Friday, 18 December 2009

The 1st Question 76 - 15 Dec 09

This week's panel

Mo Hax, Jianna Zerbino, Jessica Qin, Tomkin Euler


(Special Kudos to Gary Broono is is rapidly becoming our new King of Quotes! He got both this week.)

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
Paul Valery

Word-UP of the week – A TIE! “Idslexia “ - Misreading a headline but realizing your subconscious mind is actually giving you the real story. Ex: it says "APD starts new anti-drug program" but you read "APD starts new anti-drug pogrom" -- or "President flies to summit committee" but you read it as "President lies to summit committee". Jessica Qin

“Chatatonic” - The appearance of your avatar when someone walks up to you in SL, tries to engage you in chat, bumps into you, but you're lost in 3 separate IM conversations, you're trying to find something in your inventory, and you have a couple tabs open in your web browser... then your antivirus software starts an update...-Tomkin Euler

Audience Quote of the week –“ You shoulda heard me cursive when I stubbed my toe”-MenuBar Memorial


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) When a baby plays with this, their actions are associated through gizmos on their first dashboard, a modified Fischer-Price toy which has been souped up with electronics. Yes, it will send an email when baby is looking at a picture of you- & if more than one baby is hooked up to it the baby can join a social net and activate the flashing lights on their peers machines too – sort of a virtual playgroup. What is this device called?

2) Faster and faster as a new unified wireless specification will provides data transmission rates of up to 7 gigabits per second – more than ten times that of current Wi-Fi. It will only work over short distances, so it's better as the perfect way to wirelessly connect home media devices. 30 companies including Dell, Microsoft, Intel and Samsung are members. It's aiming towards a single wireless industry for the first quarter of 2010 – What is this alliance called? A new speed for a new decade?

P3): Its on the Surface of Mars, and isn’t going away- Of interest to astrobiologists because organisms release much of this on Earth's through their digestion of nutrients, Scientists think there may be microorganisms living far below the planet's surface where liquid water may exist & Extraterrestrial life itself may be producing this. Scientists have shown that the level of it on the Red Planet can't be explained by meteorites in the atmosphere. What is it that NASA and ESA scientists who are planning a joint mission to the red planet in 2018 to search for?

4) A Top salesman for IBM he filled his year's sales quota in two weeks, founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962- and became the biggest individual loser ever on the New York Stock Exchange" when his shares dropped $450 million in a single day . He supported the Environmental Protection Agency and wanted to enact electronic direct democracy when he ran for president. But withdrew-We might never know the whole story but he remained in the public eye after the election and championed opposition to NAFTA, urging voters to listen for the "giant sucking sound" of American jobs heading south. He has dropped out of political debate but he does blog. Who is he?

5) This is a Robotic Weapon Designed for law enforcement situations like riot control or other hostile or covert situations, or when you can’t stand to see fear in the eyes of your victims. It boasts of affordable, remotely-operated, electric vehicles designed to go where it is difficult, dangerous, hazardous, lethal, toxic or just too messy for humans to go”, and has a wireless control range of around 700ft. For the next insurgency, what will be attacking the front lines, remotely driven and gushing out pepper spray, for a start, following up with rubber bullets?

6) Recently MIT found that this substances impurities could be manipulated for atomic scale magnetic fields, leading the way in spintronics - What is now being used to generate magnetic fields strong enough to consistently manipulate nitrogen defects in this crystal in just under one nanosecond, by purely electrical means opening the way to mass production of a true general purpose quantum computer?

7) Gender, was thought to be caused by environmental factors, such as passion of sex, nutrition and temperature. These theories had their roots in Aristotle over 2000 years ago. One of the first American women to be recognized for her contribution to science. Her discovery based on insect observation was the first of its kind linked to gender. Basically, sex dependency is signaled by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome. She did not start her research until her thirties and completed her PhD in 1903. Who was this early American geneticist?

8) The citrus grows on a shrub or small tree with long, irregular branches covered in thorns. The fruit has a thick peel, only a small amount of acidic flesh (if any) and is juiceless and sometimes seedless. It is very fragrant and is used predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and personal items, such as clothing. It has fingers which open are like a goblin’ fingers another name for it, and which closed resemble hands in prayer. The fruit may be given as a religious offeringn its origin traced back to Northeastern India or China. What Deity is it named after?

9) It is an artificial intelligence program that autonomously seeks working equations to describe
data from experiments. The program begins by examining the data for numbers that appear to be connected, and then suggests equations that fit the connections. Of the proposed equations most fail, but some are less wrong than others, and these are selected and modified and then repeatedly re-tested again. It was able to calculate in hours equations that Newton took years to find, and hopes it can do the same for the interactions between proteins, genomes and cell signals, which are so complicated that describing them mathematically has so far been impossible. What is it called?

10) As the United States raced to build its first atomic bombs near the end of World War II, scientists wanted to know more about the hazards of this. Testing began on April 10, 1945 with injections into the victim of a car accident in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to see how quickly the human body rid itself of the radioactive substance. That was just the first of over 400 human radiation experiments. Common studies included seeing the biological effects of radiation with various doses, and testing experimental treatments for cancer. Records of this research became public in 1995, after the U.S. Department of Energy published them. What were the injections of?

11) It is a moldable silicone modeling clay that sets tough and is flexible allowing users to modify or repair just about anything. Coming in a range of colors this Play-Doh-like material boasts the potential to be used to modify and fix. it is self-adhesive, waterproof, flexible, dishwasher-proof and is highly temperature resistant. Its creators say this can help decrease your carbon footprint on the world by countering the disposable society and letting you repair things that previously would have ended up discarded. What is this new miracle clay called?

12) A five-foot-wide pipeline with an intake hundreds of feet below the sea will pull in cold water, which will circulate through air-conditioning units around this city. A $240 million project, will expect its technology to cut air conditioning electricity usage by up to 75 percent while slashing carbon emissions and the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Cold deep-sea water will be used to cool buildings where?

13) The Neurostar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation system is a nonsurgical device that uses a magnetic coil in a headpiece to stimulate the left prefrontal cortex....the mood center...with electromagnetic waves using short pulses to stimulate nerve cells in this area. The treatments stimulate the production of dopamine. It seems to work in clinical trials. It's the first of its kind to recieve FDA approval. And will run you $6000 for a full course of treatment. Ren and Stimpy first brought us the concept in the 90’s What was their original cartoon concept called?

14) The U.S. Navy wanted to boost sailors' night vision so they could spot infrared signal lights during World War II. However, infrared wavelengths are normally beyond the sensitivity of human eyes. Scientists knew this contained part of a specialized light-sensitive molecule in the eye's receptors, and wondered if an alternate form of it could promote different light sensitivity in the eye. They fed volunteers supplements made from the livers of walleyed pikes, and the volunteers' vision began changing over several months to extend into the infrared region. Such early success went down the drain after other researchers developed an electronic snooperscope to see infrared, and the human study was abandoned. Other nations also played with it during World War II. What was fed to Japanese pilots as well improving their night vision by 100 percent in some cases?

15) He was a passionate smoker, and a martial arts fighter, themes that ran through his science fiction novels for which he won the Nebula award three times –Part of The New Wave that included Philip Dick, he was Ohio – born. He also worked the lost, god-like father theme. He was a member of Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the 1960s.. His crisp, minimalistic dialogue also seems to be somewhat influenced by wisecracking hardboiled crime authors, such as Chandler or Hammett. This tension between the ancient and the modern, surreal and familiar was what drove most of his work. Who wrote the Amber series?

Monday, 14 December 2009

The 1st Question 75 - 8 Dec 09

This week's panel

Onder Skall, Doctor Rodenberger, Paolo Rousselot and AmericanActionHero Janick


All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
-William Wallace

Word-UP of the week – “Transfixia” – The feeling after you come out of a really really intense movie, when you walk outside and you still feel that you are in the movie.
-Doctor Rodenberger

Audience Quote(s) of the week
“There were people in South America before 20,000 yrs ago”
-Delia Lake
“Let me ask my dad, he might know, he's real old”
-Gary Broono


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Today a new game to raise energy awareness among young people has just been launched. Called Facebooks first serious game, EnerCities just went beta. However, the fastest growing social game in history, is a real-time simulation. It allows members of Facebook to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops, trees, and livestock. Created by Zynga, and not without controvesy, what is it called?

2) True to California’s goal of increasing its reliance on a diverse supply of renewable energy at reasonable costs and risks to ratepayers, Pacific Gas & Electric is agreeing to buy power generated from the first-of-its-kind project. A Space-based solar power has been researched in the U.S. for several decades. The experimental technology uses orbiting satellites equipped with solar cells to convert the sun's energy into electricity and converts that into radio frequency energy that can be transmitted to a local receiver station. Which California-based company is actually faced with the task of getting the out-of-this-world project up in the air, to provide 1,700 gigawatt-hours of energy per year?

3) Cory Doctorow is a Canadian blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He dropped out of four universities without attaining a degree.. He was named a Fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And recently became the first Independent Studies Scholar in Virtual Residence at the University of Waterloo. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Doctorow's first novel, was published in 2003, and was the first novel released under one of the Creative Commons licenses. The original “Down & Out in “novel was written by a genius of Science Fiction, his first novel too. It is a story in two parts on the theme of poverty in two cities.- what is the full name of that title from 1933 and who wrote it?

