Wikipaedian Beauty

Best articles for inspiration, erudition, and procrastination.
Updated Twice a day, everyday. PROTIP press random if yer bored

The wheat and chessboard problem (the problem is sometimes expressed in terms of rice instead of wheat) is a mathematical problem in the form of a word problem:

If a chessboard were to have wheat placed upon each square such that one grain were placed on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, and so on (doubling the number of grains on each subsequent square), how many grains of wheat would be on the chessboard at the finish?

[…]The total number of grains equals 18,446,744,073,709,551,615, which is a much higher number than most people intuitively expect.[…]There are different stories about the invention of chess. One of them includes the geometric progression problem. Its earliest written record is contained in the Shahnameh, an epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE.
When the creator of the game of chess (in some tellings an ancient Indian Brahmin[1][2] mathematician named Sessa or Sissa) showed his invention to the ruler of the country, the ruler was so pleased that he gave the inventor the right to name his prize for the invention. The man, who was very clever, asked the king this: that for the first square of the chess board, he would receive one grain of wheat (in some tellings, rice), two for the second one, four on the third one, and so forth, doubling the amount each time. The ruler, arithmetically unaware, quickly accepted the inventor’s offer, even getting offended by his perceived notion that the inventor was asking for such a low price, and ordered the treasurer to count and hand over the wheat to the inventor. However, when the treasurer took more than a week to calculate the amount of wheat, the ruler asked him for a reason for his tardiness. The treasurer then gave him the result of the calculation, and explained that it would take more than all the assets of the kingdom to give the inventor the reward. The story ends with the inventor becoming the new king. (In other variations of the story the king punishes the inventor.)
[…]In technology strategy, the second half of the chessboard is a […] reference to the point where an exponentially growing factor begins to have a significant economic impact on an organization’s overall business strategy.
While the number of grains on the first half of the chessboard is large, the amount on the second half is vastly (232 > 4 billion times) larger.
The number of grains of rice on the first half of the chessboard is 1 + 2 + 4 + 8… + 2,147,483,648, for a total of 4,294,967,295 (232 − 1) grains of rice, or about 100,000 kg of rice (assuming 25 mg as the mass of one grain of rice).[5] India’s annual rice output is about 1,200,000 times that amount.[6]
The number of grains of rice on the second half of the chessboard is 232 + 233 + 234… + 263, for a total of 264 − 232 grains of rice (the square of the number of grains on the first half of the board plus itself). Indeed, as each square contains one grain more than the total of all the squares before it, the first square of the second half alone contains more grains than the entire first half.[…]
As a moral story the problem is presented to warn of the dangers of treating the finite as infinite. As Carl Sagan said when referencing the fable, “Exponentials can’t go on forever, because they will gobble up everything.”

The wheat and chessboard problem (the problem is sometimes expressed in terms of rice instead of wheat) is a mathematical problem in the form of a word problem:

If a chessboard were to have wheat placed upon each square such that one grain were placed on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, and so on (doubling the number of grains on each subsequent square), how many grains of wheat would be on the chessboard at the finish?

[…]The total number of grains equals 18,446,744,073,709,551,615, which is a much higher number than most people intuitively expect.
[…]There are different stories about the invention of chess. One of them includes the geometric progression problem. Its earliest written record is contained in the Shahnameh, an epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE.

When the creator of the game of chess (in some tellings an ancient Indian Brahmin[1][2] mathematician named Sessa or Sissa) showed his invention to the ruler of the country, the ruler was so pleased that he gave the inventor the right to name his prize for the invention. The man, who was very clever, asked the king this: that for the first square of the chess board, he would receive one grain of wheat (in some tellings, rice), two for the second one, four on the third one, and so forth, doubling the amount each time. The ruler, arithmetically unaware, quickly accepted the inventor’s offer, even getting offended by his perceived notion that the inventor was asking for such a low price, and ordered the treasurer to count and hand over the wheat to the inventor. However, when the treasurer took more than a week to calculate the amount of wheat, the ruler asked him for a reason for his tardiness. The treasurer then gave him the result of the calculation, and explained that it would take more than all the assets of the kingdom to give the inventor the reward. The story ends with the inventor becoming the new king. (In other variations of the story the king punishes the inventor.)

[…]In technology strategy, the second half of the chessboard is a […] reference to the point where an exponentially growing factor begins to have a significant economic impact on an organization’s overall business strategy.

While the number of grains on the first half of the chessboard is large, the amount on the second half is vastly (232 > 4 billion times) larger.

