Saturday, September 3, 2016

Knowledge Quiz. No, 68

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. 68

The answers are at the bottom

1. What ocean was named by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan?
2. What item did William Shakespeare leave his wife in his will?
3. To avoid association with the Nazis, SS Cars Ltd. changed its name to what after World War II?
4. Which city is home to the world's tallest building?
5. What document ended the American Revolutionary War?
6. What is triskaidekaphobia?
7. Which historical figure coined the name "United Nations"?
8. In what sport are competitors forbidden to play left handed?
9. What is the largest rodent in the world?
10. How many paintings did Vincent van Gogh sell during his lifetime?
11. What is the only one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence?
12. If your small intestine were unwound, approximately how long would it be?
13. Who was the author of To Kill A Mockingbird?
14. Which Shakespeare play asks the question, "To be, or not to be"?
15. What was the name of legendary King Arthur's sword?
16. Tiananmen Square was a scene of conflict in which country?
17. Which Shakespeare character's last words were, "Thus with a kiss I die"
18. Japanese Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda Spent How Many Years Fighting World War II?
19. What nautical term refers to the left-hand side of the boat?
20. What American author wrote The Scarlet Letter?

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1. The Pacific Ocean's name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar PacĂ­fico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". While in the service of Spain, Magellan led the first European voyage of discovery to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan's navigational skills have also been acknowledged in the naming of objects associated with the stars, including the Magellanic Clouds, now known to be two nearby dwarf galaxies; the twin lunar craters of Magelhaens and Magelhaens A; and the Martian crater of Magelhaens.

2. A month before his death on April 25, 1616, English poet and playwright William Shakespeare constructed his last will and testament. His will stated that upon his death, his wife Anne would receive his “second-best bed.” This is the only mention of Anne in Shakespeare's will and testament. Some scholars see the bequest as an insult to Anne, whereas others believe that the second-best bed would have been the matrimonial bed and therefore rich in significance. There is no reference made to his "best" bed. Shakespeare bequeathed the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna under stipulations that she pass it down intact to "the first son of her body."

William Shakespeare

3, Jaguar's business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. The name was eventually changed to SS Cars Ltd. Its first use of the name Jaguar was on a 1936 model called the S.S. Jaguar - the S.S. was for Swallow Sidecar. After the Second World War, SS Cars Ltd. changed its name to Jaguar to avoid confusion with the Nazi "SS". The company's name was officially changed from S.S. Cars Limited to Jaguar Cars on March 23, 1945.

4. Burj Khalifa is a mega-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest structure in the world. The Burj Khalifa stands at a stunning 2,722 feet, rendering it nearly 700 feet taller than the second tallest structure in the world. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. The building was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Burj Khalifa also features both the world’s highest nightclub and the world’s highest restaurant.

                                                                        Burj Khalifa

5.  The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on one side and the United States of America and its allies on the other. Britain acknowledged the United States to be sovereign and independent. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire and the new country, on lines "exceedingly generous" to the United States. Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war. The treaty is named for the city in which it was negotiated and signed.

6. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Written reference to the superstitious fear of the number thirteen dates to the late 1800s. There are a number of theories how the number thirteen got its bad reputation. Some say it comes from the Last Supper because Jesus was betrayed afterwards by one among the thirteen present. Others trace the source of the superstition back to ancient Hindu beliefs or Norse mythology. Not every culture embraces fear of the number 13. Triskaidekaphobia is less prevalent in Chinese culture, where the number 13 is considered lucky. The fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia.

7. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first coined the term “United Nations” to describe the Allied countries during the Second World War. “On New Year's Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR, and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.” The term United Nations was first officially used when 26 governments signed this Declaration.

The United Nations Declaration

8. Polo must be played right-handed. The use of the left hand or the mallet was banned in the 1930s. The rule was relaxed after World War II when there was a lack of players, but the rules were re-introduced in 1974. The banning of left-handed play is for safety reasons in order to avoid the likelihood of a head-on collision between players. As a left-handed player and a right-handed player head for the ball, they would not pass each other as they do in right-hand only games.

