Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The PEN is mightier than the ... Oh SOD it

A fifth time more unto the breach dear friends and the PEN quiz still does not cease to amaze with its glittery elements, Waugh-esque Cafe Royale setting and truly bloody hard questions. If only they did it every week. If only. Maybe, they do in heaven.

Once again I was on the team I have so gladly represented the last three times (the first, well that was with the so-called "enemy" ... no, they're brilliant and fine they are). And once again we had a different team of columnists, Shadow Cabinet MPs, assorted editors and freelancers like myself. I can't remember if last year's chosen ten was at all the same as 2007. An ever changing roster maybe reminiscent of the Graham Taylor approach to team selection (or was that Keegan? Or Hoddle? Well, they chose many different donkeys didn't they. Not that my team were donkeys. Au contraire. Call them the amiable bunch?) But I dunno. I tend to get sucked into the questions and lose all other powers of attention. Then time zips past light speed style as you get lost in another dimension. The dimension of QUIZ.

But this year was different. Each of the rounds was designed for buffs in that particular field. Last year literature informed all the rounds except music. This time it did not; something I didn't mind at all. No surprise then that the newspapers zoomed to the top of the field and previous publisher and agency winners were left to flounder in the lower reaches without their literary buoys.

No gimmes for what would be the point? Arts, news humanities and, obviously, literature fans are well served, as most of the people in this room could conceivably call themselves the premier experts in those fields in the entire country. Or at least they are the ones whose words on the aforementioned subjects command foot-upon-foot of column inches every week.

For instance, who set the history questions? It was none other than Antony Beevor, the Stalingrad man. And they were good ones too, picking out the particular quiz facts that bamboozle ordinary folk - asking what was the bloodiest ever battle on British soil to take one example. It is Towton, of course. "Details" questions generally reigned supreme, but then history can get very staid and dull without the little nick-nacks about sparrowhawk deployment in the Crystal Palace to amuse us.

"Unbelievably hard questions" was one remark, but I am increasingly blind to such distinctions. I am nor far more likely to guffaw when a relatively easy chestnut (as in one QLL Tuesday night's diamond anniversary questions) as if such things are beneath me. I am becoming an ultra-snob. And it is exacerbated by setting your own questions again and again. Your exposure to the easy stuff is minimised and when you come back into contact with it, it frankly looks as if it is only suitable for village idiots.

Looking around this amazingly diverse bunch of gilded aficionados of the written word, you notice things. Like, you can stack two Vikram Seths inside a Max Hastings. How fairy tale villain hideous David Mellor's face is. Doesn't James Delingpole look like some small, woodland elf who has entered hip human society and dressed himself purely according to the principles laid down in the fashion spreads found in GQ and Esquire (yes, I do now he writes about fashion)? Standing in the cloakroom queue and wondering where to look on hearing that Francis Wheen can't make the Bad Sex in Fiction award show and how dreadfully sorry he is about missing out it being awarded to a dead wife-stabber. It is very easy to gawp and watch the wildlife as if you were in a waxwork museum curated by the London Review of Books. Only, of course, these are real people getting stuck into their sushi canapes, salmon and mash for main and a dollop of ice cream with cinnamon-dappled tarte tatine for dessert. Yes, Alan Hollinghurst - he of The Line of Beauty renown - was back. But he was on The Guardian team. Why? He was their ringer and as was confirmed later he "knows everything".

Completely forgetting about the music and pictures and current affairs round, literature was entirely made up of quotes - the University Challenge disease. The Bulwer Lytton novel that started so auspiciously: "It was a dark and stormy night". Yep, Paul Clifford. The name of the fellow Joyce based his Ulysses character Buck Mulligan. Not a single idea, except that it is double-barrelled. But it wasn't so bad. If you knew character names you were halfway there. We got 7/10 on that round.

No, our deadly, debilitating problem - the one that cost us dear - was when to pay £30 to play our joker and double our points for one of five rounds. Playing your joker is a inexact science at best, and at worse a total lottery in which you discover you really know nothing about your strengths and weaknesses (at least in relation to the fiend doing the questions). Ben, our wonderful captain, described his fatal lack of decisiveness as being "milk-livered", but Film seemed to be a safe choice for our Joker. It wasn't our problem - wait, it bally well was! - that the setter went for some nasty bastards, including name three films from their taglines for one solitary point. THREE OF THEM! Ye gods. A quote from the Frears version of Dangerous Liaisons with just the words and the year it was released. Truffaut playing a necrophiliac journalist in a 1978 film! Ye god twice more. But the first fictional being to be Oscar nominated: I should have got that. Even if I thought Adaptation ended up a load of overblown silliness. As a result we only scored 5 and therefore ten points. Not enough.

Yet at the climax. after Will Self had performed the raffle duties in his "fucking mordant" yet hilarious manner (it's like free jazz, man, with literary and celeb references, man, especially with his riffing on the Nigella Lawson-made cupcakes, yeahhhh), we had surprisingly jousted into second equal with four others on 44 - The Guardian, HW Fisher, Faber and Penguin. I was shoved into the spotlight as Paxo got his reading glasses out and flicked through some papers, I then noticed Anne Ashurst materialise by my side (she wasn't on the Mills & Boon team, who finished dead last). But stone the crows, the easiest question of the entire night was then asked: "How many people ate at the Last Supper?". One of the publisher guys instantly spat-garbled the answer out as quickly as he could, while as ever I was not paying attention. My tie-break curse struck again. I was expecting a far more testing question and failed to even spout "13" just to show that, yes, I can parrot something I had heard a split second before. I walked back to my table in sullen shame. Oh well. Never mind. Even if I did mind a lot.

In the end, our decision not to play the joker on any of the three rounds in which we scored seven was a complete disaster that cost us the slinky glass trophy that the Mail on Sunday (Marcus Berkmann and his mob) received. But let's look at the bright side. Just for once. After a couple of years flailing in the middle pages, we had pulled ourselves back up to real respectability. Then again, a closer finish induced a different kind of disappointment: the frustrating kind that is far more emptier than the one you suffer when you are nowhere. It was a better and a worse species of disappointment - what might have been and so on. If only we had got that question or listened to Nigel for that one or written down my instinctive guess rather than think of it as dreamy speculation and put down something completely wrong in-shitting-stead. Self-examination gets inevitably worse.

But I think we had a lot more fun this year. We gave the toppermost position a good sniff. Next year that big slab of glass may be ours once again. It is lovely to dream of such fancies and, of course, utterly pointless when placed in the grand scheme of everything.

OH IT WAS THE BISHOP OF CARLISLE! Sorry. It never stops does it?

(Here's Jeremy Paxman's take on proceedings)

Monday, November 26, 2007

BH142: PEN and Feeling Weller

There came a point yesterday when I actually felt like I was going to collapse in a smoking, rubble-like heap and expire from sheer exhaustion. And I wouldn't have minded at all. Of course, it was my own fault, thanks to my decision last weekend to take a three-hour holiday in Norway, then further train travelling, social and dining engagements, and drinking sordid, disgusting cocktails of blackcurrent squash, soda water, gin and vodka at five in the morning.

I have, however, recovered thanks to a much-needed dose of 14 hours sleep and am now ready to take part in my 5th consecutive PEN quiz. The hardship and toil of a journo-quizzer's life! I can feel the pity surge off you like a kind of emotional electricity as I type these words.

Paxo is question-mastering and Will Self is doing the raffle. Yes, it's the kind of star-packed event where editors from The Guardian phone up TV production companies to find quality ringers to compete with the likes of me (which actually happened this year; someone told me). I used to do much better in the years when it was pure general knowledge and they had not decided to shape nearly every question with a literary bent. I may be handy with the literature know-how, but not so good when you have such giants of the craft as Alan Hollinghurst in the room. Writing geniuses with book facts practically popping out of their ears. Yet, having said that, last year also saw myself having to scoot off to Norway for my grandmother's funeral four hours after the actual finishing of the event. I was a bit preoccupied.

So hopefully, I will be on better form this time round (though the markers vexed me somewhat in 2006 with not accepting the answer "Tropicalismo" for "Tropicalia"; it's an alternative name for the Brazilian cultural movement, you ninnies).

Anyway, I have to get my suit on. Wish me luck. (You probably won't, thinking about it)

