2016-03-13 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Two days ago, 2016-03-11, I was discussing that due to the nuclear accidents that had happened, the safety regulations were tightened in order to reduce the effects of future accidents. However, if certain lessons from Harrisburg 1979 had been taken seriously in Fukushima, maybe their accident would have been causing much less damage than it really did in 2011.

In the same manner, the terrorist attacks on USA on 2001-09-11 led to that the safety measures for access to the cockpit of an aircraft were tightened, so that nobody could enter it without being let in by the occupants of the cockpit. That way, the regulators intended to make it extremely difficult for any trouble makers to take over the aircraft. But what if one of the people in the cockpit was doing something wrong that would jeopardize the flight? This was exactly what happened on 2015-03-24, when the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps. (The header image today shows a photo I took of the Alps from a Lufthansa, parent company to Germanwings, flight the day before Christmas Eve 2001. On the ground level, the ambient temperature was -45 OC, almost the same as on our cruising altitude.)


Germanwings Airbus A320, D-AIPX, which crashed in the French Alps on 2015-03-24

Today was revealed a report about how he, being a bipolar patient, had searched medical treatment with 41 health professionals, but due to the confidentiality obligation, none of them had dared inform the medical department of the airline. However, the rules for the occupancy of the cockpit were once again changed as a consequence of the co-pilots sole action. Now, there is an obligation that there always must be two people in the cockpit.

Still talking about the same Germanwings’ crash, did you know that parts of a football team from the Swedish club Dalkurd was supposed to be in the main cabin of that flight? They were returning home after a training camp in Barcelona, but changed their tickets to a later flight, so that the whole team could travel on the same flight. It saved them their lives! Full news coverage of the crash can be found in references #1 and #2 below.

Problem #5a (Pizza)
It is the evening after a long day and you have promised your wife to bring pizza for dinner. So you stop by at your favourite pizza parlour for take-out. Today’s special is Margherita, the Queen of pizzas, invented in Italy in 1889. They come in two sizes, a round one with 30 cm in diameter and a small one, also round, with 15 cm in diameter. The big one costs € 10 and the small one € 5. You are an economical person, so you have set a limit of spending to exactly € 10, but which type shall you buy, one big pizza or two smaller ones? Does it really matter what you choose? A solution to this problem will be published next Saturday, 2016-03-19.


Question #5b (Pancakes)
And speaking about food, do you know why Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates is so fond of pancakes? I will tell you that as well on Saturday, 2016-03-19.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crash: Flight 4U9525 down in French Alps with 150 feared dead

2: French investigators to publish report into Germanwings plane crash

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-27 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The interest for solving riddles is big among my readers, and the first correct solution to The pill roulette was submitted by Barbara and her colleagues at Torpaskolan in Gothenburg, Sweden. Congratulations to all you clever people! And here comes the …

Solution to The pill roulette, posted on 2016-02-21

  • Divide the eight pills into three different piles, two having three pills each and one with two pills.
  • Place one pile with three pills on the left pan of the balance scale and the other pile of three pills on the right pan.
  • If the weighing results in equality, then we know that all those six pills are also equal and none is poisonous. A second weighing of the remaining two pills indicates which pill is the poisonous one, since it is a little heavier.
  • However, if the first weighing results in that the total mass (“weight”) of one pile with three pills is heavier than the other pile of three, then we know that both the lighter pile of three and the sided two pills are all normal pills without any poision. Thus concentrate on the heaviest pile of three, one of the pills in it is the poisonous one. Take any two of those three pills and place one each on either pan of the balance scale. If this second weighing results in equality, both of the two pills are OK, and the sided third pill is the poisonous one. But if one of the two pills on the scale is heavier than the other one, it is the poisionous one!

A new riddle can be found at the end of today’s blog.

The Internet of Things

Last week was a busy one in Barcelona, Spain, where the Mobile World Congress gathered many people to learn and spread the word about the current state of affairs. Today, I will restrict the field to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), which is the increasing number of appliances, gadgets, vehicles, etc. that connect and interchange information. Radio Sweden’s weekly financial update was entirely dedicated to IoT, giving specialists from Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and Oracle a chance to share their thoughts. For the complete program, listen to reference # 1 below, but if you do not cope very well with the Swedish language, I will give you some of what was discussed here:

  • IoT has been around for quite a while, although in a unorganized manner, through all the sensors that have reported various parameter values to centralized locations, which evolved to machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and now IoT.
  • Built-in sensors in our homes will warn us when all is not the way it should be, e.g. if there are leaks of water, gas, etc., and instead of us having to call for someone to come and help us during normal business hours, we will receive a message telling us about the current situation and asking us about when that someone would be welcome to come to our home and solve the problem.
  • The self-driving cars will be upon us soon.
  • Provided that we can guarantee that the communications are resistant to hacker attacks, people are willing to share the biomedical data remotely. And the 5G networks that soon will be available are said to offer so much more security than today’s technologies, because already from the start 5G has been created to serve IoT well, and not be just another broadband communication technology.
  • A test with connected garbage cans in Germany, where the garbage only was collected when the cans called and informed that they were full, showed a 50 % reduction in costs in relation to the traditional scheduled garbage collections.
  • If we compare the development of applications for IoT between USA and Western Europe, then there is an interesting remark. Whereas the American development is more concentrated to big corporations, in Western Europe there are many small companies involved and their flexibility and speed can result in launches of new products well ahead of their American competitors. Furthermore, we can already see a trend where small European companies win over their Asian competitors in providing products in smaller volumes tailored to their customers’ needs.
  • I already talked about 5G in my post on 2016-01-24, citing applications that demand the high speed of a 5G network to function adequately. Look at references #2 and #3 below, where it is explicitly shown in text, photos and videos from Barcelona.
  • Our pets will inform us where they are, how they are, if they are hungry, etc.

Connected dog, sending messages from a display on the collar or via Internet of Things

Riddle # 3 (The fast mover)
What can go from there to here by disappearing and then go from here to there by appearing? A solution to this riddle will be published next Saturday, 2016-03-05. The first person that comes across the correct solution and sends it to medieborgaren@sjson.com will receive an honorary mention.

Slutligen, Ordalaget har gjort det igen! Igår gav de oss ett nyord för en falsk ID-handling, en s.k. legimitation.

Svenskt körkort

Bonusfråga: Även om texten “SPECIMEN” inte funnes, så vore detta ett utmärkt exempel på en legimitation. Kan du lista ut varför? (Svar kommer tillsammans med lösningen på gåta nummer 3 ovan 2016-03-05)

… That’s what I learned in school ! … Slut för idag, tack för idag !


1: Sakernas internet och framtiden

2: 5G was the real star of Mobile World Congress

3: A true 5G demo

4: Legimitation

+: What did you learn in school today ?