Microwave Oven Magic

27 February, 2010

Fast food depends on microwaves. How did the great invention come about? Surprisingly, it happened by accident. Percy Spencer was an engineer working for the Raytheon Corporation. One day, he was standing near a machine called a magnetron. He had a chocolate bar in his pocket and realized that the chocolate had started to melt. A few further experiments were done and similar results were gained. They showed that the…

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Gutenberg and the Ipad – An Amazing Journey

30 January, 2010

As I watched the video of Steve Jobs launching the new Apple Ipad my mind turned to another great innovator – Johannes Gutenberg.  He developed the first moveable type printer in Europe. Until he made the great breakthrough, about 1435, people had to write everything  with quill and ink. Therefore, it made it difficult to have multiple copies of documents made for education. You may think that Johannes would have…

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Amazing Idea – Wireless and Marconi

27 January, 2010

Imagine you have an amazing idea. No one believes what you say. But, you know you can send a message from one village to another and one town to another in a second. Today, we take it for granted. But in the 19th century it was a wild idea. People laughed at inventors who talked of such things. Everyone knew the fastest way to deliver a message was by a…

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Peace or Death

23 January, 2010

I was interested to read the life story of Alfred Nobel, whose name is famous for the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. When in Paris, he went to a cafe and while drinking his coffee read a newspaper. In the obituary column, to his horror he saw his own name. The notice said that the Merchant of Death was dead. He was astounded that is how his work as a…

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Penicillin Magic and Alexander Fleming

10 January, 2010

Ever had an ear ache? Very painful, as I found out today. Fortunately, my local doctor was on duty. He quickly diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed a strong anti biotic. Within 30 minutes, I was able to find a pharmacy open and they had the medicine in stock. Maybe we take all these things for granted now, but it was not long ago that people suffered great pain and…

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Stephenson’s Rocket Revolution

3 January, 2010

How fast does news travel? If you have a computer and modem access to the internet then it can take less than a second. However, if you had been born about 160 years ago then news went at the speed of a horse or a pigeon. In those days, people relied on the horse to take them from village to village and town to town. However, in war it was…

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