Sunday, May 11, 2008

Decathlon Event #6 / Monday Quiz XXVII


(People of Oregon! Do not forget to vote!)


Decathlon Event #6: General Knowledge

Note: As a Decathlon Event, the Monday Quiz will again expand to ten questions.

Answer the questions below. You may submit your answers either in the comments, or by email to

Judging: Each question is, unless otherwise specified, worth a single point. For Decathlon scoring, there will be no tiebreakers; if the two best scores are 8/10, followed by two of 7/10, the former two will both be scored as first place in the event, the latter two both as third place in the event, and so on. For Monday Quiz scoring, in light of the expanded format, at least the top three scores will be awarded the MQXXVII Exclamation Point.

Deadline: Answers must be submitted no later than 10 p.m. Monday, May 12th (Pacific Daylight Time).


1. What is indicated by "E", "m", and "c" in this formula?

2. What does this formula describe?

3. You might make a crude version of what from this formula?

Add seven parts saltpetre to three parts charcoal

4. What substance is described by this chemical formula?
5. You might make a simple version of what from this formula?

Add three parts oil to one part vinegar, with a small amount of salt, pepper, and mustard to taste

6. With this geometric formula, you could calculate what?

7. What is described by this basic physics formula?

8. What is made with this formula?

Equal parts Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, and fresh Cream

9. This chemical formula is a very simplified description of what common process?
10. What are three conventions, themes, or tropes you might expect to find in the genre of formula fiction represented by these covers?

You may submit your answers either in the comments, or by email to


fingerstothebone said...

I'll have to dig way deep into some forgotten crevices if I were to have any hope (note that I said "were") of answering these questions. I can only hope that:

1. I did well in the limericks division.
2. I will dream up a few of the answers in my sleep tonight.

Or maybe I'll have to try hypnosis.

fingerstothebone said...

And you're not trying to trick us with that '2', are you? You do seem to know how to use superscripts, after all.

Michael5000 said...

@fingers: Oh, hell. Good eye.

Elizabeth said...

1. Energy, mass, and the speed of light.
2. The Pythagorean theorem, describing a right triangle.
3. Gunpowder (treason and plot!).
4. Sulfuric acid.
5. Salad dressing (but you forgot the garlic).
6. The volume of a ... sphere? Sphere.
7. Velocity.
8. An overly-sweet drink that I think is called a Grasshopper.
9. Rusting.
10. Your best friend will die; you will get the girl in the end; your problems will be solved with a gun.

Nichim said...

1. E = energy; m = mass; c = the speed of light.
2. The relationship of the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle to the lengths of its sides: The Pythagorean Theorum
3. Gunpowder, right?
4. Sulfuric acid
5. Salad dressing
6. The volume of a sphere
7. Velocity of something or other
8. Some kind of gross cocktail: grasshopper, maybe?
9. The oxidation of iron (rusting)
10. Fighting with Indians, bein' lonesome, livestock possession legal and otherwise

Dan Nolan said...

Decidedly out of my wheelhouse, but here goes:

1. Energy, mass, velocity
2. isosoles triange
3. chalk
4. salt water
5. italian dressing
6. the volume of a sphere
7. the velocity necessary for a Volvo to navigate the Appalachain Trail.
8. an upset stomach
9. copulation at a swingers' party: Fe = feramoans, O2/3 = increases in oxygen
10. comraderie, good v evil, flatulence.

The M5K Decathalon is the best blog reality show since Blog of Love aired over on Bee-Spot. Can we get a score update?

DrSchnell said...

1. Energy = mass x constant(speed of light) squared
2. Sides of a right triangle (hypotenuse = C) - Pythagorean Theorem
3. gunpowder
4. Sulfuric acid
5. vinigrette dressing
6. volume of a cylinder
7. um... velocity of an unladen swallow.
8. um... an Andes mint
9. oxidation
10 the Western

DrSchnell said...

Hang on - I misread the question for number 10! Three conventions of the Western are: shootouts and high noon, cattle roundups, and Injun troubles.

Anonymous said...

1 / Energy, Mass, Speed of Light
2 / Relationship of the sides of a right triangle (where a and b are the perpendicular sides)
3 / Gunpowder?
4 / Sulphuric Acid
5 / Vinagrette (salad dressing)
6 / Volume of a sphere
7 / Gravity
8 / Angel's Breath
9 / Rust process
10 / Can I google trope? Man loses Cowboy Hat. Man regains Cowboy Hat. Man finds another man with Cowboy Hat and rides off to Brokeback Mountain.

Anonymous said...

1. Energy, Mass, Speed of light.
2. Pythagorean (sp?) Thereom
3. Gunpowder
4. Saltwater
5. Salad Dressing
6. Area of a column
8. White Russian
9. Rust never sleeps
10. Man against Nature, Man against Man, The Duality of Man.

Anonymous said...

