Friday, May 27, 2011

Things I learned this week

I learned that:
• On September 10, 1960, all civil aviation was grounded in North America in order to test NORAD's continental defence system. The test failed, as many military aircraft simulating a Soviet attack got through the radar screen and other defences, arriving undetected over their target cities. This, of course, was kept secret.

• World renowned jazz pianist Oscar Peterson first performed at Montreal church concerts and in community halls in a family band organized by his father, Daniel, a CPR porter who had immigrated from the Caribbean.

• During the Manhattan project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II, Canadian scientist Louis Slotin's screwdriver jammed in a device that monitored plutonium chain reactions. This caused the plutonium to form a hypercritical mass capable of explosion. Immediately Slotin tore apart the two pieces of plutonium with his bare hands and in the process absorbed an enormous amount of radiation. The explosion was averted at the cost of his life.

• Albert Einstein helped to patent several refrigerator designs, none of which were successful.

• 31% of online Canadians now own a smartphone, an increase of over 50% since previously measured in the spring of 2010, according to the most recent Ipsos Reid Report. They're using them to take photos (70%), send or read email (70%), check the weather (52%), send or receive IM’s (52%) and check social networking sites (48%).

• The growth and success of the Incan empire was based on lama dung, according to a study at the French Institute of Andean Studies.
How about that?

No comments:

Post a Comment