The number of grains of rice on the first half of the chessboard is 1 + 2 + 4 + 8… + 2,147,483,648, for a total of 4,294,967,295 (232 − 1) grains of rice, or about 100,000 kg of rice (assuming 25 mg as the mass of one grain of rice).[5] India’s annual rice output is about 1,200,000 times that amount.[6]

The number of grains of rice on the second half of the chessboard is 232 + 233 + 234… + 263, for a total of 264 − 232 grains of rice (the square of the number of grains on the first half of the board plus itself). Indeed, as each square contains one grain more than the total of all the squares before it, the first square of the second half alone contains more grains than the entire first half.
[…]

As a moral story the problem is presented to warn of the dangers of treating the finite as infinite. As Carl Sagan said when referencing the fable, “Exponentials can’t go on forever, because they will gobble up everything.”

— 1 week ago
#math  #chess  #moral  #didactic  #interesting  #historical  #india  #carl sagan  #story 
Tama (たま?, born April 29, 1999) is a female calico cat who gained fame for being a station master and operating officer at Kishi Station on the Kishigawa Line in Kinokawa, Wakayama, Japan.[1]
Tama was born in Kinokawa, Wakayama, and was raised with a group of stray cats that used to live close to Kishi Station. They were regularly fed by passengers and by Toshiko Koyama, who was the informal station manager at the time.[2] The station was almost shut down in 2004 because of financial problems. Around this time, Koyama adopted Tama. Eventually the decision to shut down the station was withdrawn after the citizens demanded it stay open.[3] In April 2006, the Wakayama Electric Railway destaffed all stations on the Kishigawa Line to cut costs. Station masters were selected from employees of local businesses near each station, and Koyama was officially chosen as the station manager. In January 2007, railway officials decided to officially name Tama the station master.[4] As station master, her primary duty is to greet passengers. The position comes with a station master’s hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provides Tama with cat food.
The publicity from Tama’s appointment led to an increase in passengers by 17% for that month as compared to January 2006; ridership statistics for March 2007 showed a 10% increase over the previous financial year. A study estimated that the publicity surrounding Tama has contributed 1.1 billion Yen to the local economy.[5] In January 2008, Tama was promoted to “super station master” in a ceremony attended by the president of the company and the mayor; as a result of her promotion, she is “the only female in a managerial position” in the company.[6] Her new position has an “office”—a converted ticket booth containing a litter box. In January 2010, railway officials promoted Tama to the post of “Operating Officer” in recognition of her contribution to expanding the customer base. Tama will maintain the station master’s job while taking over the new job, and is the first cat to become an executive of a railroad corporation.[7]

Her staff consisted of two feline assistant stationmasters, Chibi (ちび?, born May 12, 2000) and Tama’s mother, an orange tabby cat named Miiko (ミーコ?, October 3, 1998 – July 20, 2009).

Tama (たま?, born April 29, 1999) is a female calico cat who gained fame for being a station master and operating officer at Kishi Station on the Kishigawa Line in Kinokawa, Wakayama, Japan.[1]


Tama was born in Kinokawa, Wakayama, and was raised with a group of stray cats that used to live close to Kishi Station. They were regularly fed by passengers and by Toshiko Koyama, who was the informal station manager at the time.[2] The station was almost shut down in 2004 because of financial problems. Around this time, Koyama adopted Tama. Eventually the decision to shut down the station was withdrawn after the citizens demanded it stay open.[3] In April 2006, the Wakayama Electric Railway destaffed all stations on the Kishigawa Line to cut costs. Station masters were selected from employees of local businesses near each station, and Koyama was officially chosen as the station manager. In January 2007, railway officials decided to officially name Tama the station master.[4] As station master, her primary duty is to greet passengers. The position comes with a station master’s hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provides Tama with cat food.

The publicity from Tama’s appointment led to an increase in passengers by 17% for that month as compared to January 2006; ridership statistics for March 2007 showed a 10% increase over the previous financial year. A study estimated that the publicity surrounding Tama has contributed 1.1 billion Yen to the local economy.[5] In January 2008, Tama was promoted to “super station master” in a ceremony attended by the president of the company and the mayor; as a result of her promotion, she is “the only female in a managerial position” in the company.[6] Her new position has an “office”—a converted ticket booth containing a litter box. In January 2010, railway officials promoted Tama to the post of “Operating Officer” in recognition of her contribution to expanding the customer base. Tama will maintain the station master’s job while taking over the new job, and is the first cat to become an executive of a railroad corporation.[7]

Her staff consisted of two feline assistant stationmasters, Chibi (ちび?, born May 12, 2000) and Tama’s mother, an orange tabby cat named Miiko (ミーコ?, October 3, 1998 – July 20, 2009).

