Saturday, July 30, 2005

Do you Yahoo???

The two founders of Yahoo! are David Filo and Jerry Yang.

Yahoo! first resided on Jerry Yang's student workstation, "Akebono," and the search engine was lodged on David Filo's computer "Konishiki." Just in case you do not know, these are the names of legendary Hawaiian sumo wrestlers.

In early 1995 Marc Andressen, co-founder of Netscape Communications, invited Filo and Yang to move their files over to the larger computers housed at Netscape and "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" was christened Yahoo!

Yahoo! launched a highly-successful IPO in April 1996 with a total of 49 employees.


The word "Yahoo" was invented by Jonathan Swift for the Travels.
He and his friends used the word among themselves while Swift was writing he book, appearing in their correspondence.

In part IV of the Travels - Houyhnhnm Land, Gulliver initially mistakes the Yahoos for beasts, or cattle, since they are so repulsive in appearance and action. Eventually he concludes they are human, possibly descended from a pair shipwrecked long ago. Once Gulliver determines humans and Yahoos are the same, he begins to call all people "Yahoos."

The First Smiley

On September 10, 2002 Scott Fahlman introduce to the first time, the use of smiley on CMU CS general bboard and was retrieved by Jeff Baird from an October 1982 backup tape of the spice vax (cmu-750x).

Here is Scott's original post:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman
I propose that the following character sequence for joke
Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use


Larry Page and Sergey Brin begin work on a search engine called BackRub, named for its unique ability to analyze the 'back links' pointing to a given website. The search engine was soon renamed 'Google', and Google Inc. opened its doors on September 7, 1998.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lapu-Lapu - The First Pilipino to challenge the Spaniards

Lapu-Lapu (Caliph Pulaka) is the earliest known chieftain of Mactan Island in the Philippines. Being known as the first resident of the archipelago to have resisted colonization by the Spanish, he is now regarded as the first National hero of the Philippines.
On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu and the men of Mactan, armed with spears and cutlasses, faced 49 Spanish soldiers led by a Portuguese captain named Ferdinand Magellan. In what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan, Magellan and several of his men were killed.

What type of gun did John Wilkes Booth use to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln?

On April 14, 1865, during an evening performance of Our American Cousin, John Wilkes Booth entered the State Box where Abraham Lincoln and his wife were watching the play with Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone. Lincoln's bodyguard, a Metropolitan Police Officer named John Parker, had left his post. Booth placed a Derringer pistol in the back of Lincoln's head and fired at point-blank range.

What is the earliest surviving system of laws?

The Code of Hammurabi is the earliest known example of a ruler publicly proclaiming to his people an entire set of laws, in an orderly arrangement, so that all of men might read and known what was required of them. Hammurabi was a ruler of ancient Babylon, probably from around 1795 B.C. to about 1750 B.C. His code was carved on a black stone monument, in 3,600 lines of cuneiform, standing eight feet high, and obviously intended for public view. This monument was discovered in 1901, not in Babylon, but in the Persian mountains, where it had probably been carried by some triumphant conqueror. It begins and ends with addresses to the gods and curses for anyone who neglects or destroys the law. It then goes on to list an organized code of laws and regulations for society.

What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

A "Black Box" color is orange . Originally the name for the flight data recorder in aeroplanes, but now used to refer to onboard data logging systems in other vehicles, such as taxis and private vehicles.

Dr. David Warren of Australia invented the famous "Black Box" flight data recorder in 1953 and was inproduction by 1957.

Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

It can be found in New Zealand. Chinese gooseberries (Actinidia deliciosa, Actinidia arguta
Actinidiaceae) are fuzzy brown egg-shaped fruit with slightly tart green flesh.

The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

The Latin name was Insularia Canaria——Island of the Dogs.

The Canary Islands are an archipelago of seven islands of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwestern coast of Africa (Morocco and Western Sahara). The islands belong to Spain, and form an autonomous community of that country. The islands are also claimed by Morocco along with Ceuta and Melilla.

What color is a purple finch?


A plump, sparrow-sized (5 1/4" to 6 1/4") bird with a deeply notched tail and short conical beak, Purple Finches (Carpodacus purpureus) are named for the raspberry-red color of the males. The raspberry color is deepest on the head, nape, face, throat, breast, flanks, and rump. The hindneck, back, and scapular feathers are deep red streaked with brown. Wings and tail are brown and the belly and undertail coverts are white.

In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

November - The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours. In 1709 the calendar (the Julian calendar) was first printed in Russia, more than 127 years after the Gregorian calendar had been introduced in Europe.
In the nineteenth century, because of the almost world-wide acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, the Department of Foreign Affairs used the Gregorian style in its relations with foreign countries; the commerical and naval fleets too were obliged to reckon time according to the Western calendar; and finally sciences, such as astronomy, meterology, etc., which had a world character, were compelled to follow the new system. All this caused considerable complication.

In 1829 the Department of Public Instruction recommended a revision of the calendar to the Academy of Science. The Academy proceeded to petition the government to accept the Gregorian calendar. Prince Lieven, in submitting the plan to Tsar Nicholas I, denounced it as "premature, unnecessary, and likely to produce upheavals, and bewilderment of mind and conscience among the people." He further declared that "the advantage from a reform of this kind will be very small and immaterial, while the inconveniences and difficulties will be unavoidable and great." The Tsar, being apprehensive, wrote on the report: "The comments of Prince Lieven are accurate and just."

From thence onward frequent attempts were made to remove the ban, but to no avail. In 1918, after the Revolution, Lenin raised the question of calendar reform and, after an investigation of the subject, published a decree directing the adoption of the Gregorian style "for the purpose of being in harmony with all the civilized countries of the world."

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar necessitated a cancellation of 13 days, instead of ten days, because in the interval three centurial years had been counted as leap years. Although the government officially accepted the Gregorian calendar, the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church still clung to the earlier and more familiar Julian. This is the reason, for example, that the observance of Christmas, on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, comes in the Julian calendar on January 7.
The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, was the second phase of the Russian Revolution, the first having been instigated by the events around the February Revolution. The October Revolution was led by Bolsheviks under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and marked the first officially Communist revolution of the twentieth century, based upon the ideas of Karl Marx. The crucial revolutionary activities in Petrograd were under the command of the Petrograd Soviet's Military Revolutionary Committee.
The revolution would culminate in a communist coup against the Russian provisional government, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union.
The prominence to the event was ascribed later. Initially, the event was referred to as October uprising or Uprising of 25th, as seen, for example, in the first editions of Lenin's complete works. With time, the October Revolution was seen as a hugely important global event, the first in a series of events that lay the groundwork for an epic Cold War struggle between the Soviet Union and Western democracies, including the United States.
The Great October Socialist Revolution was the official name for the October Revolution in the Soviet Union since the 10th anniversary celebration of the Revolution in 1927. Today this name is used mainly by Russian Communists.

What is a camel's hair brush made of?

Squirrel fur - Camel's hair brush is the trade name for brushes made of squirrel, goat, pony, bear, sheep or a blend of the above. They range greatly in softness, quality and cost. Actual camel hair is too woolly for brushes.

Which country makes Panama hats?

Ecuador - Panama hats are made exclusively in Ecuador and are woven by hand from a plant called the Toquilla. The Panama hat has been worn for centuries with its origins being traced back as far as the 16th Century when the Incas were the first to use the Toquilla plant to produce hats. The hat in fact only became known as the Panama when over a century ago the workers involved in the construction of the Panama Canal used the elegant fibre hats as protection against the burning sun.

From which animal do we get catgut?

Sheep and Horses - Catgut is the name applied to cord of great toughness and tenacity prepared from the intestines of sheep, or occasionally from those of the horse, mule and ass. Those of the cat are not employed, and therefore it is supposed that the word is properly kitgut ("violin string"), kit meaning "fiddle," and that the present form has arisen through confusion with kit = cat.

The membrane is chemically treated, and slender strands are woven together into cords of great strength, which are used for stringing musical instruments such as the violin and the harp. Roman strings, imported from Italy, are considered the best for musical instruments. Catgut is also used for stringing tennis rackets and for some surgical sutures.

How long did the Hundred Years War last?

116 years - The Hundred Years' War, a conflict between England and France, actually lasted 116 years. It began in 1337 and ended in 1453, although there were long periods of truce or low-level fighting during that time.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Brave Heart

William Wallace (c1270 - 1305)

Sir William Wallace of Elerslie is one of Scotland's greatest national heroes, undisputed leader of the Scottish resistance forces during the first years of the long and ultimately successful struggle to free Scotland from English rule at the end of the 13th Century.

The first historical record of Wallace's activities concerns the burning of Lanark by Wallace and 30 men in May, 1297, and the slaying of the English sheriff, one of those whom Edward 'Longshanks' Plantagenet I of England. had installed in his attempt to make good his claim to overlordship of Scotland.

After the burning of Lanark many joined Wallace's forces, and under his leadership a disciplined army was evolved. Wallace marched on Scone and met an English force of more than 50,000 before Stirling Castle in Sept., 1297. The English, trying to cross a narrow bridge over the Forth River, were killed as they crossed, and their army was routed. Wallace crossed the border and laid waste several counties in the North of England.

In December he returned to Scotland and for a short time acted as guardian of the realm for the imprisoned king, John de Baliol. In July, 1298, Edward defeated Wallace and his army at Falkirk, and forced him to retreat northward. His prestige lost, Wallace went to France in 1299 to seek the aid of King Philip IV, and he possibly went on to Rome. He is heard of again fighting in Scotland in 1304, but there was a price on his head, and in 1305 he was captured by Sir John de Menteith. He was taken to London in Aug., 1305, declared guilty of treason, and executed.

Mel Gibson as Wallace in the movie Brave Heart

Monday, July 04, 2005

4th of July

Independence Day is most commonly known as the 4th of July and is the birthday of the Declaration of Independence which marked the start of the United States of America. Although it is celebrated on July 4th each year in the United States, it is not the date when all 13 of the original colonies signed the document which took a few years to get to the final document we all know.
The original resolution was introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, and called for the Continental Congress to declare the United States free from British rule.

June 28, 1776 -- Jefferson presents the first draft of the declaration to congress.
July 4, 1776 -- After various changes to Jefferson's original draft, a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4th.
Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor of the Declaration; 2, Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted No; Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. It is said that he signed his name "with a great flourish" so "King George can read that without spectacles!"

July 4, 1777 -- The first Independence Day celebration takes place. It's interesting to speculate what those first 4th festivities were like. By the early 1800s the traditions of parades, picnics, and fireworks were firmly established as part of American Independence Day culture.