Friday, February 15, 2013
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!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
1901: Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal in Newfoundland. The Message? “What kind of name is gooey elbow macaroni?”
Friday, December 7, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
1877: Thomas Edison announces his latest invention, the phonograph, the first instrument able to reproduce a recorded sound, and one of the few inventions Edison might actually deserve a little credit for.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
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.