1 Condemned by critics in the US and Europe for his homophobic single Batty Bye Bye, which Jamaican reggae artist then released the landmark album 'Til Shiloh in 1995?
2 Exiled with fellow compatriots Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil in 1969, which dictator-baiting Brazilian writer, poet and musician released the bossa nova-influenced album Construcao 18 months later when he returned to his country, and is also known for such books as A Banda/Songbook (1966), Benjamin (1995) and Budapest (2003) and the plays Gota d'Agua (1975) and Opera do Malandro (1978), his adaptation of John Gay's Beggar's Opera.
3 The inventor of the Latin jam session known as the descarga and the form we call mambo, which Cuban "ritmo nuevo" 1930s pioneer won a Grammy for his 1994 album Master Sessions?
4 Which administrative capital city has an alternative name, Chuqiyapu, meaning "gold farm" in Aymara?
5 The Star Trek character Captain James T Kirk hails from which US state?
6 The acronym for which triennial worldwide test of 15-year-old children's scholastic performance is the same as the name of an Italian city?
7 The Frascati Manual is a document stipulating the methodology for collecting and using statistics about research and development in countries that are members of which international organisation of 30 countries that originated in 1948 when it was led by Frenchman Robert Marjolin to help administer the Marshall Plan for European reconstruction after WW2?
8 In football, by what English name do we know the "pedalada"?
9 Which country is home to the only historic wine region to be declared a World Heritage Site?
10 Named after the great-great-grandson of the Unknown Archont who led the Serbs to the Balkans from White Serbia (modern day Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine) during the 7th century reign of Byzantine emperor Herclius, which dynasty first unified the state of Serbia in the 9th century?
11 Created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, which new US sci-fi TV series concerns a titular "average computer-whiz-next-door" - played by Zachary Levi - who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend/rogue CIA agent that embeds the world's greatest spy secrets in his brain?
12 Born Sabri Khalil al-Banna in 1937 (to 2002), which Palestinian political leader, mercenary and founder of Fatah -the Revolutionary was widely seen as the world's most dangerous terrorist leader during the 70s and 80s?
13 Which country's stock exchange is the world's smallest by market capitalisation and is housed in a refurbished children's cinema?
14 Christian troops led by which king of Castile conquered Seville on November 23, 1248?
15 The first example of which machine began operating at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco on November 23, 1889?
16 Also known as 100,000 BC, what is the most familiar name given to the first ever Doctor Who serial which was broadcast from November 23 to December 14, 1963?
17 In 1859, which mathematician and physicist demonstrated that the rings of Saturn could not be solid or they would become unstable and break apart, proposing that they must be composed of numerously small particles independently orbiting the planet?
18 Giving his name to the 6th largest moon of Saturn, which of the Gigantes (the enormous children of Gaia fertilised by the blood of castrated Ouranos) is said to be buried under Mount Etna, whose volcanic fires are said to be his breath and tremors are his rolling his injured side (disabled by a spear thrown by Athena) beneath the mountain?
19 The football team IK Start is based in which Norwegian town?
20 First published in 1780, the Diccionaro de la lengua espanola de la Real Academia Espanola (DRAE) is the most authoritative dictionary of which Romance language?
21 Which Russian weapons designer and deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1941-50) is best known outside the former Soviet Union as the designer of the TT-33 semiautomatic handgun and SVT-40 self-loading rifle?
22 Bertso, a type of musical verse, and the art of singing it, Bertsolaritza, is associated with which historical region?
23 Formed in 1960 and including such members as Joe Ligon, Elmo Franklin, Richard Wallace and the late Johnny Martin, what evocatively-named LA-based gospel quartet is the world's best-selling such act thanks to albums like Steal Away to Jesus (1960), A Bright Side (1961) and The Truth is The Power (1977)?
24 The 1987 BBC TV comedy series Tutti Frutti centred on which "legendary" Scottish rock 'n' roll band?
25 Produced by a tree belonging to the genus Carica, which fruit is called fruta bomba in Cuba, du du in Vietnamese, "tree melon" in Chinese, Guslabu in Sinhalese and lechoza in Venezuela, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic?
26 What fruit, whose two varieties are the European and North American, is called the rockmelon in Australia and New Zealand due to its rock-like skin, and is called a spanspek in South Africa?
27 Which orchestra was founded in spring 1882 by 54 musicians under the name Fruhere Bilsesche Kapelle (former Bilse's Band); its first conductor being Ludwig von Brenner?
28 Formed in 1861 by three Norwegians, Elias Gottaas, Soren Torp and Carl Bjerknes in the eponymous "Gold Fields" New South Wales mining town, the original guise of which ski club is now recognised as the first snow ski club in the world and also carries the distinction of being the longest continuously operating club?
29 What sport is played by the Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers, Paisley Pirates and Solway Sharks?
30 What word for a type of creature can refer to a folding bicycle, the crossing point of two rails when talking about trains, and an ornamental braiding or a specific style of braiding described as "Chinese"?
31 Leader of the First Fleet, which British naval office and later Governor of New South Wales established the first European colony in Australia in 1788 at Sydney Cove?
32 The rock supergroup is made up of ex-Guns N' Roses members, Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland and which guitarist and former member of 80s punk band Wasted Youth?
33 Also the name of a Greek stone or wooden slab and, in plant biology, the central part of the root or stern containing the vascular tissue and sometimes a pith, what is the title of the Romanian-born Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag's 1994 piece for orchestra (op. 33) that is seen by some as his masterwork?
34 Who directed the following films released in the US in 2007? a) Exiled b) Away From Her c) The Host d) Once e) Brand Upon the Brain!
35 Located on the island of St Christopher, which port is the capital of St Kitts-Nevis?
36 Commander of all Warsaw Pact forces 1955-60, which Soviet marshal (1898-1973) liberated Ukraine from the invading Germans forces 1943-44 and in 1945 advanced from the south on Berlin to link up with British-US forces?
37 Nicknamed "The Golden Boy", which Italian forward and later MP (b.1943) won the European Cup twice with AC Milan (1963 and '69) and was named European Player of the Year in 1969?
38 Which Philadelphia-born boxer lost his first pro fight in 1988 to Clinton Mitchell in just six rounds; his next defeat coming against Roy Jones Jr for the vacant IBF middleweight title three years later before he won his first title in 1995, beating Segundo Mercado for the aforementioned crown?
39 Which German athlete won the men's Olympic 5000m crown in 1992?
40 Harold Salomon, Howie Hammer, Wellington Cabrera, Glen Winokur, Jesus Barretto and the twins John and Arty Randon are all major players in the history of which sport?
41 Born in Maribor (then Yugoslavia), which woman is best known for winning the 1977 French Open singles and reached the final once again the next year where she was beaten by Virginia Ruzici?
42 In which city was Greg Rusedski born in 1973?
43 Which side hammered London 52-16 in the final of rugby league's Challenge Cup in 1999?
44 Which Welshman is the only British rugby player and No. 8 ever to have played in four winning teams against New Zealand (twice for Lions 1971 and '77 and for Llanelli and Barbarians in '72 and '73)?
45 Which arachnid of the order Opiliones have very long, thin legs and a small body and are distinguished from true spiders by the absence of a waist or constriction in the oval body?
46 Chandigarh is the capital of which Indian state, part of the Ganges plain and known as a centre of Hinduism?
47 Found in the Himalayas, which large goat - Capra falconeri - has spirally twisted horns and a long shaggy coat?
48 Which Queen of France was wife of Henri IV from 1600 and regent after his murder for their son Louis XIII, leaving government to her favourites, the Cocinis, until Louis seized power and had them executed in 1617?
49 At which key 1806 battle was the Prussian ruler Frederick William III defeated by Napoleon?
50 Said to be the father of Imhotep, which Egyptian god - the divine potter and personification of the creative force - was worshipped at Memphis and often depicted as a mummified man?
51 Which genus of mushroom with hallucinogenic properties includes the Mexican sacred mushroom P. mexicana that contains compounds with effects similar to LSD?
52 Also the translator of Ruskin's books The Bible of Amiens and Sesame and Lilies, which French writer's lesser known works include Les plaisirs et les jours (1896), Pastiches et melanges (1919) and Contre Sainte-Beuve (1959)?
53 Sharing its name with a famous Persian Wars battle, which ancient city on the eastern coast of Cyprus was capital of the island until its harbour silted up c.200BC when it was succeeded by Paphos in the south-west?
54 One of the world's most fascinating natural formations and also known by the name esiKhaleni "the place of thunder", the Hole in the Wall - a 15 metre wide rock arch located c.31 miles south-east of Umtata - is located on a massive dolerite island belonging to which country?
55 Sited in Magallanes Y La Antartica Chilena, which remote but popular Chilean national park, 935 square miles in area, is named after three sheer granite towers and lies at the edge of the southern Patagonian ice sheet?
56 Approximately 6.3 miles in length, which cave system in the Caripe Mountains of Venezuela was discovered in 1799 by Alexander von Humboldt whose first cavern is named Humboldt's Gallery and is home to 15,000 pigeon-sized oilbirds (the largest known colony in the old), who give the caves their name?
57 From November to June every year, thousands of Asian openbill storks gather to breed at which red tile-roofed temple located in Phatum Thani, just north of Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River?
58 The second largest and deepest lake in the Philippines, which body of water - said by local legend to have been created by a group of "angels", though scientists claim it is the collapsed crater of an ancient volcano - sits 2300 feet above sea level and is one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world estimated to be more than two million years old?
59 Located c.7.5 miles west of Da Nang City, what English name is given to "Ngu Hanh Son" or "Mountain of the Five Elements", five outcrops of limestone each named after a Vietnamese folklord - the highest Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Kim Son (metal), Tho Son (earth) and Hoa Son (fire)?
60 The Bimini island group, known for two extraordinary underwater features called the Bimini Road and Bimini Wall, is part of which country?




Answers to BH142
1 Buju Banton 2 Chico Buarque 3 Israel "Cachao" Lopez 4 La Paz 5 Iowa 6 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 7 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 8 Step over 9 Hungary (Tokaj-Hegyalja) 10 House of Vlastimirovic 11 Chuck (surname Bartowski) 12 Abu Nidal 13 Mongolia 14 Ferdinand III 15 Jukebox 16 An Unearthly Child 17 James Clerk Maxwell 18 Enceladus 19 Kristiansand 20 Castilian Spanish 21 Fedor Tokarev 22 Basque Country 23 Mighty Clouds of Joy (aka Bunker Hill and The Temptations of Gospel) 24 The Majestics 25 Papaya 26 Cantaloupe 27 Berlin Philharmonic 28 Kiandra snow shoe club (now the Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club) 29 Ice hockey 30 Frog 31 Arthur Phillip 32 Dave Kushner 33 Stele 34 a) Johnny To b) Sarah Polley c) Bong Joon-ho d) John Carney e) Guy Maddin 35 Basseterre 36 Ivan Stepanovich Koniev 37 Gianni Rivera 38 Bernard Hopkins 39 Dieter Baumann 40 Paddleball 41 Mima Jausovec 42 Montreal 43 Leeds 44 Derek Quinnell 45 Harvestman 46 Haryana 47 Markhor 48 Marie de' Medici 49 Jena 50 Ptah 51 Psilocybe 52 Marcel Proust 53 Salamis 54 South Africa 55 Torres Del Paine National Park 56 Guacharo Caves 57 Phai Lom Temple 58 Lake Lanao 59 Marble Mountains 60 Bahamas

Friday, November 23, 2007

Non-Trivia Related Exercises in Killing Time no. 1

My Musical Flavas
I once said: "There should be more Fugazi questions" in British quizzes, something Stainer quoted back to me at Blackpool. Nope, scratch that. Make that at least one every year or so, just to bring us slightly more into line with continental quizzes where alternative and indie rock is deemed acceptable subject matter because they have the catholic taste of the international about them. Unlike, say, the sodding Zutons, the abysmal Automatic or the bloody Subways or whatever rubbish crappy English indie acts that happen to creep into the British musical mainstream consciousness and stay there for as long as their relatively big hit stays on radio playlists.

This would also counteract the blatant number one, ye old UK charts of yore and Radio 2 bias of popular music questions, which are far too singles rather than albums-driven too. Some of us know of many musical worlds of strange harmony and rhythm, discordant and avant-garde stylings, sometimes dancey and murk-ridden, all well covered in the music press and representing the lifeblood of any Glastonbury line-up, in great, sometimes fanatical detail. These are practically ignored in every quiz I do, except at the Europeans (Regina Spektor! Sahara Hotnights! Hurray!) and the Worlds (Husker Du! Even Bonnie Raitt! I own a couple of the latter songstress's albums). The brilliant Flemish individual championship questions we got after the prize presentation on Sunday even had a Hayseed Dixie question (for those who don't know a US bluegrass band - duelling banjos and all - who play rock covers like Black Dog and Ace of Spades; i.e. one of those bands the hipsters and musically bored latch onto for five minutes just for a touch of novelty). God bless whoever set that one.

But guess what? There was a Fugazi question, along with one on Bright Eyes, asked during the final of the Aspirational Cup at this year's EQC. They got us two bonus attempts which made me feel a tad triumphant. Come to think of it I did stick Bright Eyes - Conner Oberst's band - in a trash starter last year, but that was connected with a Shirley Temple and Art Garkfunkel, so at least I am doing my bit. Even if that little bit is almost insignificant, you hope that by putting such names out there you can start the ball rolling.

And I say this: if the ball keeps on rolling, one day we will win.

(When I say "we" what I naturally mean is my tastes and those of people my age, or okay, those lucky folks I call my friends, will emerge victorious over Winnie Atwell, Russ Conway and, urgh, every 60s and 70s band whose name elicits nary a flicker of recognition in my already music-packed brain. Or, perhaps, what I really mean is I will conspire to ensure my "eclectic" - yep, I said that twatty word "eclectic", but you know I mean it; I live in a world ringed by five-feet heaps of CDs - and deeply held musical prejudices conquer those of everyone else's. Ha ha! No longer will they stay neglected. Mogwai-ignorants will suffer*. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.)

Why am I writing about the above, in a totally trivia-related way? Because, whilst I was waiting during the dead hours before I could catch the Underground tube transport to Liverpool Street from where I will get a Stansted airport train and then travel on the aeroplane over the sea to the fair country known as Norway for my shortest holiday (like ever!), I decided to kill time by doing what I used to regularly do in my early blogger days (all those centuries ago *sheds a nostalgic tear*) and compile a Top 50 of my current favourite songs from a load of bands most of you won't have heard of and realised there was some relevant quiz observation to make in conjunction with my personal chart. So I lied. In a manner of writing it did become trivia-tainted. Apologies. It was an utterly unexpected diversion.

