Saturday, 25 April 2009

The 1st Question 48 - 14 April 09


When walking through the "valley of shadows," remember, a shadow is cast by a Light.
Austin O'Malley

The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
James Jeans


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

1) He is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer. He received the Turing Award in 1988 for the invention of Sketchpad, an early predecessor to the sort of graphical user interface that has become ubiquitous in personal computers. With the help of his student Bob Sproull he created what is widely considered to be the first virtual reality and augmented reality head-mounted display system in 1968. Who is this fellow at Sun Microsystems?

2) The peoples of the goddess Danu are a race of people in Irish mythology. In the invasions tradition they are the fifth group to settle Ireland, conquering the island from the Fir Bolg. They came from four northern cities, where they acquired their occult skills and attributes. They arrived in Ireland, on or about May 1 (the date of the festival of Beltaine), on dark clouds. They are said to have brought chariots and druidry to Ireland. Who are the mythic race of Irish?

3) His best-known work is the Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues and vices. As is explained in the opening paragraph of his Life of Alexander, he was not concerned with history so much as the influence of character, good or bad, on the lives and destinies of men. Whereas sometimes he barely touched on epoch-making events, he devoted much space to charming anecdote and incidental triviality, reasoning that this often said far more for his subjects than even their most famous accomplishments. WHo was this earliest of moral philosophers?

4) In what year was income tax was abolished as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

5) In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, She is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and the festival of Easter is derived." Isn’t it ironic the holiest day in the Christian faith, dedicated to celebrating the Son of God, is named after a goddess. Who was she?

6) A precursor to the alarm clock was a water clock built by the ancient Greeks around 250 BC where the raising waters would both keep time and eventually hit a mechanical bird that triggered an alarming whistle. The first mechanical alarm clock, capable of striking an alarm at any time specified by the user, was invented by Taqi al-Din. His alarm clock was capable of sounding at a specified time, which was achieved by means of placing a peg on the dial wheel to the time one wants the alarm heard and by producing an automated ringing device at the specified time. What empire was Taqi al-Din a member of?

7) What science has done is to genetically engineer these plants to produce medicines that could assist in the treatment of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes. Transgenic plants are attractive for the production of therapeutic proteins because they offer the possibility of large scale production at low cost, and they have low maintenance requirements. What plant has recently been discovered to be all that?

8) Robotic surgery allows doctors to operate on patients by controlling a machine that is far more sterile, precise and flexible than the human hand. By calculating the movement of a heart with millimeter accuracy and shifting its instruments accordingly, robot can operate on a beating heart as if it was frozen. This robot has been operating on pig’s hearts since 2004, with a claimed 95% accuracy. In what country is this taking place?

9) Wearable computer imaging systems was described in 1945, by Vannevar Bush in his essay "As We May Think". However this man is called the world's first cyborg", from his early work wearing video-enabled computers since the early 1980s, and book Cyborg: Digital Destiny... He covered Ethics, Law & Technology of anonymity, authentication, surveillance, and sousveillance, in addition to issues related to cyborg-law. He calls it the anonequity project and it is ongoing, though not the first on implantable technologies. Who is the Cyberman?

10) After years of wearing a patch to hide his disfigured right eye, damaged as a child in a shooting accident, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence was forced eventually to replace the eye with a prosthetic one. The camera on Spence’s cell phone, though, gave him a rather novel idea. What if he could build a miniature, wireless video camera into his prosthetic eye? The progress of which can be now followed online what is this called?.

11) As protector of women, she's often described as a cow, but she is far more than that: she is seven cows all at once. She was certainly a Goddess of great complexity, associated with love, fertility, naughtiness, moon, music and cavorting. She has more associations with whatever was going on than you could shake a sistrum at. Who was this Egyptian goddess of happiness?

12) A new report by an international team of scientists has suggested that the largest mass extinction in the history of the earth may not have been caused by volcanic eruptions, methane hydrate or the impact of an asteroid as previously surmised. It may actually have been triggered by these, whose emissions of halogenated gases changed the atmospheric composition to such an extent that vegetation was irretrievably damaged. What is emitting highly volatile halocarbons such as chloroform, trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene, even today?

13) He was an Hellenistic-Egyptian god in Antiquity. His most renowned temple was at Alexandria, Efforts were made to integrate Egyptian religion with that of their Greek rulers. The Macedonian general who became Paroah of Egypt in 305BC wanted to find a deity that should win the reverence of both groups. So he found a figure resembling Hades or Pluto, and it also had what appeared to be a serpent at its base, fitting the Egyptian symbol of rulership. With his (i.e. Osiris') wife Isis, and their son (at this point in history) Horus he won an important place in the Greek world reaching Ancient Rome, with Anubis being identified as Cerberus. Who was this god of many cultures, even worshipped by Christians at the time?

14) The marriage of mathematics and origami harkens back to his own childhood. As a first-grader, this boy proved far too clever for elementary mathematics and quickly became bored, prompting his teacher to give him a book on origami. His acuity for mathematics would lead him to become a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and the owner of nearly fifty patents on lasers and optoelectronics. Now a professional origami master, he practices his craft as both artist and engineer, who is he?

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