1998 Technophobia Three -- Caltech Packet II


2. In a low-budget Russian performance of this opera, there was no time for rehearsal, and the instructions to the guards were to `shoot the main character.' So, in Act III, they shot at the title character, although they were supposed to fire toward the other side of the stage at Mario Cavaradossi on Scarpia's orders. For ten points name the woman the confused guards tried to execute before she could jump off the parapet in the final scene.

Answer: Tosca

3. When compressed to 26% of its normal volume, its atoms occupy two crystallographically inequivalent sites with coordination numbers 10 and 11, forming a superstructure. It also becomes superconducting at this pressure, making it the only known superconducting alkali metal. For ten points name this most electropositive element, used in atomic clocks.

Answer: cesium or Cs

6. In April 1998 this small molecule was classified as an essential nutrient for humans by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. An important precursor of phospholipids, it is critical for proper fetal brain development. For ten points, name this compound, which when acetylated becomes a neurotransmitter important for learning and memory.

Answer: choline (do not accept `acetylcholine')

7. First appearing in Johnston McCulley's 1919 pulp novel `The Curse of Capistrano,' he has been played by Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, Guy Williams, and Guy Hamilton, among others. His name is Spanish for `fox.' For 10 points, name this man who fought against Spanish oppression in Alta California, played most recently by Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas.

Answer: Zorro [accept Don Diego de la Vega]

11. They have a prominent scent gland between their eyes, and can be over 4 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. Because they spend most of their time in and near rivers, they are sometimes declared to be fish, and are often eaten during Lent in Venezuela. For ten points, name this largest living rodent.

Answer: capybara or carpincho or water hog or Hydrochoerus

20. Found in about one of every ten thousand people, its incidence rises to one in twenty among the autistic, and if one of your siblings has it, there's about a 25% chance that you do too. A striking enlargement in the planum temporal, a quarter-sized area of the left brain associated with sound processing, was seen by positron emission topography of the brains of a few thousand affected musicians. For ten points, name this ability which allows the recognition of exact musical tones without a reference.

Answer: perfect pitch or absolute pitch

21. Known as 'The Emperor' for his perfectionism and extravagance, he failed to get into art school and, tiring of poverty as a painter, auditioned for an assistant directorship. His first film, 'The Judo Saga,' was a hit with the public but not the military and he never won fame abroad until his Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1951. For ten points name this dead director who influenced 'Star Wars' and 'Scarface' with films such as 'Kagemusha' and 'The Seven Samurai.'

Answer: Kurosawa Akira

22. When CaCO3 crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, what results is not mere limestone but an iridescent mineral that comprises the `mother of pearl' layer in shells and pearls themselves. This form of calcium carbonate borrows its name from a former kingdom that united with Castile in 1479 to form Spain after the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. For ten points, name this mineral, named for the home of Henry the Eighth's first wife.

Answer: Aragonite

24. `If you're good enough, you're old enough,' manager Glenn Hoddle said of this striker who became the youngest man ever to play for his country in an international match and the youngest to score a goal. For 10 points, name this 18-year-old phenom who scored 3 goals for England in World Cup 98.

Answer: Michael Owen

25. Though he fought in the battle of Fallen Timbers, this superintendent of Indian affairs was just and humane toward Native Americans. who aided him greatly on his trip from the mouth of the Wood River up the Missouri, across the Rockies, and along the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers. For ten points, name this mapmaker and explorer who, in November of 1805, reached the Pacific coast with his partner, Meriwether Lewis.

Answer: William Clark