* denotes full-on tongue-in-cheek mode, so no protest e-mails or comments please. They will be deleted. FOREVER. It will be as if they never existed and you had totally wasted your time in putting fingertips to keyboard. Okay? Don't even try it.

Here's that list. I love lists. Lists lists lists. Here the list goes down the page ... Listy listy list. (And, if truth be told, I wouldn't even dare to ask questions on 85 per cent of the following acts even if my musical prejudices had finally handed a premier ass-kicking to all others')

Top 50 November 2007
1 What Must Be Done - Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
2 Cigarettes Will Kill You - Ben Lee
3 Kissing the Lipless - Pickin' On Series (Bluegrass Tribute)
4 Catherine (Let a Positive) - Lilys
5 Secret Circus - Emmy the Great
6 Tonto - Battles
7 Refuge of the Roads - Joni Mitchell
8 Eureka - to my boy
9 Heinrich Maneuver - Interpol
10 Name Your Poison - Christopher Lee
11 Some Are White Light - Caspian
12 Hazey Jane II - Nick Drake
13 Who Found Who's Hair in Who's Bed - Owen
14 I'm Not Sayin' - Nico
15 I've Got The Rock And Roll For You - The Lassie Foundation
16 Never Light - Thurston Moore
17 Far From Refuge - God is an Astronaut
18 There is a Light - Great Lake Swimmers
19 Way Down in the Hole - The Blind Boys of Alabama
20 This Shameless Moment - Saxon Shore
21 Just One of Those Things - Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson
22 Woke Up New - Mountain Goats
23 She Doesn't Get It - The Format
24 Lovers Crime - The Hero Cycle
25 The Most Beautiful Dead Girl - The Motion Sick
26 Fewer Broken Pieces - David Bazan
27 Forgiven - Denison Witmer
28 Do You Still Hate Me? - Jawbreaker
29 Kill Our City - Dirty On Purpose
30 Superheroes of BMX - Mogwai
31 Ships - New Ruins
32 A Postcard to Nina - Jens Lekman
33 Creatures of Habit (Theme from the big spill) - Swearing at Motorists
34 Pachuca Sunrise - Minus the Bear
35 Like Trees We Fall - HollAnd
36 While You Were Sleeping - Elvis Perkins
37 Day - Bill Callahan
38 Game of Pricks - Guided by Voices
39 Anna Lee - Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
40 Wait for the Summer - Yeasayer
41 When I Say Go - The 1900s
42 Cellphone's Dead - Beck
43 Scenic World - Beirut
44 We're All Going To Die - Malcolm Middleton
45 The Promise - When in Rome
46 Wolves - Phosphorescent
47 How Do You Tell a Child That Someone Has Died - The Black Lips
48 The Ocean Always Wins - She's Spanish, I'm American
49 Andres Segovia Interests Me - The Fucking Champs
50 Mouthwash - Kate Nash

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This is BH141!

300 posts old

My Blogger Dashboard tells me I have written 300 posts. And, verily, I sigh a imperceptible sigh of relief at keeping this blog alive for 18 months. And then I ponder the amount of hours lost in its maintenance and upkeep and consider all the paid freelance work I have either spurned or not pursued as a result. Another sigh.

However, numbers with zeroes and sometimes fives on the end deserve some sort of recognition; a change from the usual humdrum jottings don't they?

So, as a special treat for those who come here for the purpose of filleting the blog for primo quiz factage, I decided to write as many quiz questions as I could before reaching the magic mark of 300. It being an anniversary and all. As you can see below, I didn't quite make it, but I tried my hardest before the inevitable trifecta of mental and physical enemies - boredom, astonishing fatigue and a vague feeling of the crazy - finally took hold and forced me to give up. It's an exercise everyone should try in the future, though, obviously you and they won't because people like retaining a semblance of sanity. At least for the benefit of the viewing public.

