Quiz Bowl – Test Your Smarts!

This week, in honor of January 23rd’s Quiz Bowl Assembly, our Quiz Bowl masters Howard Rachelson from the math department and John Petrovsky from the Spanish program, bring us three full rounds of this game of knowledge.  How many questions can you answer correctly?  Answers are at the bottom – don’t peek!



  1. Who is the prime minister and real leader of Russia?
  2. What U.S. billionaire investor suggested publicly that he and his very wealthy colleagues should pay more taxes?
  3. The U.S. and other Western powers are most concerned about which two countries developing nuclear weapons?   (one point for each of two answers)
  4. What is the catchy acronym for  the train that is supposed to be built in the next few years to connect Santa Rosa with San Rafael?
  1. Of a rhombus, a quadrilateral and a trapezoid, which one describes the other two?
  2. What is the largest even negative number, if any?
  3. Is a light year a measure of speed, time or distance?
  4. What product that you might stir into your tea or coffee can be used as an antiseptic ointment for cuts and burns?
  1. In area, what is the third largest state in the U.S.?
  2. Istanbul, Turkey, straddles what two continents?
  3. Give the name and the number of the king who nearly bankrupted France when he built the palace of Versailles?
  4. Who became a civil rights icon by refusing to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954?
  1. What Shakespeare play, his last, features Caliban, Ariel and Prospero on a magical island in the New World?
  2. What classic Alfred Hitchcock movie with a one word title kept some people out of the showers in the 1950s?
  3. In what novel did the pig Napoleon say “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”?
  4. What silent film this year won two important Golden Globe awards? 
  1. What does the acronym LGBT stand for?
  2. What professional football team has the fleur de lys as its logo?
  3. What is the name of the the program established by Jimmy Carter that builds homes for and with low-income Americans?
  4. What is the four-word name of the most famous speech of Martin Luther King Junior?
  1. How long in miles is a marathon foot race?
  2. What style of swimming is the fastest?
  3. What country will host the World Soccer Cup in 2014?
  4. What team has won the NBA championship more than any other 17 times?



  1. How many generations of Kim Jongs have been dictators of North Korea?
  2. What European nation is primarily responsible for saving the euro?
  3. The following are the last words of which business innovator: “Oh wow.  Oh wow.  Oh wow”?
  4. At what U.C. campus did a police officer use pepper spray on protesters, an abuse that went viral across the world?
  1. How many one thousand dollar bills would make up one billion dollars?
  2. Beginning with the progression 3, 6, 9…, what is the 20th multiple of 3?
  3. Multiple choice:  in the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs ruled the world,what plant species was dominant–algae, mosses, gymnosperms, or angiosperms?
  4. What is the farthest planet in our solar system visible to the unaided eye?
  1. What famous Roman city was destroyed and yet preserved for us by the eruption of the volcano of Mt. Vesuvius?
  2. In addition to Belize, what country is immediately to the south of Mexico?
  3. On what famous date in U.S. history did England’s King George III write in his diary, “Nothing important happened today”?
  4. (Two parts, one point each)  The first six U.S. presidents were all born in which two states?
  1. This year the literary world is celebrating the 200th birthday of which English novelist, the author of  David Copperfield and Oliver Twist?
  2. What American poet, well known for short philosophical poems, is known as “The Belle of Amherst”?
  3. What current film and play tell an equine story that occurs in World War I?
  4. Who is the most famous literary creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
  1. What kind of milk is used to make feta cheese?
  2. In Buddhism and Hinduism, what does one call the belief that every action leads to an inevitable result in this life or the next?
  3. The Republicans are known as the G.O.P.    What does GOP stand for?
  4. Who in the Bible is associated with the coat of many colors?
  1. What international sports tournament is frequently held at St. Andrews in Scotland?
  2. What major league baseball player played in every consecutive game for 16 seasons?
  3. The words ski and slalom come from what language?
  4. What extreme sport combines windsurfing with wakeboarding, sending surfers 50 feet above the waves?