— 1 week ago
#cat  #cats with jobs  #caturday  #famous cats  #japan  #wtfjapan  #wtf japan  #interesting  #facts  #one of a kind 

Johnny Htoo and Luther Htoo{{[pronounced ‘too’. ‘H’ is silent.]}} (born circa 1988) are twin brothers who jointly led the God’s Army guerrilla group – a splinter group of Karen National Union – in Myanmar (Burma) during the late 1990s.
[…]
The Htoos came to worldwide attention in January 2000 when 10 members of God’s Army seized a hospital in Ratchaburi, Thailand.[5] The group held 700 to 800 patients and staff members hostage for 22 hours. They demanded the Thai government stop shelling Karen positions in Burma and treatment for their wounded. Thai security forces stormed the hospital, killing all 10 of the gunmen.[3] A photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Apichart Weerawong of a long-haired Johnny posing next to his tougher-looking, cigar-puffing brother was circulated around the world after the hospital raid.[…] Luther claimed at the time he had 250,000 invisible soldiers in his command while Johnny had 150,000 of his own. 

[…]The twins surrendered to Thai soldiers in January 2001 and requested sanctuary. By that time the number of their followers had dwindled to less than 20.[4] They repudiated the stories about being invulnerable but insisted that God had helped them to survive over the years. They were reunited with their family. In July 2006, Johnny Htoo surrendered in Burma’s military government with eight other members of God’s Army in two groups.[7]

Luther Htoo now lives in Sweden.[8] Johnny Htoo lives in a Thai refugee camp and has been attempting to go to New Zealand to join his mother and sister.[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_and_Luther_Htoo

— 1 week ago
#history  #war  #christianity  #refugee  #guerilla  #children  #child soldiers  #interesting  #thailand  #warcrimes 
Mann is perhaps best known[9] for Immediate Family, her third collection, published in 1992. The NY Times said, “Probably no photographer in history has enjoyed such a burst of success in the art world.”[3] […]Many [of the photographs] explore typical childhood themes […] but others touch on darker themes such as insecurity, loneliness, injury, sexuality and death. The controversy on its release was intense, including accusations of child pornography (both in America[10] and abroad[11]) and of contrived fiction with constructed tableaux.[…]One man, Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, […]says that “selling photographs of children in their nakedness for profit is an exploitation of the parental role and I think it’s wrong.”[12] Another negative criticism was found in Raymond Sokolov’s article Critique: Censoring Virginia[13] in the Wall Street Journal. He talked about whether federal money should be given to the arts and whether or not children should be photographed nude. In the article, he used an image of Virginia (Virginia at 4) to illustrate it and he covered her eyes, nipples, and pubic region with black bars.[…] Mann was devastated and insulted that someone could mutilate her photograph like that. Virginia was also upset about the article. She wrote a letter to the author saying “Dear Sir, I don’t like the way you crossed me out.” Mann said that after Virginia saw the article, she started touching herself on the areas that were blacked out, saying, “what’s wrong with me?”[…]When Time magazine named her “America’s Best Photographer” in 2001, it wrote:

Mann recorded a combination of spontaneous and carefully arranged moments of childhood repose and revealingly — sometimes unnervingly — imaginative play. What the outraged critics of her child nudes failed to grant was the patent devotion involved throughout the project and the delighted complicity of her son and daughters in so many of the solemn or playful events. No other collection of family photographs is remotely like it, in both its naked candor and the fervor of its maternal curiosity and care

Mann is perhaps best known[9] for Immediate Family, her third collection, published in 1992. The NY Times said, “Probably no photographer in history has enjoyed such a burst of success in the art world.”[3] […]Many [of the photographs] explore typical childhood themes […] but others touch on darker themes such as insecurity, loneliness, injury, sexuality and death. The controversy on its release was intense, including accusations of child pornography (both in America[10] and abroad[11]) and of contrived fiction with constructed tableaux.
[…]
One man, Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, […]says that “selling photographs of children in their nakedness for profit is an exploitation of the parental role and I think it’s wrong.”[12] Another negative criticism was found in Raymond Sokolov’s article Critique: Censoring Virginia[13] in the Wall Street Journal. He talked about whether federal money should be given to the arts and whether or not children should be photographed nude. In the article, he used an image of Virginia (Virginia at 4) to illustrate it and he covered her eyes, nipples, and pubic region with black bars.[…] Mann was devastated and insulted that someone could mutilate her photograph like that. Virginia was also upset about the article. She wrote a letter to the author saying “Dear Sir, I don’t like the way you crossed me out.” Mann said that after Virginia saw the article, she started touching herself on the areas that were blacked out, saying, “what’s wrong with me?”
[…]
When Time magazine named her “America’s Best Photographer” in 2001, it wrote:

