End of world predictions

You should live every day as if it is your last. That may be easier said than done. But what if you really knew the exact day when will the world end?

There have been and still are many End-of-World predictions:

In the year 70, Rabbi Jose, the Galilean, predicted that the world would end in the year 130.

In 90 CE, Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world would end at any moment. Read more…

An acre of hemp produces more paper than an acre of trees

hemp

For thousands of years, until 1883, hemp was the world’s largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fiber, fabric, soap, lighting oil, paper, incense, and medicines were produced. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals. Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids necessary for health. The oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats.

An acre of hemp produces more paper than an acre of trees. Paper made from hemp lasts for centuries, compared to 25-80 years for paper made from wood pulp. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Read more…

Proper table settings

tablesetting

What goes where on the table and which glasses go with what drinks

Real easy to remember, the etiquette experts tell us. The general rule with utensils is to start from the outside of your place setting, and work your way toward the service plate (the main meal plate): soup spoon first, then fish knife and fork, then service knife and fork.  Read more…

Privacy Tools: Mask Your Location

No WiFi

A person’s location can be hugely revealing. Here are some tips on how to mask the information your computer and phone transmit automatically.

In the course of writing my book, Dragnet Nation, I tried various strategies to protect my privacy. In this series of book excerpts and adaptations, I distill the lessons from my privacy experiments into tips for readers. – Julia Angwin.

“Where R U?” There’s a reason that is among the most common text messages of the modern age. Read more…

Baby Boomers vs Generation X vs Generation Y

Let’s compare the work performance: Baby Boomers vs Generation X vs Generation Y.

Quick reminder: baby boomers are those born after WWII (after 1945) up to the 1960s. Generation X is the generation born between the 1960s and early 1980s. Generation Y – also known as Millennials – were welcomed into the wonderful world between the mid-1980s and early 2000s.

Ernst & Young did a study on the different work traits of these generations and The Economist displayed the results in a very interesting videographic.  Read more…

2014 Super Bowl Top Rated Commercial

Budweiser Puppy Love

With the largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl in 21 years, the Seattle Seahawks trumped the Denver Broncos by 43 to 8 at Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014 at the MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

As has become usual, the Super Bowl commercials attracted a huge amount of attention, even before they were flighted in any of the 58 ad spots on the Fox network or on the ad breaks on the 44 international broadcast partners. With an average cost of $4 million per television broadcast, the ratings obviously are very important to the advertisers.  Read more…

Extreme STOL aircraft

Piper PA-18 Super Cub

Those daring men in their magnificent flying machines! The brave Canadian bush pilots, the South American jungle pilots and the freight pilots operating in crisis zones in Africa. They land and take off in extreme conditions in the world’s most remote and hostile areas.

These pilots have a special skill, a special attitude… and a special airplane. In particular, Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) aircraft that can takeoff and land in less than 200 feet (60 metres) … and down to as little as 30 feet (9 metres)! That’s as little as 10 strides. Basically, takeoff and land in the length of your driveway.  Read more…

Zeitgeist 2013

olinguito

Looking back at 2013, there were many outstanding moments. The Voyager 1 spacecraft became the first human-made object to enter interstellar space. New animal species were discovered. British researchers successfully cure blindness in mice. There were breakthroughs in cancer and Alzheimer research. Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks.

The most popular searches on Google and hashtags on Twitter, however, trend the 2013 Zeitgeist as follows: Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, Miley Cyrus, Cory Monteith, Harlem Shake, Under the Dome, Government Shutdown, iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, #bitcoin, #androidgames, #BostonMarathon, #SFBatkid, #SB47 and #Oscars.  Read more…

Who drinks the most wine?

World wine consumption

Nearly all wine is made from cultivars of only one species of grape, the Vitis vinifera grape. From this species about 4,000 varieties of grape have been developed but only a few are used for vinification (winemaking).

Vitis vinifera is used because of its high sugar content which allows, after fermentation, an alcohol content of 10% or slightly higher. Less alcohol makes the wine unstable and prone to bacterial spoilage.

Vinifera is New Latin from the Latin vinifer, wine-producing, which is from the Latin word for wine, vinum. In plain English, vitis vinifera means “common grape vine.”  Read more…

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Ozone hole 13-09-13

September 16 is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It was proclaimed by the UN in 1974, a couple of decades late but… better late than never.

The questions many ask: How big is the hole in the ozone layer? Is it getting bigger? Is it too late?

How big is the ozone hole? Very big! 8.9 million square miles (23 million square kilometres ); only slightly smaller than the whole of North America.  Read more…

ALT key shortcuts

Keyboard ALT key

“Taking shortcuts doesn’t mean shortcutting the end result,” TV chef Sandra Lee tells us. And she certainly knows a thing or two about success. After all, as American mathematician, computer scientist and philosopher Rudy Rucker reiterates, “Traditional science is all about finding shortcuts.”

Knowing the correct shortcuts will make work easier and, in many cases, more fun. In this case, we’re talking computer keyboard ALT key and CTRL key shortcuts.  Read more…

Eight Factoids About Britain’s Royal Baby

William and Kate's baby boy

With most international media and the royal family celebrating the birth of the third in line to the British throne and the first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, RFE/RL took a look at a few interesting age-old traditions and factual details surrounding royal births.

1. Born With A Silver Spoon (Or Two) In Its Mouth

The royal baby could inherit $1 billion some day, according to Wealth-X a company that specializes in intelligence on high-net-worth individuals. The wealthiest person in Britain’s royal family is the royal baby’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Her assets have an estimated worth of $600 million. The royal stamp, car, wine, art, and medal collections alone are worth about $100 million.  Read more…

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 highlights

PS4 DualShock 4 controller

It was the battle of the boxes at the 2013 E3 expo (Electronic Entertainment Expo). Microsoft kicked off with the introduction to their new Xbox One and Sony kicked back with PlayStation 4. Sony stole the show by announcing there will be no used game restrictions or 24-hour check-in requirements with the PS4.

Nintendo introduced new games for their Wii U and 3DS. Microsoft announced that there will be 13 games exclusively for the Xbox One. EA broke the news on 11 new-generation games for both the Xbox One and PS4.  Read more…