Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Busy day

I spent most of yesterday working on software, so nothing exciting to report.

Just before supper I ran on an elliptical machine for 20 minutes and didn't notice any problems due to the high altitude, so I think I'm safely acclimated. I heard there was an amazing halo around the sun while I was working out.

After supper five IceCubers played pub trivia in the galley. As you might guess, the South Pole has a high concentration of science types, so the questions tended less toward sports and more toward science and science fiction. I had to almost force one of the Germans to be part of our team because he was convinced that he wouldn't know anything. Out of the four rounds, he probably ended up contributing answers in at least three rounds, including the third round which was made up entirely of math questions.

My two favorite questions (that most teams got wrong) were:
  1. What is the 10th digit in the Fibonacci sequence?

    I think every team got this wrong because they thought the sequence was 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 so the answer was 10. The quizmaster asserted that the answer was 34, because the sequence actually starts with a 0.

    In case you've forgotten how the Fibonacci sequence works, you add the last number and the one before it together to create a new last number. Thus 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, etc.

    And just so you know how geeky I am, in my teens and twenties, I used compute the Fibonacci sequence and powers of two (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.) in my head to lull myself to sleep.

  2. How many U.S. presidents are buried in Washington D.C. (the city, not the greater metropolitan area).

    Most people guessed that there are no presidents buried in the city, because they're buried at Arlington cemetery in Virginia. The correct answer was one -- Woodrow Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral.
Oh, and a bonus question:

What is pogonophobia?

Fear of beards

Since most of the IceCubers are PhD students and postdocs, I mostly helped out with questions about stuff from the 60's, 70's and 80's (Who is Gordon Sumner? Sting. Which T.V. show contained a spaceship named Yamato? Star Blazers.)


Elaine Glowacki said...

23 years and I'm still learning things about you. Good thing you've been saving the best for last.

Edgington said...

Must be that the true SP vets never mention the temperature. Dave, we just heard you're back down way under. Don't eat the yellow snow!


Dave Glowacki said...

It's still relatively "warm" here, with the temp bouncing around -25 to -35 degrees. It got up to -15 a couple of days ago and felt like a heat wave!