small medium large xlarge

The Quiz

The Mother and Child Reunion

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article

Paul Simon says that he wrote the song “Mother and Child Reunion” after seeing the phrase on a Chinese restaurant menu describing a chicken-and-egg dish. Last month we presented a Chicken-and-Egg quiz, and this month we’re continuing this arbitrary and accidental homage to Paul Simon with this Mother and Child Reunion quiz.

So here’s the thing. We’ve somehow gotten the pairs of items below all mixed up. Your job is to reunite mothers and children. Pair each item on the left with the appropriate item on the right to create a Mother-and-Child reunion. Either the item from the left column will be (in some sense) the mother of the item from the right column, or the item in the right column will be (in some sense) the child of the item in the left column. “In some sense” is the key phrase: there are several different kinds of mother-child relationships represented here, but almost all of them pertain to computers and programming, and there is only one right way to pair up the moms and kids.



1. Black, Estrada, Coronado, Collins, and Zappa

A. All markets, according to John Sculley

2. Grace Murray Hopper

B. WikiWiki

3. Mary Lou Jepson

C. Chicago


D. Truth

5. Ada Lovelace

E. Ted Nelson

6. Jean E. Sammet

F. DEMO Conference

7. Adele Goldberg




9. Fortune

I. Grendel

10. Personal communicators

J. N. Katherine Hayles

11. A computer

K. Icon language

12. A demo in 1968


13. Actress Angelina Jolie

M. Steven Paul Jobs

14. Actress Celeste Holme

N. Computer programming

15. Actress Hedy Lamarr

O. One Laptop Per Child

16. The ’60s

P. Wendi Shasta Leonardo

17. Susan Kare

Q. Search engines

18. HyperCard

R. Smalltalk

19. Time

S. Spread-spectrum crypto

20. Mobo

T. Invention

Answer to Last Month’s Quiz

Last month’s Chickens and Eggs quiz presented a series of pairs of events and asked you to say which of each pair happened first. Here are the answers. In each case, we list the earlier item first.

  • ARPAnet 1969, Ethernet 1973.

  • The IBM System/360 1965, “Go To Statement Considered Harmful” (Dijkstra) 1968

  • Etch A Sketch late 1950s, The first instance of the same program being run on different computers from different vendors and producing the same result 1960

  • Cray delivers the first Cray-1 supercomputer 1976, Gary Kildall creates the BIOS for CP/M 1977

  • Tron (the original movie) 1982, C++ 1984

  • Apple “releases” Steve Jobs September 1985, Microsoft releases Windows November 1985

  • The C Programming Language (K&R) 1978, VisiCalc 1979

  • Buck Rogers 1929, Flash Gordon 1934

  • The patenting of the integrated circuit 1959, the first legal article on computer law 1960

  • Apple’s HyperCard 1992, the Mosaic browser 1993

  • The birth of William Henry Gates III 1955, the birth of Fortran 1957

  • PHP mid-1995, Ruby late 1995

  • The UNIVAC 1 June 1951, The Day the Earth Stood Still September 1951

  • The Soul of a New Machine (Tracy Kidder) 1981, Thinking Machines Corporation (Danny Hillis) 1982

  • The Art of Computer Programming Volume I: Fundamental Algorithms (Knuth) 1968, Forth 1970

  • Extreme Sports’ X Games 1995, Extreme Programming 1996

  • Tinkertoys 1914, the use of magnetic tape for computer storage 1951

  • Color television 1950, the Shell Sort 1959

  • Yahoo 1994, XML 1998