The world at the turn of the twentieth century was in the throes of "Marconi-mania"-brought on by an incredible invention that no one could quite explain, and by a dapper and eccentric figure (who would one day win the newly minted Nobel Prize) at the center of it all. At a time when the telephone, telegraph, and electricity made the whole world wonder just what science would think of next, the startling answer had come in 1896 in the form of two mysterious wooden boxes containing a device Marconi had rigged up to transmit messages "through the ether." It was the birth of the radio, and no scientist in Europe or America, not even Marconi himself, could at first explain how it worked...it just did.Here is a rich portrait of the man and his era-a captivating tale of British blowhards, American con artists, and Marconi himself-a character par excellence, who eventually winds up a virtual prisoner of his worldwide fame and fortune.
From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a hilarious investigation into future technologies - from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3-D organ printing.
What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar colony already? What is the holdup?
In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next - from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research and interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.
New technologies are almost never the work of isolated geniuses with a neat idea. A given future technology may need any number of intermediate technologies to develop first, and many of these critical advances may appear to be irrelevant when they are first discovered. The journey to progress is full of strange detours and blind alleys that tell us so much about the human mind and the march of civilization. To this end, Soonish investigates 10 different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.
In the late 1960s, Spokane's civic leaders were desperately looking for a way to revitalize a large section of downtown, especially a motley collection of little-used railroad lines and polluted industrial sites along the Spokane River. Their solution was to use the area for Expo '74, which was billed as the first ecologically themed world's fair. Critics predicted the project was sure to fail, as Spokane was the smallest city to ever host a world's fair, but history proved them wrong. From the minute the gates opened on May 4, 1974, the crowds loved the fair. Hosting 5.4 million visitors, with participation from several major companies and countries, Expo '74 was a success. As planned, it launched a rebirth along the river that left a permanent legacy, the popular Riverfront Park.
Situated at the end of a reef six miles offshore of Crescent City, California, stands St. George Reef Lighthouse. Constructed after the wreck of the coastal steamer Brother Jonathan in 1865, the beacon warned mariners of the dreaded "Dragon Rocks" of St. George Reef for nearly a century. This book chronicles the loss of the Jonathan, decades of efforts to make the light a reality, the 10-year construction period, manning of the station by keepers of the US Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard, and the struggles and accomplishments of dedicated volunteers to restore what many lighthouse historians refer to as "America's greatest lighthouse."
Have you every wanted to build a sundial or to understand how one works? Then you have probably been frustrated as you search vainly for help. Most books on the subject are either rare out-of-print works published centuries ago and available only in highly specialized collections, or highly complicated treatises whose information is hidden behind frightening arrays of involved formulas. But now your search is over. This book is designed to meet sundialing needs at either the simple or the sophisticated level.
Albert E. Waugh, professor and administrator at the University of Connecticut for 40 years, and an expert on the subject of sundials and their curious history, presents, on the one hand, a rigorous appraisal of the science of sundials, including mathematical treatment and an explanation of the pertinent astronomical background; on the other hand, he presents simple and non-technical treatments such that several of the dials can be built by children
The subject matter is arranged in 19 chapters, each covering a different aspect of dialing science. All the common types of dials are covered, but the reader can also learn about analemmatic dials, polar dials, equatorial dials, portable dials, memorial dials, armillary spheres, reflected ceiling dials, cross dials, and old-fashioned noon marks. There are also sections on dial furniture, mottoes, the actual layout out of a dial, the equation of time, finding time in other cities, how to find the meridian, how to find time by moonlight -- even how to estimate time from the length of one's own shadow Directions are given for designing dials for any part of the country, or any place in the world. The author has designed many dials, and his text is filled with helpful hints based on his own personal experience. There are over 100 illustrations, charts, and tables, followed by an appendix which is filled with material which reduces or eliminates the need for calculation on the part of the reader.
