Sunday, November 09, 2008

So So Much To Write About ...

... But not right now

Instead, here are the 25 qualifying starters I did for the little buzzer-quiz thingy I did at the EQC. (FTP = For Ten Points, even though it was actually for One due to the vagaries of my far more complicated than I realised system; * = went unanswered in the qualifier I read out)

1. It is the favourite film of Kevin Costner’s character in The Bodyguard, which is itself an in-joke because it was released in the USA with exactly that title. Remakes include Last Man Standing and Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which was made only three years after the original. In it, Toshiro Mifune plays Sanjuro, a crafty ronin who enters a rural town in 19th century Japan, and plays one criminal gang off against another to his advantage. FTP - name this 1961 movie, directed by Akira Kurosawa.

answer: Yojimbo

2. Assigned the Diseases DataBase number 27829, the World Health Organisation has recommended the vaccines Vivotif Berna and the injectable Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine for its prevention. Diagnosis can be made with the Widal Test, a demonstration of salmonella antibodies against antigens O-somatic and H-flagellar, and its Patient Zero has been cited as Mary Mallon, an apparently healthy carrier who infected 47 people whilst working as a cook. Transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person. FTP – which disease is also known as bilious fever and enteric fever?

answer: Typhoid fever or typhus (accept ‘bilious fever’ or ‘enteric fever’ before they are mentioned)

3. He retired in 2002, almost 30 years after winning his first belt when he beat Kenny Buchanan for the WBA lightweight title. Stepping up to welterweight, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to win the world championship, yet his most notorious moment came in the New Orleans November re-match when he turned his back on the referee Octavio Meyran with 17 seconds of the 8th round left, saying the words “No mas” and giving Leonard the win on a technical knockout. FTP - name this Panamanian boxer, whose nickname is “Hands of Stone”.

answer: Roberto Duran

4. Growing up, he listened to Latin folk and pop music and has named Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez as a favourite artist. His first band was the Gothenburg hardcore punk band Back Against the Wall and he later played bass guitar in another hardcore act, Renascence, between 1993 and 1998. His latest album In Our Nature featured such singles as ‘Down the Line’ and one of his trademark cover versions in the form of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’. However, he is best known for an acoustic cover of a song by The Knife that appeared on his 2003 debut album Veneer and a Sony BRAVIA commercial. FTP – name this Swedish indie folk singer-songwriter of Argentine descent, who rose to prominence with his version of the song ‘Heartbeats’.

answer: Jose Gonzalez*

5. This man began his career at the age of 16 when Bata, the shoe company for whom he worked in the city of Zlin, ignored his protestations of being weak and not fit to run and entered him in a 1500m race in which he finished 2nd out of 100 competitors. At his first Olympics he won gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5,000m, the same Games where his wife Dana Ingrova won gold in the javelin. Nicknamed 'The Locomotive' - FTP - which Czech athlete achieved legendary status when he won the 5,000m, 10,000m and the Marathon in the space of eight days at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics?

answer: Emil Zatopek

6. Premiered at the Imperial College of Music in the Little Theatre on March 29, 1879, the singer Lavrovskaya recommended the creation of what would be the fifth opera written by its composer. Having hesitated, he set the ‘Letter’ scene straight away and at the time wrote that he loved Madame Larina’s daughter Tatiana and was terribly indignant with the title character, who seemed to him a cold, heartless coxcomb. This man, who shoots the poet Lensky dead in a duel, rejects the youthful Tatiana but is left in despair when she does the same to him many years later. FTP – which Tchaikovsky opera is based on a novel in verse first published by Aleksandr Pushkin in serial form between 1825 and 1832?

answer: Eugene Onegin

7. Created by Marc Okrand in 1984 - the author of a dictionary and a book of proverbs in the language - it contains many pecularities such as Object Verb Subject order. Its word for the bridge of a ship is meH and transporter ionizer unit is translated as jolvoy. Common phrases in this tongue include “Heghlu’ meH QaQ jajvam” or “Today is a good day to die” and the extreme insult, “Hab SoslI’ Quch”, meaning “Your mother has a smooth forehead”. FTP — what is the name of this language spoken by a warrior race in the Star Trek unverse?

answer: Klingon

8. Born into a farming family in Mooswald, he dabbled in car racing when his active career ended in 1985, but returned to professional racing in the US in 1988. Yet this man, who recognised the event commonly regarded as his greatest career achievement in a 2006 interview but claimed his victory at Kitzbuhel in 1984 was very special to him because he hadn’t won there since 1977, did not add to his 25 World Cup circuit wins and record five World Cup downhill titles. FTP - which Austrian alpine skier won gold in the men's downhill in scintillating style at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics?

answer: Franz Klammer

9. Previously known by such names as The New Originals and The Thamesmen, their first single 'Listen to the Flower People' was released in 1965. Polymer Records boss Sir Denis Eton-Hogg vetoed the original album cover for the follow-up to their 1980 flop Shark Sandwich due to its sexist nature, meaning a completely black sleeve was used for Smell the Glove instead. FTP - Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnell and David St. Hubbins are members of which heavy metal band, the subject of a 1981 documentary by Marti DiBergi?

answer: Spinal Tap [from This Is Spinal Tap]

10. A top secret government project experimenting in teleportation goes wrong at the Black Mesa Federal Research Facility, resulting in aliens invading the office of theoretical physicist Dr. Gordon Freeman, who must fight his way out of the underground complex in order to survive. Developed by Valve Software and released in 1998 - FTP - this is the plot of the original computer game in which first-person shooter series?

answer: Half-Life

11. Gaining his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara, he invented the Alphabet of the Magi for engraving angelic names upon talismans and devoted several sections to astrological talismans for curing disease in his Archidoxes of Magic. In around 1530, he developed the study of iatrochemistry, a subdiscipline of alchemy dedicated to extending life and thus laid the roots of today’s pharmaceutical industry. Thus, he has been credited with being the first person to use the term ‘chemistry’, as well as coin the word ‘zinc’. FTP – what one-word name was given to the Swiss physician and scientist Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim and meant “equal to or greater than” a Greek encyclopaedist from the first century known for his tract on medicine?

answer: Paracelsus (from Celsus) (accept Hohenheim before it is mentioned)

12. Hymn; The Golden Calf; A Thousand Years; Lullaby Spring; Mother and Child Divided; For the Love of God; and Beautiful revolving sphincter, oops brown painting. FTP – these are all titles of works by which British artist with a liking for preserving animals in formaldehyde, the most famous being the tiger shark that features in The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living?

answer: Damien Hirst

13. Advertised with the slogan "Friends for a Lifetime", its many makes include the Midnight Weave Emblem Black Ice and 1941 Replica High Polish Sterling Silver. This company was founded in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1922 by George G Blaisdell when he obtained the rights to an Austrian model, which he redesigned by making the case rectangular and surrounding the wick with a windhood. So-called because Blaisdell liked the sound of a Whitcomb Judson invention - FTP - name this brand of windproof cigarette lighter.

answer: Zippo

14. It interacts through all four fundamental interactions and may interact electromagnetically in two ways: the first due to its magnetic moment and the second due to its electrically charged components. Its spin is 1/2. Classified as a baryon, it consists of two down quarks and one up quark. Its antiparticle was discovered by Bruce Cork in 1956, a year after the antiproton was identified. Discovered by James Chadwick in 1932 - FTP - name this subatomic particle with no net electrical charge.

answer: Neutron

15. The 13-storey, highrise quadrangle of masonry with gilded roofs consists of two separate areas accessed via stairways. The lower and outer portions of the White Palace encase the Red Palace that rises above the centre. Within the White Palace are the Great East Hall on the 4th floor of the western wing and two small chapels, the Phakpa Lhakhang and the Chogyal Drubphuk, while the Saints’ Chapel on the north side of the Red Palace’s Great West Hall is its holiest shrine. Perched on Marpo Ri Hill, it was completed in around 1697 and therefore dates from the time of Lozang Gyatso. FTP – name this Tibetan palace, the former Lhasa residence of the Dalai Lama.

answer: Potala Palace

16. Its members claimed to have discovered new elements of consciousness including Gedanken (Thoughts) by designing experiments in which the subject was presented with a complex stimulus, such as a logical problem, and after processing it for a time reported to the experimenter all that had passed through his consciousness during the interval. Working with younger colleagues like Karl Buhler and Ernst Durr, a former Leipzig assistant of Wilhelm Wundt’s named Oswald Kulpe founded the laboratory in 1896 where they worked. FTP - what school of psychology is named after the university that housed this lab, which is located in the namesake city of Bavaria’s Franconia region where the foundations of a famed Residenz designed in the Baroque style were laid in 1720?

answer: Würzburg School

17. Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is breeding them for possible release in the Negev desert, although this is outside their natural range. Standing about 1 metre tall at the shoulder, their coat turns completely white in the summer and their head is marked with brown or black patches that form an X over their nose. Also having a scraggly beard and prominent red nostrils, this critically endangered species – of which there are fewer than 500 left in the wild - live in isolated regions in the Sahara and differ from other members of the antelope family due to their large, square cattle-like teeth and the lack of typical facial glands. Closely related to the oryx – FTP – which species is also known as the screwhorn antelope?

answer: Addax nasomaculatus (accept “screwhorn ...” before it is mentioned)

