Connect with us

Education

What’s inside your smartphone?

Published

on

smartphone,inside view,smartphone inside

As of 2018, there are around 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world. If we broke open all their newest phones, which are just a fraction of the total that’ve been built, and split them into their component parts, that would produce around 85,000 kilograms of gold, 875,000 of silver, and 40 million kilograms of copper. How did this precious cache get into our phones, and can we reclaim it?

Gold, silver, and copper are actually just a few of the 70 or so chemical elements that make up the average smartphone. These can be divided into different groups, two of the most critical being rare earth elements and precious metals. Rare earths are a selection of 17 elements that are actually common in Earth’s crust and are found in many areas across the world in low concentrations. These elements have a huge range of magnetic, phosphorescent, and conductive properties that make them crucial to modern technologies. In fact, of the 17 types of rare earth metals, phones and other electronics may contain up to 16. In smartphones, these create the screen and color display, aid conductivity, and produce the signature vibrations, amongst other things. And yet, crucial as they are, extracting these elements from the earth is linked to some disturbing environmental impacts. Rare earth elements can often be found, but in many areas, it’s not economically feasible to extract them due to low concentrations. Much of the time, extracting them requires a method called open pit mining that exposes vast areas of land. This form of mining destroys huge swaths of natural habitats, and causes air and water pollution, threatening the health of nearby communities.

Another group of ingredients in smartphones comes with similar environmental risks: these are metals such as copper, silver, palladium, aluminum, platinum, tungsten, tin, lead, and gold. We also mine magnesium, lithium, silica, and potassium to make phones, and all of it is associated with vast habitat destruction, as well as air and water pollution. Mining comes with worrying social problems, too, like large-scale human and animal displacement to make way for industrial operations, and frequently, poor working conditions for laborers.

Lastly, phone production also requires petroleum, one of the main drivers of climate change. That entwines our smartphones inextricably with this growing planetary conundrum. And, what’s more, the ingredients we mine to make our phones aren’t infinite. One day, they’ll simply run out, and we haven’t yet discovered effective replacements for some. Despite this, the number of smartphones is on a steady increase; by 2019 it’s predicted that there’ll be close to 3 billion in use.

This means that reclaiming the bounty within our phones is swiftly becoming a necessity. So, if you have an old phone,you might want to consider your options before throwing it away. To minimize waste, you could donate it to a charity for reuse,take it to an e-waste recycling facility, or look for a company that refurbishes old models. However, even recycling companies need our scrutiny. Just as the production of smartphones comes with social and environmental problems, dismantling them does too. E-waste is sometimes intentionally exported to countries where labor is cheap but working conditions are poor. Vast work forces, often made up of women and children, may be underpaid, lack the training to safely disassemble phones, and be exposed to elements like lead and mercury, which can permanently damage their nervous systems. Phone waste can also end up in huge dump sites, leaching toxic chemicals into the soil and water, mirroring the problems of the mines where the elements originated. A phone is much more than it appears to be on the surface. It’s an assemblage of elements from multiple countries, linked to impacts that are unfolding on a global scale. So, until someone invents a completely sustainable smartphone, we’ll need to come to terms with how this technology affects widespread places and people

Stay tuned to our site by turning on the notification for our posts.

