What is Qwikipedia?

Ever been on Wikipedia to look up an article? More often than not, we start with one topic, click a few links and within no time are reading about something else.

Qwikipedia is a game that tries to quench this curiosity in us. The objective is to get to a particular wiki page, starting from a specific article, using minimal clicks. There is no single correct answer, so we might surprise ourselves by finding new routes each time!

Saturday’s Surfer

Polio —> Kalpana Chawla


Poliomyelitis is a viral disease caused by the poliovirus which is a human enterovirus. The name poliomyelitis refers to inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal chord. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In some cases, if the virus enters the central nervous system and affects motor neurons, acute flaccid paralysis may occur. Depending upon the nerves that are affected paralysis may occur. The most common among these is spinal polio which affects one of the legs. Transmission of the disease is through the fecal-oral or oral-oral route. The infection is contracted by consuming contaminated food or water. As a precaution against infection, public swimming pools were often closed during polio epidemics.

Swimming pools

Swimming pools offer cool respite from the heat in summer but they also have some very exotic uses. Anyone who has seen synchronised swimming and water polo will know that. There are a wide variety of water sports that can be played in a swimming pool. These include underwater hockey, underwater rugby, fin-swimming and sport diving. Even astronauts undergo training in swimming pools because they can experience a loss of weight within a pool like they would experience on, say, the moon. There are different types of pool like ocean pools, infinity pools, spa pools etc.


An astronaut is a person who is trained to command a spacecraft or serve as a crew member of one. The first human in space was soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin (1961). The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova (1963). The second person in space was Alan Sheppard, a first for America. Indians also sent up their people. Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to fly in space when he went aboard Soyuz T-11 in 1984. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-born woman to fly to space, in 1997, when she rode in Space Shuttle Columbia. The longest stay in space has been that of Valeri Polyakov, another Russian. He stayed in space for 438 days. The farthest distance an astronaut has travelled is 401, 056 km, when Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise went around the moon.

Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, India in 1961. Starting from schooling at Karnal, she went on to do her masters and PhD in the U.S. She joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1995 and her first space mission commenced on November 19, 1997. She was part of a six-member astronaut crew that flew in Space Shuttle Columbia. In this mission she logged more than 372 hours in space and went on 252 orbits around the Earth. In 2003 she went on her second mission into space aboard the Columbia, Mission STS-107. But it proved to be ill-fated. On February 1, 2003, during its re-entry into Earth, the Space Shuttle disintegrated and all seven crew members lost their lives.

So the path that we have traversed today is:

Poliomyelitis —> Swimming pools —> Astronaut —> Kalpana Chawla

Three clicks!

Hop over. Its time for the next question:

Monday’s Marauder

Charlie Chaplin —> Diesel fuel

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