In 1969, Norway struck oil. One of the world’s largest offshore oilfields was discovered in Norway.
This is was a huge deal. Prior to this, the only natural resource Norway had was its fisheries. Being an oil-rich country could do wonders for its economy.
But Norway had a long-term vision. The Norwegian government realized being an oil economy has its own perils.
They based their understanding on something called the ‘Dutch Fever’.
Similar to Norway, Netherlands had acquired a huge resource of Natural Gas within its country.
Realizing they’ve discovered gold, the Dutch government doubled down on Natural Gas as…
Norway hires sherpas from Nepal to build paths in the Norwegian mountains. They’ve helped them complete over 300 projects over there, and their pay for one summer equals somewhere around 30 years of work in Nepal.
Sherpas are extremely skilled mountain guides who can navigate up and down a single hill multiple times in a day.
They aren’t just physically strong, but also extremely sharp and street-smart, knowing every nook-and-corner of a mountain, including shortcuts other climbers don’t.
However, guiding tourists is sadly a very underpaid skill. Especially in parts of Nepal, some of them barely manage to make this…
Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian explorer and writer.
In the 1940s, Heyerdahl had a belief that early Pre-Columbian South Americans would have traveled all the way to Polynesia- a group of Islands in the South Pacific triangulating the Hawaiian Islands in the North, New Zealand borders, and Rapa- Nui also called the Easter Islands.
He reasoned this belief by spending some time in Easter Islands and especially interacting with a tribe there called ‘Tiki people’- a group of white-bearded men.
On interacting with their Chief, Thor heard stories about the tribe’s Supreme leader Kon Tiki who led their ancestors on…
Ever heard of Plant-based plastics?
These are essentially plastics derived from plant oil rather than conventional fossil-fuel-based plastics. German chemists have developed two of these sustainable plant-based plastic alternatives to high-density polyethylene. According to the chemists, these can be chemically recycled more easily and are nearly 10 times as efficient, thanks to their molecular structures and the ‘break points’ engineered in them.
Which begs the question, how does chemical recycling of plastics work?
While most recycling done today is Mechanical, where plastics are sorted and sliced into tiny pellets and then used to create newer plastic materials, chemical recycling works…
Have you ever wondered why geese (and some other birds) fly in a ‘V’ shaped formation? The answer lies in bicycle riding strategies.
You might’ve seen ‘Tour de France’ riders on TV at some point. If you look closely, the pelotons (main group of cyclists) in these races ride forming a similar ‘V’ shaped pattern like Geese flying through the air.
Today I learned that Toyota led to the creation of Honda, their rival.
So the story goes, Soichiro Honda was a mechanic at a garage whose job was to tune cars and prepare them for races.
Honda founded a Piston ring company called Tokai Seiki in 1937 and landed Toyota as one of its first clients.
But soon after, they lost the contract to Toyota citing quality issues.
So, Honda decided to spend some time and study Toyota’s quality control process, and by 1941, Honda was capable enough to produce piston rings as per Toyota standards.
Toyota also decided to…
Have you heard the story of Procter & Gamble?
Co-founders of the now multi-billionaire dollar FMCG conglomerate, William Procter and Joseph Gamble were brothers-in-law.
Procter, a candle maker, was married to Olivia Norris, while Gamble, a soap maker, was married to Olivia’s sister Elizabeth.
And it was Olivia’s father who convinced his two sons-in-law to join forces.
Since both candles and soaps use essentially the same raw materials- animal fat and oil, it just made good sense to merge the two businesses.
And thus, in 1837, P&G was born. Today, the firm is a multinational consumer goods company that employs…
Today I learned that if you eat a pineapple and sometimes find your tongue starting to hurt, it’s because of the pineapple eating you back thanks to an enzyme called Bromelian 😭.
Bromelian is a combination of enzymes that break down protein, attacking your tongue, cheeks and lips on contact. But once you’re down swallowing the pineapple, your stomach acid essentially takes care of it.
The good news is that our tongue rebuilds these proteins and amino acids so it won’t be sore for long 😅
Also it’s actually pretty nice that enzymes from fruits break down proteins, fats, and carbs in our body- one of the many reasons they should be in our diet. However, some fruits contain higher than average enzymes, and so if you have a stomach acid problem, you’re better off consuming them in moderation.
Today I learned about Aaron Swartz.
Calling Swartz a genius would be an understatement to the overarching potential he held.
A teen programming prodigy, Swartz helped develop RSS- an information-sharing tool used by blogs, news portals, etc., and at 19, co-programmed Reddit with its two other founders at the Y-combinator.
Parting Reddit citing personal differences, Swartz was already a millionaire before he could legally order a beer.
And yet Swartz was above money.
Post Reddit, he dedicated his energies to becoming an activist against government policies for information sharing on the internet.
In 2011, he successfully led a campaign to…
‘Howard the Duck’, a Marvel movie released in 1986, was an absolute commercial disaster.
Produced by George Lucas, the live-action movie had a budget of around $36 million. Heavily invested in graphics and animation, Lucasfilms had established a small Animation team called ‘The Graphics Group’ inside its main team.
The box response of the film was so bad, George Lucas had to sell off ‘The Graphics Group’.
The group was bought by Steve Jobs, who at the time was fresh out of a job being fired from Apple.
Steve Jobs renamed ‘The Graphics Group’ to ‘Pixar Studios’.
Pixar released ‘Toy Story’ in 1994, and the rest as they say is, well, history.
Writes stuff. Doodles things.