Friday, 23 April 2010

The First Question - 13 April 2010

This week's panel

Ran Hienrichs, Tricia Farella, GreyWolfMornington, DougMandlebrot


"The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences."
Henry Ward Beecher

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."
- Albert Einstein

"I always say, dare to struggle, dare to grin."
Wavy Gravy

Word-UP of the week –
“Rezbarassment” - The realization that you have been walking around half the day with one shoe on and one misshapen foot.

Audience Quote of The Week-
I can see a new product the iMovement
-Emmo Wei:


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) China is on track with its first offshore wind farm, a 102-megawatt array. The project is the latest in a series of moves by the Chinese government to pad its lead as the world’s largest market for wind power. This year China is expected to invest $100 billion to install up to 30,000 megawatts of power. There is some analogy to the US - For example, very recently, Cape Wind, which has proposed a wind farm off Nantucket, announced it had ordered 130 turbines. The difference is that China’s is about to start generating electricity, whereas Cape Wind has been waiting for its federal permit since it gained state and local ones in what year?

2) Described as one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world. This over 2 million square-foot Tower incorporates the latest green techand engineering including wind turbines . The design incorporates a series of other elements, including solar panels, , chilled ceiling system, under floor ventilation air, and daylight harvesting. While many of these attributes have been incorporated individually into skyscrapers around the world, this represents the first time that they have been used collectively. What building is an amalgam of green anyway you spell it?

3) The landscape of Mars portrayed in stories like the Martian chronicles, is a desert planet crisscrossed by giant canals built by an ancient civilization to bring water from the polar ice caps. It is a common scenario in science fiction of the early 20th century, stemming from early telescope observations of Mars by 19th century astronomers. It began with this Italian in 1877. He believed he saw straight lines on the planet. And called them canali, popularly mistranslated into English as "canals". Based on this and other evidence, the idea that Mars was inhabited by intelligent life was put forward by a number of prominent scientists’ notably American astronomer Percival Lowell. But who was the Italian astronomer who started it all?

4) The company is willingly projecting the first drop in annual sales of its handheld player, because the forthcoming 3-D model will be the company’s biggest portable product introduction since 2004. The world’s biggest maker of video-game machines is embracing the 3-D technology that helped the film “Avatar” break box-office records. The 3DS, going on sale this fiscal year, will compete against the PlayStation Portable and iPad. The company said the new handheld device will allow users to see 3-D images without the need for special glasses. Which company will be in 3D?

5) It is a problem for people with pets – they like to drink from the toilet. However it’s not the best idea for many reasons, including when they want to kiss you. Now a device with an alarm that sounds warning beeps when a pet or person approaches the bowl and the lid is up has arrived. Attached to the underside of the lid it will flash and emit warning beeps when pets or humans approach from 28 inches away. The battery-powered deterrent switches to off mode when the lid is closed. And if your mate leaves the toilet seat up this just also might be the training he needs to keep it shut. What is this new step in electronic toilets called?

6) As the population ages our organs wear out, wouldn’t it be great if we could just clone them? The NewOrgan Prize is an incentive launched by this foundation, and be awarded for successfully constructing a whole new organ from the patient's own cells. This newest longevity prize specifically focuses on speeding up the development of replacement tissues and organs - Wouldn’t you like to know your new liver is waiting for you let’s say 40 years down the road? I would – what Foundation is taking matters into its own hands to reverse aging?

7) Organs on demand won’t interfere with your iPlants. Neural implants are becoming more important in medical research. And ones for communications raise interesting possibilities However, a recent paper details some of the consequences of having an electronic device implanted below the surface of your conscious mind. Security vulnerabilities have already been discovered; in 2003, a hacker demonstrated that cardiac defibrillators could be compromised wirelessly. And if someone was to hack that neural implant, how would you state your case and how could you prove it? No your honor, I didn’t want to steal that jelly donut but I was forced to do so. Of course the movies that come out of this scenario – “Hackers Stole My Brains” will be interesting – What is the name given to special safeguards protecting neural brain implants from being compromised?