Business

Origin of McDonald’s

Published

on

McDonald’s is a real estate business. That might sound surprising: After all, who hasn’t at least once in their lifetime indulged in the glorious experience that is a Happy Meal? You might know McDonald’s as that fast food chain that sells hamburgers and fries, but trust me, it goes way deeper than that. That’s why we’ll be looking at the world’s second-largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s.
Few things sound as Irish as the name McDonald. It’s an interesting name: the ‘mac’ part means son, while Donald comes from a Gaelic name that means ‘Ruler of the World’. Very ominous, right? The two ‘world-rulers’ that we’re interested in are Richard and Maurice McDonald, two brothers from New Hampshire.
In the 1920s they moved to California, where they started a movie theater and a hotdog stand, but they eventually went bust when the Great Depression came around. Their first big success came in 1940 when they opened a barbecue joint in San Bernardino.
Now at the time, virtually all restaurants were mom-and-pop establishments, with their own unique taste and cooking methods. Drive-ins with roller skating waitresses were all the rage back then, but they weren’t particularly efficient. You had to wait half an hour to get your order, and half of the time they got it wrong. The McDonald’s barbecue was no different, and although it did turn a profit, the brothers knew they could do better.
They realized that most of their income was coming from just three products: hamburgers, french fries, and coke, and after running the place for 8 years, the brothers decided to make a radical makeover. They dropped most of their menu to focus on their best sellers, and then they redesigned the entire kitchen around that.
The cooking process started to look like an assembly line, which allowed the brothers to fill customer orders in as little as 30 seconds. They abandoned the drive-in concept in favor of a walk-up counter, and they stopped using
cutlery and dishes entirely, replacing them with disposable paper packaging. In an instant, their restaurant became a sensation, drawing in attention from across the country.
One of the people they attracted was the guy, Ray Kroc. He was a natural-born hustler, who at the age of 15 had lied his way into serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War 1. Interestingly enough, he served alongside Walt Disney in France, but they didn’t really keep in touch after the war. Like most people from the postwar years Ray had worked dozens of jobs: jazz pianist, radio DJ, paper cup salesman, you name it.
In the early 1950s, he was traveling cross-country trying to sell expensive milkshake machines, but he wasn’t really doing a good job at it. One day in 1954, however, he got an order for 8 of them, and it was from none other
than the McDonald brothers. When Ray made his way to San Bernardino, he fell in love with their restaurant and immediately offered to franchise it.
By that point, the McDonald brothers had already opened over 20 franchise locations, but none of them were doing as well as the original restaurant: The lack of oversight made maintaining quality impossible. The brothers decided to give Ray a shot, and boy did deliver.
He handpicked only the best franchisees and ran his operations like an army drill. In the span of just 6 years, Ray built 100 McDonald’s restaurants, while the McDonald brothers were basically managing their own joint. Ray eventually grew tired of them: they’d reap 0.5% of all sales for doing nothing while roadblocking Ray’s suggestions for improving the franchise.
To cut them out, Ray figured out a brilliant strategy. He’d buy the land where all future restaurants would be built upon, and then he’d lease it to his franchisees. This way Ray got to keep almost all of the profits from the business while leaving the McDonald brothers empty-handed.
Of course, the brothers weren’t very happy at that, but there wasn’t anything they could do, and in 1961 they finally agreed to sell their franchise to Ray for $2.7 million. With the brothers out of the way, Ray stepped on the accelerator, implementing all the changes he had wanted like redoing the logo and creating a mascot.
He also expanded the menu, adding the Filet-O-Fish in 1965 and the Big Mac in 1968. That same year Ray celebrated opening store #1000 and adopted the modern iteration of the golden arches logo. Throughout the next decades, McDonald’s would keep expanding, and not just in the US. They pioneered breakfast fast food with the introduction of the Egg McMuffin in 1972. They also added stuff like Chicken McNuggets and the Happy Meal, which would eventually make them the world’s largest toy distributor.
By 1988 they had 10,000 restaurants, and although Ray was no longer alive, the company kept on growing without him. Thanks to their iconic Hamburger University, the McDonald’s franchise had some of the best-trained managers in the fast food industry.
This allowed them to stay one step ahead of competitors like Burger King and Wendy’s. Since then, McDonald’s have continued expanding their menu into what we know today.
In 2006 the franchise underwent its first major redesign since the 1970s, adopting the so-called “Forever Young” design, which features dining zones with comfortable sofas and armchairs.
Interestingly enough, today McDonald’s isn’t the world’s’ largest restaurant chain: That title goes to Subway, who have almost 45 thousand locations compared to 37 thousand for McDonald’s. The company itself owns only 15% of them, the rest being franchised out.
The restaurants ran by the company account for 2/3rds of its revenue, but that’s not the whole story. In reality, it costs way more to run your own restaurant than it does to sit back and collect rent. In 2014, for example, company-operated stores generated $18.2 billion, but McDonald’s got to keep only 2.9 billion. In comparison, out of the $9.2 billion coming in from franchisees, the company kept 7.6, a stunning 80%.
So even though McDonald’s seems to be flipping burgers, in reality, they’re playing Monopoly instead.
So this was all how the McDonald’s restaurant chain started.
Continue Reading