4) It could one day be used as a lightweight battery to power devices now enabling the printed word to be eclipsed by e-mail, e-books and online news. Scientists at Stanford reported last week they have successfully turned this substance coated with ink made of silver and carbon nanomaterials into a battery that holds promise for new types of lightweight, high-performance energy storage. This type of battery could even be useful in powering electric or hybrid vehicles, would make electronics lighter weight and longer lasting, which has been an obstacle to commercial viability. What is this new battery made out of?

5) When transforming thermal into mechanical, the efficiency of a heat engine is the percentage that is transformed into work. That heat emanating from your computer as you are watching this show is wasted energy. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted, most of it in the form of excess heat. In experiments involving new technology, an MIT research team has been able to demonstrate much higher efficiency ultimately in waste-energy harvesting in everything from computer processors to car engines to electric powerplants. What It is the 19th century principle, the basis of the second law of thermodynamics, which sets a limit on the maximum amount of efficiency any possible engine can obtain?

6) Interactive telecommunications researchers have designed a soil-moisture sensor device that can allow a house plant to communicate with its owner. The device can send short messages to a mobile phone or even Twitter. The messages can range from reminders to water, a thank you or a warning. To communicate, probes in the soil emit electric waves. A voltage level based on the moisture content is sent through two wires to a circuit board. A local network receives this data and allows the plant to send a message. What is this little micro-controller hooked up to your plant named?

7) Stationed at the European Marine Energy Center Billia Croo site near Stromness, it was installed this year and is, at present, the world’s only hydro-electric wave energy device which is producing power. Pumping high pressure water to its onshore hydro-electric turbine which feeds into the national grid to power homes. There are minimal moving parts and all electrical components are onshore, making it robust enough to withstand the rigors of Scotland’s harsh seas whose waters hold around ten percent of Europe’s wave power and as much as a quarter of its tidal power potential. Marine energy might meet up to 20 per cent of the UK's energy demands producing sustainable zero-emission electricity to power homes. What is the world’s largest working hydro-electric wave energy device called?

8) Citrus waste is usually a complete write-off in the compost game because it contains an antibacterial substance which slows its breakdown, but a team in Sweden has discovered that these acidic skins have more uses than they receive credit for. Limon, an antibacterial agent, pectin, a gelling agent, biogas, and ethanol, can be produced from new patents. Florida is also developing plans to build a commercial plant that will convert orange and grapefruit waste into ethanol that will be sold to Florida motorists at gasoline pumps. The plant is expected to produce about how many gallons of ethanol a year?

9) This versatile humanoid robot can see (via two cameras), will react to touch, can surf the Web and can interact with others of his kind. He can speak (in English or French, so far) by reading out any file stored locally or from a RSS flow. The bot is fitted with an accelerometer and gyrometer so he won't fall down.. His software even lets you recover photos and video stream of his vision. Let us not even go into his hardware. He can interpret his surroundings & detect faces and shapes, even recognizing the person talking to him. Who is he?

10) As art museums go, it has a very small collection. Literally. Presented by the Institute for the Promotion of the Less than One Millimetre, it is an online “portrait” collection of mini- and micro-organisms photographed through a microscope. Inside the virtual museum’s halls you can find a zooplankton family portrait next to the glowing image of a mother copepod posing with her children (Okay, her children are actually egg packages). Each collection features an array of exhibits with titles such as “The Hall of Arthropods”or the “Water Flea Circus”. All of the tiny subjects were photographed alive. What is this museum called?

11) Solar Impulse's HB-SIA solar-powered airplane was runway tested last week. The prototype aircraft is made of lightweight materials, weighing only 3,500 pounds and it has a wingspan of 210 feet. It is powered entirely by the 11,000 solar cells covering its wings. It is intended to fly at only 28 miles per hour to keep energy consumption low. It will store solar energy for night flight The Founder of Solar Impulse is a former astronaut and the first man to circle the world nonstop in a balloon. He hopes to perform the same feet in a solar-powered plane-Who is he?

12) Neuroscientists have demonstrated how brain waves can be used to type alphanumerical characters on a computer screen. By merely focusing on the "q" in a matrix of letters, for example, that "q" appears on the monitor. A mind-machine interface from electrodes placed directly on the brain are much more specific than data collected from EEG, in which electrodes are placed on the scalp. At what clinic are brain waves telling us the secret letter?

13) This power plant guides sea water and fresh water into separate chambers, which are divided by an artificial membrane. Salt molecules pull the fresh water through it, increasing the pressure which is then utilized in a power generating turbine. Statkraft claims this has the global potential to generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to China's total electricity consumption or half of the EU's total power production. In theory, such power plants could be located wherever sea water and fresh water meet, such as the mouth of a river. They run without producing noise pollution or polluting emission, what is the principle behind this membrane technology?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The 1st Question 73 - 17 Nov 09

This week's panel

Chris Ebi, Hiro Pendragon, Christopher Express, Wiz Norderg


“The cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity”
- Dorothy Parker

The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.
- Gary Gygax

Word-UP of the week – A Tie!
“Smeet” verb - To meet someone in real life that you've known online. (Smeet = Second / Meet contracted together) Origin: SLCC 1, 2005, New York Law School. Hiro: There needs to be a word for when you meet someone you've already known. Like meeting for the second time.

Philip Rosedale: Smeet?

Hiro: Yeah!

-Hiro Pendragon

“Treadulous” adj. - 1. A discussion or topic which has been discussed many times before, especially when it involves tedious discourse repeated ad nauseum. 2. A person who often engages in such discussions.
-Wiz Nordberg

Audience Quote of the week – “I'm creating my own show for idiots like me.. It will be called "the next question, please"
-Gary Broono


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Silicon could soon be replaced- with low-cost printable electronics. This process will offer manufacturers an inexpensive way to add “intelligence” or computing power to a wide range of surfaces like electronic clothing. Integrated circuits are currently manufactured in costly silicon chip factories. The difficult challenge of developing conductive electronic inks that work in an ordinary, everyday environment has been solved by Xerox developing what substance for printing plastic circuits?

2) Ant colonies aren't called superorganisms for nothing. The original Borg, millions of individuals can act as a single entity. Over 200 different species are called "Army Ants", no surprise that these mechanisms have been used for the basis of new software that helps troops to define the best path within a battle field. At what university has the "ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO)" been developed for maximum speed and minimum casualties.

3)Manny Pacquiao, who has done politics, acting, filmmaking, and music recording is really a professional boxer, and the only boxer to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions . A first and the equivilent of a pugilistic polymath. He has held or holds the champion title for junior welterweight, Lightweight, super featherweight, Featherweight, Super bantamweight, Flyweight and one other class. He is rated by Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Although in these weight categories I might say ounce for ounce. In What division does Manny currently fight in to win?

4) Smart contact lenses with virtual reality graphics and information just got a step closer. Adding a power harvesting antenna to contact lenses with microcircuits, this harvests radio waves to power a LED and pave the way for a new kind of display. The University of Washington is behind this project & tested the lens on what animal?

5) Ever been stuck in an airport with no where to sleep? Looking similar to a white desktop computer’s tower, people will be able to rent the facility in terminals for between 15 minutes and several hours. It uses soundproofing to keep the noises of the airport out. Bed sheets are automatically changed via the winding of one roller to another akin to a conveyor belt, and it comes equipped with an LCD display, Wi-Fi access, luggage space and loads of power outlets for charging laptops and mobile phones. What is this called from Russia with Snores?

6) The Air Force is looking to harness advances in bio-science so they can “degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive abilities.” By analyzing the biochemical brain pathways of troops who are cool under pressure, the Air Force wants an “external stimulant” that can act as a synthetic version of optimal cognitive stress response and keep airmen operating at top level, then reverse it on the enemy. In the 1970s and 80s, a small group of special operations soldiers at Ft. Bragg supposedly tried to teach themselves how to kill with psychic power – This forms the basis of what movie out now?

7) Using a computer, engineers draw a three-dimensional object. The drawing is sliced into layers which a beam traces. Meanwhile, metal wire, such as aluminum or titanium, is fed into the beam to build the layers. Heat from the beam reaching 3,000 degrees — briefly liquefying the metals before they settle into the desired shape. Astronauts could use the beam to create tools and spacecraft parts thereby avoiding the cost of sending extra supplies into space. It cost $2.5 million- what is it?

8) Tattooing dates back to at least Neolithic times but this is not your great great great grandaddy’s tattoo. Today it’s possible to get ink that glows under UV light, but a new technology could see tattoos that emit their own light & pave the way for embedded LED tattoos. For futuristic illuminated designs that can be animated to move across a person’s body, or for medical applications. On what will these tattoos be imprinted, then implanted into your body completely dissolving harmlessly?

9) It is a humanoid robot used for testing chemical protection clothing for the US Army & does lots of things that soldiers will be expected to do while wearing them. Essential in simulating how a soldier stresses fatigues under realistic conditions. The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person. What is his affectionate sounding acronym?

