November 2007/Issue 18
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modern communication Has spam ripped speech apart?
Written in the Webdings font is a description of our centrefold. Without looking, can you work out what it is?
official SMART reads
• How we’ve gone from speech to spam_p12 • Communicate for a living _p15 • Why it’s hip to be a geek_p26 • 11 things Bill Gates did not say_p28 • 7 ways chess can change your life_p29 • The maths behind the 2010 Soccer World Cup_p32 • Do you speak sport?_p36 regulars
• Ed’s note_p2 • Community of hip: your news, your views_p4 • Smart technology: a smart shopping basket, the iPod touch and secret online labs_p6 • Deconstruction: what’s inside an MP3 player?_p8 A
• Body Smart: your body language says more than your words_p22 • Smart maths: statistically speaking_p30 • Think tank: extra brain busters for the holiday_p46 • Simply science: how does a light bulb blow?_p48 intelligent entertainment
• Press play: what not to miss_p38 • Music: Loyiso and Zolani review each other_p40 • Games lab: what went down at rAge_p42 • Books: your views on Gravity, the graphic novel_p45
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Editor Nevelia Heilbron Art Director Anton Pietersen Managing Editor Mandy J Watson Editorial Consultant Stefania Johnson Creative Director Crispian Brown Publisher Helena Gavera Production Manager Shirley Quinlan Reproduction New Media Repro Advertising Director Aileen O’ Brien • Tel: 021 417 1228 Advertising Executive Leigh O’Kennedy • Tel: 021 417 1116 New Business Enquiries Martha Dimitriou • Tel: 021 417 1276 Editorial Contributors Selena Abelse, Nikki Benatar, Erin Classen, Mandy Czernowalow, Jacqui Lund, Anthony Samboer, Mark van Dijk, Michelle Viljoen Syndication Manager Glynis Fobb Copy Editor Sally Rutherford Proofreader John Linnegar Distribution Masechaba Mkefa Educational Consultants Wordwise PUBLISHED ON BEHALF OF BSQUARE COMMUNICATIONS Communications Manager Kate Evans HIP2B2 PIONEERED BY MARK SHUTTLEWORTH <www.hip2b2.com> Published by New Media Publishing (Pty) Ltd Tel: 021 417 111 • Fax: 021 417 1112 <www.newmediapub.co.za> Managing Director Bridget McCarney Business Development Director John Psillos Editorial Director Irna van Zyl Executive Editor Ami Kapilivech All rights reserved. While precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of information, the editor, publisher and New Media Publishing can’t be held liable for any inaccuracies, injury or damages that may arise. Printed by Paarl Print ABC 124 687
Photographs: johan wilke, istock photos
HIP - AND MOBILE Download the funky new-look mobizine to your cellphone! SMS mobi HIP2B2 to 36978 for a once-off fee of R5.
a FAYAAZ MANAN
Career choice: something in business. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the syllabus. Maths is one of the most challenging subjects. I like messing around with formulae.’ SPENCER HORNE
Career choice: roboticist. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘Sometimes the work is repetitive. They should make it more exciting. I love maths because it requires a certain discipline. Maths can change your approach to things in life.’
Career choice: PR or marketing. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘I’d put in more quadratic equations because they’re easier for students my age to grasp. Maths opens your eyes to subjects such as Pythagoras, and more.’ RUSHAAN RUITERS
Career choice: biotechnologist or physicist. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘I’d take out graphs because we do the same work in computer class, and the probability section is too easy. Maths can open many career paths. It stimulates the mind and helps me to think critically.’
Who do you nominate for the Hip2b2 badge of respect, and why?
We spoke to Grade 11 learners at the AMESA Mathematics Week.
Y O U S A I D it
Who says you need sight or hearing to make people listen? In our Communication issue, we pay respect to the late Helen Keller, the world’s first deaf-blind person to graduate from college, who became a world-famous author and lecturer. (By the age of seven she’d created her own home sign language for her family.) Thumbs up for being an inspiration to the world, Helen.
Since I began reading your magazine I have come to see science in a different light. The magazine is unusual and I enjoy paging through it tremendously. I think it has become evident that the magazines should be handed out to students only at the end of a lesson: we are engrossed the moment we open it! It has something for everyone, whether it’s the interesting facts, must-read articles, brainy games or fabulous page layouts. I believe the magazine is greatly appreciated by all and we’d like to congratulate you for putting together this bundle of stimulation.
Share your news, views and pictures – and please include your contact details, school and grade. • Write to: Hip2b2, PO Box 440, Green Point 8051 • Email: <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
YOU WROTE ...
500 000 iPhones were
Career choice: human life scientist. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘Everything! FET (Further Education Training) is too much work. They must bring back the old system. Maths is one of my favourite subjects. It will open the door to many careers.’ JACQUINE ANDREWS
Career choice: chemical engineer. What I’d change about the maths syllabus: ‘The maths syllabus should be made a bit more competitive because I find it too easy. Maths can make you more serious and change your perspective on life.’
living the good l ife
bought on the first weekend (29 June – 1 July) that the phone went on sale in America. Sales hit the 1 million mark 74 days later.
949 Hip stars visited the
revamped website in the first week it went live. And you thought it couldn’t get any better? Check it out at <www.hip2b2.com>.
90 seconds to four minutes,
according to body language experts, is how long it will take for you to decide subconsciously whether you dig someone.
0,1% of the world’s total population is deaf.
13 December 1854 is the date on which Thomas A Watson, Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, was born.
Now you can text us your thoughts or ideas. SMS HIPCOM followed by your comments to 36978. Each SMS costs R2.
Bavaria, Germany. I attended a week-long camp in Munich and we learned so many different things about supernovas (dying stars). We toured a museum, the technical university, and the city. We saw a particle accelerator in which plasma explosion experiments are used to find a solution to the energy crisis that we are facing. There was one very interesting presentation on nuclear fusion. We had night viewings in which we’d look at nebulae (gas clouds). Oh, we also ate a lot of pork! Since the camp, we have started an astronomy club where we educate other learners about astronomy.
Interviews by Selena Abelse • Photographs: Denver Hendricks, gallo images/gettyimages.com, iStock photos, courtesy of apple
DINEO GROVE attended an astronomy camp in
1851 was the year in which Learners throughout SA squared up to the ARA Be Your Best Rock Challenge, which celebrates positive values – such as ‘don’t waste your life on drugs and alcohol’ – through fun drama and dance productions. If you’d like to get your school involved next year visit <www.rockchallenge.co.za>. The motto of the Challenge: Good idea … to be your best. Bad idea … to drink before you do.
Adolf Anderssen, a German, won the first modern chess tournament, which was held in London.
90 dB – 120 dB
(decibels) or more of hearing loss results in total deafness.
smart technology the science of everyday things
BODY SWITCH The bad news: most of the electricity generated in South Africa comes from the burning of coal, which causes environmental damage in the form of ash, acid rain, greenhouse gases and polluted water. The good news: local company Electro Sense can install smart technology in office buildings to help to cut down on the use of electricity. Passive infrared sensors are used to detect body heat – so if someone enters a room the lights will switch on and when the last person leaves the lights will switch off. Simple! FAST FACT
A passive infrared sensor measures the infrared light that objects give off. It’s called ‘passive’ as it doesn’t give off any energy, it only reads the energy around it.
online secret labs Pssssst … want to see some new technologies being developed and download free software to play with? Visit Nokia’s and Google’s online labs. Athletes will love the Sports Tracker program at Nokia Beta Labs <www.nokia.com/betalabs>. It uses GPS to track activities such as running or cycling. Use it as a training diary: you can store information about your speed, distance and time on your phone and it’s all mapped out as a route that you can save and refer to later when you want to compare your progress. At Google Labs <labs.google.com> you can visit Google Mars <www.google.com/mars/>, which is like Google Maps and Google Moon, except now Google is starting to map the Red Planet. It’s still in its early stages, but you can check out where some of the Landers and Rovers touched down.
IT AN YW AY ? W hos e ID EA W AS Pratley Putty is an adhesive (it sticks things together) and sealant that can be moulded into different shapes and is ideal for repairing cracks and sealing leaks. In the early 1960s, George Montague Pratley developed what was originally called Pratley Plastic Putty, in Krugersdorp – right here in South Africa. It was used on the first American space module – the Eagle landing craft – that landed on the moon as part of the Apollo XI mission in 1969.