Education

What Astronauts did to Survive First Moon Landing

Published

on

Before our lunar landing, no one really knew what the physical and psychological effects of space would be or whether the astronauts would even survive. To prepare for the unknown, astronauts spent years training in some pretty unusual places. They were pushed to dangerous and, in some cases, deadly extremes. But without this training, the crew of Apollo 11 may never have made it to the moon.
In the late 1950s, this is where NASA found its first astronauts. The idea was that since military test pilots were accustomed to flying advanced and powerful aircraft, their skills would provide the most useful transition. But there was a big difference between flying in a sophisticated jet and being launched out of Earth’s atmosphere in a tiny metal container. Out of over 100 candidates plucked from the military, only seven were selected for NASA’s
first manned space program, Project Mercury, and they had less than two years to go from military pilots to astronauts.
Team of Apollo 11

Team of Apollo 11

The first several months of training were spent in the classroom, learning about the science of spaceflight. There were five other areas of focus during Mercury training: vehicle operations, physical fitness, ground activities, maintenance of flight skills and space flight conditions.
The team was given extreme G load of an emergency abort and landing. The astronauts referred to this particular part of their training as “sadistic” and “diabolical”. With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 280 kilometers per hour in under seven seconds, the Johnsville human centrifuge tested the ability to remain conscious under the extreme
G-forces that spaceflight would bring.
In May of 1961, the training paid off with the first manned mission of the Mercury Program, and a series of successful flights followed. NASA quickly announced Project Gemini, it’s next space program which would prepare astronauts for Apollo. The Gemini and Apollo missions would require astronauts to function in zero gravity for
up to two weeks and endure the harsh effects of space.
NASA’s biomedical staff conducted a series of experiments that tested exposure to acceleration, radiation, 100-percent oxygen and microgravity. The astronauts were put on unusual sleep and diet regimens to test their bodies’ limitations.
They had to learn how to do seemingly basic, but wildly inconvenient, tasks like going to the bathroom in a specially designed space bag. To prepare for spacewalks, the astronauts took part in weightlessness training inside
an aircraft dubbed “the vomit comet”.
Vomit Comet

Vomit Comet

NASA later added an elaborate underwater training, called neutral buoyancy, that required astronauts to master diving techniques as they worked on a spacecraft mockup. Outside of NASA’s facilities, the astronauts were sent to the Panamanian jungle and the Nevada desert for survival training. In the event their spacecraft landed in a remote part of the globe, the astronauts needed to be prepared to live off the land.
Training for Apollo required astronauts to broaden their scientific knowledge in order to conduct experiments on the lunar surface. So astronauts went to Iceland, Hawaii and the Grand Canyon to learn how to recognize and catalog geologic features on the moon. To simulate these experiments, NASA also recreated a lunar landscape using dynamite and fertilizer bombs in a Northern Arizona field.
One of the most difficult scenarios to prepare for was the lunar landing itself. These pure fly-by-wire aircraft were created to emulate the flight specs of the Lunar Module. But these vehicles were risky and dangerous. During a training flight, Neil Armstrong lost control, ejecting right before the vehicle crashed.
An unrattled Armstrong was spotted at his desk working about an hour after the crash as if it had never happened.
According to other astronauts, that’s just how he was. And that calm, collected nature is what made Neil Armstrong the perfect astronaut to pilot the Lunar Module during the first trip to the moon’s surface.
Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969. The crew: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, followed the paths of the astronauts before them. When it came time to descend to the moon’s surface, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the Lunar Module, nicknamed Eagle, and separated from the Command-Service Module where Collins remained. The dangers the astronauts faced were no longer theoretical and all their training was about to be put into action.
Apollo 11 Launch

