Community and Games Quizzes

Strange Magic Quiz: Wednesday 17th February 2021

Somehow, Ancient Aaron found his way into a wormhole and time-travelled from 1327 to the beginning of the 21st century Auckland. What strange magic did he find there?

#1. Ancient Aaron landed with a thud in Auckland's Albert park in the 21st century. He saw a man sitting on a big metal object with wheels. The man (and his metal horse) were going up and down the park making the grass shorter. What strange magic was this?

Ride-on lawnmowers allow gardeners to cut large expanses of grass quickly and easily. The first lawnmower was invented by Edwin Budding in 1830 and was designed to help people cut the grass in huge spaces like in parks and sports facilities. The first lawnmower had to be pushed by a person, but later in the 19th century, animal-drawn and steam-powered lawnmowers were developed. By the beginning of the 20th century, there were electric and petrol-powered lawnmowers – now including ones you can sit on and ride. We’ve come a long way from the scythe!

#2. While Aaron was wandering around the park, he noticed that some people had tiny object near them with sound coming out of it. What strange magic was this?

Gone are the days when you had to hire a musician to hear music being played. From the end of the 20th century, people were using speaker to listen to music. Whether it was a portable cassette player or the latest iPhone, the speakers that came with them often worked in the same way. Each tiny speaker was made of a magnet and a coil of wire. When an electric current runs through the coil, it creates an electromagnet, which pushes out sound waves.

#3. Aaron hung around in the park until it got dark (well, where else would he go?), but it didn't get as dark as he expected. Throughout the park there were sticks with lights on top of them, but the light wasn't coming from a fire. What strange magic was this?

Streetlights brighten our city nights in the 21st century. Incandescent bulbs had a filament made of tungsten inside them. When an electric current passed through, electrons banged against the metal filament. The filament heated up and produced light.

#4. Aaron stumbled his way to Queen st, there were countless people around. A small human just whizzed past him floating on a strange equipment with two small wheels. What strange magic was this?

A battery is a device that stores chemical energy and converts it to electrical energy. The chemical reactions in a battery involve the flow of electrons from one material (electrode) to another, through an external circuit. The flow of electrons provides an electric current that can be used to do work.

#5. After walking around for a while, Aaron came across a huge tower with four circles at the top. Each circle had twelve numbers on it with two black sticks pointing to some of them. Aaron noticed that the sticks were slowly moving around the numbers. What strange magic was this?

An escapement is a device within mechanical clocks that ensures they keep time. Double three-legged gravity escapements were developed during the 18th and 19th centuries and were used in turret clocks like the Great Clock in Elizabeth Tower in Westminster (where Big Ben is). The clock keeps time using weights that move in a pendulum motion.

#6. Aaron noticed everything, but nobody noticed Aaron as everyone had their heads down staring into a metal block with light emitting through it. What strange magic was this?

In the most basic form, a cell phone is essentially a two-way radio, consisting of a radio transmitter and a radio receiver. When you chat with your friend on your cell phone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted via radio waves to the nearest cell tower.

#7. Aaron looked up and saw some huge white birds soaring across the 21st century sky. But the birds didn't have beaks and they didn't flap their wings. What strange magic was this?

A plane’s engines are designed to move it forward at high speed. That makes air flow rapidly over the wings, which throw the air down toward the ground, generating an upward force called lift that overcomes the plane’s weight and holds it in the sky. … The wings force the air downward and that pushes the plane upward.

#8. As well as seeing lots of people walking around, there were many people moving around inside carriages. But the carriages weren't being drawn by horses. What strange magic was this?

Many vehicles on 21st century roads are powered by an internal combustion engine. They use fuel like petrol or diesel. The fuel is burned within the engine, which creates energy. When the fuel is burned, the combustion gases expand and push on a piston, which in turn rotates a crankshaft. The succession of moving parts drives the vehicle forward. There’s no call for a horse at all!

#9. Tired of walking, Aaron sat down in Aotea square, where he sees a young male with narrow device which enabled him to produce thick white cloud from his mouth. What strange magic was this?

In 1963, Herbert A. Gilbert invented a “smokeless nontobacco cigarette,” but it was never commercialized. “Vaping,” or smoking electronic cigarettes, first became widely popular in China, where 60 percent of men are smokers. Modern e-cigarettes were patented in 2003 by Chinese inventor Hon Lik. In many e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge or reservoir. The person then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor (called vaping).

#10. Out of his wit, Aaron sat down holding his head when suddenly his nose picked up an aroma that instantly recharged his bogged down brain. What strange magic was this?

An espresso machine brews coffee by forcing pressurized water near boiling point through a “puck” of ground coffee and a filter in order to produce a thick, concentrated coffee called espresso. … Espresso machines may be steam-driven, piston-driven, pump-driven, or air-pump-driven.

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