“Life is like a box of chocolates, it doesn’t last long if you’re fat” – The Gordian September Quiz

The Gordian Quizes

1. Who butchered the famous quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates… it doesn’t last long if you’re fat.”?

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Simon Cowell
  3. Joe Lycett
  4. Ryan Reynolds

Answer: 3

British Comedian Joe Lycett

2. This “portrait of a woman of the Hofer family” can be found in the National Gallery in London. Why is there a fly on this lady’s headdress? 

Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family
Photo: Gandalf’s Gallery/Flickr © CC 2.0
  1. Flies in art symbolised mortality
  2. There really was a fly and the lady found it a funny joke
  3. It’s a portrait of a naturalist depicted with flowers and insect 
  4. It’s vandalism – the fly was added later

Flies have been used as a symbol of mortality, the “forget me not” flower also suggests this is a portrait in remembrance of this woman. Some historians also wondered whether the artist added the fly looking as realistic as possible to show off their skill and to puzzle the viewer, leaving them to wonder whether a fly had really landed on the painting.

Answer 1

3. This beautiful drawing by Maria Sibylla Merian shows she was one of the first naturalists to discover the cycles of insect species. Before that how did people believe them to come into existence?  

Rose of Sharon and Lepidoptera 1730
© Public Domain
  1. Hatched from plants
  2. Born from mud
  3. Generated from water
  4. Hatched from dead insects

Answer 2

They were believed to be born from mud, spontaneous generation is a superseded scientific theory which assumed living creatures could arise from nonliving matter.

4. The tragic passing of Samantha Smith in a plane crash on August 25, 1985 shocked people around the world. Why did this little girl become so famous that even international country leaders mourned her death?

U.S. girl Samantha Smith in Artek
© CC 3.0
  1. She was the youngest contestant in 1980s Summer Olympics
  2. She sang in a concert with Madonna
  3. She was one of the first people to appear on the newly founded CNN
  4. She wrote a letter to Russia

Answer 4

She wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, Russian leader at the time, asking him if and why he wanted to destroy her country. Surprisingly he answered and invited her on a trip to the USSR

5. What do you want to express by using this Finish idiom about a mosquito?

Original: “Siinä on lissää,  sano  hyttys, kun mereen pissi” 

Translation: Here is some more, mosquito said, when it pissed into the ocean

  1. Something is very insignificant
  2. Someone’s help is not that meaningful
  3. Every little bit helps
  4. Being angry about small things

Answer 2

someone’s “gracious” help may not be that meaningful

6. Summertime, Sunshine, flies, bugs – have you ever walked outside with your T-shirt full of many-legged creatures and wondered why some insects are drawn to certain colours?

  1. They are attracted to them because it looks like food
  2. They can’t see them so end up crashing into you
  3. Bright colours look like light and they are attracted to light
  4. It has nothing to do with colour, they are attracted to body odour

Answer 3

Insects can see in the spectrum of ultraviolet light and short wavelength colours, also 1) since flowers are their main source of food, they are attracted to the colours.

7. The new ELVIS movie has been in theatres since June. At what age did Elvis pass away in August 45 years ago?

elvis movie the gordian quiz
  1. 36
  2. 42
  3. 48
  4. 55

Answer: 2

On the 16th of August 1977 Elvis Presley was pronounced dead at age 42

8.  What is a Swedish person craving when they want some “glass”?

  1. Ice cream
  2. Alcohol
  3. Candy
  4. Watermelon

Answer 1

Glass means ice cream

9. The pictures sent from the James Webb Space Telescope have been going around the world. Which controversy surrounding the former NASA administrator almost led to choosing another name? He allegedly:

  1. Was a leading member of a white supremacy movement  
  2. Was complicit in dismissing homosexuals in federal employment
  3. Was accused of being a communist spy 
  4. Was involved in a sex scandal

Answer: 2

The controversy about James Webb’s role as undersecretary of state (1949-1952) in the “Lavender Scare”, which lead to the dismissal of homosexual government officials, surfaced in 2015. It is still ongoing but in 2021 NASA announced their investigation could find “no evidence that warrants changing the name”.

If you also believe LGBTQ+ rights to be an important matter please consider to sign our petition about banning UN members that criminalise homosexuality. UN-aligned calls on UNHRC to ban members that criminalise homosexuality — Letters

10. Find the missing piece 

butterfly the gordian quiz

a WA69BoGdBGmTynHss0JVWO z4OaMQQENyoyyApfyiynh8QZ2Nb y6TF8IMmcd8pKwajNmPfWK5zXCEod6lPdnV09zg6XkUNpwM9SAAOOGS5teycuIV 4N3B2RYGt1LfLFUliKSsa 

b  

fMywJ3H8jcMDnRkw4PC 8r02lNfuq7UFNjtEAI9GkUfC8FLwQfU4k1SmzSnMwseYUAf lo6Z1DNyRh1heccO 

d cDtjNs77cb1ZQV7XnrhIqW2 k9L4E Trhd wRUmvCjkDAeEATWKa2QZMZ GZbbY6bplsVXgkJJe7FB6sHyvauF0VdMtWjsXGzwwmnZrauHQPTRLx1w XS

Answer: c

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