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 treet.tv

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?

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