8) You want to go to space you don’t have 200,000 to go with Virgin galactic, and you want to go longer than 5 minutes. Okay you really want to go but you don’t have 35 million for a week on the International Space Station. Guess what? The Zero Gravity Corporation operates the officially named G-FORCE ONE, from major US cities and if You want to feel what it is like to be weightless, And you have $5,000 That's the cost of a flight in a modified Boeing 727 alarmingly nicknamed this

9) In spite of the technological age we live in it is reported that one-in-five people don’t have access to clean drinking water. More than 97 percent of the world’s water is in the oceans, so turning salt water into fresh water cost and energy efficiently is the best hope for clean water as demand is growing faster than the population rate. This company is helping to build a new, energy-efficient desalination plant with an expected production capacity of 30,000 cubic meters per day powered by ultra-high photovoltaic technology - a system with a concentration greater than 1,500 suns. What Global company is working in Saudi Arabia on a project with worldwide implications?

10) Yes it is International Robotics week, I took my Roomba for a drive and to the movies –But don’t you wish sometimes that your robot could do more, and could learn effortlessly from other robots? Well now they can! Research institutes are developing a collective worldwide online memory for robots, wherein robots can learn from each other's capabilities, thus streamlining new operations. It is designed to help robots adapt their pre-programmed tasks to unfamiliar new situations and settings. Allowing it to circumvent the accompanying period of trial and error. Your robot can learn from a collective online memory called what?

11) As long as they don’t interfere with my neural implants I’m fine with that. EVER since Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space in 1961, all Soviet and Russian cosmonauts have trained at the Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre.. It was a highly guarded military facility during the Soviet era, But now you can go through a tour. The museum showcases spacesuits, charred descent capsules and assorted Gagarin memorabilia= For the brave of heart, some tour operators can also arrange a spell in the centrifuge or flights which simulate weightlessness. What is this amazing place?

12) Since 1940, 26 new elements beyond uranium have been added. We have a new element for the periodic table – and it isn’t Avatarium - Researchers are approaching the presumed “island of stability” which is a term in nuclear physics that refers to a region beyond the current periodic table where new superheavy elements with special numbers of neutrons and protons would exhibit increased stability. Its discovery by an international team of scientists from Russia and the U.S was just published this month. The discovery of element 117 wasn’t easy. (Well the birth of super heavy things rarely are) What is its official name?

13) Ah the internet – a great place to find and post stuff anonymously. Some call this the whistle blowers site and some want it removed from the World Wide Web. When “This document is labeled classified” you can be sure it might eventually show up on here which uses trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, It was the subject of a 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation that worried about moles within gov't agencies ‘followed by a plan to fatally marginalize the organization, which doesn’t work. There have been embarrassing stories broken by this site, and the current news is The Washington Post, New York Times and several other papers are rethinking policies that allow online commenters to remain anonymous. Coincidence? Perhaps – what tis this anonymous website called?

14) You always wonder how a Nazi could face themselves in the mirror– This man, a former Luftwaffe pilot who was considered to be one of the most advanced dive bombers in the world has an incredible story. As he walked past a synagogue in a small Polish town, he saw storm troopers killing a group of Jews. The sight of the synagogue's rabbi, who did not let go of the Torah even in his death made a great impression. Changing this man forever he began disobeying orders, saving lives by dropping bombs in lakes. After the end of the war, he decided to work as a coal miner for twenty years. During those years, as self-imposed penance, he anonymously donated two-thirds of his wages to organizations that helped Jewish war orphans, and those who survived concentration camps. Then he bought a farm in Galilee and told rabbis his story and asked to be converted to Judaism. Who was he? Either Name will do-
15) It is a rare genetic condition which is found in very gregarious children who are unusually unafraid of strangers. "They don't recognize danger in faces and they approach anyone, they have been tested and found to not mirror the same kind of prejudice for those with different racial profiles. And they have a presumed deficit in processing fear & reduced neural activity in the amygdala, a brain region that processes social threats. Since racial bias in adults has been also linked to over-activity in this area, people who are not dictated by social fear are thought to also be less prejudiced, what is this syndrome called?
16) Cycling in the cold and in the freezing cold is not for the faint of heart or hide. However being able to negotiate the handlebars takes superhuman stamina and makes it even harder than it has to be. Enter this product more than gloves; more than mittens, it is designed to keep your hands warm and dry while cycling in the freezing cold, because someone has to do it. Toronto cyclist Hamish Greenland addressed this problem when The idea of a cover for handlebars came to him after riding home from work at [5F]," with an invention he has named affectionately designed to eliminate the windchill both on your hands, and on your cold-conducting aluminum bars." What does he call it?

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