Wednesday 26 October 2011

Memorial Quiz Answers

Q1: Name a Goss team member who shares a surname with the creator of a well-known programming language.

Acceptable answers were either Rob McCarthy or Bob McCarthy. Computer scientist John McCarthy invented the LISP programming language to pass the time while chained to a radiator in Beirut.


Q2: Which Note is out of key in this chord sequence?
Fm7 Ab Fm7 Bb Cm Bb Ab

The answer that I was expecting was that the piece is in the key of Ab, that the Bb chord should have been minor, and so the wrong note was d (which should have been d flat). If you look at the piece it starts on a change from the related minor to Ab and it finished with a descending cadence that resolves at Ab. It looks very much like a piece in Ab.

I now realise that it was a poor question, an equally correct answer is:
Nothing is out of key, it's in Eb major, but played as the Dorian mode of F
Fm7= [F,Ab,C,Eb]
Ab = [Ab,C,Eb]
Bb = [Bb,D,F]
Cm = [C,Eb,G]
Key of Eb = [Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C,D] = three flats
Key of Ab = [Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G] = four flats


Q3: Which singer shares initials with a part of the London transport system and a technology developed by Microsoft?

Flamboyant Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth shares initials with the Docklands Light Railway and the Dynamic Language Runtime. Surprisingly, this fact is not mentioned anywhere in Diamond Dave’s 384 page autobiography "Crazy from the Heat".


Q4: You cut a 2cm border off 3 sides of a square and you are left with
3/8 of the original square. How big was it to start with?

There are several ways to answer this question, the most practical seems to be trial and error, I also like the idea of a spreadsheet of widths and heights, but for those of you that enjoyed maths at school, I'll show you the algebraic solution:

The original square had a width and height of x cm, and an area of x^2
After the border had been cut off it was 2cm shorter and 4cm narrower.
The remaining area is (x-2)(x-4)
The remaining area is 3/8 of the original area so:
(x-2)(x-4) = (3/8)x^2
x^2 -6x +8 = (3/8)x^2
8x^2 -48x +64 = 3x^2
5x^2 -48x +64 = 0
(5x -8)(x -8) = 0
So either x=8cm or x=(5/8)cm. We will disregard the second solution as it isn't big enough to cut a 2cm border off from.


Q5: Calcium and Potassium are important nutrients, mix them up with tin to make something to eat.

This is an anagram based on the symbols for the chemical elements named in the question. Calcium = Ca, Potassium = K, Tin = Sn. These can be rearranged to give "Snack".


Q6: How many times do you have to roll six dice before the odds of them all coming up 6 are evens?

This piece of probability theory was probably too hard for this quiz. There are 2 ways to calculate it, you either have to understand and use the Poisson Distribution, or follow this convoluted reasoning:

The chances of having seen a win once or more is the complement of never having seen a win.
The chances of never having seen a win are the chances of not seeing a win on the first turn AND not seeing a win on the second turn AND .... AND not seeing a win on the last turn.
The chances of 1 dice coming up 6 is (1/6)
The chance of 6 dice coming up 6 is (1/6)^6 = (1/46656)
The chances of 6 dice NOT ALL coming up 6 are 1-(1/46656) = (46655/46656)
After n rolls, the chances of NEVER having seen a win is (46655/46656)^n
(46655/46656)^32339 > 0.5
(46655/46656)^32340 < 0.5
So the answer is 32340


Q7: A French city annoyed the poster shop by giving a piece of fruit to the 2nd planet. Which war followed?

The Trojan War.
This was a clumsy cryptic reference to a story called the Judgement of Paris. It involves the Trojan shepherd prince Paris (a French city), Athena (the poster shop), Aphrodite (Venus in the roman pantheon), and Hera. It's a story so petty, titillating, and hackneyed that you'd be embarrassed to see it on a soap opera, but it's actually a significant bit of the Greek myths. The three goddesses ended up squabbling over a golden apple inscribed "to the fairest" and eventually agreed to have an impartial mortal decide who was most beautiful and award the apple.

The goddesses were taken to Paris on mount Ida. These are the goddesses of ancient Greece remember, not fishwives. Every one of them firstly posed naked, and secondly bribed the judge. Aphrodite's bribe was that Paris would have the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris picked Aphrodite, royally pissing off the other two goddesses, went to Sparta to pick up his new wife Helen, who - wait for the plot twist - was already married to the king!

Helen's husband, also not best pleased, teams up with Hera, takes his army to Troy, and politely asks for his wife back.

As an interesting side note, there is no reference in the bible as to what the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil looked like, but the Apple of Discord was so well known that religious artists have always represented it as an apple.


Q8: Correct these sentences for grammar where necessary:
"Thank god he gave the appointment to my wife and I."
"None of us was ready."
"If I was in charge of the practise, then I would have rung."


"Thank God he gave the appointment to my wife and me."
Ai)God is a proper noun and needs a capital letter. I'm sorry if you don't believe in Him, but if you're going to write correctly in English, then you're bound to a Judeo-Christian monotheist ideology.
Aii) "my wife and I" are the object of the sentence, not the subject, so you have to use the objective form. If I wasn't married, you'd have had no difficulty knowing that he gave the appointment to "me" not to "I".

The sentence is correct. "none" is a contraction of "not one" so "One of us was ready" "Not one of us was ready" "None of us was ready"

"If I were in charge of the practice, then I would have rung."
Ci)The sentence is hypothetical, so we have no choice about using the subjunctive mood. "If I were a rich man" is correct grammatically.
Cii)"practise" if something you do, "practice" is a thing. Don't try to argue that this is a spelling error and not a grammatical one. It's the wrong word spelled correctly.

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