Quiz about An Intriguing Potpourri
Quiz about An Intriguing Potpourri

An Intriguing Potpourri | 15 Question General Multiple Choice Quiz


Test your general knowledge with these 15 questions about a variety of topics.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author Roswell

A multiple-choice quiz by LadyNym. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
LadyNym
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
17
Updated
Jan 19 22
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
731
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 191 (4/15), horadada (12/15), Guest 86 (11/15).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. What biblical unit of measure was determined by the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger?

span
cubit

2. Which famous leader is portrayed on the oldest military decoration in present use? Hint

Queen Victoria
Julius Caesar
Louis XIV
George Washington

3. A condition of confusion or stupor occurring while diving at depth results from breathing what chemical element, originally known as azote? Hint

helium
nitrogen
sodium
carbon

4. What popular sport was banned in Scotland in the mid-15th century because it took time away from archery practice? Hint

cricket
rugby
tennis
golf

5. In some areas of France and Italy, trained swine and dogs are used to find what costly underground delicacy?

Answer: (One Word (they also exist in a yummy chocolate version!))
6. What African head of state inspired a religious movement on a large, English-speaking Caribbean island? Hint

Haile Selassie
Jomo Kenyatta
Idi Amin
Nelson Mandela

7. Which of these mountains, one of the Seven Summits, is located in Antarctica? Hint

Mount Logan
Mount Elbrus
Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Vinson

8. The name of which marine mollusc links the first nuclear-powered submarine and Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"? Hint

scallop
cuttlefish
nautilus
oyster

9. The Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC was inspired by which famous Ancient Roman landmark, known for its concrete dome?

Pantheon
Colosseum

10. In what play by William Shakespeare, named after the occasion for which it was written, would you find the cross-dressing character of Viola? Hint

A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Winter's Tale
Twelfth Night

11. The bacterium known as Treponema pallidum causes which serious disease, responsible for the death of Al Capone? Hint

plague
rabies
leprosy
syphilis

12. What great 15th-century Flemish artist and diplomat created famous works such as the "Arnolfini Portrait" and the "Ghent Altarpiece"? Hint

Jan van Eyck
Anthony van Dyck
Rembrandt van Rijn
Vincent van Gogh

13. What stunning body of water, now the main feature of a US national park, was created when Mount Mazama blew its top over 7,000 years ago? Hint

Lake Baikal
Great Salt Lake
Crater Lake
Lake Tahoe

14. Which of these influential rock guitarists did NOT start his career in the 1960s? Hint

Eric Clapton
Jimmy Page
Jeff Beck
Eddie Van Halen

15. In the 1980s, which US First Lady introduced the slogan "Just Say No" to combat drug use? Hint

Jacqueline Kennedy
Nancy Reagan
Barbara Bush
Hillary Clinton


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What biblical unit of measure was determined by the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger?

Answer: cubit

The English word "cubit" comes from the Latin "cubitum", meaning "elbow". The cubit is one of the oldest units of measure attested in history, used by the Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Israelites, and later adopted by the Greeks and the Romans. Cubit rods, used for measuring length, have been found in Egyptian tombs, including Tutankhamun's. The common cubit was divided into six palms, and each palm was in turn divided into four fingers; the royal cubit was longer by a palm. The actual length of a cubit ranged from about 44 cm (17.3 in) to about 53 cm (21 in); the Greek cubit was somewhat shorter.

In the Old Testament, cubits are mentioned in the description of prominent objects, buildings, and people (such as Goliath). Noah's Ark is described as being 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high, while Solomon's Temple was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.

Used as a fixed measure in Ancient Greece, a span is the distance between the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger.
2. Which famous leader is portrayed on the oldest military decoration in present use?

Answer: George Washington

Awarded to soldiers wounded or killed in action, the Purple Heart is the world's oldest military award still in use. It was established in 1782 by George Washington - at the time the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army - with the name of Badge of Military Merit. Originally a heart made of purple cloth (hence its name), the award is now a heart-shaped purple medal with a gold border, containing a portrait of George Washington and his coat of arms, and hanging from a purple ribbon with white borders.

