Saturday, May 18, 2013

Things I learned lately 18 May

  • Jericho was the biggest city in the world in 7000BC with 2,000 citizens. In 200AD, Rome had 1,200,000 citizens, but that dropped to less than 500,000 by 273AD just prior to the fall of their civilization.
  • Hointer is changing the way you shop for clothes by using a robotic sales staff. You download an app, go to the showroom, and scan the QR codes of the clothing you'd like to try. The clothes are delivered automatically right to the fitting room, customers swipe their card on the tablet, and walk out.
  • Actual kids voiced the Peanuts characters on the TV shows. This was not something the suits at CBS liked.
  • Almost half of the world's chameleon species live on the island of Madagascar.
  • The price of gas in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is $0.13 / litre. 5 years ago, it was $0.16 / litre. That's right, it went DOWN.
  • In Maryland, the Prince George’s County Board of Education is proposing that the school system copyright all work created by students and teachers. That would mean that anything from a drawing to a lesson plan becomes the property of the school system, not the creator.
  • Berlin Ontario was renamed Kitchener Ontario during WWI.
  • Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! is the only city name in the world that features two exclamation points.
  • The surface of the sun may only be 6000C, but the interior is 15,000,000C (we think).
  • Up until recently, it was technically illegal for women to wear pants outdoors in Paris. The exception was if the woman is holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse. This law had been in effect since the French Revolution.
  • It was common in the 1940's and 1950's for women to have to resign from their jobs once they got married. IBM stopped doing that in 1951.
  • One of the things that sets Google apart in terms of what it can offer consumers as a service has been born in the form of Google Now. The idea is that Google Now can offer you tidbits of information about your day, your surroundings, your preferences, because it know a lot about you and what you look for already. I think this is the future of mobile computing. Predictive offerings of information, personally tailored to you. The days of having to search for things may be almost over.
  • Citi Bike in New York City will start out 27 May with 6000 bikes and 330 stations. Long term costs are: 0-45 mins = free; 45-75 mins = $2.50; 75-105 mins = $9; $9 for each 30 mins after that.

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