Saturday, 19 June 2010

The First Question - 1 Jun 2010

This week's panel

Selkit Diller, Josephine Junot, Metro Troglodite, Aeonix Aeon


I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.
-Og Mandino

There is no way to penetrate the surface of life but by attacking it earnestly at a particular point.
Charles Horton Cooley

Word-UP of the week –
“Keybagging” - Above and beyond mere typos, keybagging is to type incoherently with such bad grammar and spelling as to have implied typing via repeatedly squatting over the keyboard.
-Aeonix Aeon

Audience Quote of the week-
One nuclear weapon can ruin your whole day, but if it's on a friday or monday, THREE DAY WEEKEND! ROCK!
-Crap Mariner


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) WE have an algorithm for sarcasm, but that won’t tell you when someone is about to attack, only when someone is about to be snide. And you can’t really roll your eyes at someone and cause them instant death. Sarcasm is not yet a deadly weapon. Besides no one who works for a government agency is capable of sarcasm. So DARPA has a new program intended to dynamically forecast when deadly moles are deep within government departments will likely strike. Part of the challenge is detecting deceptive behavior that will lead to malicious intent. What is the name of this new DARPA Program to detect threat?

2) Its bad out there in the Louisiana gulf and there are many people working very hard to contain this spill - so are some microbes - over the past few years, researchers have found that dozens of different kinds of marine bacteria have a healthy appetite for oil. Water samples from the Gulf of Mexico are showing signs those populations of Vibrios bacteria in this area are likely to boom as they feast on the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The bacterial process will be helped if this is added to the water - as then the oil-eaters will have the nitrogen and phosphate they need to grow. What is it?

3) It's only when we measure the position of an electron that we force it to have a specific location. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Because according to this University you might also be standing up in Cincinnati. The strange discovery by quantum physicists means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe –The experiment involving a "paddle" about the width of a human hair. And a vacuum, a vibration and a scientist - it moved and stood still at the same time. The multi-verse theory says the entire universe "freezes" during observation, and we see only one reality. We might be able to warp to parallel universes just by manipulating a few electrons. In which of these United States of Quantum mechanics is the alternate universe being debated?

4) There is an artificial heart, which can pump up to 9 and a half liters of blood, was powered by a 400-pound machine they call "Big Blue" because of its girth and color. The sheer size of that machine required hospitalization. In March,, the FDA granted conditional approval for a 13-pound version of the machine that does the same job —This compact version allows those with an artificial heart to go home is called what?

5) We now have artificial life derived from a computer, and we now have A British scientist who claims to be the first person infected with a computer virus. This man implanted himself with an RFID tag similar to the type used to identify animals, and then infected the tag with a computer virus. "So when we are implanting this type of device we are implanting a miniature computer... And will this computer virus slow down his metabolism and broadcast to neighbors the danger in viewing him without trousers on? Who is the man with the funky RFID tag?

6) We have prim butterflies scripted to gambol over our virtual hedge groves of flowers, and they are lovely, at least mine are – but what about in your very real garden? A robotic butterfly created by researchers in this country tests the idea that the flight of the swallowtail butterfly can be recreated. During the flights, the artificial butterfly followed an undulating flight trajectory like an actual swallowtail. In 1980 Roger Zalazny wrote about a mechanized park. In what country did we take a collective step towards this?

7) Outfitted with sophisticated sensors able to measure the brain-waves of the wearer: it can determine the fatigue level of that person and report on it to supervisory personnel, or your mother who will give you your blue blankie and tell you to go take a nap.. Invented by Australian mining engineer Dr. Daniel Bongers, this baseball cap can figure you out right through your hair. Trailed on Miners, it correlated data to real-time EEG and fatigue information Now you don’t need to yawn to signal you are tired, you need to wear this –what is it?.

8) Although Lindsay Lohan wrote Orwell on hers, one wonders if she has read any of his works. It doesn’t matter; this can read her perspiration like a book, monitoring it for alcohol. As alcohol is rapidly distributed throughout the body by the process of diffusion this reads it. And then transmits the data- even viewed graphically on a handy internet site provided by the manufacturer. What is Lindsay wearing these days that only comes in Speculum grey?

9) Beer, and its cousin, bread, were fundamental to the development of civilization. The basic machinery for grinding grain may have even contributed to the evolution of the wheel. Beer is the third most popular drink of all of the planet’s people, taking into account all cultures and geographies. Most of the world’s beer has between 4% and 6% Alcohol By Volume (ABV),.An escalation in the use of a relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage move into the 40+% ABV realm creating a new category of extreme beer. Men are competitive let’s face it and now the race is on to craft the world’s strongest beer, and break 50% alcohol by volume. The freezing point of alcohol is lower than the freezing point of water, so by lowering the temperature of the beer to between the two freezing points, it’s possible to remove the ice and hence remove the water, distilling or enriching the alcoholic content and the flavor of what remains. What is this method of beer production called?

10) Space Age just doesn’t cut it without weightlessness – of course if you drink enough beer weightlessness might become a preferable state – but if you Ever wanted to levitate a can or bottle inside an illuminated ring, now you can. To get your object levitation-ready just attach the included magnet to the top, plug in the base and place it within the glowing ring. You can probably suspend anything within 11 inch diameter and under 300g. The manufacturer only specifically mentions cans and bottles as levitation-worthy, but if you could find a way to attach the magnet to your Chihuahua you could probably levitate that too. Who manufactures this very interesting display for your nuclear beer cans?

11) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is a fatal disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons: also called Lou Gehrig's Disease. LA graffiti writer Tony Quan was diagnosed with it in 2003, and like many other ALS patients, for instance, Stephen Hawking, was left almost completely physically paralyzed except for his eyes. It’s a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow artists with paralysis to draw using only their eyes used in combination with a computer. It recently won the Interactive Award at the celebrated Brit Insurance Design Awards. What is it called?

12) Not to be confused with the Scram around your ankle, Lindsay - The supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet’s goal is to create a free-flying vehicle capable of operating continuously on jet fuel and achieving continuous hypersonic speeds - it's recent flight smashes the previous record of 12 seconds – At 200 seconds it sets the foundation for several hypersonic applications, including access to space, reconnaissance, and commercial transportation- will it equate this leap in engine technology as equivalent to the post-World War II jump from propeller-driven aircraft to jet engines. It was done with a Wave-rider from what company?

13) Think of all the interior monologues you have with yourself over your eating habits – now wouldn’t having them with a robot instead just improve your sense of dedication to your weight loss and diet cause? Of course it would! This is an area of personal robotics that seems to be expanding. Now we have a new conversational robot that provides feedback, advice, and encouragement to keep you motivated. And if that isn’t enough will help you rationalize that extra pat of butter – no I jest this robot is serious and controlled medical studies have shown a socially interactive robot will handle that peanut butter ice cream smack down better–than locking your freezer. She is constantly adapting to you to better understand what will help you stick with your diet and exercise program. Yes but can she dish out the guilt? What is her name?

14) This is the first that I know of that uses an independent camera controlled remotely via mobile phone. This clever pet monitoring system allows you to keep tabs on your pet remotely via your mobile phone, all in real time using a Japanese handset's 'TV call' function. If you want to snap a still photo, you can send an SMS to it – when pets start tracking their owners I think we have more to worry about – but what is this new way to show pictures of Fido around the office, when your friends start showing off the baby pictures?

