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31 Dec 2011

Presenting SWORDS - The World's First Weaponized Robot

By Andrew Newell

Try to imagine a soldier that doesn't sleep, doesn't eat, doesn't feel pain, and doesn't waste time on doing exactly what it was made to do; eliminate the enemy. This is SWORDS; the first-ever weaponized robot the world has seen. Time magazine even referred to it as, "One of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. ... It can be outfitted with everything from a machine gun to a rocket or grenade launcher, seriously violating Asimov's three laws of robotics."

What does it do?

Short for Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems, SWORDS is developed by TALON Robotics at Foster-Miller, a company based in Massachusetts. This $200,000, three-foot 100-pound armed robot can go underwater, climb stairs, and navigate through sand, snow, rock and fire at an even faster pace than a typical running soldier. It has both night and infrared vision, and has four cameras strategically located at the front, back and both sides with extremely detailed zooming capabilities.

It will also carry multiple standard Squad Automatic Weapons, including the M249, which fires 5.56-millimeter rounds at 750 per minute and M240, which can fire 1,000 7.62-millimeter rounds per minute. Apart from the amazing ability of packing so much weapons and ammo, this robot is also extremely accurate when firing at enemies. It is said that while a typical soldier can hit a target the size of basketball from 300 meters away, SWORDS can hit a target the size of nickel from 500 meters away. This far better level of accuracy is due to the fact that its gun is mounted on a stable platform and fired electronically using cameras with multiple zoom, rather than by a soldier's hands and limited vision.

Running on lithium ion batteries, SWORDS can be operated using a 30-pound control unit from a distance of approximately 20 football fields.

Why do we need it?

Though the robot is roughly only three-feet high, it possesses all the necessary skills and traits of a great soldier, and completely lacks the insignificant details of a terrible one. It can execute missions that are too dangerous for regular soldiers, as it can withstand both extremely cold and hot temperatures. Further, it doesn't need to be trained, clothed or fed. It doesn't get injured easily but if it does, it never complains. Most importantly, there wouldn't be families and relatives left in total grief in the event it meets its demise in battle.

When will it be on active duty?

Three SWORDS were sent during the Iraq war mostly for experimentation purposes only. The results turned out greater than expected, but its creators believe there is so much room for improvement in the weapons and protection areas. Currently, the Army has been testing new models over the past year at Picatinny and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. It is predicted that in 2010, the SWORDS will get even more deadly, as there are plans of equipping the machine with the larger .50 caliber machine guns. Further, it will also pack grenade and rocket launchers with multiple rocket rounds into a single barrel, allowing much more rapid firing. GP

About the Author:

Ruhfus are specialists in hydraulic cylinders and recommends Emics, a privately owned laboratory specialising in calibration services.

Article Source:  Presenting SWORDS - The World's First Weaponized Robot

23 Dec 2011

The World's First Recession Free Country, the Cook Islands!

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By Devin Galaudet

After landing in Rarotonga's International Airport, I was driven to a sacred Marae (temple, community area of the Maori people on a hill overlooking a Cook Islands' coastline. There was a ritual, blessing and an opening prayer before media heard the news, "The Cook Islands are a 'recession-free oasis.'"

A recession-free oasis? I am not all that sure what this meant, so I leaned in for further explanation. According to the folks at both Cook Islands Tourism and their partnership company, Air New Zealand, the place is actually growing: new local business, more visitors (a good thing as 67% as the CI GNP comes from tourism), sustained forward bookings, local tour operators are hiring more people, and as Air New Zealand points out more people overall are traveling to the Cook Islands. I would soon learn why.

The Minister of Tourism, Wilkie Rasmussen said, "As industries around the world feel the weight of the current economic global recession and the international effects of slowing economies and cautious consumers, the Cook Islands are seeing local businesses grow, new businesses open and offshore investment increase."

Now, after a week of relaxing into "coconut time" and seeing some of the most inspiring views I have ever seen, I am not sure promoting "the Recession Free Oasis" is necessary. The CI is a great destination and with a direct non-stop, at less than ten hours, from LAX, it is convenient from much of the U.S.

On a personal level, this destination in the South Pacific is one of the few places I was really looking forward to visiting that actually exceeded my expectations as a traveler. It is what an island paradise is supposed to be. The locals are friendly (many claimed that the food on the Cook Islands is also calorie free, which I didn't quite believe), the water crystal clear, uncrowded beaches, great snokeling, and Maori culture everywhere. At some point, I recall sitting on a boat drifting somewhere around Aitutaki and shaking my head at how unbelievably pretty the whole place is.

And now it's "recession free" too.

Devin Galaudet is a professional travel writer and is in his final semester of completing his master's degree in creative writing. For more information about travel and great places you might consider for your next great adventure visit his sites or

Article Source: [,-the-Cook-Islands!&id=2469252] The World's First Recession Free Country, the Cook Islands!

