The Myth of Python Snakes Strangling Prey

It is a myth that pythons suffocate their prey into submission and eventual death as they are technically causing obstructive shock of the circulatory system. This is performed by creating force pressure capable of exceeding the ability of the heart to compress, with this pressure focused tightly within the center of the heart, causing death as a direct result. As soon as pressure is elevated above what the heart utilizes to pump and eject blood throughout the circulatory system, the cardiac system becomes unable to eject blood causing prey to pass out within 10 – 20 seconds, similar in structure to how a headlock cuts off oxygen from the brain and causes a human opponent to pass out. As a python coils, it begins contracting its muscles to generate this tremendous crush pressure, referred to as “circumferential pressure”. To provide frame of reference, circumferential pressure is the type of pressure applied when a saturated cloth is rung out to expel all liquid. The blood pressure of prey typically doubles in stature after being constricted (e.g. moving from 120/80 to 250/160 to 300/200 over the course of 12.5 minutes), enough to cause syncope, a cerebral vascular accident, and death in most mammals. Sphygmomanometers typically exert 140 – 160 millimeters of mercury during a routine blood pressure examination, enough to cause blood perfusion to be cut off during measurement and pain to develop if the duration of the examination is extended for any reason. Python snakes are capable of applying 2x – 3x this rate of pressure, directly upon the neck or thorax of their prey. It is currently unknown if this ability can be increased when required (e.g. emergency situation of an animal escaping etc.)

The First Personal Computer and its Ramifications Upon Technology

 

The Altair 8800 from Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems is considered to be the first personal computer, although ironically, the system itself did nothing as software had yet to be invented. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak used the Altair 8800 as the basis for the Apple I, the first ever Apple product. Additionally, Bill Gates and his team wrote Basic for the Altair 8800 and created Microsoft from that programming language

How Holograms Work

Holograms work by taking a single laser beam and splitting it into 2 parts, with the primary beam falling upon the object being photographed which then bounces away and falls onto a specialized screen, and the secondary beam falling directly upon the screen. The mixing of these beams creates a complex interface pattern containing a three dimensional image of the original object which can be captured on specialized film. By flashing another laser beam through the screen, the image of the original object suddenly becomes holographic. The term “holograph” is derived from the ancient Greek terms ”holo” which means “whole” and “graphos” which means “written”. The main issue with holographic technology is that unlike traditional visual media which needs to flash a minimum of 30 frames per second, scattering the image into pixels, a three dimensional holograph must also flash 30 frames per second, but of every angle to create depth of field, and the amount of data required far exceeds that of a traditional television photograph or video, even exceeding the capability of the internet until recently in 2014 when internet speeds reached 1 gigabyte per second

Civilizations Mastery of Metal By Manipulating Fire

The more carbon rich a fuel is, the more heat it produces. Typical wood fires burn at 700 degrees Celsius, however 6000 years ago, ancient people discovered the adaptation of burning wood in a low oxygen environment, only partially burning, but in doing so creating a much purer carbon rich fuel; charcoal. Charcoal can burn at temperatures upwards of 1100 degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt ore out of rock. The mastering of metal produced tools, finance, and weaponry, forever changing the evolutionary story of human beings. By the Middle Ages, the production of charcoal for metal smelting and metal work was a major industry

 

The First Successful Flight Machine

Paper makers Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (pronounced “jha-ack ee-tee-yen mon-go-fee-yay”) and his brother Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (pronounced “zho-seef mee-shell mon-go-fee-yay”) created the hot air balloon after noticing that paper in their factory would be lifted by warm currents of air. This discovery lead to the innovation of hot air being confined within a bag which birthed the modern hot air ballon, an overall design which has remained relatively unchanged since its advent in 1783 despite advances in technology. As hot air is filled into a sack, the sack becomes less dense than the air which surrounds it, allowing the sack to rise in its altitude, be it 1 meter or 10,000 meters. The first successful untethered flight with passengers occurred on September 19, 1783. This initial flight was completed by a sheep, duck, and rooster. The first flight with humans occurred just 2 months later, with the hot air balloon raising 3000’ into the air and traveled a distance of 8 kilometers. The Age of Flight was born during this event as it was the first time in human history that a person or group had successfully lifted off the ground and remained in control of their flight path trajectory

Inventions Mesopotamia Gifted to the World Still Used During the Modern Day

The Mesopotamians invented large scale wheat production, the potters wheel which allows for the making of pottery bowls, cups, and plates, used for consumption and collection, boats which could sail all the way to India created from reeds, and the stylus which is effectively a pen created from reeds, which lead to the development of the world’s first writing system. These are just a few examples gifted to the world by the first great civilization; Mesopotamia. Every written word in the western world can trace its origins back to the cuneiform of Mesopotamia and the study of mathematics also derives directly from the Mesopotamian civilization. Reeds were used for measuring distances, based upon the size of the Pharaoh Djer (pronounced “jur”), with the first standard measurement derived from Djer’s elbow crease to the tip of his middle finger, and the second standard measuring a full arm span of both arms spread as wide as the body will allow them. The Mesopotamians invented the mathematics of time keeping by using the creases of their fingers with each finger containing 3 creases therefore 12 creases for each hand. This system included the thumb and when accounting for the back of the hand, a base system was invented which was used to count between 0 – 60. This system was primarily used to tell time, as there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour, which meant that the day would be divided into 2 periods each of 12 hours

