Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just the Friendly What I Wrote

No commentary on today's action

Because I realised that what I had written might be a bit controversial and ranty, even though I didn't mean it to be (let's just say that today's President's Cup set was HARD, diamond hard, crying and laughing hard). Sussex won 44-27 (v Cambridge). We remain unbeaten.

However, I'm going to miss the next Sunday's match (eeek) - the first time I will miss a President's Cup match in SIX YEARS - because I will be going to Vienna on holiday (the Bruegels are calling).

This is my ten-round random-pick friendly. Sussex won something like 54-43 or 54-45. It's just a friendly, so it doesn't really matter does it?

Unanswered Qs bolded up.

President's Cup Friendly 21/11/10

Round 1
1. A possible victim of aristocratic inbreeding, which French artist said of his being 4 feet and 11 inches tall: "I may only be a small coffee pot, but I have a big spout"?
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
2. The Lesser Sunda Island of Timor is divided between which two countries?
Indonesia & East Timor
3. First appearing in the magazine Judy on August 14, 1867, which Charles H. Ross creation was Britain's first regular comic character? His name came from slang for someone who runs away to avoid the rent collector.
Ally Sloper
4. What was the date of JFK's assassination?
November 22, 1963
5. The England cricketers, Steve Finn and Eoin Morgan, play for which county?
6. Inspiring Eurovision, which song contest has been held on the Italian Riviera every February since 1951?
Sanremo Music Festival / Festival della Canzone Italiana
7. Which new Danny Boyle film is an adaptation of mountain climber Aron Ralston's 2004 book Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
127 Hours
8. Modern Warfare 2 and the recently released Black Ops are video games in which series?
Call of Duty

Round 2
1. In 1906, which legendary tenor became the defendant in the "Monkey House Case" when he was fined $10 for pinching a lady's bottom in New York's Central Park Zoo?
Enrico Caruso (he claimed a monkey did it, as you do)
2. The title of which 1908 EM Forster novel refers to the Pensione Bertolini in Florence?
A Room with a View
3. The largest of the so-called "Loyal Orders" with some 75,000 members, which order was founded in Loughgall, County Armagh, in 1796?
Orange Order / Orange Institution
4. First held in 1826, what is the world's longest-running regatta?
Cowes Week
5. Which water-displacing spray was developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, San Diego?
6. Complete the title of the film: Police Academy 5: Assignment ... where?
Miami Beach
7. The Germans, Felix Loch and Tatjana Hufner, are the respective men's and women's Olympic champions in which winter sport?
8. The ministers, Ping, Pang and Pong, are characters in which Puccini opera?

Round 3
1. Which patron saint of Norway is celebrated in the said country, as well as the Faroe Islands, on July 29 every year?
St. Olav / Olaf II
2. Nicknamed "Perdita", the actress Mrs Mary Robinson is believed to have been the first mistress of which future king?
George IV / Prince Regent George
3. Goya was appointed First Painter to which King of Spain in 1789?
Charles IV / Carlos IV
4. The gardener's son, eight-year-old boy James Phipps, was the guinea pig for which disease's vaccine?
Cowpox then Smallpox
5. Which Chancellor of Austria was killed during a botched coup on July 25, 1934?
Engelbert Dollfuss
6. After Trafalgar, Lord Nelson's body was pickled in 157 bottles of which drink?
7. Housed in Oxford University, the Bate Collection is a collection of which items?
Musical instruments
8. Which fellow German composer completes the title of Paul Hindemith's 1943 work Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of ... who?
Carl Maria von Weber

Round 4
1. The shape of which South American lake is said to resemble a puma hunting a rabbit?
Lake Titicaca
2. Which English location was the northernmost city in the Roman Empire?
3. What name links a European Cup-winning football manager and a tall, fur head-dress worn by Hungarian Hussars?
4. Who invented the piano at the Medici court in Florence in around 1700?
Bartolomeo Cristofori
5. Which painter's only true landscape is said to be View of Toledo, from c.1597?
El Greco (though there is another surviving landscape in Toledo)
6. Opened in 1950, the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho is the official name of which stadium?
Maracana Stadium / Estadio do Maracana
7. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the fairy Puck turns which weaver's head into that of an ass's?
Nick Bottom
8. Having continued to claim parliamentary expenses for a mortgage that had already been repaid, which Labour MP for Scunthorpe resigned at the 2010 General Election?
Elliot Morley

Round 5
1. Among the world's most endangered mammals, the Attenborough's Long-beaked, Eastern Long-beaked and Western Long-beaked are species of which monotreme?
2. Which comic book character links the actors Eric Bana, Ed Norton and now Mark Ruffalo?
3. There are more surviving statues of which Egyptian Pharaoh of the Ninteenth dynasty than any other? He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources.
Ramses II / Ramesses II
4. Pivo is the Russian name for which drink?
5. Lasting from 1948 to 1955, the Informbiro is the name given to the period of strife between the Soviet Union and which former country?
6. Meaning 'father of the raven', what was the former name of Baghdad Central Prison?
Abu Ghraib prison
7. In November 1938, Hitler appeared in an issue of which magazine, as "a true raconteur" showing off the Berghof, his "clear and fresh chalet" with "the most unsullied view in all Europe"? The publication calls itself "The world's most beautiful interiors magazine".
Homes & Gardens
8. Who has become the first boxer in history to win ten world titles in eight different weight divisions?
Manny Pacquaio

