The 1st Question - 17 Feb 2009 - Questions

1) It is a science fiction fanzine convention held each spring in North America (and once in Britain). It is named after a slang term for the "correction fluid" used in mimeograph printing, a common way to produce fanzines before the arrival of low-cost photocopying and online fanzines What is this convention called?

2) Ovid wrote this as a burlesque satire on didactic poetry. While claiming, 'I taught Cupid everything he knows' Ovid hardly offers lore of great potency to his eager disciples. He advises that, if one is accompanying a lady to the horse-racing in the Circus Maximus, one should gallantly brush the dust from her gown. And if there isn't any dust there, brush it, nonetheless. A young man should promise the moon to the object of his affections in letters and even a beggar can be rich in promises. A small woman, meanwhile, would be better advised to receive her suitor lying down... but should make sure that her feet are hidden under her dress, so that her true size is not disclosed. What work in three books had these lines?

3) The empiricists believed that knowledge is acquired through experience alone, but the rationalists maintained that such knowledge is open to doubt and that reason alone provides us with knowledge. This man argued that using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions, while experience can be, purely subjective. He was responsible for one of the most important mathematical, scientific, and astronomical discoveries in the history of the world, namely the discovery of the retardation of the rotation of the Earth, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. From this he concluded that time is not a thing in itself determined from experience, objects, motion, and change, but rather an illusion of the human mind that preconditions possible experience. Who was this man?

4) This robot's brain grows as its physical complexity increases; the multi-legged robot has neural net software that grows by assigning new neuron clusters on top of existing structures as new limbs are attached. An incremental evolutionary algorithm (IEA) gives it the ability to add new parts to its brain. This Artificial intelligence engineer and his colleagues at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, have arranged for the robot to evolve in hours. It accomplishes in this short time what animals have done over hundreds of millions of years. Who is the lead engineer on this project?

5) In philosophy, this is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, it deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. What is it?

6) Thirty-eight travelers have already made reservations for the first flight which is scheduled for 2012. The journey of four days at 300 miles from the earth will cost each guest USD $4.46 million. Yes, it is a planned luxury resort holiday in space where guests will experience all the wonders of inter-galactic travel including weightlessness, meditative conditions and amazing views of Planet Earth. The price may seem steep, but it includes, an eighteen-week intensive astronaut training program prior to the journey, and of course, the four days in space. What is this out of this world luxury hotel called?

7) And as the economy tightens for most, the rich get richer…World’s most expensive penthouse, world’s largest LED screen, Atlantis Hotel with a $1.5 Billion development cost and home of 65,000 marine animals and Hydropolis, the world’s largest and deepest underwater luxury hotel- This could only happen in one place on earth? Where is it?

8) You might have thought Professor Erno Rubik, the creator of the Rubik’s cube, might have rested on his laurels (and the piles of money the puzzle surely earned him), but no. Erno has been busy churning out a variety of puzzles over the years, but none has captured the imagination of the world quite like his ubiquitous cube. He is hoping to change that with his latest creation what is it called?

9) When Twain was 11, his father died of pneumonia. The next year, he became a printer's apprentice. In 1851, he began working as a typesetter and contributor of articles and humorous sketches for a local journal, a newspaper owned by his brother, Orion. Twain had foreseen the death of his younger brother's death in a detailed dream a month earlier which inspired his interest in parapsychology; he was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research. The father of American Literature was born in what state?

10) It is something of a competitor to SecondLife and was recently mentioned at the MICA workshop over the Past weekend. A web-based place for a complete virtual environment for program and project management where you can share PowerPoint, Microsoft docs and excel. Talk Gesture Sketch are its buzzwords. What is this poor man’s Second life called?

11) He was burned at the stake for his beliefs in science during the inquisition. At the end of his seven-year trial, he said, “Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it.” He affirmed that the universe was homogeneous, made up everywhere of the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), He also asserted that the stars in the sky were really other suns like our own, around which orbited other planets. Space and time were both conceived as infinite. There was no room in his stable and permanent universe for the Christian notions of divine creation and Last Judgement. He was an Italian philosopher best-known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe. In addition to his cosmological writings, he also wrote extensive works on the art of memory, a loosely-organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles. Who was this 16th century Martyr for science?

12) They have just completed the first draft of the Neanderthal genome, and no it will not be cloned. The researchers recovered ancient DNA of Neanderthals by extracting the DNA from the femur bone of a 38,000-year-old male Neanderthal specimen from a Cave in Croatia. the Neanderthal genome is about the size of the modern human genome; and according to preliminary sequences, modern human and Neanderthal DNA appear to be 99.5% identical, Although New results suggested that adult Neanderthals were lactose intolerant. What institute just announced this?

13) The idea that the Amazon is not an untouched wilderness but the product of extensive management by large human populations sharply contrasts with views that the region was sparsely populated by tribal groups who peacefully coexisted with the apparently hostile environment. In 2006, reports emerged of something found in the Amazon Basin, in Brazil. It is comprised of 127 blocks of granite, each (10 feet) high, standing upright in even circles in an open field, and crown a grassy hilltop. Based on ceramic fragments found nearby, archaeologists believe this build is between 500 and 2000 years old. It’s alignment with the December solstice leads archaeologists to believe the site was once an astronomical observatory and that they may also be looking at the remnants of a sophisticated culture. What is it called?

14) The word ansible was coined by her in 1966 novel, Rocannon's World. And she states that she derived the name from "answerable," as the device would allow its users to receive answers to their messages in a reasonable amount of time, even over interstellar distances. An ansible is a hypothetical machine capable of superluminal communication. Superluminal communication is the term used to describe the hypothetical process by which one might send information at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds. The term has been borrowed by many science fiction writers. Who coined the phrase?

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