Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Success comes to he who is willing to work hard, fight a good fight and sacrifice everything when necessary. (Brenda A. Ysaguirre)

As we near the end of another year we are faced with many new challenges. The economical situation at home and abroad dims the festive moment. If what the analysts are saying is true, we can look forward to a new year filled with more hardship as more people lose there jobs and many others graduate into a world that offers very little for them. Only the strong will survive. Only those who know the true meaning of sacrifice will succeed. Only the fearless will attain the satisfaction of a hard day's work for a well earned pay. I do not mean to dampen the eve of New Year's Eve. I only want to make sure we all understand that there will be a lot of hardship but that we can win the battle in the new year if we use stamina and sacrifice.

Good Luck to everyone and do have a Happy New Year. Go out or just stay at home and eat some grapes (12 actually to follow the Spanish tradition of one for each month of the year. You eat them just before midnight and our ancestors believed it would give you a good year.)Have a Blessed New Year.

Remember, we can make 2009 all it was meant to be if we work hard and sacrifice when necessary.Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Monday, December 29, 2008


Parece que los Mayas lo inventaron.
Es un baño de vapor prehispánico utilizado actualmente por los mayas, que por sus cualidades terapéuticas es complemento importante durante sus rituales y ceremonias de purificación.Es parte de una tradición muy antigua para limpiar el cuerpo, la mente y el espíritu que se trasmitió a través de las culturas de el norte de América y sigue en práctica hasta el día de hoy gracias a la tradición oral que de padre a hijo se trasmite en las comunidades mayas.

El ritual del Temascal se realiza dentro de una estructura de piedra como cúpula que el sacerdote ceremonial,. (chaman) limpia y prepara con humo de copal (incienso derivado de una resina de árbol) convirtiéndolo en un lugar sagrado. En el interior del Temascal se acomoda la gente sentada alrededor de piedras volcánicas calientes, previamente preparadas en el fuego del ritual, que se reciben con respeto como “viejos sabios” (abuelitos) , y que son bañadas de te de hierbas que produce un vapor para curar la mete y el espíritu. Dentro del Temascal nos acompaña el Chaman que nos guía por este mágico momento en el vientre de la madre tierra para renacer purificados.

En la simbología maya la entrada al Temascal representa el regreso en el vientre materno que nos recibe para curarnos y renacer purificados. Cada uno de los participantes vive la sensación de armonía pacífica gracias a la oscuridad y silencio, que da la posibilidad de conectarse con su interior debido al correr del tiempo que no tiene modo de ser medido, en las practicas mas auténticas puede durar hasta 4 horas. En la antigüedad esta práctica era considerada una prueba para renacer como guerrero.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Once it is done, this Temazcal will house up to 25 persons. I have presently open a massage spa and the plan is to get a mud bath on the premises, too along with beach benches. It will be opened to the public and you are all invited to check us out if you are in the area.
The name of our SPA will be:
Brenda's Recreational Club
Rustic prehiSPAnico
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Thursday, December 25, 2008


Carolyn, Ciarra and Miya


MI QUERIDO AMIGO y MAESTRO, ABEL. Felicidades y amor hoy y siempre. S.Q? T.A!!!

Finally the day is here. Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Millions across the earth rejoice in the coming of this day. Many will be in church, with family and friends or they will just relax at home to a quiet day.

In the past all my Christmas' were spent with my daughter, Carolyn and the past five years also with my grandaughter, Ciarra. This year due to inforeseen circumstances I have not travelled to the USA like I always do. As I write this blog, I am filled with thoughts of the child I brought into this world and the child she brought into this world. So much love and happiness they have brought me and today I am thousands of miles away from them. I can only say that while I will be with other loved ones, it is going to be hard to not remember last year and the years gone by and wonder if this year should have been this way. Unfortunately, it is beyond my control and I can only pray that it is all worth while - this sacrifice I make today. I will be calling them and across the miles I will be hearing that little voice that was so disappointed when she found out that her grandma Brenda was not coming this year.

Ciarra Alexander, my darling granddaughter, I love you and I always will. I am so sorry I cannot be with you this year for Christmas but I promise to try my best to be there in the coming year when I get a longer time off. You see this year we had a really bad time with the flooding in Belize and the school I work at had days off that had to be made up. So, I worked until yesterday and will have to work next week so that I can know if my students passed their classes and can move on to the next level in January. Anyway, the sacrifice will be all worth it if, and only if, the majority of my students pass their courses and can move on to the next level.
I know there is a reason for eveything in this world and so I am filled with the satifaction that they know I love them and that they know i will always be there for them even though I am miles alway.

