I’m posting this because of two things on this list invented by devout Catholics which piss-off wingnuts to this day. Oh, I love the irony.
The remains of two Union sailors recovered from the ironclad USS Monitor will be interred Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Monitor entered the nation’s history for its March 9, 1862, battle with the CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, Va. During the first-ever battle between ironclads, the Monitor drove off the Virginia from its attempt to sink Union ships and break the blockade of Southern ports.
As a kid I developed a love of history when I began reading about the epic struggle between the Monitor and the Merrimac. I all but memorized the books I could get a hold of. John Ericsson’s invention is still seen in warships today.
From the fight against polio to fixing education, what’s missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand.
We can learn a lot about improving the 21st-century world from an icon of the industrial era: the steam engine.
Harnessing steam power required many innovations, as William Rosen chronicles in the book “The Most Powerful Idea in the World.” Among the most important were a new way to measure the energy output of engines and a micrometer dubbed the “Lord Chancellor” that could gauge tiny distances.
Such measuring tools, Mr. Rosen writes, allowed inventors to see if their incremental design changes led to the improvements—such as higher power and less coal consumption—needed to build better engines. There’s a larger lesson here: Without feedback from precise measurement, Mr. Rosen writes, invention is “doomed to be rare and erratic.” With it, invention becomes “commonplace.”
First off, thank you to Israel for an invention that benefits humanity.
Now on to the story:
An Israel professor of Tel Aviv University, Fernando Patolsky, and his partner Michael Ioffe, have invented what will hopefully become a common sight in bar and clubs around the world, an Anti-Date Rape Straw.
The straw can currently detect the two most common drugs being used, ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, of GHB. Patolsky and Ioffe are working on adding more drug detection abilities, including rohypnol, aka ruffies.
The idea is that women will carry the straw with them when they go out, and they can reuse the straw as many times as they like until the straw encounters the presence of any date rape drugs. If the straw detects any drug in the drink, a chemical reaction will be created and the straw will change colour, depending on the drug.
Patolsky and Ioffe hope to commercialize the product within a year.
I absolutely LOVE creative, innovative people.
This has absolutely ZERO practical application, as far as I can tell.
But the level of imagination and sheer skill involved with such a concept makes me smile, without fail.