Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Who Founded Facebook?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about the origins of facebook, and how it has been allegedly misused.

The beginning of Facebook have been disputed from the moment 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg created the site in February 4, 2004. it was originally named, and was an instant success. However, 6 years later, the controversy which surrounds Facebook is still ongoing. A week after it was launched, Mark was accused by 3 Harvard seniors of stealing the idea off them.

This soon became a lawsuit, as a competing company created by these seniors sued Mark and Facebook for fraud and theft, beginning a legal battle which still rages even today.

New information uncovered suggests some of the complaints against Mark were infact valid. It also suggests that, on one occasion, Mark used private login data obtained from Facebook's servers to enter members' private email accounts, and read their emails, this is a gross misuse of information. Also, it suggests he hacked into the competing company's systems, and altered user information trying to make the site less useful.

The main dispute surrounding Facebook's origins was whether Mark entered into an agreement with the seniors, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, to create a similar site for them, and then, stalled their project and taking their ideas to build his own site.

In 2007, Massachusetts Judge Douglas P. Woodlock said these allegations were paper thin. Referring to the agreement which Mark allegedly breached, Woodlock wrote also, that dorm room chat is not deemed an actual contract. A year later, the judge ruled against Facebook's move to dismiss, and later all parties agreed on a settlement.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Who Invented Billiards?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about the history of billiards.

The history of billiards is surprisingly long, it is a game that was originally played by kings, then presidents, men and women, and even hustler. It has its roots in a lawn game quite similar to croquet played around the 15th century in Europe and France. However, it then most indoors to wooden tables that had green cloth to mimic grass, and a border was then installed around the edges. The balls back then were shoved, not struck, with wooden sticks referred to as maces. The word billiard is French, from the word billart, which was one of the wooden sticks, or bille, meaning a ball.

Most of the information regarding early billiards comes from royalty and other nobles. It was known as the Noble Game of Billiards since the 1800’s, however, there is evidence that individuals from all walks of life have played this game since its first began. In 1600, the game was familiar enough that Shakespeare made a mention of it in Anthony and Cleopatra.

The cue was created in the late 1600’s, when the ball came close to the rail, the mace was not convenient to use, due to the size of its head. In these such cases, players would simply turn the mace around and use the other way to hit the ball. This was called a queue, which means tail, this is where the word originated from. For a long time men were the only ones permitted to use the cue, women had to use the mace in case they tore their clothes with the shaper cue.

Tables originally came with flat walls for rails, and their only job was to ensure the balls did not roll off. They looked similar to river banks, and used to be referred to as banks. Players found out the balls could be bounced off the rails, and started to deliberately aim at them. Thus the bank shot was born, is when the ball rebounds from a cushion as part of a shot.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What Is Tuberculosis?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about TB.

Tuberculosis, also referred to as TB, is a bacterial infection which spreads through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to organs within a persons body. It is mostly seen in the lungs. Many people that are exposed to TB don't develop symptoms, due to the fact the bacteria will sleep within a persons body. However, should the immune system weaken, as with the case with individuals suffering from HIV or the elderly, TB bacteria can wake up. In its waking state, TB bacteria will cause the death of healthy tissue of the organs they infect. Active TB is deadly should it be left untreated.

Because the bacteria which causes tuberculosis is airborne, this disease can be highly contagious. Infection is occur should a person be exposed to someone that has TB on a daily basis, like living or working with someone in close quarters who has this active disease. Even then, the bacteria usually stay inert, or inactive after it has invaded a body, and only a small amount of people that are infected with TB will ever have the disease active. The remaining few will have what's known as a latent TB infection, this means they show no symptoms of infection, and will not be able to spread the disease, unless theirs becomes active.

However, because these dormant infections can become active, even people that show no signs of any symptoms should get medical attention. Medication will get rid of any inactive bacteria before they wake up.

TB was once an extremely virulent and widespread disease. It was however, nearly wiped out with antibiotics that were developed in 1950, however, the disease has reared its ugly head again in new and more potent forms, multi drug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB. Today, these new and dangerous forms of the disease -- resistant to some of the commonly used drug treatments, have made a public health crisis in several large cities around the world. Should you have TB, whether in its active or dormant form, seek medical treatment immediately. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

What Causes A Tsunami?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to find out what causes a Tsunami.

Tsunami are massage waves that are created by sudden movement of the ocean, mostly because of such things as landslides and earthquakes on the sea floor, land being dumped into the ocean, and volcanic eruptions or meteorite impacts.

Most tsunami are created by earthquakes on the sea floor, when rocks move past one another suddenly, causing the water to move. The resulting waves are pushed away from the earthquake event.

Underwater landslides and terrestrial land that falls into the ocean can cause a tsunami.

Volcanic eruptions
Less common are tsunami as a direct cause of an volcanic eruption. These happen in different ways.

1. The collapse of coastal, island and underwater volcanoes.
2. Pyroclastic flows, these are hot blocks, pumice, ash and gas, running down volcanic slopes straight into the ocean and subsequently pushing the water outwards.
3. A caldera volcano that collapses after an eruption, which causing overlying water to suddenly drop.

What are tsunamis?
The phrase tsunami, is the Japanese word tsu, which means harbour, and nami, meaning wave. A tsunami are massive waves caused by underwater disturbances, usually in connection with earthquakes which happen beneath or near an ocean. Volcanic eruptions, landslides, and rock falls will also create tsunamis, as will an asteroid hitting the ocean. They begin from vertical movement on the sea floor, with the resulting displacement of a water mass.

In deep oceans, waves have been documented to travel at around 800 km/h, and are only a few centimetres high. In the ocean, waves are created by the wind, and can be noted by their amplitude, this is the height of the wave, and wavelength, this is the distance from crest to crest. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Myth Or Fact Cockroaches Will Survive A Nuclear Blast?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to see if it is true and cockroaches will be the only living thing left standing after a nuclear blast?