  1. In what capital city did the revolution against the dictator begin in Tahrir Square?
  2. By 2014 all U.S. troops are scheduled to be out of which country?
  3. Last June 24,  New York became the largest state to legalize what?
  4. Who was Time magazine’s person of the year?
  5. Give the first names of the two people whose wedding was watched by more than three billion people worldwide.
  1. 16, raised to the negative 3/4 power, equals what number?
  2. In a triangle whose sides measure 3-4-5 inches, what is the cosine of the smallest angle?
  3. Traditionally, solid, liquid and gas have been known as the three states of matter, but since the 20th century scientists have begun calling what the 4th state of matter?
  4. In 1796, the English doctor Edward Jenner discovered the world’s first vaccine to protect against what common fatal disease?
  5. What chemical element makes up three-fourths of the sun’s mass?
  1. During the Vietnam War, what was the name of the capital city of South Vietnam, now called Ho Chi Minh City?
  2. What two countries have national parks in Patagonia?
  3. What city was the site of the famous witch trials and and twenty subsequent executions in 1692?
  4. What Greek statesman was the most important leader of Athens at its political and cultural height in the fifth century B.C.?
  5. The US Congress first established a minimum wage in 1938.   What was that minimum wage: 15 cents, 25 cents, or 50 cents per hour?
  1. Who is the best known poet and writer of the Harlem Renaissance?
  2. In what classical work does Penelope patiently await the return of her husband, away in Troy?
  3. Who is the English-born star of silent and sound movies such as Modern Times, The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator?
  4. The cathedrals of Notre Dame in Paris and Chartres are in what architectural style?
  5. What Mexican woman artist transferred her personal pain into self-portraits?
  1. What word beginning with an “e” means “giving one’s name to something”?
  2. What is the most important task of Rome’s College of Cardinals?
  3. What kind of parties swept the U.S. after the release of the John Belushi 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House?
  4. In 2011 the world reached a population of how many billion people?
  5. In the movie Slumdog Millionaire, a teenager from the slums of Mumbai competes on the Indian version of what TV game show?
  1. The all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history is what woman, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team?
  2. What track and field event consists of throwing a very heavy metal ball?
  3. How many times in the past have the SF 49ers won the Super Bowl?
  4. True or false:  soccer goalies can always use their hands to block a ball.
  5. Swimming, running, horseback riding, pistol shooting and fencing make up what modern sports event?



  1. Vladimir Putin
  2. Warren Buffet
  3. Iran and North Korea – one point for each of two answers
  4. SMART train
  1. Quadrilateral
  2. negative 2
  3. DISTANCE that light will travel in a year
  4. Honey
  1. California
  2. Europe and Asia
  3. Louis XIV
  4. Rosa Parks
  1. The Tempest
  2. Psycho
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  4. The Artist
  1. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. Habitat for Humanity
  4. “I Have a Dream”
  1. 26.2 miles;  OK 26 miles
  2. Australian or front crawl or just crawl
  3. Brazil
  4. Boston Celtics
  1. Three
  2. Germany
  3. Steve Jobs
  4. U.C. Davis
  1. One million
  2. 60
  3. Angiosperms
  4. Saturn
  1. Pompeii or Herculanium
  2. Guatemala
  3. July 4, 1776
  4. Virginia and Massachusetts – Two parts, one point each
  1. Charles Dickens
  2. Emily Dickinson
  3. War Horse
  4. Sherlock Holmes
  1. Goat milk
  2. Karma
  3. Grand Old Party
  4. Joseph
  1. British Open Golf Tournament
  2. Carl Ripken Jr.
  3. Norwegian
  4. Kiteboarding



  1. Cairo, Egypt
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Gay marriage
  4. The Protester
  5. William and Kate
  1. One-eighth
  2. 4/5 or 9.8
  3. Plasma
  4. Smallpox
  5. Hydrogen
  1. Saigon
  2. Argentina, Chile
  3. Salem, Massachusetts
  4. Pericles
  5. 25 cents
  1. Langston Hughes
  2. The Odyssey
  3. Charlie Chaplin
  4. Gothic
  5. Frida Kahlo
  1. “Eponymous”
  2. Elect the pope
  3. Toga parties
  4. Six billion
  5. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”
  1. Pat Summitt
  2. Shot put
  3. 5 times
  4. False–only inside the penalty box
  5. The pentathalon

The 2012-2013 school year marks 40 years of education at Marin Academy.  Throughout the year we will be commemorating this anniversary with on-campus events for students, special publications (including this on-going series of “lists of 40″), and a community celebration at Bimbo’s in San Francisco on April 20 (Save the date!).

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