This book is the authoritative reference for technology roadmapping, written by authors known worldwide for their expertise on the subject. The book has four parts. The objective of the first part is to introduce established technology management frameworks, to highlight the overall ecosystem for the use of technology roadmaps. This part provides international perspectives as well as examples from industrial organizations and government agencies. The second part provides a toolkit presented through applications and case studies, and provides a review of methods complimentary to technology roadmapping. The tools discussed include technology assessment, technology forecasting and technology intelligence analysis. The objective of this part is to provide professionals with the tools required to gather the essential data for the roadmapping project. Part three presents proven frameworks for technology roadmapping written by those who have developed practical approaches for various organizations. This part provides the know-how for developing and executing technology roadmaps. The final section presents applications demonstrating the use of this powerful tool, providing regional, government and industrial applications. The knowledge base includes projects from Europe, Asia and the Americas.Related Link(s)
The telephone marks the place of an absence. Affiliated with discontinuity, alarm, and silence, it raises fundamental questions about the constitution of self and other, the stability of location, systems of transfer, and the destination of speech. Profoundly changing our concept of long-distance, it is constantly transmitting effects of real and evocative power. To the extent that it always relates us to the absent other, the telephone, and the massive switchboard attending it, plugs into a hermeneutics of mourning. The Telephone Book, itself organized by a telephonic logic, fields calls from philosophy, history, literature, and psychoanalysis. It installs a switchboard that hooks up diverse types of knowledge while rerouting and jamming the codes of the disciplines in daring ways. Avital Ronell has done nothing less than consider the impact of the telephone on modern thought. Her highly original, multifaceted inquiry into the nature of communication in a technological age will excite everyone who listens in.
The book begins by calling close attention to the importance of the telephone in Nazi organization and propaganda, with special regard to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. In the Third Reich the telephone became a weapon, a means of state surveillance, an open accomplice to lies. Heidegger, in Being and Time and elsewhere, elaborates on the significance of the call. In a tour de force response, Ronell mobilizes the history and terminology of the telephone to explicate his difficult philosophy.
Ronell also speaks of the appearance of the telephone in the literary works of Duras, Joyce, Kafka, Rilke, and Strindberg. She examines its role in psychoanalysis--Freud said that the unconscious is structured like a telephone, and Jung and R. D. Laing saw it as a powerful new body part. She traces its historical development from Bell's famous first call: Watson, come here Thomas A. Watson, his assistant, who used to communicate with spirits, was eager to get the telephone to talk, and thus to link technology with phantoms and phantasms. In many ways a meditation on the technologically constituted state, The Telephone Book opens a new field, becoming the first political deconstruction of technology, state terrorism, and schizophrenia. And it offers a fresh reading of the American and European addiction to technology in which the telephone emerges as the crucial figure of this age.
Nikola Tesla invented the radio, robots, and remote control. His electric induction motors run our appliances and factories, yet he has been largely overlooked by history. In Tesla, Richard Munson presents a comprehensive portrait of this farsighted and underappreciated mastermind.
When his first breakthrough--alternating current, the basis of the electric grid--pitted him against Thomas Edison's direct-current empire, Tesla's superior technology prevailed. Unfortunately, he had little business sense and could not capitalize on this success. His most advanced ideas went unrecognized for decades: forty years in the case of the radio patent, longer still for his ideas on laser beam technology. Although penniless during his later years, he never stopped imagining. In the early 1900s, he designed plans for cell phones, the Internet, death-ray weapons, and interstellar communications. His ideas have lived on to shape the modern economy.
Who was this genius? Drawing on letters, technical notebooks, and other primary sources, Munson pieces together the magnificently bizarre personal life and mental habits of the enigmatic inventor. Born during a lightning storm at midnight, Tesla died alone in a New York City hotel. He was an acute germaphobe who never shook hands and required nine napkins when he sat down to dinner. Strikingly handsome and impeccably dressed, he spoke eight languages and could recite entire books from memory. Yet Tesla's most famous inventions were not the product of fastidiousness or linear thought but of a mind fueled by both the humanities and sciences: he conceived the induction motor while walking through a park and reciting Goethe's Faust.
Tesla worked tirelessly to offer electric power to the world, to introduce automatons that would reduce life's drudgery, and to develop machines that might one day abolish war. His story is a reminder that technology can transcend the marketplace and that profit is not the only motivation for invention. This clear, authoritative, and highly readable biography takes account of all phases of Tesla's remarkable life.