Mann recorded a combination of spontaneous and carefully arranged moments of childhood repose and revealingly — sometimes unnervingly — imaginative play. What the outraged critics of her child nudes failed to grant was the patent devotion involved throughout the project and the delighted complicity of her son and daughters in so many of the solemn or playful events. No other collection of family photographs is remotely like it, in both its naked candor and the fervor of its maternal curiosity and care

— 1 week ago
#controversy  #history  #photography  #interesting  #fame  #famous  #women  #exploitation 
Mary Celeste (or Marie Celeste as it is fictionally referred to by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and others after him) was a British merchant brigantine. The ship is famous for having been discovered on 5 December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean, unmanned and apparently abandoned […] She had been at sea for a month and had more than six months’ worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the crew’s personal belongings including valuables were still in place. None of those on board were ever seen or heard from again and their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.[citation needed]
[…]According to the account given by the crew of Dei Gratia, they approached to 400 yards (366m) from Mary Celeste and cautiously observed her for two hours. She was under sail, yet sailing erratically on a starboard tack, and slowly heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. They concluded she was drifting after seeing no one at the helm or even on deck, though the ship was flying no distress signal.[12][13]
[…]All of the ship’s papers were missing, except for the captain’s logbook. The forehatch and the lazarette were both open, although the main hatch was sealed. The ship’s clock was not functioning, and the compass was destroyed; the sextant and marine chronometer were missing. The only lifeboat on the Mary Celeste, a yawl located above the main hatch, was also missing. The peak halyard, used to hoist the main sail, had disappeared. A rope, perhaps the peak halyard, was found tied to the ship very strongly and the other end, very frayed, was trailing in the water behind the ship.
[…]A six-month supply of uncontaminated food and fresh water was still aboard, and the crew’s personal possessions and artefacts were left untouched, making a piracy raid seem extremely unlikely. It appeared the vessel had been abandoned in a hurry. There was no sign of a struggle, or of any sort of violence.[…]Nine of the 1,701 barrels of alcohol in the hold were later discovered to be empty. They had been made of red oak, not white oak as the others.[11] Red oak is more porous and thus more likely to emit vapor. This would have caused a build-up of vapour in the hold.[11] Poorly secured barrels could rub against each other, and friction between the barrels’ steel bands could cause sparks. The possibility of explosion, however remote, might have panicked the crew into abandoning ship.[11]
Historian Conrad Byers believed Captain Briggs ordered the hold to be opened, resulting in a violent rush of fumes and steam. Believing his ship was about to explode, he ordered everyone into the lifeboat, failing to properly secure it to the ship with a strong towline. The wind picked up and blew the ship away from them. Those in the lifeboat would either have drowned or died of hunger, thirst or exposure.

Mary Celeste (or Marie Celeste as it is fictionally referred to by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and others after him) was a British merchant brigantine. The ship is famous for having been discovered on 5 December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean, unmanned and apparently abandoned […] She had been at sea for a month and had more than six months’ worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the crew’s personal belongings including valuables were still in place. None of those on board were ever seen or heard from again and their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.[citation needed]

[…]According to the account given by the crew of Dei Gratia, they approached to 400 yards (366m) from Mary Celeste and cautiously observed her for two hours. She was under sail, yet sailing erratically on a starboard tack, and slowly heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. They concluded she was drifting after seeing no one at the helm or even on deck, though the ship was flying no distress signal.[12][13]

[…]All of the ship’s papers were missing, except for the captain’s logbook. The forehatch and the lazarette were both open, although the main hatch was sealed. The ship’s clock was not functioning, and the compass was destroyed; the sextant and marine chronometer were missing. The only lifeboat on the Mary Celeste, a yawl located above the main hatch, was also missing. The peak halyard, used to hoist the main sail, had disappeared. A rope, perhaps the peak halyard, was found tied to the ship very strongly and the other end, very frayed, was trailing in the water behind the ship.

[…]A six-month supply of uncontaminated food and fresh water was still aboard, and the crew’s personal possessions and artefacts were left untouched, making a piracy raid seem extremely unlikely. It appeared the vessel had been abandoned in a hurry. There was no sign of a struggle, or of any sort of violence.
[…]Nine of the 1,701 barrels of alcohol in the hold were later discovered to be empty. They had been made of red oak, not white oak as the others.[11] Red oak is more porous and thus more likely to emit vapor. This would have caused a build-up of vapour in the hold.[11] Poorly secured barrels could rub against each other, and friction between the barrels’ steel bands could cause sparks. The possibility of explosion, however remote, might have panicked the crew into abandoning ship.[11]

Historian Conrad Byers believed Captain Briggs ordered the hold to be opened, resulting in a violent rush of fumes and steam. Believing his ship was about to explode, he ordered everyone into the lifeboat, failing to properly secure it to the ship with a strong towline. The wind picked up and blew the ship away from them. Those in the lifeboat would either have drowned or died of hunger, thirst or exposure.

