No 490: "Defiance"
"[It] is about defying gravity. This is the idea. In some ways it is like information. Information is immaterial." Who said this about what?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 489)—"I just want to say one word to you ... just one word":
It began nearly 30 years ago with an accident while mixing up a batch of polyacetyline and culminated yesterday when the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Dr. Alan MacDiarmid, Dr. Hideki Shirakawa, and Dr. Alan Heeger for creating a plastic that does something no other plastic can. What?
"This plastic can be made into tasteful consumer products."—Allen Specht
"Lift pictures from the funny pages, bounce when rolled into a ball, and shatter when struck with a hammer. Oh, yeah, and separate from the tread while the Explorer is going over 60 mph on hot days, I forgot that part."—Mark Wade (James Cairl had a similar answer.)
"You know who my favorite human being is right now? Jim Lehrer. He's courtly, he's civilized, he's witty (but in an understated way), and when he tilts his head to the side in that inquisitive way of his, the TV lights catch his puppy-dog eyes just so, and he looks like a full-grown Hummel figurine. I'm sorry. What was the question?"—Tim Carvell
"Conduct electricity, thereby allowing George W. to introduce a line of plastic electric chairs in festive colors and shapes that better match his 'compassionate conservative' image."—Ariel Gilbert-Knight
"Dr. Alan won the Nobel Prize and he didn't mention it at my last cleaning? I guess that explains the high-and-mighty tone in which he told me to 'swish and spit.' "—Evan Brady
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Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.