By Mandy J Watson • Photographs: Mandy J Watson, istock photos, gallo images/gettyimages.com, Courtesy of Apple
You don’t need your gran to tell you that loaded shopping baskets can be a pain in the back. If you’re on a spree, look for the ‘smart baskets’ at Dis-chem and some Pick ’n Pay and Woolworths stores. Made in Europe, they come with a telescopic handle and wheels. Nifty!
who touched my ipod? The iPod kept getting smaller until we thought it might disappear altogether, but Apple has taken the best ideas from the iPhone and built them into the iPod touch. It plays music and videos, of course, but can also surf the Web. The screen is touch sensitive and the Web browser has an onscreen keyboard so you can tap in addresses or search terms. A sleep/wake button even lets you switch off the display, to conserve the battery, while you listen to music. One of the coolest features is the photo viewer: just rotate the iPod touch to flick through pics and view them landscape or portrait, or zoom in by ‘pinching’ a section with thumb and forefinger and then dragging your fingers outwards. It’s a pity that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, where you can buy music on the go, will probably not be available in SA.
what’s all the skype? Skype is a software program and service enabling you to make phone calls over the Internet instead of over phone lines or via satellite. It uses a technology called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which allows phone signals to be changed to digital audio. The digital audio can then be transmitted over the Internet like any other data. The best thing is the fact that the calls you make over the Internet to another Skype user are free (you just pay for the Internet connection) – great news if you have friends on the other side of the world. To use it you need to download the Skype software and have access to an Internet connection and a microphone. It’s like email, but for phone calls. What’s more, you can use Skype to make video calls over the Internet, called ‘videotelephony’. Whose idea was it anyway? Skype was created by Niklas Zennström, from Sweden, and Janus Friis, from Denmark. The first version was released in August 2003. Previously they devised the Kazaa peer-topeer file-sharing network, a way for people worldwide to share files, such as MP3s and videos, over the Internet. They are now working on a project called Joost (‘juiced’), which allows video and TV shows to be distributed via the Web, turning your computer into a TV. FAST FACT
SkypeOut allows you to make phone calls to land lines and cellphones: you have to pay a phone-call rate to do this but it’s much lower than standard call rates.
we take it apart The inner workings
USB port, which interfaces with the computer to download or upload data
LCD panel mounted on circuit board with surface-mounted buttons
Toggle switch for various functions USB cover
Play/Pause Audio jack for earphones
Most MP3 players are tricky to take apart because the various plastic components snap together with clips. Very few screws are used. Once you manage to open it, this is what you will find inside a typical MP3 player. The data port, which could be a USB, FireWire or parallel port, is used to transfer music files from your computer to your player. These files are stored in the player’s internal memory or on a removable memory card. This may vary from, say, 128 MB to a few gigabytes. The heart of an MP3 player is the microprocessor. This component handles all the instructions from the playback controls and is also responsible for displaying information on the LCD screen (for example, the title and duration of the song playing, and the battery life). When you hit the play button, the microprocessor sends instructions to the DSP (digital signal processor). The DSP is responsible for converting or decompressing the data into audible sound waves. An electronic amplifier boosts the signal and feeds it into the audio jack, where you plug in your earphones. Most portable MP3 players use either AA or AAA batteries that last for about 10 to 12 hours on a single charge. Certain models have built-in rechargeable batteries that are usually charged using the USB port. Some players have an AC adapter so that they can be charged via an electrical outlet, while others can be charged via a car-charger kit.
MP3 PLAYER Play/Pause Plastic cover with lens
Second-level circuit board, which houses the microprocessor, DSP chip and amplifier
LCD panel mounted on circuit board with surface-mounted buttons
Audio jack for earphones USB port, which interfaces with the computer to download or upload data
TEXT AND ILLUSTRATIONS: ANTHONY SAMBOER
Clips allow parts to snap together
Single AA battery lasts about 10 hours
DID YOU KNOW? MP3 players are now incorporated into everyday devices such as cellphones, watches, pens, sunglasses (Oakley Thump) and even bras.
Bottom plastic cover houses the battery
Its ability to compress an entire CD collection into the palm of your hand. The compression system stores only the sounds that are audible to the human ear. The size of the music file is reduced 10 to 12 times but maintains sound that’s near-CD quality.
MP3 players may cause hearing loss. In a study published in 2006 in the journal Ear and Hearing, Harvard Medical School’s Dr Brian Fligor concluded that, on average, the smaller the headphone, the higher its output levels at any volume. Unlike large headphones that cover the ears, small headphones such as insertable earpieces increase sound levels by up to nine decibels. Because decibels are measured in logarithmic units, this can mean the difference between the noise output of an alarm clock (80 dB) and that of a lawnmower 9 (about 90 dB).
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communication About 130 000 BC Homo sapiens appears on the evolutionary scene, with a mouth that has smaller canines and a lowered larynx and hyoid bone … all of which make human speech possible for the first time. About 40 000 BC Early humans from the Upper Paleolithic period start painting on the walls of their caves. It’s not much, but it’s good enough to be considered the earliest form of permanent communication. 550 BC The Persian king Cyrus the Great oversees the world’s first postal system. It works on a station system, with messengers swapping their horses for fresh ones at each station. About 515 BC In one of the earliest examples of shameless government propaganda, a huge inscription is made on the mountainside at Behistun in Iran singing the praises of the king of the Persian Empire, Darius the Great. Around 310 BC The Ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus sends off the first-known ‘message in a bottle’ as part of an experiment to prove that the Mediterranean Sea is linked to the Atlantic Ocean. ABOUT 50 BC A gladiator named Celadus Crescens scribbles the words ‘Suspirium puellarum Celadus thraex’ (Latin for ‘Celadus the Thracian makes the girls sigh’) on a wall in Ancient Rome, providing one of the earliest – and funniest – examples of graffiti.
Around AD 5 Augustus Caesar introduces the world’s first proper mail service, called cursus publicus, using light mail carriages to carry around government correspondence. 1321 Minstrels – the medieval poets who travel around singing songs and telling stories – establish their own guild in Paris. 1455 The Gutenberg Bible, a printed version of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Holy Bible, is produced by Johannes Gutenberg, in Mainz, Germany. Comprising about 1 300 pages, it’s the first mass-produced book printed using moveable type. 1520 The European explorer Ferdinand Magellan sees smoke signals sent between the native Yaghan tribes on a South American island: long-distance communication in true form. 1618 The Dutch broadsheet Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c, published in Amsterdam, becomes the world’s first modern newspaper. Its first edition comes out in the middle of June … but it goes out of business within half a century. 1821 Louis Braille develops an alphabet, made up of patterns of raised or embossed dots, that can be used by blind people to read and write.
1843 Scottish inventor Alexander Bain – inspired by electric clock pendulums – produces a back-and-forth, line-by-line scanning mechanism, which then evolves into the world’s first fax machine. 1844 Samuel Morse establishes Morse Code, an alphabet made up of dots and dashes that’s used for early radio communication. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Morse Code for ‘Morse Code’ is –– ––– •–• ••• • / –•–• ––– –•• • (or dah-dah dah-dah-dah dit-dah-dit dit-dit-dit dit , dah-dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dah dah-dit-dit dit). 1849 Paul Reuter, who later founded the Reuters press agency, uses a fleet of about 45 homing pigeons to deliver news between Brussels and the German town of Aachen. 1876 On 10 March, American inventor Alexander Graham Bell makes the world’s first telephone call. His words – Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you – reached his assistant via a liquid transmitter and an electromagnetic receiver. 1884 German student Paul Gottlieb Nipkow patents the first electromechanical television system, which uses a spinning disk designed to create images on a screen.
1941 Native American Marines, known as Wind Talkers, are used by the US Army to transmit secret, coded messages in World War II. The ‘code’, though, was their Navajo language … which was completely incomprehensible to the enemy codebreakers!
1897 Electrical genius Nikola Tesla (look him up on Google) perfects the wireless transmission of data.
1962 The first satellite TV signal is sent from Europe via the Telstar satellite to North America.
1915 On 25 January, Alexander Graham Bell (sitting in New York City) makes the first transcontinental telephone call, phoning his friend Thomas Watson (who is in San Francisco). 1925 Advertising spending contributes 2,9% of the United States’ gross domestic product … making it one of the country’s most important industries. 1934 Philo Farnsworth gives the first public demonstration of a completely electronic television system. The system uses impractical amounts of light, so it doesn’t work very well … but it’s enough to provide the first big step towards public television, making it one of America’s most important industries.
1965 The earliest form of email is established when MIT students start passing messages to each other between different computers. 1973 On 3 April, Motorola employee Dr Martin Cooper phones his rival at AT&T while walking the streets of New York City and talking on his brand-new cellphone. The mobile phone wars begin … 1975 South Africa gets its first experimental television broadcasts in the main cities on 5 May; the country has to wait until 5 January 1976 for a nationwide television service. 1977 US space agency Nasa launches two spacecraft (called the Voyager Project), each of which carries a large gold-plated disc containing sounds and pictures of life on Earth.
1978 The first commercial spam (junk) email is sent to 600 early Internet users. 1979 Usenet, established as an online discussion system, becomes the first Internet community. It’s one of the earliest forms of the Internet and is a precursor to online social networking. 1996 Stanford University PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin start a research project that turns into Google … and becomes the Internet’s most popular search engine. 2003 The online file-sharing program Kazaa (mostly used to download music illegally) becomes the most downloaded piece of software in history. Skype – a program that lets you make free phone calls from your computer to other Skype users – goes live. Within 30 months it has more than 100 million registered users. 2004 Yang Huanyi dies in September, aged 98. She’s the last person who speaks Nushu, the 400year-old southern Chinese language spoken only by women, and designed to allow them to talk about men behind their backs. 2006 Bebo, a new online social networking site, is the most searched-for subject of the year, according to Google. 2007 The year starts with an average of 85 billion spam emails sent out every day. Jud Laipply’s Evolution of Dance video clip is watched for the 57 millionth time on YouTube, making it the website’s Most Viewed All Time Video.
