Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Weekend Workout (week starting April 27, 2014)

The Sea, The Sea
(remember: larger versions of all visuals can be seen by clicking on them)

1. Edward Teach (shown above), captain of the 'Queen Anne's Revenge' in the early 18th century, has featured heavily in historic and modern literature, including Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island', Gregory Keyes' series 'The Age of Unreason' and Tim Powers' 1988 novel 'On Stranger Tides'. He is also a significant comic-book villain, appearing as the enemy of the Fantastic Four and Spiderman, and in the 1986 comic 'Watchmen'. According to Peter Pan, Captain Hook was his boatswain. How do we better know the man?

2. Legends claim that this place was first named as 'Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka', or the 'Little piece of land of Hau Maka'. Another name, 'Mata-ki-Te-rangi', means 'Eyes that talk to the sky'. Yet another hypothesis is that it was called 'Te pito o te henua', or 'The Navel of the World' due to its isolation. It is 3,510 km west of continental Chile at its nearest point and 2,075 km east of Pitcairn (Sala y Gomez, 415 km to the east, is closer but uninhabited). What English name do we know this place by?

3. What word for a sailor or militiaman from the Indian subcontinent, especially those employed on European ships from the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th century, comes from the Persian word for a military camp or army, itself derived from 'al-askar', the Arabic word for a guard or soldier? The transformation happened through Goa, where the Portuguese adapted the Persian term to mean an Asian militiaman or seaman.

4. In the folklore of the Orkney Islands, they are known as Selkie Folk. Selkies will occasionally take human form and dance. To do so they have to remove their skin, revealing what appears to be a human underneath. They would also venture onto land for encounters with human women, often unsatisfied ones. Who or what are selkies?

5. In 1875 when his Merchant Shipping Bill was on the verge of being scuttled, this English MP roared into Parliament, shaking his fist at the Speaker, and accused ship-owning MPs of deliberately sending overloaded and dilapidated 'coffin-ships' out on the high seas. Unscrupulous merchants knew that they would make money whether the goods were delivered or their ship went down, since they were handsomely insured. The only ones to suffer were the seamen, who drowned. He and his wife embarked on a crusade to change this, organising public meetings in constituencies around Britain, and the public and the press rallied behind them. What – with the MP's name attached to it – emerged from this campaign?

6. Cirolana mercuryi is a species of isopod found on coral reefs off which East African island group? It's named for one of the most famous sons of the place.

7. The Svenska Ostindiska Companiet, founded in Gothenburg in 1731, grew to become the largest trading company in Sweden during the 18th century, until it folded in 1813. What was it called in English?

8. Which fictional character's name was suggested to his creator by the creator's wife, who remarked that it was a "sad English fish"?

9. This album by the rock band Procol Harum, released in June 1969, uses for its cover a pastiche of a famous cigarette pack. The British company that produced the cigarettes used this logo of a smoking sailor in brands such as No. 6 and Gold Leaf, as well as one named for the style of the sailor's cap. This latter brand name is well known in India as well, though it's linked with a different company. So (a) what company used this sailor logo; and (b) what is the cap called? [1 point each]

10. According to Hindu mythology, what caused the appearance of Lakshmi, several apsaras and Varuni (the creator of alcohol); Kamadhenu, Airavata and Uchhaishravas; Kaustubh, Kalpavriksh and Parijat; the moon that adorns Shiva's head as well as the poison that turned his throat blue; and several other disparate items?

1. Blackbeard the pirate
2. Easter Island
3. Lascar, from 'lashkar', as in Lashkar-e-Toiba
4. Seals
5. The Plimsoll Line, which appears on the side of every British ship and depicts safe loading limits.

6. Zanzibar, where Freddie Mercury was born
7. The Swedish East India Company (every European country seems to have had one!)
8. Captain Haddock
9. (a) Player's (b) Navy Cut

10. Samudra manthan, or the Churning of the Ocean


  1. 1. Blackbeard
    2. The Falkland Islands
    3. Huskarl
    4. Mermen (as in, male mermaids. I would've said mermaids, but you said they had sex with women. Although the idea of lesbian mermaids is interesting...)
    5. Lloyd's Register?
    6. Zanzibar
    7. Swedish House Mafia :-D
    8. Captain Haddock
    9. Wills & Navy Cut?
    10. The Amrutmanthan?

  2. 1. Davy Jones?
    3. Lascar
    4. Mer-men (male counterparts of mermaids)?
    5. Lloyd?
    6. Zanzibar
    8. Capt. Haddock
    10. The samudra manthan

  3. 8. Haddock
    10. Sagar manthan

    AAM Aadmi

  4. 2. Cook Islands?
    7. Swedish East India Company?

  5. 1. Blackbeard
    2. Easter Island
    4. Mermen
    6. Peabody line? - the line indicating the safe limit of loading on a ship.
    7. Freddie Mercury
    8. Captain Haddock [ I was waiting for a Tintin question :) ]

  6. Yay, I actually know quite a few of these. So if Rajiv loves his drink, I love my seawater?

    1. Blackbeard
    2. Easter Island
    3. Lascar
    4. Sea Lions?
    6. Zanzibar (for Freddie Mercury? -- the East African island group is a giveaway).
    7. Swedish East India Company?
    8. Captain Haddock?
    9. Navy Cut? Or Scissors?
    10. Samdura Manthan

  7. 1. Blackbeard
    2. Easter Island
    3. Lascar
    4. Seal
    6. Zanzibar
    7. Swedish East india Company
    8. Haddock
    10. Samudra Manthan or Churning of the ocean

  8. 10. The act of churning the ocean by the gods and the demons.

  9. Hope this works better than my I-Pad Ani!
    1.Blue/ black beard??
    2. Christmas/Easter Island
    5.Plimsoll lines
    8. Captain Haddock
    9. Players
    Regards Paul

  10. 1. Blackbeard
    2 Easter Islands
    3 Laskar
    4 Seals
    6 Madagaskar
    7 Swedish East India company
    8 Haddock
    9 Capstan
    10. Sagar Manthan, Churning of the sea.


  11. 1. Long John Silver
    2. Hawaii
    3. Rascal
    8. Nemo
    10. Churning of the ocean


  12. 1. Blackbeard
    2. Easter Island
    3. Lascar
    4 Seals
    6. Zanzibar
    7. Captain Haddock

    Julian D'Costa

  13. 1. Black Beard
    2. Falklands
    3. Lascar
    4. Satyr
    7. Swedish Match co.
    9. (a) ? (b) Navy Cut
    10. The great Cambrian Explosion