Thursday, July 28, 2016

Knowledge Quiz, No. 67

I dislike the term trivia. No knowledge is trivial. All information contributes to the whole of an intelligent human being. And, it is an essential part of critical thinking. That is why I did not call this a Trivia Quiz. Instead, I am calling it a Knowledge Quiz.

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Knowledge Quiz, No. 67

The answers are at the bottom

1. The Linke Scale is used to measure the blueness of what?
2. Who was the pilot in the first fatal plane crash?
3. Whose body was dug up and held for ransom just months after his death?
4. Who invented the chocolate chip cookie?
5. What month is named after the Latin word for ten?
6. What company developed the famous chess-playing computer Deep Blue?
7. What scientist discovered penicillin in 1928?
8. Who wrote the poem The Road Not Taken?
9. What was the original name of The Beatles?
10. What drug was a component of Coca-Cola until 1900?
11. What author wrote Moby Dick?
12. Who holds record for winning the most Academy Awards?
13. What is the proper medical term for the thumb?
14. How many brains does a starfish have?
15. Canada's one dollar coins are known by what name?
16. Where does a Rhodes Scholar study?
17. In what country was the modern game of golf invented?
18. What was the first animal to orbit earth aboard the Soviet satellite Sputnik II in 1957?
19. The Marquess of Queensberry rules apply to which sport?
20.  What was the first commercial product ever sold using a bar code scanner?

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1. The Linke scale is used to measure the blueness of the sky. The Linke scale is also known as blue-sky scale. The scale consists of eight shades of blue from pure white to ultramarine blue with black. These eight shades are printed on cards and are held up to the sky. The set of eight cards of different standardized shades of blue are numbered (evenly) 2 to 16; the odd numbers are used by the observer if the sky color lies between any of the given shades.

2.  Orville Wright was piloting a plane that crashed causing the first airplane fatality. On September 17, 1908, during a demonstration flight, an aircraft flown by Orville Wright nose-dived into the ground from a height of approximately 75 feet, killing Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge who was a passenger. This was the first recorded airplane fatality in history. One of two propellers separated in flight, tearing loose the wires bracing the rudder and causing the loss of control of the aircraft. Orville Wright suffered a broken left thigh and several broken ribs but eventually recovered from his injuries. Selfridge, who was Secretary of the Aerial Experiment Association, suffered a crushed skull and died a short time later.

The First Fatal Plane Crash

3. Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas Day in 1977, at the age of 88. Two months later, his body was stolen from a Swiss cemetery. Chaplin’s widow, Oona, received a ransom demand of some $600,000, sparking a police investigation and a hunt for the culprits. Oona had refused to pay the ransom, saying that her husband would have thought the demand “ridiculous.” The callers later made threats against her two youngest children. After a five-week investigation, police arrested two auto mechanics who eventually led them to Chaplin’s body, which they had buried in a cornfield about one mile from the Chaplin family’s home. The men were convicted of grave robbing and attempted extortion. As for Chaplin, his family reburied his body in a concrete grave to prevent future theft attempts.

4. The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1938, who owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts. Wakefield wrote a cookbook which was the first to include the recipe for a chocolate chip cookie, which she called the "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie". As the popularity of the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie increased, the sales of Nestlé's semi-sweet chocolate bars also spiked. Andrew Nestlé and Ruth Wakefield made a business arrangement: Wakefield gave Nestlé the right to use her cookie recipe and the Toll House name for one dollar and a lifetime supply of Nestlé chocolate. Nestlé began marketing chocolate chips to be used especially for cookies and printing the recipe for the Toll House Cookie on its package.

chocolate chip cookies

5. December gets its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the month-less period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name. The month contains the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere.

6. Deep Blue was a chess-playing computer developed by IBM. The name "Deep Blue", is a play on IBM's nickname, "Big Blue". Deep Blue is known for being the first computer chess-playing system to win both a chess game and a chess match against a reigning world champion under regular time controls. On May 11, 1997, the machine won a six-game match against world champion Garry Kasparov by two wins to one with three draws. Kasparov accused IBM of cheating and demanded a rematch but IBM refused and dismantled Deep Blue.

7. Alexander Fleming is credited with the discovery of penicillin; perhaps the greatest achievement in medicine in the 20th Century. In 1928, while studying influenza, Fleming noticed that mold had developed accidentally on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. The mold had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. Fleming grew the mold in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of pathogenic bacteria. After calling it "mold juice" for several months, he later named the substance penicillin in March of 1929, paving the way for the use of antibiotics in modern healthcare. The laboratory in which Fleming discovered and tested penicillin is preserved as the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum in St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

Alexander Fleming

8. “The Road Not Taken" is a poem by Robert Frost, published in 1916 in the collection Mountain Interval. Frost claimed that poem was based on his friend Edward Thomas. Thomas and Frost became close friends and took many walks together. In Frost’s words, Thomas was “a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn’t go the other. The poem was intended by Frost as a gentle mocking of indecision. Frost commented that “The Road Not Taken” is “a tricky poem, very tricky” implying that people generally misinterpret this poem as evidence of the benefit of free thinking and not following the crowd, while Frost’s intention was to comment about indecision and people finding meaning in inconsequential decisions.

Robert Frost

9. The Quarrymen was British skiffle/rock and roll group, formed by John Lennon in Liverpool in 1956, which eventually evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Originally consisting of Lennon and several school friends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of Quarry Bank High School, which they attended. Paul McCartney joined the band in October 1957. George Harrison joined the band in early 1958 at McCartney's recommendation, though Lennon initially resisted because he felt Harrison (still 14 when he was first introduced to Lennon) to be too young. The group moved away from skiffle and towards rock and roll, causing several of the original members to leave. This left only a trio of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who performed under several other names, including Johnny and the Moondogs and Japage 3 before returning to the Quarrymen name in 1959. In 1960, the group changed its name to the Beatles.

The Quarrymen

10. Originally marketed as a health drink, Coca Cola was said to cure many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence.  And no wonder because for its first 17 years of existence, Coca-Cola actually contained cocaine. When launched, Coca-Cola's two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine. The cocaine was derived from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut, leading to the name Coca-Cola (the "K" in Kola was replaced with a "C" for marketing purposes). Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. (For comparison, a typical dose or "line" of cocaine is 50–75 mg.) In 1903, it was removed.

11. Moby Dick is a novel by writer Herman Melville. It was published in 1851 during the period known as the American Renaissance. A sailor known as Ishmael tells the story of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale which on an earlier voyage destroyed his ship and severed his leg at the knee. The novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, but during the 20th century, its reputation as a Great American Novel was established. About 3,200 copies were sold during the author's life. Following his death in New York City in 1891, he posthumously came to be regarded as one of the great American writers.

Herman Melville

12. Walt Disney was an entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. As a film producer he received 22 Academy Awards from 59 nominations and has won more individual Oscars than anyone else in history. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and one Emmy Award, among other honors. Disney was also an innovative animator and created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. He is famous as a pioneer of cartoon films and as the founder of theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney
13. The medical for the thumb is the pollex (compared to hallux for your big toe). The thumb is the first, most lateral digit on the radial side of the hand, classified by most anatomists as one of the fingers because its metacarpal bone ossifies in the same manner as those of the phalanges. Other anatomists classify the thumb separately, noting that it has a much different articulation with the metacarpal bone and is composed of one metacarpal bone and only two phalanges.

14. Starfish have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water. While a starfish lacks a centralized brain, it has a complex nervous system with a nerve ring around the mouth and a radial nerve running along the region of each arm. This nervous system helps them gather information, make decisions, and survive. Although starfish live underwater and are commonly called "starfish," they are not fish. They do not have gills, scales, or fins like fish do and they move quite differently from fish. Beyond their distinctive shape, sea stars are famous for their ability to regenerate limbs, and in some cases, entire bodies.


15. The Canadian one dollar coin, commonly called the loonie, is a gold-colored one-dollar coin introduced in 1987. It bears images of a common loon, a bird which is common and well known in Canada, on the reverse, and of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. Because of the appearance of the common loon on the back of the dollar coin that replaced the dollar bill in 1987, the word "loonie" was adopted in Canadian parlance to distinguish the Canadian dollar coin from the dollar bill. When the two-dollar coin was introduced in 1996, the derivative word "toonie" ("two loonies") became the common word for it in Canadian English slang. The term "loonie" has since become synonymous with the Canadian dollar itself.

Canada's "Loonie"

16. The Rhodes Scholarship, named after Cecil Rhodes, is an international postgraduate award for non-British students to study at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. The award is widely considered to be one of the world's most prestigious scholarships. The Rhodes Scholarships are administered and awarded by the Rhodes Trust, which was established in 1902 under the terms and conditions of the will of Cecil John Rhodes, and funded by his legacy. There have been nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars since the inception of the Trust. Each year 32 young students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars.

Cecil Rhodes

17. Golf in Scotland was first recorded in the 15th century, and the modern game of golf was first developed and established in the country. Scotland is widely promoted as the 'Home of Golf', and along with whisky and the long list of Scottish inventions and discoveries, golf is widely seen as being a key national cultural icon throughout the world. The first golf courses and clubs were established in the country. The first written rules originated in Scotland, as did the establishment of the 18 hole course. The modern game was spread by Scots to the rest of the world. To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage.

18. Laika was a Soviet space dog who became the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957. The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit, paving the way for human spaceflight. She died within hours of takeoff from panic and overheating, according to the BBC. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002. Sputnik 2 continued to orbit the Earth for five months, then burned up when it reentered the atmosphere in April 1958. In 2008, Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika built near the military research facility in Moscow that prepared Laika's flight to space.

Laika, the Dog

19. The Marquess of Queensberry rules are a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. The Marquess of Queensberry rules have been the general rules governing modern boxing since their publication in 1867. They were named so as John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code, although they were written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers and published in 1867 as "the Queensberry rules for the sport of boxing". As the code of rules on which modern boxing is based, the Queensberry rules were the first to mention gloves in boxing. There were twelve rules in all, and they specified that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square or similar ring.

John Douglas, The Marquess of Queensbury

20. The very first scanning of the now ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode was on a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum in June 1974. The bar code was scanned at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974 at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The pack of gum wasn't specially designated to be the first scanned product. It just happened to be the first item lifted from the cart by shopper Clyde Dawson. The cash register rang up 67 cents. The pack of gum and the receipt are now on display at the National Museum of American History.

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