15) This is an amazing device created as a mail promotion-. The six inch record in a corrugated cardboard mailer sleeve folds into a make-shift, human-powered record player which, when turned using a pencil, transmits vibrations through the needle and amplifies via cardboard corrugations. The player was distributed with a recording of a children's story called "A Town that Found its Sound". What a concept! Like the package of chicken you buy for dinner turning into a refrigerator, no okay how about the book jacket of your latest novel turning into a kindle VOIP reader? Which Vancouver based company was behind this?

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The First Question - 25 May 2010

This week's panel

Joey Aboma, SiteArm Madonna, Elf Ling, Meme Autopoesis


You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
-Albert Camus

Good players play to where the puck is, great players play to where the puck is going to be.
- Wayne Gretsky

Word-UP of the week –
Status Flux: The world as we know it.
-Meme Autopoiesis

Audience Quote of the week
Just don’t sleepwalk, and then dream of flying in SL
-Xanshin Paz


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Sometimes a genius captures our notice, and not because he had a PhD: this man flunked everything except auto shop and art in High School and didn’t even go to college As a custom car builder, he was a key figure in the hot-rod movement of the 1960s & was the man who inspired the title story of Tom Wolfe’s first collection of essays, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. He broke new ground with fiberglass bodywork. And his works often whimsical were recreated in toy plastic models. He was also the first person to put a custom image on a T-Shirt. Got to love the man behind the Orbitron, the Beatnik Bandit and the iconic Rat Fink, who was he?

2) It nails it right about 77 percent of the time, which is remarkable for any automated system. While computers process verbal commands straightforwardly, humans tend to use more sophisticated speech, slang or symbols to convey an idea. So a research team from this nation developed a machine algorithm for sarcasm. SASI, a Semi-supervised Algorithm for Sarcasm Identification, can recognize sarcastic sentences in product reviews online. It could also benefit opinion-mining systems. From which country did this algorithm for sarcasm come from?

3) He popularized amateur "wireless." In 1908 his Modern Electrics, was the world's first magazine about electronics. Five years later he invented “science fiction”. His contributions as a publisher were so significant that he is called "The Father of Science Fiction Magazines"; and it is in his honor, the annual Science Fiction awards are named. "Amazing Stories", was his publication which played a key role in starting a community because he published the addresses of people who wrote letters to his magazines. The fan community became organized. One of the first inductees into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, was who?

4) Over the weekend this countries Prime Minister officially launched his country's new virtual world program to attract skilled immigrants, called MyWorkLife. The program was developed and uses Second Life to try and show skilled workers why they should consider immigrating to his country. Users can upload their resumes, enter here, and interact with avatar representatives of government-linked companies. Employees may be more willing to locate to a foreign country if it's easier to learn about the area before making the move. What country is using this space to highlight job opportunities?

5) This made its debut in one of my all-time favorite Science Fiction movies – THX 1138. The movie depicts a dystopian future in which a high level of control is exerted upon the populace and it featured these - a booth with a huge mid 15th century picture of Jesus intoning "Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy more and be happy" & "Work hard; increase production, prevent accidents, and be happy." What is the booth called where the people of this future world commune with OMM in a robotic confessional?

6) One man made a difference – In the Himalayas’ which receives as little precipitation as the Sahara, farming is possible only in valleys fed by glacial runoff. Three glaciers surrounded Stakmo a village, 30 years ago, but have vanished, leaving nothing but bare rock. Without water, crops have failed. A retired local engineer has been working on a method to create artificial glaciers storing water that would otherwise have flowed away. During the crucial sowing season, the artificial glacier began melting and previously barren fields were turned green. Harvests increased threefold. Who is this man who is continually improving his design, adding more glaciers higher up and near different villages?

7) QA, Dexter & Monty are considered his children – he also is busy with his new young ‘un – QB. He has been designing telepresence robots for quite a while. He also is the inventor of the Eunicycle, a one wheeled Segway. His startup funding firm is called Y Combinator but he is most known for the amazing telepresence humanoid robots he is creating with a 5 megapixel camera, forward-mounted display, WiFi and 3G connectivity, and a laser pointer. His company is called Anybots, and he lives in Silicon Valley, who is he?

8) He is one of the first to sequence the human genome, and it led undoubtedly to his latest venture – breakthrough miracle or breakthrough to the new world order? Possible a topic for debate but The Artificial Cell invented by this man is not going to take it lying down. This billionaire scientist has made a synthetic cell from scratch & stated, “It is pretty stunning when you just replace the DNA software in a cell and the cell instantly starts reading that new software and starts making a whole new set of proteins, and within a short while all the characteristics of the first species disappear and a new species emerges..” Now we have Mycoplasma Mycoides a synthetic cell proving genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome. Who is behind it?

9) And our machines are mutating - The life expectancy of a popular type of ion engine has been almost doubled using software that mimics natural selection. Electrostatic ion engines are becoming popular in space missions. Instead of relying on burning large amounts of heavy liquid propellant for thrust, they use solar power to ionise a small supply of xenon gas. Using evolution-mimicking software, it randomly generate values thought of as analogous to genes. After 100 generations, it spawned a design that almost doubled the engines lifetime. What kind of algorithm is it called?

10) You want to compete in a toy design challenge but you need inspiration –so you meet a focus group of 3rd graders, and ask them what sort of toy they’d like. Then you invent this - A prototype electronic doodle pad that animates your drawings. Once you’ve drawn and saved your first image, the lines of that image change from black to grey. You can then draw your second image over the top of the first one, etcetera. Once you’ve drawn your whole sequence, the pad quickly plays them back creating the illusion of movement. And you can edit your work if you latest cartoon becomes a plagiarism of Captain Underpants – what is it called?

11) Diamonds are beautiful and of course forever, so is plastic but I’d rather have a diamond ring than a Ken Doll to be honest. This is a new material using Diamonds and Ceramics to create a composite material that combines the best of both. It offers maximum wear-resistance and with low values of friction, making it ideal for tools that are subjected to heavy strain. Created by scientists from four Fraunhofer institutes, the diamond coating extends the durability for each application by a factor of 4 to 1,000. What just won the Stifterverband Award for Science?

12) Making things smaller is a process known as miniaturization, this isn’t quite on nanozation scale but it smaller than a bread box. It’s a mini PC with ultra-low-voltage processor options from Intel. This model uses up to 90 percent less plastic and consumes up to 90 percent less energy than traditional tower PCs." And it is small, teeny at 1.5 x 5.1 x 4.5 inches with 2GB of memory in different processor options. What is it called?

13) General Motor's Joint-Venture partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation rolled out a concept at Expo 2010 which is revolutionary. The idea behind the car, the car mind you - is that it will photosynthesize, absorbing carbon dioxide from surrounding air and emitting oxygen back into the atmosphere. It has a roof made of solar panels and wheels of small wind turbines that harvest energy. GM first participated in a world Expo in 1931 and its futuristic visions are this time set in the year 2030. I’m learning how to drive just in time for its 2030 release- What is this concept car whose name means “leaf” in Chinese?

