Thursday, 19 November 2009

The 1st Question 73 - 17 Nov 09

This week's panel

Chris Ebi, Hiro Pendragon, Christopher Express, Wiz Norderg


“The cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity”
- Dorothy Parker

The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.
- Gary Gygax

Word-UP of the week – A Tie!
“Smeet” verb - To meet someone in real life that you've known online. (Smeet = Second / Meet contracted together) Origin: SLCC 1, 2005, New York Law School. Hiro: There needs to be a word for when you meet someone you've already known. Like meeting for the second time.

Philip Rosedale: Smeet?

Hiro: Yeah!

-Hiro Pendragon

“Treadulous” adj. - 1. A discussion or topic which has been discussed many times before, especially when it involves tedious discourse repeated ad nauseum. 2. A person who often engages in such discussions.
-Wiz Nordberg

Audience Quote of the week – “I'm creating my own show for idiots like me.. It will be called "the next question, please"
-Gary Broono


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) Silicon could soon be replaced- with low-cost printable electronics. This process will offer manufacturers an inexpensive way to add “intelligence” or computing power to a wide range of surfaces like electronic clothing. Integrated circuits are currently manufactured in costly silicon chip factories. The difficult challenge of developing conductive electronic inks that work in an ordinary, everyday environment has been solved by Xerox developing what substance for printing plastic circuits?

2) Ant colonies aren't called superorganisms for nothing. The original Borg, millions of individuals can act as a single entity. Over 200 different species are called "Army Ants", no surprise that these mechanisms have been used for the basis of new software that helps troops to define the best path within a battle field. At what university has the "ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO)" been developed for maximum speed and minimum casualties.

3)Manny Pacquiao, who has done politics, acting, filmmaking, and music recording is really a professional boxer, and the only boxer to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions . A first and the equivilent of a pugilistic polymath. He has held or holds the champion title for junior welterweight, Lightweight, super featherweight, Featherweight, Super bantamweight, Flyweight and one other class. He is rated by Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Although in these weight categories I might say ounce for ounce. In What division does Manny currently fight in to win?

4) Smart contact lenses with virtual reality graphics and information just got a step closer. Adding a power harvesting antenna to contact lenses with microcircuits, this harvests radio waves to power a LED and pave the way for a new kind of display. The University of Washington is behind this project & tested the lens on what animal?

5) Ever been stuck in an airport with no where to sleep? Looking similar to a white desktop computer’s tower, people will be able to rent the facility in terminals for between 15 minutes and several hours. It uses soundproofing to keep the noises of the airport out. Bed sheets are automatically changed via the winding of one roller to another akin to a conveyor belt, and it comes equipped with an LCD display, Wi-Fi access, luggage space and loads of power outlets for charging laptops and mobile phones. What is this called from Russia with Snores?

6) The Air Force is looking to harness advances in bio-science so they can “degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive abilities.” By analyzing the biochemical brain pathways of troops who are cool under pressure, the Air Force wants an “external stimulant” that can act as a synthetic version of optimal cognitive stress response and keep airmen operating at top level, then reverse it on the enemy. In the 1970s and 80s, a small group of special operations soldiers at Ft. Bragg supposedly tried to teach themselves how to kill with psychic power – This forms the basis of what movie out now?

7) Using a computer, engineers draw a three-dimensional object. The drawing is sliced into layers which a beam traces. Meanwhile, metal wire, such as aluminum or titanium, is fed into the beam to build the layers. Heat from the beam reaching 3,000 degrees — briefly liquefying the metals before they settle into the desired shape. Astronauts could use the beam to create tools and spacecraft parts thereby avoiding the cost of sending extra supplies into space. It cost $2.5 million- what is it?

8) Tattooing dates back to at least Neolithic times but this is not your great great great grandaddy’s tattoo. Today it’s possible to get ink that glows under UV light, but a new technology could see tattoos that emit their own light & pave the way for embedded LED tattoos. For futuristic illuminated designs that can be animated to move across a person’s body, or for medical applications. On what will these tattoos be imprinted, then implanted into your body completely dissolving harmlessly?

