Weird Science! The Friday News Quiz (Sept. 13, 2013)

Each week, Discovery News tracks dozens of stories of the strange and interesting in the world of science. Test your knowledge of the week's news with the Weird Science quiz. In this edition: Interstellar spacecraft, robot revolution and some disturbing news about dad.
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Question 1 of 10
0Correct Answers
  • The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
  • The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)
  • The Ugly Animal Preservation Society (UAPS)
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The blobfish -- surely Earth's mopiest creature -- won the UAPS mascot contest, determined by online vote. UAPS president Simon Watt said the group is "dedicated to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature's more aesthetically challenged children. The panda gets too much attention." Runners-up included the naked mole rat, the dung beetle, and the large-nosed proboscis monkey. We are not making any of this up.
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  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Nicotine patches
  • All of the above
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: E-cigarettes, also know as electronic cigarettes or vaporizers, deliver nicotine to the system by way of a vaporized liquid solution. Initial studies suggest that they can be effective at curbing addiction, so expect future roll-outs of e-caffeine, e-heroin and e-e-mail.
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  • A hovering U.F.O.
  • A misaligned constellation
  • An airborne helmet
  • An airborne frog
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The image, which has been confirmed as genuine by NASA, appears to show the tragic yet glorious final moments of a frog that wandered too close to the launchpad -- and was subsequently blasted hundreds of feet into the air. NASA 1, Amphibians 0. Science marches on.
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  • Longer lives
  • Bigger brains
  • Smaller testicles
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Dads with larger testicles tend to be less involved than fathers with smaller testes, a new study suggests. The correlation may have something to do with sperm production, researchers say, though they're mostly astounded that they get paid to think up these studies.
  • A smarmy, casual arrogance at Little League games
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  • Radiation suits
  • Railroad trestles
  • Robots
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: A research team in Singapore has created artificial muscles that could give robots the ability to lift up to 80 times their own weight. Speaking via time-travel from the year 2391, Supreme Robotic Overlord 01001011 thanked humanity for once again accommodating its own demise. "We really appreciate it," 01001011 said. "You guys have been just terrific!"
  • Rolaids
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  • Drones
  • Dust mites
  • Dogs
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: A Hungarian research team discovered that dogs tend to behave favorably toward robots -- even totally non-humanoid robots -- if the robots are programmed to behave sociably toward the animals. "Whoever has the food," said group spokesdog Buster Simmons. "We really don't care."
  • Dodgers fans
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  • Discern emotions
  • Perceive intent
  • Plan ahead
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Challenging the notion that animals don't anticipate future actions, the male orangutans in the study were observed planning and communicating travel routes up to one day in advance. Researchers noted that even though the males can plan travel routes, if they get lost they will stubbornly refuse to stop and ask for directions.
  • Play flamenco guitar
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  • Solar storms
  • Swiss bank accounts
  • Sentient algorithms
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The final item in this week's robot revolution series concerns automated trading algorithms, which have been blamed for recent freezes and glitches in the global financial market. "These algorithms can operate so fast that humans are unable to participate in real time, and instead, an ultrafast ecology of robots rises up to take control," said the author of a recent study on the issue. Seriously, why don't we just hand the planet over now and skip all the drama?
  • Warren Buffet's arbitrary whims
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  • Feelings of guilt and anxiety
  • Feelings of pride and elation
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: A new study out of the University of Washington suggests that dishonest people may experience a kind of "cheater's high" triggered by brain chemistry. Researchers say the phenomenon could explain gambling addiction, the use of performance-enhancing drugs in pro sports and the entire socio-economic history of human civilization.
  • Feelings of fear and paranoia
  • A U.S. Senate seat
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  • Neptune's orbit
  • Pluto's orbit
  • Interstellar space
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: As reported in this week's edition of Science Magazine, the Voyager 1 space probe -- launched in 1977 -- has finally passed the outer limits of the solar system and reached interstellar space. The event is being called "a milestone in history" and one of the most amazing achievements in the history of mankind. NASA reports that, within hours of the announcement, they even received "a really sweet card" from the Klingon Empire. So that's nice.
  • Puberty
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