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Fri, 09/27/2019 - 11:47

I was a six-year-old Brownie in Las, Cruces, New Mexico, when I first discovered my passion for space and astronomy. I was on a camping trip with my Girl Scout troop, and my troop leader noticed my fascination with the night sky. She pointed out the stars to me and taught me how to identify constellations. She later encouraged me to earn my science badge, which I did by building an Estes Rocket, after much trial and error.

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 11:41

JOSEPHINE GARIS COCHRANE seemed to have reached the low point of her life one Sunday in about 1880, when she went to church in the midst of an illness and heard the pastor deliver her eulogy. Jasper Douthit, the minister, was undoubtedly rushing things a bit, but then, he had been a reformer on so many fronts for so long that impatience was probably his idea of a positive contribution to any effort. Whatever the intent of his wistful farewell, entitled “Hoping, Waiting and Resting,” Mrs. Cochrane eventually rallied.

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 11:32

WHEN STEPHANIE LOUISE KWOLEK RECEIVED HER B.S., WITH a major in chemistry, from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1946, she didn’t have enough money to pursue her dream of going on to medical school. So she accepted a research job with DuPont, hoping to eventually get a medical degree. But she discovered that she liked the work so much, with its constant challenges and the university-like atmosphere, that she decided to stay.

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 11:27

If most nineteenth-century American inventors are forgotten today — which is undeniable — black inventors are especially obscure. Almost none of them were known even in their own times, and few books about technological history ever mention a black inventor. Jan Earnst Matzeliger is one of those who have been left behind. A solitary black immigrant, he invented a machine for use in manufacturing shoes that helped transform an industry, build a great corporation, produce several millionaires (himself not among them), and create work for thousands of Americans. Here is his story.

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 11:24

AFTER THE UNITED STATES ENTERED WORLD WAR II, PROFESSOR Grace Hopper joined the Navy. She was too light to get in, missing the minimum weight for her height by 16 pounds, but she received a dispensation. She could have received another dispensation to relieve her from basic training, because the Navy was interested only in using her mind, not in making her into a sailor.

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 15:09

The American Civil War, causing more than 600,000 combatant deaths and many times that number of wounded, crippled plus those with PTSD, need not have happened. The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew well that the representatives from the Southern states would not sign unless language on slavery was omitted. The looming issue of slavery was very apparent.  A more visionary Federal government could have fostered a technology to free the slaves.

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:31

The air at 20,000 feet above Schweinfurt, Germany, was icy cold, but the bombardier crouching in the nose of the B-17 hardly noticed. Sweat poured down his forehead as flak rocked the aircraft, periodically spattering his compartment's Plexiglas bubble with fragments. He focused intently on preparing for the final bombing run.

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 08:21
Tue, 04/10/2018 - 06:39
Leonard Adleman was one of three researchers at MIT who invented public key cryptography.
Leonard Adleman was one of three researchers at MIT who invented public key cryptography.

RSA Cryptography is the world’s most widely used public-key cryptography method for securing communication on the Internet.

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 22:31

Here is the list of this year's inductees.

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:48

Two immense side-wheel steamboats lined up a few minutes before 11:00 am on June 1, 1845 at the foot of Vesey Street on the tip of Manhattan. Inside each pilot house, some 30 feet above the water line, were the boats’ owners—industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt and George Law—two immense egos who had decided to race 66 miles race upriver to Sing Sing. The gleaming tk-foot-long Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 10:03

By now, in the second decade of the 21st century, even pointing out the cliché has itself become a cliché. Namely, the frustrated tongue-in-cheek query favored by stand-up comics, science fiction geeks, social commentators, and technology critics: where’s my flying car? Which is generally followed by yet another tired old chestnut: the observation that the question has come to symbolize some failure of technological optimism, scientific advancement, or the supposed predictive powers of science fiction.

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:45

text to come

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:31

Fifth Avenue is the parade route for St. Patrick’s Day; three blocks to the east is Park Avenue. Many honorary Irishmen arrive from points east on that day, so police usually block motor traffic from a stretch of Park Avenue north of Grand Central Terminal. To a person waiting to meet friends at the corner of East 47th and Park, this looks like a fine stretch of midtown Manhattan, where the breadth of the avenue gives it a more spacious feel. There is a parkway with a grassy margin separating the streets, and glossy buildings with shops that front on the wide sidewalks.

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:28

Text to come.

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:24

Innovation is a hot topic in our editorial offices, only in part because we run a magazine devoted to it. "There's a way to do it better-find it," Thomas Edison once said-a notion that defines
so much of our working lives. Every day we devise more efficient systems, come up with fresh ideas, and create new opportunities. What circumstances, environments, and particular factors spawn creativity and bring breakthroughs?

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 18:58

Unlike buildings, which typically have their structural skeleton cloaked in an architectural façade, most bridges let it all hang out. What you see is all that a bridge has to hold it up. Bridges show their engineering like no other technological artifact does. The structure is the architecture.

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 17:41

As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be in them.

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy had committed the nation “to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 mission that simultaneously ended the Soviet-American space race and met America’s goal with more than five months to spare.

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