10) A blood-orange blob the size of a small refrigerator emerged from the dark waters, its venomous tentacles trapped in a fishing net. Within minutes, hundreds more were being hauled up. These giants weighing up to 450 pounds, up to 6 feet in diameter are swimming rampant costing Japan over $330 million dollars a year in damages. .These gelatinous seaborne creatures are blamed for decimating fishing industries, forcing the shutdown of seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, the Middle East and Africa, and terrorizing beachgoers worldwide. Scientists believe climate change — the warming of oceans has allowed it to spread and thrive – what is the name for the world’s largest jellyfish?

11) It came from beneath the climate change - The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop15) will take place this year in Copenhagen from December 7th through the 18th, and willhave a significant presence in SL too. - A patent for interactive TV that could allow viewers to participate in the events on the screen has been filed relying on a type of interactive overlay , perhaps generated by a video game console. Typically passive TV watchers will then use avatars to interact on-screen as the action plays out behind them. For example, racing real drivers in real races from the comfort of your couch, tossing virtual tomatoes or giving B-movie actors a swift kick in the pants. Extreme interaction includes adding "shootable" virtual characters on top of a war or action movie. But when they go down, will they stay down? What company has filed a patent for this?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The 1st Question 72 - 10 Nov 09

This week's panel

In Kenzo / Clint Peccable / Kate McLaglen / Eyebeams Electricteeth


Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
-A. J. Liebling

The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.
-John Foster Dulles

The most important political office is that of the private citizen.
-Louis D. Brandeis

Word-UP of the week – “Wheelbarrowism” - Sticking to the theory that the universe is just a large wheelbarow at the bottom of a supreme beings garden
-Clint Peccable

Audience Quote of the week –
You actually have to do something in the future
-Hiro Pendragon


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) It is an international organization that brings together scholars and public figures working to reduce the danger of armed conflict. Founded in 1957, it followed the release of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto which called for a conference of scientists to assess the dangers of weapons of mass destruction It’s first fifteen years coincided with many international crises so it played a useful role in opening communication channels during a time of otherwise-strained relations, In 1995, fifty years after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with its founder Joseph Rotblatt who said "Remember your humanity" great words, in what mission do they lie?

2) Commercial flies, tiny insects that carry advertiser messages, are science fiction; everybody knows that. Philip K. Dick wrote about this idea in his 1966 novel The Simulacra: Apparently, nobody told THIS German publisher, which released hundreds of houseflies with TINY ultralight banner ads glued to their hind ends WITH A BIT OF SEALING WAX to promote their table at the Frankfurt Book Festival. Somehow I don’t think this would go over as well with an American crowd. Which book publisher let the flies out?

3) It is an European space mission, expected to be launched in the Spring of 2012, and will be operated to compile a catalogue of approximately one billion stars creating an extremely precise three-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy and beyond, creating a kind of universal positioning system (I would use UPS but that has been taken) This massive stellar census will provide the basic observational data to tackle origins, structure, and evolution of our Galaxy. What is the name of this mission that seeks to unlock the positions of the stars?

4) ) An Australian physicist and humanitarian played a fundamental role in nuclear fusion and the development of the atomic bomb, the first to discover heavy hydrogen nuclei could react. This fusion reaction is the basis of a hydrogen bomb, and it's discovery purely, coincidental. In November 1943, he moved to work on the Manhattan Project as part of the British delegation. but it made him uneasy and he preferred to concentrate on uranium-235. He became a harsh critic of nuclear weapons and a member of Pugwash . Who was right from the beginning, worried by the existence of nuclear weapons and very much against their use?

5) She was a French playwright and political activist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reached a large audience and led unfortunately to the guillotine for attacking the regime of Robespierre, during the Reign of Terror. She is best known as an early feminist -In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen- Article 10 contains the famous phrase: “La femme a le droit de monter l'√©chafaudage; elle doit tout aussi avoir le droit de monter l'estrade.” If women have the right to be executed, they should have the right to speak. She was alarmed that the constitution, which was to promote equal suffrage, did not address—nor even consider—women’s suffrage. Who was she?

6) Australians were the first to use this to educate isolated children often miles away from the nearest school. The Royal Flying Doctor Service begun in 1928 established a large pedal powered radio network across the outback, . An influential Adelaide schoolteacher, made the proposal for this to be set up through the radio network and in 1950 the first lesson was broadcast. Now 12 Schools and 1000 students take part and teachers still use high frequency radio to provide lessons to their students with newer technologies such as email, computer links, video and the Internet. What is this school called?

7) I know you all can’t believe this kind of thing exists but Love Plus is a new Japanese dating simulation for the Nintendo DS that requires a fair amount of interaction between you and your simulated date. There is this part where you can hold hands on the touchscreen, if you touch your dates hand with the stylus. And then there's the part where you can kiss by putting your fingers to their lips. This scifi writer popularized the idea of a relationship with a virtual person in his 1996 novel Idoru, in which a virtual person seems so real. He wrote of personality-constructs & synthespians (great word) Who was it?

8) When European Union officials first discussed the idea of a massive solar power plant to provide power to all of Europe, many people took it as a plan that was far too outlandish to ever come to pass. But now a consortium is dedicated to pushing the project ahead. The Desertec Industrial Initiative aims to provide 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050 or earlier. They will need evidence that the project won’t suffer due to local political instability or terrorism threats. Where will this $400 billion project, using new high voltage direct current cables to bring the power to Europe be built?

9) A small dashboard robot created by MIT’s Media Lab reads the driver's mood from facial expression and other cues. It responds in a socially appropriate and informative way. When it merges knowledge with an understanding of the driver’s priorities it will have figured out your home and work locations helping you achieve more energy efficiency and safer behavior.” Not a backseat driver, but a friendly dashboard assistant, you could actually chuck out the window if it became too irritating. What is it called?

10) One of the first physicists to be publicly troubled by the philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics was Einstein. In 1935, he co-authored a paper which was intended to show that Quantum Mechanics could not be a complete theory of nature. That something else would have to be invoked. What challenged long-held ideas about the relation between the observed values and those accounted for by a physical theory, we are looking for the name of the paradox or argument?

11) In an astonishingly productive career, he invented many devices, but never once applied for a patent. He wrote in 1893, ” Excellence will always defy competition." He was also a passionate believer in scientific communication as a key to furthering progress. Open Source science we would call it today. He is credited with the First powered flight in 1894- and built the world's first box-kite, hitched four together, added an engine and flew it five meters. Modest, unassuming and unselfish, he was only anxious that he might succeed in adding to the sum of human knowledge. Who was he?

12) Frederick Pohl was a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group - Black Widowers. He collaborated on a dystopian satire of a world ruled by advertising agencies, called The Space Merchants. But in this excellent tongue-in-cheek story he pillories the “Consumer Society.” So many goods are produced that people are obligated to consume - and in doing so you could graduate to higher levels of society, where you might actually have fewer things and more time to yourself. And to achieve this, you could get robots to do your consumption for you…. In what book is the measure of wealth how FEW goods you are force-fed?

13)The 2009 Global Green Challenge, has a winner, After covering almost 1800 miles in four days across Australia's baking red center, This team's run was nearly flawless, reporting only a single flat tire and the win breaks a string of four consecutive victories by the Dutch Nuon team. A total of 32 solar vehicles from 16 countries made the start about 10 days ago. This car covered in solar panels, placed fourth in qualifying but took the lead on day one and extended its advantage all the way to the finish line. Which country took the victory; it’s first from this nation since 1993?

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The 1st Question 71 - 27 Oct 09

This week's panel

Gatsby Crumb, Marian Sapphire, Chrome Underwood, John Zhaoying.


In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
Hugh Walpole

Never forget that the most powerful force on earth is love
Nelson Rockefeller

I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future.
Dan Quayle

Word-UP of the week – “Kleptography” - the process of lifting images from a myriad of sources in order to re-assemble them in a new form, usually as a work of art. Also known as Photoshoplifting.
Chrome Underwood

Audience Quote of the week – “Prepare to flatten your funk, fritter your feckles, and flip your flume!”
Troy McLuhan


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) That trees can “self-preserve” in such a humid climate as Norway and for centuries was news to scientists who recently dated trunks seeded in the early 1200s. The substance, responsible for that fact has been around for a very long time, and its conservation abilities have been known for millennia. It was one of the ingredients used in Ancient Egypt for mummification, a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, valued for its chemical uses, such as varnishes and adhesives, and also as an important source of raw materials for organic synthesis, or incense and perfume like frankincense and myrrh. Fossilized it is the source of amber.. What is this that also acts as a material in nail polish?

2) Scientists discover that this is the only known cancerless animal, and it has two-tier defense. Despite a 30-year lifespan that gives ample time for cancer cells to grow it has never been found with tumors of any kind. Its cells express a gene called p16 that causes cell proliferation to stop when too many of them crowd together, cutting off runaway growth before it can start. The animals are strange, ugly, nearly hairless mouse-like creatures that live in underground communities. Unlike any other mammal, these communities consist of queens and workers more reminiscent of bees than rodents. What animal might provide a breakthrough for cancer research?

