Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On October 18, 1356, Basel, Switzerland was destroyed by what may have been the most significant historic earthquake ever to occur north of the Alps. Digging Deeper Basel, Switzerland is currently a city of nearly 200,000 people.  Its origins date back to at least Roman times and possibly even pre-Roman Celtic times.  During its perhaps 2000 odd years history, the town and then city has risen and fallen a number of times due to both man made and natural catastrophes.  For example, in 917 A.D., Magyars (the ancestors of Hungarians) destroyed Basel, eventually burning down notable monasteries…

A Brief History On October 17, 1091, a tornado with a strength thought to be about T8/F4, which means a severely devastating tornado with winds over 200 miles per hour, struck the heart of London, England. Digging Deeper When Americans think of tornadoes, they tend to envision twisters striking mostly flat ground in the American mid-west or accompanying Atlantic hurricanes.  We do not generally imagine tornadoes wrecking havoc on major capital cities of medieval kingdoms.  Nevertheless, on October 17, 1091, one such twister did just that! The London Tornado of 1091 is Britain’s earliest reported tornado.  Although nowhere near as…

A Brief History On October 15, 1863, The H. L. Hunley, a Confederate (the South!) submarine, sank during a test, killing its inventor and namesake, Horace L. Hunley. Digging Deeper The Hunley was NOT the first submarine ever invented and certainly not the first one ever used for military purposes.  The first military submersible was most likely the Turtle invented by David Bushnell in 1775 for use in the American Revolutionary War.  Robert Fulton, another American inventor, invented the leaky Nautilus in 1800 and thus tried unsuccessfully to entice First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte of France to make use of the…

A Brief History On October 3, 2012, a National Geographic explorer announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur, one with vampire-like fangs! Digging Deeper For this entry, we hearken back to prehistory. In fact, waaaay back to some 200 to 190 million years ago during the early Jurassic Epoch.  During this time period a creature now known as Pegomastax (“strong jaw”) africanus lived with a parrot-like head and an enlarged canine-esque tooth on its lower jaw.  Although believed to be a plant-eater, it may have used its intimidating looking fangs for self-defense. Paleontologists first collected the creature’s remains…

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