A shipping container, properly known as an intermodal container, is a large steel rectangular box shaped container used for transporting goods over long distances. These containers are standard size to ensure that they can be stacked on ships, trucks and trains for transport around the world. This standardized size and shape also allows to transfer between these modes of transport without first unloading the contents. The invention of the intermodal container was a revolution in the shipping industry and more items are shipped in this way than any other form of transport. Let’s find out who invented the intermodal container.
Who invented the shipping container?
The idea of standardized shipping containers has been around since the late 18th century and by 1830 the many railroads began carrying containers that could be transferred to other modes of transport. However, the modern steel intermodal containers were not invented until much later. It was in 1955 that Malcom McLean, a former trucking company owner, and engineer Keith Tantlinger who came up with the modern shipping container. It was Tantlinger who persuaded McLean that it was important to construct the containers so that they could be stacked on top of each other securely. Tantlinger designed the container, including the Twistlock system which allows the container to be properly secured.
McLean saw much promise in the idea of loading a ship with contained and secured a bank loan to convert two World War II tankers into container ships. In 1956 the first of his converted container ships set sail with fifty eight containers. In just a few years this type of transporting goods became the standard method. Today, 90% of non bulky cargo is moved with shipping containers that are stacked on transport ships!
Did you know?
At the time that the first container ship sailed it cost $5.86 a ton to hand load the cargo and just 16 cents a ton to load the cargo with containers!
The measurements of the original shipping containers were 2.44 m (8 ft) wide and high and 6.1 m (20 ft) or 12.19 m (40 ft) long. Today, other dimensions have also been developed.
Quokkas are a small marsupials (mammals that carry their young in a pouch) that belong to the same family as kangaroos and wallabies. They are about the size of a house cat and reach about 5kg (11 lb) in weight and a maximum of 90 cm (35 in) long. They also have a tail which reaches about 30 cm (12 in) long. They have a similar appearance to a small kangaroo or wallaby crossed with a rat. They are capable of climbing trees and are most active at night (nocturnal). The quokka is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation. Let’s find out where this unique species lives.
Where do quokkas live?
Quokkas are only found in Australia and the largest populations are found on the small islands off the southwestern coast of Western Australia. Large populations of this species are located on Rottnest Island, a popular tourist island, and Bald Island near the town of Albany. Small populations of quokkas also live on the mainland in a small section of southwest Western Australia, but it is here they are threatened by introduced species (foxes, dogs and feral cats) as well as dingoes. Some of their original habitat has also undergone deforestation (logging), which reduces the ground cover that this species requires. Fortunately, the island populations of this species are very healthy because no predators have been introduced!
Did you know?
Many of the first Europeans to see this species mistook them for large rats. The name Rottnest island comes from the Dutch word rattennest, which means rat nest!
Bald Island is a class A nature reserve and is a protected area. The island has also been used as a location to translocate critically endangered species. In 2005 a small number of Gilbert’s Potoroo were transferred to this island in an effort to save this species.
Typhoid fever, usually simply known as typhoid, is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. It is passed between people by food or water contaminated by feces (poop) of someone who is infected with the disease. Typhoid fever is a serious condition and causes a number of symptoms if left untreated. Initially it causes fever, fatigue and cough, with occasional bloody noses and/or abdominal pain. The symptoms of this condition worsen to include delirium, rash and heavier cough, along with possible diarrhea or constipation and swelling of the liver and spleen. If diarrhea is present it can lead to life threatening dehydration. If it remains untreated the third week of the condition can include intestinal bleeding or perforation, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or heart, and further delirium. If left untreated it can lead to death and of the 16-33 million cases each year about 215,000 are fatal. It is estimated that death occurs in 10-30% of untreated cases. Let’s find out how typhoid fever is treated.
How is typhoid fever treated?
The most important first line treatment for this disease is oral rehydration therapy to prevent dehydration due to diarrhea. The patient can be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria. The most common antibiotics used against this disease are fluoroquinolone and ciprofloxacin. Other antibiotics were once also effective against this disease, but certain strains of the bacteria that are becoming resistant to the most commonly used drugs.
Maintaining good hygiene, especially in countries where typhoid fever is common, is extremely important in preventing the disease. There are also two vaccines that are available for the disease and are routinely given to those traveling to countries where typhoid is common. These vaccines are about 50-80% effective against the disease.
Did you know?
Mary Mallon, known as Typhoid Mary, was a well known carrier of the disease without herself showing any symptoms. She immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1884 and is believed to have infected more than 51 people (3 of these died) while working as a cook in New York. Some of these infectious outbreaks was traced back to her and she was quarantined twice during her life (1907-1910 and 1915-1938) to ensure the safety of the public. After being released in 1910 she promised not to work as a cook, but she changed her name and continued to work as a cook anyway. She was caught again and kept in isolation until her death in 1938.
