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War of the Minds - Archive - War XI

An Internet Contest


We have a winner of War XI

Alexis Darrasse - A young Greek studying Applied Mathematics in Bordeaux, France has accumulated 460 points.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Archives - War XI

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Archives of Previous Battles - War XI

War XI - battle 9
1. Forestry
What do these products have in common?
see Answer
2. Computers
This child prodigy became interested in problems in physics and math and science in general. After studying cellular automata he became convinced that existing mathematical tools were inadequate for the studies he wanted to pursue. So he took time in the mid 1980s to invent a whole new mathematical computer language and became rich enough marketing it that he could finance his studies. In April 2002 he published the results of his studies done in seclusion at night over the last ten years. What is the name of this visionary and what is the title of the book he has just published?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
In old philosophy, what is the 12 letter word for a fifth substance, superior to earth, air, fire and water?
see Answer
4. Math
In 1984 February had five Wednesdays. That has not occurred since. What is the next year in which February will have five Wednesdays?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
We use trees to fabricate these products.
2. Computers
Stephen Wolfram - A New Kind of Science
3. Philosophy and Science
quintessence - 1) the purest form of some quality: Many people believe that the so-called golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," expresses the quintessence of virtuous living.
2) in ancient philosophy, the fifth substance, the substance of which the heavenly bodies were made, distinguished from the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth. Also: quintessential. [essentia, essentiae, f.- essence]
4. Math
2012
 
 

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War XI - battle 8
1. Forestry
In a BAF 10 point sampling timber cruise I have measured between 300 and 400 trees on 60 sample plots. Putting these measurements into my forest analysis computer program, I have now created a stand and stock table for the sampled forest which reports number of trees, timber volume and timber value by 1 inch diameter class. If my task is to estimate volumes and values of timber at a time in the past when the trees were two inches smaller in diameter than now, should I simply reduce the diameter of each measured tree by two inches and run the trees through the program again or should I take the number of trees in each diameter class in the stand and stock table and move that number down two inches in the table applying the average volume and value for the new class to the new number of trees now in that diameter class? One of these methods is much more valid than the other. Why? Assume that timber prices are constant during the period.
see Answer
2. Computers
On a new Windows XP installation I found two files on the Windows XP installation CD which had not been used by Windows XP. I copied Nbf.sys to c:\windows\system32\drivers and I copied Netnbf.inf to c:\windows\inf, a hidden directory. Why would I do this?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
What is this?


see Answer
4. Culture
According to the song, who "beats the belles of Tennessee"?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
I should take the number of trees in each diameter class in the stand and stock table and move that number down two inches in the table applying the average volume and value for the new class to the new number of trees now in that diameter class? Since the original trees are chosen for the sample in a point sampling cruise based on their diameter, there is no way of knowing which of them would have been chosen for sampling and which would not if they were two inches smaller in diameter. The only thing certain is that fewer of the measured trees would have been in the plots at that time.
This question was unanswered in War XI.
2. Computers
You would install these files in order to activate the NetBEUI protocol for WinXP. NetBEUI is described as a "non-routable protocol suitable for small networks." You can find more information on this here:
http://www.homenethelp.com/web/review/whistler-network1.asp
3. Philosophy and Science
This is a little animated gif showing the Kreb's Cycle for metabolizing citric acid. You can see the whole cycle here:
http://www.gwu.edu/~mpb/citric.htm
4. Culture
The Yellow Rose of Texas!
See: http://choya.250free.com/index1a22.htm
 
 

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War XI - battle 7
1. Forestry
What do these plants have in common?
see Answer
2. Computers
If I want to share a single IP address among multiple network clients and I want to provide bandwidth control by keeping data out of subnets where it doesn't belong, should I use a network hub, a bridge, a switch or a router? Give an example of such a configuration.
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
Which one does not belong and why?
see Answer
4. Agriculture
If it has a cria and kushes, what is it?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
These plants all grow on trees.
This question was unanswered in War XI.
2. Computers
A router because it is the only one of the items mentioned that will allow sharing of IP addresses and direction of data to an addressed subnet.
This question was unanswered in War XI.
3. Philosophy and Science
Makaira albida, the White Marlin, is the only saltwater fish. The rest of the fish mentioned are freshwater fish.
This question was unanswered in War XI.
4. Agriculture
It is a llama.
 
