2017-04-21 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

In Brazil, today is a national holiday, remembering a movement at the end of the 18th century, which eventually resulted in independence from Portugal. The leader of the rebellion was a dentist, named Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, so today is known as “Feriado de Tiradentes”. More about it in reference #1 below. Given the current state of chaos in Brazil, let us hope that another dentist will show up soon, clean the house and fill the holes!

Tomorrow is Earth Day and many activities will occur all over the globe. One such action is by the unified scientific community which will protest about the way facts and science are treated currently. March for Science is planned in 54 different countries, with USA naturally leading the movement. In Sweden, the major university cities will also hold their marches, e.g. if you are in Göteborg (Gothenburg), why not join Stefan Bengtsson, Pam Fredman and many others in your protest. More information can be found in references # 2 and 3 below.

March for Science

Cities where March for Science will take place on 2017-04-22, most probably one near you!

One important ingredient in the protests is to, once more, show how our earth is suffering from the global warming that really is taking place. Among other things, it is threatening to put entire nations under water. One such nation is called Vanuatu. It is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, see reference #4 below. I just received some interesting photos from there, sent to me by my friends Helen and Tomas, who are currently visiting Vanuatu. Just think of not being able to experience a ceremony like that in the following photo of the indigenous population. In a future post, I will show more photos.

Vanuatu

A photo from Vanuatu, taken on 2017-04-18 by Helen Rollinson

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:
1: Tiradentes

2: March for Science

3: March for Science Sweden

4: Vanuatu

*: What did you learn in school today ?

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2017-01-01 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

2017 is finally here, let us forget 2016 and wish that the peoples of the world start to realize that we cannot continue in the same old way. According to SMHI (The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), “Globalt var 2016 det varmaste året hittills”, i.e. globally 2016 was the warmest year ever, although not in Sweden due to a very cold month of January, 2016. See also reference #1.

But if you still believe that global warming is a hoax, then you had better look better into what the scientists say. My favorite Saturday morning podcast is the Science Show from ABC Radio National in Australia. This 1-hour long program was started 41 years ago and continues still alive once a week, under the command of the Englishman Robyn Williams, naturalized Australian.

Which are the chances that the human race will be still alive at the end of this century? We may not be alive by then, but do not we have a responsibility to let our children, grandchildren, grand grandchildren, etc. see the 22nd century?

The two most recent podcasts from the Science Show were both recorded in Adelaide on 2016-03-16 during the WOMADelaide Planet Talks. In references #2 and 3, the ABC podcast and a video posted on Youtube, respectively, the Canadian David Suzuki resumes perfectly what it is all about, what we have to do to have a chance of meeting the 22nd century.

In references #3 and 4, the ABC podcast and a video posted on Youtube, respectively,
David Suzuki comes back together with Indira Naidoo and Amelia Telford, to give down-to-earth hints on how to grow your own produce even if you live in a city, how to convince the politicians to introduce the obligation of the state and its citizens to take care of the environment, as 110 countries in the world which have written it into their constitutions, etc.

I promise you, it will be the most enlightening 2 hours you have experienced in a very long time!

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Året 2016 – Varmt år men inget rekord

2: David Suzuki: Changing climate the ultimate crisis for our species, podcast 2016-12-24

3: David Suzuki Keynote – WOMADelaide Planet Talks 2016-03-16

4: How people connect with the natural world, podcast 2016-12-31

5: What’s love got to do with it? – WOMADelaide Planet Talks 2016-03-16

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-23 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

I should have told you more things yesterday, but the events in Brussels made me forget it.

In the beginning of 1982, there was a Canadian couple who was worried about the violence in the world and therefore thinking about moving to a quiet place where they could live in peace and let their children grow up in harmony with nature. So they spun the globe, closed their eyes and pointed at a spot. They liked the result and started to prepare for the big move, which they finally made in September, 1982. Their new home was located in a town called Port Stanley. They were still decorating their house when hell broke loose! In October, their cosy little town became the battle ground between Argentina and Great Britain, in the Falklands / Malvinas war!

But frankly speaking, to live in a small city in Brazil should not pose very big risks for terrorist attacks, more about me and Brazil tomorrow.

