Esoteric Knowledge Quiz #3

Do your friends, family, and coworkers accuse you of being a repository of useless information? (Mine do.) Here's your chance to test your knowledge of obscure tidbits...
I've had some help coming up with the questions for this one, so hopefully they represent a broader spectrum of topics.


  1. Which was the first toy to be called an action figure?

    1. Barbie

    2. Captain Action

    3. G.I. Joe

    4. Superman
    Thanks to Mark Harris for sending in this question.


  2. Which of the following is not a hardwood tree?

    1. Hickory

    2. Cedar

    3. Sycamore

    4. Balsa


  3. The 1985 NFL season will forever be remembered by fans for the historically great Chicago Bears defense, which helped power the team to a convincing 46-10 win over the New England Patriots in Superbowl XX. But what team lead the league in offense that year?

    1. Chicago Bears

    2. Miami Dolphins

    3. San Diego Chargers

    4. San Francisco 49ers
    Thanks to Dave Gable for sending in this question.


  4. What is the traditional well-known TCP/IP port number commonly associated with NNTP?

    1. 17

    2. 70

    3. 119

    4. 179
    For an extra bonus geek point, which one is (or was) commonly associated with gopher?


  5. If you have desmodromic valves on your vehicle's engine, what is their function?

    1. Opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves without the use of return springs

    2. Removing air from the crankcase to lower internal air resistance

    3. Routing exhaust gases through the engine to help it warm up faster

    4. Allowing gaseous fuel vapors to be burned alongside liquid fuel

    For bonus points, which of the following brands of vehicle is most likely to have these valves?

    1. Ducati

    2. Peugeot

    3. Kawasaki

    4. Honda
    Thanks to Andy Kerr for sending in this two-part question.




Most of the answers are in the comments now.



Past Quizzes: 1, 2


Quiz four is already in the works. If you have questions to contribute to future quizzes, send them in to jonadab@NO SPAM THANKS ANYWAYbright.net with the phrase Esoteric Knowledge Quiz in the subject line (or. if you are on the Wheeitology list, you can just post them there). Thanks!

2 comments:

Jonadab said...

#1: I asked this one around my family and was surprised by how many people got it on the first try, in one case without hearing the choices. It seemed obscure enough to me, but apparently it's something a lot of people know. What? Oh, the answer, yeah. G.I. Joe.

#2: The thing you need to know here is that the physical hardness of the wood is not the determining factor, though hardwoods do tend, on average, to have rather harder woods than other kinds of trees. The cedar, like most (all?) other conifers, is not considered to be a hardwood. Balsa, despite the ease with which its wood is carved, is.

#3: To me, this is by far the hardest question in the quiz series so far. I wasn't even able to look up the answer. Something I've learned in the last several years is that Wikipedia has an article on absolutely everything, right down to individual episodes of television programs. So I checked to see if they have an article on the 1985 NFL season. Yes, indeed, they do have an article on that. Somehow, I'm not surprised. It doesn't directly answer the question, though. It's got tables of numbers, which a sports buff might (I say might) be able to interpret into an answer, but it is beyond my skill to evaluate. I also tried a fairly directed Google search and came up empty. I guess we'll have to wait for a sports fan to explain it to us.

#4: The most famous well-known port these days is port 80, which is what almost all websites use for http traffic, but just about every popular type of internet traffic has its own well-known port number, and any serious computer geek knows the common ones: 443 for https, 21 (and 20) for ftp, 22 for ssh, 25 and 110 for sending and retrieving email, ... 119 for usenet.

The bonus is harder, since a lot of us scarcely remember gopher (and younger geeks may not remember it at all), but in its day it was associated with port 70.

#5: Desmodromic valves avoid the use of return springs, opening and closing by another mechanism. Apparently springs are more prone to metal fatigue and breaking, especially when operated at high speeds. (Speed here is the speed of the engine activity, not necessarily the resulting speed of the vehicle.) Oh, and Ducati uses them. Mercedes-Benz has been known to use them as well.

So, now you know. Err, except the football question.

Angela said...

I knew all of them but the football one.