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Quiz about Wisdom From Some Fools
Quiz about Wisdom From Some Fools

Wisdom From Some Fools Trivia Quiz


Team WOTF presents our first quiz. We offer for your consideration ten tales of people who were considered fools by their peers but proved to be rather wise.

A multiple-choice quiz by Team Wisdom of the Fool. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
adam36
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
362,245
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
812
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. What Polish-born astronomer was called a fool by Martin Luther and derided by both Catholics and Protestants for advocating the heliocentric theory of celestial rotation? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which prolific author of science fiction, history, popular science and mysteries wrote a popular "Guide to Shakespeare" stating that "That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool - that he is no fool at all." Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. What founding father of modern space travel was mocked by the press and public for suggesting that a rocket could be propelled through the vacuum of space? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In the 1700s John Harrison, a self-educated carpenter from England, managed to solve one of the toughest scientific problems of his day - determining longitude at sea. What did he do to solve the problem? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. What fundamental "law" of electricity developed in the early 1800s by a German scientist was decried as a "tissue of naked fantasy" when first presented? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Initially dismissed as a colonial rustic by the academic establishment at Cambridge, which New Zealand born and educated farmer's son went on to gain a Nobel prize and to "split the atom"? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. While at Yale University a business professor told student Fred Smith his idea for creating an overnight delivery service to support modern business was not feasible. Luckily Mr. Smith ignored his professor and created what iconic delivery service? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What cartoonist who later created an animation and entertainment empire was told by his first newspaper editor that he lacked imagination and did not have good ideas? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 1848 Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis was ridiculed and ostracized from the European medical community for advocating what radical practice to reduce infectious disease during child birth? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Artists must sometimes go through ridicule before their genius is recognized. In 1873 Parisian art critic Louis Leroy called what artist's work "Impression: Sunrise" at best a sketch and concluded that wallpaper was more finished than the painting. Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What Polish-born astronomer was called a fool by Martin Luther and derided by both Catholics and Protestants for advocating the heliocentric theory of celestial rotation?

Answer: Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in 1473 in Prussia at a time when that area was part of the Kingdom of Poland. A noted mathematician and astronomer, Copernicus' great work was the publication of his treatise on the relationship between the Sun and the planets in 1542 called "De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium" ("On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres"). Copernicus used both astronomy and higher math to correctly theorize that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun in contrast to then accepted belief that the Earth was the center of the universe and all celestial bodies rotated around the Earth.

Copernicus died only months after publishing the book. However, as his ideas became more widespread criticism mounted. The notion that the earth was not at the center of the universe offended - at least initially - Christians right across the spectrum. Martin Luther is credited with having referred to Copernicus as the "fool who went against holy writ." John Calvin once raged in a sermon "Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?". The Catholic Church eventually placed "De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium" on its list of "banned books" in 1616. The Church later gave up its attempt to discount the truth of the heliocentric theory during the 18th Century and removed the book from the "forbidden list" in 1758.
2. Which prolific author of science fiction, history, popular science and mysteries wrote a popular "Guide to Shakespeare" stating that "That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool - that he is no fool at all."

Answer: Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov in Russia, was a true polymath. Asimov is probably best known as an author of science fiction and popular science novels. A prodigious intellect, Asimov was a long time member and international vice president of MENSA.

He devised the "the Three Laws of Robotics" and is credited with coining the term "robotics" to describe the study of mechanized intelligence. Asimov has been described as one of the most prolific writers of all time, writing or editing more than 500 books on subjects as diverse as history, astronomy, religion, chemistry, physics and mathematics, as well as mystery and other fiction. All in all, Asimov has credits published in nine out of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification. Asimov would have made a most excellent Fool, as he was no fool at all!
3. What founding father of modern space travel was mocked by the press and public for suggesting that a rocket could be propelled through the vacuum of space?

Answer: Robert Goddard

Robert Hutchings Goddard is considered the father of rocket propulsion. Goddard began experimenting with fueled propulsion vehicles (rockets) while still in his teens. By the age of 30 Goddard had patented a process for a rocket using liquid fuel and a multi-stage solid fuel rocket. Goddard believed from his earliest days that man could travel to the stars using rocket technology. In 1920 the Smithsonian Institute published his article entitled "A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes" where Goddard postulated that man could journey to the moon. The press at the time viciously attacked Goddard, laughing at the notion that you could propel something through the empty vacuum of space. He was dubbed "Moon Man" and his theories were ridiculed as incredible. Goddard responded to one critic by saying "every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace."

