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Holidays

Internet Day

Since 2005, the International Internet Day has been famously celebrated to commemorate a momentous day in the history of telecommunications and technology. This was the event of the sending of the first electronic message which was transferred from one computer to another in 1969 via ARPANET, the U.S. Defense Department’s newest communications system. ARPANET is an acronym for The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. This was later developed into the World Wide Web, or the Internet that we know today.

Ray Tomlinson introduced network email in the year 1972. In 1973, the University College of London and The Royal Radar Establishment in Norway connected to ARPANET. A year after that, Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, the Fathers of the Internet, published a book known as “A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection”. It details the design of Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP. This is a standard that defines how to establish and maintain a network conversation through which application programs can exchange data. It works hand in hand with Internet Protocol, or IP. This defines how computers send data packets to one another.

Ever heard of IP address? Every device has one. It is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email via the internet. Later, in 1979, USENET formed to host news and discussion groups. Here, users may create their discussion topics or contribute to existing threads within an existing topic.

In 1981, The National Science Foundation provided a grant to establish the Computer Science Network or CSNET to provide networking services to university computer scientists. A year later, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and IP  as the protocol suite. It commonly became known as TCP/IP, and it emerged as the protocol for ARPANET. 

In 1983 The Domain Name System (DNS) established  .edu, .gov, .com, .mil, .org, .net, and .int system for naming websites. This is easier to remember than the previous designation for websites, such as 123.456.789.10.

A year later, William Gibson, the author of “Neuromancer,” became the first person  to officially use the term “cyberspace.”

Symbolics.com, the website for Symbolics Computer Corp. in Massachusetts, became the first registered domain in 1985.

In the year 1997, Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. At the time, it was only a company for renting and purchasing DVDs. The Google search engine was born in 1998, changing the way users engage with the Internet.

The Internet Protocol version 6 was introduced in 1998 to allow for future growth of Internet Addresses. The famous dot-com bubble burst in 2000. Web sites such as Yahoo! and eBay were hit by a large-scale denial of service attack.

WordPress was launched in 2003, and a year later Facebook was open to the world. Mozilla Firefox web browser was also launched that year.

Youtube was launched in 2005, Twitter in 2006, and the Google Assistant in 2016.

In case you were wondering, Rickrolling went worldwide in April 2008.

Remember, the internet is no place to make fun of others. Try to avoid trolls and trolling.

Categories
Holidays

UN DAY

 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its founding Charter.

The U.N was founded 75 yrs ago, on the 24th of October 1945, in San Francisco, California, United States. The United Nations is an organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly international relations, achieve international cooperation, and help in the harmonization of the actions of nations.

It was formed after the Second World War by 51 countries that aimed for a peaceful world,  prosperous nations, better living standards, and human rights. The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26th June 1945, in San Francisco, after the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24th of October, 1945. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter.

This charter ensured that there would be no global organization with the convening power or impact of the U.N. The Charter of the United Nations, also known as the UN Charter, is the foundational treaty of the U.N. At first, it was signed by China, France, The Soviet Union, The U.K, The United States of America, and a majority of other signatory states.

By now, most countries in the world are members of the United nations. The charter establishes the purpose, governing structure, and framework of the UN, including its principal organs: The Secretariat, The General Assembly, The Security Council, The Economic and Social Council, The International Court of Justice, and The Trusteeship Council.

The Secretariat is the United Nations’ executive arm, as it is responsible for putting laws into effect. The general assembly is the policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations.

The Security Council is tasked with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving changes to the UN Charter. The Economic and Social Council is responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the judicial organ of the UN. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The Trusteeship Council suspended operations on 1 November 1994. By a resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required –  by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council.

Categories
Holidays

International sloth day

International sloth day was made in 2010 by the AIUNAU Foundation, a non-profit conservation, and wildlife organization based in Colombia that came up ‘cause of the need to contribute to the protection of wildlife, in particular Xenarthra.

Xenarthra is a major clade of placental mammals unique to the Americas. There are 31 living species: the anteaters, tree sloths, and armadillos. Extinct xenarthrans are the glyptodonts, the ground sloths, and the aquatic sloths. They originated in South America during the Paleocene about 59 million years ago.

