Thursday, 25 June 2009

The 1st Question 55 - 23 Jun 09


Books are men of higher stature; the only men that speak aloud for future times to hear.
Garson Kanin

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
George Santayana

Dramshackled: Held back by ennui; "His dull life left him dramshackled.”
Word-UP winner - Dusan Writer


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Repliee R-1 is a robot child created by roboticists at Osaka University. Based on a five-year-old girl; her lifelike silicone skin, 50 sensors and lots of motors allow her to come close to human. If you think Repliee is a bit creepy, you're not alone. Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori remarked in 1970 that, as robots become more humanlike in appearance, people will respond more positively. However, a point will be reached where people will be strongly repulsed; acceptance will fall. What is this area called where things that are too real are perceived as repulsive?

2) A non-typical galaxy, known as a ring galaxy, it has interested amateur astronomers as much as its uncommon structure has fascinated professionals. The galaxy is named after the man who discovered it in 1950 and identified it as either a planetary nebula or a peculiar galaxy with 8 billion stars. A nearly perfect ring of young hot blue stars circle the older yellow nucleus of this ring galaxy ~600 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens. What is it?

3) Nicknamed Parisot, he was born into a noble French family. In 1541 he was captured and made a galley slave by Barbary pirates. He became a Grand master of the Knights Hospitaller, commanding the resistance against the Ottomans at the Great Siege. His fortification soon became the home port of one of the Mediterranean's most powerful navies and the island's hospitals were the finest in the world The Church of St. John the Baptist, boasted works by Caravaggio and others. who was this Great Knight of Malta, legend of the seas and more?

4) This product from Contech is a novel way to keep in touch your dog or cat while you’re out of the house. The bowl allows you to record a personal message for your pet and plays it back to them whenever they approach the bowl. The design incorporates a removable electronic "Talkbox" for recording messages and a photoelectric cell which detects changes in light when your pet approaches triggering playback. What is this called?

5) This describes the observation in physical cosmology that the velocity at which various galaxies are receding from the earth is proportional to their distance from us. The law was first formulated in 1929 after nearly a decade of observations. It is considered the basis for the expanding space paradigm and today serves as one of the pieces of evidence most often cited in support of the Big Bang model. What is this law we all must obey?

6) Seemingly straight out of Q’s arsenal this features a full color 1.8-inch LCD screen as well as a voice recorder and tiny camera that can record video and take photos. A mini-USB port is used to transfer files to and from the device, which supports MP3, and JPG multimedia formats and has a memory capacity of 4GB. The rechargeable battery provides roughly 8 hours of audio playback, what is it?

7) In quantum physics this states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. The more precise the position, the less precise the momentum, and vice versa. What is this principle called?

8) It efficiently transfers human pedal power to drive wheels enclosed within a monorail track. The designer describes it as a high efficiency, no emission urban transport system. It is part of the Race thru Space adventure park ride in world famous Agrodome in New Zealand, and could come to a city near you. What is this person powered bicycle monorail called?

9) This story has died in the US-but it’s a tale worth telling- Two men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of US treasury bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy and this is news- only 3 nations could move that amount of debt one of them the US of course, one of the others is china, In the absence of clear explanations coming from the Treasury, conspiracy theories are filling the void. What was in their suitcase makes them the 4th largest holders of US government debt in the world. What is the third country which could have this much US treasury debt, and also the nationality of these two men??

10) Researchers at the University of Central Florida have engineered nanoparticles that can target and destroy cancerous cells, delivering a drug directly to a tumor without harming healthy cells. Research into nanoparticles for cancer treatment has shown increasing promise in recent years. Loaded with a cancer fighting drug called Taxol, which were then “clicked” together with folic acid molecules, cancer cells like to consume them in large amounts. If treatment is successful what could this mean the end of for cancer patients?

11) The Wikimedia Foundation plans to launch an editable, video encyclopedia to complement its text-based online encyclopedia. . The aim is to revolutionize the existing site by allowing open-source video to be accessible to the general public. In the future, users may also be able to be import video content directly from the web. At first, the videos will be sourced from three repositories: the Internet Archive; Wikimedia Commons, and where else?

