Friday, 25 September 2009

The 1st Question 66 - 22 Sep 09

This week's panel

Chase Marellan, Chimera Cosmos, Dedric Mauriac, Pim Peccable.


Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.
Frederich Nietzsche

Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand.
Edward Everett Hale

Word-UP of the week – “Lagoflage” - Noun. Lag-o-Flage. Feature, claim, or situation that provides the ability to hide within lag. Techniques are often used to provide an excuse to leave events or conversation early by feigning lag. While many people may claim to have lag, an extreme lagoflageist will attempt to decrease network bandwidth, increase CPU & GPU load, or run additional programs that occupy more memory to actually induce lag. "She says she had to leave because the lag was ruining her experience, but I think it was just a bunch of Lagoflage".
Dedric Mauriac

Audience Quote of the week – “I saw popcorn popped by cellphones on youtube.....”
Xanshin Paz


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

P:1) These are a glass curiosity created by dripping hot molten glass into cold water. The glass cools into a tadpole-shaped droplet with a long, thin, tail. The way the glass cools sets up very high residual stress within the drop & gives rise to unusual qualities, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulbous end without breaking, while the drops will disintegrate explosively if the tail end is even slightly damaged. What is this?

2) Waterbanking is the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. This Nevada project is a prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential. A network of canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. Sounds familiar. Remember Dune? The “first planetary ecology novel” which forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants secluded themselves from their harsh environment. Essentially underground water storage banks, this Nevada project of an underground community is also called what?

3) This Bank is a real-world non-profit startup that is dedicated to building a new currency. According to their website, value is "obtained from your online reputation by tracking your interactions with social networks and the feedback from your contacts." The site just launched last week. When you enter your Facebook or Twitter name, you will see a graph describing your Salary. The algorithm currently considers these aspects:
Public Endorsements, Level of Influence, Existing Reputation & Analyzes Content of Messages. What is this reputation bank called?

4) A stock model developed by physicists has apparently made a successful prediction of a fall in the Shanghai Stock Exchange & is taken from concepts about the physics of complex atomic systems. The idea is that if a plot of the logarithm of the market's value over time deviates upwards from a straight line, it's a clear warning that people are investing simply because the market is rising rather than paying heed to the intrinsic worth of companies. By projecting the trend, you can predict when growth will become unsustainable and the market will crash. Which group on Star trek was known for investing a lot in the science of capitalism? (The Ferengi)

5) A massively-parallel computing device made from supersaturated solutions of sodium acetate? The basic idea is to use the wavefront of crystallization to perform calculations; using its the speed and the way it interacts to perform them. Most experimental prototypes of unconventional computers require a tailored hardware interface (liquid crystals) and specialized equipment (memristors). What is the more common name for sodium acetate trihydrate the ideal DIY unconventional computer material’?

6)In The Island of Dr. Moreau, by HG Welles, Dr. Moreau performs experiments on animals, always testing the limits of what is possible, to transform them into something more man-like. Dr. Moreau wants to find out the extreme limit of plasticity in a living shape. And says, "To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter. The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.” When the novel was written in the late 19th century, Britain's scientific community was engulfed by debates on this, even spawning the British Union for the Abolition of what?

7) This state’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the state Declaration of Rights allows police to break into a suspect’s car to secretly install GPS tracking devices, provided they have a warrant before they act. The court said using GPS devices as an investigative tool – which can require police to secretly break into a vehicle to install the device – does not violate the ban on unreasonable search and seizures found in the state’s Declaration of Rights. In what state of the union is this now allowed?

8) This University has given famed researcher Irving Weissman permission to create a mouse-human hybrid. The intent is to inject human brain cells into the brains of developing mice to see what happens. The National Academy of Sciences will unveil guidelines on chimera and stem cell research this spring. But rest assured They conclude if they see any signs of human brain structures . . . or if the mouse shows human-like behaviors, like improved memory,problem-solving, or obsessive behavior over what their girl friend is doing online, they will stop. At what university is this being done?

