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Noggin Hoggin' Challenge Starting on Monday November 19, 2012

Here are the past questions which were used in this Noggin Hoggin' Challenge, along with the answers we accepted and an explanation.

 

Bonus Question (Head Start Clue)

The Lobster Quadrille parodies the tale of a conniving hostess.
The lustre of her gossamer garments awe the masses once again — no Bombyx mori!

What is the FIRST married surname of the rosy empress whose shoulders were FIRST graced by the fine work of our leggy artisan's ancestors?

Acceptable answers:
de Beauharnais
Beauharnais

Explanation:

"The Lobster Quadrille" is a song/poem in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a novel by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the more commonly known pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The rhyme is actually a parody of Mary Botham Howitt's "The Spider and the Fly", a story about a cunning spider who traps a naïve fly by charming her with flattery.

In this puzzle, gossamer garments specifically refer to fabric made from spider silk (Bombyx mori is the latin name for the silkworm).

Although a number of people have experimented with weaving spider silk throughout history, success has been limited by the cannibalistic nature of spiders and difficulties in "silking" them. Unfortunately, none of these earlier textiles (are known to) remain.

Recently, art historian Simon Peers and fashion designer Nicholas Godley (an arachnophobe) were so inspired by 19th century illustrations of spider silk weaving that they decided to reproduce the techniques of French Jesuit Priest Jacob Paul Camboué. Female Madagascar Golden Orb Spiders were painstakingly collected daily, placed in harnesses (so they wouldn't eat one another), and silked, 24 at a time. Hundreds of thousands of spiders later, a beautiful golden four-meter-long scarf, showcasing traditional Malagasy weaving, was unveiled at New York's Natural History Museum, in 2009. Just this year, a second textile, a stunning gold cape embroidered with a pattern of spiders and delicate flowers, was debuted at London's V&A Museum.

 

Photographs by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

History has it that Spaniard Raimondo Maria de Termeyer made spider silk stockings for Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte and a shawl for Empress Joséphine, his first wife, in the early nineteenth century. This empress was born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, but went by the first name of 'Rose' until her marriage to Napoléon (he came up with, and insisted on, Joséphine).

Empress Joséphine loved and collected roses. Different species and varieties of the flower were brought to her from all over the world, and many hybrids were bred in her own gardens at Château de la Malmaison. Napoléon even instructed the French Navy to seize any plants or rose seeds they found when they searched ships at sea. The wealthy French followed her lead competing to see who could amass the largest collection. Her influence even extended to England, where those striving to keep up with social fashion collected roses like the French. She set the standard for rose gardening for a very long time and is known as the patroness of the rose.

 

Empress Joséphine and the rose named after her

Joséphine's most famous husband, the Emperor Napoléon, was not her first, however. The young Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie was first wed to Alexandre de Beauharnais, making this her first married surname.


 

Question for Monday November 19, 2012:
Triple Play

The three words in each set below have something in common. Find the link, then use those words to find the answer to the final question.

(Example: circus      silver      phone = ring)

pizza      deer      money = __________

sun      sting      gun = __________

I      Michigan      Wii = __________

When the answers to the clues above are sung together, they sound like the title of a show tune from a famous musical, which was also made into a film.

During the movie version of this song, the actors are shown dancing and singing around a decorative water feature. What mythological character is portrayed in the centre?

Acceptable answers:
Pegasus

Explanation:

pizza      deer      money = dough, doe (do)

sun      sting      gun = ray (re)

I      Michigan      Wii = me, MI, Mii (what characters created on the Wii game console are called) (mi)

= do-re-mi

Julie Andrew's character, Maria, sings "Do-Re-Mi" in the world-renowned film and stage production of The Sound Of Music.

The original Broadway production was launched in 1959, and was adapted into a film musical in 1965. The film won five Academy Awards.

A large part of the "Do-Re-Mi" clip was filmed at the Mirabell Palace Gardens in Salzburg, Austria. Towards the end of this particular song, Maria and the children are shown dancing and singing around the Pegasus fountain. The "Do-Re-Mi" song helped the von Trapp children with the notes of the musical major scale as Maria taught them to sing.

As you may know, the film is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

"The Sound of Music" remains one of the world's most popular films. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (two of the films biggest stars) have more recently lent their famous voices to animated blockbusters such as Shrek, Despicable Me, and Up.