Silicon is a chemical element with the atomic number 14 and represented by the chemical symbol Si. It is a nonmetal element and is similar to the elements carbon and boron. Silicon is extremely common on Earth (it is the 2nd most common in the crust of the Earth) and in the universe (6th most common element by mass). It is very rarely found in free form and is usually found as a part of minerals with other elements. All naturally occurring is made up of one of three stable isotopes. However, a number of other isotopes of silicon have also been found. Let’s find out how many have been identified.
How many isotopes does silicon have?
The three stable isotopes of silicon are 28Si, 29Si and 30Si. About 92.23% of all silicon on Earth is made up of 28Si, 4.67% is made up of 29Si and 3.1% is made up of 30Si.
There are also 21 known unstable (radioactive or radioisotope) isotopes of silicon. 32Si is the most stable of any of these radioisotopes and is estimated to have a half life of about 170 years. The second longest half life belongs to 31Si at just 157.3 minutes. The remaining unstable isotopes all have have-lives of under 7 seconds and most are less than one tenth of a second.
The six unstable isotopes with mass numbers less than 28 mostly decay to aluminum isotopes and the 16 unstable isotopes with mass numbers above 28 mostly decay to phosphorus isotopes.
Did you know? 32Si is produced by cosmic ray spallation and trace amounts of this isotope can be found naturally!
Arizona is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. It is one of the largest states in terms of area (6th largest) and has a population of about 6.5 million (15th largest). It shares a border with Mexico as well as the U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico. Arizona was long inhabited by Native American tribes and the European history of this state didn’t begin until the 16th century. Let’s take a brief look at the history of this area and find out when it became a state.
Brief history of Arizona
The first European expedition that entered modern day Arizona was believed to occur in 1539 and was led by Spanish explorer Marcos de Niza. In the late 17th and early 18th century missionaries began work in the region to convert the native people. The territory was claimed for Spain and the first fortified towns were formed in 1752 (Tubac) and 1775 (Tucson). Arizona became a Mexican territory, as a part of Alta California, after the Mexican War of Independence in 1821. Some Mexican settlement took place in the 1840’s, but about 70% the territory became part of the United States at the conclusion of the Mexican-American war in 1848. The southern portion (the remaining 30%) of the state later being purchased by the United States in 1853 (Gadsden Purchase).
Road to statehood
Modern day Arizona was originally included in the Territory of New Mexico and the southern portion of Arizona became the Confederate Territory of Arizona during the American Civil War. A new territory, called Arizona Territory, with the same boundaries as the modern day state was formed in 1863. Settlements in the area were still sporadic and relations with the native people were also strained. This was part of the reason that the state was the last contiguous state (the 48 connected states of the U.S.) to be granted statehood. It became the 48th state of the United States on February 14, 1912.
Lizards are a large group of reptiles with more than 5,600 species that can be found throughout most of the world (apart from the oceans, some small islands, the Arctic and Antarctic). The typical appearance of a lizard is generally considered to be a long body and tail, four legs and skin that it usually rough and/or scaly. However, lizards come in many shapes, colors and sizes, although the average size of these animals is about 15-30 cm (6-12 in). Let’s find out which species of lizards is the largest in the world.
What is the largest species of lizard in the world?
The largest species of lizard in the world is the Komodo Dragon. This lizard can reach an impressive 3 m (10 ft) with a weight in excess of 150 kg (330 lb). They are only found on five Indonesian islands (Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar) and their enormous size has been credited to the fact that these islands have no other carnivorous (meat eating) animals. To achieve their impressive size they also have an impressive appetite. They are capable of catching and eating very large prey such as deer, goats and pigs. They also eat considerable amounts of meat from dead or dying animals. They bite large chunks and swallow them whole, with the help of large amounts of saliva produced by the animal. They are capable of eating up to 80% of their own body weight in a single meal. However, their digestion is very slow and a large dragon may only require a single meal each month!
Did you know?
The Komodo dragon is listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are about 5,000 dragons left in the wild and conservation efforts are underway to ensure the survival of this species.
Dates are the sweet, edible fruit produced by the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). This tree grows to about 23 m (75 ft) in height with leaves that can reach 6 m (20 ft) long. The fruit is relatively small (about 5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter) and grow in large groups of more than 100 dates. Date palms can be either male or female and the female plant must be pollinated by the male to grow fruit. In commercial crops this is usually done manually and in this way one male date palm can pollinate 100 female plants. Dates can be eaten straight from the tree, but are also commonly used in many sweet and savoury recipes. Let’s find out where this plant originated and where it is grown today.
Where do dates originate from?
