World’s Oldest Calculator

November 29, 2014 · Posted in Science · Comments Off on World’s Oldest Calculator A Classical Wonder: The Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism, oldest known calculator, is even older than first thought.

It was found in 1900 as part of a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The technological complexity of this device, which is believed to have charted moving planets, marked the passing of days and years, and also may have predicted eclipses, was designed ahead of any other similar invention by more than 1000 years.

Argentinian researchers have corrected the original creation date of 100 to 150 BC, determined by radiocarbon dating analysis, to an earlier date of 205 BC. , since discovering an eclipse prediction calendar dial on the back of the mechanism that predicted a May 12, 205 B.C. solar eclipse.

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Jonas Salk’s 100th Birthday

October 26, 2014 · Posted in Medicine, Science, This Day in History · Comments Off on Jonas Salk’s 100th Birthday 

The History of Polio is forever and inextricably linked with  Jonas Salk . Salk’s eagerly anticipated achievement of inoculation against the much feared polio virus was made public on April 12, 1955

Not long after the announcement of the success of the Salk Vaccine , Jonas appeared in what would become a well-known television interview with Edward R. Murrow. When Murrow asked why he did not obtain a patent on his medical discovery, Salk famously said in response, “Would you patent the sun?” His response left the impression that it was a morally motivated decline on Salk’s part that resulted in an unpatented invention. But there are other details that point to the possibility of an altogether different reason having less to do with Salk and more to do with other factors  apart from Salk’s refusal to apply for a patent.

October 28, 1914 marks the 100th anniversary of Jonas Salk’s birthday.

1985 Interview with Salk

Top Ten Deadliest Tornadoes in Oklahoma History

October 2, 2014 · Posted in Disasters, Oklahoma History, Weather · Comments Off on Top Ten Deadliest Tornadoes in Oklahoma History 
Rank City Date Scale Fatalities Injuries
1 Woodward 4/9/1947 F5 116 782
2 Snyder 5/10/1905 F5 97* 58*
3 Peggs 5/2/1920 F4 71 100
4 Antlers 4/12/1945 F5 69 353
5 Pryor 4/27/1942 F4 52 350
6 (Bridge Creek-Newcastle-Moore-Oklahoma City) 5/3/1999 F5 36 583
7 Oklahoma City 6/12/1942 F4 35 100
8 Cleveland County 04/25/1893 F4 33 ~100
9 (Newcastle-South Oklahoma City-Moore) 5/20/2013 EF5 24
10 Bethany 11/19/1930 F4 23 150

Source: National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Norman, OK

Conditions of Hong Kong Reverting to Chinese Rule

August 31, 2014 · Posted in Civil Rights · Comments Off on Conditions of Hong Kong Reverting to Chinese Rule 

Talks began in 1982 between Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping that would determine the future fate of Hong Kong. Prime Minister Thatcher flew to Peking (Beijing the capital of the People’s Republic of China) in September 1982 in hopes of retaining Hong Kong as British, but she failed in her attempt.

Two years later in 1984 the signing between China and Britain of a “Joint Declaration” permitted that China would take back Hong Kong in 1997. Thatcher insisted on the inclusion of certain contingencies, being that during the 50 years following China’s take back of sovereignty, Hong Kong must remain a special administrative region; meaning Hong Kong SAR would be a separate system in two respects retaining its capitalist economy and a partial democratic political system.

But Thatcher from her own words revealed her thoughts and feelings regarding the chances for this “one country, two systems” success. Only continued British administration – British ‘rule’, she said – could guarantee Hong Kong’s well-being beyond 1997.

Proving her premonition we read today that in fact Mainlaind China is chipping away at Hong Kong’s democracy by limitting the people’s electoral choices to be only those first approved by China, which of course is not a true free election by the people and for the people. Many Hong Kong people are protesting this violation of their rights. We will watch to see how things will play out in the years to come.
Tags: Hong Kong SAR, China’s Take Back of Hong Kong, Margaret Thatcher, Hong Kong Democracy

Source: (–only-to-meet-her-match-in-deng-xiaoping-two-years-later-she-signed-the-agreement-handing-the-territory-to-china-1543375.html)

World War I Facts

July 7, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on World War I Facts 

World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand.

The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.

Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock. The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.

Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.

World War 1
During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sung Christmas carols to each other. A football match was played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.

Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.

Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.

Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.

Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies

June 18, 2014 · Posted in America, Civil Rights, Famous Song Writers and Singers · Comments Off on Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies 

Known for such popular hit songs: “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” and anthem for civil rights, “We Shall Overcome.”  has died at the age of 94.

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