History Schmistory: October 13. Speaking of Galaxies…

1773: The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier (‘s awesome telescopes.)

By NASA and European Space Agency [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By NASA and European Space Agency [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Astronaut-EVA.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Astronaut-EVA.jpg

A Name You Should Know: George Owen Squier

As an executive officer of the US Signal Corps, George Owen Squier helped the Wright brothers with their first airplane, and was even its first passenger. From there, he secured the first purchase of US military planes, launching a new ‘Aeronautical Division’ for which he was Major General during WWI. But that’s not even the coolest thing he’s done. George was also a wizard with electricity and radio technology, holding over 60 patents to his name. He invented multiplexing, which allows multiple signals to be transferred at once through a single wire, paving the way for new possibilities in telecommunication. He invented wired radio, or as he called it, “wired wireless”, as a replacement for the unreliable home radios of the era. Though it never became a household commodity in his time, (any of us with cable TV certainly owe him a tip o’ the hat) George wasn’t deterred by this minor setback. Instead he convinced businesses that piping music through their establishments would increase sales and productivity. He was right. Soon businesses across the US were playing music not through a single radio in the corner, but in several locations throughout their sotres and workshops, thanks to wired radio. His name for this new technology?

 

Muzak! That’s right, George Owen Squier is responsible for that cheesified version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road you can never seem to get out of your head… Well he was still pretty awesome.

History Schmistory: September 17. The New Frontier…

1976: NASA unveils the first space shuttle, Enterprise. Shatner and Nimoy consider a comeback.

GO THERE!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/48/Eden_Project_Winter_2008_showing_Bruce_Munro_field_of_Light.JPG

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…

By Jack Dykinga, U.S. Department of Agriculture [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jack Dykinga, U.S. Department of Agriculture [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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

Laika Monument By Laika ac from USA (Laika) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Laika Monument
By Laika ac from USA (Laika) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

History Schmistory: July 29. The Final Frontier…

1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower eagerly signs a federal statute that creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

To infinity and beyond!   By Bill Ingalls [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To infinity and beyond!
By Bill Ingalls [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, they were never able to get him back to his home planet.

History Schmistory, July 17: Starry Eyed Harvard!

1850 - The Harvard Observatory took the 1st photograph of a star (Vega). Vega is argued to be the next most important star in the sky after the Sun. Needless to say, it is a “bright spot” in history for astronomers!

What happens on Vega, didn't stay on vega!

What happens on Vega, didn’t stay on vega!

History Schmistory, July 11: Pons Comet Pun.

1801 - French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons discovered his 1st comet. He then went on to discover 36 more. Jeez louise!

Hey guys, I think I might see one...!

I see one…two….three…four….

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…

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