Jamie's Blog

Jamie's Blog

About the blog

This blog is for anyone who wants to improve their general knowledge in record time.

Quiz time!

September 2010Posted by Jamie Miller Sun, September 19, 2010 12:49:18

Here is a quiz for all my blog readers! The answers will be in the comment box below but have a go first before checking!

Post your scores below - and be honest! smiley

1. In Greek mythology, the winged-horse Pegasus was the offspring of which of the Gods?

2. Which Egyptian pharaoh is credited with ordering construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza?

3. Which French astronomer gave his name to the 4,800km gap between Saturn's A and B rings?

4. What was the 2009 winner of the Man Booker prize?

5. How many US presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize?

6. Who is the current manager of Liverpool FC?

7. Which Canadian-born singer who has had chart success with songs such as 'One Time' and 'Baby' was discovered on Youtube?

8. In the 2009 blockbuster 'Avatar' by James Cameron, what is the name of the indigenous species that live on the planet, Pandora?

9. John James Audubon was famous for his paintings of which type of animal?

10. What is the highest waterfall in the US?

The importance of being credible!

September 2010Posted by Jamie Miller Fri, September 17, 2010 22:05:50

I hear from a lot of non-quiz enthusiasts who want to enhance their general knowledge for social and conversational settings.

My most important tip for anyone like this is: MAINTAIN CREDIBILITY.

If you want to be respected for being a knowledgeable so-and-so among your friends, don't ever express a trivia fact you don't know to be 100% correct! smiley

An important skill of any quiz-player is the ability to 'guess' the correct answer. Not in a mindless, non-thinking sense, of course. But in a educated, considered manner, using pre-existing knowledge to churn up the correct answer.

In the context of a pub or other type of quiz, this kind of guessing is totally acceptable.

In a social setting, it can end up demeaning your clever-kudos!

Afterall, no-one likes a know-it-all... especially a wrong know-it-all!

Historical timelines!

September 2010Posted by Jamie Miller Fri, September 10, 2010 13:52:19
One of the most effective ways of improving your quizzing capabilities QUICKLY is adding to your historical timelines.


The more you have a sense of the order in which historical periods, civilisations and events occured, the greater your ability to work out the correct answer to a number of quiz questions.

If your historical knowledge is really scarce, there are certain key dates that you can learn really easily and remember right now.

As I Twittered a while back, some important dates can be remembered simply by remembering the number '6': 1066 (The Battle of Hastings), 1666 (The Great Fire of London), 1966 (England wins the World Cup).

The date of the French Revolution (1789) is easy to recall because once you know it occured in the 1700s, the rest of the numbers in that date merely count upwards: 8, 9... 1789!

For those with more advanced historical knowledge, it is possible to get even more specific. For example, learning the order of Egyptian pharaohs, Chinese dynasties, etc.

To illustrate how some knowledge of historical timelines can be so helpful in allowing you to work out the correct answer, let me use an example. Let us suppose you come across the following quiz question (history buffs, forgive me if you find this question too easy!)

Q: Who defeated Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium in 31BC?
A) Julius Caesar
B) Octavian
C) Pompey
D) Pontius Pilate
E) Scipio

As the question refers to 'BC', and Pontius Pilate was active during Jesus' lifetime, you can make a reasonable guess that it was not him. As Scipio was fighting in the Punic Wars (which occured from 264BC to 146BC), you can safely rule him out. As Caesar was killed in 44BC, you can rule him out. And since Caesar outlived his long-term rival Pompey, you can rule out Pompey. As a result, you are only left with the correct answer: Octavian!