Think You’re Smarter Than Dan Kois? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Nov. 30 2012 5:05 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

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 with 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 senior editor Dan Kois, editor of the Slate Book Review.

Think you can ace my quiz and beat Kois? Good luck!



At the end of a week when "Gangnam Style" dethroned Justin Bieber's "Baby" as the most-watched YouTube video of all time, we present another wildly popular Internet tradition: the Slate News Quiz. In fact, I'd like to get this week's quiz up to 803,761,000 hits as well, so please tell your friends.

Question 1 of 12

On Wednesday, the White House rolled out a new hashtag asking supporters to take to Twitter in support of what?

The hashtag #My2K refers to the $2,000 tax hike an average middle-class family will experience should all the Bush-era tax cuts expire as part of the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year.

Question 2 of 12

What can a tiny jellyfish called Turritopsis dohrnii do that earned it a 6,500-word profile in the New York Times Magazine this week?

The so-called "Benjamin Button jellyfish" can transform itself back into a polyp and is thought to be potentially immortal.

Question 3 of 12

Mexican president Felipe Calderón called a news conference last week to announce his plan to remove what two words from Mexico's official name?

The country is officially the Estados Unidos Mexicanos. "Mexico doesn't need a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis," said Calderón.

Question 4 of 12

According to new government statistics released a week ago, what country has seen a skyrocketing suicide rate, with a 50 percent increase in attempts over the past three years?

Before its economic crisis began, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in the European Union.

Question 5 of 12

What surprising fate has befallen Sandy Island, in the Coral Sea between Australia and New Caledonia?

An Australian science ship has sailed right through where Sandy Island was supposed to be. The island is now believed to be a cartographic error that's remained on maps for 140 years.

Question 6 of 12

Where were confidential Long Island police documents—including a Mitt Romney motorcade route—discovered last week?

Question 7 of 12

Who went on strike Wednesday in solidarity with the protestors in Tahrir Square?

The judges went on strike in protest of President Mohamed Morsi's edict last Thursday giving him near-absolute power.

Question 8 of 12

A new international study of 508 chimps and orangutans has revealed that apes, like many humans, may have what?

Like most humans, the apes studied were found to be happier at the beginning and end of their life than they are in between.

Question 9 of 12

Which of these groups from this week's headlines has the oldest average age?

The Stones, whose 50th anniversary tour kicked off in London last Sunday, are over 68 1/2, on average. The runners-up, the Supreme Court justices, have an average age of just under 67.

Question 10 of 12

There was international concern Tuesday about new activity at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. What happens at Sohae?

Question 11 of 12

Who told an interviewer this week, "You've had some people discussing impure thoughts on national television"?

Norquist was referring to Republican lawmakers hedging on the no-higher-taxes pledge they signed when elected.

Question 12 of 12

The Taiwanese government has refused to register a new political party supporting free health care for what unusual reason?

The NBA star has not endorsed the fledgling Jeremy Lin Party, which will not be appearing on Taiwanese ballots anytime soon.

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

Click to revisit answers

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November 30, 2012
Immigration reform
Filibuster reform
Middle-class tax cuts
Liz & Dick
Age in reverse
Survive in a vacuum
Think as a hive-mind
Metabolize toxic waste
"Federal Republic"
"United States"
"Liberal Democratic"
"With Chipotle"
Egypt
China
Argentina
Greece
It's infested with guinea pigs
It's been claimed by Norway
Its sand has turned purple
It has disappeared
In Macy's parade confetti
On Powerball tickets
Filling Hurricane Sandy sandbags
As Law & Order props
Egyptian judges
Bangladeshi garment workers
Tibetan students
Madrid sanitation workers
Cellulite
Midlife crises
Favorite colors
"Bromances"
The Israeli Cabinet
The CEOs of S&P 500 companies
The U.S. Supreme Court
The Rolling Stones
Chinese spy satellite launches
North Korean missile tests
Iranian nuclear enrichment
Gazan rocket launches
Tampa socialite Jill Kelley
Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist
Fox News skeptic Tom Ricks
The party's candidate is a heroic dog
The party's founders wear pirate costumes
The party is named after Jeremy Lin
The party's platform endorses demon worship

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Dan Kois
Slate senior editor

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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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