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GENERAL KNOWLEDGE Pt. VI
- WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LAWYER AND A BARRISTER?
A lawyer is a person who practises law; one who conducts lawsuits for clients or advises clients of their legal rights and obligations. A barrister is a legal practitioner whose main function is to practice advocacy in court. They often have less interaction with clients. Barristers spend their working hours in chambers where they prepare their cases.
- WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE KEW GARDEN?
Kew Gardens in Thames, London is best known for being the home of the Royal Botanical Gardens (now a world heritage site). Other points of interest-include the Kew Palace and the National Archives (previously known as the Public Records Office) The Kew Gardens is special because it is an important international botanical research and education institution with a staff of over 700 people.
- WHAT IS THE ‘COOL BIZ’ CAMPAIGN?
This is a campaign introduced by Japan. In order, to save energy, it asks office goers and politicians to remove their ties and jackets to minimise the use of air conditioners and thereby reduce consumption of electricity and also the emission of greenhouse gases. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who is currently visiting Japan to discuss, among other things, ways to tackle global warming, had a taste of the ‘cool biz’ campaign when the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe informed her that his entourage wouldn’t be wearing their ties to adhere to the ‘cool biz’ campaign.
- WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM POCKET MONEY?
Before the advent of pockets in shirts and trousers, money was kept in bags and sachets. Later, a smart tailor made a pocket on a garment and it became so useful, further innovations made a pocket suitable to safely keep money From then on, money kept in pockets for expenses came to known as pocket money
- WHAT IS ENTABLATURE?
It is the horizontal upper part of a wall or storey of a building designed on the principles of classical architecture. It is usually supported on columns, and consists of three parts. These are the architrave, the lowermost part; the frieze, the decorative band in the middle; and the cornice, the crowning ornamental projection. Entablature was originally conceived by Vitruvius, an ancient Roman architect.
- WHICH IS THE WORLD’S FIRST AIR SHOW?
The world’s first air show was the International Air Meet held at Rheims, Franceheld in 1909. India’s first air show, AVIA-93 was held in December, 1993 in Bangalore. The world’s biggest air show was the 47th Paris Air Show. However, the world’s largest military air show the RoyalInternational Air Tattoo (RAF Fairford, United Kingdom), held annually in July.
- WHAT IS A CIRCUIT FILTER?
A circuit filter is used in trading of shares in stock exchange. It’s applied to all the shares, to supposedly safeguard the interest of general investors from the extreme volatilities in markets by preventing any unexpected fall or rise of share price in a single day beyond a limit. If the limit is crossed by any of the shares in a single trading day it is frozen for trade.
- WHAT IS THE GINI COEFFICIENT?
The Gini Coefficient is a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth distribution. It is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 1: the numerator is the area between the Lorenz curve of the distribution and the uniform distribution line; the denominator is the area under the uniform distribution line. Thus, a low Gini Coefficient indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini Coefficient indicates more unequal distribution.
- WHAT IS THE TRIPLE FINGER SALUTE?
The three-finger salute is used by members of Scouts and Guides organisations around the world when greeting other Scouts and Guides and at some ceremonies. The salute is made with the palm face out, the thumb holding down the little finger, and the fingertips on the brow. In computer parlance, the triplefmger salute refers to describe the three-key sequence — Alt + Ctrl + Del — developed by David Bradley This term became popular after IBM PC compatible users continually hold down these keys each time their computers froze or had other problems.
- WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS THE WELL-COME COLLECTION?
The Wellcome Collection traces The development of medicine through history and spanning several cultures. Located in central London, it is a combination of exhibitions, libraries and cafes where people can learn more about the development of medicine. Part of the Well-come Trust, it was founded by Sir Henry Wellcome, a pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector, who garnered a unique collection of articles relating to medicine and health. Recently, a British heart transplant patient, Jennifer Sutton, donated her old heart to the Well-come Collection, after receving a new one.
- WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE BAUDHAYAN THEOREM?
Baushayan Sulv Sutra (1000 BC) is today known as the Pythogorus theorem, which states that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. In Baudhayan theorem, this has been expressed as follows: in a Deerghchatursh (triangle), the chetra (square) of rajju (hypotenuse) is equal to the sum of squares of the parshvamani (base) and triyangmani (perpendicular line). It is amazing to note that the pythagorus theorem was known in our country as far back as 1000 BC.
- WHY IS THE NUMBER 1 NOT CONSIDERED A PRIME NUMBER THOUGH IT FITS THE DEFINITION?
The number 1, in fact, does not fit the definition of a prime number. A positive integer is called a prime number only if there are exactly two divisors of that number. Since 1 has exactly one divisor (which is 1 itself), it does not fit this definition. Another equivalent definition of a prime number is this prime number’s only positive divisor should be less than 1 and itself. Again, 1 does not fit this definition either— there are no positive divisors of 1 which are less that 1.
- WHICH NATION HAS THE SMALLEST ARMY IN THE WORLD?
Vatican City, the world’s smallest country, has the smallest army. This army of 110 men, is also known as the Swiss Guard. Last year, the Vatican celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Swiss Guard. The celebration commemorated the 150 Swiss Helvetian mercenaries who came to Rome to serve Pope Julius II, on January 22,1506. The mercenaries covered a distance of 723 km in 27 days to enter Rome from Bellinzona, Switzerland. Swiss Helvetian mercenaries, famous for their courage, die-hard attitude and loyalty to their employers, were part of the regular armies of various countries at that time. As allies of the Pope, they helped to shape Italy’s destiny and thus they were granted the title ^Defenders of the Church’s freedom’ by the Pope. During the Sack of Rome on May 6, 1527, the Swiss Guard, comprising 189 personnel at that time, resisted a Spanish attack on Rome and the Vatican. But they had to retreat after suffering heavy casualties. Only 42 men survived the attack. However, the Guard was able to ensure Pope Clement VII’s escape to safety.
- WHERE WAS WINE FIRST MADE?
Wine is the fermented juice of grapes. Probably, the first people to make wine were Persian farmers living near the Caspian Sea. The Egyptians learned how to make wine from them as long back as 3000 BC. In the fourth century BC., the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great carried grapevines and the knowledge of wine-making to Central Asia. Roman invaders probably took vines to northern France and Germany in later centuries. Wine was common in the everyday lives of the early Greeks and Romans. It was important to their religious ceremonies. The God of wine was called Bacchus by the Romans and Dionysus by the Greeks.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARXISM AND SOCIALISM?
