Friday, 27 February 2009

Quotes and Questions 41 - 24 Feb 09


Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
William James


For the answers go to The 2nd QuestioN! blog at SLCN

P: 1) He was a 19th-century Swedish lawyer, translator, and inventor, who is best known for his pioneering work in computer technology. He is most known for his inventions; the best known of these is a calculation engine, which he finalized in 1843. This machine was based on Charles Babbage's difference engine. An improved model, roughly the size of a piano, was created in 1853 and subsequently demonstrated at the World's Fair in Paris, 1855. The machine was then sold to the British government in 1859. The devices were used for creating logarithmic tables. Who was he?

H:2) 7) Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) will excel in long-term, tedious and hazardous tasks, like the search for nuclear facilities and border patrol. The bot will contain an autonomous control system and will be fueled by what?

P:3) It is one of the most widely used climate classification systems, and was developed by a Russian climatologist, around 1900 It is based on the concept that native vegetation is the best expression of climate; thus, climate zone boundaries have been selected with vegetation distribution in mind. It combines average annual and monthly temperatures and precipitation, and the seasonality of precipitation. What is it called?

H:4) Since the fourth century, the royal court of Korea began to eat milk. In ancient Korea, there was no milk cow, so milk was only available when a cow gave birth. Moreover, the freshness of milk was a vital factor, it could not be delivered from far places. It was considered a supplement food for special occasions, or recovery food when the king was ill. Called Tarakjuk royal physicians of the royal clinic took charge of squeezing milk from cows. What was it served in?

P:5) A town of over 4000 people in this country is gearing up to produce solar thermal power capable of supplying all of its electricity needs, 24-hours a day. The technology used will ensure the 10 megawatt solar thermal power station will continue to generate electricity when the sun is not shining and will deliver about 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. Up to 8000 heliostats or mirrors will reflect sunlight onto graphite blocks through which water will be pumped to generate steam that will operate a conventional steam turbine electricity generator. Because heat stays in the graphite, the system will work through the night and on overcast days. In what country is this happening?

H:6) Along with daughter Lucy, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is planning to send his digitized DNA into space as part of this. The pair hopes the exercise will help publicize the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics; a competition that will award $10 million to the first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less. It’s motivation to collect and archive the very best of what humanity has accomplished by sending a digital time capsule of the human race into space. This includes messages from people around the world and DNA samples from some of our brightest minds, musicians, athletes and video game players. The DNA will be transported into space by video game developer and longtime member of the X PRIZE Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Richard Garriott, who is traveling to the International Space Station in October. What is the NCsoft’ project called?

P7) The most celebrated of these is the Alfred Jewel. It is a pointer designed for the reading of manuscripts and most were commissioned by Alfred the Great, famous warrior king of England and one of history’s great champions of learning, justice and civilization. King Alfred commissioned and sent them to all the bishops of his kingdom to accompany a copy of a translation of Pope Gregory I's Regula Pastoralis. It was one of the first manmade tools whose purpose was to promote scholastics. When found it was thought to be part of an old milk bottle. It is going up for auction at Bonhams. What is this called?

H:8) Alcohol is an integral part of our way of life across most of the planet – drunk regularly by two billion humans, it is one of the world’s most traded commodities. Central to the liquor industry are the millions of bars which throughput billions of liters of alcohol, a glass at a time. One of the biggest problems of the liquor industry is shrinkage –. New bar management system Barilliant aims to monitor and minimize wastage by accounting for every milliliter using sensors, wireless technologies, and RFID staff identification, right down to how effectively every barman pours a beer. How much tap beer goes straight down the drain in most pubs.

P: 9) For all our many advancements and civil societies, modern humanity is a ticking time-bomb of violence and destruction if certain key criteria aren't met. - Britain's MI5 security agency operates on the famous maxim that any society is only this away from complete anarchy - if some catastrophe occurs widespread looting and rioting will quickly follow. What is this?

H: 10) Memories of extreme trauma seem to be formed in a different way to normal memories. As the brain reels with the stress of the initial incident, the rush of stress and fear hormones seem to cause a different type of memory encoding, which can resurface for years afterward as an intense emotional connection that floods the body whenever the memory is recalled. Each time a memory is recalled and thought about, the brain actually re-stores it. It's at this crucial "reconsolidation" phase that the memory can be separated from the fight-or-flight hormone rush that is so debilitating for victims. IN Amsterdam a team has been working to understand how a common beta-blocker seems to be able to interrupt the stress hormone encoding as a memory is being reconsolidated - leaving the memory apparently unaltered but removing the panic response. What is this wonder drug?

P:11) As difficult as some of our readers might find it to believe, researchers have found that specific elements of this can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells. The research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those found in this might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's. What is this wonder drug?

H: 12) The typical contract that music group Van Halen required for concerts included a clause granting them a bowl of M&Ms backstage. What color M & M was prohibited by contract to be included in the bowl?

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