Dates have been cultivated for many thousands of years and there is evidence of date farming as early as 7,000 B.C. They were a staple food in the Middle East and due to this extensive cultivation it is difficult to accurately pinpoint their origin. However, most experts believe that dates originated from Iraq. From here they spread throughout the Middle East and parts of South West Asia. In later times, traders further spread this fruit to northern Africa and Europe (Spain and Italy). More recently, dates were brought to the Americas by the Spanish around 1765.
Where are dates grown today?
The largest producers of this fruit remain in the Middle East. Egypt is the largest producer of this fruit at approximately 1.3 million metric tons. Other large producers of this fruit include Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Iraq and Pakistan. Dates are grown on every continent on earth (apart from Antarctica), but the main producers remain located relatively close to the origin of this plant!
The Miami Heat are a professional basketball team that compete in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball League (NBA). The team was founded in 1988 as an expansion franchise and a survey was held to choose the name (Vice and Heat were both popular). The team initially struggled in the league, but turned their fortunes around in the mid 90’s to become an extremely strong side. They have achieved ultimate success twice and took home the NBA Championship in 2006 and 2012. The Heat are now one of the most valuable and well supported teams in the NBA. Let’s find out where the Miami Heat play their home games.
Where do the Miami Heat play?
The Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, which is located in downtown Miami. The arena was built as a replacement for their original home and opened in 1999, after almost two years of construction, at a cost of $213 million. The arena seats about 19,600 for basketball games and includes 80 luxury suites and 76 private boxes. The Heat are the only permanent tenant of American Airlines Arena, but it is also used for other events such as concerts, awards ceremonies, UFC and more.
Prior to moving into the American Airlines Arena the Heat played at Miami Arena. This stadium was built in 1988 at a cost of $52.5 million and, despite being just 11 years old, the Heat played their last game here in 1999. The stadium was sold for $28 million in 2000, which was $24 million less than it cost to build, and it was demolished in 2008. One of the main reasons that it was replaced was that it had one of the smallest capacities of any arena in the NBA (15,200). It was sometimes known as the “pink elephant” because it was considered to be a failure (white elephant) and had pink walls.
Terbium is a soft, silvery-white metal that is never found in free form in nature. However, it is found naturally in a number of minerals, along with other rare earth elements, and it is estimated that about 1.2 mg of terbium per kilogram is found in the crust of the Earth. Terbium is a chemical element and is represented by the chemical symbol Tb and the atomic number 65. Terbium has few uses, but is mined in small amounts each year. The largest reserves of the metal are found in Southern China and the most important mineral for the commercial extraction of terbium is bastnäsite (bastnaesite). Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Who discovered terbium?
Terbium was discovered by the Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander. He was working with the mineral Yttrium oxide (yttria) and discovered terbium in his sample. He named the element after the town of Ytterby in Sweden. Mosander separated yttria into three fractions (he called these yttria, erbia and terbia). Terbium (which was originally called erbia) only made up about 1% of the yttria and many scientists were unable to replicate Mosander’s results. This caused much confusion about the existence of terbium and the names erbia and terbia were mixed up in the process. This means that Mosander discovered both erbium and terbium, but he originally gave them the opposite names! His results were eventually confirmed and he is credited with the discovery. The first isolation of the pure metal did not occur until much later with the invention of ion exchange techniques.
Did you know?
Mosander was taught chemistry by fellow Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius. They were both extremely successful in their industry. Berzelius is credited with the discovery of four elements (and played a part in two other discoveries) and Mosander discovered three!
Russell Brand is a British comedian and actor who became a household name with the films “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him to the Greek” and due to his former relationship with pop sensation Katy Perry. His career before this time was mostly restricted to the United Kingdom where he had a relatively successful acting, presenting, comedy and radio career. Brand is also well known for his off screen indiscretions, which include a battle with heroin and alcohol, along with more than 10 arrests. He is a perfect example of a celebrity that polarizes opinion and he has a very strong fan base. This means that it is very likely that many more projects will feature Brand in the future. The following is a list of movies that Russell Brand has acted in during his career so far.
What About Dick? 2012 Dick
Rock of Ages 2012 Lonny
Arthur 2011 Arthur
Hop 2011 E.B. / Production Assistant
The Tempest 2010 Trinculo
Despicable Me 2010 Dr. Nefario
Get Him to the Greek 2010 Aldous Snow
Bedtime Stories 2008 Mickey
Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2008 Aldous Snow
St. Trinian’s 2007 Flash
Cold Blood 2007Ally Parkins (mini-series)
The Abbey 2007 Terry
Penelope 2006 Sam the Jazz Club Owner
A Bear’s Christmas Tail 2004 Mr. Wolf
Cruise of the Gods 2002 Woolly Hat Fan
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Jonah Hill Movie List – The two worked together on the hit films “Get Him to the Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”