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The rituals include turning 3 times,spitting over one’s left shoulder, swearing,or reciting “Angels and ministers of gracedefend us” or “If we shadows haveoffended” or “Fair thoughts and happyhours attend on you”. A more elaborateritual involves leaving the place, spinningaround and brushing oneself off, andsaying ____ 3 times before entering again.What rituals?
The Macbeth curse or the Scottishcurse—the belief that speaking the nameMacbeth inside a theatre will causedisaster. The rituals are supposed to wardoff the evil that uttering the plays nameis feared to bring on.
Identify the missing type in this VolcanicExplosivity Index (VEI).
Plinian—after Pliny the Elder whowitnessed the intensity of MountVesuvius eruption firsthand.
What name is given to this geometryproblem? Given a circle A, find a circle B suchthat the area of the intersection of A and B isequal to the area of the symmetric differenceof A and B (the sum of the area of A − B andthe area of B − A). It derives from A CountryHouse Visit, one of Jan Struthers newspaperarticles featuring her most famous character:
“She saw every relationship as a pair of intersectingcircles. It would seem at first glance that the morethey overlapped the better the relationship; butthis is not so. Beyond a certain point the law ofdiminishing returns sets in, and there are notenough private resources left on either side toenrich the life that is shared. Probably perfection isreached when the area of the two outer crescents,added together, is exactly equal to that of the leaf-shaped piece in the middle. On paper there mustbe some neat mathematical formula for arriving atthis; in life, none.”
The Library Hotel is a 60-roomboutique hotel in New York City. Eachof its ten guest floors has a theme. In2003, the Online Computer LibraryCenter of Dublin, Ohio sued them.The Library Hotel got into anagreement with OCLC so that theycould continue operations. What wasthe case about?
The hotel’s organization principle isbased on the Dewey DecimalClassification (the 5th floor, for example,is the 500s, the Sciences), with eachroom as a subcategory or genre, such asMathematics (Room 500.001) or Botany(Room 500.004). The OCLC thetrademark and copyrights associatedwith the DDC.
The Reverend John Galbraith Graham MBEis a famous British crossword compiler. Hisclue-writing style has made him one of thebest-loved of all setters. He has a fascinationfor the monkey-puzzle tree. He uses its Latinname Araucaria while setting crypticcrosswords in the Guardian. Then how doeshis choice of the pseudonym Cinephile whilesetting cryptic crosswords in the FinancialTimes become apt?
Cinephile is the anagram of ‘Chile Pine’which is another name for the monkey-puzzle tree.
The 19th century classification has 4families named after Spanish, German,Velour/velvety and Louis de ____,marquis de Nointel. The 20th centuryclassification replaced the German onewith 2 other families named afterDutch and tomato. What are we talkingabout?
Mother sauces in French cuisine.Antonin Carême’s classification hadBéchamel, Espagnole, Velouté andAllemande. Auguste Escoffier updatedthis classification to Béchamel, Velouté,Tomate, Espagnole and Hollandaise.
Which trader’s greatest contribution tothe 16th century world (and perhaps,to future history and politics) was thestraightening of the rhumb line?
Gerardus Mercator. (Mercator means‘trader’ or ‘merchant’)In navigation, a rhumb line is a linecrossing all meridians of longitude atthe same angle–it appears as a straightline on a Mercator projection map.
Mercator’s second best contribution,came about as a result of encouragingAbraham Ortelius to compile TheatrumOrbis Terrarum in 1570. What was it?
He was the first to use the word ‘atlas’to describe a collection of maps.
The Nobel banquet is an integral part of theNobel Prize award ceremony. Currently, it isheld in Oslo at the Grand Hotel after theaward ceremony. As well as the laureates,other guests include the President of theStorting, the Prime Minister and the Kingand Queen of Norway. About 250 guestsare treated to a five-course meal. The firsttime it was cancelled was in the late 1970s.What was the reason?