1 Introduced c. 1905 by US chemist Ellen H Richards, what is the study of the improvement of human living standards by control of the environment?
2 Evolved in the 1880s, the Harvard classification is a system for classifying what?
3 What term, describing the chromosomes of a cell, was coined in 1924 by Russian geneticist GA Levitsky?
4 Which Asian ruler lives in a gold-domed palace at Nurul Imam, a building larger than the Vatican and containing 1,788 rooms?
5 The architect Santiago Calatrava is suing the city of Bilbao for 3 million Euros because it plans to have Japanese architect Arata Isozaki extend which 10-year-old glass footbridge of his design that has become a distinctive feature of the Spanish city's skyline?
6 The 13th century St Mathias church is located in the old part of which European capital city?
7 Which dance act are named after the Clive Barker film they scored when they were in a band was called Freur?
8 Who wrote the lyrics to 10CC's I'm Not in Love after his wife complained that he didn't tell her he loved her enough?
9 Which Hindu festival is celebrated at the end of the month of Ashwayuja (usually October/November)?
10 The largest known meteorite - 2.7m across, composed of an iron and nickel alloy and weighing nearly 60 tonnes - was found in Namibia in 1920. What name has it been given?
11 Which 390m wide asteroid is due to pass close to Earth in 2036?
12 The Horton Plains slender loris and the Western-purple faced langur have been declared two of the most endangered species. Which island country is their home?
13 Which elite division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a force of about 15,000, has become the first ever time a state's military has been put on America's terrorist list?
14 On which Baltic island was film-maker Ingmar Bergman recently buried?
15 The 19th century Karaite synagogue is located in which former Soviet republic's capital?
16 Which location in Atlantic was the site of a pipe bombing during the 1996 Olympics?
17 First performed in Rome in c.1631, the opera Il Sant'Alessio (about St Alex, the son of a rich Roman household who may never have existed) was composed by whom?
18 Which film director was murdered by 26-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri?
19 Founded by French journalist Bernard Coutaz (who remains in charge), which independent classical music label began releasing records in 1958?
20 Which legendary Senegalese band, reformed in 2001 after a 16-year break and featuring musical director and guitarist Barthelemy Attisso, have released an album of new songs entitled Made in Dakar?
21 In London in 1988, who became the first dancer in exile to guest with her home company, the Kirov?
22 Best known for producing the posters for Sarah Bernhardt in the rich curvilinear Art Nouveau style of the 1890s, which Czech artist and designer returned to Prague in 1914 where he painted a series of 20 monumental pictures, The Slav Epic?
23 Which Italian patriot and revolutionary went to Paris in 1858 to try to assassinate Napoleon III, whom he believed to have betrayed the Italian cause, and killed ten people in his attempt, though the emperor survived and he was executed?
24 Which US trombonist and bandleader formed the Sunshine Orchestra in 1922 and wrote such songs as Muskrat Ramble?
25 What sort of craftsman was the 16th century Frenchman, Bernard Palissy?
26 Into which aristocratic Athenian family was Pericles born in c.490BC?
27 Born in Lodz, Poland, in 1887, which pianist took US citizenship in 1946 and published his autobiographical My Young Years in 1973 and My Many Years in 1980?
28 Which American golfer, who took up the sport as a teenager on his doctor's recommendation to improve a lung condition, won the US Masters in its second year in 1935, helping establish the event worldwide?
29 What cup is contested for in the women's world team bridge championship?
30 How many squares are there on an Othello board?
31 Positioned in the front of the thigh, what is the longest muscle in the human body?
32 Mikhail Bulgakov based his play A Cabal of Hypocrites on the life of which playwright?
33 Which author and illustrator has won the Caldecott award for children's literature twice: for Jumanji in 1982 and The Polar Express in 1986, both books since adapted into major Hollywood films?
34 Which European capital city is on the Daugava river?
35 Also known by the surname Castelli, which 17th century Italian-Swiss architect's buildings in Rome include the churches, San Carlo of the Four Fountains/alle Quattro Fontane and Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, as well as the basilica Sant'Agnese in Agone?
36 Begun in 1386 under the Viscontis and not completed until a century ago, what is the world's largest Gothic cathedral (the only larger cathedral in any style is St Peter's in Rome)?
37 What annual event did John Steinbeck call "an emotion, a turbulence, an explosion ... one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things I have ever experienced"?
38 Chateau d'Oex in the Swiss canton of Vaud is known for what kind of winter alpine festival?
39 Located in Gunung National Park on Borneo, what is said to be the world's largest cave system: comprised of 27 interconnecting caves and 64 miles of passages?
40 Which Spanish violin virtuoso composed the Andalusian Romance and the Jota Aragonesa, while Eduoard Lalo wrote a violin concerto especially for him?
41 Rio de Janeiro is located on which bay?
42 What name did Wilhelm Reich give to the primal force or energy in the atmosphere which he claimed to discover in 1939?
43 Which Bertolt Brecht play is based on the 13th century literary work Hui Lan Ji?
44 The Truong Son Strategic Supply Route was better known by what name?
45 Inhabiting an area that stretched from New York to Ohio, which Native American group were the most numerous in the Iroquois Confederacy and also gave their name to a series of waterfalls?
46 The father of Obatala and Odudua, who is the Yoruba creator god?
47 In American football, who is given the Davey O'Brien Award?
48 Which famous naval battle is named for an island located near the Gulfs of Patra and Corinth?
49 Which Italian sculptor's most famous work is perhaps 1913's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space: a depiction of a striding figure deformed by speed?
50 Which moon of Jupiter is named after a nymph Zeus loved and transformed into a bear?
51 Once known by the names Hughesovka and Stalino, which city in the eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius River was recently the site of a methane explosion that killed more than 80 miners?
52 In which Bangladeshi delta - the largest mangrove forest in the world - did Cyclone Sidr recently make landfall, killing more than 3,000?
53 What two-word name was given to the dozen or so British intelligence officers killed by the IRA on Bloody Sunday 1920; reprisals leading to the Auxiliaries of the Royal Irish Constabulary opening fire on spectators and players at a Gaelic football match at Croke Park?
54 Which conflict ended on November 21, 1962 after the Chinese People's Liberation Army declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew to the pre-war Line of Actual Control and returned all territory they had captured during the war?
55 The United Issarak Front declared which country independent on June 19, 1950?
56 In Paris in 1783, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, achieved what transport first?
57 November 21, 1775 saw the first performance of whose play, The Duenna, at the Covent Garden Theatre?
58 Broadcast for the first time on November 21, 1941, what US radio programme would later become the longest running daily radio broadcast in history and the most famous live blues radio show?
59 Which Caribbean island nation was hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history on November 21, 2004; the northern half of the island receiving the most damage, especially the town of Portsmouth?
60 Which informal French-based group of financial officials from 19 of the world's richest countries agreed to write off 80 per cent ($100 billion) of Iraq's external debt on November 21, 2004?
61 Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909), the Spanish composer of such works as Lagrima and Recuerdos de la Alhambra, is often considered to be the father of the modern playing style of which musical instrument?
62 What papal name was taken by Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, the man who succeeded Pope Pius X in 1914?
63 The subject of a 1980 film, which American Old West lawman, outlaw and assassin was hanged in Cheyenne, Wyoming on the day before his 43rd birthday in November 20, 1903 for a murder he probably did not commit?
64 Nicknamed both "Killer" and "Deacon Jim", which American outlaw of the Wild West was lynched by a mob of enraged citizens over the assassination of former US Marshall Allen Augusts Bobbitt of Ada, Oklahoma on April 19, 1909?
65 Sigfrid Edstrom, one of the key organisers of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, was elected the first president of which sporting body in the same year (a position he held until 1946)?
66 Known as "Sid", which American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears (in the National Football League) from 1939-50 led his team to four championships during that time, and was instrumental in his side's record-setting win of 73-0 vs. the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL title game?
67 One of the most famous 20th century Finnish composers after Sibelius, which Finn (1921-96) wrote the opera The Last Temptations that has received over 500 performances worldwide and is considered by many to be his country's most distinguished national opera?
68 Based on Irish mythology, which JM Synge play - first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1910 - was completed by WB Yeats and Synge's widow Molly Allgood, and centred on the titular ill-fated, beautiful heroine; her lover Naisi, son of Usna and Conchubor, the High King of Ulster?
69 A modern adaptation of Diderot's book Jacques le fataliste et son maitre (published 1796), the 1945 film Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne was directed by which movie-maker, whose second feature it was?
70 Considered the most important French playwright of the 18th century, who was the author of such comedies as Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard (1730), Le Triomphe de l'Amour (1732) and Les Fausses Confidences, as well as two important albeit unfinished novels: La Vie de Marianne and Le Paysan parvenu?
71 Which Australian composer's pieces include the Mass of Christ the King (his largest choral work written in 1977), an orchestral song cycle based on Irish Murdoch's A Year of Birds that was premiered in 1995, the ballet Sun Into Darkness and the opera The Happy Prince?
72 Which American musician, born in 1940, has the real name Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.?
73 Born in 1935 with the name Nouhad Haddad, what is the stage name of the Lebanese singer nicknamed variously "Our [Lebanese] Ambassador to the Stars", "The Arabs' Ambassador", "Neighbour to the Moon" and "The Poet of the Voice"?
74 A type of epithet referring to the bearer's first born son or daughter, what honorific is widely used in place of given names through the Arabic world; where, for example, Abu (father) or umm (mother) precedes the son's name in a genitive construction (the idafa)?
75 Known for such songs as Enta Omri/You Are My Life, the recorded version of which lasts 60 minutes, which Egyptian singer, songwriter and actress born Fatima Ibrahim al-Baltagi in 1904 (died 1975) is known as the "Star of the East" and more than three decades after her death is still recognised as the Arab world's most famous and distinguished singer of the last century?
76 The location of the oldest and most known cultural event or international festival in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, which town in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, altitude 3850 feet/1170m, sited east of the Litani river is famous for its exquisitely detailed but monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period when, then known as Heliopolis, it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the Empire?
77 Olympic gold winner in the individual sabre at the 1972 Munich games as well as winner in the team sabre in 1968, '72, '76 and 1980, which hugely successful left-handed sabreur of the Soviet era and pupil of Mark Rakita and David Tyshler was famed for his aggressive style and was one of the best known exponents of the "Russian preparation" or the "one-and-a-half tempo attack"?
78 What is the English translation of the name of Icelandic record label Smekkleysa, one of the country's most important labels and former home of The Sugarcubes?
79 A genre of electronica derived from dance records of the 1980s and early 1990s, what do the initials in the name IDM stand for?
80 Capital of the namesake "Province", which city in Tuscany situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plain near but not on the Tyrrhenian Sea is known for such sites as the Duomo di San Martino (St Martin's Cathedral), the Casa di Puccini, the Palazzo Pfanner, and is perhaps most famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls, although the city has expanded beyond their boundaries?
81 In US history, what two-word name refers to the unprecedented wealth polarisation and wasteful displays of riches and excessive opulence displayed by America's upper-class post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction era (1870s-90s)?
82 Who produced his first surreal painting, The Lost Jockey/Le Jockey Perdu, in 1926?
83 Which 6th century monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai composed The Ladder of Divine Ascent/Ladder of Paradise/Scala Climax Paradisi, an important work for monasticism in Eastern Christianity, at the request of John, Abbot of Raithu?
84 Which Byzantine historian of the late 11th century's major work is the Synopsis of Histories, covering the reigns of the Byzantine emperors from the death of Nicephorus I in 811 to deposition of Michael IV in 1057, thus continuing the chronicles of Theophanes Confessor?
85 Largely composed of the mineral talc and rich in magnesium, by what other name do we know "steatite" which is produced by dynamothermal metamorphism at the areas where tectonic plates are subducted and has been used in India for centuries as a soft medium for carving and by welders and fabricators as a marker because it remains visible when heat is applied due to its resistance to heat?
86 Issued by emperors Constantine I and Licinius in 313, which letter proclaimed religious toleration throughout the Roman Empire?
87 Probably made in Constantinople for the 10th anniversary in 388 of Emperor Theodosius I's reign and now preserved in Madrid's Real Academia de Historia, what sort of object is the 29 inch in diameter object, the Missorium of Theodosius I?
88 Succeeding Justin I, who became the Eastern Roman Emperor on August 9, 527? And who was his consort?
89 Begun by Bishop Ecclesio in 527 under the rule of the Ostrogoths and completed by the city's 27th Bishop, Maximian, which church is the most famous monument of Ravenna and one of the most important examples of Byzantine Art and architecture in western Europe?
90 A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, the Euphrasian Basilica is a minor basilica in which Croatian city known in Italian as Parenzo?
91 Preserved at the Louvre, which Byzantine imperial diptych dating from Late Antiquity (first half 6th century) is a layer of ivory made up of four plates carved in the classical late Theodosian style representing the topic of the emperor victor and is a notable historical document because it is linked to queen Brunhilda of Austrasia which makes clear the relationships of Brunhilda with the Byzantine emperor in order to ransom her grandson Athanagild and has a list of names of Frankish kings (all relatives of the queen) on its back?
92 Rebuilt after a fire in the mid-7th century, the church of Hagios Demetrios is found in which city that has St Demetrius for its patron saint?
93 What Greek name, literally "not-handmade", refers to a particular kind of icon alleged to have come into existence miraculously and not by a human painter?
94 Known to Orthodox Christians as the Mandylion (a Byzantine Greek word not applied in any other context), which holy icon consisting of a square or rectangle of cloth according to Christian legend had the miraculous image of Jesus's face imprinted on it, making it the first icon? It is named after an ancient city now known as Urfa (in south-eastern Turkey) and disappeared during the French Revolution.
95 Since transformed into a museum, which former Eastern Orthodox Church located in the outer courtyard of Istanbul's Topkapi Palace ranks as the first church built in Constantinople and was rebuilt in the 760s following its destruction by earthquake in the 740s?
96 Acquired in 1870 and the first piece to enter the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection, California is an allegorical sculpture by which artist?
97 Known for their carving 15-foot high memorial wooden poles, the Asmat people are an ethnic group of which island?
98 Named for a Dutch explorer who passed through the area on his 1909-10 expedition, which World Heritage Site in the Indonesian province of Papua is the largest national park in south-east Asia?
99 Renowned for his work in patterns and offset lithography, which US painter and printmaker (b.1936) produced the Black Paintings series (1958-60), pieces characterised by regular bands of black paint separated by very thin pinstripes of unpainted canvas and including Die Fahne Hoch! (1959) which takes its name from the first line of the Horst-Wessel-Lied, as well as the Irregular Polygon series (1965-7) and the Protractor Series (1967-71)?
100 The Kiev-born Chudnovsky brothers - first names David and Gregory - are renowned academics in which field?
101 Spirometry is the most common of the PFTs or tests for measuring the function of what?
102 What sort of pulmonary disease is COPD? And what sort of disease is COAD?
103 What Greek-derived medical term describes the abnormal proliferation of cells in a tissue or organ?
104 Published in New York City 1942-44, VVV was a journal devoted to disseminating which cultural movement?
105 Which German artist produced the 1921 painting The Elephant Celebes?
106 Known in its native language as Tenshi no Tamago, which 1985 Japanese anime Tokuma Shoten film production was a practically dialogue-less collaboration between artist Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii that followed the daily life of an unnamed young girl in a surreal world of darkness and shadows?
107 Martinique's airport at Le Lamentin was renamed in honour of which French poet, author, politician and former mayor of Fort de France on January 15, 2007, also known for writing Discours sur le colonialisme/Discourse on Colonialism (1953) and a radical adaptation of The Tempest for black audiences titled Une Tempete (1968)?
108 One of Chile's best known painters, which artist (1911-2002), whose paintings include Psychological Morphology (1938) and Invasion of the Night (1941), is especially associated with the term "inscape", applied to artworks usually conveying some notion of representing the artist's psyche as a kind of interior landscape?
109 At which November 20, 1700 battle, named after the 3rd largest city of Estonia, did Charles XII of Sweden defeat Tsar Peter the Great?
110 In November 1789, what became the first US state to ratify the Bill of Rights?
111 The story of Moby Dick was partly inspired by an 80-ton sperm whale ramming which whaling ship from Nantucket in 1820?
112 Named after the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC), which series of Stalinist and anti-Semitic show trials began on November 20, 1952?
113 What 16-bit graphical operating environment, its producer's first attempt to implement a multi-tasking graphical user interfaced-based operating environment on the PC platform, was released on November 20, 1985?
114 A priest with conservative leanings imprisoned for his beliefs, which French entomologist (1762-1833), whose works describing insects assigning many of the insect taxa, published Precis des caracteres generiques des insectes, disposes dans un ordre naturel in 1796?
115 A protopope (1620/21 to 1682) of Kazan Cathedral on Red Square who led opposition to Patriarch Nikon's reforms of the Russian Orthodox Church, which Russian priest and writer's autobiography and letters to the tsar, Boyarnya Morozova and other Old Believers are considered masterpieces of 17th century Russian literature?
116 The author of such highly symbolist poems as Song After Harvest and translated English works like Arcadia Borealis and The North! To the North!, which Swedish poet won the Nobel Prize in Literature posthumously in 1931 having refused it in 1918?
117 Eventually completed in 1967 when it included two parts named Krutoi marshrut I/Harsh Route and Krutoi marshrut II/Steep Route, Journey into the Whirlwind is the magnum opus memoir of which dissident Russian female historian and writer?
118 If "corps de ballet" is the lowest of the seven female ballet dancer ranks, what three-word term described the highest?
119 In modern day England, which ballerina was the only performer to attain such a rank, a status she still holds even in death?
120 Which French film director's works include Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des orfevres (1947), Manon (1949) and Le Mystere Picasso (1956)?
121 Which Japanese director, whose first film the 1946 puppet play A Girl at Dojo Temple/Musume Dojoji was confiscated by the US Occupation authorities under the pretence it was too traditional, first gained Western recognition with such bleak anti-war films as The Burmese Harp and Fire on the Plains?
122 In which capital city did a failed ghetto uprising organised by the Fareinigte Partizaner Organizacje (United Partisan Organisation) - the first Jewish partisan unit in Nazi-occupied Europe - take place on September 1, 1943?
123 Which city of c.20,000 people, known in Turkish as Akcahisar, is famed as the hometown of Albania's national hero Skanderberg, from where the Ottomans were successfully resisted for nearly 35 years (1443-1478)?
124 Which indigenous group of Panama and Columbia, whose name in their native language is Dule or Tule meaning "people", are often mistakenly identified as being related to the extinct Cundara people and live in three politically autonomous comarcas or reservations in Panama and a few small villages in Colombia?
125 Winner of 33 singles titles, which Granada-born Spanish tennis player defeated the top-seeded Jimmy Connors in the finals of the US Open to win his only Grand Slam title in 1975?
126 Which Czech tennis player's greatest success happened on the clay courts of the French Open where he won the first of three Grand Slam titles in 1970 when he beat the Croatian-born Zeljko Franulovic in straight sets (retaining the title against Nastase the next year)?
127 Which left-handed Argentine clay court specialist won four Grand Slam events: the French Open and US Open in 1977 and the 1978 and 1979 Australian Open titles?
128 Meaning "interpretation" in Arabic, what term describes a Qur'anic exegesis or commentary? One who writes them is called a mufassir.
129 The first period of the Mesozoic Era, which geological period extending c.251 to 199 million years ago was named in 1834 by Friedrich Von Alberti from the three distinct layers - red beds, capped by chalk, followed by black shales - that are found throughout Germany and NW Europe?
130 The Egyptians, FD Amr Bey (during the 1930s) and Mahmoud Karim (in the 1940s), were stars of which sport?
131 Which sport derives its name from a Hindi word meaning "holding of breath"?
132 Given the acronym NAM, which international organisation of states (representing nearly 2/3 of the UN and 55 per cent of the world population) stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 that its purpose was to "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, Zionism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics"?
133 What thermoplastic material is a table tennis ball made of? And according to international rules, what must it weigh?
134 Which Austrian table tennis player was the last non-Chinese world men's singles champion in 2003?
135 Which Hungarian player became the first men's world table tennis champion in 1926?
136 Which memorably-named Danish writer's 1902 novel Mikael was made into the film The Wings/Vingarne by director Mauritz Stiller and adapted for the screen again eight years later by Carl Theodor Dreyer in his 1924 movie Michael, now considered a landmark in gay silent cinema?
137 According to the writings of Roman Aulus Gellius, in c.400BC which Greek Pythagorean - arguably the founder of mechanical mathematics - carried out the first experiments in rocketry when he propelled a wooden bird along wires using steam?
138 In 1903, which Russian high school maths teacher published The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices, the first serious scientific work on space travel?
139 Named after a key besieged Moroccan city located next to the Atlantic, which conflict is sometimes called the Forgotten War/la Guerra Olvidada in Spain and saw a series of armed incursions into Spanish West Africa by Moroccan insurgents and indigenous Sahwari rebels begin in October 1957 and end in June 1958?
140 Born on the island of Chios, which 82-year-old Greek composer is known internationally for scoring such films as Zorba the Greek, Z and Serpico?
141 Which 11th century monastery and UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on Chios?
142 Known in Japan as Justice Gakuen/Justice Academy, which Capcom video game series sees students and teachers fighting each other in the name of justice gave its name to a post-hardcore US band?
143 Marmaduke "Moose" Mason, a student at Riverdale High School, is a character from which comics series?
144 Which science-fiction rock opera by The Who, intended as the follow-up to Tommy, was recorded in 1970 yet abandoned in favour of the traditional rock album Who's Next?
145 Which Hollywood-based record label was co-founded by singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942?
146 Striker Mario Gomez plays for which international football side?
147 The theologian Abdallah ibn Yasin (d.1059) formed which Berber dynasty alliance from the tribes of the Lamtuna, the Masufa and the Judala, with himself as spiritual leader and Yahya ibn Umar as military commander?
148 Sometimes cited as the Asian band most likely to crossover to North America, which Filipino alternative rock act - fronted by singer and keyboardist Armi Millare - produced the 2006 album Fragmented and soundtracked the recent film Ang Pamana/The Inheritance?
149 Manufactured by the Mott's Company, which trademark denotes a truly disgusting drink made mostly of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate and reconstituted dried clam broth and finished off with a dash of high fructose corn syrup?
150 "Melodeath" is a three-word contraction of which music genre's name?
151 Typically composed of 70-75% silicon dioxide and 12-15% aluminium oxide, which naturally occurring mineral is an amorphous volcanic glass with a relatively high water content typically formed by hydration of obsidian, and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently?
152 Derived from the Greek for "to boil" and "stone", the term for which minerals with a micro-porous structure was originally coined in the 18th century by Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who observed, upon rapidly heating a natural mineral, that the stones began to dance about as the water evaporated?
153 The name for which field of scientific study was first used by Jean-Andre Deluc in 1778 and introduced as a fixed term by Horace-Benedict de Saussure the following year?
154 Supposed by some to have received his surname from a town in Cilicia, Asia Minor and by others from a Roman family, which biographer of the Greek philosophers is best remembered for his work Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, written in Greek, perhaps during the first half of the 3rd century AD?
155 What was the surname of the French entrepreneur brothers, Rene, Aime and Marius, who set up the first bicycle manufacturing company in 1864?
156 Known in Italy as alici when they are fresh, the Engraulis encrasicolus is the European and commercial variety of which fish?
157 An amino acid phycotoxin associated with certain algal blooms, domoic acid ingestion causes ASP. What does ASP stand for?
158 Which name comes from the Gaelic for "little king"?
159 Nicknamed "The Red Army", which rugby union team plays at Thomond Park and Musgrave Park?
160 Which Galician football side plays at the Estadio Municipal de Riazor?
161 The Jaffna Peninsula is an area in the north of which country?
162 Which rock band made their album debut with 1980's On Through The Night?
163 Developed to explain sedimentary glacial deposits at tropical latitudes during the Cryogenian period (850-630 million years ago) and other enigmatic features of the Cryogenian geological record, which controversial hypothesis proposes that the Earth was entirely covered by ice in part of the said period of the Proterozoic eon, and perhaps at other times in our planet's history?
164 Which prominent architect of the 1840s, sometimes described as the first native born American to become a professional architect, designed the Washington Monument, although it was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after his death?
165 The 555-feet high Washington Monument took the title of the world's tallest structure from which German building?
166 Founded in the early 1980s by Jerry Miner as Hi-Toro, which computer company is most famous for developing a namesake computer that was code-named Lorraine?
167 Given the Maori name Heretaunga, which region of New Zealand on the east coast of North Island is home to the cities of Napier and Hastings and is recognised worldwide for its award-winning wines?
168 On April 15, 1997, whose no. 42 jersey was retired by Major League Baseball meaning that no future player on any major league team could wear it?
169 Which mixed synod was called by Pope Urban II in November 1095 to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land?
170 Which French naturalist (1727-73), best known for accompanying Louis Antoine de Bougainville on his 1766-69 voyage of circumnavigation, gave his name to a particular kind of dolphin, whose other common names include the Skunk Dolphin and Piebald Dolphin, that he observed in the Strait of Magellan?
171 Acknowledged by Stravinsky as the model for his Capriccio for piano and orchestra, which German Romantic composer (1786-1826) produced such works as the opera Euryanthe, the Konzertstuck (Concert Piece) in F minor, the unfinished comic opera Die drei Pintos and one of the earliest song cycles, Die Temperamente beim Verluste der Geliebten?
172 Which 19th century composer's lost works include Estelle et Nemorin and Le Passage de la mer Rouge/The Crossing of the Red Sea?
173 Who composed the popular 1943 orchestral work, Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber?
174 The term "cladoptosis" refers to what phenomenon in botany?
175 Belonging to the order Siluriformes, Driftwood, Mekong giant (the heaviest), the wels (the longest) and the Striped Raphael (capable of producing sounds) are types of which fish?
176 Worn by Spanish women almost a century ago and the current national costume of Panama (woman use two during their entire lifetime: one before aged 16 and one at adulthood), what item of clothing is a Pollera?
177 Which 131-mile long, 20-mile wide range in the south-eastern section of the Appalachian Mountains has its highest point at Black Mountain (1263 metres above sea level) near Lynch in Harlan County, Kentucky?
178 One of the five local and principal Protestant churches or Hauptkirchen, the base of the spire of St Katharinen or St Catherine's church dates from 13th century and is the oldest building preserved in which German city?
179 The Dark-mantled and the Light-mantled are two species of which small albatross belonging to the genus Phoebetria?
180 Spitamen, Kulob, Matchin, Asht, Norak, Jomi, Sarband, Panj, Rushon, Moskva and Vanj are some of the 59 districts of which country?
181 On his death in 434, which ruler of the Hunnic Empire left his nephews, Attila and Bleda (sons of his brother Mundzuk), in control over all the united Hun tribes?
182 Who succeeded Attila on the latter's death in 453, though his reign lasted only two years?
183 The Burswood Dome, aka the Burswood Entertainment Complex, is located near which Australian city?
184 Harness racing can be conducted in which two differing gaits?
185 Possibly dating from the 11th centuryy and partly the work of Arab scientist and mathematician al-Zarqali (aka Arzachel), the Tables of Toledo was a compilation of what sort of data of then unprecedented accuracy?
186 In electronics, telecommunications and computer networks, what term is used to refer to a process where more than one analogue message signal or digital data stream are combined into one signal; the aim being to share an expensive resource?
187 The capital and seat of government until 1955 when it was transported to Thimphu, which city of Bhutan was ravaged by fire in 1827; an event that resulted in much of the country's historical records being destroyed?
188 Named for the mammal that is the main constituent of its diet, which bird of prey native to sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia and New Guinea has the scientific name Macheiramphus alcinus?
189 Featuring an RAF war dog named Laddie, what was the 1945 sequel to the original Lassie film, Lassie Come Home?
190 A ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, which Chinese-born poker player won the WSOP championship event in 1987 and 1988 and is nicknamed the "Orient Express"?
191 What is the largest stadium in the world with every seat under cover?
192 Survarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport are international airports serving which capital city?
193 Born Huben Hubenov in 1973 in Postnik, Bulgaria, which 4 feet, 11 inch-tall Turkish sportsman is one of only four weightlifters to win three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics (1996 54 kg, 2000 56 kg, 2004 56 kg) and also won five world championships, nine European championships and broke more than 20 world records at 52 kg, 54 kg and 56 kg combined?
194 J Michael Straczynski was the creator, executive producer and head writer (penning 91 of the 110 episodes) for which TV series, and also created its spin-off Crusade?
195 Which AC Sparta Praha striker top scored at the 1934 World Cup with five goals for the Czechoslovakia team?
196 Also the heaviest of the halogens, what is the rarest naturally-occurring element?
197 Lt. Horatio Caine is the lead character in which US TV series?
198 First seen in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump, which manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto centres on a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable titular adolescent ninja (whose surname is Uzumaki) who constantly searches for recognition and seeks to become Hokage, acknowledged as the leader and strongest of all ninja in his village?
199 Which squash fruit is used in the Middle East in such sweet delicacies as halawa yaqtin, and in south Asia where it is cooked with butter, sugar and spices in the dish kadu ka halwa?
200 The site of the final battle between Bulgarian rebels led by Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadzha and the Turks in 1868, which historical peak in the Central Stara Planina, Bulgaria, stands 1441 metres high?
201 Also known under such pseudonyms as Walery Tomicki, Jozef Maskoff and Omega, what is the most familiar name of the Polish writer, Krakow drama school founder and stage actress (1857-1921) who wrote over 30 plays, of which the tragic-farce Moralnosc pani Dulskiej/The Morality of Mrs Dulska is her best known work and is regarded as a landmark of early modernist Polish drama?
202 The Forest tube-nosed bat is only found in which country?
203 Now held by David Laws, what was Paddy Ashdown's old seat when he was an MP?
204 An important figure in the development of the modern woodcut, which Swiss painter, graphic artist and sometime author (1865-1925) produced such early conventional works as 1885's Portrait of Monsieur Ursenbach before progressing on to the series of ten graphic art interiors dealing with tension between men and women, Intimites/Intimacies, published in Revue Blanche in 1898, and completing his last woodcut series, This is War, in 1915?
205 Known in Pashto as Abasin ("Father of Rivers") and in Tibetan as Sengge Chu ("Lion River"), which 2000-mile long river originates in the Tibetan plateau in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar, its source being the confluence of the Sengge and Gar rivers that drain the Nganglong Kangri and Gangdise Shan mountain ranges?
206 Its name referring to a small bite presented before a large meal, what term describes a bridge treatment that refers to a system of bidding where the second suit bid is always longer, or at least as long, as the first?
207 Which country gained independence from France on November 22, 1943, a date commemorated every year as Independence Day?
208 The traditional Ukrainian musical instrument, the Kobza, belongs to which family?
209 Born in Rouen in 1643, which French explorer claimed the entire Mississippi basin for his country and was slain by mutineer Pierre Duhaut during another search for the aforementioned river in 1687?
210 Which English writer's lesser known works include the 1859 novella The Lifted Veil and Impressions of Theophrastus (1879), as well as such poems as The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Stradivarius (1873, A College Breakfast Party (1879) and The Death of Moses (1879)?
211 Which man, said to have died at the age of 152 in 1653 after seeing ten monarchs on the throne, is buried in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey?
212 Er ... that's it I'm giving up. End of the road. I was more than halfway there, then I was living on a prayer, but now my brain is kaput. No distance left to run.