Round 6
1. In 1963, Ahmed Ben Bella became the third president of which African country?
2. Marseillaise, Garibaldi and Lincoln-Washington were the names of battalions in which military force of anti-fascist volunteers?
International Brigades
3. From a field of 22, the Old Harrovian and Surrey cricketer, Spencer Gore, became the first winner of which championship in 1877?
Wimbledon / Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Championship
4. A stadium in the upmarket Buenos Aires barrio of Palermo, the Campo Argentino is known as "The Cathedral" of which team sport?
5. Which "champion of champions" title is the most prestigious to be awarded at Crufts?
Best in Show
6. The last Empress consort of the French, who was the wife of Napoleon III?
Eugenie / Dona Maria Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzman y Kirkpatrick, 16th Countress of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales
7. In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to which god, the son of Zeus and Semele?
8. Built between 1609 and 1616, which mosque is located directly opposite the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul?
Blue Mosque / Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Round 7
1. The transuranic element of the actinide series with the atomic number 96, is named after which scientist couple?
The Curies / Marie Sklodowska-Curie & husband Pierre Curie
2. Which frog species is the largest extant anuran on Earth?
Goliath frog / Conraua goliath
3. Philography is the hobby of collecting what?
4. Featuring the lyrics "in the city, city of Compton", Ronnie Hudson and the Street People's song West Coast Poplock was heavily sampled in which 1996 top ten hit for 2Pac featuring Dr Dre?
California Love - the tune was taken from Joe Cocker's Woman to Woman
5. Which Indonesian national dish has a name that literally means 'fried rice'?
Nasi goreng
6. The third largest in Spain after Madrid's Barajas Airport and Barcelona Airport, Son Sant Joan Airport serves which island capital?
Palma, Majorca
7. Deriving its name from either the Gaelic for 'vale of tranquility' or 'vale of big meadows', which single malt Scotch whisky distillery is based in Tain, Ross-shire, and boasts the tallest stills in Scotland? Its bottles refer to "The Sixteen Men of Tain".
8. Which political term derives from the Latin word for a 'bundle' of rods tied together and attached to an axe head?
Fascist / Fascism

Round 8
1. St Paul brought Christianity to which European country when he was shipwrecked there and then hidden from the Romans in a cave in Rabat?
2. The Earl of Errol, Scottish Lilt, Flora MacDonald's Fancy, The Village Maid and Blue Bonnets are all forms of what?
[Scottish] Highland dances
3. The Glorious Twelfth of August marks the opening day of which shooting season?
Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) / accept: Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)
4. Inaugurated in 1896, which "Veteran Car Run" is held on the first Sunday in November?
London to Brighton Veteran Car Race - it is the longest-running motoring event in the world
5. Which plant features in an eating world championship hosted by The Bottle Inn in the Dorset village of Marshwood every mid-June?
Stinging nettle
6. What is the oldest football competition in the world?
FA Cup
7. Which man's surname links a Shrewsbury shopping centre, a Zimbabwean mountain, a Cambridge University college and an Australian city?
Charles Darwin
8. The Big Nowhere and American Tabloid are novels by which US crime writer?
James Ellroy

Round 9
1. "I sing of arms and the man" is the opening line of which epic poem?
The Aeneid
2. How many US states begin their name with the word "New"?
Four (New Hampshire/Jersey/Mexico/York)
3 Which quiz show host plays the role of DS Ronnie Brooks on the TV show Law & Order: UK?
Bradley Walsh
4 In November 2007, Kate Middleton quit as "accessories buyer" for which women's clothing retailer? The job had been especially created for her by the company's owners, John and Belle Robinson.
5 Headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, which corporation is best known for its eponymous "Matching System", a proprietary colour space used in such industries as printing?
6 In 1986, TIME magazine hailed which Filipina as its "Woman of the Year"?
Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines
7 Founded by, among others, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake, the Vancouver-based company Ludicorp launched which photo-sharing website in February 2004?
8 Broadcast on Living TV, which reality show has three single men and three single women move into a very badly lit house and get to know each other and form bonds in total darkness? The French version is called L'amour est aveugle (Love Is Blind)?
Dating in the Dark

Round 10
1 Germany's second largest museum of natural history, the Naturmuseum Senckenberg is located in which city?
2 Adapted into a 2010 Channel 4 drama, which William Boyd novel tells the life story of Logan Mountstuart through his "Intimate Journals"?
Any Human Heart
3. Which Archbishop is accorded the title "Primate of All Ireland"?
Archbishop of Armagh
4. What item of furniture is a secretaire?
Writing desk / Enclosed writing desk, usually with an upper cabinet section
5. Acquired by Oracle in January 2010, which computer systems and software company developed the Java platform and the Solaris operating system?
Sun Microsystems
6. Who plays Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the ITV drama Downton Abbey?
Dame Maggie Smith
7. Which horse won both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in 1934?
Golden Miller
8. Which operator of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean has a total of 15 couples-only properties, including eight in Jamaica and three in St Lucia?
Sandals Resorts

