28 July 2011

What is blue in Bluetooth?

It was a few years before a friend of mine asked me whether I have Bluetooth in my phone. I asked him what kind of tooth it exactly is, because I had no idea what he was asking (I was using my gaudy Nokia 1110i at that time and he laughed on seeing it coming out from my pocket). Forgetting the fact that I have often been lagging behind technologies, let us talk about Bluetooth this time.
I'm sure many of you might have wondered how such a name fell upon a most modern technology. I had many scientific hypotheses of myself on this name before I stumbled upon the fact that Bluetooth got its name from that of a Danish king! Yes really. This name came from that of Harold "Bluetooth" Gormsson, who ruled Denmark in the first century. Actually, Bluetooth was his nickname because of his fondness for blueberries which made his teeth blue. He is considered as one of the most influential kings of Denmark and that was why Ericson, which is a Danish company, named their technology after him. The Bluetooth logo is the initials of Harold Bluetooth in runic alphabet. He was famous for uniting the rebellious tribes of Scandinavia and for bringing them under a single kingdom. If you don't know it, that is exactly what 'our bluetooth' also does- uniting various technologies.
If you are not so bored yet, let me tell you a bit of technology now. You know that bluetooth is an electronic communication technology. When two electronic devices want to communicate with each other, they have to agree on several conditions. First, how to communicate physically. It means, whether to use wires or some wireless signal forms and if they use wires how many wires are required and so on. Even after settling on this, there are many other problems to solve. E.g.,how much data will be sent at a time; the transfer rate which depends on the device used. It means, for an effective communication a set of commands and responses known as Protocol has to be developed. Bluetooth is a protocol developed for this purpose by Ericson in 1994. The Bluetooth technology uses radio frequency waves and takes very low transmission power which saves battery charge (Now you can guess why Bluetooth transfer works only in small distances). It establishes automatic agreement between two electronic devices and so does not require the intervention of user.
[Note: There is an international body called Bluetooth Special Interest Group(SIG) that oversees the development of new Bluetooth standards and new technologies and trademarks.] 

27 July 2011

All Fool's Day- April 1

One of my friends' birthday is April 2. When I was told this I just told her, 'Oh dear, you just missed the right day for you to be born'. So boring a comedy, right? The self-pity on this dialogue of myself made me think a bit on the All Fool's Day, April 1. Why is April 1 a day of pranks and foolishness, or that of Fools literally?
Well, it seems the exact reason is not quite certain. But majority of resources show that it is related to the reformation of calendar around 1582 in France. Before that Julian calendar was widely in use. Due to some astronomical reasons(which is worth another post in this blog) Julian calendar had to be reformed and that resulted into the adoption of Gregorian calendar which is the International civil calendar we use nowadays. The major change in this new system was the beginning of New Year on January 1, rather than on The New Year's Week, March 25- April 1, in the old system. But we can imagine in those days how fast news would have traveled. In fact it took several years for all to know about this change. Some rebellious fellows still continued to celebrate New Year on April 1 even after knowing about this change. These people were called 'Fools' by the general populace. They used to play pranks on them too. This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continued on the first day of April. This slowly spread from France to Scotland and England and the found its way into America. Because this spread into other countries, April Fools' Day has taken an international flavour with each country celebrating the day in its own way.
And so it is, the Fools' Day, on which you are licensed to play prank on others.

17 July 2011


Well, all of you might have figured out that this is some kind of 'mania', a special interest. But what exactly is this kleptomania? It is an irresistible tendency to steal things, especially things of trivial value. Funny eh?
Yes, if you are a kleptomaniac you steal as a habit! This is listed as a mental disorder and was first identified in 1960's in US. Kleptomaniacs usually steal things of very little importance like pens, paper clips, ribbons etc. This is different from usual shop lifting or theft because they are interested in the act of stealing and not in what they steal. In fact, some kleptomaniacs may not even be aware that they have committed a theft. This can appear associated with other mental disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Researches also show that frequent acts of stealing like pick-pocketing or shop-lifting can become a mania and the person may become addicted to stealing.
A traumatic brain injury or carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to kleptomania.