General discussion


Major innovations that have changed history

By Surflover ·
Bricks... Just so everyone will understand I'm not just talking about "high tech" innovations, I though a good place to start would be bricks.

They (and dressed stone) were the fundamental material which allowed the creation of large public structures... The Mayans built incredibly intricate palaces and roads, the Egyptians built the great pyramids (which BTW, we can't reproduce either the Mayan roads or the Pyramids to those tolerances with our current technology)... bricks were the key issue that cause the Hebrews to revolt from the Pharoh in Egypt... the Romans used bricks and stone to build roads and aqueducts which allowed them to conquer most of the known world at the time... which in turn spread a common language to the peoples who were conquered (Koine Greek)... which in turn provided a vehicle for the spread of Christianity...

And eventually, with the advent of the F4 Phantom in the 1960's, we proved that with enough power, even a brick can fly :^O

What innovations do you feel are significant?

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Looks like it was good enough

by Surflover In reply to Drag KINGS !!!!

to warrant the use of your precious time for a reply hahaha :^O

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but you know...

by Surflover In reply to Drag racing

those drag Q's can really get a swish on at high speed :^O

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Drag Racing is a total waste of quite a lot of

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Me too

Perfectly great engineering.

When I build a motor I expect it to live for a few hours not a few minutes.

I've only ever built one engine for a Drag car and when it was finished it was matt Black so it could dissipate as much heat as possible. Of course when I saw it latter before the first meeting all the black had been removed and everything including the oil Cooler was chrome plated. So I gave the guy an Oil Temp Gauge one of those VDO units with a little red button on it that kept the highest reading that it displayed. He was rapt but not quite so happy when half way down the first run the engine destroyed itself. He had quite a lot to say about the poor quality of the engine building and when I went to the Oil temp Gauge and pushed the red button and saw that the Oil temp was off the scale which ended at 180 C I suggested that maybe he had a lubrication problem and not an engine problem as I've yet to run across any lubricant that works at that temp.

One engine for that so called sport was 25 too many.

And I will not mention how he attempted to get hold of the motor without paying for it after he lost his sponsor.

Col ]:)

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also the compass and sextant

by ITgirli In reply to Nice post Girlie, but I t ...

those were very useful inventions, though the first mention of a compass comes from around 3000 BC in China (though theirs pointed south) it was not widely put to use until this past millenium. Most sailors believed it worked by black magic.

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What about the Harrison Time Pieces?

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to also the compass and sext ...

Without them the Sextant would be useless as there is no way of knowing what the GMT was so that the Longitude could be calculated.

At least if memory serves me correctly they where Known as The Harrison time Pieces all 3 are currently on display in the UK now and where the first time pieces that attempted to keep correct time while at sea. Only the third one worked properly but the first two where remarkable pieces of engineering.

And all where made by a Carpenter with no training in clock making.

Col ]:)

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But Harrison did have a little help

by Montgomery Gator In reply to What about the Harrison T ...

From what I understand, King George III helped Harrison get funding from Parliament and personally assisted in the testing of the time pieces, according to a documentary I saw about it. It is good to have friends in high places.

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Well actually the funding was

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to But Harrison did have a l ...

From the Admiralty not Parliament and that was for the third time piece something like a large Fob Watch. Even then the money allocated was an advance on the Prize for being able to come up with a device that allowed you to establish Longitude.

On the first sea trial of the original time piece the Admiral had a sailor hung for keeping a dead reckoning of their actual position which was dramatically different to what the Admiral insisted the fleet was at and coincided with Harrison's position. It placed them extremely close to rocks which would have sunk the entire fleet luckily they managed to save the fleet but the sailor was still dead. It kind of reminds me of the guy from HHGTTG who invented the Infinite Improbability Drive after all the top scientists in the universe had proved that it couldn't be done he was awarded his prize and then strung up by his fellow scientists and hung on the gates to his research establishment which just proves "No One Likes A Smart A#S!"

Actually if I remember correctly Harrison never received the prize I seem to remember that he had died when it was accepted that what he had managed to do was correct and because he was a carpenter with no education everything was done to prevent him from succeeding even with King Georges help the best that he ever achieved while alive was to get some money for all the work that he had put in and even when the Admiralty came to collect their property they brought a unsprung waggon to carry the time pieces in and actually managed to break the glass of the enclosures on the original two pieces. It must have been the ultimate insult that they didn't accept that these things which where the basis for such an advancement where not considered as important enough to actually look after.

Col ]:)

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Hey Col!

by ITgirli In reply to Well actually the funding ...

"No One Likes A Smart A#S!"

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Well I'm so sorry!!!!!!!!!

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Well actually the funding ...

But I do have a good memory. Once I see something I tend to remember it if it interests me.

Incidentally being called a Smart A#S is much better than being called a Know It All Barsteward. :)

I've been called both quite often and I much prefer the former to the latter. :^O

Col ]:)

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That's okay

by ITgirli In reply to Well actually the funding ...

I don't think a day goes by that i'm not called a smart a#s. Especially by my mother.

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