In any case, the mythological creature they danced around is a statue of the winged horse Pegasus, which is still there to this day.


 

Question for Tuesday November 20, 2012:

Whoever said that one person can not make a difference did not know one young Canadian who found an interesting way to do exactly that. Just recently, this swimmer became the youngest person to swim this route and in the process raised over $80,000 for a Camp for Children suffering from cancer.

The first person to swim the lake was in an unofficial competition caused by controversy with the CNE offering a $10,000 prize to an American swimmer to boost CNE publicity. The fact that the CNE snubbed Canadian swimmers did not sit well. Three swimmers entered the water that night but only one made it across the lake successfully.

The unsuccessful Canadian had already made her claim to fame three years earlier when she claimed her 500 pound prize after being stung by a jellyfish on the face and was given a ticker tape parade in Toronto.

Another Canadian followed the salty strokes of the "unsuccessful Canadian", completing that swim well over 15 times; 5 times as a two way swim. She even set a new world record the first time she swam the distance. She was later inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

What other famous Canadian female athlete was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in the same year as our final swimmer?

Acceptable answers:
Laurie Graham
Graham

Explanation:

The first swimmer we refer to in this question is 14-year-old Annaleise Carr of Ontario. She became the youngest person to swim from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto across Lake Ontario. She completed the 31.6 mile solo swim in 27 hours this August, 2012.

Carr's intention to raise $30,000 for Camp Trilium, a summer camp for children with cancer, was far surpassed. In total, she raised over $80,000.

In 1954, American long-distance swimmer Florence Chadwick was offered $10,000 by the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) to swim across Lake Ontario. At the time Marilyn Bell and Winnie Roach, prominent Canadian distance swimmers, felt snubbed that they had been overlooked when the offer had been made to an American. This controversy triggered an unofficial competition which saw the two Canadian athletes enter the water within an hour of Chadwick's chosen start time, on the evening of September 8, 1954, in an effort to make the crossing themselves.

A few hours into her swim, Chadwick had to give up due to stomach pains and vomiting. Winnie Roach was also forced to retire. However, 16-year-old Bell persevered and completed the swim, becoming the first person ever to swim the 52 km distance.

Winnie Roach, the unsuccessful Canadian, was already well-known for being the first Canadian to swim across the English Channel three years prior, a feat she completed in 13 hours, 25 minutes.

Another prominent Canadian swimmer, Cindy Nicholas, followed in these 'salty strokes', crossing the English Channel 19 times with the distinction of holding the current record for the most two-way swims, two of which she completed in one year! For her contributions, Nicholas was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

The only other female athlete to be inducted into the Hall of Fame that same year was Laurie Graham, a Canadian downhill skier who won six World Cup victories, among other noteworthy accomplishments, and was the first North American to win on home soil.


 

Question for Wednesday November 21, 2012:

We all love prizes. The romance of getting rich quick has forever been a draw that has taken many a person away from their normal comforts in search of the dream.

The Klondike Gold Rush was touched off on August 16th, 1896 with the discovery of gold on Rabbit Creek. This creek was soon renamed to creek. By September '96, all the claims were staked on this creek and mined throughout the winter of 1896 - 97. The world did not learn of the strike until July 1897 when the landed in San Francisco with half a million dollars worth of gold on board. The newspapers reported the strike which triggered a of potential prospectors.

It was estimated that 100,000 prospectors headed north to the Klondike to find gold. Although there were many routes to get to the Klondike Gold Fields, the ports of Dyea and in South-East Alaska competed for prospectors. Before the boom, these two locations both only consisted of a single log cabin settlement. With the onslaught of prospectors, many business people took to setting up businesses to "mine the miners". The most famous confidence man was nicknamed . He had come to Alaska with what is reputed as the largest band of thieves and shills, but he now rests in the cemetery due to the shootout on . NWMP Captain referred to this lawless area as "little better than on ". It was the true wild west!

The US had only purchased Alaska from Tzar of Russia in 1867 for about 2¢ per acre.. Those opposed to the purchase often referred to it as . Yet the Gold Rush gave the area instant value. The border between Canada and the US was still being disputed when the flood of miners headed north. To enforce the law the NWMP set up outposts and guns on the peaks of the Coast Range. 400 lbs of was on the list as a necessary supply to be allowed to enter Canada.