By mark van dijk • career text By ERIC CLASSEN • illustration: anton pietersen • photographs: gallo images/gettyimages.com, istock photos
1887 Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof develops Esperanto, a completely new, easy-to-learn language designed to foster peace and international understanding by functioning as a global second language. In case you’re wondering, the Esperanto word for ‘hello’ is ‘saluton’. And the Esperanto for ‘I don’t understand you’ is ‘Mi ne komprenas vin’.
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All you ever wanted to know about cellphones … How many people have cellphones? In August 2005 there were more than two billion cellphone users in the world. But that was two years ago. Today, many countries (including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong) have more cellphones than people.
Who invented them? The technology that led to the development of cellphones has been around since the 1940s, but the electronic support didn’t really exist until the 1960s, when Bell Labs engineers Richard Frenkiel and Joel Engel started developing it.
Did you know?
In 1981 the Nordic Mobile Telephone System became the first international cellular mobile-telephone system, serving Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
4. Microwave link beams signal to base station.
2. Underground cable carries signal to mobile exchange. 1. Signal from mobile phone A sent to base station via radio waves.
mobile phone a
mobile phone b base station
3. Transmitter at mobile exchange sends signal to base station nearest to mobile phone B.
Mobile exchange connected to base stations via microwave beams or underground cables. Cells of mobile phone network each contain a base station.
5. Signal beamed from base station to mobile phone B via radio waves.
A base station can cover a large area in rural regions as there are fewer mobile phone users than in cities.
Text and illustration: How Cool Stuff Works by Chris Woodford published by Dorling Kindersley and distributed by Penguin Books in South Africa.
How does one mobile phone call another?
mobile communication can my cellphone kill me?
Possibly – if someone were to drop it on your head from a great height. As for scientific evidence to suggest potential health dangers, the results vary: research in Greece in 2006 found a direct relationship between cellphone radiation and human DNA damage, but subsequent research in Denmark showed no connection between cellphone use and increased cancer risk. So it’s safe to use my cellphone? Yes, but don’t let anyone
use theirs while they’re driving and you’re a passenger. An alarming study at the University of Utah found that motorists who talk on their cellphones while driving are just as impaired as people who drive when drunk … and talk-while-you-drive cellphone users are more likely to crash their cars than drunk drivers are!
what’s next? Smartphones are
cellphones that can do much more than just make phone calls and are more like mini computers. They can play MP3s and video clips, access the Internet, take photos, download email and have computer applications installed on them. And soon you’ll be able to watch TV on them, too: Real and Disney have announced plans to start live-streaming television shows to 3G cellphones. why can’t my gran SMS?
Because the buttons on your cellphone are too small for her not-so-nimble fingers. Go help her out, you cheeky monkey!
MXon ... MXer For the sleepyheads who don’t know yet, MXit is a group of online chat rooms you can access via the Internet using your cellphone. It’s popular (four-and-a-half-million users and counting), it’s cheap (like, two cents for an SMS-length message) and it was founded right here in South Africa (in 2005, by University of Stellenbosch graduate Herman Heunis). And, because MXit Moola (the system’s sign-in ‘currency’) is only available in South Africa, only we can use it. But there are smart and dumb ways of using MXit.
Smart MXing • If other users start creeping you out, ban them from contacting you. • Keep online relationships online – don’t agree to meet alone with JoeBanker or anyone you only know through a chat room. • Let your parents know if you’re meeting anyone or if someone harasses you on MXit. Yes, you’re entitled to your privacy, but your safety’s more important. • Create a safe, smart chat group with your friends: exchange study ideas or homework tips. If you’re stuck on a maths problem, help is only a Tradepost away.
Dumb MXing • Sharing personal contact details with unidentified users is dumb. There are some seriously creepy people out there who aren’t always who (or what) they say they are. • Using MXit if you’re under 13 is dumb. Rules are rules, buddy. • Using MXit chat groups to cheat at exams is seriously dumb … you’ll leave little electronic fingerprints everywhere, genius.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) – an international communications standard for sending voice, video and data via digital telephone or normal telephone lines – began operating for the first time in 1988.
Want to know more about the man behind MXit? Visit <www.hip2b2.com>.
or ki ng so ci al ne tw
Where the Web began The Internet is sometimes called ‘cyberspace’. (Very appropriate when you consider how it was born.) In 1958, when the USSR launched its Sputnik satellite, Cold War rivals the United States responded by setting up the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). From there, an information- and knowledge-sharing network called ARPANET sprung up. One thing led to another, and by the early 1990s people outside the academic field were using their modems to ‘dial up’ to this newfangled thing.
How we connect ‘Dial-up’ access connects your computer to the Web via a phone line. The connection is established by a ‘handshake protocol’: the modem ‘introduces’ the computer to the remote Internet Service Provider, the ISP asks a few questions, the computer gives a few answers, a connection is made and – ta-dah! – you’re online.
• Poking your friends using Facebook. The site has 34 million active users, with 60% of them visiting daily. <www.facebook.com> • Sharing your lifetime ‘To Do’ list with a million other people on 43Things. <www.43things.com> • Making your own radio station at Soundpedia, an online music website.
• Spending all your free time on Facebook. To get a real social life, you’ve gotta get out there … • Sharing your personal details on social networking sites with people who may turn out to be creepy stalkers. • Illegal file sharing. It’s called ‘illegal’ because it’s a crime.
Welcome to the free world Imagine a world in which computer software is available at little or no cost, is stable and free from viruses, and is allowed to be copied and shared with friends. This world exists, thanks to the efforts of people worldwide who contribute to developing open-source software. In 1985 the Free Software Foundation was founded but it wasn’t until 1998 that the term ‘open source’ was coined – by a group of individuals meeting in California to discuss Netscape’s decision to make the source code of its browser available to anyone who wanted it.
The term ‘free software’ refers to the freedom to exercise your right to change, copy and distribute. Simply put, open source is like free speech, not free cola. One of the best-known opensource projects is the Linux operating system, a replacement for Windows. Mark Shuttleworth is a global pioneer of the open-source movement as he believes that the freedoms afforded to developers provide for better software. He developed his own version of Linux in 2004, called Ubuntu Linux, now one of the most popular Linux distributions worldwide. Ubuntu is a complete desktop Linux operating system,
freely available with both community and professional support. You can request free Ubuntu CDs from <www.ubuntulinux.org>. To get started, download some of the common open-source programs directly from the Internet and run them on your PC. The most popular programs are the Firefox web browser and the OpenOffice.org productivity suite. For a complete change, install Ubuntu Linux as your operating system. You can also get open-source media players, an instant messaging system, and multimedia tools and games, all of which are available from the best repository of opensource software, <www.sourceforge.net>.
FAST FACT The world’s first computer virus – in the early ’70s – was called ‘Creeper’. Another virus, ‘The Reaper,’ was created to delete it.
Say what?! You’ve heard – and probably used – most of these words before. Now you can explain them to your teacher.
HDTV or high-definition television is a digital TV broadcasting system that provides a much higher resolution than normal TV broadcasts.
Podcast is a digital audio file distributed over the Internet that can be played on portable media players and personal computers. Podcasts, which are in effect audio blogs, usually take the form of short radio-type programs. The word ‘podcast’ is a combination of ‘pod’ (as in iPod) and ‘broadcast’.
Satellite radio refers to digital radio stations that are broadcast via satellite – meaning they cover a much wider area than normal terrestrial radio. Vlogs are video blogs. And before you ask, blogs (or web logs) are regularly updated, diary-type websites where people publish their personal opinions or observations.
Back in the 20th century there lived an American cartoonist named Rube Goldberg, who used to dream up and draw stupendously complicated (and, sadly, completely fictional) machines that performed simple tasks in incredibly convoluted ways. One Rube Goldberg machine, for example, is a contraption that helps you remember to mail a letter. It involves 15 different components, including a football, a watering can, a bird and a worm. (Don’t ask.) Since 1987, Purdue University in the United States has held an annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, in which teams are challenged to build their own Rube Goldberg machines. For more, go to <www.rubegoldberg.com> or <www.hip2b2.com>.
Wi-Fi is the technology that lets devices such as PCs, PDAs and cellphones connect to the Internet when they’re within range of a wireless network.
Web 2.0 is a term used by marketing whizz kids to describe Internet sites – such as MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia and Digg – that allow users to collaborate and share.
Wireless is the term used to describe electronic operations that take place without the use of wires. So wireless communication is the transfer of information between two electronic gadgets without the use of electrical wires.
Mobisode is the word (trademarked by the Fox Broadcasting Corporation) used to describe short (about 120-second-long) films produced specially for viewing on cellphones. Notable mobisodes include spinoffs of the hit TV shows 24 and Prison Break.
Smartphone is the name given to a cellphone that comes with full Internet functionality, plus all the extra software you’d find on a PDA.
3G is the name given to the third generation of cellphone technology. 3G allows network operators (such as MTN, Vodacom or Cell C) to offer their customers a wider range of more advanced services, such as Internet access and video phone calls.
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PDA or Personal Digital Assistant is a type of hand-held computer that can be used to store information. It’s like a small personal computer (PC) that fits into your pocket.