14) MySpace might be back in the game – well literally and figuratively as late last week it launched a pilot program to bring third-party developers to create games – yes MySpace wants its own Farmville which isn’t available yet there. MySpace worked with Google to develop its implementation of this interface. Social gaming was part of MySpace's development roadmap as early as July 2009, when more game-friendly Facebook began decisively overtaking it in terms of traffic and stickiness. What is the new feature called to bring in the social game developers?

The First Question - 18 May 2010

This week's panel

JoRoan Linden, Pebbles Hannya, Matthew Anthony, Zee Pixel


Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart.
-Henri Frederic Amiel

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
-Salvador Dali

Word-UP of the week –
“Passmode” -- the state we put ourselves in when we arrive at an airport. In passmode normal expectations about customer service, personal space, and privacy are disabled, but sufficient functionality remains for us to pass through security, navigate to the gate, find our seats, and stow our luggage.
-Pebbles Hannya

Audience Quote of the week
“et tu brute'? naw I aint et nuthin”
-Diff Redenblack


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) It is a new Japanese weather probe and daring solar sail concept to study one of the planets close to us. Its name means "Dawn" and it has a solar sail named Ikaros. The solar sail's design should provide the first test ever of solar sail propulsion based on harnessing the pressure of sunlight during an ambitious three-year journey to the far side of the sun What is this named?

2) In this corner – a Huge company & in this corner a worker who designed a product to make his employed life better. Seems like a good match yes? Unless the huge company steals the little guys idea. Which Home Depot had done with Michael Powell who crafted an simple, yet ingenious, way to keep Home Depot employees from slicing off their fingers while cutting wood for customers. A federal judge calling the company “callous and arrogant,” ordered them to pay the former Boca Raton man approx. $25 million in judgments. What is the name of the gadget that is now affixed to radial saws at nearly 2,000 Home Depots nationwide?

3) students from NYU’s Courant Institute are looking to take on Facebook . They aim to address privacy concerns by giving users complete control of their details and content. To cut out the middleman, it will be a distributed network where separate computers connect to each other directly, instead of relying on a central hub plus it will aggregate content to the regular channels. They raised their 10K capital from Kickstarter in 12 days and plan to make the service available soon. What is it called?

4) You may recall a Nokia cameraphone application called Shoot to Translate from 2008, which worked only from Chinese to English- Today there is more & it’s from Google. Traveling in a foreign country means you carry your translator with you – but what if you want to know what a foreign language text like that huge sign over the bathroom door means? “Beware of Alligators in the toilet? “ “Do not use?” “Right this way for a massage?” You need to know! Google has a new feature that will help you with this - Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button -Press & If it recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate in most western languages & soon Chinese, Hindi and Arabic – what is it called?

5) LED lights have not been able to achieve this color and it has proven a challenge. The U.S. Department of Energy predict that tungsten and fluorescent light will be phased out in four and ten years respectively, saving the U.S. as much as $120 billion over the next 20 years, leaving LEDs virtually the only player in the market. They need this color to create a white LED. When scientists applied their expertise in solar cell technology they solved this long-standing technological problem. What color LED has been recently accomplished?

6) This is an atmospheric electrical phenomenon, the existence of which is disputed. The term refers to reports of luminous, usually spherical objects which vary in size. It is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a bolt. Many of the early reports say it explodes, sometimes with fatal consequences, leaving behind the odor of sulfur. Is it real – a hoax or a hallucination brought about by the fluctuating magnetic fields which can make neurons fire in the visual cortex. Serious burns and deaths attributed to it need a material explanation. What is it?

7)Invisibility cloaks have been around longer than Harry Potter --Ray Cummings had one in his 1931 story Brigands of the Moon. An invisible dress has been created by University students in Taiwan. It is a textile-based display with an integrated camera in the back- When activated; the camera records the scene behind the wearer of the dress and then displays it on the textile display on the front. This design won what award at the first AiQ Smart Clothing Design Contest?

8) Working on an assembly line seems so 20th century but an alternative approach uses information-containing molecules . The "nanobots" are molecular machines made to "carry" different sizes of gold particles to create up to eight different products. And they don’t waste time talking on the assembly line about unnecessary things – like last night’s episode of LOST. These molecular machine nanobots are made out of programmable, what?

9) Lego has made its mark on us, and now we are internalizing Lego principles with some research MIT has done with artificial organs. Tissue engineering that encapsulates living cells in polymer cubes and assembles them like Lego blocks is taking place and the process solves one of the biggest problems facing tissue engineers: Getting cells grown in a lab to assemble into three-dimensional shapes. The new technique, involves tiny blobs of a gel-like material which stick together in a desired structure. What is it called?

10) It ordinarily guides visitors in museums and exhibitions, but has been upgraded to be a robot minister. Pronouncing man and wife last week. The groom remarked, “robots are what caused us to first begin going out, and as suggested by my wife, we decided that we wanted to try this sort of wedding," the bride said she wanted to use her wedding to show people that robots can easily fit into their daily lives. "I think having a robot minister is a great idea," said Bill Ingraham, pastor at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ann Arbor, MI. "In some cases, it might be an improvement. What robot just performed a wedding in Japan?

11) It can tell you where you are, now the Department of Homeland Security is examining whether mobile phones can be adapted to do this. San Diego is working overtime and has successfully finished the first phase and It works a little like our nose, "We have a set of sensory cells that detect specific chemical properties. What will the smartphone be able to do next if the Dept of Homeland security has its way?

12) By creating specific kinds of tiny structures on a material’s surface, researchers can make a liquid spread only in a single direction. This has potential HUGE implications and this new system developed by a team at this University say that in principle such systems could provide new ways to manipulate biological molecules. As the components on a chip continue to get smaller and thermal management becomes ever more critical. Which school is behind this liquid management system? (MIT)

13) German researcher, Sami Haddadin, is concerned with robot & human behavior. He was actually behind a study to find out what happens when a robot punches a human in the face. He now is conducting a study to see what would happen if robots suddenly started slashing, poking, stabbing, puncturing and cutting people. The intent of this study is to understand what happens when you give robots sharp objects when in the vicinity of human beings. Where do robots currently carry knives in the line of duty?

14) Researchers have succeeded in building a molecular computer that, more than any previous project of its kind, can replicate the inner mechanisms of the human brain, repairing itself and mimicking how our brains process information like no silicon-based computer can. . A computer is made of organic molecules instead of silicon. Chips built this way are not only potentially much smaller but also, because of the way they can be networked, able to do things that no other traditional computer, regardless of its speed, can do. What is this new kind of electronics called?

15)This is the first experiment to show that a sense of body ownership can be transferred to an entirely virtual one. Over 10 years ago, body-transfer illusions were first demonstrated using a false hand. In the so-called rubber hand illusion , researchers found that if they put a rubber hand on a table in front of a person, and then stroked the rubber hand and the person's own hand at the same time and in the same way, they could convince the volunteer that the rubber hand was their own. More recently, the illusion was replicated using full-body manikins and it works! Volunteers' skin conducted more electricity when their manikin double was attacked with a knife, indicating fear. The experiment which also included stroking of the arm, demonstrated the strong connection the volunteers felt to their new, virtual bodies. At what university was this just carried out?

