Saturday, 6 March 2010

The First Question - 2 March 2010

This week's panel

Koach Ditko, Valiant Westland, Gus Plisskin, KarenKate Sands


The secret of living in peace with all people lies in the art of understanding each one by his own individuality. -Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't. -Richard Bach

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. -William James

Word-UP of the week – “Damnitol” -- A prescription drug that I take when things just get too awful to bear and I just want to give up. -Koach Ditko


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) The company slogan is” Saving the earth- one Beer at a time” And if you want to feel good about yourself while tossing back a brewski but can’t always manage to separate the recyclables, this might just be for you, Eric Fitch believes he’s found a way to brew success by turning the waste grain used to make beer into clean energy. . This company is in the midst of constructing a 2 billion BTU digester adjacent to the The Magic Hat Brewing Co. in South Burlington, Vt., where it will take the remnants of the beer fermentation process and break it down into methane. What is the name of this 2 year old start up?

2) Google been compared to Wal-mart – but Wal-Mart does not have a green energy czar, and Google does – so there. They also have developed a prototype for a new mirror technology that could cut by half the cost of building a solar thermal plant, and have an internal prototype as of this writing. Google has been investing in companies and doing research of its own to produce affordable renewable energy, and wants to cut the cost of making heliostats, the fields of mirrors that track the sun. They might even be sold at Wal-marts one day, if this man can bring down the costs sufficiently enough - who is the green man at Google?

3) We had mentioned the use of UAV drones used in the military to help police find dangerous criminals in the UK now one has made its first arrest - Nicknamed "the flying saucepan" The drone was deployed to try to find an alleged offender who escaped in thick fog. Using the on-board camera and thermal-imaging technology, the operator was able to pick up the suspect through his body heat and direct foot patrols to his location hiding in bushes in Merseyside The battery-powered device is designed to hover almost silently above crime scenes and send live footage to officers on the ground, – how old was the culprit the police captured with military style reconnaissance?

4) This 1000-day mark might just be achievable, since this mission will be simpler & cheaper than one with a human onboard as there wont be life support systems, the spacecraft will therefore be a lot less complex. NASA has a cool video showing a robot landing on the moon which will be controlled by all kind of scientists using telepresence suits down here, all looking for interesting things using high definition visors, and able to move just like they would move on planet Earth. It won't work for Mars, but the communication delay of only three seconds will work beautifully on the Moon. What is the mission that will land a robotic telepresence on the moon in 1000 days?

5) It was way before ET was asked to call home, but this novel series from the late 50’s won a Retro Hugo Award. James Blish’s “Earthman, Come Home” describes the political and social conditions in the near future where entire cities could fly. The book is notable for the detailed way in which it handles technology, providing a mathematical explanation of the principles behind this anti-gravity device, the name of which became popular and was used subsequently. It was based on principles contained in an equation of a British physicist of the mid-20th century. Blish's take was that if rotation + mass produce magnetism via gravity, then rotation + magnetism could produce anti-gravity. The field created by it is described as altering the magnetic moment of any atom within its influence. What is this device called?

6). In James Cameron's hit movie Avatar, the Na'avi people of Pandora are able to "bond" with other creatures on their world, through the fine fibers at the end of what looks like a ponytail There is some research to suggest that bacteria living in ocean sediments connect to each other by a network of microbial nanowires, In a similar process discovered and called "electrical symbiosis". Researchers believe that these fine protein filaments move electrons back and forth, allowing a community of organisms to act like a single entity. . Where has this magic discovery been made?

7) This vehicle converts the rowing motion of the driver and any passengers into rotational thrust to charge a battery and power the vehicle in conjunction with an electric motor.Row row row your car! And as an added bonus can also be used to store energy and act as a backup power generator. The brainchild of Charles Samuel Greenwood who first hit upon the idea for a human powered car some 40 years ago. Sitting in a traffic jam in Silicon Valley.. While it is capable of reaching higher speeds it is limited to 25mph to comply with the Neighborhood electric vehicle classification. A report on CNN showed four people rowing for a couple of minutes generated enough electricity to power a PC for well over an hour. What is it called?

8) You live in a Western country and you feel charitable, but you want to feel that your contribution is going to go towards the good You want it to -On this site you're able to look through a list of dozens of projects and put your money directly into the ones that interest you the most, whether it's delivering solar-rechargeable digital hearing aids or getting solar study lanterns to students in Nigeria. It's quite an amazing array of emerging survival and sustainable living tools - It’s mission statement is to "connect breakthrough technologies with the people who need them the most" – and the website links producers with potential distribution organizations, while financing the buying through donations. What is the name of this brilliant philanthropic portal?

9) A United States Navy report recently indicated that, as military robots become more complex, there should be greater attention to implications of their ability to make autonomous decisions. This conversation started over 50 years ago. And In 1965, I. J. Good first wrote of an "intelligence explosion", suggesting that if machines could even slightly surpass human intellect, they could improve their own designs in ways unforeseen by their designers, and thus recursively augment them into far greater intelligences. In 2009, leading computer scientists, artificial intelligence researchers, and roboticists met to discuss the hypothetical possibility that robots could become self-sufficient and able to make their own decisions. What is the 5 syllable word describing robots becoming more capable than the humans who made them?

10) He is a thought leader whose interests in humanity and science run deep. He was a student of Alvin Toffler in New York City, where he was born. He is the developer of Trend Trakker, a systems-approach to geospatial data mining and forecasting . He is CEO & Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures He has advised three White House administrations. And worked on nanotechnology with the National Science Foundation. He is the founder of FutureLab, and also a part of the Singularity University, He is author of the books Technofutures and The Extreme Future. When Pooky recently read an interview with him about Surrogates their importance and future in our modern society, she knew he had to be an answer on the show. Who is “one of the world’s greatest minds” also known as Dr. Future?

11) Dr Canton continues to inspire through the next question- Fujitsu programmed 'independence.' And using "A-Life" technology, and it’s advanced computer research center a few years ago, created a computer pet for children ages six and older, a dolphin-bird creature who inhabits the beautiful and mystical planet Teo. No mere point-and-click cartoon figure; this has his own thoughts and feelings, and responds to others in his own unique way through the SmartSensor device, a small sphere which sits on top of the computer monitor and captures audio and motion commands. He is a unique creature which lives in a virtual world in the computer, has intelligence, emotions and personality, deepening his relationship with those who care for him What is this advanced surrogate pet called?

12)Using interpretation of "ambiguous designs" to assess an individual's personality is an idea that goes back to Leonardo da Vinci

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