Thursday, March 31, 2005
This is the current version of the quiz, and the answers are not out yet for this one. Feel free to send in your answers.

1. Which American chemist, winner of the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1932, invented the gas filled incandescent lamp, as well as the hydrogen welding technique? He even has a famous journal named after him in recognition of his contributions to its field.

2. Which group of chemicals (known chemically as alkyl- or aryl- magnesium halides) owe their name to the 1912 Nobel prize winner in Chemistry, who discovered them? As one of my class XII profs used to say, when all other options in organic synthesis fail, think of him!

3. IUPAC is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. It is the recognized authority in developing standards for the naming of chemical compounds. What is the complete expanded form of IUPAC?

4. In addition to radium, which other element was discovered by Marie Curie? She named it after her country of birth.

5. What is the name of the machine, invented by Ernest Lawrence in 1929, and designed to accelerate charged particles (such as electrons and ions) to very high energies using a combination of electric and magnetic fields [a type of particle accelerator]?

6. Which ancient practice had the search for the ‘philosopher’s stone’ as one of its key goals, for converting any metal to gold, as well as for curing all diseases?

7. Chemical Companies
a. Which well known chemical company has the copyrighted slogan ‘The Miracles of Science’?
b. Which chemical company is credited with the development of such diverse chemicals as aspirin, heroin, mustard gas and the common antibiotic Ciprofloxacin?
c. Which company became the largest pharma company in the world in 2002 following a series of mergers with Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia and Searle (which had been previously acquired by Pharmacia)?
d. Which company first started making polystyrene foam under the tradename ‘Styrofoam’?

8. Which highly reactive metal was the first to be discovered by spectroscopic analysis? [It derives its name for the Latin for ‘sky blue’, because of the bright blue lines in its spectrum. This element was discovered by Gustav Kirchoff (of the ‘Kirchoff’s current law’ fame) and Robert Bunsen (of the Bunsen burner fame)]. If these were not enough clues, this element finds application in atomic clocks and devices based on the photoelectric effect.

9. Which organic compound, owes the deduction of its chemical structure to the French chemist Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz? It was originally discovered by Michael Faraday, who named it bicarburet of hydrogen.

10. Which compound was responsible for more than 2000 deaths in the Bhopal gas tragedy?

11. Nobel Prizes
a. For what pioneering contribution did Fritz Haber receive the 1918 Nobel Prize for chemistry?

b. Which American chemist won the 1954 prize ‘for his research into the nature of the chemical bond’? he was one of the key contributors in elucidating the structure of the DNA molecules, and also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing

c. English biochemist Frederick Sanger has been a very key contributor to the genomic revolution by developing the ‘Sanger method’ for DNA sequencing. What is his unique qualification when it comes to Nobel prizes?

d. Who won the 1903 (the third year of the Nobel Prize) award ‘for his electrolytic theory of dissociation’? One of the pioneers of physical chemistry, his Nobel prize winning work was actually his doctoral thesis. It failed to impress his professors, and he received the minimum passing grade for it. In addition to this work, he proposed the concept of ‘activation energy’ – the energy barrier to be overcome before two molecules will react. He also formulated a quantitive relationship between activation energy and the rate of reaction.

12. Which elements comprise the alloy ‘brass’?


1. Irvine Langmuir
2. Grignard reagents
3. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
4. Polonium (after Poland)
5. Cyclotron
6. Alchemy
7a. Du Pont
7b. Bayer
7c. Pfizer
7d. Dow Chemicals
8. Cesium
9. Benzene
10. Methyl isocyanate
11a. Synthesis of ammonia
11b. Linus Pauling
11c. To date, Frederick Sanger is the only two time winner of the Chemistry Nobel Prize.
11d. Svant Arrhenius
12. Copper + Zinc

Quiz 3 (March 21-27, 2005): Bollywood

1. Which actress won the first Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1970? [HINT: She was married to the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich]

2. Who played Akbars wife Jodhabai in the 1960 classic Mughal-e-Azam?

3. Which actor made his hindi movie debut in the 1969 movie ˜Saat Hindustani?

4. For which 1977 Shyam Benegal movie based on the life of actress Hansa Wadkar did Smita Patil win the national award?

5. Who won five consecutive Filmfare awards for best male playback singer?

6. What special occasion celebrates its fifty first anniversary this week (March 21)? It took place at Mumbais Metro theater and was presided over by the then US Ambassador to India, Mr. George V. Allen?