3) A deep hole has been found in the Moon's surface; scientists believe it may be an opening into a vast underground tunnel. The moon seems to possess long, winding tunnels called lava tubes that are similar to structures seen on Earth. They are created when the top of a stream of molten rock solidifies and the lava inside drains away, leaving a hollow tube of rock. Their existence on the moon is hinted at based on observations of sinuous rilles – long, winding depressions carved into the lunar surface., The hole is thought to extend down at least 80 meters and possibly as wide as 370 meters across. Which space Agency just found them?

4)It is a new German newspaper - that's printed news, not online - that will print you a unique paper each morning according to your personal preferences. Philip K. Dick fans have their own name for a custom-printed newspaper; it's a homeopape: To create yours first choose from among a variety of print and Internet news partners, selecting the topics you are interested in and the sources you prefer. The resulting newspaper is printed out overnight and delivered to your mailbox first thing in the morning. The paper is being rolled out in the German capital on Nov. 16 The daily paper will cost under 2 euros.$. What is the first "customized" newspaper in Europe called?

5) Consider that 100,000 people around the world tomorrow will suffer epileptic seizures. That probably doesn't trouble you tremendously. Now imagine that one those 100,000 people will be you. In that case you probably would be troubled. We have a tendency to think that what we care about is important in and of itself.” A new book, "On Myself, and Other, Less Important Subjects," takes a distinctly different view on the fact that we care so much about ourselves, telling us something deep about the world: What is the word for the philosophical idea that one's own mind is all that exists?

6) Professor Kevin Warwick and his merry team at the department of Cybernetics, University of Reading have already created several versions of a rat brain-controlled robot. The rat brain-controlled robot has an actual, living brain consisting of rat neurons. The cells are removed from rat fetuses and then disentangled from each other with an enzyme bath. The next step in their research is to use cultures available on the open market, saying the ethical side of sourcing is done by the company from whom they are purchased. And they don’t need approval from the university or government - From what will the new neuron cell line come from, controlling the next gen of robots??

7) Crystals in gel are being touted for computer memory storage which could lead to densities one hundred times greater than today's technology. The development could allow users to store a terabyte of data in a space the size of a sugar cube within a decade. This would be enough to hold the equivalent of 250,000 photographs or a million books. Compared with the flat two-dimensional surface of a CD, three-dimensional units use many more layers, in which tiny crystals could act as storage points. Information would be recorded in a similar way as on CDs - by making marks in a pattern, which are read using light. At what university is this fantastic research being done?

8)Possibly Europa's ocean may have enough oxygen to support life: a frozen moon is believed by scientists to have a liquid water ocean several miles underneath its frozen surface; the water kept in a liquid state by heat generated from tidal forces. Science fiction fans observe this with delight, having seen this idea popularized a quarter-century ago by Arthur C. Clarke in 2010: Odyssey Two. Clarke himself credits the idea of life in Europan oceans to a 1980 Star and Sky article by this man titled The Europa Enigma. Whose idea was panned by most planetary scientists and NASA as well. Who was it that Clarke enthusiastically supported immediately.

9) It is a new device by electronics giant Philips and ABN Amro, a financial corporation, designed to warn online traders about exuberant or despondent emotions that could affect their decision-making abilities. As a wearer's emotions grow more intense, lights flicker faster on the bracelet and the colors change from a soft yellow to orange to a deep cautionary red. Philips Design has long been investigating possible uses for emotional sensors. Last year it teamed up with ABN Amro, which wanted to educate its clients about how to make better investment decisions. 'Driven by fear, traders may sell too hastily when share prices drop. Driven by greed, they may be overenthusiastic.' Although there are no immediate plans to release the device for sale to the general public, Philips does expect this technology to emerge in the next few years. What is this electronic device called?

10) 3D printing technology has arrived big time. This leverages 3D source data, which often takes the form of CAD models that have quickly become the standard for nearly all product development processes... In addition to mainstream applications in mechanical and architectural design, 3D printing has expanded into new markets including medical, molecular, and geospatial modeling. 3D printers use standard inkjet printing technology to create parts layer-by-layer by depositing a liquid binder onto thin layers of powder. It claims a vertical build rate of about 1-2 inches per hour. But at $26,000, it's an amazing technology. The company claims that it has the world's only full-color 3D printer doing rapid prototyping in color.What is it?

11)It will open on November 12 and if there was ever a place that cried out for a Second Life counterpart this is it. . This institution, with its own unique financial instruments, is the brainchild of a conceptual artist and backed by private Swiss funding. It intends to offset materialism with modern science, by exploiting the economic potential of antimatter, which is the physical opposite of anything made with atoms, from luxury condos to private jets." The bank will serve as a hub for antimatter transactions worldwide, The new currency will be issued in three convenient denominations, ranging from 10,000 positrons to 1,000,000 positrons. The anti-money will be backed by antimatter stored in the bank's own vaults.. Antimatter being a natural haven for wealth when everything becomes worthless. Where will the First Bank of Antimatter be located?

12) Fashioned from 36 brass fins arranged in the shape of a hand-held fan, each fin is approximately 20 centimeters long and three millimeters thick. Ultrasound and underwater sonar devices could "see" a big improvement thanks to development of this, the world's first. Created by researchers with the DOE, it provides an eightfold boost in the magnification power of sound-based imaging technologies. The key to this success is the capturing of information contained in evanescent waves, which carry far more details and higher resolution than propagating waves. What is this ground breaking piece of engineering called?

13) This is not one of those pokey amphibious cars from the 1960's. It can do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds on land, and up to 60 mph on the water. Total cost: about $220,000. Boat manufactures using lightweight high-performance automotive-type engines and Car manufacturers incorporating light-weight marine-type alloy bodies and chassis. Gave Dave March vision to see high-performance cars that were also high-performance boats, an automobile capable of getting to plane on top of the water and reaching freeway speeds! What is the name of this amphibious vehicle?

14) A portable microwave generator and hand-held antenna are used to seal wounds, binding the edges of the wound together using a biodegradable protein sealant or “solder”. This method could be used for repairing wounds in emergency settings, by restoring the wound surface to its original strength within minutes. To date, over 200 tests have been performed. Once sealed, the effectiveness of wound closure was measured using a tensile strength meter. Welds stronger than the uninjured (uncut) muscle have been consistently and precisely achieved. Although this technology would have many applications, it is being developed as life-support technique for who, what or where?

15) The enigmatic maple tree seeds (or samara fruit) - and the unique spiraling pattern with which they glide to the ground - have intrigued children and engineers for decades. Researchers first tried to create an unmanned aerial vehicle that could mimic a maple seed's spiraling fall in the 1950s. Now aerospace engineering graduate students have applied the seeds’ design to airborne devices and created what they believe to be the world's smallest controllable single-winged what?

16) “The great city bazaar crushed it country rivals with branch stores, and in the city itself absorbed its smaller rivals till the business of a whole quarter was concentrated under one roof, with a hundred former proprietors of shops serving as clerks “- From this famous 19th century utopian novel, aristocrat John West suffers from insomnia. He consults a hypnotist and sleeps until the year 2000. He finds many wonders there, among them a vast number of shops all under one roof. This is an amazing prediction of the rise of stores like Walmart. Published in 1888, it inspired utopian living experiments. Which book became so popular, in 1900 that it was only outsold by Uncle Tom's Cabin?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The 1st Question 70 - 20 Oct 09

This week's panel

Colossus Linden , Zinnia Zauber , Keystone Bouchard , Judi Newall


They that have lived a single day have lived an age.
Jean de la Bruyere

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
Oscar Wilde

Word-UP of the week - "Mumffuling" - wandering about aimlessly but happily, not doing much of anything.
Judi Newall

Audience Quote of the week – Best quote ever "Who the heck stuffs snow in to a chicken?!"
Zen Paine

What we do with the 90% of the brain we are allegedly not using -Mind is not limited to the brain - the remainder of the human electrical system interacts interdimensionally (the multidimensional human) We will learn to be more aware of this over time & generations.
Caprica McCallen


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

P:1) There is a new UK-based business website that provides you with four random camera feeds. Should you come to believe you are seeing a) shop lifting, b) burglary, c) vandalism or d) anti social behavior, you can press your alert button. Internet Eyes discourages the idea that their service "is creating a “snoopers paradise”, although users will be strictly anonymous and the person who catches the most miscreants will be awarded a 1,000 pound prize each month. Although there isn’t much in literature on citizens snooping on one another through camera feeds, a 1954 novel has a totalitarian, book-burning government looking for the novel's hero, who is on the run for reading books and directs its citizens saying – “The fugitive cannot escape if everyone in the next minute looks from his house. Ready!" set spy! – What very famous book is it?

X:2) He just makes his fellow billionaires look bad. His philosophy “I had one idea that never changed in my mind — that you should use your wealth to help people", led him to set up his charity. He also said “Money has some attraction for some people but you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time” – He transferred the bulk of his wealth to the foundation and gave it away. He made his billions in airport duty free shops. Up to 2005, his foundation had given away over are you sitting down? $3.5 billion- Who was the greatest donor of all time, an anonymous man?

