SA Trivia; health questions answered; Computer chips emulate brain cells; internet in a taxi near you
Neuro-morphological technology: These are computer chips that copy the human brain. Even the most advanced super computers are not yet as sophisticated as the human brain, and only move data in linear mode between memory discs and a central computer. In the brain, logic and memory are fully integrated, making the brain’s density a milliard times better than that of a modern computer. Neuro-morphological computer chips aim to process information in a completely different way than traditional computers, thereby copying the brain’s architecture. These chips will be much more energy effective and powerful than previous designs. In August 2014, IBM introduced a prototype TrueNorth chip that is hundreds of times more effective than a conventional central processor. This will enable computers to anticipate and to learn, rather than just reacting to pre-programmed commands (Francois Williams, Sake-Rapport, 8 March 2015).
Johannesburg – Unlimited free Internet connectivity is now available in taxis across Johannesburg, enabling commuters to download digital content and earn points via a mobile app, which can be translated into data. The app is accessible on any Blackberry or Android device. It allows commuters to browse the Internet and download content onto their devices, such as music, articles and podcasts, without consuming any of their own data. Although Wi-Taxi has been offering 50MB per month free in taxis across the country since 2013, the new Moovah! WiFi offering is uncapped and operates at download speeds of approximately 100 megabytes per second (received via email on 23 April 2015).
Answers to health questions:
Does olive oil prevent heart disease? Yes. The health benefits of olive oil come from the presence of polyphenols, antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Do cough syrups work? No. The majority of over-the-counter cough medicines typically contain doses of codeine and dextromethorphan that are too small to be effective.
Does sugar cause hyperactivity? No. Sugar does not affect the behaviour or cognitive performance of children. Kids will, however, be more wound-up at birthday parties when sweet treats tend to flow freely.
Do sugary drinks lead to diabetes? Yes. One or more sugary drinks per day increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 83%.
Does one need sunscreen with more than 30 SPF? No. Sunscreens with an SPF of 30 block out about 97% of ultraviolet rays, while those with a higher sunscreen block out 97% - 98%.
South African trivia:
The world’s biggest hospital is the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto.
Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world, after Washington, D.C.
The University of South Africa (UNISA) is believed to be the largest correspondence university in the world with 250 000 students.
South Africa has the largest hydro-electric tunnel system in the world at the Orange Fish River Tunnel.
South African electricity costs are the second lowest in the world. The country also generates two thirds of Africa’s electricity. Eskom is the world’s fourth largest electricity utility in terms of both sales volume and normal capacity.
Officially, the youngest language in the world is Afrikaans. The language celebrated its 90th birthday as an official language on 8 May 2015. It is the second most spoken language in South Africa. Zulu is the most spoken, the Zulu people being the largest ethnic group. Of those who speak Afrikaans as a home language, 50% are coloured, 40% white, 9% black and 1% Indian.