9) It is a humanoid robot used for testing chemical protection clothing for the US Army & does lots of things that soldiers will be expected to do while wearing them. Essential in simulating how a soldier stresses fatigues under realistic conditions. The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person. What is his affectionate sounding acronym?

10) A blood-orange blob the size of a small refrigerator emerged from the dark waters, its venomous tentacles trapped in a fishing net. Within minutes, hundreds more were being hauled up. These giants weighing up to 450 pounds, up to 6 feet in diameter are swimming rampant costing Japan over $330 million dollars a year in damages. .These gelatinous seaborne creatures are blamed for decimating fishing industries, forcing the shutdown of seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, the Middle East and Africa, and terrorizing beachgoers worldwide. Scientists believe climate change — the warming of oceans has allowed it to spread and thrive – what is the name for the world’s largest jellyfish?

11) It came from beneath the climate change - The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop15) will take place this year in Copenhagen from December 7th through the 18th, and willhave a significant presence in SL too. - A patent for interactive TV that could allow viewers to participate in the events on the screen has been filed relying on a type of interactive overlay , perhaps generated by a video game console. Typically passive TV watchers will then use avatars to interact on-screen as the action plays out behind them. For example, racing real drivers in real races from the comfort of your couch, tossing virtual tomatoes or giving B-movie actors a swift kick in the pants. Extreme interaction includes adding "shootable" virtual characters on top of a war or action movie. But when they go down, will they stay down? What company has filed a patent for this?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The 1st Question 72 - 10 Nov 09

This week's panel

In Kenzo / Clint Peccable / Kate McLaglen / Eyebeams Electricteeth


Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
-A. J. Liebling

The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.
-John Foster Dulles

The most important political office is that of the private citizen.
-Louis D. Brandeis

Word-UP of the week – “Wheelbarrowism” - Sticking to the theory that the universe is just a large wheelbarow at the bottom of a supreme beings garden
-Clint Peccable

Audience Quote of the week –
You actually have to do something in the future
-Hiro Pendragon


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) It is an international organization that brings together scholars and public figures working to reduce the danger of armed conflict. Founded in 1957, it followed the release of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto which called for a conference of scientists to assess the dangers of weapons of mass destruction It’s first fifteen years coincided with many international crises so it played a useful role in opening communication channels during a time of otherwise-strained relations, In 1995, fifty years after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with its founder Joseph Rotblatt who said "Remember your humanity" great words, in what mission do they lie?

2) Commercial flies, tiny insects that carry advertiser messages, are science fiction; everybody knows that. Philip K. Dick wrote about this idea in his 1966 novel The Simulacra: Apparently, nobody told THIS German publisher, which released hundreds of houseflies with TINY ultralight banner ads glued to their hind ends WITH A BIT OF SEALING WAX to promote their table at the Frankfurt Book Festival. Somehow I don’t think this would go over as well with an American crowd. Which book publisher let the flies out?

3) It is an European space mission, expected to be launched in the Spring of 2012, and will be operated to compile a catalogue of approximately one billion stars creating an extremely precise three-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy and beyond, creating a kind of universal positioning system (I would use UPS but that has been taken) This massive stellar census will provide the basic observational data to tackle origins, structure, and evolution of our Galaxy. What is the name of this mission that seeks to unlock the positions of the stars?

4) ) An Australian physicist and humanitarian played a fundamental role in nuclear fusion and the development of the atomic bomb, the first to discover heavy hydrogen nuclei could react. This fusion reaction is the basis of a hydrogen bomb, and it's discovery purely, coincidental. In November 1943, he moved to work on the Manhattan Project as part of the British delegation. but it made him uneasy and he preferred to concentrate on uranium-235. He became a harsh critic of nuclear weapons and a member of Pugwash . Who was right from the beginning, worried by the existence of nuclear weapons and very much against their use?

