Summer Mini-League 3, Question #5

A member of the classification Order Sirenia and now extinct, this animal and its fellow members of the order have often been mistaken by exhausted sailors to be mermaids. Sirenia, commonly sirenians, are also referred to by the common name sirens deriving from half bird, half woman creatures that tried to lure Odysseus of Greek mythology with sweet songs of love.

Later some authors confused Sirens with mermaids which eventually led to the scientific naming of Order Sirenia. These animals were imaged by the Early Europeans explorers as mermaids possibly due to their pectoral breasts, dexterous forelimbs and fish like tails. In 1493 when Columbus wrote of the mermaids he had seen in the Carribean, he commented they weren’t as lovely as he had expected.

Identify this now extinct animal.

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Summer Mini-League 3, Question #4

Sometime in 1982, a seemingly innocuous conversation occurred in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Computer Science Department. Programmers logging long hours in the labs were frustrated by their long walks to the Coke machine, only to find it empty or, much worse, filled with warm soda.

You see, around the halls of CMU, caffeine wasn’t just a substance, it was a driving force. Something needed to be done about these errant trips to the machine.

Soon, conversation spun into action. The solution was the IP address: 128.2.209.43. Apparently, frustrated CMU programmers in search for cold soda created a concept and industry which is was valued at USD 384.70 billion in 2021.

What am I specifically talking about?

Summer Mini-League 3, Question #3

Sam Patch, a daredevil of times long gone made his name by jumping off a cliff near Niagara Falls in 1829. Having lived as a child mill worker, he would get an adrenaline rush by leaping off mill dams, a talent he later spun into public stunt shows. After gaining national fame for the Niagara leap, he made a jump off the Genesee Falls on one fated day : outrageously his final leap.

The unfortunate incident built on to legend and the day was remembered as one to be wary of. Many incidents have occurred on this day following the Patch incident but one notable tradition is in Ontario, Canada where a group of motorcyclists gather every time this day occurs for a rally dating back to 1881. They even made an attempt in 2008 to surpass the previous Guinness world record for the largest motorcycle parade which failed due to a technicality.

Identify the parlance for this fateful day.

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Summer QoTD #15

Having broken 3 Guinness World Records including one previously held by Cher, this song, originally from the album “Hounds of Love” has been nominated for many awards in the past. Its name was changed once due to the presence of an *cough unholy *cough word in the title and the team didn’t want it to be played in only religious countries. The song is about men and women swapping places and it even featured in the 2012 Olympics.

What is the new and old name of the song?

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The third and final Summer Mini-League begins tomorrow! Keep a lookout for the first question at 12 PM.

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Summer QoTD #14

Which country, despite spanning five geographical time zones, has only one?

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Summer QoTD #13

Born to the Regency equivalent of a rock star (X), this woman was also named the “Enchantress of Numbers”. She was X’s only legitimate child and also quite the nerd, similar to her mother. Her father, X, was the talk of the town in English high society, from his poignant poetry to him leading troops in the fight for Greek Independence. Her mother, teased as the “Princess of Parallelograms”, on the other hand taught her mathematics and logic and ensured a strict schooling.

This resulted in her being extremely intelligent and even wrote a book “Flyology” that determined optimal flight routes to navigate across England. She is famously known to have described in perfect detail how to use an Analytical Engine to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers, i.e. the world’s first computer program ever written.

Who was this woman and who was her father X?

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Summer QoTD #12

An American organic chemist and food storage scientist designed an iconic storage method for a particular type of food item in 1966, which was a revolution in the realm of snack food. He was so proud of the achievement, he wanted to go to his grave with it. 

On May 4, 2008, when he passed away at the age of 89, his children honoured his request by placing some of his cremated ashes in one of the storage containers that he designed, and burying it in his grave. 

What was the brand for which he designed the storage?

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Summer QoTD #11

A certain special lamp is believed to hold a very famous film producer and entrepreneur’s spirit. Whenever this certain producer would visit their apartment on Main Street, California, they would turn the lamp on to signal to their employees that they were taking residence there and would be working there, and when they would leave, they would turn it off.

When the producer died in late 1960’s their employees finally turned the lamp off for good. But the next morning, they found that the lamp was turned on mysteriously. Allegedly, they tried turning the lamp off, but it would keep turning back on. Since then, the lamp has never been turned off, nor has it ever went out.

Whose spirit is it in this lamp of magic?

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Summer QoTD #10

The founder of the company was a doctor in the army of Nazi Germany during World War II. After he injured his foot in the war, he designed himself a pair of shoes with soft leather he found at the cobbler and air cushioned soles made from tyres. Later on, this leather was replaced by rubber when he began to sell these shoes.

The first of these shoes to be sold were cherry-red coloured smooth leather design—named after the day this original was made—and a variation of it is still in production today! These shoes were designed with factory workers and policemen in mind, but soon became popular with a range of subcultures, and were worn by punks and skinheads alike as an act of rebellion. By 1982, they had become so popular that they had a song featured in a British TV comedy: “The Young Ones”. The shoes have a distinctive yellow stitching along the sole.

Later on, when the company was sold, the new owners came up with a “for life” policy, in which once the shoes were purchased, they could be repaired for free at any of their stores, but the retail price of the shoe was hiked, while now the scheme has been abandoned, but the price hike is still relevant.

Identify the company.

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The second Summer Mini-League begins tomorrow! Keep a lookout for the first question at 12 PM.

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Summer QoTD #9

The parish of Whitechapel is located in the East End of London, just east of the historical center of London referred to as the “City of London”. This region was known to be a very overcrowded slum in the late 19th century, due to an influx of Irish and Jewish immigrants. Thousands of people lived a hand to mouth existence in boarding houses. Moreover, there were over 1,200 women working as prostitutes in Whitechapel.

The year 1888 saw a total of 11 murders of which 5 were accepted as being committed by the same perpetrator who went by an infamous name.

These “Canonical Five” included 2 murders that happened on the same evening, a mile apart, in a way that involved the murderer actually passing THROUGH the gathered policemen between the 2 murders. The events upset and engaged the public so much that Queen Victoria herself wrote a letter to the Prime Minister demanding action. The killer got a name once the investigative authorities received bizarre letters signed in red with the words _ _ _.

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