At this time I would like to send my love to Carloyn and Ciarra. Darlings, you are my light and my happiness. I love you both and Miya, my son-in-law, I love you too. Sorry for changing your Christmas tradition but I will be there in the heart! Have a Blessed Christmas. We are alive and well. That is more than we could ask for. Trust in God and know that everything that happens in life is for a purpose. Like the love of my life always says and I quote: " We have so much to be thankful for. We are alive and millions of people did not wake up today. We have our health and many are sick. We love and are loved. Even when we are miles away, we are never apart. LOVE IS ALL WE NEED. "

Love Always,
Grandma Brenda/Mama

In the light of all this, I reach out to Abel for comfort and happiness. Thank you, dear friend, for being there for me. I sometimes fall beyond your expectations but you pick me up and lead me on. My love for you grows with each dawn and heightens with each dusk. Whether we are together or apart on each given day, you add to my life knowledge, peace, joy and happiness that has grown with each passing day.
Abel, te amo, y siempre te voy a amar. Mi quierido Desestress, tu y solo tu has llegado a un nivel en mi vida que ningun otro ha logrado. Todo mis ayers son necesarios para que mis hoy sean realidad y para que mis mananas sean posibles. El amor que me das, y el amor que te doy son dos distinctos formas de ese amor profundo que nace cuando dos personas apoyan uno al otro. Gracias por ser parte de mi vida. Gracias por abrir mis ojos, para encenarme que la vida es diferente de lo que yo vivia. Mi amor, mi cielo, mi corazon. Hombre en blanco, hombre con tanto, hombre sabio, hombre de mi alma. Feliz Navidad. Mucho amor y mucho deseos. A tu lado estoy. A tu lado abri mis ojos hoy. A tu lado, quierido Abel, a tu lado. No te tengo que decir mas porque lo sabes todo. Te Amo. Paz, querido amigo. Eres el unico hombre que me ha llevado a la luna, y has hecho que toque las estrellas. Besos Especiales siempre.

