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Infinite ZoundsIZ 121 a selection of questions from 2010 and 2011 J. RamanandSet IV: Business & Economics, Social Sciences, Culture
CopyrightInfinite Zounds : IZ 121 by J Ramanand is licensed under a CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Authors NoteIn essence, this license allows you to reuse the contents of this book only innon-commercial settings, expects you to provide credits to me if you use orderive from these questions, and allows you to redistribute your derivationsunder the same terms.So if you want to use these questions, go ahead. The only request is that youprovide adequate credit to this author wherever and whenever you usethese questions in the form you found them here.Dhanyavaad.
Jim ONeill is an economist with Goldman Sachs, who contributed theacronym BRIC to the business-political lexicon to collate four emergingeconomies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Now he has come up withMIST, a next set of emerging economies. What are these countries? BIZ-ECOMexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey.
In 2011, a commemorative Rs. 150/- coin to mark 150 yearsof the establishment of the Income Tax Department ofIndia was issued. The coin features the outline of aperson, and a honeybee sitting on a lotus. This personhad once opined that the process of taxation shouldnt bepainful for the taxed, and that governments should collecttaxes like a bee, sucking just the right amount of honeyfrom the flower allowing both to flourish.Who was this person?Image: The Telegraph BIZ-ECO Chanakya.
As a teenager, she was part of a synchronized swimming team which even won abronze medal at the French national championships. According to her: “It was synchronised swimming that taught me: Grit your teeth and smile. In exactly the same way, [politics is] a sport of resistance and endurance. Youre in tension and control.”After a controversial proposal to amend some of Frances labour laws, somerelated to the cherished number of working hours, she was even dubbed MadameLa Gaffe by the local press.Which lady? (who became the first woman head at a major organization in 2011) BIZ-ECOChristine Lagarde, a former French minister and the first woman tohead the IMF.
This debuted in The Economist in 1986 and has been a popular albeit farcicalmethod of making a certain economic comparison. It appears annually, though itis updated several times a year.In 2011, India appeared in the list for the first ever time, but the results must betaken with a pinch of salt, since the Indian version isn’t the same as it iselsewhere.There have been calls to try out other objects, but so far, this has beenresisted.However, this year, The Economist collected the source data via crowdsourcingand not, as it were, from the cow’s mouth.What is all this about? BIZ-ECO The Big Mac Index, which uses the prices of the McDonalds Big Mac burger to compare purchasing power and exchange rates across countries. The chain does not make Big Macs in India because they are made with beef and uses the Maharajah Mac instead.
The first map is the "before" picture, the other is"after". There are 7 distinct colours. The colouring isbased on ratings provided by a US-based company.(There are more than seven categories in the data,but in the map above, some of the lower ones havebeen collapsed into one group for ease ofrepresentation.)This company has been issuing this data since 1916.In 2011, these ratings changed to give the onlydifference between them), caused much hullabaloo.What change? Images: Wikipedia BIZ-ECOThe maps represent the long term credit ratings for different countriesas assessed by Standard & Poors. Each country gets a letter code(starting from AAA which indicates the country is in great financialhealth). The company downgraded the USA to AA from AAA. (The onlydifference in the above maps is the colour of the USA.)
The Swiss business giant Nestlé has a dog food product called "Beneful"(under its Nestlé Purina pet care company). What unusual ad, targeted attheir real customers, did they launch on Austrian television in October2011? BIZ-ECOThe ad has high frequency sounds that dogs canlisten to (along with some sounds for thehuman owners).
What business entity connects the following set of people: Manas Sarkar, a 17 year cadet footballer Pawan Kumar, a senior associate for quality control Asha Hansda, a tribal beneficiary of the "Tejaswini" Project Deepika Kumari, a Commonwealth Gold medallist in Archery Jyoti Pandey, A Departmental Ethics coordinator Mark Denys, a Dutch researcher, formerly an employee of Corus Sadhan Baske, a tomato farmer Bachendri Pal, the fifth woman to scale Mt. Everest BIZ-ECO These people are featured in the 2011 Tata Steel "Values Stronger Than Steel" ad campaign.