Make an ice bulb
ke a new one.
ma ally, but just reuse the materials to ntu eve lts me on ati cor de x -bo ice l This coo
what you need
LED (a light-emitting diode; we used a blue one) • red wire (for positive) • black wire (for negative) • pliers or wire stripper • heat-shrink sleeving • lighter • 2 AA batteries, battery clip and pack for AA batteries • balloon • water • rubber band • round margarine tub • craft knife or scissors How to do it
• Cut a 15 cm length of red wire, strip a little plastic off both ends to expose some wiring. Wind one end over the longer (positive) leg of the LED. Cut a 2 cm piece of heat shrink-sleeving and thread it along the red wire onto the LED leg to cover the exposed wiring. Heat carefully with a lighter until it shrinks over the wires; this insulates them. • Repeat this with the black wire on the shorter (negative) leg of the LED. • Cut two more 2 cm pieces of heat-shrink sleeving. Thread one onto the red wire and one onto the black wire. Connect the wires from the battery-pack connector to the wires connected to the LED. Place the batteries in the
pack and clip the pack into the connector to check the circuit is working (the LED will glow). • Slip the heat-shrink sleeving over the exposed wires and heat them, as before, to insulate the wires. Reconnect the battery pack to check that the circuit is still working. • Now you’ll need a friend to help. Thread the LED and part of the wires into the balloon. Fill the balloon with water – enough for it to fit snugly inside the margarine tub without rolling around. Thread the LED further – to the middle of balloon. (It gets a bit messy as you will displace some water.) Make sure that part of the wires stick out. If not, pour out water to make the balloon smaller.
Adapted from mandrake’s experiment at <www.instructables.com> • Photographs: Denver Hendricks
reach in g n e w fro n t i ers
Sasol is not just another fuel company. It is innovative beyond belief, going right back to the company’s origins, which grew out of the wacky idea of turning coal into petrol. Sasol uses science to create magic and improve lives, and it is an established market leader in the energy industry. Renowned as an excellent employer, it also offers exceptional opportunities for talented individuals. The Sasol bursary scheme is highly sought-after and aims to attract outstanding individuals to the organisation, specifically students who are genuinely interested in mathematics and science. The goal, therefore, is to provide students with the curiosity, enthusiasm and zest necessary to appreciate science and mathematics as subjects of learning for everyone, not just scientists. If you feel you have what it takes to work for this dynamic, market-leading company, find out if you qualify for its bursary scheme by visiting <www.sasolbursaries.com> or calling 0860 106 235. Bursaries are on offer for full-time university studies in these disciplines: BSc Engineering, BSc and BCom. An equal-opportunity employer, Sasol awards bursaries to deserving students of all population groups.
Choose a great career in science ELECTRO-MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Are you the type of person who loves building and designing things, and making sure they work, but also has a passion for engineering and computers? A degree in electro-mechanical engineering allows you to fuse the mechanical and engineering disciplines and take control of a wide range of engineering products and processes. Electro-mechanical engineers are needed wherever computers control engines to ensure that the engines are working efficiently. At some institutions you can pursue a degree in mechatronics, which is very similar in course content.
What do you need to study this? • Once you’ve positioned the LED, tie the rubber band tightly around the balloon’s neck. Test the circuit again. • Place the balloon in the margarine tub and freeze it overnight – resting the wires so that the LED stays in the middle and that they don’t freeze against something else. • The next day, place the tub in a sink and pour a little warm water over it so that you can take the balloon out. • Untie the elastic band. Use the craft knife or scissors to cut the balloon (but not any wires!) and peel it off. • Your ice bulb will have a slightly flat base so it can stand on a surface. Connect the battery pack and watch it glow.
Entrance requirements to apply for a degree in electro-mechanical engineering at UCT are quite tough: you need a B aggregate in maths or science on the higher grade, a C aggregate in all your other subjects, and a score of 54 points. For a degree in mechatronics engineering at Stellenbosch University you need at least 60% on higher grade for both maths and science, an overall aggregate of 60% or more, and at least 44 out of 56 points.
WHY IT’S HIP TO BE A GEEK They say the geeks shall inherit the Earth. (Well, if they don’t say that, they should – as this evidence proves.) Geeks win Software geek Geeks earn more money
Bill Gates? Total geek. Come on, when he was 14 he programmed computers to count traffic and at 19 he founded Microsoft. But he’s still got more cash than you: his current worth is estimated at $56 billion. Geeks live longer
According to a 10-year study concluded in July 2007, low literacy is second only to smoking as the most common cause of death. The study revealed that patients who can’t read can’t do the things necessary to stay healthy … and to stay alive.
Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on the American television quiz show Jeopardy!. Jennings had a 74-game winning streak, picking up $3 022 700 (about R22 million) in prize money along the way. Geeks always win Seriously, you can’t
beat ’em. Take that game ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. Geeks who study a branch of applied mathematics called game theory know exactly how to play the odds and win. Every. Single. Time.
Geeks save lives
Chemistry geek Stephanie Kwolek created Kevlar (poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide – the stuff bulletproof vests are made of) in 1965, and it has saved countless lives.
Geeks save babies
American physician Virginia Apgar came up with the Apgar Score, which is a way to work out the health of a newborn baby. It’s the first test most of us take in our lives … ask your parents how you scored.
Geeks get to be the bosS
Geeks can find anything Seriously
Geeks inspire others to do great things Take
Ask Michael Dell. When he was 15 he took apart his new Apple computer and then put it back together again (just to see if he could). Now, 27 years later, he’s the CEO of Dell Computers, which employs about 90 400 people worldwide. That’s a lot of people calling him Boss.
– just ask Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Stanford University geeks who set up the Internet search engine Google … and then founded the company now said to be worth $187 billion.
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist and engineer who established the Nobel Prize (first given out in 1901, five years after his death). Since then the world’s greatest minds have been rewarded for their work in physics, chemistry, literature, peace, medicine and economics.
Geeks get great jobs
Geeks get to blow things up The one thing
Geeks go to the moon The
first men on the moon both studied further after high school: Neil Armstrong had a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering, while Buzz Aldrin had a doctorate of science in astronautics.
By Mark van Dijk • Photographs: gallo images/ gettyimages.com, istock photos, universal
Geeks have stuff named after them
Astronomers and botanists often have newly discovered planets or species named after them. Take Halley’s Comet, for example, which was named after astronomer Edmund Halley. Just a few months ago, a new strain of bacteria was named Bartonella rochalimae after Brazilian doctor and pathologist Henrique da Rocha Lima (1879–1956). The ohm (Ω), the unit used to measure resistance in direct current, was named after the German physicist Georg Ohm. And we’ve lost count of the number of things named after Albert Einstein.
Take Rory Byrne. The Pretoria-born former Wits University student is one of the most successful car designers in Formula One racing history, having been smart enough to be a car designer for Ferrari for the past decade. Geeks don’t do dishes
Supergeek socialite Josephine Cochrane invented the dishwasher in 1886.
nobody wants to tell you about Alfred Nobel is that he invented dynamite. Ka-boom! FAST FACT
American inventor Thomas Edison, the protogeek who invented (among other things) the long-lasting light bulb, registered 1 093 patents in the United States.
Geeks get to reinvent themselves Steve Jobs was
one of the early pioneers of computer technology but even though he cofounded Apple Computer, he was later forced out of the company by competitors. So guess what he did? He worked his way back into the company, worked his way back to the top, and then guided the company into a new era of desirable consumer-electronics products, such as the iPod and iPhone.
make a date
Grab your calendar and mark a big red circle around 25 May: that’s Geek Pride Day – or Día del Orgullo Friki – in Spain. Officially, it’s recognised as a ‘nondenominational holiday to be celebrated by nerds and geeks who do not feel ashamed of showing their unconventional interests in public’. Olé!
11 things Bill Gates* did not say There’s a rumour that Bill Gates gave this speech to high-school and college graduates. Now any self-respecting geek would be able to spot a fake source a mile away. Rule 1 Life is not fair; get used to it. Rule 2 The world won’t care about
your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. Rule 3 You will not make 40 000 dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you ‘earn’ both. Rule 4 If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. Rule 5 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6 If you screw up, it’s not your parents’ fault so don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them. Rule 7 Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the cupboard in your own room. Rule 8 Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. Some schools have abolished
failing grades and will give you as many chances as you want or need to get the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. Rule 9 Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that in your own time. Rule 10 Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. Rule 11 Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
but some other clever person did. He happens to be Charles Sykes, author of Dumbing Down Our Kids. Regardless of whether ubergeek Gates said it or not, this is still some great advice. DEFINITION OF A GEEK
• A person who is passionate about technology, especially computing and new media. • A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance. • A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. • A person who relates academic subjects to the real world outside of academic studies – for example, using multivariable calculus to determine how they should correctly optimise the dimensions of a pan to bake a cake. [Source: Wikipedia.] • The Oxford English Dictionary defines a geek as ‘an unfashionable or socially inept person, or a knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast.’