16) Dog and cats eliminate and how to turn that into a harvestable product isn’t easy. UNTIL NOW! This allows you to pickle your pet’s poop, turning it into a harmless plant fertilizer –it consists of two airtight containers, a liquid fermentative accelerant, and a dry culture mix made from wheat bran, molasses and microorganisms. Once full, you allow the container to sit for a few weeks Et voila What you should end up with is innocuous, nutrient rich soil. What is this?

17) Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is not good-- it’s in plastic and causes health problems. A new study, however, indicates that fungus could be used to eat it. Researchers discovered that white rot fungi could absorb BPA as a source of energy instead of being released into the environment. If the fungus decides to grow, get spray on skin, plastic muscles and a rat neuron controlled brain we might be in trouble but so far we are just looking at less BPA from Scientists Trishul Artham and Mukesh Doble, of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, which conducted the research. And they just published in the journal Biomacromolecules. Who publishes this journal?

18) Robots and people - the love that dares not speak its name okay, I exaggerate- but robots do need to learn manners. Beeping & insistent ringing isn’t going to get you on the Robot welcome wagon. Behavior modification might be in order - Where a human trying to deliver a message to a colleague might pause if the other is on the phone, for instance, robots do not, and robots don’t even say “I’m sorry,” when they push you out the way. Can you drop a robot untrained into the real world but equip it with the smarts to study and mimic the behavior of those around them? Possibly Peter Henry and Christian Vollmer’s team at what school will try to do this?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The First Question - 4 May 2010

This week's panel

Andrew Hughes, August Lusch, Jay Ackroyd, Paley Westinghouse


Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
-Georg C. Lichtenberg

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

Word-UP of the week -
Scrutz - the dirt and worse that accumulates on a computer screen
- Jay Ackroyd -
Telequila - The shot you should take when your client crashes mid teleport. The Telequila game can be deadly on Sundays.
- August Lusch -


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) He is known for bringing a historical approach to the philosophy of science. He defended realism about science, on pragmatic grounds: the electron is real because human beings use it to make things happen. From 1990, his focus shifted to psychology, aware of the modern schism that affects probability with personality which is of course subjective. He penned Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory, Who is this Canadian?

2) They are among the best-understood prehistoric vertebrates known to science in terms of anatomy, one has the feeling they would be welcome in any zoo. They had lots of hair which helped them in the freezing temperatures they favored – & something else. - A form of "anti-freeze" blood to keep their bodies supplied with oxygen. Nature Genetics reports that scientists "resurrected" their blood protein to come to this finding and found special kind of hemoglobin their modern ancestors don’t have. What animals was it?”

3) He started off “working on the problem of making boats go faster”. It is not only the anniversary of the post it note but of the Hovercraft- which was invented by this man whilst he owned and worked at Ripplecraft. He was attempting to make boat propulsion more energy efficient and one of his experiments was to inject air under the hull of his launch. He got it in front of Lord Mountbatten and the National R & D backed the project, Sir Christopher Cockerell the inventor saw it cross the English Channel in what year to widespread acclaim?

4) In 1973, the first phone call from a handheld cellular phone was made in New York City. The call connected with a base station that in turn connected to the land-line telephone system. The man who invented it stated that he was personally inspired by watching Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise use communicators on Star Trek in the late 1960's. Although Robert Heinlein wrote about a pocket-sized portable telephone 1948 ‘s Space Cadet. The inventor of the Dyna-Tac made a new prediction and I don’t think he saw this on Battlestar Gallactica - Who just said this-"The cellphone in the long range is going to be embedded under your skin behind your ear along with a very powerful computer who is in effect your slave."

5) This new garment by Vanessa Sorenson. is a wearable that visually displays the moods of your twitter stream If you've been sending out angry tweets, the LEDs on your sleeve will radiate red. If your spirits suddenly brighten, the colors will shift to a "happy" green. The project was intended as an exploration on "how social networking, more specifically Twitter, can demonstrate personalities in the real world via the virtual world." What is the name of this garment that broadcasts your mood?

6) Last week we mentioned Stephen Hawkins suggesting we not put out the cosmic welcome mat for ET & his Teeny weeny band. Now this former Defense minister fired back at Hawkins. In what could evolve into nasty twitter war this man basically said that it was too late. They are among us and that aliens probably brought humans technology such as LCDs and fiber-optics. That wasn’t enough, he went in for the smack – down with this comment "Hawking is indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature'' Who believes that alien craft leftovers have seemingly triggered the IT and microchip revolution of today?

7) You think you are being watched, don’t we all? So, you look up and you don’t see anything but a flock of small, UAV’s have flown quietly into your city, maneuvering among the buildings. They communicate as they search for places to land, not on streets or flat rooftops but on the sides of buildings and under the eaves, where they can cling, bat or insect-like, in safety and obscurity , creeping along to get a better view. When finished, they launch themselves with a jump and become airborne again, ready for their next mission. What project from Stanford do you hope doesn’t have a drone with your name on it?

8) A new table-top card battle game designed by two physicians’ combines’ sorcery and creatures with a real-world knowledge of infectious diseases and therapeutics. As you and your opponent seek domination through conquest, you must vie not only with brute force, but astute understanding of microbiology and medical therapeutics. This card game – think Pokemon, let’s you Summon living manifestations of diseases, or counter-attack with antibiotics in the form of powerful warriors. Two doctors invented it struck by the complex nature of gaming and decisions to proscribe certain anti-biotics. What is this new card game for aspiring doctors called?

9) I know you don’t want to hear this but we just might have to clean up our atmosphere of debris so visiting aliens don’t think we are complete slobs. A space-flight engineer from Japan has a suggestion- how about A laser thruster firing pulses into a mass of solid propellant attached to space junk. The resulting force could push the object, altering its orbit and plunging it into the Earth's atmosphere, burning it up. This is reminiscent of the 1977 TV series describing the activities of the United Galaxies Sanitation Patrol Cruiser. Richard Benjamin and the Doublemint Twins starred in this series called what?

10) Traffic tickets issued, not in outer space, well not yet anyway, are a way to deter reckless driving. Car confiscation laws are now in place in many countries raising the price of a speeding ticket. From a $200,000 Lamborghini in Australia to a Bugatti Veyron worth 1.8 million euros that a 20-year old borrowed from his dad. The previously most expensive speeding ticket on record was handed out earlier this year in this country and cost $290,000. In what country was this ticket given where speeding fines are calculated on your net worth?

11) I love magnets, I think that the use of magnets in new ways will be a hallmark for the future. So did this man, but he died in the year 2000. He was a French physicist and co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970 for his pioneering studies of the magnetic properties of solids. His contributions to solid state physics have found numerous useful applications, particularly in the development of improved computer memory. About 1930 he suggested that a new form of magnetic behavior might exist above a certain temperature (named after him) He also made possible the study of the history of Earth's magnetic field. Who was he?

12) You want to talk to someone who speaks a foreign language but you aren’t in Second Life and you don’t have your translator on. What can help you outworld in a situation like this? This is the name of a new app that will soon become available which is claimed to turn your iPhone into a double ended language translator. It's one of the most innovative uses of the iPhone's form factor, with both people able to type on a keyboard in their own language at the same time and have the words translated and displayed for the other to see.. With 51 different languages and keyboards what is this called which will indeed make the world easier to understand?