Many famous Americans have been recipients of a Purple Heart: among them, former President John F. Kennedy, presidential candidates Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain, actors James Arness, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Lee Marvin, and Telly Savalas, and author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
3. A condition of confusion or stupor occurring while diving at depth results from breathing what chemical element, originally known as azote?

Answer: nitrogen

Also known as "raptures of the deep", nitrogen narcosis is caused by the anaesthetic effect of nitrogen (or certain other gases) when breathed at high pressure. This phenomenon, which produces a state similar to drunkenness, occurs when diving at depths below 30 m (100 ft). As depth increases, the effects of narcosis become stronger and more dangerous; they are also different for each diver, and divers must learn to recognize the onset signs in order to take quick action. In normal circumstances, narcosis can be completely reversed in a few minutes by rising to a shallower depth. However, the only truly safe way of limiting nitrogen narcosis is to avoid diving deeper than the limit of 18 m (60 ft) that it set by most recreational diving schools for basic certification. A severe case of nitrogen narcosis can easily lead to a fatal outcome.

"Azote" comes from the Greek for "no life", as it is an asphyxiant gas. The name, suggested by French chemist Antoine Lavoisier in the late 18th century, is used in a number of languages (such as French, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian) for the element with atomic number 7, but is considered obsolete in English.
4. What popular sport was banned in Scotland in the mid-15th century because it took time away from archery practice?

Answer: golf

While earlier versions of the game are believed to have existed in 13th-century Netherlands with the name of "kolf", modern golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. In fact, the first documented mention of golf occurs in an edict issued by the Scottish Parliament in 1457, in which King James II of Scotland prohibited the games of "gowf" and "futball" because they distracted men from practicing archery for military purposes.

More bans on golf were imposed in the following decades, on the grounds that the sport was "unprofitable", as well as dangerous and a nuisance. However, golf became increasingly popular with people of all classes, including kings and queens; it is reported that both James IV and his ill-fated granddaughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, were keen golfers.
5. In some areas of France and Italy, trained swine and dogs are used to find what costly underground delicacy?

Answer: truffle

Truffles are the fruiting bodies of various species of fungi of the genus Tuber. As they grow underground, they are often located with the help of animals that possess an especially keen sense of smell. Pigs (especially females), which have an innate ability to sniff out truffles, were originally used for this purpose, but in more recent times they have been largely replaced by dogs. Though the latter need to be trained, they are not as destructive to the mycelia (the vegetative part of a fungus, vital in many ecosystems) or prone to eat the truffles they find as pigs are. In some regions of France, pigs are still used to search for truffles, while in Italy their use was outlawed in 1985. An ancient Italian dog breed, the Lagotto Romagnolo, is the only breed in the world specialized in hunting for truffles.

The delicious confections known as chocolate truffles owe their name to their resemblance to the prized fungi.
6. What African head of state inspired a religious movement on a large, English-speaking Caribbean island?

Answer: Haile Selassie

Born in 1892 as Tafari Makonnen, Haile Selassie I was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The Solomonic dynasty to which he belonged was believed to have descended from Menelik I, the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Deposed and imprisoned by an army mutiny in 1974, Haile Selassie was murdered in his bed a year later.

Haile Selassie is the key figure of the Rastafari movement (named after the emperor's pre-imperial title of Ras, meaning "head"), which originated in Jamaica in the 1930s, soon after his coronation. Adepts of Rastafarianism view him as God incarnate, the messiah that will lead all the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom. The anniversary of Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica (21 April 1966) is celebrated as one of the holiest days in the Rastafari religion, under the name of Grounation ("foundation") Day. The emperor, however, always denied being God incarnate, and repeatedly stated that he was only a mortal man.

Nelson Mandela, former president of post-apartheid South Africa, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, while Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of Kenya after the country's independence from British rule. On the other hand, Idi Amin Dada, third president of Uganda, is remembered as one of the 20th century's most infamous dictators.
7. Which of these mountains, one of the Seven Summits, is located in Antarctica?

Answer: Mount Vinson

With a height of 4,892 m (16,050 ft), Mount Vinson is Antarctica's highest peak, located in the northern part of the large Vinson Massif in western Antarctica. Named after US congressman Carl G. Vinson, the massif lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, about 1,200 km (750 mi) from the South Pole; it is 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8 mi) wide. Mount Vinson was first climbed in 1966 by an American team led by Nicholas Bayard Clinch.

Mount Elbrus (Europe) and Mount Kosciuszko (Australia) are also part of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks in each continent. Mount Logan, on the other hand, is the second-highest mountain in North America, and one of the Seven Second Summits.
8. The name of which marine mollusc links the first nuclear-powered submarine and Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"?

Answer: nautilus

The chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) is a cephalopod of the family Nautilidae, related to cuttlefish, octopus and squid. This mollusc, considered a "living fossil" because it has survived almost unchanged for hundreds of millions of years, is characterized by its beautiful, spiral-shaped shell, whose iridescent inner layer is used as a pearl substitute to make items of jewelry. Oysters and scallops, while also members of the phylum Mollusca, are bivalves, not cephalopods.

The word "nautilus", which comes from the Greek word for "sailor", has often been used as a name for both ships and submarines. In Jules Verne's 1870 novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", the Nautilus is a submarine belonging to the mysterious Captain Nemo, named after the real-life submarine designed by Robert Fulton, and first tested in 1800. The nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus, launched in 1954, was the first submarine to complete a submerged transit of the North Pole (1958).
9. The Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC was inspired by which famous Ancient Roman landmark, known for its concrete dome?

Answer: Pantheon

The Jefferson Memorial is one of Washington DC's best-known presidential memorials. Located on the Tidal Basin, a man-made reservoir between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel, it was designed by architect John Russell Pope, and built between 1939 and 1943 during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his design for the Memorial, Pope drew on two main sources of inspiration: the Pantheon, the Roman temple to all the gods designed by Apollodorus of Damascus in the 2nd century AD, and the Rotunda of the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson himself, and also modeled after the Pantheon.

The white marble and granite building, open to the elements, contains a bronze statue of Jefferson; excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and other works are inscribed on the interior walls. The Memorial's scenic location is further enhanced by the presence of a grove of Japanese cherry trees, donated by the people of Japan in 1912.
10. In what play by William Shakespeare, named after the occasion for which it was written, would you find the cross-dressing character of Viola?

Answer: Twelfth Night

Viola is the main character of Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night", probably written in 1601 or 1602 to be performed as entertainment on the titular festival, the close of the Christmas season. Shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria (now the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea), and believing her twin brother, Sebastian, to be dead, Viola disguises herself as a young man named Cesario, and becomes a page in the household of Duke Orsino - with whom she falls in love. After many misunderstandings, as well as comic relief provided by a subplot involving the pompous steward Malvolio and a group of other minor characters, a happy ending ensues.

The play is believed to have been inspired by an Italian play by the title of "Gl'ingannati" ("The Deceived Ones"), written in Siena in 1531. The twelfth night after Christmas, also known as the Eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, was often celebrated in Elizabethan England by reversing the roles of masters and servants, in a cheerful, carnival-like atmosphere presided over by a "Lord of Misrule".

Viola is also the name of the main character of the 1998 movie "Shakespeare in Love" (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), who disguises herself as a boy in order to become an actor.
11. The bacterium known as Treponema pallidum causes which serious disease, responsible for the death of Al Capone?

Answer: syphilis

Treponema pallidum is a spirochaete bacterium responsible for various diseases transmitted exclusively among humans, characterized by highly infectious skin lesions. There are three main subspecies of this bacterium: the one responsible for syphilis is Treponema pallidum pallidum, while T. pallidum pertenue causes yaws (common in tropical countries), and T. pallidum endemicum causes bejel, or nonvenereal endemic syphilis. Of these diseases, syphilis - which is mainly transmitted through sexual contact, unlike the other two - is by far the most serious, as in its tertiary stage often affects the heart and the nervous system, causing symptoms that in the past were associated with "madness".

Before the advent of penicillin, syphilis (which may have been brought to Europe from the Americas) was often fatal. Though Al Capone was one of the first patients in the US to be treated with penicillin, the treatment could not reverse the damage already done to his brain.