Many who made it to , Yukon in 1898 did so by travelling on foot for 53 km through the and then camping at Lake and Lake where almost all the trees were felled to build homemade boats and rafts that they hoped would take them the remaining 800 km. One man who is famous for his "call of the wild" suffered from a bout of . Others had lost extremities that have showed up at the Downtown Hotel on dirt laden Queen Street and Second Avenue to produce experienced by thousands.

Now, use the letters you discovered above to complete and answer the following question:

Acceptable answers:
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon
Sergeant Preston

Explanation:

First, here is the same text, without the blank spaces, showing the answers we were looking for:

We all love prizes. The romance of getting rich quick has forever been a draw that has taken many a person away from their normal comforts in search of the dream.

The Klondike Gold Rush was touched off on August 16th, 1896 with the discovery of placer gold on Rabbit Creek. This creek was soon renamed to Bonanza creek. By September '96, all the claims were staked on this creek and mined throughout the winter of 1896 - 97. The world did not learn of the strike until July 1897 when the Excelsior landed in San Francisco with half a million dollars worth of gold on board. The newspapers reported the strike which triggered a stampede of potential prospectors.

It was estimated that 100,000 prospectors headed north to the Klondike to find gold. Although there were many routes to get to the Klondike Gold Fields, the ports of Dyea and Skagway in South-East Alaska competed for prospectors. Before the boom, these two locations both only consisted of a single log cabin settlement. With the onslaught of prospectors, many business people took to setting up businesses to "mine the miners". The most famous confidence man was nicknamed Soapy Smith. He had come to Alaska with what is reputed as the largest band of thieves and shills, but he now rests in the cemetery due to the shootout on Juneau Wharf. NWMP Captain Sam Steele referred to this lawless area as "little better than hell on Earth". It was the true wild west!

The US had only purchased Alaska from Tzar Alexander II of Russia in 1867 for about 2¢ per acre.. Those opposed to the purchase often referred to it as Seward's Folly. Yet the Gold Rush gave the area instant value. The border between Canada and the US was still being disputed when the flood of miners headed north. To enforce the Ton of Goods law the NWMP set up outposts and Maxim guns on the peaks of the Coast Range. 400 lbs of flour was on the list as a necessary supply to be allowed to enter Canada.

Many who made it to Dawson City, Yukon in 1898 did so by travelling on foot for 53 km through the Chilkoot Pass and then camping at Lake Bennett and Lindeman Lake where almost all the trees were felled to build homemade boats and rafts that they hoped would take them the remaining 800 km. One man who is famous for his "call of the wild" suffered from a bout of scurvy. Others had lost extremities that have showed up at the Downtown Hotel on dirt laden Queen Street and Second Avenue to produce Sourtoe cocktails experienced by thousands.

Now, the letters discovered can be combined to make the following question:

During what radio show did a cereal company promote free gold rush claims in every box?

In the late 1940s, televisions had been invented but had still not become commonplace in most households. Instead of rushing home to watch TV after school, a lot of kids at the time rushed home to listen to radio programs. One such popular program was called "The Challenge of the Yukon", a 30 minute adventure story about Sergeant William Preston of the NorthWest Mounted Police and his sled dog. In 1951, the name of the show was changed to "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon".

The Quaker Oats company was the official sponsor of the show since 1947. In 1955, they were looking for an advertising idea to help promote sales of their Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice cereal. Bruce Baker, an advertising executive that worked for the company came up with a novel idea - what would happen if they were to give away prizes of a deed in every box so that kids could own a square inch land in the Klondike?

So Quaker Oats set up a corporation (The Klondike Big Inch Land Co.), bought 19.11 acres of land near Dawson City, Yukon for $1000, distributed 21 million deeds for a square inch of land in their cereal boxes, and advertised this on the radio show. The promotion was an incredible success, and turned out to be one of the most successful in history - Quaker Oats saw a huge increase in sales, as people flocked to the grocery stores to "stake their claim" to a part of the Yukon. And unlike other trinkets sometimes offered in cereal boxes which were quickly forgotten, people felt the value of these certificates and hung onto them.

Though the deeds were really just a promotion, they did try to make things as legal as possible. But over time, the Klondike Big Inch Land Co. went out of business and in 1965, the Canadian government seized the land for an outstanding $37.20 tax bill.

