Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On June 24, 1398, the Hongwu Emperor of China died.  Soon after this emperor’s death, one of his sons, Zhu Di (1360-1424), began an ultimately successful rebellion to seize the throne from the Hongwu Emperor’s teenage successor, a nephew of Zhu Di.  By 1402, Zhu Di’s nephew was dead and Zhu Di, now known as the Yongle Emperor, began a reign that has gone down in history as one of the most famous and significant in all of Chinese history.  During his reign of over twenty years, the Yongle Emperor’s famed eunuch admiral Zheng He (1371-1433) conducted…

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A Brief History On October 6, 1977, the Soviet aircraft design bureau, Mikoyan-Guryevich, flew their MiG-29 supersonic fighter for the first time.  In service since 1983, over 1600 of these highly capable air superiority and fighter bomber jets have been built, and incredibly (for a fighter aircraft) the plane is still in production. Digging Deeper Conceived as the lower end mix of fighter jets, similar to the American F-16 vis a vis the F-15, the MiG-29 is the smaller, cheaper half of the Su-27/MiG-29 mix of Soviet (now Russian) fighters.  (Note: Twice as many MiG-29’s have been built as have…

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A Brief History On October 2, 1942, the Royal Navy teamed up with the Cunard White Star Line to pull off yet another of Naval History’s great “Oops” moments.  In this incident, the giant luxury liner, RMS Queen Mary, collided with her own escort, the HMS Curacoa, an anti-aircraft cruiser, sinking the hapless cruiser. Digging Deeper Back on July 3, 2014, History and Headlines featured a list of 10 “Oops” Moments in Naval History.  Today, we have another tale to add to this pantheon of blunders at sea. The RMS Queen Mary had been converted to use as a troop…

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A Brief History On October 1, 1942, the United States was a bit behind Germany and Britain in the development of jet engines and jet powered aircraft, but still managed to conduct the first ever flight of an American prototype jet fighter, the Bell P-59 Airacomet.  Only 5 years later, the US North American F-86 Sabre  made its first flight, and the tale of these 2 fighter airplanes could not have been much more different. Digging Deeper The P-59 was a disappointing flop, and only 50 production models were built.  One was exchanged with the British for one of their…

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A Brief History On September 30, 1935, the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River was dedicated, completing one of America’s greatest engineering and construction feats.  Despite the immense fame of the dam and the thousands of people that visit it each year, there seems to be some misinformation about the great structure.  Here we list 10 Things You Might Not Know About Hoover Dam, no significance to the order of the list. Digging Deeper 10.  Due to anti-terrorism concerns, tours no longer include most of the interior of the structure.  The public is no longer welcome to tour any sensitive…

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