Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 17, 2016

1)   Which US lunar phenomenon is slated to occur on 17th Sept 2016?

a. Harvest Moon
b. Blue Moon
c. Hunter’s Moon
d. Both a and c are the same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Harvest Moon

17th Sept marks the special occasion for those with their eyes to the sky. This year’s harvest moon, the last full moon before the 2016 autumnal equinox on Sept 22, is slated to appear.

  • Controversy has also erupted over whether this should be considered a supermoon

  • The term supermoon was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle

  • It is used to denote a moon which is within 90 percent of its closest orbit to the earth

  • Both full moons and new moons can be considered super, though full ones appear slightly bigger than usual

  • NASA astrophysicist Fred Espanek has considered supermoons on the basis of average from monthly projections of the moon’s orbit while Nolle’s is based on yearly means; so while this harvest moon is called a super moon by Espanek, it does not make it to Nolle’s list.

  • Harvest moon is not a scientific term; it basically came from some cultures in the Northern Hemisphere because it was seen as a prelude to fall and marked the end of the growing season
  • The first full moon after the autumn equinox is sometimes called hunter’s moon

  • The moon will hit full swing at 3:05 PM EDT and marks the closet full moon to the autumnal equinox or the start of the northern autumn

  • In Europe, Africa and Asia the moon will appear darker on account of a penumbral lunar eclipse beginning at 10:30 pm IST

  • A video by Science Mission Directorate with NASA explains how folklore gave different names for different full moons

  • For each full moon that comes once every month, there are 12 interesting names. These include snow moon, worm moon, strawberry moon and sprouting grass moon

  • September full moon for its name from farmers working into the night when many crops ripen and having only the light of the moon to guide them.

  • Throughout the year, the moon rises on an average about one hour late each day. When it is closest to the autumnal equinox (Sept 22 in northern hemisphere and March 20 in southern), as in the case of the harvest moon, the gap lessens to thirty minutes.

2)   Congress has just lost a state government in an NE state when 43 of 44 MLAs joined a rival party. Which state is it?

a. Manipur
b. Meghalaya
c. Mizoram
d. Arunachal Pradesh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Arunachal Pradesh

Around two months after SC restored it to power in the NE state, Congress on 16th Sept lost its government in Arunachal Pradesh when its entire Legislature Party barring former CM Nabam Tuki joined the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • PPA in turn will become the part of BJP led North East Democratic Alliance

  • As PPA is part of NEDA, deputy CM Chowna Mein said this was a chance to work for the larger interest and overall development of the state

  • Now the new CM of AP will be Pema Khandu. Besides Nabam Tuki has not joined the PPA

  • Congress has a strength of 44 in the 60 member while PPA has a strength of 43 because former CM Nabam Tuki refused to leave INC

  • On July 16, Khandu became CM after months of political turmoil that unseated Tuki who himself was reinstated as CM by the apex court two days before

  • Pul was forced to resign on July 13 following an SC judgement

  • On March 3, Pul along with 29 Congress MLAs joined PPA

3)   Twitter has introduced an emoji on which festival from September 4-16?

a. Ganesh Chathurthi
b. Holi
c. Diwali
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ganesh Chathurthi

To mark Ganesh Chathurthi, micro-blogging site Twitter introduced an emoji on Ganesh festival and it was an international success.

  • The first ever Ganesh festival emoji was launched on September 4

  • People activate it using hashtags like #Ganeshotsav, #HappyGaneshChathurthi and #Ganesh Chathurthi

  • The number of tweets using hashtag #Ganesh Chathurthi went to 480,000 from September 3-6

  • A spike occurred on Sept 6 with 600 tweets per minute

  • After the hashtag is used, a Lord Ganesha emoji is activated next to the hashtag; it will remain active till 16th Sept

  • The adorable emoji of the elephant headed God shows a red coloured Ganesha when you tweet using #HappyGaneshChaturthi, as well as #Ganesh, #GaneshChaturthi, #GanpattiBappaMorya and #Ganeshotsav in both Hindi and English.

  • Across the years, the social media platform has introduced specific emojis to mark major festivals and events, launching the first ever emoji for Diwali in the form of a Diya or traditional oil lamp.

  • Twitter also launched customised emojis for International Day of Yoga, Pro Kabbadi Leage and Independence as well as Republic Day.

  • The first ever made emoji was for Diwali. #HappyDiwali emoji received almost 1.8 million tweets.

  • During the festival, people shared videos and photos of favourite pandals, street processions, traditional clothes, foods and sweets

4)   What sea creature is known as the “living fossils” as they are among the earth’s oldest creatures?

a. Sea Horsea.
b. Horseshoe crab
c. Sea Anemone
d. Octopus
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Horseshoe crab

A vast number of horseshoe crabs have washed ashore dead in Southern Japan. They are among the earth’s oldest creatures, which is why they are called “living fossils”

  • Horseshoe crabs are known for blue blood.

  • They visit the tidal plats in SW japan where they lay eggs in summer.

  • This year, a local conservation group reported that the number of precious marine anthropoids were unusually high.

  • Amount of dead crabs was 8 times more than the usual during the fertile season, numbering 500.

  • Numerous academics pointed to oxygen shortage due to higher sea water temperature or parasitic disease associated with horseshoe crabs as a possible cause.

  • Japan’s environment ministry calls these helmet crabs endangered species which have declined sharply due to coastal habitat destruction in association with Japan’s economic development.

  • No concrete measures have been taken to prevent the fall in numbers so far.

  • Horseshoe crab called Kabutogani in Japanese means “warrior helmet carb” and it has survived for 200 million years.

  • Japan Horseshoe Crab Association was formed in 1978; it counted the dead crabs this summer.

  • The biology of the horseshoe crab is a mystery according to experts; not much is known about it.

5)   How many regions in Arctic comprise polar bears?

a. 18
b. 19
c. 20
d. 21
Answer  Explanation 


Polar bears are losing life sustaining sea ice critical for hunting, resting and breeding in 19 regions of the Arctic they inhabit, according to a study on 14th Sept

  • As climate change pushed up Arctic temperatures, ice started melting earlier in spring and refreezing in autumn, according to researchers

  • Satellite data showed that number of ice covered days across the 19 regions declined at the rate of 7-19 days per decade from 1979 to 2014.

  • Dependence on sea ice means climate warming is the single most important threat to polar bears.

  • Global population of polar bears is currently 25,000.

  • Their scientific name is Ursus maritimus.

  • Bears have been emblematic of ravages of global warming.

  • When the ice melts, the animals come ashore and survive on stored fat until it refreezes -- a period that for some has become longer and longer.

  • Scientists are saying Arctic is warming at double the global rate as a result of climate change fuelled by mankind’s use of fossil fuels that emit heat trapping GH gases.

  • Longer iceless periods mean polar bears have to swim further to find solid ground.

  • IUCN also said the creatures could see numbers dwindle by third by mid century; Polar bears on IUCN Red List are listed as vulnerable.

  • Bears need sea ice for hunting as they cannot out swim their prey- the self.

  • "Changes in sea ice have been shown to impact polar bear abundance, productivity, body condition, and distribution," said the study.

  • WWF also said that the retreating ice will increase confrontations with humans who live on land.

  • Arctic shipping industry has further fuelled global warming.

6)   Which country boasts the largest collection of pickled brains?

a. Belgium
b. Sweden
c. Iceland
d. Finland
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Belgium

A collection in the psychiatric hospital of Duffel in north Belgium contains 3000 preserved/pickled brains, the largest such to date.

British neuropathologist John Corsellis collected and conserved the brains over 40 years between 1951 and the middle of the nineties

  • The collection is now reached Duffel; it is the largest brain collection available.

  • One of the main advantages of conducting research on brains from this era is that they are not impacted by certain medications that did not exist in that time.

  • Illness in its purest form can now be investigated.

  • Corsellis collection was kept in bell jars and Tupperware tubs in a musty psychiatric hospital in southeastern England, a collection taken from the mentally ill, epileptics, people with Alzheimer's and even boxers.

  • The original Corsellis collection numbered around 8,500 but the Belgian doctors have mainly taken those that relate to depression and schizophrenia.

  • Each preserved brain comes with its own medical file till the death of the patient.

  • The brains could uncover new discoveries in biological psychiatry science.

  • Brains are generally the most well protected organ in the human body and therefore difficult to get to.

  • Research conducted on living patients is limited by technology, explains Morrens. MRI scans cannot identify, for example, what kind of proteins or enzymes are activated by illness.

7)   Which Apple iPhone does not have headphone jacks?

a. 4
b. 5
c. 6
d. 7
Answer  Explanation 


Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be going on sale in the first week of September in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, UK, US and Virgin Islands.

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus is already sold out; the flagship model has been out of stocks for days now

  • Bring more additions to the latest iPhone lineup, Apple ipHone 7 and 7 Plus have a design that is similar to iPhone 6.

  • But that is where the similarity ends; iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also have tweaked antenna line and redesigned camera module for better protection of sapphire lens.

  • Apple introduced two new colour variants- jet black and black.

  • Apple is also eliminating the 16GB base variant in favour of the 32GB base storage.

  • Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available in 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB storage models.

  • Apple is taking a leap forward in terms of mobile storage.

  • Apple iPhone 7 features the same 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 pixel display seen on iPhone 6.

  • But Apple says the displays are 25 per cent brighter than its predecessors and also support wide colour gamut for more much saturated colours like iPad Pro.

  • Apple iPhone 7 is powered by an A10 Fusion chipset, which is claimed to be 40 per cent faster than the A9 chip.

  • Technically, the A10 Fusion pairs four cores with two low power cores and two powerful cores. The low power cores kick in when the user is doing basic stuff like browsing, messaging, etc.

  • Apple iPhone 7 also features a new 12MP rear camera with wider f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus also features a 5.5-inch full HD display and is powered by the same A10 Fusion chipset.

  • Apple A10 Fusion has already been marked as the most powerful mobile processor, reveals new benchmark.

  • The iPhone 7 Plus also gets an updated dual 12MP rear camera with one wide angle lens and a telephoto lens.

  • With iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is promising 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

  • Apple has confirmed the India pricing of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus even before the device becomes available on October 7.

  • Apple iPhone 7 starts at Rs 60,000 for 32GB variant, Rs 70,000 for 128GB storage option and Rs 80,000 for the 128GB model.

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus has the same starting price of iPhone 6s Plus. Apple iPhone 7 Plus starts at Rs 72,000 and goes all the way up to Rs 92,000 for 256 GB version.

  • iPhone 7 is the first iPhone from Apple not to come with a headphone jack.

  • Instead, the iPhone 7 comes with an adapter that will allow users to plug in their wired headphones through the smartphone’s Lightning port.

  • Apple announced new AirPods at its press event last week, which are wireless headphones designed to connect to the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch.