Jul
30
2010
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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 [more...]

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Jul
29
2010
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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 [more...]

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Jul
25
2010
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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 [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 [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 [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 [more...]

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Jul
21
2010
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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 [more...]

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Jul
20
2010
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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 [more...]

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Jul
20
2010
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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 [more...]

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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 [more...]

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