What? Where? Why?

In a black box there is a white object. Degrees of its freedom are limited to a configuration of capital L in Latin alphabet.

Question: What object is hidden in the black box?
Right. It’s a chess piece — a White Knight.

This question (and  the answer) came from a Russian TV game WHAT? WHERE? WHY? going on since 1975. The team of “experts” is pitted against a team of TV viewers from all over the country. The experts try to answer pre-selected questions from viewers. The questions are mostly of “lightly intellectual” type, just like the one above. Or the three below.


osman hamdi bei

Osman Hamdi Bey. Tortoise Trainer

This 1906 painting by Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey“The Tortoise Trainer” features a male figure, dressed in oriental attire, watching the tortoises eat lettuce on the floor.

Why is the picture called The Tortoise Trainer?

Stop. Do you know the answer?

Here it is: The tortoises were trained to move non-stop and walk in a single-file line. What for? When trained to move and walk properly, they’ll be carrying candles on their backs, which were to illuminate the grounds at the sultan’s palaces, Dolmabahçe Saray and Topkapi Saray.


This is a painting by Turkish painter Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu with part of it obliterated by a question mark.

What is concealed behind a question mark? What this painting is about?

See the answer at the end of this post.


Francois_Rabelais_PortraiFrançois Rabelais (1483 – 1553), a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, humanist, monk and Greek scholar, traveled from Rome to Paris, staying for a night in one of Lion’s hotel. In the morning, he made three small packages and filled each one with white  substance.


He labeled packages Poison pur le Roi  (Poison for the King), Poison pur la Reina (Poison for the Queen) and Poison pur le Daufin (Poison for the Heir), and made absolutely sure the packages are open for every idle eye to notice and observe.

Why he had done it? What was the purpose of it?

Answer: By the time Rabelais reached Lions he catastrophically run out of money.The snooping hotel owners saw the packages and immediately reported him to the authorities. Rabelais was arrested and delivered to Paris in a police carriage, free of charge. Rabelais was released from custody immediately after he ate the content of the packages, which was, innocently enough, sugar.vignette
The answer to the picture with a question mark.  This how the entire painting by Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu looks like.

Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu

The idea of the work, obviously, is devotion and self-sacrifice of one for the sake of another: If the dove, sitting on top of the cage, flies away, its caged comrade’would fall into the water and drown.



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