First News
Volume:7, Number:44
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

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Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of World War 2. The war was fought between the Allied and Axis powers. The battle got its name from the Atlantic Ocean because it had been the central core of the war. Over 5,000 ships were sunk and tens of thousands of men killed in the Atlantic Ocean. The war had begun in September 1939, and 6 years later in May 1945, the Allies had gained significant control and ultimately won the Battle of the Atlantic.

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Hewlett-Packard 50-50

The Hewlett-Packard Company, also known as HP, is one of the world’s largest tech-giants, with a net worth of USSD55 billion. Despite its current status, it had a rather modest foundation. William Hewlett and Dave Packard began the company in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California. But they faced trouble deciding on a name, so they thought what better way than a classic coin-toss to decide whether they would name it Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. Hewlett won the toss and the company began with USD538 in working capital.

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Fear of Happiness

The fear of happiness or a strong dislike of happiness is staggeringly an actual phobia, referred to as Cherophobia. The word Cherophobia originates from the Greek, ‘Chero’ meaning ‘happiness,’ and ‘phobia’ meaning ‘fear’. The key belief is the fear of negative things occurring when happy, and happy people then undergo suffering. Cherophobia is usually established after a traumatic event. Common treatment includes counseling or psychotherapy. Happiness is scary to many, yet it remains our ultimate life goal.

Compiled by: Sameer Miyaz Ahmed

Famous People, Funny Stories

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You can thank Greek mathematician Pythagoras for that geometry staple, the Pythagorean theorem. Legend has it that beans were partly to blame for Pythagoras' death. After being chased from his house by attackers, he came upon a bean field, where he allegedly decided he would rather die than enter the field — and his attackers promptly slit his throat.

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Nikola Tesla worked for Thomas Edison, making key breakthroughs in radio, robotics, and electricity, some of which Edison took credit for. But he probably also had obsessive compulsive disorder, refusing to touch anything even the slightest bit dirty, as well as hair, pearl earrings, or anything round. In addition, he became obsessed with the number 3, walking around a building three times before entering it. And at each meal, he would use exactly 18 napkins to polish the utensils until they sparkled.

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The 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was a nobleman known for his eccentric life and death. He loved to party and his love of parties may have inadvertently been the death of him. At a banquet in Prague, Brahe insisted on staying at the table when he needed to pee, because leaving the table would be a breach of etiquette. That was a bad move, as Brahe developed a kidney infection and his bladder burst 11 days later in 1601.

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The physicist Robert Oppenheimer was a polymath and polyglot, fluent in eight languages and with a wide range of interests, but he sometimes had trouble understanding other people's limitations. For instance, in 1931 he asked a University of California Berkeley colleague, Leo Nedelsky, to prepare a lecture for him, noting that it would be easy because everything was in a book that Oppenheimer gave him. When the colleague came back befuddled because the book was entirely in Dutch. Oppenheimer responded, "But it is such easy Dutch!"

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