Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On December 3, 1910, the Paris Motor Show was the stage for the public introduction of modern neon lighting, that ubiquitous and colorful signage we see everywhere from the local gas station to the local beverage store to the glittering streets of Las Vegas.  (First held in 1898, the Paris Motor Show is scheduled by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles and is to this day one of the great motor vehicle shows in the world.  As of this year, 2018, it is now called Mondial Paris Motor Show.)  The man introducing neon lighting to the world…

A Brief History On November 20, 1917, a combined Allied offensive (British and French) stepped off against the Germans at Cambrai, France (Nord Department).  The use of massed armor in close coordination with artillery and infantry was an historic first, and set the pattern for future use of armored vehicles.  Although tanks had been used during World War I prior to Cambrai, they were used in smaller numbers (as many as 60 at a time) and only in close contact with the infantry in a strictly infantry support role.  Initial breakthroughs by tank supported attacks fizzled as the unreliable metal…

A Brief History On November 19, 1911, the infamous “Doom Bar” located at the mouth of the River Camel in Cornwall, England where it empties into the Celtic Sea claimed another pair of ships, sinking both.  The Island Maid and Angele both had run aground on the permanent sandbar, formerly known as the less poetic “Dunbar sands,” killing everyone aboard the Angele except, oddly enough, the captain.  As can be expected by the demonstrative name, the Doom Bar is infamous for causing the sinking or grounding of many ships over the years. The River Camel estuary serves as access to…

A Brief History On November 18, 2018, just after the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, we look back over the past almost 62 years to take a look at things we find commonplace today that did not exist when I was born (January 1957).  We also look at things that were common then or in the past that no longer exist.  As you can guess from the title of this article, we have examined these items, new and passé, a few times before. (See “Things That Did Not Exist (Or Were Different) on July 1,…

A Brief History On November 16, 1938, the psychedelic drug LSD was fist synthesized in Basel, Switzerland by scientist Albert Hofmann, a genius not to be confused with 1960’s American radical Abbie Hoffman.  Hofmann was so smart he was declared the Greatest Living Genius by the Daily Telegraph Newspaper (tied for 1st place on the list of 100 geniuses with Tim Berners-Lee).  Unfortunately, Hofmann’s invention of the manner to synthesize LSD gave the world a powerful drug with no particular good use, but plenty of potential for misuse.  Sometimes things turn out that way, and today we examine 5 geniuses…

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