Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Weekend Workout (week starting March 9, 2014)

Used, Misused, Abused
(remember: larger versions of all visuals can be seen by clicking on them)

1. Profoundly affected by a case in which he was one of the attending doctors, neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns undertook an in-depth study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets, initially by military motorcyclists and later in civilian life as well. Who was the victim in the case that set this ball rolling?

2. Which Indian company was set up in 1945 in Amalner in the Jalgaon district, Maharashtra, initially manufacturing products under brand names such as Kisan, Sunflower and Camel, and named simply for its geographical location?

3. The first over-the-counter product of its type sold in the United States, it was launched in 1914 and by 1921 was already falsely marketing its product. Declaring itself a cure-all for common cold ailments like sore throats and coughs, a dandruff preventative, an anti-shave tonic, and a safe way to protect yourself from cuts, bruises, wounds, and stings, it was slapped with numerous false advertisement lawsuits. In 1975, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company to spend $10 million in corrective advertising, seeing as their product was no more effective in treating colds than gargling warm water. In 2005, the company was slapped with another lawsuit because it claimed it was as “effective as floss” after rigging clinical trials. What product?

4. In 1797, London haberdasher John Hetherington was hauled into court on charges of breaching the King’s peace, found guilty, and ordered to pay a £50 fine. His crime, as it was described in court, was one of “appearing on the public highway wearing upon his head a tall structure having a shining lustre and calculated to frighten timid people”. According to contemporary reports, people booed, dogs barked, women fainted, and a small boy suffered a broken arm after a crowd formed around the hapless Mr. Hetherington. What did he have on his head, which was outlawed in London for a time after that, only to gain popularity some 50 years later, when Prince Albert took to wearing one?

5. This ad, purportedly meant for internal circulation only, made it into the public eye, leading to the resignation of JWT India's chief creative officer and managing partner Bobby Pawar. Name the car brand.

6.  Listen to this piece by a specialised ensemble from Stanford University that goes under the name MoPho, and tell me (a) what is their primary musical instrument; and (b) what is the composition they are (kind of appropriately) mangling? [1 point each]

7. This is a picture from 1968 of the 'inventor' of a device called the Electrometer using it to determine whether tomatoes experience pain. His work led him to the conclusion that tomatoes "scream when sliced". However, it's what originated in the 1950 magazine article shown alongside – and was detailed in the book that followed – that has brought him long-lasting fame/notoriety. Either name him, or this most successful 'invention' of his.

8. In 2012, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shocked Indian Ayurveda practitioners by placing the Azadirachta indica species on its Negative Ingredient List, a move that has the potential to severely limit the trade and use of the plant and its parts. In Ayurveda, the species is known as 'sarvarogasamhari', an equivalent of 'panacea'. What is the common name of the species?

9. The "Mark Sense Pencil Lead" was developed and trademarked by IBM, but has since come to be used as a generic term. These are most commonly used in conjunction with products made by Scantron, another American company whose name is also now used generically. In what context would you see their products used together?

10.  What is this 60-dollar kit sold by the California-based Gladd Group meant to be used for? The main component of the kit is the plastic bag called a 'helium hood'.

1. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), who died as the result of a motorcycle accident. 
Yes, I know, LoA has been quite the flavour of the month in these quizzes, but as far as I can tell, that's the last of these snippets about the man's life.
2. Western India Products Ltd, later abbreviated to Wipro.
It continues to use a sunflower in its logo in tribute to its origins.
3. Listerine
4. Top hats
5. Ford Figo
6. (a) Mobile phones (in specific, iPhones); (b) "Memory" from the musical 'Cats'
Here's more on the MoPho orchestra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADEHmkL3HBg
7. American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology
8. Neem
9. Exam papers and other forms whose contents are processed digitally.
'Mark sense' is the technology that allows marks made to be processed using either optical mark recognition or electrographic technology. Scantron produces the machine-readable forms that are amenable to the marks made being recognised by the relevant scanners.

10. Committing suicide
Ordering the product, which you can do online, gets you a plastic hood, some tubing and an instruction booklet titled 'Final Exit' (helium tanks are not included). Helium, in its pure form, is lethal, but breathing it renders one unconscious before suffocation sets in, making it a rather painless 'exit strategy'.


  1. 1.
    2. Wipro
    4. The now traditional police hardhat
    5. Ford
    6. Mobile Phones
    7. Scientology
    8. Eucalyptus
    9. Automatic mechanical pencils? I don't think I understood the question.
    10.Joke appliance to give your the squeaky helium voice?

  2. 1. Lawrence of Arabia

    Regards Paul

  3. 1.
    2. Wipro
    3. Aspirin
    4. The cap with a fan on top?
    5. Ford
    7. Tomatometer (as in rotten tomatoes)
    8. Tulsi
    9. scanpen (the ginzmo for scanning bar codes, etc.)

  4. 1. T. E. Lawrence
    2. Ravalgaon
    3. Listerine
    4. A top hat
    5. Volkswagen Polo
    7. The polygraph
    8. Gooseberry
    9. In a seismograph
    10. Auto-erotic asphyxiation? :-D

  5. 1. Steve McQueen?
    2. Wipro
    3. Listerine?
    4. Top Hat
    5. Toyota?
    6. Mobile phone???
    7. Ron Hubbard
    8. Neem

  6. 1 His son
    4 A top hat or stovepipe hat.
    5 Ford.
    7 Electoshock therapy?

  7. 3.listerine
    4 top hat
    7 electroshock therapy
    8 neem
    9 compass

    Julian D'Costa

  8. 1. T. E. Lawrence?
    2. Wipro?
    5. Indica?
    6.(a) Theremin?
    8. Neem?
    9. Photocopiers?

  9. 10. To make one feel light-headed? ;-)

  10. 1. Fidel Castro
    2. WIPRO
    3. Listerin
    4. Wig- periwig
    5. Ford figo
    6. Mopho. I know is mobile phone... So must be the primary instrument.. Composition: silet night????
    7.church of scientology , howard ... Something (ron?)
    8. Neem
    9. OMR

    – Delson