No comments | Thursday, February 28, 2013
In little over 10 years, the internet has become a global phenomenon. In 1995 it was used by about 45 million people around the world. By 2006 the figure had more than doubled to 1,018,057,389. 
Internet milestones
During the 1960s scientists in the USA began trying to work out how organizations could keep in touch with one another after a nuclear attack. In 1965 ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) suggested linking computers. In 1969 computers at four US universities were connected and were able to "talk" to each other for the first time.

The network was extended and in 1973 computers were connected between London and Norway. At the same time, electronic mail (E-mail) was being used more and more to send messages between computers. In 1976 Queen Elizabeth II became the first monarch to send an e-mail message. In 1979 the first Usenet newsgroups (online discussion group) began.

By 1981 the ARPA network had 213 hosts (sites to which users could connect). A new host was added approximately every 20 days. In 1982 a common language called TCP/IP was invented which allowed all Internet computers to communicate with each other and the network was first called an Internet. In the 1980s many more people and businesses began to use computers. The Internet began to be used commercially, as well as by governments and universities.

The 1991 World Wide Web (www) was created. It combined words, pictures and sounds in a system that ordinary people could easily understand and use. By 1994 approximately 40 million people were connected to the Internet. They could exchange information sell goods and work from any computer with a phone line. The Rolling Stones rock group even broadcast a concert over the Internet. Schools started using the Internet as an electronic library. By 1996 users in almost 150 countries around the world were connected to the Internet.

High-speed broadband and wireless access are now widespread and more and more businesses are using the Internet to promote and sell products and services. In 2001 there were 533 million Internet users worldwide. Experts predict that by 2007 about 1,460 million people will be using the Internet.

Google is the most used Internet search engine in the world. It is also one of the fastest growing companies of all time, with earnings in 2005 of $6.1 billion. Since 1998 it has indexed more than 12 billion pictures, web pages and other items.

No comments | Monday, February 25, 2013
Two-wheel timeline:
1817- The Draisienne, or hobby horse, invented by Baron Karl Von Drais. There were no pedals. The rider sat on the saddle with his feet on the ground and pushed himself along.

1839- Crank-driven cycle built by Kirkpatrick Macmillan (Scotland)

1861- The Velocipede (fast foot) also called a Boneshaker, driven by pedals attached to the front wheel hub, built by Pierre Michaux (France).

1869- First metal spoke wheels and solid rubber tires; the word "Bicycle" first used.

1870- "Penny-farthing" or Ariel Ordinary or, patented by James Starley and William Hillman (UK)

1885- Motorcycle patented by Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlied Daimler (Germany)

1888- First pneumatic tyres made by John Boyd Dunlop (Scotland)

1894- First motorcycle, the Motottad, sold in Germany

1899- Charles "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy (USA) set a bicycle speed record of one mile (1.6km) in 57.75 seconds.

1903- First Tour de France cycle race

1946- Vespa motor scooter launched in Italy, by Piaggo

1972- Bicycles first outsell cars in the US (13 million bikes to 11 million cars)

1995- 50 year old Fred Rompelberg (Netherlands) sets new bicycle speed record of   268.831km/h (167.04mph).

2005- The aluminium framed Powabyke electric bicycle is launched. It can travel up to 54km on one charge and has a top speed of 24km/h. 

Car Timeline

Car timeline:
1883- First experimental petrol-driven car (France)

1886- Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler (Germany) build first cars

1892- First US car built by Charles and Frank Duryea

1893- Rudolf Diesel patents engine

1894- First cars in UK

1895- First car race, Paris-Bordeaux-Paris, France (1,178km)

1895- Michelin (France) make first pneumatic car tyres for cars

1895- First car show  in UK

1896- First speeding fine (UK)

1896- First car theft (France)

1896- First motoring death (UK)

1897- First woman driver in UK name Minnie Palmer

1898- First woman driver in USA name Genevra Mudge

1899- Jacob German arrested for speeding in New York (12mph)

1900- 8,000 vehicles on the road in USA

1903- First driving licences issued, Paris (France)

1903- Registration plates introduced in UK

1903- 30,204 vehicles made in France 11,235 USA, 9,437 UK

1903- National speed limit in UK 32km/h (20mph)

1904- 28,842 vehicles in UK

1907- First Rolls-Royce made, the Silver Ghost (UK)

1908- First model T Ford made (USA)

