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The History – Geography
January 2016 – January 2017
मंडळ आपले आभारी आहे
UNESCO’s Best Suraj
Ranajeet “Racist Rana”
• Infinite Rebounds – Arnold Variation
• Unlimited Pounces with following scoring
• +10 for every right answer
• -5 for the first two wrong answers
• -15 for every subsequent wrong answer
• 2 Special Rounds with scoring as indicated therein
• Half points available only to teams where all 3 members have
birthdays on 29 February (attested copies of birth certificate to be
• QMs’ decision is final, unless you are very persuasive
It is possible for a toponym to become a hydronym: for example, the
River Liffey takes its name from the plain on which it stands, called
Liphe or Life; the river itself was originally called An Ruirthech. An
unusual example is the River X - it was originally called the Granta, but
when the town of Grantebrycge became Y, the river's name changed to
match the toponym. What is the new name of the town?
This Punch cartoon shows the King of
Romania stealing from the Tsar of
Bulgaria while keeping the Kings of
Serbia and Greece at bay. What real-
life war are they lampooning?
The Second Balkan War
Bulgaria fought the war against Serbia and Greece over the territory
taken from Turkey in the first Balkan War. While the Bulgarians were
busy to their south and west, the Romanians invaded from the north,
and took Northern Doubruja.
In the US Armed Forces, any military aircraft that carries the President
of the US is given the callsign <<Name of Service>> One, with Air Force
One being the most famous, and Army One and Marine One being the
callsigns of helicopters used by several US Presidents.
However, since the introduction of Presidential call signs in 1959, there
has only been a single Navy One, a Lockheed S-3 Viking that flew one
flight under this call sign, and was almost immediately retired and
placed in the National Naval Aviation Museum. What infamous incident
happened immediately after Navy One’s only flight, after flying the
President to his destination?
George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard USS Abraham
Lincoln after it returned from Iraq in 2003
This person, one of the many victims of 2016, had two names by which
he was primarily known. The one by which he was more commonly
known was given to him by his uncle, and means "Strength of the Land,
Incomparable Power“ in Sanskrit. The other name he shared with his
brother, uncle and six other ancestors and was chosen specifically so to
simplify his family’s complicated names so that Westerners could
What was this person’s name?
Bhumibol Adulyadej (भूममबल
अतुल्यतेज) / Rama IX
Starting August 1945, several senior Japanese military officers and
members of the Imperial Family were sent on missions, all with the
same purpose, to islands on the Pacific and Indian Oceans. These
missions carried on sporadically with men who had been military
officers on through the late 1940s right up to March 1974, when the
Japanese government sent bookseller and former Japanese Army
Major Yoshimi Taniguchi to the island of Lubang in the Phillippines,
where he successfully completed the last of these missions. What was
this type of mission?
Convincing isolated Japanese troops that the War was over and they
In International Law, a condominium is a political territory (state or
border area) in or over which two or more sovereign powers formally
agree to share equal dominion and exercise rights jointly, without
dividing it up into 'national' zones, e.g. the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from
1899 until 1956. Which extant condominium stems from an agreement
that became effective from 1961?
Antarctica, as a consequence of the Antarctic Treaty
Prior to 46 BC, Ancient Rome used a calendar supposed to have been
invented by Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome. This calendar
required something to be done on average every 2 years, but not more than
3 times in 8 years. The person in charge of this was supposed to be the
Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of the Roman religion. However, since the
Pontifex Maximus was in most cases a politician, many chose to manipulate
this system for political gain.
In time, this led to the Roman calendar going completely haywire. When
Julius Caesar became Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC, he vowed to fix this
problem, and in 45 BC, he came up with the Julian calendar that did.
What was the duty that the old system required the Pontifex Maximus to do?
Add an extra month (similar to Adhik Maas)
The Roman calendar had 355 days, and so required an extra month
(Mensis Intercalaris) to be added every so often.
Roman officials had terms of one calendar year, and Pontifices used to
abuse their authority to add unnecessary months to the terms of
politicians they favoured, and refrain from adding a required intercalary
month to the terms of politicians they did not.