Of the three wrong answers, leprosy and plague are also caused by bacteria, while rabies is caused by a virus.
12. What great 15th-century Flemish artist and diplomat created famous works such as the "Arnolfini Portrait" and the "Ghent Altarpiece"?

Answer: Jan van Eyck

Jan van Eyck was born in present-day Belgium, probably between 1390 and 1390. Very little is known about his early life; however, it is documented that, around 1425, he was appointed court painter by Philippe the Good, Duke of Burgundy, a great patron of the arts. Van Eyck also served the Duke as a diplomat: in particular, in 1428 he was in charge of a mission to Lisbon to lay the groundwork for the Duke's marriage to Isabella of Portugal. He died in 1441 in Bruges, the capital of the Flanders, and is buried in the city's cathedral.

Van Eyck was a highly skilled painter, especially proficient in the use of oil paints. About 20 surviving paintings have been confidently attributed to him: among them there are the famous "Arnolfini Portrait" (now in London's National Gallery), and a number of religious works featuring the Virgin Mary (such as the "Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin", on display at the Louvre in Paris). The magnificent "Ghent Altarpiece", a huge polyptych attributed to van Eyck and his brother Hubert, was painted for Ghent's Saint Bavo Cathedral.

The three painters listed as wrong answers all lived much later: Rembrandt and van Dyck in the 17th century, and van Gogh in the 19th century.
13. What stunning body of water, now the main feature of a US national park, was created when Mount Mazama blew its top over 7,000 years ago?

Answer: Crater Lake

Located in south-central Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the US, Crater Lake was formed around 7,700 years ago by the violent eruption and subsequent collapse of Mount Mazama, one of the volcanoes in the Cascade Range. The lake partially fills a caldera that is 655 m (2,148 ft) deep; it is the deepest lake in the US, and one of the deepest in the world. Famous for its clear, deep-blue waters, fed exclusively by rain and snow, and the beauty of its surroundings, Crater Lake is held sacred by the Klamath, a local Native American tribe, who name it "Giiwas". Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902, and is visited by thousands of people every year, both in the summer and the winter months.

Lake Tahoe and the Great Salt Lake are also located in the US, while Lake Baikal - the world's oldest and deepest lake - is in Russia. None of them, however, are of volcanic origin.
14. Which of these influential rock guitarists did NOT start his career in the 1960s?

Answer: Eddie Van Halen

Born in 1955, Edward (Eddie) Van Halen was over a decade younger than the three guitarists listed as wrong answers. Originally from the Netherlands, he moved to the US with his family in 1962; in 1972, he co-founded the hard rock band Van Halen together with his brother Alex (who played drums), singer David Lee Roth, and bassist Mark Stone (who was eventually replaced by Michael Anthony). Regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock, Eddie perfected the tapping technique using both hands on the guitar neck; he was also known for his colourful, custom-built guitars. Sadly, he passed away on 6 October 2020, after a long bout of ill health.

Among rock music's most iconic guitarists, Eric Clapton (b. 1945), Jeff Beck (b. 1944), and Jimmy Page (b. 1944) all started their career in the 1960s. All of them were also members of The Yardbirds: Clapton joined them in 1963, Beck replaced him in 1965, and Page joined the following year.
15. In the 1980s, which US First Lady introduced the slogan "Just Say No" to combat drug use?

Answer: Nancy Reagan

The "War on Drugs", a global campaign led by the US federal government with the aim to reduce the trade of illegal drugs in the country, was first launched in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. A decade later, Nancy Reagan became involved in the prevention of drug abuse after her husband, Ronald Reagan, was elected as the 40th President of the US in November 1980. In 1982, while visiting an elementary school in Oakland (California), a schoolgirl asked the First Lady what she should do in the event she was offered drugs; Reagan replied, "just say no". The phrase became the slogan of a public awareness campaign on the dangers of drug use, officially launched by the President and the First Lady on 14 September 1986 in a nationally broadcast message to the American people.

Although well-meaning, the campaign was not as effective as Reagan and her supporters hoped it would be. It was also criticized for relying on the simplistic notion that a mere refusal was the solution to a much more complex problem. Critics also emphasized the stigma implied in the slogan, which contributed to people with addiction issues being labeled as weak or immoral.
Source: Author LadyNym

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