In 1979, Mother Teresa refused to attend,saying the money would be better spent onthe poor—so the banquet was cancelled.She used the US$7,000 that was to be spenton the banquet to hold a dinner for 2,000homeless people on Christmas Day.
The Lund-Browder is themost accurateway of measuringit and ismandatory forchildren. Fornormal adults,the ‘rule of nines’may be applied.What about?
The first translation into English was byAlexander Tille in 1896 and he used theterm ‘beyond’. Thomas Common’s 1909translation popularised the current usagethough he may have been inspired byGeorge Bernard Shaw. Walter Kaufmannlambasted this in the 1950s for tworeasons: first, its failure to capture thenuance of the original and the second wassomething which Frederic Wertham ralliedagainst. He preferred the usage of ‘over’.What about?
A Single Man; Cabaret—both based onworks by Christopher Isherwood.
The History of Little ____, a children’s storypublished by John Newbery in 1765, popularisedthis phrase. It first appeared in Charles Cotton’sVoyage to Ireland in Burlesque (1670):Mistress mayoress complained that the pottagewas cold;‘And all long of your fiddle-faddle,’ quoth she.‘Why, then, ____, what if it be?Hold you, if you can, your tittle-tattle,’ quoth he.What phrase used to describe an excessivelyvirtuous person?
At the age of 29, he negotiated themarriage of 6-year-old PrincessMarguerite de Valois of France to 5-year-old King Sebastian of Portugal. He alsocompiled one of the first Frenchdictionaries Thresor de la languefrançoyse tant ancienne que moderne(Treasure of the French Language,published in 1606). Who?
Thomas Chippendale’s influence onfurniture (especially English furniture)has been enormous. What change infurniture style, brought about duringand after his time, do antique furniturefans point to in illustrating thesignificance of his designs?
He was the first commoner for whom afurniture style was named; before himthe names faithfully recalledmonarchies: Tudor, Elizabethan, LouisXIV, Queen Anne.
Outbreaks of ergotism or SaintAnthony’s Fire traditionally came fromthe ingestion of the alkaloids producedby a fungus which infects rye and othercereals—people suffered delirium,seizures, fever, loss of consciousnessand eventually, in many cases, death.Which phrase is believed to haveorigins in the peculiar cough associatedwith ergotism?
It was the summer residence of Lord Byron,Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, John Polidoriand others in 1816, where the basis forFrankenstein and The Vampyre were laid.In the book, Victor Frankenstein’s home iscalled ‘Belrive’.
Which company’s logo is madeup of controls/buttonscommonly seen on audio/videoequipment—specifically the up,down and pause/play ones, inthat order?
Avid Technology.They specialize in video and audioproduction technology; specifically,digital non-linear editing (NLE)systems.
About whom did Neil Gaiman write these lines?There’s a kitten curled up in Kilkenny was given a perfect pot of creamAnd a princess asleep in a thornwrapped castle who’s dreaming a perfectdreamThere’s a dog in Alaska wholl dance with delight on a pile of mastodon bonesBut I’ve got a copy of ____ (dedicated to me) by ____There’s an actress who clutches her oscar (and sobs, with proper impromptujoy),There’s a machievellian villain who’s hit on a wonderf’lly evil ploy,There’s wizards in crystal castles and kings on their golden thronesBut I’ve got a copy of ____ -- dedicated -- to me! -- by ____There’s a fisherman out on the sea today who just caught the perfect fish,There’s a child in Luton who opened a genie-filled bottle, and got a wish,There are people who live in glass houses have managed to outlaw stones,But I’ve got a copy of ____, dedicated to me, by ____
Superbowl bets of loaning paintings fordisplay.2010 Indianapolis Museum of Art(J.M.W. Turner’s The Fifth Plague of Egypt)vs. New Orleans Museum of Art (ClaudeLorrain’s Ideal View of Tivoli)2011 Carnegie Museum of Art (AugusteRenoir’s Bathers with a Crab) vs. MilwaukeeArt Museum (Gustave Caillebotte’s Boatingon the Yerres)
In most of the Porsche left hand drivemodels, the ignition key switch islocated on the left of the steering wheelrather than the traditional right side.What is believed, among sports caraficionados, to be the reason for thisunique design?
