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Noggin Hoggin' Challenge Starting on Monday March 8, 2010

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)
Much has been said and written about the 'American Dream', but Canada has had national dreams of its own. One of these saw its realization with the final staking of a significant passage. The object which officially marked its completion is now privately held, and fashioned into what sort of everyday item?

Acceptable answers:
carving knife


At 9:22 am, on November 7, 1885, the Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway line was driven into the track at Craigellachie, British Columbia. With this momentous occasion, a vast country less than twenty years old was now tied by rail from sea to sea. It was by far the longest railway ever constructed at the time, an impressive feat of engineering and political will for a country with a small population, limited capital, and difficult terrain. It had taken 12,000 men, 5,000 horses, and 300 dog-sled teams to build the railway.

At the time of its completion, the Canadian Pacific Railway fulfilled an 1871 commitment made by the Canadian federal government to British Columbia, stipulating that a railroad be built that would join the Pacific province to Central Canada. British Columbia had insisted upon a transport link to the east as a condition for joining the Confederation of Canada (initially requesting a wagon road). The promise of a transcontinental railway had been a major factor in British Columbia's decision to join the Canadian Confederation. However, successive governments mismanaged the project and, by the original deadline of 1881, little of the railway had been completed. This resulted in threats of withdrawal from the confederation by some BC politicians, so the work was promptly reassigned to a newly incorporated CPR company, which was granted ten years to finish the line - It was completed in five.

A ceremonial silver spike had originally been created for the Governor General to present to the CPR for the occasion of driving of the final spike, but he was required to return to Ottawa before the completion of the railway and the spike returned with him. Consequently, in contrast to the ornamental gold or silver final spikes often used to mark the completion of other major railroads, the Last Spike was to be a conventional, iron spike identical to the many others used in the construction of the line. CPR railroad financier Sir Donald Smith was given the honour of driving it in.

Interestingly, the initial blow did not land well, badly bending the first spike which was quickly yanked out and replaced with a second. Furthermore, despite the fact that it was completely indistinguishable from any of the other spikes surrounding it, the Last Spike was removed from the track shortly after the official delegation left, as a precaution against thievery by souvenir hunters. A third, ordinary spike, was then inserted in its place. The official Last Spike was given as a gift to the son of the patent office president of the time. It is still in the family's possession, now fashioned into a carving knife.

Today, thirty miles beyond Revelstoke, at Craigellachie, an obelisk alongside the track commemorates the completion of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It humbly marks the place where, in 1885, rails from the East joined those from the West, and the national dream of a Canadian trans-continental railway became a reality.


Question for Monday March 8, 2010:
Daphne is a dreamer who loves to travel to faraway lands and exotic destinations. After working hard all year and saving up enough money to take a holiday, Daphne packed her backpack with all her essentials and sat down to have lunch. While eating her grilled cheese sandwich, she casually spun a globe. Faster and faster she made it spin. Then she closed her eyes and placed her index finger lightly upon it. The globe slowly came to a stop and Daphne's finger came to rest on a location that would be her destination. Excited by the chance of adventure, Daphne went online, booked airplane tickets, and headed to the airport for her flight that would leave at 7:50 that evening.

Using the Sudoku puzzle below...

To which country is Daphne flying?

Acceptable answers:


With Sudoku puzzles, the objective is to fill a 9 × 9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3 × 3 sub-grids that compose the puzzle contains all of the digits from 1 to 9, and each digit only once. The solution to this particular puzzle appears below:

Once you have solved the Sudoku puzzle, you will reveal the numbers that correspond to the colors in the blanks. When they are entered, they will give you a latitude and longitude written in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

47° 27' 53" N and 8° 32' 57" E

With this latitude and longitude, you can use a world map to narrow in on the location. Lots of methods can be used, both online or by looking at an atlas. For example, if you go to maps.google.com and enter the latitude and longitude, it would take you directly to the Zürich airport. Zürich is located in the northern region of Switzerland, close to the border with Germany, so the answer we were looking for was "Switzerland".


Question for Tuesday March 9, 2010:
This American expatriate, turned Canadian best-selling author, had his British princess calling a no-good "bum", a "toad". He once symbolically scaled "Mt. Everest" and gained unexpected worldly wisdom from an unlikely source. What is the first name of the individual to whom he owes the discovery of this universal truth?

Acceptable answers:


Robert Norman Munsch was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1945. After high school, he spent 7 years studying to become a priest, only to discover, while working part-time in an orphanage and later in a daycare, that his true calling was to work in child care.