Answers to BH141
1 Euthenics 2 Stars based on their spectral type 3 Karyotype 4 Sultan of Brunei 5 Campo Volantin 6 Budapest (Buda being the old bit) 7 Underworld 8 Eric Stewart 9 Diwali (the festival of lights) 10 The Hoba 11 Apophis 12 Sri Lanka 13 Quds 14 Faro 15 Kiev 16 Centennial Park 17 Stefano Landi 18 Theo van Gogh 19 Harmonia Mundi 20 Orchestra Baobab 21 Natalia Makarova 22 Alphonse Mucha 23 Felice Orsini 24 Kid Ory 25 Potter 26 Alcmaeonid 27 Artur Rubinstein 28 Gene Sarazen 29 Venice Trophy 30 64 31 Sartorius 32 Moliere 33 Chris van Allsburg 34 Riga 35 Francesco Borromini 36 Il Duomo 37 Kentucky Derby 38 Hot air ballooning 39 The Sarawak Chamber 40 Pablo de Sarasate 41 Guanabara Bay 42 Orgone 43 The Good Woman of Setzuan 44 Ho Chi Minh Trail 45 Seneca 46 Olurun 47 Best college quarterback 48 Lepanto 49 Umberto Boccioni 50 Callisto 51 Donetsk 52 Sundarbans 53 Cairo Gang 54 Sino-Indian War 55 Cambodia (led by Son Ngoc Minh) 56 First untethered hot air balloon flight (in a Montgolfier brother constructed balloon) 57 RB Sheridan 58 King Biscuit Time 59 Dominica 60 Paris Club 61 Classical guitar 62 Benedict XV 63 Tom Horn 64 Jim Miller 65 International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) 66 Sidney Luckman 67 Joonas Kokkonen 68 Deirdre of the Sorrows 69 Robert Bresson 70 Pierre de Marivuax 71 Malcolm Williamson 72 Dr. John 73 Fairuz 74 Kunya 75 Umm Kulthum 76 Baalbeck 77 Viktor Sidyak 78 Bad Taste 79 Intelligent Dance Music 80 Lucca 81 Gilded Age 82 Rene Magritte 83 John Climacus or John of the Ladder 84 John Skylitzes 85 Soapstone or soaprock 86 Edict of Milan 87 Ceremonial silver dish 88 Justinian I or Justinian the Great, Theodora 89 Basilica of San Vitale 90 Porec 91 Barberini ivory 92 Thessaloniki 93 Acheiropoieta 94 Image of Edessa 95 Hagia Eirene 96 Hiram Powers 97 New Guinea 98 Lorentz National Park 99 Frank Stella 100 Maths (but they've also built super computers) 101 Lungs (Pulmonary Function Tests) 102 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive airway disease 103 Neoplasia ("new growth") 104 Surrealism 105 Max Ernst 106 Angel's Egg 107 Aime Cesaire 108 Roberto Matta 109 Narva 110 New Jersey 111 Essex 112 Slansky trials 113 Microsoft Windows 1.0 114 Pierre Andre Latreille 115 Avvakum or Avvankum Petrov 116 Erik Axel Karlfeldt 117 Yevgenia Ginzburg 118 Prima ballerina assoluta 119 Margot Fonteyn 120 Henri-Georges Clouzot 121 Kon Ichikawa 122 Vilnius 123 Kruje 124 Kuna people 125 Manuel Orantes 126 Jan Kodes 127 Guillermo Vilas 128 Tafsir 129 Triassic 130 Squash 131 Kabaddi 132 Non-Aligned Movement 133 Celluloid, 2.7 grams 134 Werner Schlager 135 Roland Jacobi 136 Herman Bang 137 Archytas 138 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky 139 Ifni War 140 Mikis Theodorakis 141 Nea Moni 142 Rival Schools 143 Archie 144 Lifehouse 145 Capitol Records 146 Germany 147 Almoravid 148 Up Dharma Down 149 Clamato 150 Melodic death metal 151 Perlite 152 Zeolites 153 Geology 154 Diogenes Laertius 155 Olivier 156 Anchovy 157 Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning 158 Ryan 159 Munster 160 Deportivo de La Coruna 161 Sri Lanka 162 Def Leppard 163 The Snowball Earth hypothesis 164 Robert Mills 165 Cologne Cathedral 166 Amiga 167 Hawke's Bay 168 Jackie Robinson 169 Council of Clermont 170 Philbert Commercon (Commerson's Dolphin) 171 Carl Maria von Weber 172 Berlioz 173 Paul Hindemith 174 Shedding of branches 175 Catfish 176 Big skirt 177 Cumberland Mountains 178 Hamburg 179 Sooty albatross 180 Tajikistan 181 Rugila 182 Ellac 183 Perth 184 Trotting and pacing 185 Astronomical data 186 Multiplexing or muxing 187 Punakha 188 Bat Hawk 189 Son of Lassie 190 Johnny Chan 191 Wembley Stadium 192 Bangkok 193 Halil Mutlu (which means "happy" in Turkish) 194 Babylon 5 195 Oldrich Nejedly 196 Astatine 197 CSI: Miami 198 Naruto 199 Pumpkin 200 Budzludzha 201 Gabriela Zapolska 202 Japan 203 Yeovil 204 Felix Vallotton 205 Indus 206 Canape 207 Lebanon 208 Kobza 209 Robert Cavalier de La Salle 210 George Eliot 211 Thomas Parr

