Saturday, September 21, 2013

Random Question (September 21, 2013)

Q. What is the focus of this upcoming made-for-TV film? (I'd like a precise answer, please.)

A. Ali's battles in the US Supreme Court after he declared himself a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. 

In 1967, following his decision to refuse to be drafted, he was stripped of his heavyweight title, convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison. Many who served and suffered the horrors of that nightmarish war will never forgive Ali for his stance. Others praise him for being instrumental in bringing the societal pressure that helped end the war. The film focusses on the internal battles the nine Supreme Court justices had in deciding Ali's appeal of his conviction.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Random Question (September 14, 2013)

Q. Born Samuel Evans Stokes Jr into an American Quaker family in 1882, he came to India at the age of 22 to work at a leper colony in the hills around Shimla. What name did he take after converting to Hinduism, and what industry is he generally credited with having started in India?

A. Satyananda; the apple-growing industry in Himachal Pradesh.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random Question (September 10, 2013)

Q. Easy one (I think). Identify actor and movie.

A. Matt Damon with a massive false nose in 'Ocean's Thirteen'.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Random Question (September 3, 2013)

Q. The more well-known photos of this location in time and space came a few hours before this one. What had taken place here just hours earlier? (And, because I suspect many people will go for a certain option, let me make it clear that's not a Chinese flag on the tank.)

A. This is the Presidential Palace in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), just hours after the last of the American helicopters had taken off from its roof on April 30 1975, signalling the end of a long and bitter war. [The more famous pictures mentioned in the question are like the one below.]

More on the photo above: When the North Vietnamese tank No. 843 broke down the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon, most Western journalists had been evacuated from South Vietnam, but that defining moment was captured on video and on camera film by two who stayed behind. The photographic record of the moment was made by Francoise Demulder, who would later become the first woman to win the World Press Photo Award. A student of philosophy (and a model), Ms. Demulder travelled to South Vietnam with her boyfriend in the early 1970s. To cover their travelling expenses, the couple quickly became embedded with the U.S. military, she (who had no formal training in photography) taking war photos and her boyfriend driving her around, covering the fighting, and dropping off their photos at the AP office. She stayed behind to take the photo above.