which a letter was received by the post and to ensure that the dispatch of letters would not be delayed. These were the world's first handstruck postage stamps. Henry Bishop (1611-1691) was a Postmaster General of England.
What modern narrative got its lease of life when editor Lee Salem heard his 8-yr son say it was like Doonesbury for kids when he was about to reject it for being too-literate/too-adult?
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
If traditional Chinese women practiced foot binding, what anatomical feature did the Padaung/Kayan women of Burma seek to highlight? Easy, this is a family site!
Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe are well known for wearing neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it. The women wearing these coils are known as giraffe women to tourists.
In 1988, to reflect the modern family, what change was made to Nestlé's famous birds logo that showed a mother and three fledglings?
The number of fledglings was reduced from three to two.
A set of rules known as separation minima violating of which may cause casualties are used by what professionals?
Pairs of aircraft to which these rules have been successfully applied are said to be separated: the risk of these aircraft colliding is therefore remote. If separation is lost between two aircraft, they are said to be in a conflict.
What nuclear weapon policy was first declared by China in 1964, later adopted by India and North Korea, dropped by Russia in 1993 and has been rejected repeatedly by NATO?
No first use
It is a pledge not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons.
Fill in the missing phrase (that also repeats in the middle) from a very effective 1984 political campaign ad.
"___ ___ ___ ___ ___. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?"
"It's morning again in America"
The ad was written and narrated by ad man Hal Riney, who also wrote and narrated Reagan's resonant "Bear in the woods" ad (titled "Bear") as well as his "America's Back" ad. It featured a montage of images of Americans going to work and a calm, optimistic narration that suggested the improvements to the U.S. economy since his 1980 election were due to Reagan's policies and asked voters why they would want to return to the pre-Reagan policies of Democrats like his opponent Walter Mondale, who had served as the Vice President under Reagan's immediate predecessor Jimmy Carter.
According to its chief architect Adrian Smith, the triple lobed footprint of what iconic new millennium construction was inspired by the flower Hymenocallis?
Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Viewed from above or from the base, the form also evokes the onion domes of Islamic architecture.
What locale whose atmosphere was described as "... Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November" can have its name traced to an Old English derivation of 'homestead where goats are kept'?
Batman's Gotham City
It had long been a well-known nickname for New York City prior to Batman's 1939 introduction. The nickname was popularized in the nineteenth century, having been first attached to New York by Washington Irving who took it from the village of Gotham in England, a place that, according to folklore, was inhabited by fools. The village's name derives from Old English gat 'goat' and ham 'home', literally "homestead where goats are kept." In Detective Comics #880, the Joker mentions to Batman that Gotham means "heaven for goats."
The traje de luces that means 'suit of lights' in its native tongue is the traditional costume of whom?
The term originates from the sequins and reflective threads of gold or silver.
The policy of Songun that emphasizes the role of military guides the political and economic life in what country?
The North Korean government grants the Korean People's Army the highest economic and resource-allocation priority, and positions it as the model for society to emulate. Songun is also the ideological concept behind a shift in policies since 1994 which emphasize the people's military over all other aspects of state and society.
In psychology, the Holmes and Rahe stress scale is a list of 43 life events that can contribute to illness.
At the lowest end of the scale is 'minor violation of law' with 11 points and in the second place is 'divorce' with 73 points. What event tops the list with 100 points?
Death of a spouse
Marital separation is at 65 points and imprisonment at 63 points.
Who is the Nobel Peace Prize winner nicknamed 'The Arch' referring to a short-cut of his profession? The nickname alludes well to the colorful term he used to describe his native African country.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who called South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation'
The phrase was elaborated upon by President Nelson Mandela in his first month of office, when he proclaimed: "Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
What ubiquitous feature of television sitcoms was invented by sound engineer Charley Douglass who noticed that live audiences were unreliable for providing something?
Attention megalomaniacs! What theory popularized in the 1840s by Thomas Carlyle states that history can be explained by the impact of just a few?
Great Man theory
It was countered in 1860 by Herbert Spencer who said that great men are the products of their societies, and that their actions would be impossible without the social conditions built before their lifetimes.
In 1985 the US Navy engaged renowned ocean explorer Robert Ballard to search for two nuclear submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher, which sank in the 1960s.
According to their agreement, after the two missions were completed, Ballard could use the available resources to do what?
Look for the Titanic (he was successful)
Ballard also discovered the wrecks of the battleship Bismarck in 1989, and the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in 1998 and John F. Kennedy's PT-109 in 2002.
Similar to thread count, mommes are units of weight traditionally used to measure the density of what?
It is akin to the use of thread count to measure the quality of cotton fabrics, but is calculated in a very different manner. Instead of counting threads, the weight in mommes is a number that equals the weight in pounds of a piece of silk if it were sized 45 inches by 100 yards. This is because the standard width of silk is 45 inches wide, though silk is regularly produced in 55-inch widths, and, uncommonly, in even larger widths.
One of his 942 quatrains is below. Who is the author?
When the litters are overturned by the whirlwind
and faces are covered by cloaks,
the new republic will be troubled by its people.
At this time the reds and the whites will rule wrongly.
What school of philosophy of ancient Greece associated with Aristotle takes its name from a legend that he meandered while lecturing?
The school dates from around 335 BC when Aristotle began teaching in the Lyceum. The Greek word peripatetikos refers to the act of walking, and as an adjective, 'peripatetic' is often used to mean itinerant.
What the Dickens! Which entertainer who has so far sold a magical 40 million tickets holds the record of grossing more than any other solo entertainer in history with over $3 billion?
David Copperfield, the illusionist
He has been described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. He currently performs over 500 shows a year.
The highest award given by the Red Cross is named after which person who was motivated by the suffering of the wounded in the Battle of Solferino in 1859?
Henry Dunant (1828-1910)
Horrified by what he saw on the battlefield, Dunant set about a process that led to the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the International Red Cross.
Identify the entertainer from the three clues.
3. Pet cheetah Chiquita
Josephine Baker (1906-75)
Loop, bight, elbow, standing end and working end are the components of what, the varieties of which are the subject of a 1944 encyclopedic work The Ashley Book of ___?
Due to its scope and wide availability The Ashley Book of Knots has become a significant reference work in the field of knotting.
The German word ahnentafel is a term for a numbering system used in what particular field? (hint: using it eliminates the need to draw a tree)
The word means 'ancestor table' in German. The subject of the ahnentafel is listed as #1, the subject's father as #2 and the mother as #3, the paternal grandparents as #4 and #5 and the maternal grandparents as #6 and #7, and so on, back through the generations. Apart from #1, who can be male or female, all even-numbered persons are male, and all odd-numbered persons are female. In this schema, the number of any person's father is double the person's number, and a person's mother is double the person's number plus one.
