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 Discovery of the Route Which Allowed Explorers to First Climb Mount Everest

British born George Mallory, the person tasked with heading the team who first set out to climb Mount Everest in 1921, overlooked what is now used as the doorway to Mount Everest, the entry point of East Rongbuk Glacier. When Mallory first viewed this entry point, a narrow cliff within the mountainside wall, he dismissed it as too modest and small to warrant further investigation. Canadian Oliver Wheeler however was educated in the science of topography and geography from his father who surveyed the Canadian west coast Rocky Mountains and because of this, he did not view the dimensions of the cut to be as important as the pulse of water pouring out of that cut every afternoon. This enormous volume of expelled water signaled to Wheeler that a glacier had to be present at the head of the valley as it was the only possible explanation which fit. On July 30, 1921, Wheeler set out for the East Rongbuk Glacier and as he anticipated, he was able to make it up the ice field within 6 short days. As the East Rongbuk Glacier widened and curved around, it came directly to the base of the North Col, a sharp edged pass carved by glaciers in the ridge connecting Mount Everest and Changtse (pronounced “chang-see”). This opening became the key to unlocking Mount Everest and is still leveraged by climbers into the modern day. 6 days after setting out, on August 4, 1921, Wheeler sent a dak runner, which is essentially a Tibetan messenger, with a sketched map indicating his discovered exploit of the armor of Mount Everest for Mallory

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 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

The Intentions of the Louvre in Paris, France Over the Past Centuries

Located in the heart of Paris, France, the Louvre Palace was the main place of residence for French monarchs during the 16th and 17th century, however in 1682, Louis XIV moved his entire court to the Palace of Versailles which was an even grander estate located in the countryside. The Louvre was then used to house Louis XIV’s immense private art collection. Today the Louvre remains as a museum housing some 40,000 works of art. The Louvre first opened to the public in 1793 as a direct result of the French Revolution. Napoléon Bonaparte was a master self-propagandist and understood the vast potential which the Louvre held to help promote his image. Bonaparte started filling the Louvre with numerous world famous artworks which he had seized as the spoils of war, from Egypt, Italy, and elsewhere. The Louvre was briefly named the “Musée Napoléon” which means the “Napoléon Museum” in French. The choice to change the name to the Musée Napoléon occurred in 1803 when the then director of the museum and a consummate courtier, Vivant Denon told Bonaparte that the museum should be named after the most glorious leader of France

The Cosmic Web

The Cosmic Web is a scientific approximation of what the universe may look like at the largest scales, with massive clusters of galaxies linked together through vast filaments, with each containing trillions of stars. It would take light nearly 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) years to cross the distance of the Cosmic Web image


The Agama Texts of Hinduism

Hinduism is not a religion of the book as there is no central source of authority like the Bible or the Quran to refer to, however there is no shortage of scripture. The whole canon of Hindu philosophy thrives upon debate and spiritual inquiry, much of it contradictory. Collected all together, these texts would fill many, many volumes of text. The Agamas were created to be a set of rules to guide those who subscribe to Hinduism and its ideological principles. The Agamas are incredibly vast in their range of topics offering instructions upon temple construction, the intricacies of the guru and disciple relationship, and meditation practices, covering every moment of life from waking to sleeping, from birth to death. The agamas originated in Tamil Nadu and are written in the Tamil language. The agamas provided Hinduism a formal structure which are still considered cornerstones in the practice of Hinduism during the modern day

The Four Ancient Greek Concepts of Love

The Ancient Greeks had 4 terms for love. The first term, “philia” (pronounced “feel-ee-ah”), refers to “affection which grows from friendship”. The second term, “storgē” (pronounced “stor-gay”), refers to the “kind of love one has for a grandparent or sibling”. The third term, “érōs” (pronounced “air-ohs”), refers to “romantic love, the uncontrollable urge to say “I love you” to another person”. The fourth and final term, “agápē” (pronounced “ah-gah-pay”), refers to “steadfast love as an action, the kind of love to take care of a partner in their elder years as they decline further and further”

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

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