Principal founder of Microsof;
World’s richest man
Net Worth: $84.8 Billion
William Henry Gates was born on October 28, 1955. Being the principal founder of Microsoft, he is the richest and most influential person on the planet. Microsoft was founded in 1976 when Gates signed a contract to develop a basic operating system for the new microcomputers at MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems). In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft to create a new BASIC operating system for its computers. Microsoft released its first version of Windows in 1990s. This was a breakthrough in operating software as it replaced text interfaces with graphical interfaces. It soon became a best seller and was able to capture the majority of the operating system market share. Windows 1995 was released in 1995 and became the backbone of all the future releases from Windows 2000 to XP and Vista. Throughout his time in the office, Bill Gates has been keen to diversify the business of Microsoft.
Gates married Melinda French in 1992 and have three children together. With his wife, Gates formed The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from 2008 Gates has worked full time on his philanthropic interests. Gates has sought to focus on global issues ignored by the government; he also expressed an interest in improving the standards of public school education in the US.
His main areas of interest in philanthropy have been improving health and helping to reduce diseases, such as polio. He has also given more focus to environmental issues. In 2015, he gave $1 billion to a clean energy project, as he sees supporting new greener technologies as a way to help deal with global warming. It is estimated that the couple has given away $28 billion via their charitable foundation – including $8 billion to improve global health.
Known as the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in German and North Sea–Baltic Sea Canal in English, this canal in northern Germany, extends eastward for 98km from Brunsbüttelkoog (on the North Sea, at the mouth of the Elbe River) to Holtenau (at Kiel Harbour on the Baltic Sea). After being enlarged twice, the canal now is 160m wide and 11m deep and is spanned by seven high-level bridges that have about 43m of clearance for ships beneath them.
With the 45m wide and 327m long locks, the canal constitutes the safest, most convenient, shortest, and cheapest shipping route between the two seas. Built between 1887 and 1895, the canal initially served served German military needs by eliminating the necessity for ships to travel northward around the Danish peninsula. During 1907 and 1914, the canal was enlarged to accommodate large naval ships. The canal was internationalised by the Treaty of Versailles, while leaving it under German administration.
Since World War II the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles guaranteeing freedom of navigation have again been practiced. The canal remains an important route for Baltic shipping. The Kiel is used as an international waterway by almost 130 ships every day.
WEEK IN HISTORY
18 February, 1878:
The bitter and bloody Lincoln County War began with the murder of Billy the Kid’s mentor, Englishman rancher John Tunstall.
19 February, 1944:
The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force began “Big Week,” a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.
20 February, 1962:
Astronaut John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit. Traveling aboard the "Friendship 7" spacecraft, Glenn reached an altitude of 162 miles (260 kilometers) and completed three orbits in a flight lasting just under five hours.
21 February, 1913:
Former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X (1925-1965) was shot and killed while delivering a speech in Manhattan’s Audubon ballroom in front of 400 people.
22 February, 1951:
The Atomic Energy Commission discloses information about the first atom-powered airplane.
23 February, 1994:
Writer Emile Zola was imprisoned in France for his letter J’accuse in which he accuses the French government of anti-semitism and the wrongful imprisonment of army captain Alfred Dreyfus.
24 February, 1912:
Italy bombed Beirut in the first act of war against the Ottoman Empire.
The greatest gothic cathedral in Germany, Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary and is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne and has the honour of being the world’s largest church façade.
The Cathedral has been a major pilgrimage destination for centuries because it houses golden reliquary containing the remains of the Three Magi of Christmas story fame. The construction of the Gothic church began in the 13th century. Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden laid the foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral on August 15, 1248 and the choir was consecrated in 1322. The construction gradually came to a standstill and did not begin until in the 19th century. The construction of Germany’s largest cathedral completed in 1880, 632 years after it had begun.
In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites and in 2004, it was placed on the World Heritage in Danger list.
