Happy 202nd Ada!

Happy Birthday to Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron. She’s widely regarded as the first female computer programmer all the way back in the 1840s! She was introduced to Charles Babbage who was working on his Analytical Engine. That machine is considered to be the forerunner to modern computers.

While Babbage is considered the father of computers, Lovelace realised the engine’s ability to create music and manipulate numbers and symbols. Through this, she wrote many codes or programs for him. Thus, she’s ensured her place in computing history!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace

Ada_Lovelace_portrait

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Shoo Fly Fly

This is a very interesting read. We can all attest to trying to swat a fly and failing most times. This story explains just why it’s so difficult. The fly has the advantage over us! Swat, or click on the little bugger below to learn why it’s so hard to swat him!_97824076_c0069493-housefly-spl

Bonnie Tyler’s Favourite Day

Did you go out and see the eclipse? Were you in the ‘path of totality’? Even if you were close by, it’s always a memorable experience. It’s a reminder that we are rather small in this giant universe in which we exist.

In case you were not able to see it, or not in an area greatly affected, you can learn more about how they occur and more importantly when the next one will be where you live.

You might have a bit of a wait!  Learn more here.

eclipse_explainer_976

Graphene – it’s rather neat-o…

Graphene: it’s the world’s thinnest material and the most conductive. It’s been studied since the 1940s and over time, a number practical uses and loads of potential ones have been discovered.

Well, now it has another, potentially HUGE use.  The filtering of sea-water to produce drinking water.graphene.png

A mesh of graphene is used to filter out the salt, letting pure water through.  Until recently, the holes in the membrane were not small enough to stop all the salts from getting through.  Now scientists found a way around this.  The potential is huge if they can replicate it on a large-scale outside of the lab.

Many places in the world experience regular drought conditions. In fact, the UN predicts that by 2025, 14% of the world’s population will experience “water scarcity”.   Imagine water scarcity being a thing of the past.

Water desalinization plants already exist around the world (and on cruise ships) but can be resource intensive, though some advances have been made to reduce the energy required to produce potable water.

In a few years, the use of graphene could change all that and bring a regular supply of fresh water to millions who need it with a minimal energy requirement.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Read more here from the BBC’s website.