Dated - April 7, 1999
Hardcore Hindu Myth - Yagnas
1. Connect Adhvaryu, Udgata, Hota and Brahmaa.
2. The three great sacrifices in Aryavarta were the Rajasuya, Aswamedha
and _____. This last yagna was focused on the mystic number 17 - it
lasted for 17 days, was performed on 17 altars, 17 animals were
sacrificed ... Two common surnames in North India originate from this
sacrifice. Name it.
3. The site of Maharshi Paraashara's hermitage, Dharmakshetra, was
ransacked and burnt by Kartaveerya Arjuna, who was later killed by
Parashurama. Paraashara's son, Veda Vyaasa, restored it to its pristine
glory and organized a 12 year long Shrauta Satra there, to codify the
four Vedas. What is this place better known as, even today?
4. Further to the above question, in the Srauta Satra, who were the four
scholars (acharyas) who led the teams which codified each of the four
5. In the beginning, there was the WORD - Omkara. Then came a yagna in
which the sacrificial being was the Purusha. This being was the source of
all creation, various components of the universe coming from its body
parts. Now, what originated from the Purusha's face, arms, thighs and
6. The Aryans who first came to India had horses, which enabled them to
conquer wide areas of land, subjugating people who had never seen horses.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the horse is a symbol of power in
Aryan culture - as represented by the Aswamedha yagna. It is mentioned in
the Vedas as of divine origin, the offspring of a certain Horse - Name
7. This Yagna was performed by the sages Yaja and Upayaja, to produce
offspring for the childless King Dhrupada. It produced Drishtadyumna and
Draupadi. Just name it.
8. King Janamejaya performed a great Sarpa Satra yagna to punish the Naga
Takshaka, who killed his father, Pareekshit (Abhimanyu's son). It was
stopped due to the intercession of the Rishi Asika, who prevailed upon
him to forgive and forget. What momentuous event took place during this
9. This yagna was originally enjoined as a daily duty for an Aryan. It's
name literally means Offering to the Fire. Performers of this ritual
would (and still do) keep the sacred fire burning permanently in their
homes. What is this yagna called?
10. During Yudhishtira's Aswamedha Yagna, the ceremonial horse entrusted
to Arjuna was captured by his son, who fought a duel with bows and killed
him. Arjuna was subsequently brought back to life by his Naga wife
Uloopi. He praised his son's valor, took back the horse and went on ...
The question is - name this son, and his mother. Also, the country of
which he was the king.
Answers to Quiz #45
1. They were the four priests who officiated at Yagnas.
Performs expiatory &
2. Vajpeya - hence Vajpayee or Bajpai
3. Kurukshetra (now in modern Haryana). The Shrauta Satra was preceded by
a Vajpeya sacrifice by King Shantanu, the head of the clan of Kuru and
Bheeshma's father. Hence the name Kurukshetra.
4. For the four vedas:
Rig Veda - Paila;
Yajur Veda - Vaishampayana;
Sama Veda - Jaimini;
Atharva Veda - Sumanthu.
5. The four castes. Priests (Brahmanas) came from the head, Kings
(Kshatriyas) from the arms, Traders (Vaishyas) from the thighs and
Workers (Shudras) from the feet.
This is an uniquely symbolic representation of the division of labor
principle on which the caste system was originally founded.
Brahmanas represent learning and thought ... hence the head.
Kshatriyas represent might and power ... hence the arms
Vaishyas and their trade prop up the economy, hence the thighs.
Shudras, with their labor, support and supplement the efforts of the
other castes, hence their origin from the feet.
Further to this ... From the mind came the moon, eyes - sun, face - Indra
and Agni, prana (life force) - Vayu, navel - the Heavens ...
From the Purusha Suktham.
6. Dadhikravas. < Tolkien fans - this sounds much like Felarof, the steed
of Eorl the Young, Father of all Horses - including Gandalf's steed
7. Putra Kameshti Yagna.
8. The Mahabharata was first recited by Vaishampayana - one of Vyasa's
earliest and most gifted associates and disciples. He led the team which
codified the Yajur Veda (see question 4 above)
9. Agnihotra - and hence the surname Agnihotri, for a performer of this
10. Babhruvahana - son of Chitrangada. He was king of Manipura.
Dated - April 16, 1999
1. Name the cartoon character created by Clarence E.Mulford, in a series
of cartoons set in the Bar 20 Ranch. This character was extremely
popular from the 1930s to the 1950s, appearing in several movies, radio
and TV shows.
2. Frederic Faust wrote a series of western novels under the pseudonym
Max Brand. He also created a famous "medical" character, who has
appeared in several comic strips. Name this character.
3. Using the pseudonym Evan Hunter, this writer wrote novels like The
Blackboard Jungle and Last Summer. He is much better known for the
police procedural novels he writes using another pseudonym. What?
4. This author and county magistrate, along with his brother, took the
initiative to launch the Bow Street Runners, the forerunners of the
London police force. Name him.
5. In Dante's Divine Comedy, a Greek called Sinon suffers the greatest
punishment - being held permanently between Satan's jaws. What has he
done to deserve this punishment?
6. Of whom did the people wonder
That one small head could carry all he knew?
7. Give me one word for
A technique of wall decoration in which the surface is covered with a
thin layer of colored plaster and the design scratched through to reveal
the color of the original surface.
8. Give me one word for
A full sized design for a painting or tapestry which is transferred to
the final surface by tracing or pricking over the design.
9. The Hungarian team of 1954 included greats such as Ferenc Puskas - a
world beating team. Who was their coach?
10. The Goddess Juno Moneta is said to have warned the Romans of the
invasions of Rome by the Gauls and later by King Pyrrhus (of the Pyrrhic
victory fame). What was done to honor the Goddess?
Answers to Quiz #46
1. Hopalong Cassidy
3. Ed McBain
4. Henry Fielding, the author of Tom Jones.
5. He convinced the Trojans to accept the Trojan Horse, causing Troy's
6. The village schoolmaster in Oliver Goldsmith's poem
9. Gustav Sibes
10.Coins were struck in her name - hence the origin of the words Money,
Monetary, Mint etc.
Dated - April 25, 1999
1. Which term in the English language arises from the fact that a cocker-
tap was used to prevent too much liquor from flowing out of a barrel?
2. The 1783 peace treaty with 13 colonies of America gave Florida to the
Spanish for failing to recover what?
3. The 11th century Vaishnavite temple in Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh has
an idol which is unique. How?
4. In March 1871, after an attempt by the National Assembly in Versailles
to disarm the Paris National Guard was unsuccessful, a provisional
government called the Paris Commune was established.
It held power until May of that year after which the Versailles troops
captured Paris. This provisional government is important in history for a
particular reason. Why?
5. Contrary to popular belief, Elisha Graves Otis was not the inventor of
the electric elevator. He invented a device which made elevators safer.
Who did invent the electric elevator?
6. Panini's Ashtyadhyayi was criticised by another great grammarian
called Katyayana. In defence, a great commentary was written on Panini's
work. Who wrote it and what was this commentary called?
7. In the Bronx Zoo in New York City, there is a cage with the following
This animal is the only creature to have killed off entire species of
What is in the cage?
8. This astronomer is responsible for calculating (in 1927) the mass and
size of our galaxy and the sun's distance from its centre. He did so by
observing the observing the obscure movements of stars around the centre
of the Milky Way.
His team mapped the spiral shape of the galaxy from radio waves given out
by inter-stellar hydrogen. He is most famous however for postulating the
presence of an astronomical phenomenon that now bears his name. Who is
9. In a 1980 judgement, the US Supreme Court ruled that new forms of life
created in a lab may be patented. What is this law called?
10. Which is the only sport where men and women compete on an equal basis
in all categories all over the world?
11. The Mughal Emperor Momammed Shah Rangila once offered a paan to Baba
Gopal Das Pandey to praise for his singing. Pandey accepted the paan and
was hence ostracised by the orthodox Brahmin community to which he
belonged. What was the result of this?
12. Among his best known works are Christina's World (1948), Her Room
(1963), and Spring Fed (1967). However he is best known for the 1986
revelation of 240 previously unknown works, all studies of an unknown
woman called Helga. Who is this American artist?
