What Does the Earth Sound Like?: 159 Astounding Science Quizzes

What Does the Earth Sound Like?: 159 Astounding Science Quizzes

by Eva Everything

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ISBN-13: 9781770410091
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 05/01/2011
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Eva Everything is a music and video artist, an award-winning science writer, and a Discovery Channel science quizmaster. She is the author of "What Does the Moon Smell Like? "She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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What Does the Earth Sound Like?

159 Astounding Science Quizzes


By Eva Everything, Crissy Boylan

ECW PRESS

Copyright © 2011 Eva Everything
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-77041-009-1


CHAPTER 1

BRAIN MATTERS: BIG BRAINS


Q: The Biggest Brains

True or false? Humans have the biggest brain compared to their body size. Did you say true? That's correct! Did you say false? Also correct! How can that be? Simple. At one stage of life your brain is absolutely the biggest compared to body size, but at other stages it's not.


At what stage of life is your brain the biggest compared to your body?

a) baby/toddler

b) teenager

c) young adult

d) mature adult


A: The Biggest Brains

At what stage of life is your brain the biggest compared to your body?

a) baby/toddler

b) teenager

c) young adult

d) mature adult


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) baby/toddler


At about 10% of your body weight, your brain was huge. Adult brains are about 2% of body weight, but mouse, squirrel monkey, and hummingbird brains are more than 3%. Smaller animals tend to have bigger brains relative to body size, but thanks to our big baby brains, we're still number one.


Q: Growing a Brain

You started growing a brain soon after conception. In the first couple of months, your brain had a big growth spurt and raced to make all kinds of brain cells, including neurons.


How many neurons did your brain grow in a minute?

a) 250

b) 2,500

c) 25,000

d) 250,000


A: Growing a Brain

How many neurons did your brain grow in a minute?

a) 250

b) 2,500

c) 25,000

d) 250,000


CORRECT ANSWER:

d) 250,000


That works out to more than 4,000 neurons per second! By the time you were three years old, your brain was 90% of its adult size. After that, your body started growing into that big brain of yours.


Q: Biological Supercomputer

The best supercomputer on the planet is in between your ears. Even when you're asleep, it's online running all your systems and processing vital information. Brain cells called neurons are the connections within your biological computer.


How many neurons are there in your brain?

As many as all the ...

a) stars in the Milky Way

b) telephone numbers in the world

c) websites on the internet

d) world's human population


A: Biological Supercomputer

How many neurons are there in your brain? As many as all the ...

a) stars in the Milky Way

b) telephone numbers in the world

c) websites on the internet

d) world's human population


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) stars in the Milky Way


There are about a hundred billion neurons packed into your compact biological supercomputer. They can make or break a million connections per second. Man-made supercomputers are faster, but beyond that there's no comparison. After all, can supercomputers come up with ideas, appreciate chocolate, or enjoy a good book?

CHAPTER 2

PET CONNECTIONS


Q: The Most Hilarious Pet

Are you and your pet alike? In an online survey, 40% of respondents who'd had their pet for seven years or more said its personality was like their own. British psychologist Richard Wiseman (Quirkology.com) asked people to rate themselves and their pets on traits such as happiness, intelligence, independence, and sense of humour. According to the survey ...


Which pets have the best sense of humour?

a) birds

b) cats

c) dogs

d) fish


A: The Most Hilarious Pet

Which pets have the best sense of humour?

a) birds

b) cats

c) dogs

d) fish


CORRECT ANSWER:

c) dogs


More than 60% of the dog owners thought that their pooch had a good sense of humour. Surprisingly, almost as many fish owners claimed to have hilarious pets. Perhaps the fish owners, and not the fish, were the ones with a sense of humour. Cats, horses, and birds rounded out the top five. Reptiles were at the bottom of the list. Apparently, they have no sense of humour at all.


Q: The Happiest Pet People

Forty percent of the dog owners in Dr. Richard Wiseman's online survey described themselves as fun loving, compared to only 2% of the reptile owners. However, reptile lovers did rate themselves the most independent. Cat owners rated themselves the most dependable and emotionally sensitive.