Myth - Cockroaches can survive a nuclear fallout?
Most of us have heard the saying, the only things to survive a nuclear war would be cockroaches. However, this is not strictly true. It has even be said cockroaches could survive ground zero radiation after a nuclear explosion, though needless to say, not the actual explosion they were next to it, all assuming of course they weren’t inside a lead lined fridge, then of course they could survive.

In any case, the latest research shows that, even though cockroaches are capable of withstanding ionizing radiation bursts around 10 times more than humans, they are in fact light weights within this arena. In fact, it would only takes around 1,000 rads to interfere with their ability to reproduce, which of course lead to the end of cockroaches, should they be exposed to this level. For reference, this is around the same level of radiation at 15 miles away Hiroshima straight after the bomb exploded, this bomb was a 15 kiloton weapon, which is nothing compared to the megaton bombs which are found in nuclear stockpiles today.

Further more, at levels of only 6400 rads, approximately 95% of pubescent cockroaches will die and at 10,000 rads, and most adult ones will not survive also. While this impressive by human standards, as we are only able to withstand 400 to 1000 rads before dying, it’s very unimpressive by insect standards, as most will survive higher rates than cockroaches, so says the United Nations Scientific Committee, who, when they aren’t taking forever to say their name, apparently get immense enjoy from zapping living things with ionizing radiation. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

What Does Too Much Alcohol Do To A Body?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to find out what the effects are of alcoholism. Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Alcohol plays tricks with your brain’s communication pathways, and will affect the way the a person behaves. These disruptions will affect moods and behaviour, and will make it more difficult to think clearly and movement is uncoordinated.

Drinking over a long period of time, or too much on one occasion will severely damage a persons heart, creating issues such as.
Cardiomyopathy, which is the stretching and drooping of the heart muscle
Arrhythmias, which is an irregular heart beat
Elevated blood pressure 

Research has shown that drinking in moderation will protect healthy adults from having coronary heart disease.

Heavy drinking will eventually take its toll on a persons liver, and will cause various problems and inflammations such as.

Steatosis, or better known as fatty liver
Alcoholic hepatitis

Alcohol will cause a persons pancreas to start to produce toxic substances, which will eventually lead to pancreatitis, this is a dangerous inflammation and swelling of blood vessels found within the pancreas, thus preventing digestion properly.

Drinking too much will increase a persons chances of developing cancer, such as cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, breast, esophagus, and breasts.

Immunity System
Drinking will weaken a persons immune system, thus making your body an easier target for disease. Severe drinkers are more open to diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Drinking too much on one occasion reduces your body’s ability to stave off infections, even 24 hours after being drunk.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What is Coulrophobia?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to find out about peoples irrational fear of clowns.

Coulrophobia, or the fear of clowns, is quite common. An Internet search showed 16,000 hits. There are websites which are dedicated to this subject, where coulrophobes get to share their views. Clowns are common, especially Halloween events, like Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights, that feature killer clowns as their icon for many years. So clearly, this fear is very real.

However, little scientific research has been done on this subject, so it is hard to say exactly how many people actually suffer from this fear. But, no January 2008 a report done by the BBC News stated that a clown phobia could be more ingrained than was previously thought.

Why as a society, we are afraid of clowns? In a 2004 an article by Trinity University, Joseph Durwin stated there were two accepted schools of thought. One being the fear is due to a bad personal experience with clowns at a young age. The second, is mass media has fabricated so much hype about evil clowns, that even children who are not normally exposed to clowns are brainwashed into disliking and even fearing them. But, neither of these thoughts are really satisfactory.

The History of Clowns
Durwin has provided an impressive history on clowns, stretching as far back as to the jester of ancient times. Back then, clowns were given permission, and even expected, to show the more deviant side of human nature, from defying the sexual norms, to mocking the gods at the time. As time passed, jesters changed into tricksters, who were said to a more sinister figure, that had less than honourable intentions.

The modern day circus clown is a different version of a tramp from the Depression era. Tramp clowns were members of the underbelly of unsavoury classes, that entertained more privileged people with a caricatured look at on daily life. Although tramp clowns were thought to be quite harmless, a seedy underbelly did exist in the clown circuit.

Monday, 1 December 2014

What Is The Connection Between Earthquakes And Gold Veins?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about the connection between earthquakes and gold formations.

Scientists have known for some time that reams of gold were created by mineral deposits emanating from hot fluids which seeped through cracks in Earth’s crust. However, a study in Nature Geoscience1 found this process could happen nearly instantaneously, maybe as fast as a few tenths of a second.

This process happens along fault jogs, which as sideways zigzagged cracks which connect main fault lines in rock, so says author Dion Weatherley, who is a seismologist in the University of Queensland, Australia.

When earthquakes happen, the sides of these fault lines slide along the direction of a fault, thus rubbing against one another. However, the fault jogs just open. Weatherley and geochemist Richard Henley who is his co-author, contemplated what happened to fluids which circulated through these jogs when an earthquake happened.

What their calculations showed was surprising, a fast depressurization which sees normal high-pressure conditions, drop to pressures close to the surface.

Gradually, more fluid spews out of the rocks surrounding the gap, thus restoring the original pressure. However, this doesn’t happen immediately, and in the meantime a single earthquake will produce an instant vein of gold.

Obviously, the bigger the earthquake, the bigger the gold-vein formation. More interestingly, Weatherley and Henley discovered that even smaller earthquakes will create surprisingly large pressure drops on the fault jogs.

So there you have it folks, now we know how veins of gold are created, however, to find those that have several veins, will take many many years to create.