Saturday, December 10, 2016

Knowledge Quiz, No. 70

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. 70

The answers are at the bottom

1. What is the national airline of Israel?
2. If you are suffering from bilateral periorbital hematoma, what condition do you have?
3. What is the most common first name in the world?
4. Who invented the first flushable toilet in 1596?
5. Who designed the Statue of Liberty, which was given to the U.S. by France in 1886?
6. What does a philatelist collect?
7. How many earths could fit inside the sun?
8. Sir William Herschel discovered what planet?
9. What animal has the highest blood pressure?
10. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote an entire opera about what beverage?
11. Which breed of dog is known for its distinctive blue tongue?
12. What country's king sponsored Ferdinand Magellan's journey around the world?
13. Approximately how much does the average cloud weigh?
14. In what city would you find the Mona Lisa?
15. What is the fastest living creature on earth?
16. Which U.S. President paid off the entire national debt?
17. Which U.S. President described December 7, 1941 as "a date which will live in infamy"
18. What is the name of the building in New York City where John Lennon was shot?
19. What spacecraft did John Glenn pilot when he became the first man to orbit the Earth in 1962?
20. The man who established the Nobel Peace Prize also invented what?

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1. El Al is the flag carrier of Israel. Since its inaugural flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv in September 1948, the airline has grown to serve over more than 50 destinations. El Al offers only kosher in-flight meals and does not fly passengers on the Jewish Sabbath or religious holidays. El Al is the only commercial airline to equip its planes with missile defense systems, and is considered one of the world's most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft.
2. Bilateral periorbital hematoma is simply a black eye or a shiner. The so-called black eye is caused by bleeding beneath the skin and around the eye. Technically speaking, a black eye is a bruise or discoloration caused by broken blood vessels under the surface of the skin. Although the name "black eye" would indicate otherwise, the eye itself is usually not injured. The dramatic appearance (discoloration purple black and blue and swelling) does not necessarily indicate a serious injury, and most black eyes resolve within a week.

3. The name Muhammad is the most common name in the world. It is estimated that more than 150 million men and boys in the world bear the name Muhammad. Muhammad means "the most praised one" and is derived from the Q'ran. It is the name of the Islamic prophet. Throughout the Muslim world, it is popular to name a male child after him. The prominence of the name is a good reminder of the importance of Islam to culture in Muslim-majority societies. This name and its variant transliterations are listed as the most popular names in the world.

4. Thomas Crapper may be well known for selling early toilets, but he didn’t invent them. The original flush toilet was created by Sir John Harington in 1596. Harrington's toilet included a flush valve that would release water from a tank to wash away waste in the bowl. He called his toilet the Ajax, and one of his first installations was for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I. It took several centuries and improvements in manufacturing and waste disposal for the flush toilet to catch on. Thomas Crapper and Alexander Cummings helped bring the invention to the masses. Crapper was a plumber in England who received many patents for improving toilet technology in the late 1800s.

Sir John Harrington

5. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty. Bartholdi's statue was finished in January of 1884, and six months later a formal presentation of it was made to the American ambassador in Paris on July 4. It was then disassembled, packed into 214 cases, and loaded onto the frigate Isere. In October 1886, the structure was officially presented as at gift of friendship from the people of France, and installed on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor.

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

6. A philatelist is someone who studies or collects stamps. The first postage stamps were made available on May 1, 1840, in England, and it didn't take long for the hobby of stamp collecting to arise. Philatelic organizations sprang up soon after people started collecting and studying stamps. They include local, national and international clubs and societies where collectors come together to share their hobby. Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps.

7.  The Sun is the largest body in Earth's solar system, containing more than 99 percent of the mass of the entire solar system. It would take 1.3 million Earths to fill up the Sun. If you’d like to do the calculation yourself, here are the numbers. The volume of the Sun is 1.412 x 1018 km3. The volume of the Earth is 1.083 x 1012 km3. So if you divide the volume of the Sun by the volume of the Earth, you get 1,300,000. The size of the Earth is insignificant compared to the Sun. It is only about the size of an average sunspot.

8. Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus and several moons around other gas giants. In the course of an observation on March 13, 1781 he realized that one celestial body he had observed was not a star, but a planet, Uranus. Herschel lobbied to name the new body “Georgium Sidus”, after King George III, but it was eventually named Uranus after the Greek god of the sky. As a result of his discovery, the monarch knighted Herschel and appointed him to the position of court astronomer.

Sir William Herschel
King George III

9. At a resting pressure of approximately 260 mm systolic and 160 mm diastolic, the blood pressure of a giraffe is the highest of all animals. The giraffe's blood pressure is even higher than humans because the giraffe's heart has to pump blood up a neck seven feet long to reach his brain. The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world, with even new-born babies being taller than most humans. Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up. Giraffes only spend between 10 minutes and two hours asleep per day.

10. Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time, was also apparently a coffee enthusiast. So much so that he wrote an opera about coffee. The Coffee Cantata is about a young woman named Aria who loves coffee. Her killjoy father is dead set against his daughter having any kind of caffeinated fun, so he tries to ban her from the drink. Eventually Aria and her father reconcile when he agrees to have a guaranteed three cups of coffee a day written into her marriage contract. The story concludes with them singing the moral: that drinking coffee is natural.

11. Chow chows are well-known for having distinctive blue tongues. Only one other breed of dog has an entirely blue tongue -- the Shar-Pei. Chow chows are an ancient breed, possibly one of the oldest in the world. They're known for their thick fur and cuddly, bearlike appearance, as well as for their blue tongues. While no breed of dog other than the chow chow and the Shar-Pei have fully blue tongues, several breeds are known to have some blue pigmentation spots on them.

A Chow Chow

12. While Ferdinand Magellan was originally from Portugal, King Charles I of Spain ultimately sponsored his voyage. This outraged the King Manuel I of Portugal, who sent operatives to disrupt Magellan’s preparations, ordered that his family properties be vandalized and may have made an attempt to assassinate him. Once the expedition sailed, Manuel I even ordered two groups of Portuguese caravels to pursue Magellan’s fleet in the hopes of capturing the navigator and returning him to his homeland in chains.

Ferdinand Megellan

13. They may look all light and fluffy, but the reality is that clouds are actually pretty heavy. Researchers have calculated that the average cumulus cloud - which is that nice, white fluffy kind you see on a sunny day - weighs an incredible 1.1 million pounds! This means that at any given moment, there are millions of pounds of water floating above your head. That’s the equivalent of 100 elephants. So, how does that much weight stay afloat? For one thing, the weight is spread out into millions of droplets over a really big space. Some of the droplets are so small that you would need a million of them to make a single raindrop.

14. The Mona Lisa is located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It was painted by the Leonardo da Vinci in the early 16th century and was commissioned by Francesco Del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa is quite possibly the most well-known piece of painted artwork in the entire world. Originally commissioned in Italy, it was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797.

The Mona Lisa

15. Did you say a cheetah? You’re wrong. The cheetah is only "the fastest animal" if you restrict your search to land. It can’t hold a candle to the Peregrine Falcon, lord of the air. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest moving species on planet Earth. They can gain incredible top speeds of up to 242 mph while at a dive, making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. Peregrine falcons are among the world's most common birds of prey and live on all continents except Antarctica.

The Peregrine Falcon

16. Andrew Jackson was the only president to actually pay off the national debt. On January 8, 1835, all the big political names in Washington gathered to celebrate what President Andrew Jackson had just accomplished. A senator rose to make the big announcement: “Gentlemen … the national debt … is paid.” That was the one time in U.S. history when the country was debt free. It lasted exactly one year. Many people get confused and believe that there is no national debt when there is a surplus in the budget. The last president to balance the budget and regain a surplus of revenue was Bill Clinton. However, Jackson was the last  and the only U.S. president to bring the national debt to zero on top of having a balanced budget.

President Andrew Jackson

17. "December 7, 1941, - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." This "Infamy Speech" was a speech delivered by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a Joint Session of Congress, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Within an hour of the speech, Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into World War II.

President Franklin Roosevelt delivering "The Day of Infamy" speech

18.  On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman at the entrance of the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City. The Dakota was the home of former Beatle John Lennon from 1973 until his murder. The Dakota was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The Dakota is considered to be one of Manhattan's most prestigious and exclusive cooperative residential buildings, with apartments generally selling for between $4 million and $30 million.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon in front of The Dakota

19.  John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, died yesterday at the age of 95. On February 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the “Friendship 7” spacecraft, becoming the first American to orbit the planet. Glenn's flight aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft lasted only four hours and 56 minutes but completed three orbits of the Earth. The tiny spacecraft reached speeds in excess of 17,000 miles per hour before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. Thirty-six years later, at the age of 77, he returned to orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest person, worldwide, to fly into space.

John Glenn

20. In 1867, Alfred Bernhard Nobel patented a mixture of nitroglycerin and an absorbent substance, producing what he named "Dynamite." He used his vast fortune from his 350 patents to establish the Nobel Prizes, which has come to be known for awarding the greatest achievements throughout the world. When Nobel died of a stroke in 1896, he left 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (today about 265 million U.S. dollars) to fund the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him.

Alfred Nobel

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