This morning, Radio Sweden presented two more interesting pieces of scientific news. The first one, references #1 and 2 below, is a fish that is both mother and father to its offspring.

herm-fish

This fish, a hybrid of two cichlids, does it all by her&himself. Photo: Xavier David/(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

And the second one is a revolutionary material which researchers in Arizona want to employ to gather carbon dioxide from the air. Their invention should be able to collect 1 ton of CO2 every day, see reference #3 below.

Today is my blog post # 73, which reminds me of when I was younger and engaged in DX-ing and HAM radio. 73 was the code which meant “Best regards”, commonly used in all contacts between radio amateurs. See reference #4 for origin and more codes.

… That’s what I learned in school & 73 !

Refs.:

1: Ensam fisk lyckades bli både mamma och pappa

2: Hybridization generates a hopeful monster: a hermaphroditic selfing cichlid

3: Plastmatta fångar in koldioxid från atmosfären

4: On the Origin of “73”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-19 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Once an hour per year, the World Wide Fund for Nature arranges the so-called “Earth Hour”, when they ask everyone on our planet to turn off the non-essential lighting for one hour, during the local time of 20:30 to 21:30, to make us aware of global warming. See reference #1 below for more information.

LVdark

The Strip in Las Vegas during Earth Hour 2009-03-29

The photos above were taken during the Earth Hour on 2009-03-29 at 21:17 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. I was there to visit a trade show during the following week and had arrived in the city on the same afternoon. I managed to obtain a good ticket for the Cirque du Soleil’s performance at the theatre of New York, New York, and when I stumbled out of there, I was greeted by the unusual, almost pitch-black night of the Las Vegas Boulevard (a.k.a. the Strip), so I snapped those pictures in both directions from the overpass in front of New York, New York.

Solution to Problem # 5a, Pizzas, posted on 2016-03-13

So, should you bring one big pizza or two small ones? Do not get confused about the fact that the bigger one has twice the diameter of the smaller one. Since we are comparing two three-dimensional objects, and consider that both types of pizzas have the same thickness, then we must compare the two areas. And since the big pizza has a diagonal that is twice that of the smaller one, then of course the area has the same relation squared. So, the bigger pizza has 4 times the area of the smaller one, yet only costs twice as much. Take the big pizza and go home with twice as much pizza as if you had choosen two small ones. See also the following picture, and “buon appetito” !

marguerita

Pizza Margherita in two different sizes, the big one has a real diameter of 30 cm and each of the smaller ones have individual diameters of 15 cm

The Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by pizzaiolo Rafaelle Esposito, as a tribute to Queen Margherita di Savoia during her visit to Naples. The ingredients were chosen to mimic the Italian flag: white represented by buffalo mozarela cheese, red by the tomato, and as the green “piece de resistance” fresh basil. In all its simplicity, still one of the best pizzas you can ever eat! See also reference #2 below.

Solution to Question # 5b, Pancakes, posted on 2016-03-13

I also asked why Bill Gates is so fond of pancakes. The answer is that his only scientific article deals exactly with pancakes. This is the story: You are working as an extra hired waiter for the morning rush at the International House of Pancakes. Everyone goes there for their breakfast pancake and today the chef has a bad day. Not all pancakes turn out the same, some are bigger, others are smaller. Your task is to serve the pancakes to the patrons from a neatly arranged pile, with the largest one at the bottom and the smallest one on top. The question is then, is there a maximum limit for the number of times you have to interchange the pancakes until you have reached your objective?

In his article from 1978, Bill Gates at Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, and his co-writer Christos Papadimitriou developed an algorithm to try and almost answer that question. And their theory was undisputed until 2008, when a team in Dallas, Texas, USA improved it when they applied the pancake flipping theory to a minimization of connections between neighbouring network processors.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: EARTH HOUR

2: Pizza Margherita

3: Bounds for Sorting by Prefix Reversal

4: Flipping pancakes with mathematics

5: Team Bests Young Bill Gates With Improved Answer
to So-Called Pancake Problem in Mathematics

+: What did you learn in school today ?