Friday, 13 March 2009

The 2nd Question! 43 - 10 Mar 09


Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
Bette Davis

Live out of your imagination, not your history.
Stephen Covey


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

1) A recent study from Harvard & NYU confirmed what we know to be true. When encoding everyday social information during a social encounter, neural regions sort information based on its personal and subjective significance, and summarize it into an ultimate score. What is it?
2) Findings show that the brain responds to near-misses as if a win has been delivered, even though the result is technically a loss. On games where there is some skill involved, like target practice, it makes sense to pay attention to near-misses. However, in this near misses do not signal your future success. Volunteers in a recent study suggest that the brain may naturally respond to near-misses in this way interpreting them as if a special event has occurred making the invention of this the most insidious in history. The first was invented in 1887 by Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, in 1964, Bally developed the first fully electromechanical one Money Honey. What is it?

3) In Dubai this building project is right up there in terms of luxury, exclusivity and head-spinning architectural genius, yet also adds a fascinating extra dimension - the ability to generate ten times as much power as it will use. Each floor of this wind-powered rotating skyscraper is a single apartment with the ability to rotate independently, giving residents the ability to choose a new view at the touch of a button - quite a party trick. Wind turbines between each floor will generate a vast surplus of electricity capable of powering the whole surrounding neighborhood. The method of construction is also fascinating; each floor will be pre-fabricated in segments before being lifted and secured into place on a concrete spine. What firm is behind this marvel?

4) Spain has a well-earned reputation for extraordinary architecture that defy convention, divide opinions and cause passions to run high. The next dazzling addition to Madrid's skyline will offer much more than simply a conversation piece. Shaped like this, the Convention Center will be completely covered in photovoltaic panels but will still provide adequate sunlight to reduce the need for artificial light through the use of concave design elements that scatter light into the interior. The 110 meter tall structure will include a rainwater catchments system. What is it shaped like?

5) Suppose the internet existed in 1929. How might the Great Depression have been different? The Internet is a tool of global communication. If it had been available in the 1930s, the downturn and subsequent restructuring that became the Great Depression could have occurred faster and more efficiently, yielding less suffering. Eighty years later, we are on the brink of such again… how can we utilize the Internet to help prevent the suffering and hardships experienced in the 1930s? This is the question being asked on communities all over the internet, and it is the inspiration for a new website. Ray Kurziwell & Malcom Gladwell are some of the founding members. What is the site called?

6) More than 50% of our planet's massive human population is concentrated into urban centres - and on current estimates, that's likely to be as high as 80% by the year 2050, a year many of us will be around to see. So the challenge facing today's forward-thinking architects is how to create positive outcomes out of a crushing space constraint. Going upwards, in projects like the London Vertical Village concept, seems to offer some practical solutions to the living space conundrum - but what about feeding all those people? This seems to be an idea whose time has come - it will let us use land, nutrients, power and water much more efficiently than ever before, while delivering a quality-controllable, year-round and emissions-positive food source for urban communities. What kind of farming will it be?

7) Capturing an image takes on a different meaning with the Touch Sight camera. The device makes it possible for the visually impaired to take digital photos by using a Braille-like screen to make a raised image of whatever the lens sees. Designed by Chueh Lee from Samsung China, the camera aims to provide a means of recording the mental photograph that the visually-impaired create of their surroundings using senses other than sight. It records sound for three seconds after pressing the shutter button so that the user can then use the sound as a reference and the camera has a lightweight, flexible Braille display sheet which shows a 3D image by embossing the surface. The sound and picture combine to become a touchable photo. Where is the camera held to record this image?
8) Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know - It is better to deal with something bad you know than with something new you don't; the new thing might be even worse. The proverb originates from here and has been traced back to 1539. What country does this phrase come from?

P: 9) In what's billed as the world’s largest virtual desktop deployment 357,000 virtualized desktops will be supplied to schools across this country, bringing computer access to millions. Useful Multiplier software effectively turns one computer into up to 10 independent PC workstations, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 tons per year per system and electronic waste by up to 80% . What country is doing this?

