Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2011

The weirdest job in the world

You can find many articles on the internet, which list top 10, top 20, or top 50 weirdest job in the world. But they seem all miss one oddest job, that's Steward of Chiltern Hundreds, an office of the crown in United Kingdom!

A hundred is a traditional division of an English county, and the three hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham are in Buckinghamshire. These three hundreds are situated in the hilly, wooded Chiltern Hills, which were once notorious as a hiding place for robbers. The hundreds have been Crown property since at least the 13th century and a Crown Steward and a Bailiff was appointed to maintain law and order in the area.

In UK, an MP cannot resign, but under certain conditions he may be compelled to retire. He cannot for instance, hold an office of profit under the Crown and remain an MP. So it come about that when a member wishes to resign for health or other personal reasons he applies for the post of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.

There are no duties at…

Sans Foy, Sans Joy and Sans Loy

Sans: without

The origin of sans was Old French sanz, from a variant of Latin sine 'without', influenced by Latin absentia 'in the absence of'.

Sans Serif, a typeface without short line at the top or bottom of a letter.

In the long poem 'The Faerie Queene' by Edmund Spenser, three dark knights  called Sans Foy, Sans Joy and Sans Loy, meaning "Faithless", "Joyless" and "Lawless",  they fought Red Cross Knight Sir George, they are brothers.

sans-culotte, literally 'without knee breeches', was a lower-class Parisian republican in the French Revolution. an extreme republican or revolutionary.

Glorify your family name

"Glorify thy name" is the purpose of Christians.  To glorify the family name and ancestor was historically the purpose of Chinese Literati.

We often find a family name become a household word through great achievement by the of one family member.

Macadam road. Loudon Macadam was a great surveyor and engineer of modern road constructor. Macadam's name is still used whenever we speak of a macadam road. His principle was to cover the roadway with evenly-spread layers of hard stone broken small, which the weight of the traffic would jam together till they gave a hard, smooth surface.

Newtown's Law of Gravity. Sir Isaac Newton found evoled gravitational theory by observing a falling apple. The unit of measurement of force is the newton (symbol N), which is the force required to accelerate a one kilogram mass at a rate of one meter per second squared.

Halley's Comet. It was Halley who told us about the comet which bears his name.

The Italian professor, Count Alessandro…

Eco-friendly energy sources

With oil prices on the rise, and the worries of greenhouse effect, finding alternative and eco-friendly energy become an urgent issue.

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships.

Hydro power, hydraulic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of moving water.

Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power - mainly electricity.

Geothermal energy originates from the heat retained within the Earth since the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. Engineers have started drilling a hole 2,000 meters below Newcastle and discover a natural source of hot water - with a temperature of about 80C - below the surface of the city.

Solar po…

Tornadoes, Typoons and Waterspouts

The Great Circular Storms occur in sub-tropical belt. They may be as much as 1,200 miles in diameter and in the storm ring the wind blows at 100 miles per hour. The rainfall is enormous and thunder and lightning add to the terror. In the centre is an area of dead calm in which the sun shines brightly.

The Typhoon of the China seas is similar in character.

Then there is a small but even more terrible type of circular storm, the Tornado or whirl-wind, sometimes no more than a hundred yards in diameter. It shows as a funnel-shaped cloud, purple-black in colour, with edges white as snow, and it leaps and dances across the country like a mad giant. Nothing can stand against its force.

A Waterspout is really a tornado at sea. It is a violent whirlpool which produces a dark, funnel-shaped cloud tapering down-wards towards the sea so that it resembles a spout or trunk joining the sea to the cloud.