GEEKS WHO’VE MADE THEIR MARK
• Michael Dell: Dell PC’s founder and CEO • Albert Einstein: physicist and mathematician • Heather Ford: founder of Creative Commons SA • Rosalind Franklin: physical chemist and molecular biologist • Bill Gates: President of Microsoft • Steve Jobs: Apple’s CEO • Mark Shuttleworth: champion of free software • Meg Whitman: E-Bay’s CEO HOLLYWOOD GEEKS • Veronica Mars • Clarke Kent (Superman) • Gwen Stefani: ‘I think I’ve been able to fool a lot of people because I know I’m a dork. I’m a geek.’ • Natalie Portman: ‘I’d rather be smart than a movie star.’ Read more about other people who’ve made it big under ‘This Could Be You’ at <www.hip2b2.com>.
How chess can change your life You don’t have to be an A-student to play, but it will make you smarter. Playing chess is all about hectic concentration. Every time you work your brain, you’re buffing up your dendrites. It can improve your maths and science results. Chess is all about problem solving, and you know these subjects are all about solving things. It helps you think your way out of trouble. Need to find a solution to get yourself out of a mess? Research shows that playing chess improves logical thinking and reasoning.
By Selena Abelse • Additional sources: World Wide Web, Carte Blanche interview
It makes you a more trustworthy person. As former World Chess Champion Emmanuel Lasker says, ‘On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not survive long.’ It keeps you from things that could kill you. Who has time to think about reckless partying when you are strategising the perfect checkmate?
It doesn’t care where you come from. Really. It doesn’t matter if you’re
from the suburbs, the loxion or the hills, or what car your parents drive … it’s all about how you work your brain.
It teaches you more about life than MTV or Survivor ever could. Says David MacEnulty (the man behind Chess for Change): ‘It’s a little microcosm of the real world. Benjamin Franklin said chess is like life. Bobby Fischer came along and said chess is life.’ DID YOU KNOW?
Chess is a board game in which the aim is to defeat your opponent’s army by checkmating (crippling) his or her king. It requires intense mental concentration and strategic thinking.
We talk to David MacEnulty, the teacher behind Chess for Change, which is a way to improve your life through chess. At David’s school in New York’s South Bronx (a gang-infested, seemingly hopeless area) the game has changed the lives of many disillusioned young people and inspired the film Knights of the South Bronx. David recently visited SA to promote the programme. For more details email <email@example.com>. What’s the most important rule of chess? Follow the rules. Are there secret tactics that will always enable you to win? No. If there were, it wouldn’t be a fair game. The trick is to know more than your opponent. The beauty of chess is that you need to apply your knowledge and your resources. How can chess change your life? Chess teaches you discipline and life lessons such as integrity – you learn that it is more important to play the game properly than to win. Other games merely teach you motor skills or computer skills. Can chess make you better at maths? Absolutely. My first lesson in chess is a maths lesson. The knight moves in a right angle. Are there any celebrity chess addicts? Will Smith. And, in South Africa, even Nelson Mandela played chess during his days in prison.
People often sound impressive when they communicate by adding statistics to a conversation. Now you can too.
What is statistics? Statistics is a set of tools used to organise and analyse information (called data). You could analyse numbers, such as the average class mark for a test, you could look at the most popular deodorant choice for guys in your class, or you could work out how your school soccer team’s top scorers compare to Manchester United.
statistics is used for two main purposes: 1) description, and 2) prediction. Descriptive statistics • These are often used to describe the characteristics of groups. • These characteristics are referred to as variables since they are changeable. • The stats reveal the distribution of the data in each variable. So if you were looking at graphs of the grade average for the Grade 12 September exams, you’d expect to see a bellshaped curve (below) where the main marks will fall under one part of the graph; at the two extremes, you will expect to see the few who do well and the few who perform poorly.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
SOCCER STATS AND FORMULAE These are the formulae used in determining soccer statistics calculations: • goalie saves = shots at goal – goals scored • goalie-saves percentage = (shots at goal – goals scored) ÷ shots at goal x 100 • scoring percentage = goals scored ÷ shots at goal x 100 • ratio of saves to shots = saves ÷ shots • ratio of shots at goal to scores = shots at goal ÷ scores • games-won percentage = (games won ÷ games played) x 100
Statistics for prediction • Prediction is based on the concepts of generalisability and how reliable the data is. • You can then identify patterns or trends and use this information to predict events. • For example, rainfall patterns for the past 10 years in your city might give you some hint as to what could happen next month – but no guarantee. The performance of all the learners in the June exams for the past five years might give you an indication of how well they’ll do in December – once again, no guarantees, though.
smart maths QUESTION 1
The table below displays the results of a teen self-image survey by a local magazine in 2006. The survey was conducted among 1 000 teenagers aged 14â€“18, who were chosen from a list of cellphone numbers. Each correspondent could respond to more than one category.
The average minimum temperature (in degrees Celsius) for Cape Town from 2000 to 2006 for each September is represented by the following graph.
Average daily minimum temperatures Number of teenagers
Getting better marks
Doing better in sports
Having a better parent relationship
What would make you feel better about yourself?
13 12 11 10 9
a) Use the data to compile a bar graph to represent the information. a) Study the line graph. Can you predict the minimum temperature b) Do you think that the results of this survey are representative of in Cape Town for September 2007? Motivate your answer. most teenagers in South Africa? b) Discuss the night temperature in Cape Town during September 2006. c) Is this statement true or false? Most teenagers in this survey said they would feel better about themselves if they could quit smoking. SOLUTIONS
b) No, the survey was only done among teens with cellphones. Thus, it represents only a certain part of the South African population. c) False Getting better marks
Doing better in sports
Fitting in Better parent relationship
Visit <wwww.livingmaths.com>. Quitting smoking
60 50 40 30 20 10 0
a) What would make you feel better about yourself? QUESTION 1
a) (Answers may differ.) One can mention that the temperature had risen for two years and is likely to rise again in 2007. One can also say that the same tendency of a steady rise in 2000 and 2001 was countered by a big drop in minimum temperature the next year: thus the minimum temperature would be very low in 2007. One can even point out that one needs a lot more data (of, say, 100 years) to see trends. b) C ape Town experienced very high night temperatures in November 2006. QUESTION 2
The Sums of Soccer To plan the perfect Soccer World Cup mathematicians have been calculating, formulating and budgeting to make sure 2010 goes off without a hitch.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is the most exciting thing to happen to South Africa since MXit. In just three years’ time, it will begin, lights burning brightly, fireworks crackling wildly and fanfare flourishing. But did you know that behind the scenes there were, and still are, mathematicians thumping their calculators late into the night to make this the best World Cup ever? Without maths, there would be no money to spend, the architects couldn’t design the stadiums and the soccer ball wouldn’t roll. Think about this when you’re sitting at home doing your maths homework, wishing you could be out there, playing alongside the stars. Money, money, money
The South African government has committed R17,4 billion as a direct investment in infrastructure for 2010. ‘Budgets and timelines are the most important aspects of organising
an event of this size and magnitude,’ says Paul Venier, project manager at the Cape Town 2010 World Cup office. Translation: South Africa has to be ready for the World Cup by June 2010 without spending every cent held in the Reserve Bank, the piggy bank or even JoeBanker. go figure
The World Cup organisers place their faith in a myriad equations to calculate how much food, accommodation, transport, space and security will be needed to make the event pleasant. The Grand Parade in Cape Town and Newtown in Johannesburg will be used as Fan Parks during the tournament to show the 2010 matches on huge outdoor screens. Organisers estimate there will be four people per square metre congregating to watch soccer at the Fan Parks. If represents the square
metres and n the number of people, we can use the following formula to determine the number of people: n = 4 x . Therefore, on the Grand Parade, which is 30 000 m2, how many fans can we expect? n = 4 x 30 000 = 120 000 We can expect 120 000 football fans. A total of 3,5 million German sausages were sold during the last World Cup. Based on this, it’ll take about 7 million metres of boerewors to feed the fans during 2010! FAST Fact
The Soccer World Cup in 1978, hosted by Argentina, is one of the only World Cup tournaments to have lost money (about $750 million). On the upside, the Argentinians did win the Cup that year.
maths in action Architecture, angles and arenas
the ball, although the maximum distance is often closer to 190 metres. Architects ensure this by creating the architectural drawing with two shapes, the inner and the outer geometric form. The outer form goes round the inner form, creating the stadium boundaries. These two shapes will ensure that none of the spectators will be more than 190 metres away from Cristiano Ronaldo’s magic feet at any time.
Geometry is one of the major elements of architectural design. According to Micéle Ruegg and Robert Hormes of GMP Architects, the firm that designed Cape Town’s new Green Point Stadium, the most important aspect when designing a stadium is to make sure that everyone inside the grounds can see the ball. Ideally a spectator should never be more than 150 metres from
by jacqui lund • photographs: gallo images/gettyimages.com, istock photos BY Jacqui Lund
Sightline N T
Where you sit in a stadium is also important. Sightline – called the C-value by architects and used to design R the seating plan – measures a spectator’s ability to see over the excitable head of the guy or girl below him. The C-value is calculated using variables such as Distance to focus (D); Tread width – where you put your feet (T); riser height – how much higher the next level is than the one below it (N); and Riser height from focus (R), which is the eye height of the person in the chair.