Tu Chica de la Nueva Vida
A mis companerios de UNID. Felicidades a todos. Espero que nuestro amor y amistad sigue. Eres parte de mi gran familia. Disfruten cada minuto de cada dia como si fuera el ultimo. Vive hoy. No se preocupen por ayer. Ya no existe. (Pero si reprobaron, ayer si no lo vas a olvidar, verdad? jajaja) Viven hoy. Disfruten HOY. Haz de HOY una cancion, una lucha, una felicidad como que si manana no llegara. Y cuando llegue vas ser otro HOY asi que ya saben. LIVE IN THE NOW!!!!
A los profes: Eulises, Adrian, Veronica, Yasmini, Sra. Blanca y Daniela, muchas gracias por su ayuda con mi espanol, gracias por lo que nos encenaron y gracias por su amistad. Les mando un afectuoso abrazo en esta temporada. Feliz Navidad. Mucho amor, paz y esperanza.
Remember everyone: He is the reason for the season. El es la razon por la temporada.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The election of Barack Obama has inspired one French entrepreneur to create a new soft drink. The maker of Obama Soda says he hopes his beverage, and its namesake, will inspire young people living in some of France's grimmest housing projects by giving them a little taste of the American dream.
La Courneuve is a working-class suburb only 5 miles from the center of Paris, but it seems a different world from the glittering City of Light. In the drab housing projects — or cites, as they are called here — rows of gray cinder block apartments dominate the landscape.
It is here that 31-year-old Jean-Jacques Attisso has decided to base his advertising business. Attisso grew up in a nearby housing project; like most young people here, his parents were immigrants from Africa. The energetic entrepreneur says one of the biggest problems in La Courneuve is the apathy and hopelessness among young people.
"There is like a gap between this area and Paris," says Attisso. "And for me, it's really important to be here and to try to give a positive message."
Attisso gives back to the community by mentoring young people in his spare time. He says President-elect Obama has inspired young people like nobody else. That, and the fact that one of his clients is a can manufacturer, gave him the idea to create Obama Soda.
The drink comes in a red and blue can featuring Obama's photo and the slogan "Yes We Can." It's the perfect tool to get young people to listen to his message, says Attisso — even if the success story is from another country.
"They know that Barack Obama is American, and here in France, the situation is a bit different," says Attisso. "But still, if someone is able to do that in the biggest country in the world, why not? It could happen in other countries."
On a recent afternoon, Attisso took his energy drink and his motivational message to the La Courneuve youth center.
After astonishing a few adolescents with his cans of Obama Soda, Attisso begins his spiel. He describes Obama as practically an orphan, a guy whose father left him and who was raised by his grandmother. But, Attisso says, Obama studied and kept going.
He tells the boys that they, too, could do anything they want if they work hard and set their minds to it.
Jean Marie Cyrelli, 19, says his father, like Obama's, was African. And he says young people in the French suburbs feel they have no future.
"People don't believe in France anymore," Cyrelli says. "They feel stuck out here in these ghettos in the suburbs, and the young people don't feel integrated with the rest of the country. It's an identity problem.
"They can't find their place in society, and they don't feel French," he says.
Unemployment in La Courneuve and other minority-populated suburban areas is nearly three times the national average. Residents say they face discrimination and exclusion.
And just three years ago, this area and others like it across the country exploded in violence. Young men of African and North African background burned cars and fought with police during nearly three weeks of nightly rioting.
In front of some small shops that include a halal butcher and a grocer advertising African specialties, Attisso stops some younger tweens on their way home from school. They all seem more optimistic than their older neighbors.
"I love Obama cola. This is the first time I've tasted it," says Muhammed Cherki, 11. Cherki says he's sure he could become president of France — but that he'd rather be a chef or the mayor of Hollywood.
When Attisso tells him that African-Americans couldn't even sit down in the front of a bus 50 years ago, Cherki replies that now Obama doesn't need the bus — he's got limousines.
Maria Tudjay, 14, and her friends say they love Obama Soda because it tastes like bubble gum, and that the can is pretty because it's in the colors of the French flag.
"And I'm very proud to drink it, because Obama is such a good example for black people," she says.
When asked if anyone would like to try a soda named for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the response was unanimous: a chorus of "Non."
"All Sarkozy wants to do is bring the cops here," one boy says. "We don't like him at all."
Despite Obama Soda's success among these young people, Attisso says the cans are not yet on supermarket shelves. For now, he wants to use the drink to convince young people that a French version of the American dream is also possible.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


A Golgi apparatus is an organelle (a structure within a cell).
Other names for the Golgi apparatus
The Golgi apparatus is also known as the Golgi body, Golgi complex, or (in plants) dictyosome.
Why is it called "Golgi"?
It is named after an Italian microscopist, Camillo Golgi, hence the capital "G". Dr Golgi announced his discovery of this organelle in 1898.
Structure, appearance, and location
There may be a number of Golgi bodies in a cell. They vary in size, but a typical diameter is 2 micrometers. In an electron micrograph, each one can be seen to consist of a stack of flattened sacs, each sac (cisterna) bounded by a membrane. A Golgi apparatus is often found in a perinuclear location, i.e. near the nucleus of the cell. It is also typically close to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Receiving, sorting, modifying, and dispatching proteins
There is a continuous movement of vesicles (small, more or less spherical membranes enclosing, in this case, proteins) to one side (the cis surface) of the Golgi apparatus.
These vesicles have budded off the rough endoplasmic reticulum, and contain proteins that were synthesized within the lumen of the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
On reaching the Golgi apparatus, a vesicle fuses with it; its membrane merges with that of the Golgi cisterna. The proteins enter the lumen (cavity) of the cisterna.
Within the Golgi apparatus, the proteins are sorted according to their eventual destination. Some of these proteins may be destined to be secreted (released from the cell to perform a physiological function elsewhere) e.g. as digestive enzymes, others will become proteins of the cell membrane (plasma membrane), and yet others will end up in a lysosome or back in the endoplasmic reticulum.
The Golgi body also modifies proteins (e.g. by adding a polysaccharide chain).
Proteins are moved from stack to stack of the whole structure in vesicles that bud off one layer of the Golgi apparatus and carry the proteins to another.
From the opposite (trans) surface of the Golgi apparatus, vesicles bud off and are moved to their various destinations.
Polysaccharide synthesis
A number of other chemical processes occur in the Golgi body, including polysaccharide synthesis. The Golgi body makes the materials of which new cell walls are made during plant cytokinesis.
Does the Golgi apparatus replicate?
No. It is dismantled at mitosis, and reassembled later.
Some people like to make comparisons between parts of the cell and other, more familiar, places or processes. A Golgi apparatus has been likened to a business department that handles receiving and dispatch. The items received must be sorted by destination before they can be dispatched. A postal service is another metaphor.
But what about packing and secretion?
Textbooks sometimes say the function of the Golgi apparatus is packing and secreting proteins.
By "packing" they mean that proteins are surrounded by a membrane in the form of a vesicle before they leave the Golgi apparatus. However, the rough endoplasmic reticulum does this too, before sending proteins to the Golgi apparatus. Endocytosis involves something similar. So there is nothing so very special about the Golgi apparatus here.
Secretion means the release from the cell of a useful substance (as opposed to excretion, which is the release of a waste, potentially toxic substance). Secretion happens when a vesicle reaches the cell membrane and its contents leave the cell by exocytosis. The Golgi apparatus prepares proteins for, but not does perform, secretion.


