Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $2000

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$2000 clue: Thor Heyerdahl believed this island was once colonized by a redheaded race from South America, possibly Peru

Correct response

The gist: Piloting the Kon-Tiki, a balsa-wood raft constructed based on drawings made by Spanish conquistadores in sixteenth-century Peru, Thor Heyerdahl and his six-man Norwegian-Swedish crew successfully sailed from Callao, Peru to a small islet in the French Polynesian Tuamotu island group. Although his aim was slightly off, he had demonstrated that it was theoretically possible for a craft built on ancient principles (albeit with modern provisions) to successfully sail halfway across the Pacific. Continue reading

Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $1600

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$1600 clue: Anthropologists study the island of Yap for its use of 12-foot stone wheels not for transport but as this

Correct response

The gist: In many parts of the world, it may be that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Not always so on the Micronesian* island of Yap. Continue reading

Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $1200

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$1200 clue: Called by some the most beautiful place on earth, Moorea is just 12 miles from this largest island in French Polynesia

Correct response

The gist: The Jeopardy! writers may have been reading their Frommer’s guide when they wrote this clue: that publication has called Moorea (or Mo’orea with the Polynesian glottal stop represented by the apostrophe) “the most beautiful island in the world.” Its nearly symmetrical Opunohu and Cook’s Bays give the island a vaguely cardioid shape, and it rises gently out of the ocean surrounded by clear water and sandy beaches, with its centre enclosed by mountain peaks that rise between the shores. Sounds pretty picturesque to me, at least. Continue reading

Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $800

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$800 clue: A big tourist activity in Tonga is whale watching, & since the whales are mainly this singing species, whale listening too

Correct response

The gist: Those of us gritting our teeth at the cold this time of year up here in the north of the northern hemisphere are probably a little jealous of the subjects of this category, but don’t be when it comes to this one. Continue reading

Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $400

The 2014 College Tournament wrapped up this week, which I believe means back to regular programming, and back to Mr. Chu, tonight. For now, we’ll talk a look Islands of the Pacific from Wednesday, February 19th’s Double Jeopardy! round. The reason I chose that category is because I recently read the book Pacific Worlds by Matt Matsuda, a fascinating and very well-written survey of the history of the Pacific Ocean and its place in global history. Highly recommended, especially for people looking to expand their historical horizons into less-well-known parts of the world by most English-speaking standards.

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$400 clue: A brand of water named for this Pacific island nation is bottled at the source, the Yaqara Valley on Viti Levu

Correct response

The gist: Military dictatorships, thug squads, journalistic intimidation, rampant corruption, and international intrigue might not be the sorts of things you’d readily associate with a bottled water company. Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $1000

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$1000 clue: In 1937 this German-born biochemist discovered the citric acid cycle that bears his name

Correct response

The gist: The citric acid cycle is the 10-step process through which all aerobic organisms on Earth produce the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that lets us perform any and all biological functions that require energy, which is definitely most of them. The oxygen we breathe in is used to oxidize (meaning take an electron from) acetate, and the energy released through that process is stored in ATP, which can in turn be snapped apart, losing a phosphate group and becoming ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to get that energy back in order to do stuff. In eukaryotic cells like ours, the process takes place in those “factories of the cell” the mitochondria, while in prokaryotes, which don’t have mitochondria, it takes place in the cytosol. Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $800

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$800 clue: While red bone marrow gets its color from developing red blood cells, yellow marrow gets its color from this

Correct response

The gist: Marrow may have been one of the most important sources of animal protein for early humans, since we were smart enough to use stone tools to crack open bones while fiercer animals* who had claws and sharp teeth but lacked thumbs and big brains contented themselves with killing the prey and munching on the meat. The humble, hidden tissue has seen a resurgence in haut-cuisine since Fergus Henderson, proponent of “nose-to-tail” carnivorism (that is, not wasting any bits of the animal we are, after all, killing) began offering it roasted at his restaurant St. JOHN in London, which opened in 1994.

Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $600

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$600 clue: It’s the branch of biology that deals with glands such as the pituitary & thyroid

Correct response

The gist: One of the lesser known of the human body systems, it’s nonetheless responsible for a staggering amount of our bodily function. A small bit of it found near the centre of the brain (the pineal gland) was even called the “seat of the soul” by Descartes. Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $400

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$400 clue: By definition, a polypeptide is a chain of these linked together by peptide bonds

Correct response

The gist: Life is full of chains. Nucleic acids are chains of nucleotides. Polysaccharides are chains of sugars (which one contestant offered as an incorrect response to this Triple Stumper). Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $200

As quickly as the Battle of the Decades came, it leaves us now to make room for the College Tournament (and with it my Coryat average jumps up by more than half over last week…), which lasts until next Friday, after which we will see the triumphant return of Arthur Chu to the podium to continue his apparently maniacal ways. I’m excited to see if the frankly bizarre amount of media attention he got during his first run will start up again then, although I suspect the attention spans of both the public and the writers have run their respective courses. I’d also like to point out that by my count we saw the first clue that one of my posts should have helped you with – the $1600 clue under NAME THAT SHAKESPEARE PLAY mentioned 1415, and sure enough the correct response was Henry V (highlight to see), just as I said it would be when I talked about the Battle of Agincourt. This week had two straight science categories up on the J!Archive by the time I sat down to write Monday’s post, which I’ve been waiting for since this series started. A little bird told me which one to pick, so let’s get down to BIOLOGY CLASS!

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$200 clue: At about 9 weeks of age, a human embryo becomes one of these

Correct response

The gist: Human gestation is popularly conceived of as a nine-month arrangement, an appropriately approximate definition for a process that can vary in length by quite a bit among individual mothers. Besides the commonly-used trimesters, the nine-months-or-so can be divided into two periods (as only one of many division schemes). The first, the embryonic period or embryogenesis, lasts until about the ninth week of pregnancy, involves the cleavage of embryonic cells (a process that is also responsible for decades of juvenile laughter in biology classes) to form a blastocyst, which implants itself on the uterine wall. Continue reading