— 1 week ago
#ships  #shipwreck  #ghost ship  #ghostship  #mystery  #famous  #infamous  #history  #historical  #tragedy  #disaster 

The unexpected hanging paradoxhangman paradoxunexpected exam paradoxsurprise test paradox or prediction paradox is a paradox about a person’s expectations about the timing of a future event (e.g. a prisoner’s hanging, or a school test) which he is told will occur at an unexpected time.

Despite significant academic interest, there is no consensus on its precise nature and consequently a final ‘correct’ resolution has not yet been established.[1] One approach, offered by the logical school of thought, suggests that the problem arises in a self-contradictory self-referencing statement at the heart of the judge’s sentence. Another approach, offered by the epistemological school of thought, suggests the unexpected hanging paradox is an example of an epistemic paradox because it turns on our concept of knowledge.[2] Even though it is apparently simple, the paradox’s underlying complexities have even led to it being called a “significant problem” for philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unexpected_hanging_paradox

— 1 week ago
#paradox  #philosophy  #philisophical  #pretty much the only article i can't tag with the h word  #interesting  #riddle  #question 
The Tetrapharmakos (Greek: τετραφάρμακος), or, “The four-part cure,” is the Greek philosopher Epicurus' (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) recipe for leading the happiest possible life. The “tetrapharmakos" was originally a compound of four drugs (wax, tallow, pitch and resin); the word has been used metaphorically by Epicurus and his disciples to refer to the four remedies for healing the soul.[…]
The four-part cure[edit]

Don’t fear god,Don’t worry about death;What is good is easy to get, andWhat is terrible is easy to endure(Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14)

Don’t fear god[edit]
[…]Epicurus and many other Greeks at the time conceived the gods to be a hypothetical state of bliss rather than higher bodies of judgment; they are indestructible entities that are completely invulnerable, enviable to mortals, and, most importantly, unconcerned about anything beyond the bliss and happiness they represent. They are mere role models for human beings “who emulate the happiness of the gods, within the limits imposed by human nature.”[4]
Don’t worry about death[edit]
[…]In Epicurus’ own words, “Death means nothing to us…for when we are, death is not, and when we are, death is not,”[5] for there is no afterlife. Death, says Epicurus, is the greatest anxiety of all, in length and intensity. This anxiety about death impedes the quality and happiness of one’s life by the theory of afterlife: the worrying about whether or not one’s deeds and actions in life will translate well into the region of the gods, the wondering whether one will be assigned to an eternity of pain or to an eternity of pleasure.[6]
What is good is easy to get[edit]
Sustenance and shelter, these things can be acquired by anyone—by both animal and human—with minimal effort, regardless of wealth. But if one wants more than one needs (over indulgency, gluttony, etc.), one is limiting the chances of satisfaction and happiness, and therefore creating a “needless anxiety” in one’s life. “What is good is easy to get” implies that the minimum amount of necessity it takes to satisfy an urge is the maximum amount of interest a person should have in satisfying that urge.[7]
What is terrible is easy to endure[edit]
The Epicureans understood that, in nature, illness and pain is not suffered for very long, for pain and suffering is either “brief or chronic…either mild or intense, but discomfort that is both chronic and intense is very unusual; so there is no need to be concerned about the prospect of suffering.” Like “What is good is easy to get,” recognizing one’s physical and mental limit and one’s threshold of pain—understanding how much pain the body or mind can endure—and maintaining confidence that pleasure only follows pain (and the avoidance of anxiety about the length of pain), is the remedy against prolonged suffering

The Tetrapharmakos (Greekτετραφάρμακος), or, “The four-part cure,” is the Greek philosopher Epicurus' (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) recipe for leading the happiest possible life. The “tetrapharmakos" was originally a compound of four drugs (waxtallowpitch and resin); the word has been used metaphorically by Epicurus and his disciples to refer to the four remedies for healing the soul.[…]

The four-part cure[edit]

Don’t fear god,
Don’t worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure
(PhilodemusHerculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14)

Don’t fear god[edit]

[…]Epicurus and many other Greeks at the time conceived the gods to be a hypothetical state of bliss rather than higher bodies of judgment; they are indestructible entities that are completely invulnerable, enviable to mortals, and, most importantly, unconcerned about anything beyond the bliss and happiness they represent. They are mere role models for human beings “who emulate the happiness of the gods, within the limits imposed by human nature.”[4]

