Technophobia 2000!

Boni by Caltech (M. Swiatek, C. Lo, J. DenHartog, J. Meltzer, R. Mason, K. Costello, C. Nolte)


1. It centers on the brief affair between a Japanese businessman and a French actress starring in a film about peace. For 10 points each--name:

A. This 1959 film starring Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada.

answer: Hiroshima mon amour

B. The New Wave French director whose first feature-length film was Hiroshima mon amour.

answer: Alain Resnais

C. The author who failed to win the Academy award for best screenplay for Hiroshima mon amour, but who did win the more prestigious 1984 Prix Goncourt for the novel The Lover.

answer: Marguerite Duras or Marguerite Donnadieu


2. 30-20-10. Give the common name.

A. It is the name of seven Norwegian kings who ruled between 1035 and 1355, the first of which was named after a Holy Roman Emperor and wrested the thrones of Norway and Denmark from Canute's sons Sweyn and Hardecanute.

B. It is the surname of a 19th century German physicist who observed the generation of a sideways force on a spinning object moving through a fluid, an effect which makes cricket balls and artillery shells curve.

C. Albert of Cologne, a 13th-century philosopher known as the Universal Doctor who discovered arsenic and taught Thomas Aquinas, was called by this six-letter byname meaning "The Great," even before his death.

answer: Magnus


3. Given a Biblical figure, identify his father—for 10 points each:

A. David

answer: Jesse


answer: Nun

C. The apostles James and John

answer: Zebedee


4. Answer the following about a mysteriously-lost episode of Sesame Street for 10 points each:

A. In a fit of grumpiness, Oscar the Grouch decides to leave Sesame Street and roll down a nearby hill in his cylindrical trash can of radius R. If Oscar's mass is evenly distributed throughout the can and Oscar and the can have a combined total mass M, what is the moment of inertia of Oscar in the can about the can's axis in terms of R and M?

answer: (1/2)*M*R2 (one half M R squared)

B. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the hill, Cookie Monster is busy filling a cylindrical cookie jar with uniformly-sized spherical fudge balls in a hexagonal close-packed array. Within 5%, when the jar is full, what fraction of its total volume will be occupied by fudge balls?

answer: 74 percent (accept 69%-79%) [This is the densest possible packing fraction for spheres.]

C. Oscar collides with Cookie Monster, spilling the fudge balls and knocking Oscar out of his can. The ensuing argument is broken up by none other than guest celebrity Richard Feynman, who solves the problem by inviting them to accompany the theme song by banging on their respective containers while he plays the bongos. As the closing credits roll, Feynman announces that this episode has been brought to us by the letter J, which represents what class of functions used to describe the vibrational modes of a drum head in cylindrical coordinates?

answer: Bessel functions


5. For 10 points each--identify the non-Spanish composers of:

A. The 1875 Symphonie espagnole, dedicated to violinist Pablo Sarasate.

answer: Éduard(-Antoine-Victor) Lalo

B. 1907's Rapsodie espagnole, as well as the 1911 opera L'heure espagnole.

answer: (Joseph-)Maurice Ravel

C. 1887's Capriccio espagnol, first performed in St. Petersburg.

answer: Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov


6. Answer the following about plague in the Peloponnesus--for 10 points each:

A. Which Athenian leader, who urged his people to avoid the Spartan army and instead use their navy to blockade enemy shipping, fell to the plague in 431 B.C.?

answer: Pericles

B. Which general survived an attack of the plague and wrote about its effect on Athenian morale in his history of the Peloponnesian War?

answer: Thucydides

C. Spartan initiatives during the plague years were unsuccessful except for the capture of what strategic Boeotian city in 427 B.C.?

answer: Plataea


7. Given a paradox, identify the person for whom it's named--for 10 points each:

A. The power set of U has a cardinality strictly greater than U. But if U is the set of all sets, the power set of U is a subset of U, hence it has a cardinality less than or equal to U. Thus a contradiction arises.

answer: Georg Cantor [If you said Russell, you were not listening closely enough.]

B. If the universe is infinite and uniformly populated with stars, then every point in the sky should be filled with starlight. This is contrary to observation.

answer: Willhelm Olbers

C. Given a rotating disc, special relativity will predict a contraction in the radial direction. Motion of the disc is in the angular direction. The contraction is in a direction perpendicular to the direction of motion, hence a contradiction in Special Relativity.

answer: Paul Ehrenfest


8. Identify the following things you might or might not consider to be fun, for 10 points each:

A. In the second section of a poem by T.S. Eliot, "we shall play" this, "pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

answer: A Game of Chess (grudgingly prompt on: chess)

B. In this short story by Richard Connell, General Zaroff sets his shipwrecked captives free if they can survive on his island for three days while he hunts them down and tries to kill them.

answer: The Most Dangerous Game

C. Joseph Knecht was the Magister Ludi of this activity, which used ideas as pieces, in a novel by Hermann Hesse.

answer: The Glass Bead Game or Das Glasperlenspiel


9. Give the call signs of these TV show radio stations, for 10 points each:

A. This Cincinnati AM rock station was the setting for a 1978-1982 TV show.

answer: WKRP

B. This New York station was the setting of the 1995-1999 TV show NewsRadio.

answer: WNYX

C. This Seattle radio station employs Frasier Crane.

answer: KACL


10. The leaves are falling and the days grow bleak. For 10 points each:

A. What Brit argued that it was impossible for scientists and English majors to communicate in the 1959 work The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution?

answer: C(harles) P(ercy) Snow, Baron Snow of the City of Leicester

B. In which F. Scott Fitzgerald short story does caddy Dexter Green fall for the selfish Judy Jones?

answer: Winter Dreams

C. In the 1949 film "Neptune's Daughter," what four-word phrase does Ricardo Montalban sing to Esther Williams to keep her from leaving his apartment, despite her constant protests?

answer: Baby, it's cold outside


11. For the stated number of points each--state in which modern country the following medieval principalities were located. In some cases more than one answer may be acceptable.

