Thursday’s child has far to go, says the popular rhyme. In this case, Thursday’s child has 15 questions to go. They will be about topical news and general knowledge, they will feature Ron from Sparks and Kate Bush and two hidden Doctor Who references, and you will have fun doing them and then let us know how you got on in the comments. It is just for fun – there are no prizes. Enjoy!
The Thursday quiz, No 32
GENTER-LY DOES IT: New Zealand’s Green party politician Julie Anne Genter did something quite unusual this week for a second time. What?
Cycled to hospital while in labour to give birth
Superglued herself to the gates of New Zealand’s parliament as an environmental protest
Adopted a rare yellow-eyed penguin, which is only native to New Zealand
Announced that she’d started a European Super League™ and then had to back down a couple of days later
CUBIST MASTERPIECE: The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, did what in a clear Perspex cube this week?
Gave a memorial speech for Imre Nagy
Held an audience with Pope Francis
Swore in Petr Fiala as prime minister of the Czech Republic
Announced that he’d started a European Super League™ and then had to back down a couple of days later.
EXISTENTIAL CRISIS: Founding member club of the European Super League™ Manchester United have hired Ralf Rangnick as their interim coach after disastrously finding themselves placed only above 84 of the 92 teams in the English professional league structure. The horror. Who did he last coach?
MUSIC: Everybody appears to be watching the Beatles documentary Get Back. Who joined the Fab Four playing keyboards on their final concert on the roof of the Apple Corps building on Savile Row?
A SONG THAT SINGS ITSELF: That’s a 1984 Sparks song that is filled with possibilities. But that’s not important right now. Which of these ISN’T a musical by the late Stephen Sondheim, who sadly died this week?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Little Shop of Horrors
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sunday in the Park With George
ON THIS DAY: On 2 December 1823 the US president James Monroe outlined what became known as the Monroe doctrine. But which of these was part of it?
The US said it would seek to expand south into what is often referred to as central America
The US said it would link the value of the US dollar to the silver standard
The US said it sought to spend at least 10% of tax revenues each year on funding its military
The US said it would remain neutral in wars between European powers
STRANGE BEASTS: Windermere is one of the most beautiful places in England, and legend has it that it is home to strange creatures comprised of a hedgehog’s body with the tail of a squirrel and wings like a bee. But what are they called?
TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE: Who intervened this week when they discovered that the quote ‘In the last five years the bee population has dropped by a third. If bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humans would have just four years left to live’ had been wrongly attributed to them?
GEOGRAPHY: What is the name of the range of mountains that stretches through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in the north of Africa?
SCIENCE NEWS CORNER: Researchers say they have found that clusters of frog cells can undergo a form of replication never before seen in plants or animals. The spherical clumps can give rise to ‘offspring’ by sweeping up loose cells and swashing them into yet more clusters. But what are the clumps known as?
ENSEMBLE CASTS: Which critically acclaimed HBO series features Kieran Culkin, Natalie Gold and Peter Friedman among its cast?
Curb Your Enthusiasm
TINTINOLOGY: In the Tintin story King Ottokar’s Sceptre by Hergé, the two fictional antagonistic countries in the Balkans are Syldavia and … ?
BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIZZY DRINKS: Who set a world record by falling 39km (24 miles) out of the sky in a heavily sponsored stunt in 2012?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU: It is Britney Spears’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Britney! But what year was her debut hit, Baby One More Time, released?
THAT’S NOT WHERE THEY GOT THE NAME: Storm Arwen caused havoc across Britain at the weekend. But who was Arwen’s father in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?
1:A - ‘My contractions weren’t that bad when we left at 2am to go to the hospital – though they were 2-3 min apart and picking up in intensity by the time we arrived 10 minutes later,’ she said on social media by way of an explanation. Genter also cycled to hospital in 2018 to give birth to her firstborn, 2:C - Zeman has been in hospital for weeks, leaving the Czech government somewhat in limbo after the recent election. Almost immediately after he left hospital, he tested positive for Covid. Hence, the cube. And yes, I know that Imre Nagy was a Hungarian leader, and not a leader of Czechoslovakia. That is one of the clues that it is the wrong option, and might help you eliminate it as a possibility. That is how multiple choice quizzes work. Please don't mention it in the comments or email me about it to say there is an error, 3:A - Rangnick had two spells as coach at RB Leipzig, from 2015 to 2016 and then 2018 to 2019. He has also coached all the other options, including two separate spells at Schalke 04, 4:B - George Harrison had invited Preston into the sessions, reasoning that having to perform with and in front of someone else might tighten up the Beatles’ playing – and possibly stop John and Paul constantly bickering, 5:B - Indeed, as good as it is, it wasn’t a Sondheim. The music was by Alan Menken and the lyrics and book by Howard Ashman. You can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should have known that, 6:D - The fifth president of the US was essentially telling European powers that any attempts to set up any further states or colonies in the Americas would be considered as a potentially hostile act against the US itself. Monroe said that in return the US would not take sides or interfere in any European wars. It wasn’t actually referred to as the Monroe doctrine until decades later, 7:D - Stories about the existence of the tizzie whizzies, presumably a close relative of the wild haggis, started to spread in the early 20th century, and sound like the perfect thing to keep small children busy looking for as you try to enjoy an actual breath of the fresh Cumbria air and a moment's peace and quiet, 8:B - Attenborough wrote a letter confirming he'd never said it. Popularised as an internet meme, the words have been traced back to The Life of the Bee, a book published by the Belgian playwright, poet and essayist Maurice Maeterlinck in 1901. Dawkins' most famous bee quote is when he tweeted: ‘Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.’, 9:D - It is generally regarded as the longest unbroken chain of mountains on the continent, and forms the ridge that separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara desert, 10:C - Xenobots were first announced last year, and are what are known as ‘living robots’ – synthetic lifeforms made by taking a few thousand cells from frog embryos and assembling them into clusters about 1mm in size. It's not entirely clear why you would do that, to be honest, 11:C - Yes, that's Roman Roy, Rava Roy and Frank Vernon to you, 12:A - Published in 1939, King Ottokar’s Sceptre drew on contemporary events, with many observers suggesting that the conspiracy that unfolded in the story referred to the 1938 Anschluss and were a warning about Nazi Germany’s territorial ambitions towards Hergé’s native Belgium, 13:A - Felix Baumgartner was the person who undertook this particular brand of insanity. Dar Robinson was a famous film stunt actor. Mike Hughes was the guy who built his own rocket in an attempt to prove that the earth was flat, and then got killed when it went out of control. Larry Walters accidentally but hilariously floated up to 16,000 feet by miscalculating the impact of attaching 42 large helium weather balloons to his lawn chair, 14:C - Voted by Billboard to be the best music video of the 1990s, Baby One More Time was a No 1 smash in more than 20 countries. Written by Max Martin and Rami, it was released in September 1998, 15:D - Arwen was the half-elven daughter of Elrond and Celebrían and often called Arwen Undómiel or Evenstar. She was portrayed in the extremely long Peter Jackson movies by Liv Tyler
0 and above.
We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!
4 and above.
We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!
If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and I beg of you, take twenty seconds just to think if your email boils down to pointing out that one of the wrong answer options couldn’t have been right.