What does it mean to “rest on your laurels”?

The practice of using laurels to symbolize victory came from the ancient Greeks. After winning on the battlefield, great warriors were crowned with a wreath of laurels, or bay leaves, to signify their supreme status during a victory parade.

Because the first Olympics consisted largely of war games, the champions were honoured in the same manner: with a laurel, a crown of leaves. To “rest on your laurels” means to quit while you’re ahead.

How do birds replace their feathers?

Birds replace their feathers by molting, the periodic shedding of old feathers and the growing of new ones. They do this one to three times each year, although different birds molt at different times of the year. Male goldfinches, for example, molt from a dull greenish yellow to bright yellow during spring. The periodic shedding of feathers and their replacement with new ones makes perfect sense in the animal kingdom.

Feathers are incapable of further growth, and may get worn down, broken, and faded over the year from normal wear-and-tear. Molting replaces these damaged feathers and helps the males look attractive to females, which is why many molts take place during the mating season.

What does the D stand for in D-Day?

Although D-Day has become synonymous with the Allied landing on June 6, 1944, in Normandy, it was used many times before and since. The D in D-Day simply stands for “day,” just as the H in H-Hour stands for “hour.” Both are commonly used codes for the fixed time when a military operation is scheduled to begin. “D minus thirty” means thirty days before a target date while “D plus fifteen” means fifteen days after.

How many bones are there in the human body?

Babies are born with about 300 to 350 bones, but many of these fuse together between birth and maturity to produce an average adult total of 206. Bone counts vary according to the method used to count them, because a structure may be treated as either multiple bones or as a single bone with multiple parts. There are four major types of bones: long bones, short bones, flat bones, and irregular bones. The name of each type of bone reflects the shape of the bone. The shape of the bone also tells about its mechanical function. Bones that do not fall into any of these categories are sesamoid bones and accessory bones.

Why is taking the “hair of the dog” a hangover cure?

In the Middle Ages, people treated a dog bite with the ashes of the canine culprit’s hair. The medical logic came from the Romans, who believed that the cure of any ailment, including a hangover, could be found in its cause.

It’s a principle applied in modern medicine with the use of vaccines for immunization. “The hair of the dog” treatment for hangovers advises that to feel better, you should take another drink of the same thing that made you feel so bad.

When did the first spacecraft go up into space?

The Soviet satellite Sputnik 1, which was launched into space on October 4, 1957, was the first spacecraft to go into orbit around Earth. It had no crew members or animals aboard, but instead contained machines that sent information back to Earth via radio.

The former Soviet Union’s (now Russia) launch of Sputnik prompted the United States to get its first satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit quickly, igniting the so-called space race. This was the two countries’ rivalry over being the “first” in many areas of space exploration. Explorer 1’s test run in December 1957 burned on the ground, but the satellite was successfully launched into orbit around Earth on January 31, 1958.

Were dinosaurs warm-blooded?

Scientists have conflicting opinions about whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded. Some paleontologists think that all dinosaurs were “warm-blooded” in the same way that modern birds and mammals are, with a high rate of metabolism (body chemistry). Some scientists think they were “cold-blooded,” much like modern reptiles. Some scientists think that very big dinosaurs could have had warm bodies because of their large body size, just as some sea turtles do today. It may be that some dinosaurs were warm-blooded—the problem is that it is hard to find evidence that shows with certainty what dinosaur metabolisms were like. An understanding of dinosaur metabolism helps paleontologists understand the behavior of dinosaurs. If they were cold-blooded, they were most probably sluggish, with only occasional bursts of quickness.

In addition, they probably would not have been very smart creatures. Like modern crocodiles, they probably spent most of their time basking in the sun, moving only to get more food. On the other hand, if dinosaurs were warm-blooded, then they were probably active, social animals. They would have been quick, alert, and intelligent. They would have spent much of their time actively grazing, like the modern antelope, or hunting in packs, like the lion.

Are Machines making human a dumb?

