All posts by maxpagels

How FC Barcelona blew a fortune — and got worse

In 2017, the Spanish agent Junior Minguella offered Barcelona’s board the sensational 18-year-old French forward Kylian Mbappé. But Minguella didn’t even hear back from Barça until finally a WhatsApp message arrived from a board member, Javier Bordas: “Neither the coaches nor Presi [the president] wanted him.”

Bordas would say years later that Barça’s technical staff had also rejected the young Norwegian Erling Braut ­Haaland, because he wasn’t considered “a player in the Barça model”. Today, Mbappé and Haaland are the two most coveted young men in football.

The remarkable life of the Royal Albert Hall (so far)

It took four years to build the Royal Albert Hall. While the building itself was being constructed in London, the roof was built in Manchester. It was taken to pieces for its journey by train to the capital, then put together again on arrival.

The roof simply sits on top – it is not attached to the Hall building in any way. When it was put in place, the weight of the roof caused the Hall to sink by just under a millimetre. It remains a sturdy construction after 150 years – the roof of the Royal Albert Hall is able to withstand the weight of up to 158 tonnes of snow on a particularly wintery day.

The Yesterday channel has a new show Secrets of the London Underground. Based on the first two episodes, covering the never-opened North End station and abandoned bits of Holborn station, it’s very much recommended. Plenty of history even enthusiasts might not know about.

Japan Has Shattered the Internet Speed Record at 319 Terabits per Second

Engineers in Japan just shattered the world record for the fastest internet speed, achieving a data transmission rate of 319 Terabits per second (Tb/s), according to a paper presented at the International Conference on Optical Fiber Communications in June. The new record was made on a line of fibers more than 1,864 miles (3,000 km) long. And, crucially, it is compatible with modern-day cable infrastructure.

That’s almost double the previous record, set last year.

As Finland swelters in the summer heat, I started to wonder why exactly severe heat causes memory loss and overall cognitive confusion. An article in the Journal of Neuroinflammation suggests this is in part due to the activation of non-neuronal cells in the nervous system:

Together, these findings suggest that heat stress can lead to activation of glial cells and induction of inflammatory molecules in the hippocampus, which may act as causative factors for memory loss, neuronal death, and impaired adult neurogenesis.