#1. The Great Plague of London in 1665 was often called the Black Death. What was the actual disease?
Londoners called the terrible plague the Black Death because the buboes, the lumps that formed on the victims’ bodies, were black in colour and death was the almost inevitable consequence. The earliest cases of disease occurred in the spring of 1665 in a parish outside the city walls called St Giles-in-the-Fields. The death rate began to rise during the hot summer months and peaked in September when 7,165 Londoners died in one week. Rats carried the fleas that caused the plague.
#2. Which port on the Black Sea was the site of an important meeting in February, 1945, between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt?
The Yalta Conference was held to determine the future of the war and to make plans for the post-war world. Churchill was very suspicious of Stalin, but Roosevelt, in spite of the unfavourable report from the US ambassador regarding Stalin, was prepared to accept that the Russian head of state would act honourably. Although a list of agreements was reached Russia did not uphold its promises which ultimately led to the Cold War.
#3. Which American rock band had a song called "Black" on their debut album, "Ten" which was released in 1991?
The lyrics of “Black”, the fifth song on Pearl Jam’s debut album, were written by Eddie Vedder, the band’s vocalist and the music was composed by guitarist Stone Gossard. The record company wanted to release it as a single but the group refused because of its personal nature. It is about a man remembering a lost love.
#4. What is special about the novel of a horse's life, "Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell?
Anna Sewell (1820-1878) was brought up as a Quaker and was always taught to be caring towards others. Towards the end of her life she decided to write a book to encourage the better treatment of horses. To give it more immediacy she wrote it from the horse’s point of view. It sold very well and became a children’s classic.
#5. With which band did Ozzy Osbourne play from 1968 to 1979?
The English rock band known as Black Sabbath was formed in 1968 by lead singer Ozzy Osbourne. Tony Iommi, Geezaer Butler and Bill Ward were the other original members of the band. With their release of “Paranoid” in 1970, they were instrumental in defining the music genre we know as heavy metal.
#6. What does a black belt frequently represent in the field of martial arts?
The actual term “black belt” is most widely known as the description of an expert in martial arts. It is commonly accepted as the highest belt color, denoting a high degree of martial arts competence, in the Western world. The term is not an ancient custom at all, but dates more from the late 19th century. The ranks and colors of various martial arts belts are not the same between different arts, styles and even within the same organizations. Some arts view the black belt as easy to get, while others see it as one of the hardest to achieve. In fact, some schools use embroidered bars on a black belt to show different levels achieved in black belt rankings.
#7. What does a solid black flag signify in Formula One racing?
In Formula One racing, the black flag means that the driver is immediately disqualified. In car racing, many colored flags are used to alert drivers to different situations. In most other types of racing, the solid black flag summons a driver to go to the pits for disobeying rules or because their vehicle has a dangerous mechanical problem, such as a loose hood or a communications radio not working. Black flags can also be waved from all of the observation posts to order all of the drivers to clear the race track after the starter had first waved the red flag, most often due to a serious accident on the track.
#8. Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard the Pirate, was notorious along the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean during the early 18th century. What is the name of his best-known flagship?
“Queen Anne’s Revenge” was the flagship used by Blackbeard for less than a year, but was an effective ship during the time he used it. The “Queen Anne’s Revenge” is believed to have gone aground in Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina in 1718. In late 1996, remains of what is believed to be the “Queen Anne’s Revenge” were found in a marine recovery operation contracted to “Intersal” by the state of North Carolina. The original name of the “Queen Anne’s Revenge” was “Concord”, built in 1710 by Britain. This ship was captured by the French and modified and renamed “La Concorde de Nantes”. In November 1717, near Martinique, Captain Benjamin Hornigold captured the ship and gave it to Edward Teach (Blackbeard). After converting the ship into his own, Blackbeard attacked the British, Dutch and Portuguese ships along his voyages from the western coast of Africa all the way to the Caribbean.
#9. In philosophy, an issue under discussion can sometimes be described as black and white. What is the more formal expression of this?
The term means that there are two clear and opposing sides to the issue at hand, with no middle ground or modifying points in between. In fact, many philosophers argue that “unless a distinction can be made rigorous and precise, it isn’t really a distinction” at all. Oh blah, blah, blah.
#10. What sport do the internationally famous New Zealand team, the All Blacks, play?
The reputation of the All Blacks is stellar in the field of international rugby and they hold the record of being the only rugby team to have beaten, at one time or another, every other rugby team in the world. There are twenty top ranked rugby teams internationally, and only five of these have managed to ever win a game against the All Blacks. Famous for the traditional haka they perform before each match for the benefit of the opposing team, they quite frankly present a terrifying sight when they do so. Playing cricket against the Kiwis is definitely safer.
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