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

100% ... So Far

President's Cup Round 4
Oh how I laughed. And oh how I grimaced when we got the very first question of our last President's Cup match on Sunday. It was something about an alternative name for an M6 something. Well, it was about motorways. Bloody motorways. Yet, and all because Jesse had absented himself from the Cambridge team, not a single soul got it (there is always a need for a motorway king on a Sunday).

However, despite my grumbling about the inevitable cavalcade of birds, breweries and other depressing President's Cup staples (and despite my actually getting the bird question right - I'm beginning to cope with them), Sussex managed to prevail in the lion's den (aka the Oakdale Arms) to score our fourth victory out of four in this season's competition. I scored 15 - only sullied by my monstrous mistake on saying Edgar when I should have said Edmund on a King Lear question - and everyone else contributed vital answers that resulted in our 39-34 win.

Hurrah! It is all downhill from here (as Andrew of our opponents reminded us; they started with 5/5 last season and a series of disastrous ties followed).

Next up, we go back to another place of bad luck and general playing rubbishness in Oxford. Can we actually win this time, or are we always doomed to somehow muck it up in the face of the Mortimore-Billson home alliance? December 2 will tell.

President's Cup friendly 18/11/07
It seems that yes, I am getting softer in my setting ways. The match scored 43-38 to Sussex. Wow, almost like a normal match.

Unanswered questions marked * as usual.

Round 1
1a Dukhan, Umm Said and Al Wakrah are chief towns in which Middle East state and hereditary monarchy headed by an Emir?*
1b Held on Rabi I, the religious festival Mawlid al-Nabi celebrates whose birthday?
2a Which baked roll of thin pastry with a fruit filling such as apple takes its name from the German word for "whirlpool"?
2b Champions League semi-finalists in 2006, which Spanish football side play their home games at the Estadio El Madrigal?
3a Held on Sravana S 15, the Hindu festival Janamashtami celebrates whose birthday?*
3b Which dark and heavy coarse rye bread takes its name from the German for "lout"?
4a Two-time Champions League finalists, which Spanish football team play at the Mestalla?
4b Matrah, Nazwa and Salalah are chief towns in which Middle East Sultanate?

Round 2
1a Who played Archie Bunker, the American version of Alf Garnett, in the US sitcom All in the Family?
1b Which type of rocks result from the deposition of materials transported by water, wind or ice?
2a Taking its name from the Irish words for "foreigner" and "warrior", what word described an armed soldier or retainer of an ancient Irish chieftain?
2b Who plays Michael Scott, the American equivalent of David Brent, in the US version of The Office?
3a In which African country did an "October Revolution" take place in 1964?*
3b What word, describing a soldier of a light cavalry regiment in several European armies, comes from the Hungarian word for "freebooter"?
4a Which type of rocks result from volcanic activity in the Earth's crust and upper mantle?
4b In which Asian country did the "Saur Revolution" take place in 1978?*

Round 3
1a Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz raced for which Formula One team in the 2007 season?
1b The name of the computer programming language ALGOL is a contraction of which two words?
2a Which British filmmaker directed the films True Romance, The Last Boy Scout and Top Gun?
2b Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica raced for which F1 team during the last season?
3a The name of the programming language LISP is a contraction of which two words?
3b In Norse myth, which wife of Odin and mother of his children Balder, Hermod, Hoder and Tyr was the goddess of sky, marriage and motherhood?
4a The son of Njord, which Norse god of fertility, horses, sun and rain possessed a ship called Skidbladnir?*
FREY (yeah, I could have mentioned his twin sister Freya, but that might have given it away)
4b Which British director's films include Bugsy Malone, The Commitments and Evita?

