Cool facts about the internet

Interesting facts from the world of language, science, and religion that are related to the world wide web.

A NY librarian popularized web surfing

Not actually web surfing but the term “web surfing”.

Even though we can’t be certain who the first person to ever say the term was, Jean Armour Polly, a New York librarian, is usually credited with coining the term because she popularized it.

Polly apparently came up with it while writing about accessing the web… with an Apple mouse pad with the image of a surfer. Now you see where she got the idea, don’t you?

The term is still used today although others like “browsing” are more common. In Spanish, the term navegar (sailing) is widely used.


The word “Internet” was first used for a transistor radio

We’re still not sure who coined the term but “internet” has been spotted on transistor radio boxes dating from the late ’60s.

Of course, it had nothing to do with the world wide web and the internet we know today.


Minitel: France’s own internet

Minitel was a groundbreaking service which brought online banking, travel reservations (and yes, even porn!) to millions of users during the ’80s.

Long before the birth of the internet we now know, France had its own internet, which allowed the French to shop and do many other things online before the rest of the world -or at least most of it, since other countries had similar services, such as as Videotel (Italy), Ibertex (Spain), and Prestel (UK).

Most of them died out in the ’90s and Minitel was finally switched off in 2012.


NASA’s internet connection reached 91gb per second

You might have heard or read articles stating that NASA’s internet connection is 13,000 faster than yours (at least, the average American’s: 6,6mb per second).

But truth is that NASA actually reached 91 gigabits per second on a specific connection during an experiment, between SC13 in Denver and the NASA Goddard facility in Maryland. This was possible thanks to the ESnet, which allows site-to-site file transfer at up to 100 gigabits per second.

So yeah, it is faster than yours and mine but not that fast!


Pope Francis: No internet?

Pope Francis is a pretty modern Pope but apparently, he’s never used the internet.

He does, however, know the importance of social media presence so he has not one but nine @Pontifex Twitter accounts managed by a team, with over 20 million followers.


The internet has a patron saint

The Pope might not be a big fan of the web but the internet does have a patron saint: Saint Isidore of Seville.

It was chosen by Pope John Paul II in 1997.


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