9) He was editor of the New York Sun, and was recognized as a major figure in the early development of science fiction. He wrote fiction about a man rendered invisible by scientifically & about a time-travel machine before Wells. He wrote about faster-than-light travel ("The Tachypomp"; now perhaps his best-known work) in 1874, a thinking computer and a cyborg in 1879 ("The Ablest Man in the World"), and much else. His 1879 story "The Senator's Daughter", set in the future year 1937, contains several technological predictions which were daring for the time: travel by pneumatic tube, electrical heating, newspapers printed in the home by electrical transmission, food-pellet concentrates, international broadcasts, and the suspended animation of a living human being through freezing (cryogenics) Who was he?

10) It’s formerly known as the One Hectare Telescope, a joint effort by the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory dedicated to astronomy & search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It pioneers the Large-Number Small-Diameter concept of building radio telescopes. Compared to a large dish antenna, large numbers of smaller dishes are cheaper for the same collecting area, however the signals from all telescopes must be combined. They have also offered to provide the downlink for any contestants in the Google Lunar X Prize. What is this project being built?

11) It is a mission being developed by the Planetary Society, consisting of sending selected microorganisms on a three-year round-trip in a small capsule aboard the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. The goal is to test whether organisms can survive for years in deep space and will determine one aspect of transpermia, the hypothesis that life could survive space travel, if protected inside rocks blasted by impact off one planet to land on another. What is it called?

12) First isolated by English and Russian researchers in 2004, graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms densely-packed in a honeycomb structure with unique mechanics. It has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel, and has proven an excellent choice in manufacturing highly resistant carbon nanotubes, which have quickly become one of the central research areas in today's nanotechnology. The new material grapheme plus hydrogen, graphone, makes graphene magnetic and electric and can become an excellent substitute for what?

13) It is effectively a class of problems of taking an initial set of data that gives the positions, masses, and velocities of some set, for some particular point in time, and then using that set of data to determine the motions of them, and to find their positions at other times, in accordance with the laws of classical mechanics, i.e., Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of gravity The problem of finding it’s solution was considered very important and challenging. Indeed in the late 1800s King Oscar II of Sweden, established a prize for anyone who could find it. What is this famous problem called?

14) In case the problem could not be solved, any other important contribution to classical mechanics would then be considered to be prize-worthy. But to whom was the prize first awarded?

15) Non-lethal weapons are intended to have reversible effects on personnel and material. They provide soldiers with another option when lethal force isn’t considered to be the best first response to a situation. One non-lethal weapon prototype that is being evaluated by U.S. military is the Thermal Laser System, which attaches to a rifle and uses a laser to create a heating sensation to repel adversaries. Unfortunately, current trials indicate that something nullifies the weapon's effectiveness. What is it?

16) Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty was his first act. In it he wore a top hat and tails in the first half and a lobster outfit in the second. His sister Adele married her first husband, a son of the Duke of Devonshire and so he went solo, sort of. Notes on his auditions were "Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little." He paired with a woman whose partnership elevated them both to stardom.. Famously insecure and workaholic, He would not even go to see his rushes. Who was this famous dancer?

17) This is a research database tool that helps you find research that you like, or would work well with the research you have already done. It's like the iTunes Genius feature, which looks at your music and organizes it, and then suggests new tunes that you would probably like. At the basic level, students can "drag and drop" research papers which automatically extracts data, keywords, cited references, etc, thereby creating a searchable database and saving countless hours of work. It enables users to collaborate with researchers around the world, whose existence they might not know about until this algorithms find them What is this real time social network in pursuit of scientific truth called?

H:18) The founder of the world Jedi religion has accused this UK-based retail giant of religious discrimination after the company ordered him to remove his hood or leave. Daniel Jones, the 23-year-old founder of the religion inspired by the Star Wars film saga, believes that he has every right to insist on wearing his hood. "It states in our Jedi doctrinarian that I can wear headwear. The retail empire struck back, however, by referencing the film canon, showing that the three best-known Jedi - Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker - all appear in public without their hoods. And company representatives added: Jedi’s are very welcome to shop in our stores. What chain doesn’t want the Jedi’s to miss special offers?

19) Sometimes referred to as the South Atlantic Flash this was an unidentified double flash of light in 1979. Specialists who examined the data speculated that the double flash, characteristic of a nuclear explosion, may have been the result of a nuclear weapons test: "The conclusions of the presidential panel were reassuring, as they suggested that the most likely explanation was a meteoroid hitting the satellite —. Others who examined the data, including DIA, the national laboratories, and contractors reached a very different conclusion —they detected a nuclear detonation." What was this incident known as?

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