Page 6 - Interesting Facts

The winds on Mars made it possible for the Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity to remain functional MUCH longer than expected!

The Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, could only absorb 25% of the sun's light through its solar panels by the end of February 2009, because it was so thickly covered by the Planet's dust that the sunlight could not get through.

In March of that year, the Martian winds started blowing and researchers noted an increase of energy supply to the Spirit from 210 watt-hours to 240 watt-hours as the winds blew away the dust covering the rover. This became known as a 'cleaning event'.

There was a similar cleaning event in 2007, but that one was not as helpful because a dust storm shortly after, covered the Spirit in dust again and undid all the good the wind did in cleaning the rover.

After the 2009 cleaning event Colette Lohr, a rover mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory explained the benefits of cleaning events: "We will be able to use this energy to do significantly more driving. Our drives have been averaging about 50 minutes, and energy has usually been the limiting factor. We may be able to increase that to drives of an hour and a half."

These cleaning events on Mars are very significant considering that the rovers were only expected to last 90 Martian days. Instead of operating for three months before running out of energy, rover Opportunity is still active 10 years after landing!


The 'Redwall' children's books are so vividly descriptive because Brian Jacques wrote them for the kids at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind

Brian Jacques (pronounced 'jakes') was the author of the very popular 'Redwall' children's books of which more than 20 million were published.

Mr. Jacques was a door-to-door milk delivery truck driver in the late 80's and one of his stops was the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. He loved children and befriended the blind kids and offered to read stories to them.

What frustrated him most was what he called "dreadful literature" available for these kids who were reliant on their own imaginations – not having ever seen the things they were hearing about.

"I thought, 'What's wrong with a little bit of magic in their lives?' "Mr. Jacques said. For the following seven months he came home every night to write a mystical, adventurous story for those children. He made it as descriptive as possible so that they could 'see' everything in their mind's eye.

He wrote the 800 page story longhand on recycled paper and kept it in a grocery bag. It contained vividly detailed anthropomorphic animals and was set in medieval times. His stories are mostly about the adventures of friendly mice, hares and squirrels fighting to protect Redwall Abbey.

"Mice are my heroes," Mr. Jacques said, "because, like children, mice are little and have to learn to be courageous and use their wits."


When the GameCube came out, the Nintendo President priced it significantly cheaper than its competitors because people "don't play with the game machine itself."

Hiroshi Yamauchi is credited as being the person to transform the Nintendo Company. Before him, it was only a playing card company, but afterwards, it would become one of the biggest names in video games.

Yamauchi had most of the control over what was created and released from his company, and he had some pretty interesting views on systems.

When the GamCube was released, he wanted it to be as cheap as possible. The reason he gave wasn't to sell more, but that people don't really use the machine but the software.

He said that people "do not play with the game machine itself. They play with the software, and they are forced to purchase a game machine in order to use the software. Therefore the price of the machine should be as cheap as possible." When it came out, the GameCube was prices significantly less than the competitors' PS2 and Xbox systems.

Yamauchi also thought his system stood out as the only one of the three which was a gaming specific machine. The other two were advertising their CD/DVD capabilities, and the Xbox came with a built-in hard drive.

This emphasis towards "performance only" and the creation of hardware that would allow developers to "easily create games" is what Yamauchi believed would set the GameCube apart from its competitors.


Some awesome lists!

During World War I, German and Russian soldiers ceased fire to cooperate on a wolf hunt!

During World War I, the Eastern Front stretched from the Black Sea in the south to the Baltic Sea in the North. During the extreme winter of 1916 and 1917, at the time of World War I, wolves in the area were starving due to a food shortage.

The starving wolves started converging on both the Russian and German soldiers in the northern part of the front in the Vilnius-Minsk region. Driven by extreme hunger, their desperation became more overwhelming than their fear for humans.

At first, the wolves were attacking individuals, but soon they escalated their attacks to groups of soldiers. The attacks became so viscious and regular that the soldiers were forced to take action.

The soldiers tried to poison them, they tried shooting them with rifles and machine guns, and even using grenades against them. None of their efforts stopped the attacks. The large Russian wolves were so hungry that new wolf packs quickly replaced those that were killed.

The German and Russian soldiers were left with no other option but to declare a cease-fire to deal with the wolves. In a coordinated effort, hundreds of wolves were killed and the rest scattered. Once the wolves were dealt with, fighting resumed between the two countries and all thoughts of cooperation were erased.


Are You So Paranoid That You're Pronoia? The Anti-Conspiracy Condition The Conspiracy Theorists Peg As A Conspiracy!

With paranoia, people are often under the belief that everything is out to get them including the Government. But there is a condition that is the exact opposite. This condition is called Pronoia.

Pronoia is when others believe that conspiracies are created to benefit them. There is also a philosophy under this belief where people believe the world was created to secretly benefit the inhabitants.

While the idea of pronoia has been tossed around in numerous works of literature since J.D Salinger's 1955 novel, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, the actual term pronoia wasn't used until 1982 when Dr. Fred H. Goldner published an article by the name in the journal Social Problems.

At first, many public voices thought that pronoia was simply a conspiracy theory until it took a practical, linguistic and psychological aspect by scientific studies.

Yes, this means people actually thought it was a conspiracy of non-paranoid conspiring. Conspiring inception? Conspire-ception? It exists! Try saying that three times fast!



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