 

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War XI - battle 6
1. Forestry
You must decide whether to hire a fire lookout for the summer on a National Forest. His salary and per diem allowance will cost $1,000. Your decision will be based on the probability of a severe summer fire on the forest. Set up a two way table of possible outcomes and calculate the mathematical expectation of gains or losses from the following data. Then calculate the combined expectation of loss if he is hired and the expectation of loss if he is not hired.
  1. If no severe fires occur and a lookout is not hired, you will save his salary of $1,000.
  2. If no severe fires occur and a lookout is hired, you will lose $800 (assuming the lookout will do about $200 worth of trail improvement work.)
  3. If a severe fire occurs and a lookout is not hired, you will lose $3,000.
  4. If a severe fire occurs and a lookout is hired, you will lose $1,200.
  5. The probability of a severe fire is 0.60.

see Answer
2. Computers
In a DOS window in Windows 98 or Windows ME I can use the DELTREE command to delete a subdirectory tree. This command is not available in the DOS window of Windows XP. What is the equivalent command in Windows XP DOS?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
Below is a list of pairs of words describing ways of thinking. One word of each pair describes left-brain thinking and the other describes right-brain thinking processes. Please split these pairs into two groups of words based on whether that particular way of thinking is more a left-brain or a right-brain activity.
see Answer
4. Culture
Which one does not belong and why?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
Using the formula for expected value E=Sum(p(n)*v(n)), where p(n) is the probability of event n, and v(n) the value of loss related to event n:
*Expected amount of loss if lookout is hired will be: 0.4* $800+0.6*$1,200 = $320+ $720 = $1040
*Expected amount of loss if lookout is not hired will be: 0.4* $0+0.6*$3,000 = $0+ $1,800 = $1800
I would therefore hire a lookout, as the expected cost is lower by $760.
2. Computers
RD /S (or RMDIR /S)
3. Philosophy and Science
Left Side of the brain: verbal, analytic, symbolic, abstract, temporal, rational, digital, logical, and linear.
Right Side of the brain: nonverbal, synthetic, concrete, analogic, nontemporal, nonrational, spatial, intuitive, and holistic.
4. Culture
Bill Monroe, because he's the only one not to have received a nomination for any award from the annual Country Music Awards.
Or Dolly Parton, because she is the only one not from the state of Kentucky.
 
 

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War XI - battle 5
1. Forestry
I have a stereo pair of aerial photographs of a level wooded area. I understand that the focal length of the lens in the aerial camera is 12 inches. I measure the distance on the ground between two road intersections shown in the photo and find it to be 1600 feet and then I measure the same distance as shown in the aerial photo and find it to be 4.8 inches. I measure the distance on one of the photos between the center of that photo and the image on that photo of the point at the center of the other photo of the stereoscopic pair and find it is 2.550 inches. Using a parallax wedge on the stereo pair I find that the differential between the absolute stereoscopic parallax at ground level and that at the top of a specific tree in the photos is .058 inches. What is the estimated height of the tree?
see Answer
2. Computers
Below is a partial list of commands available in Windows XP. How do we get this complete list from within Windows XP and how are these commands accessed?
ASSOC    Displays or modifies file extension associations.
AT       Schedules commands and programs to run on a computer.
ATTRIB   Displays or changes file attributes.
BREAK    Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
CACLS    Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.
CALL     Calls one batch program from another.
CD       Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHCP     Displays or sets the active code page number.
CHDIR    Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHKDSK   Checks a disk and displays a status report.
CHKNTFS  Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
CLS      Clears the screen.

