2016-09-29 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

The internet of today is very different from what it was 40 years ago. And at that time it did not even have that name, it was ARPANET. I found a literature review which I made for a university course called Computer Networks in October, 1976. The whole document, including all articles, is a heavy book, but I do not want to scare you so in reference # 1 below you can find a resume in 14 pages. However, in order for you to get complete satisfaction from the contents, you have to learn Swedish. But there are quite some figures and graphs as well, and you know what they say, a picture is worth more than a thousand words! I already commented about the creation of e-mail on 2016-03-07, when its inventor, Ray Tomlinson, died.

And another fantastic feat was reported 2 days ago. Due to a genetic flaw, a woman could not be sure to give birth to a sound baby, so a new technique was employed to let another woman with normal genes participate in the process, thus generating the first human being with three biological parents. See more in the figure below, and complete coverage in English and Portuguese in references #2 and 3 below.

3p1-5

The five phases in the process for a child to have three biological parents. 1: A non-fertilized egg with abnormal mitochondria (colored red) from the patient and another one with normal mitochondria (colored green) from the donor are selected. 2: Both cores (colored blue) are removed and only the core of the patient is maintained, the core of the donor is discarded. 3: This core is then inserted into the egg without core of the donor, with contains normal mitochondria. 4: The reconstituted egg is fertilized with the sperm of the patient’s male partner. 5: The fertilized embryo, with normal mitochondria and maternal and paternal genomes can now be transferred into the uterus of the patient. Images and text provided by Folha de S. Paulo, see also reference # 3 below.

Earlier today, I took the day off from my daily chores and invited my wife to celebrate my birthday in the neighboring city, Maringá. First we visited Parque do Japão, a marvelous creation close to the Maringá airport, and which was inaugurated on 2014-05-12. Maybe you already knew that over 1 million Japanese descendants live in Brazil? The state of São Paulo is most popular among them, but Paraná, the state immediately south of São Paulo, is also very popular. And Maringá is definitely such a place.

Below you can see some images from the park and also Maringás landmark, the Cathedral, the tallest church in South America. More information can be seen in references # 4 and 5 below.

maringa0

Parque do Japão in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. Photo taken on 2016-09-29

maringa

Photos from the city of Maringá, state of Paraná, Brazil. The four photos in landscape mode show different aspects of the “Park of Japan”. The cathedral to the right is considered as Maringá’s landmark. All photos were taken by me on 2016-09-29.

Finally, tomorrow, September 30 is the International Translation Day, yet another subject that is very dear to me. See my next post on Sunday, 2016-10-02, for more about that fascinating topic.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: ARPANET

2: World’s first baby born with new “3 parent” technique

3: Primeiro bebê com DNA de três progenitores nasceu no México

4: Maringá

5: Parque do Japão

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2016-09-15 (Jueves/Thursday)

Hoy en día, aprendí:

Hace 195 años, 1821-09-15, se crearon los Estados Unidos de América Central cuando la colonia española, sobre todo entre los actuales México y Panamá, se declararon independiente de España. Estos son los países de El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua, así como Costa Rica. Aunque este último fue incluido en el proceso de independencia, el pueblo costariqueño lo supo al mes siguiente. En aquel tiempo no habia internet!

El artículo de referencia 1, en la continuación, escrito exactamente hace cinco años, explica todos los pasos antes, durante y después de esta declaración.

cr

Y la foto principal es de Costa Rica. Este es el Volcán Arenal, que es actualmente inactivo después de un perîodo de 42 años de actividad, iniciado en 1968. Ver más información en la referencia 2 en la continuación.

¡Gracias, Carmen, por tu ayuda con el texto!

(The text above in Spanish talks about the 195 years of independence today of 5 Central American countries. The photo shows a volcano in Costa Rica. See also references #1 and 2 below, both in English.)

How about reading one of those very rare, fragile books from centuries ago? Many books have been scanned so far, so that a digital copy can easily be retrieved by anyone wanting to read it, but what if the book is so precious and fragile that the mere handling of the book would jeopardize its entire existence? MIT has the answer, to scan the book while still being closed. The secret lies in using terahertz radiation, see more in reference # 3 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Celebrate Independence Day in Central America – September 15th!

2: Volcán Arenal

3: MIT uses radiation to read closed books

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-09-11 (Sunday / Dimanche)

Today, I learned that:

So many others are today writing about the distressing moments that happened on this day 15 and 43 years ago, that I would like to show a different side of humanity, culture in its broadest sense. How about calling it ‘les beaux arts’?

