Did you know there’s an ISO for sex?

Turns out that there is an ISO standard for sex. Man is 1 and woman is 2. But why man precedes woman? The standard explicitly states that no significance is to be placed on the fact that male is encoded as 1 and female as 2. The encoding merely reflects existing practice in the countries that initiated this standard.

More information at ISO.

International standard ISO 5218 defines a representation of human sexes through a language-neutral single-digit code. It can be used in information systems such as database applications. (Source: Wikipedia)

The four codes specified in ISO 5218 are:

  • 0 = not known,
  • 1 = male,
  • 2 = female,
  • 9 = not applicable.

Did you know the ‘Referer’ in HTTP is spelt wrongly?

Well it is. Here is what’s written in the RFC 2616 – Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:

The Referer[sic] request-header field allows the client to specify, for the server’s benefit, the address (URI) of the resource from which the Request-URI was obtained (the “referrer”, although the header field is misspelled.) The Referer request-header allows a server to generate lists of back-links to resources for interest, logging, optimized caching, etc. It also allows obsolete or mistyped links to be traced for maintenance. The Referer field MUST NOT be sent if the Request-URI was obtained from a source that does not have its own URI, such as input from the user keyboard.

[code lang=”bash”]Referer = “Referer” “:” ( absoluteURI | relativeURI )[/code]

Example:

[code lang=”bash”]Referer: http://www.w3.org/hypertext/DataSources/Overview.html[/code]

If the field value is a relative URI, it SHOULD be interpreted relative to the Request-URI. The URI MUST NOT include a fragment. See section 15.1.3 for security considerations.

The referrer, or HTTP referrer — also known by the common misspelling referer that occurs as an HTTP header — identifies, from the point of view of an internet webpage or resource, the address of the webpage (commonly the URL, the more generic URI or the i18n updated IRI) of the resource which links to it. By checking the referrer, the new page can see where the request came from. Referrer logging is used to allow websites and web servers to identify where people are visiting them from, for promotional or security purposes. Referrer is a popular tool to combat cross-site request forgery, but such security mechanisms do not work when the referrer is disabled. Referrer is widely used for statistical purposes. (Source: Wikipedia)

Ubuntu’s bug #1: Microsoft has a majority market share

Ubuntu’s bug number 1 is reported by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd. and as of 2009, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system.

Bug #1 in Ubuntu: “Microsoft has a majority market share”

Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace.

This is a bug, which Ubuntu is designed to fix.

Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world’s population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally. This bug is widely evident in the PC industry.

Steps to repeat:

  1. Visit a local PC store.

What happens:

  1. Observe that a majority of PCs for sale have non-free software pre-installed.
  2. Observe very few PCs with Ubuntu and free software pre-installed.

What should happen:

  1. A majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software like Ubuntu.
  2. Ubuntu should be marketed in a way such that its amazing features and benefits would be apparent and known by all.
  3. The system shall become more and more user friendly as time passes.

(Source: Launchpad)

How does a gas pump at a petrol station know when the tank is full

How Stuff Works explains how a gasoline pump at a filling station know when the tank is full.

How does a gasoline pump at a filling station know when the tank is full?

Near the tip of the nozzle is a small hole, and a small pipe leads back from the hole into the handle. Suction is applied to this pipe using a venturi. When the tank is not full, air is being drawn through the hole by the vacuum, and the air flows easily. When gasoline in the tank rises high enough to block the hole, a mechanical linkage in the handle senses the change in suction and flips the nozzle off.

Here’s a way to think about it — you’ve got a small pipe with suction being applied at one end and air flowing through the pipe easily. If you stick the free end of the pipe in a glass of water, much more suction is needed, so a vacuum develops in the middle of the pipe. That vacuum can be used to flip a lever that cuts off the nozzle.

The next time you fill up your tank, look for this hole either on the inside or the outside of the tip. (Source: How stuff works)

Now you know.

Did you know today is lantern festival?

Well, today is Yuan Xiao Jie (元宵节) also known as Lantern Festival. It’s something that China celebrates and Singapore doesn’t because we combined them and celebrate it on this mid-autumn festival somehow. I don’t know how that came to our traditions. Lantern festival is celebrated as it is the first night (15th on lunar calendar) of the year with a full moon.