Earn your ranking
The FIFA World Rankings determine the World Cup finalist teams. All FIFA member teams get points for games played throughout the year. The number of points (P) depends on: • Match results (M) (Win = 3 points, draw = 1, penalty shootout = 2, loss with a penalty shootout = 1.) • Match status (I) (Categories range from a friendly  to the World Cup final .) • Opposition strength (C) determined with the formula: C = (200 – opposition’s ranking position) 100 • Regional strength (R) (Each confederation is assigned a weighting between 0,85 and 1,0.) The confederation weighting is calculated from the team’s number of victories during the previous three FIFA World Cup tournaments. The number of points (P) is worked out with this equation: P = M x I x C x R x 100. Now who says maths and jocks don’t mix?
SA currently lies 61st in the FIFA rankings. (Fortunately the host nation automatically qualifies.) Can we improve our ranking by 2010? Make your prediction in the Forum at <www.hip2b2.com>.
A soccer ball has positive curvature at every point. Curvature is a mathematical way of describing how much a surface ‘bends’ or ‘curves’ at each point. To see this in action visit <http://plus.maths. org/issue27/features/mathart/ SoccerUnfold.html>.
The 10th annual RoboCup was held in Atlanta in July this year: 320 teams from around the world participated in the Soccer World Cup for robots. Organisers reckon that by 2050 they will have ‘a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion soccer team’.
What do the words ‘double burger’, ‘red man down’ and ‘mobe’ have in common? They’re all part of the secret lingo of sport.
‘Laduuuuuuuumaaaaaa!’ You know what that word means. But if Bob Skinstad says you’re going to play a burger and then a double burger you’d think he’s talking about lunch. But he’s referring to one of the play strategies used by the Bokke during the 2007 Rugby World Cup – and they aren’t the only sports people who communicate in their own alien language.
It’s important for athletes to be fluent in the particular language of their sporting code – from the starter gun telling runners to go to the cricket umpire raising his finger. A growing number of sports rely on nonverbal communication to deceive their opponents. In baseball, the catcher will indicate what kind of pitch the pitcher should throw: for example, one finger may indicate a fast ball, two fingers a curved ball, three fingers a slider and four fingers may show the pitcher to change up. Each catcher has his own variation to ensure secrecy.
In water sports, the hand signals used are universal. If you’ve run out of air while scuba diving, you raise your hand to your throat and make a cutting motion similar to the famous ‘you’re dead’ signal seen in movies. To tell a diving buddy to look at something, you’d point to your goggles and then point in the direction of the object. In kitesurfing, hand signals are used to communicate with those on the beach or with boats on the water. When a kitesurfer is ready to launch, he puts a relaxed arm some distance above his head. If he taps the top of his head with a flat, open hand it means ‘catch my kite’ and shows that he will need help when landing. A wakeboarder or water-skier needs to communicate with the spotter on board. The same signal a kitesurfer uses to ask someone to catch their kite is used by a wakeboarder to say they want to get back
on the boat. Just as the wakeboarder uses signals to communicate with those on board the boat, the people on the boat can also send messages to the person on the water. If the boat has to turn, the driver will raise his arm to a 90˚ angle and then make large circles with the forearm and hand in the direction of the turn. Tic-tac men, or racecourse telegraphists, use an array of hand signals to communicate the odds of horse or dog races to both the punters and the bookmakers.
The various hand signals used by referees and umpires can be interesting as well as confusing. Sometimes the signals look the same but differ in meaning; see the examples in ‘Howzat, Umpire?’ on the page opposite. Want to know more about careers in sport? Visit the Cool Careers section at <www.hip2b2.com>.
WHAT IT MEANS
Referee holds his arm straight up above his head.
Referee holds his arm straight up above his head.
Indirect free kick.
Umpire holds up his arm with index finger pointing upwards.
Instructor holds his arm straight up above his head.
Keep kite high in the air.
Winner of race.
Yellow flag hazard has been cleared. Proceed to racing speed again.
BY ERIN CLASSEN • photographs: gallo images/gettyimages.com, istock photos
Caution, slow down.
DID YOU KNOW?
Stop! Bad accident.
Sports’ strangest linguist is undoubtedly international cricket umpire Billy Bowden. Owing to arthritis, Bowden is unable to signal a batsman out in the traditional way with a straight index finger; instead, he holds up what’s known as the ‘crooked finger of doom’.
put a flag in it
An unusual form of communication is found mostly in motor sport and sailing: flags. Flags are used on the race track to pass messages to the drivers – see right for what they all mean. In sailing, flags are used in conjunction with lights and sound to communicate with other ships and harbours. There’s even an official alphabet of flags and pennants. In sports like soccer and rugby, flags are used by linesmen to draw the referee’s attention; in scuba diving to show where divers are underwater; and in wakeboarding and water-skiing to indicate that someone is on the water. One thing is clear: no matter how strange the accent, the language of sport is universal.
Move over, fast cars want to pass.
Pull into pits now or disqualification. Violation of the rules.
One lap to go.
It’s not what you say
… but how. Your body language speaks louder than your words.
THE FIVE LANGUAGE CHANNELS Your body language is revealed through five basic channels: facial expression, eye contact, body movement, posture and touch. Surprisingly, body language is both genetic and learnt through environmental influences, so a blind person can smile despite never having seen one. By studying all five channels, it’s fairly easy to read what’s going on in someone else’s mind. IT’S MY CULTURE For the most part, facial expressions and gestures have the same meaning across cultures. Asian cultures are the most attentive to gestures so while in South Africa it’s
acceptable to hand your friend a pencil with your right hand, in Japan it’s considered rude if you don’t pass on objects with both hands and a slight bow as a sign of respect. And while direct eye contact is considered polite in Western cultures, in African culture it is a sign of respect to make little or no eye contact with an authority figure or elder. If you’re uncertain about someone else’s body language, experts suggest following the Rule of Four. This states that four out of the five channels should be giving the same message in order for the signal to be true.
For example, if the facial expressions, eyes, body movements and posture all say ‘I’m happy!’, then the person is genuinely happy. If the facial expressions and body movements say ‘I’m happy!’ but the eyes and posture are saying ‘I’m in a seriously bad mood!’, chances are the person is working really hard at keeping their temper under wraps. TALK TO US
Join the section on Body Language under Mind Stuff in the Forum at <www.hip2b2.com>.
FOUR WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Pay attention to your own body language and make sure you’re not accidentally sending out the wrong signals. Follow these four simple steps to perk up your body language instantly: 1. I mprove your posture. 2. Adopt an open body stance with arms relaxed at your sides and legs slightly apart. 3. L earn to make eye contact. 4. F lash a smile more often. If you get these steps right, four of the five basic language channels will be sending out the same message: ‘I’m relaxed, open and friendly.’ An open body stance creates a relaxed posture that tells people you’re not aggressive. Eye contact means you’re paying attention and allows others to read the message conveyed in your eyes. Smiling brightens the entire face and shows you’re prepared to communicate without aggression.
BY ERIN CLASSEN • PHOTOGRAPHS: iSTOCK PHOTOS
ver wondered why your parents and teachers get anal when you don’t stand up straight or make direct eye contact? According to author Tracey Cox, our first impression of someone is composed of a message we receive in three different ways. Only 7% of this message comes from what the person is actually saying, while 38% is derived from the sound of the voice, and a massive 55% is read from the other person’s body language.
WHAT YOU’RE DOING
WHAT YOU’RE SAYING
Arms crossed in front of your chest. I’m cold OR I’m defensive. Fidgeting, tapping your foot or leg, biting your nails, playing with your hair.
I’m nervous or insecure and lack self-confidence.
Leaning forward with a slightly tilted head while someone is speaking to you.
I’m interested in what you’re saying.
Body sagging, fingers drumming.
Copying someone’s gestures, body leaning towards him or her.
I’m attracted to you.
Turning your body and face away, scratching your face or nose.
I’m lying through my teeth!
DID YOU KNOW?
Pinocchio Syndrome is when blood rushes to the face when someone lies, causing itching. If the person is lying, he’ll touch or scratch his face or nose often while speaking.