The first of those items comes from the culinary world. The other day, my wife wanted to have something fast, good and cheap for the evening meal. So she invented this variant of what the Italians name panini, a grilled sandwich which under other compositions can also be called croque monsieur, quesadilla, misto quente or beirute.

Since it really fulfills all those conditions she set up, I decided to call it Panino Colombo, I hope you can imagine why if you consult reference #1 below. This is how the final sandwich looks:

panini-colombo

Voilá, ça c’est le Panino Colombo. Bon appétit!

This is what you need to make the sandwich. It is good for feeding 4 people and takes only 15 minutes to make:

  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 soup spoons of oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of chemical yeast
  • salt according to your wish
  • tomato sauce, either your own or a ready one

Suggested ingredients for the topping, but you can choose whatever you like most and have at home:

  • mozzarella cheese
  • ham
  • oregano
  • basil

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix and knead everything well together, until it forms a smooth dough. See reference # 2 for all the succeeding steps. Bon appétit!

After having cared about the body, now let us concentrate on the soul. Thank you, Patricia, for giving me this great hint about a lovely subject.

The Art Institute of Chicago recently held an exhibition with original paintings by the great Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Of the total of 36 objects shown, there were especially three of them which were put in focus. The motif of all is the same, his bedroom in Arles. At first glance, they all look alike, but if you get closer, then you can see subtle changes in colors, lighting, texture, etc. All paintings were made within a time lapse of roughly one year, and the three originals are now spread out in museums in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Paris. Enjoy the paintings below and learn more about them and the artist in references #3 and 4, below.

vangoghsbedrooms

These are all original paintings by Vincent van Gogh, painted in 1888 and 1889.

And while we are in Chicago, why not visit the gallery of local artist Daniel Cleary, a big admirer of van Gogh? You can see one of his works here, and more details about him and his art in reference # 5 below.

danielcleary

Excerpt from a drawing by the Chicago artist Daniel Cleary, undoubtedly inspired by both Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse.

And last, but not least, I dedicate this post to my friend Giulia on her birthday today, long may she live!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Uovo di Colombo

2: Panino Colombo

3: Van Gogh’s bedrooms

4: Vincent van Gogh

5: Daniel Cleary Fine Art Gallery

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-09-03 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Exactly 49 years ago, 1967-09-03, Sweden changed the rules for driving, from the left-hand side of the road to the right-hand side. It had already been the subject of a referendum held in 1955, where 82,9 % of all votes were in favour of status quo, i.e. continue to drive of the left-hand side. But the referendum was not decisive, only consultative, and external pressure of unifying the “right side” for driving eventually had the Swedish parliament decide on a change.

Already one year before the switch would take place, the actions started to teach the population how they should behave while driving after “H-dagen” (‘H Day’, where H stands for “höger”, the Swedish word for ‘right’). And thus the switch itself went very smoothly, no major accidents. Even though I was too young to have a driver’s license myself, I still remember waking up in the morning and seeing how the cars started to move from the left side of the road to the right one at 05:00 in the morning, and then at 06:00 was finally given the “go” signal. Below are some interesting images from the switch, complete articles can be found in references # 1 and 2 below.

Dagen H

Six illustrations related to the Swedish left-to-right switch. In the upper row, from left to right: – Propaganda on a Stockholm bus appealing to vote NO in the referendum in 1955; – The people managing the switch showing the sign with a big H, which was placed in thousands of places in Swedish roads; – Kungsgatan in Stockholm during the switch. In the lower row, from left to right: – The official symbol of the switch; – Gloves to remind the driver to drive on the RIGHT side; – This road sign ceased to exist at the switch, it meant that the earlier limited velocity now was invalid, thus imposing no formal limits to the velocity, but after the switch there was no more free velocity on Swedish highways .

And so you may ask, what does the following photo have in common with traffic? Well, it was taken in an EU country that still insists on driving on the left side of the road. No, it is not Britain, but one of its former colonies, Malta, located in the Mediterranean sea. My friend Rikke just returned from a marvellous vacation there, and besides this beautiful photo, she has promised us to deliver more like that one. We very much look forward to it, in the meantime here are our warmest thanks to her!

Malta2

A tempting scenery from Pembroke, Malta. It is located 10 km North of Valeta, Malta’s capital. Photo taken by Rikke Wilhelmsen on 2016-08-22.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Day H

2: Högertrafikomläggningen

+: What did you learn in school today ?