The Le Mans starting method—thisallowed the driver to use his left hand tostart the engine, and his right hand toput the transmission into gear, which inturn shaves off a few tenths of a second.
Whose entry in the 1975 edition of the NewColumbia Encyclopedia: “____, Lillian Virginia,1942-1973, American photographer, b. Bangs, Ohio.Turning from fountain design to photographyin1963, ____ produced her celebrated portraits ofthe South Sierra Miwok in 1964. She was awardedgovernment grants to make a series of photo-essaysof unusual subject matter, including New York Citybuses, the cemeteries of Paris and rural Americanmailboxes. The last group was exhibited extensivelyabroad and published as Flags Up! (1972). ____died at 31 in an explosion while on assignment forCombustibles magazine.”?
Mountweazel. New Yorker used thisneologism to refer to copyrighttraps—it was an old tradition inencyclopedias to put in a fake entryto protect your copyright.
He was considered the third best player inthe world, behind Alexander Alekhine andJose Capablanca, from 1927 to 1931. Hewrote 3 books on chess strategy: MeinSystem (My System), 1925, Die Praxis meinesSystems (The Practice of My System), 1929,commonly known as Chess Praxis, and DieBlockade (The Blockade), 1925. It is said that99 out of 100 chess masters have read MeinSystem; consequently, most consider it to behis greatest contribution to chess. Identifythis person with an Indian connection.
Aron Nimzowitsch, after whom the Nimzo-Indian Defence is named.
“By taking from this mournful field the wherewithal tomake a monument to it, its real relief has been taken away,and history, disconcerted, no longer finds her bearingsthere. It has been disfigured for the sake of glorifying it. *…+Where the great pyramid of earth, surmounted by the lion,rises to-day, there was a hillock which descended in aneasy slope towards the Nivelles road, but which was almostan escarpment on the side of the highway to Genappe. Theelevation of this escarpment can still be measured by theheight of the two knolls of the two great sepulchres whichenclose the road from Genappe to Brussels: one, theEnglish tomb, is on the left; the other, the German tomb, ison the right. There is no French tomb. The whole of thatplain is a sepulchre for France.”—what is Victor Hugoreferring to in Les Misérables?
Lion’s Mound atWaterloo, erectedon the spot where itis believed thePrince of Orangewas wounded.Wellington, whenhe beheld Waterlooonce more, 2 yearslater, exclaimed,“They have alteredmy field of battle!”
Identify the movie. Where does it takeits title from?
A Little Night Music.Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 for strings inG major, Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
From Mutual Problem by William Cole:Said ____ to ____,‘There’s something, old boy, that I’ve alwaysabhorred:When people address me and call me ‘____’,Are they being standoffish, or too much athome?’Said ____, ‘I agree; It’s the same thing with me.’Fill up with the names of 2 English writers,both born in the latter half of the 19thcentury.
Jerome K. Jerome; Ford Madox Ford.Said Jerome K. Jerome to Ford Madox Ford,‘There’s something, old boy, that I’ve alwaysabhorred:When people address me and call me ‘Jerome’,Are they being standoffish, or too much athome?’Said Ford, ‘I agree; It’s the same thing with me.’
His namesake grandfather was abiologist and the founder of the study ofbiosemiotics. In 1980, this journalist andprofessional philatelist startedsomething by selling his collection ofpostage stamps for US $ 1 million. Sincethen, with the help of private donors, ithas continuously been “working onbehalf of our planet and its people”.Identify him or what he started.
Two of his lesser known contributions cameabout during World War II. He was part of theteam that did statistical work at the Division ofWar Research at Columbia—they came up with asampling technique, known as sequentialsampling, which became the standard analysis ofquality control inspection. He was also a keymember of the team that developed a newproximity fuse for anti-aircraft projectiles,preventing bombs from going off unless they arenear the object they are meant to destroy. WhichNobel Prize winner?