Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you know?

Oil leak in Alaska’s troubled pipelines

Almost all oil production on Alaska’s North Slope remains shut down after workers on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system discovered a leak over the second weekend of January 2011. BP, the pipeline company’s largest single owner, has called it a “significant event.”
BP is no stranger to pipeline problems in Alaska. ProPublica recently reported that a BP maintenance report in October found severe corrosion throughout its own system of pipelines, and workers had complained of “Band-Aid” solutions to long-running maintenance issues. Read more

Hold your breath

Try holding your breath. After a minute you will have used up most of the oxygen stored in your body and carbon dioxide will build up, triggering senses in your diaphragm to start breathing. You will experience an overwhelming urge to gulp some air, something which you will not be able to resist.
On average, people can hold their breath for one minute, maybe two. The world record, however, is 11 minutes 35 seconds, set on June 8, 2009 by St├ęphane Mifsud. In that time, even if you held your breath for a minute, you would have had to breathe 170 times because you breath 23,000 times a day! Read more

The Wiki Week

WikiLeaks“You show people what you’re willing to fight for when you fight your friends,” Hillary Clinton once said. If only all politicians will practice what they preach all the time the world might be, well, even more entertaining, as can gathered from the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
What some US diplomats had to say about their “friends”:
French President Sarkozy is “thin-skinned,” have an “authoritarian personal style” and is “an emperor with no clothes”
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is “feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader”
Prince Andrew Windsor, fourth in line to the British throne, is “cocky” and “verged on rude” and thinks that “Americans don’t understand geography. Never have.” Read more

Dialysis, Life-Saving Care at Great Risk and Cost In 1972, after a month of deliberation, Congress launched the nation’s most ambitious experiment in universal health care: a change to the Social Security Act that granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare to virtually anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income. It was a supremely hopeful moment. Although the technology to keep kidney [...]
Number notation The United States does not use the metric system. But this is not the only confusing difference between the USA and Europe. The hierarchy of numbers is universal: million, (milliard), billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, duodecillion, tredecillion, quat(t)uordecillion, uindecillion, sexdecillion, septendecillion, octodecillion, novemdecillion, vigintillion. In the American system of notation [...]
Surprising first careers of famous people If you’re experiencing some vocational unrest and are worried you’re unqualified for anything other than what your university degree directly prepare you for, don’t discredit the possibility of a career shift. Switching jobs and even industries is becoming more common due to new economic conditions and the increase in adult and continuing education programs. You don’t [...]
The man who invented peanut butter Bless him, the man who invented peanut butter. No-one knows his (or her) name simply because although the making of peanut butter can be traced back to almost 1000 BC there is no mention of the name of who made it first. Claims to the modern recipe are easier to follow: New Yorker Rose Davis [...]
Quantitative easing explained easily Quantitative easing (QE) is a simple electronic method by which a government or central bank “prints more money” to support private banks. In short, another bank bailout. The money is not actually physically printed at a mint or based on the value of gold or anything else; it is, believe it or not, created out [...]
Oil leak in Alaska’s troubled pipelines Almost all oil production on Alaska’s North Slope remains shut down after workers on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system discovered a leak over the second weekend of January 2011. BP, the pipeline company’s largest single owner, has called it a “significant event.” BP is no stranger to pipeline problems in Alaska. ProPublica recently reported that a [...]
Funny words in the computer world There are some funny words in the computer world. A brouter is a network bridge and a router combined in a single product. A glyph is a graphic symbol that provides the appearance or form for an alphabetic or numeric font. (“Glyph” is from a Greek word for “carving.”) A moof monster is a vague [...]
Record for most passengers on an airplane It is not clear who was the first to fly an airplane: Richard Pearse, Gustave Whitehead or Orville Wright. Whoever it may have been, the distances of their flights were only about the length of the wingspan of a Boeing 747. They probably never imagined the amount of people an aircraft will be able to [...]

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