The Discovery of the Sunken S.S. Titanic

sunken-TitanicThe S.S. Titanic’s shipwreck site was found by the U.S. Navy whilst embarking upon a clandestine military submarine sea voyage operation in 1982. The intent of the mission was to surpass the Russians on every front, including land, sea, air, and space. Geologist and Navy Captain Robert Ballard was the person who developed the mission idea by suggesting that the U.S. Navy scour the seafloor to gather intelligence and search for evidence of Soviet placed hardware. The original intention of the mission was to locate and recover 2 U.S. Navy submarines which were classified as top secret nuclear attack vessels and lost during the 1960’s. The first submarine was the U.S.S. Scorpion, lost in 1968 with 99 onboard, and the second was the U.S.S. Thresher, lost in 1963 with 129 onboard. Recovery of these vessels during the 1960’s was limited to the Sound Navigation and Ranging technology of the era, commonly abbreviated as “SONAR”. Ballard only had 12 days to locate the S.S. Titanic during the mission without exposing his cover story, a feat which was unable to be completed by the French and the Americans, despite having much longer time spans and multiple expeditions to achieve this goal. Ballard narrowed down the search area to 80 square kilometers and focused towards the south as he believed that ocean currents would have carried sunken debris in that direction. Ballard continued searching for a trail of scattered debris from the S.S. Titanic and on the 9th day of the expedition, with time quickly running out, the operators of the remotely operated vehicle ARGO, found wreckage from a modern iron ship which appeared to be from the early 20th century. It was confirmed shortly after on September 1, 1985 at 12:48 AM that these remains were 1 of the 29 boilers belonging to the S.S. Titanic. It had been 73 years since the S.S. Titanic was last seen, resting nearly 4 kilometers below sea level, with it’s 1500 onboard passengers and crew

European Neolithic Mining Practices

Neolithic-mineDuring the Neolithic period, flint was as prized as gold was to the Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists. 4500 years ago, flint miners dug shafts up to 12 meters deep in search of more flint. Ladders and wooden platforms made extracting the ore easier. This task was Herculean as the only picks available were reindeer antler. When a mine was exhausted, a new hole would be dug and the rubble from that hole would be used to back fill the previous mine. Most flint can be found above ground and most of the flint found at Neolithic sites is indeed surface flint so it is unclear why such a massive undertaking was performed as much more readily available sources were freely available. Flint is black in color with a shiny, glass like appearance similar to obsidian. Flint chips easily and is fairly simple to make incredibly sharp by simply cracking off a piece with a harder rock. It’s possible that mine shafts were dug as a ceremonial coming of age tradition in that a prepubescent adolescent would enter into the mine, dig into the depths of the Earth, and then emerge back out as an adult. This theory is backed up by the fact that the majority of miners left their picks in the mine, possibly signifying that they had reached adulthood. It is unclear if these picks were left because they were considered to be spiritually polluted or if they offered their pick as an offering to the Earth itself in exchange for what has been brought to the surface. There is a site in Britain at which over 400 of these mines were dug a few meters from eachother giving the landscape a cratered appearance

The Projected Impact of Trees Upon Climate Change

ForestThroughout history, it is estimated that human beings have cut down 2,000,000,000,000 (2 trillion) – 2,500,000,000,000 (2.5 trillion) trees. This means that even if human beings plant 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) trees within the coming decade(s), this would only replace 40% – 50% of what has been taken from nature. Drones are now being used to plant trees, capable of planting 120 trees per minute per drone at 10% of the traditional cost to do so. If humanity were to plant 20,000,000,000 (20 billion) trees per year for 50 years, which is a sustainable rate, this still only equates to 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) trees which once again would only replace 40% – 50% of that which has been taken. It would take 9000 drones operating 200 days per year to accomplish this feat. Drone production for this project would not require drones more complicated than a modern day smartphone. Trees, plants, grasses etc. are essentially crystallized air, and are more than 95% formed by air. This means that the mass of a tree is equitable to the mass of oxygen which it has been crystallized from, effectively adhering to the Law of the Conservation of Mass, the First Law of thermodynamics. The average tree weighs 2 tonnes with 50% of this weight being carbon, which means that 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) trees is directly equitable to 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) tonnes of carbon. The land requirement to produce such an ambitious project would take half the land mass of Brazil, with larger trees actually requiring less land, paradoxically

The Advent of the Computer Mouse


The computer mouse became a mainstream accessory for computers shortly after Steve Jobs viewed a prototype mouse from Xerox in 1979. Jobs asked his team to create a mouse which was under $15.00, would last for 2 years, and could be used upon either a particle board desk or the jeans of a persons lap. Dean Hovey ended up creating the concept of the computer mouse by visiting a drug store after Jobs made this request in a business meeting. Hovey purchased a roll on deodorant and a butter dish and began working upon the initial design. Hovey popped the spherical applicator out of the deodorant and covered it with the butter dish to make a rollable, undulating handheld device

Timbuktu, Mali and its Cultural and Commercial Traditions

Timbuktu-MaliTimbuktu, Mali is located at the precise point where the Niger River flows northward into the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, which is an incredibly difficult place to reach and is why it is often used in the English language as a representative of a far away place. In Timbuktu, men keep their faces veiled while in the presence of women at all times, not even lowering their veils to eat, instead taking in food from underneath the veil. Women predominantly make familial decisions and hold the position of power within society. Timbuktu is made up of various ethnic tribes including the Kel Tamasheq, Songaï (pronounced “sore-eye”) (sometimes spelled as “Songhai”) and Arabs primarily. Timbuktu was founded by the Tuareg people however their numbers are vastly outweighed by the 3 main tribes of Timbuktu during the modern era. Despite once being a trading hub of both of salt and gold, Timbuktu now primarily trades in salt as the price of gold has made gold inaccessible for the average inhabitant. Timbuktu is slowly being buried in the sands of the Sahara Desert as these sands blow in and slowly but surely bury Timbuktu’s structures a little bit at a time. Fortunately, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has been helping to preserve the city of Timbuktu and its buildings from the elements of sand, wind, and rain which have eroded its structures made from natural materials, mainly adobe and mud brick

Snow in Iran During the Summer


Iran experiences snow during the winter every couple of years and even during the summer on occasion due to the topography and geography of Iran which includes high altitude mountains. Iran is a mountainous state referred to as a “plateau”. Mount Damavand, the highest peak in Iran, is a primary example of Iran’s ability to produce snow. With an elevation of 18,403′ in height, Mount Damavand always has snow to some degree, even if relatively minute, with snow occurring even during the peak summer months of June, July, and August

The Reason Why Hurricanes and Thunderstorms Form


Hurricanes are caused by clusters of thunderstorms consolidating together, developing over warm, tropical seawater, typically in late summer. These storms merge together into a spiral shape to form a hurricane. Because intense pressure draws in warm, moist winds towards the center of the storm, this wind spiral upwards and spin faster and faster. The rapidly rising air then cools, forming towering storm clouds and torrential rains. Thunderstorms form in large cumulonimbus clouds which carry water vapor high into the atmosphere where it condensed into hail and ice. The movement of hail and ice in thunderclouds causes an electric charge to build up which zaps down as lightning

The Physics of the Pac-Man Universe


The game of Pac-Man allows players to exit the world on one side, and re-enter upon a completely different side without delay. Pac-Man’s universe appears to be a flat, two dimensional, rectangular shape, but in reality it must be cylindrical like a pipe, only with the 2 ends of the pipe touching, making Pac-Man’s universe actually in the shape of a donut