In geography and fluvial geomorphology, a thalweg is the line of lowest
elevation within a valley or watercourse. One of the main objects of
dispute of a certain water-body is that one party states that the
thalweg doctrine is not applicable in this case as it most commonly
applies to non-tidal rivers and the disputed entity is tidal estuary. The
other party states that that the creek is navigable at high tide and thus
the principle is applicable. Which is this disputed boundary?
History of Geography – Part I
4 points per right answer
5 points for getting all 5 answers right
1. At the time of Independence, the area that forms the modern state
of Madhya Pradesh either merged into the state of Madhya Bharat,
Vindhya Pradesh or the existing Central Provinces (which were soon
renamed Madhya Pradesh). Which was the only princely state in
the region that formed a state of its own up to the States
Reorganisation Act in 1956?
2. The modern state of Kerala was formed in 1956 from the merger of
the Malabar district of Madras state with which short-lived state
that was itself formed in 1949 from the merger of two erstwhile
3. During the British Raj, the area of this short-lived state (1950-1956)
was the only part of modern Rajasthan ruled directly by the British.
Consequently, on independence, it formed a separate state, and
was only merged with the rest of Rajasthan following the
enactment of the States Reorganisation Act. Which state?
4. The modern Karnataka state was formed in 1956, when parts of
Bombay state, Hyderabad state, Madras state and one other state
merged with Mysore state. The one other state had existed from
1834 to 1947 as a province of British India, but following 1956 has
formed only one district of Karnataka. Name the state.
5. Of over 200 princely states in what is now Gujarat, most united in
1948 to form the United States of Kathiawar, later renamed
Saurashtra State. The princely state of Baroda chose to merge into
Bombay state in 1949. Which erstwhile state in Gujarat, co-
terminus with a former princely state, had an independent
existence until in merged into Bombay state after the States
Reorganisation Act, 1956 was enacted?
The flag at right was briefly used officially
in 1961-62, but after the territory where
it was used was invaded, it was banned.
The use of this flag in the territory is
punishable by law, and many activists
have been jailed for such offences. The
testimony of one such activist, Yusak
Pakage, was recorded in a documentary,
“Forgotten Bird of Paradise”, which is one
of few works on this territory. Which
West Papua / the western part of New Guinea under Indonesian rule
The aircraft pictured is the Netz
107, an Israeli fighter that holds
the world record for most
number of kills by an F-16, with
6.5 confirmed kills. The picture
shows kill marks for 6.5 Syrian Air
Force aircraft, and one other kill
mark. What famous Israeli
accomplishment of the 1980s is
the other kill mark (the roughly
triangular one in the picture) for?
Operation Opera, the bombing of the Osiraq Nuclear Rector in Iraq in
The La Pérouse Strait, or Sōya Strait, is a strait
dividing the southern part of the Russian island
of Sakhalin from the Japanese island of Hokkaidō.
Japan's territorial waters extend to 3 nautical
miles into Sōya Strait (along with 4 other straits)
instead of the usual 12. This is reportedly to
allow Japan to maintain a key principle of its
domestic policy, while also safeguarding its
security interests and treaty commitments.
What does Japan gain from reducing its territorial
waters in these straits?
To allow Nuclear-armed US warships to enter / exit the Sea of Japan
without transiting Japanese waters
Japanese law prohibits the presence of nuclear weapons on its territory
Commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
The pictures are wreaths in the colours of the RAF and Polish Air Force
roundels, and modern Canadian, British and Czech warplanes painted
in World War II colours to commemorate British, Commonwealth,
Polish and Czechoslovak fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of
In 1984, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn were being presented with an award from
the National Viewers and Listeners Association (now known as Mediawatch). As
part of the event, Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne were asked to perform a
sketch with someone. The actors were not very enthusiastic, and Hawthorne later
said that he and Eddington resented what they saw as an attempt to "make capital"
out of their popularity. They asked Jonathan Lynn to get them out of it, but he was
not able to help them.