see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
I am a honey bee in a hive. Another bee returns from foraging for new sources of nectar and begins to dance in the hive. Rather than doing a waggle or "tail wagging" dance, the newly arrived scout bee does a round dance. What do I now know about the source of nectar that that bee has discovered?
see Answer
4. History
Born in 1703, he taught that all accretions to Islam after the 3d cent. of the Muslim era-i.e., after c.950-were spurious and must be expunged. He was driven from Medina for his preaching but later converted the Saud tribe. Who was this true believer whose followers have caused much death and misery in the world during the last three centuries and until today?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
Height picture was taken at:
ratio of height to distance on ground = focal length to distance on picture h/1600 = 1/0.4 -> h = 4000 ft
Height of tree:
ratio of picture height to shift = tree height to parallax
4000 ft / 2.550 in = T / (0.058 in) -> T = 90.98 ft
So the tree is about 91 feet tall.
Actually the correct equation is:
4000 ft / (2.550+.058) in = T / (0.058 in) -> T = 89 ft
2. Computers
These are the commands available from the command prompt. You get a complete listing by typing help into a command prompt window.
3. Philosophy and Science
The source is within 10m of the hive.
See:
http://www.ultranet.com/~jkimball/BiologyPages/B/BeeDances.html
Some sources say 100m, but a round dance does mean near the hive.
4. History
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab (1703-92)
See:
http://www.slider.com/enc/55000/Wahhabi.htm
or
http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_11/uk/culture.htm
 
 

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War XI - battle 4
1. Forestry
What tree is this?

Imported from:   Eastern Asia, 1907.

Distribution: Eastern United States and Western Australia.

Description: Deciduous.
        3 to 14m high (can reach 20m)
        Freely suckers, deep taproot. Disturbance of roots encourages massive regeneration of new suckers.
        Leaves consist of up to 20 pairs of leaflets (opposite each other).
        Flowers are green-white, fruit red/yellow/green colour.
        Leaf extracts contain allelopathic substances which restrict the growth of other plants. For this reason, the trees are often found in thick stands with no discernible competition.
        Contact with plant at flowering time (late Summer to Autumn) causes dermatits.
        Leaves and flowers have an unpleasant odor.

see Answer
2. Computers
Name the sons of Atrus and Catherine. Where do we find their story?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
Spider silk can be useful as it is a very tough material. A biotech company thinks that it can be commercially valuable for such uses as bulletproof vests and aerospace and medical supplies. This company's answer to the problem of how to mass produce spider silk involves goats. What is the name of the company and how are goats involved?
see Answer
4. Math
A box whose capacity is to be 160 cu. ft. is to have a square base and top. If the bottom costs 4 cents a square foot, the top 6 cents a square foot, and the sides 2 cents a square foot, find the dimensions of the box that will make the cost a minimum. What will be the cost?
see Answer
 
 
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
Tree of Heaven, Alianthus altissima
(didn't know about the dermatitis; might explain the "poison ivy" I'm currently suffering from when I never saw a vine, but did cut up a Tree of Heaven)
2. Computers
Sirrus and Achenar. They take part of the adventure computer game Myst. A new sequel just came out and here is it's official site:
http://www.myst3.com/
3. Philosophy and Science
Geneticaly modified goats will produce milk including the protein that makes up spider's silk. By isolating this protein from the goats' milk, scientist will be able to "spin" a thread remarkably similar to natural spider silk. The company that has this know-how is Nexia, based in Quebec.
http://www.nexiabiotech.com/ is it's site. They name their product BioSteel.
4. Math
If we name f the cost, we will have f(x,y,z) = 10xy+4xz+4yz but also xyz = 160. We can use this last equation to write f(160/yz,y,z) = g(y,z) = 1600/z + 640/y + 4yz. We now have to find the minimum of this function, for y,z > 0. By derivating we find the minimum for y=4 and z=10, which also gives x=4 and f(4,4,10) = 480. So, the dimensions for a minimum cost are 4x4x10 feet for a cost of 4.80$.
 