A lot has changed since I last wrote. I became a student at the University UNID en Chetumal, Q.Roo, Mexico in the day sessions, I still am Director of CCC ACE and CJC ACE, I have opened a Health SPA in Corozal Town, Belize and my once calm world now is filled with work, friends, problems, sleepless nights, in all A NEW LIFE. While much has changed, much has remained the same and for that I am grateful. I thank all those who give meaning to my life: my daughter, Carolyn, my granddaughter, Ciarra, Miya, my son-in-law, Triccia, my stepdaughter and Abel, the light in my world and the brain behind many of the wonderful things that I now experience. As this year comes to an end, I give love to all my readers, friends and family for being a part of my life. Thank you for being there and for being energy to my sometimes tired bones. Life is a miracle of people, places and things. How we live it makes it worth living or worth dying for.

The Man who walks this world alone has nothing while the Man who struggles down the path with the help of family and friends lives a life of many splendours. (Brenda A. Ysaguirre aka Brenda Izaguirre Gill)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

For the time being the rains have stopped and now we have a cold front over Belize. However, all is not over. Now is the time of recovery. The people in the areas that had the flooding ae still suffering. Many are still not in their homes and many have lost most of their personal properties.
In an effort to assist our brothers and sisters who have suffered so much in the past weeks, the YO PUEDO GROUP OF COROZAL and CCC ACE and CJC ACE have initiated a drive to collect non-persishable goods and clothing. THIS IS THE TIME WHEN WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER. LET US GIVE FROM THE HEART.
Thank you and God Bless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Milk Tanker Breather was invented in the state of Victoria by Bob Roff.
BOB ROFF: I remember when I told my wife about being on 'The Inventors', she turned around and said, "Bull----!" My invention was designed to stop milk from being spilt out of a tanker. Actually, it was inspired by my wife having an accident with milk being spilt on the road from a tanker.

STUART WAGSTAFF (host, 'The Inventors'): There you are: $1,000 from the Commonwealth Bank Travel Strength. Congratulations!

BOB ROFF: Thank you very much.

STUART WAGSTAFF: We'll see you later.

BOB ROFF: Actually, I won $1000, which was quite handy. I spent it all on bills. Well, I guess I started to be inventive during 1966, when I went down to the Antarctic. Inventors, um...I don't think there's too many that become multibillionaires. I think it's one of those things that you get the satisfaction of having invented something. I've had a pretty full life and I'm still continuing on with it.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Mount Gambier is famous for many things — its Blue Lake, pine forests, white coralline limestone.
But now, an invention hailed as one of the most important discoveries of this century has come on the scene. And it may make Mount Gambier famous the world over. We present this gleaming star in the world of personal comfort — the deluxe, centrally heated toilet seat. The designer has called his invention the 'Comfort Seat' and he plans to introduce it in seven different colours — white, grey, pink, blue, black, primrose and aqua. There are four different temperature settings on the Comfort Seat, much after the style of an electric blanket.

PRESENTER: Mr Coward, what inspired you to direct your energies towards a heated toilet seat?

MR COWARD: Well, now, if you must know, a very, very cold posterior.

JAMES O'LOGHLIN: Yeah, I must say I wasn't sure about that one until I found out it came in primrose. That really sold me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Let's now have a look at another invention from the past — something that's designed to stop children from wetting the bed.

