Sunday, January 14, 2007

SciTech Open Quiz KQA Jan 2007

The open science and technology quiz organized by the KQA on Saturday, January the 13th turned out to be a decent affair despite snome technical snafus. The QM was Avinash Thirumalai (of the team Thought Gang). The quiz was entirely written because something nasty had happened to the quiz's slides on the QM's laptop.

The questions were well-researched and very relevant. There were a few controversial and "subjective" questions as well. For a change, the questions were also well-framed - succinct and memorable.

It was question-setting the way it should be. The questions should never be verbose Wikipedia extracts with irrelevant stuff retained and relevant, useful stuff blanked out. Yesterday's was a refreshing change from the "Copy-Paste-From-Wiki-Blank-Out-Stuff-And-Ask" style of questioning that seems to be prevalent amongst QMs of the day. And details, if present in the question should aim to guide and not to obfuscate and mislead.

The highlight of the question-set was a fill-in-the-blanks poem questions which, if original (I think it was), highlights the imagination of the QM and also the effort which went into the framing of the questions.

The quiz was won by Mujib & Praveen, who closely edged out MQ and WALTW.

I teamed up with E. Gopal, my teammate for technical quizzes from my college days, from San Francisco, who happened to be in Bangalore on the day . We called ourselves the Icons, a harkback to yesteryear which, sadly was not to be relived. Mujib, of the winning team, used to be the quiz-master for some of the technical quizzes that we as a team had participated - so in that way, it was pretty much nostalgic and (strangely) appropriate for us!



0. Identify A-N
(A poetic question!)

B an C found a beautiful spiral
While triplets mad D go the wrong way
K was D's favourite
The lack of which caused L
So, M fed his men cabbage
While sailing to beautiful N
float across H

E discovered the structure of F
Central to which is G
One of the last to be produced in H
Which gives its name to I
Next in abundance only to J
Which was found by A
Whose name graces the place where B and C worked.

(A dependency graph was also given! Work it out! Not giving the answers here. Possibly later, in a comment)

1. Technique perfected by Go Ben Hok in 1958. Voted Japanese invention of the century in a 2000 poll. - Instant Noodles
2.Term coined by physiologist Wilhelm Kuhne from Greek for "in yeast" - Enzyme
3.Established in 1980 by Holger ___, inventor of artificial kidney. Recognition in non-Nobel areas - Crafoord Prize
4.Biggest producer of methane. India, China - Cattle
5.Founded by Madhava in 14th century. Prominent members Parmeshwara, Achyuta Pisharati, Ahyuta Panikar - Kerala School Of Mathematics
6.First working model by Theodore Maiman - LASER
7.Designed to make DOS programmers switch to Win95, built on the concept of Exodus by Kinesoft Development. Set of APIs for games. - DirectX
8.Created by Jorge Cham. BS=BullShit, MS=More of the Same, PhD=Piled Higher and Deeper. - PhD Comics
9.Coined by Ernest Starling. From Greek for "set into motion" Injecting intestinal extracts into dogs -
10. See sounds, Hears colours. Neurological condition - Synesthesia
11.Named after first director-general of CSIR. Prestigious award for Indian scientists - Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
12.____ signed controversial agreement with Microsoft. More clues. - Novell
13.Connect Santorini in Crete, Olmecs in Mexico,Harappan civilisation,Phoenecian city of Gebal, the Minoan palace site of Phaistos, the Elamite civilisation in Iran and the city of Robonc in Hungary - Undeciphered scripts
14.Two elements named after stories of evil spirits (teaser clues) Copper and - Cobalt
15.Musical instruments acoustic superior because of syahi or karnai, a mix of rice flour, ferric oxide and starch - Tabla, Mridangam
16.Last Charles Davis and team successfully placed a parasitic plant in tree of life, problematic before - Rafflesia
17.Term referring to pre-announced software/hardware which fail to materialize. Duke Nukem 3 Forever - Vaporware
18.Scientific test inspired by party game called "The Imitation Game" - Turing Test
19."Physics do not need mysticism ,and Mystics do not need physics, but the world needs both." On John Horgan's list of 10 worst science books. - Tao Of Physics by Fritjof Capra
20.Prehistoric Map. Identify Region - Gondwanaland
(The other part is Laurasia)
21.Budget document per unit shown (around 1000$) - 100$ laptop
22.Half purple, half white. Petunias - RNA interference
23.Visual - Yangtze River dolphin
24. Graph of substance - Carbon-60
25. Visual showing cricket ball dynamics - Contrast Swing
(Not reverse swing!)
26.Tree Of Life. Centre is LUCA - Last Universal Common Ancestor
27.Visual in the news recently- Cisco Iphone
28.Graph - Bose-Einstein condensate
29.Space Odyssey theme in Simpsons clip, IBM documentary actually made by brothers - Powers Of Ten
30.Long video trailer about experiment - Large Hadron Collider Experiment
31.Heated to 446F. Smells emerged- Chocolate
32.___ drive in Arthur C. Clarked. 1975 Peace Prize - Andrei Sakharov
33.Name origin. Become one with lover - Hermaphrodite
34. Letter about DNA Helix - Rosalind Franklin
35.Movie Poster - An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore)
36.Visual of space. Contrast. X-Ray, Optical - Dark Matter exists
37.Visual (Clue: 23) - David Hilbert
38.Visual. Woman asked to write her name, ends up writing husband's - Alzheimer's
39.Visual - Gregory Perelman, mathematician solved Poincare's conjecture, 2006 Fields Medal winner
40. ECG Sudarsan not getting Nobel
41. Connect : Fractals, Icon- Stephen Wolfram
42. Penziers and Wilson (not sure about names)- Cosmic Background Radiation
43. Place in Austria and deVries, Carl Corens, Eric von - Mendel

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