During his first years of working with small children, Mr. Munsch discovered and further developed his natural ability to captivate a young audience with the wonderful stories he could spin, using them as the main characters. These stories only improved as he shared and animated them time and time again. Then, when the daycare he worked for lost its funding, he and his wife moved to Canada, where they both found work at a preschool in Guelph, Ontario.

The management at this new preschool was so impressed with Robert Munsch's storytelling that he was told that he just HAD to publish his work and was given two months off to do so. As a result, 'Mud Puddle' and 'The Dark' were his first works to be published, in 1979. Then, in 1980, 'The Paper Bag Princess' followed.

'The Paper Bag Princess', has Elizabeth, a princess, saving an ungrateful prince from a fire-breathing dragon, whom she first has to outsmart. After all her efforts, Ronald, the prince, tells her to return when she looks like a proper princess (she is in rough shape after all of her adventures with the dragon). At this point, she realizes that this prince is really just a "bum" whom she is better without, and she walks off into the sunset to go live her own life. The British version of the book has her calling him a "toad" since people just don't use the word "bum" that way in England.

This story, translated into many languages, has become famous worldwide. It is especially praised for its reversal of the stereotypical role of the prince who saves the princess, and because Elizabeth doesn't put up with Ronald's disrespect.

Robert Munsch never stopped writing stories based on real children he has met. In fact, although he gave up childcare a very long time ago to become a full-time writer, he always makes a point of staying with families when he travels, because those stays continue to inspire his work.

In 1999, while staying with such a family in Sidney, BC, Mr. Munsch followed a couple of young children on an outdoor adventure through swamp and forest. After several kilometres, the journey ultimately ended with a trek to the summit of "Mt. Everest", which turned out to be nothing more than an exposed knob of rock. From the top, there was a clear view of the children's home and backyard, prompting Robert Munsch to comment that there seemed to be a much shorter way to get to "Mt. Everest". Jon, one of the kids, promptly replied, "It's not Mt. Everest if you come that way". The author was immediately impressed by the innocence of this simple, yet profound, statement, and perceived the story of his own journey in those words.

Here is "Jon's rule", as reworded by Mr. Munsch:

Where you are depends on how you get there.


Question for Wednesday March 10, 2010:

You get a summer job working for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and are helping them investigate a recent bank robbery. Very little evidence was left at the crime scene and in addition to breaking into the safe and stealing more than 1.2 million dollars, they somehow also managed to elude detection on security cameras. Bank technicians still have no idea how they accomplished this, but suspect the perpetrators must have had a strong technical background to have done so.

However, there may have been a recent break in the case with an email that was just recently intercepted:


From: Donald Duck
Subject: Divvying up the loot
Date: March 9, 2010 4:19:03 PM
To: Ronnie Biggs
Wasn't that incredible? I actually think we managed to get away
with it. By the time the cops stop chasing their tails, we'll be
long gone.
I know, I know - things got a little crazy there for a minute and
we never had the chance to meet up in the park afterwards to divide
the spoils as originally planned. I'm not going to bail on you -
the whole thing wouldn't have happened without your expertise, and
I may be after that again someday. But I'd rather not meet there -
the whole area is buzzing with activity.
So here's the plan. At exactly 9:00 pm on March 15, I'll be
waiting for you at Jhiva Avdly (I've obfuscated that with ROT7 in
case ECHELON is listening - you never know about those CSIS spooks.
I've never been able to wrap my head around Blowfish). I don't
want to spend too long in one place though, so if you're not there
within 10 minutes, I'll assume you're not coming.
We'd best not see each other before then. That is, until the
Caymans :-)

In which Canadian city should police be mobilized on March 15 to apprehend the two? Enter just the city, not the province.

Acceptable answers:
St. John's


One of the first things to realize in solving this question is that the From: and To: lines of an email are pretty much meaningless in establishing any real information about who sent an email. When the Internet was first starting out, it only connected universities and government institutions where the concept of trust was implied. Later, when the Internet became commercialized, people started to realize the foundation of trust was no longer valid. However, email was already widely used, and as anything to replace it would have to remain compatible with it, we still can never trust that the names for From: and To: can be believed. This fact, unfortunately, is one of the things that make spam so widespread nowadays.

If you did decide to investigate the names in the email, you would have discovered that Ronnie Biggs was one of the people involved in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Though this may have made for interesting reading on its own, the fact that the message came from someone who calls himself Donald Duck should have suggested to you that the names should be taken with a grain of salt. And after all, what bank robber would use their real name anyway?

