The QFI General Open Quiz at IIT Madras - The Prelims


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Questions from the General Open Quiz organized by QFI Chennai and The IIT Madras Quiz Club at IIT Madras on 25 Jan 2014.

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The QFI General Open Quiz at IIT Madras - The Prelims

  1. 1. Researched and conducted by: Major Chandrakant Nair
  2. 2. The Quiz Foundation of India The IIT Madras Quiz Club Hari Parameswaran Krishna Akhil Navin Rajaram
  3. 3.    33 questions  37 points Questions 11-20 are starred and will be used to resolve ties In case scores are still tied after using up the starred questions, the team with the first wrong answer (starting from Q1) will be eliminated  Top 9 teams in the finals Members of the top 3 college teams that don't make it straight away will be drafted into these 9 teams (making it 9 teams with 4 members each in the finals) on the basis of prelims scores 
  4. 4.  There are only 5 national capitals in the world that use an apostrophe in their names. Two of them are in the Caribbean and named after Saints, i.e. St. John’s (Antigua and Barbuda) and St. George’s (Grenada) and another in the Pacific, i.e. Nuku’alofa (Tonga).  Of the remaining two, one is the capital of an Asian country and the other of an African country.  Name both capitals.  (1 point each)
  5. 5. Scenes from the closed Ciudad Real airport in Spain. What is happening here? Bigger image follows.
  6. 6.  National Depository Centres of India are institutions that receive a copy of every book, newspaper and periodical published in the country. There are four such centres: - National Library of India, Calcutta - Asiatic Society of Bombay - Delhi Public Library  Name the fourth centre.
  7. 7.  Only Connect is a BBC quiz show based on finding connections between seemingly unrelated clues. The final buzzer round is named Missing Vowels, where the teams are given words or phrases with the vowels removed and the spaces shifted to disguise the original words. In the first match of Series 3, one of the topics in this round was French Phrases in English, which surprisingly had the same question presented twice in the exact same form. This also prompted the host Victoria Coren to ask if the teams liked the joke.  Which phrase was used twice in the round?
  8. 8. Still from The Sign of Three, Sherlock s03e02. What is such a napkin fold called/modelled on?
  9. 9.  They are classified on the basis of their shape into 2 groups tabular and non-tabular.  The tabular variety have steep sides and a flat top, like a plateau, with a length-to-height ratio of more than 5:1. The non-tabular ones come in different shapes like dome, pinnacle, wedge and blocky. The largest one recorded till date is B-15, which was spotted in March 2000 and had a surface area of 11,000 km².  What are we talking about?
  10. 10.  She is an Indian-American cook-book author whose debut work Easy Exotic won the "Best First Book" award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. But she is more famous for a career in another field and, as per her own admission, is the first person from her country in this field in Europe.  Her full name may be interpreted to contain references to each of the 3 members in a certain trinity.  Who?
  11. 11.  This is Weird Al Yankovic’s Bob, a track from his Grammy Award winning studio album Poodle Hat. It is a style parody of Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and ‘Tombstone Blues’.  How were the lyrics of this song composed?  Video removed.  Link:
  12. 12.  From the introduction of a 1939 novel: “The numerals caused plenty of trouble, none between six and thirty were available. When introducing young ladies into the story, this is a real barrier; for what young woman wants to have it known that she is over thirty? And this restriction on numbers, of course taboos all mention of dates.”  Which novel? OR Why were these numbers not available for use?
  13. 13.  In typography, a coincidental alignment of spaces can cause gaps in the type. Most noticeable with justification or monospaced fonts, they can also result from the close repetition of a long word or similar words at regular intervals.   What are these gaps called? A cluster of these adjacent gaps can create a lighter area within a block of type. What are these areas called?  (1 point each)
  14. 14.  This magazine cover depicts how a glove was used to make the vital intervention in a 1963 incident.  Which incident?
  15. 15.  There are 2 schools of thought on this issue, and the resolution of the contradiction between the two was based on this classification in Bharata’s ‘Natyashastra’ - Atihasita, Apahasita, Upahasita, Vihasita, Hasita and Sita. One group believes in Sita (if at all), while the second one advocates the occurrence of the other extreme at a certain pivotal moment, their argument supported by multiple tales. The most famous representation of the theory proposed by this second group is a 10th century wanderer with a name meaning ‘linen sack’.  What was the point of conflict between the 2 groups? OR How do we better know this traveller?
