September 24, 2015

This is Worrisome

It's not just that these incredibly simple, basic questions were answered correctly by only 6% of the nation...but that one question is not even about science (indeed its opposite).


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:31 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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1 I got 12 too, but in some cases by luck. For example:

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Thu Sep 24 17:55:39 2015 (RqRa5)

2 So... can you name the 13th sign of the Zodiac? (There are actually 13 constellations in the zodiacal belt, not 12.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Thu Sep 24 20:05:19 2015 (+rSRq)


Like Pete, I wasn't certain about the hottest part of the Earth.  I have this vague memory of reading that some parts of the mantle can be hotter than the core.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Sep 24 20:31:56 2015 (PiXy!)

4 I was expecting to do poorly, as I was never a good science student.  I got 11; couldn't remember anything about water boiling temperatures, and finally convinced myself it was an urban legend that everyone thinks is true.

Posted by: Ben at Thu Sep 24 22:00:16 2015 (S4UJw)

5 The 13th sign of the Zodiac is

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Thu Sep 24 23:26:08 2015 (+rSRq)

6 The secret to getting them right is they aren't trick questions; the well-known and obvious answer is the right one in every case.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Sep 24 23:37:52 2015 (PiXy!)

7 Changes in the temperatures and pressures of phase transitions make for an interesting topic. Remember that in most cases a tripple point has to exist, therefore some lines at P/T diagrams must be slanted and/or bent more than others.

In case of water though, this whole thing has a noticeable practical effect: the pressure cooker. After pressure cookers became widely established as a technology, some of the people living in the mountains quickly figured out that a pressure cooker may be used not only raise the boiling point above normal, but also to raise it from Denver to Los Angeles point if you live in Denver. This lets one cook food normally and save a measurable amount of fuel.

IIRC at one point the government of Nepal or Bhutan tried to ban pressure cookers because of bomb hazard and almost caused an mass unrest. Nobody wants to go back to paying 2 times more for propane.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Thu Sep 24 23:55:58 2015 (RqRa5)

8 I got 11 of the questions correctly.  On the plus side, I'll be pleasantly surprised the next time I prepare pasta in Denver.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Sep 25 20:43:42 2015 (a12rG)

9 I object to the optics question. Depending on the index of refraction, relative to the index of the medium, either convergence *or* divergence is possible for a plano-convex lens. Also, there are reflected rays. :-P

Posted by: ams at Mon Sep 28 20:33:07 2015 (GtPd7)

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