Browsing: Science & Technology

A Brief History On November 2, 1947, eccentric airplane designer Howard Hughes performed the maiden and only flight of his Spruce Goose (also known as the H-4 The Hercules), the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built. Digging Deeper Howard Hughes was a veritable renaissance man.   The businessman dabbled in everything from film making to flying.  One of the wealthiest men of his day, he had a net worth of $1.5 billion at the time of his death.  A man of such wealth and such diverse interests is not surprisingly going to sometimes use that wealth for attempting to make his most…

A Brief History On November 1, 1896, a picture showing the unclad or bare breasts of a woman appeared in National Geographic magazine for the first time in the publication’s long history. Digging Deeper National Geographic is one of the world’s most respected and outright useful magazines.  Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society has expanded to have a magazine with a U.S. readership of 4,125,152 and international readership of 875,962 (as of December 2012) in addition to its own television network and even video games.  The scientific and historical work done by its members have brought about numerous breakthroughs…

A Brief History On October 30, 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in the North of Russia; at 50 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise by humankind! Digging Deeper Roughly a year before the Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to plunge the world into a nuclear world war in which both sides possessed large arsenals of weapons of annihilation, the Soviets showed off their nuclear potential by testing the “Tsar Bomb”. The bomb weighed 27,000 kilograms (60,000 lb) and was 8…

A Brief History On October 21, 1944, Japan began their notorious kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, first striking HMAS Australia. Digging Deeper By 1944, World War II in the Pacific Theater had been raging for several years.  While the European War is traditionally dated to have begun in 1939, the Pacific Theater arguably began two years earlier with Japan’s invasion of China.  Thus, Japan had been fighting against myriad enemies for nearly seven years by the autumn of 1944. During those seven years, Japan had rapidly established an impressive colonial empire that at its height seemed to…

A Brief History On October 18, 1356, Basel, Switzerland was destroyed by what may have been the most significant historic earthquake ever to occur north of the Alps. Digging Deeper Basel, Switzerland is currently a city of nearly 200,000 people.  Its origins date back to at least Roman times and possibly even pre-Roman Celtic times.  During its perhaps 2000 odd years history, the town and then city has risen and fallen a number of times due to both man made and natural catastrophes.  For example, in 917 A.D., Magyars (the ancestors of Hungarians) destroyed Basel, eventually burning down notable monasteries…

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