BITS – June, 2020

BITS = Bits of Information To Share. Here is a brief roundup of several things I learned in June, 2020, as well as some cool facts and useful links I’d like to share with you.

  1. PHP = PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (from “Personal Home Page Tools,” more frequently referenced as “PHP Tools.”); GNU = GNU’s Not Unix; LAME = LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder; and the title of this blogpost, BITS = Bits of Information To Share. All these are recursive acronyms, the first of which appeared just more than 40 years ago. (Wikipedia)
  2. In the early 14th century, “dandelion” was spelled dent-de-lion, literally “lion’s tooth,” a direct loan from French, but over time, colloquial use morphed it into the current spelling. (Useless Etymology)
  3. Astronomers have a new candidate in their search for the nearest black hole to Earth. It’s about 1,000 light-years away, or roughly 9.5 thousand, million, million km, in the Constellation Telescopium. That might not sound very close, but on the scale of the Universe, it’s actually right next door. (BBC)
  4. Your Husky’s fur acts as a protective coat against different insects and parasites. Also, once shaved the topcoat and the bottom coat of his fur might not grow well and blend properly. You’re practically hurting him permanently. (Husky Advisor)
  5. The UN projects that the global population will be 10.8 billion by 2100. The population growth rate is then expected to be close to zero. (Our World in Data)
  6. More than 124 million computers have been produced and sold this year. According to a report by Forrester Research, there were over one billion PCs in use worldwide by the end of 2008, and over 2 billion by the year 2015. (Worldometer)
  7. You can set up a trip to Camp Barneo, the northernmost inhabited place on Earth, via its official website. (Camp Barneo Official Website)
  8. The obsolete Mac OS X “Tiger” (V10.4) comprised 86 million lines of code, while Windows Vista contained 50 million lines. (Information Is Beautiful)
  9. It was assumed the Fernandina giant tortoise had fallen in extinction long ago, but after decades of obscurity, researchers have spotted an individual wandering around a Galápagos island for the first time in over 110 years. (IFLScience)
  10. Squirrels are among the top causes of power outages across the U.S. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by the ubiquitous rodents that cut off power to more than 193,873 customers. (American Public Power Association)
  11. Question: How much does a cloud weigh? Answer: A 1 km3 cloud weighs about 500,000 kilograms or 1.1 million pounds (about 551 tons). (USGS)
  12. Queen owns all of the U.K.’s swans. Every year, she counts them. (USA TODAY)
  13. A huge fireball exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere in December, 2018, according to Nasa. The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago. But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. (BBC)
  14. Bumblebees may be capable of scaling Earth’s tallest peaks, flying higher than Mount Everest, according to new research. It’s difficult for most insects and birds to fly at extremely high altitudes where the air is thin and oxygen is scarce. (National Geographic)
  15. Symantec found that the average number of security threats on religious sites was around 115, while adult sites only carried around 25 threats per site — a particularly notable discrepancy considering that there are vastly more pornographic sites than religious ones. Also, only 2.4 percent of adult sites were found to be infected with malware, compared to 20 percent of blogs. (PCWorld)
  16. Paper production emits air pollution, specifically 70 percent more pollution than the production of plastic bags. According to certain studies, manufacturing paper emits 80 percent more greenhouse gases. And, consider that making paper uses trees that, instead, could be absorbing carbon dioxide. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags. (HowStuffWorks)

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