7. Who directed the critically acclaimed 1984 movie ˜Saaraansh?

8. By what name was the comedian Badruddin Jamaluddin Qazi commonly known to the public? [HINT: He was first spotted by noted actor Balraj Sahni in a bus, where he
was working as a conductor.]

9. Which well known film critic and former editor of Filmfare made his directorial debut with the 2000 movie ˜Fiza?

10. Who won Filmfare awards in the ˜Best Dialogue category for movies ˜Namak Haram and ˜Anand?

11. Sanjeev Kumar is remembered for playing the character of ˜Thakur in Sholay. What is the full name of this character?

12. in the last ten years, which 4 directors won Filmfare awards for ˜Best Screenplay in their directorial debut ventures (1995, 1998, 1999, 2001)?


1. Devika Rani
2. Durga Khote
3. Amitabh Bachchan
4. Bhumika
5. Kumar Sanu (1990-94: Aashiqui, Saajan, Deewana, Baazigar, and 1942: A Love Story)
6. The first Filmfare Awards function
7. Mahesh Bhatt
8. Johnny Walker
9. Khalid Mohammad
10. Gulzar
11. Thakur Baldev Singh
12. Aditya Chopra (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge), Karan Johar (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), John Mathew Mathan (Sarfarosh), Farhan Akhtar (Dil Chahta Hai)

Quiz 2 (CRICKET)
Quiz 2 (March 14-20, 2005): Cricket [Although dealing with cricket in general, it is more focused on Indian cricket]

1. How many centuries has Sachin Tendulkar scored in ODIs? This seems to be a very easy question, but it's very easy to lose track of the number!

2. As of March 13, 2005 at what position does India stand in the ICC Test Rankings?

3. Which fast bowler (373 test wickets) made his test debut in the same match as Sachin Tendulkar?

4. Who won the man of the match award in the 2nd tied test match (Aus-Ind, Madras 1986-87)?

5. Who holds the Indian record for the longest stay at the wickets in a test inning? Any other details will get bonus credit.

6. how many triple hundreds has Sir Don Bradman scored in test matches?

7. who is the only Indian to have scored a century on his test debut at Lords?

8. rahul dravid is india's third highest run getter in tests after Gavaskar and Tendulkar. Who is the fourth highest? [hint former captain]

9. Javed Miandad's last ball six off Chetan Sharma is legendary. It was the final of which tournament (1986)?

10. Who was india's highest wicket taker in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa?:

11. India have played Pakistan 4 times in the World Cup (1991/92 Sydney, 1995/96 Bangalore, 1999 Manchester and 2002-03 Centurion).
a.Only one player apart from Tendulkar has played for India in all 4 games who is this player?
b.Which umpire has officiated in all these 4 games?

12. who is the only cricketer to have reached a test triple century with a six?


1. 37
2. 3rd
3. Waqar Younis
4. Shared by Dean Jones and Kapil Dev
5. Rahul Dravid last year against Pakistan at Rawalpindi (270 off 495 balls in 740 minutes, beating Gavaskar's 172 in 708 minutes against England at Bangalore in 1981-82.
6. 2
7. Saurav Ganguly
8. Dilip Vengsarkar (6868 runs in 116 matches)
9. Australasia Cup
10. Zaheer Khan (18)
11. a. Javagal Srinath; b. David Shephard.
12. Virendra Sehwag

Quiz 1 (Academy Awards)
This was sent out on Monday (March 7, 2005)

Last Sunday was the ceremony for the 77th Annual Academy Awards - this trivia series was supposed to have started from that day. Even though it didn't start last weekend, I am still going to use the awards as the topic for the first quiz. i have tried to cover a lot of categories of the awards, in order to give an allround flavor. Here is a brief intro the Academy Awards - some of you may already know it, you can move directly to the questions.

