Of Cabbages and Kings Feb 26, 2012 Balaji Srinivasan
• Though Mitt Romney appears to be the front runner for the Republican nomination, the race is far from over (he may not have enough delegates). Some republicans feel that Romney may not be the best candidate to oppose Obama and are trying to bring in another candidate or decide the nomination during the convention. What is this situation (when Romney may not have enough delegates to get nominated) specifically called ?
• From his IMDB bio:• This gifted actor had a penchant for older women. He was raised in Wandsworth, South London (beside the River Thames) to a fairly conservative family. When he was 16, he fell in love with his Mathematics teacher, Geraldone Feakins, who bore his child in 1992.• He was quoted in an interview later on saying that "[his] father would call [him] a prostitute" albeit being famous at his school "for going out with a maths teacher."• He lives in Los Angeles, California with his girlfriend, actress Barbara Hershey(who is 21 years his senior.)
• Caitlin Upton was a contestant in the trek around the world, “The Amazing Race”, where she finished third with her teammate. She has appeared in a few TV series sporadically as an actress. Her other credits include a "Pork and Beans" music video. She owes some of her popularity to a late night talk show host (not Leno or Letterman). How do we know her better?
• She earns an annual income of more than $30 million. She runs her own business and is a well known celebrity. She raised a few eyebrows by enrolling into the Harvard Business School and she successfully graduated from there this week. Her marketing professor at Harvard, Rohit Deshpande, is now doing a case study on her business, so the story of her laughing all the way to the bank will soon be on the HBS curriculum. Which lady are we talking about?
• X have been found on Earth in various forms. They form as a gas from burning candles and exist as solids in certain types of rock, such as the mineral shungite found in Russia, and fulgurite, a glassy rock from Colorado that forms when lightning strikes the ground. In a test tube, the solids take on the form of dark, brown "goo.“• Astronomers using data from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered X in a solid form in space (in news this week).• ID X.
• John Glenn, standing next to his Friendship 7 capsule in which he made his historic orbital flight, meets with President John F. Kennedy.
• Clifford Stolls "The Cuckoos Egg" is a first-person account of the hunt for a computer cracker who broke into a computer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL). One of the interesting mentions in the book is about Robert Morris (a cryptographer and chief scientist at NSA) challenging Stoll to crack this sequence: What is the next number in the sequence 1 11 21 1211 111221? Stoll chose not to include the answer to this puzzle in The Cuckoos Egg, to the frustration of many readers.• This sequence went on to become a famous puzzle, called the Morris sequence, also known with another name that immediately lets one find the pattern in the sequence.• What is this sequence popularly known as and why is it called so?
• Look and say sequence• 1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, 312211, 13112221, 1113213211…• 1 is read off as "one 1" or 11.• 11 is read off as "two 1s" or 21.• 21 is read off as "one 2, then one 1" or 1211.• 1211 is read off as "one 1, then one 2, then two 1s" or 111221.• 111221 is read off as "three 1s, then two 2s, then one 1" or 312211.
• He was accused of helping Hindus in a communal riot in Godhra.• He wrote about this incident in his autobiography “The story of My Life in a chapter” named “End of government service”. He wrote, “I had received a notice from the commissioner saying that the collector of Panchmahals had asked for an inquiry into my part in the riots. The burden of the issue framed by the commissioner was that I was a communalist and that I supported the Hindus against the Muslims.• I was held guilty of acting in a partisan way on account of communal bias. No reason were given for this conclusion, But government also said that it did not think it necessary to take any action against me in view of my good record of 12-year service.”• Who?
• Scott Cousins studied at the University of San Francisco in the mid 2000s. He was virtually unknown in the bay area till last year. Now, he is one of the most hated, thanks to something that happened on May 25, 2011. What did he do?
• The James Beard Awards are the oscars of this industry. The semifinalists for 2012 awards were just announced. Perusing the list, we see some Indian faces:• Ashok Bajaj, Washington, D.C.• Vikram Sunderam, Washington, D.C• Sai Viswanath, Bristol, RI• Vishwesh Bhatt, Oxford, MS• Anita Jaisinghani, Houston• What world does this awards celebrate?(Hint – It has nothing to do with Beards or any other facial hair fundas).