13) A team at this school has developed a new thin film technology that can convert infrared light into visible light. Current night vision devices use huge amounts of electricity and heavy glass lenses. Adapted from flat screen television technology, the new film uses energy-efficient, organic LEDs. This keeps weight down, with a full scale device potentially weighing as little as 10 grams it may revolutionize night vision goggles and other military applications, not to mention eye-glasses and cars, think windshields . What school is behind this ground breaking tech which could even be adapted to measure heat?

14) The Marshmallow Challenge is a remarkably fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons . The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top. The man who invented it is passionate about fostering design thinking, visual collaboration and team creativity. Who is he?

15) It costs 30$ a month and has of course, others doing things for you – You send an email of what you need done and an algorithm will assign your task to the best team member carrying out 15 personal administration tasks for you with efficiency and discretion. Started by a man in the R & D dept. of the New York Times, this is his side project. He has about 100 retired lawyers, between-job actors and others. They won’t pick up or even do your laundry but they can help with writing tasks and content creation. If you have to think about it twice, as the founder, Ted Roden says – just put it here? Into what?

16) You need to get into town, but the traffic is so bad, that last few miles, will take you an hour. Yes traveling at the speed of snail is not a future kind of thing. So the concept of “last few mile mobility” is one which we will all see grow. In the last year alone we've seen Toyota's Winglet, Honda's U3-X, Nissan's electric skis, and now Volkswagen has shown a micro mobility concept an electric bike with one of the most ingenious folding mechanisms ever – It has a range of 12 and half miles, can charge from the car its driving in on – & a top speed of 20 kmh because this means it can be ridden in Germany without a helmet- What will the new vehicle within from Volkswagen be called?

17) Nature has developed extremely efficient water-splitting enzymes – called hydrogenases – for use by plants during photosynthesis; however, these enzymes are for plants not humans. Our activities demand a stable metal catalyst that can operate under non-biological settings. Researchers have discovered an inexpensive new one- seventy times cheaper than the platinum commonly used at $2,000 an ounce.. This can significantly reduce the costs of producing hydrogen using electrolysis to split water. Metal catalysts are commercially available, but their high costs make widespread use prohibitive. In what state did this research occur?

18:) Nanopatches are fingernail-sized dermal patches that use microscopic projections to cells just below the surface of the skin. The influenza vaccine was dry coated onto some of these and applied to the skin of mice for two minutes. Transdermal drug patches were not commercially available until 1979. When compared to a needle and syringe a nanopatch is cheap to produce and it is easy to imagine a situation in which a government might provide vaccinations for a pandemic such as swine flu to be collected from a chemist or sent in the mail. In what country has the naonopatch been developing? (Australia) Not to be confused with the cabbage patch.

P:19) Swiss researchers have reported laser-powered cloud seeding success, both inside and outside the laboratory. Inside the lab, the powerful infrared laser caused visible clouds of vapor to follow in its wake when fired into a water-saturated chamber and sensitive weather apparatus recorded spikes in water droplet density when it was fired into the skies of Berlin. The pulses stripped electrons from atoms in the air, encouraging the formation of water droplets. It might not mean rain on demand, at least not yet but this actor was arrested in a 1985 video in the Kate Bush video for 1985's Cloudbusting. Who was he?

20) Detecting rust before it’s too late has been an ongoing challenge for engineers and scientists. Experts at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed an early-warning system for rust. By installing this in the concrete to measure the extent of corrosion, a magnetic field is used. This means it does not need to be replaced and can remain within the concrete structure permanently,” It may seem a little primitive, but until now the most effective tests to determine how deep the ions have penetrated the concrete and what damage they have caused is conducted by construction workers hammering on the reinforced concrete in search of cavities, which are conclusive signs of corrosion damage. What is being tested to see if it can really wirelessly transmit data on the condition of the bridges internal structure?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The First Question - 27 April 2010

This week's panel

JB Hancroft, PB Recreant, QTPieMixemup, Q Linden


"I believe that man will not merely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance."
William Faulkner

"Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly."
Richard Bach

"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders."
Lord Dunsany

Word-UP of the week -
“Primify” - To reduce any complex design to a set of simple shapes - in plywood, of course.
-JB Hancroft
“Rezbian:” - One who has a complete collection of anatomically correct Second Life body parts.
-Q Linden

Audience Quote of the week
"I miss grandma already......hey ! What's in this soup?"
-Xanshin Paz


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) There are people who are ahead of their time and then there are those who right on time. At 16, he had an idea that took him to his parents’ garage, strapping together a rectangular steel frame and a canvas sheet. He called what he made, a bouncing rig. That was in 1930. In 2000 the inaugural gold medal in trampolining was awarded. he once rented a kangaroo to bounce with him in Central Park. During the Second World War it was used to train pilots. The trampolines inventor died this month at the age of 96?

2) Mix Kraft Foods' contributions to a WWF-managed tiger conservation program, Animal Crackers and Barnum’ circus. Add 2010, the Chinese "Year of the Tiger" and you get -1 million special boxes to save endangered Asian tigers. Who designed this box giving it a "fresher, fashionable" look and an updated, environmentally conscious image with existing brand fans, as well building awareness among prospective buyers?

3) As a fan of meatricity, I report on this with great pleasure - It's estimated that one hour of pedaling at about 18 miles per hour will produce about 100 watt hours of electricity so. This hotel has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main supply. Guests who pedal hard enough score a complimentary meal once you reach the goal of 10 watt hours to earn your free meal. At what hotel in the UK can you pedal your way to the buffet?

4) Printing 3D objects is also something we are fans of here. And This can generate a building four times as fast at only half the cost . 3D printing of a building was something I thought only existed from the roadrunner cartoon & only available from ACME- nope!- this machines next challenge might be building moon bases. Its inventor is currently in talks with the European Space Agency about creating a version of the device that could use lunar dust to build structures on the surface of the Moon. The layers of sand are held by a binding agent said to be a magnesium-based solution. What tis the name of the machine or building process that is behind this?

5) Who ever invented twitter I’m sure didn’t think that thousands of tweets about what you ate for breakfast would be a bulwark of social media broadcasting, but it is. Even though legislation is pending to make those “I had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch,” tweets illegal in some states. (I joke, I had a fajita for lunch) This new site is very investigative to say the least. –This is- the social network that instantly updates all your friends on what you're buying on your credit card -- updates include the location and the amount of each credit card purchase, and members can add extra information including photos of venues and comments on their purchases. Why anyone would want to do this well, I am frankly at a loss. What is the name of it?

6) Sometimes just wearing underwear isn’t enough, you want it to record important information for you & no I am definitely NOT talking about any new social network in my pants. But As the focus on healthcare shifts from centralized hospital-based treatment to home-based management, there are growing needs for developing reliable, wearable healthcare monitoring systems. Such on-body monitoring devices are also of interest for defense or sport applications. Direct screen-printing and Mechanical stress studies have indicated that textile-based printed sensors survive. What is the name of the brief that is part of this trend of documented evidence from our clothing?

7) There is a new multimedia search engine in the house, and they need room. Text-based searches might be great for hunting down relevant chunks of text, but searches for multimedia content can be tougher. It was the brainchild of an EU-wide joint project developed by researchers at the FranhoferInstitute, it can be used to detect similarities between different video or audio contents as well as genre. And it’s suitable not only for searches on the Internet and in archives, but also for TV programs, to check whether a contractually agreed advertisement has been broadcast. What works its magic by examining the digital fingerprints of multimedia files?