Goddard spent most of is life in quiet seclusion creating over 200 patents, testing both solid and liquid fuel rockets. Today Goddard is recognized as the father of space travel as his work spawned both the German rocket programs (and the work of men such as Werner Von Braun) and the US rocket program. Goddard died in New Mexico on August 10, 1945 some 24 years before his vision of a lunar flight was realized. Tsiolkovsky was a contemporary of Goddard who working in near obscurity in Russia but also greatly influenced the development of modern rocket science.
4. In the 1700s John Harrison, a self-educated carpenter from England, managed to solve one of the toughest scientific problems of his day - determining longitude at sea. What did he do to solve the problem?

Answer: He built a better clock.

The determination of longitude (East-West positioning) while at sea was considered a near-impossible problem to solve until the late 18th century. Unlike latitude, which can simply be measured by studying the angle the sun makes with the horizon, longitude requires a seafarer to know the difference between local time and time at some fixed reference point. Many of the brightest minds of the era, including Isaac Newton, were convinced that if an answer was to be found, it would be in from astronomical calculations and not earth-bound time keeping. The possibility of a clock solving the problem was discounted by the scientific community as no clock kept accurate enough time at sea with its rolling waves, humidity, and temperature changes.

Harrison began a career as a clockmaker at the age of 20 in 1713. Fascinated by the longitude problem, Harrison spent his life proving the wisest minds wrong, by building a series of clocks over several decades eventually perfecting his marine chronometer. So significant to the expansion of British mercantile interests was the chronometer that Harrison was awarded a cash prize for his work by the British Parliament in 1773 of over £23,000 (or the modern equivalent of over £2.66 million).
5. What fundamental "law" of electricity developed in the early 1800s by a German scientist was decried as a "tissue of naked fantasy" when first presented?

Answer: Ohm's Law

Georg Ohm was a German physicist and mathematician at the University of Munich who in 1827 published "Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet" ("The Galvanic Circuit Investigated Mathematically"). Ohm stated that based on mathematical proofs and observational experimentation that there was a relationship between electric current passing through a circuit and the circuit's resistance. Essentially Ohm's Law is that in an electric circuit, the current passing between two points is proportionally related to the voltage difference between the two points, and inversely related to the electrical resistance between the two points.

Today Ohm's law is considered as a rather obvious starting place in the study of electromagnetism. But when Ohm's treatise was released many scientists reacted savagely towards him and his theories. Peer publications called Ohm's work a "web of naked fancies". Government educational officials derided Ohm and threatened to revoke his tenure going so far as to state publically that "a professor who preached such heresies was unworthy to teach science."

Ohm of course had the last laugh as his theories became standard science within twenty years of his discoveries; and his work considered so important that the international standard of measurement (SI) for electrical resistance is called an "ohm".
6. Initially dismissed as a colonial rustic by the academic establishment at Cambridge, which New Zealand born and educated farmer's son went on to gain a Nobel prize and to "split the atom"?

Answer: Ernest Rutherford

Later known as the father of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) was one of the first non-Cambridge-educated scholars to be allowed to do research at Cambridge University. These newcomers were regarded with suspicion and termed 'aliens' by some of the Cambridge elite.

Born to a farming family near Nelson, New Zealand, Rutherford was educated at Canterbury College, University of New Zealand. He developed the concept of radio-active half-life and it was for his work in this field, while at McGill University in Montreal, that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908. His subsequent work on the structure of the atom led to his 'splitting the atom' in a nuclear reaction conducted in 1917. Rutherford held posts at McGill, Manchester, and Cambridge universities and was elevated to the peerage as Baron Rutherford of Nelson in 1931. Element 104 was named rutherfordium in his honour. His ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey.
7. While at Yale University a business professor told student Fred Smith his idea for creating an overnight delivery service to support modern business was not feasible. Luckily Mr. Smith ignored his professor and created what iconic delivery service?