The logos of Encyclopædia Britannica and Carnegie Mellon University feature what plant to honor their origin related to a particular nationality?
Encyclopædia Britannica originated in Edinburgh and CMU honors the Scottish heritage of its founder, Andrew Carnegie.
Although it is erroneously believed that it was built as a teaching tool for students to understand 3D objects, its real purpose was solving the problem of moving its parts independently without the mechanism falling apart.
What is this object in question that was invented at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest in the 1970s?
It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy.
What popular assessment that is based on the theories of Carl Jung was created during WWII to help women identify the type of war-time jobs where they would be 'most comfortable and effective'?
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The original developers of the personality inventory were Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers.
A 2003 book by Gian J. Quasar subtitled Pursuing the Truth Behind the World's Greatest Mystery focuses on a region with vertices at Florida, Puerto Rico and what other island?
The book's title is Into the Bermuda Triangle.
What architectural term originated from the 16th century after Renaissance revived Classical construction and created a perception of past styles as a product of barbarous tribal cultures?
In English 17th-century usage, 'Goth' was an equivalent of 'vandal', a savage despoiler with a Germanic heritage, and so came to be applied to the architectural styles of northern Europe from before the revival of classical types of architecture.
Who is the 1st century BC Roman architect who wrote that the figure of a man can be inscribed both in a circle and a square in his best known work De architectura?
Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, an illustration of the human body inscribed in the circle and the square is derived from a passage about geometry and human proportions in Vitruvius's writings.
Following a famous crime, the United States Congress adopted a statute in 1932 that was dubbed the Lindbergh Law. The legislation made what act a federal offense?
It was done after the kidnapping of Lindbergh's baby. The theory behind the Lindbergh Law was that federal law enforcement intervention was necessary because state and local law enforcement officers could not effectively pursue kidnappers across state lines. Since federal law enforcement, such as FBI agents, have national law enforcement authority, Congress believed they could do a much more effective job of dealing with kidnappings than could state, county, and local authorities.
In maritime law, what chaste term denotes the passage of a vessel through the territorial waters of another state subject to certain restrictions?
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines innocent passage as: Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. Such passage shall take place in conformity with this Convention and with other rules of international law.
What was the end result of Operation Neptune Spear conducted by the CIA in 2011?
Death of Osama bin Laden
The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan.
Which 20th century German theologian and doctor who established a famous hospital in Gabon was known for his philosophy called 'Reverence for Life'?
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize.
What substance is the most used man-made material in the world?
As of 2006, about 7.5 billion cubic meters of concrete are made each year-more than one cubic meter for every person on Earth.
In the NATO phonetic alphabet, name the two dances that are used to represent a couple of letters?
Foxtrot and tango
What two-word term that first appeared in the play The Conquest of Granada (1672) later became associated with a sentimental 18th century notion that a human being in a natural state (away from civilization) is essentially 'good'?
In 2008, Islamabad International Airport was renamed as a tribute to which person who passed away in 2007?
When dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, a Chinese businessman proposed the creation of an equivalent prize to 'promote world peace from an Eastern perspective.'
In whose name was the prize created? (hint: not Buddha)
Despite an announcement in September 2011 from the Chinese Ministry of Culture that the prize would no longer be awarded, the China International Peace Research Center awarded the prize to Vladimir Putin in November 2011.
In a 2005 vote, Father Damien, Jacques Brel, Mercator and Peter Paul Rubens all finished in the top-10 list of the greatest people of what country?
Ahmed Yassin who was killed by an Israeli helicopter gunship in 2004 is best known as the founder of what organization?
It was founded in 1987 (during the First Intifada) as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Kryptos is a 1990 sculpture by American artist Jim Sanborn that is famous for its four encrypted messages, three of which have been solved. Where is it located?
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia
The unsolved puzzle continues to attract would-be solvers.
The JIM suit, which is designed to maintain a pressure of one atmosphere regardless of external conditions is used by members of which profession?
It was invented in 1969 by Mike Humphrey and Mike Borrow and was named after Jim Jarrett, Peress' chief diver. Because there is no danger of bends, the occupant does not need to decompress when returning to the surface.
Dr. Conrad Murray whose trial started in September 2011 in the US was tried for giving a fatal dose of a sedative to which talented celebrity?
On August 28, 2009, the Los Angeles County Coroner announced Jackson's death a homicide. Before his death, Jackson reportedly had been administered propofol, along with two anti-anxiety benzodiazepines: lorazepam and midazolam.
Named for Polish-Lithuanian-American book dealer, what 15th century book whose script, language and illustrations continue to baffle experts has been called "the world's most mysterious manuscript"?
Generally presumed to be some kind of ciphertext, the Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers but has defied all decipherment attempts. The book is named after the Polish-Lithuanian-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912 and is owned by Yale University.
Surgeon's Photograph (1934), which was revealed as a gimmick in 1994, played a big part in the popularizing of what hoax/unsolved mystery?
Loch Ness monster
It is the most iconic images of Nessie as it was the first photo and only photographic evidence of a 'head and neck' - all the other purported evidences are humps or disturbances.
Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to leave the Manhattan Project on moral grounds co-founded what Nobel Peace Prize winning organization that is named for a Canadian village?
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
It is an international organization that brings together scholars and public figures to work toward reducing the danger of armed conflict and to seek solutions to global security threats. It was founded in 1957 by Joseph Rotblat and Bertrand Russell in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, following the release of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955. Rotblat and the Pugwash Conference won jointly the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for their efforts on nuclear disarmament.
What was the Soviet government agency that administered the country's forced labor camps which were compared to 'a chain of islands' by a Nobel Prize winning author?
The camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners and are recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, introduced the term with the 1973 publication of his The Gulag Archipelago.
You've surely heard about the Stockholm syndrome. But what is the opposite of this condition where the hostage takers become more sympathetic to the hostages? It is named after a South American city where it was observed after the Japanese Embassy hostage crisis in 1996.
Members of a militant movement took hostage hundreds of people attending a party in the official residence of Japan's ambassador. Within a few hours, the abductors had set free most of the hostages, including the most valuable ones, due to sympathy.
What comic book character who is particularly appealing to teens was created by its producer who hoped to attract fans of the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney?
The characters were created by John L. Goldwater, written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana.
Who is the 19th century French police officer who gave his name to a system of identification based on measurements of parts of the human frame that was soon adapted by police forces around the world?
Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914)
The system is called Anthropometry and it was the first scientific system used by police to identify criminals. The method was eventually supplanted by fingerprinting, but Bertillon's other contributions like the mug shot and the systematization of crime-scene photography remain in use.
In 19th century Britain, the poet Keats and the writer Charles Lamb chastised a painter for inserting this person into one of his paintings by claiming this person "... had destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow ..."
Which tradition, whose first pick was Charles Lindbergh, began in 1927 with some magazine editors contemplating newsworthy stories during a slow week?
Time Person of the Year
The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year for not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.
Boustrophedon is a style of bi-directional text where every other line of writing is reversed. It literally means the turning of an ox in Greek referring to what activity?
Plowing of a field
Rather than going left-to-right as in modern English, or right-to-left as in Hebrew and Arabic, alternate lines in boustrophedon must be read in opposite directions. Also, the individual characters are reversed, or mirrored.
What building whose construction started in 1792 was once described by one of its residents as "... big enough for two emperors, one pope and the grand lama ..."?
The remarks were that of Thomas Jefferson.
If Aman handles military intelligence and Shin Bet handles internal security, which agency is responsible for the overseas intelligence work of its country?
Bran Castle that is located on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania is marketed as the home of which sinister figure?
Bram Stoker's Dracula
There is no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, the inspiration for Dracula.
The town of Prypiat in Ukraine that was abandoned in 1986 was built in 1970 to house whom?
Workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
What is the name of the photograph taken by Voyager 1 of the Earth against the vastness of space which lent itself to the title of a 1994 book by Carl Sagan?
Pale Blue Dot
By request of Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft, having completed its primary mission and now leaving the Solar System, to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space. Subsequently, the title of the photograph was used by Sagan.
What type of newspaper that usually carries off-beat stories gets its name from what a London pharmaceutical company called its compressed pills?
Prior to compressed tablets, medicine was usually taken in bulkier powder form. While Burroughs Wellcome & Co. were not the first to derive the technology to make compressed tablets, they were the most successful at marketing them, hence the popularity of the term 'tabloid' in popular culture. The connotation of tabloid was soon applied to other small items and to the "compressed" journalism that condensed stories into a simplified, easily-absorbed format.
A lazaretto which can be an isolated island or a ship at anchor near a harbor is used for what purpose for maritime travelers?
Until 1908, lazarets were also used for disinfecting postal items, usually by fumigation. A leper colony administered by a Christian religious order was often called a lazar house, after the parable of Lazarus the Beggar.
In 2007, which celebrity started a charitable organization called SixDegrees.org?
What 'sunny' entertainment company got its first major boost in 1983 when the government of Quebec asked its founder to create a production celebrating Cartier's discovery of Canada?
Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun)
Cirque expanded rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Antarctica. The shows employ approximately 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million.
If you are without provisions and are sustaining yourself on Dr. Bombard's diet, what is your most probable locale?
Alain Bombard (1924-2005) was a Frenchman was famous for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat. He theorized that a human being could very well survive the trip across the ocean without provisions and decided to test his theory himself in order to save thousands of lives of people lost at sea. His claim was later contested.
If the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain separated American interests from their antagonists in Europe and Asia respectively, the present-day Cactus Curtain separates an American military base and what else?
Cuba (from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base)
After the Cuban Revolution, some Cubans sought refuge on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. In the fall of 1961, Cuba had its troops plant an 8-mile barrier of cactus along the northeastern section of the 17-mile (27 km) fence surrounding the base to stop Cubans from escaping Cuba to take refuge in the United States.
Which anthropomorphic cartoon character whose parsimony typifies the stereotype of miserly Scotsmen was possibly modeled after the Scottish industrialist Andrew Carnegie?
Scrooge McDuck is named after the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character from Charles Dickens' 1843 novel A Christmas Carol.
Citizens of Switzerland are prohibited from serving in any foreign army with what notable exception? Think religion.
Vatican (the Swiss Guard)
The German pedagogue Friedrich Fröbel who recognized that children have unique needs and capabilities introduced what concept of modern education?
In navigation, what is the process of estimating one's current position based upon a previously determined position and advancing it using estimated speed over elapsed time, and course?
While traditional methods of dead reckoning are no longer considered primary means of navigation, modern inertial navigation systems, which also depend upon dead reckoning, are very widely used. A disadvantage of dead reckoning is that since new positions are calculated solely from previous positions, the errors of the process are cumulative, so the error in the position fix grows with time.
When ___ ___ III was completed in 2011, which organization for whose campaigns ships play a vital role had three vessels called The Esperanza, Arctic Sunrise and ___ ___ III?
Greenpeace (the missing words are Rainbow Warrior)
While recovering from wounds received in World War I, Dewitt Wallace had the idea to gather a sampling of articles from various publications; this resulted in the birth of what popular magazine?
For many years, it was the best-selling consumer magazine in the U.S., losing the distinction in 2009 to Better Homes and Gardens. According to Mediamark Research, it reaches more readers with household incomes of $100,000+ than Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Inc. combined.
In December 2010, which country unveiled a new passport design with a picture of a nude Aphrodite on it that raised many eyebrows? (hint: where was Aphrodite born?)
In legend, Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) emerged from the sea on a crest of foam just off Cyprus.
"Man is driven by continued, unachievable desires, and the gulf between our desires and the possibility of achieving them leads to misery while the world is a representation of an unknowable reality."
This is the gloomy essence of which German philosopher's work?
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
Schopenhauer's most influential work, The World as Will and Representation, claimed that the world is fundamentally what we recognize in ourselves as our will. His analysis of will led him to the conclusion that emotional, physical, and sexual desires can never be fulfilled. Consequently, he eloquently described a lifestyle of negating desires, similar to the ascetic teachings of Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism and the Church Fathers of early Christianity.
What ubiquitous font created by designer Vincent Connare was said to have been inspired by the graphic novels The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen?
The font's widespread use, often in situations for which it was not intended, has been criticized.
Can you connect 'paper fragments' and 'an African country'?
The word refers to paper fragments created when holes are made in a paper, card or similar synthetic materials, typically computer punched tape or punched cards.
What is the common name of the computational problem whose task, when given a list of cities and the distances between them is to find the shortest possible tour that visits each city once?
Travelling salesman problem
The problem was first formulated as a mathematical problem in 1930 and is one of the most intensively studied problems in optimization. It has several applications even in its purest formulation, such as planning, logistics, and the manufacture of microchips.
Which web application on Yahoo! that translates text between different languages is named after a fictional animal used for a similar purpose in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
"Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, nor through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique."
