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Mar 25, 2010

Why Are Keyboards QWERTY?

The arrangement of the first six letters in the top alphabet row of a standard keyboard – QWERTY – goes way back. The layout was created in 1873 when Christopher Latham Sholes made improvements to his earlier typewriter models in order to design a quicker and more efficient typewriter for E. Remington and Sons.

Sholes noticed the alphabetical layout of the keys in his original models tended to jam, so he changed their order, spreading the most common pairs of letters farther apart. Sholes' QWERTY model was named the Remington and became available as the first commercial typewriter in 1874.

Since then, many alternatives to QWERTY have been created, such as the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (named after professor and co-creator August Dvorak) and the Colemak keyboard layout. Even though these new keyboards are designed to increase typing speed while maintaining ergonomic considerations, QWERTY remains the standard.

"The QWERTY keyboard layout was developed to reduce keys jamming on mechanical typewriters to improve typist productivity," Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University, where he directs the Human Factors and Ergonomics research programs.

"These days computers don't have keys that jam, but even though QWERTY isn't the optimal keyboard layout, it's not the worst and it seems that we're stuck with it," Hedge told Life's Little Mysteries.

As in other behaviors, it seems, humans are creatures of habit:

"With electronic keyboards, there is no need for QWERTY, but people have become accustomed to the design and that is why it continues to be used," explained Robert L. Goldberg, a professor at the University of California's Ergonomics Program.

Mar 22, 2010

Something about German cars

Founded in 1926 by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler after the merging of their car companies, Daimler-Motored-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Benz & Cie. The name "Mercedes" came about in 1900 when a wealthy European businessman named Emil Jellinek wanted a faster car with new engine and to be named after his 10-year-old daughter’s name, Mercedes Jellink. The three-pointed stars represent their dominance on land, sea and air.

BMW or Bavarian Motor Works was founded in 1913 by Karl Friedrich Rapp, an aircraft engine manufacturer and Gustav Otto, a German aircraft manufacturer .Some believed that their logo represents a Bavarian flag which has blue and white cases while others believed that it represents white propeller blades against a blue sky (during World War I, BMW was a major supplier of airplane engines).

Founded in 1910 by German engineer August Horch, who used to work for Karl Benz. The name came from a son of his business partner, Franz Fikentscher. "Audi" in Latin means "listen", which is "Horch" in German (Horch was August's former company). The four interlinked rings logo represents four car makers Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer when they merged to form Auto Union in 1932.

Founded in 1937, Volkswagen (German for "People’s Car") was originally a proposal from Adolf Hitler to Ferdinand Porsche, the car designer to design a car that can fit 5 people and deliver speed of 100km/h (62mph). He instructed that the car should look like a May beetle. Later it was found out that Hitler transformed the car into a war vehicle that carries 3 men, a machine gun and ammunition. It was only after the war in 1946 that the Volkswagen finally became the “Peoples Car” after the British took over.

Ferdinand Porsche founded Porsche in 1931. Interestingly, he was the engineer for the first Volkswagen created, hence the first Porsche made used machinery from the Volkswagen Beetle. The first model was launched in 1938 and 10 years later the second Porsche was released, the 356. The end of the war saw Porsche participating in motor racing which proved to be highly successful. 1963 saw the launch of the Porsche 911, the most well known model, which is still in production today due to its success by the public and on the race track. The idea for the Porsche emblem came from the founder's son, Ferry Porsche. The 6 antlers in the logo date from the province emblem of Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

Mar 19, 2010

World's oldest football club

Sheffield FC established in 1857 is the first football club to have ever become a formalised and independent organisation, the 152-year history of Sheffield FC has been inextricably linked with the progression of the game in Britain and the growth of football into the globalised entertainment industry it is today.

Established during the height of the industrial revolution in Britain’s most prolific steel-producing centre, Sheffield FC quickly became an integral force during the gradual installation of football as a more organised and systematic athletic discipline in the UK.

After the club’s foundation in 1857 the committee began to methodically analyse the various loosely regulated codes of mob football that dominated the British game at the time, eventually arriving at a standardised set of rules which were adopted by the Sheffield Football Association, football’s first formal governing body, at its establishment in 1857.

In 1863, just six years after the formation of the Sheffield FA, the club became a founder member of the Football Association, the first national bureaucracy designed solely for the purpose of administrating the game of football and a hugely significant development in the game’s journey towards professionalism.

Despite now playing their football in the semi-professional Northern Premier League, Sheffield FC’s impact on the game should not be underestimated. Indeed, the club should be lauded as a revolutionary influence and controlling presence on the early history of association football.

