Saturday, 12 September 2009

The 1st Question 64 - 8 Sep 09

This week's panel

Lyr Lobo, Nazz Lane, Nuala Maracas, Praxis Carling.


Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.
Sigmund Freud

There is a fountain of youth: it is your creativity, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and to the lives of the people you love
Sophia Loren

Word-UP of the week – “Spankenfurter” - a tank in World of Warcraft who moonlights in the see what's on the slab.
Lyr Lobo

Audience Quote of the week – Did Merv Griffin start out this way?
CodeWarrior Carling


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Fresh evidence has been revealed to support the theory that life on Earth began in space. a specially-designed-comet ‘chaser’, collected particles shed in 2004, and NASA scientists have just confirmed that Glycine an amino acid has been found in a comet.. This discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts. What probe returned this Glycine of extraterrestrial carbon isotope signature?

2) This new approach uses DNA molecules as scaffolding or miniature circuit boards for the precise assembly of carbon nanostructures such as squares, triangles and stars a thickness of the width of the DNA double helix. Researchers say such a technique may provide a way to reach surfaces compatible with today’s semiconductor’s. What company is working on this breakthrough technology with Cal Tech?

3) Earlier in 2009 IKEA launched a new line of furniture, IKEA PS, whose objective was to stretch the idea of design and empower people. With such unusual designs, IKEA felt they had to do something special to help customers imagine how this furniture would fit into their houses, so they turned to a mobile solution The Portable Interior Planner, using what new application?

4) The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression. For computer scientists, this fast-growing mountain of data is opening a tantalizing window onto the collective consciousness of Internet users. For many businesses, online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency that can make or break a product in the marketplace. They know where you live, they know what you’re doing and they know how you feel- what is this emerging field which translates the vagaries of human emotion into hard data?

5) Charles Darwin considered this sudden appearance of many animal groups with few or no antecedents to be the greatest single objection to his theory of evolution. It was the seemingly rapid appearance of most major groups of complex animals around 530 million years ago. Before, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies. The long-running puzzlement about the appearance of this era’s fauna, seemingly abruptly and from nowhere. What is this very early baffling period called?

6)A virtual pandemic sparked scientists interests as it showed the progressive of a virus in real life. The "dying virus" effected thousands of players until the game's dev team put a fix in place to stop the flow of the pandemic, despite the repeated asks to replicate it for further research. What game did the entire ordeal take place in?

7) It is one of my favorite films, It is America in the 1950’s and the protagonist is a small town egomaniac who lands a radio show. His on air colloquial charm rapidly has him rise to the New York market, and his gentle ribbing of his sponsors was reminiscent of Arthur Godfrey. He becomes a huge star sponsored by Vitajax (possibly a forerunner to Viagra) and grooms politicians who need to appeal to a mass audience- in fact the mass marketing of politicians was predicted in this prescient film. It introduced Lee Remick. Starred Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal. Based on a Budd Schulberg short story called “Your Arkansas Traveler- what is the name of the movie that should be redone today?.

8) Now we can go one step further by making a complete "robot" out of a slime mould, Yes, a commonly occurring one even, that moves towards food sources such as bacteria and fungi, and shies away from light -it will be "programmed" using light and electromagnetic stimuli which was previously used to build liquid logic gates for a synthetic brain. It should be possible to program it to move in certain ways, to "pick up" objects by engulfing them and even assemble them. What is it this ooze affectionately dubbed?

9) Soft inheritance is of use when examining the evolution of cultures and ideas, this is an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer started by Richard Dawkins, it has since turned into a new area of study, one that looks at self-replicating units of culture. Sayings or knowledge touchstones are passed down from one generation to another in a way analogous to genetics. A unit of human cultural transmission is like a gene it can replicate and influence its surroundings, though in a different sense. -what is this field of study ?

10) This website, created at Carnegie Mellon provides a means of calculating your risk of dying in the next year. Suppose that you had a giant urn filled with one million balls Some of these balls are purple for life and some are green for death– each year you draw one out –how many purple lifeballs are in your urn? Depending on your lifestyle, your risk could be dramatically higher (if you are an obese, drunken skydiver) or lower (if you are a vegetarian aerobics instructor) but the results provide a good starting point to think about the risks that you face. What is the name of this site?

11) This robot that can lift patients in and out of beds and wheelchairs on command, while at the same time saving nurses’ backs and improving patient care and safety. It is called the RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) said to be the first robot that can lift up or set down a real human from bed to wheelchair. However, it looks like a cross between a snowman and a badly-designed what?

12) We're already stretching many of our natural resources to their limits, the world's population will jump from 6.5 billion to around 9 billion over the next 50 years. Get ready for a painful correction - there are four interconnected resources that are headed for a catastrophic squeeze within our lifetime.1- Oil, 2-. Food since 2005, the price of wheat has more than tripled. So has the price of corn. Rice has gone up more than 500%. Price increases reflect scarcity 3- Water - According to the World Economic Forum, within 20 years water will become a bigger theme for investors than oil. What is the 4th resource – it is diminishing due to a combination of commercial greed, weak policy, consumer disinterest, massive waste and blatant disregard for what flimsy rules are in place?

13) WAHHA GO GO is activated by spinning the torso-mounted metal disk (an optional crank arm can be used for greater speed). While The disk’s rotational energy is transferred via a gear assembly in the lower back. As the arms rotate, the accordion-like lungs expand upward, drawing in air that is then exhaled through the machine’s artificial vocal cords. The WAHHA GO GO is a clockwork mechanism created to produce an accurate imitation of what?

14) The Kalashnikov has been the common man’s rifle for sixty years and has been responsible for more misery and wasted humanity than any other invention of history. Now an ingenious Afghan inventor, has built one into a burglar alarm - a highly effective, seat-of-the-pants mash up that includes a cell and speaker phone, sensors, and armed response. Trigger the alarm by waving a hand outside the window of the inventor’s one-room home and the alarm sounds. It also calls his cell phone so he can have a conversation with the would-be burglar via a speakerphone in the alarm, and if he doesn’t like the answers he gets, he can fire the Kalashnikov remotely. What is the next punitive anti- theft system he is working on?

15) They were placed inside Mount St. Helens and can not only communicate with each other - they can form a robust "self-healing network" that can survive the loss of individuals to volcanic activity. Each has infrared detection & a GPS to sense the ground bulging and pinpoint the exact location of seismic activity. Once in place, they form what is known as a mesh network. "It's similar to the internet," "You just lay them out, and they figure out the best way to route the data." What are they?

16) This developed in sympathy with the English Arts and Crafts movement & influenced by the Idealistic Romantics (better homes would create better people) It sought to develop an indigenous North American style of architecture. Mid-western architects offended by the Greek and Roman classicism of nearly every building erected for the Chicago World's Fair, sought to create new work in and around Chicago that would display a uniquely modern and authentically American style. The most famous proponent of the style, Frank Lloyd Wright, promoted an idea of "organic architecture", that a structure should look as if it naturally grew from the site. What is the name of this ‘school” which took a horizontal outlook on design?

17) The world’s fisheries may be seriously depleted, but a comprehensive new study shows that all is not lost–and suggests that when humans really put the effort into turning the tide, fish stocks can be returned to good health. A combination of measures - such as catch quotas, no-take zones, and selective fishing gear - had helped fish stocks recover in 5 rebounding ecosystems: 2 are in the US, name one of the other 3 ?

18) Once upon a time before the Darwin it was thought an organism could pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring. This is also known as heritability of acquired characteristics And named for this man who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories Darwin & Mendel straightened that out -. What system was abandoned?

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