Don’t worry about death[edit]

[…]In Epicurus’ own words, “Death means nothing to us…for when we are, death is not, and when we are, death is not,”[5] for there is no afterlife. Death, says Epicurus, is the greatest anxiety of all, in length and intensity. This anxiety about death impedes the quality and happiness of one’s life by the theory of afterlife: the worrying about whether or not one’s deeds and actions in life will translate well into the region of the gods, the wondering whether one will be assigned to an eternity of pain or to an eternity of pleasure.[6]

What is good is easy to get[edit]

Sustenance and shelter, these things can be acquired by anyone—by both animal and human—with minimal effort, regardless of wealth. But if one wants more than one needs (over indulgency, gluttony, etc.), one is limiting the chances of satisfaction and happiness, and therefore creating a “needless anxiety” in one’s life. “What is good is easy to get” implies that the minimum amount of necessity it takes to satisfy an urge is the maximum amount of interest a person should have in satisfying that urge.[7]

What is terrible is easy to endure[edit]

The Epicureans understood that, in nature, illness and pain is not suffered for very long, for pain and suffering is either “brief or chronic…either mild or intense, but discomfort that is both chronic and intense is very unusual; so there is no need to be concerned about the prospect of suffering.” Like “What is good is easy to get,” recognizing one’s physical and mental limit and one’s threshold of pain—understanding how much pain the body or mind can endure—and maintaining confidence that pleasure only follows pain (and the avoidance of anxiety about the length of pain), is the remedy against prolonged suffering

— 1 week ago with 2 notes
#philisophy  #philosophist  #epicurus  #epicurean  #epicurian  #life  #anxiety  #happiness  #interesting  #greece  #greek  #antiquity  #history  #historical 

Hoover (c. 1971 – July 25, 1985) was a harbour seal who was able to imitate basic human speech.[2]

He was an orphan when he was found by George and Alice Swallow in Maine in 1971. George and Alice decided to take him home. At first the baby seal didn’t want to eat, but soon he ate at the pace of aHoover (hence his name). When Hoover outgrew the bathtub, he was transferred to the pond outside their house where he began to imitate people’s voices. Again he was moved, this time to the New England Aquarium, where he told visitors to “Get outta here!” or “Well Hello Deah” in a thick New England accent. [3]

Thanks to this, he became famous, and appeared in publications like Reader’s Digest and The New Yorker and television programs like Good Morning America.[4]

Hoover died on July 25, 1985 due to complications during his annual molt.[1] His obituary was published in The Boston Globe.

— 1 week ago
#talking animal  #seal  #seals  #baby seals  #cool  #history  #historical  #phenomenon  #rare  #interesting  #fascinating  #english  #new england  #media 
Werner Franz, born on May 22nd, 1922, was a 14 year-old cabin boy on the Hindenburg’s final voyage. His father was a switchboard operator in a Frankfurt hotel for many years, but he became ill in early 1936 and could no longer work. Werner’s mother therefore had to take care of the household and also hold down a job. His 16-year-old brother had been an apprentice waiter at the Frankfurter Hof since 1934, having gotten the job through his trade school. However, he didn’t make nearly enough to support the family. Werner had left elementary school around Easter of 1936 to find work to help the family make ends meet.
[…]Werner Franz had a coffee cup in his hand and was just reaching into the cupboard to put it away when he heard a dull thudding sound and felt the entire ship shake. He froze as the dishes he had put away were all jolted out of their cabinet and crashed to the floor. The ship began to tilt steeply aft, and Franz ran to the door to the keel walkway and looked out into the hallway. He glanced aft and saw, to his horror, a mammoth ball of flame rushing toward him. He instinctively began to back-pedal away from the fire and toward the bow. Franz looked around to see if any of his crewmates were there, but he could see no one. As the ship tilted even more steeply, he began to slide aft toward the flames, and grabbed at the ropes that lined both sides of the keel walkway. Dazed, he hung on as the fire roared through the hydrogen cells above him and the ship’s hull jarred and shook as it slowly crashed to earth. 
Suddenly, […] Franz was doused with water pouring down on him along the inclined keel. A water ballast tank set alongside the walkway about 40 feet forward of Franz’s position had slipped off its mountings and ruptured, sending its contents aft. The water soaked Franz’s clothes, not only effectively shielding him from the heat, but also snapping the stunned boy back to his senses. He began to look for a way out of the ship. […]When the ship finally began to drop down in the front, Franz pulled himself forward and sat on the catwalk next to the hatch. In the red glow of the fire, Franz kicked at the hatch with both feet and knocked it open. Through the hatchway he saw the ground coming quickly toward him. When the ground was only a couple of meters away, Franz jumped. Suddenly, the ship began to rise up above him again as it rebounded off the landing wheel beneath the control car. Franz was therefore given a few seconds in which to run out from under the ship. His first instinct as he jumped had been to run with the wind, but as he landed he saw the flames being blown ahead of him, and immediately turned around and ran into the wind instead. As the Hindenburg’s hull hung momentarily in the air above him, Franz ran as fast as he could toward the port side and just barely got out from underneath the wreck before it crashed to the ground behind him. Amazingly, Werner Franz was almost completely uninjured – “Wet, but alive,” as he would later say. 