8) Its full-size USB keyboard broken into four connected quarter segments, allowing it to be folded over into a pocket-size rectangular shape. With the growing popularity of portable notebooks and tablets with smaller, cramped keyboards, having a full-size keyboard like this to tote around in your pocket might be a nice complement. It's fairly lightweight as well, weighing in at just over 8 ounces. The keyboard works with standard Windows and Mac operating systems. What is the name of the Japanese gadget giant that brought this to market?

9) The as yet unnamed PC was announced at a demonstration in Japan where a prototype was on show. It was revealed the 3D PC would feature a Blu-ray player and an LCD display that would display 3D content using polarized glasses - which are less expensive than the active shutter glasses. The computer reportedly uses software to convert 2D photographs or movies into 3D and includes a media player for 3D visual software. Which company will release before years end the 3D all-in-one desktop PC? (NEC) And 1000 Lindens for the first person on the web right now in treet talk -who can tell me how many times I said 3D in that last question?

10) It isn’t the most legal way to dispose of a body yet, but with ashes leaving a big carbon footprint and land becoming scare in places for burials – this just might be the coming thing. Its inventor, Sandy Sullivan, turns the human body into dust – which can be kept by grieving families – and a coffee-coloured liquid which is flushed down the drain. Glasgow-based Sandy has sold machines to Canada and the US, where five states allow the process, which is seen as being environmentallyfriendly. He said: “I am getting a lot of requests from families and we hope it will become legal in Scotland within the year. What is the name of this new way to deal with the Body after the soul has departed?

11) One of Britain’s best known and most controversial scientists, widely recognized as the "Sage” He pioneered X-ray crystallography and determined the structure of graphite. He is also famous for having firstly proposed a type of space habitat intended as a long-term home for permanent residents. After an influential Marxist account of the work of Isaac Newton changed his world-view he published The Social Function of Science, probably the earliest text on the sociology of science. From 1959-1965 he was chairman of the World Peace Council

12) His father operated a hand laundry while encouraging his son to get his education. It worked. Attracted to physics because of the clarity of its logic, he got his PhD at Columbia. Among his achievements are the discovery of the muon neutrino in 1962 and the bottom quark in 1977. He wrote a book with a great title, “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?,” and described The history of atomism as one of reductionism - the effort to reduce all the operations of nature to a small number of laws governing a small number of primordial objects." Who was the man that undertook this quest?

13) The composition of algae is changing, as a result of which its nutritional value for other aquatic life is decreasing. As they are the first link in the underwater food chain, the algae ultimately influence the entire ecosystem, climate change is exerting an effect on underwater life. Experiments were performed with micro-algae in a higher concentration of this . Their faster growth was associated with a change in its composition - it had less nutritional phosphorous.. What did the micro algae grow faster but not better with?

14)A talking and singing robot which adaptively learns vocalization skill by means of an auditory feedback is being developed. It mainly consists of an air pump, artificial vocal cords, a resonance tube, a nasal cavity, and a microphone connected to a sound analyzer, which, respectively, correspond to a lung, and Vocal cord. Add a vocal tract, a nasal cavity, and an audition of Lady gaga singing and where can you find this being built?

15) You want to rough it but not really really rough it. You want to go to a remote undisclosed location but you don’t want to sleep in a tent and aren’t Dick Cheney with an underground hideaway at your beck and call. What to do? This 50 year old German company operates a hotel on wheels service. By day passengers sit in the front of the coach and take in all the sights, and by night they adjourn to the rear of the vehicle to enjoy their semi-private sleeping quarters. What is it called?

16) It has been estimated that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually for the production of one-use water bottles. About 38 million of those get tossed out each year. Then of course, there’s also the whole matter of wondering if you’re a sucker for paying to drink what is likely just filtered tap water. That’s where this contraption comes in handy.You just fill it from the faucet, and it filters the water as you drink. The filter is good for at least 300 bottlefuls, which should work out to about two months. What Is the name of this?

17) Students from Malardalens University in Sweden hope to send a robot tothe moon to deploy a tiny white house. The students are collaborating with artist Mikael Genberg, who is known for alternative living environments. The main idea of the project is for the robot to drop a small barn red house with white trim on the moon by 2012. The robot named Roony is being designed to deploy a tiny house on the moon. What is the robot called?

18) What timepiece would let you show off how green you are? It would have to be something that incorporates low-impact, sustainable and biodegradable materials, that doesn’t contain hazardous substances, and that supports recycling. These watches claim to be 80-86% eco-friendly by weight, depending on their size. Some of the features that make them eco-friendly include: Biodegradable corn resin bodies and buckles, Organic cotton bands and Mercury-free batteries. What is it called?

19) Scientists at this Institute for Production Technology have devised a carbon fiber fabrication process that they say is considerably quicker and easier than conventional ones. Traditionally, carbon fiber products are made through several tedious and time consuming steps. This doesn’t do that. This process utilizes carbon fibers that are integrated into kilometer-long strips of meltable resin tape. The tape strips are laid down over the form, side-by-side and on top of one another. Once in place, they’re compressed, and joined together by the heat of a laser melting the resin. It’s fast and precise. What country is prototyping this remarkable carbon fiber assembly?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The First Question - 20 April 2010

This week's panel

M Linden, Sydney Caramel, FutureGuru Haiku, Professor Springflower


“ More than iron, more than lead, more than gold I need electricity.
I need it more than I need lamb or pork or lettuce or cucumber.
I need it for my dreams. ”

"Living is more a question of what one spends than what one makes."
-Marcel Duchamp

Word-UP of the week–
“Flog” - It’s a blog where you get flogged.
-M Linden -
“Directionallydumb” – people who pretend to know where you are going (but don’t) and they point to it with their finger (with 100 percent certainty) instead of telling you that they don’t actually know and that you should ask someone else! Synonym – thatswhatGPSisforstupid
- Sydney Caramel

Audience Quote of the week –
“The thing with cueing the tinies is that you get hungry an hour later”
-Crap Mariner:


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) NASA decided to take crowd sourcing to the next level – and that is an understatement – - they have asked the general public to submit suggestions for where to point the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s high-resolution camera. The public suggestion tool on this site, has just released the first 8 incredible pictures that simply would not have been chosen otherwise. What is the name of the site which allows you to suggest and track what you want to see on Mars?

2) Remember when we spoke of the HaptiHug? It’s kind of silly yes, but effective in gaining a physical sensation that corresponds with text based affection. The problem is, it’s just not macho enough – and when you need to feel a simulation that has a different meaning, let’s say a gunshot to your torso, you need this. It has a USB-powered air compressor & was designed by a surgeon. Yes game-activated internal pneumatic pockets can simulate hits from a pistol or an Uzi, along with the sensations of explosions, stabbings, and rocket hits- but no hugs. What is it called?

3) Shrink-wrapped is the name of a webseries about a cybertherapist – but Shrink-wrapping also refers to a new kind of brain implant that essentially melts into place. Such ultrathin flexible implants, made partly from silk, can record brain activity faithfully and could pave the way for better devices to monitor and control. In people with epilepsy, the arrays could be used to detect when seizures first begin, and deliver pulses to shut them down. The absence of sharp and rigid surfaces improves safety, with less damage and provides better stability. What is the base material for this implant?

