The Reason the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) Was Created in North America

It was the Fatality feature of the Mortal Kombat videogame series that prompted the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a non-profit organization tasked with reviewing and rating all videogames (e.g. console, online, mobile etc.) made available to North American consumers. The concept of the Entertainment Software Rating Board was created within the U.S. Congress in 1994 and the original intent of the agency was and continues to be, to provide caretakers of minors with pertinent in game information so that they are able to make informed decisions as to the type of content these minors consume

The Reason the World Clock Starts in Greenwich, England

The reason the world clock starts in Greenwich, England is because during the 19th century, the majority of sea charts used Greenwich, England as the Prime Meridian for the 0° coordinate. In addition to this, during the early advent of the British railway network, trains could end up in accidents if the timing of coming into and/or out of stations was off by even a small margin of error. Because the sun rises earlier in some parts of Britain and later in the rest, these variables needed to be compensated for which was accomplished by introducing more accurate clocks and the concept of time zones. Up until this point, horsepower was the fastest way to travel and because of that, sundials which had been invented in and used since the 9th century A.D., were satisfactory. It was only with the emergence of locomotives that this system of time keeping became antiquated

The Argument Against Stem Cell Research and Why This Will No Longer be a Problem in the Future

The reason stem cell research is controversial for some is because it is viewed as damaging and harvesting from one life to help another. This argument may be obsolete in the future as scientists are now discovering ways to create stem cells from cells within the body (e.g. skin cells etc.). The traditional method to create a stem cell was to take a skin cell, remove the deoxyribonucleic acid from its nucleus, placing it into an egg which does not have deoxyribonucleic acid but is capable of changing deoxyribonucleic acid, turning it into a stem cell which has the patients genome ascribed unto it. The new method involves placing 4 genes into the nucleus of the skin cell and allowing time to pass, as the genes reorganize the deoxyribonucleic acid so that it begins to appear as stem cell deoxyribonucleic acid, which changes the skin cell and causes it to shrink, losing its outside, converting it into an embryonic stem cell with the only difference between this method and traditional embryonic stem cell creation method being that this technique contains the deoxyribonucleic acid of the patient it is being inserted into. The 4 genes inserted into the cell create 4 proteins which exist naturally within an egg. These proteins trigger the skin cell deoxyribonucleic acid to arrange itself identically to how it would within an embryonic stem cell. Scientists refer to this type of cell as “induced pluripotent stem cells”, commonly abbreviated as “IPS cells”. Ideally, scientists want induced pluripotent stem cells to function identically to natural embryonic stem cells, avoiding the creation of unwanted cells which can lead to cancer. Researchers have discovered that some laboratory created stem cells fail to carry out the task provided and worse yet, some cause cancer to develop. Scientists are currently pursuing 2 paths to alleviate this problem, the first being the attempt to develop induced pluripotent stem cells which function identically to natural embryonic stem cells and the second being to create a system to recognize which induced pluripotent stem cells will fail in an effort to exclude these cells from being inserted into the human body

The Renewable Resource of Urine Powered Electronics

Urine is rich in minerals and it is believed that this resource will be able to be harnessed and extracted efficiently and cost effectively at some point in the future to produce electrical energy. At the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the U.K., urine is being studied as a potential energy resource for residential use within the near future (e.g. used to charge a smartphone etc.). Charging a smartphone with urine requires battery like fuel cells with Professor Ioannis Leropoulos (pronounced “yan-iss lee-raw-po-lis”) having developed a system capable of meeting this requirement. The application itself is referred to as “microbial fuel cell” technology, a system which leverages live bacteria to generate electrical current. Urine contains carbon, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, magnesium, and creatinine, all elements which microbes require to continue living and growing which is why this technology functions as it does. The microbial fuel cell’s central tube is porous ceramic, allowing urine to permeate the tube and microbes to colonize it. As the elements of urine are consumed, electrons generated by the microbes are picked up by the cells of opposing wire coils, creating a battery. Not just any microbe will suffice however, as specific microbes are required for this process to be effective. To source the correct microbes, scientists leverage a plethora of microbes available within the natural environment (e.g. lake, pond, river sediment etc.). Each fuel cell produces 1.5 volts of electrical current, and when linked together in series, output can be increased to a level which is useful for daily activities. The system is able to be scaled so that it can be built into future homes, allowing for individuals and families to recycle urine as a means of generating electrical energy. Leropoulos’ work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as by the European Commission among others and is close to becoming commercially available as of 2020. For this system to benefit users, separate urinals would be installed but with redirected plumbing to funnel urine away from becoming mixed with common sewage and into a collection container, providing an on demand resource which can be utilized when needed

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