Saturday, September 19, 2009


If these have finally bored me senseless, I will pray for you

I am painstakingly - emphasis on the pain - making my way through my final final draft. And I'm getting there. Soon the final notes will be done and the closing ceremony of me sitting in front of the computer for four days straight putting in my corrections and rephrasing and double-verifying will soon commence.

The hearts skips a beat at the mere thought of the delicious ordeal to come.

The ordeal would probably envelope me sooner, if I hadn't decided to do things like add another two pages and another 1200 words this morning because I felt the world would be a better place if there were more questions about German luxury "steam irons" and designer ironing board cover specialists (you think I'm joking? I am not - look up "Rowenta". They're like irons ... from the future! They also look kinda stabby).

But also, to stop myself from drifting into a terminal boredom coma, induced by looking at the same Qs again and again, I have been writing dozens of other sparkling, exciting newies during the drafting in order to swap them out with toddler-age oldies that I couldn't hack looking at any longer together with embellished, spruced-up old blog questions from long ago, whose pointlessness (to me) has now become all too apparent. Most, however, just could not take a 67th reading without a rash of annoyance breaking out all over my face.

So forgive me for this relative detritus. This is Part 1 of the swap outs (you'll notice there are a lot of recent-ish and new automobile questions; I think I realised something: THEY GLAZE MY BRAIN WITH A KIND OF DULLING MENTAL POTTERY SLIP and, more crucially, tend to be a bit too time-sensitive). But they and all the others have to go somewhere, you know. Somewhere down below.

Boring BH160: Apologies for your imminent boredom
1 Which Nikon camera model series was launched in 1959 and has since undergone only six revisions? It now utilises a high precision shutter unit created from DuPont Kevlar and a body made of aluminium and magnesium.
2 Founded in 1979 and named after a type of wild sheep who live in their native mountains, I Muvrini is a folk music group from which island?
3 Also called Mikeyir, which endangered language is spoken by about 600 hunter-gatherers in south-west Ethiopia? They live in the westernmost part of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region in three Keficho Shekicho Zone areas: Anderaccha, Gecch'a and Kaabo.
4 What shrub or tree of the tropical American genus Plumeria takes its name from the Italian nobleman, who had the first name Mazio, who invented a perfume made from the plant for scenting gloves?
5 Effectively dividing the south of the country from the north, which Uruguayan river flows south to the west to meet the River Uruguay on the Argentine frontier?
6 Occurring on March 25, 1911, in the Asch building, the "Triangle Shirtwaist" fire was the most serious factory fire in the history of which city?
7 What South African term described the removal of urban Black Africans to rural areas as part of the official policy of apartheid?
8 Sharing its name with the 13-domed oaken church in Novgorod that may have inspired its construction, which 11th century Kiev cathedral is famed for its sparkling domes and was the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed on the World Heritage List?
9 Established in 1850 by the Robert Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, what is the largest fraternal organisation in the world that both men and women can join as long as they are aged 18 and older?
10 Which British engineer, the technical mastermind behind Michael Schumacher's Formula One world titles, left Ferrari after 10 years as technical director of the team shortly after the German driver retired? He returned to F1 as Team Principal of Honda for the 2008 season.
11 Used by Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material, the name of which architectural style comes from the French word for ‘raw concrete’?
12 Delivered on January 25, 2006, what was Deus Caritas Est / God is Love?
13 The American Glen Tetley, who was 80-years-old when he died in January 2007, was an innovator in which field of the arts?
14 The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum is the permanent home of which artist's key work, The Dinner Party (1974-79)?
15 The London alderman, Richard Martin, because the first person to offer what arrangement to willing buyers in 1583?
16 Felicitas Wolf won a Best Sitcom Performance Rose d’Or in 2004 for playing Lolle, a girl who moves to the city with her boyfriend Tom after leaving school, in which German TV show?
17 A dual nationality holder (French & Moroccan), which single mother was appointed France's Minister of Justice on May 18, 2007, becoming the first woman with a non-European immigrant background and the first Arab to hold a key ministerial position in the French cabinet?
18 Dating back to 1847 when Queen Isabella II agreed to a cattle market proposed by councillors Jose Maria Ybarra and Narciso Bonaplata, which fair officially begins at midnight on the Tuesday two weeks after Easter Holy Week and goes on for six days, thus ending on the following Sunday?
19 A fatwa led to two Islamic fundamentalists from the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya group shooting dead which 56-year-old Egyptian writer and intellectual in his office on June 8, 1992?
20 The 1999 film Forever in Our Memory deals with the starvation of up to three million people during the 1990s in which country?
21 Established on June 22, 1792, by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, what is Poland's highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy?
22 Founded in St. Petersburg in 1725 by Catherine the Great, which civil, self-governed, non-commercial organisation has been responsible for such achievements as Sputnik?
23 A proxy mechanism that allows client PCs to gain access to hosts outside their local network while providing a high degree of security for the local network, SOCKS is an abbreviation for what word?
24 Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MIT) is the government intelligence agency of which country?
25 Featuring such characters as Jupiter and Juno, which 1950 Cole Porter musical comedy is based on Plautus’s comedy Amphitryon?
26 Which emirate unveiled plans in February 2007 for a $13 billion arts hub, including a Frank Gehry-designed art museum and Zahia Hadid-conceived performing arts centre? It is being built on Saadiyat, an uninhabited island of 10 sq mi.
27 Sharing his name with an English comedian, which US athlete (b.1947) set the world record for the men's 400m at the 1968 Olympics?
28 Which Formula One world title winner, who began racing in his "home-made" Mini, became a champion breeder of budgerigars?
29 What is the commonly known acronym of the "General Electricity Company", a producer of electronics and electrical equipment that was founded by Emil Rathenau in 1883 after he bought some patents from Thomas Edison?
30 Named from the Latin for ‘corn’, what French dish consists of wheat boiled in milk and flavoured with spices and was traditionally served with venison or porpoise as a pottage?
31 What nickname did Billie Holliday give the tenor sax player Lester Young (1909-59)?
32 Which luxury automobile brand, known for its slogan "The pursuit of perfection", has produced what it calls the world's first high performance hybrid SUV, the RX 400h?
33 What name do the Turks use for their side of Cyprus's divided capital Nicosia?
34 Developed at the Advanced Design Studio in Coventry, the XKR is which car manufacturer's latest luxury model?
35 First published on November 7, 1914, which US opinion magazine was founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann through the financial backing of heiress Dorothy Payne Whitney and her husband Willard Straight?