4) Currently, cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate and although technically they are biodegradable, this can take as long as 10-15 years. 4 and a half trillion cigarette butts end up as litter. How about a 100 percent biodegradable cigarette filter... with benefits? The manufacturers say when it is placed under a thin layer of soil it sprouts into green grass shoots or even blooming flowers. What is the name of this cigarette waste that users collect in a planter instead of an ashtray?

5) 3D movies are box office Boffo- But 3D is not new at all. The earliest confirmed 3-D film shown to a paying audience was this film which premiered in LA in 1922. The camera rig was a product of the film's producer, Harry K. Fairall, and cinematographer Robert F. Elder. It was a projected dual-strip in the red/green anaglyph format, making it both the earliest known film that utilized dual strip projection and the earliest known film in which anaglyph glasses were used. After a preview for exhibitors and press in New York City, the film dropped out of sight and is now considered lost..What is the name of it?

6) Something different this way comes… An unknown object in the nearby galaxy M82 has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before. It certainly does not fit the pattern of supernovae or microquasars. Yet its apparent sideways velocity is four times the speed of light- What network of telescopes from the UK has found this mysterious source of radio waves?

P;7) In advance of the April 22 release of Avatar on DVD and Blu-ray an interactive exhibit which turns passers-by into blue-skinned Na’vi from the film using Facial recognition software, captures people’s images and transforms them as they watch. The morph is incredibly realistic. It goes well beyond augmented reality because it isn’t simply superimposing imagery, it’s actually altering the underlying content in real-time,” I would love to see this done for Second Life – I was an Avatar long before the Na’avi. The free-standing structure is comprised of multiple digital screens and centrally located at what famous L.A. mall?

8) Times they are a changing – once blogs were denounced by traditional news organizations until they couldn’t be denied & while we joke about the Pulitzer Prize for best tweet – this is “history-making” because for the first time online-only publications have won the prestigious award for editorial content. One had cartoons in video form and the other a nonprofit startup, a resource for struggling news organizations that can no longer afford to focus human resources on investigative reporting. Name either of the two Sites which won.

9) As the Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, Dutch artists were not able to leave the country after 1914 and were thus isolated from the international art world—especially Paris. Dutch Painter Theo van Doesburg started looking for other artists founding this a movement also known as neoplasticism, in 1917, One of its best known principal members was Piet Mondrian who embodied it’s principles of ultimate simplicity and abstraction. Limiting hispaletteto red, yellow, and blue, and the three primary values, black, white, and grey, he embodied their code. In 1924, Mondrian broke with the group after van Doesburg proposed the theory of elementarism, proposing that the diagonal line was more vital than the horizontal and the vertical. What was the name of this important Dutch art movement?

10) Anthony Masters' book “The Man Who Was M: The Life of Charles Henry Maxwell Knight” asserts Ian Fleming conceived the plan that lured Hess into flying to Scotland, in May 1941, to negotiate Anglo–German peace with Churchill, and resulted in Hess's capture. Fleming possibly conceived of a plan to use this British occultist to trick Rudolf Hess into attempting to contact a fake cell of anti-Churchill Englishmen in Britain, but this plan was not used because Hess had already flown to Scotland in an attempt to broker peace behind Hitler's back. Who was the infamous British occultist he thought to use?

11) We are of course hoping to have a show in 2013- heck by then The 1st Question should be playing on your mobile but for some the end of the world is scheduled for December 31, 2012. While most of us will sweat it out in that underground shelter in our suburban basements – how retro is that! One company envisions a network of underground shelters located near major cities across the U.S. in spacious quarters for up to one year to “ride out the potential events.” At 10 million USD, they are luxury shelters – possibly a new term. Equipped with everything you need for survival including computers, exercise equipment and medical facilities with abundant storage areas for food, fuel, water, and clothes. Spaces in the bunkers are likely to be in the US$50,000 price range and so far over 1,000 applications have been received to reserve a place. What is the name of the company who is building these?

12) This robot can draw! Drawing has been practiced by every civilization since the dawn of humankind. Now Robotkind joins in as computer scientists at Goldsmiths, University of London. Have devised an algorithm that allows this robot to approximate an artist, as well as recreating the thought process that unconsciously occur when drawing someone's face. In particular the research focuses on face sketching. Whose work might hang in the first museum of robot art?

13)She is an American viral video comedienne, and a lifecaster Her popularity is such that a video about her wanting to order a cheeseburger got 600,000 YouTube views in a week. She is known for her "300-page iPhone bill", which earned her international attention and celebrity. As of December 2009 she has about 1 million twitter followers & her videos have attracted a total of 64 million viewers. She does her work with a $400 Canon Powershot digital camera and a $12 green rug from Ikea to create her green screen. She was also shown as a contestant on the 7,000th episode of The Price Is Right I think I should make her an Avatar –and get her on The 1st Question- agreed? Who is she either her Internet name or birth name?

14) He is a legend and of course we hope he is watching tonight, As the creator of Spore and the Sims, Will Wright can pretty much write his own ticket. He just has signed an agreement with this Channel to produce programming that engages an audience. Known in the game industry for the systemic and scientific way that he approaches game design he was approached to bring it to TV. While we can’t wait to see what he comes up with, we really can’t wait for him to see this show. What Channel on cable is Mr. Wright teaming up with to deliver a program, hopefully ours?

15) Fuel cell and microorganisms are the wave of the future – from a moddedvirus splits water molecules to microbes which secrete liquid diesel. The Navy has been using small lightweight microbial fuel cells to power sensors and now its goal is to develop one that is powerful enough to steer a small robotic watercraft. “Think of it as a battery that runs on mud In a microbial fuel cell, organisms feed on available nutrients and generate an electric current as they metabolize the food. The Navy calls it “a device with the potential to revolutionize naval energy.” & is working with researchers at the University of Massachusetts on a microbe called what?

Friday, 23 April 2010

The First Question - 13 April 2010

This week's panel

Ran Hienrichs, Tricia Farella, GreyWolfMornington, DougMandlebrot


"The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences."
Henry Ward Beecher

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."
- Albert Einstein

"I always say, dare to struggle, dare to grin."
Wavy Gravy

Word-UP of the week –
“Rezbarassment” - The realization that you have been walking around half the day with one shoe on and one misshapen foot.

Audience Quote of The Week-
I can see a new product the iMovement
-Emmo Wei:


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) China is on track with its first offshore wind farm, a 102-megawatt array. The project is the latest in a series of moves by the Chinese government to pad its lead as the world’s largest market for wind power. This year China is expected to invest $100 billion to install up to 30,000 megawatts of power. There is some analogy to the US - For example, very recently, Cape Wind, which has proposed a wind farm off Nantucket, announced it had ordered 130 turbines. The difference is that China’s is about to start generating electricity, whereas Cape Wind has been waiting for its federal permit since it gained state and local ones in what year?

2) Described as one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world. This over 2 million square-foot Tower incorporates the latest green techand engineering including wind turbines . The design incorporates a series of other elements, including solar panels, , chilled ceiling system, under floor ventilation air, and daylight harvesting. While many of these attributes have been incorporated individually into skyscrapers around the world, this represents the first time that they have been used collectively. What building is an amalgam of green anyway you spell it?