5) She was a French playwright and political activist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reached a large audience and led unfortunately to the guillotine for attacking the regime of Robespierre, during the Reign of Terror. She is best known as an early feminist -In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen- Article 10 contains the famous phrase: “La femme a le droit de monter l'√©chafaudage; elle doit tout aussi avoir le droit de monter l'estrade.” If women have the right to be executed, they should have the right to speak. She was alarmed that the constitution, which was to promote equal suffrage, did not address—nor even consider—women’s suffrage. Who was she?

6) Australians were the first to use this to educate isolated children often miles away from the nearest school. The Royal Flying Doctor Service begun in 1928 established a large pedal powered radio network across the outback, . An influential Adelaide schoolteacher, made the proposal for this to be set up through the radio network and in 1950 the first lesson was broadcast. Now 12 Schools and 1000 students take part and teachers still use high frequency radio to provide lessons to their students with newer technologies such as email, computer links, video and the Internet. What is this school called?

7) I know you all can’t believe this kind of thing exists but Love Plus is a new Japanese dating simulation for the Nintendo DS that requires a fair amount of interaction between you and your simulated date. There is this part where you can hold hands on the touchscreen, if you touch your dates hand with the stylus. And then there's the part where you can kiss by putting your fingers to their lips. This scifi writer popularized the idea of a relationship with a virtual person in his 1996 novel Idoru, in which a virtual person seems so real. He wrote of personality-constructs & synthespians (great word) Who was it?

8) When European Union officials first discussed the idea of a massive solar power plant to provide power to all of Europe, many people took it as a plan that was far too outlandish to ever come to pass. But now a consortium is dedicated to pushing the project ahead. The Desertec Industrial Initiative aims to provide 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050 or earlier. They will need evidence that the project won’t suffer due to local political instability or terrorism threats. Where will this $400 billion project, using new high voltage direct current cables to bring the power to Europe be built?

9) A small dashboard robot created by MIT’s Media Lab reads the driver's mood from facial expression and other cues. It responds in a socially appropriate and informative way. When it merges knowledge with an understanding of the driver’s priorities it will have figured out your home and work locations helping you achieve more energy efficiency and safer behavior.” Not a backseat driver, but a friendly dashboard assistant, you could actually chuck out the window if it became too irritating. What is it called?

10) One of the first physicists to be publicly troubled by the philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics was Einstein. In 1935, he co-authored a paper which was intended to show that Quantum Mechanics could not be a complete theory of nature. That something else would have to be invoked. What challenged long-held ideas about the relation between the observed values and those accounted for by a physical theory, we are looking for the name of the paradox or argument?

11) In an astonishingly productive career, he invented many devices, but never once applied for a patent. He wrote in 1893, ” Excellence will always defy competition." He was also a passionate believer in scientific communication as a key to furthering progress. Open Source science we would call it today. He is credited with the First powered flight in 1894- and built the world's first box-kite, hitched four together, added an engine and flew it five meters. Modest, unassuming and unselfish, he was only anxious that he might succeed in adding to the sum of human knowledge. Who was he?

12) Frederick Pohl was a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group - Black Widowers. He collaborated on a dystopian satire of a world ruled by advertising agencies, called The Space Merchants. But in this excellent tongue-in-cheek story he pillories the “Consumer Society.” So many goods are produced that people are obligated to consume - and in doing so you could graduate to higher levels of society, where you might actually have fewer things and more time to yourself. And to achieve this, you could get robots to do your consumption for you…. In what book is the measure of wealth how FEW goods you are force-fed?

13)The 2009 Global Green Challenge, has a winner, After covering almost 1800 miles in four days across Australia's baking red center, This team's run was nearly flawless, reporting only a single flat tire and the win breaks a string of four consecutive victories by the Dutch Nuon team. A total of 32 solar vehicles from 16 countries made the start about 10 days ago. This car covered in solar panels, placed fourth in qualifying but took the lead on day one and extended its advantage all the way to the finish line. Which country took the victory; it’s first from this nation since 1993?
#navbar { display: none; }