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US Aircraft Bombers were fitted with a 'Fail Deadly' device that would have automatically released the nuclear weapons on board if the plane was shot down

A dead man’s switch is a device developed for emergency situations.

It does what it name says – it takes over a system or a machine if the operator of that system becomes incapacitated or dies. Originally it was meant to save lives if one life is lost.

It was first used in locomotives to bring the engine to an emergency stop should the engineer be unable to fulfill his duties.

Most gas station pumps are switched off by a fail safe button in case of a fire. These are all life saving functions, but the US military saw another application for emergency situation switches.

The Special Weapons Emergency Separation Systems (SWESS) was invented to kill more people if one person dies! It was meant to be a deterrent of sorts. Since the 1950’s Strategic Air Command ensured that all aircraft bombers were fitted with nuclear bomb release systems.

If a bomber was shot down over enemy territory or the controls failed and the plane dropped below a certain altitude, the SWESS automatically released the nuclear weapons on board. These switches were designed for nuclear weapons and are not used to launch missiles because missiles are designed to hit a specific target.


The fact that the sum of odd numbers starting at one is always a square number, is easily explained by this image

As with many things mathematical, understanding a concept is much easier if one finds a way to visualize it.

While we see numbers and letters, perhaps mathematicians can transform them into a two or three-dimensional visual image, helping them see the answer to questions that baffle many of us.

An example of this can be seen by using this simple picture to prove that the sum of the first n odd numbers is always the square of n.

Of course you may not know that n, translated from mathematics into English, simply means "any given number".

As you can see from the illustration, if we start with one square (one being an odd number) and simply add another layer of little squares to the top and right of the existing square or squares, one effectively always adds an odd number.

If we want to know how many little squares there are in total, we follow a simple principle. We multiply the number of little squares on each side.

Not surprisingly, this results in the square of the number of layers or, in simple English, n multiplied by itself. This is how what may seem to be a difficult concept, can easily be understood by creating a picture!


The Arabic numerals were not invented by Arabs. The system was, in fact, developed in ancient India and is known as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system

What we know in the West as the Arabic numerals, were not invented by the Arabs.

The numeral system was, in fact, developed in ancient India. Historians have traced it back to the Brahmi numerals which were already in use by the 3rd century BC.

Before the rise of the Arab Empire, the numeral system was already moving west and was mentioned by Severus Sebokht in Syria in 662 AD.

French mathematician Pierre Simon Laplace wrote: "It is India that gave us the ingenuous method of expressing all numbers by the means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position, as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit…”

The Arabs adopted the nine numerals from India in the 9th century. It was initially known as the Arabic numerals in the West because it was encountered through the West’s trade with the Arabs and also introduced in Europe through Arabic texts in the tenth century. Europeans therefore contributed it to the Arabs even though the Arabs themselves called it Hindu numerals.

This numeral system is now mostly referred to as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.


The plot of the manga/anime 'Akira' revolves around the 2020 Neo-Tokyo Olympic Games

There is a large group of anime fans that consider ‘Akira’ to be the greatest anime of all time.

The animation is very well done and the story line is so complex that the viewer has to constantly keep up with events as they unfold. It can not really be classed as relaxing, mindless viewing.

The story is set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo after a nuclear bomb detonated there in 1988. Subsequent to these events, Word War III broke out and society changes drastically.

Everything in this anime revolves around the 2020 Neo-Tokyo Olympic Stadium that was actually constructed as a cover for covert military operation and it was also where Akira’s (a paranormal psychic power) frozen remains were held and where they were discovered by Tetsuo.

The 2020 Neo-Tokyo Olympic Games were to be the first of its kind to be held after the start of World War III.

The stadium is the place where the final conflict between Tetsuo Shima, the young biker with psychic powers, and his life long friend, Shotaro Kaneda, takes place. It is also where Akira is re-awakened and it is the epicenter of Neo-Tokyo’s destruction and the creation of the new universe.

The real 2020 Summer Olympic Games will, coincidentally, be held in Tokyo! What an amazing coincidence!


Usher's 'OMG' sounds a lot like a song Homer Simpson wrote in 2003.

DJ's from Y101.7, a radio station in Jackson, Mississippi, discovered the similarities earlier this year. If you listen to the two songs together, it's pretty hilarious.



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