1 E is energy, m is mass, c is the speed of light.
2 the mathematical relationship between the length of the legs (A and B) of a right triangle and the length of its hypotenuse (C)
3 gunpowder
4 uh. . . baking soda?
5 salad dressing--a vinaigrette, that is
6 the volume of a cylinder
7 Gee, V can stand for so many things, can't it? I want to say this is the formula for how to win a war. But this looks like how you'd determine the speed of an object under constant acceleration: Vo is the original velocity, to which you add the rate of acceleration multiplied by the time elapsed.
8 a grasshopper
9 rust
10 tall, laconic gun-totin' hero; earnest, frightened ranchers or townsfolk who turn to hero for help against forces of violence and lawlessness; achingly lonesome sunset into which hero rides when, having made the place a little more civilized, it no longer suits his poor restless soul

Anonymous said...

RE answer #4: damn, no wonder my muffins have been coming out so caustic.

McGuff said...

1. Energy, mass and the speed of light
2. Pythagorean Theorem – ratio of sides of a right triangle
3. An explosive / gunpowder
4. Sulfuric acid
5. Classic French vinaigrette – however, use champagne or unseasoned rice wine vinegar and add a pinch of thyme, chopped garlic and shallot for a better one.
6. Volume of a cylinder
7. Velocity (European or African swallow?)
8. Ahh. A useful mixology ratio, young GRASSHOPPER.
9. Rusting / oxidation
10. Frontier law; rugged individualism and the enduring pioneer spirit. Oh, and a drunk locked up in the local jail, presumably as a result of addiction to hard core hooch, not grasshoppers.

fingerstothebone said...

Well, the shower helped a little, but sleep did not. This will be highly distressing:

1. Energy, Mass, and a Constant, which for lack of anything else to put in there, I'll say the speed of light, which is the thing I associate with Einstein.

2. A property of a right triangle -- the relationship of the lengths of the 2 sides adjacent to the right angle (A & B) and the hypotenuse (C).

3. Uh...fertilizer? I have no clue.

4. Another chemistry one, I was bad at chemistry.

5. Hmmm, salad dressing?

6. The volume of cylindrical form (I'm better at geometry).

7. Velocity, with a starting velocity and acceleration over a period of time.

8. Something that has a lot of Creme and Cream in it.

9. Rust.

10. Not sure what you're after, so here a few different sets of 3's: (cows, horses, sagebrush), (male bonding, courage, sacrifice), (guns, boots, saddles), (love, battle, death). Oh, I'm running out of ideas.

I give up.

Morgan said...

1. Energy = Mass times the Speed of Light squared
2. Pythagorean theorem
3. Oil?
4. Sulphuric Acid
5. Oil and Vinegar?
6. Volume of a cylinder
7. Velocity?
8. Cream?
9. I really don't know.
10. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

1. Energy, mass, speed of light
2. A triangle
3. Gun powder, I think
4. salt water?
5. Salad dressing
6. Velocity? Momentum?
7. Velocity? No Clue
8. Grasshoppa
9. Mmm. I know FE from scrabble so I'm thinking something that happens to iron. Oxidizing... rust?
10. Loyalty, honor, courage, loneliness, damsels in distress, underdog winners

Even though I did not know many, this was a very fun one!

Anonymous said...

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Michael5000 said...

OK, what we have here is:

1. Energy/Matter/the Speed of Light

2. the relationship between the lengths of legs of a right triangle

3. Gunpowder

4. Sulpheric Acid

5. Vinigrette (part marks for "salad dressing")

6. The volume of a cylinder (a sphere is (4/3)(pi)(r cubed))

7. Acceleration, or change in velocity through acceleration (part marks for "velocity")

8. A grasshopper.

9. Rusting

10. It was fun to read your answers to this one.

Michael5000 said...


Tied for Fifth, with 400 Decathlon points apiece, Elizabeth and Nichim!

Tied for Third, with 800 Decathlon points and a MQXXVII Exclamation Point apiece, Jen and drschnell.

In Second, still on her roll, with 1000 Decathlon points and the Exclamation Point, Mrs.5000.

And in First, still on HIS roll, wtih 1200 Decathlon points and the Exclamation Point, Phineas!

Well done, all around.

Michael5000 said...

...and dan wanted an update, so here are the current top ten scores after six events:

Mrs.5000 5400
Phineas 4000
la gringissima 3800
drschnell 3300
Cartophiliac 3200
Rebel 3000
Karmasartre 2700
Fingers 2600
dan 2500
Jen 2300 which I say: CATCH HER, PEOPLE!!! She's going to be impossible to live with if she wins this thing...

Michael5000 said...

p.s. That's four straight Exclamation Points for drschnell. Nobody's ever done that before...

fingerstothebone said...

If the Mrs becomes impossible to live with, you will have created the problem yourself. I don't think you're going to get a lot of sympathy for that, I'm afraid. (Lets see if that influences the judging...)