This statement made in 1929 is the core of which Indian philosopher's teaching?
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
Maintaining that society is ultimately the product of the interactions of individuals, he held that fundamental societal change can emerge only through freely undertaken radical change in the individual. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.
In journalism, what is the term for a freelance journalist who contributes to a news organization on an on-going basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work?
The term is typically confined to news industry jargon, and in print or in broadcast terms, stringers are sometimes referred to as correspondents or contributors. At other times, they may not receive any public recognition for the work they have contributed.
Which great philosopher corresponded with Queen Christina of Sweden in his final years and died in 1650 in Stockholm where he had been invited as a teacher for her?
Biograph Theater in Chicago is notable as the site of the killing of which notorious personality in 1934?
What follows next?
Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed, ___
Saint (these are the stages of Canonization in the Catholic Church)
Receiving the title Servant of God is the first of the four steps in the canonization process. The next step is being declared Venerable, upon a decree of heroicity or martyrdom by the honored. This is followed by beatification, with the title of Blessed, after the confirmation of miracles attributed to the honored. The final step is canonization, where the honored would receive the title of Saint.
In 1821, who was inspired by the night writing invention of a former French Army captain that enabled soldiers to share top-secret information on the battlefield without having to speak?
Groote Schuur estate in South Africa was the site for the signing of a historic agreement between Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk in 1990. The estate originally belonged to which tycoon?
From 1910 to 1984, it was the official Cape residence of the Prime Ministers of South Africa and continued as a presidential residence of P. W. Botha and F. W. de Klerk.
In 1872, which British ship was discovered intact in the Atlantic unmanned and apparently abandoned with the incident often being cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time?
The Mary Celeste
It was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months' worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. The crew was never seen or heard from again.
Apart from writing Tom Jones, the English author Henry Fielding also founded which the organization the Bow Street Runners which is seen as the first attempt at creating what unit of London?
They were founded in 1749 and originally numbered just eight.
Used to describe US citizens who attempted to foment insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century, what is the term for someone who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to support a revolution?
Filibusters were irregular soldiers who acted without authority from their own government, and were usually motivated by financial gain, political ideology, or the thrill of adventure. The freewheeling actions of the filibusters led to the name being applied figuratively to the political act of filibustering in the U.S. Senate. "Freebooter" is the more familiar term in British English, whereas "filibuster" normally refers to the legislative tactic.
In philately, what type of 'fairy tale' stamp is defined as 'virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration'?
The term also excludes imprinted stamps on postal stationery.
What is the American English term for a voting system in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, most commonly in single-winner elections?
Instant runoff voting (IRV)
If no candidate is the first preference of a majority of voters, the candidate with the fewest number of first preference rankings is eliminated and that candidate's ballots are redistributed at full value to the remaining candidates according to the next ranking on each ballot. This process is repeated until one candidate obtains a majority of votes among candidates not eliminated. The term "instant runoff" is used because the method is said to simulate a series of runoff elections tallied in rounds, as in an exhaustive ballot election.
The Dickin Medal that bears the words 'For Gallantry' and 'We Also Serve' was instituted in 1943 by Maria Dickin to honour the work of whom/what in war?
Traditionally, the medal is presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. It has become recognized as "the animals' Victoria Cross." As of February 2008, it has been awarded 62 times.
Taking its name from the Latin for dove and originally referring to housing for doves/pigeons, what is the name given to a place where cinerary urns are stored?
When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under 'C H' Rules, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
Can you expand 'C H'?
The rule originated in June, 1927, at what is now best known as Chatham House in London with the aim of guaranteeing anonymity to those speaking within its walls in order that better international relations could be achieved. It is now used throughout the world as an aid to free discussion. The original rule was refined in October 1992 and again in 2002.
What term that refers to the highest person of a household staff has also come to mean the manager of an email list?
A majordomo often acts on behalf of the (often absent) owner.
What term is used in the US and Canada to describe the weight gained by students during their first year of study in a college or university?
The term refers to the often-reported, yet unsubstantiated claim that freshman typically gain fifteen pounds during their first year. The purported causes of this weight gain are increased alcohol intake and the consumption of fat and carbohydrate-rich cafeteria-style food and fast food in university dormitories.
What did George Holliday capture on his videotape on March 3, 1991 that led to civil unrest in the US?
Beating of Rodney King that led to the subsequent trial and riots
Named for the fictional town in the radio series A Prairie Home Companion, what is the Lake Wobegon effect?
(Hint: According to Garrison Keillor, the presenter of the show, here "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average")
Tendency to overestimate one's achievements and capabilities
What is the correct term for the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest?
Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. For example, ancient Jewish communities required that farmers not reap all the way to the edges of a field so as to leave some for the poor and for strangers.
If you were at the home of Joseph Barbara in Apalachin, New York on November 14, 1957, I'd be very wary of you. Who met there?
It was attended by roughly 100 mafia crime bosses from the United States, Canada and Italy. Expensive cars with license plates from around the country aroused the curiosity of the local and state law enforcement, who raided the meeting, causing mafiosi to flee into the woods and the surrounding area of the Apalachin estate. Over 60 underworld bosses were detained and indicted due to the disastrous meeting. The direct and most significant outcome of the Apalachin meeting was that it helped to confirm the existence of a National Crime Syndicate, which some - including J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations - had long refused to acknowledge.
In both Christianity and Islam, what kind of a prayer is an intercession?
Prayer on behalf of another person
Located at 1651-1653 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., what is the official state guest house for the President of the United States?
During much of the presidency of Harry Truman, it served as the residence of the president of the United States, while the interior of the White House, which had been found to have serious structural faults, was completely gutted and rebuilt. The Chief of Protocol of the United States is responsible for the operation of Blair House.
The Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, is the main research library of which seminal institution?
University of Oxford
Usually associated with monarchical and aristocratic titles, what is the term for a widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband?
In loose popular usage, dowager as a stand-alone noun may refer to any elderly woman, especially one who is wealthy or behaves with dignity.
Often confused with the Caduceus of Mercury, which symbol, a staff entwined by a single serpent is part of the symbol of the WHO and American Medical Association?
Rod of Asclepius (or) Staff of Asclepius
A 1992 survey of American health organisations found that 62% of professional associations used the rod of Asclepius, whereas in commercial organisations, 76% used the caduceus.
Common in comic books and pulp magazines, 'GGA' refers to the depiction of attractive women regardless of the subject or situation. What does it stand for?