Socialism is a modern doctrine and is Western in origin, emerging with the development of industrial capitalism at the start of the nineteenth century. Socialism denotes a broad system of ideas. Marxism is a materialistic conception of history which seeks to explain the development of all societies and furthermore, make predictions about future social change. Marxists consider the material world, nature and society as constantly moving. Whereas, the socialists emphasise the organic unity of society. Marxists consider the material world as an integrated whole in which all things and phenomena are interconnected and interdependent. Whereas, socialists believe in equality and abolition of private enterprise. Marxism provides a scientific explanation of nature and society and hence, was a powerful instrument for revolutionary transformation. The society envisaged by socialists rests on certain values: redistribution of wealth to get rid of inequality, cooperative production to get rid of selfish competitors and new patterns of work and education to promote the growth of well-rounded individuals.
- WHAT IS A HYPERCUBE?
Hypercube is the generalization in n-dimensions of a square in two dimensions and a cube in three dimensions. A square has four vertices (22), a cube, 8 vertices (23). Similarly, an n-dimensional hypercube has 2n vertices. In the famous painting ‘Christus Hypercubus’, Salvador Dali depicted Christ crucified on an unfolded four-dimensional hypercube. Examining the shadow of a cube reveals a square within a square. Similarly, the shadow of a four-dimensional hypercube will be a cube within a cube.
- WHY IS THE ALPHABET WRITTEN IN A SPECIFIC ORDER?
The alphabet has often been described as an arbitrary collection of symbols representing an arbitrary collection of sounds. Its order is equally random. The word alphabet comes from alpha and beta, the first two words in the Greek alphabet.
- WHAT IS STEAMING DISTANCE?
Steaming distance is the shortest distance between two ports, which a ship traverses while sailing from one port to another. It need not be along a straight line as, due to various physical and political constraints, it may not be always be desirable to sail along a straight route.
- WHICH IS THE OLDEST CIVILIZATION IN THE WORLD?
This has long been a subject of much debate and to this day no one is absolutely sure which is the oldest civilisation. This is mostly because people cannot agree on the definition of the word civilisation. The most common definition of the word is ‘an advanced state of development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of writing, and complex political and social institutions’. Mesopotamia is considered as the most likely answer to the question, based on archaeological evidence and the above definition. It is believed that Mesopotamian history starts from the emergence of urban societies in Southern Iraq in the 4th millennium.
- HOW IS A COUNTRY’S GDP MEASURED?
GDP or Gross Domestic Product is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. GDP is customarily reported on an annual basis. It is the nation’s broadest gauge of economic health. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports and imports that occur within a defined territory The most common approach to measuring GDP is the expenditure method: GDP = consumption + investment (govern- ment spending) + (exports – imports). Another way of measuring GDP is to measure the total income payable in the GDP income accounts. This should provide the same figure as the expenditure method. Another formula is: GDP = rent + interests + profits + statistical adjustments (like corporate income taxes, dividends, undistributed corpo-1 rate profits) + wages.
- WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF TOULOUSE?
University of Toulouse is one of the oldest universities of France and is located in Toulouse, a city in Southern France on the banks of the Garonne river. It was founded in 1229 AD as a result of the Paris Treaty marking the end of the battle between the Roman Catholic Church and its opponents. Foulques de Toulouse, the then bishop of Toulouse, played a major role in the setting up of the university. Now, the university has an enrolment exceeding 1,00,000, and is the second largest university in France. The sixteenth century philosopher and astronomer Bruno and the Chemistry Nobel Laureate Sabatier, and the artist Dulac were some of its most illustrious faculty members.
- IN ANCIENT TIMES, WHY WERE PIGEONS USED FOR SENDING MESSAGES?
Pigeons were used for sending messages not only in ancient times, but as recently as early the 1900s, during World War I. A particular breed of pigeons called homing pigeons are specially suited for carrying messages, because they possess the uncanny ability of flying back to their home over long distances at high speeds. According to some reports, a homing pigeon flew back to its home after flying over 1600 miles at the peak speed of 60 miles per hour. Exactly how such birds navigate themselves is still not clear. Scientists hypothesise that the pigeon uses a variety of sources like the direction of the Sun, Earth’s magnetism, and odours associated with different places for finding its direction. Before the advent of telegraph, telephone and radio, using pigeons for sending messages was quite popular among the military, newspapers, and stock brokers. Such a messaging system was known as pigeon post.
- WHAT IS AN ATLAS CALLED SO?
Atlas is the term used to refer to a collection of maps, printed in a set order: world map, maps of the continents, each followed by maps of the several regions within that continent, and with an alphabetical gazetteer or list of place names, giving coordinates for various places, rivers, regions etc. The first use of the term atlas dates back to 1595 with the publication in Duisburg of the Atlas Sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi Et Fabricati Figura by Gerard Mercator (1512-94). It was named after King Atlas, a mythical King of Mauretania in Libya, who was, according to legend, a wise philosopher, mathematician and astronomer and who supposedly made the first celestial globe. However, the more widely known Atlas is a figure from Greek mythology He is the son of the Titan lapetus and Clymene^or Asia), and brother of Prometheus. Atlas was punished by Zeus and made to bear the weight of the heavens and Earth on his back.
- WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM ‘RULE OF THUMB’ ?
One theory about the phrase’s origin lies in the misplaced public belief that the English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick measuring no longer than his thumb. There was actually no such English law enacted at any time. This phrase has been in circulation since the 17th century This phrase commonly refers to any means of estimation based on a practical and ready method but not on scientific measurement. Another theory concerning the phrase’s origin involves the numerous ways in which thumbs have been used for estimation. Some examples are — measurement of distance based on an estimated inch which is about the length of a thumb; judging the alignment or distance of an object by holding the thumb at eye level etc.
- WHAT IS RED CORNER NOTICE?
Certain requests used by Interpol are sent in the forms of notices. The colour of each notice determines the type of information being sent or received by Interpol and its members. A red corner notice is issued at the request of a country’s law enforcement authority. The requesting country asks for a red notice to be issued when a criminal evades arrest and escapes from the country.
- WHICH IS THE SMALLEST AND LARGEST CITY IN THE WORLD BY AREA AND POPULATION?
