The Fictional and Real Usage of Area Code “555” for Telephone Numbers

telephone-555

Not all phone numbers that begin with “555” are fictional. The phone number “555-1212” is one of the standard numbers for directory assistance throughout the United States of America and Canada and only “555-0100” through “555-0199” are specifically reserved for fictional use with the other numbers being reserved for actual assignment

The First Advancement of Medieval Gunpowder Technology

Medieval-gunpowderTo create the earliest form of gunpowder, 3 substances were mixed together which included, sulphur, charcoal, and saltpeter which is comprised potassium nitrate. Because these ingredients have varying specific densities, they constantly separated when mixed, forcing soldiers to re-mix gunpowder after having been transported to the battlefield. By the end of the 15th century, a new technique for the manufacturing of gunpowder emerged, that of corning which made gunpowder much more reliable. Corning involves mixing together the 3 primary ingredients to create a slurry. This is more effective than the traditional method because as the mixture dries, the ingredients do not separate due to their different specific gravities. This acts to increase the stability of gunpowder and allowed cannons to evolve into lethal siege engines no longer governed by the strength of soldiers or the laws of mechanics. Gunpowder, the first chemical explosive ever invented, was the driving force behind the weaponry used against fortifications, hurling projectiles faster, further, and with greater force than previously designed mechanically powered machinery (e.g. trebuchet, catapult, ballista etc.)

The Usage of 5D Crystals as a Means of Computational Storage

5D-Superman-Memory-Crystal

Quartz is being used to create the most powerful data storage device ever developed, the 5D Superman Memory Crystal, a technology which could store data for up to 13,800,000,000 (13.8 billion) years, the calculated age of the universe. The 5D quartz crystal is a method of ensuring a large density of data can be saved within a relatively small object. This is an incredibly secure and long lasting method of saving data as the information is physically encoded into the crystal itself, remaining indefinitely until the quartz itself is destroyed, a very difficult task in and of itself. In 2018, technology entrepreneur Nova Spivack used a 5D crystal to create a permanent space library, sending it to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Heavy Falcon rocket. Quartz is highly stable because it is a crystal, remaining unchanged for billions of years meaning if data is inserted, theoretically it could survive for billions of years. For a quartz crystal approximately 2.5 centimeters by 2.5 centimeters in diameter and 5 millimeters thick, 30 terabytes of data can be held, which is 30,000 gigabytes or 800 Blu-ray discs or 600 smartphones worth of information. This means that the entire British library could be fit into 1000 5D crystal slides, a small enough volume to fit within a single shoebox. A traditional storage medium like a compact disc, stores data in individual pixels, with 1 pixel able to hold the equivalent of 1 bit or 8 bytes of information. In a quartz drive however, each voxel can hold 8 bits or 64 bytes of information. The technology required to achieve this feat however is still in its infancy with scientists still discovering new ways to refine manufacturing, the writing and reading of data, and storage capabilities

The Traditional Sherpa’s of Mount Everest

sherpa

The term “sherpa” is derived from the terms “shyar” (pronounced “shur”) which means “east” and “pa” which means “people” in Nepali. Migrants who populated the region around Mount Everest throughout antiquity came from the Tiber in the east, crossing the Nangpa La, which means “Elder’s Pass” in Nepali, to settle into Solukhumbu (pronounced “solo-koom-boo”), a region in which the minimum altitude is 4000 meters above sea level. Living a nomadic lifestyle is what made the sherpas expertise so desirable to British mountaineers who arrived a few centuries later. British mountain climbers realized the immense value that these expert travelers possessed which is how the relationship of domestic sherpas and foreign alpinists began. Sherpas were and continue to serve as porters and guides for foreign climbers and during the modern day, a sherpa trekking Mount Everest can expect to earn $6000.00 upon an expedition which intends to reach the summit

The Harvard University Hope Experiment

During the 1950’s, Dr. Curt Richter from Harvard University performed a series of experiments using water, buckets, and both domesticated and wild rats which resulted in a surprising discovery within the field of psychology. In the first experiment, Richter placed his test subjects into large buckets half filled with water with even those rats which were considered above average swimmers, giving up and dying within a few short minutes. In the second experiment, Richter pulled each rat out just as it was about to give up due to exhaustion and let them rest for a few moments. Upon inserting the rats back into the bucket of water, Richter found that the rats continued to struggle to survive for up to 60 hours as the rats now believed that if they continued to push forward with enough effort put forth, eventually they would be rescued once again. Richter recorded in his notes, “after elimination of hopelessness, the rats do not die”

The Traditional Practice of the Japanese Geisha

Japanese-geisha

Japanese geishas, referred to as “geiko” (pronounced “gay-ko”) first appeared 300 years ago during the Edo period, an era when Japan was closed to the rest of the world allowing its indigenous culture to flourish. There were once 80,000 geisha but that number has dropped to just 1000 during the modern day. It takes 5 long years to become a geisha, this time spent with no smartphone, no romantic relationships, and only 2 days off per month. Geishas undergo lessons in music and dance as well as tea making and etiquette. All food and lodging is provided by the geisha training institution so that students become completely and totally immersed within the geisha lifestyle. Geishas wear white masks of makeup as symbolism that what is concealed is more desirable than that which is revealed. Pink is painted onto the earlobes as a way to hide embarrassment from blushing, and bare skin is left in a “W” or “V” shape upon the back of the neck to accentuate the neck which is considered highly beautiful, sexual, and erotic in Japanese culture. Geishas are only supposed to entertain their client with highly cultured activities, and the profession is not supposed to be associated with sexual interaction

The Tallest Mountain On Earth

Mauna-Kea

Mauna Kea (pronounced “mah-nah kay-ah”) is the tallest mountain in the world, 1.6 kilometers taller than Mount Everest. The main difference between Mauna Kea and Mount Everest is that Mauna Kea ascends from the ocean, instead of from land as Mount Everest does. Mauna Kea is not only the largest mountain on Earth, it is also the largest land mass in the world

The Tradition and Method of Selecting a New Pope

Vatican-SmokeMurder, bribery, and nepotism were the primary ways in which a pope would enter or exit the papacy prior to the 12th century. It was during the 12th century that cardinals who were senior clergy in Rome, Italy created what they referred to as a “college” to act as a council which would regulate the elections of future popes. This system became referred to as the “conclave” which refers to the practice of a “private meeting assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope”. The term “conclave” was chosen because of the Latin term “con” with means “with” and the Latin term “clavin” which means “key”, more literally translating to “locked room” as cardinals would be locked away to avoid the interference of outside politics. As of 1274 A.D., all papal elections are held in secret, adhering to this strict tradition in an attempt to remain unbiased. Elections are held again and again until a 66% majority is achieved at which point white smoke is released to signify that the council has reached a decision. The election ballets from each voting round are burned so that the election is completely anonymous and private, even for those who are present in the meeting. It is this burning which creates the iconography of the smoke being released to signify a decision. In the Middle Ages, cardinals added damp straw to the ballots which created black smoke to signify that a pope had not yet been chosen. White smoke was created by burning the paper alone, but during the modern day, chemical additives are added to ensure the white smoke color is as unambiguous as possible