Which pets had the happiest owners?

a) birds

b) cats

c) dogs

d) fish


A: The Happiest Pet People

Which pets had the happiest owners?

a) birds

b) cats

c) dogs

d) fish


CORRECT ANSWER:

d) fish


About 37% of the people with a fish strongly agreed to being happy. Cat people were the next happiest at 24%, followed closely by dog people at 22%. Would you be happier if you had a fish? Maybe it's the other way around. If you were happier, you might want to keep a fish.


Q: Blub-bye

The sad truth is that fish often don't live as long as many other pets. No one knows how much pain they feel, but seeing a finny friend slowly going belly up can be distressing for a human. If it's the right thing to do ...


What's the most humane way to euthanize a pet fish?

a) buy it a drink

b) feed it to a bigger fish

c) flush it down the toilet

d) put it in the freezer


A: Blub-bye

What's the most humane way to euthanize a pet fish?

a) buy it a drink

b) feed it to a bigger fish

c) flush it down the toilet

d) put it in the freezer


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) buy it a drink


If it's time for the final farewell, sliding your finny friend into a container holding one part alcohol and four parts water is a humane solution. The fish gets a painless, numbing buzz and passes out forever. Blub-bye, li'l buddy. RIP.

CHAPTER 3

TOP SECRET PROJECTS


Q: May the G-Force Be With You

How much G-force does it take to black out? Even after World War II, no one was sure. In order to design a stronger, more lightweight crash helmet for fighter pilots, Royal Canadian Air Force scientists needed to know. So, they came up with a unique top secret experiment to find out how many Gs it took to lose consciousness.


What did they do?

a) banged their heads against steel plates

b) crashed cars into brick walls

c) flew high enough, fast enough, to pass out

d) jumped out of planes without parachutes


A: May the G-Force Be With You

What did they do?

a) banged their heads against steel plates

b) crashed cars into brick walls

c) flew high enough, fast enough, to pass out

d) jumped out of planes without parachutes


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) banged their heads against steel plates


The scientists attached devices that measure acceleration to their own foreheads and banged them into a steel plate as hard as they could. The brain-bashing reached forces of up to 10 Gs, more than enough to black out. (Most people black out at between 4 and 5 Gs.) When their commanding officer saw what they were up to, the top secret head-banging experiment came to an abrupt end.


Q: The First G-Suit

Because G-suits hadn't been invented yet, pilots were blacking out during high-speed maneuvers. In the 1930s, Dr. Wilbur R. Franks had an idea that he hoped would keep pilots from passing out while pulling extreme Gs. But before he made a suit for humans, the Canadian scientist tested the concept on animals.


What did he do to test his idea for a G-suit?

a) dressed chimps in diving suits

b) molded foam rubber suits to fit beavers

c) put mice in water-filled condoms

d) tethered dogs inside a plastic bubble


A: The First G-Suit

What did he do to test his idea for a G-suit?

a) dressed chimps in diving suits

b) molded foam rubber suits to fit beavers

c) put mice in water-filled condoms

d) tethered dogs inside a plastic bubble


CORRECT ANSWER:

c) put mice in water-filled condoms


The mice tolerated up to an incredible 240 Gs inside their water-filled condoms. Dr. Franks had a fitted, water-filled top secret G-suit made for himself and got into a small training plane. He must have freaked when the pilot pulled 7 Gs and temporarily blacked out because Dr. Franks, who had never flown before, was fully conscious in his water-filled G-suit. His ingenious invention was adapted for the G-suits worn by pilots, astronauts, and cosmonauts today.


Q: Project Habbakuk

Project Habbakuk was a top secret World War II project hidden away in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The goal was to build an unsinkable aircraft carrier for the British Navy. It had to be more durable than regular aircraft carriers and cheaper to build. If it could be made out of something that wouldn't attract magnetic mines, all the better.