The largest city in the world by population is Tokyo with over 35 million people. It was the world’s most populous urban area between 1965 and 1970. However, despite Japan’s declining population, it is still growing. The smallest city in the world by population is Hum. It has a population of only 23 people. It is a tiny town in the central part of Istria, North-West Croatia, 7 km from Roh, 14 km South-East of Buzet on a hill above the Mirna Valley The largest city in the world by area is Hulun Buir, encompassing 263,953 km. The smallest city in the world by area is Vatican City with an area of 44 hectares (108.7 acre). It is a landlocked sovereign city state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It is officially called State of the Vatican City.
- WILL CREATING TWO TIME ZONES FOR INDIA SAVE ENERGY?
There is no statistical evidence of two time zones being economically beneficial other than restoring a sense of normalcy to the area that follows its local meridian time zone. India geographically extends from 68 degrees East to 97 degrees East (29 degrees) from Gujarat to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, thereby encompassing two time zones. However, it has adopted the Allahabad meridian of 72 degrees, which makes it convenient for the railways, airlines and media. This leads to weird experiences for travelers from Central India who visit the North-Eastern states which receive daylight before 5 am. This entails an extra cost to the economy in terms of industrial arid office lighting spent in these regions, since daybreak here doesn’t coincide with the rest of the country. Also, there tends to be more traffic when it is dark.
- IS IT TRUE THAT CREATING TWO TIME ZONES FOR INDIA WILL SAVE ENERGY?
The Indian Standard Time is based on the meridian at 82 1/2 degrees East, which is 5 1/2 hours ahead of the Greenwich meridian. India’s geographical middle lies at 82 1/2 degrees East, which was incorrectly mentioned as 72 degrees East.
- WHAT IS SECURITISATION?
Securitisation is the process through which existing assets or future cash flows are converted into marketable securities. Those assets or cash flows are, inherently, not marketable. There are two types of securitisation — assetbacked securitisation and futureflows securitisation. Some of the assets that can be securitised are loans and future cash flows like credit card payments, car rentals or any other form of future receivables. Securitisation is common in the US and Europe, but in India it is in a nascent stage.
- WHEN AND WHERE WAS THE NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED?
Acta Diurna’ was the first news paper published in Rome, around 59 BC. In 1605, the first printed weekly newspaper to be published in Antwerp was called Relation. Johann Carolus (1575-1634) was the publisher of the Relation aller Furnemmen und gedenckwurdigen Historien (Collection of all Distinguished and Commemorable News). The ^Relation’ is recognized by the World Association of Newspapers, as well as many authors, as the world’s first newspaper. The German Relation was published in Strasbourg, which had the status of an imperial free city in the holy Roman empire of the German nation.
- WHEN WAS THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES?
The Battle of Los Angeles took place during the night of February 24/25, 1942 in Los Angeles, California. The battle involved heavy firing of anti-aircraft shells by the US forces aimed at several mysterious flying objects reportedly sighted in the sky over Los Angeles. These objects were thought to be Japanese military aircraft. However, even till today, their identity has not convincingly established. Even though six civilians lost their lives in the bombardment, there was no evidence that the firing destroyed any flying object. The firing was preceded by a blackout and Sounding of air raid sirens. Now, many believe that the battle was the result of a false alarm, triggered by weather balloons, or Japanese blimps. Some even think the source of the alarm could be a flying object of extraterrestrial origin.
- WHO IS LADY JUSTICE?
The origin may be Themis, a Greek mythological goddess, who advised Zeus after his purge of the old pantheon. A daughter of Themis and Zeus, Dike, known as a goddess of justice but not divine justice, presided over the apportionment of things among mortals, the protection of individuals and the social and political order. At times, Dike is said to be the same as (or is confused with) Astraea. Astraea is also a daughter of Themis and Zeus and is known as a goddess of justice. In western tradition, Lady Justice sometimes wears a blindfold and carries a sword and scales. She symbolises the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, avarice, prejudice, or favour.
- WHO DESIGNED THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL?
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. is a United States presidential memorial built to honour its 16th President Abraham Lincoln. The architect is Henry Bacon (an American Beaux-Arts architect), the sculptor is Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the murals inside is Jules Guerin. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large, seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln.
- WHICH COUNTRY HAS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF UNIVERSITIES?
According to UNESCO, India tops the list with 8,407 universities. It’s followed by the United States (5,759), Argentina (1,705) and Spain (1,415).
- WHO ARE HOBOS?
Hobos is an American word which refers to homeless people wandering about in search of work. In earlier days, hobos were supposed to move around by hopping from one freight train to another, just to save the cost of transportation. Hobos and hobo culture began in mid-19fh century, when the ending of the Civil War caused severe unemployment in the US and several people left their homes and started moving about the whole country in search of jobs. A similar phenomenon happened during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Although the term owes its origin to the above phenomena, it is used today to refer to a tramp in general, an aimless traveller not necessarily looking for work. There are several theories related to how the word hobo got coined: some say the word has been derived from the phrase hopping box cars, and some others that it is a shortened version of the rail-road greeting ‘Ho Beau,’ popular in the 19th century
- WHICH CONTINENT HAS THE MOST NUMBER OF PORTS?
With over 1,000 ports, Europe is perhaps the continent with most number of ports. The UK alone has over 200 ports and European ports handle about 3.5 billion tones of cargo.
- WHY IS A SANDLOT USED AS A PLAYING AREA FOR CHILDREN?
A sandlot refers to a vacant lot used by children to play games, mostly unorganised ones. Unlike a playground specifically created for certain games, sandlots perhaps developed as informal spaces which children made use of to serve as makeshift playgrounds. In the US, sandlot baseball refers to an advanced version of the game played by teams not affiliated with either the Major or Minor leagues in the country
- WHO ARE WING WALKERS?
Wing walkers are those who walk on wings of an airplane in flight. Recently, a wing walker hung from a 450 Stearman aircraft when it was in flight. This stunt was performed as part of the Flying Circus Air Show in Bealeton, Virginia.
- WHAT ARE P-NOTES?
P-Notes are financial instruments that facilitate investment in Indian securities by foreign investors or hedge funds that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Indian brokerage houses buy the securities on behalf of these foreign investors and hedge funds and issue P-Notes to them. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities will keep going back to the foreign investors and hedge funds. The value of P-Notes is determined on the basis of shares listed on the stock exchanges.
