Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s Brow Beat Blogger? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Aug. 8 2014 1:00 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY - JANUARY 13: Contestant Ken Jennings competes against 'Watson' at a press conference to discuss the upcoming Man V. Machine 'Jeopardy!' competition at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center on January 13, 2011 in Yorktown Heights, New York. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Ben Hider

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-ster whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s contestant is Forrest Wickman, Brow Beat writer and music quiz auteur.


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

The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings

As you know if you've been watching the news, it's become abundantly clear that basketball player Ron Artest's 2011 name change to Metta World Peace has not, in fact, brought about world peace. World Peace appears to know that better than anyone, and he announced on Twitter this week that when he moves to the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association next season, he will change his name again, to "The Pandas Friend." Maybe this one will work out better.

Question 1 of 12

A Category 2 storm named Iselle was predicted to become the first hurricane in 22 years to make landfall where?

Another hurricane, Julio, is following close behind.

Question 2 of 12

A three-day truce in what war appeared to be holding this week, after the last attempt collapsed in only 90 minutes?

Question 3 of 12

On Thursday, a U.N.-backed tribunal handed down the first judgments of "murder" and "extermination" against the leaders of what regime?

Life sentences were imposed on Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, ending a trial that began in 2011.

Question 4 of 12

MIT researchers have discovered a way to eavesdrop on people by doing what?

By watching the vibrations in ordinary items like house-plant leaves or foil bags, the scientists were able to reconstruct the sounds that created them.

Question 5 of 12

On Tuesday, Becky Hammon became the first woman ever hired full-time to work where?

The retiring WNBA star will join Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs coaching staff next season.

Question 6 of 12

Medical teams battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa are finding it difficult to prevent what local practice, a likely vector for the disease?

"Bush meat"—a jerky-like food made from bats, monkeys, or other jungle animals, is a traditional source of protein in the region.

Question 7 of 12

What country's new House of Representatives called for a U.N.-supervised cease-fire this week, with the country's two largest cities still controlled by warring militias?

The new parliament is meeting in Tobruk, as Tripoli and Benghazi are still claimed by Islamic hard-liners.

Question 8 of 12

Last week in Nature, a team of planetary scientists announced a solution to the 4-billion-year-old mystery of why the Moon is shaped like what?

The moon is, it turns out, not a perfect sphere. Gravity has given it two rounded tips, on an axis aligned with Earth.

Question 9 of 12

At a news conference last Friday, who made the blunt admission, "We tortured some folks"?

Question 10 of 12

A new investigation has revealed that a Russian crime ring has stolen an astounding 1.2 billion of what?

A Milwaukee security firm says the hackers targeted 420,000 different websites, many of which are still vulnerable.

Question 11 of 12

What was unusually notable about the death of the U.S. Army's Harold J. Greene, who died Tuesday in Afghanistan?

Greene is the first American general to lose his life in an overseas conflict since the Vietnam War.

Question 12 of 12

In a church basement in Sweden, erotic novelist Kicki Karlen was shocked to find 80 skeletons stuffed into what containers?

The remains had apparently been dug up, but never reinterred, when wheelchair ramps were added to the churchyard in 2009.

Click to revisit answers

August 8, 2014

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Forrest Wickman

Brow Beat blogger

New England




The Syrian civil war

The war in Gaza

The war in Eastern Ukraine

The "War on Whites"

Dirty War-era Argentina

Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia

Hutu Power-era Rwanda

Saddam Hussein-era Iraq

Listening to their keyboard clicks

Watching their Adam's apple

Filming their potato chip bags

Lifting fingerprints from their phone screens

An NBA coaching staff

U.S. Army Special Forces

The Vatican


Using human blood as tattoo ink

Fertilizing crops with ground-up antlers

Sharing clothes with rhesus monkeys

Eating fruit bats




South Sudan

A rugby ball

A lemon

A teardrop

Jared Leto

Barack Obama

John Brennan

Dick Cheney


Acres of Siberian land


Internet passwords

Counterfeit dollars

He took his own life

It was the 5,000th U.S. death in Afghanistan

He was a two-star general

His four brothers have also died in combat since 9/11

Gym lockers

Lemonade coolers

Grandfather clocks

Ikea bags


0 points


0 points

Forrest Wickman
Brow Beat blogger

0 points

Answer quickly to earn more points!
50 points



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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