Imagine being surrounded by technologies, and hardly being aware of them. For instance, a person walks into a room and without doing anything, the entire atmosphere is fine-tuned to his or her current mood or expectations. Measurements are taken, personal data is sensed and recorded, and the room adjusts to integrate with the person’s countenance. All this occurs without turning a switch or adjusting an appliance simply walk into the room. We’re beginning to move in this direction, with recent advances in medical technology, with personal fitness devices, and with smart home systems.

Behind the scenes, as the individual enters the room, the unseen technology helps advance the person’s security, health, comfort, and even creativity by providing a seamless set of adjustments and changes to everything from room temperature to computer access to food preparation. What’s not seen are the computers running super-high-speed algorithms, computations, and calculations processing commands and actions to create a seamless life existence for everyday needs.

Here’s a real-world scenario: The person walks in the room. The sensors identify the person, as well as the mood of the person using facial features and expressions, body temperature, and movements, including gait and posture. Additionally, the smart room can monitor an individual’s current health conditions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and chemical composition. This is all done in real time.

Next, a robot comes out bringing you water and vitamin supplements from sensing those that are physically lacking. While sitting in a couch overlooking a virtually-generated ocean with the sound of crashing waves, the user decides to catch up on what is happening in the world and accesses the latest news by making a quick sweeping gesture in the air. The room instantaneously turns off the ocean scene and pulls up a news program. It all happens without the user needing to be fully aware of the entire process.

Such a scenario isn’t just limited to the confines of a person’s living quarters. It can apply to a city, a park, a museum, or a business. Imagine a society that’s so intelligent that the machines and computers are constantly collecting data, and learning from our actions and behaviors to make sound judgements and decisions. This human centric vision is just that, centered on the individual with technology serving to enhance, nurture, and protect, making life continually easier, healthier, and more productive. Importantly, people will retain and use the power to preprogram myriad commands and conditions suitable for their daily lifestyles and activities.

Are these innovative technologies are “dumbing” ground for your kids future?

Stop Error Checking in code

Error codes are the problem, not the solution. You probably don’t realize it, but all that code you add to “handle errors” are just making the problem worse. And no matter how much more time you devote to “error checking,” you will never end up with a system that’s smart enough to keep itself error free.

So why do you keep trying? As it happens, there is a better way: just stop doing the error checking. Purge your system of the concept of “error” in the right way, in fact, and you’ll end up with an implementation that works better in nominal cases and gives you better insight and opportunity to regain control when something unexpected happens. Your code will be simpler, too. To get this right we’ll need to reformulate your thinking a little.

Let’s talk about software errors/exceptions and how you can craft better software by giving them appropriate design considerations. I’ve often found that developers, even experienced developers, don’t put much thought into the error objects that they produce.

1. Be specific :
When an exceptional situation occurs and you wish to throw an exception for that state, what type of error should you throw?

2. Great software error messages :
While that seems helpful, it is not a wise idea. Firstly, it leaks implementation details to any users who might see the error message. Secondly, there’s only so much context you can squeeze into the message.

3. Use error properties :
You can simply add properties to your implementation that states properties that matter to you.

4. Only use exceptions in exceptional cases :
This is more a general rule, but exceptions are supposed to be exceptional. They break control flow making it difficult to understand the repercussions of an exception. That means it can be hard for other developers to understand your code. Further making this worse, exceptions are often treated in special ways by the host runtime. Exceptions should be exceptional.

What is a computer virus?

A virus is a malicious software program that infects computer files or hard disk drives and then makes copies of itself. Many activities that kids do online can leave computers vulnerable to viruses. E-mail attachments are a common means of distributing viruses, but viruses can also be downloaded when you share files and open instant message attachments. In order to keep your computer safe, never open an e-mail attachment you haven’t requested.

Send an e-mail to friends to confirm that they meant to send you an attachment. Also, you can configure your instant messaging program so you can’t receive files from other users. Never download any program without checking with a parent first. You can protect your computer by always running up-to-date firewall software, by running antivirus software regularly, and by periodically scanning your computer for spyware or other unwanted software and immediately removing it.