THE MOVIES Mr Woodcock is a comedy starring Seann William Scott as a self-help author who pulls out all the stops to prevent his mother from marrying his (evil) former gym teacher, Mr Woodcock. Opening 2 November. • 11th Hour, a documentary on the state of our environment, is a treat for the environmentally conscious. Another advantage is you can listen to Leo DiCaprio for more than an hour – he’s the film’s narrator. Opens 16 November. • Is Santa Claus’s brother going to ruin Christmas? Find out if the brothers can overcome their sibling rivalry in Fred Claus, opening 30 November. THE BOX Watch Hectic Nine-9 (pictured opposite), a new show on SABC2, daily at 16:00, which lets you catch up on the latest news, gossip, fashion and more. The best part is that you can take part in the show, which is live and interactive and uses the latest technologies. THE GAMEs Look out for the multiplatform game, Surf’s Up. Choose one of 10 characters and surf any of the exotic spots around Pen Gu Island. It will be released in November. • There’s more adventure waiting for you in Radiator Springs with Cars Mater-National for PC, which will be released on 23 November, followed by Wii, Nintendo DS and PS3 versions on 30 November. THE CD Real-life breast-cancer-survivor Kylie Minogue is back with a new album, X, which hits our stores from 26 November. THE FESTIVALS Want to see stuff burn (in a controlled environment, of course)? The Afrika Burns festival, from 22 to 25 November, showcases interactive art and performances. At the end of the festival everything will be burnt. Visit <www.afrikaburns.com> for details. • If you’re not into burning art, the ninth Woodstock Music Festival in Harrismith in the eastern Free State may be more to your liking. From 29 November to 2 December look forward to seeing popular and newer local rock bands at this fest. Visit <www.woodstock.co.za>. • On the same weekend, you can visit the Robertson Rocks Festival in Robertson. Call 023 626 4437 or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. THE EVENTS The Pick ’n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge is the secondlargest individually timed cycle race in the world. It takes place on 18 November at the Kyalami Race Track.
by Michelle Viljoen • photograph: EMI
december THE MONTH It is the festive season and, at last, summer holidays! Kick off your school shoes, rip off your tie and explore the world (or at least your neighbourhood)! THE concert Don’t miss the fifth International 46664 Concert at Ellis Park on World Aids Day, 1 December. THE PUBLIC HOLIDAYs What a lot I got – of public holidays! The 16th is the Day of Reconciliation. Christmas Day is celebrated on 25 December, and be nice to everyone (just try) on 26 December as it’s the Day of Goodwill. THE MOVIES The month kicks off with Golden Compass, opening 7 December. A young woman travels to a parallel universe to save her friends who have been kidnapped by an organisation that experiments on kids. • In Martian Child, opening 14 December, a man adopts a boy who is convinced he’s from Mars. • The animated film The Bee Movie opens on the same day. The bee, Barry B Benson, decides to sue humans after he realises they steal the bees’ hardearned honey. • On 28 December, August Rush opens. In this film, an orphaned musical prodigy decides to put his talents to good use in order to find his birth parents. THE FESTIVALS The Johannesburg Children’s Festival (5 to 9 December) offers adventure activities, computer games and music. Visit <www.joburgchildrensfestival.co.za>. • The Lights Festival is celebrated in Port Nolloth from 13 to 16 December. Call 027 851 1111. THE EVENTS Learn about the night sky above Table Mountain with Cape of Stars hosted at the Iziko Planetarium from 1 December.
Call 021 481 3900. • Also at the Iziko Planetarium on Saturdays and Sundays in December and January is the lecture The Sky Tonight. Get your own star map on entry and use it to find some constellations and planets. • Join the Egg-Drop Challenge at the Old Mutual Science Centre in Durban and see whether you can design an egg carton strong enough to keep an egg safe. Call 031 566 8040 for more information.
january THE YEAR It’s a new month, a new year – welcome to 2008! THE MOVIES Sydney White and the Seven Dorks, the
modernised version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, opens on 18 January 2008. It follows Sydney’s freshman year at college and shows how she tries to improve things on campus. • In Darjeeling Limited, also opening 18 January, Owen Wilson plays one of three brothers who set off on a trip through India to ‘find’ themselves and, of course, do some male bonding. But they get stranded in the desert with 11 suitcases, a printer and a laminating machine. What to do? THE FESTIVALS If you’re in Cape Town on 1 January, you can’t miss this one: The Cape Town Minstrel Festival. It starts at Green Point Stadium. • From 3 to 13 January you can see shows galore at the Musho Festival at the Kwasuka and Catalina Theatres in Durban.
Loyiso Zolani of freshlyground on Loyiso’s Blow Your Mind
Loyiso is incredibly musical and has a beautiful voice, which he really showcases on this album because the production [sound quality and final mixing] is so good. ‘Blow Your Mind’ is a great dance tune – I love the way it switches from reggae to R&B. I was initially hesitant to listen to ‘Karma Police’ – Radiohead’s 2002 alternative-rock anthem – but I think Loyiso’s R&B rendition is very interesting. I hear he’s going to the US with this album – Freshlyground wishes him the best of luck.
on Freshlyground’s Ma’Cheri
The old adage ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies to Freshlyground’s new album – the follow-up to the band’s MTV-awardwinning, 250 000-selling debut Nomvula. I’ve noticed a lot of growth in the band members’ playing and more creativity in their songwriting. The band has successfully managed to make an album that once again appeals to everybody, from suburban moms to street sweepers. My favourite songs are ‘Pot Belly’ and ‘Go Gorilla’. The beautiful melody of ‘Pot Belly’ meanders through simple progressions. ‘Go Gorilla’ is an enjoyable, lighthearted, sing-along song and, while it’s commercial, it’s not bubble-gum pop. The whole album embodies all that is African, from maskandi rhythms to electric-guitar riffs.
Loyiso or Zolani had these things to say. Can you tell who said what? 1 ‘I collect hats. I have about 20.’ 2 ‘The smartest person alive is the Dalai Lama because he’s at peace.’ 3 ‘The most unflattering comment I ever received from a fan was that I should enter Idols.’
7 ‘I’m currently reading ‘Spud – The Madness Continues …’ by John van de Ruit.’ 8 ‘My favourite food is sushi.’
4 ‘My favourite food is egg-fried rice.’
9 ‘I wear contact lenses.’
5 ‘In my spare time I love reading. I’m currently busy with Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.’
10 ‘Three things I cannot live without are my piano, Bible and cellphone.’ Loyiso said: 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10. Zolani said: 2, 4, 5, 9.
6 ‘In my spare time I love reading and watching TV. My favourite programme is CSI.’
Compiled by Nikki Benatar • photographs: sony BMG
Opinion: Music Two of SA’s hottest stars review each other’s latest albums.
We are giving away four great PlayStation 2 games, courtesy of Megarom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Surf’s Up, Spider-man Friend or Foe and Bee Movie. GIVEAWAY NAME: Megarom We have three great CDs to give away to lucky readers this month: Bratz Motion Picture Soundtrack, Mutya Buena’s Real Girl and R&B Gems. GIVEAWAY NAME: Bratz GIVEAWAY NAME: Mutya GIVEAWAY NAME: R&B TO ENTER
Write to: Hip2b2 Giveaway, PO Box 440, Green Point 8051 or email <email@example.com>. Please include the name of the giveaway, your name, contact details, school and grade. You can also SMS HIPCOM followed by the giveaway name to 36978. Each SMS costs R2. The closing date is 31 December 2007. Winners will be notified and their names will be published on the website.
The graphic novel
Gravity reviewed by you. Taryn Andrea Koopman
Grade 8, Bernadino Heights High School, Cape Town
I enjoyed Gravity because it has an interesting storyline and is actually unpredictable. The artwork is not as dull as usual comics and it’s very descriptive. JAMES BLACK
To sum up the story in one sentence I’d say: a graduate from a small town moves to New York to achieve his dreams.
Grade 8, Pinelands High School, Cape Town
I really enjoyed Gravity because it was full of action and easy reading.
For me the main message is ... never give up on your dreams, no matter what happens.
The artwork was perfect and very realistic. To sum up the story I’d say: a superhero in disguise as a college student takes on crime.
HIC NOVEL? WHAT IS A GRAP
By Mandy J Watson * Photographs: Mandy J Watson, Black Family
For me the main message is ... never give up and keep going if you want to stand out from everyone else. The main characters are … Greg Willis (Gravity), Lauren Singh (his girlfriend), Frog (his roommate), and Black Death (the villain). My favourite part was near the end of the book when Gravity fights Black Death. The middle of the book gets a little boring because he gets a girlfriend and there’s not much action. If I’d written the story I would have added more Marvel superheroes to help Gravity. Teenagers in SA can relate to the story because they may have been in similar situations where they thought they had their whole world figured out, and then suddenly everything changed.
A graphic novel is a fancy term for a comic that has been published like a book, often with a hard cover and slightly better paper. It’s usually a collection of single issues of a comic that have all been put together as one book – so it’s easier to read the full story, especially if your local comic shop can’t get all the issues. Sometimes you’ll get bonus pages in a graphic novel, such as artwork or pages that were compiled when the artists and writers were working on the original comic but that were not used.
My favourite part was the last chapter, when Greg faces his opponent and reaches his goal. The first chapter is a bit boring. It’s quite unclear at the beginning what is going on so it might not seem interesting. If I had written the story I would have made the ending more suitable than rather just ending it, and obviously more romantic. South African teenagers can relate to the story as most of us have dreams or ideas on what we want to do with our lives, and this book is a great encouragement.
pic to come
Would you like to review a book for us? Write to: Hip2b2 book reviews, PO Box 440, Green Point 8051 or email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Please include your name, contact details, address, school and grade.
rAge at the Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate.
IT’S ALL THE
Grade 6, Kastan College, Benoni ‘I played Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for the Xbox 360. It’s completely different. You have new vehicles, new types of weapons, new super weapons, and new groups of people. There’s GDI [Global Defense Initiative], [The Brotherhood of] Nod, and now Scrin. There used to be China, America and GLA in Command & Conquer: Generals’
Grade 9, Alberton High School, Alberton ‘I played MotorStorm for the PlayStation 3. It’s a brilliant game. It was a bit difficult to learn the controls in the beginning but after a while you get the hang of it and then it becomes easy. The graphics are much better than on the PlayStation 2.’