3) In 1903, At 31 Horatio Nelson Jackson differed with the then-prevailing wisdom that the automobile was a passing fad, the plaything of rich men. While in San Francisco Nelson took a bet to prove that a car could be driven across the country. He accepted even though he did not own a car, had practically no experience driving, and had no maps to follow. The young mechanic he convinced to accompany suggested Jackson buy this car. So He did, a slightly used one, bade his wife goodbye, and left San Francisco. They arrived in New York City almost two months after they left. Their trip expended over 800 gallons of gasoline. There were only 150 miles of paved roads then in the nation total, no gas stations, road maps or mechanics. In what car did he drive?

4) This country’s car-makers push their plans to increase sales and give motorists more electric and hybrid-powered vehicle choices, and its Government has added its support by announcing intent to spend the equivalent of $2.2 billion on creating a battery-charging network for them across the country. The government says it will also make the installation of charging stations obligatory in new apartment blocks with parking lots. The money will come from a strategic investment fund. Which country is taking this great drive forward?

5) Nanobees are nanoparticles laden with this peptide, an ingredient in bee venom that is known to have therapeutic uses. Its use in medicine has been minimal due to the fact that it does damage to healthy cells as well. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis came up with the nanobee idea as a way to get it directly to tumor cells. This also exhibits potent anti-microbial activity on the bacteria that causes lyme disease and yeast infections. What do the nanobees deliver?

6) An organism in a cryptobiotic state can essentially live indefinitely until environmental conditions return to being hospitable. Tardigrades are known for their virtual indestructibility on Earth. Scientists have reported their existence in hot springs, on top of the Himalayas, under layers of solid ice and in ocean sediments. And can survive in a vacuum and a European Space Agency experiment has also shown them enduring ultraviolet radiation and cosmic rays. They are the first animals known to be able to survive this and might be made to behave like quantum objects too soon What are these tiny but very mighty creatures also called?

7) Legend has it that the Irish warrior Finn McCool built then to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. It is a remarkable geological configuration, of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and recently named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Managed by the National Trust, it is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, what is it called?

8) He turned to medicine at 16, achieving full status as a qualified physician 2 years later. A polymath in Islams. Golden Age, he wrote the Canon of Medicine, a remarkable medical book known for its introduction of quarantine, experimental medicine, clinical trials, neuropsychiatry, risk factor analysis, diagnosis of contagious diseases & more . He viewed color to be of vital importance in diagnosis and treatment, and also developed a chart that related color to the temperature and physical condition of the body. The first color therapist, and a legendary doctor- who was he?

9) You couldn't ask for a more accurate description of a hologram than the one in this book “The telestereo, a glass disk, inserted in the room's floor, was initiated by a switch. Instantly there appears, the image of a man in the blue and white robe of the Supreme Council, a lifesize and moving and stereoscopically perfect image, flashing across the void of space by means of etheric vibrations. Through the medium of that projected image the man himself could see and hear as well as Jan Tor could see and hear him." From what 1928 novel does the telestereo derive?

10) Ever since the Rubik’s cube took the world by storm in the 80’s there has been a steady stream of puzzles looking to capture the public’s imagination. The latest brainteaser to take a stab at puzzling glory is this, a cylindrical device that has been individually milled from a solid block of metal, and that features an internal labyrinth which must be navigated to remove the metal core. You must solve a maze that you can’t see, relying on your memory of incorrect moves to get you through to the end. What is this fun for the whole family device called?

11) This country has the only fully rotating hotel building in the world - and the way they've done it is fascinating. Its smaller "revolving loft" is an engineering marvel and a pinnacle of luxury. Featuring only 24 rooms, this cylindrical tower cost $12 million to build & to accomplish this; the entire building is floated in a special pool system containing 470 tons of water. The lower three floors are submerged under the water, while the upper 3 floors are treated to a slowly rotating panoramic view of the area. In what country is this floating hotel?

12) The competition concluded this weekend, and its pretty big for user created content, NASA, offered the prize. Their motivation simple: being able to dig on the moon. Future lunarnauts will “live off the land” by excavating useful materials, such as oxygen and even recently discovered water. Home-built moonbots raked, scraped and dug their way across an artificial lunar landscape in California pursuing a half-million-dollar prize. Hobbyists from Los Angeles became the first ever to meet the minimum qualification & a group of students from Worcester tech took the prize the first since it was launched 3 years ago. What was the challenge?

13) In the mid-1800s neuroscientists discovered cells in the brain that are not like neurons (the presumed active players of the brain) and called them thus, the Greek word for “glue.” Even though the brain contains about 10 times as many as neurons—the assumption was that those cells were nothing more than a passive support system. They are really busy multitaskers, guiding the brain’s development and sustaining it throughout our lives. They also listen carefully to their neighbors, and speak in a chemical language of their own. . What does the brain contain a trillion of that have many different functions from immune system to scaffolding?

14) The magnetic equivalent of electricity, dubbed "magnetricity", has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time. Just as the flow of electrons produces electrical current, individual north and south magnetic poles have been observed to roam freely. Magnets normally have two poles, north and south, that are inseparable. That is true all the way down to its individual atoms, since each behaves as a tiny bar magnet with two poles. - Many of physic’s grandest theories require single, freely moving magnetic poles to exist and in this type of magnetic solid monopoles not bound in pairs move independently of one another, forming inside a crystalline material called what?

15) Before him, everyone assumed that cells got their energy using straightforward chemistry, generated from food by a series of standard reactions. This man thought otherwise. Life, he argued, is powered not by the kind of chemistry that goes on in a test tube but by a kind of electricity. He dubbed his theory chemiosmosis, and it is not surprising that biologists found it hard to accept. It might be counter-intuitive, but this has turned out to be ubiquitous in the living world. Living power drives not only cell respiration, but photosynthesis: energy from the sun is converted into a proton gradient in essentially the same way as the energy of food. A British biochemist, he was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Who was this genius?

16) These shipping container disaster relief houses are just too good to waste on terrible natural catastrophes. They are easy to deliver, easy to set up (just 90 minutes) and are even self-sustaining. The units come complete with a kitchenette, a fold-out bed, dried foods, and everything else needed for a family to be able to move right in that day. There is also a solar array that powers batteries for off-grid power. But a fully charged battery comes with the unit when it arrives so power is instantly available. What company has created this self sustaining home?

17) Science-fiction becomes science fact with the development of an exoskeleton suit inspired by the one Ripley wore in her climactic battle in Aliens. And, just like in the movie, the suit is designed to give its wearer superhuman strength for lifting of heavy objects. And has plans to release a version to the market by the 2015. What is this PowerLoader suit constructed from?
18) Making a living thing do two things at once is more than a physicist's tour de force, or Pooky’s dream of shopping and writing at the same time. It could answer fundamental questions about the nature of quantum theory. Both the Yaqi sorcerer Don Juan of Carlos Castenada's books and R Buckminster Fuller said this was entirely feasible. In quantum theory, a single object can be doing two different things at once. This is a delicate state, destroyed by any contact with the outside world and only molecules have done it so far. Now, lasers can alter the energy state of a virus by reflecting and transmitting it into both its ground state and next vibrational energy one. What kind of position is it that does two different things at once ?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The 1st Question 69 - 13 Oct 09

This week's panel

Lorin Tone, Harper Beresford, Reslez Steeplechase, AgileBill Firehawk


Chance favors the prepared mind
Harlan Ellison

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.
Bertrand Russell

Word-UP of the week – “Inventoil” – Sorting through one’s extensive inventory.
Harper Beresford

Audience Quote of the week – "Heroin was invented to keep soldier away from cocaine...and it succeeded"
Roger Amdahl


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) He is a theoretical physicist specializing in string field theory, and a futurist. He is a popularizer of science, host of two radio programs and a best-selling author. Presently, he is engaged in defining the "Theory of Everything", which seeks to unify the four fundamental forces of the universe. Which we have covered in the show. He has publicly stated his concerns over nuclear power, and the general misuse of science. His latest book, Physics of the Impossible, examines the technologies of invisibility, teleportation, precognition, star ships, antimatter engines, time travel and more - In this book, he ranks these subjects according to when, if ever, they might become reality. Who is this genius among us who has lectured at the City College of New York, for more than 30 years?

2) Devices will use special gel pads to "swipe" a person or crime scene to gather a sample which is then analyzed detecting the presence of chemicals within seconds, much quicker than current analysis methods. This will allow better, faster decisions to be made in response to terrorist threats. Raman spectroscopy involves shining a laser beam onto the suspected sample and measuring the energy of light that scatters to determine what chemical compound is present. What country is developing this technology they also hope will be employed for roadside breathalyzing?

3) It is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement. The scale is only theoretical and in terms of an actual civilization highly speculative; however, it puts energy consumption in a cosmic perspective. The three levels can be quantified in units of power (watts) and plotted on an increasing logarithmic scale. It has three measures -Type I — a civilization that is able to harness all of the power available on a single planet: Type II — one that is able to harness all of the power available from a single star: & Type III — a civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single galaxy. At present we are below Type 1 on what scale?

4) He wrote many philosophical papers on ethics and aesthetics. He synthesized the thoughts of Kant and was friends with Goethe. He developed the concept of the Schöne Seele (beautiful soul), a human being whose emotions have been educated by his reason, so that duty and inclination are no longer in conflict with one another; thus "beauty," has morals. He wrote The Robbers considered the first European melodrama and he was an important part of Weimar theatre. This play strongly criticizes the hypocrisies of class and religion and the economic inequities of German society; it also conducts a complicated inquiry into the nature of evil. Beethoven set his poems to music with Ode to Joy- who was he?

