Sunday, January 18, 2004

What's in a name?

Notes and Stones forms the url of this blog combining two words with deep BC associations.

Notes: In old BC quizzing times, the word "note" was often used to mark a piece of trivia as "noteworthy". Anything new or unheard of was tagged by saying "note".

For instance, the question "What is the name of the planet Pluto's only satellite?" has the answer Charon. This is trivially special as Charon is the boatman who patrols the River Styx and thus the entrance to the underworld realm of Hades in Greek myth. Hades, of course, is the den of Pluto. For those who perhaps knew the name of Planet Pluto's satellite as a matter of fact could now note the fact that its origins had a deeper significance.

Stones: The BC's method of Quality Control. Implemented in the form of instant geological feedback. Any obnoxious, silly, farcical, contrived question would earn the person asking that question a shower of stones/rocks/material-small-enough-to-hurl. It would serve as both entertainment and criticism. Almost all quizzers have collected their quota of the igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, cement concrete & bitumen lumps.

Classic case (I'm sure this one merited a boulder): Connect Superman and Rahul Dravid. Answer: (Nothing to do with underpants) Dravid played county cricket for Kent and Superman is, as every banian manufacturer knows, Clark Kent. Will keep the name of the quizzer as an open secret.

Hence, in keeping with this blog's stated aims, both Notes and Stones will be commented upon in equal measure.

The Interrobang Story

Another Mensa homage. I first heard about this punctuation mark from one of Niranjan's questions. Quite simply, the Interrobang is a combination of the question-mark and the exclamation mark. ? obviously forms the Interro- part, while the word -bang will be familiar to typesetters and Unix shell scripters as signifying the !. This blog is all about these two realms of thought - it aims to question the process of questioning and answering, and aims to exclaim loudly on these aspects. It also gives this blog some depth, which is what much of good quizzing is all about - exploring knowledge for the sake of meaning and sense.

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