 

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War XI - battle 3
1. Forestry
What tree is this?


see Answer
2. Computers
If I want to play an MPEG-4 video with my Windows Media Player, what codec will I need? What is a codec?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
From February 11 to 22, 2000 the American space shuttle was successful in completing the SRTM project. What was the purpose and result of this project?
see Answer
4. Culture
Sara Daugherty
Alvin Pleasant Carter
Maybelle Addington?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
It looks like a cocoa tree to me.
2. Computers
You Require an MPEG-4 codec(such as DivX) which is a COder-DECoder to play an MPEG-4 video
3. Philosophy and Science
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission - an initiative to develop a 3d topographical map of the earth.
See http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/index.html
Example:

4. Culture
Sara Daugherty, Alvin Pleasant (A.P.) Carter, and Maybelle Addington were all performers in the Carter Family. Sara Daugherty was the wife of A.P. Carter, and Maybelle Addington was married to A.P.'s brother Ezra. The Carter family recorded blending melody with the music, which was unusual for their time. They recorded folk and country songs from the 1910s until the 1940s when they disbanded.
See: http://www.star.net/People/~rjan/rckbill2.html
 
 

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War XI - battle 2
1. Forestry
Which one of the following does not belong and why?
  1. Allegheny
  2. Cherokee
  3. Adirondack
  4. Monongahela
  5. Daniel Boone
  6. Mark Twain
  7. Hiawatha
  8. Jefferson
  9. Black Hills
  10. Klamath
  11. Fishlake
  12. Lewis and Clark

see Answer
2. Computers
Recently I started my computer and it froze after displaying the manufacturer's logo screen. A customer service representative said to try pressing "delete" to enter the setup screen but when I did this a message, "Entering Setup", appeared on the screen but the system went no farther. Next I tried using a floppy boot disk with no better results. Am I most likely to repair this computer by replacing the hard disk drive, the motherboard and memory chips, the power supply, the floppy disk drive, or the CDROM drive? Why do you think so?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
Which one of the following does not belong and why?
  1. Mount Lassen
  2. Popocatepetl
  3. San Vicente
  4. Mount Mitchell
  5. Mount Erebus
  6. Mount Unzen
  7. Ruapehu
  8. Fogo Caldera

see Answer
4. Math
A man went into a bank to cash a check. In handing over the money the cashier, by mistake, gave him dollars for cents and cents for dollars. He pocketed the money without examining it, and spent a nickel on the way home. He then found that he possessed exactly twice the amount of the check. He had no money in his pocket before going to the bank. What was the exact amount of that check?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
With the exception of Adirondack, all of the above are National Forests, many created by Theodore Roosevelt.
Adirondack is a state park in New York. It is not, however, "lesser" in any way; with 6 million acres, it is bigger than the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite -- combined (according to GORP). And then, of course, the Park has more than 3,000 lakes, ponds and streams!
See:
http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trnaturalforests.html
and
http://www.gorp.com/dow/list/nflist.htm
Note: Klamath does not appear on the GORP alphabetical list, but it's on the list of National Forests created by Teddy Roosevelt.
2. Computers
It sounds like there is a problem with the Motherboard since pressing 'delete' on bootup in this system should take you to the CMOS config options. You didn't mention any beeps (number or pattern) that can be used to find out whether there is a failure in the memory, etc. so I'd try memory first (altho a lot of systems run a memory test immediately before booting to the manufacuring screen) and then the motherboard.
This could be a hard drive failure but you'd be able to access the CMOS setup screen, likewise the CD-Rom and Floppy drive even if failed would not prevent getting into the system setup. if the power supply failed obviously nothing would happen...
3. Philosophy and Science
Mount Mitchell is the "odd man out" -- not only has it not demonstrated any volcanic tendencies, but it is also in my adopted home state of North Carolina!
See: http://www.americasroof.com/nc.shtml
4. Math
The check was for the amount of $31.63. The cashier gave him $63.31, of which he spent 5 cents, leaving him with $63.26, which is twice the value of the check.
Alexis Darrasse sent us these links:
A lazy man's way to solve quadratic equations
Diophantus, an Alexandrian greek mathematician
 