Apollo 11 Launch

The Lunar Module’s computer froze, reading an error code neither astronaut understood. Despite the software failure, they continued the descent. Aldrin called out navigation while Armstrong took over manual controls. But by this point, they had overshot the predicted landing zone and were now flying over crater fields. To make things more terrifying, the fuel supply was rapidly diminishing and they had just one minute until a mandatory abort.
Using the skills he developed flying the training vehicles and channeling his nerves of steel, Armstrong leveled off and touched down on a smooth patch of the moon. They actually did it. NASA made it to the moon with less than six months until the end of the decade.
While Apollo 11 got a lot of the glory for this goal, there were dozens of astronauts who helped get to this point. Hundreds of more people back on Earth, women included, were making the impossible happen. Throughout the Apollo missions, engineers and ground control were faced with split-second decisions that could either end in triumph or tragedy. And a lightning strike during Apollo 12 would take that pressure to extreme heights.  This was the training and success of Apollo 11.
Stay tuned with News Booklet for similar updates by turning on the notifications.
Continue Reading

Education

International Space Station: How was it built?

Published

on

ISS: How was it Built?

Have you ever been gazing at a starry sky? When suddenly a bright dot glided into view? If it wasn’t blinking, then you’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing one of mankind’s greatest collaborative feats with your own eyes:

The International Space Station.

Roughly the size of the six-bedroom house, and weighing more than 320 cars, the International Space Station is so large that no single rocket could have lifted it into orbit. Instead, it was assembled piece by piece while hurtling through space at 28,000 kilometers per hour, lapping the Earth once every 90 minutes.

It all started when sixteen nations signed the Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement, laying out each partner’s expected contributions to the ISS, from modules and maintenance to sharing information and finances. At an estimated 100 billion U.S. dollars, the Space Station would be the most expensive object ever built.

The whole world watched as a Russian rocket launched the first module of the ISS into the sky. Zarya, meaning sunrise, was equipped with two solar panels and a propulsion system that had the important task of keeping the young station from crashing into the Earth by staying a safe 400 kilometers away.

The U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour followed two weeks later carrying Unity, a node module to which other modules could be connected, and an international six-person assembly crew.

Then came Zvezda, which brought communications and living accommodations. Ever since the International Space Station’s first tenants arrived, it’s been continually occupied with more than 200 visitors spending an average of six months on board.


Also Read: What Astronauts did to Survive First Moon Landing

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman at 199 days on the ISS. 2001 saw the arrival of Destiny, the first of four research modules, where astronauts spend approximately 36 hours a week conducting extraordinary experiments in microgravity.

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

Their schedules are packed with exercise, two hours a day to fend off muscle atrophy, station maintenance and repair, and connecting with family or awe-inspired minds around the world. But they still find time for fun, with regular movie nights and even shooting the first music video in space.

Destiny also controls the seven-jointed robotic Canadarm2. Capable of moving more than 100,000 kilograms, it’s perfect for unloading new arrivals from shuttles. 2001 was a busy year for the Space Station with the addition of Quest, the main airlock for strolls outside, and Pirs, a pier for Russian spacecraft to dock including the ever-ready emergency escape vehicle, Soyuz.

Then, on February 1st, 2003, after delivering research modules to the ISS, the space shuttle Columbia exploded during re-entry tragically killing the seven-member crew on board.

After a four-year hiatus, work quickly picked up the pace with the addition of more hubs, airlocks, docks, and an observation cupola for stunning 360-degree views of our world and beyond.

Other critical components included platforms and trusses to support radiators that direct all the heat generated by the station’s electronics into space and solar panels that are efficient enough to power 55 homes.

It took ten years and over 30 missions, but finally, the International Space Station was complete, coinciding with the U.S. Space Shuttle Program’s retirement.

The Space Station continues to serve as an incredible model for international collaboration.

ISS1

This year, two people began a one-year stay on the ISS, allowing scientists to study the long-term physical and psychological effects of being in space, which would prove useful for increasingly ambitious space travel, like trips to Mars.

Over its lifetime, we’ve learned an immense amount scientifically, but also about our capacity to work together and accomplish truly remarkable acts.

So, this was all about International Space Station.

Stay tuned with us. We keep bringing this kind of content for you.

Source: TED-Ed

 

Continue Reading

Trending