2015 AAJA Trivia Bowl XX Questions and Answers

ROUND ONE: Current Events 

  1. What popular song has been ruled available in the public domain so anyone can sing it now without seeking a license?

“Happy Birthday to You” or “Happy Birthday”

  1.  Bomb blasts during a peace rally in Turkey’s capital city killed dozens last week. Name this city.


  1. Last month, a county clerk in Kentucky was sent to jail for contempt of court after refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. She cited her religious beliefs. What Kentucky county is Kim Davis the clerk for?

Rowan County

  1. Volkswagen named Matthias Müller its new CEO on Sept. 25. What brand of car did Müller preside over before taking control of the German auto giant?


  1. Scientists announced in Nature this week that a 125-million-year-old fossil of a mammal with intact hair structures and inner organs was found, more than 60 million years older that previous fossilized structures. Dubbed Spinolestes xenarthrosus, in what country was this fossil found?


  1. On Oct. 9, Governor Jerry Brown signed bill SB 27, which features the nation’s toughest limits on the overuse of what in livestock?


  1.  Last week, the governor also signed a landmark climate-change bill requiring the state to have half of its electricity generated by renewables by 2030. What iconic location did Brown sign this bill at?  

Griffith Observatory

  1.  A New York woman who sued her 8-year-old nephew for hugging her too exuberantly on his birthday lost her case on Tuesday. To collect insurance, her lawyer claimed her nephew’s action broke her wrist, which ruined her social life by making it “difficult to hold my… what?

hors d’oeuvres plate. Also accepted was “appetizers”

  1.  In a highly watched case, a former partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins sued on grounds of gender discrimination, but lost. Name her.

Ellen Pao

  1. Washington-state-based grocery store chain Haggen Inc. announced last month they would close more than 100 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, just months after the chain’s dramatic entrance into those states. What city is Haggen Inc. based in?


  1. In his remarks to the U.S. Congress last month, Pope Francis highlighted the work of four Americans — President Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr.,  a Trappist monk, and the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Name the monk, and name the social justice pioneer.

Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day

  1. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan jointly announced the name of the National Zoo’s latest panda cub on Sept. 25. What is it?

Bei Bei

  1. Last month, French investigators and the Prime Minister of Malaysia confirmed that, for the first time since its disappearance, wreckage from flight MH370 was found. Name the island on which the wreckage was found.

Réunion Island

  1. Who is The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s band leader and what is the name of his group?

Jon Batiste and Stay Human

  1. Last month, search engine giant Google changed its eponymous logo to a new sans-serif font. While the design of the letters has changed, their colors have stayed the same. In order, what color is the second G, the L and the E (i.e. last three letters)?

blue, green, and red


ROUND TWO: More current events

  1. This year marks the 10th anniversary of YouTube, and Swedish comedian and gamer Felix Kjellberg is now the channel’s biggest star, with 39 million subscribers to his channel. By what name is Kjellberg better known?


  1. This week, London Metropolitan Police, citing costs, stopped 24-hour watch on the embassy that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is said to be hiding out in as an asylum seeker. What country’s embassy is this?


  1. A cargo ship owned by TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico sunk off the Bahamas earlier this month during Hurricane Joaquin. Name this ship.

El Faro

  1. Doctors Without Borders said last week it wants an independent commission set up under the Geneva Conventions to investigate the attack that killed 12 medical staff and 10 patients at its northern Afghan hospital in what town?


  1. Australia’s quarantine control got upset with superstar couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard when they brought their two dogs into the country illegally this year. What are the names of Depp’s dogs?

Pistol and Boo

  1. Speaking of dogs, earlier this month, home surveillance video of a small French bulldog scaring off brown bears that had wandered into a yard in this Southern California town went viral. Name the town.


  1. Name the first two Asian nations to sign on, in 2006, to what is now the 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  

Brunei and Singapore

  1. A nonprofit and a UC Berkeley law center released their grades of Los Angeles metro stations last week. A Red Line station received the survey’s highest mark. Which station is it?

Westlake/Macarthur Park

  1.  In mid-August, Mayor Eric Garcetti held a media event at the Los Angeles Reservoir where millions of black “shade balls” were released to help with drought efforts. In what L.A. neighborhood is this reservoir located?


  1. In September, the Valley Fire erupted with fury, killing four civilians and destroying nearly 2,000 structures. The fire was in Napa and Sonoma counties, but did most of its damage in what third California county?

Lake County

  1. A pro-democracy working collective in Tunisia won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015. What is this group known as?

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The Quartet acceptable

  1. A Kerman, California high school used an actor’s movies as the theme for their homecoming on Oct. 9 and were treated to a surprise video message by the actor as a thank you for the honor. Who is the actor?

Tom Hanks

  1. In August, a series of explosions and subsequent fires in a Chinese city killed more than a hundred people, including responding firefighters. Name this port city.


  1. After spending billions of dollars, Royal Dutch Shell announced at the end of September that the energy company would not continue its exploration program for gas and oil in the Arctic Ocean. Name the sea in which Shell had been drilling in at what’s called the “Burger J” Well.

The Chukchi Sea

  1. So far this year, three women have graduated from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School, the combat leadership course of which was open to women earlier this year. At what U.S. Army base is the first phase of Ranger School located?

Fort Benning

  1. Hope you read the AAJA-LA website and/or your program tonight. The Japanese American National Museum hosted Trivia Bowl for its first time in what year?



ROUND THREE: Geography, history, science and literature

  1. According to the 2015 edition of the AP stylebook, thirty (30) U.S. cities stand alone in datelines. Of those, only two have neither an NFL or NBA franchise. Name them.

Las Vegas and Honolulu

  1. What fictional town in New York state was critical to the plot of Paper Towns, a 2008 novel by John Green, as well as the the 2015 film adaptation of the same name?


  1. The first new book in many years by the late Dr. Seuss was published this July. What is its title?

What Pet Should I Get?

  1. In September, Queen Elizabeth the Second became the longest reigning monarch of the British Commonwealth. Who was previously the longest reigning British monarch?

Queen Victoria

  1. El Niño is one phase of a global climate pattern abbreviated as ENSO or E-N-S-O. What does the S-O stand for?

Southern Oscillation

  1. In September, scientists from the University of Arizona wrote a paper titled “Multi-century evaluation of Sierra Nevada snowpack,” published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The authors said California’s drought was probably the worst in 500 years. What did they measure to determine that? Be specific.

Blue oak tree rings. Tree rings okay. Just “trees” not acceptable.

  1. A dog is the central character of The Call of the Wild, an early 20th century novel centered on the gold rush in Canada’s Yukon. What was the name of the dog?


  1. Forty nine states in the U.S. have two chambers in their legislature, a lower and upper house. Name the only state with a unicameral, or single-chamber, legislature.


  1.  What city in Santa Barbara County is largest by population?

Santa Maria (with 101,000. Santa Barbara nearly 90,000)

  1. In the book and film adaptation of The Martian by Andy Weir, astronaut Mark Watney, stranded on Mars and presumed dead, uses  *what* to establish initial contact with Earth? Be specific.

Pathfinder.  “Mars probe or Mars rover” not acceptable

  1. On this day in 1853, a war began, the first covered extensively by newspaper reporters and photographers. Name it.

The Crimean War

  1. What is the name of the NASA space probe that reached, and very quickly streaked, beyond Pluto and its moons earlier this year?

New Horizons

  1. Ta-Nehisi Coates, staff writer for The Atlantic, has received many accolades this year for his book Between the World and Me, a letter to his teenage son. What is his son’s first name?


  1. On September 3, President Otto Pérez Molina resigned from office following corruption charges and was later arrested. Molina was president of which country?


  1. Of all the states in the U.S., Oregon is the only one with a state flag that has two different designs on each side. The state seal is on the front. What animal is represented on the reverse side?

A beaver


ROUND FOUR: Pop culture, arts & entertainment

  1. Inside Out is an animated film that explores the inner workings of a teen girl’s brain. What are the five emotions brought to life as characters in the movie?

Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger

  1. 2. Knock Knock Knock, Penny… The sitcom Big Bang Theory has a long-running gag of Sheldon’s particular obsessive-compulsive knock on Penny’s apartment door. What is Penny’s apartment number?


  1. In the 1983 hit movie Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, the pair make a monetary windfall while financially ruining their former employers, Duke & Duke, by shorting the future of what commodity?

Oranges. Orange Juice okay. Just “juice” is not acceptable

  1. So Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have gone their separate ways. At the start of the new Muppets TV series, Kermit took an interest in another porcine paramour. What’s her new girlfriend’s name?


  1. The megahit public radio mini-series podcast Serial reexamined the case of the 1999 murder of a 19-year-old woman. What was her full name?

Hae Min Lee

  1. One of the most talked about works on display at the recently opened Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles is titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.” Who is the artist who created this work?

Yayoi Kusama

  1. The film Pitch Perfect 2 centered on the Barden Bellas, a university a cappella team and their continuing adventures. A central plot point of this sequel is the World A Cappella Championships. In what country does this competition take place?


  1. Taylor Swift’s music video for her megahit “Bad Blood” was an homage to blockbuster action movies. The video featured a long list of A-list co-stars, including Selena Gomez as “Arsyn,” Jessica Alba as “Domino,” and Hailee Steinfeld as “The Trinity.” What is Swift’s name in this video?


  1. The film The Sound of Music, based on a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. In order from youngest to oldest, what are the first names of the four youngest Von Trapp children in the film.

Gretl, Marta, Brigitta and Kurt

    10. “Sábado Gigante,” the weekly Spanish-language variety show hosted by Don Francisco, ended a 53-year run                  last month. What country did this program start out in?


     11. Move over, R2D2. Make way, C-3PO. A new droid will feature in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one that                    looks like a robot on a ball. What is the name of the new droid?


  1.  In June, Misty Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the 75-year history of what dance company?

American Ballet Theatre

  1. Next year, season 15 will be the last for American Idol, first won by Kelly Clarkson in 2002. Who won this year’s title?

Nick Fradiani

  1. Name the actor who will play Doctor Strange in a film based on the Marvel comic character next year.

Benedict Cumberbatch

  1. After a music writer focused his concert review this month on what singer Bethany Consentino was wearing rather than performing, she took to Instagram to write, “Sexism is alive and well people!!!!! If you aren’t happy with my show that’s perfectly fine, but leave my looks + outfit out of it.” What Los Angeles band is Cosentino the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for?

Best Coast



ROUND FIVE: Sports and Californiana

  1. At the 2015 Track and Field World Championships in Beijing, this sprinter again won titles in the 100 and 200 meter sprints, and as part of the Jamaican 4-by-100 meter sprint relay squad. Name him.

Usain Bolt

  1. The Los Angeles Lakers have retired nine players’ numbers. Name the player with the lowest retired L.A. Laker number, provide that number, then name the college he attended.

Wilt Chamberlain, 13, Kansas

  1. Who is the Anaheim Ducks franchise leader in goals and assists?

Teemu Selanne

  1. US Women’s National Team player Carli Lloyd’s first-half hat trick stunned Japan’s side in the Women’s World Cup Final, held in British Columbia earlier this year. Two other players scored goals for the U.S. Name ONE of them.

Lauren Holiday or Tobin Heath

  1. According to company history, this mid-20th century inventor originally wanted to call his company the “Paramount Engineering Company” to honor the L.A. County city in which his fledgling company was founded. But as the Paramount name was taken, he used his last name instead. What is the name of this still-in-existence company?


   *6.  South San Francisco’s “Sign Hill” displays the name of the city in big bold white letters. What three-letter phrase is below it?

The Industrial City *This question was not used in the scoring because of the confusing way the question was phrased.

  1. The drunk-driving arrest of a 21-year-old man in August 1965 touched off the Watts riots. Name him.

Marquette Frye. Will accept Marquette Price as Frye later changed his name.

  1. At Los Angeles International Airport, in the order you would drive past them, what domestic airlines are the major tenants of terminals 1, 4, 5, and 7?

Southwest, American, Delta, then United

  1. Boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who worked with Manny Pacquiao leading up to his fight with Floyd Mayweather, owns and operates this world-famous gym in Hollywood. Name it.

Wild Card Gym or Wild Card Boxing Club, or just Wild Card

  1. Jason Day is the current World No. 1 in golf, but he has to follow the rules like everyone else. According to official PGA golf rules, what is the maximum number of clubs a golfer can carry in a golf bag?


  1. Three weeks into the NFL season and the Miami Dolphins have already sacked head coach Joe Philbin. Who did the Fins name their interim coach?

Dan Campbell

  1. MMA champion Ronda Rousey became the first U.S. woman to win a medal in Olympic judo when she got a bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008. In which year did women’s judo make its Olympic debut?


  1. Serena Williams completed her second “Serena Slam” this year, holding all four major tennis titles at once by defeating Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza in the Wimbledon finals. Name the two former World No. 1 players she beat in this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals and semifinals.

Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova

  1. The northbound 5 freeway crosses from Orange County city Buena Park into a Los Angeles County city, right where Knott Street and Firestone and Artesia boulevards meet. Name this L.A. County City.

La Mirada

  1.  In the 1985 hit “We Built This City” by San Francisco band Starship, a DJ says, “Here’s your favorite station, in your favorite radio city, the city by the blank, the city that blanks, the city that never blanks.” Fill in the blanks.

bay, rocks, sleeps



Grasshopper Cup Tiebreaker

  1. The animated series Peppa Pig details the anthropomorphic family of Peppa, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and Peppa’s little brother. What is her brother’s first name?





Asian American Journalists Association. Los Angeles Chapter. Established 1981.