Round 4
1a Set for release on November 20, the controversial new video game Shadows of War is the first game dedicated to which 20th century conflict?*
1b What is the historical significance of the contentious release date, November 20?*
2a The US physicist Theodore Maiman constructed the first working version of which device in 1960?
2b Taking place on May 14, 1264, at which battle did Simon de Montfort triumph over King Henry III's army?
3a Which French composer's works include the 1911 comic opera The Spanish Hour and the 1917 piano suite The Tomb of Couperin?*
3b Which Frenchman, who gave his name to a basic SI unit, is credited by some with inventing the galvanometer in 1834?
4a At which August 1265 battle was Simon de Montfort defeated and killed?
4b Which French composer won the Prix de Rome in 1884 with his cantata L'Enfant Prodigue and went on to produce such works as the piano pieces, Images and Preludes?*

Round 5
1a Born in 1881, which artist produced such paintings as Barefoot Girl, Customs of Aragon and Gypsy Girl on the Beach during his teenage years?
1b Aldous Huxley took the title of his novel Brave New World from which Shakespeare play?
2a Nicknamed both the "Cincinnati Flash" and "Cincinnati Cobra", which undisputed heavyweight champion from 1949-51 is the only boxer to have beaten Joe Louis in a world title fight?
2b The body that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, what do the letters CC in the intergovernmental panel known as the IPCC stand for?
3a Aldous Huxley took the title of his novel Eyeless in Gaza from a phrase in which work by John Milton?
3b Born Arnold Raymond Cream, which heavyweight boxer took on Ezzard Charles twice for the world title; losing the first but winning the second bout?
4a Named after a Japanese city, which "Protocol" on greenhouse emissions will expire in 2012?
4b Born in 1904, which artist published the novel Hidden Faces in 1944 and painted Christ of St John of the Cross seven years later?

Round 6
1a Who is the head of state of Luxembourg?
1b Situated on the namesake avenue, which London theatre is currently putting on the musical Hairspray?
2a Which Scottish explorer discovered the North Magnetic Pole during an 1829-33 expedition?
2b Who is the head of state of Liechtenstein?
3a Located next to Leicester Square underground station, which theatre is currently putting on a new production of the play Shadowlands?
3b Featured in the title of a 2003 Margaret Atwood novel, what name is given to the genus of large African and Asian antelopes that includes such rare species as the Arabian and Scimitar-horned?
4a Sharing its name with a percussion instrument, which rare forest antelope is known by the scientific name Tragelaphus euryceros and has spiralled horns and a red-brown coat with cream stripes?
4b Which Dutch explorer and navigator made three expeditions to seek the Northeast Passage, but died on his last voyage in 1597?

Round 7
1a Reknowned for his systematic and exacting work, which English archaeologist began excavating Akhetaton in Egypt in 1891?
1b The grounds of which house in Hertfordshire hosted the last Led Zeppelin UK concert with their original line-up in 1979?
2a Which American sprinter won both the men's 100m and 200m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics?
2b Host of a ITV chat show broadcast earlier this year, which British stand-up comedian adopts the persona known as "The Pub Landlord"?
3a Recently starting a run of their third series on BBC3, the characters Howard Moon and Vince Noir feature in which cult comedy?
3b Which English archaeologist gained lasting fame thanks to his 1899 to 1935 excavation of Minoan Knossos on the island of Crete?
4a Which London venue will host the much-anticipated Led Zeppelin reunion gig on November 26?
O2 ARENA or The O2
4b Which Australian athlete won the women's 100m and 200m at the 1956 Olympics?

Round 8
1a Including the cities of Allahabad, Varanasi and Agra, what is India's most populous state?*
1b In which month is Waitangi Day, the national day of New Zealand, celebrated every year?
2a Do The Bartman, The Fly by U2 and The One and Only by Chesney Hawkes were all number ones in which year?*
2b Covering 171,196 square miles, what is India's largest state in terms of area? Its capital is Bhopal and it is also home to such cities as Indore and Jabalpur.*
3a Canada Day is celebrated in the aforementioned country on the first day of which month every year?
3b Popularly known as "the Beehive", the open star cluster Praesepe is the most distinctive feature of which constellation that shares its name with an astrological sign?
4a Kaus Australis and Nunki are the brightest stars in which constellation that shares its name with an astrological sign?
4b Take That's Back for Good, Some Might Say by Oasis and Fairground by Simply Red were all number ones in which year?

Whose only opera, Saint Francois d'Assise, was given its first performance in Paris in 1983?
What did the father of the H-bomb Edward Teller call "a technological Pearl Harbor" and the then US President Eisenhower dismiss as "one small ball"?
Its design and construction overseen by Sergei Korolev, the R-5 was the Soviet Union's first what?
Which American warship was salvaged and converted into an ironclad called the CSS Virginia and on March 8, 1862 sank two Union warships in Hampton Roads?
In an action that provided one of the causes of the War of 1812, which American warship was attacked by the HMS Leopard off Cape Henry in 1807, leading to a duel between Commodores Stephen Decatur and James Barron?
Which Scottish football side plays at East End Park?
In which Scottish town is the football club Queen of the South based?
El Toro was the Mexican sidekick of which Western hero?
Whose principle states that when a body is wholly or partly immersed in a fluid it experiences an upwards force equal to the weight of fluid it displaces?
A try-scorer in the losing World Cup quarter-final against France, the All Black fly half/inside centre Luke McAlister recently moved to which English club?

Correction: Point of Machine Pedantry

The quiz machine addicts have been hitting me with correspondence concerning whether I found Trivia for Dummies on an ITBox. I may have been mistaken. It was probably a Paragon 3.

Mick, me old People's Quiz mucker for one, has e-mailed me with the following words: It's not for me, it's for Stainer (honest, guv!) but are you sure that the machine on which you played Trivia for Dummies was an ItBox? This game is a particular favourite of his and I think he would be highly excited if it had made it onto the ItBoxes. It has been on a couple of other types of cabinet but not, as far as I know, on the ItBox, of which there are a lot more around than the other types.

As confirmed last night when I did pop into my local O'Neill's briefly and managed to extract £9 from a £3 investment in about ten minutes (and whilst a drunken Lahdahn couple were alternately rowing shoutedly and snogging each other's faces off, as well as elbowing me and apologising intermittently), it was a Paragon machine. There. Sorry. Is everyone happy now?

(Or maybe I just mentioned it to get all you fanatics out of the woodwork? Or possibly not)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

BH139 & BH140 Go Into the Wild

First a note about BH136. I realised I had posted the same quiz twice - in the BH136 slot and the BH138 one. How silly of me. The dementia is creeping up on me, but not so much that I have not gone back and rectified the situation (check it out, boys and girls).

I think I had my first real taste of why some people love and live off quiz machines on Saturday night. Having always been partial to getting a few quid out of Trivia for Dummies, I was intrigued to see that there was an ITBox with the said game on it whilst on a pub crawl in Arundel.

Obviously not feeling the need to converse with my fellow pubgoers in a normal human being kind of fashion, I went on it and encouraged by my baying friends putting in 50p after 50p we ended up with about £70 of winnings. Which wasn't bad for 40 minutes work. I think the key to my success was having more than one pair of eyes looking at the crucial money-winning spot the difference game at the end of each round. Normally, I always miss something before too long and just end up with four or five quid.

As for the questions, they're pretty straightforward for trivia experts except when they ask you in which year did Stanley Matthews turn on the Blackpool Illuminations - 1950, 1951 or 1952. Thankfully, very few of those appeared in the hundreds that were answered. Could it always be this easy and I have merely ignored this rich seam of potential earnings? Or maybe the key is travelling to a West Sussex backwater to find a machine that has been filled with hundreds of pound coins by hick thickos (Tony suggested before we have a night out in Arundel again we should visit the ITBox for drinking money. 'Tis a good idea). Answers on a postcard...

So that was nice. There is an ITBox down the road at an O'Neill's with TfD on it. I'm thinking about spending a couple of hours there just so I can tell myself that I really do have Asperger's Syndrome and that quiz machines bring it out in me. Whilst making a few quid, of course. I can see in crystal clear vision why people become true quiz machinists. Because it is easy and it makes them money (after they have put in the correct number of hours getting used to the feel and level of the game). Before the notion had been kind of blurred and intangible.

Un Autre Quiz Ou Deux
Okay, more quizzes written long ago but only appearing right now. I was thinking up a fatuous Dead Sea Scrolls comparison, however, I think I'll just let it go and allow you to make your own fatuous comparison. Fatuous comparisons being a common feature of this blog...

1 Long established in the grammar of nearly every situation comedy, what was first heard in Britain in the US TV show I Love Lucy when ITV began broadcasting it on September 22, 1955?
2 Which upper class detective made his first appearance in the 1929 novel, The Crime at Black Dudley?
3 Commissioned in 1938 by Mr and Mrs RW Bliss, which "little concerto in the style of the Brandenburg Concertos" by Stravinsky took its name from the mansion they lived in in Georgetown, near Washington DC?
4 Which 1943 Herman Hesse novel has the first line: "It is our intention to preserve in these pages what scant biographical material we have been able to collect concerning Joseph Knecht, or Ludi Magister Josephus III, as he is called in the Archives of the _____ ____ ____"?
5 Which politician, whose middle name is Frederick, was known as Fritz when he served as US Vice-President in allusion to his German ancestry?
6 Which well-known US amateur sporting competition was initiated by Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, and first sponsored by that paper in 1926?
7 Who wrote the book upon which the 1963 film, The Great Escape, was based?
8 Where in Denmark was Legoland, an entire village made of Lego (obviously), opened in 1960?
9 The 1935 Marx Brothers film, A Night at the Opera, culminates in the laugh-heavy sabotaging of a performance of which famous opera?
10 Formerly called Leninabad, the city of Khodzhent is in which country?
11 La Coruna, Lugo, Orense and Ponteverde are major cities or towns in which Spanish autonomous region?
12 While in Germany, the American abstract artist Lyonel Feininger formed which group in 1924 with the painters Klee, Kandinsky and Alexei von Jawlensky?
13 Including among its most notable members Pope Paul III, which family originating in upper Lazio held the duchy of Parma from 1545 to 1731?
14 Launched in January 1958, which was the first US satellite in orbit and discovered the Van Allen radiation belts around the Earth?
15 Achernar is the brightest star of which constellation (the sixth largest) that is represented as a river and meanders from the celestial equator deep into the southern hemisphere?
16 Which prominent Paris building was erected in 1718 for Louis d'Auvergne, Count of Evreux?
17 Which English dramatist wrote such plays as Destiny (1976), about the extreme right-wing in Britain, The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (1978) and The Shape of the Table (1990), on the collapse of Eastern bloc in Europe?
18 In Norse mythology, which goddess of the sky, marriage and motherhood was the wife of Odin and mother by him of Hoder, Balder, Hermod and Tyr?
19 Which classic American play of 1938 is divided into three acts: Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and, finally, Death in which Emily Webb dies giving birth?
20 On accession to the throne in 1881, which Russian Tsar embarked on a program of "counter-reforms" and approved a series of Temporary Regulations that gave him the power to crack down on perceived 'terrorism'?
21 Which Summer Olympic Games saw the introduction of electronic timers?
22 Which Ukrainian skater actually took the Olympic title during the 1994 Winter Games of the Kerrigan-Harding affair?
23 Also called Kanze Motokiyo, which master of the Kanze theatrical school (1363-1443) is considered one of the masters of Noh theatre thanks to his providing 90 of c.230 plays in the modern repertoire, among them Atsumori, Birds of Sorrow and Wind in the Pines?
24 Consisting of several RNA and protein molecules arranged into two sub-units, what are the machines that co-ordinate protein synthesis or translation?
25 Which 1924 Shakespearean opera by Vaughan Williams features "Fantasia on Greensleeves"?
26 The Hindu god Indra wields the vajra and rode Airavat. What were they?
27 Which poet and revolutionary's 1885 work Ill-Omened Friendship is considered the first Spanish modernist novel?
28 In Judaism, the day the Ninth of Av is set aside for fasting and mourning the destruction of what?
29 Which member of the German group of religious painters, the Nazarenes, designed the Munich Glyptothek and covered the entire east wall of the same city's Ludwigskirche with his work, the Last Judgement?
30 In the novel Catch-22, what is Yossarian's first name?
31 The towns of Middlesex, Caledonia and Orange Walk are in which Central American country?
32 On which island will you find Nettilling Lake, the largest natural lake located on any island in the world?
33 Which SI unit is measured as joules per coulomb?
34 The Tower of the Americas is the tallest building in which Texan city?
35 In 1998, Ruth Dreifus became the first female and first Jewish president of which country?
36 Bovespa is the home of which country's stock exchange?
37 Having a surname meaning "anger" in German, which alto playing, free jazz musician and leader of Masada has released several film music volumes and produced such "file card" compositions as Spillane and Godard, as well as the Naked City project?
38 Which European capital city derives its name from the native language for "Danish city"?
39 Which Russian dessert, traditionally eaten at Easter, is made from dried fruit and curd cheese?
40 In psychiatry, "abulia" is the chronic inability to do what?
41 Which American experimental theatre group has been directed since its formation in 1947 by Julian Beck and Judith Malina?
42 Pope Pius XII said: "One Galileo in two thousand years is enough" when asked to proscribe the works (including La Phenomene humain/The Phenomenon of Man - written 1938-40 but published in 1955, the year of his death) of which French Jesuit theologian, palaeontologist and philosopher?
43 Which American supermodel was born in de Kalb, Illinois in 1966 and had plans to become a chemical engineer before being discovered by photographer Victor Skrebanski in Chicago?
44 Which John Milton poem begins: "Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere"?
45 What word beginning with the letter "S" describes a charitable organisation of lay Roman Catholic Church members?
46 Now known by a common male forename, which lake was known as Idi Amin Dada from 1973-79?
47 Tindouf in western Algeria is an oasis with large deposits of which metallic element?
48 Orphism was a religious that worshipped which Greek god?
49 Matthew Arnold based which of his poems on the legend of a father who unknowingly killed his own son in battle; a tale also told in Firdausi's epic Shahnama, the Book of Kings?
50 Which Japanese "star festival" held on July 7 was introduced from China in the 8th century and dedicated to Altair and Vega in the constellation Aquila that are united once every year in the Milky Way?