Which American singer topped the album chart in 1980 with Tears and Laughter?
Johnny Mathis
Superbly adapted to life in the harsh Gobi Desert, which camel - a critically endangered species in the wild - is the probable ancestor of all domestic two-humped camels?
Bactrian camel
Founded in 1859, which UK sports governing body uses the motto "Sit Perpetuum" ('May it last forever')?
National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom (our NRA governs full bore rifle and pistol shooting sports)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Important Correction

If I hadn't changed Shenzhen, I would have got a bronze medal, owing to Pat having a superior qualification score (80 to my 74). Even more bloody gnashing of the fingers would have ensued.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Want some mildly euphoric rambling?

I was wandering through the Andes Survivors site today and looked at the very earliest Belgian-England match-ups (Bromley & Ghent - neither of which I attended). Call it my lingering and always powerful adherence to Kaizen - the Japanese desire for constant improvement (or something like that; I'm sure Jesse can provide a better definition). And call me crazy for looking up the old stuff and reading avidly through Qs mere days after undergoing the shattering mental assault of a European Quizzing Championship weekend.

I downloaded the questions for the very first Belgium v England game, which resulted in a 138-86 massacre visited upon the latter, as I did for the Cafe Den Hemel club quiz (I would have got Fugazi!) and Ghent individuals because, despite my cutting and pasting and printing out the Qs a couple of times before. They got lost in the masses of questions I have collated and rounded-up and absorbed into The Files. They have become so many: sheets of old question sets sprayed all over my bedroom; once pristine files crushed out of shape by even bigger files of thousands and thousands of trivia one/double liners.

An old sensation returned. I remembered. On first looking at those 2003 & 2004 sets, my instant reaction was: "What quiz planet do our Flemish quiz counterparts live on?"

The funny thing is that what looked so alien and obscure and devilishly hard those years ago, now seems very do-able and accessible (constant mental "I know that" ad nauseam). The years of hard travail that I knew was needed and put in gradually destroyed that disconnect. For this I thank the Belgian quiz nation for opening my eyes and showing me what Quiz could really be: a cosmopolitan and catholic test of all the world's knowledge, shattering my focus on the Albion-centred knowledge sub-set demanded of Brits, whose lowest and highest GK achievements were and are channelled through and bent out of shape by the oppressive, individualistic "entertainment" demands of our television quiz culture (though, of course, it has its many charms and many benefits ... I have to say that what with work and all that).

It was also doubly shocking and nice to know that somewhere on the continent pop culture questions (woah, American indie rock!) were being asked that were actually relevant to someone of my then mostly youthful disposition.

Thanks to all that work, such hard work, reaping Wikipedia amongst other now ingrained habits for hours on end, in order to make up The Gap (and what a bloody big gap it was, a yawning dark chasm I couldn't quite believe) I can now call myself - for about the next c.360 days at least - the European individual champion.

Mucho gratitude is also forthcoming for the truckload of luck I was laden with in the final. For without fortune smiling upon you, even the finest quizzers will find themselves hamstrung and stranded in what might appear to them mid-table or upper-table obscurity. It depends on the insanely high standards we all set for ourselves.

For, without changing Chunking (Chonqing) to Shenzhen in the last 20 seconds of the final, I would now be swinging a silver medal around my living room in a homicidal manner, whilst grumbling and yowling like a pitiful wounded beast, thinking what might have been. (Just to confirm: Gold is great. Feel free to smack me upside the head if my smugness goes overboard. Oh wait: perhaps it already has.)

Still, there are always further challenges. There's an endless sodding parade of them. There's that magic quartet of four golden Euro titles which I missed out in Dordrecht to aim for: something that will get harder and harder every year to achieve (just watch the rest of the field come back with beautiful, determined vengeance ... it's the least I would expect from the wonderfully, awesomely talented likes of Tero, Pat, Kevin, Ronny, Nico, Jesse and so on and so many). Once one quiz ends, the cycle starts again so very soon, giving us yet another chance to put right what went so terribly awry the last 29 times. And to do it against an ever improving field is something that will also undoubtedly raise the game to even more impressive heights.

And so we go on. It's endless and so very enjoyable to burn with a deep competitiveness and lust for autodidactism that few non-quizzers will ever understand. But we understand, don't we?

That and I have a lot of improving to do when it comes to European comic artists, Hispanic writers, European geography, basketball and Nature, red in tooth and claw. Damn those weaver fish parasites and sweet American herbs.

So in conclusion and without meaning to patronise another quiz culture: Thank you, Belgium (even if you woke the sleeping giant of British international quizzing, it's worth it, isn't it? So much more fun and better this way).

(PS: Thanks to Chris, Jane, Steven, Arko, Doc, Paul and all the IQA organisers for another superlative EQC. It remains my favourite quiz thing in all the world. But then I would say that, wouldn't I?)