5) The experiment was conducted in 1971 as Twenty-four undergraduates were selected to play the roles of both guards and prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the university’s psychology building. Those selected were chosen for their lack of psychological issues, crime history, and medical disabilities. Roles were assigned based on a coin toss. Prisoners and guards all too rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted and leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations so much so that the experiment was terminated after six days. The experiment's result has been argued to demonstrate the impressionability and obedience of people when provided with a legitimizing ideology and social and institutional support. What was this experiment in human behavior?

6) The Soviet Union launched the very first earth-orbiting satellite in 1957, and the world looked on in awe as Sputnik flashed through the sky. Fifty years later, you’d be lucky to see anything. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network says there are almost 20,000 man-made objects in orbit, ninety-four percent of which are non-functional debris. And that’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of bits of junk too small to track. DARPA has put out a call for someone – anyone – to come up with a way to effectively remove orbital debris. There are about nine hundred operational satellites that are in constant danger of smashing into things. With the reality of space tourism drawing ever closer, the need to clean up around the earth has never been more pressing. There have been lots of ideas in the past but none, obviously, has struck DARPA as quite right.. In 2003, an inflatable set of “space tongs” that could grab and tow objects was proposed by which company? So, if you’ve got a concept for the removal of space debris, it might be worth submitting –But, hurry – you have to get your brilliant idea to them before the end of October.

7) What is it with scientists and robotic animals? Did they not have pets as children? This year alone, we’ve seen robot ferrets, penguins, dogs, locusts, moles and bats. And now, scientists at MIT have come up with a robotic what? A fish. Way back in 1994, MIT ocean engineers built “Robotuna”, a four-foot long monstrosity controlled by six motors. the new fish is less than a foot long, powered by a single motor. This new model has a flexible, single-piece polymer body that mimics biological locomotion through the use of controlled vibration. The latest model swims like a tuna. This allows a greater range of movement. Name one of the many reasons to create a robot fish, sushi for robots is not an option.

8) Curators of King Henry VIII's flagship, a Tudor time capsule likened to a British Pompeii, have just revealed thousands of artifacts never before seen by the public. In 1545 the vessel sank off England's southern coast during an engagement with the French fleet. The vessel was spectacularly raised from its watery grave in front of a global audience of some 60 million in 1982. -That must have been when people still watched TV. What remains of the hull has been on display behind glass ever since, but the thousands of personal items found in the wreckage have been hidden from public view due to lack of a suitable space to show them. The artifacts include, well preserved leather "manbag" complete with compact mirror and cut-throat razor -- the height of Tudor fashion, a giant 4 foot long wooden spoon used to stir the crew's porridge pot what every tudor manbag should have of course and 70 nit combs. What was the name of this fabled vessel?

9) RoboBee is the latest buzzword at these two universities which received a $10 million grant to create a swarm of entirely mechanical flying insects. The work will likely be based on the earlier research of the robotic fly micro air vehicle Bees and bee colonies have long been held up as models of efficiency. Using a host of different sensors, unique communication protocols, and a precise hierarchy of task delegation, thousands of bees can work independently on different tasks while all working toward a common goal--keeping their colony alive. So let’s create robotic bees that fly autonomously and coordinate activities amongst themselves and the hive, much like real bees. Furthermore, the RoboBees created will provide unique insights into how Mother Nature conjures such elegant solutions to solve complex problems. Name one of the 2 schools that got the grant to start the electronic hive?

10) A radioisotope battery the size and thickness of a dime can provide power density six orders of magnitude greater than that of ordinary chemical batteries. And a new form of internal structure could mean that these nuclear batteries could be as thin as a human hair. Nuclear power is already used in batteries in pacemakers and space satellites, so they can be safe. This recent innovation is not only in the battery’s size, but also in its semiconductor, this battery uses a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid one to help preserve itslef. Who was an early proponent of the idea that nuclear power could be provided in very small packages, as incredible as it might have seemed in 1952?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The 1st Question 68 - 6 Oct 09

This week's panel

Elliot Eldrich, Schmilsson Nilsson, Dj2Deillos Supermarine and Crayden Lohner.


An idea is salvation by imagination.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht

Word-UP of the week – "IMstorm" - what happens when I log in and get hit with thirty Instant Message's at one time.
Elliot Eldrich

Audience Quote of the week –" has a certain j'ne sais quoi amongst the science set"
Shenlei Flasheart

For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

P:1) Meatricity has held its fascination for me for awhile, the ability to use the human body to generate power, okay like a hamster, but I like hamsters, makes me want to start off with this question- This inspired design is intended to travel in a 15-minute circuit around New York, it offers a range of exercise equipment capable of converting energy derived from human motion into usable electric energy stored in batteries. As well as the obvious benefits of exercise and eco-credentials, spectacular panoramic views offer unique variety for passengers that far surpass the bland tedium of a conventional gymnasium. What is it?

2) If there’s one thing there seems to be an endless supply of, it's garbage. The idea of turning landfill trash into fuel to combat the growing energy crisis and tackle carbon emissions isn’t new. But now scientists are saying that replacing gasoline with biofuel derived from processed waste biomass could cut global emissions by as much as 80%. Second-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol derived from processed urban waste, (paper and cardboard) may do it. Name one of the 2 countries this new study on garbage for fuel is from (

3) A rebuilding exercise is underway but it’s not one that uses bricks it uses digital images – maybe even ones you provided unwittingly. A new computer algorithm uses hundreds of thousands of tourist photos to automatically reconstruct an entire city in about a day And could provide visitors with an on-line virtual-reality 3-D tour of them. This particular digital city was constructed in just 21 hours. Using this, a viewer can fly around and to it's great landmarks. Some of the earlier photo-stitching technology, known as Photo Tourism, was much slower. What city has been rebuilt digitally, better and faster?

4) Michael Bennett-Levy's extraordinary collection of early technologies went under the hammer at Bonhams in London- A huge success 748 lots selling for over a million dollars. It was the largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world. One rare 1958 one is a hallmark in style and also one of the earliest examples of high-definition TV - it sold for under $4,000 and features a 19-inch screen, a tapered-hood case in deep purple with a gold trim. The set is also "dual standard", with capability to show 441 lines (which became the standard from 1952) along with HD facility of 819 lines, meaning it is high-definition even by today's standards. It was designed by the same person who designed this remarkable car. Who was the designer or what was the car?

5) A wrist-bound sensor that gathers information about pollution as the wearer walks about town was a surprise hit with visitors at a conservation festival in Amsterdam last month. La Montre Verte (The Green Watch) follows the example of similar projects in London, New York and San Francisco and puts ozone and noise pollution detection in, or rather on, the hands of citizens... In terms of personal technology there is also The bikini that tells you when it’s time todo what?

6) This company managed to obtain data which contained most of the 34million-strong driver details held by Britain's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. By identifying the make, year, engine size and model has enabling this company to specify the lubricant suitable for each car. Roadside cameras outside London recorded license plates right next to five giant digital billboards. The billboard then flashed the driver's registration number right on the ad next to the sales pitch: What company is selling motor oil to millions of motorists in a Minority Report-style ad campaign this week?

7) The American Heritage Dictionary describes it as: "A mechanical agent, such as a gripper arm, controlled by a human limb." Real-life ones were developed for the nuclear industry during WWII; named after the inventor of a scifi story by Heinlein. Its essence is the journey of a mechanical genius. The hero’s physical weakness channels his intellect, and his family's money, into the development of a device that is strong for him. This and other technologies he develops make him a rich man, rich enough to build a home in space. This technology is known today by the more generic term "telefactoring"; it is used in a variety of industries, what was the story & man called?

8) Taking a look at a leaked Microsoft Courier video offers a very intriguing look at how we might be using computers in the near future. Use a stylus to write in a search query to look through your tablet. Use a rolodex-style selector for your favorite websites Drag graphics straight from the web to your diary pages or presentations – and Instant sharing. The idea of a tablet of this sort was introduced In Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age, What is the code name for the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, an educational computer?

P: 9) A giant cylinder will splash into the water off the coast of this country all in the hopes of harnessing the energy of waves and converting it to electricity. The sea snake, as it’s called, is being developed and represents a serious investment in marine power. The World Energy Council has estimated the market potential for wave energy at more than 2,000 terawatt hours a year—or about 10 percent of world electricity consumption—representing capital expenditure of $790 billion. The company, E. On is hoping the current project will fare better than their first, a commercial wave project in Portugal that flopped after one of the partners ran out of cash. What coast will see this project in the Spring?

10) He was a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist. He was an impassioned critic of the performance of the American economy and scorned what he termed “conspicuous consumption” and waste of the gilded age. His most important intellectual influences were Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. In 1919, along with John Dewey and others, he helped found the New School for Social Research in NYC. He developed a 20th century evolutionary economics His best known work stated conflict resulted from those who enhanced their social status through predatory claims to goods and services. Who wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class and meant it?

