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Postgraduate Induction evening (3/10/06) University Challenge Questions

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Postgraduate Induction evening (3/10/06) - University Challenge Questions:
1) Alfred Nobel, Founder of the Nobel Prizes, was the inventor of what that led to his obituary description as ‘dealer of death’?
725 Men have received nobel prizes. How many women?

Youngest Recipient?

Oldest Recipient?

(dynamite; stabilised nitro glycerine)


(25 - Lawrence Bragg, physics 1915)

(88 - Raymond Davis ‘Junior’, Physics 2002)

2) Which famous 20th century psychologist is known as the father of psychoanalysis?
Which presently illegal narcotic did Freud prescribe to many of his patients?

Cocaine acts by binding to which receptor at nerve synapses?

This year’s winner of big brother suffered from what psychiatric condition?


(Opiate receptor)


3) Mus musculus is the Latin name for what animal?
Puffinus puffinus is the latin name for which bird?

Optimus Prime is the name of who?

And what sort of an organism is Spongebob Squarepants?
(house mouse)

(Manx Shearwater – seriously! Not a Puffin!)

(Leader of the Autobots in the Transformers!)

(A sea sponge or poriferan)

4) What is the largest known animal to have ever lived on Earth?
What is the name of the giant gorilla introduced to New York from Skull Island?

What is the name of the giant moth which stars alongside Godzilla?

What animal did Japanese scientists capture live on film in 2005?

(blue whale)

(King Kong)


(giant squid)

5) J K Rowling is the British author responsible for which series of books?
Most of Franz Kafka’s work was discovered & published after his death, despite the orders in his last Will & Testament. What were the orders?
In Kafka’s book “Metamorphosis”, the main character wakes up in bed to find that what has happened to him?
Jeff Goldblum starred in a 1980s horror film, where after an experiment in matter transportation, a scientist transforms into which giant insect?
(harry potter)

(that all his work be burned)

(he has turned into a giant beetle)

(a fly)

6) What does the acronym AIDS stand for?
The full names of the acronyms for viruses: HPV EBV

And for the prion-caused disease BSE

(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

(human pappiloma virus)

(Epstein – Barr virus)

(bovine spongiform encephalopathy)

7) Which Australian conservationist died recently off the coast of Queensland?

- Australia is home to which pouched group of animals?

- The duck billed platypus is poisonous, true or false?

- What is the taxidermic name of the egg-laying mammals found in australia?

(Steve Irwin)


(yep, it has a poisonous spike on its elbow)


8) quotes: Which ancient scientist exclaimed “eureka!”
Who is attributed with saying “the best argument against democracy is a conversation with the average voter?”
“I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but the stomach and heart of a King”?

“You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier... So long as I'm the dictator”


(Winston Churchill)

(Queen Elizabeth I)

(Bush ‘joking’ at a press conference while governer of texas, 1998)

9) Which Shakespeare play stars a character called Bottom?

Which French author is the only person to have ever willingly refused the Nobel Prize for Literature?

The first installment of Leonard Nimoy’s autobiography was called “I am not spock”. What was the title of the second installment?

Who was the late author of the Hitch-hiker guide to thegalaxy series of books?

(midsummer night’s dream)

(Jean Paul Satre)

(“I am spock!”)

(Douglas Adams)

10) The greek philosoper Socrates died after being sentenced to drink which poison?
Plato was tutor to which other Greek philosopher?

Aristotle was in turn tutor to which ancient world Empire-builder?

Which 17th century french philosopher also invented cartesian geometry?


(Alexander the Great)

(Rene Descartes)

11) Matthew Bellamy is the frontman for which British rock band?
Jon Lee, drummer of which british rock group, killed himself in 2002?

Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, shot himself in which year?

Nirvana’s drummer Dave Grohl went on to form which band?



(Foo fighters)

12) The composer Beethoven famously suffered from what disability?

Which piece written by Tchaikovsky includes cannon fire?

Which composer was the subject of the film “Amadeus”?

What was the subject of the 1992 film “Beethoven”?

(he was deaf)

(1812 overture)


(a St Bernard dog)

13) Art: The medieval artist Heironymous Bosch is famous for his depictions of where?

Salvador dali was a member of which artistic movement?

Vincent van Gogh cut off which body part?

Which animal did Damien Hurst pickle in his piece “the physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living”?


(Surrealist movement)

(His ear)

(a shark)

14) Which English Monarch formed the church of England after the Pope refused to grant a divorce from his 1st wife?
Which English monarch was known as ‘the virgin queen’?

Before his successful invasion, by what name was William the Conqueror known?

How was king Edward 2nd gruesomly murdered in 1327?
(Henry the 8th)

(Elizabeth Ist)

(William the Bastard)

(A red hot poker up his backside)

15) Which British actor played Ghandi in the 1982 film of the same name?
What was the name of the antichrist in the 1976 film the Omen?

Who starred as hero Jericho Cane and defeated Satan in the 1999 film End of Days?

Actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ, was struck how many times by lightening during filming?
(Sir Ben Kingsley)


(The Governor of Califiornia, Arnold Schwarzenegger)


16) How many legs does a lobster have? (6, & 2 claws)
Number of (total) teats on a cow’s udders? (4)

Total number of teats on a Pale Bellied Oppossum? (19)

Number of teats on a female Duck billed Platypus? (0)
17) The bagpipes are the traditional instrument of which country? (Scotland)
The gamelan orchestra forms the traditional music of which country? (Indonesia)

The nose flute is from which region of the world? (Polynesia, Pacific Islands)

Where is the didgeridoo from? (Australia)
18) What dos the malaysian word ‘Orangutan’ mean? (Man of the woods/forest)
What is the collective noun for a group of Aardvarks? (An Aarmory)

Average life expectancy for a grizzly bear? (25 yrs)

What is the proper name for a squirrel’s nest? (a Drey)

19) World’s most northenly capital city? (Reykjavic, Iceland)
world’s tallest waterfall? (Angel falls, venezuela)

world’s largest lake? (Caspian Sea)

Capital city of panama? (Panama City)

­20) Tom Cruise is a member of which barmy ‘religion’? (Scientology)

Francis Ford Coppola is uncle to which Hollywood star? (Nicholas Cage)

Who is set to be the next James Bond? (Daniel Craig)

The name of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ child? (Suri Cruise)
21) Physics – Who wrote ‘a brief history of time?’ (steven hawking)
Picture round: who are these people?

Matt Ridley – Author of the RED QUEEN EFFECT, GENOME, etc

22) The ‘Bestival’ is a music festival held on which British Island? (Isle of Wight)
‘Burning man’ is a festival held in the desert of which US state? (Nevada)

The ‘Roskilde’ festival is held in which european country? (Denmark)

Michael Evis held the first ‘Glastonbury Fayre’ festival in which year? (1971)

23) Who was the ancient Greek god of wine? (Dionysus, or Bacchus)
which country is the world’s greatest producer of wine? (France, 5.3 million tons/yr)

Which ancient civilisation first brought wine to europe? (Greeks)

The red Rioja wine comes exclusively from what country? (Spain)

24) The yeast Saccharomyces cereviceriae is used to make which liquid product? (Beer)
Which order of monks produce their own exclusive line of beers? (Trappists)
What is the common name for bottom-fermenting beers from of Central European origin (lager)
The beer Chibuku Shake Shake is from which region of the world? (Southern Africa. Accept Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi - so called by the need to shake the carton before drinking it)

Extra starters:

  1. which is the only letter of the alphabet not to appear in any of the states of America? (Q)

  1. What is the capital of Switzerland? (Bern)

  1. Spell the word “Fluorescence”

  1. Can you name the 7 continents of the world (Europe, africa, asia, North america, south america, Oceania/australiasia and the antarctic)

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