As years go, 2008 was tumultuous, so much so that we’re willing to wager that you’ve forgotten much of what happened early in the year. Sure, we all remember the big events: A new American president, Mumbai under attack, a limping global economy. But bend your mind around these 25 questions on politics, the economy, culture and technology, and if your wits are keen enough, you can win yourself a prize.
1. Why did we see a pair of Kazuo Kawasaki spectacles so often in 2008?
2. In 2007, construction started on a new 108km highway, running up the Tibetan side of Mt Everest to its peak. It was finished this year, but it ran into controversy as environmentalists criticized the purpose and necessity of the road. What was the road built for?
3. First it was supposed to be A, but she was too unreliable. So, in what must have been a measurable unit of relief, it turned out to be B and C in combination. What are we talking about?
Click here to see pictures of A, B, and C
4. Most memorably this year, what did the dishonourable members of Parliament from Morena, Salumber and Mandla do on television?
5. The father won the award in 1985. He passed away this year. The son won the same award this year. Who are the father and son, and what is the award?
6. “For one cool, precious hour each morning after it opened, and the floors had been cleaned, _________ was an oasis of quiet in the struggling city.” Who wrote these words, and what was this oasis, also noted for its “faded but still sumptuous elegance”?
7. Identify this author, who must have made a lot of money by betting on a rare, dusky ornithological species.
Click here for the author’s picture.
8. If it was Regis Philbin in the US and Amitabh Bachchan in India, who was it in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’?
9. One media leak in February said it would be Swayamkrushi, which seemed to imply that we must all farm our land ourselves. But then it turned out to be Praja Rajyam. Who is the self-motivated farmer behind all this?
10. “First I see, then I see, then I stop.” Stockholders in which firm may well have followed this philosophy a few months ago?
11. Five years ago, it was Mark Vermeulen and Stuart Carlisle. So who made sure this year that, for only the second time in history, it was Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid?
12. The regal title of what 2008 film was reportedly lifted by its star off the back of a truck in Jaipur?
13. This little old lady had no idea she would become the star of the most-awaited speech of the year. Who is she, and whose speech was it?
14. If Ramayan literally means “the journey of Ram,” what would mean, in a slightly modified form, “the journey to the moon”?
15. They fight for the White Witch in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’; in the real world, 10% of their population was owned, at one point, by Siegfried and Roy. So what do you get if two copies of the recessive gene for the paler colouration pass on to a cub?
16. Who assured his prime minister about his army’s readiness for war with the pithy: “I’m always ready, sweetie”?
17. An island nation sees its long-time leader step down from power, only to see a leader with the same surname assume power. Which nation has been keeping it all in the family since 1959?
18. Name the painter of this work, who passed away this year.
Click here for the painter’s picture.
19. Connect, using a name:
20. In March, Walter Wagner and Luis Sancho filed a complaint in the US district court in Hawaii, trying to save the world from what European menace?
21. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. Why is he in this quiz?
22. One of the board members of ________ Futuristics, a Chandigarh-based computer peripherals company, took a particularly profitable trip to China in August this year. Who is this gentleman, whose first name also fills the blank?
23. Which product was launched this year accompanied by a 38-page comic by Scott McCloud?
24. Henry, Emanuel and Mayer died, in a sense, in September, even if they really died way back in the 19th century. What did they lend their name to?
25. What is the slang term for an idler who tries his luck with almost every woman that passes him on the street?
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Entries can be sent in till 5pm. The winners will be declared on 10 January. Mail your replies to firstname.lastname@example.org