Thursday, 4 February 2010

The First Question - 2 February 2010

This week's panel

Gary Bukowski / Jenette Forager / Spiff Whitfield / CathyWyo1 Haystack -


“Great minds have purpose, others have wishes.” -Washington Irving

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." — Dr. Seuss

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." — Dr. Seuss

Word-UP of the week - “Purgadigatory” - that dark place where your avatar gets stuck when you tp..somewhere between where you were and where you wanted to teleport to -CathyWyo1 Haystack -

"Freepurposing": The act of freeing any system, device or content from its intended purpose, and re-applying ? it for a completely unintended purpose which is usually much more fun. Example: Rick Astley.-Gary Bukowski -

Audience Quote of the week“I’m not flirting with you; I’m just recharging my laptop”-Tomkin Euler


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) We said iPad last week, and indeed that was the name – though the observation that there were no women in the room during the naming session was obvious. At least they didn’t call it MyPad. However, a Japanese technology firm and a Swiss semiconductor company both have trademarks for iPad. These kinds of naming conflicts have not stopped Apple before. In 2007, on the eve of the introduction of the iPhone, another technology giant pointed out that it already sold an Internet handset called the iPhone. Steven Jobs, , led the negotiation for the name, calling executives at all hours of the night finally persuading them to surrender the trademark with a vague promise to market their products jointly — a partnership that never materialized. What company gave jobs the rights to iPhone?

2) The Sound Reactive Nightgown uses a shape-memory alloy that when you yell, speak or make noises in the vicinity of this dainty garment, it starts lifting up provocatively. Keep talking might have a whole new meaning with sound activated clothing. Wires are in it which are made up of a shape memory alloy that returns back to its original form when stimulated. Dynalloy, Inc. manufactures these nickel titanium wires under this trade name to differentiate them from other ones which do not have these same properties. What is this shape shifting alloy called?

3) Panopticlick is a unique website that pulls information you didn't know you had about your computer that all websites can see, and then displays it for you, giving a uniqueness score — letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web "Panopticlick" appears to be the mating of Panopticon and "mouse click". The Panopticon was designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785; what is it?

4) Concrete is the world's third-largest source of man-made carbon dioxide. I A few companies are now using different technologies that not only make concrete carbon-neutral, they actually make it carbon-negative. One company in California is converting the carbon in industrial flue emissions into concrete and asphalt by running them through pH-adjusted seawater. Then solidifying the minerals to be used as cement plus neutralizing other pollutants such as mercury. The company is Calera what pilot project is tying out this process?

5) You are out pushing the stroller and let’s face it you have to check your email or send a tweet- what is a mother to do? Well now you can, easily as this product has been created. It’s a phone-holder that clips to your stroller’s handle bar and makes it easier for you to text or email while you're out and about - but please wait until the stroller is stationary before using. It can fit almost any device that has a handle bar, such as a bike, exercise equipment and even a shopping trolley. What is this product, sure to increase communication but possibly not personal safety, called?

6) When you are at the Olympics, things get highly competitive, and the gain of seconds in time means the difference between gold and coal. This company has completely redesigned its athletic wear for Vancouver. They use d3o whose molecules flow under normal movement, but lock together on impact to spread the force. They refined the surface texture to shave off precious hundredths of seconds from racers’ times, a margin by which many ski races are won and lost. And moved padding to reduce the amount of thread, seams and needle holes on the outside fabric, all of which can contribute to wind friction. What company is going for the win with their new Speed Suits?

7) Energy-harvesting rubber sheets that are implanted in the body may power pacemakers and even mobile phones. The material, composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets, generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical to electrical energy. Shoes made of the material may one day harvest the pounding of walking and running. Placed against the lungs, sheets of the material could use breathing motions for power . What is the term for that which generates an electrical voltage when pressure is applied to it?

8) Recent research with this compound has been shown to enhance learning abilities and memory in rats. Yes just what we need smarter rats for smarter rat neurons to power smarter robots. But I digress. This is an essential element and health professionals say people who get less than 400mg a day are risking allergies, asthma and more “Half the population of industrialized countries have a deficit in this, which only increases with aging. If normal or even higher levels can be maintained, age-related loss of cognitive function can be slowed. A new compound might help increase plasticity in connections among neurons. What kind of compound found in spinach will this be?

9) Leading to neurology-inspired computers, as well as provide a means for connecting artificial devices to existing biological tissue, researchers in this country have created what they claim is the first transistor to mimic the connections in the human brain. The team, from its national science and atomic energy commissions called a nanoparticle organic memory field-effect transistor “NOMFET". A biological synapse transforms a voltage spike into a discharge of chemical neurotransmitters that are then detected. What country is responsible for this next very significant leap in the artificial brain sweepstakes?

10) Righteous Fur, a New Orleans-based grassroots movement, is hoping that its marketing efforts can raise awareness of a problem. A little hungry herbivore introduced from Argentina back in the 1930s, weighing about 12 pounds each, have chomped their way through some 100,000 acres of coastal wetlands since 1998. And while trappers earn a $5 bounty for each one they destroy, the pelts are often discarded. If a market for the fur for these little varmints can be created the wetlands will be saved! And positioning fur as environmentally correct isn't novel –"Fur is renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable," What is the animal that Righteous Fur hopes to make its poster child?

11) This alarm will wake you up with a very distinctive smell and has been in development for two years. Tested on sleeping people with normal or no hearing at all the device woke nearly all subjects up within two and a half minutes after the stench hit their nostrils. The alarm is not big and works on a room that's roughly 50 square feet. It was launched in 2009 by a Kobe-based fire extinguisher company. What is the basis of this odoriferous alarm?

12) In The Fifth Element, a hovering Chinese junk comes right to your high-rise apartment window to serve you a fresh meal. Well ironworkers on the new Freedom Tower will not have Chinese but they will have lunch delivered. This restaurant made of shipping containers will move up it’s side as it is being constructed, providing food. They'll be stacked on a hydraulically powered platform. The resulting three-level structure will house the restaurant complete with kitchen for fresh baked bread. As the tower grows, it will "jump" to the next new floor. What restaurant chain is delivering on high?

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