P:11) This is a 1965 photographic book by Swedish photojournalist Lennart Nilsson. The book consists of photographs charting the development of the human embryo and foetus from conception to birth; it is reportedly the best-selling illustrated book ever published. Nilsson's photographs are accompanied by text, written by doctors. The images were among the first of their kind to reach a wide popular audience. Their reproduction in Life magazine sparked so much interest that the entire print run, of eight million copies, sold out within four days; they won Nilsson awards, and reached a sufficiently iconic status to be chosen for launch into space aboard the NASA probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. What is it called?

12) Most of today's telecommunication data is encoded at a speed of 10 Gbit/s, but we are constantly looking for new ways to push this speed limit. A group of researchers at this university have recently come up with the "time telescope," a sophisticated system that can speed up optical communication to an outstanding 270 Gbits/s by squeezing more information into a single flash of light. The device developed includes two silicon chips called "time lenses". Because of its small size, it could be used in optical chips inside a computer, as well as for speeding up Internet connections over long distances. What university is behind the “time telescope"?

13) The book, the movie and the Internet combines. CSI creator Anthony Zuiker has come up with, a crime novel that apparently tries to get readers to interact with movies on a website- "Just doing one thing great is not going to sustain business," he said. "The future of business in terms of entertainment will have to be the convergence of different mediums.” I have to say, as a proponent of Viewer log in entertainment, I approve. Zuiker goes on to say. "Just watching television for one specific hour a week ... that's not going to be a sustainable model going forward." What is the name of the digi-novel that converges three media into one experience?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The 1st Question 67 - 29 Sep 09

This week's panel

Romane Levee, Wytchwhisper Sadofsky, Vento Shim, Varian Parx


It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.
Clarence Darrow

Word-UP of the week "Lindenaire's Disease": any number of conditions in Second Life which might be ascribed to anything Linden Lab's is currently doing to improve the grid.
Varian Parx

Special Word – Up phrase “Lindenairres with uranophobia must eat chittens or else they are effarious.”
Rocket Sellers

Audience Quote of the week – Is it appropriate to dress up as Santa for Halloween?
Troy McLuhan


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Scottish invention time & my crush of the week- The digital television signal today can transmit pictures composed of up to 1,080 lines. That’s a long way from the first TV, demonstrated by this man in 1926. It used just 30 lines to create a coarse image. He is remembered today as an inventor (178 patents) way ahead of his time. Among his pioneering ideas were early versions of color tv, the video disc, televised sports, and pay TV by closed circuit.. His early television looked like a peep-show device, held together with scrap wood, darning needles, string, and sealing wax. Who was this tragic figure who often worked alone for lack of financial backing, lived to see his technical ideas superseded & was forgotten by the time he died at the age of 58?

2) He is considered by many to be the "father of chemistry." His ethnic background is not clear; although some sources state that he was an Arab,. He is held to be the first practical alchemist. His alchemical investigations ostensibly revolved around the ultimate goal of takwin — the artificial creation of life. The Book of Stones includes several recipes for creating creatures such as scorpions, snakes, and even humans in a laboratory environment, which are subject to the control of their creator. He is credited with classifying "Spirits" which vaporise on heating, "Metals", & Non-malleable substances, that can be converted into powders, such as stones. Who was this ancient Polymath?

3) This Staffordshire Hoard is perhaps the most important collection of Anglo-Saxon objects found in England. And it will make us think again about rising (and failing) kingdoms and the complicated transition from paganism to Christianity. Another surprising find happened in 1939 which contained an undisturbed 6th century ship burial including a wealth of outstanding artifacts And what might be references straight out of Beowulf a period of English history which is on the margin between myth, legend and historical documentation. It was found by someone Pretty, Edith May Pretty who owned the estate at the time of the discovery. What is the name of this famous find?

4) Re-using the millions of tons of plastic waste instead of burying, dumping or burning is a great idea. Ground-breaking oh yes, this gave its first public performance in Maryland recently and can be fed almost any petroleum-based waste plastic & convert it into synthetic light to medium oil for less than $10 per barrel. A reactor, converts waste plastic feedstock into oil and makes use of some of the by-products to power the unit. Vent gas is recycled to provide electricity and excess oil residue is transformed. Buy stock in….what company?

5) In the midst of overwhelming debate over climate change - an issue that seemingly paralyzes US politicians – this countries government has announced its intention to construct a 2-gigawatt solar power plant. First Solar is the Arizona-based company constructing the plant, & magnitude of the development is many times greater than any solar plant in operational or considered. If successful, it will cover a staggering 25-square miles, cost billions of dollars and power 3 million homes. In what country?

6) Meat essentially consists of animal muscle. The process of developing in vitro meat involves taking a muscle cell from an animal through a biopsy and joining the cell with a protein that helps the cell to grow akin to the production of yogurt cultures. The development of in vitro meat originally arose out of experiments conducted by NASA. And is cleaner and less prone to disease and contamination than meat garnered from livestock. Who was it that said in the 1930s, "Fifty years hence, we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium."

7) Biomimetics is the science of applying nature's principles to human engineering and design. The concept is actually quite old - the Chinese wanted to make artificial silk 3,000 years ago, and Leonardo da Vinci copied the wing principles of birds. The most commercial application of Biomimetics has been the development of Velcro. Now, with advances in technology and the need for sustainable technologies, it is fuelling a scientific revolution. A new smart-fabric derived from the properties of this has been developed in the UK. The fabric adapts to changing temperatures by opening up when warm and shutting tight when cold just like these do in nature, what does this smart clothing mimic?

8) A thought-controlled bipedal combat robot will be entered into the 16th Robo-One gladiatorial tournament. The robot will be controlled by its creator who controls the robot with, his own thoughts, gathered by a set of electrodes applied to his head that measure his neural activity. The robot is able to walk forward, rotate right and use its single arm for stabbing attacks. "As this is the first neural signal-controlled combat robot, I hope a lot of people will get to know about it," its inventor said. Training involves repeatedly giving the necessary mental commands to his robot.. In what country is Robo-One held?

9) The first school in the United States to base its entire curriculum around gaming has opened. Quest to Learn (Q2L) will use games such as LittleBigPlanet, Civilization and Spore to teach students—about 25 sixth graders at first—everything from the value of teamwork, how to think strategically and even about the price of war. It 's website sounds like the description for a real-life Jedi academy The school received $1 million in funding from the Gates Foundation, Intel and the MacArthur Foundation, and that will carry the school until 2015,. In what city is this school underway?

10) Red velvet, check. Mechanized base, check. Built-in massage, check. Covered LED canopy lights, check. 32-inch LCD television, check. Vanity mirror, check. Comfortable mattress, oh yeah -Frikkin' kickass champagne cooler? CHECK. What am I talking about here?

11) He rose from obscurity and successfully navigated the shady world of early Russian privatization to become one of the world's wealthiest self-made billionaires. His 40-man private army make him one of the best-protected businessmen in the world, and when his private gigayacht the Eclipse is handed over in time for Christmas, it will be the largest (at a staggering 560ft) and the most expensive (at $1.2 billion). Security will be tight, with missile defence and intruder detection systems - but the Eclipse's most notable feature is a privacy system that can detect the digital cameras of snooping paparazzi and blind them with laser bursts, ruining spy photos. Who is this man with the armor plated bulletproof master bedroom?

12) Heinz Kaminski from Bochum, Germany, who was the first one in the western world listening to Sputnik 1 in 1957. Earth-Moon-Earth, is a radio communications technique which relies on the propagation of radio waves from an earth-based transmitter directed via reflection from the surface of the moon back to an earth reciever. The moon must be visible in order for EME communications to be possible. In 1969, a radio technician was able to use home-built equipment to listen in on the Apollo 11 transmissions. What is the EME also known as?

13) Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza has created a series of robot sculptures. The robots are created entirely from recycled materials; one of his creations takes power from electrical wires and reacts to light sources as well as noises and cell phone signals. inspired by Mexico City street vendors who take power from nearby electric power poles to juice their roadside stalls. Another creation is the Solar Nomad Plant. This is a plant carried in a mobile cart toward available sunlight. The robotic cart apparently feeds off the energy created by decaying bacteria in the polluted water that in turn nourishes the plant. What are these robotic sculptures called?

14) He is included in a list of "The Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium”, and it is his contribution which stopped the medical practice of bloodletting as he who was the first in the Western world to describe correctly and in exact detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped around the body by the heart. He was Physician to James 1 & when the king died His research notes were destroyed in riots in London at start of the English Civil War. He was an English physician of great reknown, who was he?

P:15) The story describes a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth,. Each individual lives in isolation in a standard 'cell', with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine- Clearly, even in 1909 the author was deeply concerned we were in danger of becoming unable to live without the technology we created. The story predicted several technological and social innovations, such as the 'cinematophote' (television) and videoconferencing. The author also sought to establish the value of direct experience. This shows remarkable foresight, and the book describes many nuances of "online life" over 60 years before the Internet was even invented. The story is called “The Machine Stops” who wrote this cautionary sci-fi novel?