1909- 143,000 vehicles in UK

1910- 468,500 vehicles in USA

1912- First petrol pump station built in USA

1915- Headlamp dipping and stoplights introduced in USA

1919- Mechanical windscreen wipers developed in USA

1921- First autobahn (high speed road) built in Germany

1930- First traffic lights installed in New York

1933- First drive-in cinema built in USA

1935- First parking meters installed in Oklahoma City, USA

1935- Driving tests introduced in UK

1939- 3,148,000 vehicles in UK

1940- 32,453,200 vehicles in USA

1955- Highway Code issued in UK

1958- First motorway built in UK (Preston by pass)

1960- 8,512,000 vehicles in UK

1960- 73,868,600 vehicles in USA

1962- 200 millionth car produced in USA

1969- Czechoslovakia becomes first country to make seat belts compulsory

1970- Unleaded fuel introduced in USA

1978- Bosch (Germany) patents first satellite navigation

1980- 19,199,000 vehicles in UK

1980- 155,796,000 vehicles in USA

1983- Seat belts made compulsory in UK

1985- Seat belts made compulsory in New York

1999- Peak year for vehicle manufacture in USA (13,024,97 made)

2005- The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the fastest, most expensive and most powerful car ever built.
No comments | Sunday, February 17, 2013
Amazing achievements-
Body facts
  • In 1997, at Sydney Airport, Australia, David Huxley pulled a 187-tonne Boeing 747-400 a distance of 91m. David Huxley previously hauled a Boeing 737 and a Concorde.
  • In 2005, US arm-wrestler Ed Shelton ripped up 55 telephone directories, each 1,044 pages thick. It took him three minutes.
  • Australian Arulanantham Suresh Joachim holds many endurance records, including a drumming marathon (84 hours), the longest time standing still (76 hours 40 minutes) running 100 miles/161km on a treadmill (42minutes 33 seconds) and crawling one mile/1.6km (37 minutes 17 seconds). In 2006 he announced his intention to run a mega marathon through 54 countries in 181 days, a distance of over 6,000km.
  • In the annual Empire State Building Run-up, runners race up the famous skyscraper's 1,576 steps. Andrea Mayr of Austria set a new women's record of 11 minutes 23 seconds in 2006. The overall record holder is Australian athlete Paul Crake. In 2003, he got to the top in 9 minutes 33 seconds. He also holds the record for the Australian Sydney Tower Run-up.
Heaviest British-
Daniel Lambert (1770-1809) was one of the heaviest British people of all time. At his largest, he weighed 330kg and measured 2.8m round his body and 94cm round his leg. Daniel used to charge visitors to his house a shilling (five pence) just to look at him. In 1809, when he died it took 34m of elm planking to make his coffin, which looked like a gigantic packing case. A window and part of the wall of the house had to be removed to get the coffin out and it had to be mounted on wheels to trundle it to the cemetery.

Tom thumb and friends-
American showman Phineas T. Barnum first met Charles Sherwood Stratton (USA, 1838-83) when he was four years old. He was 61cm tall and weighed 6.8kg. Barnum persuaded Charles's parents to allow him to exhibit their son for a fee of $3 a week. He was advertised as 'General Tom Thumb, a dwarf eleven years of age just arrived from England'. By the time he died, he had grown to 1m and weighed 32kg. Lavinia Warren (USA, 1841-1919) was 79cm tall. Her first husband was Tom Thumb.

Life expectancy-
Life expectance is defined as the average number of years people are likely to live in different countries. Conditions can improve or sometimes get worse, so life expectancy can get lower or higher. The lowest 15 and top 15 countries are listed, together with figures for the UK and USA for the comparison:

Highest life
Expectancy Country
Japan 82.0
Iceland 80.7
Switzerland 80.5
Australia 80.3
Sweden 80.2
Italy 80.1
Canada 80.0
Israel 79.7
France 79.5
Spain 79.5
Norway 79.4
New Zeland 79.1
Austria 79.0
Belgium 78.9
Germany 78.7

Lowest life
Expectancy country
Swaziland 32.5
Botswana 36.3
Lesotho 36.3
Zimbabwe 36.9
Zambia 37.5
Central African Republic 39.3
Malawi 39.7
Angola 40.8
Sierra Leone 40.8
Mozambique 41.9
Dem Rep of Congo 43.1
Equatorial Guinea 43.3
Nigeria 43.4
Burundi 43.6
Chad 43.6
No comments | Saturday, February 16, 2013
Observatories and telescopes:
Herschel's 'Forty Foot' reflector, Slough- A giant telescope with a 1.2m mirror built in 1788.

Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, (Ireland) - Built in 1845, the Earl of Rosse's 1.8m reflecting telescope, was used to discover the spiral from galaxies. This telescope was the world's largest until the opening of Mount Wilson and it was recently restored and opened to the public.

Hale telescope, California (USA) - The Hale's 5m telescope was first used in 1949.

Jodrell Bank, Cheshire- Britain's initial and once the world's largest radio telescope, with a 76m dish, began in operation in 1957.

Hubble Space Telescope (HST) - It orbits 600km above Earth's atmosphere and was launched in 1990. HST can photograph far objects with 10 times the detail possible with ground based telescopes.

Keck I & II Telescopes, Hawaii (USA) - Opened in 1992-96. Both are situated 4,000m up a Hawaiian mountain, above 40 percent of the Earth's atmosphere. These are the most powerful ground based instruments with a 10.82m total aperture which are made up of 36 hexagonal mirrors. 

Hobby-Eberly Telescope, Texas (USA) - This telescope is meant to gather light for spectrum analysis instead of visual exploration. Operational since 1999, its overall diameter of 11m making it one of the largest optical telescope ever made.

Yerkes Observatory, Wisconsin (USA) - It was completed in 1897. This 1m telescope is the biggest refracting instrument made up to this time.

Mount Wilson Observatory, California (USA) - Until the Hale, it was the world's largest. Installed in 1917 with a mirror size of 2.5m

Royal Observatory, London (UK) - It was founded in 1675 by King Charles II, but atmospheric and light pollution in London reduced its ability. In 1884, the Prime or Greenwich Meridian 0 degree, that passes through observatory was adopted because the basis for all measurement and mapping. Longitude measurements refer to eat or west of the meridian.

Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico - This is the world's most powerful radio telescope completed in 1963. It is used for searching for quasars and the search for alien life forms under the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) programme. This telescope's large 305m dish features in James Bond movie Golden Eye (1995).

First telescope:
The first telescopes were made in 1608 by Dutch optician Hans Lippershey. Italian astronomer Galileo built his own soon after and used it to discover Jupiter's moons. The earliest form of telescope known as refracting telescope, produced a slight distortion of images (called aberration). Since about 1670, astronomers have preferred to use reflacting telescopes, which use mirrors that commit for the distortion.

1 comment | Thursday, February 14, 2013
Thrust is the force required to lift a vehicle such as an aircraft of rocket off the ground. Rockets often have several stages. Each one provides a proportion of the thrust required to carry a satellite, space shuttle or other vehicle into orbit or into space, dropping away as their propellant has been used so that their weight no longer needs to be carried. Below are the largest and most powerful types of rocket that have been used since 1967.

Saturn V (USA) 1967-75
Launched Apollo spacecraft
STS (space shuttle, USA) 1981562,0402,630
Titan 4 (USA) 1989-98549061,448
Ariane (France) 1996-carries satellites
up to 16 tonnes into orbit
Delta IV (USA) 2001-70.7733884
Long March (Chang Zheng) CZ 2-C
(China) 1975-93
Atlas Centaur SLV-3D (USA) 1973-8338149148

Artificial satellites:
The USSR's Sputnik 1 was the artificial satellite to enter Earth's orbit. This 83.6kg metal sphere transmitted signals back to Earth for 3 weeks before its batteries failed. The USA began to launch its own satellites in 1958. Including SCORE (Signal Communications Orbit Relay Experiment) which transmitted back to Earth a pre-recorded Christmas message from President Eisenhower, five went into orbit. All of the earliest satellites have since crashed back to Earth, except Vanguard 1 (USA, 1958) which is still in space and likely to remain so for another 200 years.

Over the past 150 years, many more artificial satellites have been launched, with a greater range of uses.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been taking photographs of distant galaxies since 1990. In 2007 the Herschel Space Observatory is scheduled for launch. This new telescope will have the biggest mirror ever in space (3.5m across).

Military satellites-
Governments use these "spies in the sky" for surveillance but their precise functions are secret.

Earth observation satellites-
These transmit images of the weather and the Earth's environment. They helped to show that the ozone layer was being depleted.

Over 5,000 satellites have been launched to transmit telephone, radio and television signals around the world. Less than half are still orbiting and many have stopped working.

Global Positioning System (GPS)-
This is a system of 24 linked satellites that allows people to pinpoint their exact position anywhere on Earth. The system is operated by the US Department of Defense and is used by aircraft and ships. Now a days GPS systems are common in cars.
No comments | Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tallest Skyscrapers over the last 100 years-
SkyscrapersNew York's 119.2m Park Row Building was the tallest office or apartment building in the world when it was completed in 1899. Since then it has been overtake many times by the buildings on this list. Today, the tallest buildings that people live or work in, such as the Sears Tower, Burj Khalifa and Petronas towers, are more than 3.5 times the size of Park Row.

