Royal weddings and desert flowers
The past two weeks have been eventful.
First, a royal wedding in England showed signs of renewal and hope
for the British royal family. Just three days later, the world's
most wanted terrorist was killed in a pre-dawn raid by US special
forces in Pakistan. Today's quiz takes off from the wedding and
roams the news landscape and frontiers of knowledge.
On 29 April 2011, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and the grandson of
Queen Elizabeth II was married to Catherine Middleton at Westminster
Abbey, in central London. This large and famous landmark of London is
located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the
traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later
British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth
realms. What is its full official name?
2. Catherine "Kate" Elizabeth, née Middleton, 29, is now the wife of
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the British
throne. She grew up in Chapel Row at Bucklebury, a village near Newbury,
Berkshire, and studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland,
where she met Prince William in 2001. On the day of her wedding, she was
conferred with a title. What is it?
3. The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the
reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Members of the current British
royal family belong to, either by birth or marriage, the House of
Windsor. It was in 1917 when King George V changed the name of the royal
house to Windsor, while Britain was at war with Germany. Given the
British royal family's strong German ancestry, it was felt that its
public image could be improved by choosing a more British name. What was
the earlier family name that was replaced in 1917?
4. The 1909 Nobel Prize for Physics was split and shared between two
individuals. Half of it went to the German physicist Karl Ferdinand
Braun and the other half to an Italian inventor who in 1896 had been
granted the world's first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy.
Who was he?
5. This woman, an American teacher, was instrumental in using new
techniques to teach the blind including the famous Helen Keller. This
teacher's life was the basis for a television drama, Broadway play and a
Hollywood movie, all by the name The Miracle Worker. The movie, directed
by Arthur Penn, was made in 1962. Actress Anne Bancroft won the Oscar
for best actress for portraying this character. Who was this remarkable
6. A Sri Lanka-born professional astronomer, now a professor of
astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Toronto, Canada, is one
of the world's leading researchers looking for exo-planets, or planets
orbiting a normal star other than our Sun. He has recently written a new
book about this work, titled "Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien
Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System." Who is he?
NASA announced that 1,235 new possible exo-planets had been observed by
a powerful telescope mounted on a spacecraft it launched in 2009
"specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky
Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the
habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our
galaxy have such planets". This has created new excitement in the search
for Earth-like planets elsewhere in the universe. What is the NASA
spacecraft called (clue: it is named in honour of a great German
astronomer who lived 400 years ago).
8. The Sinhala drama titled Bakmaha Akunu (1963) produced by
Dayananda Gunawardena Introduced the Revolving Stage to Sri Lankan
theatre for the first time. It was an adaptation of a French comedy
drama originally written in 1778. What was the original work called
(either English name or French name is accepted)?
9. Name the American journalist and author, who lived from 1917 to
1986, who once remarked: "The real danger is not that computers will
begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like
10. In the early days of travelling overseas, US Presidents used
passenger or military ships. It was in 1943 that a sitting US President
first made an overseas visit using an aeroplane. Using a Boeing 314
Clipper aircraft, the President first flew from Miami to Trinidad, and
on to Belem in Brazil. From there, he flew to The Gambia in northern
Africa (19 hours) and on to Casablanca in Morocco. Which US President
made this historic trip during the height of the Second World War to
plan the European strategy of the Allied Forces?
11. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international
governing body of cricket. It has its international headquarters in
Dubai, UAE. Its current president is an Indian politician, Minister of
Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public
Distribution, Government of India. Who is he?
The death of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden dominated international
news in recent days. Al-Qaeda is a global militant Islamist group
founded sometime between August 1988 and late 1989, which operates as a
network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical
Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad (or struggle). What does
the term 'Al-Qaeda' literally mean in Arabic?
13. A Police sub-inspector won the first ever international sports
gold medal for Ceylon when he competed at the 1938 Empire Games held in
Sydney, Australia. His gold medal was for boxing in the Featherweight
category. Who was this boxer?
14. 2011 Formula One Grand Prix championship is held in different
circuits in 19 countries worldwide. What is the newest country to join
the Formula One championship as a host in 2011?
15. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad is an
autobiographical book published in 1998 about the life of Somalia-born
model, Waris Dirie. In 2009, the book was adapted into a movie. The
book's Sinhala translation has been one of the best selling books in Sri
Lanka. Name the writer who translated it into Sinhala as Kantharaye
Answers will be published next week
Last week’s answers
1. Tarzie Vittachi (1921 – 1993)
2. Among Those Present, by D B Dhanapala
3. Edward Harper
4. Yusuf Raza Gilani
6. Sabaragamuwa Province and Southern Province
7. Dayananda Gunawardena (1934 – 1993)
8. Anant Pai (1929 – 2011)
10. Astronaut Alan B Shepard, Jr
11. Elizabeth Taylor
12. Joseph Priestley (1733 – 1804)
13. Nikita Khrushchev (1894 - 1971)
14. Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors
15. Cocos Islands