The Lantern Festival (traditional Chinese: 元宵節; simplified Chinese: 元宵节; pinyin: Yuánxiāojié or traditional Chinese: 上元節; simplified Chinese: 上元节; pinyin: Shàngyuánjié; Vietnamese: Tết Nguyên tiêu; Hán tự: 節元宵) is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also sometimes known as the “Lantern Festival” in locations such as Singapore, Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns (simplified Chinese: 兔子灯; traditional Chinese: 兔子燈; pinyin: tùzidēng) and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyin: cāidēngmí). It officially ends the Chinese New Year. (Source: Wikipedia)

I guess most would be having a good meal at home. This day marks the end of lunar new year, I hope my friends would have a good year ahead. Happy lunar new year, one last time!

For every girl… There is a boy…

This little passage got me thinking:

For every girl there is a boy
For every girl there is a boy

For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feel vulnerable.

For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.

For every girl who is tired of being called over-sensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep.

For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes.

For every girl who throws out her E-Z-Bake oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one.

For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self esteem.

For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who find the way to freedom a little easier.

(Image source: Tumblr)

Well if you go into statistics… For every girl, there is actually 1.03 boys between ages 15 and 64. All men tend to die off earlier reducing the ratio to a further 0.75 after ages 65 and above causing older women to look sadder than they really should.

In Singapore, women are a little luckier with each women having 1.07 men between ages 15 and 64 (technically) to themselves. If you should ever support polygamy, perhaps you can think about the possibility of a woman having multiple husbands.

This information is from CIA World Factbook.

Five common misconceptions

Okay apparently the article exists. I was feeling kinda bored today so I start my bad habit of reading trivia on the internet. There’re tons of them and I’m probably completed 0.01% of it.

Here’re some of the more interesting misconceptions (probably controversial) regarding history:

  1. The belief that gunpowder, even though it was a Chinese invention, was first used for war by the Europeans is a misconception. The Chinese used flamethrowers and gunpowder arrows for military purposes from the 900s onward.
  2. Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, rather he stated: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”. Vint Cerf, often called ‘the father of the Internet’, has defended the statement: “VP Gore was the first or surely among the first of the members of Congress to become a strong supporter of advanced networking while he served as Senator. As far back as 1986, he was holding hearings on this subject (supercomputing, fiber networks…) and asking about their promise and what could be done to realize them.”
    (So sorry I made more than a thousand Al Gore jokes.)

And health of course:

  1. People do not use only ten percent of their brains. This myth is thought by some to have emerged after the discovery of glial cells in the brain, or it could have been the result of some other misunderstood or misinterpreted legitimate scientific findings, or even been the result of speculation by self-help gurus.
  2. There is no single theory that satisfactorily explains myopia—in particular, studies show that “eyestrain” from close reading and computer games does not explain myopia. There is also no evidence that reading in dim light causes vision to deteriorate.
    (That’s what I keep telling my mom, she doesn’t believe me!)

And this made me check Humpty Dumpty lyrics again:

  1. Nowhere in the actual nursery rhyme is Humpty Dumpty referred to as an egg.

It’s a slow news day.

Humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpua’a – Hawaii state fish

Haa! Just realized that Humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpua’a is the state fish of Hawaii. It’s reef triggerfish.

On April 17, 2006, bill HB1982 was presented to the Governor of Hawai’i which permanently reinstated the reef triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuapua’a) as the state fish of Hawai’i. The bill passed into law on May 2, 2006 and was effective upon its approval. (Source: Hawaii)

The most absurd laws

The Most Absurd Laws from Around the World

  1. It’s illegal to call or address a pig as Napoleon in France.
  2. It is against the law to sell a doll with a face that’s not human in France.
  3. It is illegal to carry a Bible or to talk to someone about Jesus in Singapore. (Is this true?)
  4. In Britain, It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. The reasoning behind this is that technically anyone who dies within the walls of Parliament is automatically granted a Royal state funeral. (Okay, anybody fancies a state funeral?)
  5. It is illegal to dress up as Batman in Australia. (What about Superman?)
  6. In Finland, Donald Duck was once banned because he doesn’t wear any pants.
  7. In Thailand, all those who attend a cinema show must stand up during the national anthem before a film begins.

More at Divine Caroline.