- WHY IS THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA REFERRED TO AS A RAINBOW NATION?
The Republic of South Africa is referred to as a Rainbow Nation to describe the unity of various cultural, racial or ethnic groups in the country during the postapartheid era (after 1994) compared to the earlier divisiveness based on skin colour. This phrase was coined by the then Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, and later used by Nelson Mandela, the first President of the Republic of South Africa elected in the first polls conducted after apartheid rule officially ended. In some South African cultures, the rainbow is always associated with hope and a bright future. Incidentally, the South African Hag also has six rainbow-like colours.
- WHO IS THE SECOND ASIAN AFTER RABINDRANATH TAGORE TO WIN THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE?
Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970) of Israel shared the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature with Nelly Leonie Sachs (1891-1970), a GermanSwedish poet. This was 53 years after Tagore won the prize in 1913. The first Asian after Tagore to win it solo was Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972), a Japanese novelist, in 1968.
- WHICH IS THE WORLD’S FIRST POST OFFICE?
Although the origins of the postal system date back to antiquity, the British Postal Museum claims the oldest functioning post office in the world is on High Street in Sanquhar, Scotland. According to the museum, this post office has functioned continuously since 1712 AD. Sanquhar is a quiet, insignificant town, but in its heyday, its residents included many influential aristocrats, who must have played a significant role in having the first post office located there. Those days, horses and stage coaches would carry mail.
- WHAT IS A CALLIOPE?
It is a musical instrument with a loud, shrill sound that’s audible miles away It is used to attract attention at circuses and fairs. It was invented in the United States around 1850 by A S Denny and patented in 1855 by Joshua C Stoddard. It consists of a boiler which forces steam through a set of whistle pipes. Either a keyboard or a pinned cylinder (like that of a barrel organ or music box) controls the entry of steam into the pipes.
- • Calliope was one of the nine muses in Greek mythology. Her name means beautiful voiced and she was the daughter of Zeus (God of sky and thunder) and Mnemosyne (Goddess of memory). She is the muse of epic poetry and eloquence. She was the oldest and wisest of the muses as well as the most assertive. She is often represented as a stately young woman whose brow is crowned with gold, while in some legends, she is seen with a writing tablet, scroll, or book in her hand and wearing a gold crown. She is best known as the inspiration for Homer’s Miad and the Odyssey.
- WHY IS SUN TEMPLE, KONARK CALLED THE ‘BLACK PAGODA?
Today, the Sun Temple, a magnificent pagoda, is located 2 km from the sea but, in olden times, it was much closer. So, the temple was used as a navigational point by European sailors. They referred to it as the ‘Black Pagoda’ due to its dark colour and its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks.
- WHEN WAS THE SICAB HORSE SHOW FIRST HELD?
In 1980, the first Sicab (Salon Internacional del Caballo) was organised in Seville. The following year, it took place in Madrid. Today, there are more than 200 horse shows a year dedicated exclusively to the Purebred Spanish Horse.
- WHEN WERE CHOPSTICKS FIRST USED?
Chopsticks were made over 5,000 years ago in China. The earliest version of chopsticks were plain sticks or branches from trees which were used to retrieve food from fire. The teachings of Confucius forbade followers to use knives at the dining table, which further increased the popularity of chopsticks in Eastern Asia. Today, chopsticks are no longer confined to culinary purposes. Japan has even launched a bra called ‘My Chopsticks Bra’ which is made from recycled chopsticks. This would reduce the decimation of entire forests to manufacture chopsticks.
- WHAT IS A ‘BREATHING FABRIC’?
A ‘breathing fabric’ is designed to prevent the wearer from getting too hot or cold by adjusting itself to both the internal and external temperatures. The textile is made up of a layer of thin spikes of wool, or another water-absorbent material that opens up when it’s made wet by the wearer’s sweat. When the layer dries out, the spikes automatically close up again. A second layer underneath protects the wearer from the rain.
- WHAT IS A TITANIUM TOOTHBRUSH?
Titanium toothbrushes, which were invented in Japan and now are being exported to the US, might help do away with toothpaste. One variety of the toothbrush uses titanium dioxide, which causes an electrochemical reaction while brushing and this helps remove plaque. The other type uses titanium bristles that last for several years.
- WHY IS SATURN ASSOCIATED WITH AGRICULTURE?
In Roman mythology, Saturn is regarded as the god of agriculture. He is usually depicted holding a scythe to harvest land. Farmers in ancient Rome believed that Saturn had the power to bring a good harvest and if made angry could destroy it. In order to receive his blessings, they held a festival named Saturnalia. According to another myth, Saturn established the Golden Age in Rome. He introduced agriculture to his people by teaching them how to farm the land.
- WHAT CAUSES THE HEILIGENSCHEIN EFFECT? WHO DISCOVERED IT?
If an observer stands on dew-covered grass with his or her back turned towards the early morning sun, the observer is likely to observe a faint glow around the shadow of his or her head on the grass. Such a faint glow is called Heiligenschein, and the above optical phenomenon, the Heiligenschein effect. It occurs because the dew droplets act as tiny lenses focusing both the sunlight falling on the surface on which the shadow is cast, and the light that is back-scattered by the surface. In general, when a long shadow is cast on certain irregular surfaces with specific optical characteristics, the above effect occurs. Although Heiligenschein must have been known for a long time, it was first described in writing by the Italian sculptor and painter Benevenuto Cellini (1500-1571). Sometimes it’s called the Cellinis halo. In German, Heiligenschein means holy glow.
- WHAT ARE THE OLEFINS?
An alkene, olefin or olefine is a class of highly reactive unsaturated hydrocarbons, recovered from petroleum, with at least one carbon-carbon double bond. The simplest alkenes, with only one double bond and no other functional groups, form a homologous series of hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n, eg. Ethylene (ethane), propylene (propene), butylenes (butene) and so on. The olefins are widely used for making synthetic fibres.
- WHO BROKE THE SOUND BARRIER?
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14,1947. He flew a plane faster than the velocity of the sun and broke the sound barrier which caused explosive vibrations over the atmosphere.
- WHAT IS THE MONTY HALL PROBLEM?
