#1. In which temperature scale does water freeze at 273.15?
The Kelvin scale establishes 0 as absolute zero, a theoretical temperature where molecules would have no energy. Temperatures in Kelvin are measured in Kelvins, units which are equivalent to degrees on the Celsius scale. Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius and at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Centigrade is another name for Celsius in regard to temperature measurement.
#2. Not including Pluto, as it has been demoted to dwarf-planet, what were the last two planets discovered? (Hint: They are the only two that required a telescope to be seen)
Uranus and Neptune are the only two planets that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Well after the invention of the teloscope Uranus was discovered by William Herschel in 1781. Later Neptune was discovered by John Couch Adams in 1846. Pluto was discovered in 1930, but was demoted to dwarf planet status in 2006 after the discovery of several dwarf planets at orbits greater than Pluto.
#3. Water is an amazing substance. One very unusual feature it displays compared to other materials is _______ . (Hint: Think of icebergs and why they float on the sea)
While all three other options are true for water, they are also true for many other substances too. The high density of water is related to the hydrogen-bonding between water molecules. Water is most dense at 4 degrees C (about 39F).
#4. What organism, which can be used to make yogurt and cheese, was used in a 25 year experiment to see its evolution?
Because a generation of bacteria appears about every 20 minutes, Richard Lenski and his students created 12 “tribes” of bacteria and observed how they evolved over time. This experiment is one of the longest experiments of all time, and it has shown us crucial findings in how humans evolved to be so complex.
#5. The teacher found Leopold engaged in rhinotillexis at recess! The school board sentenced him to 180 days of wearing mittens. What was his offense?
Rhinotillexis, or nose picking, is extremely common, particularly in children. Although it’s considered socially unacceptable in public, we’ve probably all done it in private. I guess the old saying is true: you can pick your nose; you can pick your friends – but you can’t pick your friend’s nose!
#6. Which of these plants is carnivorous?
The pitcher plant grows in swampy areas and is a favorite of kids and plant lovers. It forms amazing groves along with sneezeweed, paintbrush and other plants in northern California and elsewhere.
#7. If you look at an optometrist's script in the field marked 'sphere', you will probably see a number (either plus or minus). It is the measure of lens power, but what units are used?
Dioptres measure the refractive power of a lens, with the higher the reading, the more powerful the lens. Positive (eg, 6, indicates long-sightedness), and negative (eg, -2.5, denoting myopia).
Decibels measure the loudness of sounds, Becquerels measure radioactivity and pascals measure pressure.
#8. Which disorder of the elderly is believed to be closely linked to dementia and takes its name from a Greek Cynic philosopher of the 4th century BCE?
Diogenes Syndrome is a behavioural disorder characterised by extreme self-neglect, domestic squalor, social isolation and a tendency towards hoarding and is usually diagnosed among those afflicted with FTD or frontotemporal dementia. The syndrome takes its name from the Greek Cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, one who advocated minimalism and self-sufficiency. Diogenes preached contentment without personal possessions and lived by the rules that he expounded; he lived inside a barrel and survived by begging for food. The naming of the syndrome also makes reference to his reclusiveness and of his rejection of the outside world. It is strange that this disorder takes its name from a man that shunned material possessions when one of the principal symptoms of the condition is the irresistible urge to hoard. Recent studies into the condition have estimated that the incidence of Diogenes Syndrome may be as high as one person in every two thousand over the age of sixty that live alone and at home. As a functional illness, Diogenes Syndrome is usually treated through behavioural programmes but in some cases the condition can be managed through the use of serotonin inhibiting drugs.
#9. Which chemical compound is the chief constituent of Plaster of Paris, which forms gypsum when mixed with water?
Gypsum consists of crystal units consisting of two water molecules per one molecule of calcium sulphate. When it is heated, it gets dehydrated to form Plaster of Paris, whose crystal consists of one water molecule per two molecules of calcium sulphate. Apart from use in protective and decorative coverings of walls and ceilings, it was historically also used in gauze bandages to protect limbs with broken bones. When mixed with little water, Plaster of Paris can be moulded into different shapes, where it stays on hardening (due to drying).
#10. What US Army doctor, for whom a famous Bethesda, MD, US hospital was named, confirmed the link between Yellow Fever and the Aedes aegypti mosquito?
Army MD, Walter Reed, while in Cuba, continued the work of Cuban doctor Carlos Finlay in identifying the mosquito as the disease vector. Although Reed was given the accolades, he always credited Finlay in his reports. The confirmation of the mosquito as the source was paramount for the success of the digging of the Panama Canal which had been plagued with Yellow Fever deaths.
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