12) This company claims to have come up with a quick and easy solution for the legions of stressed out workers who are missing out on meals because they are tied to their desks. A portable microwave oven called the Beanzawave with miniature dimensions and it’s power provided by connecting it to a USB port on a desktop PC or laptop. This offers numerous scenarios for enjoying hot meals on the go. What company developed the Beanzawave to make sure workers didn’t skip meals?

13) Ever wished you were a 7-foot tall semi-centaur with the body of a human and a horse's legs? Seattle-based fantasy artist Kim Graham has come up with a killer Halloween costume that makes you 14 inches taller and gives you uncanny-looking equine legs and spring-loaded cloven hooves. The effect is quite amazing, and even a bit sexy. A set of legs like these can be yours for under USD$1000. What are they called?

14)He is an English computer game designer and game programmer. He is responsible for well known God games Dungeon Keeper, Populous, and Black & White, among others, as well as Theme Park and Fable . His Lionhead Studios, bought by Microsoft is behind Project Natal which is the code name for "controller-free gaming on the Xbox 360. It enables interaction without the need to touch anything using voice recognition and body movements. .Anyone who saw the Milo & Kate video and was wowed will certainly be looking forward to it – Who announced and is the legend behind it?

15) The launch of the European Space Agency’s mission, on May 6, put into orbit a new tool —the microwave equivalent of polarized sunglasses — that may offer a view of the dawn of time. Before the first galaxies, before the first stars, there was light —the brilliant glow of radiation created during the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. Instruments on this craft will explore this radiation in exquisite and unprecedented detail. The mission is named after a great Nobel Prize winning physicist – what is it called?

16) Tree shaping, known under a variety of names, is the art and technique of growing and shaping trunks, branches and roots of trees and other woody plants. By grafting, shaping, and pruning or guiding branches, trees are made to grow into ornamental or useful shapes. A method of tree shaping was developed by artists Peter Cook and Becky Northey. They have made chairs, figures and even mirrors. They called their work by this name- what is it?

17) This hydrogen-powered two-seater capable of 50mph and traveling more than 200 miles without refueling, was unveiled in London this week. Listen to this alternative business model driven by five fairly uncompromising principles: design a new kind of car; make its design and development completely open source; don't sell cars, but lease them; distribute manufacturing to small, local factories; and enable broader and more participatory ownership. The car is just 772lbs and produces greenhouse gas emissions 33% less than the latest hybrid cars. What is the name of this car with Wikipedia-like open collaboration?

18) This tag game often played in a swimming pool where the players have to seek out others using sound not sight. This has inspired robots who study changes in the sensory output of their targets, and use the information to predict where their targets are likely to go. So far, it has allowed robots to apprehend targets moving in a straight line at a constant speed, but researchers hope they can get the robots to compensate for evasive action. What game of tag is this named after?

19) Universalis Cosmographia, is a wall map of the world drawn by a German cartographer originally published in 1507. It was one of the first maps to chart latitude and longitude precisely, following the example of Ptolemy, and was the first map to use the name "America". The map depicts North and South America as two large continents. . The name "America" is placed on South America, this being the first map known to use this name. As explained the name was bestowed in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. What is this map which was bought for 10 million dollars by the Library of Congress?


Becky said...

16. Pooktre

Anonymous said...

Aye Becky, You're right! Well-Done

Sean B. Halliday said...

First off, I have to say that I LOVE cruise ships.
I spent over 12 years working on them as a Scuba Instructor,
Shore Excursion Manager and an IT Officer.

For 2 years I also worked shoreside in Miami as a database IT guy.

During my years on ships, I have to stay that many things happened
and that life is definately stranger than fiction on cruise ships.

Many people have asked me to share the stories I have collected over
the years, so I am complying with their request.

My site is:

If you had any stories of your own to add, please
send them to me and I will be happy to add them.

Sean B. Halliday

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