Good Girl Art
The term Good Girl Art describes the work of illustrators skilled at creating sexy female figure art; it is the art which is "good," not the girl. The term was first coined in the early 1970s by veteran comic book dealer and The Comic Book Price Guide advisor David T. Alexander, formerly co-owner of the American Comic Book Company, who inserted it his company's sale lists to highlight specific panels and covers with sexy women in comic books from Fiction House and other publishers.
Which giant in the field of education featured prominently on the 1000 Italian lire bill until Italy adopted the euro?
Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
Which word of Swedish origin denotes an official appointed by a government to investigate and address the complaints made by individual citizens?
An ombudsman need not be appointed by government; they may work for a corporation, a newspaper, an NGO, or even for the general public. In some countries, an Inspector General may be the same as or have overlapping duties with a government-appointed ombudsman.
Now a generic term for any shooting range devoted to tactical training, what facility that opened in 1987 took its name from a comic strip and was designed to provide a realistic urban setting for training the agents of the FBI and the DEA?
According to the FBI, they "borrowed it from the Hogan's Alley comic strip of the 1800s. The alley was located in a rough neighborhood, so we thought the name fit our crime-ridden town." While the comic strip was almost certainly the original source of the name, Camp Perry facility in Ohio was probably the more immediate source of the name.
Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989), who was born George William Jorgensen was famous for having been the first wordly-known individual to have undergone what procedure?
Sex change surgery
What does the Japanese word 'karoshi' translate to, which workaholics must be aware of?
Death from overwork
It is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of karôshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.
The Ryugyong Hotel, a partially constructed concrete skyscraper that was intended to be a hotel was called 'The Worst Building in the History of Mankind' by Esquire in 2008. Where is it located?
Pyongyang, North Korea
The hotel's name comes from one of the historic names for Pyongyang: Ryugyong, or "capital of willows." Its 105 stories rise to a height of 330 m, making it the most prominent feature of the city's skyline and by far the largest structure in the country. Construction started in 1987 and ceased in 1992 due to a combination of poor-quality construction and financial difficulties. The hotel is so massive that it is clearly visible from nearly everywhere in the city, but it is nearly impossible to get anyone to talk about it. It is often seen as a metaphor of the highly secretive nature of North Korea.
Occurring precisely halfway between green and yellow on the color scale and named for a French liqueur, what is the color most visible to the human eye?
Chartreuse sits right in the middle of the frequencies of visible light. Eyes have receptors for blue, green and red. Being in the middle, yellow-green triggers the most of these receptors to fire, making it easy to spot. In some cities, firetrucks have been changed from red to a yellow-green color to make them more visible.
What were found in a cave near Qumran, Jordan by Mohammed Ahmed el-Hamed in 1947 that significantly impacted the world's understanding of religion and history?
Dead Sea Scrolls
In the most commonly told story the shepherd threw a rock into a cave in an attempt to drive out a missing animal under his care. The shattering sound of pottery drew him into the cave, where he found several ancient jars containing scrolls wrapped in linen. They consist of roughly 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible. The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include practically the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents made before 100 AD, and preserve evidence of considerable diversity of belief and practice within late Second Temple Judaism. Many of the scrolls are now housed in the Shrine of the Book which is in Jerusalem.
If 'mafia' is to Italy and 'triad' is to Hong Kong/China, what is to Japan?
They are members of traditional organized crime groups in Japan. Outside of Japan, the term also refers to traditional Japanese organized crime in general. Today, the Yakuza are one of the largest crime organizations in the world. In Japanese legal terminology, yakuza organizations are referred to as bôryokudan, literally "violence groups" -- and is considered an insult to Yakuza members as it can be applied to any violent criminal. Often as a misnomer in Western press, Yakuza groups are referred to as the "Japanese mafia" with reference to Italian-Sicilian organized crime.
What is the traditional name for a soldier who is trained to fight on foot but who transports himself on horseback?
The name derives probably from the dragoon's primary weapon, a carbine or short musket called the dragon. Dragon carbines are said to have been so-called because they "breathed fire" - a reference to the flames carbines emitted when fired.
What is the claim to fame of the US millionaire Dennis Tito who soared high and achieved a first of sorts on April 28, 2001?
First space tourist
Tito himself opposes being called "tourist" and asks to be called an "independent researcher" since he performed several scientific experiments in orbit.
Henotheism, a term coined by philologist Max Müller means devotion to a single god while professing what other belief? Sure to warm the cockles of the secular.
Accepting the existence of other gods
Müller stated that henotheism means "monotheism in principle and a polytheism in fact." He made the term a center of his criticism of Western theological and religious exceptionalism (relative to Eastern religions), focusing on a cultural dogma which held "monotheism" to be both fundamentally well-defined and inherently superior to differing conceptions of God.
In phonetics, what is a sound that is characterized by an open configuration of the vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure above the glottis?
This contrasts with consonants, which are characterized by a constriction or closure at one or more points along the vocal tract. A vowel is also understood to be syllabic: an equivalent open but non-syllabic sound is called a semivowel. In all languages, vowels form the nucleus or peak of syllables, whereas consonants form the onset.
During the 1970s, what name was given to the illegal immigrants/asylum seekers from Vietnam referring to their mode of transport?
The term came into common use during the late 1970s with the mass departure of Vietnamese refugees from communist-controlled Vietnam, following the Vietnam War. Now it is also a widely used form of migration or escape for people migrating from Cuba, Haiti, Morocco, Vietnam or Albania.
What Chan Buddhist monastery in the Henan province of China is best known to the world for its association with martial arts?
The Shaolin Monastery was originally founded in AD 495 by the Buddhist monk Batuo, an Indian dhyana master. The introduction of fighting skills at the Shaolin Monastery has been attributed in legend to the Indian monk Bodhidharma, who went to the monastery in 527. On arrival at the temple he found that most of the monks were suffering from poor health and so he taught them a series of exercises based on the movements of five animals (tiger, snake, crane, eagle and monkey) to improve their levels of fitness. These exercises (wuqinxi, literally "five pure rivers") were later adapted into a combat discipline when, as the temple grew, it became subject to attacks from brigands against whom the monks needed to protect themselves.
In US railway history, what name is given to a station at which a train stops only on request when there are passengers/freight to be taken on or discharged?
Ordinarily, a flag or other visual indicator would be placed outside the station by the station master if the station had traffic. If a stop was requested by a passenger on the train, a whistle would be sounded by train personnel to alert the locomotive engineer to the need to stop.
Which Shinto shrine located in Tokyo is dedicated to those who died fighting for the Emperor of Japan and is a source of considerable controversy?
