06 Oct. 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project

"Think Like A Richard" Quiz Answers

On Tuesday I offered a "Think Like A Richard" quiz since we missed "Talk Like A Pirate Day."  I promised answers, and here they are.  Speaking of answers, I've only had one "correct" speculation on QVMF, and two more that I believe were half right, but that's not part of this quiz.

Multiple Choice Questions:

A: Irony (5 points)
B: Sarcasm

ANSWER:  A: Irony.  See my very first blog.

What is Richard's favorite brand of beer?
A: Coors (2 points)
B: Rheingold
C: Guinness (5 points)
D: Budweiser

ANSWER:  C: Guinness.  Although I don't drink any beer, Guinness has extended my lifespan.  Honorable mention to A: Coors for improving my "language" skills.  Seven points for getting both for the correct reasons.

What is most likely to happen first:
A: Pigs flying
B: Cats grouting
C: Poohs pooing (5 points)

ANSWER:  Poohs pooing.  The first two are improbable despite my plea.  Howver, Poohs poo in Jefferson Airplane songs from the '60s.

CNN is:
A: Inveterately innumerate (5 points)
B: Obviously obdurate
C: Inextricably intertwined (-5 points)
D: Ineffably inscrutable (-5 points)

ANSWER:  A: Inveterately innumerate, as pointed out in many items, the most recent being the day before the quiz.  I won't even list the others.  This one was so easy that there are negative points for getting it wrong.  B: doesn't go into negative territory because, although it has nothing to do with the quiz, it's not necessarily wrong.

What is the correct spelling of "Pfft"
A: Pfft (5 points)
B: Phfft (2 points)
C: Pffftt
D: All of the above

ANSWER:  A: Pfft.  I don't know how you can miss this, since the answer is in the question, but test takers are often ingenious!  2 points for B: Phfft since this is an approved alternate spelling.  When I used this word in something to be published, a real editor tried to change it but relented when I pointed out that it is actually in the dictionary.

In the Enron Trial, Ken Lay's sentence might have been determined in part by whether he giggled, cackled, chuckled, or guffawed when told of the "Raptor" plan.  Which did he do, and which would have given him the longest sentence?
A:  Giggled, chuckled
B:  Cackled, giggled
C:  Guffawed, giggled
D:  Giggled, cackled (5 points)

ANSWER: D: Giggled, cackled.  See this blog.

Which of the following is most likely to cause your offspring to grow wings?
A:  Receive your salary in currency from Kazakhstan
B:  Use an electric blanket
C:  Employ microwave heating for your home (5 points)
D:  Heat your swimming pool with nuclear waste (2 points)

ANSWER: C:  Employ microwave heating for your home.  Partial credit for D.  Although both A and B have possibilities, they are not correct in context.

I have undertaken the PriUPS project to solve which crucial problem?
A:  Ameliorate terrorist threats (4 points)
B:  Prevent damage to the electric grid (4 points)
C:  Prevent my ice cream from melting (4 points)
D:  I needed to justify my third pen (-4 points)

ANSWER:  A, B and C, four points for each.  However, if you answered "all of the above" you must subtract four points for D.  I've had my third pen for years, and we can't have sloppy thinking on this subject!

If a vendor introduced a combination cell phone, MP3 player, and decent camera, what would I do?
A:  Immediately purchase it in a spasm of zeal (3 points)
B:  Denounce the vendor in a rit of fealous jage
C:  Find some reason to whine about it (3 points)

ANSWER:  A and C are both acceptable, since I would do A only if the MP3 player had a large hard drive, and would do C even if I did A. 

What is my record morning spam a lot?
A: 100
B: 200
C: 500 (5 points)
D: 1000

ANSWER:  C.  This required a bit of extrapolation.  It was 300+ only recently, but it's getting worse!

True or False:
If you already had a VERLORT, you would you still need a LIDAR

ANSWER:  True (5 points).  OF COURSE you need a LIDAR, whether or not you have a VERLORT.  You pretty much need at least one of everything technical.  That's why we're here.

Essay Question:

ANSWER:  If I knew, I wouldn't have asked for an essay.  Old Stan continues to frustrate my progress on Cold War Week.  I've made progress on Ivan, but there's still one to go.  If you've written an essay, you automatically win if you send it to me.

Math Problems:

1: If you make your sandwiches without bread, how long will it take for you to disappear?

ANSWER:  If you divided your weight by three and gave that answer in years, that is technically the correct answer, for 5 points.  If you modified the "three" to account for your own metabolism in some reasonable manner, give yourself an additional 5 points for "good thinking."  If, on the other hand, you said "never" or "it's impossible," subtract 5 points. You would probably insist on putting your peanut butter and jelly on bread.

2: How many barrels of oil per year will be saved when the YOP and STOLD signs are widely adopted?

ANSWER:  I don't know, and you don't, either.  However, if you made an attempt at calculation using such items as how many drivers there are, how many STOP signs they encounter per day, how far they would go if they didn't have to stop, how much gas that would save, etc., then score as follows:

5 points if you gave the answer to one significant figure, e.g., 50,000 barrels.  Subtract a point for each additional significant figure (e.g., 4 points for 49,000 barrels, 3 points for 49,500,) you used in your answer.

Chemistry Problem:  

If you have potassium permanganate stains on your bathmat, what common chemical can be used to remove them?  What should you avoid doing after removing the stains?

ANSWER:  Sodium Thiosulfate, 5 points.  Extra credit (5 more points) if you said that putting a bathmat in the washing machine with sodium thiosulfate is a really bad idea, both for the bathmat and for the washing machine.  It's bad for you, too, if the washing machine and the bathmat belong to your parents with whom you are living and who, at least at the time you do it, are bigger than you are.

Physics problem:

How does the neutron absorption cross-section of transuranic element Nobelium compare with that of the element Salubrium? 

ANSWER:  Trick Question!  5 Points if you said that Salubrium is a mock element and doesn't have a neutron absorption cross-section as Nobelium does.  In addition to paying attention, your job is to not let me get away with everything!


The maximum score is 100. It is actually possible to get a negative score.  And listen:  I'm not happy about having to perch on the neck of a CRT to monitor this quiz.  Please get an LCD monitor.  They save energy and are much more comfortable.

Richard Factor

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