The Monty Hall problem talks about a situation where there are three closed doors —a goat lies behind two and a car behind the third. A person is asked to select a door (which is not opened immediately). Instead, one of the two unchosen doors are opened and the content is revealed, which incidentally turns out to be a goat. The person is now asked whether he would like to switch his choice to the other unopened door. This gets him thinking. Will changing his choice increase the possibility of winning the car? Common knowledge lets us assume that since now there are two closed doors (one with a goat and the other with a car), chances of winning a car if either of the doors are chosen is 1/2. Hence, it really isn’t a winning situation to motivate a person to change the choice. However, what one needs to remember is the fact that when the person initially made the choice, all three doors were closed and the probability of having a goat behind a closed -toor was 2/3. Now that we already know of ie door that has a goat behind it, chances f winning the door with the car if the peron decides to change his initial choice is /3, which is higher than what he would am if he refuses to change his decision.
- WHO INVENTED THE HELICOPTER?
French inventor Launoy and Bienvenue created a toy with rotary wings which could take off vertically and fly The term helicopter was later coined by French writer Ponton D’Amecot: helico for spiral and pter for wing. It was only in 1907 that the first helicopter was piloted by PaulCornu, who also created the model. The 100th anniversary of the helicopter’s first flight was celebrated on November 13,2007.
- WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE LAUGHING BUDDHA?
Hotel or Pu-Tai is better known as the Laughing Buddha. The image of Hotel is based on a Chinese Zen monk who lived over 1000 years ago. Many regarded him a future Buddha because of his benevolent nature. It was due to his large protruding stomach and smile that he came to be known as the Laughing Buddha; His image graces many temples, restaurants and homes in China and Japan. Legend has it that if one rubs the Laughing Buddha’s great belly, it brings wealth, good luck and prosperity
- WHAT ARE BLUELAWS AND WHY THEY ARE CALLED SO?
A bluelaw is enacted by the people of the Dominion of New Haven. These laws in the United States and Canada are designed to enforce moral standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest. They came to be known as bluelaws because they were supposedly printed on blue paper. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to support this assertion.
- WHO IS CREDITED WITH HAVING THE HIGHEST IQ?
Marilyn vos Savant is an American magazine columnist, author, lecturer and playwright who rose to fame through her listing in the Guinness Book of World Records under the Highest IQ category, with a score of 228. She wrote for acolumn called Ask Marilyn in a magazine in which she answers questions from readers on a variety of subjects.
- WHICH IS THE WORLD’S FIRST COURIER SERVICE?
Overseas Courier Service, the world’s first courier service providing firm, was established in 1957 by a consortium of major newspaper publishers in Tokyo as a global, overnight delivery system for time-sensitive business publications. It was the first such private international network, dedicated entirely to overseas air-speed shipping.
- WHY IS LAS VEGAS CALLED SO?
Las Vegas was named by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo Party, who used the water in the area while heading along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 1800s, areas of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas or meadows (vegas in Spanish) and hence the name Las Vegas.
- WHO INVENTED THE CLOCK?
The earliest way of telling the time was by looking at the progress of the shadow cast by a twig stuck up-right in the ground. Round about 1300 BC, this was developed by the inhabitants of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia into the sundial. The sundial served for a thousand years until the invention of the clepsydra, or water clock. This was the first clock with moving parts. The mechanical clock was not invented until the 13th century and it was driven by weights. The spring-driven clock was invented sometime around 1450 AD.
- WHO INVENTED THE CLOCK?
The primitive type of clock was invented by Henry de Wick in 1368. He installed it on the tower of the castle of the king of France. Using the technique of a pendulum, the clock was developed by French engineer Hyudhence in 1639. Electricity was deployed in the clock by Alexander Ben around 1840-50.
- WHO ARE ‘THE LITTLE EMPERORS’?
They refer to obese little boys in China without any siblings. They are heavily doted on by their parents and grandparents, who feed them calorie-laden candies and fast food. As a result, obesity has become a problem amongst Chinese teenagers. It’s also seen as a fallout of the strict population policy of China which restricts couples from having more than one child, because of which parents and relatives tend to spoil their children with fatty foods.
- WHAT WERE GULAG CAMPS?
The Gulag, a system of forced labour camps in the former USSR, was first established in 1919 under the Cheka, its secret police. Prisoners included murderers, thieves, and other common criminals along with political and religious dissenters. The Gulag, whose camps were located mainly in remote regions of Siberia and the far North of USSR made significant contributions to the Soviet economy in the period of Joseph Stalin. Conditions in the camps were extremely harsh. After Stalin died in 1953, the Gulag population was reduced significantly, and condition of inmates somewhat improved.
- WHO IS CHE GUEVARA?
Ernesto Che Guevara was a Cuban revolutionary leader. Though communism may have lost its fire, he remains the symbol of rebellion and the alluring zeal of revolution. By the time Ernesto Guevara, known to us as Che, was murdered in the jungles of Bolivia in October 1967, he was already a legend, not only in Latin America but also around the world. His fearless last words, reportedly, were “Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man”.
- WHO IS CHE GUEVARA?
Though a comrade of Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution, Ernesto Che Guevara was actually from Argentina, not Cuba. His nickname ‘Che’ (loosely translates as ‘yaar’ in India) is an Argentinian slang.
- WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF JAZZ MUSIC?
Jazz originated among the Black people in New Orleans in the late 19th century and is characterized by syncopated rhythms and improvisation. It has since developed various styles. Jazz originally drew on Ragtime, Gospel, Black spiritual songs, West African rhythms, and European harmonies. The term jazz originated in southern United States (it is first recorded in 1909, applied to a type of ragtime dance), and it is tempting to speculate that its ancestor crossed the Atlantic on the slave ships from Africa. In the absence of any certain origin, various colourful alternative theories have been put forward, for instance, the name jazz came from the nickname of a certain Jasbo Brown, an itinerant musician along the banks of the Mississippi.
- WHAT IS AGENT ORANGE?
Agent Orange is a defoliant herbicide mixture used during the Vietnam War to destroy forests in Vietnam. The United States sprayed 20 million gallons of Agent Orange over forests in Vietnam, and as a result, members of the armed forces were exposed to it. Agent Orange, named as such due to the orange colour of its storage drums, is a 50:50 mixture of the butyl esters of 2, 4-D and 2,4,5-T. It is probable that damage to humans would be due to the highly toxic impurity dioxin present in Agent Orange.