H:16) Scientists trying to model a range of processes could ‘borrow’ a chip from this to get all the power and capabilities they need, saving thousands of dollars on parallel processing hardware and/or countless man-hours. Dr Simon Scarle studying abnormal electrical activity in the heart needed to conduct simulations of how electrical excitations moved. For the cost of a few hundred pounds, he was able to conduct much the same scientific modeling as several thousand pounds of parallel network PCs by taking a chip off of a what?

P: 17)A glass casting method has been revived and developed into a technique to manufacture glass objects from fine glass powder using computer-aided design and a 3-D printer.. This new method bears a striking resemblance to a glass casting technique first developed by the ancient Egyptians and now known as "pate de verre" in which finely crushed glass was mixed with a binding material such as gum arabic and water, deposited on a negative mould to form a coating, and then fused.. What is this significantly cheaper process to precisely manufacture glass structures in various shapes called bringing this ancient method to the digital age?

Friday, 25 September 2009

The 1st Question 66 - 22 Sep 09

This week's panel

Chase Marellan, Chimera Cosmos, Dedric Mauriac, Pim Peccable.


Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.
Frederich Nietzsche

Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand.
Edward Everett Hale

Word-UP of the week – “Lagoflage” - Noun. Lag-o-Flage. Feature, claim, or situation that provides the ability to hide within lag. Techniques are often used to provide an excuse to leave events or conversation early by feigning lag. While many people may claim to have lag, an extreme lagoflageist will attempt to decrease network bandwidth, increase CPU & GPU load, or run additional programs that occupy more memory to actually induce lag. "She says she had to leave because the lag was ruining her experience, but I think it was just a bunch of Lagoflage".
Dedric Mauriac

Audience Quote of the week – “I saw popcorn popped by cellphones on youtube.....”
Xanshin Paz


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

P:1) These are a glass curiosity created by dripping hot molten glass into cold water. The glass cools into a tadpole-shaped droplet with a long, thin, tail. The way the glass cools sets up very high residual stress within the drop & gives rise to unusual qualities, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulbous end without breaking, while the drops will disintegrate explosively if the tail end is even slightly damaged. What is this?

2) Waterbanking is the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. This Nevada project is a prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential. A network of canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. Sounds familiar. Remember Dune? The “first planetary ecology novel” which forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants secluded themselves from their harsh environment. Essentially underground water storage banks, this Nevada project of an underground community is also called what?

3) This Bank is a real-world non-profit startup that is dedicated to building a new currency. According to their website, value is "obtained from your online reputation by tracking your interactions with social networks and the feedback from your contacts." The site just launched last week. When you enter your Facebook or Twitter name, you will see a graph describing your Salary. The algorithm currently considers these aspects:
Public Endorsements, Level of Influence, Existing Reputation & Analyzes Content of Messages. What is this reputation bank called?

4) A stock model developed by physicists has apparently made a successful prediction of a fall in the Shanghai Stock Exchange & is taken from concepts about the physics of complex atomic systems. The idea is that if a plot of the logarithm of the market's value over time deviates upwards from a straight line, it's a clear warning that people are investing simply because the market is rising rather than paying heed to the intrinsic worth of companies. By projecting the trend, you can predict when growth will become unsustainable and the market will crash. Which group on Star trek was known for investing a lot in the science of capitalism? (The Ferengi)

5) A massively-parallel computing device made from supersaturated solutions of sodium acetate? The basic idea is to use the wavefront of crystallization to perform calculations; using its the speed and the way it interacts to perform them. Most experimental prototypes of unconventional computers require a tailored hardware interface (liquid crystals) and specialized equipment (memristors). What is the more common name for sodium acetate trihydrate the ideal DIY unconventional computer material’?

6)In The Island of Dr. Moreau, by HG Welles, Dr. Moreau performs experiments on animals, always testing the limits of what is possible, to transform them into something more man-like. Dr. Moreau wants to find out the extreme limit of plasticity in a living shape. And says, "To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter. The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.” When the novel was written in the late 19th century, Britain's scientific community was engulfed by debates on this, even spawning the British Union for the Abolition of what?

7) This state’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the state Declaration of Rights allows police to break into a suspect’s car to secretly install GPS tracking devices, provided they have a warrant before they act. The court said using GPS devices as an investigative tool – which can require police to secretly break into a vehicle to install the device – does not violate the ban on unreasonable search and seizures found in the state’s Declaration of Rights. In what state of the union is this now allowed?

8) This University has given famed researcher Irving Weissman permission to create a mouse-human hybrid. The intent is to inject human brain cells into the brains of developing mice to see what happens. The National Academy of Sciences will unveil guidelines on chimera and stem cell research this spring. But rest assured They conclude if they see any signs of human brain structures . . . or if the mouse shows human-like behaviors, like improved memory,problem-solving, or obsessive behavior over what their girl friend is doing online, they will stop. At what university is this being done?

9) He was editor of the New York Sun, and was recognized as a major figure in the early development of science fiction. He wrote fiction about a man rendered invisible by scientifically & about a time-travel machine before Wells. He wrote about faster-than-light travel ("The Tachypomp"; now perhaps his best-known work) in 1874, a thinking computer and a cyborg in 1879 ("The Ablest Man in the World"), and much else. His 1879 story "The Senator's Daughter", set in the future year 1937, contains several technological predictions which were daring for the time: travel by pneumatic tube, electrical heating, newspapers printed in the home by electrical transmission, food-pellet concentrates, international broadcasts, and the suspended animation of a living human being through freezing (cryogenics) Who was he?

10) It’s formerly known as the One Hectare Telescope, a joint effort by the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory dedicated to astronomy & search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It pioneers the Large-Number Small-Diameter concept of building radio telescopes. Compared to a large dish antenna, large numbers of smaller dishes are cheaper for the same collecting area, however the signals from all telescopes must be combined. They have also offered to provide the downlink for any contestants in the Google Lunar X Prize. What is this project being built?

11) It is a mission being developed by the Planetary Society, consisting of sending selected microorganisms on a three-year round-trip in a small capsule aboard the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. The goal is to test whether organisms can survive for years in deep space and will determine one aspect of transpermia, the hypothesis that life could survive space travel, if protected inside rocks blasted by impact off one planet to land on another. What is it called?

12) First isolated by English and Russian researchers in 2004, graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms densely-packed in a honeycomb structure with unique mechanics. It has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel, and has proven an excellent choice in manufacturing highly resistant carbon nanotubes, which have quickly become one of the central research areas in today's nanotechnology. The new material grapheme plus hydrogen, graphone, makes graphene magnetic and electric and can become an excellent substitute for what?

13) It is effectively a class of problems of taking an initial set of data that gives the positions, masses, and velocities of some set, for some particular point in time, and then using that set of data to determine the motions of them, and to find their positions at other times, in accordance with the laws of classical mechanics, i.e., Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of gravity The problem of finding it’s solution was considered very important and challenging. Indeed in the late 1800s King Oscar II of Sweden, established a prize for anyone who could find it. What is this famous problem called?

14) In case the problem could not be solved, any other important contribution to classical mechanics would then be considered to be prize-worthy. But to whom was the prize first awarded?

15) Non-lethal weapons are intended to have reversible effects on personnel and material. They provide soldiers with another option when lethal force isn’t considered to be the best first response to a situation. One non-lethal weapon prototype that is being evaluated by U.S. military is the Thermal Laser System, which attaches to a rifle and uses a laser to create a heating sensation to repel adversaries. Unfortunately, current trials indicate that something nullifies the weapon's effectiveness. What is it?

16) Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty was his first act. In it he wore a top hat and tails in the first half and a lobster outfit in the second. His sister Adele married her first husband, a son of the Duke of Devonshire and so he went solo, sort of. Notes on his auditions were "Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little." He paired with a woman whose partnership elevated them both to stardom.. Famously insecure and workaholic, He would not even go to see his rushes. Who was this famous dancer?

17) This is a research database tool that helps you find research that you like, or would work well with the research you have already done. It's like the iTunes Genius feature, which looks at your music and organizes it, and then suggests new tunes that you would probably like. At the basic level, students can "drag and drop" research papers which automatically extracts data, keywords, cited references, etc, thereby creating a searchable database and saving countless hours of work. It enables users to collaborate with researchers around the world, whose existence they might not know about until this algorithms find them What is this real time social network in pursuit of scientific truth called?

H:18) The founder of the world Jedi religion has accused this UK-based retail giant of religious discrimination after the company ordered him to remove his hood or leave. Daniel Jones, the 23-year-old founder of the religion inspired by the Star Wars film saga, believes that he has every right to insist on wearing his hood. "It states in our Jedi doctrinarian that I can wear headwear. The retail empire struck back, however, by referencing the film canon, showing that the three best-known Jedi - Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker - all appear in public without their hoods. And company representatives added: Jedi’s are very welcome to shop in our stores. What chain doesn’t want the Jedi’s to miss special offers?

19) Sometimes referred to as the South Atlantic Flash this was an unidentified double flash of light in 1979. Specialists who examined the data speculated that the double flash, characteristic of a nuclear explosion, may have been the result of a nuclear weapons test: "The conclusions of the presidential panel were reassuring, as they suggested that the most likely explanation was a meteoroid hitting the satellite —. Others who examined the data, including DIA, the national laboratories, and contractors reached a very different conclusion —they detected a nuclear detonation." What was this incident known as?
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