What was used to make the aircraft carrier?

a) concrete

b) cork and latex

c) recycled plastic water bottles

d) water and wood pulp


A: Project Habbakuk

What was used to make the aircraft carrier?

a) concrete

b) cork and latex

c) recycled plastic water bottles

d) water and wood pulp


CORRECT ANSWER:

d) water and wood pulp


Fifteen men spent months building a model out of a slurry of water and wood pulp called Pykrete. The frozen mixture is stronger than plain ice, takes longer to melt, and can be machined like wood or cast like steel. It worked but wasn't practical. Project Habbakuk was cancelled, and the top secret ice ship melted into the waters of Lake Patricia. Its refrigeration system sank to the bottom, and it's no secret that it's still down there.

CHAPTER 4

GOT MILK?


Q: Pigeon Milk

How about a glass of nice warm pigeon milk? It's rich in fat, protein, and vitamins and is more nutritious than milk from cows or humans. A teaspoon of the stuff contains as much vitamin A as a drop of cod liver oil! It's so nourishing that baby pigeons fed the special milk double their weight in less than 36 hours after hatching.


Where does pigeon milk come from?

a) part of the pigeon's digestive system

b) pores in the skin

c) teats under the wings

d) their behinds


A: Pigeon Milk

Where does pigeon milk come from?

a) part of the pigeon's digestive system

b) pores in the skin

c) teats under the wings

d) their behinds


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) part of the pigeon's digestive system


Both female and male pigeons make milk from the lining of their crop. Emperor penguins and greater flamingos produce their version of milk too, but in other parts of their digestive tracts. Despite its nutritional value, you might not want pigeon milk in your tea, coffee, or cereal. Its consistency is a bit like earwax.


Q: Milk to Go

When you remove all the water from milk, you're left with milk powder. It's not big with consumers, but food manufacturers put it in everything. From chocolate and cookies to macaroni and cheese mixes, if "milk" is listed in the ingredients, it's probably milk powder.


Who used milk powder first?

a) Allied troops during World War II

b) astronauts

c) Huns

d) Vikings


A: Milk to Go

Who used milk powder first?

a) Allied troops during World War II

b) astronauts

c) Huns

d) Vikings


CORRECT ANSWER:

c) Huns


More than 1,500 years ago, Attila the Hun's hordes conquered the world on horseback, nourished by mare's milk in the form of milk powder. The Mongols, who were also horseback conquerors, made mare's milk powder too. It's manufactured in some parts of the world to this day. Mare's milk powder is not just for conquerors anymore.


Q: They All Screamed for Ice Cream

Americans are among the world's top ice cream eaters. During World War II, American airmen stationed in Britain missed their favourite frozen treat. They had powdered milk and sugar but no ice cream makers, so they mixed up their ingredients and improvised.


How did they make ice cream?

a) in canisters dropped from high altitudes

b) in natural springs of icy cold water

c) in the tail gunner's compartment of bomber aircraft

d) with dry ice from Oxford University's physics lab


A: They All Screamed for Ice Cream

How did they make ice cream?

a) in canisters dropped from high altitudes

b) in natural springs of icy cold water

c) in the tail gunner's compartment of bomber aircraft

d) with dry ice from Oxford University's physics lab


CORRECT ANSWER:

c) in the tail gunner's compartment of bomber aircraft


During high-altitude bombing missions, B-17 Flying Fortress bombers sometimes doubled as ice cream makers. The airmen attached canisters of ice cream mix to the tail gunner's compartment. The airplane's movement shook it up nicely as it froze in temperatures that could plunge as low as -60°C (-76°F).

CHAPTER 5

TOUR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM: THE SPIN


Q: The Spin on the Solar System

There you are hovering above the solar system, looking down at the sun's north pole. It's a spectacular sight. The sun is huge, making up more than 99% of the mass of the solar system. Even the biggest planets look puny in comparison. Since you can't afford to spend years watching the planets orbit in real time, you fast-forward and scan their motion.