10) If they're not shooting down UAVs, they're fighting AIDS or bringing us the next generation of HDTVs. That's all well and good, but when it comes to it, there's none bigger than the National Ignition Facility (the NIF) in California - an instrument capable of delivering 500 trillion watts of power in a 20-nanosecond burst which is now nearing completion. Its myriad uses will include providing fusion data for nuclear weapons simulations, probing the secrets of extrasolar planets and could even lead to the holy grail of energy production - practical fusion energy. It will be the worlds largest what?

11) In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded an engineering firm, that designed and built the first arcade video game - Computer Space for Nutting Associates. Their first design engineer, Al Alcorn produced as a test of his abilities, an arcade version of the Magnavox Odyssey's Tennis game, which would be named Pong. The company went on to become Atari. Before Atari's official incorporation, Bushnell wrote down several words from this game eventually choosing Atari. The word 'atari' is used in Japanese when a prediction comes true or when someone wins a lottery. From what more traditional game did the word Atari originate?

12) A virtual reality helmet that recreates the sights, smells, sounds and even tastes of far-flung destinations has been devised by British scientists. The prototype helmet connects wirelessly to a computer which feeds it information about a virtual world or another part of the real world. It features a high-definition high dynamic screen - which produces pictures ten times darker, or 30 times brighter than conventional television. A tube connected to a box of chemicals releases smells under the wearer's nose, while a similar device can spray flavors directly into the mouth and provide a texture sensation. The heat and humidity can be changed using a fan and heater, while surround-sound speakers recreate ambient noise. They say it stimulates the senses so convincingly they have called the experience Real Virtuality. This has also been called the Virtual what?
13) The hamster controls the movement of the Create robotic vehicle by running in whichever direction he wants. The ball is loose on three rollers; an optical sensor measures the direction of the hamster ball and how fast it is moving. A microprocessor controls the movement of the Create robot then moves the wheels according to the motion of the hamster ball. There is also the Terranaut fish explore land robotic vehicle, an art project that allows a Blood Parrot fish to go gallivanting across the countryside. As far as science-fictional predecessors are concerned, SciFi readers may recall the Martian perambulators to help Martians get around on Earth. These were used in whose novel?

14) It has been under research since at least 2000, but soon this remarkable material will become available in quantity for commercial use. It is a material made up of nanotubes, flexible films 10-20 micrometers in thickness. It is very light in weight, and it has unusual properties, being one of the strongest materials known, with an electrical conductivity like copper and greater thermal conductivity than diamond. Because it has an unusually high current-carrying capacity, a film made from it could be applied to the exteriors of airplanes. Lightning strikes then would flow around the plane and dissipate without causing damage. A revolution in aerospace and technology- what is this?

15 He is the most famous war general in the history of China. He is depicted wearing war robes and holding his "Kwan Dao" confidently. He holds behind him the 5 victory flags inscribed with dragon images. The five flags represent the power from all the 5 Elements in feng shui practice. He has a total of 9 dragons surrounding him which blows ultimate forces to the surrounding. He is most powerful for business pursuits, politicians, protection against evil forces, inviting wealth luck, energizing family achievements, activating more helpful people and countering ill effects of bad stars. Statues of him are best placed to face your maindoor or entrance of your offices. And allegedly will put a hardstop to competitors or troublesome enemies wishing to harm you. Who is this figure of Feng Shui fortune?

16) There is a fundamental and institutionally stabilized 'division of labor' between core and periphery: While the core has a high level of technological development and manufactures complex products, the role of the periphery is to supply raw materials, agricultural products and cheap labor for the expanding agents of the core. Economic exchange between core and periphery takes place on unequal terms: Immanual Wallerstein, gray eminence with the anti-globalization movement rejects the notion of a "Third World", claiming there is only one world connected by a complex network of economic exchange relationships in which the "dichotomy of capital and labor", and the endless "accumulation of capital" by competing agents account for frictions. This approach is known as what?

17) Blood pressure breakthrough - a tiny pressure sensor, which has a diameter of about 1 millimeter is placed directly into the femoral artery and measures the patient’s blood pressure 30 times per second. This unit digitizes and encodes the data coming from the micro-sensor and transmits them to an external reading device that patients can wear like a cell phone on their belt. From there, the readings can be forwarded to a monitoring station and analyzed by the doctor. Because the researchers use special components in technology, the system requires little energy. The micro-implants can be supplied with electricity wirelessly via coils. Where is this implanted?

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