INVENTOR, ON VIDEOTAPE: Well, a full-size pad will be 18" by 24", which we think will be quite adequate. Now, a teaspoon of moisture tipped upon the pad will set the alarm unit off. And that noise, hopefully, will wake the child up. In some instances, it may not wake the child up, but it still doesn't matter, because subconsciously, the trigger mechanism will still be...will still work within the child.

INTERVIEWER, ON VIDEOTAPE: It sounds a fairly cruel sort of way to cure a child of this.

MAN: Well, it is much more effective than, say, using drugs. There are some machines around which use shock therapy, which isn't very good. is...

INTERVIEWER: This machine, though, it appears to be a form of shock therapy. You wake the child up. MAN: Only audible shock. Normal children wake up anyway, when they go to the toilet, without any prompting.

JAMES O'LOGHLIN: Yes, and if you were a child on whom that invention was tested, you can send your therapy bills to the inventor.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


In the 1970s, a man called John O'Brien sniffed the wind and saw the world was changing.
It wasn't just bad fashion and big hair. More women were entering the work force and families were looking for quicker ways to cook dinner. John had six kids, and when they went camping, they loved the jaffles they cooked over the fire so much he decided to import some toasted sandwich-makers from the only place in the world where they were being made: Belgium. He used Newcastle as a testing ground and they sold like hot sandwich-makers. John then tried to get 250,000 more, but the Belgians told him no. "Stuff 'em! I'll build my own," he thought, "but mine will be better." Toasted sandwiches back then were too big and too messy: a culinary treat that was booby-trapped. And when you bit into it, anything could happen. John invented the scissors action, which automatically cut and sealed your toasted sanger. The late John O'Brien patented the scissors action and turned the world of toasted sangers upside down. His company, Breville, have now sold over 23 million sandwich-makers around the world. John O'Brien, we salute you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Today is Independence Day in Belize and as a true Belizean I take this time from the norm to wish each and every Belizean a happy Independence Day. Long Live Belize and Long Live the Belizean People.

Love Alway,

Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Saturday, September 20, 2008


When did usb flash drives emerge? Who invented usb flash drives? What's the difference between a USB Flash Drive and a Flash Drive? Well, The USB Flash Drive was introduced in 1996. The USB interfaced NAND memory was invented by Dov Moran. He worked for M-Systems, where the very first Flash Drive was manufactured.
Netac and Trek2000, Ltd. developed similar porducts about the same time. All three companies, M-Systems, Netac and Trek2000, have very similar and hotly disputed patents. The first Flash Drive was manufactured and distributed in Europe under the "disgo" brand name. It was only available in four sizes; 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, and 64MB. The first distributor in North America was IBM.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


During the 1930s, body massage was not seen as a luxury or part of being pampered but was, correctly, regarded as important for maintaining healthy skin and good circulation. However this functional-looking dynamo massager appears neither pleasurable nor safety conscious, as it gave tiny electric shocks to the user.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Highwaymen were a real danger in the late 19th century and this cunning design might just have saved your honour, property and even life. A dainty weapon was concealed in a secret compartment of this seemingly normal ladies' purse. The barrel could hold only one bullet - so you had to make your shot count.

Monday, September 1, 2008


The clockwork mechanism on this 1870s burglar alarm was wound up and the upright lever set, before the device was placed at the foot of a door and a spike pushed into the floor. If an intruder tried to enter, the lever would be pushed down and set off the surprisingly loud and effective bell.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


It was the invention of the future - a tiny machine complete with its own map that would tell motorists which way to go.
But this was no satnav - after all, the communications satellites that help modern cars locate themselves were still decades away.
Instead, the route-finder for the well-equipped 1920s driver was a wristwatch-style device equipped with minuscule maps.

Miniature scrolls bearing the directions were loaded onto the watch and revolved as the wearer continued his journey.
The 1920s TomTom never took off - perhaps because there were too few motorists to buy them.
It is one of the labour and face-saving devices to go on display from a private collection of weird and wonderful gadgets from the past.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Many inventors tried to make the camera after the camera obscure, a machine that only takes pictures in the dark. But Joseph Nicephore Nicepiece invented the first camera . He took the first picture of the rooftops near his house.