Cologne Cathedral is a High Gothic five-aisled basilica (144.5m long), with a projecting transept (86.25m wide) and a tower façade (157.22m high). The nave is 43.58m high and the side-aisles 19.80m. Except for the modern steel roof, the 19th century exterior is faithful to the original medieval plans. Inside, the Sacrophagus of the Magi dating to around 1200 is the most celebrated work of art. The largest reliquary in the western world, the exterior is seven feet of gilded silver and jewels.
Of the many works of art in the Cathedral, special mention should be made to the Gero Crucifix of the late 10th century, in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was transferred from the pre-Romanesque predecessor of the present Cathedral, and the Shrine of the Magi (1180-1225), in the choir, which is the largest reliquary shrine in Europe. Other artistic masterpieces are the altarpiece of St. Clare (c. 1350-1400) in the north aisle, brought here in 1811 from the destroyed cloister church of the Franciscan nuns, the altarpiece of the City Patrons by Stephan Lochner (c. 1445) in the Chapel of Our Lady, and the altarpiece of St. Agilolphus (c. 1520) in the south transept.
Costa Rica’s membership in the United Provinces of Central America (1823-38) is reflected in the colours and composition of its flag which, like those of the other federation members (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), is modelled on the Argentinian blue white blue triband. It was adopted on independence in 1821, the red stripe being added in 1848 when Costa Rica became a republic, both as a distinguishing feature and to reflect the colours of France which was then in the grasp of revolutionary fervour. The addition of the national arms in a white oval, set in the red band towards the hoist, forms the state flag. They depict two sailing ships on two seas (the Pacific and the Caribbean) separated by Costa Rica, itself represented by three mountains – the volcanoes Barba, Irazu and Posa. A rising sun signals the dawning of a new era, while seven stars above it represent the provinces of the country. The words America Central, set above, recall the old federation.
1984 by George Orwell
The ideas contained in Orwell’s chilling dystopia have entered mainstream culture in a way achieved only by very few books, let alone science fiction novels. Concepts such as Big Brother, the Thought Police and Room 101 are instantly recognised and understood. In the novel, the world is divided between three regimes: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. Winston Smith, whose job in the Ministry of Truth is to rewrite history in line with current political thinking, lives in a London still shattered by a nuclear war that took place not long after the Second World War.
Oceania is a totalitarian state, which resembles the more sinister aspects of the Soviet Union when Orwell was writing, at a time when he had become disillusioned with Socialism. The population is brainwashed into unthinking obedience, love of Big Brother, and hatred of Eurasia and Emmanuel Goldstein, the leader of the Brotherhood, an underground group of dissenters. They are also monitored for signs of deviance in behaviour or thought.
Winston and his girlfriend break the rules and, although they think they have got away with it, are being watched closely. When Winston is approached by O’ Neill, who appears to be a member of the Brotherhood, the trap is sprung and they are sent to the Ministry of Love for a violent re-education. There are unanswered questions: Do Big Brother, the Brotherood or Emmuanuel Goldstein exist or are they party inventions? Even after 50 years, Nineteen Eighty-Four is still relevant: its depiction of a state where daring to think differently is rewarded with torture, where people are monitored every second of the day, and where party propaganda tells people what to think, is a sobering reminder of the evils of powerful, unaccountable governments.
1984 by George Orwell
1. In what country is coffee believed to have originated?
2. What are the two types of coffee beans?
3. Where is the majority of coffee produced?
4. Which city’s port was the first to spread coffee beans to the rest of the world?
5. A coffee plant can live up to how many years?
6. The word coffee comes from which Arabic word?
7. Who invented the first instant coffee recipe involving water?
8. Who invented the first mass-produced instant coffee?
9. Where was the world’s first coffee house opened in 1475?
10. What do Turks call their coffee houses? and where party propaganda tells people what to think, is a sobering reminder of the evils of powerful, unaccountable governments.
Last week’s answers:
2. Fred Spofforth
6. Edward IV
7. Willow wood
8. Sachin Tendulkar