Answer: Federal Express

While attending Yale University Fred Smith used his idea for a new type of delivery service as the basis for a term paper. Smith's professor scoffed at the idea for a guaranteed air delivery service for letters and packages telling Smith his idea was not feasible and gave him the grade of a "C". Smith was undaunted and Federal Express (FedEx) began operation in April 1971 using money Smith received from an inheritance.

Federal Express was not an overnight success. While the company grew it lost money, in 1974 FedEx lost over one million dollars a month and failure was imminent. Smith however secured additional finance and by 1976 was turning a healthy profit and eventually became the standard for efficiency and innovation in the delivery business.
8. What cartoonist who later created an animation and entertainment empire was told by his first newspaper editor that he lacked imagination and did not have good ideas?

Answer: Walt Disney

While today the name Disney is eponymous with cartoons, movies, theme parks and marketing success, such was not always the case. The founder of the Disney empire, Walter Elias Disney felt the slap of failure and was called a fool for many years. Disney was fired from an early job as a cartoonist at a Kansas City newspaper and was told he lacked imagination and good ideas. Later Disney created his first animated cartoon character "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" and achieved moderate success in early animated short movies. However, the distributor of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, Universal Pictures, gained ownership of the character, hired many of his top cartoonists and dismissed Disney from his own creation.

Determined to recover form his humiliation and failure, Walt Disney and his collaborator Ub Iwerks immediately set about creating a new character to replace Oswald. Today we know that character as Mickey Mouse. Within two years Disney's Mickey Mouse was the most successful animated franchise and no one again suggested that Walt Disney lacked either imagination, wisdom or good ideas.
9. In 1848 Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis was ridiculed and ostracized from the European medical community for advocating what radical practice to reduce infectious disease during child birth?

Answer: Doctors washing their hands

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was born on July 1, 1818 in Buda, Hungary (later united with Pest to become modern Budapest). In 1844 he became an obstetrician at Vienna's Lying-In Hospital. Semmelweis saw first hand the large number of cases of puerperal fever, a mysterious ailment that hit newborn mothers within hours of delivery with high fever, excruciating pain and, frequently, death. Semmelweis observed that doctors and students who touched cadavers with puerperal fever had a higher instance of subsequent patients catching the illness, when compared to doctors who did not conduct autopsies. Semmelweis concluded that by sterilizing their hands doctors could reduce the incidence of the deadly disease.

Semmelweis's theories predated the verification of germ theory by several decades. His concepts were rejected by the medical establishment, who dismissed cleanliness as a reason for disease in favor of the miasma or bad air theory. Semmelweis himself suffered dismissal from his hospital position and ridicule from the bulk of the established medical community. Personal disappointment and professional scorn took its toll on Semmelweis, who began to suffer mental imbalance. Ultimately in 1865 Semmelweis was admitted to a psychiatric facility and died soon after.

Today Semmelweis is considered a pioneer of antiseptic practices and his name has become a catch phrase to remind the scientific community to fight human nature's tendency to reject new knowledge because it contradicts the status quo.
10. Artists must sometimes go through ridicule before their genius is recognized. In 1873 Parisian art critic Louis Leroy called what artist's work "Impression: Sunrise" at best a sketch and concluded that wallpaper was more finished than the painting.

Answer: Claude Monet

It is hard to believe today, but in the art world of the 1860s-1870s Monet and all the great impressionists painters were ridiculed and were the target of critics' barbs. In 19th century Europe the Salon de Paris was the most important annual art show. Only those works judged worthy by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, who ran the Salon, were included and exclusion of an artists work was both financially and critically damaging. The advent of impressionism was resisted by the Académie des Beaux-Arts and for over a decade the Salon de Paris rejected the works of Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir and Sisley, to name but a few. In 1873 Monet and others created an alternative organization to display their works the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs ("Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers").

Monet displayed his seminal work "Impression: Sunrise" at this 1873 show. However the art critics, heavily invested in the realism portrayed by the Salon artists, continued to make jest of Monet and his style. In his 1874 review of the alternative exhibition critic Louis Leroy sought to turn the word "impressionist" into a pun by taking the title of Monet's work and stating "impression I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it - and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this seascape."

Monet of course had the last laugh as the derisive term coined by Leroy, impressionism, became synonymous with the revolution of art and today the works of Monet and his contemporaries are revered and valued at the highest level; while Louis Leroy is remembered if at all as the real fool.
Source: Author adam36

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