Tuesday, 1 January 2013

End of Year Quiz 2012

The same rules apply as in previous years, i.e. there are twelve questions, one for each month of the year.  The questions (and hence the answers) are about events and news that occurred in the specific month they represent during 2012.  If you take the first letter of each answer (in chronological order) they will spell out my hopes for you for at this start of 2013.  I hope you enjoy the challenge and that it reminds you of some of the many things that have happened.


What was the name of the failed Russian Federal Space Agency Mars probe, launched in November 2011, parts of which were anticipated to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere during first week of January 2012?  The Media tried to create hype around the concern that people might be hit by debris.


On 8 February artworks by Vincent van Gogh, Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas were sold for £13.7 million at Christie’s in London.  From which famous film star’s personal collection did they come? 

Vincent van Gogh's autumn landscape Vue de l'Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy

Which city’s main dam, Warragamba, reached capacity at the start of the month, resulting in the emergency evacuation of residents and significant flooding after the dam overflowed?

Warragamba dam

On 26 April, the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague delivered its verdict in the trial of the former President of Liberia.  He was found guilty on 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Sierra Leone Civil War.  What is his surname? 

Former Liberian President

Which nation decided on 9 May to stop its plans for the reintroduction of the cheetah, as to do so would rely on importing animals from another continent?  The last Cheetah became extinct in this country in the 1940’s. 


Which planet’s solar final transits of the century occurred June 5-6?  The next pair of transits by this celestial body are predicted to occur in 2117 and 2125.


Bob Diamond, the Chief Executive of Barclays was compelled to resign on 3 July following the financial scandal in which the bank tried to manipulate interest rates systems, namely Libor and which other?


What is the name of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission rover, which successfully landed on Mars on 6 August?

Artist impression of NASAs Mars Science Laboratory rover

Which Czech-born actor (born 1917), famous for his portrayal of Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, Inspector Clouseau’s long-suffering superior in the Pink Panther films, as well as roles in many 1950’s and 1960’s classics, including The Lady Killers, Spartacus, El Cid and Fire Down Below, died September 27?      


Name the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, announced on 12 October, and awarded for “over six decades (of having) contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights”.

Nobel peace prize medal

The head of state and senior ministers of which Middle Eastern country brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hammas on 21st November (the Foreign Minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, made the announcement)?


What is the nationality of Milner, the founder of the Fundamental Physics Prize, the most financially lucrative academic prize in the world (three times the size of the Nobel Prize and more than The Nobel and Templeton Prize combined)?  As well as the nine winners for 2012 (who will elect a winner for 2013), two special awards were made on 11 December 2012: one to the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for his discovery of Hawking radiation from black holes and his quantum analysis of gravity and space; and the other to eight scientists involved in the discovery of the new Higgs-like particle at CERN.

Here's wishing you a wonderful 2013 full of good health, happiness, success and growth.

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