Dec
30
2008
2

Did February ever contain 30 days?

February 30th on a 1712 Swedish almanac (public domain image)There was once a February 30th, but in rather unusual circumstances. The old Julian calendar wasn’t quite in step with the journey of the earth around the sun, and the seasons were gradually getting out of step with the calendar. Pope Gregory XIII realised that the calendar could be made more accurate by adjusting the [more...]

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Dec
30
2008
1

If Android is open source, why is the G1 locked to T-Mobile?

HTC Android T-Mobile G1 (photo by Edlimagno - CC-BY)Google sure caused a lot of confusion here! Their very vocal announcements of the Android project on 5 November 2007 raised the expectation that Android phones would contain open software and be readily hackable, but the only Android phone released to date has been locked down. What gives? One cause for concern was that the [more...]

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Dec
30
2008
5

How do you cook pasta in the microwave?

Mike's Red Pepper Pasta (photo by clairity - CC-BY)It’s very easy to cook all kinds of pasta in the microwave. First, boil a large quantity of water. I use an electric kettle. Tip the dry pasta into a large microwave-safe bowl, such as a glass casserole bowl, and cover generously with the boiling water. You need enough water to cover the pasta even [more...]

Written by | 10,572 views | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments
Dec
30
2008
2

Why did Woolworths fail (go bust) in the UK?

Woolworths closes down (photo by eiffel - CC-BY)In a sense, Woolworths Group plc failed because they did not bring in enough money to cover their costs (they became insolvent). The wider question is: why were they not turning a profit? Woolies started out in Liverpool in 1909 as a “3d and 6d” (threepence and sixpence) shop selling low-priced mass-produced items, and was [more...]

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Dec
30
2008
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What is the comment policy at Quezi?

Photo by pareeerica - CC-BYAt Quezi we welcome your comments! Our researchers do a great job, but can’t guarantee that their answers are 100% complete or correct. The comment facility is your chance to put us straight, or to add a new dimension to the answer. We have only a few requirements: No spam – we “nofollow” all links [more...]

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Dec
29
2008
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How does GMT differ from UTC?

Tunnels of Time (photo by fdecomite - CC-BY)GMT is “Greenwich Mean Time”, and UTC is “Universal Co-ordinated Time” (the abbreviation is derived from the French “Temps Universel Coordonné”). GMT is directly related to the earth’s rotation. The idea is that noon GMT corresponds to the time when the sun is directly overhead, and midnight GMT corresponds to the middle of the night. [more...]

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Dec
29
2008
1

What’s the difference between HSPA, HS*PA, HSUPA and HSDPA (for mobile phones)?

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 supports HSPA (photo by tomsun - CC-BY)The terms HSPA, HS*PA, HSDPA and HSUPA all relate to the high speed data access provided by high-specification cellphones and the cellular networks to which those phones are attached. These are “high speed” technologies over and above that provided by “third generation” (3G) cellphone technology. HSDPA stands for “high speed downlink packet access” and is [more...]

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Dec
28
2008
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How can Wikipedia work when anyone can just change anything?

Change (photo by Meanest Indian - CC-BY)It’s truly remarkable that Wikipedia has become a valuable reference work. After all, it is the end result of hundreds of millions of uncontrolled edits by anyone who wants to click the “Edit” link. How can it work? Why has Wikipedia not decayed into a wasteland of propaganda, delusions and spam? For sure, there are [more...]

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Dec
28
2008
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Do animals other than humans masturbate?

(image by aliarasiii - CC-BY)Masturbation is common in many non-human species. In particular, male and female masturbation is widespread amongst mammals and birds. Masturbation has been observed in dogs, horses, porcupines, cats, chimpanzees, gorillas, bears, goats, ferrets, hyenas, lions, bats, walruses, baboons, bonobos, sheep, deer, zebras and many other species. There are numerous variations in technique, and both males [more...]

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Dec
28
2008
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Should the hot tap (faucet) be on the right or left of the cold tap?

Graffiti Tap (photo by Glutnix - CC-BY)There are two standard ways to decide on which side to mount the hot tap. I suggest you enquire locally as to which is in use in your area. The first approach is to always put the cold tap (cold faucet) on the right and the hot tap on the left. The reasoning behind this [more...]

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