The Person Who Invented the Internet

Tim Berners-Lee created the internet. Berners-Lee is the son of mathematicians, his mother and father part of a team who programmed the worlds first commercial stored program computer, the Manchester University Mark 1. Berners-Lee developed the original concept for the internet as a young boy, after discussing how machines might one day possess artificial intelligence with his father who was reading a book upon the human brain. Berners-Lee realized that if information could be linked, knowledge which would not normally be associated together, it would become much more useful. Ted Nelson helped expand upon Berners-Lee’s invention by developing the concept of hypertext, a method of digitally linking from one section to another. The development of the internet during the 1960’s became user friendly during the 1990’s as it became increasingly available to the public. Berners-Lee was able to take something which was too complicated for most people to use, and create a system which made it user friendly. Incompatibility between computers had been a thorn in the side of technology for years as specialized cables were needed to ensure computers could communicate with one another. Berners-Lee had the brilliant idea to create a centralized block which all cables would feed into so that one central unit could be used for every computer in the world to communicate. Berners-Lee furthered this idea by designing the concept of anything being linked to anything. A single global information space would be birthed as a direct result of this, a system with common rules, which would be accessible to everyone, that effectively provided as close as possible to no rules at all; a decentralized system. This arrangement would allow a new person to use the internet without having to ask anyone else. Anyone, anywhere, could now build a server and put anything upon it. Berners-Lee decided to name his creation the “World Wide Web” because he thought of it as a global network. Berners-Lee took his intellectual property and provided it to the public free of charge, despite having many commercial offers. Berners-Lee felt that the idea would not become the largest and greatest invention of humanity had it not been free, democratized, and decentralized. The fact that anybody could access the internet and anybody could put content onto it, made the internet massively popular early on and grew at a rate of 10x year upon year. Berners-Lee also created the World Wide Web Consortion, an institution which was designed to help the World Wide Web to develop and grow

The Person Who Invented Ecommerce

Michael Aldrich was an English inventor, innovator and entrepreneur who in 1979, invented the concept of ecommerce, enabling online transaction processing between consumers and businesses. Aldrich achieved this feat by connecting a modified television set to a transaction processing computer which could process purchases in real time via dedicated telephone line. This system entitled “Videotex” had a simple menu driven, human to computer interface, which predated the internet by more than a decade. In 1980, Aldrich invented the Teleputer, a multipurpose home information and entertainment centre which was a combination of the personal computer, television, and telecom networking technologies. Aldrich created the Teleputer using a modified 14” color television which was connected to a plinth containing a Zilog Z80 microprocessor running a modified version of the CP/M operating system and a chip set containing a modem, character generator and auto-dialler. The Teleputer operated as a stand alone, color, personal computer during an era when computer screens were primarily monochromatic. The Teleputer contained software and networking capabilities using dial up or leased telephone lines. The Teleputer system itself included 2 floppy discs, each with 360 kilobytes of memory, later upgraded to a 20 megabyte harddrive, a keyboard, and a printer

The Study of Bacteriophages in Antibiotic Research and Why They May be the Next Major Scientific Breakthrough

Bacteriophages, which are viral infections that reproduce to target and kill bacteria, were studied in Eastern Europe during the 1950’s by countries which did not have access to western medicine, including antibiotics. In 1 milliliter of sea water, billions of phages are present, with countless different varieties. Phages have tendril like appendages which are used to probe and identify hosts, clinging onto them, then forcing its own deoxyribonucleic acid down into the bacterial host. When this genetic code is introduced, it destroys the bacteria as a direct result. This leads to a chain reaction as hundreds more are produced each time this instance occurs, copies which then fledge out and find hosts of their own, building populations exponentially and wiping out bacterial infections completely. Bacteriophages were found prior to chemical antibiotics but when Penicillin was discovered, because it is so easy to develop and administer, chemical antibiotics became the clear path of choice in medicine with scientists not realizing the severity of this error until decades later. Antibiotics are often broad spectrum which is another reason antibiotic research overshadowed bacteriophagic research as different phages affect different bacteria and are therefore not broad spectrum. Because phages are self-replicating like bacteria, they have the ability to completely annihilate all bacteria presented before them in the same way that bacteria have the ability to totally annihilate their own host as well. Because of this, bacterial infections can be knocked out with 100% efficacy in all cases, regardless of the severity of the the infection, provided the correct phage is alotted enough time to do so. This is a task antibiotics often struggle to achieve and even if achieved, cannot be guaranteed in perpetuity as reinfection or resistance can occur at any time

The First Usage of Digital Animation (Computer Generated Imagery) Special Effects in Film

The first ever computer generated sequence in a movie occurred in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which lasted for 60 seconds and is referred to as the “genesis scene”. The scene includes a retinal scan of Captain James Tiberius Kirk as well as a planet being hit by a missile which then creates a stable environment for life. Over 50 software programs were written to accomplish this task and the creators of the sequence went on to form the digital animation company Pixar