All things come to an end, one way or another, and this quiz looks at a random assortment of endings.
#1. Douglas Adams wrote a novel called "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," which as the name suggests, was about an extraordinary venue at the end of time where diners could be entertained by watching the whole universe meet its demise. What was the name of this establishment?
The novel “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” is the second book in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” comedy science fiction “trilogy” (so-called because the series was later expanded to five books). Milliways, the titular restaurant, is a five-star establishment built on the remains of a ruined planet that has been enclosed in a vast time bubble and projected forward in time to the precise moment of the End of the Universe. Adams’ description of the restaurant involves a host of temporal paradoxes that are explained for comic effect. Diners can meet beings from all across space and time, and do not need to book in advance, as they can book retrospectively after returning to their own time. Additionally, the astronomical cost of dining there is easily met as one can simply deposit one cent in one’s bank account in the present time; the compound interest on this deposit over the course of trillions of years will be sufficient to pay the enormous bill once one has arrived. Not only that, “Guests can visit it as many times as they wish and be sure of never meeting themselves, because of the embarrassment this usually causes.” In the novel, there is an amusing scene in which the restaurant’s emcee makes jokes at the expense of a group of followers of the prophet Zarquon, whose second coming they are awaiting, noting that his time is rapidly running out. To the emcee’s astonishment, Zarquon miraculously materializes on the stage beside him, seconds before the universe is about to end! The emcee hands Zarquon the microphone, who only has enough time to explain, “Sorry I’m a bit late, had a terrible time… All sort of things cropping up at the last moment.”
#2. Land's End, the most southern point of New Zealand is located in what region?
The southernmost point is Jacquemart Island in the Campbell Island group Jacquemart Island, one of the islets surrounding Campbell Island in New Zealand, lies 1 km (0.62 mi) south of Campbell Island and is the southernmost island of New Zealand. The name commemorates Captain J. Jacquemart, of the vessel FRWS Vire, that supported the French 1874 Transit of Venus Expedition to Campbell Island
#3. "To the Ends of the Earth" is a book by David Yallop about his quest to track down Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, an infamous terrorist, who was better known by what name?
Sánchez, who was born in Venezuela, was a terrorist who worked for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the 1970s. He was given the code name “Carlos” because of his South American origins. He was later given the nickname “The Jackal” by the media after a reporter noticed Frederick Forsyth’s 1971 novel “The Day of the Jackal” near some of his belongings. He was one of the world’s most-wanted international fugitives for many years because of his involvement in many different terrorist attacks. David Yallop was an investigative journalist who has written many popular books, among them, “In God’s Name,” in which he alleged that Pope John Paul I was murdered. “To the Ends of the Earth” details an initial interview that Yallop obtained with Carlos and his subsequent attempts to rediscover his whereabouts over a seven year period. The book describes Carlos’ career in detail against the backdrop of the politics of the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine. Carlos was eventually arrested by the French government in 1994 and convicted of several murders committed in 1975.
#4. Various religious traditions mention the end of the world. In Norse mythology, the end of the world as we know it occurs during a cataclysmic event called Ragnarök in which the gods die. How is the end predicted?
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, foretold to lead to the death of a number of great figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), natural disasters and the submersion of the world in water. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory in the history of Germanic studies.
#5. Throughout history, many once great empires have come to an end. When most people think of the end of the of the Roman Empire, they think of its collapse in the West around 476 CE. However, the Roman Empire continued to survive in its eastern provinces, with its capital in Constantinople until 1453. Which Ottoman conqueror spelled the final end of this illustrious civilisation when he conquered Constantinople?
The Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, as it is also known, was for much of its history the most powerful state in Europe, although by the 1400s it was in a major decline and had been reduced to the city of Constantinople and its surrounding areas. Even so, Constantinople had formidable defences and when Mehmed II, who was only 21 at the time, set out to capture the city, he had to go to extraordinary lengths to do so. For example, he arranged to have 80 galleys carried overland on a specially constructed road paved with wood so that they could surround the city more completely. The city eventually fell after a 53-day siege, marking the final end of the Roman Empire and fundamentally altering the balance of power in Europe.
#6. Dinosaurs dominated the Earth for an impressive 175 million years. But all that came to an end about 65 million years ago, when a large asteroid struck the Earth causing a mass extinction event. The impact crater that resulted is today located beneath what town?