ICM Registry is a company that is sponsoring and organizing a new top-leveldomain (the likes of ".com" etc.). Businesses and people will be able to buydomain names under this TLD soon. But before that, the company isadministering what it calls a "sun-rise" period.During this fifty day duration, other companies and well-known people who donot want to be associated with this TLD can request that no domain name withtheir names be sold. There is a process that will look at the validity of suchrequests and if accepted, a fee is taken from the requester.For what TLD is this happening? BIZ-ECOFor the new .xxx top-level domain.
This auto-makers logo has changed drasticallyover the last hundred-odd years. First, the logowas a wheel with lime leaves that was said torepresent Slavic nations. In the late twentiescame the Indian headdress motif that has beenconstant till this day. To mark twenty years ofassociation with Volkswagen, the lead colourblack has given way to green (for theenvironment) surrounded by a blue ring (for theVW group). Images: IN Auto NewsWhich car maker? BIZ-ECO Škoda.
The bank Credit Suisse has an ad campaign featuring this sporting star, thetagline of which is "Helping __ __ Relax Since 1981." In 2011, a new photo series inthis campaign was launched recently.According to these ads, the stars parents Robbie and Lynette opened a savingsaccount with them (or rather, their predecessors) a few weeks after his birth.So who is in this campaign? BIZ-ECORoger Federer.
This is the masthead of the Times of India on Dec 2nd in 2011. What newly launched product was being advertised on the front and back pages that day? BIZ-ECOToyota Etios - the tikkaa-like ETIOS symbol can beseen on the TOI masthead.
SocialSciences(history, geography, politics,military, the government)
This Roman God lords over the sea and isusually depicted with a beard and not muchelse. His name appears in association withmany fields such as astronomy, sea-faring,geography, and the military.His weapon of choice was the name of a militaryoperation in May 2011. What was the operationfor? Image: Wikipedia SOCIAL The god is Neptune. His weapon is a kind of spear, more commonly referred to as the Trident. The US operation to kill Osama bin Laden was officially called "Operation Neptunes Spear".
This Japanese Chinook military helicopter isabout to leave on a bombing run of sorts andwas part of a set of four used for this purpose,in March 2011.What was the helicopter carrying, and why? Image: Bloomberg & Asahi Shimbun SOCIALSea water; these were dumped on a damaged reactor at the Fukushimanuclear power plant in Japan, in an effort to cool down the overheatingthere.
He was a 17th century warrior and leader, in the Bundelkhand region(which is spread across present day UP and MP). He was in constant revoltagainst the Mughals and partnered the Marathas in their struggles againstthem.Modern-day Delhi has a sporting venue named after this King, which alsosaw some track and field events during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.This came back into the news in 2011 thanks to its association with the AnnaHazare campaign.So whats the name of this warrior? SOCIALRaja Chhatrasal. During the Lok Pal agitation, many Anna Hazaresupporters gathered at the stadium and were also detained there.
Ahmed Wali Karzai was the brother of Hamid Karzai, the current Presidentof Afghanistan. A controversial political figure in the area of Kandahar, he wasassassinated on 12 July in 2011.What aspect of his assassination is common to the killing of other leaderssuch as: * Laurent Kabila (President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; killed in 2001) * Carlos Castillo Armas (President of Guatemala; killed in 1957) * Indira Gandhi (PM of India; killed in 1984) SOCIALAll of them were killed by their own bodyguards.
This used to be the flag of this country during thelast two years of World War II when under Japaneseoccupation. The same design has been re-adoptedfor the new flag (implemented from 21st Oct 2010),except that the peacock has been replaced by a whitestar.Which country? Images: Wikipedia SOCIALMyanmar.
The Christian group The Seventh-day Adventist Church is called so is because ofits belief in the second coming of Christ (i.e. the Advent). The other reasonexplains the phrase "Seventh Day". Unlike most other Christian denominations,believers observe the Sabbath (i.e. the day of rest in Semitic religions) on theSaturday of a week, not the Sunday. This is akin to how Jews mark the Sabbath.In the end of December 2011, a group of Seventh-day Adventists in the little islandcountry of Samoa were faced with a dilemma around this observance, andeventually most parishes decided to observe it on a Sunday from now on.Why? SOCIALSamoa is switching to the west of the International Date Line (theimaginary boundary between calendar days in the Pacific) so as to sharethe same time zone as its major economic partners such as Australia andNew Zealand. This meant they moved from Thursday (29th) to Saturday(30th), losing Friday. The church members begin the Sabbath from Fridayevening, which wont be possible this time. To preserve a 7-day cycle, theyhave decided to switch to a Sunday.