  16. 16.  Space constraints in many countries have prompted the construction of buildings such as the Memorial Ecumenica in Santos, Brazil. The building, the tallest of its kind in the world, has 32 floors with 1000 niches per floor, and each one can be rented for $6,000-$21,000 for 3 years. The facility is open 24 hours a day in view of the extreme heat in Brazil. Another similar structure is the Moksha Tower in Mumbai, with an in-built artificial river, still in its planning stages.  What is the purpose of these buildings?  Images follow.
  17. 17.  Residents (and companies who’ve been tasked) of a particular Asian region toil day and night to pack soil of the region into huge bags that today dominate its landscape. The top 2-3 cm of soil is removed and over 100 million cubic metres is already stored in growing mountains of blue and black vinyl bags dotted around the countryside. This system is in existence for the past 3 years.  Which region?  Images in the next 2 slides.
  18. 18.  England had to beat San Marino by 7 goals and hope for Poland to beat the Netherlands in the last group fixtures to ensure qualification for the 1994 Football World Cup.  England manager Graham Taylor issued a rallying call ahead of the game: “In 20 years, people will recall this and say ‘Do you remember the night when we beat San Marino by seven goals and Poland beat Netherlands to put England into the World Cup finals’. We're making history!”  What nickname was given to Taylor because of the similarity of this speech to another incident involving England and made famous by fiction?
  19. 19.  It takes a woman 9 years to become a full-fledged X. The first stage is a ‘come and see’ phase for the interested. If they still wish to join, they enter Aspirancy, focused on learning English. This is followed by Postulancy, where history and sacred texts are taught. The final stage is the Novitiate where they wear plain white garments and involve themselves in prayers and practical training. Thereafter, 3 blue stripes are added to the white garment and a year is spent in Rome, Washington D.C. etc. on Tertianship, a period of deep spiritual growth.  What is X?
  20. 20.  Members of the genus Malus are known to reduce the risk of colon, prostate and lung cancers. They contain ursolic acid which increases skeletal muscle and brown fat, and decreases white fat, obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease. A rich source of dietary fibre and Vitamin C, they can prevent oxidative damage and cognitive decline by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Tribute was paid to these facts by the folks of Pembrokeshire, and this appeared in print for the first time in the Feb 1866 edition of Notes and Queries magazine. What was this tribute?
  21. 21.  Weighing 450 tons, it is roughly the same size as a football field, has been in existence for 15 years and taken around $150 billion to build. Today, it holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive man-made object ever.  Just identify this object, where Christmas is usually celebrated more than once a year.
  22. 22.  Pictured is the official emblem of the 1952 Winter Olympics. The building depicted on the emblem was named the city’s “Structure of the Century” in 2005.  Which building? What annual event, previously hosted by the country’s parliament and the city university’s faculty of law among others, is the building hosting since 1990?  Bigger image follows.  (1 point each)
  23. 23.  The works of Michelangelo, Rubens, Durer etc. of Adam and Eve highlighted a particular aspect of their creation, one that has been the cause of great theological debate for centuries. Those who are in favor of it cite connections to God, the process of creation of Eve itself and the exile from the Garden of Eden as reasons. However, the church was against this view (and rightfully so, according to Christian beliefs), prompting many other medieval painters to use extra foliage and long hair in their depictions, not wanting to offend the clergy.  What is this issue popularized by the named painters, one that challenges the very foundations of Christianity?
  24. 24.  God Bless You, X is a collection of short fictional interviews written by Kurt Vonnegut in 1999. The title is a parody of his 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.  The work features Vonnegut employing X to give him neardeath experiences, allowing him access to heaven and those in it for a limited time, including people like Shakespeare, Hitler, Isaac Asimov etc.  Who is X?
  25. 25.  Description of a chess set that was listed on eBay: “Extremely high quality copy of a very rare chess Set. Originally the set was created on Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in 1920s by a very famous and important artist - Natalia Danko. It is 100% impossible to find the original set for sale. This copy was made from an original set which is located in Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Museum. This copy is hand made, hand painted and is a very limited edition.”  What inspired the design of the chess set? Images follow.
