Weird Science! The Friday News Quiz (Sept. 27, 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: mysterious photographs, fossilized bears and a curious admission from Bill Gates.
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  • Abraham Lincoln at Gettysberg
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Historians are already squabbling over the veracity of the 1863 photo, which appears to show Lincoln preparing to give his famous public address. Look closely and you can even see Lincoln's 19th-century teleprompter -- basically a guy named Obediah holding a piece of slate. Seriously, though, you can see Secretary of State William Seward photo-bombing the president in the background. Really.
  • Napoleon III in the Crimean War
  • The assassination of Alexander II
  • Charles Dickens at the 1984 World Series, somehow
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  • Spend 50 days in orbit
  • Spend 60 days in a centrifugal lab
  • Spend 70 days in bed
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The space agency is recruiting volunteers stay in bed for 70 days to research the effects of microgravity on the human body. It's not putting a man on the moon, but it's something. Hey, Congress! This is what happens when you cut funding to NASA!
  • Spend a weekend in Cleveland
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  • The suborbital SS2 spaceplane
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The inaugural flight of Virgin Galactic's suborbital space tourism vehicle, SpaceShipTwo (SS2), was delayed this week due to bad weather. Virgin founder Richard Branson said customers were ultimately not that disappointed. “Actually, I think they would almost rather that the program was delayed because they enjoy the buildup," Branson told Discovery News. "The foreplay sometimes can be just as exciting as the climax.” In a related item, Branson's newest start-up company -- Uncomfortable Metaphors, Inc. -- goes public next week.
  • The subterranean T23 supertrain
  • The subsonic YYZ guitar amplifier
  • The substandard Chevy Jalopy budget sedan
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  • Volcanic eruptions in India
  • Volcanic eruptions in Idaho
  • Two new offshore islands
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Incredibly, the magnitude-7.7 earthquake caused two small islands to rise offshore in the hours after the initial jolt. Predictably, real estate mogul Donald Trump immediately claimed the islands for the United States and started planning new resort casinos.
  • Tough new anti-earthquake legislation
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  • A stroke of genius
  • An important security device
  • An engineering milestone
  • A mistake
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: At a recent fundraising event, Gates admitted that the awkward "Control-Alt-Delete" keyboard command was "a mistake." The infamous three-finger salute was originally designed to require two hands to key in, so as to prevent accidental reboots. It's still an excellent band name, though. The keyboard command joins a long list of other admitted Microsoft mistakes, including Zune, Windows Vista and the entire career arc of Steve Ballmer.
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  • Recessive genes
  • Allergies
  • Bad eyesight
  • Bad memories
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: A new study from MIT claims to have isolated a gene that can facilitate the process of erasing bad memories. The study's authors have already been swamped with requests from people wishing to forget -- in order of urgency -- the Star Wars prequels, Nickelback and the entire George W. Bush administration.
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  • Sharper teeth
  • Smaller brains
  • Bigger penises
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The research concludes that an extinct species of bear known as Indarctos arctoides has a surprisingly long penis bone that likely resulted in optimal fertilization conditions during mating. The results were published in the quarterly journal Ursine Penis Bone Research and Reviews. A smaller publication, yes, but really quite thorough.
  • Frickin' lasers attached to their heads
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  • A light-speed vehicle
  • A light-emitting apparel fabric
  • A lightsaber
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: When researchers at Harvard and MIT blasted photons through a cloud of rubidium atoms, they discovered the particles clung together in an oddly familiar fashion. "It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers," said researcher Mikhail Lukin. In a perfect world, of course, all federal research funds would be immediately funneled to this critical project. But what can you do? Some people have weird priorities.
  • A light beer that tastes good
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  • He was four feet tall and weighed 70 pounds
  • He was seven feet tall and weighed 400 pounds
  • He was clinically dead for six days
  • He was a bear
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: More bulletins from bear history: Details emerged this week about a Polish army detachment during World War 2 that trained a brown bear cub to become part of their artillery unit. Named "Voytek," or "Smiling Warrior," the bear learned to carry supplies, perform guard duties, salute, drink beer and even smoke (and eat) cigarettes. Apparently, it's Bad Ass Bear Week in the world of science. Who knew?
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  • Ticks
  • Tornadoes
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Research published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that global warming will likely result in more and bigger storms and tornadoes. Climate change deniers rejected the findings in the usual fashion, by plugging their ears, closing their eyes and humming the National Anthem.
  • T-cell lymphoma diagnoses
  • Ted Cruz filibusters
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