Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On January 31, 1918, Britain’s Royal Navy “fought” a battle with itself in the Scottish Firth of Forth near the Isle of May, a series of naval accidents in the dark and the mist that led to the loss of 104 British sailors killed.  A total of 8 Royal Navy submarines and ships were involved in 5 collisions, resulting in the loss of 2 submarines and damage to another 4 submarines and a light cruiser.  Our retelling of tale after tale of Naval “Oops” Moments (we have many articles in addition to the one in this link,…

A Brief History On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz, a German engineer, became the first person to patent a successful gasoline powered automobile.  Not counting impractical inventions and steam powered cars, the Benz Patent Motorcar was the first of what we would recognize as a “real” automobile,” although of course it looked a lot different from the sleek machines we see on the roads today.  A funny looking 3 wheeled flimsy vehicle, the Benz creation was the first internal combustion engine car built to actually be sold on the commercial market.  Its 1 liter gasoline powered engine produced a pathetic…

A Brief History On January 23, 1556, China was rocked by a devastating earthquake that resulted in more human death than any other earthquake in recorded history.  Known as The Shaanxi Earthquake of 1556, the event is estimated to have caused the deaths of 830,000 people.  An area stretching an incredible 520 miles in diameter was largely destroyed, with minor damage extending much further.  By comparison, the second deadliest earthquake in human history was the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake, also in China, that killed somewhere between 250,000 and 700,000 people.  No other earthquakes are reported to have killed as many as…

A Brief History On January 13, 2012, the woes of the cruise lines of the world became as bad as they can get when a giant Italian cruise ship was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in the Tyrrhenian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea to the West of Italy) taking 32 lives in the accident.  The ship, Costa Concordia, was operated by a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines called Costa Crociere and had only been in service for 6 years when she was run aground and lost, joining a long list of miserable cruise ship experiences in…

A Brief History On January 8, 2005, the United States Navy, normally pretty safe drivers of large grey boats, managed another one of those “Naval Oops Moments” we keep writing about when the nuclear powered submarine, USS San Francisco (SSN-711) (Los Angeles Class attack sub), managed to collide at full speed with an underwater mountain off the coast of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.  Operating at a depth of 525 and sailing at flank (maximum, but classified) speed, it is a true testament to the brilliance of the designers and builders of the sub that the boat and its crew were…

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