2016-07-20 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

Looking at today’s full moon, I cannot forget that it is exactly 47 years since man first set foot on non-terrestrial ground, on 1969-07-20. Of course everyone remembers Neil Armstrong’s “small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind”. Reference #1 has more about that historical feat.

Apollo_11

The historic crew of Apollo 11, from left to right: Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Photo by NASA, taken in May, 1969.

But did you know that the source code of the program used in the computer of the Eagle, Apollo 11’s moonlander, is now available to the public?

If you are curious about what it looks like, see references # 2 and 3 below.

But of course there are interesting views on Mother Earth, as well. Today’s header photo was taken by my wife, Maria José, in Kokkari, island of Samos, Greece, on 2008-07-11. Enjoy!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Apollo 11

2: Apollo 11 sourcecode

3: Original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC) source code for the command and lunar modules.

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2016-07-04 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

If you are in the US, then you can enjoy an extra day off work and celebrate the nation’s independence day, congratulations!

And thanks to the internet you can also listen to a Swedish radio programme, where Gloria Ray Karlmark counts her life story, including fighting for racial emancipation in Little Rock, Arkansas, and being the first coloured female student at MIT. But you need to know Swedish, and if you do, the link can be found in reference #1 below.

And when it is time for the fireworks tonight, think about what is happening at that very moment even further out in the sky, on a distance 48 light-minutes away. A Nasa probe named Juno penetrates the Jupiter atmosphere, searching for clues to the composition of this gigantic planet, the biggest one in our solar system. For more information, see reference #2 below.

But do you know why the probe is called Juno? It all started back in ancient Rome. Their god of gods was Jupiter, married to Juno. But Jupiter also had women on the side, the four most prominent being Io, Europa, Ganimedes and Calisto. In order to hide his extra-marital affairs from his wife, Jupiter surrounded himself by a cloud. But the jealous Juno had a sight which could penetrate that cloud. So now, Juno will once again penetrate the clouds of Jupiter and report her findings to Mother Earth.

In the meantime, I suggest you appreciate the following image. Further information can be found in reference #3 below.

jupiter-aurora

An image showing what the Hubble telescope found when directing UV rays towards Jupiter. It shows a permanent aurora, a result of the combination of solar winds and charged particles from the planet’s biggest moon, Io. Image by NASA, ESA, and J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Gloria Ray Karlmark

2: Juno by NASA

3: Hubble photographs Jupiter’s dramatic auroras

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-07-03 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Although we are in the winter season on the southern hemisphere, there are so many beautiful things to enjoy. A good example of that is shown in the photo below. It is the glorious tree named Ipê roxo in Portuguese or Pink trumpet tree in English, with its intense lilac colour. I took the photo in the geographical center of Paranavaí, PR, Brazil, this morning. More information can be found in reference #1 below.

Ipe

A photo from Marco Zero, the city’s geographical center, in Paranavái, PR, Brazil, showing the magnificient Pink trumpet tree (Handroanthus impetiginosus) in bloom, taken on 2016-07-03.

But not all Brazilian cities are that pleasant. Folha de S. Paulo today reports that neither of the four environmental problems, which the organizers of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro had promised to solve, will be concluded for the games. They are: treating the waste before dumping it into the sea, where the olympic sailing events will take place, cruising in the middle of the garbage; clean the lake of Jacarepaguá, bordering the olympic village; clean the lake Rodrigo de Freitas and open it for bathing; and plant trees in the native forest known Mata Atlântica. Read also reference #2 below.

So, where would you like to be in August, Paranavaí or Rio de Janeiro? Although I am a sports fan, I have already made my choice, and maybe I will see some highlights from the games on TV.

Finally, here are two interesting topics from today’s program “Godmorgon, världen” on Radio Swedens channel 1, in Swedish:

  • What is wrong with referendums? A very interesting column by Göran Rosenberg (Reference #3 below)
  • Which is the secret of Iceland’s success in football? Fagnaðarlæti Island! (Reference #4 below)
isfotboll

Training for 8- and 9-year old kids on the Icelandic island of Vestmannaeyjar, population 4 000. Photo taken by Jonna Burén / Sveriges Radio.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Handroanthus impetiginosus

2: Rio descumpre todas as metas ambientais para a Olimpíada

3: Göran Rosenberg om felet med folkomröstningar

4: Det isländska fotbollsundret

+: What did you learn in school today ?