The Chicxulub crater was found in the 1970s by scientists looking for petroleum in the Yucatán Peninsula, and is named after the town of Chicxulub located near its centre. It is about 150 kilometres wide and 20 kilometres deep, and the original impact site is covered in about 600 metres of sediment. The impact of the event that formed the crater is estimated to have released energy equivalent to 21-921 billion Hiroshima atom bombs. Scientists theorise that the impact raised a cloud of dust into the atmosphere that lasted several years causing major climate change that led to mass extinction. This spelled the end for the non-avian dinosaurs, which made room for mammals to assume a more dominant role that eventually made the emergence of humans possible.
#7. All things come to an end and some have speculated that time itself might eventually end. In which song does Meatloaf make the extraordinary revelation that he is "praying for the end of time, to hurry up and arrive"?
“Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” written by Jim Steinman, appears on Meatloaf’s debut album, “Bat Out of Hell,” and features a duet with Ellen Foley. Steinman described it as “the ultimate car/sex song in which everything goes horribly wrong in the end.” In this ballad, the singer recalls an event “long ago and far away” in which he is trying to seduce a girl in his car. Before she will submit to his advances, she demands to know if he will “love her forever.” Overcome by passion, he swears that he will love her “till the end of time.” Comically, he then goes on to state that he is now “praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!”
#8. The 1987 film "The Last Emperor" is a biography of Puyi, the last emperor of China. With his forced abdication in 1912, over 2000 years of imperial rule came to an end. It was also the end of what imperial dynasty?
The Qing dynasty was established in 1644, when a Manchu chieftain overthrew the preceding Ming dynasty. Puyi was declared emperor in 1908 when he was less than 3 years old. He was reported to have screamed and cried at the time. In 1911, there was an uprising against the Qing dynasty, and in 1912 the emperor was forced to abdicate. Under an agreement with the new government, Puyi was allowed to keep his imperial title and continue living in the Forbidden City, his palace in Beijing. However, he was eventually expelled in 1924. “The Last Emperor” presents Puyi in a generally sympathetic light, but in real life, he was noted for his cruel treatment of servants, as he had eunuchs flogged on a daily basis. When the Japanese invaded Manchuria in the 1930s, Puyi was set up as puppet ruler of the newly created state of Manchukuo. After the war ended, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets and later repatriated to Communist China in 1949, where he was imprisoned until 1959. Eventually, he was released and allowed to live as a private citizen. His years in prison may have improved some aspects of his personality, as in later life he was known for his kindness and honesty.
#9. Where do Jerry and his friends end up in the finale of the long-running "show about nothing" "Seinfeld"?
“Seinfeld,” which redefined situation comedy as a genre with its code of “no hugging, no learning,” came to an end after nine seasons in a two-part episode aptly named “The Finale.” The story begins on a very upbeat note. Jerry and George have secured a lucrative deal with NBC for a TV show and are given use of NBC’s private jet. Jerry decides to take George, Elaine, and Kramer on a trip to Paris before they move to California to work on their new show. However, during the flight, George causes an accident and the plane is forced to land in a fictional small town in Massachusetts. While waiting there, the four of them witness an overweight man getting carjacked at gunpoint. Rather than doing anything to help, they stand by making fun of the victim and his plight while Kramer videos the whole event. This proves to be their undoing, as they fall afoul of a Good Samaritan law and are arrested. This is followed by a farcical trial in which many characters from previous seasons return as witnesses for the prosecution who testify to the selfishness of Jerry and his friends. They end up being sentenced to a year in prison each, as the judge reprimands them for their callousness and lack of decency. As the credits roll, Jerry is shown performing a stand-up comedy routine to an audience of prisoners while wearing an orange jumpsuit. “The Finale” polarized critics, as some appreciated the irony of the story line and the large cast of characters, while others perceived it as mocking its faithful audience.
#10. 'The End" was a song by The Doors that they frequently performed as the final number in their concerts. The name of the band derives from the title of a book by which author?
Aldous Huxley was an English novelist and essayist who wrote a 1954 book called “The Doors of Perception” that discussed his psychedelic experiences under the influence of mescaline. The book’s title is itself a reference to William Blake’s poem, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” which contains the line: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.” “The End” originated as a song about lead singer Jimmy Morrison’s breakup with his girlfriend but evolved into a complex work that runs for about 12 minutes. It contains these fitting lines:
“This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end.”