22 Dec 2011

The Penny Black - World's First Postage Stamp

By Scott Bailey

In the 1830's, mail in the United Kingdom of England and Ireland was paid for by the recipient of the mail.  The amount charged for postal delivery was based upon the weight of the item as well as how far it had to travel.  Most of the working population could not afford to receive mail from a distance and many just would not accept the delivery.  With the proliferation of railways throughout the United Kingdom to support the growing factories during the Industrial Revolution,  businesses and government realized that the debt-ridden postal system needed to be reformed. 

In 1837 a schoolteacher named Rowland Hill proposed a prepayment system utilizing one cent stamps on postage.  in 1839, the British Treasury announced a competition to design the first stamp.  None of the submissions were considered acceptable and a portrait of Queen Victoria was chosen instead.  The Penny Black was this first, adhesive, postage stamp.  The Penny Black has a simple black background with a profile of Queen Victoria in the center, the words "POSTAGE" and "ONE PENNY" along the top and bottom, respectively.  The Penny Black was used for just over one year.  The postage cancellation mark was in red ink, which was hard to see on the black stamp and also was easy to remove. 

The Penny Red replaced the Penny Black in 1841 (utilizing black ink cancellation marks).  Since over 68 million Penny Blacks were printed, many have survived and it is not a particularly rare stamp.  As with all stamps, however, condition and whether or not it was ever used, determine a stamp's value on the collectors' market.  A used Penny Black in poor condition can be found for under 10 Pounds (or 20 Dollars), sometimes significantly less.  Just remember that whatever the quality of that Penny Black you own, you are holding an important piece of history that is much more that just another postage stamp.

Whether a beginner looking to start a collection, or a seasoned veteran looking to add a Penny Black to your collection, visit for a wide variety of stamps of the United Kingdom.

Article Source: [] The Penny Black - World's First Postage Stamp

21 Dec 2011

The World's First Star Trek Yacht

By D.C. Copeland

It may not be considered a megayacht in size, but the Trilobis 65, a four level, 20 meter floating object-of-desire would still turn heads at any marina. Gianacarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG) of Rome in collaboration with Canadian company Underwater Vehicles are working hard to have one of these futuristic babies floating soon in a marina near you. This floating luxury home will sleep 6 and is described by the company as "ideal for living in bays, atolls, and maritime parks." Considering it is nonpolluting because it uses hydrogen fuels, perhaps even the rangers at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the nation's first underwater park south of Miami and east of Key Largo, will cut it some slack and let it drop anchor over the reefs.

Trilobis 65's fourth level is 3 meters below sea level. The "observation bulb" looks like something Captain Kirk would be comfortable in commanding and its design is entirely fitting with the yacht's overall "Star Trek" appeal. Although none of us will live long enough to see space exploration on the level found in "Star Trek," the few earthlings who can afford the estimated $4 million price tag of the Trilobis 65, will undoubtedly "explore strange new worlds" above and below the sea.

But wait, there's more! GZDG has designed a floating house called the Jelly-fish 45. Granted the name needs a little work, but priced at $2.5 million, it's a steal. It's ten meters high, sleeps 8, and has five levels connected by a spiral staircase. Any good entrepreneur could rustle up a couple of these floating homes, dock 'em at a marina, and lease them out for 3, 4, or 7-day vacations that include a leisurely cruise and anchorage over a reef. "Scotty, beam me down!"

D.C. Copeland is a writer and award-winning artist. When visiting Copeland's personal website and blog [], you will discover that Wayne Cochran is the Patron Saint and that many people consider it to be "The Rodney Dangerfield of Blogs."

Article Source: [] The World's First Star Trek Yacht

Why is Every Airline in the World Claiming to Be the First to Fly With BioFuel?

By Lance Winslow

 As an aviation buff and a studier of alternative energy initiatives and innovations, I've been completely blown away by the insanity of "green tech" PR blitz campaigns. Take the airline sector for instance, nearly every major airline is claiming they have flown an airliner on biofuel, and each one claims to have been the first to do it? As if no one has ever flown an aircraft on bio-fuel.

Well that is just non-sense, during World War one some of the very first aircraft were flown on peanut oil. Within the last year the following airlines have claimed to be the first to fly aircraft (specifically airliners) on bio-fuel:

  Virgin Airways
  Japan Airlines

Yes, there have been several others, but what concerns me is the hype and PR campaigns for alternative and green energy. The United States Air Force has an entire facility that makes bio-fuel to use for aircraft, and really none of any of this is really unique, humans have had this ability for almost 100-years. Enough hype already.

I have a question for all these companies - So, you flew an airliner on bio-fuel?  Good for you, but, this is nothing new. Perhaps you airlines might wait until you have perfected all this and are doing it on a regular basis on regular routes before PR'ing it.

It seems obvious that many companies all over the world are trying to fly on the "green technology" rainbow. Of course, I understand the allure to get your name in front of the flying public and consumers, but if it is done in a misrepresentative way; it's nothing to be proud of - Think on this.

Lance Winslow - []Lance Winslow's Bio. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; []

Article Source: [] Why is Every Airline in the World Claiming to Be the First to Fly With BioFuel?

20 Dec 2011

Ubtan - World's First Known Cosmetic

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By Dr Pradeep Nagrath

To look beautiful has been an obsession with men and women alike throughout the ages but it differs from one land to another and also according to the time and mode of living. The desire of looking enchantingly beautiful laid the foundation of world's first known natural cosmetic - 'Ubtan', initially started as a ritual in India. The ritual of 'Ubtan', also known as 'Battne di Rasam' in Punjabi, and 'Kappumanjal' in Tamil is one of the vital components of the concept of 'Solah-Shringaar' (Sixteen ways of beautification of body). 'Ubtan' is a body application used for the beautification of the body, dating back to the remotest antiquity and is the legacy of the rich Indian Heritage.

It is believed that during Vedic era, it was being prescribed by the Vedic Physicians for the protection, nourishment & beautification of the skin. The apparent results obtained with the application of 'Ubtan' gave it a wide-spread publicity by which perhaps it became a fashionable routine for men & women, those days, to apply it for the beautification of skin and later on established its credence as a ritual for brides & bridegrooms before  marriage.

'Ubtan' which is used to bring a enchanting look to the skin, is the paste-mixture of turmeric, saffron, san¬dalwood, bengal-gram, and seeds of yellow mustard, mustard oil and water, is applied by the brides & bridegrooms while reciting 'Ved Mantras'  or traditional folk songs, as an important ritual of marriages in India. This paste is prepared in various ways to make the skin fair and to nourish it from within. On the occasion of social and religious festivals, preparation of 'Ubtan' itself is a fairly enjoyable task for ladies in India. The paste is applied to the whole body for 25 to 30 minutes thereafter scrubbed before taking the customary bath. It helps to improve and tighten sagging skin and keeps the skin glowing for a long time. Earlier it was also customary to make special cosmetics for ladies of high rank and social classes, by adding several other aromatic herbs, yoghurt, milk cream, honey and essence of flowers. Various other ingredients are also added like petals of rose and jasmine, Khus-Khus, drop of lemon juice and other herbs to get a unique beautifying lotion.

19 Dec 2011

Third World to First World in 4.5 Seconds; Not So Fast!

By Lance Winslow

It takes a lot to go from Third World to First World and it seems that many countries are forced to do it much faster than they are either ready for or can handle.  It takes many things to upgrade a civilization and it also takes a couple of generations. 

 Great civilizations have many commonalities and many things that must be secure before it can move up.  Civilizations need clean water, protection, common language, education, transportation, distribution, infrastructure, common currency, communication and it sure helps if they have a few friends in the world.  That is a tall order indeed isn't it?

  Everything in a civilization affects everything else and when going from Third World To First World things must be done in a certain order and yet the speed at which Third World nations enter the First World realm means that many of the components of the civilization must be handled at the exact same time and often the country goes through chaos, political unrest and a population base which fears change.  That is an innate characteristic of human groups, as they see change like the see danger and this causes fear, protectionism and even hostility.

 The world is moving together faster than ever before due to communication, aircraft travel and a concerted effort towards globalization.  It is not easy to establish or upgrade a civilization without massive change.  It should not be surprising that when you speed up the timetable from Third World To First World you also compress all the emotions, civil unrest and fear into a shorter timetable causing severe disruptions in the old way of thinking.  Please consider this additional factor when promoting globalization on an advanced timetable.

"Lance Winslow" - Online []Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; [] Lance is an online writer in retirement.

Article Source: [;-Not-So-Fast!&id=253740] Third World to First World in 4.5 Seconds; Not So Fast!

18 Dec 2011

The World's First Test Tube Baby: Where Is Louise Brown?

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By Elijah James

The very first test tube baby was born in 1978 and her name was Louise Brown. She was born on July 25 and weighed in at 5 lbs and 12 oz. Her birth was taped and she became famous as that was the beginning of IVF procedures all around the world. The parents were battling IVF for about 9 years and IVF was their only hope of having a child.

The hospital of choice was Oldham General Hospital which was located in England. Reporters were crowding the hospital in desperate hopes of seeing a picture of the egg as it was fertilized outside of the womb. There were debates for the longest time as to whether or not this was ethical and morally right or not. There were doctors that filmed her birth and she was born by way of a C-Section. This showed that the mother's fallopian tubes weren't present.

Louise Brown is 32 years of age and she herself has a 3 year old boy named Cameron who was conceived naturally and was born naturally as well. Louise wanted to live a quiet life and she worked for a shipping company as a clerk. To this day, reporters continue to visit her and they began noting her birthday as well as about her son.

17 Dec 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Giving Gifts at Christmas?

By Wanda Ball

Giving gifts at Christmas goes back to the gift giving of Magi, which were the wise men that gave gifts to Jesus when he was born. They were led by the holy spirit to follow the eastern star to Bethlehem to become witnesses of Jesus' birth. And when they saw him, they worshipped him and gave him gifts. For Matthew 2:10-11 says, "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and incense and of myrrh." Even though we have this scripture to support our gift giving at Christmas time, the gift giving tradition has gotten way out of hand. We probably all agree that buying gifts for our loved ones and friends have caused us a lot of financial grief.

We tend to over extend ourselves because we want to make big impressions and make ourselves look good in their eyes. We wake up at 3:00am to be the first one lined up at the retail stores on "Black Friday" to fight with others to get the best deals. It's ok to want to save money on our gifts, but God never intended for these things to happen. When the wise men gave Jesus gifts, it was because he was our Lord and Savior coming into the world to save us. Not because they wanted to impress others. So just what does the bible say about giving gifts?

We are to give gifts to glorify God. Matthew 6:1-4 says, "Be careful not to do your "acts of righteousness" before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." This scripture should be applied to our gift giving this Christmas, because we are to give from our hearts and not for show. We should be sure to teach our children the joy of giving and not always receiving. And we shouldn't give just to receive something back in return, because God will reward us with more blessings than we can count, on earth and in heaven.

We also should give gifts in sparse or bad times. In 2 Corinthians 8:7-9, Paul spoke to the churches who were giving him financial gifts so he could continue ministering about Jesus. "But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty, might become rich." Even though some of us may be facing hard economic financial problems, we can still give to others, by giving of our time, by volunteering, by lending a helping hand, by praying for someone in times of need or just by being a friend. We can do these things not just at Christmas, but all year long.

And lastly, the true gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our society has gotten away from celebrating the true reason for Christmas. Some of us believe that Santa Claus, Christmas trees, presents and food and alcohol are the true reasons for this day. We give the world all the glory and praise and keep Jesus Christ out of the equation. God gave us his one and only begotten son, Jesus - the gift of life! For John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." This is the greatest gift, which is the gift of salvation, that only God could give. If we are sure to keep Christ in Christmas at all times, then when we give to others, it would become a natural expression of that gratitude all year long. For James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...." Merry Christmas!

Wanda is a wife, mother, children's Sunday school teacher, public speaker of "1 Minute With Wanda" and contributing author of She has been writing about God and spirituality for over 20 years and has researched the bible and its history. Wanda also specializes in children picture books and believes and teaches that regardless of a person's background or their mistakes of the past, God has a place for them. She currently resides in Chino, California. She is the publisher and bestselling author of "Kids Ask The Darndest Things About God And The Beginning- Answers From The First Five Books Of The Bible" and "Kids Ask The Darndest Things About God And The History - Answers From The Next Twelve Bible Books Of History" and NEWLY released "Wendy Wonders: Why Are We Different?" picture book series available at

Visit Ball Publications Christian Books at and sign up for our FREE "Bible News" monthly Newsletter. Gain Knowledge and Power with bible-based articles, discussions, tips and special offers! Take advantage of up and coming events, radio broadcasts and recommended products of interest for you and your family! You can also follow me on Twitter, Myspace & Facebook and Become A Fan!

Article Source: [] What Does the Bible Say About Giving Gifts at Christmas?

16 Dec 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Marriage? - The Answer May Surprise You

By W. Scott

Most people wondering what does the Bible say about marriage have probably heard one of two things. Either that Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife with a letter of dismissal or what God joins let not man put asunder.

Interestingly, it says both.

Jesus, however, explained that. God allowed the letter of dismissal in the days of Moses on account of their hard hearts; not a compliment to their faith or character. The Old Testament even seems to allow a man having multiple wives. Yet, if you read the Bible, you will see that that practice led to nothing but trouble.

So, what does the Bible say about marriage in the New Testament? Here you will find people saying that divorce is not allowed. But that is not entirely correct. Divorce is certainly not advised or permitted out of convenience, but there is provision for adultery and abandonment.

Notice, however, that adultery need not demand a divorce. If you want to save your marriage after infidelity that would certainly be encouraged.

15 Dec 2011

Fun Facts About Haiti - The First Black Republic in the World!

By Alejandro Guevara Onofre

Haiti & Olympics
 Did you know... Haiti's shooters -- Ludovic Valborge, L. H. Clertmont,  Astrel Rolland, Destin Destine, C. Dupre, Eloi Metullus & Ludovic Augustin -- won a bronze medal at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games -- making it the first black nation in the globe to win a Summer Olympic medal. This medal made Haiti the poorest country ever to win an Olympic medal.  Surprisingly they do it in an island where there are few sports facilities. Certainly the Caribbean team was a "dark horse" in France.
 Katherine Dunham & Haiti
 Did you know... The island nation of Haiti was once home to Katherine Dunham, one of the most successful dancers of the 20th century. Undoubtedly she loved Haiti.  America's Katherine Dunham had long been fascinated by the Haitian culture and traditions. Her book "Island Possessed" ( 1969 ) is a tribute to this Caribbean nation. In 2002 she, who was born in Glenn Ellyn ( Illinois, USA ), forced the world to pay attention to the Haitian-boat people. Today Katherine is a national heroine in Haiti.
 National Symbols
 Did you know... Since 1804 Haiti has had four national flags.
 World-famous Haitians
 Did you know... Wyclef Neluset Jean -- Haiti's image abroad -- is a world-renowned Haitian musician. Currently he is a Haiti's advocate in the world.
 Haiti & the United States
 Did you know... Washington has close ties to Haiti. Since the 1930s, many American leaders have visited Haiti. In this context, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( 1933-1945 ) traveled to Haiti in 1934. Sixty-one years later, Bill Clinton became the second American president to come to Haiti. President Clinton arrived in Port-au-Prince to confer with Jean-Bertrand Aristide ( country's president ). On the other hand, Colin Powell, Secretary of  State, went to the country in 2004. In 2008, Laura Bush, America's First Lady, was the guest of honour of the Haitian government. Subsequently, Hillary Clinton, current Secretary of State, accepted an invitation to visit Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, she , who visited the country in 1998, met with high-ranking Haitian officials.
 In the mid-1990s, Jimmy Carter, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize and former U.S. president, played a key role in bringing an end to military rule in Haiti.
 Did you know... Five decades ago Haitians could expect to live 39 years. Today they can look forward to 60.

14 Dec 2011

The World Is Ripe

By John R Kenny

The World is coming of age, it is coming to full maturity. As the world reaches full age and full strength it exerts more pressure on the earth, by its abuse of the resources, and of the poor of the world, both of which cry out to God for His intervention. It is a similar time to when the Jews where in slavery in Egypt that their cry went up to God, who heard and sent a deliverer, and took them out by great might. James talks of the same thing that the cry of the poor in the last days will rise up to the ears of the Lord, for the rich have heaped up treasure which will be a witness against them in the last days. As well as the people, the earth itself groans, under the abuse it receives from the world-system, waiting for the proper order and use of it. As the world-system matures and ripens bringing greater destruction to the ordinary people, we will see the earth groaning more under the strain of it. The signs go together, the increase in evil, immoral practices on an ever increasing scale, and correspondingly an increase in 'natural' disasters of earthquakes, floods, droughts...

The Bible has three words for world: the first the world system, referred to as the cosmos, this is the system ruled by the prince of this world, Satan; the second is the people of the world, whom God so loved, and the third is the physical earth. When the world is fully ripe, John says the angel will put in the sickle and reap. The world system, as it shows itself in the last days, is a mixture of elements of all the old systems, and is referred to a a beast, in its ferocity and mercilessness. A major feature of it is economic in character, John talking about its destruction coming in one day where all who bought and sold anything mourned at its sudden fall. And in her was found the blood of all the prophets, and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Hallelujah we look for a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness reigns. The millennium that is to come, I reckon it is to show the world a witness what the earth and the people of the world would be like had they followed God's ways. Not for 100 years, or 200, but 1000 years to show the fullness of the glory of God as a witness to all men of all times. Then comes the final judgment, just and true.

Just before the king returns and sets up his kingdom, as with Solomon, who's reign was a picture of the millennium kingdom, having peace on every side, there is a short usurption of that power. Solomon's half-brother rebelled and set himself up as king over the land, but was then overthrown. Likewise just before Christ's return, the prince of this world will set up his king, the anti-Christ for a very short time, and then Christ returns. All is growing ripe.

Article Source: [] The World Is Ripe

13 Dec 2011

The Dutch East India Company Was the World's First Multinational Corporation

By Geoff Ficke

Studying the history of business is a fascinating exercise. The origins of many of the finance and business products that we utilize today were perfected during centuries past in countries sprinkled far and wide around the world. One of the most important, inventive and skilled business cultures was created in the Netherlands during the 17th century.

As the world was discovered, mapped and colonized by the early Spanish and Portuguese explorers, new trade routes were pioneered and many high value products came to market in Europe as demand for exotic imports exploded. This boom in international trade required a corresponding expansion of novel financing mechanisms to fund this commerce.

The first great merchant traders were the Portuguese. They used Lisbon as their trade center. However, their trade apparatus was primitive even for the age. The principal imports and the most valuable products of 1600's trade were East Asian spices and silks. Because the Portuguese were inefficient in distribution and in financing methods the Italians, Spanish and Dutch were all interested in circumventing Portuguese merchants and overtaking their trade relationships.

The Dutch were particularly enterprising. They were also committed to espionage. Use of spies enabled the Dutch to discover the state secrets of the Portuguese trade routes. With knowledge of the well documented Portuguese trade routes in hand, a great level of risk was removed from the international commercial trade equation.

12 Dec 2011

The World's First Smartphone - IBM's Simon

By Dubau Adrian

The world sure has changed a lot over the last two decades. The technological improvements transformed our lives, making it easier to communicate with each other and finding out new things with just the press of a button. Nowadays, billions of dollars revolve each year around the smartphone market, with approximately four hundred million users across the globe. But do you remember when it all started? Do you remember how it all started?

The year was 1994 when IBM came up with this slogan - ''Mobile Communications Made Simple." The slogan marks the birth of the world's first smartphone, or personal communicator as it was called in those days. The handset was designed by IBM and received the name Simon. This revolutionary device acted like a cellular phone but in the same time it much offered more than simple voice communications. Users were able to employ IBM's Simon as a wireless machine, an electronic mail device, a pager, a calendar, an address book, calculator or pen-based sketchpad. I know, this would simply qualify as a low-end smartphone these days, but in 1994 it was a pretty big deal.

Whoever interested in the handset had to pay a heavy price in order to enjoy its capabilities. No less than $899, which is a lot of money even as we speak, not to mention 17 years ago. The personal communicator was rather heavy, weighing in at more than a pound, and it had a liquid crystal display, or LCD while offering a telephone keypad as well as computer one. It was like you had a computer built inside you cellular which really made you stand out of the crowd.

When used as a cellular phone, Simon could offer all the standard cellular features, including all of today's classics - last number redial, last 10 number redial, a built in 911 emergency call button, address book audio dial and even roaming preference. On the other hand, when using Simon as a personal communicator, users found it easy to access the handset's graphical user interface, which used icons and on-line help screens making the device much more user-friendly. Obviously, it had limited storage capabilities but you had the option to increase it via a personal computer memory card slot. The same card slot allowed users to add a paging card if they wanted to receive electronic messages on both nationwide and local basis, thanks to MobileComm which was IBM's paging company. Furthermore, the slot contained an organizer feature and a calendar, which could have been updated automatically from a remote computer.

Even without the above mentioned slot card, Simon still had the capability to send and receive E-mail through most public E-mail systems. Also, using Simon, you could create faxes and memos by using pen-touch screens or even by writing them directly on the screen with the use of a stylus. The moment you sent that certain fax, you handwriting was reflected exactly as it was, without being digitized in order to look like a printed word. The technology created a huge frenzy in those times and is used constantly in the present as well, being called pen annotation. This isn't the only patented technology that Simon brought to the customers. Ever heard of predictive keyboard? Sure you have! Well, you might not have heard about it if it wasn't for Simon, the first smartphone ever to use this IBM technological marvel. Using the predictive keyboard, only a part of the keyboard was displayed on the LCD screen and the user selected a few letters, Simon predicted the next letters most likely to use. As a comparison, it was like the Siri application on   rel=nofollow []Apple's iPhone 4S; it simply was able to blow your mind. The impact it had on the people was huge, it even appeared in the popular movie ''The Net'', where it ''played'' an important role.

The IBM Simon was undoubtedly a great piece of technology; it revolutionized communications and was a pioneer for all that the smartphone industry currently means. Although it was ahead of its time, as time passed it remained nothing else than a huge, heavy and horribly expensive device, so today it's nothing more than a remainder of the past and only interests collectors.

As we said, the smartphone is now an essential part of our daily life, so if you want to know all the latest news and reviews, check out our []website.

Article Source: [] The World's First Smartphone - IBM's Simon

11 Dec 2011

The World's First Laptop

By Harvey McEwan

The development of laptops is largely defined by the increasing size of the screen versus the decreasing size of everything else. The ultra thin laptops on offer today are a far cry from the early models, whose substantial weight and volume dwarfed the (what now seems ridiculously small) screen.

Historians generally agree that the first instance of a portable computer came in 1981 with the introduction of the Osborne 1. However, others argue that design guru Bill Moggridge was the true pioneer in 1979, with his invention developed for GriD Systems Corporation. The GriD Compass computer had a price tag of �4,900 in 1982, and was available with its own operating system - GriD OS.

Moggridge was recently honoured for a lifetime of achievements in design by the Duke of Edinburgh. The British designer, currently director of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, was awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize at the ceremony in November.

The inventor of the Osborne 1 was Adam Osborne, a former book publisher who started his computer company Osborne Computer Corporation just one year before the release of the laptop launch.

The computer proved to be a huge success, and was shipping over 10,000 units each month, with the Osborne Computer Corps experiencing its first $1million month in September 1981. However, the success was short-lived, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1983.

At the time, the laptop cost around $1795, not bad for a laptop which came with a protective casing, carrying handle, battery pack and 2 massive floppy disc drives.

The computer was soon surpassed by other models which appeared, such as the Epson HX-20, and the TRS-80 Model 100 developed by Microsoft. The 5 inch screen of the Osborne 1 was soon overtaken by the LCD display of both the Epson HX-20 and the Microsoft laptop.

Further down the line, the first Apple Macintosh Portable was released, the model which later developed in to the Powerbook. It is amazing how far we have come in the space of 30 years in terms of computer technology.

It is now unthinkable that we as a society could get any use out of such primitive machines in comparison with today's offerings, not only within the computer itself, but within the industry. For example search engines would not exist as they do today, online advertising would be non-existent. Things such as   rel=nofollow []paid search and SEO would never have developed as sectors within the internet industry.

Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles []here to find out more.

Article Source: [] The World's First Laptop

10 Dec 2011

The World's First Impression of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent

 By Joanna Steele-Perkins

When Susan Boyle first walked onto the stage for her audition in "Has Britain Got Talent", the judges and the audience made an immediate assumption about her from her appearance.

It was evident from the expression on Simon Cowell's face that he expected very little from her and his judgement was made entirely on how she looked. Simon Cowell, the rest of the judges on the panel, the studio audience and doubtless the television audience at home, were all taken by surprise when Susan began to sing.

Susan Boyle has the voice of an angel and the assumption is made that someone with a beautiful voice should look beautiful; in a conventional way. In other words young, slim, attractive and tastefully dressed.

To debate the rights and wrongs of judging people by their appearance alone, could be lengthy. The fact is that we all make instant judgements about everybody we meet and this is based on their appearance and much of this is to do with what they are wearing. In fact according to research by Professor Albert Mehrabian, 55% of our behaviour and appearance is remembered from the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. How we look, can affect the way people judge us.

Wearing colours that suit you and clothes that flatter your body lines, scale and proportions, express your personality, are current and appropriate for your age and the occasion will make a huge difference to the first impression you make on strangers.

Sometimes that first 30 seconds is vital. An interview for a new job, a chance meeting with someone who may become your future spouse, a request for help when your car won't start; all situations when you are meeting a stranger for the first time and how they perceive you may make them decide in your favour, or not! Whilst we are quick to make a judgement, it can take 15 years to change that first impression you make on someone else.

Susan Boyle amazed and stunned the world with her beautiful voice, and over came that first impression that was made by many, but the rest of us may never get that second chance.

Joanna Steele-Perkins is a senior image consultant with Colour Me Beautiful and can offer []Image Makeovers to women and men.

Based in Taunton, Somerset, she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers. She offers advice on all aspects of personal image and her services include []colour analysis, style consultations, make-up lessons and bridal advice.

Article Source: [] The World's First Impression of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent

9 Dec 2011

The World's First Diesel Fueled Hybrid

The World's First Diesel Fueled Hybrid
By Dennis J James

The 3008 Hybrid4 is Peugeot's offer of the first diesel fueled hybrid in the world. While other hybrid cars use a petrol engine, Peugeot's hybrid combines the turbo diesel unit designed to power the front wheels with the electric motor driving the rear axle. The car is more fuel efficient than other hybrids and it also offers a four-wheel drive mode.
The diesel engine is connected to a gearbox that is electronically controlled but also can function manually on a six-speed sequential system. The kinetic energy produced during deceleration is transformed into electrical energy that can recharge the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. The hybrid offered by Peugeot can operate on both front-drive only, rear-drive only or all wheel drive modes.

European sales will start in the spring of 2011. In the U.S. however, sales for hybrids have dropped during the last few years. It seems that some hybrid buyers prefer full-electric cars.
The first hybrid car in the U.S. was Honda Insight sold in December 1999. A decade later one and a half million hybrids were sold in the United States. For the next decade, car manufacturers are offering a variety of electric or hybrid cars to satisfy consumers that are interested in using vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.

8 Dec 2011

The History of Christmas Trees

By: Enid Edginton

You may not realize this but the history of christmas trees did not begin in America, England or even Germany. In fact America was one of the last continents to catch on to the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. The history of christmas trees begins long before the birth of Christ and even before the Egyptian civilizations.

Many historians and anthropologists agree that the history of christmas trees begins in post-primeval times, just as agricultural societies were developing across the globe.  Christmas did not exist. It was simply, in one culture or another, a pagan celebration of the winter solstice.  The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year which usually occurs on the 22nd or 23rd of December.  The boughs of evergreen trees were brought indoors to protect inhabitants from the evil spirits that could cause starvation and illness.

Ancient peoples also scattered evergreen boughs over their floors, doors and around the windows. In fact, the tradition of hanging an evergreen garland comes from the tradition of hanging evergreens over the mantelpiece to keep witches, ghosts and spirits from traveling down the chimney and into the house. 

7 Dec 2011

Top 50 Christmas Songs (Original)

By: Sumeer Sudhakar

Its Christmas Time! The time to get together with family and really close friends. It's the time to share good times with great food, wine...and music! Yes...if it were not for the amazing choice of Christmas music available these days, Christmas wouldn't be as 'Merry' as it is expected to be.

Much as what we know as Christmas Music has actually come together in a phased manner over the years. First there were the traditional Christmas carols such as Silent Night, Away In A Manger, O Little Town Of Bethlehem etc. Over the years, music evolved to not only specifically address Christmas but the 'Holiday Season' altogether. Members of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers over the years have put together a number of songs popular known as 'Holiday Songs' such as 'Silver Bells', 'Winter Wonderland' or the popular 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)'. Widely used by almost every artist today on their Christmas Albums, these songs form the staple of today's Christmas Music. In an attempt to add-on to these, artists further started creating their original songs. Not all really make it as 'Popular' songs to sing during Christmas, but more-so become most popular songs 'heard' during Christmas.