- HOW OLD IS THE JERUSALEM OLD CITY?
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities of the world, having a history that begins in the fourth millennium BC. There was a mention of the city even in the Egyptian texts that belonged to 20th century BC. David was the first Jewish king to conquer the city of Jerusalem in 1007 BC and adopt it as his capital. Over the next several centuries, the city has been conquered and ruled by several different groups of people and countries, and has become a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Today, it is under the control of Israel and happens to be Israel’s largest city. What has been the city of Jerusalem until 1860s, is the 0.9 square kilometre walled portion inside the modern city of Jerusalem. The walled portion is called the old city today. The old city is divided into four quarters, Armenian, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, and houses many important shrines.
- WHO IS KNOWN AS A MATHLETE?
Just as athletes participate in athletic events, matheletes are those who compete in mathematics competitions. The word is a trademark of MathCount Foundation. Recently, a French mathlete named Alexis Lemaire calculated the 13th root of a 200-digit number in just over 70 seconds. By doing so, he beat his own previous record of 72.4 seconds at an event in London’s Science Museum.
- WHAT IS A MOM-AND-POP SHOP?
A mom-and-pop shop is a colloquial expression for a single-family operated business with few or no employees other than the owners. Sometimes, fewer than ten employees work in these small or micro businesses. People who speak of mom-and-pop businesses often refer to the unique perspective offered by patronizing a family business. Some encourage the unknown experience of entering a mom-and-pop establishment over franchise businesses, which typically offer comparable stores and similar consumer experiences, regardless of location. For example, mom-and-pop businesses are often highlighted in travel guides, because going to a business owned and operated by a family allows a traveller to fully experience and understand the people of another culture.
- WHO INVENTED CHEWING GUM?
Thomas Adams, a rubber scientist, invented chewing gum. He was working with a substance called chicle, a gum prepared from the latex of the saphodila tree, a tropical evergreen plant. By chance, he popped a small piece of chicle into his mouth and chewed it casually to while away time. Suddenly, it occurred to him that others may derive pleasure from chewing chicle, which is, even today, a chief ingredient in chewing gum.
- WHICH IS THE LONGEST ACRONYM IN USE?
Adcomsubordcomphibspac is the longest English acronym. It’s a navy term which stands for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FRESCO AND A MURAL?
A mural is any large painting on a wall, ceiling or any other large structure. There are many techniques used to make them. A fresco, executed using water-soluble paints on wet or dry limestone, is one of the techniques and probably the most popular. A primary characteristic of a fresco is that the paintings, though often done in parts, are generally related by a common thread. For example, the frescoes on the walls and ceilings of Ajanta caves in India (6th century) depict the Jataka tales — stories from Buddha’s life.
- WHAT DOES THE WORD ‘WOOT’ MEAN?
If lay persons say ‘yay’, then hardcore gamers would say ‘wOOt’. This phrase, an expression of joy by on-line gamers, has been selected as the word of the year by the US dictionary publisher Merriam Webster.
- WHAT IS THE NYQUIST RATE?
In data communication, the sampling theorem states that a continuous signal can be completely represented in its sampled form and recovered from the sampled form if the sampling frequency f is equal to 2W, where W is the maximum frequency of that continuous signal. This minimum sampling rate of 2W samples per second for a signal having maximum frequency of W is called the Nyquist Rate.
- WHAT IS THE PHOBIA OF ALIENS CALLED?
Fear or dislike of foreigners or aliens is called xenophobia. The word xenophobia is a combination of two Greek words — xenos (foreigners) and phobos (fear). When a majority of people in a country suffer from xenophobia, the phobia can lead to mass expulsion of people of foreign origin, or banning of certain foreign cultural elements. Xenophobia is different from racism, although often both words are used interchangeably Racism implies a hatred of people of other races, irrespective of whether they belong to one’s own country, whereas xenophobia implies hatred of people of other countries or regions. In science fiction, xenophobia refers to fear of extraterrestrial beings. Scientists explain xenophobia as a defence mechanism evolved in humans in response to the need to win in inter-group competition in society and Nature.
- WHAT IS THE GUDERMANNIAN FUNCTION?
The Gudermannian function, named after Christoph Gudermann (1798 -1852), relates to the circular and hyperbolic trigonometric functions without using complex numbers.
- HOW IS A BARGE DIFFERENT FROM A REGULAR BOAT?
The word originally referred to any small boat; the modern meaning arose around 1480. A barge is a flatbottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Most barges are not self-propelled and need to be moved by tugboats or towboats. Barges on canals contended with the railways in the early industrial revolution but were outclassed when it came to carrying high-value items due to the higher speed, falling costs, and route flexibility of rail transport. A boat is a watercraft designed to float on, and provide transport over water.
- WHAT’S THE GREEN GOLD PROJECT?
The Green Gold or Oro Verde project seeks to ensure the safety of miners and also protect them from exploitation. A jewellery shop in Chichester, England along with miners in a cooperative in Choco in North-East Colombia and the Fair Trade Foundation embarked on this project which promotes the purchase of green gold or jewellery which isn’t created by putting labourers through hardships.
- WHAT IS THE ANTARCTICA TREATY?
The Antarctica Treaty, signed in 1959, was a path-breaking agreement among countries of the world. There are certain regions located beyond the sovereign jurisdiction of any country of the world. Therefore, they require common governance by the international community These are known as ‘res communis humanitatis’ or Global Commons. It includes not only Antarctica but also the ocean floor and outer space. According to the treaty, Antarctica’s environment and ecosystem will be protected. Since 1959, activities in the area have been limited to scientific research and development, fishing and tourism. Even these limited activities have not prevented this region from being degraded by waste, for example, oil spills. The expansion of the treaty was Antarctic Environmental Protocol of 1991.
- WHAT IS A PAGODA?
A pagoda, in South-east Asia, is a cone-shaped monumental structure built in memory of the Buddha. But in the Far East, a pagoda is a tower-like, multi-storeyed structure of stone, brick, or wood, usually associated with a Buddhist temple complex. The pagoda is derived from the stupa of ancient India, which was a dome-shaped commemorative monument, usually erected over the remains or relics of a holy man or king.
- WHY DOES FEBRUARY HAVE 28 DAYS, AND JULY AND AUGUST, 31 DAYS?