It also turned out that the individual deeds were never officially registered with the government (who incidentally wasn't too excited about processing paperwork for 21 million claims). As a result, the deeds today do not legally entitle the owner to an inch of land in the Klondike. But that doesn't mean they are worthless. Some collectors are willing to pay up to $90 to get their hands on one - about twice as much as a share in the Quaker Oats company itself when it was sold to Pepsi in 2001.

At any rate, when the promotion was underway, the name of the radio show was "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon", so this is the answer we were looking for.


 

Question for Thursday November 22, 2012:

You probably already know how to do this without knowing how you do it—trusting your instincts can be helpful! If not, you might want to carry out a little experiment or ask for help. Below, you'll hear us pouring two different glasses of water into the same pot. Which water was hotter? Just enter the answer A or B.

A:
B:

Acceptable answers:
A

Explanation:

If you listen closely, you will hear a subtle difference to the two sounds. It is hard to quantify or describe how they sound different - some people characterize the hot water as more "low pitched" or "thumpy". In any case, they do sound different, and the hot water was in cup A.

There are a number of factors that come into play in an explanation of why the temperature of the water changes how it sounds when it is poured. Some of the characteristics of water change with temperature. One is its density. At 0°C, water weighs 0.9998 grams per cubic centimeter. At 100°C (the boiling point), it weighs 0.9584 grams per cubic centimeter - about 4% less. Even more significant is the changes in its viscosity. At 0°C, the viscosity of water is 1.787× 10–3 Pa·s, and at 100°C, its viscosity is 0.282× 10–3 Pa·s.

These two parameters affect the size of the water droplets and the way that water splashes around when it falls, and because of this, it sounds different.

Many people would be able to solve this question just using their past experience, unconsciously or otherwise - they claim that the hot water pouring just sounds more like you'd expect in an activity like making a cup of hot chocolate. If you were really stuck, we hope you tried a little experiment on your own to help identify the difference. Even now, if you have doubts that there really is a difference, just try it yourself! The more the difference in temperature, the greater the sound will change. It may be a good idea to ask an adult for help if you want to try it with very hot (near boiling) water.


 

Question for Friday November 23, 2012:

On the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland lies the headquarters for a world-renowned research institution. A true example of international cooperation (its primary site straddles the Swiss-French border, with little visible indication that a national border runs through the middle of it), it has been the genesis of innumerable discoveries and innovations that have a huge impact on how we understand and organize the world we live in. One of these innovations even directly powers the means by which this question is reaching you right now.

A few months ago, a very significant discovery was made there. Much as a photon carries light energy, scientists have tentatively announced that they may have discovered the particle that gives objects mass. This has eluded physicists ever since it was first theorized nearly 50 years ago, and if it is confirmed, will dramatically revolutionize our understanding of the universe.

It is likely that if this is confirmed, those who predicted the existence of the particle nearly 50 years ago will be strong contenders for a Nobel Prize in Physics. But this will likely cause a lot of controversy - six people are quite universally regarded as having a legitimate claim for the theoretical work leading to this particle, but the way that the Nobel prize works, it can only be given to at most three.

Though the Nobel Prize in Physics would be without doubt the most prestigious award sought by anyone working in the field, at least these six scientists do not want for lack of recognition by other award agencies. One of these scientists won a significant award from his home country (often regarded as that country's version of its own Nobel Prize) representing a value of €150,000.

This prize that he already won was developed more to encourage the future work of young scientists, unlike the Nobel Prize itself which is more intended as a final recognition of achievement for a life's work. Indeed, he won this prize 30 years ago, which enabled him to fund further research.

This country-specific prize was founded by two individuals - its namesake and one other person. Who was this other person?

Acceptable answers:
Herbert Hoover
Hoover

Explanation:

Scientists are always trying to understand the universe that we live in. One of the great answered questions of all time has always been what gravity is and how it works. We can measure it, quantify it, and predict its effects to an incredible level of detail, but nobody is exactly sure what causes it.

In an effort to try and understand it better (and to help tie the notion of gravity in with other principal forces of nature like electromagnetism), three independent teams of scientists published papers in 1964 theorizing about a subatomic particle that might be involved in the process. The authors involved were Robert Brought, François Englert, Peter Higgs, Gerald Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and Tom Kibble. Known as the "1964 PRL symmetry breaking papers", they predicted the existence of a heavy particle that only exists for a very short time (1.56× 10–22 seconds). This particle became known as the Higgs boson (a boson is just a type of subatomic particle), after one of the authors of the papers. It in turn was hypothesized to interact with a field throughout the Universe (known as the Higgs field) and other subatomic particles to give some of those particles mass, and the characteristics of mass that results in what we observe as gravity.

But despite its theoretical prediction, the fact that this particle was heavy and would exist for only just such a short time made it exceedingly difficult to detect. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) just outside of Geneva, Switzerland primarily for the purpose of detecting this specific particle (incidentally, another project at CERN ended up resulting in the world wide web that we all use today). The LHC includes a massive ring of superconducting magnets buried in a tunnel 27 kilometers in circumference, where they can smash subatomic particles together at incredible speeds to see what results in the collision.

On July 4, 2012, two different experimental teams at the LHC independently announced that they were confirming the discovery of a previously unknown boson whose behaviour was consistent with that expected of the Higgs Boson. The scientists, being a cautious lot, want to carry out additional experiments to confirm that this new particle is in fact the Higgs Boson. That verification should come within the next few years, but the chances are very high that they have in fact found the particle they've been looking for for 50 years.

The following picture shows a simulated collision of subatomic particles that show the kind of signature expected by a Higgs boson particle:

To solve this question, we need to find out which of the six scientists won his country's scientific award providing him with a prize of €150,000. It turns out that was François Englert, who won Belgium's Francqui Prize in 1982.

In 1901, Émile Francqui of Belgium met Herbert Hoover (who would later go on to become a president of the United States) while working in China, and they grew to greatly respect one another. In 1932, the two of them created the Francqui Foundation to "further the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium". As Émile Francqui is the prize's namesake, the person we were looking for was Herbert Hoover.


 

Question for Saturday November 24, 2012:

Classical music plays an important role in our lives and is ubiquitous in popular culture, whether we realize it, and whether or not we consider ourselves fans of it.

To solve this puzzle, listen to the eight music clips below and associate each one with the specific letter of the composer's name that is asked for. To make things easier for you, the names of the pieces, in random order, are the Unfinished Symphony, Funeral March, Ode to Joy, The Nutcracker Suite, Toccata, Blue Danube Waltz, Lullaby, and Eine Kleine Nacht Musik.

 Composer's first name, first letter

 Composer's last name, fourth letter

 Composer's first name, sixth letter

 Composer's first name, third letter

 Composer's first name, fourth letter

 Composer's first name, seventh letter

 Composer's last name, first letter

 Composer's last name, seventh letter

Now unscramble the letters you collected from the 8 clues above to uncover the name of a modern composer:
_ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ (this isn't the answer; there's still one more step!)

The following is a short excerpt from this composer's most well-known work (you may want to turn your volume up a bit):

How many seconds does it take to experience a full performance of this composition?

Acceptable answers:
273
273 seconds

Explanation:

How many of these clips were familiar? How many could you identify?

The answer key for the first 8 clips, in order, is the following:

Johann Sebastian Bach's     "Toccata"
Wolfgang Amadeus MozArt's     "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik"
LudwiG van Beethoven's     "Ode to Joy"
JoHann Strauss II's     "Blue Danube Waltz"
FraNz Schubert's     "Unfinished Symphony"
JohannEs Brahms'     "Lullaby"
Frédéric Chopin's     "Funeral March"
Pyotr Ilyich TchaikOvsky's     "Nutcracker Suite"

Unscrambling the letter clues gives: JOHN CAGE

John Milton Cage Jr. (1912 — 1992) was an influential 20th century American composer interested in experimental music. His most well-known, and controversial, composition is called 4'33" (pronounced "four minutes, thirty-three seconds"). This composition can be "played" with any instrument (or combination) — the only instruction to the musician is to not play for the entire duration of the piece, 4 minutes, and thirty three-seconds, in three movements.

It is often assumed that the purpose of the piece is for the audience to hear silence, but this was never Cage's intention. The composer's life experiences led him to believe that absolute silence was impossible. The audience is meant to experience, enjoy, and/or reflect on the ambient sounds: the player, the building, the outside environment, and the audience itself. This is an example of automaticism, music that aims to separate the artist from the process of creation, and stems from Cage's belief that any sound can constitute music.

A full performance of the composition is 273 seconds long.