BuildingYear completed FloorsHeight m*
Singer Building, New York, USA+190847186.6
Metropolitan Life, New York, USA190950213.4
Woolworth Building, New York, USA191357241.4
The Trump Building, New York, USA193070282.5
Chrysler Building, New York, USA193077318.8
Empire State Building, New York, USA1931102381.0
One World Trade Center, New York, USA#1972110417.0
Sears tower, Chicago, USA1974108442.0
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia199888451.9
Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan2004101509.0
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates2009163830
* Excluding masts, etc 
+ Demolished 1970
# Destroyed in terrorist attack of 11 September 2001.

The Eiffel Tower-
It was built as a temporary structure for the Universal Exhibition held in Paris in 1889. The tower was so popular that it has been there ever since. The Eiffel Tower is in Paris, France. 
  • The tower was built by the Engineer Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) who also built the framework of the Statue Of Liberty. The tower was completed in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days by a workforce of 300 steelworkers.
  • Every 10 years, the tower's 220,000 sq.m of surface is hand-painted with 60 tonnes of paint.
  • The tower is lit by 352 1,000 watt projectors and 20,000 lights which were installed in 2003. All these are switched on after dusk for the first ten minutes of every hour.
  • The tower is 300.5m tall and 320.8m with its antenna, but it can shrink or expand by up to 15 cm depending on how cold or hot it is. 
  • It was the world's tallest structure until the Chrysler Building in New York overtook it in 1930.
  • The tower has been visited by more than 200 million people. Most people use lifts, although there are 1,655 steps for energetic
CNN Tower, Canada-
Another Tallest Structure is the CNN Tower in Toronto, Canada. It measures 553.33m to the tip.
It was painted in 1976 by 20,000 children with permission before the antenna was lifted into position by helicopter. It is the world's tallest free standing structure.
No comments | Thursday, February 14, 2013
  • In the middle Ages people used chamber pots which they emptied out of the window. In castles there were would be a garderobe- a small cupboard with a hole that allowed waste out into the moat.
  • Throwing waste out of the windows into the street, or rivers that provided drinking water, spread disease. The worst epidemic was the Black Death during the 14th century, which killed about a quarter of the people in Europe.
  • During the 16th and 17th centuries it was good manners for a gentleman to talk closest to the street when guarding a lady. This meant that he was more likely to be in the path of sewage as it was thrown into the street.
  • In London a gigantic cesspit was built under 200,000 houses and it often overflowed into them. Cesspits in London were abolished in 1847 and every home had to have a lavatory. However, sewage was still diverted into the River Thames, which resulted in the "Great Stink in the summer of 1858- the worst smell in the city's history.
  • Europe's major cities and the biggest cities in the USA started building sewers in the 19th Century. Many of these early systems are still in use today. "Sewer tours" are popular in Paris, France and in Brighton, UK. The systems are such amazing works of engineering that people travel to these cities just to visit them.
Toilet paper-
  • The first commercial toilet paper was produced by Joseph Gayetty, an American Businessman in 1857, but Chinese emperors used toilet paper in the 14th century.
  • Every person in the UK spends an average of $25.93 on toilet paper every year, compared with the average American's $19.46. The world average is $3.41 per person.
  • Before the invention of toilet paper, people improvised with many different things. The rich used wool or lace but the poor used anything they could find, including wood shavings, stone, leaves, seashells, snow or water, as well as their hands. Later people began to use telephone directories and newspapers as toilet paper.
No comments | Thursday, February 14, 2013
Sea Creatures:
Sea Creatures
Most eggs-
The black marlin fish lays as many as 226 million eggs.

Largest clam-
A clam known as Tridacna derasa measures up to 124cm across and weighs 263kg. Tridacna gigas is usually smaller, but a 115cm specimen was found that weighed 333kg.

Largest sponge-
The barrel sponge of the Caribbean is up to 1.8-2.4m tall.

Largest jellyfish-
The lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea arctica) is up to 2.3m long, with tentacles that add an extra 37m.

Heaviest mollusc-
A giant squid caught in 1878 had tentacles 10.7m long and weighed about 1,814kg.

Heaviest crustacean-
In 1934, an Atlantic lobster weighing 19.25kg was caught off Virginia (USA). It was nicknamed Mike.

Smallest crustacean-
Pea crabs measure only about 64mm across the shell.