 

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War XI - battle 1
1. Forestry
Where do you think this forest fire originated? Why?


see Answer
2. Computers
MPEG is an abbreviation for what? What technique does MPEG use to compress video? Name two competing video compression standards?
see Answer
3. Philosophy and Science
Below is an ASTER image of Mount St. Helens. What is an ASTER image?


see Answer
4. Logic
It will be 110 years before another year has a certain property in common with this year (2002). What property?
see Answer
 
 
Points on this battle were won as follows:
 
 
1. Forestry
I think it started at D, since the wind is blowing away from that point and it finished burning.
D is the origin for two reasons:
A forest fire burns away from the point of origin in all directions the rate of burn being determined by the fuel, the topography, and the wind, and
forest fires are usually started by human activity usually debris burning. D is at a road intersection which is the most likely place in the picture for such human activity.
2. Computers
MPEG, stands for Moving Picture Experts Group.
Q. So how does MPEG-1 work? Tell me about video coding!
A. First off, it starts with a relatively low resolution video sequence (possibly decimated from the original) of about 352 by 240 frames by 30 frames/s (US--different numbers for Europe), but original high (CD) quality audio. The images are in color, but converted to YUV space, and the two chrominance channels (U and V) are decimated further to 176 by 120 pixels. It turns out that you can get away with a lot less resolution in those channels and not notice it, at least in "natural" (not computer generated) images.
The basic scheme is to predict motion from frame to frame in the temporal direction, and then to use DCT's (discrete cosine transforms) to organize the redundancy in the spatial directions. The DCT's are done on 8x8 blocks, and the motion prediction is done in the luminance (Y) channel on 16x16 blocks. In other words, given the 16x16 block in the current frame that you are trying to code, you look for a close match to that block in a previous or future frame (there are backward prediction modes where later frames are sent first to allow interpolating between frames). The DCT coefficients (of either the actual data, or the difference between this block and the close match) are "quantized", which means that you divide them by some value to drop bits off the bottom end. Hopefully, many of the coefficients will then end up being zero. The quantization can change for every "macroblock" (a macroblock is 16x16 of Y and the corresponding 8x8's in both U and V). The results of all of this, which include the DCT coefficients, the motion vectors, and the quantization parameters (and other stuff) is Huffman coded using fixed tables. The DCT coefficients have a special Huffman table that is "two-dimensional" in that one code specifies a run-length of zeros and the non-zero value that ended the run. Also, the motion vectors and the DC DCT components are DPCM (subtracted from the last one) coded.
See http://www.faqs.org/faqs/compression-faq/part2/section-2.html
MPEG-4 being very much used for video compression these days. Other standards can be found like H. 261, Vivo, Intel Indeo or Quicktime.
http://www.cs.sfu.ca/undergrad/CourseMaterials/CMPT479/material/notes/Chap4/Chap4.2/Chap4.2.html has a university course on video compression, very interesting although quite technical.
3. Philosophy and Science
ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) is an imaging instrument that is flying on Terra, a satellite launched in December 1999 as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). ASTER will be used to obtain detailed maps of land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance and elevation. The EOS platforms are part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, whose goal is to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.
http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/ is it's official site.
4. Logic
2002 is a palindrome, just like 2112 and unlike any other year between them. That means that you can read it backwards, it will still be the same number.
 
 

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Standings in the War - XI

 
 

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