Summer QoTD #4

This creation from 2019 by a collective was (atleast in name) the antithesis of a controversial creation of theirs from earlier this year. The 2019 accessory contained tiny amounts of a substance drawn from the river Jordan in them. This allowed users of the accessory to quite literally emulate a miraculous feet from around 2 millennia ago, and the creation was informally named after the original performer of this miracle.


What collective? What are the two creations?

Summer Questions of the Week

  1. In the 1970s and 80s, in order to revive public interest in space exploration, NASA held contests to let school kids send science experiments into space. A kid from Indiana had seen a particular behaviour of an object which he believed was due to the earth’s gravity, and was curious to see how zero gravity would affect development in the object. He was selected by NASA to send the object in space and understand how it developed. The major problem they faced in this experiment was an engineering issue of making sure the object survives its journey to space, since it was very fragile. They ended up creating a wooden box and putting 64 objects into it before launching. The first attempt of the experiment was supposed to be supervised by a school teacher in the 1986, however, due to certain external factors, the experiment could survive for only 73 seconds of its journey. It was relaunched 3 years later, and about half of the objects survived the journey and completed their development. Due to a company sponsoring this experiment, it was speculated that these successful objects may meet a gruesome fate at the hands of the company and end up with its customers, but that turned out to be false.
    What exactly was the experiment studying, what event led to the experiment failing the first time around and which company sponsored it?


  2. While ________ ______ is a commonplace occurrence today, something that “fills the deadly silences”, it was originally supposed to be a mark of affluence. Found mainly in hotel lobbies, supermarkets and other public places, it gets its name from its usage in one particular location. It was supposed to calm people down in that location, since people would often experience claustrophobia and anxiety in there. The pioneer for this genre was fascinated at how made up words were being used as trademarked names for companies, and he hence named his company for a portmanteau combining the second word of the above term and the name of a pioneering photography company.
    Fill in the blanks and id the two companies.


  3. John G X was a physicist and an electrical engineer. While his brother decided to go into the family real estate business, John went to NYU to study electrical engineering, going on to teach at MIT. His major research work was concentrated in making better X-rays and radar systems. Id X, whose genes and intelligence are claimed to be the source of someone’s stable genius.

  4. Dr. Awkward and Olson in Oslo is a 167-page novel by Lawrence Levine. It is a detective story involving a bumbling private eye Sam, his lover Mabel E. Bam and their 11 associates, who along with the help of Olson attempt to track down and bring the treacherous villain Dr. Awkward to justice.
    While not literally acclaimed, it shares a unique distinction with only one another literary work.
    What distinction?


  5. X introduced the concept of human computation in his doctoral thesis. The idea referred to methods that combine human brainpower with computers to solve problems that neither could solve alone. His Ph.D. thesis is also the first work on Games With A Purpose, or GWAPs, which are games played by humans that produce useful computation as a side effect. He eventually used these concepts along with a computer generated test he had pioneered earlier, to develop something used for digitising books, which is used for almost 40 million transcriptions every day.
    What did he come up with?


  6. This word X was originally a brand name to describe something sold in the form of small disc-shaped objects which were “compressed and easily assimilable”. The word itself is a portmanteau of a word Y denoting what was a writing surface in ancient times, and a suffix meaning small. Y is now used as a generic term for what X was originally supposed to mean, while X now refers to a form of written communication characterized by its size, which is smaller, easily assimilable, and oftentimes less reliable than its broader counterpart.
    Id X and Y.


  7. The scunthorpe effect is an unintended consequence of existing ‘filters’ that have, in recent times, prevented the popularaity of a certain Dominic.
    Other victims of this effect are Horniman museum, Lightwater region in Surrey, Resumes that signify academic excellence, among others.
    What is the scunthorpe effect?

Summer QotD #56

The origin of this word is onomatopoeic. Ancient Greeks could not understand the language of foreigners, and to them it seemed as if they were babbling. Hence they described these people by a word (having a repeated syllable) which was later used by historians to describe certain tribes including Hund, Franks, Vandals, Saxons, and Visigoths.
Id the word.

PS- this is not as tough a Conandrum as it seems.

Summer QotD #54

__ ____ __ ____ … ____ ___ __________: Changing linguistic norms in Bollywood songs is a paper which studies the decline of Urdu in Bollywood songs. Specifically, analyzing songs from 1959 to 2010’s, it empirically demonstrates the decline by documenting the shift in the pronunciation of the sounds like /kh̲/ and /gh̲/ from the Urdu to Hindi phonetic norms. Singers from the 1990’s, unlike those from the previous generations, merge them with the sounds /kh/ and /gh/.
FITB with the 4 word name of a film and a phrase used extensively in the film relating to this issue of pronunciation.

Summer QotD #48

While this books holds a second place on a certain list after the OG book, all original copies of it were assumed to be lost for over two millenia. In the early 19th century Francois Peyrard was translating this book into his native language, when someone asked him to look at a bunch of books that had been brought in from the Vatican, and he found a hitherto unknown copy of the work. Francois was the founder of Ecole Polytechnique, and his translation of this book was reviewd by Delambre, Lagrange and Legendre. Despite its name, the book has nothing to do with chemistry.
What seminal work is this, which also shares its name with a song (a mnemonic device) by Tom Lehrer? Who had brought these books from the Vatican?

Summer QotD #43

This game was one of the factors that led to the death of Atari and the video game industry in the early 80s. The game was the second one in collaboration with X. Released in 1982, just a few months after X’s smash hit of the same name, the game was from the point of view of the titular character. The three locations in the game (a house, the FBI building and a science building) represented the three humans significant to the titular character. The main objective of the game was to collect pieces of a certain device and build it to rescue the character.
Id the game

Summer QotD #42

The etymology of this comes from a word meaning siphon, referring to the excessive amount of urine patients produced. It was later discovered that it is caused due to a deficiency of a substance whose name was derived from a word meaning island, hinting at its origins in the body.
Id the two words

Summer QotD #41

emojizip is the title of a joke paper which aims to solve text compression using the pictogram-kiloword equivalence theorem. The main algorithm here divides the text to be compressed into chunks having a certain number of words, and replaces each chunk with an picture (or an emoji). It hence achieves a compression of order of magnitude 3.
What exactly does this theorem state?

Summer QotD #39

Urban _________ is a research group in India which studies a burning issue of the modern world. India is among the worst affected in the world by this issue, having overtaken China in recent years. The prevailing situation in the country has been a blessing in disguise for the group, since they now have a baseline level for the issue.

The baseline has been a subject of a plethora of memes in the recent past.
What issue is this, what baseline is being talked about?

Summer QotD #38

This is a dataset which is used for the task of question answering. The difficulty in this dataset is that the model needs to make multiple hops of reasoning to arrive at an answer for every question.
What name, homophonic to an animal, is given to this dataset?