Saturday, 15 August 2009

The 1st Question 62 - 11 Aug 09

This week's panel

Farqot Gustafson, Abbey Zenith, Pb Recreant, Dirk McKeenan


Every human being is interested in two kinds of worlds: the Primary, everyday world which he knows through his senses, and a Secondary world or worlds which he not only can create in his imagination, but which he cannot stop himself creating.
W.H. Auden

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
Albert Einstein

Why we prefer Einstein for relativity & Newton for gravity

Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do — but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
Albert Einstein

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.
Sir Isaac Newton
(I believe he was citing his old Aunt Minnie)

Word-UP of the week - “Lagbarassed” - clothes that fail to rez, leaving you embarassed (and bare-a****.)
Abbey Zenith

I’m getting a pair of bagpipes if it has this effect on her
Portent Mavendorf - Audience Quote of the week


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) 3 sets of gamers are portrayed who represent the 25 million players worldwide who consider themselves addicted to MMO's. This movie, the first movie about virtual worlds which we know has changed the way human beings interact is just released - what is the film called?

2) This Refers to interfaces that work via the sense of touch by forces, vibrations, and/or motions . This mechanical kind of stimulation has made it possible to investigate in detail how the human sense of touch works. In the future, expert surgeons with machine setup will use this kind of technology using telepresence. The word itself comes from the Greek verb meaning to “contact” or “touch” What kind of technology is it?

3) In the Fifties a Labour party activist visited this country and saw how it was using radio broadcasting to educate remote communities. He fed the idea to Labor party leader Harold Wilson, who thought up a system of long-distance learning available to all regardless of qualifications, and take advantage of the fact that 14 million UK households had TV. In 1963 Wilson made a speech outlining what he then called “the University of the Air”. From whom did he get the idea of open universities from?

4) The U.S. Mint had been producing one-cent coins since its founding in 1792, but the 1909 penny (which replaced the Indian-head coin) was the first coin on which a President's likeness appeared. While most people applauded the new design, former Confederate soldiers were upset at the prospect of carrying the image of Lincoln in their pockets. Which president commissioned the penny to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lincoln?

5) In 1975 a 50-year-old bricklayer from England, literally died laughing while watching this show. According to his wife, who was a witness, the man was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" in which one of the comedians dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye". After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter the man expired from heart failure. To what show did his widow send a letter thanking them for making her husbands final moments so pleasant.?

6) This major American corporation was founded in 1908 by a man whose middle name was "Crapo." Amazingly Billy Durant began this company with only $2,000 in capital. It also was the target of strikes by workers who labored under dangerous conditions. Two weeks after thousands of striking workers occupied the factory; police raided the plant, firing tear gas. The strikers inside fought back by opening the fire hoses and hurling two-pound hinges and other auto parts at them. The police ran away. What company agreed to grant sole bargaining right to the United Auto Workers, and therefore became responsible for the rise of this union?

7) Hitler was a practical joker and one of his favorite targets was his foreign minister.. One prank famously backfired, when he sent him into Spain on a plane full of Gestapo, and made him think he was being set up for a suicide mission. Instead the man took an opportunity while refueling to board a train to Switzerland, and before anyone could let him in on the joke, he turned himself over. He studied at Harvard and described the cheerleaders to Adolf, who became obsessed with the idea of stirring blind enthusiasm in this way. "'Rah, rah, sis boom bah' became "Sig Heil, Heil Hitler," Who was this man who became an invaluable source of information for the allies?

8)It is a relaxation beverage produced by a Canadian company & dubbed an "anti-energy" drink It was actually created to "help people slow down" and parodied Red Bull by using similar packaging. The main ingredient is L-Theanine which according to the manufacturer, "produces a feeling of relaxation, creates a feeling of well-being and increases mental awareness, cognition, and concentration. What is it?

9) The Himawari is a robotic sunflower that does not grow towards the sun, like a biological sunflower. That would be heliotropism. This robotic sunflower is homotropic, in the sense defined by Philip K. Dick; it turns toward people. Created in Japan, its Servomotors follow the motion of a person's hand using an infrared camera in its head. Philip K. Dick introduced the idea of robots that find, then follow human beings in his 1963 novel called, what?

10) As an efficient, natural means of capturing solar energy, photosynthesis is hard to beat. But it’s also proving extremely difficult to duplicate. The best light-capturers in nature are the chlorosomes of bacteria, which can harvest light particles in even the worst conditions, such as at the bottom of the ocean. A bacterial light antenna was built copying the exact molecular and supramolecular structure using the chlorophyll of the alga Spirulina: In what country was this worked out?

