Sunday, 3 May 2009

The 1st Question 49.5 - 28 Apr 09


What the human mind can conceive and believe it can accomplish.
David Sarnoff

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
Bruce Feirstein

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.
Mark Russell


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

1) Musicians use their brain waves to play computer-generated notes while led by an 'emotional conductor' in this city. The graphs of those brain waves are projected onto one of two large screens above the orchestra. The performers launch sounds or affect their frequencies using EEG systems that measure their brain activity.In what city did this recently take place?

2) Beautification engine' software uses special algorithms to subtly make your face more attractive. Alas, cosmetic surgery addicts, it only works on your digital image. Software created by researchers at Microsoft and Tel Aviv University uses data and 234 measurements between facial features (lips to chin, forehead to eyes, etc.) to find the human ideal. When provided with a picture of a human face, their software can apply these ideal proportions, remaking the face to bring it closer to what people agree is beautiful. This is reminiscent of the video-manicuring program from Bruce Sterling's 1985 novel which spoke of Manipulating live video images in real time. What was the title of the book?

3) It is the tendency of a fluid jet to stay attached to an adjacent curved surface that is very well shaped. The principle was named after Romanian aerodynamics pioneer who was the first to recognize the practical application of the phenomenon in aircraft development. It is the same principle with which water will flow on the curved surface of a spoon, What is this effect known as?

4) ) Just launched this prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, a Time magazine "invention of the year" is billed as the most revolutionary development in books for 500 years, Titles may increase to over a million by the end of the summer – the equivalent of 23.6 miles of shelf space, or over 50 bookshops rolled into one."This could change bookselling fundamentally as It's giving the chance for smaller locations, independent booksellers, to have the opportunity to truly compete with big stock-holding shops and Amazon ..From academics keen to purchase reproductions of rare manuscripts to wannabe novelists after a copy of their self-published novels, this machine is amazing, what is it called?

5) In 1894, this Bengali Indian physicist, demonstrated publicly the use of radio waves in Calcutta, but he was not interested in patenting his work. He ignited gunpowder and rang a bell at a distance using electromagnetic waves, showing independently that communication signals can be sent without using wires. In 1896, the Daily Chronicle of England reported on his UHF experiments: but he was not interested in the commercial applications of the experiment's transmitter. He did not try to file patent protection for sending signals. Who was this man?

6) Pre-1960 grassroots activism against DDT in Nassau County, New York, had inspired Rachel Carson to write her shocking bestseller. What was it called?

7) The concept of Earth Day was first proposed in a memo to JFK . The first earth day celebration was in 1970. The nationwide event included opposition to the Vietnam War on the agenda, but this was thought to detract for the environmental message. Pete Seeger was a keynote speaker and performer at the event held in Washington DC. Which was most notable organization to protest the event?

8)He was the inventor of the first navigable submarine in 1620 and an innovator who contributed to the development of measurement and control systems, optics and chemistry. He even took James I on a test dive beneath the Thames, making him the first monarch to travel underwater. To re-oxygenate the air inside one or more of these submarines, he likely generated oxygen by heating potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate in a metal pan.. He also invented a chicken incubator and a mercury thermostat. He also developed and demonstrated a working air conditioning system. Who was this man?

9) Though he scoffed at astrology, he is said to have spent a lot of time pursuing alchemy, especially the philosophers' stone. Metius published treatises on the astrolabe and on surveying. He also manufactured astronomical instruments, and developed a special form of Jacob's staff. In 1585, his father had found for the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, later called pi, the approximate value 355/113. He later published his father's results, and the value 355/113 is traditionally referred to as his number. Who was he?

10) The first walk-in cocktail is currently being provided by Alcoholic Architecture and the idea is that the very atmosphere of a drinking establishment itself is the drink - Patrons are asked to don plastic coats. Forty minutes in here apparently equates to drinking one gin and tonic, although the knowing injunction to "breathe responsibly" suggests that were you to adopt a greedier, gulpier approach to inhalation, you might feel like you'd had quite a few more. A genteel-sounding gin-and-tonic "mist" is what's promised, but it's actually more of a dense fog that makes seeing beyond a few inches impossible. A single, green-tinged light bulb (presumably to signify a squeeze of lime) does little to stop people bumping into each other. Where is this bar?


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