New Scientist 2009 Trivia Quiz

10 Questions | Total Attempts: 9097

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New Scientist 2009 Trivia Quiz

If you want to read about the big science stories of the year, you have come to the wrong place – turn back to the news review. Here we are celebrating the science trivia of 2009. Read on and test your mental mettle in New Scientist’s annual end of year quiz, and we will see whether 2009 has truly been the Year of Science (as promoted by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science), or rather a Year of Superstition, Ignorance and Minds Like a Sieve. We apologise in advance for any ludicrous made-up answers that inadvertently turn out to be correct.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    According to a palaeontologist at the University of Manchester in the UK, Velociraptor, the dinosaur star of many films, might have used its fearsome claws for what?
    • A. 

      Breaking into termite mounds

    • B. 

      Scratching limpet-like parasites from its hide

    • C. 

      Slicing open and disembowelling its prey

    • D. 

      Climbing Cretaceous trees

  • 2. 
    In August, what achieved a record speed of 225 kilometres per hour?
    • A. 

      A Russian nuclear-powered warship

    • B. 

      A genetically modified French pigeon

    • C. 

      A 3-tonne British-built steam car

    • D. 

      A Brazilian motorbike fuelled by bioethanol

  • 3. 
    At the University of Chile, soccer-playing robots are being taught what vital skill, commonly displayed by their human counterparts?
    • A. 

      Whining at the referee

    • B. 

      Deliberately falling over

    • C. 

      Surreptitiously handling the ball

    • D. 

      Celebrating a goal by doing a robot dance

  • 4. 
    How have engineers at the Ford Motor Company improved the fuel efficiency of a prototype car?
    • A. 

      Doping its fuel with a trace of the heavy metal bismuth

    • B. 

      Building engine parts out of lightweight lithium

    • C. 

      Putting a big flashing sign on the dashboard that says "Slow Down!"

    • D. 

      Giving the engine a shot of alcohol, but only when it really needs one

  • 5. 
    This year, Swiss researchers reported that the armpits of men and women smell different. Respectively, the two odours were said to be akin to:
    • A. 

      Beer and chocolate

    • B. 

      Eggs and bacon

    • C. 

      Salt and vinegar

    • D. 

      Cheese and onion

  • 6. 
    In January we named 10 gadgets that we predicted will be widespread in 30 years’ time. Which of the following was not among them?
    • A. 

      Cloak of invisibility

    • B. 

      Private space car

    • C. 

      Teleportation pod

    • D. 

      Smell-o-vision

  • 7. 
    NASA successfully tested its new Ares launch system this year, which is planned to carry humans and cargo to the moon and Mars. But what more creative suggestion for getting into space did we report in June?
    • A. 

      A hybrid engine that will combine the technologies of rocket, jet and propeller

    • B. 

      An inflatable tower

    • C. 

      A big air gun

    • D. 

      A trampoline

  • 8. 
    And what more creative suggestion for getting into space did we report in October?
    • A. 

      A hybrid engine that will combine the technologies of rocket, jet and propeller

    • B. 

      An inflatable tower

    • C. 

      A big air gun

    • D. 

      A trampoline

  • 9. 
    What threatens the future of lizards in the Australian outback?
    • A. 

      Lizard flu

    • B. 

      Overheating because of global warming

    • C. 

      Being eaten by cane toads

    • D. 

      Being eaten by C-list celebrities

  • 10. 
    At -240 °C, the coldest known spot in the solar system is certainly not somewhere you would want to have a snowball fight. Where is it?
    • A. 

      The icy south pole of the moon

    • B. 

      The frozen surface of Pluto

    • C. 

      The sunless side of Mercury

    • D. 

      The bleak heart of a merchant banker