According to a popular legend, July was named after Julius Caesar and hence it had 31 days. Later, when Augustus Caesar took over the Roman Empire, he wanted August, the month named after him, to have 31 days as well. Hence, the two extra days were taken from February, which was then left with 28 days. However, some historians d.on’t agree with this reasoning. They believe February always had 28 days ever since the time of King Numa Pompilius. He decided that a year would have 355 days, the length of 12 lunar cycles. Back then, even numbers were considered unlucky So, he created seven months with 29 days, and four with 31. Since he now needed one short even-numbered month, he chose February, as it was considered the least favourite month for it arrived during the middle of winter. And hence, it was given only 28 days.
- WHAT IS RICE WINE?
Rice wine is made from fermenting freshly steamed glutinous rice. Most rice wines are low in alcohol content, light in colour, noncarbonated and have a sweet flavour. Rice wine is categorized according to the degree to which rice is polished. It does not usually improve with age and should be preferably consumed within one year of bottling.
- WHY WAS THE NEW AMSTERDAM COLONY ESTABLISHED?
New Amsterdam was established by Dutch colonisers in 1624 in what is known today as New York city The town of New Amsterdam became a city in 1653 when it received municipal rights and was reincorporated as New York city in June 1665. The town was founded on the southern tip of Manhattan island as the most optimal place for permanent settlement by the Dutch West India Company and was strategically located on the south of the Hudson river. The location was best suited to defend the integrity of the New Netherlands province and was entrusted to safeguard the West India Company’s exclusive access to New Netherlands’ other two estuaries — the Delaware river and Connecticut river.
- WHICH WAS THE FIRST WAR FOUGHT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND?
If we define war as a large-scale violent conflict between two states employing the military, the earliest recorded wars might have taken place between various city states in the Mesopotamian region during the period 3,000-2,300 BC in the Bronze Age. The first recorded evidence of such a war was the one between the two city states Lagash and Umma, estimated to have taken place in 2525 BC. From the stone slabs bearing inscriptions related to the war, it could be inferred that the war employed professional soldiers wearing helmets who moved on chariots. The weapons employed were maces and swords.
- WHERE DOES SANTA CLAUS LIVE?
The original Santa Claus lived nowhere near the North Pole. If the 4th century bishop known as Saint Nicholas of Myra — the inspiration for Santa Claus — existed at all, he lived in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey Santa Claus is a corruption of the Dutch name Sinte Klaas for St Nicholas, the patron saint of children and unmarried girls. Tradition says he gave bags of gold to three daughters from a noble, but poor family as their dowries, thus saving them from a life of prostitution. As the legends developed in the Netherlands, the three bags of gold were replaced by a bulging sack of presents which Santa Claus distributed to children on December 6, St Nicholas’ feast day Later, this custom caught on to other parts of the world, to give gifts to good people and punish the bad.
- WHAT IS THE SEEHECK EFFECT?
The principle of the thermocouple was first described by Seebeck in 1821. Seebeck discovered that when wires of two dissimilar metals were joined together to form a circuit of at least two junctions, a current would flow when the junctions were at different temperatures. This phenomenon, called the Seebeck Effect, is the basis upon which thermocouples are designed.
- WHAT IS FOUR-DIMENSIONAL CINEMA?
What we normally see today in theatres are two-dimensional movies with multi-channel sound. In three-dimensional movies, viewers are required to wear special glasses which create 3-D images of objects in the movie. Chhota Chetan and Shiva Ka Insaaf were such movies released two decades ago. Fourth dimension in a movie creates an overall different experience. In addition to the effects of 3-D features, viewers can experience the movies through other senses like sight, sound, odour, touch and also have personal remote control. Viewers are seated in special seats which have bass shockers and other special fittings which make them a part of the complete 4-D experience.
- WHAT IS BOW SHOCK?
In aerodynamics, bow shock is a normal shock that occurs in front of an object within a supersonic flow. Unlike an oblique shock, the bow shock is not attached to the tip, off the object in the flow. Oblique shock angles are limited in formation based on the corner angle and upstream Mach number. When these limitations are exceeded, a bow shock occurs instead of an oblique shock. Therefore, bow shocks are often seen forming around blunt objects. In astrophysics, bow shock is a boundary between a magnetosphere and an ambient medium. For stars, this is typically the boundary between their stellar wind and the interstellar medium. In a planetary magnetosphere, the bow shock is the boundary at which the solar wind abruptly drops because of its approach to the magnetopause.
- WHAT IS ASSUMPTION DAY?
Assumption Day is, according to the Roman Catholic church, the day on which the Blessed Virgin Mary was, along with her body and soul, accepted (or ‘assumed’) in heaven. It is usually celebrated on August 15 by Roman Catholics. In some parts of the world, Assumption Day is a public holiday; in some parts it is a day of solemnity and prayers, whereas in some other parts, it is a day of feasting and festivities. Although in the early days of Christianity some held that it was not certain how the Virgin Mary’s life ended, from the 5th century AD onwards, Christians believed that the Virgin Mary did not actually suffer a physical death and that she passed into heaven with her physical body and soul on Assumption Day The above day was officially recognised through a Dogma by the Church only in 1950. The Assumption has also been a subject of Christian art for several centuries.
- WHAT IS HEIRLOOM GARDENING?
An heirloom plant, heirloom variety, or (especially in the UK) heirloom vegetable is an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Since most popular heirloom plants are vegetables, the term heirloom vegetable is often used instead. The trend of growing heirloom plants in gardens has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe over the last decade. This is called heirloom gardening. Some examples are heirloom tomato, forbidden rice and Bhutanese red rice.
- WHAT IS DIES IRAE?
Dies Irae literally means day of wrath. The mediaeval Christians were preoccupied with the end of the world; they anticipated the Last Judgement, followed by the millennium. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West there was a revival of the belief in the end of time. The year 1000 likewise excited mythological speculation, as did famines, plagues, and earthquakes. Most influential were the views of the visionary Joachim of Fiore. He divided history into several ages and said that 1260 would be the fulfilment of the Age of the Spirit, which had begun with St Benedict. At that time, mankind could expect a new revelation, the coming of the anti-Christ, and the last days of wrath. This myth, written down at the behest of the Papacy, exerted a potent influence on mediaeval thought, and in its vision of a future world where the Holy Roman Empire and the Church of Rome would give place to a free community of perfected beings who have no need of clergy or sacraments or scripture, it anticipated modern millennial theories.