  26. 26.  One of America's most prominent abstract expressionist painters, this half-Italian burst on to the New York scene in 1946 with his first solo show at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery. His social circle had people like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Henry Miller and Tennessee Williams. His wife was a painter too, and sold a painting to the Museum of Modern Art for a princely $100 in 1942, way before any of her peers were accepted by the institution. Today, some of his works are prominently displayed at the Tribeca Grill restaurant and the Greenwich Hotel, both owned by a famous son.  Just identify. Image follows.
  27. 27.  On September 27, 1925, the day of Vijayadashami, he declared that “We must train intellectually, physically, and in every way so as to be capable of achieving our cherished goal.” Drill and exercise sessions began soon, but the men involved wanted to ensure that these could be performed without any difficulty. For this, they sought inspiration from the police and the colonial Army, as this also instilled values of discipline and a feeling that they were the protectors of culture, religion and country from the intruders.  Story behind the origin of what?
  28. 28.  The 1899 edition of the America’s Cup was held off the coast of New Jersey from Oct 3-16. The US yacht Columbia owned by J.P. Morgan gained the required 3 out of 5 decision over the yacht Shamrock owned by Sir Thomas Lipton. The event was covered in great detail by a correspondent of the New York Herald. The reporter was stationed aboard SS Ponce, a passenger ship of the Porto Rico Line and sent in numerous live updates which, in itself, was a media sensation. This was the first time in history when an event had been tracked in this manner.  Who was this correspondent?
  29. 29.  This concept, that started in the 16th century AD, is designed to uphold the principles of equality between all people of the world regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status. Two major accomplishments of this tradition have been the participation of women and children in the service of mankind, and also teaching people the etiquette of sitting and eating in a community situation. The name of the tradition is also used by the Indian Army units to refer to messes catering to the troops.  What tradition/term?
  30. 30.  X is a remote control software developed in the late 1980s as a Macintosh product by WOS Datasystems and later upgraded to run on Microsoft Windows. It allowed a user to control another computer across the local network or the Internet, viewing its screen and using its keyboard and mouse as if he or she were sitting in front of it.  The name X reflected that the software could access another terminal with ease, no matter how remote it was. What is X?
  31. 31.  This term refers to a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. It originates from a late 1960s TV series which had security personnel wearing a particular uniform dying frequently during episodes. It was calculated that of the 59 total deaths in the series, 43 (73%) were these personnel. John Scalzi’s novel that won the Hugo Award in 2013 is named after and based on the same concept.  What term?
  32. 32.  This organization under the Ministry of Human Resources Development was constituted in its present form in 1962 and has a motto meaning ‘From Untruth to Truth’. Today, it has close to 9,000 entities affiliated to it (including 141 in 20 countries other than India) and 8 regional offices for proper functioning: Delhi, Chennai, Guwahati, Allahabad, Panchkula, Ajmer, Bhubaneswar and Patna.  Which organization?
  33. 33. This tweet was accompanied by a photograph where Djokovic demonstrated the extreme heat levels at the tournament. What was the photograph about?
  34. 34.  The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the US to escape to the free states and Canada with the aid of people who were sympathetic to their cause. These slaves routinely utilized a folk song called Follow the Drinking Gourd so they would not get lost.  What was the ‘Drinking Gourd’?
  35. 35.  By the age of 40 years, X’s hair had completely turned grey. Therefore, services of a French coiffeur were utilized during a visit to Paris. The hair dresser dyed the hair jet black, but intentionally left out a few strands on the right side. He also restyled it to be short at the neck and longer at the top, a pattern that fit in well because X had curly hair. Once back home, the plum job of maintaining the look went to a stylist named Habib Ahmed and required the routine import of a special dye from Germany.  Who is X?
  36. 36.  The music director of this film made his debut in the industry as a child vocalist-actor in a 1993 song composed by his maternal uncle.  Who is the music director? Which song?  (1 point each)  Video removed (‘Pookkal Pookkum’ from Madrasapattinam)  Link: