What Is It? #14


Last week, we asked you what this picture was:

Most of you decided to make jokes about the severed heads, which is fair enough! Jo suggested it was an early ventriloquist double act, while Michael Gray offered the notion of a lost property auction. Jon D suggested the man on the left was showing off his homeopathic Roman legion. We’ve always room on here for a homeopathy joke.

Don’t worry though, someone did get the right answer. Paul Smout got in there early on with the second comment. It is, of course, the founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus.

The image shows the brothers marching triumphantly from Alba Longa. Romulus, on the left, bears aloft the head of his treacherous uncle Amulus, while Remus carries the head of the wild priest Camers, who counselled the King to drown the twins. The illustration itself comes from “The Lays of Ancient Rome”, 1881.

So there.

That one was got rather quickly, so let’s see if we can fox you all for a little bit longer with this week’s image. No severed heads in this one. You know the rules by now (there’s only one). See if you can tell us what this is a picture of:

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  1. #1 by Alex on June 7, 2010 - 10:19

    cowpea mosaic virus

  2. #2 by Sean Ellis on June 8, 2010 - 11:48

    Is it the business end of a bacterial flagellar motor?

  3. #3 by Johan Strandberg on June 9, 2010 - 18:36

    The search engine TinEye.com was able to find it in 0.011 seconds (they claim). The link where you found the original image is probably http://io9.com/349467/a-3+d-look-inside-a-virus. Here is a link to tineye’s search result:
    http://bit.ly/aMS6OG

    In the future you should probably make sure it it requires more than a visual search to find the answer. (Yep. It gets harder and harder to come up with trivia you can’t just google.)

  4. #4 by Johan Strandberg on June 9, 2010 - 18:42

    BTW, Tineye found the “R&R” pic in less than a second at http://bit.ly/bw14my [istockphoto.com], complete with text describing them as founders of Rome. Clearly you need to make these contests a bit harder 🙂

    PS No, I’m not affiliated with tineye in any way what so ever. I just find them useful.

  5. #5 by Paul Smout on June 11, 2010 - 12:32

    @Johan: Some of us have a biological search engine that recognised the Romulus and Remus image faster than a computer ever could. 😛

    It’s a limited search engine I’ll grant you, but on subjects that it knows its unbeatable (although the file and retrieve system can go a bit haywire in older models) 🙂

  6. #6 by Jo on June 11, 2010 - 22:04

    Surely that’s just cheating? It’s meant to be a light-hearted competition!

    It’s a bit like doing a crossword but first obtaining the solution, so you can simply fill the answers in.

    Where’s the fun in that? 😀

  7. #7 by Michael on June 13, 2010 - 19:59

    Johan Strandberg :
    BTW, Tineye found the “R&R” pic in less than a second at http://bit.ly/bw14my [istockphoto.com], complete with text describing them as founders of Rome. Clearly you need to make these contests a bit harder
    PS No, I’m not affiliated with tineye in any way what so ever. I just find them useful.

    Are you not cheating a bit johan? The idea is to use your knowledge and NOT to Google. Otherwise it will images I have taken myself, and you wouldn’t want that Trust Me!

  8. #8 by Michael on June 13, 2010 - 20:03

    Well said, Paul and Jo. The idea is to use your own knowledge. If you just use Google, then ‘what is the point? I will post images that I have taken using my ‘naughty cam’ and you would not like them.

  9. #9 by Michael on June 13, 2010 - 20:05

    Oh. Johan by the way I scanned the image out of a BOOK. All the images I post come from scanned images of PAPER BASED MEDIA (apart from two which were of low quality so I searched for them)

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