Born on June 23, 1912, Alan Turing was an English computer scientist, mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst. Turing has been recognised for his impact on computer science, with many crediting him as the founder of the field.
In 1936, Turing delivered a paper, “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungs problem,” in which he presented the notion of a universal machine capable of computing anything that is computable. The central concept of the modern computer was based on Turing’s paper and the machine was later called the “Universal Turing Machine,” and then the “Turing machine.”
Turing was a leading participant in wartime code-breaking during World War II. He worked at Bletchley Park, the GCCS wartime station, where he made five major advances in the field of cryptanalysis, including specifying the bomber, an electromechanical device used to help decipher German Enigma encrypted signals. He also wrote papers about mathematical approaches to code-breaking, which became significant assets to the Code and Cypher School (later known as the Government Communications Headquarters) that the GCHQ waited until April 2012 to release them to the National Archives of the United Kingdom.
The design work for the Automatic Computing Engine was led by Turing and he ultimately created a groundbreaking blueprint for store-program computers. He first addressed the issue of artificial intelligence in his 1950 paper, “Computing machinery and intelligence,” and proposed an experiment to create intelligence design standard for the tech industry. The test has significantly influenced debates over artificial intelligence over the past several decades.
Turing was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his work shortly after World War II. A life-size statue of Turing was unveiled at Bletchley Park in June 2007, in Buckinghamshire, England. A bronze statue of Turing was unveiled at the University of Surrey on October 28, 2004, to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
Known as the Death road, Yungas is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Covering over 69 kilometres, the road stretches between La Paz and Coroico, in the Yungas region of Bolivia, connecting the Amazonian rain-forest to the capital city. The road was cut into the side of the Cordillera Oriental Mountain chain in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War.
Starting from La Paz, the world’s highest capital at 3,660 metres in altitude, Yungas road first climbs to 4,650 metres at La Cumbre Pass, and then makes a steep descent to the town of Coroico, at an altitude of only 1,200 metres. This drop of over 3,650 metres is one of the longest stretches of continuous downhill road in the world and travellers experience both chilly conditions in the Altiplano highlands and hot humid conditions in the rain-forests below due to the drop in altitude.
Numerous mudslides and tumbling rocks, and small waterfalls occasionally rain down from the cliff sides making the ride even more dangerous. Internet fame has turned this road into a destination for extreme sports enthusiasts, especially downhill bikers and therefore one must expect to see cyclists along the road.
Special rules apply at Yungas road. While the rest of Bolivia drives on the right side, here vehicles drive on the left because a driver on the left has a better view of the edge of the road. Also, descending vehicles do not have the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road – this forces fast vehicles to stop so that passing can be negotiated safely.
WEEK IN HISTORY
25 March, 1975:
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, King Faisal was shot to death by his nephew, Prince Faisal. He was assassinated for reasons that remain obscure, and his son, Crown Prince Khalid, ascended to the throne.
26 March, 1969:
Writer John Kennedy Toole committed suicide at the age of 32. His mother helped get his first and only novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, published. It went on to win the 1981 Pulitzer Prize.
27 March, 1871:
The first international rugby match took place between Scotland and England. Scotland won the match by scoring two tries and a goal to England's single try.
28 March, 1963:
Constantinople and Angora were renamed to Istanbul and Ankara respectively, as part of Kemal Atatürk’s campaign to create a secular Turkey.
29 March, 1894:
France launched its first nuclear submarine.
30 March, 1603:
The Nine Years’ War between England and Irish rebel Hugh O'Neill ended with the surrender of the Irish.
The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.
Located some 30 miles northwest of Madrid in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, El Escorial was built as a monument to commemorate the Spanish victory over the French in the battle of Saint Quentin on 10 August 1557. The El Escorial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
The site for the monastery, 1,028 metres above sea level, was selected by Felipe II, who personally oversaw the progress of the project. It was constructed during the span of 1563 and 1584, and El Escorial was the largest building in the world for many years after its completion.
