Jul
30
2010
0

Why do new websites often open by invitation only?

invite-codeIt’s common to hear about an interesting new web service that has opened for beta testing, only to find that you need an “invite code” to register. Even mainstream services such as Google’s Gmail started out by requiring an invitation code. Why is this a common way for beta sites to start up? One reason [&hel[more...]

Written by | 7,138 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
29
2010
0

What is Britain’s newest bank?

piggy bankBritain’s newest high street bank has just opened. Metro Bank plc is the first new public bank to be created for over 100 years. The last public bank was the Co-operative (originally CWS Loan and Deposit Department) established in 1872. Metro Bank is completely independent and not associated with any other bank. The bank is [&hel[more...]

Written by | 3,576 views | Tags: , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
25
2010
0

Is Stonehenge original or restored?

constable-stonehengeNaturally, Stonehenge has experienced weathering and collapse due to the passage of time. But even if we disregard those changes, there is no way that Stonehenge can be regarded as a preserved “snapshot” of its original form. Stonehenge was not designed and built to the current layout. The design we see today is the result [&hel[more...]

Jul
23
2010
1

What happens at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party?

buckingham palaceGarden parties at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s office residence in London, are one of the highlights of the summer season. Specially invited guests from all walks of life have the chance that they may be introduced to Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, or other members of the Royal Family. Garden parties have been held [&hel[more...]

Jul
22
2010
2

What’s the “anti-teen sound”?

anti-teen-soundThe anti-teen sound is a sound that can only be heard by teenagers and other young people under about 25 years of age. As we age, our ears start to lose sensitivity to high-pitched sounds. By the age of 50, the average person can’t hear sounds with a frequency above 12kHz (twelve thousand cycles per [&hel[more...]

Jul
22
2010
2

What are Bitcoins?

bitcoinsBitcoins are computer-generated digital tokens. You can buy stuff with them, yet bitcoins differ fundamentally from banknotes, coins, and digital currencies—not the least because you can mint bitcoins yourself. Paper money, minted coinage, and digital currencies each require a central authority to issue the stock of the currency. Digital currencies also require a central authority [&hel[more...]

Written by | 8,417 views | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments
Jul
21
2010
0

Who or what were Glaxo Smith Kline?

glaxosmithkline officesGlaxoSmithKline plc is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world with a global market share of at least seven per cent. The company’s headquarters is in the UK with subsidiaries throughout the world. The company conducts research into medicines and vaccines to deal with the major threats of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It [&hel[more...]

Written by | 1,645 views | Tags: , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
20
2010
0

What’s interesting about Italy?

italy-coliseum-rome-temple-venusRome is Italy’s largest city and its capital. Rome’s many historic sites include the Pantheon (the oldest intact Roman temple), the Temple of Vesta (with its Corinthian columns, and once guarded by the Vestal Virgins), and the Roman Coliseum (known in its heyday as the Flavian Amphitheater after the family name of emperors Vespasian and [&hel[more...]

Written by | 3,498 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
20
2010
0

What are Deadly Maps and Evasion Charts?

lucia-mapDeadly Maps and Evasion Charts are just two of the very many types of maps referenced on a website that is a gold mine for map searchers, that of the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School. The well sorted website provides links to a great many websites for current and historical maps as [&hel[more...]

Written by | 3,508 views | Tags: , , | 0 Comments
Jul
19
2010
2

What are Operational Navigation Charts and Tactical Pilotage Maps?

hainan-onc84Operational Navigation Charts (ONC) and Tactical Pilotage Maps (TPM) are large 42” x 57.5” topographical maps prepared and published by the US Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for flight navigation. There are now, of course, digital devices and CDs that pilots use, which can be updated easily. But most of us [&hel[more...]

Written by | 4,868 views | Tags: , , | 2 Comments
Jul
18
2010
1

Is it worth picking up pennies?

look-down-for-moneyInflation has eroded the value of the penny to the point where many people will no longer pick up a penny when they see one in the street. But how does this stand up to cold-blooded economic analysis? Suppose it takes three seconds to pick up a penny. There are 3600 seconds in an hour, [&hel[more...]

Written by | 2,299 views | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment
Jul
16
2010
0

What do people in France call styles that we call French?

french twist chignon bananeWhen we say French twist, French manicure, French cuffs etc. are these truly French fashions? French people call the chic hairstyle we know as a French twist or French roll a chignon banane (banana bun). On the other hand, a French braid or French plait has the same name in France – tresse française – [&hel[more...]

Written by | 6,369 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
16
2010
1

Do air disasters come in twos and threes?

columbia-disasterAt paid Q&A/Research site Uclue, a customer asked the researchers to investigate his uncanny feeling that major air disasters frequently occur within 15 days of each other. A researcher named Bowler was able to list the large crashes and show that there was no 15-day pattern. But how close to each other do fatal air [&hel[more...]

Jul
15
2010
2

What is the National Savings and Investments?

piggy bankThe National Savings and Investments, also known as NS&I, is one of the largest savings banks in the United Kingdom, accounting for 10% of the UK retail savings investments market. It has 27 million customers and manages over £66 billion in investments. Unlike other banks which are ultimately owned by shareholders, the NS&I is an [&hel[more...]

Jul
15
2010
0

Who is Marianne?

delacroix-marianneDelacroix’s famous painting from 1830 is titled Liberty Leading the People, but his allegorical figure of a woman with a Phrygian cap carrying the Tricolor and a rifle with disregard for her state of undress influenced later representations of Marianne. Earlier, during the French Revolution, there were other personifications of Liberty and Reason, eventually combined [&hel[more...]

Written by | 3,147 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
14
2010
0

How do rocks “flow” across the urban landscape?

throwing-stonesIt may seem very odd to ask how rocks and stones can “flow” across an urban landscape, but I have seen big research grants awarded for much less important topics. I will share the results of my research for free. Every time I leave my house by foot, I pass through the same woodland, urban [&hel[more...]

Written by | 1,582 views | Tags: , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
13
2010
0

What is Tok Pisin?

tok-pisin-aids-posterTok Pisin is one of the official languages of Papua New Guinea. In the past it has been variously known as Pidgin English, Melanesian Pidgin English, New Guinea Pidgin English, neo-Melanesian, and Niugini Pisin. In the mountainous highlands of Papua New Guinea, neighboring tribes had little contact. Not surprisingly, each tribe developed its own language, [&hel[more...]

Written by | 9,324 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
12
2010
0

What are shareholders’ perks?

british airways aircraftWhen you buy a share in a company you are hoping that the company will be successful and it will offer good shareholder dividends and that the share price will also increase. But many people forget that there are a surprising number of companies which also offer perks and benefits to their shareholders. Companies offer [&hel[more...]

Jul
11
2010
0

What would it look like to fly over Mars?

mars-natural-colorWhat would it look like if we could fly above the surface of Mars in a jetliner and look out of the window? Of course a regular plane can’t fly in the thin atmosphere of Mars, so this is a hypothetical question. No doubt you have seen plenty of photographs of Mars, but these are [&hel[more...]

Written by | 1,376 views | Tags: , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
10
2010
0

What foods are definitely (probably) good for you?

healthy-saladSome foods go in and out of fashion as “health foods”, others have their status change as new research becomes available. Here are some foods that are almost certainly healthy. Frozen peas Peas are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, folate and vitamin B1. They are also good sources of dietary fiber and protein. [&hel[more...]

Written by | 3,787 views | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Privacy Policy | Acknowledgements