The only thing you have left to go on is the phrase "Jhiva Avdly". "Obfuscate" means to make something obscure, or to hide its meaning. In other words, you have to decode what "Jhiva Avdly" might mean.

ECHELON is the code name popularly used for a signals gathering network operated by the intelligence communities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally set up to monitor communications of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it still appears to be in operation and is believed to be capable of monitoring telephone, fax, radio, and email messages. Of course, the specific details of what it is capable of are not known to the general public.

"Blowfish" is the name of something called a "cipher". A cipher is a method of coding information so that it can only be read by the person it is intended for. Like the message implies, Blowfish is rather complicated to understand, but fortunately you don't have to - instead, Donald used something called ROT7. From the context of the question, you can figure out that ROT7 must be another method of coding information.

ROT7 can easily be figured out from the more common coding method called ROT13. With ROT13, every letter is replaced by the letter appearing 13 places later in the alphabet (continuing counting from A again if you pass Z). So in ROT13, A becomes N, B becomes O, and so on. ROT7 is similar in that every letter is replaced by the one 7 later in the alphabet. In other words:



Here, we can see that the ROT7 encoding of each letter is just the letter located 7 places further in the alphabet. So, to decode "Jhiva Avdly", find each letter on the bottom row (the ROT7 row) and write down the letter above it that it corresponds to:



We now know that the bank robbers are planning on meeting at Cabot Tower. A search online will show you that there are at least two Cabot Tower's - one in England and the other in Canada (construction on both started in 1897 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's journey to Canada). The question asks for the Canadian city, so we know we are dealing with the Canadian Cabot Tower.

This Cabot Tower can be found on Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland. The question specifically asked for just the city, and not the province, so the answer we were looking for was "St. John's". Punctuation is important, so we did not accept answers like "St. Johns" - the apostrophe had to be there. And "Saint John" is a city in New Brunswick, not Newfoundland.


Question for Thursday March 11, 2010:
This Canadian hero traversed our great nation with purpose despite a significant handicap. A number of memorials commemorate his contributions including those in the towns of Bonner's Ferry, Idaho; Lac La Biche, Alberta; Invermere, British Columbia; and Verendrye, North Dakota. What instrument once graced the column at his final resting place?

Acceptable answers:
brass sextant
iron sextant
a sextant
a brass sextant
an iron sextant


Were you first thinking of Terry Fox? If you were, that's not surprising. Terrance Stanley Fox is certainly well-known, and definitely meets the criteria set out in the first sentence. This national hero attempted to run across Canada on an artificial limb after losing his leg to cancer. However, a quick search for memorials of Terry Fox in the given towns soon eliminates Terry Fox as the Canadian hero in this question. Besides, two of the four towns are American, whereas Mr. Fox only ran his Marathon of Hope on Canadian soil.

Examining the towns one at a time, you will have noticed that Verendrye (aka Falson), North Dakota, is a ghost town, with little that remains standing except the facade of an old schoolhouse, and a memorial to David Thompson. Don't be misled by the fact that the town itself is named after French Canadian explorer La Vérendrye, the earliest known European to tour the North Dakota prairies. No memorial stands there in his honour.

Once you've got David Thompson's name, you need only go back and verify that there are also memorials in his honour in the other places, which there are, and that he was in fact a Canadian hero, with a handicap, who journeyed across our country.

Today, David Thompson (1770 - 1857), an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, is often referred to as "the greatest land geographer that ever lived". This man traversed and mapped more than 3.9 million square kilometres of wilderness - one fifth of the North-American continent, by foot, dog-sled, and canoe! If that were not remarkable enough on its own, he did all of this with the vision of only one eye, having lost the use of his right eye during his navigational training at the age of 19. This apparent disability never held him back, however, and most of the maps that he would make were of such high quality and detail that they continued to be regarded as authoritative well into the 20th century. His 1814 great map, covering the wide expanse from Lake Superior, Ontario, to the Pacific coast, was so accurate that 100 years later it was still the primary reference for most of the maps issued by the Canadian government. It is now held by the Archives of Ontario.

Also notable, was his marriage to Charlotte Small, a mixed-blood girl born of a Cree mother. Although it was common for the "voyageurs" to marry First Nations women by means of special ceremonies during the years that they were employed by the fur-trading companies, these arrangements were often a matter of convenience rather than a question of love and affection. For this reason, when these company men retired from their rugged lifestyle and returned to civilization, they often abandoned their 'country wives', as well as any children they'd fathered (incidentally, this is how Charlotte came to be fatherless when she was five).