Visits to the shrine by cabinet members have been a cause of protest at home and abroad. China, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan have protested against various visits since 1985. Despite the controversy, the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made annual visits from 2001 to 2006.
In color theory, what is the difference between a tint and a shade?
A tint is the mixture of a color with white, and a shade is the mixture of a color with black.
Mixing with white increases value or lightness, while mixing with black reduces chroma. Mixing with any neutral color, including black and white, reduces chroma or colorfulness. The intensity does not change.
Literally 'Practice of the Wheel of Law' in Chinese, what system of mind and body cultivation has been the focus of international attention since the Chinese government began a crackdown on it?
Falun Gong (or) Falun Dafa
The Chinese government banned the group for allegedly engaging in "illegal activities, advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances, and jeopardizing social stability." Several governments, international human rights organizations and scholars consider the ban a human rights violation.
In 1994, Bill Gates bought The Codex Hammer at an auction for $30.8 million, making it the most expensive book ever. Whose writings does it contain?
Leonardo Da Vinci's
Gates renamed it the Codex Leicester. It is a collection of largely scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci and out of his 30 scientific journals, this one might be the most famous of all. The movement of water is the main topic of the Codex. Among other things, Leonardo wrote about the flow of water in rivers, and how it is affected by different obstacles put in its way. From his observations he made recommendations about bridge construction and erosion.
In the US, what is a 'Son of Sam' law concerned with?
Law designed to keep criminals from profiting from their crimes
Such laws often authorize the state to seize money earned from such book deals and such and use it to compensate the criminal's victims. The first such law was created in New York after the Son of Sam killings. It was enacted after rampant speculation about publishers offering large amounts of money for the serial killer's story. The law was invoked in New York eleven times between 1977 and 1990, including once against Mark David Chapman.
Don't swear if you get this wrong. According to an experiment conducted in 2002 by psychologists at a UK university, what animal attracts the most humor and silliness in all cultures?
Richard Wiseman said "If you're going to tell a joke involving an animal, make it a duck." The word "duck" may have become an inherently funny word in many languages because ducks are seen as a silly animal, and their odd appearance compared to other birds. Of the many ducks in fiction, many are silly cartoon characters like Daffy Duck.
Before being surpassed in 1311 AD by the Lincoln Cathedral in England, what construction with its 481 feet held the title for the tallest man-made structure for hundreds of years?
Great Pyramid of Giza built around 2500 BC
The Thomas Jefferson Building, The John Adams Building and The James Madison Memorial Building in Washington DC together make up what seminal institution?
Library of Congress
It is the de facto national library of the US, the research arm of the United States Congress and is the largest by shelf space and one of the most important libraries in the world. Its collections include more than 30 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages and more than 58 million manuscripts.
In the jokes of Soviet Union, the KGB headquarters Lubyanka was called the tallest building in Moscow because what could be seen from its basement?
A prison at the ground floor of the building figures prominently in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's classic study of the Soviet police state, The Gulag Archipelago. Famous inmates held, tortured and interrogated there include Sidney Reilly and Raoul Wallenberg.
Whose summer residence is at Lake Gandalfo, a small town south-east of Rome?
The Pope's summer residence (Residenza Papale in Italian) is a 17th century building designed by Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII. The papal palace, and the adjoining Villa Barberini that was added to the complex by Pius XI have enjoyed extraterritorial rights since the signature of the 1929 treaty with Italy; the little piazza directly in front was renamed Piazza della Libertà in the first flush of Italian unity after 1870. The papal palace remained unused from 1870 until 1929. Popes Pius XII (1958) and Paul VI (1978) died at Castel Gandolfo.
The German word 'ordnung' that stands for order/arrangement sets the rules of living for which community in the US and Canada?
Every Amish church is its own governing authority and has its own set of rules; therefore, it follows its own Ordnung. Their lives are ordered by this code. These rules are largely unwritten. Because the Amish have no central church government, each community administers its own guidelines.
What type of work is 99 Cent II Diptychon by Andreas Gursky which was sold for USD 3.3 million in 2007 and holds the record for the highest price paid for an artifact in that field?
The work depicts an interior of a supermarket with numerous aisles depicting goods resulting in a colorful work.
Who once described Tarzan as a major influence on her childhood and said that she would be a much better spouse for him than his fictional wife, Jane? Naturally, she spent time around apes like him!
She also said that when she first began to live among and study the chimpanzees she was fulfilling her childhood dream of living among the great apes just as Tarzan did.
In the Norrmalmstorg bank robbery in 1973, employees were held hostage for a few days and became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.
In which city did this incident take place?
The term Stockholm Syndrome was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.
The hunters phrase 'Big Five game' refers to what five African animals?
Lion, African elephant, African buffalo, leopard and black rhino
The members of the big five were chosen by big-game hunters for the difficulty in hunting them and not their size, which is why the leopard is on the list and the enormous hippopotamus is not.
Presaged by a 1784 letter of Ben Franklin, what concept saw its first widespread use in 1916 as a wartime measure aimed at conserving coal?
Daylight saving time
The practice is controversial. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun.
Which organization of the Catholic church whose name is Latin for 'Work of God' received world attention with the publication of The Da Vinci Code in which it is portrayed as participating in a sinister international conspiracy?
The organization is sometimes known simply as 'the Work.' It was founded in Spain in 1928 by a Roman Catholic priest Josemaria Escriva and given final approval in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
A planchette is a heart-shaped board supported by castors which moves to spell out messages, or answer questions. What type of board is it most commonly used with?
Paranormal advocates believe that the planchette is moved by some extra-normal force. Skeptics attribute the motion to the ideomotor effect. Used since the beginning of the Spiritualism movement of the mid-nineteenth century, planchettes predate the invention of spirit boards. Although speculation exists that the planchette was named after its inventor, the French word "planchette" translates to English as "little plank."
What are fished by the crews in the freezing waters of Alaska as shown in Discovery Channel's hit series Deadliest Catch?
Alaskan king crab and Opilio crab
The fishing is carried out during the winter months in the waters off the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The commercial harvest is performed during a very short season, and the catch is shipped worldwide. Fishermen spend days at a time on very rough seas working long hours with little rest time.
In 2006 when George W. Bush hosted the Japanese PM and music fan Junichiro Koizumi here, what became the only residence on American soil other than an embassy/White House/Presidential retreat to have hosted a joint-visit by a sitting US president and a head of a foreign government?
Graceland, the estate of Elvis
Koizumi, who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006, is an avid Elvis Presley fan and even shares Presley's January 8 birthday.
The organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) was created in 1971 as an aftermath of what humanitarian crisis in Africa?
French doctor Bernard Kouchner witnessed many atrocities, particularly the huge number of starving children, and when he returned to France, he publicly criticised the Nigerian government and the Red Cross for their seemingly complicit behaviour. With the help of other French doctors, Kouchner put Biafra in the media spotlight and called for an international response to the situation. These doctors, led by Kouchner, concluded that a new aid organisation was needed that would ignore political/religious boundaries and prioritise the welfare of victims.
Traditionally, 'flotsam' and 'jetsam' are words that describe goods of potential value that have been thrown into the ocean. What is the technical difference between the two?
'Jetsam' has been voluntarily cast into the sea by the crew of a ship, usually in order to lighten it in an emergency; 'flotsam' describes goods that are floating on the water without having been thrown in deliberately, often after a shipwreck.
Ligan (or lagan), describes goods that have been marked by being tied to a buoy so that its owner can find and retrieve it later. Derelict is property which has been abandoned and deserted at sea by those who were in charge.
If screw-driven steamships generally carry the prefix 'SS' before their names, what type of steamers carry the prefix 'PS'?
Steamships powered by the steam turbine may be prefixed 'TS' (Turbine Ship).
Awarded to applicants annually since 1902, the Rhodes Scholarships are for study at what institution?
University of Oxford
Rhodes Scholars may study any full-time postgraduate course offered by the University.
Famous for his first-hand account of the Bolshevik Revolution, who is the only American to be buried in the Kremlin?
John Reed (1887-1920), author of Ten Days that Shook the World
He and his wife Louise Bryant were the subjects of the film Reds (1981), directed by Warren Beatty.
What is the name of the military tactic that involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area?
Scorched earth policy
Apparently a translation of Chinese 'Jiao Tu', the term refers to the practice of burning crops to deny the enemy food sources, although it is by no means limited to food stocks, and can include shelter, transportation, communications and industrial resources, which are often of equal or greater military value in modern warfare, as modern armies generally carry their own food supplies.
'Janjaweed', an Arabic word that literally translates to 'devil on a horse' has achieved infamy by its association with a dubious group in which current day crisis in Sudan?
Since 2003 they have been one of the main players in the Darfur conflict, which has pitted the largely nomadic Arab-identifying Muslim Sudanese against the sedentary non-Arab Muslim Sudanese population of the region in a battle over resource and land allocation.
What paleontological hoax takes its name from a place in East Sussex, England where in 1912, discovered bone fragments were thought to be the remains of an unknown form of early man?
The significance of the specimen remained controversial until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan that had been deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human. It is perhaps the most famous paleontological hoax in history. It has been prominent for two reasons: the attention paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time (more than 40 years) that elapsed from its discovery to its full exposure as a forgery.
John Harrison was an 18th century English clockmaker who revolutionised the possibility of safe long distance sea travel with his invention of the marine chronometer. What was the instrument used to determine?
The problem was considered so intractable that the British Parliament offered a prize of £20,000 for the solution. John Harrison spent 31 years of persistent trial and error to perfect his instrument.
Though the effect on the sales of Halo remains unknown, what did the Mexico City police offer to anyone who turned in a weapon in an attempt to lower crime in 2007?
Several feathers were ruffled when a 78-year-old Texas attorney named Harry Whittington was mistook for a quail in 2006. What happened?
US Vice-President Dick Cheney shot him while participating in a quail hunt
Whittington was shot in the face, neck, and upper torso with birdshot pellets from a 28-gauge Perazzi shotgun. He suffered a non-fatal "silent" heart attack and atrial fibrillation due to at least one lead-shot pellet lodged in or near his heart.
What agency of the US government is the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world?
United States Postal Service (USPS)
Employing 596,000 workers and over 218,000 vehicles, it is also the second-largest civilian employer in the United States (after Wal-Mart). Since its reorganization into an independent organization, the USPS has become self-sufficient and has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s. However it is currently borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury to pay its deficits.
The Frenchman Jean Robert-Houdin (1805-1871) is credited with formalizing what form of entertainment?
Before him, magicians performed in marketplaces and fairs, but Robert-Houdin performed magic in theatres and private parties. He also chose to wear formal clothes, like those of his audiences. The stage name of Harry Houdini was taken in tribute to him, though Houdini later denounced him.
The infamous drug cartel run by Pablo Escobar through the 1970s and 1980s takes its name from which Columbian city?
It existed in permanent conflict with the Cali Cartel and, from the early '80s onward, the Colombian government.
Which organization claims to have the world's largest collection of public records, unpublished opinions, forms, legal, news, and business information?
LexisNexis is divided into two sites: Lexis.com, intended for legal research, while Nexis.com is intended for investigations into business dealings.
Speaking on the occasion of which organizations' 50th Anniversary in 1996 did one of it's founders, Dr. Ware say, "I do get disappointed that so many members spend so much time solving puzzles" and expressed his desire for the members to be solving the world's problems?
Deviating from standard practice, the US patent office has a policy of refusing to grant a patent without a working model for what type of device?
Perpetual motion machine
The filing of a patent is a clerical task, and the patent office won't refuse filings for perpetual motion machines; the patent will be filed and then most probably rejected by the patent examiner, after he has done a formal examination. Even if the patent is granted, it doesn't mean that the invention actually works, it just means that the examiner thinks that it works, or that he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work.
Sharbat Gula, an Afghan woman of Pashtun ethnicity achieved world wide fame when her photograph was featured on the cover of which magazine in 1985?
Gula was known throughout the world simply as the Afghan Girl until she was formally identified in 2002. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and with her piercing sea-green eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide. The image itself was named as "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the magazine.
Conducted by Captain Joseph Kittinger of the US Air Force in 1959/1960 using a parachute, what was Project Excelsior?
Series of high-altitude jumps
In one of these jumps Kittinger set world records for the highest parachute jump, the longest parachute drogue fall and the fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere, all of which still stand.
George Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon (1866-1923) was an English aristocrat best known as the financier for the excavation of what?
King Tut's tomb
Several months later after the excavation, Carnarvon died in Cairo in 1923. This led to the story of the "Curse of Tutankhamun", the "Mummy's Curse." His colleague and employee, Howard Carter, the man most responsible for revealing the tomb of the young king, lived safely for another sixteen years.
'The Amazonian Guard' of 40 African women protected which leader?
Gaddafi of Libya
They sparked an international incident in 2006 when Gaddafi landed in Nigeria with over 200 heavily armed female guards for a summit. Nigerian security officials refused to allow the Libyans entry based on their armaments, and Gaddafi angrily resolved to set off on foot 40 km to Nigeria's capital from the airport.