 The unofficial holiday raises awareness about the life cycle and natural habitat of the Sloth.

Even though sloths live most of their lives upsidedown, they are amazing swimmers.

There are 6 species/ variations of sloth. These are – Pygmy three-toed, maned, pale-throated, brown, Linnaeus’ two-toed sloth and Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. Generally, they are simply known as ‘two-toed’ and ‘three-toed’ sloths’. Some sloths are completely nocturnal, such as the two-toed sloth, but most sloths don’t do a lot day or night. They usually spend 15 to twenty hours asleep, and only 4 – 9 hrs roaming in the woods.

Evidence suggests that once, giant ground sloths known as the megatherium/ the great beast once existed mainly in woodland and grassland environments of the lightly wooded areas of South America. They are estimated to have been around 20ft or 6.1m tall and weighed 4tonnes.

Don’t be slothful and remember to celebrate sloths and appreciate them.

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Holidays

How I have spent my ‘COViday’

WWFRANK

It’s been 4 months of ‘Covid-19 Holiday’, which I will simply refer to as COViday. The longest academic recess I’ve ever had since joining school, some 11 odd years ago.

Nobody expected such a break; it has made some people and broken others. But as my mum says, ‘In any situation, you can either count the losses or your victories.’ I choose to always count my victories even in the face of failure and disappointment. As a Freshman, the break has had its advantages and disadvantages. I expected to complete my KCSE at 17, but now it seems I will leave high school an adult with a national ID!

Adulthood comes with responsibility, and I’d hoped to accomplish a few things here and there before it finally comes knocking. Someone once said, ‘A few years from now, you will be able to tell who was working and who was not.’ Of course, for some students this Coviday was a good break; a time to fold hands, do away with books, and forget the never-ending assignments.

Some are heartbroken because they will not sit the much anticipated national exams. Others are happy they have been given a little more time to polish up and be ready for the upcoming exams. Others still did not put a pause but have continued with their classes as usual. It all depends on where we stand in the economic continuum. If you are like me, a child from a middle-income family that believes in hard work and facing everyday problems hard-on, you have been at home enjoying your Coviday.

Without organized online classes but with guidance from my parents and the privilege of home Wi-Fi, I have managed to do a few things that I would never have done were it not for the long holiday. Here are a few ways the Covid-19 holiday has been a blessing in disguise: It gave me an opportunity to transition smoothly from Primary to High School. I have done several Whatsapp and Zoom classes that have enabled me to understand some concepts I had not understood in school.

This, coupled with the thorough research I did on various problem topics, has prepared me for better days in highschool. I got a chance to sharpen my internet research skills. I have always done research on topics I did not understand, but what I was doing in primary school is child play compared to what I have learnt during this season especially from Britannica. As I discovered, most of the Form 1 work is just an introduction with advanced studies on the same topics later in Form 3.

This has given me a great foundation for my high school studies. I also do research for my blog and YouTube channel every day, and I’ve learnt quite a lot about world history.

Through internet research, I have learnt how to make crafts, agriculture, and life. For instance, when we were planting flowers in our front yard, I read a lot on how to take care of Cana lilies, agapanthus, hydrangea, golden shower creepers among others. The long break gave me an opportunity to venture into online content creation.

I love writing, and my mum has always encouraged me to write without ceasing. When I joined high school, I wrote a solo verse for the drama team which had gone to the County Level before Coronavirus successfully put it to a halt. However, in February my mum registered a blog for me where I could post my stories. It was not until the Coviday that I decided to get started.

After doing several online classes and interacting with fellow teens from West countries on Youtube, I decided to give it a shot. I created the first video which was received well, then the second.

On my 14th birthday, my parents decided to complete setting up my blog where I can start publishing my work. It gave me the chance to learn a new language. I developed my quest for multilingualism at a young age. My mom did Linguistics for her undergrad and has told me of opportunities lost for failing to fluently speak a foreign language. I started with Chinese but the computer with the program is kaput.

However, recently after mum introduced me to an app that she said teaches better than any tutor she ever paid before. Nevertheless, I did not see its relevance until I went to watch the movie ‘SAAHO’ which required some competence in Hindi. My interest peaked after watching an interesting Korean series on Netflix.