Largest crustacean-
The giant spider crab's body measures up to 30.5-35.6cm across and it has a claw span of 2.4-2.7m.

Largest gastropod-
The gastropod group includes snails. Largest is the trumpet or baler conch. It lives off Australian coasts and weighs up to 18kg. Its shell measures 77cm long and 101cm round.

Big fish:

The Whale shark is probably the biggest fish in the world. The whale sharks are usually up to 12m long. In 1919, one whale shark caught off in Thailand was reckoned to be 18m long. Despite being enormous these giant fish eat only plankton (tiny plants and animals float on water). Basking sharks also eat plankton like whale sharks these are not hunters like other big fish. Below is the weight of whale sharks:-

Fish Weight (kg)
Whale shark 21,000
Basking shark 14,515
Great white shark 3,314
Giant manta 3,000
Beluga 2,072
Sharptail mola 2,000
Ocean sunfish 2,000
Greenland shark 1,020
Tiger shark 939
Great hammerhead shark 844
white sturgeon 816

Biggest marine mammals:

Mammal Weight (tonnes) Length (m)
Blue whale 130.0 33.5
Fin whale 45.0 25.0
Right whale 40.0 17.5
Sperm whale 36.0 18.0
Grey whale 32.7 14.0
Humpback whale 26.5 15.0
Sei whale 20.0 13.7
Baird's whale 11.0 5.5

Smallest marine mammals:

Mammal Weight (kg) Length (m)
Marine otter 4.5 1.15m
Sea lion 64 1.5m
Dolphins 57.2 1.5m
Pygmy right whale 3.2 tonnes 6.4m
No comments | Thursday, February 14, 2013
Common phobias:
A phobia is defined as a strong fear of a particular activity, situation, living or non living object. The fear is many times out of proportion to the reality and may make people sweat, vomit, faint and even tremble. People may go to great lengths to avoid the subjects of their phobias.

Most common phobias:
Fear ofPhobia name
SpidersArchnephobia or arachnophobia
FlyingAerophobia or aviatophobia
HeightsAcrophobia, altophobia, hypsiphobia 
or hypsophobia
Confined spacesClaustrophobia, cleithrophobia or 
Unusual phobias:
Fear ofPhobia name
Number 13Triskaidekaphobia

Medical Milestones:
Date Milestone Inventor/discoverer Country
c 460 BC First medical studies Hippocrates Greece
AD 1543 Accurate anatomical drawings Andreas Vesalius Belgium
1628 Blood circulation described William Harvey UK
1683 Bacteria described Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Netherlands
1796 Smallpox vaccination Edward Jenner UK
1805 Morphine (painkiller) Friedrich Sertuner Germany
1810 Homeopathy Samuel Hahnemann Germany
1816 Stethoscope Rene Laennec France
1818 Bllod transfusion Thomas Blundell UK
1842 Ether (anaesthetic) Crawford Long USA
1844 Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Horace Wells USA
1846 Ether vapour (anaesthetic) William Morton USA
1847 Chloroform (anaesthetic) John Bell/James Simpson UK
1864 Red Cross founded Henri Dunant Switzerland
1867 Antiseptic surgery Joseph Lister UK
1885 Rabies vaccine Louis Pastuer France
1895 X-rays discovered William von Rontgen Germany
1895 Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud Austria
1898 Aspirin Felix Hoffman Germany
1901 Blood groups identified Karl Landsteiner Austria
1906 Vitamins discovered Federick Hopkins UK
1922 Insulin (diabetes treatment) Frederick Banting/
John Macleod/Charles Best
1927 Iron Lung Philip Drinker USA
1928 Penicillin discovered Alexander Fleming UK
1940 Penicillin used Howard Florey/
Ernest Chain
1952 Artificial heart valve Charles Hufnagel USA
1953 DNA structure identified Francis Crick/
James Watson
1955 Kidney dialysis Willem J. Kolff Neths/USA
1957 Heart pacemaker Clarence Lillehie USA
1967 Human heart transplant Christiaan Barnard South Africa
1970 Artificial heart Robert Jarvik USA
1971 CAT scanner Godfrey Hounsfield UK
1978 Test-tube baby
(Louise Brown)
Patrick Steptoe UK
1980 Smallpox eradicated World Health Organization(WHO) International
1984 Genetic gingerprinting Alec Jeffreys UK

AIDS virus identified Centers for Disease control USA
1996 First mammal cloning
(Dolly, a sheep)
Ian Wilmut, Roslin Institute UK
2000 Human DNA genome
sequence completed
                         - International