Grade 8, Rand Park High School, Randburg Melissa is a PC gamer. ‘I’ve been to rAge before and I don’t think it’s as good as last time but I’m still enjoying it. I’m finding all the new games the most interesting this year. I liked Call of Duty.’
Grade 8, Bracken High School, Bracken Downs Declan tried Wii Sports Bowling for the Wii and gave us his opinion: ‘I’m not used to playing a game with a remote rather than a console controller but it was okay. This was my first time trying out this kind of console.’
By Mandy J Watson • Photographs: David Wessels, Mandy J Watson
The biggest annual techno and gaming expo did not fail to intrigue. Although rAge is mainly about gaming, some of the tech companies, such as LG, The Gadget Shop, and Samsung, also showed off some of their new products. There was also a section devoted to local comic publishers and a collectible card game section for Magic: The Gathering fans to play against each other. There was also an AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) branded Formula One Ferrari and a customised MINI 37, along with the MINI Arcade Racer game <www.mini37.co.za> set up as a four-screen gaming rig.
G C A S E M O D D IN HO T HO B B Y : L A N G A M I Ng One of the biggest events was the three-day LAN (local area network) gaming event. Here 1 500 hardcore PC gamers competed against each other in games such as Warcraft 3, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Supreme Commander. Most of the gamers were in a fenced-off section on one side of the Dome, although there was also a smaller section upstairs. Access was restricted to gamers and journalists so that gamers’ machines and equipment would be safer while the rest of the expo went on around it.
W II L I K E NINTENDO! The big news at rAge this year was the launch of Nintendo’s Wii console (yes, you say it ‘we’ – stop laughing!). The Wii comes with a special remote controller that looks like, well, a TV remote. With it you can play your games wirelessly. As well as buttons, the Wii Remote has optical technology and accelerometers* that tell the console how you are using the remote. It can detect acceleration in three dimensions (up-down, left-right, and forwards-backwards), which lets you interact with a game realistically. For example in the boxing game in Wii Sports, if you hold the remote and punch, the console will read that movement and translate it to your character avatar on the screen, who will punch his opponent just like you did. kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari fact kalahari
Some games and computer enthusiasts like to customise their computers to make them unique and interesting. (Pictured here are a few that we spotted.) This is called case modding.The modifications can be as simple as painting your computer case a different colour or in a particular theme, or adding special lights into the case so that it glows and looks cool. The most extreme modders go much further and rebuild their entire computer in another device, such as the outer case of a microwave (with all the microwave components removed, of course). This is because a computer will actually work properly as long as you have all the bits and pieces, such as the motherboard, hard drive, and graphics card, hooked up correctly – you don’t have to put everything in a black or beige computer case.
brain busters Science quiz
How many questions can you get right? An array of answers, including some that are false, is provided below, so think carefully before you choose one …
Blaise Pascal was a 17th-century mathematician who discovered this infinite triangle of numbers: each number is the sum of the two numbers directly above it and the triangle is symmetrical around the vertical axis. 1 1 1 1 1 1
6 10 10
1 Can you predict the sum of the numbers in the 10th row? You may need a calculator. Hint: draw a table of row number versus sum of all the numbers in that row. 2 Triangular numbers are numbers that can be represented by dots in a triangular form, for example: ‘3’, as 3 can be . Using the triangular depicted by numbers in Pascal’s Triangle, predict which triangular number will appear in Row 8. Draw a table of row number versus triangular number in that row to help you.
6 In the most common form of 1 W hat is the name of the strongest colour-blindness, it is difficult to type of electromagnetic radiation distinguish between two specific that is emitted by radioactive decay? colours. What are they? Clue: these rays can penetrate paper, 7 One of the world’s largest telescopes skin and wood, and are named after is located at the South African the third letter of the Greek alphabet. Astronomical Observatory in 2 Which flightless bird’s natural Sutherland, Northern Cape. populations are now only found What is its name? in the northern Kalahari, Namibia, 8 Which element on the periodic table part of the Sahara Desert and is the only nonmetal to exist in East Africa? liquid form at room temperature? 3 What name would you associate with 9 What is the name of the first a small, edible sea snail belonging counting device ever made? (It dates to the genus Littorina that is back to the Middle East in 3000 BC.) found along most of South Africa’s Clue: it is often called the ‘simplest shoreline, as well as with a woody and oldest computer’. herb that blooms with large pink or red flowers? 10 Which South African city is in 4 Where is the world’s deepest mine? the process of implementing the 5 Which nation was the first to use country’s first ‘electricity-frompaper money as currency? (This dates landfill’ project in which methane back to AD 806.) Clue: the same – obtained from householdnation invented paper. rubbish landfills – will be used to generate electricity? answer options
• Mollusc • Gamma rays • Southern Astronomical Remote Sensor (StARS) • Cape Town • Calculator • Yellow and black • Einsteinium • Aztecs • Omega rays • Periwinkle • North West Province • Abacus • Durban • Ostrich • Limpet • Emu • South African Large Telescope (SALT) • Cadmium • Red and green • Bloemfontein • Beta rays • South African Stargazer (SAS) • Gauteng • Chinese • Western Cape • White and grey • Bromine
47 5 to 7 out of 10 You sure know your stuff! 2 to 4 out of 10 Having a bad day? 0 or 1 out of 10 Brush up on your general scientific knowledge – now! WORD SCRAMBLE WHICH WORD?
Pale, leap, peal, plea.
HEAD >> HEAT >> BEAT >> BOAT >> BOOT >> FOOT.
C onnect t he bo x e s 2
By Ellen Cameron
1 The sum of each row is equal to 2n, where ‘n ’ is the row number. The sum of the 10th row is therefore 210, which is equal to 1 024. 2 The triangular numbers are those in the diagonal line: 1; 3; 6; 10; … The difference between each consecutive step increases by 1 each time, so the next three numbers in the series must be determined: 1; 3; 6; 10; 15; 21; 28; 36; 45; … Row 8 therefore corresponds to 28. SCIENCE QUIZ
1 Gamma ray 2 Ostrich 3 Periwinkle 4 North West Province 5 Chinese 6 Red and green 7 South African Large Telescope (SALT) 8 Bromine 9 Abacus 10 Durban
8 or more out of 10 Brilliant!
P URE EVIL 19
4 5 3 7 1 2 6 9 24 3 12 11 9 8 7 4 3 6 5 1 10 8 17 15 10 2 6 1 9 5 8 7 3 11 16 4 28 3 7 6 2 4 9 8 5 1 4 5 3 8 7 9 2 17 13 13 13 8 9 2 5 6 1 4 7 18 30 20 4 5 6 3 4 1 7 5 2 8 17 14 4 5 1 9 8 2 4 3 6 9 7 2 8 6 9 3 1 4
8 2 5 4 1 9 6 3 9 7 5 answers
By changing only one letter with each step, see if you can turn ‘HEAD’ into ‘FOOT’ in five steps. With each step a new English word must be formed.
TRANSFOR M ATION
Which word in the English language, which means ‘humorous; amusing’, contains all five vowels in the right order? Wh i c h W o r d ?
Make four English words from the following four letters: ALPE.
These boxes must be connected by a continuous path. The number in the box represents the number of connections it may have. Boxes can be connected by single or double connections: these may only be vertical or horizontal, and they may never cross each other. To start you off, we’ve drawn in three of the single connections. Connect the boxes
By far the most difficult form of Sudoku! The same rules apply, but more clues are given in the form of pink colour bands. The number in small type in each colour band indicates the sum total of that band. Think laterally! Hint 1: look out for sum totals of 17. Hint 2: what are the only four Sudoku numbers that will add up to 30?
WOR D SCRA M BLE
L L A Y U T HA C A
Source: Encarta World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tungsten has the highest melting point of all elements: 3 500 ˚C!
not a bright choice Incandescent light bulbs are actually very inefficient because almost 95% of the power they consume is emitted as heat rather than as visible light. The world’s longest lasting light bulb is the Centennial Light located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California. It is maintained by the LivermorePleasanton Fire Department, which claims that the bulb is at least 106 years old and has been turned off only a handful of times.
BY KY Kornet • PHOTOGRAPH: istock photos
*incandescence (n) 1 the emission of light by an object as a result of it being heated to a high temperature; 2 the light produced by an object heated to a high temperature; 3 intensity of emotion such as anger or romantic passion.
NS WHEN …
... A LIGHT BULB FUSES?
A light bulb is a source of artificial light that works by incandescence*. The filament, a very thin wire made from the metal tungsten, resists the flow of electrons when the current is switched on. This resistance heats the filament to a very high temperature (though not enough to melt it) and causes it to release heat and light energy. A glass bulb filled with nitrogen gas encloses the filament and prevents oxygen in the air from getting in. Even at a high temperature the nitrogen does not react with the tungsten. However, if the burning filament comes into contact with oxygen, a chemical reaction (oxidation) takes place and the filament is destroyed rapidly … this is when the light bulb fuses.
How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One. But the light bulb’s really got to want to change.
November 2007, Issue 18