Browsing: March 14

A Brief History On March 14, 1988, the earliest known reference to Pi Day was declared by physicist Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium (a science museum along the lines of the Ontario Science Center in Toronto or the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland). Unlike many of the so called “National” or “International” days of the year listed as dedicated to a particular thing or activity, we at least have some of the origin story for this one. Digging Deeper Celebrating the numerical ratio of “Pi,” a mathematical constant, the relationship between the diameter/radius of a circle and…

A Brief History On March 14, 1945, a British Lancaster heavy bomber dropped a bomb known as the “Grand Slam,” a 22,000 behemoth that was the largest and most powerful bomb ever used up to that time. For years, only a nuclear bomb would be more powerful. Digging Deeper British weapons designer extraordinaire, Barnes Wallis, designed numerous ingenious weapons, including the “Tall Boy” bomb, a 12,000 pound monster “earthquake” bomb that was used to attack hardened targets such a submarine pens and the German battleship Tirpitz (which was finally sunk with Tall Boys). Wallis also designed the “bouncing bomb” that…

A Brief History On March 14, 2016, news wires buzzed with the story of a Burien, Washington shooting of an ax wielding maniac by an armed citizen lawfully carrying a concealed pistol for which he has a permit to carry.  The 60 year old customer of a 7-11 store shot and killed the 40 something year old ax man as the maniac attacked the 58 year old  clerk of the store, wounding the hapless storekeeper. Digging Deeper The wounded store clerk says the armed customer saved his life and perhaps others, an opinion also expressed by King County Sheriff’s personnel.  Police…

A Brief History On March 14, 1794, American inventor Eli Whitney patented his greatest invention. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find the young United States evolving away from a slave economy, with some slave owners giving their slaves away! Suddenly, with Whitney’s invention of the “cotton gin,” a machine made to separate cotton seeds from cotton balls much more quickly and efficiently than could be done by hand, cotton became a much more profitable crop. Of course, with cotton becoming the quick way to wealth for farmers, much farmland was turned over to growing cotton, and consequently many workers were…

A Brief History March 14, 1757, was a sad, black day in the annals of the Royal Navy for on that day, Admiral Sir John Byng was executed by firing squad on the deck of HMS Monarch.  Byng had been convicted of  non-compliance with The Articles of War, a British naval regulation that had been recently revised. Digging Deeper In particular, the articles governing the conduct of British naval officers had been modified to read that all British naval officers were subject to the penalty of death by execution (with no lesser sentence possible) for failing to do their utmost in prosecuting war against the…