A. For 5 points--Bohemia

answer: Czech Republic

B. For 5 points--Pomerania

answer: Poland or Germany [most of it is in Poland]

C. For 10 points--Silesia

answer: Poland

D. for 10 points--Swabia [SWAY-bee-uh]

answer: Germany or eastern Switzerland or Alsace, France [most of it is in Germany]


12. Identify these sweet transvestite transsexuals from Greek mythology--for 10 points each:

A. This Theban seer was temporarily turned into a woman after killing the female of two coupling snakes. He was then able to settle a bet between Zeus and Hera, telling them that women enjoyed sex ten times more than men. Hera struck him blind for making her lose the bet.

answer: Tiresias

B. She was a beautiful maiden of Thessaly who was raped by Poseidon. Afterwards Poseidon tried to make it up to her by changing her into a man and making her invulnerable. At the battle between the Centaurs and the Lapiths, the Centaurs could not kill him but managed to bury him by piling pine trees on him.

answer: Caenis or Caeneus

C. The nymph Salmacis fell in love with this handsome son of Aphrodite and Hermes and asked the gods to let her be united with him. The result was a fused half-man/half-woman.

answer: Hermaphroditus


13. Answer the following about trains and painting, for 10 points each:

A. J.M.W. Turner's fascination with the Industrial Revolution manifested itself in this 1844 painting of the Great Western Railway.

answer: Rain, Steam and Speed

B. In this 1939 painting by Rene Magritte, a locomotive appears to emerge from a fireplace.

answer: Time Transfixed

C. As Turner is not French and Magritte did not paint in the 19th century, neither Rain, Steam and Speed nor Time Transfixed can be found in this Paris museum, where a comprehensive collection of 19th-century French art is housed in a renovated early 20th-century train station on the Left Bank.

answer: Musee d'Orsay or Orsay Museum


14. For 10 points each--given a year and a political party, name the only state that party carried that year.

A. 1984, Democratic

answer: Minnesota

B. 1972, Democratic

answer: Massachusetts

C. 1924, Progressive

answer: Wisconsin


15. Name the following industrial processes, for the stated number of points:

A.For 5 points--this process is currently the predominant source of industrial fixed nitrogen.

answer: Haber(-Bosch) process

B. For 10 points--this process involves the use of steam to liquify sulfur in underground deposits. The liquified sulfur is used to make sulfuric acid.

answer: Frasch process

C. For 15 points--this process involves the conversion of gaseous hydrogen chloride into chlorine over a copper chloride catalyst.

answer: Deacon process


16. Answer the following related questions, for 10 points each:

A. In what Ernest Hemingway novel is Jake Barnes hopelessly in love with Brett Ashley?

answer: The Sun Also Rises

B. On what ABC soap is Dr. Jake Martin trying to rebuild his marriage with his wife, Hungarian princess Gillian Andraschy?

answer: All My Children

C. Unfortunately for Jake and Jake, what problem stands in the way of their relationships with Brett and Gillian?

answer: impotence (accept equivalents)


17. Identify these food items from descriptions given in Neil Diamond lyrics, for 10 points each. Each comestible is the title object of the song whose lyrics are cited.

A. According to Neil, this beverage "goes to my head and makes me forget that I still need her so." That phrase just wasn't as poignant coming from UB-40.

answer: Red, Red Wine

B. Neil warns that you should not let this, um, meat-filled tart "get on your jeans. I know it sounds a little strange, but you've got to eat it with gloves, or your hands will turn green."

answer: Porcupine Pie

C. "Drop your shrinkin' and quit your drinkin'," 'cause this breakfast food "is neat! Sing it out! Alright! I'll have a double, please!" Although Neil's song about it "won't offend, if you sing it in school, they're likely to send you home," thinking that you're "growin' your own tea."

answer: Crunchy Granola (Suite)


18. 30-20-10. Name the college basketball team.

A. In the 1994 film Above The Rim, troubled teenager Kyle Watson sees his dreams come true when he ends up playing for this team.

B. If Watson had actually existed, he would have enjoyed throwing alley-oop passes to Jerome Williams and Othella Harrington.

C. Of course, if Watson had actually existed, head coach John Thompson probably wouldn't have thought of recruiting an explosive two-sport star from Virginia named Allen Iverson.

answer: Georgetown Hoyas (accept either)


19. For 10 points each--answer the following questions concerning the development of vertebrates:

A. The embryo's mesoderm gives rise to this rod-like structure, which runs from the head to the tail and lies centrally beneath the future nervous system.

answer: notochord

B. These segmented blocks of mesoderm lie on either side of the notochord. They will eventually give rise to the muscles, the vertebral column, and the dermis of the skin.

answer: somites

C. This process involves the ectoderm above the notochord folding to form the neural tube, which will give rise to the brain and spinal cord.

answer: neurulation


20. Identify these "A"-initialed Native American peoples, for 10 points each:

A. These ancestors of the Pueblo Indians lived in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest until their civilization collapsed mysteriously sometime around 1250. Their name comes from the Navajo for "Ancient Ones."

answer: Anasazi

B. These Plains Indians lived along the Platte and Arkansas rivers during the 19th century and spoke an Algonquin language. They were often allied with the Cheyenne in their wars against the Shoshone, Ute, and Pawnee tribes. A Colorado county is named for them.

answer: Arapaho (or Arapahoe)

C. This language family, still spoken in parts of the Yukon and Mackenzie river areas, also includes the Navajo and Apache languages. It shares its name with a river and lake in northern Alberta.

answer: Athabascan (or Athabasca)