David Thompson, however, genuinely loved, cared for, and respected Charlotte. He even taught her to read and write, which was very unusual for the time. She, and later their small children, accompanied him on many of his expeditions. As a result, even Charlotte herself ultimately travelled almost four times the distance traversed by the famed American explorers, Lewis and Clark. When David returned to Montreal, years later, he did so with his wife and children. He also formally remarried Charlotte before a priest. Altogether, Charlotte Small and David Thompson were married 58 years, the longest known Canadian pre-Confederation marriage.

Subsequent to his move to eastern Canada, Thompson and his work were largely treated with indifference. The references he'd created were used by others without giving credit to the explorer. Maps, and a completed atlas that he'd sent to the Foreign Office, were never returned or paid for. At the age of 76, his sight deteriorated to the point that he could no longer work. Soon completely blind, he was required to sell everything he owned (including his navigational instruments) in order to support his family.

Following years of financial misfortune and hardship, Thompson and his wife died in near obscurity and poverty, in 1857, within three months of one another. His accomplishments mostly unrecognized, his body was buried in an unmarked grave in Montreal's Mount Royal Cemetery.

Then, in 1894, geologist J. B. Tyrrell (whom the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta is named after) stumbled upon Thompson's notes and published them as David Thompson's Narrative in 1916. In 1927, efforts by the geologist and the Canadian Historical Society culminated in the raising of a fluted column topped with a sextant (a navigational tool) over Thompson's grave.


2007 marked the 150th year of Thompson's death and the bicentennial of his first Rocky Mountain crossing. Events and exhibits commemorating and celebrating his accomplishments have been organized throughout North America until the end of 2011.


Question for Friday March 12, 2010:

Coming in to work at CSIS this morning, you find the following email printed out and on your desk, with a short note from your boss letting you know that a new plan is apparently going to be needed to catch the bank robbers.


From: Donald Duck
Subject: Change of Plans
Date: March 12, 2010 6:32:12 AM
To: Ronnie Biggs
How stupid could I be? After sending you that last email, I
realized that there was plenty of information in it to trigger
ECHELON to set a flag that someone should look at it in more
detail. And although ECHELON likely wouldn't know what to do
with the ROT7 part on its own, I have to figure that its human
counterparts won't be so easily led astray. I just bet that if
we decided to meet as planned, there would be a welcoming
committee waiting for us. I really do have to figure out
Blowfish someday - then, even if they're eavesdropping, it
wouldn't do them any good.
We can still meet at the same time, but we'll have to change
locations, and I have to make sure that the information about
where we should meet is known to you and only you so we can
finish our business in private. Call me today at work - if you
lost the number, it's 1-866-961-2269. I know you're broke
until you get your share of the haul, so don't worry about
the cost of the phone call - it's a toll-free number so my
workplace will be paying for it. Just ask for "The
Obfuscator" - that's how they know me here (don't worry about it
sounding strange - they're used to strange names here that are
hard to pronounce. You'll know what I mean when you call).
Anyway, I'll also need to know it's you calling. In my last email
to you, I planned to meet you at a particular location that might
be considered a forerunner to ECHELON itself - a place that
received a signal that some consider one of the most important
in modern times. When I ask who is calling, I need you to tell
me the first and last name of the person who heard this signal.
I don't need anything else, I just want you to say his name
like it's your own. Then, I'll tell you where we should meet.
Oh, and one other thing. Incoming calls are okay, but I worry
that if I make any outgoing calls to you, the police may be
able to trace our company's phone records and find out who you
are. So I won't return any calls if you leave a message. If
you get our office answering machine, just hang up and try again
in a few minutes. I expect that the phone lines might be fairly
busy, so you may have to be persistent. Don't worry too much
about the time of day - we're busy with a project right now so I
expect to be here from around 12:00 noon Atlantic time until
well past midnight.
I hope we get this sorted out quickly - I'm really itching to
leave the country before fate catches up with us.

Both you and your boss realize that this might be the last chance to catch the people who did this. He's encouraging you to do whatever it takes to find out where they are planning to meet. In which city, town, or village should the police be mobilized now? Like before, don't enter the province - just the name of the community. You're probably going to have to solve this question by phoning somebody, so please check with your parents or teachers first.

Acceptable answers:


There is really only one way to solve this question, and that is to pretend you are Ronnie Biggs and call the toll-free phone number given to find out where they are supposed to meet. But to convince "The Obfuscator" that you are Ronnie, you needed to tell him the name of the person who heard the signal that's mentioned.

The location mentioned in the previous email between them was Cabot Tower in St. John's, Newfoundland. Cabot Tower is on a hill called "Signal Hill", and it is there that Guglielmo Marconi heard the first transatlantic wireless signal on December 12, 1901, broadcast from his colleagues in Cornwall, England. Having invented a method by which telegraph signals could be sent by radio waves, he went on to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909.

On the day of this question, if students were to call 1-866-961-2269 (which is actually that of Syzygy Research & Technology - the people who run ExamBank and the Noggin Hoggin' Challenges), and ask to speak with "The Obfuscator", they would have been greeted by a deep and ominous voice. If they identified themselves as "Guglielmo Marconi", they were told that the new plan was to meet at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. This museum is located in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

Alexander Graham Bell fell in love with the area in 1885 and built a summer home there, where he conducted countless experiments (the first airplane to fly in Canada - the Silver Dart - was one of many projects he was involved in). He spent the last thirty years of his life just 3 km across the lake from Baddeck (though a person like Alexander Graham Bell never really retires) and is buried there along with his wife Mabel.

As the question specified that just the name of the community, without the province, was to be provided, the answer we were looking for was "Baddeck". Some people responded with the name of the museum itself, but of course we can only accept the name of the city, town, or village, since that's what the question asked for. Don't forget that it's always important to read the question carefully!


Question for Saturday March 13, 2010:

A renowned intellectual, after whom chemical element 99 was named, is commonly attributed with the prediction that if a particular living species became extinct, humankind would surely come to an end within four years' time (though the attribution, as well as the finality of that assertion, is often disputed). For reasons that are not fully understood by the scientific community, some of these creatures, to whom our existence is so closely linked, have mysteriously been vanishing into thin air.

A notable Canadian artist has been collaborating with these diminutive giants in order to raise awareness about their plight. What was the title of this artist's famous showpiece which featured the work of these living beings using a glass bridal gown as the framework?

Acceptable answers:
Lady in Waiting
Glass Dress, Lady in Waiting
Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting
The Glass Dress, Lady in Waiting
The Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting
The Extended Wedding Party
Extended Wedding Party


Chemical element 99 is Einsteinium, Es, a synthetic element that does not occur in nature (at least not in any quantity that can be measured). It was first discovered in 1952 by Albert Ghiorso and his coworkers who were examining radioactive debris from the first hydrogen bomb test, and named in honour of Albert Einstein. It can be made artificially in a laboratory through a very complicated and lengthy process.

Albert Einstein is frequently quoted as having said that if pollinating honeybees were to disappear entirely from planet Earth, mankind would also perish within four years. Whether Einstein truly made this prediction or not is disputable. There is no documentation to support this claim, and Einstein certainly had no expertise in the area of biology. So, although it is possible that he had some personal insight on the subject, it is equally likely that someone falsely attributed this statement to Einstein in order to give it more authority. One way or another, Albert Einstein is generally credited with having made this sage prediction whose wisdom and perceptiveness have only recently become appreciated.

Although animal populations fluctuate naturally, and sometimes considerably, over time, drastic changes for which we have no clear explanation sometimes occur. In the case of pollinating honeybees, this could not be more true - or more alarming. A startling increase in the disappearance of North-American colonies has been observed since late 2006. Since then, similar reports have emerged from a number of European countries and Taiwan. According to some sources, more than 50 billion honeybees have died in the past three years alone. The phenomenon has been coined Colony collapse disorder (CCD) and is sometimes alternatively referred to as honey bee depopulation syndrome (HBDS).

CCD is characterized by the death of entire colonies, which are found to be completely devoid of bees, and/or with very few dead bees in the hives. Colonies suffering from the disorder usually contain only the queen, a few young bees, and large numbers of developing larvae and pupae. The older foraging/worker bees, who gather the nectar and pollen necessary to feed the hive, simply vanish.

Man has always been dependent on pollinators, but never as much as in present times. To put this in perspective, consider that approximately one third of United States' commercial agriculture relies on the activity of bees. This includes almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, canola, carrots, cherries, citrus, cranberries, cucumbers, grapes, lettuce, macadamias, melons, peaches, plums, pumpkins, onions, squash, sunflowers, kiwis, tomatoes and zucchinis, to name a few; alfalfa and clover for beef and dairy industries; cotton for our clothes; honey, candles and medicines. With affected operations losing an average of 45% of their colonies to this blight, the consequences are both environmentally and economically significant.

