Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On April 10, 1858, the original bell called “Big Ben” in the clock tower at the North end of Westminster Palace was removed because it had cracked when tested.  The giant 14.5 metric ton bell was replaced with a smaller version, weighing only 13.76 metric tons (or 30,300 pounds for Yankees), but also called Big Ben.  Built by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the bell called Big Ben is often confused with either the tower the giant clock sits in or the tower itself.  Big Ben is really just the bell that chimes the hours. Digging Deeper Like…

A Brief History On April 4, 1965, Swedish automaker and aerospace manufacturer Saab introduced its upcoming Saab 37 Viggen (Thunderbolt) fighter jet, the most advanced European jet fighter design until superseded by the Panavia Tornado in 1981.  The futuristic looking Viggen was distinctive in its “canard” design, a sort of double delta wing layout never before used on a mass produced aircraft.  The Viggen replaced the Saab 35 Draken (Dragon) as Sweden’s primary jet fighter.  The Draken, introduced in 1955, had been the first fully supersonic jet fighter produced in Europe. Digging Deeper Originally created as an airplane manufacturing company…

A Brief History On April 1, 1970, the Detroit Automobile Comedy Consortium unleashed a sort of automotive April Fool’s joke on the American public by introducing the American Motors Corporation’s entry into the small car market to combat the rise in small car imports from Germany and Japan.  The AMC Gremlin was like nothing else American car companies had ever produced, causing cynical Americans to snidely ask new Gremlin owners, “Where’s the other half of your car?” Digging Deeper Built in Wisconsin, Ontario, and Mexico, the Gremlin was pretty much a shortened AMC Hornet, only 161.3 inches long and 70.6…

A Brief History On March 31, 1918, Daylight Saving Time (DST) went into effect for the very first time.  For the first time, Americans would be told to “Spring Ahead!” and clocks across the nation had to change by 1 hour in advance.  First things first!  The term is “Daylight Saving Time,” NOT “Daylight Savings Time.”  (This common error seems to drive some people absolutely nuts, so if you have a bit of the devil in you, go ahead and add the unnecessary “S” and watch the fireworks begin.) Digging Deeper The idea of changing the clocks is to get…

A Brief History On March 29, 1927, the British once again invaded the United States, this time to make war on the land speed record!  In the first instance of a foreign power making such an attempt at Daytona Beach, Florida, a Sunbeam 1000 Horsepower car became the first automobile to exceed 200 mph with a run of 203.79 mph.  The name of the car, “1000 Horsepower,” was not the only odd thing about the speedster, as it was also nicknamed “The Slug!” Digging Deeper Powered by 2 aircraft engines, one positioned in front of the driver and the other…

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