– New-fangled machines at work: A company based in the U.K. has designed drones that can economically (pennies per seedling) plant more than one billion trees per annum. Those reusable planting devices can easily reach locations almost inaccessible to humans.
– Meanwhile, engineers in Zimbabwe have been busy analyzing termite domiciles. Clever six-legged mound-builders (the termites, not the engineers) have created architectural features that utilize dried mud and special air flow paths that allow their mounds to withstand 105° F external temperatures while creating inner chambers that hover in the 77°to 87° range. Innovative human designers have significantly mimicked nature as they planned the eight-storied Eastgate Building in Harare, Zimbabwe. The structure features mathematically calculated placements of vents, windows and air shafts. The engineer/architect teams have successfully produced a building showcasing a 90% passive climate-control system internally averaging 82° F amidst a sunbaked tropical expanse.
– Many ornithologists were absolutely giddy with excitement in 2015 when a population of blue-eyed ground doves was discovered on the Brazilian Savannah. The species had been thought extinct since 1941.
– The Code of Hammurabi was written in the 18th century B.C. It is a list of laws and punishments. One wrongdoing described in The Code was “the accusation of any crime without proof.” The prescribed penalty for this infraction was death. Recidivism rates were likely extremely low.
– One of history’s greatest defensive efforts occurred in the year 1522 when Suleiman the Magnificent’s forces attacked a Hungarian castle in the town of Eger. The Turks blasted the targeted castle night and day with 150 pieces of artillery. 80,000 infantry assaulted the structure. Thousands of flaming arrows were lobbed inside the castle. Bombs were exploded next to ramparts. Numerous attempts were made to tunnel under walls. Time dragged forward. After six weeks of incessant effort, the assailants were weary, low on materiel and running out of food. Morale had sunk to dismal levels. The Turkish leadership had finally decided the “prize” was not worth the effort and costs required. Suleiman took his toys, left Hungary and went home. Those inside the castle cautiously and slowly emerged to find Suleiman and his army had indeed absconded. Historians estimate the Eger defenders had been outnumbered 50 to 1 … and somehow had emerged victorious. Well, summer nears and we already suffer from horrid temperatures locally. Perhaps we could somehow emulate Zimbabwe’s cunning Macrotermes and remain cool. Have a great day.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.