Werner Franz, born on May 22nd, 1922, was a 14 year-old cabin boy on the Hindenburg’s final voyage. His father was a switchboard operator in a Frankfurt hotel for many years, but he became ill in early 1936 and could no longer work. Werner’s mother therefore had to take care of the household and also hold down a job. His 16-year-old brother had been an apprentice waiter at the Frankfurter Hof since 1934, having gotten the job through his trade school. However, he didn’t make nearly enough to support the family. Werner had left elementary school around Easter of 1936 to find work to help the family make ends meet.

[…]Werner Franz had a coffee cup in his hand and was just reaching into the cupboard to put it away when he heard a dull thudding sound and felt the entire ship shake. He froze as the dishes he had put away were all jolted out of their cabinet and crashed to the floor. The ship began to tilt steeply aft, and Franz ran to the door to the keel walkway and looked out into the hallway. He glanced aft and saw, to his horror, a mammoth ball of flame rushing toward him. He instinctively began to back-pedal away from the fire and toward the bow. Franz looked around to see if any of his crewmates were there, but he could see no one. As the ship tilted even more steeply, he began to slide aft toward the flames, and grabbed at the ropes that lined both sides of the keel walkway. Dazed, he hung on as the fire roared through the hydrogen cells above him and the ship’s hull jarred and shook as it slowly crashed to earth. 

Suddenly, […] Franz was doused with water pouring down on him along the inclined keel. A water ballast tank set alongside the walkway about 40 feet forward of Franz’s position had slipped off its mountings and ruptured, sending its contents aft. The water soaked Franz’s clothes, not only effectively shielding him from the heat, but also snapping the stunned boy back to his senses. He began to look for a way out of the ship. 

[…]When the ship finally began to drop down in the front, Franz pulled himself forward and sat on the catwalk next to the hatch. In the red glow of the fire, Franz kicked at the hatch with both feet and knocked it open. Through the hatchway he saw the ground coming quickly toward him. When the ground was only a couple of meters away, Franz jumped. Suddenly, the ship began to rise up above him again as it rebounded off the landing wheel beneath the control car. Franz was therefore given a few seconds in which to run out from under the ship. His first instinct as he jumped had been to run with the wind, but as he landed he saw the flames being blown ahead of him, and immediately turned around and ran into the wind instead. As the Hindenburg’s hull hung momentarily in the air above him, Franz ran as fast as he could toward the port side and just barely got out from underneath the wreck before it crashed to the ground behind him. 

Amazingly, Werner Franz was almost completely uninjured – “Wet, but alive,” as he would later say. 