Mar 15, 2010

World's strongest granny

Introducing 76-year-old Sakinat Khanapiyeva from the village of Sultan-Yangiyurt in Dagestan, Russia. This pint-size old timer is the world's strongest granny, and she can tear through phone books, lift a 52-lb. dumbbell while standing on a carpet of nails, and break horseshoes.

Supergran found out how strong she was at the age of 10 when she moved a 661-lb. box of grain (that's the weight of four grown men) and has been showing her titanic power ever since. Alas, only last year did she make it into the Guinness Book of Records.

But perhaps most endearing are her wise words of wisdom. "Anyone can do anything they want," she told this news crew. "But good deeds are what matter most."

Mar 14, 2010

Do Eskimos live in igloos?

Eskimos do not actually live in igloos as what most people commonly think. The word "igloo" means house in one of the Eskimos dialects and not always referring to a round-shaped structure made of ice blocks. Eskimos or rather "Inuit", as what they preferred to be called live in more permanent structures.

The Inuit, and other Artic populations, have used igloos as temporary shelters for thousands of years, especially during a hunting trip. In order to find food, it was necessary for them to live a wandering life, following their migrations. Generally, they would have a summer home and a winter home. Tents made of seal or caribou skin provided shelter during the summer months and during the winter, they built igloos.

Inside an igloo, the temperature can be below zero, but when comparing to the outside, -40 degrees Celcius, it is still much warmer. Igloos are surprisingly strong and can hold the weight of the builder standing on top. The important thing about igloos is that they are relatively easy to build (with practice) and can be built very quickly (10 minutes) and it uses a resource that there is plenty of in the artic, ice and snow.

Mar 12, 2010

What's Bangkok actual name?

Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand is internationally recognized and common to foreigners. However, the Thais do not call their capital, Bangkok. In fact, locals who lived in the rural areas may not have heard of Bangkok at all. Krung Thep or the longer version, Krung Thep Mahanakorn is the actual name of Bangkok. The name is pretty much shorten because the real length name of the city is so long that it was recorded in the Guinness book of records as the world's longest place name.

Given by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, and later edited by King Mongkut, the full ceremonial name of the city is;

Krungthep mahanakorn amorn ratanakosin mahintara yutthaya mahadilok phop nopparat rajathani burirom udomrajaniwes mahasatharn amorn phimarn avatarnsathit sakkattiya visanukam prasit.

The meaning is;

The great city of angels, the supreme unconqueralble land of the great immortal divinity (Indra), the royal capital of nine noble gems, the pleasant city, with plenty of grand royal palaces, and divine paradises for the reincarnated deity (Vishnu), given by Indra and created by the god of crafting (Visnukarma).

It takes about 12 seconds to pronounce the name. Listen here

Tortured Boy eat feces and drink urine to survive

The 9-year-old was being kept a prisoner in a bedroom by his stepmother, Jaime Day. The door was tied with a dog leash so it couldn't be opened. Inside the cops found the boy, weighing just 38 pounds, lying on dirty foam atop a box spring covered in blood and urine.

He was dressed only in a T-shirt, shorts, and a diaper. It seems stepmom wouldn't let him use the bathroom, since the room reeked of urine. He also had bruises across his body and face.

The boy spent 13 days in the hospital recovering, suffering from hypothermia due to malnutrition. And his story of abuse seemed unparalleled.

He said Jaime Day refused to feed him, instead forcing him to watch as the rest of the family including two boy ages 4 and 6 ate in front of him. At times he became so hungry and thirsty that he drank his own urine and ate his own feces to survive.

He was also tortured. Jaime Day set a sock filled with rice on his back, then heated it up, causing the boy second-degree burns.

Jaime Day has been hit with 25 counts of child cruelty. Murry Day faces an additional five counts.

Mar 9, 2010

Girl mistakes gun for Wii controller kills herself

Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan, a Tennessee girl, aged 3, accidentally killed herself on Sunday night, according to local police in Wilson County. The incident allegedly occurred after she mistook a gun for a Wii controller.

Investigators claim that the girl's stepfather, Douglas Cronberger, had left a semi-automatic weapon on the living room table, and that the child had mistaken it for a Nintendo Wii controller. The child is then said to have fatally shot herself in the abdomen. She was rushed to hospital, but pronounced dead the same night.

The child had been playing a Wii game. The game’s controller, according to authorities, was shaped like a gun that looked very similar to the real handgun. The authorities claim the girl "pulled the gun off the table and it went off."

No charges have been filed in the case.

Mar 4, 2010

What comes after Tera?

The terms, Kilo, Mega, Giga and Tera particularly used with "byte" are common and known of by most of the people but ever wondered what come's after Tera? Here goes the list.


Table from: