Posts about interesting (old posts, page 8)

Matra, James M. (1746 - 1806)

Matra became a leading proponent of the idea of establishing a convict colony at Botany Bay. He presented his schemes for settlement to the Portland and Pitt administrations in 1783 and 1784. One of the very few Europeans then alive who had actually visited New South Wales, he testified to the House of Commons committee enquiring into the resumption of transportation in May 1785.As Nepean's 'Memo of matters to be brought before Cabinet', about December 1784, indicated, when Pitt's ministers considered 'The Erecting a Settlement upon the Coast of New South Wales which is intended as an Assylum for some of the American Loyalists, who are now ready to depart and also as a place for the Transportation of Young Offenders who[se] crimes have not been of the most heinous nature', they were considering Matra's plan. His proposal to colonize New South Wales accorded well with the government's interests in disposing of the convicts, in building strategic resources in the Pacific Ocean and in establishing a trading network linking Asia and the Americas to Europe.Disappointed in his hopes for a post in his proposed colony, in July 1786 Matra accepted the appointment of consul at Tangier, Morocco, where he was to remain (with some respites at Gibraltar when the plague ravaged North Africa) until his death. His later life exemplified the common lot of American Loyalists who, displaced and poverty-stricken, had to eke out precarious existences. 'I occupy but a small place on this Globe', he wrote plaintively in 1781, '& yet there is not room on it for me'.

A Proposal For Establishing a Settlement in New South Wales

By the discoveries and enterprise of our officers, many new countries have been found which know no sovereign, and that hold out the most enticing allurements to European adventurers. None are more inviting than New South Wales.Capt. Cook first coasted and surveyed the eastern side of that fine country, from the 38th degree of south latitude down to the 10th, where he found everything to induce him to give the most favourable account of it. In this immense tract of more than 2,000 miles there was every variety of soil, and great parts of it were extremely fertile, peopled only by a few black inhabitants, who, in the rudest state of society, knew no other arts than such as were necessary to their mere animal existence, and which was almost entirely sustained by catching fish.The climate and soil are so happily adapted to produce every various and valuable production of Europe, and of both the Indies, that with good management, and a few settlers, in twenty or thirty years they might cause a revolution in the whole system of European commerce, and secure to England a monopoly of some part of it, and a very large share in the whole.

Journal of a Voyage Round the World (1877)

During this voyage, Magra became acquainted with (Sir) Joseph Banks, and their friendship lasted until his death. The Endeavour returned to England in July 1771. Circumstantial evidence has identified Magra as the anonymous author of A Journal of a Voyage Round the World, which appeared two months later, and which offered some details of Cook's voyage not found in other accounts.

Google Hacks China

Last month, when Google engineers at their sprawling campus in Silicon Valley began to suspect that Chinese intruders were breaking into private Gmail accounts, the company began a secret counteroffensive. It managed to gain access to a computer in Taiwan that it suspected of being the source of the attacks. Peering inside that machine, company engineers actually saw evidence of the aftermath of the attacks, not only at Google, but also at at least 33 other companies, including Adobe Systems, Northrop Grumman and Juniper Networks, according to a government consultant who has spoken with the investigators.

Google 's new approach to China

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Dakar Rally 2010

The 31st running of the Dakar Rally is being held in South America for the second year, instead of the traditional African route, due to ongoing security concerns. This year's race began and will end in Buenos Aires, covering a looping 9,000 kilometers between Argentina and Chile over 14 stages. 362 Teams began the race with 176 motorcycles and quad bikes, 134 cars, and 52 trucks. The race is just over halfway completed now, the winners expected to cross the finish line on January 16th. Collected here are several photographs from the first 8 stages of this year's rally.

Dakar Rally 2010

Dakar Rally 2010

Dakar Rally 2010

Dakar Rally 2010

The Case Of Gravity

Again, you have to reverse this thinking. When doing so, the picture that emerges is that of a gravitational attraction (acceleration defined by a gravitational potential) that results from a tendency of physical systems to evolve such that the holographically available bits saturate with information. This tendency towards bit saturation is an entropic effect, that we experience as gravitational attraction.Verlinde goes further than Newtonian gravity. He discusses inertia, the equivalence principle, the Einstein equation, and also gives some hints towards implications for string theory.

On the Origin of Gravity

Starting from first principles and general assumptions Newton's law of gravitation is shown to arise naturally and unavoidably in a theory in which space is emergent through a holographic scenario. Gravity is explained as an entropic force caused by changes in the information associated with the positions of material bodies. A relativistic generalization of the presented arguments directly leads to the Einstein equations. When space is emergent even Newton's law of inertia needs to be explained. The equivalence principle leads us to conclude that it is actually this law of inertia whose origin is entropic

You Could Be 8% Virus

About 8 percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to an article by University of Texas at Arlington biology professor Cedric Feschotte published in the Jan. 7, 2010 issue of Nature magazine.The research showed that the genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication and transcription takes place in the nucleus. Feschotte wrote on recent research led by Professor Keizo Tomonaga at Osaka University in Japan. Feschotte said this virally transmitted DNA may be a cause of mutation and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.