I dislike the term trivia. No knowledge is trivial. All information contributes to the whole of an intelligent human being. And, it is an essential part of critical thinking. That is why I did not call this a Trivia Quiz. Instead, I am calling it a Knowledge Quiz.
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Knowledge Quiz, No. 16
1. Who was the first man to go into space?
2. Who was Frida Kahlo?
3. Where is the giant statue Christ the Redeemer located?
4. Who is the Secretary General of The United Nations?
5. Who wrote the poem The Road Not Taken?
6. What is a flame tree?
7. Who created the vaccine to prevent polio?
8. What is Murphy's Law?
9. What two items does a king or queen of England hold in their hands when they are crowned?
10. What is the main flavor ingredient in rum?
11. What was St. Petersburg known as during the Soviet era?
12. Who painted The Last Supper?
13. Upon what play was the musical My Fair Lady based?
14. How many nations are currently in The European Union?
15. Where is Angkor Wat?
16. What is an ascot?
17. What horse races comprise racing's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing?
18. Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?
19. Who said, "The lady doth protest too much methinks"?
20. Why is the popular "trick-or-treat" holiday called Halloween?
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1. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934–1968), a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, was the first human being in outer space. He was aboard a Vostok spacecraft which completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961.
2. Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907–1954)was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was a famous Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits. She was married to the well-known Mexican artist, Diego Rivera. Mexican culture and Native American cultural tradition are an important element in her work. She said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best" and "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."
3. Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the second largest Art Deco statue in the world. It is 130 feet (39.6 meters) tall, including its 31 foot (9.5 meters) pedestal. It weighs 635 tons and is located at the peak of the 2,300 foot (700-meters) Corcovado mountain which overlooking the city. It was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
4. Ban Ki-moon (born:1944) is the eight and current UN Secretary-General. Before he became Secretary-General in 2007, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the United Nations.
5. The poem The Road Not Taken was written by Robert Frost (1874-1963). Published in 1916, The Road Not Taken is a narrative poem consisting of four stanzas of iambic tetrameter verse and is considered one of Frost's most popular works. The text of the poem appears after answer 20.
6. A flame tree (Delonix regia) is a species of flowering plant and is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of countries around the world it is grown as an ornamental tree. In English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. The plant has large flowers with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals and a fifth upright petal called the standard which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. It is a common plant in parts of Central America, India, central Africa, southeast Asia, parts of the American Southwest, and the island of Madagascar. In Puerto Rico, the town of Penuelas has been nicknamed "The Valley of the Flames" or "El Valle de los Flamboyanes" because there are so many flame trees there.
7. Two polio vaccines are used to prevent polio (poliomyelitis). The first was developed by Jonas Salk and first tested in 1952. Announced to the world by Salk on April 12, 1955, it consists of an injected dose of inactivated polio virus. An oral vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin using attenuated (reduced virulence, but still alive) polio virus. Human trials of Sabin's vaccine began in 1957 and it was licensed in 1962. The two vaccines have eliminated polio from most countries in the world, and reduced the worldwide incidence of polio from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to 1,652 cases in 2007.
8. Murphy's law is an adage or an epigram that is says as: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". Arthur Bloch in his 1977 book Murphy's Law, and Other Reasons Why Things Go Wrong contains a letter that he received from George E. Nichols who recalls an event that occurred in 1949 at Edwards Air Force Base in California that according to Nichols is the origin of Murphy's Law. An excerpt from the letter says ...The Law's namesake was Capt. Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab. Frustration with a strap transducer which was malfunctioning due to an error in wiring the strain gage bridges caused him to remark "If there is any way to do it wrong, he will" referring to the technician who had wired the bridges at the Lab. I assigned Murphy's Law to the statement…..
9. The newly crown monarch carries an orb in one hand and a scepter in the other. The orb (globus cruciger), Latin for "cross-bearing orb") is a globe with a cross on top. It is a Christian symbol of authority symbolizing Christ's (the cross) dominion over the world (the orb). It is associated with the scepter, a symbolic ornamental rod and sign of authority dating back to Ancient Egypt.
10. Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented and distilled sugarcane, sugarcane juice, or molasses. The majority of the world's rum production occurs in Caribbean and Latin American countries and territories.
11. St. Petersburg (Petrograd) in Russia was re-name Leningrad when it was part of the communist Soviet Union. Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703. From 1713 through 1728 and again from 1732 until 1918, it was the capital of Russia. It is Russia's second largest city with 4.6 million inhabitants. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre and an important port. The city was renamed Leningrad from 1924 to 1991.
12. The painting The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The mural was painted between 1495 and 1498. The painting covers a wall in the dining room of the monastery, Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan, Italy.
13. The musical My Fair Lady is based on the 1912 stage play by George Bernard Shaw entitled Pygmalion. The plot of both the play and the musical revolves around Professor Henry Higgins, a phonics authority, who makes a bet that he can train a Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party (in the musical, a ball) by teaching her gentility and impeccable speech. In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion was the creator of a sculpture of a female which came to life.
14. Currently, there are 27 member nations in the European Union. It started with the formation by six countries of the European Economic Commission in 1958. The 27 sovereign member nations are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuanian, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Together they have a combined population of 500 million.
15. Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Angkor, Cambodia. It was built for the King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site which has a large number of temples and it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since it was built. When first built , it was a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. Eventually, it became a Buddhist temple. It is the world's largest religious building.
16. An ascot or ascot tie is a narrow neckband with wide pointed wings, traditionally made of a patterned silk. The wide tie is worn over the neck and tucked into the shirt. It is folded over and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack. It is usually reserved for wear with morning dress or for formal daytime weddings. The use of ascots was widespread in the early nineteenth century.
17. In the United States, the three races that compose the Triple Crown are the Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky); the Preakness Stakes (Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland); and the Belmont Stakes (Belmont Park, Elmont, New York). The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.
18. The current Prime Minster of Canada is Steven Harper. He is the 22nd Canadian Prime Minister; a member of the Conservative Party; was born in 1959; is from Calgary, Alberta; and has served as Prime Minister since 2006.
19. "The lady doth protest too much methinks" was said by Queen Gertrude in Act 3, scene 2, of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. The phrase has come to mean that one can insist so passionately about something which is not true that people suspect the opposite of what the person is saying is the truth.
20. Halloween (or Hallowe'en, All Hallows Eve, and All Saints Day Eve) is an annual holiday observed on October 31. Activities such as trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, carving jack-o-lantern pumpkins, lighting bonfires, and watching horror films are common activities after sundown. The word Halloween first appeared in the 16th century and is a Scottish variation of All-Hallows-Even ("even" and "e'en" are abbreviations for "evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. "Hollows" is another word for "saint" and is related to the word "halo", a ring of light around a saint's head. On All Hallows Eve, there was a belief that the graves of the dead opened up after sundown and the spirits of the dead walked on the earth until dawn. To scare off these spirits bonfires and jack-o-lanterns with scary faces were lit. Eventually, people dressed up as ghosts and goblins and attempted to frighten people themselves. To prevent being frightened or damage, the people would give them "treats"- money or sweets. These customs continue in modern times.