The first camera was invented in 1841. But the easier camera was invented in March 1885 by George Eastman. That's 44 years after the earlier camera!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


While we suspected that credit cards were first invented in the mid-1980s to exploit the growing number of late-night infomercials and our own unquenchable thirst for instant gratification, it turns out that the practice of splashing plastic was pioneered a good deal earlier.
Running the phrase "credit card history" through the new-fangled Yahoo! Search, we crossed our fingers and prayed we wouldn't be inundated with a long list of online credit-repair schemes. Happily, we met with the sweet beep of instant approval in the form of a snappy overview of credit through the ages.
It turns out that credit cards as we know them, good at multiple businesses, were first thrown down in 1951. That's when 200 brave, pre-approved souls were able to present their Diners Club cards at 27 different New York City restaurants and leave with the same amount of cash they walked in with.
According to credit card lore, in 1949, Frank McNamara went to dinner at Major's Cabin Grill and forgot his wallet. After talking his way out of doing the dishes to cover his tab, McNamara thought, "Never again!" In February of 1950, he and a partner founded Diners Club and returned to Major's with a small cardboard card. Frank signed for dinner, without a hassle, and the event was eventually dubbed "the First Supper."
A quick Yahoo! Image Search led us to a nice reproduction of an early Diners Club card and an explanation from the Smithsonian Institution about how money has evolved over the past 100 years. They report that credit cards added the now ubiquitous magnetic stripe in the 1970s and that the rise of plastic ended the production of all banknotes larger than $100.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Madame Walker fashioned an empire by Sherri Winston, published March 28, 2001 in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.Madame C.J. Walker. Do you know who she is?For the casual history buff, the answer may spring easily. "She's the first black woman millionaire in America."Many may even know that she made her million selling hair-care products for black women. Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, the Southern washerwoman-turned-inventor went from the abject poverty of America's Reconstruction Era, to building herself an empire.Madame Walker invented the hot comb, which could straighten black women's hair and revolutionize how we tended to our appearance.Since childhood, I've been fascinated with Madame Walker. Although books on her were rare, most illustrations showed a woman with a sturdy frame and an elegant stature. A woman with full features and a face round like mine.Over the years, attempts to find out more about the entrepreneur proved frustrating. The most I could find were histories written for juveniles.Recently, I came across The Black Rose (Ballentine, $14), a fictionalized history about the life of Madame Walker that came out in paperback in January. Author Tananarive Due, a former South Florida resident, offers a vivid, memorable journey through Walker's fields of poverty to the industry of hope.What elevates Due's novel, however, is the source of her information. Roots author and historical legend Alex Haley began researching the life and times of Sarah Breedlove Walker before his death but never had the opportunity to use his findings."I got a call from my agent saying the Haley estate would like to talk to me about doing a book based on Alex Haley's research. When the Haley estate calls, you take note," Due says during a phone interview from her home in Long View, Wash."The Haley name was magical to me. I read Roots when I was a kid. I was really captivated by Roots. Not only his story so much as the hunger it awakened in me. It was inspirational how Alex Haley was able to trace himself back to the motherland," Due says.Due, whose previous fiction, including My Soul To Keep, dealt with the supernatural, says historical fiction was a departure. Like any good journalist, she began to research Madame Walker. "Like you, all I found were juvenile books," she says.Even so, she read enough to know the basics. And the basics intrigued her.Me, too.Madame Walker's is the ultimate story of survival and beating the odds. She was born into the first generation of post-slavery blacks and her parents, Minerva and Owen Breedlove, were poor and poorer. She was uneducated and socially unacceptable. She had every reason in the world to fail. Sarah would go on to marry, first at 14, only to lose that husband to racial violence. But her marriage to C.J. Walker, a man who owned a newspaper and had business savvy, proved pivotal to her success.

"Life was hard for a lot of folks back then," Due says. "The stories are all basically the same -- heartache and poverty. Still, I was most surprised by how much she overcame. She didn't even start with nothing. She started with less than nothing. Starting with nothing would be to at least have one parent. She had no money. Her parents died when she was young. What's amazing about her was that she was so determined."

Sarah Walker was the first American woman to sell products through the mail, the first to organize door-to-door sellers. At a time when the Klan was instrumental in spreading hate propaganda and lynching was as common as dandruff, Walker managed to educate laundresses and domestics on how to use her products, sell her products and liberate themselves from an economic system designed to keep them down. Although Due's latest book, The Living Blood (My Soul To Keep's sequel), arrives in stores April 3, she says completing The Black Rose will always remain as a highlight in her career.