The resulting sketch was described by Lynn as "dreadful" and by Bernard Ingham
(who claims to be the author of the sketch) as having gone down a bomb. Who was
the instigator, and Eddington and Hawthorne's co-star, in the sketch?
Margaret Thatcher, who was a
huge fan of Yes Minister and Yes,
Prime Minister, and was PM of
the UK throughout the shows'
Most Germanic noble families take their names from the lands that
they own or rule (e.g. the von Hapsburg family takes its name from
Hapsburg Castle in Switzerland). One member state of the Holy Roman
Empire, however, took its name from the family that purchased in in
1699 and 1712 in order to gain a seat in the Reichstag of the Empire.
Name this state, which also forms the basis of a modern country.
This is the cap badge of the Mahar Regiment
since Independence, and features two Vickers
Machine Guns crossed over a Katar. The Katar
replaced an earlier symbol, which had been
chosen because of its significance to Mahar
troops. The change to the Katar was made
after independence, when the old symbol was
judged to be too politically sensitive. What
was the previous symbol, which is still
politically fraught today?
The Koregaon Pillar
The Koregaon Pillar
commemorates the Battle of
Koregaon in 1815, when an East
India Company force of 800
(including 500 Mahar troops)
defeated 28,000 soldiers led by
Peshwa Baji Rao II
Leland Stanford was a 19th Century railroad tycoon,
Governor of California and the co-founder (along
with his wife) of Stanford University.
One of his claims to fame was an experiment he
commissioned, conducted by photographer
Eadweard Muybridge at a farm he owned in Palo
Alto in 1878, which accidently created one of the
first motion pictures.
What was the purpose of the experiment, on which
Stanford was alleged to have bet a large amount?
To prove that all four of a horse’s hooves leave the ground when
This man was a Baroque artist from Antwerp,
and became a leading court painter in the
court of Charles I of England. He created
many paintings of the King and his family,
including this one, painted for the sculptor
Bernini to model a bust on.
A certain fashion that was popular at
Charles’ court at the time, also seen in this
picture, thus was present in many of his
paintings, and has been named after the
Name the painter / the fashion
Unlike other European monarchies, the Kingdom of Denmark had an
important source of revenue independent of their aristocracy and
Parliament. This source of income lasted from the Renaissance to the
Early Modern Period, until it was abolished by the Copenhagen
Convention in 1857.
What was this source of revenue, that arose from Denmark’s unique
Sound Dues / A toll to be paid on shipping from the North Sea in the
Baltic Sea (or vice versa)
The idea for this service came from many sources, chiefly Thomas
Schelling. Events in 1962 proved the critical need for it, and it was set
up in 1963 and continues to this day. The service was first actually used
in 1967, and has been used several more times in the decades since.
The erroneous popular conception of this service came about as a
result of two 1964 films (one of which was a satire), but was really
cemented in the public imagination by the 1966 live action Batman TV
(Western) Samoa in 2009 became the only country to do this
voluntarily. Rwanda and Burundi have been considering doing this, but
have not been able to decide on the issue.
East Timor (1975), Southwest Africa (1918) and Korea (1910) did this at
the behest of occupying / colonising countries. Okinawa did this in
1978 after military occupation ceased.
Several countries have done something similar, but exactly opposite.
What? (Specific answer required)
Switch from driving on the right side of the road to the left side of the
Y was a luxury food in medieval Gaelic society, and had widespread
non-culinary uses such as the payment of taxes, rents, and fines;
facilitation of hospitality; care of the sick and infirm; and strengthening
of social bonds.
There are three main theories why Y would be placed in X, a common
environment in Scotland and Ireland – protecting Y from thieves;
preservation (because of the low-temperature, low oxygen and highly
acidic nature of X); and a primitive kind of food processing.
Identify XY, which had been in the news in 2016 due to a find.
The westernmost territory of Chile is the Province of Isla de Pascua. The
entire territory is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and much of it is
covered by a national park to preserve its very unique physical
This area suffered an ecological catastrophe in the late 17th / early 18th
century due to various reasons, including the introduction of rats and
the end of the Little Ice Age.
Give the English Name of this territory, which is almost synonymous
with its physical heritage.