— 1 week ago
#favourite  #not wikipedia  #history  #historical  #werner franz  #germany  #german history  #american history  #tragedy  #disaster  #miraculous  #biography  #biographical  #hindenburg  #zepplin  #blimp  #crash  #explosion  #warning: fucking awesome  #amazing  #interesting 
The Omagh bombing (Irish: Buamáil an Ómaigh) was a car bombing that took place on 15 August 1998 in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.[6] It was carried out by the ‘Real IRA’, an IRA splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people and injured about 220 others.[3][4][5][9] This was the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Telephoned warnings had been sent about 40 minutes beforehand, but they were inaccurate and police had inadvertently moved people toward the bomb.[…]The Omagh bombing (Irish: Buamáil an Ómaigh) was a car bombing that took place on 15 August 1998 in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.[6] It was carried out by the ‘Real IRA’, an IRA splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people and injured about 220 others.[3][4][5][9] This was the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Telephoned warnings had been sent about 40 minutes beforehand, but they were inaccurate and police had inadvertently moved people toward the bomb.[…]The Republic of Ireland’s police force, the Gardaí, also had an agent close to the RIRA at the time. The agent, Paddy Dixon, stole cars for the RIRA, who used them to transport bombs.[68] Days before the bombing, the RIRA had Dixon steal the maroon Vauxhall Cavalier it would use in the attack.[68] Dixon immediately told his handler; Detective Sergeant John White. On 12 August, White passed this on to his superior; Detective Chief Superintendent Dermot Jennings.[68] According to White, Jennings told him that they would let the bomb go through, mainly so that the RIRA would not become suspicious of Dixon.[68] Dixon fled the Republic of Ireland in January 2002. The following year, a transcript of a conversation between Dixon and White was released. In it, Dixon confirms that Gardaí let the bomb go through and says that “Omagh is going to blow up in their faces”.[69] In February 2004, PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde called for the Republic of Ireland to hand over Dixon.[31] In March 2006, Chief Constable Orde stated that “security services did not withhold intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the Omagh inquiry”.[70] He also stated that the dissident republican militants investigated by MI5 were members of a different cellthan the perpetrators of the Omagh bombing.[70]
A 2013 independent report concluded that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies “starved” police in Omagh of intelligence that could have prevented the bombing. The report was commissioned by the victims’ families and produced by Rights Watch (UK).[71]
GCHQ monitoring[edit]
A BBC Panorama documentary, named “Omagh: What the police were never told”, was aired in September 2008. It revealed that the British intelligence agency GCHQ was monitoring mobile phone calls between the bombers as the bomb was being driven into Omagh.[72] Ray White, former Assisant Chief of RUC Special Branch, said GCHQ had been monitoring mobile phones at their request. He said he believed GCHQ were listening to the phonecalls ‘live’, rather than merely recording them for later.[72] Panorama’s John Ware also claimed that a listening device had been hidden in the car and that GCHQ had recordings of what was said.[72] None of this information was given to the RUC in Omagh at the time.[72] Transcripts of the phone calls were later handed over to RUC Special Branch.

The Omagh bombing (IrishBuamáil an Ómaigh) was a car bombing that took place on 15 August 1998 in OmaghCounty TyroneNorthern Ireland.[6] It was carried out by the ‘Real IRA’, an IRA splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people and injured about 220 others.[3][4][5][9] This was the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Telephoned warnings had been sent about 40 minutes beforehand, but they were inaccurate and police had inadvertently moved people toward the bomb.
[…]
The Omagh bombing (IrishBuamáil an Ómaigh) was a car bombing that took place on 15 August 1998 in OmaghCounty TyroneNorthern Ireland.[6] It was carried out by the ‘Real IRA’, an IRA splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people and injured about 220 others.[3][4][5][9] This was the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Telephoned warnings had been sent about 40 minutes beforehand, but they were inaccurate and police had inadvertently moved people toward the bomb.
[…]
The Republic of Ireland’s police force, the Gardaí, also had an agent close to the RIRA at the time. The agent, Paddy Dixon, stole cars for the RIRA, who used them to transport bombs.[68] Days before the bombing, the RIRA had Dixon steal the maroon Vauxhall Cavalier it would use in the attack.[68] Dixon immediately told his handler; Detective Sergeant John White. On 12 August, White passed this on to his superior; Detective Chief Superintendent Dermot Jennings.[68] According to White, Jennings told him that they would let the bomb go through, mainly so that the RIRA would not become suspicious of Dixon.[68] Dixon fled the Republic of Ireland in January 2002. The following year, a transcript of a conversation between Dixon and White was released. In it, Dixon confirms that Gardaí let the bomb go through and says that “Omagh is going to blow up in their faces”.[69] In February 2004, PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde called for the Republic of Ireland to hand over Dixon.[31] In March 2006, Chief Constable Orde stated that “security services did not withhold intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the Omagh inquiry”.[70] He also stated that the dissident republican militants investigated by MI5 were members of a different cellthan the perpetrators of the Omagh bombing.[70]

A 2013 independent report concluded that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies “starved” police in Omagh of intelligence that could have prevented the bombing. The report was commissioned by the victims’ families and produced by Rights Watch (UK).[71]

GCHQ monitoring[edit]

A BBC Panorama documentary, named “Omagh: What the police were never told”, was aired in September 2008. It revealed that the British intelligence agency GCHQ was monitoring mobile phone calls between the bombers as the bomb was being driven into Omagh.[72] Ray White, former Assisant Chief of RUC Special Branch, said GCHQ had been monitoring mobile phones at their request. He said he believed GCHQ were listening to the phonecalls ‘live’, rather than merely recording them for later.[72] Panorama’John Ware also claimed that a listening device had been hidden in the car and that GCHQ had recordings of what was said.[72] None of this information was given to the RUC in Omagh at the time.[72] Transcripts of the phone calls were later handed over to RUC Special Branch.

— 1 week ago
#tragedy  #disaster  #history  #the troubles  #ireland  #irish  #bombing  #terrorism  #ira  #rira  #historical  #interesting