• One doesnt see many witty memoirs from astronomers. Mike Brown, a professor at CalTech, has written a memoir that promises to be a good read. Wall Street Journal, reviewing the book, has this: "Mr. Brown narrates this entire story with so little rancor and so much generosity to rival astronomers that he can seem too good to be true. He even keeps his cool, and his class, while his research is plundered and his reputation attacked. It turns out you can be a pretty nice guy."• His book is titled "How I killed _____ and why it had it coming". FITB.
• Bhargava, 58, is so under the radar that he barely registers on Web searches. His paper trail is thin, consisting primarily of more than 90 lawsuits. This is his first press interview. Yet, his product has been a hit for the past few years. In eight years it has gone from nowhere to $1 billion in retail sales. Truckers swear by it. So do the traders in Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel to Wall Street. So do hungover students. It’s $3 a bottle, and it has made Bhargava a fortune. What does his company make?
• Caroleus Linnaeus invented this flower clock. Linnaeus created the floral clock or horologium florae, as he called it in his Philosophia Botanica (1751, pages 274-276). A detailed and extended account of this in English will be found in F.W.Oliver’s translation of Anton Kerner’s The Natural History of Plants, 1895, vol.2, pages 215-218.• Linnaeus’s idea was taken up by the French composer Jean Fran aix in his composition L’horloge de flore (The Flower Clock), a concerto for solo oboe and orchestra.• What is special about this clock?
• Linnaeus observed over a number of years that certain plants constantly opened and closed their flowers at particular times of the day, these times varying from species to species. Hence one could deduce the approximate time of day according to which species had opened or closed their flowers. Arranged in sequence of flowering over the day they constituted a kind of floral clock
• In a memo addressed to state administrators across France this week, Prime Minister François Fillon ordered the word _____ banished from official forms and registries. This word appears everywhere in France: opening a bank account, shopping on the Internet or paying taxes, for instance. Apparently hoping to avert waste, he instructed that old forms should remain in circulation until the “exhaustion of stocks.”• No official estimates were offered on Wednesday as to when those supplies might run out, but there were concerns among some that, given the French state’s penchant for bureaucratic paperwork, its current provision of forms might last some time.
• 60 years after X published a hypothesis for pattern formation (such as zebra stripes) in biology, using math and simple diffusion, scientists have found evidence to support it. Like the yin and yang of Eastern philosophy, X proposed interactions between an activator (working over a short range) and an inhibitor (working over long range).• Excerpt from Xs Abstract : “The purpose of this paper is to discuss a possible mechanism by which the genes of a zygote may determine the anatomical structure of the resulting organism. The theory does not make any new hypotheses; it merely suggests that certain well-known physical laws are sufficient to account for many of the facts.”• ID X.
• Geronimo. Operation Geronimo was the encounter that nabbed Osama bin Laden.
• In March last year, Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, a specialist dealer in fine and rare antiquarian cartography and historic maps, donated their collection of over 2000 digital images to Wikimedia Commons. The pic on the next slide is one of them. What is that a map of?
• Amundsen’s team trying on goggles before embarking on the journey to the South Pole.
• This word originally meant "something that may be written on a vine-leaf". Now, it refers to a short, impressionistic scene that gives a quick insight into a character or a setting.• In Philately, this refers to a central part of a postage stamp.• What word?
• He was one of the most successful superstars in Classical music. He acquired and retained more groupies than any one before or since. His love letters could span several volumes. A Polish Countess Plater said, “I would choose Hiller for my friend, Chopin for my husband, and _____ for my lover”.• Nietsche famously summed him up thus: “_____, or the Art of Running after Women”.• Who?
The Edinburgh award was established in 2007, to honour an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh. The previous recipients of the Edinburgh Award are:Ian Rankin - 2007JK Rowling - 2008Sir Chris Hoy - 2009George Kerr - 2011Who won the award for 2012, for being the person who caused one of the most expensive searches ever?
Ovingtons, a now-defunct New York store, ran the ad in the December 1917 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. It was a two- page Christmas promotion that spotlighted a number of fancy household items as possible gift ideas. Item No. 365: a mahogany tabletop tray that measured 16 inches in diameter and cost $8.50.This was no ordinary tray. Mounted on a mahogany base, it revolved on ball bearings "to help you serve things easily." The copywriter came up with a clever description: "$8.50 forever seems an impossibly low wage for a good servant; and yet here you are; ______________ _________________, the cleverest waitress in the world, at your service!"FITB.