This week's Brain Game: Vote now!

This week's Brain Game: Vote now!


Brain Game Prize Dec 2012_L
Photo: Fujifilm
Every Thursday we ask our Brain Game contestants one interesting, thought-provoking or just plain quirky question. Then Young Post readers can choose to eliminate one until we have a winner. The ultimate Brain Game winner will receive a Fujifilm Instax mini 50S instant camera and three packs of Fujifilm instant film worth HK$2,280.

Who do you want to ELIMINATE? Vote below.

This round we asked: If you could select one person from history and ask them a question to which they must give a truthful reply, who would that be and what would you ask?

Lexie Lee Hoi-ching, 16, Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

A man does his best to win the marathon, only to find he has taken a much longer route. Absurd and a bit goofy, isn't it? Yet, believe it or not, something like this actually happened - during a war between Russia and Japan.

In 1905, Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky sent out Russia's Baltic fleet to counter a threat posed by Japan. He had three times as many warships as the Japanese so everyone reckoned the victory was in Rozhestvensky's hands. But here is where things got ridiculous.

As we all know, Russia is located to the northeast of Japan. Suppose you were in the 1900s: the shortest route for you to travel from Russia to Japan was to steam through the East Sea. But not for Rozhestvensky. He took a detour. Setting off from the Baltic Sea, his fleet sailed across the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea to get to Japan - at last. Worst still, on the way, the admiral took the fleet around the Cape of Good Hope, which was well-known for its perilous and unpredictable swells.

After sailing halfway around the world for half a year, the fleet lost several battleships without even catching sight of the Japanese. The battle was a disaster too. Of Russia's 45 battleships, three survived.

My question to the admiral would be this: What was it that sent you steaming across half of the world just to get your fleet destroyed and your soldiers captured?

Vanessa Sin, 15, St Paul's Convent School

Adolf Hitler. The very name itself hatred and fear in equal measure.

The German dictator used his charisma, oratorical skills and Nazi propaganda to whip his country into a frenzy. About 50 million people perished in the global war that he unleashed. Hitler also became known in history as one of the worst perpetrators of genocide.

If he came back to life and I got my hands on this cruel maniac, I would want to knock some sense into him. I would also ask him: Was it worth sacrificing tens of millions of lives for your crazy ideas of German superiority and war against "inferior races"?

No sane man with even the slightest shred of humanity would say "yes". But if he could still look me into the eyes and agree that it was worth it, I'd have nothing to say.

This madman was always beyond any chance of redemption.

Michelle Fasching, 15, Maryknoll Convent School

Marie Antoinette, a queen of France, was seen as self-absorbed and shallow by the peasants of her time. She reportedly quipped about poor people suffering from hunger while members of the royal court dined lavishly, "Let them eat cake!". Likely, however, she never said that.

I've always felt sympathy for her. In the end, she died a horrifying, early death, after all. She was sent to the guillotine aged 37 during the French Revolution.

Yet historians agree that she was not all that bad. Marie Antoinette was a fairly independent woman and did play her own part in political matters. She had a part in paving the way for powerful modern women.

I would ask her about how she dealt with all the spiteful gossip and slander during her life. In 18th century France, sexism prevailed. People were very judgmental and close-minded. Many French people hated the Austrian-born queen.

Imagine being exposed to so much malice by the public and blamed for all the country's ills.

We see modern-day celebrities breaking down because of all the negative press. You can only imagine how Marie Antoinette felt.


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