The Academy Awards are given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Here is the reason why they are called the "Oscars" - the award statuette was allegedly nicknamed Oscar when Academy librarian Margaret Herrick saw it and said, "it looks just like my uncle Oscar!". The name has since stuck, and is used very commonly. It has even been accepted by the Academy - in fact, the Academy's domain name is oscars.org and the official website for the Academy Awards is at www.oscars.com. Of course, I am hoping you will not use it as a resource to answer these questions!

1. What is the record for maximum number of Oscars for single movie (i.e. how many)? This record is shared by which three films?

2. Which was the first movie to win the award for "Best Animated Feature" in the year the Academy instituted this category (2001)?

3. For which 1996 movie did Nicholas Cage win the Oscar for best actor?

4. Which movie won the 1989 award for Best Foreign Language Film? [Hints: Directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, and a superb music score by Ennio Morricone, it is the story of a successful film director returning home to his town for the funeral of his friend, who was the projectionist at the local "movie hall" (the phrase in quotes is the giveaway). It has one of the best performances by a child artiste that I have seen. Hopefully these hints are more than enough]

5. Which 1990 movie about a cavalry officer befriending a band of Dakota "red" Indians won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director

6. Which 1984 movie, based on a novel by E.M.Forster about tensions between British colonials and natives of India won 3 Academy award for Best Supporting Actress (Peggy Ashcroft), Best Music and Best Original Score?

7. Best supporting Actor awards:
a. For which 1997 movie (set in Boston) did Robin William receive the award?
b. For which 1992 western (directed by Clint Eastwood) did Gene Hackman receive the award?
c. Which actor won the Best Supporting Actor award in 2005? (he was twice nominated earlier for best actor in 1989 and 1994)

8. Which 1994 movie based on a Stephen King novel received 7 nominations but failed to win a single award? It was later listed as one of the top three movies on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) Top 250 Movies of All Time?

9. Which actress was posthumously awarded The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy in 1993 for her work as special ambassador for UNICEF? She won the best actress award for her role in a 1953 movie with Gregory Peck (I am not giving away the movie since it will make it too easy), and was nominated four other times for Sabrina, Wait until dark, breakfast at Tiffany's and The nun's story.

10. Which 1999 movie (whose lead character is named Thomas A. Anderson) won the Oscar for its revolutionary special effects?

11. For which 1995 movie based on the novel by Jane Austen did Emma Thompson win the award for Best Adapted Screenplay?

12. Which 1996 documentary won the award for best documentary feature? It was about the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in 1974

1. 11, Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2. Shrek
3. Leaving Las Vegas
4. Cinema Paradiso
5. Dances with the wolves
6. A Passage to India
7. a) Goodwill Hunting
b) Unforgiven
c) Morgan Freeman
8. The Shawshank Redemption
9. Audrey Hepburn
10. The Matrix
11. Sense and Sensibility
12. While we were kings

A quizzing blog
Hello all

I have been sending out a weekly quiz on a variety of topics to a bunch of my friends for the past few weeks, and on the suggestion of one of them, I decided to put the weekly quiz on the web. I thought it was a swell idea, and no better way to do it than through a blog. I have been using blogger for several months now, and am quite familiar with the interface, so it was a piece of cake. Besides it allows me to add some more spice to the quiz such as visual questions.

I will start by posting all previous quizzes. This week's quiz is on Chemistry, while previous quizzes were on Academy Awards, Cricket and Bollywood. In case you need to send me solutions, you can email me. Ofcourse, a honor system is in place, and it is hoped that you did not use the web or other sources to get the answers.

Generally, I send out the questions every Monday, and you have till the following Sunday to send in the answers. I will post the answers in the following week. Happy Quizzing ....

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