Rules (For the most part copied from other TDs, but please pay attention to anything unique to this TD
1. All knowledge must come from your own brain. No research.
2. The purpose of the game is to give a correct answer that is given by as few of the other players as possible. Low score wins.
3. Incorrect answers will score the sheep +5.
4. Because some of these questions may skew on the difficult side, you are allowed to drop as many questions as you want, but there is a penalty for doing so. In honor of the great Italian mathematician Fibonacci, your first drop will cost you 2 points, and each successive drop will cost you the number of points equal to the next number in the Fibonacci sequence (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21....)
5. Some questions have bonuses, each of which can subtract one point from your score. Nested bonuses require that you answer the main question correctly, while regular bonuses do not.
6. Ties will be broken by number of correct answers to main question, then number of singletons, then number of doubletons, then by order of entry.
7. Please PM your answers to me. Do not post them in this thread.
8. You have until Monday, December 8, at 12:00 noon EST to enter.
To the questions!
1. Although the Italian peninsula has been inhabited for millenia, the rise of the city of Rome from a small village to the seat of the Roman Empire is often where study of Italian history begins. As is common with many ancient events, the story of Rome's founding combines legend with fact. Written below is the legend of Rome's founding and early years, with selected words missing. Name a word that completes one of the blank spots in this story.
3. The university of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the world's oldest continuously operating university. While we don't have anything quite as old here in North America, we do have a total of 13 currently operating institutions of higher learning that were founded before the American Revolution, nine American, three Mexican, and one Canadian. Name one of these 13 colleges or universities.
4. Dante Alighieri, born in 1275 and author of Divine Comedy, is often thought of as the father of the modern Italian language. Today, Italian is spoken by about 85 million people world-wide and has lent many words to the English language. Name any English word with an origin in the Italian language, according to Merriam-Webster.
Note: Similar English and Italian words that both share a common root in Latin, Greek, French, or any other language do not count. Only words that Merriam-Webster cites as having come to English via Italian will count.
Note 2: All nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs based on the same word will count as one answer. For example, Washington, Washingtons, Washingtonian, Washingtoned, Washingtonize, etc. would all count as one answer. However, words with different meanings but based on the same root will be counted separately
5. Rome, and more specifically Vatican City, has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Church since 1377. With more than 1.2 billion adherents, the religion has spread from Rome to every corner of the globe. Coinciding with the spread of the religion is the construction of churches, cathedrals, and basilicas, which often include intricate architectural designs and religious relics that make these buildings tourist destinations in addition to houses of worship. Pictured below are some of the world's most famous Catholic churches. Identify the city that one of these churches is located in. Please include the letter in your response.
Hint: Half of the pictured churches are in Italy, while the other half are not.
7. William Shakespeare set a number of his plays in what is today Italy, despite there being no evidence that he ever actually visited the country. Two of these works are The Taming of the Shrew and Romeo Juliet. Name one of the 18 characters from either one of these plays that has more than 100 lines, according to shakespeareswords.com.
Hint: Bianca, with 69 lines in the The Taming of the Shrew, and Prince, with 75 lines in Romeo Juliet are the first in each play to miss the cutoff.
Nested Bonus: Name the actor/actress that plays your chosen character (or equivalent role) in 1996's Romeo + Juliet or 1999's Ten Things I Hate About You. Since Ten Things I Hate About You is not a direct adaptation, some of these roles do not exist in the film, which is an acceptable answer for the bonus. Additionally, some other roles have been functionally combined, in which case the actor/actress will be considered correct for all possible combined roles.
8. Italy is well known for its passion for the game of soccer, or calcio, as it is known in Italian. This has manifested itself in one of the world's best soccer leagues, Serie A, which has been the top level of Italian soccer since 1929. Like other European leagues, Serie A uses a relegation and promotion system where the bottom three teams at the end of the season are relegated to Serie B for the following season, and the top three teams from Serie B are promoted to Serie A. As a result, the league lineup is different each year. Name one of the 20 teams that is in Serie A for the 2014-15 season.
Bonus: Name one of the three teams that were relegated after the 2013-14 season.
9. Since the end of World War II and the formation of the Italian Republic in 1946, Italy has had 20 regions, which are first-level administrative divisions equivalent to states in the U.S. or provinces in Canada. Name one of Italy's 20 regions. You can give me the name in either English or Italian, but the answers will be grouped together for each region, regardless of language.
Nested Bonus: Name the capital of your region.
10. Since 1947, when the Academy Awards first began recognizing foreign films, Italy has won more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than any other country, with 14 victories (including 3 between 1947 and 1955 when the Award was honorary and only given to one film with no other nominees). Name one of these 14 films.
Nested Bonus: Name the director of your film.
11. Italians have also been successful at winning Nobel prizes, as with 20 Nobel laureates, including at least one in every category, Italy has the 10th most of any country. Name one of these 20 Italian Nobel laureates.
Note: Included in this list of 20 are four laureates where Italy is merely noted as their birthplace, but who were living or working elsewhere at the time they were honored, and one laureate who was born in elsewhere but was living and working in Italy at the time of his/her award.
Hint: The years and subject of the 20 laureates are listed below.
Physiology or Medicine - 1906, 1957, 1969, 1975, 1986, 2007
Literature - 1906, 1926, 1934, 1959, 1975, 1997
Peace - 1907
Physics - 1909, 1938, 1959, 1984, 2002
Chemistry - 1963
Economics - 1985
12. The Italian flag, il Tricolore, was first adopted in 1948 and is but one of many tricolor flags currently used by nations around the world. Name one of the 13 UN member countries that have a national flag consisting of three equal vertical stripes in three colors. These 13 flags include ones that both have a symbol or seal in the middle stripe and those that do not.
13. One of Italy's biggest punching bags over the last 20 years has been former Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi, who served three separate terms between 1994 and 2011 and was often in the news for all the wrong reasons, including sexual misconduct, solicitation of minors, ethics violations, corruption charges, Mafia connections, and frequent generally insensitive remarks, among others. He ultimately resigned as prime minister under pressure in 2011, and in 2013 he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to a four-year prison term (which of course was reduced to one year of community service). But as anyone who watches the news knows, the U.S. has its fair share of corrupt politicians too. Name a U.S. Congressperson, U.S. Senator, or U.S. governor who has resigned from office due to scandal since the seating of the 107th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2001.
Note: Although "scandal" is somewhat subjective, most resignations have a clear cause, and for the purposes of this question I am looking for politicians that had a drug/alcohol/sex/corruption/ethics scandal that led to his or her resignation. Anyone that died in office, was voted out of office, impeached, recalled, or whose term expired, even if in the midst of a scandal, do not count for the purposes of this question. Likewise, those who resigned to take a new job elsewhere, either inside or outside of government, or who resigned for "personal reasons" without an accompanying scandal do not count. I think most cases should be fairly cut and dry, and I will be fairly lenient in judgment of what counts as scandal, but I reserve the right to make all final calls here.
Nested bonus: Name the person who succeeded your answer in office.
14. As a long, fairly narrow peninsula, most points within Italy are not very far from the Mediterranean Sea, which plays an important role in Italian culture. The Mediterranean itself though, can be subdivided into many smaller seas. In fact, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has designated seven smaller seas within the Mediterranean. Additionally, there are at least another nine seas that are not recognized by IHO treaties, but have been commonly referred to in ancient and/or modern times. Because I don't expect you to know the difference between IHO Seas and non-IHO seas, name any one of these 16 constituent seas of the Mediterranean Sea, which is defined as stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the Dardanelles in the east, exclusive.
Note: It is possible that there are more than 16, and if you name something that I don't have listed, I will do due diligence to check if this is another non-official, but known sea in this area.
15. I would argue that one of Italy's greatest contributions to the modern world is its cuisine, which is perhaps best encapsulated by pasta, of which there are many varieties. Pictured below are 12 different types of pasta. Identify the Italian name (ie, the name ends in a vowel) for one of these pastas. Please include the letter in your response.
Note: Many pastas look alike and are differentiated only by their size or thickness. I have tried to exclude any pastas like this, as it would be difficult to distinguish them in a photo without scale. You should have all the information you need to definitively identify each pasta.