Answers to BH160
1. F series. The Nikon F introduced the concept of the 35mm single-lens reflex camera system. 2. Corsica. The group was formed by the brothers Jean-François Bernardini and Alain Bernardini, who were born in the village of Tagliu-Isulacciu in the north of the island. Their first studio album was Ti Ringrazianu (1979).
3. Shabo
4. Frangipani. Related to the Oleander (Nerium oleander), both possess poisonous milky sap, similar to that of the Euphorbia genus (aka Spurges).
5. Rio Negro. The headwater is near Bagé, Brazil.
6. New York City
7. Endorse
8. Saint Sophia Cathedral (Ukrainian: Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi). The name may come from the 6th century Hagia Sophia (‘Holy Wisdom’) in Constantinople.
9. Order of the Eastern Star
10. Ross Brawn (b.1954). He owns the coincidentally named Brawn GP team, which he acquired from Honda in 2009.
11. Brutalism. The term gained currency when British architectural critic Reyner Banham used it in the title of his 1966 book The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic? to identify the emerging style. Example buildings include the Leeds International Pool (1967), which was designed by disgraced architect John Poulson; and the Barbican Centre, the work of Chamberlain, Powell & Bon.
12. Pope Benedict’s first encyclical
13. Ballet/modern dance choreography. He made his choreographic debut in 1962 with his work Pierrot Lunaire, which he based on music of the same title by Schoenberg.
14. Judy Chicago. Born Judy Gerowitz in 1939, her written works include Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist (1975) and Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light (1993).
15. Life insurance policy
16. Berlin, Berlin
17. Rachida Dati (b.1965). Demoted from her ministerial post, she was elected an MEP in 2009.
18. Seville Spring Fair / La Feria de abril de Sevilla. First held at Prado de San Sebastian, it is known for its parades, trajes de flamenco dress, men’s cordobés hats and numerous casetas (tents).
19. Farag Foda (author of Before the Fall, The Played With, and We Be or Not to Be)
20. North Korea
21. The Order Virtuti Militari (Latin: ‘To Military Valour’). The Order of the White Eagle / Order Orla Bialego is the highest decoration awarded to both civilians and the military for their merits and was instituted on November 1, 1705, by Augustus II the Strong.
22. The Russian Academy of Sciences / Rossi’skaya Akade’miya Nau’k (or the PAH/RAN)
23. SOCKetS
24. Turkey. Formed in 1965, the name means ‘National Intelligence Organisation’.
25. Out of This World (featuring the tunes ‘I Got Beauty’, ‘I Sleep Easier Now’ & ‘Nobody’s Chasing Me’)
26. Abu Dhabi (transliteration: Abū zabī, meaning ‘Father of gazelle’)
27. Lee Evans. He added a 4x400m relay gold at the same Olympics.
28. James Hunt (1947-93; champion with McLaren in 1976 in his first year with the team)
29. AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft). Having been wholly integrated into DaimlerChrysler and then split up, its brand name was bought by Electrolux in 2005.
30. Frumenty. In England it was often eaten on Mothering Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent, when servants were allowed to visit their mothers and were often served the dish to celebrate.
31. "President" (which became "Prez"). He came to prominence in Count Basie’s band.
32. Lexus (a division of Toyota Motor Corporation first introduced in 1989 in the US)
33. Lefkoşa (or Lefkosia)
34. Jaguar Cars. Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 by Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, the SS was dropped from the name in 1945 due to WW2.
35. The New Republic. TNR: the magazine where Stephen Glass of Shattered Glass film fame caused a massive 1998 scandal with his made-up stories, which were aided by the publication's no-photograph policy.


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