Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The 1st Question 60 - 28 Jul 09

This Week’s Panel

Doubledown Tandino, Gaius Luminous, Menubar memorial & Joel Savard


I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read.
Thomas B. Macaulay

A person possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with.
James Anthony Froude

Word – UP of the week - Mishomer - the nonsense that shows up on the screen when you type with your hands in the wrong place on the keyboard
Joel Savard

Audience quote of the week – There are 10 types of people: those who know binary and those who don't.
Haplo Eberhart


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1)Sun Danyong, apparently committed suicide after an iPhone prototype went missing. The company he worked for gave his family $44,000, and his girlfriend received an Apple laptop. Sun apparently was given not just one, but 16 prototype iPhones on July 9 or 10 to deliver to R&D, and he reported one missing three days later. He committed suicide early in the morning on July 16, after allegedly suffering through brutal interrogations. Even if you don't know the company’s name, you know the products they produce. Major, beloved hardware brands like Apple and Nintendo rely on their assembly lines to make some of the most coveted gadgets in the world. What is the name of this company which asks for perpetual overtime and pays about $220 a month? (Thanks to Gismodo for this)

2) ) Artificial skin is now in mass production in this country , and can produce up to 5,000 little swatches of human skin per month. Each little swatch is about one-tenth of a square inch and costs just $49 to produce. The process is completely automated; computers monitor the vats that the skin grows in, guiding the blade that cuts them free and tests the final product (including checking for infection). The artificial skin comes complete with blood vessels and can be used for grafts and plastic surgery. What country is this being done in?

3) In Greek mythology, she was the goddess who personified triumph throughout the ages, the Winged Goddess of Victory. She was sister of (Strength), (Force), and (Rivalry). According to classical myth, Styx brought the sisters to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War against the older deities. She assumed the role of the divine charioteer, but is often seen with wings to remind people that victory is fleeting. She is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins and on the Olympic coins her figure holds a palm frond in her left hand and a winner’s crown in her right.

4) With a reported one third of the currency in circulation being fake, in 1865 the Treasury Department needed them to suppress counterfeiting, The United States Marshals Service did not have the manpower to investigate all crime , so this group was used to investigate everything from murder to bank robbery to illegal gambling. After the assassination of McKinley in 1901, Congress informally requested that they provide presidential protection. And it wasn’t until 2003, they were transferred from Treasury to the newly established Department of Homeland Security. They almost put their lives on the line when a hand grenade was thrown at President Bush but failed to detonate What is this armed force called in the US?

5) He went to Bronx High School of Science & During his lifetime, he founded two companies for manufacturing electronic musical instruments. Moog was already building theremins when his friend sparked his interest in synthesizers. When he built a prototype for the 1964 Audio Engineering Society Convention, the response was enthusiastic He built the moog, the minimoog and the Kurzweil K2000, possibly the maximoog. It was however this 1968 release by Wendy Carlos that brought him his greatest success. What was this platinum selling album?

6) Alarm clocks come in all shapes and sizes, I am still waiting for the fly alarm clock which lands on your nose till you wake up. There’s the Puzzle Alarm Clock to get the gray matter working first thing in the morning and the Clocky to get you up and running. Joining the ranks of masochistic devices is this alarm clock which comes in charcoal gray and features a simple digital LCD clock display. The Shape Up Alarm Clock won’t stop screeching until you’ve done 30 reps. What is the shape of this alarm, the perfect gift for anyone you're not that fond of. (

7) Geometric modeling, A Knowledge Engine possibly the first literary description in history of something resembling a computer., and Bio – Energy were first described in a 1726 book whose hero is rescued after a shipwreck by a fictional flying island that can be maneuvered by its inhabitants in any direction This islands residents had discovered the two moons of Mars (which in reality would not be discovered for another 150 years), but couldn't construct well-designed clothing or buildings - The population of the island mainly consisted of educated people, who wee fond of mathematics, astronomy, music and technology, but failed to make practical use of their knowledge. Yes the book is Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. What is the name of the magnetically levitated island ?

8) Scientists in Nevada have found a new and environmentally friendly source for something quite important using “chicken feather meal”, a delightful material that consists of chicken feathers, blood, and innards made from the 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste that accumulates annually in the US alone. Currently feather meal is used as animal feed and fertilizer because of its high protein content. It has a 12 percent fat content, and using boiling water could create 152 million gallons of what?

9) There’s no doubt the refrigerator is the central hub of the kitchen, serving more than its primary purpose of keeping things cold. In recent years we’ve seen fridge manufacturers pack their products with all manner of technological additions, from iPod docks to touch screens and TVs. In most households though the humble fridge remains a central place to stick notes that are sure to be seen. Whirlpool has saved us the hassle of hunting for a scrap of paper on which to scribble and the magnet to hold it with What kind of finish does the Amana jot fridge have?

10) One theory is that the song was inspired by the banning of rock music in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini The song gives a fabulist account of the ban being defied by the population". The King orders jet fighters to bomb any people in violation of the ban. The pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios. The lyrics include a mixture of Arabic, Jewish, Urdu, and North African terms such as sharif, bedouin, sheikh, kosher, raga, muezzin, minaret, and casbah. "Rock the Casbah" originated when the Clash's manager asked facetiously , after a very long track them "does everything have to be as long as this raga?" Who was the The Clash’s manager?

11) Stopping to smell the roses is a good mantra to encourage you to take the time to appreciate what’s around you. Aromatherapy has become a popular form of alternative medicine. But another smell can reduce emotional stress more than roses. Scientists exposed lab rats to stressful conditions (presumably getting them to do some public speaking) while inhaling and not inhaling this. Those exposed to this scent did not go into stress overdrive. What is this scent that measurably reduces stress?

12) The i-Aroma is loaded with 6 base oils and attached to a PC via USB cable. Japanese company NTT Com is hoping to attract volunteers for the Fragrance Communication trials. An astrologist and aroma therapist will determine what scents are mixed and released into the air notably fragrances for various aspects of daily life such as walking, working and sleeping. A company named DigiScents tried this sort of thing for a while back in the late 1990s and had big dreams, which bombed, of scent-enabled websites. Its product was called what?

13) He moved to France and through a grant from Louis XIV of France helped to set up the Paris Observatory, which he remained director of until his death. He was the first to observe four of Saturn's moons, and discovered divisions in the rings of Saturn in 1675. and shares credit for the discovery of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter . He was an astrologer and an astronomer.. His method of determining longitude using eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter as a clock measured the size of France accurately for the first time. The country turned out to be considerably smaller than expected, . Who was the man The sun king quipped had taken more of his kingdom from him than he had won in all his wars.

14) The Russian Navy has declassified records of encounters with undersea UFOs during the Cold War. Their records detail underwater encounters at the world's oldest and deepest freshwater lake, 25 million years, and 5,000 feet In one case in 1982 a group of military divers training there spotted a group of humanoid creatures dressed in silvery suits. The encounter happened at a depth of 50 meters, and the men tried to catch the strangers. Three of the seven divers died, while four others were severely injured." Fans of the 1989 movie The Abyss are familiar with the storyline. What is the name of this lake where close encounters of the fishy kind occurred?

15) Actually, these are not my words but the commentary of the consistently excellent Boris Johnson writing in the UK Daily Telegraph about the Nanny State mentality. In describing ubiquitous signage warning of water being wet, slippery rocks being slippery and the sheer drop off a mountain being an “edge of cliff” Mr. Johnson gives this year’s winner of the prize for the Most Successful Special Interest Group to them?

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