History Schmistory: November 17. Not your ordinary cat toy…

1970: Douglas Engelbart successfully patents the computer mouse. His patent for computer cheese is still pending.

History Schmistory: November 11. Coooold-snap!

1911: Apocalyptic expectations went wild the last time we saw an 11/11/11, as The Great Blue Norther, a cold snap that produced record highs and lows on the same day, barreled through the central US, leaving much of the bewildered population with contrasting habiliments.


History Schmistory: November 8. Rays of Hope.

1895: Wilhelm Röntgen discovers the X-Ray almost completely by accident. And that’s when the fun began!

History Schmistory: October 10. What about Spaceland Security?

1967: The Outer Space Treaty, signed by over sixty nations including the US, the UK and the Soviet Union, becomes official. It serves as a binding promise to keep space open for everyone to explore, and to not use it to store and/or fire weapons of mass destruction. Many feel the agreement only makes it easier for outside forces to take advantage of the opportunity.

GO THERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eden Project is a can’t miss family attraction in Cornwall, UK, that boasts the largest greenhouse in the world. And the coolest looking one, we think.

History Schmistory: August 19. To go where no man would dare go before…

1960 – Sputnik Program: Sputnik 5  – the Soviet Union launches a satellite with 2 dogs, 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants. The first animals to be launched into orbit and return safely. Not to take anything away from the first animals ever in space, fruit flies. Seriously. They did so well we sent them back a few years ago. Poor little guys…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-We should give a shout to Laika, the original space dog, who unfortunately didn’t make it back. RIP widdle buddy!

History Schmistory: February 15. Compute this!

1946: ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer) filled an entire room, weighed thirty tons, and consumed over two hundred kilowatts of power, (1 kW=1000 regular watts) so clearly the room must have felt like a sauna. Parts included over 19,000 vacuum tubes -the principal elements of the circuitry- and hundreds of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, all jumbled up inside forty-two panels nine feet tall, two feet wide, and one foot thick. And not a mouse to be found!

It would be decades before the true potential of the computer would be realized…

History Schmistory: February 13. “I give up.”

1633: After a grueling twenty-three day trip, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, seventy years old and suffering from excruciating sciatica, arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition. Having failed to convince the cardinals with his evidence, Galileo was to be tried for heresy for professing and detailing his belief that Earth revolves around the Sun. In order to avoid a particularly torturous jail sentence, the mark of any bona fide Inquisition, Galileo had no choice but to submit, renouncing his beliefs and denying a lifetime of work so he could go back home and live out his remaining days in peace.

Some folks were just too far ahead of their time…

OK, Edison, it is your birthday and all.

We must admit, we are guilty of giving Thomas Edison a lot of grief for being a back-stabbing, elephant-killing, meanie-head, but he certainly was a powerfully advantageous business man and a worthy icon for American progress and ingenuity. So, I guess we can at least say Happy Birthday to the dead guy. Here’s a great video from Jeremiah Warren that breaks down his legacy quite efficiently :)

Now That’s Progress! Harnessing the power of lighting.

Okay, so we’ve all heard the Ben Franklin-kite flying-electricity story enough times, but what some of us may not realize is that those experiments led to one of the most important inventions in history. One that has arguably saved more lives than any other: The Lightning Rod. Pachow, pachow!
You see, most building materials like wood and drywall and… roof, are horrible conductors of electricity, so when hit with a streaking supercharge of juice, they tend to burst into flames. This can cause quite a predicament for those contained within. Back in Franklin’s day most homes and buildings were constructed with wood based materials, so it was common for lightning to ruin a perfectly good evening for many an unlucky household. The Lightning Rod offered a simple and effective solution. A pointed metal rod placed at the highest point of a structure would attract and conduct the energy a lightning bolt produces and pass it by wire down the side of a structure and into the ground where a much larger rod absorbs the bulk of the load. Genius.
Back in the day, lightning rods were very decorative and most contained glass bulbs, which, when shattered, offered clear evidence of their awesomeness.

So next time you find yourself in a tall building, a dwelling on a hill, an airplane, or a yacht or something, during a crazy lighting storm, give a quick thanks to Mr. F for keeping you perfectly safe.

…Well from lightning anyway.

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