I learn foreign languages online to not only pass time but also to be good in those languages. My hope is that I will be fluent in at least 3 foreign languages by the time I clear high school.GardeningFun is good, and most of the things I have been doing above are fun. But I also have to help at home.

During the lockdown, I not only learnt how to plant grass and flowers but also how to take care of them. I water the front and back yard at least twice a day, and I’m happy the canna lilies we planted are producing new shoots, the arabica grass is thickening, and next, I want to help my mum with the kitchen garden.

Of course, times have not given us enough room to exercise physically, but mentally I solve puzzles and play games. Are you a student who would like to share your experience during the Covid-19 break? Please share in the comments box or leave a message on the chatbox below.

Categories
Holidays

How CoV has influenced people

Everyone in a mask and some gloves. At least that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Instead, many have formed anti-mask leagues worldwide. Kind of like back in 1918.

They claim that the masks are irritating and uncomfortable. That is actually true.

Most surgical facemasks are coated with quaternary ammonium before use for pre-sanitization.

Quaternary ammonium compounds can cause toxic effects by all means of exposure.

They include; inhalation

                        Ingestion

                        Dermal application

                        Irrigation of body cavities

                      (Chemicaloftheday.squarespace.com)  

Mostly, people ingest and inhale these compounds. Apart from killing germs, ‘quats’ are lung irritants and can contribute to asthma and other breathing\respiratory illnesses. They also irritate the skin and lead to development of rashes.

                                                   (INCHEM, hunker.com)

The safest way to avoid illness by `quats’ is to properly wear your mask.

This was ignored when a man posted on social media that ingesting strong alcohols kills the virus in your throat and in your belly, the same way sanitizer kills surface germs.

People believed this even after W.H.O. nullified this `fact’.

Experts pointed out that frequent drinking weakens the immune system, making one more susceptible to the virus.

Gregory A. Poland, an expert on infectious diseases and a professor of medicine stated that “there is no direct research I am familiar with that directly links alcohol and CoV. Despite an absence of research, there is presence of harm. ‘’

There is a difference between alcohol consumption and misuse, though the line between the two is somewhat vague.

Kathy Jung, director of the National Institute Of alcohol Abuse and alcoholism ; division of metabolism and health effects (NIAAA) said that there’s really good evidence that short term alcohol misuse can suppress immune function , suppress the ability to defend against the respiratory infection in the short run.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (thecut.com, NIAAA)

In the long term, effects of alcohol misuse are more detrimental and include risk for respiratory infection, and even Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

ARDS is a condition seen mostly in more severe CoV cases.

                                                       (Mayo clinic)

A man, believing that he might have contracted the virus when he touched his face while at the store, drank 91% rubbing alcohol once he got home. He believed that this would help prevent contraction of the virus. Instead, it damaged his brain.

Rubbing alcohol’s real name is isopropyl alcohol.

Iso- means equal

Propan-a prefix denoting the quantity of three and referring to the number of carbons and alcohol meaning a chemical moiety of 1oxygen atom bound to 1 hydrogen atom.

                                       (medpagetoday)

In Iran, at least 27 Iranians died from alcohol poisoning.

Since Iran is an Islam country and consumption alcohol is not available, many turned to industrial grade alcohols, like the ones in sanitizers.

                      (national post)

In Kenya, after CS Mutahi Kagwe allowed pubs and bars with restaurants to reopen, sly Kenyans have found a way to beat government objectives. They had an excuse to misuse alcohol. They would order 2 beers and a sausage or two. This became so popular that if you ordered a Kagwe, everyone understood!

              (nairobinews.nation.co.ke, pulselive.co.ke, capitalfm.co.ke)

Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Kioko `Sonko’ made headlines when he distributed large amounts of alcohol and food to the Nairobians who couldn’t afford to dig into their own pockets. For a reason unknown to the public, he claimed that the particular cognac he was distributing, Hennessy® contained healing properties.

Later on, LMVH Moet Hennessy clarified that neither their cognac nor any other drink was a drug\ preventive measure against CoV.

Mike had endangered a lot of lives when he promoted it on air. He had unknowingly promoted alcohol misuse, especially among the youth and minors. In the long run, crime rate will increase, especially in the streets of Nairobi because of that mistake.                                                                                               (business.humanrights.org, LMVHMoet Hennessy, CNN)