For almost thirty years, the words "Star Wars" have summoned images of spaceships, super-weapons, and futuristic visions of all kinds. But George Lucas's immensely popular, vividly imagined blockbusters of life in "a galaxy far, far away" have often anticipated real-life technology right here on Earth--and this fascinating, visually irresistible book probes the amazing interface between movie magic and practical science.
Today's scientists are taking "Star Wars" fictions and turning them into fact; travel entrepreneurs are making plans for commercial space flight, and high-tech mag-lev trains defy gravity to zoom along like Luke Sky-walker's landspeeder. As the beloved C-3PO observes in his introduction to the book, robots are now a reality, and microscopic nanobots are already performing surgery internally. In the next twenty years, human soldiers will wear exoskeletal armor like Imperial stormtroopers and carry laser weapons as lethal as any light-saber, while orbiting satellites spy on the enemy and accurately pinpoint targets thousands of miles away. These exciting advances, often fraught with peril, are explored by the book's technological experts, who consider the risky implications and possible consequences of their inventions.
A perfect souvenir for visitors to the exhibition, now on a three-year multi-city tour, as well as the millions who have made "Star Wars" one of the most successful epics in entertainment history, this is a book guaranteed to delight film fans and the technologically savvy alike.
The Genesis of Flight illustrates one of the most prestigious aeronautical history collections in existence, covering the history of man's dream of flight from antiquity to the advent of powered flight at the beginning of the 20th century. The items included are drawn from more than 20,000 objects that vividly reflect both humanity's vision and its fulfillment. Five-thousand-year-old seals carved from semiprecious stones and used to inscribe clay tablets record the earliest conception of flight. Among the collection's thousands of books are priceless volumes printed before 1501. Many, such as Robert Hooke's Philosophical Collections (1682), are serious, scientific studies of the possibility of flight. Others are about imaginary voyages into space and to other worlds, including Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1547), Cyrano de Bergerac's account of a voyage to the moon first published in 1650, and, of course, the 19th-century classics of Jules Verne. More than 2,000 prints, portraits, engravings, etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs comprise a unique and arresting pictorial history of aeronautics. Important letters written by pioneers of flight--Montgolfier, Blanchard, Lunardi, Lilienthal, Count von Zeppelin, Santos-Dumont, Langley, and the Wright brothers--are to be found among the collection's manuscript holdings. There are also rare commemorative medallions, sheet music, posters, dime novels, postcards and postage stamps, early flight manuals, catalogues of aircraft equipment, match boxes, and children's games and toys--all recording, in one way or another, humanity's aspirations to fly.The collection was assembled by Richard Gimbel (1898-1970), who began collecting while serving with the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in England during World War II, and continued after becoming curator of aeronautical literature at Yale University. The collection was donated to the United States Air Force Academy upon his death.The contributors include Tom D. Crouch, National Air and Space Museum; Clive Hart, University of Essex, England; Paul Maravelas, University of Minnesota Libraries; Ellen Morris, University of Pennsylvania; Dominick A. Pisano, National Air and Space Museum; Holly Pittman, University of Pennsylvania; and Edward Rochette, American Numismatics Association.
The dramatic advances in computer and telecommunications technologies such as the Internet, virtual reality, smart cards or multimedia applications are increasingly regarded as ushering in a new form of society: the information society. Politicians, policy makers and business gurus are all encouraging us to join the information superhighway at the nearest junction or risk being excluded from the social and economic benefits of the information revolution. Cyberspace Divide critically considers the complex relationship between technological change, its effect upon social divisions, its consequences for social action and the emerging strategies for social inclusion in the Information Age. Cyberspace Divide will be invaluable reading for those studying social policy, sociology, computing and communication studies.
A new form of strip mining has caused a state of emergency for the Appalachian wilderness and the communities that depend on it-a crisis compounded by issues of government neglect, corporate hubris, and class conflict. In this powerful call to arms, Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain and offers a landmark defense of a national treasure threatened with extinction.
Bestselling author of The Tutankhamun Prophecies decodes the spiritual mysteries hidden within the recently discovered Mochian pyramids in Sipan- Reveals that ancient Inca sun-kings possessed the same solar science as Lord Pacal of Mexico and Tutankhamun of Egypt - Solves the mystery of the ancient Inca legend concerning a white god who traveled through ancient Peru, healing the sick and restoring sight to the blind Inca mythology tells of a tall, white leader who wandered along the coast performing miracles, a man they called Viracocha Pachamac, which means God of the World. Centuries later another great miracle worker, similar to the first, appeared and wandered the countryside, healing the sick and restoring sight to the blind. He, too, was named Viracocha. These accounts have long baffled scholars, as have the carvings left by the people of Tiahuanaco who preserved these legends. Now Maurice Cotterell, who cracked the codes hidden in both ancient Maya carvings and the treasures of Tutankhamun, unlocks the secrets concealed within the treasure-filled tombs of Viracocha Pachamac and Viracocha. His investigation of these tombs, held within the long-lost pyramids of Peru, proves that these two figures were not myth but actually existed 1,500 years ago. The two Viracocha sun-kings had much in common with Lord Pacal of Mexico and Tutankhamun of Egypt and, like them, left the secrets of a super solar science encoded in their treasures. This science reveals the intimate connection between the cycles of life and birth on Earth and solar activity such as sunspots. More important, it holds the key to reincarnation and human spiritual realization, with answers to the spiritual mysteries of life and death.
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the nineteenth century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the nineteenth century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the "Telephone Herald" in New York and the "Telefon Hirmondo" of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.
Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God " he shouted to the other men, "Run "A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.
From the bestselling, National Book Award-nominated author of Genius and Chaos, a bracing new work about the accelerating pace of change in today's world.Most of us suffer some degree of hurry sickness. a malady that has launched us into the epoch of the nanosecond, a need-everything-yesterday sphere dominated by cell phones, computers, faxes, and remote controls. Yet for all the hours, minutes, and even seconds being saved, we're still filling our days to the point that we have no time for such basic human activities as eating, sex, and relating to our families. Written with fresh insight and thorough research, Faster is a wise and witty look at a harried world not likely to slow down anytime soon.
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.