How do the planets orbit the sun?

a) clockwise

b) counterclockwise

c) some clockwise, some counterclockwise

d) They don't. The sun orbits Earth.


A: The Spin on the Solar System

How do the planets orbit the sun?

a) clockwise

b) counterclockwise

c) some clockwise, some counterclockwise

d) They don't. The sun orbits Earth.


CORRECT ANSWER:

b) counterclockwise


The entire solar system started out as a huge cloud of hot gas that started rotating counterclockwise. It eventually collapsed into a super hot, spinning disc. The sun sucked up most of the disc and the planets formed from the leftovers. They still orbit the sun in the same nearly flat disc, which is called the ecliptic plane.


Q: The Spin on Earth

When Earth was a hot newbie planet 4.5 billion years ago, it was spinning really fast. No one knows exactly how long a day was, but a computer simulation calculated it to be about six hours long. As the planet's spin slowed, the days got longer. Some scientists think that by 620 million years ago, a day was 21.9 hours long.


How do they know that?

a) ancient timepiece built by aliens

b) annual layers of sandstone

c) annual tree rings

d) layers in ice cores


A: The Spin on Earth

How do they know that?

a) ancient timepiece built by aliens

b) annual layers of sandstone

c) annual tree rings

d) layers in ice cores


CORRECT ANSWER:

b) annual layers of sandstone


The answer may be writ in stone. Based on studies of ancient sandstone layers, some scientists think that 620 million years ago a day was about two hours shorter than it is today. In the past 3,000 years, the Earth's spin has slowed by about 0.05 seconds. To give you an idea of how long that isn't, it takes three or four times longer to blink.


Q: The Fastest Spin

The time it takes for a planet to spin on its axis determines how long its day is. You know how long a day is on Earth, but what do you know about other planets? Their days range from extremely short to incredibly long.


Which planet has the shortest day?

a) Jupiter

b) Mars

c) Mercury

d) Venus


A: The Fastest Spin

Which planet has the shortest day?

a) Jupiter

b) Mars

c) Mercury

d) Venus


CORRECT ANSWER:

a) Jupiter


The biggest planet in the solar system spins fastest on its axis and has a day that's only 9.9 Earth hours long. A day on Jupiter is short, but a year is 10,499 Jovian days long. If you had a job on the smallest planet, you'd have the longest workday in the solar system. One solar day on Mercury (the time it takes to spin on its axis once) is about two Mercurian years long. You'd get annual coffee breaks.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from What Does the Earth Sound Like? by Eva Everything, Crissy Boylan. Copyright © 2011 Eva Everything. Excerpted by permission of ECW PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Brain Matters: Big Brains 1

Pet Connections 7

Top Secret Projects 13

Got Milk? 19

Tour of the Solar System: The Spin 25

Brain Matters: Better Brains 31

Dirty Secrets: At Home 37

Your X-Rated Past 43

One of a Kind: You 49

The Fastest Man Off Earth 55

GermYnation: Poop Factor 61

The Flakiness of Being Human 67

Your Body of Water 73

Snack Attack: Ice Cream 79

The Sounds of Science 85

Back from the Brink: Peregrine Falcons 91

Getting a Grip on Geckos 97

Space Rocks 103

Choice Words 109

Tour of the Solar System: Space Oddities 115

Dogliness 123

Cattitude! 131

The Elephant Long Distance Calling Plan 139

Natural Wonders 147

GermYnation: Hands On 155

Dominant Beings 163

Faster, Harder, Heavier, Higher 171

Psychi My Dinner With Brian 179

Brain Matter: More of What Matters 187

Rodents for Research 195

The Plastic Ocean 203

The Sounds of Music 211

Psych! Seeing and Believing 219

GermYnation: On the Job 227

Party Time! 237

Lost in Space 247

Tour of the Solar System: Attractions 257

The Scent of a Human 267

Of Women and Men 277

Psych! Thinking 287

The Musician's Brain 297

Epilogue 307

Image Credits 308

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