Saturday, 6 March 2010

The First Question - 23 February 2010

This week's panel

DrM Magic, TributeTim Kwak, Saxet Uralia, Shock Soderstrom


A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their earthly pedestals.
-Agnes Repplier

Word-UP of the week – “Saxadent Urina” - It's the wet spritz you get in your pants when laughing at Sax. I may have just had a saxadent urnina.
-Saxet Uralia -


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) As you might know I have a background in baking and once had in fact a cookie company, and although I got my start with Aunt Lee Millions of girls baked their first cookies, cupcakes and brownies because of this man who just passed. Upon returning to Cincinatti, this toy salesman wondered aloud whether his company could develop a toy version of the chestnut roasters seen in New York City. Much of his experimentation was conducted in his own kitchen before he finally settled on the concept that made the idea both safe and practical by deciding to use a light bulb to heat the oven. The Easy-Bake Oven entered the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006. About 20million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold – who invented it?

2) This has been swiftly and secretly negotiated by most of the first world and more Documents from these talks have leaked online, appropriately enough. Internet service providers could be compelled to constantly sift through their customers' data looking for copyright transgressions. ISPs told New Scientist in December that such technology will not only slow downloads, but puts in place technology that could be used for snooping and censorship. In France, the government has already introduced a measure along these lines. It was declared unconstitutional, but the government then amended it and introduced it again. What is the name of this International Act?

3) Billiards has a long and rich history from the wrapping of the body of Mary, Queen of Scots in her billiard table cover to the dome on Thomas Jefferson's home Monticello, which conceals a billiard room he hid, as this was illegal in Virginia when he lived there- now, The Dynasty is a very 21st Century take on the billiard table. At $100,000 It’s a very sharp looking centerpiece for the games room. And at that price should sharpen your cue stick for you -The owner of the first known indoor billiard table if he was alive today- would undoubetdly have one – who would that have been?

4) A tweeting tree has been presented at Sony Erisson and though we have done questions on plants that tweet when they need water before – this is a bit different. This Twittering Tree senses changes in the electromagnetic field around it as people pass, and sends Tweets that reflect its mood directly to its account, ConnectedTree “This tree also reacts to people’s presence and movements by playing music, speaking and turning on and off lights.” Where did the tree make its debut?

5) A case has been filed by Blake J Robbins against his childs school district in Pennsylvania - accusing School-issued laptops of spying on children both at school and at home. The suit states that Administrators were able to activate the laptop's webcam at will, and take pictures of children and their families. The issue came up when the Robbins' child was disciplined by the school for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. If this is the case, we were made aware of this by Cory Doctorow, writing in his 2008 book of what name?

6) Amazing visuals and they don’t only come out at night – MIT's SENSEable City Lab and Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory otherwise known as ARES has created remotely-controlled, self-organizing micro-helicopters and each one has small LEDs and can act as a "smart pixel". They can be digitally synchronized to perform elaborate and synchronized choreographies" in three-dimensional space. According to the leader of the project E. Roon Kang - It's like when Winnie the Pooh hits a beehive: a swarm of bees comes out and chases him while changing its configuration to resemble different things- What is the name of the micro helicopters who create the big pictures?

7) It started as a solar powered device to make oxygen for breathing and hydrogen to power vehicles on Mars. It created a lot of buzz on 60 minutes too – It is electricity generating fuel cell box designed to sit in the back yard and provide enough power to reliably, more cleanly and cheaply power a house. it’s fuel cell is built from an extremely cheap ceramic material – sand. The ceramic disks that form the core of the Box are painted with special “inks” –. As the ions are pulled through the solid core, the resulting electrochemical reaction creates electricity. What is the name of this fuel cell that has been powering a Google data-center for the past 18 months, and which eBay claims have saved them over $100,000 in electricity costs .?

8) This is a recording technique in which a message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards. It has been a controversial topic in the United States since the 1980s, when allegations from Christian groups of its use for Satanic purposes were made against prominent rock musicians, leading to record-burning protests and proposed legislation by state and federal governments. Whether these messages exist is in debate, as is whether it can be used subliminally to affect listeners. what kind of technique is this called?

9) We spoke of d3o’s use in the Olyimpics and Spyders use of this remarkable material which actually is soft and flexible throughout the day, but hardens up instantly under impact. d3o's claim to fame is that it's made from a dilatant substance - that is, one in which viscosity increases with the rate of shear. it's highly flexible when moved slowly, but if you try to move it fast - for example, by banging it with a hammer, it hardens up. What is the very common household substance which when mixed with water shows the same principles, when stirring it slowly is easy, but as you try to stir it faster, it becomes very thick and viscous.

10)A company in Japan has developed a machine that shreds paper and then converts the waste into readily usable toilet paper. Shred paper, add water, and in about 30 minutes it is thinned out enough to provide you with one roll of toilet paper. It might not be Charmins- but it is a significant step towards a greener office space. The entire process is automated, so it's definitely a big convenience. Not the easy make or shake and bake Toilet paper house as it is kind of large in size-It's set to go on sale this summer in Japan for a price of about US$100,000. What is the name of this very promising piece of office equipment?

11) Hand sanitizers just took another leap forward - plasma quickly inactivates not only bacteria but also viruses and fungi... Plasmas engineered to zap microorganisms aren’t new. But use on human tissue took a leap of faith -Many thousands of volts drive the generation of plasma,” and normally one doesn’t want to touch thousands of volts.” During the last decade, they have come into use to sterilize some medical instruments. A researcher at the Max Planck Institute for what kind of physics put his thumb into a jet of microbe-destroying plasma at the lab to test & survived ?

12) Currently cornstarch is fermented and converted into ethanol, but ethanol derived from corn produces more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline does. A recent breakthrough which can break down turn fruit peels using a plant – derived enzyme cocktail is proving very promising. Breaking orange peels down into sugar than ethanol could create about 200 million gallons In Florida alone. This Florida professor has as his goal gasoline as a secondary fuel. His team cloned genes from wood-rotting fungi and produced enzymes in tobacco plants . instead of manufacturing synthetics reduces the costs by a thousand times. Who is this ethanol visionary?

13) the greenest Olympics ever". Is what can be boasted because this waterfront building is housing the media hub for the Winter Olympics. When Vancouver won the competition to host the games, one of the most awe-inspiring initiatives has to be the redesign of this building- environmentally sustainable, boasting green electricity a seawater heating and cooling system and the largest "living roof" in Canada populated with 40,000 plants and grasses and its own colony of bees. It hopes to generate more than $2 billion in economic activity and to boost Vancouver's tourism industry. What is the first convention center in the world to be awarded Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)? (the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center

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