13. This American mathematician, who lived between 1894 and 1964, was the
founder of the science of cybernetics, the study of control and
communications in machines, animals and organisations. During World War
II, while engaged in developing anti-aircraft defence techniques, he
attempted to produce a mathematical system for communicating vital
information. Through this work, he became interested in automatic
computing and feedback theory. Who was he?
14. Its name literally means the way of the union of vital breath and
energy. This martial art uses a system of holds, throws and locks as
principal movements. It does not have a standard of belts but generally
white is used for novices and black for experts. In 1925, Japanese
martial arts expert, Ueshiba Morihei devised the modern form of this
discipline based principaly on self defence. Which martial art?
15. Which famous chemist of the late 19th and early 20th century coined
the term magic bullet and indeed, discovered the first one?
Answers to Quiz#47
3. It is an idol of Sri Varaha-Narasimha, combibing the Varaha and
Narasimha avataras of Lord Vishnu.
4. It was the World's first Socialist government.
5. Werner von Seimens
6. "Mahabhashya" by Patanjali
7. A Mirror
8. Jan Hendrik Oort (who predicted the presence of the Oort Cloud, a vast
swarm of comets at the edge of the solar system).
9. Frankenstein's Law
10. Dressage - an equestrian event
11. Pandey converted to Islam and changed his name to Baba Amin Khan
Dagar and founded the famous Dagar Gharana.
12. Andrew Newell Wyeth
13. Norbert Weiner
15. Paul Ehrlich (he discovered Salvarsan)
Dated - May 1, 1999
1. Insulin was developed by Banting and Best, who called it Isletin. Why?
2. No heat will flow between any two bodies that are at the same
temperature. What is this basic fact of Physics known as?
3. The introduction of this equipment in the late 2ND century BC
revolutionized cavalry - its influence has been compared to that of the
introduction of the tank in modern warfare.
Due to this, lancers could now use their spears underarm instead of
overarm, with much greater ease. It was originally invented in India and
further modified by the Chinese.
What is it?
4. When applying fresh concrete mortar, the mason (in India at least)
scratches at it, making marks all over the surface. One reason is to
roughen the surface and make it suitable for tiling or plastering. What
is the other, more practical reason?
5. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, only sand from a certain
place in India can be used for laboratory testing of cement or concrete.
Where does this special sand come from?
6. In the Jagannath Temple at Puri, Cashewnut is never used as an
ingredient in the offerings made to the deity. Why?
7. In the old west, people used to take frayed, worn out ropes and twist
them into good shape, selling them as fresh ropes. What phrase in English
comes from this?
8. He proposed something quite similar to the Continental Drift theory as
far back as 1620, using it to explain the lost continent of Atlantis.
9. William Gilbert was court physician to Queen Elizabeth I. He was the
first one to point out a remarkable fact which is common knowledge today,
of immense use in astronomy. What?
10.What are classified as Transverse, Scimitar and Barchan?
11. Antoine Lavoisier, in his treatise Methods of Chemical Nomenclature
(1787) established a certain convention. What?
12. Which city was formed from three cities - Osa, Sabratha and Leptis?
Hint : Think Africa.
13.What is unique about the flag of Paraguay?
14.There is a six line poem inscribed on the famous 1000 year old Iron
pillar at Mehrauli near Delhi. As deciphered by James Princep, which
famous king's exploits were commemorated in this poem?
15.Who was popularly called The Wizard of Iron?
Answers to Quiz # 48
1. It is produced in the Islets of Langerhans in the Pancreas
2. The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics
3. The Stirrup
4. To test whether the mortar has set or not, without disturbing the
surface. He can just feel inside the scratches he has cut.
5. Eluru in Andhra Pradesh. TAMIN (Tamil Nadu Minerals) has a monopoly on
6. Cashewnut is supposed to have been Ravana's favorite dish, and is
hence forbidden in the temple.
