The Origin of Polka Music

Polka arrived in Vienna, Austria in the 1840’s, imported from Hungary. It is believed Polka was invented by Anna Slezak, a peasant girl who invented the dance while entertaining herself by hopping around on a Spring Sunday afternoon. The term “polka” is derived from the Czech term “pulka” which means “half-step”, in reference to the dances main choreography pattern of lightly stepping from one foot unto the other

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 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

Rapid Advancements Within Computer Technologies Allowing for the Reduction of Cost and Increase of Performance

In 1985, the worlds most powerful computer was the Cray-2 which cost $35,000,000 ($35 million), and could not see, hear, or speak with its environment. Today, smartphones process data 10x faster and cost less than $1000.00, with the ability to see, hear, and interact with the end user (e.g Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Samsung’s Bixby etc.). In 1956, the International Business Machines Corporation’s best hard drive weighed 2000 lbs., was 5 megabytes in size, and cost $3000.00 per month which equates to $28,000 as of 2019 when accounting for inflation. In 2019, most solid state Universal Serial Bus drives possess 200x as much storage at a minimum and cost less than $5.00

State Intervention to Impede New Disruptive Technologies Causing Change Throughout History

For centuries, governments have restricted inventions for fear of disruption with notable examples including the Ottoman Empire banning the printing press, the Chinese empire outlawing voyages of discovery, Pope Urban VIII imprisoned Galileo Galilei because of his ideas related to the position of the Earth within the universe, and Queen Elizabeth I prohibited weaving machines which would displace tapestry workers

The Original Intention of the 13th Century Italian Carnival Festival

The Italian festival of Carnival which takes place during the winter in Venice, Italy, is a 13th century tradition designed to allow anonymity and indulgence before Lent commences. Ash Wednesday marks the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting and reflection. Catholic priests mark patrons forerheads with ash, a symbol of purification by fire. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, preparing for the culmination of his ministry upon Earth whilst being tempted by the devil. Historically, Lent was the final stretch of winter, with the last of any meat being finished during Carnival. Because of the challenges associated with winter, European Christians turned to their faith to help guide them through to the other end

The Creation of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Other Islamist Extremist Organizations

In Peshawar, Pakistan, Arabs who supported the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War reached out to displaced Afghan youth refugees, paying particular attention to the youngest and most impressionable minors. All camps had madrasas installed, which are religious educational facilities that young boys would attend, virtually always freely provided by their own families as the families believed this would provide a better future for themselves and Afghanistan. It has been argued by that these young boys were segregated so that they could be brainwashed and taught to fight violently as it was these same boys who grew up, created, developed, and became the Taliban. No formal education was provided to the selected youth outside of Quranic texts which is why this tactic was so effective. The Soviet-Afghan War led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and permitted for the development of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria proliferated from al-Qaeda which had propagated from the Taliban which had developed from the Mujahideen, all of these groups cultivated at their root by the U.S. and Soviet need to control this region of the world with both groups sharing equal liability and responsibility