Felix Martin Julius Steiner was a
Obergruppenführer in the Waffen SS, and was
placed in command of a unit called Army
Detachment Steiner, assigned three divisions and
told to attack the northern portion of a salient
formed by the 1st Byelorussian Front. However,
two of the assigned divisions were deployed
defensively and could not attack until relieved.
Knowing this, and after conferring with his
commander Gotthard Heinrici, he reported that
he was unable to carry out the order.
What much parodied incident did this lead to?
Hitler’s meltdown in the Führerbunker
This region was known as Dakshina Kosala in ancient India, the current
name came about during the time of the Maratha Empire, and
supposedly takes its name from the following domains:
Ratanpur, Vijaypur, Kharound, Maro, Kautgarh, Nawagarh, Sondhi, Aukhar, Padarbhatta, Semriya,
Champa, Lafa, Chhuri, Kenda, Matin, Aparora, Pendra, Kurkuti-kandri, X, Patan, Simaga, Singarpur,
Lavan, Omera, Durg, Saradha, Sirasa, Menhadi, Khallari, Sirpur, Figeswar, Rajim, Singhangarh,
Suvarmar, Tenganagarh and Akaltara
This explanation is not accepted by some archaeologists, who point out
that there is no evidence that all of the above entities existed. Another
explanation is that the name is a corrupted form of “Empire of the
Chedis”. What is this name, which has had official recognition since
History of Geography – Part II
4 points per right answer
5 points for getting all 5 answers right
1. This former British colony was granted Dominion status in 1907, but
this was rescinded in 1934 due to a financial crisis. After this, no
local government was formed for 15 years, until in 1949, a
referendum took place, where 52% of the people voted to join
Canada. Which former country?
2. This city-state was set up by the Treaty of Versailles, in order to
provide port facilities to another newly-created nation. Ethnic
tensions followed elections in 1933, and continued for the next 6
years, until attempts to change the status of the area led to World
War II. Which semi-independent city-state?
3. This country was formed after World War I as a kingdom, but
became a republic after World War II. Though thinkers such as
those belonging to the Illyrian movement promoted cultural and
linguistic unification of its people, it eventually split due to ethnic
and religious differences, and even its main language has now split
into two different languages. Which country?
4. This country was formed in 1918, and apart from the two main
ethnic groups, also contained large numbers of Germans,
Hungarians and Ukrainians. After 1945, the Germans and
Hungarians had been expelled and the Ukrainian parts of the
country were lost to the USSR, leaving only two ethnic groups. The
country later split peacefully. Which former country?
5. This country was created in 1955 as a result of the Geneva
Conference, which also determined its northern border. It was at
war almost the entirety of its 20-year existence, and was finally
conquered and absorbed into its enemy, despite a peace treaty
signed in 1973. After the conquest, the capital city was changed to
the name of the former Head of State of its enemy. Name this
2. Free City of Danzig
5. South Vietnam
Although this word is likely of Indian origin, and is still used in India
today (albeit in a specific context), it was widely used to describe
Chinese immigrants who helped build, among other things, the
Transcontinental Railroad in the USA. Due to racist attitudes towards
Chinese and other Asians, such immigrants were banned in the USA
and Canada, and had to return to China in most cases. Even after the
practise of hiring Chinese to perform menial labour overseas died out,
the word survived, and one of FDR’s Fireside Chats contains a story of
“Two Chinese _______”. What is the word.
Historically, Romanian-speaking people have been divided between
three principalities – Transylvania, Wallachia and a third principality. In
1859, Wallachia and the third principality united to form Romania.
After World War I, the formerly Austro-Hungarian province of
Transylvania joined as well.
Today this principality is divided between Romania and another
country, with whom it shares its Romanian name. Name it.
The Mino was military regiment of the Kingdom of
Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin
which lasted until the end of the 19th century.
They were given a different name by Western
observers and historians due to their similarity to
the semi-mythical people of ancient Anatolia and
the Black Sea. King Agaja (ruling from 1708 to
1732) established a bodyguard of such a regiment
armed with muskets.
