The Origin of Pogs

The game of Pogs originated in Japan during the 17th century and was originally referred to as “Menko”. The Pogs game was adopted once again during the 1960’s in Hawaii, United States of America and was played using cardboard juice and milk bottle lids. The name “Pogs” was chosen for the game due to the popular juice flavor in Hawaii of “passion fruit orange guava”, making “Pogs” more so an acronym rather than a name

How Ritalin Acquired its Name

Methylphenidate, more commonly known by its brand name “Ritalin”, was developed in 1944 by Swiss scientist Leandro Panizzon. Panizzon created the medication in part as he wanted his wife Marguerite to become more energized, play better tennis, lose weight, and help improve her hypotension. Panizzon created the term “Ritaline” (pronounced “ree-tah-lean”) for his newly invented medication, named as such for his wife Marguerite (pronounced “mar-gah-reet”) as Marguerite always referred to herself using the shortened version of her name, “Rita”. When Chemische Industrie Basel, more commonly known by the acronym “CIBA”, the company which owned the research, released methylphenidate into the marketplace, the “e” was discarded from “Ritaline” to create “Ritalin” (pronounced “ree-tah-lin”)

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 Rationale Behind the Iconic Mask of Anonymous

In 2008, the Anonymous hacktivism group staged mass protests across multiple cities worldwide. Because participating members were in need of adopting a physical disguise as they would be shifting from the online world into the physical world, early members of Anonymous spent the proceeding 48 hours calling comic book retailers, costume retailers, toy retailers etc. looking for identical disguises which could be purchased en masse for a reasonable price point. As it turned out, each one of these retailers had overstock of Guy Fawkes masks, most of them sitting in external storage and heavily discounted as no one wanted them after the release of the V for Vendetta film released in 2006, a rare miscalculation by manufacturers and retailers. Strangely, the iconography of the Anonymous organization was birthed out of an accidental fluke of overstock

The Reason Financial Investment Platform Robinhood Halted the Ability to Trade GameStop Stock in 2021

On January 28, 2021, soon after the opening bell, Robinhood and several other major trading platforms announced the suspension of the ability to purchase GameStop stock, delivering a devastating blow to the WallStreetBets subreddit community which had been helping to elevate the stocks price point by locking out new investors and causing the stock price to tumble dramatically. The rationale for this decision was that extreme volatility could create unforeseen economic problems in the future (e.g. unsustainable economic bubble etc.) but many retail investors viewed this outcome as professional investors leveraging their authority with the U.S. government and the financial industry to stop the public from continuing to financially annihilate large, established trading firms. In addition to the official reason provided, retail trading platforms are not designed to handle the torrent of transactions related to events like the ascendancy of GameStop which played a factor in why Robinhood and other platforms succame to the pressure to halt all future trading of GameStop stock. Robinhood claimed that the company did not have the liquidity on hand to cover the trades and gains being made. Unsurprisingly, the price of GameStop stock rapidly declined, devastating retail investors and highlighting the fact that the investment market is rigged toward the wealthy and powerful perhaps having a distinct advantage over their counterparts. Experts argue that this intervention unnaturally drove the price point of GameStop stock down, acting to reverse the effects of community based organization and investment. It was the clearing houses however that truly forced Robinhood and other trading platforms into capitulating. When a stock is purchased or sold, the transaction does not settle and finalize until 2 business days after the transaction time stamp, something which is unbeknownst to many investors. During this 2 business day period, due to regulation, brokerages and clearing firms are not permitted to use customer capital to fund the collateral use of those 2 business days, therefore being legally required to leverage the firms own capital. Robinhood argued that it did not possess the corporate capital required to facilitate the enormous volume of GameStop stock trades. It should be noted, Robinhood has repeatedly denied that it was under pressure from hedge fund executives, financial organizations, and the professional financial industry as a whole to stop the short squeeze occurring for those who chose to short sell GameStop stock

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 Coca Leaf Extraction Process to Manufacture Cocaine

The cocaine extraction process is complicated but begins with workers shredding the leaves of the coca plant into fine particulate with machinery (e.g. weed trimmer etc.) after which cement powder is added, then sulphuric acid dissolved in water, with the leaves then being placed into an oil drum and doused with gasoline. The mixture is left to sit for an extended period of time so that the cocaine itself can be extracted from the coca leaf. The oil drum mixture is stirred continuously using a large rod and then poured through a filter into another container where battery acid is introduced. The battery acid is sulphuric acid making it similar to the first few steps but it is slightly different as it is diluted with water to become no greater than a 37% concentrate. Battery acid helps to separate the cocaine liquid from the gasoline, with 90% of the barrel being gasoline and 10% at the bottom being pure liquid cocaine. Because the gasoline and liquid cocaine have different specific densities, plantation workers place a hose into the bottom of the barrel so that the liquid cocaine can be extracted, either using a pump or gravity by manually sucking on the hose until liquid cocaine starts flowing through. Pure liquid cocaine is clear like water, and has an acidic, bitter, strong taste. Sodium bicarbonate is then added as it helps to eradicate the excess gasoline and battery acid which remains and turns the liquid white. Once the liquid is dried, it begins to resemble cocaine but the process is not yet complete. The dried powder is then cooked on a stove top and stirred continuously to remove further impurities, the top layer is then removed the same way soup skin is removed with a brown colored liquid left remaining which is cocaine. The brown liquid is spread onto a baking pan and left to dry. It is this paste that is passed onto drug cartels to then be distributed internationally

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

Textile Pollution of the Citarum River in Indonesia

The Citarum River (pronounced “chit-ah-rum”) in Indonesia is considered to be the most heavily polluted river in the world with over 400 textile factories situated nearby which choose to dump their industrial waste directly into the river itself, treating the river as a sewer system which carries away waste. The problem is so intense that the Indonesian military has been implemented to help clean up the area but corporations have resorted to dumping their waste products at night and because the unseen chemicals are the real threat to those living near the river, these companies are permitted to continue dumping as no one can definitively prove their culpability without scientific measurements which are difficult to ascertain as Indonesia is a developing country. Corporations have even begun to strategically place their waste pipes under water so that they can pollute with impunity as no one can physically see the pollution being dumped. Water darker than its surroundings, steam, bubbles, and froth are all key signs which activists use to spot these illegal port systems. It’s difficult to pin point which factories produce textiles for western companies as western companies virtually always refuse to disclose which factories they work with. Some of the largest corporations in fashion (e.g. H&M, the Gap, Levi’s etc.) have revealed their sources but even with this disclosure, some of these companies have been linked to factories within this region. Indonesia isn’t a top 5 global producer of textiles, so to say that Indonesia is part of an even larger problem, is an accurate statement. Most people who live near the Citaum River use the river for bathing, drinking, and/or cooking, and noticeable dermatological effects have been noticed by those living within the area. The primary problem with the Citarum River is with heavy metals (e.g. mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic etc.). Long term exposure to these substances can cause neurological problems as brain function becomes permanently damaged. These heavy metals are so dire that they can actually lower the intelligence quotient of children who are developing and attending their education. 28,000,000 (28 million) people rely upon the Citarum River daily and eat foods (e.g. rice) irrigated with its waters. Human rights activists have engaged these corporations by physically blocking piping and ducts which have caused the affected corporations to start hiring mercenary criminals to follow and attack those known to be a part of this resistance. Western consumers are the primary cause and possible solution for this problem because if there are no clients willing to purchase the garments, the industry as a whole will shift, not because of political pressure or governmental oversight, but rather because of sales. The problem is not centralized in Indonesia as other developing countries (e.g. India, Bangladesh, China etc.) are equally negatively impacted