Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On December 21, 1898, the chemical element radium (Ra) was discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie who had isolated it from uranium. Digging Deeper When radium decays, it produces ionizing radiation that causes radioluminescence, in other words, it glows in the dark.  This characteristic led to the use of radium-laced paint for measuring devices such as watches, clocks, aircraft switches and instrument dials, so that they could be used at night.  Due to their smaller hands being able to do extra fine craftsmanship, women were employed by factories to apply the self-luminous paint to the aforementioned products.  The women would routinely…

A Brief History On November 23, 1992, society took another giant step forward with the introduction of the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, the world’s first “smart phone.”   In 1994 and 1995, IBM sold 50,000 of these handheld mobile devices that combined a touchscreen cellular phone with a personal digital assistant (PDA). Digging Deeper Are you too young to remember a time without cell phones?  If you are, then this will not seem like such a big deal, but in reality, the first smart phone was an enormous leap toward what is so common today that it is taken for granted.  Like many so-called…

A Brief History On November 16, 1938, the psychedelic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) that has since become known as “acid” was first synthesized by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofman (not to be confused with Abbie Hoffman, the social radical).  You probably did not have any idea when, where and by whom LSD was invented, and to be honest, neither did the author. In fact, sometimes who exactly invented something is a matter of dispute.  Here 9 more such inventors whose names are generally not common knowledge to the masses are listed.  Who would you add to the list? Digging Deeper 9.…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On November 11, 1911, the Midwest region of the United States experienced one of the weirdest weather days in American history when it was hit by the cold wave “The Great Blue Norther.” Many cities went through the process of recording their record high temperature for the date only to record their record low for the date later that same day!  Some of those cities and towns even suffered tornadoes and blizzards. Examples of this bizarre temperature fluctuations include: Kansas City, Missouri which had its record high of 76° Fahrenheit (F) in the late morning and a…

A Brief History On October 20, 1967, Roger Patterson shot his famous footage of a bigfoot at Bluff Creek, California.  The creature was later determined to be female and became known as “Patty.”  Digging Deeper Patterson was someone who might be considered an amateur bigfoot hunter.  Together with Robert “Bob” Gimlin, a rancher and horse trainer who acted as a guide, he set out on horseback to capture a bigfoot, or sasquatch as they are also known, on film.  They followed various sets of tracks (Patty’s were later found to have been the medium-sized ones…) until they reached Bluff Creek where the horses reeled upon catching sight of…

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