This tradition seemed to have continued among
African leaders well into the 20th century. What
was this unit named by Westerners?
This desert is the youngest desert in
the world – it started being formed
around 1960 and is named after an
older geographic feature in the area. It
covers over 45,000 square kilometres,
and a powerful prevailing easterly
wind has dispersed dust from this area
over the entire globe – it has even
been found in the bloodstream of
What is this desert?
The Aralkum Desert /
Desert on the bed of the
now dry Aral Sea
The Congressional Space Medal of Honor is a US
civilian decoration given to "any astronaut who in
the performance of his duties has distinguished
himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and
contributions to the welfare of the Nation and
Out of the 28 medals awarded so far since 1969,
16 have been awarded by George W. Bush, 14 of
them in a single year of his presidency.
Why were such a large number awarded by
The Space Shuttle Columbia crashed in 2003,
a little more than 2 years into GWB’s term. In
2004, in response to the Columbia disaster,
all seven astronauts who died in Columbia, as
well as all seven who died in the Challenger
disaster, were awarded Space Medals of
These are the first two paragraphs of a poem by Edgar Albert Guest:
Into its massive walls were poured
The gold that bore the eagle's stamp;
Within each foot of it is stored
The grit of Valley Forge's camp.
This wedding of divided seas,
That is a finished fact today,
Stands out among the victories
That glorify the U. S. A.
No alien land was asked to aid,
No foreign friend was leaned upon;
This by Americans was made
While all the world stood looking on.
And molded into every part
From coast to coast, to last for aye,
There are the blood and flesh and heart
And genius of the U. S. A.
What is the poem’s title?
Prior to the establishment of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,
a common measure of a country’s territorial waters was the three-mile
limit. One possible explanation for the selection of the three-mile
distance of the limit is that three miles form a league, a commonly used
nautical unit of measurement.
However, a more accepted explanation is the reasoning given by
Cornelius Bynkershoek, a Dutch jurist, in his 1702 treatise on maritime
What was this explanation for the adoption of the three-mile limit?
Three miles from the coastline is the limit of the area that can be
targeted by cannons fired from the coast.
While more modern cannons could fire further than three miles, the
distance represents the visual horizon from the height of a typical
coastal fort, and thus, since coastal batteries could not see further than
this distance, it represented the maximum effective range of land-
Lancelot de Mole was an Australian engineer, who, inspired by a
journey over rough terrain in Western Australia, submitted an idea
(along with detailed designs) to the British War Office in 1912. No one
at the War Office saw any use for the idea, and, to further complicate
matters, his correspondence was lost.
In 1919, de Mole made a claim as an inventor of the idea. A Royal
Commission for Inventors recognised that, even though de Mole’s idea
was the first of its kind to be received, and the design was better than
those actually used in 1916, he could not be credited as inventor
because “a claimant must show a causal connexion between the
making of his invention and the user of any similar invention by the
Government” What did he invent?
The term"X" was introduced by the Prussian military analyst Carl von
Clausewitz in his posthumously published book, Vom Kriege (1832),
which appeared in English translation in 1873 under the title On War.
“War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which
action in war is based are wrapped in a X of greater or lesser
uncertainty. A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a
skilled intelligence to scent out the truth.”
This series of climatic abnormalities is thought to have begun with the
eruption of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia. This led to
widespread crop failures in North America, Europe and China in 1816.
Other areas, including India experienced flooding late in 1816, which
then led to epidemics of cholera.
From the perspective of observers in the Northern Hemisphere, the
year 1816 lacked something, which gave this year its name.
How is the year commonly known?
Starting in 1745, certain disaffected Scots began a certain practice
during the loyal toast, a formal declaration of loyalty to the Sovereign,
as a protest against the current dispensation.
Because of this practise, for many years, finger bowls were not used on
British royal tables, until King Edward VII re-authorised their use,
deeming his dynasty sufficiently secure.
What was this practise?
Passing their drinks over water while toasting, to signify that they were
toasting the King Over the Water, or the (exiled) Jacobite claimants to
the British throne