7. Spinning a Yarn.
8. Francis Bacon
9. That the Earth behaves as a giant magnet
11.Naming compounds after their constituent elements (eg. NaCl is Sodium
12.Tripoli, Libya (Tri Polis - Gk. for Three Cities)
13.It is the only national flag which is not the same on both sides - the
front has red, white and blue stripes with the Paraguayan coat of arms.
The back has the tricolor superimposed with the national treasury seal.
14.Chandragupta Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II)
Dated - May 7, 1999
1. In the 1870s, George Giffy, an ice cream salesman in Manitowoc,
Wisconsin, would only sell the dished ice cream he'd invented on a
particular day. What name was given to this ice cream as a result?
2. Mary, Queen of Scots had several pages drawn from noble French
families. She used these pages to help her play a certain game - which is
said to have originated in St.Andrews, Scotland. What word is this?
3. Entrack is the sole distributor of Mont Blanc pens in India. Which
former test cricketer (a spinner actually) owns this company?
4. FUD has become a fairly notorious acronym these days, thanks to
allegations that this is a favorite tactic of Microsoft against its
competitors. What does FUD stand for?
5. A really easy one - Connect Mark McCormack and Harsha Bhogle.
6. What was Benjamin Franklin talking about when he said "The money money
makes makes more money"?
7. This phrase was first used by Arthur Connolly, a Bengal Cavalry
officer in his 1835 book Narrative of an Overland Journey to the North of
India, to describe the deviousness of Russian political / diplomatic
maneuvering in Indian affairs. It was later popularized by Kipling. What?
8. Her real name was Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert. Born in
Limerick, Ireland in 1818, she became famous (under a stage name)
throughout Europe as a Spanish dancer. She conducted scandalous affairs
with several famous people, including Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, the
pianist Franz Liszt and (it is rumored) even Lord Palmerston - then Prime
Minister of England. Name her.
9. Speaking of Franz Liszt, his style of piano playing was responsible
for the development of something. What, and why?
10.Horse drawn omnibuses were introduced in London in the 1830s. Their
conductors had a reputation for vulgarity and dishonesty. What english
word is derived from the name given to these conductors?
Answers to Quiz #49
1. Sundae - he only sold it on Sundays
2. Caddy - from the french word Cadet, pronounced ka-day, which soon
became Caddy. Needless to say, the game was Golf.
3. Dilip Doshi.
4. Fear, Uncertainity and Doubt.
5. IMG - the sports management company. Harsha Bhogle is the first non -
sportsperson to be managed by IMG.
6. Compound Interest.
7. The Great Game - Connolly was himself a chess player and compared the
Russian diplomacy to their excellence in chess.
8. Lola Montez.
9. The Grand Piano. Framed with metal, it was much stronger than the old
Pianoforte, which could not stand up to the strain of Liszt's violent
playing. In fact, he was known to break at least three of them during a
Dated - May 14, 1999
1. She gave birth to twins, Belus and Agenor, after Zeus changed her into
a cow and Hera tormented her as a gadfly. It is also the name of a
volcanic moon of Jupiter, with an average of 4 inches of fresh sulphur
deposited on its surface each year. Name her / it.
2. Born in St. Petersburg in 1845, this German mathematician lived until
1918. Many of today's lazy math students might agree with a thesis he
wrote entitled In mathematics the art of asking questions is more
valuable then solving problems. The set named after him has measure zero,
despite containing an infinite number of points. He originated the
concept of transfinite numbers.
3.It had its origins in the discussions of the "Metaphysical Club" in the
1870s and in two classic papers, The Fixation of Belief and Spencer's
Definition of Mind as Correspondence, both by Charles Sanders Pierce.
It is basically a theory that the truth of an idea can be judged only by
the practical effects that arise from it. Name this school of philosophy
dominant in the United States during the first quarter of the 20th
century, whose most famous exponent was William James.
4.His deeds include the slaying of the Crommyonian sow, the capture of
the Marathonian bull, and the slaying of Sinis and Sciron. Murdered by
Lycomenes in Scyros, he was raised by his mother, Aethra, until he was
strong enough to lift the stone under which his father's sword was
hidden. Name this son of Aegeus, a character in A Midsummer Night's
Dream, and husband of Ariadne.
