Play the Slate News Quiz with Quizmaster Ken Jennings

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Aug. 3 2012 3:45 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

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Ken Jennings

Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images.

Welcome back to Slate’s weekly news quiz. I’m your host, 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings. 

Every Friday I’ll be testing your knowledge with 12 challenging questions on the week’s news events, big and small, including happenings in science, sports, politics, and culture both high and low. The questions are multiple-choice, and time is of the essence: You have 30 seconds to answer, and as the seconds tick away, the question’s point value drops from 50 all the way down to zero, so you’ll want to click on your answer as fast as you possibly can. There’s no penalty for an incorrect answer, so feel free to take a guess if your puny human brain fails you.

At the end of the quiz, you’ll be able to compare your score to that of the average contestant, as well as to the score of a Slate staffer whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s contestant is Slate political reporter David Weigel.

Think you can ace my quiz and best Weigel? Good luck!

Writer Jonah Lehrer got in hot water this week for falsifying Bob Dylan quotes in his best-selling (and now recalled) book Imagine: How Creativity Works. I tried to enlist Lehrer to invent the three wrong choices for each question on this week's quiz—always the hardest part—but he didn't get back to me.

Question 1 of 12

Fill in the blanks: More than 200,000 people have fled _______ in the last two days to avoid _______.

Question 2 of 12

"It's unreasonable that we're fighting over rectangles," Kevin Packingham told the press this week. What fight was he referring to?

Apple has sued Samsung, claiming the Korean company's devices borrow too heavily from the iPhone and iPad.

Question 3 of 12

Dictator Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus fired his air defense general Wednesday after a Swedish plane was able to enter the country's airspace and drop its fearsome cargo of what?

The teddy bears wore parachutes and human rights slogans targeting the Belarusian regime.

Question 4 of 12

Mitt Romney announced this week that his choice of running mate will be announced via what unusual means?

Question 5 of 12

Since 1962, Citizen Kane has never trailed in Sight & Sound magazine's every-10-years poll of the greatest films of all time—until this week. What two films led the latest critics' and directors' polls instead?

Question 6 of 12

Angus King, the candidate leading the race in Maine for Olympia Snowe's Senate seat, has made headlines by refusing to disclose what?

Question 7 of 12

NBC News reported this week that Atlanta resident Thomas Tolbert was recently reprimanded by Disney World security for what unusual offense?

Tolbert, a professional Santa, was asked to change his clothes and refuse photos with children. "Santa would never tell people that!" he complained.

Question 8 of 12

Fans of 1990s hip-hop were shocked this week by what unexpected name change?

Question 9 of 12

Harvard and Caltech scientists have created the "Medusoid," an artificial jellyfish made from what?

The creature—genetically a rat, though it swims like a jellyfish—may provide a breakthrough in artificial heart technology.

Question 10 of 12

It was announced Wednesday that the controversial figure John Pike is no longer working for his former employer. What was Pike's 2011 claim to fame?

Question 11 of 12

At a military base protest in Washington this week, members of the Westboro Baptist Church were vastly outnumbered by 300 picketers dressed as what?

Locals organized the zombie counterprotest via a Facebook group and spent the day staggering around just eight church protestors.

Question 12 of 12

Whose unlikely byline appears on the short story "Thanks for the Light" in this week's issue of The New Yorker?

Fitzgerald's story was turned down by The New Yorker in 1936, but his grandchildren recently rediscovered it in his papers.

You got 8 out of 12 answers correct in 20 minutes 30 seconds.

Click to revisit answers

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Week of August 3, 2012
New Delhi, rolling blackouts
Aleppo, Syrian government shelling
Burma, religious persecution
London, Olympic traffic jams
An Apple-Samsung patent trial
Congressional redistricting in Texas
Two newly discovered Caravaggio canvases
New Olympic badminton rules
Teddy bears
Tulips
Condoms
Twilight fan fiction
A tweet on Twitter
A stream to a new phone app
A live introduction on The Sean Hannity Show
A sung announcement by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Vertigo and Tokyo Story
The Rules of the Game and The Godfather
2001 and Battleship Potemkin
Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Campaign donations
His sexual orientation
His real name
Which party he will caucus with
Offering candy to his own children
Riding "It's a Small World" 37 times in a row
Bringing a ventriloquist's dummy to the park
Looking too much like Santa Claus
Lauryn Hill fled to Africa for tax reasons; became Fatima Ali
Sir Mix-a-Lot joined pro wrestling; became Sergeant Mix-a-Lot
Snoop Dogg found God in Jamaica; became Snoop Lion
The Tupac hologram was bought by Apple; became iTupac
Actual jelly
Lego bricks
A rat's heart cells
Human hair
He prosecuted Casey Anthony
He hacked phones for Murdoch's News of the World
He pepper-sprayed a UC-Davis protestor
He predicted the end of the world twice
Ninjas
Chickens
Pirates
Zombies
James Franco
J. K. Rowling
Steven Tyler
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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David Weigel

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan

Ken Jennings is a 74-time Jeopardy! winner and is the author of six books, most recently the Junior Genius Guides.

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