The building is structured around a main axis that extends eastwards from the main façade through the Library, the Kings' Courtyard, the Basilica, and the Palace of Felipe II, a monastery, a seminary, a school, and the Kings' Pantheon beneath the high altar of the Basilica.
The Museum of Architecture, located in the basement below the Bourbon Apartments, displays the different materials, tools, machinery, cranes, and plans used in the construction of the Monastery as well as scale models. Painting Museum exhibits a grand collection of works from the Italian (Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Giordano) and Spanish (Fernández Navarrete, Ribera, Zurbarán) schools.
The Palace of Felipe II is built around the apse of the basilica on the east side of the building. It includes the rooms (Habsburg Apartments) used by the King during his stay at El Escorial and the bedroom where Felipe II died in 1598 is preserved almost as it was four centuries ago.
Gallery of Battles commemorates the most important military campaigns of Felipe II including the battle of Saint Quentin. It is decorated with frescoes made by Italian painters of the time.
During the reign of Carlos III, in the 18th century, an entire section of the building was redesigned to house the Bourbon apartments. Located directly under the high altar of the basilica, Royal Pantheon is the burial place for the kings of Spain from Carlos I to the present day, with the exception of Felipe V and Fernando VII.
Lower Cloister and Main Staircase comprise 62 frescoes and original works by Tibaldi, Cambiasso, Carvajal, Cincinnato and Barroso. The building also houses one of the most important historic libraries in the world – The Regia Laurentina. It contains almost 45,000 printed works from the 15th and 16th centuries, and some 5,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Latin, and Spanish.
These much-loved tales of a boy and his honey eating bear were originally written for the author’s own son, Christopher, and are set in the countryside of the Ashdown Forest near their home in southern England. Pool, a bear of very little brain, gets himself into all kinds of sticky situations, whether it is trying to get honey from a bees’ nest up a tree by disguising himself as a cloud, getting stuck in Rabbit’s doorway because he’s eaten too much, or falling down the trap he has built to catch the very scary Heffalump. But he is also a kind bear, when he restores Eeyore’s missing tail, and brave when he and Christopher Robin set off in an upturned umbrella to rescue piglet from the flood.
From gloomy old Eeyore to timid little Piglet, the animals that accompany Christopher Robin and Pooh on their adventures all have their own charm, even bossy Rabbit and Owl, who is not as clever as he would like to think he is. In the eternal summer of a magical childhood in the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher, Pooh and the others have such adventures as an expotition to the North Pole, Pooh hunts a Woozle.
The stories are simply written, to appeal to young readers, and full of comic moments, such as Eyeore falling over every time he puts one hoof up to his ear in order to hear better, and Christopher Robin shooting Pooh out of the sky with a pop-gun, as well as silly verses to join in with. E.H. Shepherd’s original illustrations add to the charm of this perennially popular book.
Kingdom of Denmark
The flag of Denmark, the Dannebrog, may have been in continual use for longer than any other national flag. According to legend, the white cross on a red field was given as a sign for spiritual to the crusader King Valdemar II of Denmark before the Battle of Lyndaniz against the pagan Estonians, in 1219. The distinctive off centre cross, with the extended arm in the fly, was subsequently used as a model by the other Scandinavian countries, several of whom were ruled from Denmark for centuries. The plain flag shown above is the civic flag, but cut into a swallowtail shape it becomes the state flag and naval ensign.
1. What part of a regulation basketball court is also referred to as "the paint"?
2. Who invented Basketball in 1891?
3. How many periods are there in an NBA basketball game?
4. How long is each part?
5. Is there any contact allowed between players in this sport?
6. How many seconds on the shot clock does a team has to shoot the ball?
7. How many players are allowed on the court for each team?
8. How many players are on each team in total?
9. How many substitutions is each team allowed to make?
10. A shot taken ‘beyond the arc’ is worth how many points?
Last week’s answers:
1. 17 times
4. 36,000 bits
5. Five months
6. 48 hours
7. Water, mucus, and fat
8. Two million