- HOW MANY COUNTRIES DOES THE DNIEPER FLOW THROUGH?
Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are the three countries through which Europe’s third-longest river flows. It originates in the south-west of Moscow and flows through Smolensk (Russia), Mogilev (Belarus), Kiev (capital of Ukraine), Dnepropetrovsk and Kherson (Ukraine) and empties into the Black Sea.
- WHAT IS ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH?
The current geological epoch we live in is called Holocene, which began around 9600 BC. However, considering the way humans have altered the course of the Earth scientists suggest that the epoch be renamed anthropocene. Nobel-prize winning chemist Paul Crutzen coined this term in a casual remark in 2002, while talking about how the Earth was entering a new epoch due to increasing human population and economic activity However, other scientists want this word to refer to the human impact upon the planet.
- WHAT IS ANTI-DUMPING DUTY?
If any company exports a product at a price lower than what it normally charges in its home market, then it is dumping the product. Opinions differ as to whether or not this is unfair competition, but many countries take action against dumping by imposing anti-dumping duty Thus, anti-dumping duty is an extra import duty on a particular product from a particular country in order to bring its prices closer to the normal value of that product in the country it is imported to. It is done to protect its own industry from predatory pricing. The World Trade Organisation does not prohibit antidumping policies and allows any country to take anti-dumping action against the countries which violate the principles of General Agreement on Trade and Tariff.
- WHAT IS A CASCADE EFFECT?
An unforseen chain of events due to an act affecting a system, much like how a waterfall cascades down, is called cascade effect. Cascade effects are commonly visualised in tree structures called event trees.
- WHAT IS LAPIS LAZULI?
Lapis Lazuli is an intense blue semiprecious stone. It has been mined for 6,500 years in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. It has lazurite as the main component. It’s used in jewellery, mosaics, architecture and as a pigment called ultramarine in tempera paintings. It was used by Assyrians and Babylonians for seals, as an eyeshadow by Cleopatra and Romans believed it to be an aphrodisiac. It was thought to keep limbs healthy and free the soul from error, envy and fear.
- WHAT ARE MAGIC BULLETS IN PHARMACEUTICAL TERMS?
In pharmaceutical terms, magic bullets are those drugs which attack the affected organ/cells and not the healthy ones. For example, the medicine for blood cancer I — called Glivec — is known to be a magic bullet as it attacks only those cells which are affected by the disease and not the healthy or surrounding cells.
- WHAT IS THE ‘ART OF MOVING’?
‘The art of moving’ or Parkour involves moving from one point to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. It entails overcoming obstacles using the power of the human body and is practised in several urban areas the world over. Recently, members of the Du Yize Parkour Club of Beijing showed their prowess at the Forbidden City
- WHAT ARE POLAR COORDINATES?
It is a system of coordinates in Geometry whereby the position of a point, say P, in a plane can be determined with reference to a fixed point called origin, denoted by 0, and a predetermined direction represented by a ray OA. The measure of length OP, denoted by r, and the measure of the angle that OP makes with OA, generally denoted by a Greek letter theta, are called polar coordinates of P and, P is called the graph of r and theta. One pair of values of r and theta corresponds to only one point in the plane and one point in the plane corresponds to only one pair of the values of r and theta.
- WHAT ARE SLATS?
These are thin narrow flat strips made of wood or metal, which are used as an auxiliary air foil at the leading edge of the wing of an aeroplane.
- WHEN AND WHERE DID JALLIKATTU ORIGINATE?
Jallikattu, which is bull-baiting or bull fighting, is an ancient Tamilian tradition. There are several rock paintings, more than 3,500 years old, at remote Karikkiyur village in the Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu that show men chasing bulls. Another single painting discovered in a cave at Kalluthu Mettupatti, about 35 km west of Madurai, between Madurai and Dindigul, shows a lone man trying to control a bull, Researchers estimate that this painting, done in white kaolin, is about 1,500 years old.
- WHAT’S THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM ‘TOP DOG’?
‘Top dog’ means one who is dominant or victorious. When wooden planks were sawn by hand, two men did the job using a two-handed saw. The senior man took the top handle, standing on the wood, and the junior took the bottom, in the saw-pit below. The irons that were used to hold the wood were called dogs and that the bottom position was much more uncomfortable. The term ‘top dog’ originated from this practice.
- WHICH IS THE FIRST ART GALLERY?
The term art gallery refers to two different kinds of places: 1. A place which exhibits items of art (an art museum), and 2. A place which sells art items. The oldest art museum is supposed to be housed in the Cosquer Caves, the under-water caves, near Marseilles. The caves consist of finger tracings, impressions of painted hands, and painted and engraved figures of animals. The oldest works in these caves were estimated to have been created 29,000 years ago. Art galleries that exhibit and sell works of art on a large scale have been in existence since the 17th century AD. Most of the oldest art auction houses that exist today in Europe have been founded in the first half of the 18th century Viennabased auction house Dorothium, which claims to be the oldest art auction house of the world, was founded in 1707, and Sothebys, the oldest and largest art auction house of England, was founded in 1744.
- WHAT ARE TEXTONYMS?
They refer to the new language developed by cellphone-addicted teenagers, based on predictive text on their handsets. They are also known as adaptonyms or cellodromes. Using predictive text, the first alternative to certain keywords are used in textonyms.
- WHAT ARE BANKURA HORSES?
The vibrant tradition of folk art in West Bengal’s Bankura district includes a variety of clay handicrafts. The district’s most famous product is the Bankura Horse, a very stylised figure with a long neck and elongated ears, in warm terracotta colours. Artisans have used the same techniques of hollow clay moulding and firing for generations. Sizes vary from minute, palm-sized to gigantic creations over 1 metre high. The horses are votive figures and are usually kept or placed in front of local deities.
- WHO WAS THE FIRST INDIAN TO BE KNIGHTED?
Queen Victoria founded The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India in 1861, which was an order of chivalry, meant to be given to viceroys of India, nawabs and princes for their meritorious service and loyalty to the British empire. The people admitted to this order were called knights. In the year of its founding, Nawab Sikandar Begum Sahiba, Nawab Begum of Bhopal was made the Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India (GCSI). La
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