This begins at the Tso Lhamo Lake in Sikkim and is one of the most importantgeographical features of the state. Its name probably comes from the fact that atone point it has three channels. A prominent Indian activist shares her namewith this entity, and while the person has had a knack of being involved incontroversy, the latter has been in the headlines in September 2011 for diplomaticreasons.Which feature? SOCIAL"Teesta", the river, the sharing of whose waters with Bangladesh has runinto trouble with the West Bengal government. Teesta Setalvad is theactivist.
UNESCO, the UN agency that works in areas such as science and culture, hasover 180+ members. Its most recent member was admitted in October 2011amidst some controversy. The admission of this state (which is not a member ofthe UN) triggered a US law that automatically cuts American aid to the agency(UNESCO is likely to lose about 20% of its budget as a result).Which new member is this? SOCIAL Palestine.
In April 2011, with Assembly elections in Assam around the corner, theGuwahati High Court issued a special direction to the Election Commission.The court asked the EC to ensure that voters who have been categorised asbeing in category D are not permitted to cast their vote.What does D stand for? SOCIAL"Doubtful". These are marked against names in voter lists which aresuspected to not be Indian citizens (primarily Bangladeshi citizens).
In late November 2010, citizens of Iceland participated in an election, in which25 people from various walks of life were elected. These 25 people collaboratedon producing something which Iceland had never created before. The previousone was borrowed from Denmark, with a few minor changes.So what did these people work on? SOCIALDrafting a new constitution.
Foreign Policy, an American magazine, along with the research group "The Fundfor Peace” publishes an annual index which ranks countries on 12 factorscomprising various social, economic, and political dimensions. Usually, countrieswould not want to be ranked high on this list.In 2011s list, the top ten sees 7 African countries; Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraqmake up the rest. Somalia is the unfortunate #1. Pakistan is #12. Expectedly,Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark) and Switzerland areat the very bottom.Such high ranking countries are described by a two-word geopolitical phrase thatindicates the inability of their governments to govern effectively. What term? SOCIAL"Failed State". This is the "Failed States Index".
Culture(arts, myth, religion,culture, and food)
The German-American artist Albert Bierstadtpainted "Emerald Sea" (also known as "The Shoreof the Turquoise Sea") which shows a giant waveabout to crash down on the shore.This painting is seen on a mural on the wall of afloor in a company building; this was thesecretive location of a new project by thatcompany. "Emerald Sea" also became the code-name for that project, referring to its critical "sailor drown" nature. The project became public in Image: AlbertBierstadt.org2011. What technology project? CULTURE "Google+", the new social-networking offering from Google.
Beatification is one of the steps in the process of canonising (or declaring aperson as a "saint"), in the Christian religion. In 2011, Pope John Paul II wasbeatified. During this ceremony, a vial of his blood (drawn during his last days)was used as one of the relics of the late Pope.The honour of carrying this object was given to Sister Marie Simon-PierreNormand, a French nun.Why was she accorded this honour? CULTURETo be beatified, a miracle must be attributed to the person inquestion, in which the person intercedes to help someone who prays tohim. In this case, the French nun is supposed to have been sufferingfrom Parkinsons Disease, and was said to have been cured by the Popein 2006 (after his death). One more miracle is required forcanonisation.
This is a music album by a Indian academic andwriter (now resident in Britain). Classified as being inthe jazz or world music categories, The album isinspired by the likes of John Lennon and LeonardCohen, and has tracks such as "Saraswati", "NorwegianWood", and "One Fine Day".The name "Found Music" refers to artist MartinDuchamps "found objects" art series in whicheveryday objects were repurposed as art. Image: WikipediaWho is this composer-author? CULTUREAmit Chaudhuri, author of books such as "Freedom Song" and "TheImmortals".