Answers to BH139
1 Canned laughter 2 Albert Campion 3 Dumbarton Oaks 4 The Glass Bead Game 5 Walter Mondale 6 Golden Gloves (boxing) 7 Paul Brickhill 8 Billund 9 Il Trovatore 10 Tajikistan 11 Galicia 12 Blaue Vier (Blue Four) 13 Farnese 14 Explorer I 15 Eridanus 16 Elysee Palace 17 David Edgar 18 Frigg 19 Our Town by Thornton Wilder 20 Alexander III 21 Stockholm, 1912 22 Oksana Baiul 23 Zeami 24 Ribosomes 25 Sir John in Love 26 Thunderbolt/ 4-tusked white elephant 27 Jose Marti 28 First and Second Temples 29 Peter Cornelius 30 John 31 Belize 32 Baffin Island 33 Volt 34 San Antonio 35 Switzerland 36 Brazil 37 John Zorn 38 Tallinn 39 Paskha 40 Decide or act independently 41 The Living Theatre 42 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 43 Cindy Crawford 44 Lycidas 45 Sodality 46 Lake Edward 47 Iron 48 Dionysius 49 Sohrab & Rustum 50 Tanabata

1 The Gulistan Palace is a former royal residence in which Middle East capital city?
2 Which Stravinsky choral work from 1930 was "composed to the glory of God"?
3 His only full-length work in that musical form, which Stravinsky opera of 1951, the libretto of which was written with WH Auden, features the character Baba the Turk, also known as the "Bearded Lady"?
4 Which French architect designed Luxembourg Palace in Paris (1615-20) and Louis XIII's Hunting Lodge at Versailles (1624-26)?
5 Which suave rogue, whose real name is the Honourable Richard Rollison, was the hero of more than 50 John Creasey crime novels?
6 Named after a Communist uprising that took place in their home city in 1918, which movement of left-wing Berlin artists was formed by such painters as Max Pechstein?
7 On what date is Europe Day celebrated?
8 "Dracula" was the code-name given to the liberation of which Asian city on May 3, 1945?
9 Who was Pope at the turn of the 19th into the 20th centiry?
10 What is the sacred cord or girdle of the Parsees consisting of 72 threads - the number of the chapters of the Yasna - and two branches, each one containing six knots, together representing the 12 months of the year?
11 Which Rubens triptych (1611-14) in Antwerp Cathedral is regarded by many as his masterpiece?
12 Which Hungarian-born composer wrote his first film score for Knight Without Armour (1937) and wrote the music for such film noirs as Double Indemnity and The Killers (1946), winning Oscars for Spellbound, A Double Life (1947) and Ben Hur (1959), while his work outside the movie industry include 1953 violin concerto written for Jascha Heifetz and a 1968 cello concerto for Janos Starker?
13 While working for the Copenhagen Telephone Company, which electrical engineer invented the telegraphone, a wire recording device which was a forerunner of the magnetic tape recorder, in 1898?
14 Which Leipzig-born swimmer broke the record for the most medals won by any woman in one sport at the same Olympics by winning six in 1988?
15 Which Japanese chemist was the first person to identify the DNA-RNA fragments named after him in 1967?
16 The 1971 film Kotch was the only film directed by which double-Oscar winning US actor?
17 To which French painter, who dabbled in abstraction with such works La Femme en Bleu before WW1 and executed murals for the UN building in New York (1952), has a museum dedicated to his work at Biot on the Cote d'Azur?
18 In 1916, Karl Schwarzchild introduced the idea that a star could contract under gravity to form what?
19 In 1903, Alfred Stieglitz devoted the first issue of his influential magazine Camera Work to which woman photographer, who was both a founder member of Photo-Secession in 1902 and, with Alvin Langdon Coburn and Clarence White, the Pictorial Photographers of America in 1916?
20 Killed when his army was destroyed by the Huns in 437AD, Gundicarius, also known as Gunther or Gunnar, was the first recorded king of which people?
21 The Norwegian mathematician and chemist Cato Maximilian Guldberg (1836-1902) is best known for collaborating with his brother-in-law Peter Waage; work that established which law in 1864 stating that the rate of a homogenous chemical reaction is proportional to the concentrations of the reacting substances?
22 Nicolas Guillen became which country's best known poet during the 20th century, receiving a state funeral on his death in 1989?
23 Which c.1570 work by El Greco, displayed at the Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion, is the sole example of his painting to be found in his native Crete?
24 Retiring in 1995 after 43 years as designer-in-chief at his eponymous Paris fashion house, who produces ready-to-wear clothes under his Nouvelle Boutique label?
25 Which Italian writer published what is considered to be his finest poem I Sepolcri in 1807 (translated into English as The Sepulchres in 1820) and, after the Austrians entered Milan in 1814, sought refuge in London where he published his Saggi sul Petrarca/Essays on Petrarch?
26 Which Mexican writer's 1816 picaresque satire of his country's colonial society, El periquillo sarniento/The Itching Parrot, is considered the first Latin American novel?
27 Which French film comedian established himself internationally thanks to two 1953 movies: The Little World of Don Camillo, in which he movingly portrayed a naive country priest, and The Sheep has Five Legs, in which he displayed his versatility by playing six different roles?
28 Vincent Serei Eri's 1970 novel The Crocodile is seen as the first significant novel from which country?
29 Which footballer is more noted for the 1961 court case he pursued "v Newcastle United and others" than for his playing, due to his establishing the right of professional footballers to freedom of contract?
30 Which world heavyweight champion boxer from Colorado worked in copper mines before taking to the ring as "Kid Blackie"?
31 The Belgian Roman Catholic missionary Father Damien, originally Joseph de Veuster, was renowned for his work among the lepers of which Hawaiian island where he lived from 1873 until his death from the disease in 1889?
32 Organist to Louis XIV from 1693 and known as "le Grand", which French composer greatly influenced JS Bach with his 1716 textbook L'Art de toucher le clavecin/The Art of Playing the Harpsichord?
33 Resulting from experiments on mechanical resistance, whose 1779 law concerns the relationship between friction and normal pressure?
34 The murder of Commodus in 192AD brought to an end the dynasty of which Roman emperors?
35 Which 19th century composer published his first work, Rondo in C minor, at the age of 15?
36 Secretary to Charles VI and Charles VII, which French courtier's much imitated poem, La Belle dame sans merci (1424) provided escapism in the midst of his country's preoccupation with the Hundred Years War?
37 Before safely navigating the Vittoria home, Sebastian del Cano first sailed out with Magellan in command of which ship in 1519?
38 Which nephew and pupil of Canaletto became known as Canaletto the Younger?
39 Which art school, where such artists as Viktor Vasarely were taught by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, gained the nickname the "Budapest Bauhaus"?
40 Nicknamed "Sassy", which New Jersey-born jazz singer and pianist came to the attention of singer Billy Eckstine, and through him, Earl Hines when she won a talent competition in 1942 at Harlem's Apollo Theatre and made her first recording in 1944 with I'll Wait and Pray?
41 Whose equestrian monument to Bartolommeo Colleoni (1481-88) in Venice showed he could craft public works just as monumental as those of Donatello's?
42 Which Hungarian poet and dramatist wrote the national song Szozat/The Call (1840), while his fairy drama Csongor es Tunde/Csongor and Tunde (1831) is said to be his masterpiece?
43 In the main hall of K K Portsparkasse (savings bank) in Vienna (1904-6), which Austrian architect created what is universally regarded as the first example of modern architecture in the 20th century?
44 In the human body, what is the glenoid cavity more commonly called?
45 Which Roman road ran from Rome to Florence?
46 Which Spanish poet began writing his Epigrams in 82AD?
47 In Greek mythology, which hero killed Paris at the climax of the Trojan War?
48 In logic, what term describes the principle or law that can be formulated as "every proposition is either true or false"?
49 Found on the island of Celebes, the sapi-utan is what kind of animal?
50 Dating from the time of WW2, what word for a small, fast escort vessel armed with anti-submarine devices ultimately derives its French name from Middle Dutch word for "basket"?





Answers to BH140
1 Tehran 2 Symphony of Psalms 3 The Rake's Progress 4 Salomon de Brosse 5 The Toff 6 Novembergruppe 7 May 9th 8 Rangoon 9 Leo XIII 10 Kusti 11 Descent from the Cross 12 Miklos Rozsa 13 Valdemar Poulsen 14 Kristin Otto 15 Reiji Okazaki 16 Jack Lemmon 17 Fernand Leger 18 A black hole 19 Gertrude Kasebier (nee Stanton) 20 Burgundians 21 Law of mass action 22 Cuba 23 View of Mount Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine 24 Givenchy (or Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy) 25 Ugo Foscolo 26 Jose Fernandez did Lizardi 27 Fernandel (Fernand Joseph Desire Contandin) 28 Papua New Guinea 29 George Eastham 30 Jack Dempsey 31 Molokai 32 Francois Couperin 33 Coulomb's law 34 Antonine 35 Chopin 36 Alain Chartier 37 Concepcion 38 Bernardo Bellotto 39 Muhely Academy 40 Sarah Vaughan 41 Andrea del Verrocchio (Andrea del Cione) 42 Michael Vorosmarty 43 Otto Wagner 44 Shoulder socket 45 Cassian Way 46 Martial 47 Philoctetes 48 Bivalence 49 Wild ox 50 Corvette