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Sample Toss-up Questions

  • What belief was Galileo forced to recant by the Inquisition in 1633?
    Ans. That the earth revolves around the sun.
  • London in 1851; Paris in 1889; Chicago in 1893; Buffalo in 1901; St. Louis in 1904; Chicago again in 1933-34; New York in 1939-40; Seattle in 1962; New York again in 1964-65; Montreal in 1967; and Knoxville in 1982. These were the sites and dates of what international exposition?
    Ans. World's Fair
  • Which state shares Cache National Forest with Idaho, Wasatch National Forest with Wyoming, Goshute Indian Reservation with Nevada, Navajo Indian Reservation with Arizona, and Ute Mountain Indian Reservation with Colorado?
    Ans. Utah
  • Among her suitors were Philip II of Spain and the French Duke of Anjou, but in the end she remained single. But Philip was to propel her to great popularity in her country through his failure to defeat her navy. Who was this monarch?
    Ans. Queen Elizabeth I
  • What object was the mythological Sisyphus compelled to roll to the top of a slope only to have it roll back down just before it reached the top?
    Ans. Stone
  • The body needs ions of this alkaline earth metal to transmit nerve impulses, to contract muscles, and to coagulate blood. What is this element, whose carbonate and phosphate are the major constituents of human bones?
    Ans. Calcium
  • Which 1498 painting by Leonardo da Vinci features 13 people at a final meal?
    Ans. The Last Supper
  • This word refers to a modern hoisting apparatus named after a famous 17th century hangman at Tyburn Prison, whose name was applied to the gallows he used. The word can also mean a tall, tapering framework or tower built over an oil well for supporting drilling machinery. What is it?
    Ans. Derrick
  • Identify the simplified product of the square root of 4/9 times the square root of 9/16.
    Ans. 1/2
  • Poisoning from this, in a sense, contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Women became infertile by drinking wine from vessels which were made of this, and the Roman upper classes died out within a couple of centuries. Quite paradoxically, the Romans used this as a sweetening agent and as a cure for diarrhea. This added up to massive self-inflicted poisoning. What are we referring to ?
    Ans. Lead
  • Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Gabon. That's the around-the-world itinerary, going westward from the Prime Meridian, of which imaginary line?
    Ans. Equator
  • Unwanted termination of a computer program caused by software or hardware failure is called what?
    Ans. Crash
  • Can you decipher the following famous nursery rhyme? A geriatric human female proceeded to a storage compartment for the purpose of procuring a fragment of osseous tissue from an unidentified deceased specimen to transfer to an indigent carnivorous domesticated mammal, Canis familiaris, family Canidae. Upon arrival at her destination, she found the storage compartment in denuded condition, with the consequence that the indigent carnivore was deprived of the intended donation.
    Ans. Old Mother Hubbard
  • In what way does the image focused on the retina differ from the object that is seen?
    Ans. It is inverted on the retina.
  • "This sudden clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo and cannot be accepted." Which U.S. president said it?
    Ans. President Kennedy