I have always felt that Christmas Music I hear during the season, really inspire me in more ways I could have ever thought. It gives me a new sense of wonder and spirit. It adds to the cheer on the whole. It is for this reason I would like a separate host of songs which play this role to my Christmas rather than just songs I sing.

When it comes down to finding the right songs, the question at this time really is which ones, really add to 'spirit' of the season and actually give you that feeling of warmth, love and Christmas cheer? What really do you want to hear from your favorite artist? Is it a carol, is it a popular Christmas song or is it an original Christmas song? When I sit down to actually answer this question, I'd rather hear a new original song.

So keeping this in mind, I set out on the search for my Top 50 Christmas Original Songs;

6 Dec 2011

The One World Government Idea Origin

Author: SIRIUS The Dogg Star

The Idea of a One World Government has been in the heads of a few all throughout history, the actual beginning was right after Noah's Flood described in the Bible. When humans had multiply quite a bit, a man was born, the first human to actually declare war against the Most High, though this may not be fully obvious by only reading the verses as they have been translated in the different English versions of Scriptures, without going deeper into the meaning of certain words in the Hebrew text.

The First World Leader

The King James Version renders the text regarding the birth of Nimrod as:
Genesis 10:8-10
8And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one(H1368) in the earth.
9He was a mighty(H1368) hunter before(H6440) the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty(H1368) hunter before(H6440) the LORD.
10And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
By reading only this text concerning Nimrod, as we find it in the King James Version, we would end up with a completely wrong idea about him, since it actually seems he was in favor of Yahweh and maybe fighting for him, but instead the contrary is true.
If we look up in the Strong's Dictionary the word translated as "mighty one" in the verse, we can find a better word to describe the character of this man, the same goes for the original Hebrew word translated by King James as "before" which gives an impression that he was before him maybe in reverence.
גּבּר גּבּור
gibbôr gibbôr
ghib-bore', ghib-bore'
Intensive from the same as H1397; powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant: - champion, chief, X excel, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man.
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פּנה pâneh, paw-neh'; from 6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.): - + accept, a (be-) fore (-time), against, anger, X as (long as), at, + battle, + because (of), + beseech, countenance, edge, + employ, endure, + enquire, face, favour, fear of, for, forefront (-part), form (-er time, -ward), from, front, heaviness, X him (-self), + honourable, + impudent, + in, it, look [-eth] (-s), X me, + meet, X more than, mouth, of, off, (of) old (time), X on, open, + out of, over against, the partial, person, + please, presence, prospect, was purposed, by reason, of, + regard, right forth, + serve, X shewbread, sight, state, straight, + street, X thee, X them (-selves), through (+ -out), till, time (-s) past, (un-) to (-ward), + upon, upside (+ down), with (-in, + stand), X ye, X you.
After seeing the full meaning of the original Hebrew words, we can see the bigger picture and actually figure out what the text is really trying to say.
The verse could be better written as:
Genesis 10:8-9
8 Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a tyrant in the earth.
9 He was a tyrannical hunter in opposition to the Yahweh. Thus it is said, 'Nimrod the tyrannical opponent of YHWH.'

Importance of Names

1 Dec 2011

Illuminati: Michael Jackson

Author: SIRIUS The Dogg Star

June 25th, 3 days after the summer solstice, the "King of Pop" suddenly dies after days of preparation for his last tour "This is It" in London, a key city. I couldn't help but feel like it meant something in a way but I tried not to think to much about it until my friend who's name happens to be also Michael asked me if I thought anything special of it; here it is what I could come up with.

Summer Solstice, 3 Deaths

First, 3 days exactly after the summer solstice is a big date, not only cause 3 is a meaningful number in the occult and the spiritual, but because exactly 3 1/2 years from that day will be December 25th 2012, a perfect day for the Illuminati to reveal their christ to the world to give their final touch to the New World Order (Read "June 21st is here"). Also remember that the dead of 3 different famous people occurred during those days, one of them being Farrah Fawcett one of "Charlie's Angels", so in a sense, before Jackson was gone the same morning an "angel of Charlie" fell or why not "sent back to heaven", maybe to send a message(i.e angel=messenger).
The meaning of Charles is:
Usage: English, French
From the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word which meant "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic element heri meaning "army, warrior".

"An Angel of Man" or messenger was sent back that morning, then Michael was coming behind. First let me say that it should be very clear that Michael Jackson's death alone is creating a buzz in the media all around the globe so overwhelming that makes it seem like it may have been planned out for the eyes and "hearts" of the people to be focus on MJ and not on what the world leaders are doing behind the scenes with our world, because let me repeat that Jackson's death is a worldwide event used for worldwide change of the system.

The Name "Michael Jackson"