5.By surviving his assassination attempt, Ronald Reagan become the first
president in 160 years not to die in office after being elected in a year
ending in zero. For what Shawnee chief is named the curse that supposedly
ended the lives of the previous eight such presidents?
6.Founder of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Films Studies, his
directorial work includes 1965's The Cincinnati Kid, 1966's The Russians
Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, and 1967's In the Heat of the Night.
Name this man whose more recent offerings include Other People's Money
7. He ruled Si-Fan with an iron hand for 45 years, although as time wore
on, he was gradually transformed from a self-serving criminal mastermind
to a dedicated anti-communist, as the sentiments of his author, Sax
Rohmer changed. Thanks to dozens of radio shows and movie serials, he is
remembered today for his long fingernails and drooping black moustache.
8. First coined by Martin Esslin, this class of literature consists of a
pessimistic view of humanity struggling vainly to find a purpose and to
control its fate. There is little dramatic action: however frantically
the characters perform, their business serves to underscore the fact that
nothing happens to change their existence . Language in such works is
full of cliches, puns, repetitions, and non sequitur. Name this movement
whose main figures include Arthur Adamov, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter,
Eugene Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett.
9. Born in Messkirch, Germany, and living from 1889 to 1976, this
philosopher became professor of philosophy at Marburg and Freiburg, when
he was retired for his connections with the Nazi regime. In his
incomplete main work, he presents an exhaustive ontological
classification of 'being'. Though often termed an existentialist, he
denied the distinction since he was concerned with the ontological
problem in general. Name this man, whose incomplete main work is titled
Sein und Zeit or Being and Time.
10. He appears in Shadwell's The Libertine, Moliere's La Festin de
Pierre, Merimee's Les Ames du Purgatoire, and in George Bernard Shaw's
Man and Superman. He is also in the name of a Richard Strauss tone poem
and a work by Byron. FTP name this character first given literary
popularity in El burlador de Sevilla by Tirso de Molina.
11. Half-woman and half-serpent, her parents were either the sea deities
Phorcys and Ceto or Chrysaor (son of Medusa) and Callirrhoe (daughter of
Oceanus). Her progeny included the dragons of the Golden Fleece, the
Hydra, the goatlike Chimera, the infernal hounds Orthus and Cerberus, the
Sphinx, and the Nemean lion. Name this monster of Greek mythology (hint -
she shares a name with an Australian egg-laying mammal).
12. It took its name from a gallery opened in Paris in 1895 by the art
dealer Siegfried Bing. Leading exponents of this artistic style include
the architects Henry van de Velde, Victor Horta, and Louis Sullivan;
glassware designer Louis Tiffany; illustrator Aubrey Beardsley; and
Antonio Gaudi. Name this art movement, whose ornamental characteristics
distinguished it from Art Deco.
13.The only objective indication of the extraordinary event was a quiver
on seismographs in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. In June of 1908, if you
had been in Western Europe, you could have read newspapers at night
without a lamp, due to an eerie orange glow in the sky. What is this
event, named for the region north of Siberia where it occurred?
14. After WWII, someone asked the captured Nazi rocket wizard Wernher von
Braun where he got his ideas for the devastating V-2. Von Braun replied,
Don't you know your own rocket pioneer? Von Braun was referring to this
person, who, in 1926, on his Aunt Effie's farm, launched the world's
first liquid-fueled rocket. Name this American rocket pioneer.
15. He was born in Brunswick to poor parents. The Duke of Brunswick paid
for his education at the Collegium Carolinum and the University of
Gottingen. He worked on the theory of errors of observation, the
curvature of surfaces, and proved that a circle could only be divided
into n parts with a compass and straight edge only if n is the product of
distinct Fermat primes and a non-negative power of 2. He also gave six
proofs to the law of quadratic reciprocity and four different proofs of
the fundamental theorem of algebra. Identify this mathematician
Answers to Quiz #50
2. Georg Cantor
6. Norman Jewison
7. Dr. Foo Manchu
8. Theatre of the Absurd
9. Martin Heidegger
15.Carl Freidrich Gauss