11) Helping you negotiate a better price when buying goods and services on the net, they act as an intermediary after asking you about how much you want and under what circumstances less would be accepted. Rather than the fixed price model, a relatively recent development in history, the site negotiates a different deal with every sale, using a series of simple rules - known as heuristics. "Computer agents don't get bored, they have a lot of time, and they don't get embarrassed," are some reasons for its success – from what company do these intelligent software "agents" come?

12) A touchable holography display prototype has been built and adds tactile feedback to a hovering three-dimensional image. The tactile sensation is provided using this. In laymen's terms, it pushes against your hand. Hand position is determined using the Wiimote tracking system; What is actually pushing your hands so you can feel virtual raindrops on the palm?

13) Can a tough and weedy shrub solve all of our energy problems and stop runaway climate change? Don’t be ridiculous—of course it can't. But that, briefly, was the hype surrounding this poisonous plant that grows wild in tropical climates. It’s seeds are saturated with oil that can be easily processed into biofuel, and it was thought to grow on : wasteland that's sandy, rocky, dry, or nutrient-poor. However it needs fertile soil and significant amounts of water, like most other crops to produce enough & Just last week, the oil company BP withdrew from a partnership to produce 1 million hecates of what?

14) The cyber-attack that temporarily disabled Twitter for 2 hours recently was probably politically motivated and directed at a pro-Georgian blogger in a distributed denial of service attack. It seems Twitter, a relatively new service with a U.S.-based infrastructure, couldn’t handle the surge in traffic. It has not been confirmed who perpetrated the attack, but it is believed to have been an attempt by the Russian government to squelch criticism over it's conduct in the war over the disputed South Ossetia region, which began a year ago. How is the attacked blogger called?

15) When Paris hosted the Exposition Universelle in 1900, it unveiled its vision for the future of transport. Below ground, the city's stylish new Metro made its debut, while above ground was something more avant garde .Nearly 7 million visitors hopped onto the trottoir roulant and one woman gave birth in transit. But, the idea of high-speed walkways had been established in New York longer than anywhere else. Back in 1871, a local wine merchant patented the first "endless-traveling sidewalk", and promptly proposed an ambitious elevated 18 mph moving walkway along Broadway. Despite building a working model and lobbying state and city politicians for a decade, He discovered his invention was simply too visionary. Who was this man?

16) Generally, the worst spinal cord damage doesn't happen at the scene of the injury - it's the swelling and the crazy firing and burning out of otherwise healthy neurons in the hours and days following the incident that turns a bad situation permanently worse. Much of this is because of a chemical called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is used as a kind of cellular battery to deliver energy to cells around the body in normal life. In effect, a patient might receive a spinal injury of low or medium severity - but the actions of ATP in the hours and days after the trauma can completely destroy the function of the spinal cord, leaving patients paralyzed. What is it that can be administered intravenously effectively blocking the action of the ATP at the injury site, but makes you turn blue in the process?

17) Besides dabbling in science fiction, he also patented several inventions, including a vibratory disintegrator used to produce gas from peat moss and a pneumatic road-improver. John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic, an opponent of the federal reserve system. He wrote a science fiction novel that offered an account of life in the year 2000.Which included descriptions of a worldwide telephone network, solar & wind power, air travel, electric cars, space travel to the planets Saturn and Jupiter, and terraforming engineering projects — damming the Arctic Ocean, and adjusting the Earth's axial tilt (by the Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company) what is the name of this book?

18) Produced by Sega Toys, the Uchiage Hanabi is a projector that lets users display this on their walls and ceilings complete with realistic sound effects. The device uses five customizable projection lenses to display movement and even tracks them from launch to explosion to mimic the appearance of the real thing. The compact unit incorporates a speaker for the various bangs and whistles, but you’ll have to generate the oohs and ahhhs on your own. What does it project into your living room?

19) It’s tiny, it’s bioengineered and has been successfully created and implanted in an adult mouse by Tokyo University researchers. Taking cells from a mouse embryo and cultivated them in a collagen-based medium this was made, implanted and grew to be fully functioning. Hopefully this technology is a model for future replacement therapies. This was able to perform as if the mouse had been born to use it - what part of the mouse was replaced?

20) A free-standing bell tower, often adjacent to a church or cathedral. The most famous one is probably the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Other notable examples include the one in St Mark's Square, Venice. Those outside of Italy are often modeled after St Mark's. and a modern one would be the Frankfurt Messeturm. Modern campaniles often contain carillons, a musical instrument traditionally composed of at least 23 large bells which are sounded by cables, chains, or cords connected to a keyboard. What are these kind of structures called?

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