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While taking a course entitled "Introduction to Information Technology" at Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, Nebraska, the following was given as an assignment.  Read the following information about a scavenger hunt then bring the answer, a url, and a one-page printout (proof of site visit) to class to turn in as homework.  Knowing all the troubles I had with the hunt, I am posting some "answers" that I found.  ENJOY!!

Answer as many of the following questions as you can in the time allotted by your instructor. Include the URL(s) for the site or sites where you find the answer. The number of points each question is worth is stated at the beginning of the question. Your score will be the sum of the points for the questions you answer correctly.

1.   (2 points)  Corporations frequently collect data on their competitors. This data might be used in the corporation to improve products and services. Alternatively, it might be used in advertising to promote one company's strengths as compared to the competition. Suppose you worked for the United States Postal Service (USPS)and you wanted data that you could use to compare the number of trucks in the USPS fleet with those used by UPS and FedEx. How many trucks are owned respectively by USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

UPS - 152,500 vehicles (package cars, vans, tractor-trailers)
FEDEX -  more than 92,300 (ground fleet)(express, ground and freight combined)
USPS -  202,000 vehicles in delivery fleet

2.   (1 point)  Every year millions of high school graduates apply to colleges and universities, and college graduates apply to graduate schools. The reputation of these schools often travels by word of mouth; but to get the facts, applicants are advised to gather information about the degree programs, faculty, facilities, and student life at prospective schools. Many colleges have Web sites where they post such information. How many graduate and how many undergraduate students are enrolled at Cornell University?

Total enrollment for the Fall of 2000 was 19,620

3.   (2 points)  The founder of cybernetics viewed a bureaucracy and a factory as automated machines. The whole world, he said, was essentially "one big feedback system subject to the relentless advance of entropy . . ." [Entropy, loosely, is the steady deterioration of a system.] Who was the founder of cybernetics and when was he born?

Norbert Wiener, born in 1894

4.   (2 point)  Business, the economy, and society are becoming increasingly globalized. A business person might interact with colleagues in many different countries. In such a global village, it is useful to be aware of other countries' customs. For example, in Japan, business is not usually conducted on national holidays. Explain whether December 23rd would be a good day to conduct business in Japan.

No, it would not be a good day to conduct business in Japan.  December 23rd is the Emperor's Birthday, which is a National Holiday.  Also, in the year 2001, December 23rd is a Sunday, which makes it unlikely any business would get done regardless.

5.   (2 points) In the world of sports, the scores printed in your local paper are only the tip of the iceberg. All over the world, many teams are playing diverse games; many athletes are making records; and fans are creating stars. In many parts of the world cricket, not football, captures the interest of sports enthusiasts. Among cricket fans, who is generally accepted as the greatest player of all time--Donald Bradman or Graeme Hick?

Donald Bradman

6.   (3 points) Monuments are a part of our culture; and most people are familiar with the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, the Taj Mahal, the Eifel Tower. But in what city is there a monument to the northern lights?

I have found unofficial references to monuments in 4 different cities.  Reference #1 talks about Fairbanks, Alaska and Rugby, North Dakota.  Reference #2 talks about the University of Umeaa in Sweden and Reykjavik, Iceland.

7.   (2 points) Neil Young, a prolific rock singer and composer, is remembered for his band Crazy Horse and his collaboration with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. As with many musicians, however, the background and issues involving his work are less well-known. What is the connection between Neil Young's song "Southern Man"; and Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Sweet Home, Alabama?"

"Sweet Home, Alabama" was written at least partially in response to Canadian artist Neil Young's song's "Alabama" and "Southern Man."  The song was received by the audience as a much needed re-assertion of Southern pride, following a difficult period in which the South had been much criticized.

8.   (3 points) As World War II heated up in Europe, U.S. scientists were on the trail of some significant advances in weapons research. Enrico Fermi was the first to actually produce nuclear fission in the laboratory and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1938 for his efforts. On the basis of this work and a supportive letter from Albert Einstein, the U.S. government plunged wholesale into research on creating an atomic bomb. On the brink of success, President Truman used the Potsdam conference to reveal to Stalin that the United States had a new and powerful weapon. Why wasn't Stalin surprised by this news?

From comments made by Marshal Zhukov, it appears that the Soviets knew the Americans were working on an Atomic Bomb.  The Soviets were also working on their own version of the Atomic Bomb.  It does appear that the Soviets were not as advanced as the Americans, as Stalin made a comment about speeding up the development of their own program.

9.   (5 points) Software designers often include an "Easter egg"--a secret message or graphic--in their programs. What steps would you take to look at the Easter egg in the software Microsoft Excel 7 for Windows 95?

The 9 steps are listed here.

10.   (3 points) Comic books are a popular staple of American culture. In the 1960s a new style of "alternative" comics appeared, featuring a long-bearded, robed, and booted character. What was the name of this comic character and who was his creator?

Mr.Natural, created by Robert Crumb (born Aug 30, 1943 in Philadelphia).


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