What is Qwikipedia?

Ever been on Wikipedia to look up an article? More often than not, we start with one topic, click on a few links and within no time are reading about something else. Qwikipedia is a game that tries to quench this curiosity in us.

The objective is to get to a particular wiki page, starting from a specific article, using minimal clicks. There is no single correct answer, so we might surprise ourselves by finding new routes each time!

Friday’s Free rider

Walkman —> Stephen Hawking

Walkman

The story goes like this. Nobutoshi Kihara, an engineer with Japanese electronics company Sony, was asked by his boss Akio Morita to figure out a way for the latter to listen to his favourite music while travelling in an aeroplane. Kihara found a way, and his product, the Sony Walkman, revolutionised the way music was listened to, by not just his boss, but by the entire world. In this age of smartphones and iPods it’s difficult to imagine a time when people couldn’t carry their music with them, isn’t it!

Music

When you think of music you don’t really think of the technicalities and the theory behind it, unless you are a musician. But you’ll be amazed to find out how complex the study of music actually is. More common elements of music include pitch and rhythm. While pitch refers to how low or high a sound is, rhythm is the arrangement of sounds and silences in time. Discovery of flutes from prehistoric times prove that music was a way of life since thousands of years ago.

Time

The concept of time is a lot more than what your watch tells you when you’re waiting for a boring class to finish. Time has been extensively studied in religion, philosophy and science, but nobody has yet been able to provide a definition for it that could universally apply in all fields. The question of when time began has intrigued humans for centuries. Physicist Stephen Hawking has stated that it began with the Big Bang, and anything that may have happened before is “meaningless”.

Stephen Hawking

His book A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times bestsellers’ list for 237 weeks! That shows that Stephen Hawking isn’t just a brilliant theoretical physicist but also a stalwart when it comes to popularising science. Being almost completely paralysed due to a motor neuron disease has not stopped Hawking from communicating with the world. You may have read yesterday about his comments that finding the Higgs boson may have made physics dull. He does this via a speech generating device. 

So the path that we have traversed today is:

Walkman —> Music —> Time —> Stephen Hawking

Three clicks! Hop over. It’s time for the next question:

Monday’s Marauder

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel —> Google Doodle

Send in your paths for the above to school@thehindu.co.in with the subject “Qwikipedia”. Do include your name, class and school!

Kudos!

Aakash.S.R., Class IX, Excel Central School, Thiruvattar found a shorter path! Walkman -> United Kingdom -> Stephen Hawking