Tag Archives: tech-history

The Persistence of Beautiful Things

The Cambridge Science Festival was held last week in Cambridge MA, and the kids and I got to go to two of its events.  The first was Rocket Day in Danehy Park, where they got to tape fins onto two-liter … Continue reading

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Political Inventors

There’s a great deal of talk in the political world these days about improving STEM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.   I’m not sure how Technology is different from Engineering, but it does improve the acronym.    The US apparently … Continue reading

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The Research Organizations of the World as seen at ISSCC

As described in the last entry, the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) is the largest and most important electronics conference in the world. That entry listed which countries and US states contributed the most papers to it. How about … Continue reading

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The Technical Progress of the World, as seen at ISSCC

The world’s largest, oldest, and most important electronics technical conference is the International Solid State Circuits Conference, ISSCC.  It’s been held every year since 1954, about as long as there have been solid state circuits, i.e. transistors.  It was originally … Continue reading

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An Incandescence of Invention – “Edison’s Electric Light”

When a light bulb appears above someone’s head in a cartoon, that’s the visual shorthand for inspiration.  How nice, then, to find out that the actual story of its invention is as extraordinary as it appears to be on the … Continue reading

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Where Science and Religion Actually Do Mix

I wrote a while back about how the science-oriented movies “Creation” and “Agora” appear to have failed in the United States because of animosity from Christianists.  It was a pleasant surprise, then, to find a scientific institution that is entirely … Continue reading

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Made in MA, Bought by CA (E.g. “Get Lamp”)

One of the depressing things about the Massachusetts economy is how many startups here get bought up by firms from other states, particularly California.  Lots of good ideas start here, but move elsewhere before they scale up to significant size, … Continue reading

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Asimov Called It

So I happened to be leafing through Fact and Fancy, a collection of Isaac Asimov’s science columns from 1958 to 1961, when I came across one called “No More Ice Ages?”.    With his usual brio he elucidates an arcane subject … Continue reading

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More on Agora and Hypatia

The movie Agora mentioned in the previous post got me interested in the actual Hypatia, so I picked up “Hypatia of Alexandria, Mathematician and Martyr” by Michael B. Deakin (2007). It discusses the little that is actually known about her, … Continue reading

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The Population of Space

The SF writer Charlie Stross recently wrote on his blog about the absurdity of self-sufficient space colonies (“Insufficient Data”).  He noted that it takes an extraordinary number of people to maintain a technological civilization, because even the most common artifacts … Continue reading

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