Friday, 27 March 2009

The 1st Question 45 - 24 Mar 09


Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
Bruce Barton

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.
Robert C. Gallagher


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at SLCN

1) His magnum opus, is considered the first modern novel by many, and he has also been dubbed, the Prince of Wits. In his life he was captured by Algerian pirates, served in debtors prison and received three gunshot wounds – two in the chest, and one which rendered his left arm useless, resulting in amputation. Of he two parts written by him, the first is the more popular with the general public – containing the famous episodes of the tilting at windmills, the attack on the flock of sheep, the vigil in the courtyard of the inn, and the episode with the barber and the shaving basin. Who was this famous author who died on the same day as William Shakespeare?

H:2) He was an English writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained enduring fame and is notable for being one of the earliest practitioners of the novel, which he helped to popularize in Britain, and is even referred to by some as one of the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than five hundred books, pamphlets, and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural like The Political History of the Devil (1726), He was also a pioneer of journalism. And his political activities resulted in his arrest and placement in a pillory in 1703, principally on account of a pamphlet entitled "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters", in which he ruthlessly satirized the High church Tories. He is remembered for Robinson Crusoe. Who was he?

P:3) For the United Nations, the event represents the second effort of its Creative Community Outreach Initiative. Announced by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the initiative is the organization’s attempt to “establish partnerships with the entertainment industry to tell the U.N.’s story. Representatives from the Sci Fi Channel approached the United Nations early this year and the UN will host a discussion panel about child soldiers, terrorism, human rights and religious extremism. As the UN put it “They came to us and explained that there were themes common to both the show and the U.N., and that those themes could be discussed here in a serious manner.” Which show’s intergalactic representatives will be there?

H:4) In the future, the eyes of all humans leave their bodies and fly to the moon, develop weapons, and attack the human race, capturing several Asian countries, including China, Thailand, and Korea. Humanity sends two blinded pilot brothers, Mickey R. Dole and Mackey I. Dole, who both possess a sixth sense, to defeat the invaders. Each pilot's custom fighter uses a different attacking technique. What is the name of this freeware vertical shooter video game, where Backgrounds are completely black, with enemies and the player appearing as outlines?

5) Technologies for the Applications of Social Computing is a new plan to make use of the social computing phenomenon. This agency is seeking whitepapers to fuel the development of a scientific approach to predicting the actions of large masses of people. Yes the Agency invites ... the development of new technologies to rapidly create theoretically-informed, data-driven models of complex human, social, cultural, and behavioral dynamics that are instantiated in near-realtime simulations. We know this as Psychohistory. What agency is asking now for whitepapers?

6) In medieval and Renaissance astronomy, this is the outermost moving sphere in the geocentric model of the universe. Astronomers believed that the seven naked-eye planets (including the Moon and the Sun) were carried around the spherical Earth on invisible orbs. Beyond them was the sphere of fixed stars, this and the Empyrean. What was beyond the fixed stars and the Empyrean?

7) Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have him as a member. That means he probably wouldn’t have been rushing to join this new site even though he’s one of the select few with enough cash to meet the entry requirements. it requires members to have a verified net worth of at least $3 million or an annual household income of $300,000. Essentially the internet age’s equivalent of the private gentleman’s club, the site, boasts 20,000 members and accepts about 400 to 500 new members daily. Once accepted members can enjoy similar addictive time-wasting social networking activities to those found on Facebook, but without having to go slumming and mix with the riff raff. What is the name of this new site described as, “Facebook for the filthy rich”,

:8) As Barbie turns 50, again, we are reminded of her legacy. In 1965 Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight that advised: "Don't eat". The doll also came with pink bathroom scales reading 110lb, which would be around 35lbs underweight for a woman of Barbie’s height if translated to human proportions. But it is of course her relationship with Ken, which fascinates. Who was Ken named after??
9) Hot Wheels, has unveiled the most expensive item in its 40 year history - a unique diamond encrusted 1:64-scale car cast in 18-carat white gold with Diamonds. The car was made to commemorate the production of the 4 billionth Hot Wheels® vehicle and coincides with the upcoming release of the Designer's Challenge™ Die-Cast Car Line marking the company's 40th anniversary celebrations. For the point - What is the value of the diamonds, or the number of them or the total carat weight of this tiny vehicle?
10) Information Age Prayer is a site that charges you a monthly fee to say prayers for you. Prices, however, are dictated by the length of the prayer. As noted in the Information Age Prayer FAQ "A discounted prayer will cost less than other prayers of similar length." However, what is a typical charge per month to say three non discounted prayers specified by you each day?

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