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.


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.


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


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 !



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 ?

2016-03-07 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

The world is in mourning. We just learned that the inventor of e-mail, Ray Tomlinson, died last Saturday, March 5, at the age of 74.

Although I did not know him personally, I remember very well a course we had at my university called “Computer networks”. Today, it would not make much fuss, but mind you, I took this course in 1976, when computers in networks were not all abundant as they are today. I had been given the task of searching for articles about a certain network called ARPANET, and I found that there was a Boston company, BBN (Bolt, Beranek and Newman) that had been the pioneers in the development of ARPANET. ARPANET was later renamed DARPANET and finally Internet. (Update on 2016-09-29: Today I published the report I made back in 1976, see reference # 4 below.)

Ray worked at BBN and was the one that suggested and performed the first task of transfering messages from one computer to another, and attributed the @ sign to separate user and computer in the e-mail address.


Ray Tomlinson. Photo by BBN Technologies

According to the Internet Hall of Fame,”Tomlinson’s email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate, including the way businesses, from huge corporations to tiny mom-and-pop shops, operate and the way millions of people shop, bank, and keep in touch with friends and family, whether they are across town or across oceans. Today, tens of millions of email-enabled devices are in use every day. Email remains the most popular application, with over a billion and a half users spanning the globe and communicating across the traditional barriers of time and space.”

See also references #1, #2 and #3 below for further information.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies aged 74

2: Ray Tomlinson on Wikipedia

3: Official Biography: Raymond Tomlinson


+: What did you learn in school today ?