Friday, September 19, 2014

Science Fiction Becomes Reality: The Birth and Evolution of the Computer.

Like me, most have probably wondered about the science behind the computer. How did they do it? How a computer operates seems almost miraculous to us non-specialists. How is all the  memory stored, and how do the mechanics of a computer operate?

When we use a computer today, few of us may pause to wonder how this "miracle" came together. It was actually a slow step-by-step process, almost like putting one brick on another until it all made sense and came together. The mechanics behind computer-building were very much like laying one brick on another until a magnificent structure was created. 

These are the "bricks and mortar" pioneers, who built the first computers, from which billions around the globe now benefit. The multi-billions now being raked in by "social media" media sites like Facebook and Twitter, owe their obscene riches to these pioneers, most of whom lived and died in relative obscurity, and whose names are now little remembered, if at all.  Without these pioneers in computing science, none of us would now enjoy the "information revolution". 

The "Manchester Baby":



Friday, September 12, 2014

Do You Suffer From Aviophobia? (Fear of Flying)

"[MH17] was struck by a missile fired by a bunch of terrorists. We may not like it but those are the cold, hard facts we need to come to terms with."
Media coverage of such events made them more dramatic than their statistical probability warranted, Amos said.

Compared to the probability of dying in a plane crash, someone was six times more likely to be kicked to death by a donkey or murdered by a spouse or a relative.
Being in one's home was 11 times more dangerous than being on a plane, Amos said.

Should you be afraid of flying?

As a teenager I recall being on an Air Canada DC-8 flight from Trinidad & Tobago to Barbados. At the time, I had no idea about crash of Air Canada Flight 621 only a few months before. Maybe the lady in the aisle next to mine was aware of it, because as the DC-8 roared down the runway during take-off, she was holding a rosary, praying, and in tears. Or maybe she was unaware of it herself, but was just aviophobic.

Anywhere from 10%-30% of people have aviophobia (depending on when the last major crash occurred), and I think most of the fear comes from the fact that an aircraft isn't like a car. When something goes wrong mechanically, one can't just pull to the side of the road and fix it, as happened with Qantas Flight 32.

Nevertheless, considering a 2009 World Health Organisation report that Traffic Accidents Kill 1.27 Million Globally, dying in a plane crash should be the least of our worries, and commercial airlines are far less likely to crash than much smaller privately operated aircraft. Commercial airlines also know that a good safety record is paramount to generating a continuing and profitable business, as many people do check an airline's safety record before booking.

So if you're due to fly anytime soon, it's best to just relax, sit back and enjoy the meals and a bit of chardonnay, knowing that you're actually safer being in the air than being in a car, or even at home.


Qantas the safest airline.

Is Qantas still the world's safest airline?

13 ways to overcome your fear of flying.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rebecca Bross: Heart of a Champion.

“Winning isn't everything--but wanting to win is.”

― Vince Lombardi

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it.”

― Vince Lombardi

The injury that ultimately ended Rebecca's career as an artistic gymnast:

A very moving tribute:

A six time world medalist, Rebecca started in gymnastics at the age of five.

Rebecca Bross.

Sport can be tough, and in a way it's a microcosm of life. While we cheer and applaud at winning gold medals, we are no less in awe of those who keep going, yet may never stand on the rostrum to receive a gold medal, because their fighting spirit encapsulates the very essence of what real courage means.

The Gender Revolution In Kurdistan - Male and Female Equality, and Why America Is Now Arming the Kurds.

Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists are "scared shit" of Kurdish women soldiers because of one fanatic belief that they ruin their chances in the after-life if they die in the hands of an armed female.

Which could be the basis why the brazen ISIS treat as such the women they hold captive, either they treat them as sex slaves or just plain kill them.

Dying at the hand of a woman, more so an armed woman, is just utterly humiliating for an ISIS member.  Watch Out ISIS, Kurdish Female Soldiers Will Show No Mercy.

“I fired on this position from the mountain,” said Felice Budak, 24, another PKK fighter from Turkey, as she stood next to a window pierced by several bullet holes in Makhmur, a town that the PKK helped recapture from the Islamic State this month.
Budak said she wasn’t scared during the battle.
Islamic State fighters “are very scared of death because they are only here to kill people,” she said. “I don’t mind doing it over and over again. I’ve already fought in Turkey, Iran and Syria.”

The leftist PKK has been fighting the Turkish government for decades and is classed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. But its fighters have been going into battle alongside Kurdish peshmerga in recent weeks and are credited by some locals with turning the tide of battle in Iraq.

The female PKK troops get fired up when they talk about the mass rapes and sex slavery that has been a hallmark of the Islamic State.
 “Everywhere they go they kill and do bad things in the name of Islam,” Karhan said. “They captured a lot of women and they are selling them in Syria for $100. They rape women and behead them in the name of Islam.”

Female fighters of the PKK may be the Islamic State's worst nightmare.

Ironically, the Kurds may save America and the allied forces from having to send ground troops to fight and eliminate ISIS.

Why the U.S. backed the Kurds.

Kurdistan.  Is majority Muslim.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ladies First.

Daisy and Cooper: A Story of Love Greed.

The Real Meaning of "Hot, Hot, Hot".

Trinidad moruga scorpion.
Paul Bosland, a chili pepper expert and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, said, "You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty."

A consolation song for brave Nikki: