How did the table fork acquire a fourth tine? What advantage does the Phillips-head screw have over its single-grooved predecessor? Why does the paper clip look the way it does? What makes Scotch tape Scotch?In this delightful book Henry, Petroski takes a microscopic look at artifacts that most of us count on but rarely contemplate, including such icons of the everyday as pins, Post-its, and fast-food clamshell containers. At the same time, he offers a convincing new theory of technological innovation as a response to the perceived failures of existing products--suggesting that irritation, and not necessity, is the mother of invention.
Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged is a unique anthology of hand-picked Tesla articles, arranged historically, which presents overwhelming and convincing evidence for the reality of Tesla's high efficiency, low cost wireless power transmission. Following in the footsteps of the editor's first book in the series, Harnessing the Wheelwork of Nature, Dr. Tom Valone's book chronologically traces the original intention that Nikola Tesla had for his wireless electricity and how he updated and expanded upon it later on, with reprints of his key articles, to the recent genius engineers and physicists who are now finally bringing this last and most elusive, highly advanced Tesla technology into reality. The Corum article (along with the Peterson article) on the Zenneck wave transmission experiments culminates the viewpoints of all of the book's contributors. Its purposeful placement as the last chapter of the book, is because this exclusive article publication is a major scientific breakthrough, as testified by the book's endorsement from Brigadier General Michael Miller, and foretells the understandable, visionary road to the corporate formation of wireless power utilities. Furthermore, this is the first and only book in the world which explains how an electromagnetic wave traveling across the electrically conductive surface of the earth, was predicted by Tesla and Zenneck (two pictures in the book show them together on pages 74 and 381) and why it is the essential missing link of any Tesla wireless transmission theory. Many of the contributors also nicely explain the "surface wave phenomenon" as well as "resonant earth-ionosphere" modes of electrical transmission without wires that compliments the surface wave theory and experiment. Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged therefore is a treasure compared to any other Tesla reference book currently in print, since it is jam-packed with personal stories of Tesla, such as one reprinted from the prestigious Smithsonian magazine, along with great illustrated slideshows adapted for the book format, the "secret" history of Tesla's wireless, the real Tesla electric car, high Q resonant power transfer examples being used today by Qualcomm, "Tesla unplugged" explained in an easy-to-understand presentation by a Brookhaven National Lab scientist, wireless electricity article based on scalar waves, even including a couple amazing rigorous equation articles with wireless solutions for the tech audience, a unique and evocative Foreword by Nikola Tesla's last living direct descendant, all presented in a 457-page paperback book, suitable as a college or high school reader, or simply as an eye-opening, optimistic window onto the electrical genius regarded as the "Master of Lightning," with a priceless collection of nineteen (19) contributors not available anywhere else.
Who thought up paper money? What was the secret element that made the Gutenberg printing press possible? And what is the connection between The Da Vinci Code and the collapse of Lehman Brothers? Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us. From the plough to artificial intelligence, from Gillette's disposable razor to IKEA's Billy bookcase, bestselling author and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford recounts each invention's own curious, surprising, and memorable story. Invention by invention, Harford reflects on how we got here and where we might go next. He lays bare often unexpected connections: how the bar code undermined family corner stores, and why the gramophone widened inequality. In the process, he introduces characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, and were ruined by them, as he traces the principles that helped explain their transformative effects. The result is a wise and witty book of history, economics, and biography.
Navigation is the key human skill. It's something we do everywhere, whether feeling our way through a bedroom in the dark, or charting a ship's course. But how does navigation affect our brains, our memory, ourselves? Blending scientific research and memoir, and written in beautiful prose, Finding North starts with a quest by the author to understand this most basic of human skills---and why it's in mortal peril.
In 1844, Foy's great-great grandfather, captain of a Norwegian cargo ship, perished at sea after getting lost in a snowstorm. Foy decides to unravel the mystery surrounding Halvor Michelsen's death---and the roots of his own obsession with navigation---by re-creating his ancestor's trip using only period instruments.
Beforehand, he meets a colorful cast of characters to learn whether men really have better directional skills than women, how cells, eels, and spaceships navigate; and how tragedy results from GPS glitches. He interviews a cabby who has memorized every street in London, sails on a Haitian cargo sloop, and visits the site of a secret navigational cult in Greece.
At the heart of Foy's story is this fact: navigation and the brain's memory centers are inextricably linked. As Foy unravels the secret behind Halvor's death, he also discovers why forsaking our navigation skills in favor of GPS may lead not only to Alzheimers and other diseases of memory, but to losing a key part of what makes us human.
The first Fire Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1826 after numerous shipwrecks along the barrier island. A replacement tower built in 1858 incorporated innovations in lighthouse design such as the Fresnel lens. Vessels anchored offshore, known as ligh
None of the spectators who gathered on the Hudson River shore on August 17, 1808, could have known the importance of the object they had come to see and, mostly, deride: Robert Fulton's new steamboat. But as Kirkpatrick Sale shows in this remarkable biography, Fulton's large, noisy, showy, fast, brash, exciting, powerful, and audacious machine would -- for better or worse -- irrevocably transform nineteenth-century America.
Set against a brilliant portrait of a dynamic period in history, The Fire of His Genius tells the story of the fiercely driven man whose invention opened up America's interior to waves of settlers, created and sustained industrial and plantation economies in the nation's heartland, and facilitated the destruction of the remaining Indian civilizations. Probing Fulton's genius but also laying bare the darker side of the man -- and the darker side of the American dream -- Kirkpatrick Sale tells an extraordinary tale with deftness, zest, and unflagging verve.
Flash of Genius And Other True Stories of Invention by John Seabrook, staff writer for The New Yorker, is a collection of true stories about where great ideas come from, and is the basis for the Major Motion Picture starring Greg Kinnear releasing October 2008.John Seabrook is one of America's finest non-fiction writers....Fascinating, entertaining, beautifully written and often poignant...--Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation Where Do Great Ideas Come From? In Flash of Genius, John Seabrook explores the moment when inspiration strikes in an otherwise average life, and what happens when that idea moves out into the larger culture and takes on a life--and commercial possibilities--of its own. The title piece in this collection is the David v. Goliath story of Bob Kearns, a professor and inventor who came up with something we all use every chance we get: the intermittent windshield wiper. When Kearns' patents were infringed, he fought General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, and eventually prevailed in a classic American story of never giving up, never backing down. Seabrook has been fascinated by stories of invention and entrepreneurship since childhood, when he grew up with an uncle who invented something as ubiquitous as Bob Kearns' wipers: boil-in-bag vegetables. In Flash of Genius, Seabrook also writes about his family's invention and about thirteen other iconoclastic visions that turned into the stuff of every day.
Although merchant ships carry 90% of the world's trade, the mariners who run them have little guidance on leadership. This can result in disasters such as the Titanic, Costa Concordia, the Exxon Valdez, and the recent El Faro. With modern ships being worth several million dollars, seafarers need leadership advice at every level of their career. Golden Stripes, Leadership on the High Seas provides this guidance, and much more. Captain Parani weaves together his rich experience, cutting-edge insights and real-life stories in this book which has already garnered international acclaim. The reader will discover how to run a tight ship; enhance expertise; lead and communicate with a team; implement safety leadership; decide effectively in high-stake situations and be inspired by legendary sailors. It is a practical leadership action plan which can be applied at sea, or in any other workplace, anywhere. Golden Stripes is the first leadership book of its kind, written by a mariner specifically for commercial shipping. The author's experience both on board and from his corporate roles gives him a unique perspective on why, when and how sailors fail or succeed. Important messages are woven around engaging stories, quotes and practical leadership models, making this an indispensable read for all leaders. Acclaim for Golden Stripes ... has identified a gap in the maritime education and training of seafarers and it may not be one that can be filled by adding a course in first year programs. It needs to be embedded in all maritime education and also the focus of lifelong learning. Glenn Blackwood, Chairman, International Association of Maritime Universities and Board Member, World Maritime University ...The ideas that you will get from this book, based on years of experience at sea, will inspire, stimulate, encourage and teach you the things that GREAT LEADERS DO. Best-selling author Steven Shallenberger