1. A geostationary satellite travels at an altitude of approximately 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) above the Earth and at a speed of about 11,000 km ph (7,000 mph).
2. Bluetooth, is named after a tenth-century king of Denmark and Norway, Harald Bluetooth. Harald was known for uniting various warring tribes in Denmark and Norway, as the technology is intended to unite various other technologies.
3. A robot has already killed a human. In the summer of 1981, a Japanese industrial robot malfunctioned. Its repairman neglected to open the chain fence around the robot that would have shut off the robot’s power, and then accidentally touched the switch that turned the robot on. The robot then performed the actions that it was designed to do, and with the human in the way the robot caught the employee, pinning him against a machine processing automobile gears, killing him.
4. The advent of the photo-finish camera took the guesswork out of judging horse races. It showed that human judges were generally accurate, but not on the close calls. In pre-camera 1935, judges called only 20 dead heats, but in 1938, when most tracks had cameras, films showed 264 dead heats.
Apparently thousands of tied races had previously been miscalled due to human error and the desire to have a “decision”.
5. The first patent for a fax machine was issued to British clockmaker Alexander Bain in 1843, over 30 years before the telephone. In 1865, Abbé Caselli introduced the first commercial facsimile system, between Paris and Lyons. Newspapers began to send photographs starting in 1902.
Modern fax machines were developed by the Japanese due to difficulties in otherwise transmitting their written language.
6. Primitive batteries capable of producing ½ volt of electricity were made in Mesopotamia between around 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. They were used mainly for electroplating silver onto copper.
7. Printer manufacturers print invisible yellow dots on consumer’s prints that check to see if a person is printing counterfeit money. If you call your printer manufacturer and ask them to “please stop spying on you”, they will send secret services to your address to find out why you care about your privacy. Upset? You should be.
The more people who call their printer’s manufacturers and make this request, the more likely secret services will refuse to investigate.
8. The umbrella was invented by the Chinese in the second century B.C.
9. Glass mirrors were known in the Roman Empire, but the art of making them was lost and not recovered until 1300 in Venice.
10. Did you know that data from satellite instruments are used by fishermen to find areas where fish are most likely to be found?
Fish find food in zones where cold and warm water mix.