President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962, saying, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House-with the possible exception of when ___ ___ dined alone."
Fill in the missing words.
He was the third President of the United States (1801-09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as an horticulturist, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, and the founder of the University of Virginia, among other roles.
Which US agency has primary jurisdiction over the protection of the President, Vice President and other high ranking government officials?
The Secret Service was commissioned on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C. as the "Secret Service Division," to suppress counterfeit currency, which is why it was established under the United States Department of the Treasury.
A form of government called by the Greek term 'thalassocracy' refers to a state with power in what realm?
The term can also simply refer to naval supremacy, in either military or commercial senses of the word "supremacy." The word thalassocracy itself, deriving from the Greek thalassokratiâ-thalassa meaning "sea," and kratiâ meaning "rule" or "government"-first occurred amongst the ancient Greeks describing the government of the Minoan civilization, whose power depended on its navy. Herodotus spoke of the need to counter the Phoenician thalassocracy by developing a Greek "empire of the sea."
In his 2004 book The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, A. J. Jacobs describes his experiences in doing what?
Reading the entire Encyclopædia Britannica
The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopedia still in print. It was first published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh and is currently published from Chicago.
What paradox states that an entirely rational ass placed between two stacks of hay of equal quality will starve as it cannot make any rational decision to start eating one rather than the other?
The paradox is named after the 14th century French philosopher Jean Buridan. It is first found in Aristotle's De Caelo where Aristotle mentions an example of a man who remains unmoved because he is as hungry as he is thirsty and is positioned exactly between food and drink.
What 8-pointed symbol is identified with an order of Christian warriors and is also a national symbol of a Mediterranean island nation?
The cross is eight-pointed and has the shape of four "V" shaped arms joined together at their bases, so that each arm has two points. The Maltese cross remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and other Orders of St John. In recent centuries it has come to be adopted as the insignia of numerous orders of chivalry, and appears on the coat-of-arms of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz district. In Australia the Maltese Cross is part of the state emblem of Queensland.
In 1991, two men in England named Doug Bower and Dave Chorley revealed that they had been making these 'Signs' using planks, rope, hats and wire and thus exposed what hitherto unexplained phenomenon as a hoax?
The Great Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla, Mexico is the world's largest monument and largest Pre-Columbian pyramid by volume. If told that it was built from 3rd century BCE through the 9th century CE, can you name the 'feathered-serpent' deity to whom it was dedicated?
Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god
According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is in fact the largest pyramid as well as the largest monument ever constructed anywhere in the world and it is almost one third larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
Launched in 1972 in India, one of the most successful conservation ventures in modern history was named after what animal?
Tiger (Project Tiger)
The project aims at tiger conservation in specially constituted 'tiger reserves' which are representative of various bio-geographical regions falling within India. It strives to maintain a viable tiger population in their natural environment. Today, there are 27 Project Tiger wildlife reserves in India covering an area of 37,761 square kms. In recent times, however, critics have complained that officials have inflated India's wild tiger census so as to save their jobs.
When this scientist won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1956, he brought only one of his three children to the awards ceremony in Stockholm so as not to disrupt the other two sons' studies. King Gustav scolded him about leaving his family behind on such an important occasion. He assured the King that the next time he would bring all his children and kept his word when he won again in the same category in 1972.
Who is this illustrious candidate?
John Bardeen (1908-1991)
He is the only person to have won two Nobel prizes in physics: in 1956 for the transistor, along with William Bradford Shockley and Walter Brattain, and in 1972 for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity together with Leon Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer, now called BCS theory.
The business family of Kaufmanns owned property outside Pittsburgh with a waterfall and some cabins. In the 1930s, when the cabins at their camp had deteriorated to the point that something had to be rebuilt, Mr.Kaufmann contacted an architect.
What resulted from this meeting?
It is a famous house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. Despite its structural problems, Fallingwater is widely considered a master's masterpiece.
Because of their widespread usage on the flags of African countries, the following sets of colors are dubbed the 'Pan African Colors.' What are the two missing colors?
1. Red, green, and ___
2. Red, green, and ___
The name of what versatile product was coined by US soldiers as they couldn't pronounce its original name, 'Offiziersmesser'?
Swiss Army Knife
A Swiss Army knife has a blade as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers and can openers. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The handle is usually red, and features a white cross, the emblem of Switzerland. It was originated in Ibach, Schwyz, Switzerland in 1897.
"There was a footpath leading across fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics."
Which 20th century philosopher-mathematician wrote this in his autobiography?
Russell's adolescence was very lonely and he remarked in his autobiography that his keenest interests were in sex, religion and mathematics. Russell is generally recognised as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, even of its several branches.
What are Cohíba, Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Partagás, Romeo y Julieta and Quintero?
Cigars manufactured in Cuba are widely considered to be without peer, although many experts believe that the best offerings from Honduras and Nicaragua rival those from Cuba. The Cuban reputation is thought to arise from both the unique characteristics of the west of the island, where the microclimate allows high-quality tobacco to be grown as well as from the skill of the Cuban cigar rollers.
What word that is synonymous with African tourism is from the Swahili for 'journey'?
It usually refers to a trip by tourists to Africa, traditionally for a big-game hunt and in more modern times to watch and photograph big game and other wildlife as a safari holiday. It is an overland journey.
What 'religion' did Albania officially adopt under Enver Hoxha from 1944 to 1954?
Under Hoxha, whose rule was characterized by isolation from the rest of Europe and by his proclaimed firm adherence to Marxism-Leninism, Albania's government of the time projected the image that it had emerged from semi-feudalism to become an industrialized state. Albania became the only country to officially ban religion.
Alexander Pope wrote this epitaph for Sir Isaac Newton:
"Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night; God said 'Let Newton be' and all was light."
To the above, Sir John Collings Squire added:
"It did not last: the devil, shouting 'Ho. Let ___ be' restored the status quo."
Whom did the devil add?
In international relations, what term is used to describe the use of a third party to serve as an intermediary between two parties who do not talk directly?
It is often used when the two primary parties do not formally recognize each other but still want to negotiate. The term shuttle diplomacy became widespread following Henry Kissinger's term as United States Secretary of State. Kissinger participated in shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East and in the People's Republic of China.
What institution in New Jersey best known as the academic home of Albert Einstein and John von Neumann was established to foster research without the complications of teaching or funding or sponsorship?
Institute for Advanced Study
There are other Institutes of Advanced Study in the U.S. and elsewhere which are based on the Princeton model.