"I learned that my father's mother was trained by the Walker school," she says. "I'd known she was a beautician, but I didn't know she was trained with the Madame Walker products."I've always loved the hope, the promise that lies beneath Madame C.J. Walker's history. The Black Rose delivers her story with freshness and vitality."She decided to fashion this life for herself out of dust," Due says.For women, Madame Walker represents the promise in us all.Sherri Winston's column appears on Wednesdays in Lifestyle. She can be reached at 954-356-4108 or
Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Sunday, August 24, 2008


We'd often heard Ohio boast of being home to the first traffic light (as well as numerous U.S. presidents), but we drew a blank when it came to the name of the inventor. Luckily, a search on "traffic light inventor" provided the details. As it turns out, Ohio's claim is only partially true.
The very first traffic light was a revolving gas lantern with red and green lights installed in a London intersection in 1868, before the advent of automobiles. A later version of the traffic light based on railroad signals was installed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1920. But we have Garrett Augustus Morgan to thank for the modern version and first patent of this traffic-stopping invention.
The son of former slaves, Morgan was born in 1877 in Kentucky. He later moved to Cincinnati and then Cleveland, where he owned and operated a sewing-machine repair business and earned quite a reputation as a technician. A multi-talented businessman, Morgan went on to establish the newspaper The Cleveland Call.
In early 20th century Cleveland, as in other major U.S. cities, the roads were clogged with pedestrians, bicycles, animal-drawn wagons, and those newfangled automobiles. There were no traffic laws to speak of, and chaos ruled the streets. Accidents were frequent. After witnessing one such traffic accident, Morgan felt compelled to improve the situation. The result? The precursor to the modern traffic signal, patented on November 23, 1923.
Not quite your contemporary street light, "The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This 'third position' halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely." His light was used throughout North America before being replaced by today's familiar red/yellow/green traffic lights. Morgan eventually sold the rights to his invention to General Electric. He also received a government citation for his invaluable invention.
Morgan's genius was not limited to the world of traffic control; later inventions included a zigzag device for sewing machines, the first chemical human hair straightener, and a gas mask (which he used to rescue several men trapped in an underground tunnel after an explosion).

Friday, August 22, 2008


Super Soaker - Lonnie Johnson
By Mary Bellis
The Super Soaker ® was invented in 1988 under the original name of the "Power Drencher" and a whole new era of power water squirters began. Invented by Lonnie Johnson, an Aerospace Engineer from Los Angeles, California, the Power Drencher was the first water blaster to incorporate air pressure into its design. Three years later in 1991 when Johnson received his patent, the Power Drencher was renamed "Super Soaker" and a nation-wide advertising campaign was launched.
Patents Issued To Lonnie JohnsonA complete list of patent issued to Lonnie Johnson.
Lonnie JohnsonInvented the Super Soaker® a squirt gun, also invented thermodynamics systems on the side - Invention Dimension.
Johnson Research and Development

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Hacky Sack
By Mary Bellis
The co-operative kicking sport has ancient origins from China, Thailand, Native America and nearly every country. Hacky Sack or Footbag, as we know it today, is a modern American sport invented in 1972, by John Stalberger and Mike Marshall of Oregon City, Oregon. Marshall had created a hand-made bean bag, that he was kicking around. Stalberger was recovering from knee surgery and was looking for a fun way to exercise his knees. Together, they called the new game "Hackin' the Sack." The two decided to collaborate and market their new game under the trademark of "Hacky Sack®".
Mike Marshall died of a heart attack in 1975, at the age of twenty-eight. Stalberger continued with the "Hacky Sack" cause and formed the National Hacky Sack Association. He later sold the rights for the Hacky Sack® Footbag to Kransco (operating under the Wham-O label), which also manufactured the Frisbee flying disc.
Following the invention of Hacky Sack (aka Footbag), different varieties of the sport have evolved including "Footbag Net" where players volley a Hacky Sack over a 5-foot-high net and "Freestyle Footbag" where players stand in a circle and do tricks with the Hacky Sack while passing it around the circle.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The McCormick harvester and twine binder, manufactured in 1881, was the first binder which tied the bundles with twine. After the development of this machine only minor developments, tending to give greater durability and lighter draft, were added.

