The 1st Question - 16 Dec 2008 - Questions

1) In 1956 this was invented and began popping up in schools and stores everywhere. In 1965 a patent was granted to Noah and Joseph McVicker for a "plastic modeling composition", which was originally intended to be wallpaper cleaner. Over 2 billion cans sold since its invention in 1956. Noah McVicker shipped a box of his cleaning composition to a nearby school and it was a huge hit with both the teachers and the kids. He offered to supply all the schools in the Cincinnati area with this new material, and after great reactions from those schools as well, his product was showcased at a national education convention. What is this substance that now comes in a huge variety of colors?

2) What is a milihelen?

3) It is a is a broad theory that covers diverse fields from evolutionary biology to webpage design. It postulates that animals, people, even well-designed machines will naturally choose the path of least resistance, known as a "deterministic description of human behavior." It applies not only in the library context, but also to any information seeking activity. For example, one might consult a generalist co-worker down the hall rather than a specialist in another building, so long as the generalist's answers were within the threshold of acceptability, what is this principle called?

4) His name comes from the Old Norse meaning "All Wise" Throughout his life he maintained he could communicate with his dead twin. His only commercial was for Southern made doughnuts in 1954, and he had a pet chimp named Scatter which developed a taste for Bourbon. He collected badges from police departments including a federal narcotics badge given to him By President Nixon. His motto was TCB, and his last words were "ok, I won't." According to a 1989 news survey 7% of the American population thinks he is still alive, but who was he?

5) Invented in 1903, and named after its, um, inventor, it usually offers abnormally high short-term returns in order to entice new investors. The perpetuation of the high returns that this advertises (and pays) requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new people in order to keep it going. The system is destined to collapse because there are little or no underlying earnings from the money received by the promoters, as more investors become involved they lose and the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases. Benjamin Madoff was just convicted of defrauding people of $50 Billion dollars using it. What is it called?

6) Widely considered the Father of Haute Couture, he was an English-born fashion designer of the 19th century. He dressed the Empress Eugenie of France and actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt. Much of his work is associated with the movement to redefine the female fashionable shape, removing excessive ruffles and frills and using rich fabrics in simple but flattering lines. He is credited as the first designer to put labels onto the clothing he manufactured and completely revolutionized the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturiers, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans. Who was he?

7) This is nothing less than the Google News Alert service which were first beta'd in August of 2003, just a quarter of a century after this famous writer published the idea in 1978, in his book “Fountains of Paradise.” It is a set of topics about which you would like to hear the latest news, and Arthur C. Clarke set this up for an engineer who wanted to make sure that his computer searched for what he needed in the flood of global news items. What did Clarke call it?

8) It is the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus and one of the brightest stars in the sky. Its name means "mouth of the whale" in Arabic and holds a special significance. It is surrounded by a debris disk of dust, and in November of this year astronomers announced the discovery of an extra solar planet orbiting just inside the debris ring. This was the first extra solar planet to be seen with visible light, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. What is this star called?

9) During the World War II Battle of Berlin in 1945, a dozen superheroes and masked crimefighters of that era are ambushed by Nazis in the basement of an SS building, where the heroes are gassed and placed into cryogenic suspension for later experimentation, but the building is air bombed soon after and anyone aware of their situation is killed. Fast forward to the present day, construction workers find this bunker, they are revived, put into the care of the U.S. military and are housed together in a mansion where they receive counseling and support. They are also gradually made to understand that decades have passed and are offered a role as heroes in the 21st century. Singularly they were The Blue Blade, The Black Widow, Captain Wonder, Dynamic Man, Electro, The Fiery Mask, The Laughing Mask, Master Mind, Excello, Mister E, The Phantom Reporter, Rockman, and The Witness. What were they known collectively as? And no, they are NOT found in the US House of Representatives.

10) He is a Polish writer known for his satiric, philosophical and science fictional works. His studies of medicine were interrupted by WWII, where he worked as a car mechanic, and was a member of the resistance against the Nazis. Highly critical of American pulp sci-fi literature, he considered his own work to be more mainstream literature. His books have sold over 27 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages, making him one of the most widely read sci-fi authors. In his book “Return From the Stars” he had a Sky Ceiling - long before Hogwarts, spray on clothing, and Parastatic Means of completely eliminating injury in vehicles during crashes. Who was he?


11) These pictures are called "of the floating world", is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theatre and pleasure quarters. It was the main artistic genre of woodblock printing in Japan, flourishing in the old Edo capital. The "floating world" refers to the impetuous urban culture that bloomed and was a world unto itself. Although the traditional classes of Japanese society were bound by numerous strictures and prohibitions, the rising merchant class was relatively unregulated, therefore "floating." Hokusai, Utamaru and Hiroshige are among the more famous of these artists. What is this known as, in Japanese?

12) This term has been applied in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, as a form of motion picture that provides the sensation of touch in addition to sight and sound. A device that adds the tactile element to entertainment. We still don't have them here but might someday. What was this super sensation kind of movie called?

13) The Maccabees successfully rebelled against their oppressors. According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil. A miracle, Hanukah is the festival of lights. What is the one song associated with this Holiday before 8 Crazy Nights?

14) It is the ability of some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics, including bone) to generate an electric response by applied mechanical stress. This may take the form of a separation of electric charge across the crystal lattice. If the material is not short-circuited, the applied charge induces a voltage across the material. The word is derived from the Greek which means to squeeze or press. The effect finds useful applications such as the production and detection of sound, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, and is also the basis of several scientific instrumental techniques with atomic resolution, and everyday uses such as acting as the ignition source for cigarette lighters and push-start propane barbecues. What is this called?

15) This was a mystery religion which became popular among the military in the Roman Empire, from the 1st to 4th centuries, and from Rome to Britain to the Danube, he had worshippers. The religion was passed from initiate to initiate, not based on a body of scripture, and hence very little written evidence survives. Religious practice was centered on an adapted or artificial cave or cavern. And the tauroctony, the artistic depiction of the mythic hero, shows him engaged in the ritual slaying of a bull most likely a symbolic representation of the constellations, and the precession of the equinoxes. The identification of some constellations in his portrayal is clear enough: the bull is Taurus, the serpent Hydra, the dog Canis Major or Minor, the crow or raven Corvus, the goblet Crater, and the lion Leo, His bronze image emerging from an egg-shaped zodiac ring was found along Hadrian's Wall (now at the University of Newcastle). An inscription from the city of Rome suggests that he may have been seen as the Orphic creator-god Phanes who emerged from the world egg at the beginning of time, bringing the universe into existence. He was said to have been born on December 25, even Isaac Newton argued that the date of Christmas was selected to correspond with the winter solstice. Who was this god?

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