1. General George Owen Squier, the inventor of multiplexing, created this to calm people unfamiliar with a new and increasingly common invention;
Among the techniques he used was Stimulus Progression, in which 15 minute slots were ordered from least to most stimulating;
Like Skynet, and with similar evil intent, his invention spread everywhere: in dorm rooms and office buildings, in factories and schools;
He was inspired by George Eastman.
In what way was he inspired? And what were people scared of?
A: He was inspired by the Eastman's brand name- Kodak- and named his brand Muzak. People were scared of elevators- our man introduced "elevator music" to calm them down.
2. Many British lexicographers and writers [including Orwell] campaigned against the tendency to use classical words, and words from the descendants of classical languages. Thus, lunatic might be replaced by mooned and crucified by crossed.
In the mid-60s( the year is important), humourist Paul Jennings, in a special edition of Punch, recast the opening lines of a famous soliloquy in this kind of ‘Anglish’:
To be or not to be; that is the ask-thing:
Is’t higher-thinking in the brain to bear
The slings and arrows of outrageous dooming
Or to take weapons ‘gainst a sea of brothers
And by againstwork end them?
Under what circumstances might we have seen Shakespeare write in this way?
A: Nicely worked out by a couple of people- the year was 1966, and Shakespeare would have spoken this way if the Battle of Hastings had not happened. The Normans brought with them a flood of Latin, Greek and words from the Romance languages, changing the English language forever.
3. Complete the list:
Archon, Automobile, _____ _____, ______
A: Cracked by 'alfbrain- these are the X prizes. Google Lunar and Ansari.
4. This plant is found in North Africa, from Libya to northern Tanzania in particular. In 1911, the German entomologist Wilhelm Kattwinkel stumbled on a geographical feature while searching for butterflies. He asked the Masai what the place was called and, thinking that he was referring to the plant, told him the name of the plant. Its name now has a “v” in the third last letter instead of the “p”.
Because of the associations of this place, Peter deGrace and Leslie Stahl wrote a book about Computer Aided Software Engineering called the ____ Imperative. This was because of the observations made at this place that:
“there was no abrupt end to one type of tool with the development of a new tool. Rather, as new techniques developed through experimentation and refinement, the tool evolved to fit the user.”
A: Olduvai Gorge. nvivek was the only one to get this tough question. Well done!
5. This masterpiece, now known (in generic form) in most households and schools, was dedicated by ______ in elaborate terms to Prince Ferdinando d’Medici, Cardinal, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Protector of Spain. It presented to him “Italy, flower of the earth”. The stated reason for the dedication was a tortuous genealogy linking the Prince to Janus’ tutor _____. A mythical figure, _____ was a very “skilful astronomer” and, appropriately, “the first to discourse of the sphere”. Fill in BOTH blanks.
A:Mercator and Atlas.
6. The origin of this canard is said to date from the young Prince Alexander’s meeting with Celtic speakers in 355 BC. Ptolemy, not then king of Egypt, reported this meeting. The Celts were big men, he said, in stature and in their opinion of themselves. Alexander asked them something. Full of bravado, they replied. Current scholarly opinion holds that it is actually a mistranslation of a ritual oath. What did they say?
A: Alexander asked the Celts (who were Gauls) what they were afraid of. They boasted that they were afraid of nothing except the sky falling on their heads. From the superb "Empires of the Word" by Nicholas Ostler.
7. Australian researchers IJ Bear and RG Thomas examined the problem of the abnormally rapid response in natural seed germination following the introduction of water in regions long subject to drought or desert conditions. They suggested that “petrichor” (their coinage), associated with claylike soils, along with “geosmin” was the reason for a distinctive phenomenon which we are all familiar with. Apparently, our senses can detect one part in a hundred billion of geosmin. What phenomenon?
A: The smell of wet earth (usually after rain). Surprisingly, this was almost universally cracked. Is this a well-known funda in the south?
8. Towards the end of his career, he published a classic monograph: “The Series Paintings of Claude Monet and the Landscape of General Relativity”. He considered the question of whether there is any common base to aesthetics in art and science. He talks about : “The Haystacks; The Poplars; Early Morning on the Seine” and contrasts this with space-time charted by its geometry and the mathematics of singularities. Identify the author?
A: S. Chandrashekhar. Like halfbrain, I flicked it from "Empire of Stars". My reading habits seem to have turned ummm...imperialist.
9. Heavily influenced by the UFO craze, the first Pluto ____ spawned sales of a hundred million as well as a fake religion, ________tarianism, which holds that when a person dies his or her soul goes up to the roof, never to descend. There are two primary “sects”- ultimate and _____ golf. The term is attributed to the great comedian George Carlin.
What? Note- the first two blanks are the same word and they constitute the answer.
A: I expected this would be the universal crack. Apparently not. The answer is Frisbee and Frisbeetarianism.
10. The formal name for this derives from the Greek for `ribbon’. It was introduced by John Wallis in a book in 1655. The work was so brutally abstract that Thomas Hobbes complained of it being a “scab of symbols”.
It is the Cartesian plane curve that satisfies the equation:
(x^2 + y^2) = a^2(x^2 - y^2)
I do not need the formal Greek name. What is being referred to?
A: The symbol for infinity.
Thanks for participating, folks. My next quiz will have some visuals but no audios.