3) The landscape of Mars portrayed in stories like the Martian chronicles, is a desert planet crisscrossed by giant canals built by an ancient civilization to bring water from the polar ice caps. It is a common scenario in science fiction of the early 20th century, stemming from early telescope observations of Mars by 19th century astronomers. It began with this Italian in 1877. He believed he saw straight lines on the planet. And called them canali, popularly mistranslated into English as "canals". Based on this and other evidence, the idea that Mars was inhabited by intelligent life was put forward by a number of prominent scientists’ notably American astronomer Percival Lowell. But who was the Italian astronomer who started it all?

4) The company is willingly projecting the first drop in annual sales of its handheld player, because the forthcoming 3-D model will be the company’s biggest portable product introduction since 2004. The world’s biggest maker of video-game machines is embracing the 3-D technology that helped the film “Avatar” break box-office records. The 3DS, going on sale this fiscal year, will compete against the PlayStation Portable and iPad. The company said the new handheld device will allow users to see 3-D images without the need for special glasses. Which company will be in 3D?

5) It is a problem for people with pets – they like to drink from the toilet. However it’s not the best idea for many reasons, including when they want to kiss you. Now a device with an alarm that sounds warning beeps when a pet or person approaches the bowl and the lid is up has arrived. Attached to the underside of the lid it will flash and emit warning beeps when pets or humans approach from 28 inches away. The battery-powered deterrent switches to off mode when the lid is closed. And if your mate leaves the toilet seat up this just also might be the training he needs to keep it shut. What is this new step in electronic toilets called?

6) As the population ages our organs wear out, wouldn’t it be great if we could just clone them? The NewOrgan Prize is an incentive launched by this foundation, and be awarded for successfully constructing a whole new organ from the patient's own cells. This newest longevity prize specifically focuses on speeding up the development of replacement tissues and organs - Wouldn’t you like to know your new liver is waiting for you let’s say 40 years down the road? I would – what Foundation is taking matters into its own hands to reverse aging?

7) Organs on demand won’t interfere with your iPlants. Neural implants are becoming more important in medical research. And ones for communications raise interesting possibilities However, a recent paper details some of the consequences of having an electronic device implanted below the surface of your conscious mind. Security vulnerabilities have already been discovered; in 2003, a hacker demonstrated that cardiac defibrillators could be compromised wirelessly. And if someone was to hack that neural implant, how would you state your case and how could you prove it? No your honor, I didn’t want to steal that jelly donut but I was forced to do so. Of course the movies that come out of this scenario – “Hackers Stole My Brains” will be interesting – What is the name given to special safeguards protecting neural brain implants from being compromised?

8) You want to go to space you don’t have 200,000 to go with Virgin galactic, and you want to go longer than 5 minutes. Okay you really want to go but you don’t have 35 million for a week on the International Space Station. Guess what? The Zero Gravity Corporation operates the officially named G-FORCE ONE, from major US cities and if You want to feel what it is like to be weightless, And you have $5,000 That's the cost of a flight in a modified Boeing 727 alarmingly nicknamed this

9) In spite of the technological age we live in it is reported that one-in-five people don’t have access to clean drinking water. More than 97 percent of the world’s water is in the oceans, so turning salt water into fresh water cost and energy efficiently is the best hope for clean water as demand is growing faster than the population rate. This company is helping to build a new, energy-efficient desalination plant with an expected production capacity of 30,000 cubic meters per day powered by ultra-high photovoltaic technology - a system with a concentration greater than 1,500 suns. What Global company is working in Saudi Arabia on a project with worldwide implications?

10) Yes it is International Robotics week, I took my Roomba for a drive and to the movies –But don’t you wish sometimes that your robot could do more, and could learn effortlessly from other robots? Well now they can! Research institutes are developing a collective worldwide online memory for robots, wherein robots can learn from each other's capabilities, thus streamlining new operations. It is designed to help robots adapt their pre-programmed tasks to unfamiliar new situations and settings. Allowing it to circumvent the accompanying period of trial and error. Your robot can learn from a collective online memory called what?

11) As long as they don’t interfere with my neural implants I’m fine with that. EVER since Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space in 1961, all Soviet and Russian cosmonauts have trained at the Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre.. It was a highly guarded military facility during the Soviet era, But now you can go through a tour. The museum showcases spacesuits, charred descent capsules and assorted Gagarin memorabilia= For the brave of heart, some tour operators can also arrange a spell in the centrifuge or flights which simulate weightlessness. What is this amazing place?

12) Since 1940, 26 new elements beyond uranium have been added. We have a new element for the periodic table – and it isn’t Avatarium - Researchers are approaching the presumed “island of stability” which is a term in nuclear physics that refers to a region beyond the current periodic table where new superheavy elements with special numbers of neutrons and protons would exhibit increased stability. Its discovery by an international team of scientists from Russia and the U.S was just published this month. The discovery of element 117 wasn’t easy. (Well the birth of super heavy things rarely are) What is its official name?

13) Ah the internet – a great place to find and post stuff anonymously. Some call this the whistle blowers site and some want it removed from the World Wide Web. When “This document is labeled classified” you can be sure it might eventually show up on here which uses trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, It was the subject of a 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation that worried about moles within gov't agencies ‘followed by a plan to fatally marginalize the organization, which doesn’t work. There have been embarrassing stories broken by this site, and the current news is The Washington Post, New York Times and several other papers are rethinking policies that allow online commenters to remain anonymous. Coincidence? Perhaps – what tis this anonymous website called?

14) You always wonder how a Nazi could face themselves in the mirror– This man, a former Luftwaffe pilot who was considered to be one of the most advanced dive bombers in the world has an incredible story. As he walked past a synagogue in a small Polish town, he saw storm troopers killing a group of Jews. The sight of the synagogue's rabbi, who did not let go of the Torah even in his death made a great impression. Changing this man forever he began disobeying orders, saving lives by dropping bombs in lakes. After the end of the war, he decided to work as a coal miner for twenty years. During those years, as self-imposed penance, he anonymously donated two-thirds of his wages to organizations that helped Jewish war orphans, and those who survived concentration camps. Then he bought a farm in Galilee and told rabbis his story and asked to be converted to Judaism. Who was he? Either Name will do-
15) It is a rare genetic condition which is found in very gregarious children who are unusually unafraid of strangers. "They don't recognize danger in faces and they approach anyone, they have been tested and found to not mirror the same kind of prejudice for those with different racial profiles. And they have a presumed deficit in processing fear & reduced neural activity in the amygdala, a brain region that processes social threats. Since racial bias in adults has been also linked to over-activity in this area, people who are not dictated by social fear are thought to also be less prejudiced, what is this syndrome called?
16) Cycling in the cold and in the freezing cold is not for the faint of heart or hide. However being able to negotiate the handlebars takes superhuman stamina and makes it even harder than it has to be. Enter this product more than gloves; more than mittens, it is designed to keep your hands warm and dry while cycling in the freezing cold, because someone has to do it. Toronto cyclist Hamish Greenland addressed this problem when The idea of a cover for handlebars came to him after riding home from work at [5F]," with an invention he has named affectionately designed to eliminate the windchill both on your hands, and on your cold-conducting aluminum bars." What does he call it?
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