World Bytes

World Bytes: World War I: 100 Years Later

By Terrance Malkinson

World War I began on 28 July 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia as a result of the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on 28 June by a Serb nationalist while Ferdinand was visiting the city of Sarajevo. This small conflict between two countries spread rapidly. Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and France were drawn into the war because of treaties that obligated them to defend other nations. Other nations, 30 in total, including the United States and Canada also were drawn into the war. Millions of people died, many of whom were never found or identified. Lifetimes of grief enveloped relatives of the fallen, and for the survivors with damaged bodies, minds and spirit.

 The war ended in the fall of 1918, after the member countries of the Central Powers signed armistice agreements. Diplomats compromised together in order to come up with the Versailles Treaty which ended World War I. Unfortunately, many of the treaty’s terms were controversial, setting the stage for World War II. And more regrettably, many other conflicts and wars have occurred during the one-hundred years since WWI. When will this senseless violence cease so that peace envelopes all humanity with tolerance and understanding of differences? When will people who wish ill-will and intolerance for others not be elevated to positions of power, feared, and permitted to damage lives? Education is one critical component and must start with excellence in teachers of youth, world-wide. Children must not continue issues of intolerance unique to earlier generations including their parents. The IEEE through its global humanitarian initiatives is contributing and will continue to make important contributions building a better world.

This week, 100th anniversary remembrance services have been held world-wide with a major service in Liege, Belgium attended by many world leaders. Belgium was a key WWI battleground. Speaking at the ceremony; England’s Prince William said "recent events in Ukraine showed that instability continues to stalk our continent.� Continuing he said "the fact that war was now "unthinkable" between the former World War I enemies represented at the ceremony "bears testimony to the power of reconciliation…we were enemies more than once in the last century, and today we are friends and allies. We salute those who died to give us our freedom. We will remember them."

Other Bytes

Here are some of the things going on in and around the community:

  • The July/August 2014 issue of MIT Technology Review [117(4):20-67.] provides a series of eight feature articles and interviews with leading scientists on new technologies that look inside the brain and will make it possible to change what we think, feel, and remember. As described in the articles the invention of optogenetics and other technologies provide investigators with the tools to investigate the source of emotions, memory, and consciousness for the first time. Through research, dramatic advancements in understanding brain function are emerging. We must always remember that with this comes the responsibility to use this new knowledge only for the benefit of mankind.

  • Jason Ankeny describes how Yves Behar’s award-winning design studio Fuseproject creates groundbreaking products and brand identities for some of the world’s most influential companies in Better Business by Design [Entrepreneur. August 2014. pp. 50-53.]. He has developed an innovative venture-inspired business model that surpasses the traditional consultant-client relationship that provides superior design to start-ups; even those with limited resources.

  • Misuse and lax regulation of pain medication can create a lethal combination. In the preface to America’s Scary Pain Pill Habit [Consumer Reports. 79(9):19-22. September, 2014.] it is stated that every day, 46 people in the U.S. die from legal pain pills. The article discusses the problem and provides advice on how you can avoid becoming a statistic.

  • Increasing incidence of obesity and diet-related chronic disease world-wide is resulting in government attention in the nutritional practices of citizens. One aspect of this is nutrition labelling There is however disagreement as to which labeling format is most helpful to consumers. Rachel Perez in her article Global Nutrition Labeling: Moving Toward Standardization? [Nutrition Today. 49(2):77-82 March-April, 2014.] provides a review of the global regulatory labelling framework and comments on emerging regulatory developments for packaged products and for the restaurant industry.

  • Forty years ago, George Laurer’s creation while working for IBM as an engineer of the black line and number sets known as the bar code ” the Universal Product Code (UPC) was used in a U.S. grocery store. On June 26, 1974, an Ohio cashier scanned Laurer’s bar code, which was on a 67-cent pack of Wrigley’s gum. Since then, the bar code has infiltrated multiple industries. As is the case with many innovations George had no idea that the impact his design would have on the world.

  • Two recent articles from McKinsey & Company [] include “The Seven Traits of Effective Digital Enterprises” [May, 2014] and “Creating Partnerships for Sustainability” [July, 2014]. In the first article Tunde Olanrewaju et al discuss how companies should (must) stop experimenting with digital and commit to transforming themselves into full digital businesses. The authors discuss seven traits that successful digital enterprises share. In the second article Marco Albani and Kimberly Henderson discuss seven strategies for success when forging alliances with other public or private organizations to address social and environmental problems.


Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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