Velazquez, Diego, “Les Meninas”, between 1656 and 1657, oil on canvas,318 cm x276 cm, Museo del Prado, Spain.
| Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Time to put on your thinking caps.
1. The Yubiwa pipe was a cigarette holder built into a ring that enabled the wearer to smoke all the way to the nub. It grew hugely popular among office workers in post-war Japan since they no longer needed to take breaks to smoke. The founder’s eponymous company would branch out into other products used in offices and then diversify even further. Which company is this?
2. Anthony Richardson is a quarterback on the University of Florida’s football team and also owns an apparel line in his name. Earlier this year, he announced a change to the brand and its design, citing unpleasant associations due to events in the US. Even though the brand name is simply a combination of his initials and jersey number, he did not wish to continue using it. What is this brand, which is also unfortunately hugely popular in another category of products?
3. Ajrak is a traditional form of block printing on fabric native to Sindh and Kutch. It derives its name from the Persian word for “little brick”, which refers to the wooden blocks that are used to make repeating patterns. There is an effort currently under way in Pakistan for ajrak to be considered the oldest continuously practised traditional craft. What artefact is being used as as evidence to support this claim?
4. Early versions of what musical instrument were nicknamed “the log” (a single block of wood with removable body extensions) and “the frying pan” (a circular body attached to an elongated neck)? The development of the instrument was necessitated by the need for players of older instruments to be heard clearly when they played alongside larger bands with brass and percussion instruments in the big-band era.
5. Salvador Dali was a well-known admirer of the Spanish Baroque artist Diego Velázquez. During his career, Dali reinterpreted several of Velázquez’s paintings, such as “The Portrait of Juan de Pareja, the Assistant to Velázquez” and “Las Meninas”. He also depicted Velázquez in portraits and famously in “Velázquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of His Own Glory”. However, Dali’s most personal homage to Velázquez is something now more closely associated with Dali himself than his inspiration. What is this homage?
6. Invented by Ken Liu in 2015 to describe the aesthetic of his novel The Grace of Kings this term refers to a “language of technology” that relies on materials of historical importance in East Asia, such as bamboo, shells, paper, among others, including one that gives the genre its name. The second part of the word, according to Liu, refers to themes of “rebellion, re-appropriation and rejuvenation of tradition, and defiance of authority”. What is this genre called?
7. This three-word phrase can be applied to three historical occurrences: the first, in 1419, as a result of a riot at a town hall that ensued after Jan Zelivsky, a Hussite priest, was attacked. The second, in 1483, was the result of a political coup against King Vladislaus II, and the third, in 1618, was a conflict between Catholic and Protestant groups that eventually led to the Thirty Years’ War. What is the phrase, which describes a common occurrence across these three events?
8. The man in the image was the subject of a 1960 play by Robert Bolt, which was adapted to film in 1966. The play’s title, borrowed from a 1520 description of the man by Robert Whittington, refers to his uncompromising adherence to his principles, which would lead to his execution in 1532. What was this five-word title?
9. This song is often incorrectly believed to be a traditional folk song or an unofficial national anthem of a country. It was, however, written in English for a Broadway musical as a way to showcase the guitar skills of the actor Theodore Bikel. What is this song, which was named after the Leontopodium nivale species?
The man in the image was the subject of a 1960 play by Robert Bolt, which was adapted to film in 1966.
10. When objects and concepts change and the newer versions become commonplace, it is necessary to distinguish the new from the old. This is usually done by adding modifiers, thus changing the names of these entities. Examples include “acoustic guitar”, “rotary telephone”, and “snail mail”. This includes the addition of the numeral I in papal and regnal names when later popes, kings, or queens adopt the same name. What word is used to refer to these new names for old things?
Sumant Srivathsan has a day job as a digital marketer, but his true calling is disambiguating football and soccer on the Internet.
Casio (founded by Tadao Kashio)
AR-15, which is more (in)famous as the name of an assault rifle used in several mass shootings in the US.
The robe of the Harappan “Priest-King” sculpture has patterns similar to typical ajrak patterns.
Electric guitars (designed by Les Paul and George Beauchamp, respectively
His famous moustache
Defenestrations of Prague (in all cases, people were thrown out of windows)