9.  At about 4 feet long and around 100 pounds, the capybara is the largest rodent in the world. Native to South America, they live in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds, and marshes. The capybara has a heavy, barrel-shaped body and short head, with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of its body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. The capybara is not a threatened species and is hunted for its meat and hide and also for a grease from its thick fatty skin which is used in the pharmaceutical trade.

A capybara

10. Vincent van Gogh sold exactly one painting during his lifetime. It was an oil landscape entitled "The Red Vineyard at Arles," and it was purchased by Van Gogh's friend and fellow painter Anna Boch. Boch, who was a Belgian artist and art collector, bought the painting in early 1890 for 400 Belgian francs. The painting now resides at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. The rest of Van Gogh's more than 900 paintings were not sold or made famous until after his death. Van Gogh committed suicide in 1890 at age 37, having suffered from bouts of mental illness and deep depression for many years.

The Red Vineyard at Arles

11. The Great Pyramids, located at Giza on the west bank of the Nile River north of Cairo, are the only wonder of the ancient world that has survived to the present day. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity; it was based on guidebooks popular among Hellenic sightseers and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Alexandria. The only ancient world wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Great Pyramids of Giza

12. The small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the small intestine is 22 feet long, while the large intestine is only 6 feet long. The descriptive terms “small” and “long” refer to the diameter of the intestine rather than the length. The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the large intestine, where most of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. The primary function of the small intestine is the absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.

The Small Intestine

13. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only published book until Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 14, 2015.

14. "To be, or not to be" is the famous opening phrase of a soliloquy in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. In the soliloquy, Hamlet questions the meaning of life, and whether or not it is worthwhile to stay alive when life contains so many hardships. In the speech, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide while waiting for Ophelia, the love of his life. He bemoans the pain and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might be still worse. "To be, or not to be" is one of the most widely known and quoted lines in modern English.

15. Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain. King Arthur was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.


16. Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. Outside China, the square is best known for the Tiananmen Square Massacre, an armed suppression of a pro-democracy movement in June 1989. In what became widely known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks killed student demonstrators trying to block the military's advance towards Tiananmen Square. The number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere between hundreds and thousands.

Tiananmen Square Uprising

17. Romeo Montague is one of the title characters in William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. He serves as the play's male protagonist. Romeo, the son of Montague and his wife, secretly loves and marries Juliet, a member of the rival House of Capulet. Forced into exile by his slaying of Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, in a duel, Romeo commits suicide upon hearing falsely of Juliet's death. His last words are, “Thy drugs are quick. Thus, with a kiss, I die.”

18. World War II ended in 1945, but Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda never got the message. He had been sent to a remote island in 1944 with the instructions that his commanding officer would come back for him, and until he did, Onoda was to keep fighting. His battalion remained hidden in the jungle, living off whatever food they could find. Though that battalion dwindled as his fellow soldiers began to suspect the war was over. In 1945, they received airdropped leaflets announcing the cessation of fighting, but Onoda worried they might be a trick from his enemies. In 1974, a man named Norio Suzuki set out on a mission to find the presumed-dead Onoda and tell him the war was over. Suzuki eventually found his man, but Onoda still insisted on receiving word from his commanding officer. So Suzuki returned to the island with his  commanding officer in tow, and finally, in 1974, Hiroo Onoda was able to stop fighting World War II.

19. Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right”  and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, port is used to define the left-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front. At night, the port side of a vessel or aircraft is indicated with a red navigation light and the opposite side with a green one, to help avoid collisions. Starboard is the right-hand side of the boat, facing forward.

20. Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short-story writer who was a master of the allegorical and symbolic tale. One of the greatest fiction writers in American literature, he is best known for The Scarlet Letter. The book is considered to be his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. His use of allegory and symbolism make Hawthorne one of the most studied writers.

Nathanial Hawthorne

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