Efforts to identify the cause of CCD have brought to light a number of possible culprits, some more plausible than others. Among these are the Israel acute paralysis virus; Varroa mites; the Nosema fungus; neonicitinoid pesticides; antibiotics and miticides; climate change; and electromagnetic radiation. Compounding the problem of identifying a definitive causative agent is the fact that most colonies, healthy, ailing, or dead, prove to be, or to have been, afflicted by at least one of the many pathogens that affect bees. The overall evidence seems to point at no single cause, but rather at a slew of stressful conditions. Regardless of the precise cause, one thing is abundantly clear: honeybees are in trouble, and humankind cannot tolerate their suffering and expect to come out unscathed.

Aganetha Dyck is a Canadian artist from Manitoba who began collaborating with bees to create sculpture in 1991. "The Extended Wedding Party" was an installation of hers that featured a collection of clothing and shoes on which the bees had "sculpted" wax and honeycomb.

The centerpiece of this installation was "Lady in Waiting," a four foot glass dress which had been converted into a bee hive. The sculpture had been filled with honeycomb, and decorated with rippling waves of lace-like wax. Dozens of generations of bees had spent their lives decorating this wedding dress over a great many summers. Behind a plexiglass wall, its present proprietors could busily be seen at work, tirelessly continuing the work started by their ancestors.


Question for Sunday March 14, 2010:

Congratulations on making it to the gold medal round!

In honour of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games, we have gathered together a series of questions to test your knowledge and ability to research. You will have to consider the answer to each of the following questions.

1. What is the home town of Canada's first gold medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games?

Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, www.thelastminuteblog.com

2. What is the last word sung in our national anthem?


3. What country's women's curling team beat Canada's team for gold?

Photo by Chase Nunes, www.allaboutchase.com

4. What day of the week was #87 on the Canadian Men's Hockey team born?

Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, www.thelastminuteblog.com

5. What was the score of the Canada versus Finland semi-final game in Women's Hockey?

Photo by Adam Scotti, www.flickr.com/photos/adamscotti/

6. In Skeleton, Jon Montgomery won gold for Canada. What was his time in the final run?

Photo by John Biehler, johnbiehler.com

7. What was the total medal count for Belarus?

Photo by Jude Freeman, www.subactive.net

8. What is the name of the Vancouver 2010 Mascot that most resembles a bird?

Photo by Tsar Kasim, tkshoots.blogspot.com

9. How many venues were used to host the sporting competitions?

Photo by sookie, 416style.blogspot.com

The Winter Olympics brings together many disciplines. It takes years of focus and practice to train an athlete to compete in any sport. Now it's time to show your own mettle as a Noggin Hoggin' athlete who has made it through six gruelling days, beating out most of your competitors. Submit only the answer to the question above that relates to an athlete who grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Acceptable answers:


As we mention in our tips area, and as you have no doubt heard time and time again from your teachers, when doing any kind of test, always read the whole question first. Sometimes information you might find at the end of the question greatly simplifies something you are trying to deal with in the beginning of the question. This question in particular was designed to favour those who take that advice to heart, especially since one of the main goals of this final question is to do it as quickly as possible.

Despite the preamble and nine separate questions, this challenge actually only asks you to answer one of them. We need to find the question relating to an athlete who grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Right away, we know we can eliminate questions 2, 7, 8, and 9, since they make no reference to Canadian athletes at all. In the interests of speed, a logical next step would be to then focus on only those remaining questions which feature individuals rather than talk about entire teams, since it would be much quicker to find out where a single individual is born than to do the same for every member of a team. This brings us down to questions 1, 4, and 6 to try first.

Fortunately, we don't have to take it much further than this. You should quickly be able to find that #87 of the Canadian Men's Hockey team, Sidney Crosby, grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. He was born on August 7, 1987 - his number (87) reflects his birthdate (8/7/87).


Photo by Allie, www.VancityAllie.com

All that remains now is to determine the day of the week that August 7, 1987 falls on. Lots of web sites will allow you to generate a calendar for any month and year. Perpetual calendars are relatively simple charts that allow you to do the same thing without even needing a computer. In any case, in doing so, you will find that August 7, 1987 fell on a Friday.