Halloween is when a lot of websites put out specialpages dedicated to the spooky. In 2011, Bing, Microsoftssearch engine that has a background image each day,had the darkest of the lot.What you see on the right is a well-known architecturalfigure, seen in many cultures. Apart from theirdecorative animal shapes, these figures also helped inthe draining of water away from building walls. Image: BingThe name of these figures comes from a French wordfor "throat". What are they called? CULTUREGargoyles
The "Ig Nobels" are a spoof of the Nobels. 2011s winners for Mathematics won it"for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions andcalculations". Below are their names and the year of their achievement: * Dorothy Martin, USA, 1954 * Pat Robertson, USA, 1982 * Elizabeth Clare Prophet, USA, 1990 * Lee Jang Rim, Korea, 1992 * Credonia Mwerinde, Uganda, 1999 * Harold Camping, USA, Sept 6-7, 1994 and later Oct 21, 2011What is their common achievement? CULTUREPredict the end of the world.
The Dance of the Black Hats is often performed inthis country on special occasions and religiousfestivals, particularly to purify the surroundings anddispel evil spirits. This dance commemorates theassassination of a king named Langdarma in thefirst century AD, by a monk.What was the occasion for a high-profile Image: Getty Images and Daylifeperformance of this dance in October 2011? CULTUREDuring the wedding of the Bhutanese king Jigme Khesar Wangchuck.
Chaat! is the in-house magazine of the British Curry Club, an organization thatpromotes the "British curry industry". In 2011, top spot in a Chaat! survey todetermine the most popular dish in Indian restaurants in Britain went to a kind ofcurry dish, which is described by The Telegraph as: A hot curry with green chillies, peppers, onion and tomatoes. Marinated meat is fried in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce. Dating from the time of the Mughals, its name comes from [a] Bengali word ___, meaning spicy hot.What dish is this? CULTURE"Jalfrezi". The Bengali word is "Jhaal".
Mewat is a region in North India that is spread across parts of northern Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. It has a large Muslim community that claims its lineage from Rajput clans. Members also practice some traditional Hindu customs. The community came into attention in 2011 after clashes with Gujjars in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. What is their name (which derives from the regions name)? CULTUREThe Meo (or Meo Muslims)
This activity (or rather an absence of one) consists of beingphotographed while lying prone in a less than common location.These photos invariably make their way to the Internet, whichhas fuelled this viral craze. Said to have been invented by twoBritishers in the 90s, it has since spread to much of the Westernworld.Its best known name originated in Australia, also the site of itsfirst known casualty (in May 2011). A man fell to his deathattempting the fad on a 7th floor balcony, prompting all mannerof health advisories to be issued by top officials.Whats this best known as ? CULTURE“Planking”.
Opening to the public on the 12th of Sept 2011, this has 2983 names. Theseare carved on bronze parapets around two pools (North and South). Eachname is associated with a code, the code consisting of a letter and a number.The letter is either N or S, indicating the associated pool, while the numberindicates the panel where the name is to be found.Names are grouped, usually by affiliation. But based on some requests, certainnames have been grouped together by family or friendship.What is this describing? CULTUREThe 9/11 Memorial, which has the names of all those who perishedas a result of the attacks.
The "World Earth Catalog" was created by Stewart Brand in1968 and published continuously for a short duration of fouryears. It documented information, products, and ideas,appealing to those who subscribed to the counterculturemovements in the US, and were interested in ecology, theenvironment, sustainable living, etc.This is the back cover of the last issue in 1974, with a four wordphrase (blanked out) on it. In 2005, this burst into prominenceand has been with us in one form or another. Once again, inearly Oct 2011, it was once again widely quoted. Image: The Car Free American BlogWhich phrase? CULTURE"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish", the quote that Steve Jobs made famous inhis 2005 Stanford commencement speech.
Other setsThis ebook had questions from Business & Economics, Social Sciences,and Culture. The other three sets are:Set I: India, Sports, Science, and TechnologySet II: Books, Entertainment & Media, Language, and EtymologySet III: VIZuals, Connections, Awards, and ObituariesAbout the AuthorJ. Ramanand is a quizzer from Pune, India, and was the youngest winneron the fifth (and so far final, as he likes to remind everyone) edition of BBCMastermind India programme in 2002. He loves to set and talk aboutquizzes, and helps run the BCQC, Punes quizzing group.