18. Born into a Prussian military family, his wanderlust took him to Paris with his sister Ulrike, six months on a Swiss island, a stay with veteran author Christopher Wieland and a trip to Dresden which led to him being imprisoned by the French as a spy. One November morning in 1811 this author of the tragedies Penthesilea and The Schroffenstein Family visited Lake Wansee with his terminally ill friend Henriette Vogel where he shot her and then himself. Lending his name to an annual literature prize – FTP – name this German dramatist, whose works include Prinz Friedrich von Homburg and the novellas The Marquise of O and Michael Kolhaas.

answer: Heinrich von Kleist

19. Its location became an official national memorial site on the 450th anniversary of this event when the architect Gyorgy Vadasz was commissioned to design the Battle Monument. A native saying, beginning with the words “more was lost at ...”, is now associated with moments of bad luck, since many people of the defeated country still regard it as marking the traumatic end of an independent and powerful nation, which initially led to to the partition of Hungary for several decades between Austria’s Habsburg Monarchy, the Principality of Transylvania and the victorious empire. Taking place on August 29, 1526 – FTP – in which battle were King Louis II’s Hungarian forces defeated by the army of Suleiman the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire?

answer: Battle of Mohacs or (German:) Schlacht bei Mohacs or (Hungarian:) mohacsi csata or mohacsi vesz/Bane of Mohacs

20. Its name means ‘sudden’. The source of the river with which it shares its name is located at Mont-Aux-Sources. Located in the Drakensberg in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu Province, it has a total height of 948 metres with the tallest of its five single drops being 411 metres, and has an average volume of 50 cubic feet of water per second. FTP – name this South African waterfall, the second tallest in the world.

answer: Tugela Falls

21. In 1881, he moved to New York where he served as joint consul for Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina and mobilised his country’s exile community, especially in Key West and Ybor City, Florida, to revolution and independence. A distinguished poet and author, he published the Manifesto of Montecristi together with Maximo Gomez in 1895 which proclaimed independence, but was killed in the same year fighting Spanish troops at the Battle of Dos Rios only a month after returning to his homeland. His ‘Memorial’ dominates the Plaza de la Revolucion and Havana’s International Airport was named after him. FTP – name the “Apostle of Cuban Independence” and national hero of Cuba.

answer: Jose Julian Marti Perez

22. It was originally written as the part of a larger work that included Arrow of God and its sequel No Longer at Ease. Much of the action takes place in the village Umuofia and centres on a flute-player’s son who rises from nothing to a high position through his skill in battle and a fortune gained from the farming of yams. But when Christian English missionaries arrive among the Ibos of Nigeria bringing European ways of life and religion, Okonkwo’s attempts to show how the cultural imperialism of the white man will destroy his society leads to his downfall and suicide. Named after the three words that precede the line “... the centre will not hold” in WB Yeats’s poem ‘The Second Coming’ – FTP – name this 1959 novel by Chinua Achebe, a major milestone in African literature.

answer: Things Fall Apart

23. It is the name of a range of digital audio and portable media players made by the Singapore company Creative Technology, previously called the NOMAD Jukebox. The surname of an Italian detective created by Michael Dibdin, it also features in the titles of albums by DJ Krush and Husker Du and books by Shunryu Suzuki and Robert M. Pirsig. Otherwise known as ‘Chan’ – FTP – what three-letter name is given to the school of Mahayana Buddhism said to have been established in China by the Indian monk Bodhidharma?

answer: Zen

24. His father, grandfather and great grandfather were all rabbis. He went to Bordeaux in 1887, which had just started France’s first teacher’s training centre, and from this position reformed the nation school system and instroduced the study of social science into the curriculum, later becoming the chair of education at the Sorbonne in 1902. However, he is best remembered for founding the journal L’Annee Sociologique and publications like The Division of Labour in Society. The sociologist who introduced the concept of ‘anomie’ into his field of study – FTP – which Frenchman wrote the 1897 study Suicide?

answer: Emile Durkheim

25. Born in Banat, a region assigned to Romania by the Treaty of Trianon, he is a multi-linguist who learnt Russian to read Dostoevsky in the original. He was 13-years-old when he heard Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and was inspired to become a composer, but it was not until he was aged 33 that he decided to give his works opus numbers. His early choral work Beads displays the influence of Bartok and Jatekok/Games for piano was inspired by his former teacher Milhaud, while his international reputation began to take hold with Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova for soprano and chamber ensemble. FTP – name this Hungarian composer, whose works from the 1990s include Samuel Beckett: What is the Word; Lebenslauf and Ligatura-Message for Frances-Marie, as well as the 1994 orchestral piece Stele?

answer: Gyorgy Kurtag


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