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 with the score of a Slatester whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s contestant is J. Bryan Lowder, the assistant editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and the editorial assistant for culture.
Think you can ace my quiz and beat Lowder? Good luck!
The much-hyped Comet ISON disintegrated this week as it entered the sun's outer atmosphere. Also melting away: starfish! Marine researchers along the Pacific coast are scrambling to find out why millions of sea stars are disintegrating into goo. Yes, everything is falling apart. I hope you can keep it together long enough to ace this week's news quiz.
Question 1 of 12
Last weekend 100 people were treated for bullet wounds and tear gas exposure while trying to get past police barricades to get in where?
Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra went into hiding over the weekend as protests by anti-government "Yellow Shirts" rocked the capital.
Question 2 of 12
A new Marchex study has used records of more than 600,000 phone calls to determine that Ohio is the U.S. state whose residents do what the most?
Ohioans swore in one out of every 150 customer service phone calls. That's twice the rate of residents of the least sweary state, Washington.
Question 3 of 12
The Supreme Court has declined to review Amazon.com v. New York State, a landmark case on what issue?
This leaves intact a state law that forces Amazon to collect sales tax from New Yorkers.
Question 4 of 12
What confession did train engineer William Rockefeller make on Tuesday regarding the derailment in the Bronx that killed four passengers?
Question 5 of 12
A man escaped from Ostragard prison in Sweden recently in order to do what?
After his tooth was pulled, the man turned himself in to police and returned to jail. An extra day was tacked on to his sentence.
Question 6 of 12
In what city's Independence Square did a 6-foot, 7-inch boxing champion help defuse a dangerous standoff between police and 100,000 protesters on Sunday?
Heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, the world's only boxing champ with a Ph.D., has emerged as a leader of the opposition to Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Question 7 of 12
According to new reports, who has fired his own uncle from important posts as a vice chairman and department head?
Jang Song Thaek, a powerful supporter of Kim's father, has been dismissed, with two of his aides executed, according to a South Korean intelligence briefing.
Question 8 of 12
This week a federal judge approved Detroit's bankruptcy filing, so it could become the first U.S. city ever to get out of debt by doing what?
No other municipal bankruptcy in history has led to involuntary cuts to worker pensions, but Detroit's $18 billion of debt may leave few alternatives.
Question 9 of 12
In France, Bob Dylan is facing criminal charges for what unusual crime?
Dylan was quoted comparing Croats to Nazis while freestyling on racism to Rolling Stone last September. He faces as much as a year in prison and a $60,000 fine if convicted.
Question 10 of 12
Nine people were killed over the weekend when what tragedy struck a pub called the Clutha in Glasgow, Scotland?
Question 11 of 12
A successful test late Tuesday afternoon paved the way for what milestone to be accomplished by the end of 2017?
SpaceX launched its first commercial communications satellite from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, completing the latest step in proving to NASA that it will be ready.
Question 12 of 12
Why was Pat Lavery of upstate New York surprised when a plaintiff named Tommy sued him in the state's supreme court on Monday?
An animal protection group called the Nonhuman Rights Project filed on Tommy's behalf for unlawful detention, making this the first lawsuit of its kind.
Log in to track your scores!
J. Bryan Lowder
Assistant editor of Outward
The Saudi embassy in Cairo
Government House in Bangkok
Talk during movies
Online sales tax
He was texting
He was drunk
Go Christmas shopping
See an eclipse
Kim Jong Un
Developing its parkland
Cutting its worker pensions
Possession of an alligator
Having his house repainted
A helicopter crash
A soccer riot
Detroit will release its first self-driving cars
All Syrian chemical weapons will be destroyed
Tommy is his conjoined twin
Tommy is his car
J. Bryan Lowder
Assistant editor of Outward
Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan
Correction, Dec. 6, 2013: Due to a production error, the quiz interactive originally mismarked the correct answer to the final question. The Slate contestant's score has been changed to reflect that he answered correctly.