Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On February 5, 2023, Americans were flooded with a variety of opinions about the Chinese “spy” balloon that had crossed much of the US and was shot down by a US fighter plane off the coast of South Carolina yesterday. Digging Deeper Some of the controversies concerning this event include: Chinese outrage over US action against their alleged “weather balloon.” China’s promise to “retaliate.” Why did President Biden wait until the balloon was off the coast to shoot it down? Why didn’t President Trump shoot down the three Chinese balloons that crossed the US during his administration?…

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A Brief History On February 3, 1509, the Arabian Sea portion of the Indian Ocean witnessed a naval battle that had centuries of effects on the global balance of power when a Portuguese fleet defeated a combined fleet of Asian warships at the Battle of Diu, India. Digging Deeper The Portuguese put together a force of 18 warships along with 1200 soldiers to face a fleet of 46 warships and an additional 70 to 150 smaller war boats of the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamlûk Burji Sultanate of Egypt, the Zamorin of Calicut, the Republic of Venice, and the Ottoman…

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A Brief History On January 31, 1915, the German Army, in violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases, launched 18,000 artillery shells containing xylyl bromide tear gas against Russian positions, the first truly large scale use of poison gas in combat. Digging Deeper While people have used various poisons to deny the use of water wells as far back as 600 BC and to foul the air with toxic sulfur fumes in 479 BC, the 19th and 20th Centuries saw efforts to outlaw such use of poisons. In World War I, the first and most common use of…

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A Brief History On January 30, 1925, Douglas Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon.  Engineer, inventor, and computer pioneer, Engelbart would make our lives easier by inventing the computer mouse, patented in 1970. Digging Deeper Engelbart was educated at Oregon State University and the University of California at Berkely and went on to his life’s work of improving human–computer interaction, creating user friendly ways of using computers and the internet. Engelbart founded the Doug Engelbart Institute and received numerous honors and awards, including the National Medal of Technology, the U.S.’s highest technology award.  Incredibly, his employers at Tymshare and McDonnell…

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A Brief History On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison patented the incandescent light bulb, the first truly commercially viable electric light bulb, but certainly not the first light bulb! Digging Deeper Prior to Edison’s patent, other inventors experimented with various ways to produce light from electricity, including Englishman Joseph Swann, who actually marketed the first light bulbs used to light homes and other buildings in 1881. Prior to Swann and Edison’s successes at producing viable electric light, Ebenezer Kinnersley, an English scientist, first showed how a wire heated by passing an electric current through it caused the wire to glow,…

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