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 ?

2016-03-11 (Fredag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Det är idag precis 5 år sedan den allvarligaste kärnkraftsolyckan i historien, när det japanska kärnkraftverket i Fukushima drabbades av tre härdsmältor. Jag lyssnade på SR Vetenskapsredaktions Veckomagasin idag, där man kommenterade vad som har blivit konsekvenserna av de tre största olyckorna, Harrisburg 1979, Chernobyl 1986 och Fukushima 2011. Jag rekommenderar att de intresserade lyssnar på det programmet, se referens nummer 1 nedan.

Men densamma vetenskapsredaktionen hade också en mycket trevligare nyhet att berätta om några timmar tidigare. Det rör sig om en den australiensiska fjärilen Common bluebottle, en släkting till den svenska Makaonfjärilen, som har utsetts till världens skickligaste färgseende insekt.

Forskare har tidigare misstänkt att den här fjärilen ser färger bra. Den har nämligen ovanligt stora ögon och använder sina regnbågsskimrande vingar för att kommunicera. Men att den skulle ha 15 olika färgreceptorer i ögat har ingen kunnat gissa. Vi människor hara bara tre olika färgreceptorer, så kallade tappar, i våra ögon. De är känsliga för rött, grönt respektive blått ljus. Insekten på andra plats har nio.

Common bluebottle

Common bluebottle, världens färgkänsligaste varelse. Foto: Kazuo Unno

… Slut för idag, tack för idag !

(The text in Swedish above deals with the fifth anniversary of the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011 and presents the world’s most colour sensible creature.)


1: Blir kärnkraften säkrare efter katastroferna?

2: Fjärilen som slår världsrekord i färgseende

+: What did you learn in school today ?