Cyrus Hall McCormick, a 22-year-old Virginian, gave America its first step toward farm mechanization when he invented the reaper 150 years ago this spring.
He first showed it publicly in July 1831, in a field near Steele's Tavern, not far from the valley of Walnut Grove, where the family farm lay.

Friday, August 15, 2008



Ancient Egypt was a civilization in eastern North Africa, concentrated along the middle to lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern nation of Egypt. The civilization began around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh, and it developed over the next three millennia. Its history occurred in a series of stable periods, known as kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods. After the end of the last kingdom, known as the New Kingdom, the civilization of ancient Egypt entered a period of slow, steady decline, during which Egypt was conquered by a succession of foreign powers. The rule of the pharaohs officially ended in 31 BC when the early Roman Empire conquered Egypt and made it a province.
The civilization of ancient Egypt thrived from its adaptation to the conditions of the Nile River Valley. Controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which fueled social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military that defeated foreign enemies and asserted Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a divine pharaoh who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people through an elaborate system of religious beliefs.

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians included a system of mathematics, quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that facilitated the building of monumental pyramids, ships, temples, obelisks, faience and glass technology, a practical and effective system of medicine, new forms of literature, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, and the earliest known peace treaty. Egypt left a lasting legacy: art and architecture were copied and antiquities paraded around the world, and monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of tourists and writers for centuries. A newfound respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy for Egypt and the world.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


In 1965 Stephanie Kwolek (1923– ) succeeded in creating the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength and stiffness. The best known member is Kevlar, a material used in fragmentation-resistant vests as well as in boats, airplanes, ropes, cables, tires, tennis racquets, skis, and so forth—in total about 200 applications.

Kwolek was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Her father, who died when she was 10 years old, was a naturalist by avocation. She spent many hours with him exploring the woods and fields near her home and filling scrapbooks with leaves, wildflowers, seeds, grasses, and pertinent descriptions. From her mother, first a homemaker and then by necessity a career woman, Kwolek inherited a love of fabrics and sewing. At one time she thought she might become a fashion designer, but her mother warned her that she would probably starve in that business because she was such a perfectionist. Later Kwolek became interested in teaching and then in chemistry and medicine.

When she graduated from the women's college (Margaret Morrison Carnegie College) of Carnegie-Mellon University, she applied for a position as a chemist with the DuPont Company, among other places. Her job interview with W. Hale Charch, who had invented the process to make cellophane waterproof and who was by then a research director, was a memorable one. After Charch indicated that he would let her know in about two weeks whether she would be offered a job, Kwolek asked him if he could possibly make a decision sooner since she had to reply shortly to another offer. Charch called in his secretary and in Kwolek's presence dictated a job offer letter. In later years, reflecting upon this bold request for a woman to make in 1946, she suspected that her assertiveness influenced his decision in her favor. At DuPont the polymer research she worked on was so interesting and challenging that she decided to drop her plans for medical school and make chemistry a lifetime career.

She was engaged in several projects, including a search for new polymers as well as a new condensation process that takes place at lower temperatures—about 0˚ to 40˚C. The familiar melt condensation polymerization process used in preparing nylon, for example, was instead done at more than 200˚C. The lower-temperature polycondensation processes, which employ very fast-reacting intermediates, make it possible to prepare polymers that are thermally unstable or cannot be melted.

Kwolek was in her 40s when she was asked to scout for the next generation of high-performance fibers. This assignment involved preparing intermediates, synthesizing paraoriented aromatic polyamides of high molecular weight, dissolving the polyamides in solvents, and spinning these solutions into fibers. She unexpectedly discovered that under certain conditions large numbers of the molecules of these rod-like polyamides become lined up in parallel, that is, form liquid crystalline solutions, and that these solutions can be spun directly into oriented fibers of very high strength and stiffness. These polyamide solutions were unlike any polymer solutions previously prepared in the laboratory. They were unusually fluid, turbid, and buttermilk-like in appearance, and became opalescent when stirred. The person in charge of the spinning equipment initially refused to spin the first such solution because he feared that the turbidity was caused by the presence of particles that would plug the tiny holes (0.001 inch in diameter) in the spinneret. He was finally persuaded to spin, and much to his surprise, strong, stiff fibers were obtained with no difficulty. Following this breakthrough many fibers were spun from liquid crystalline solutions, including the yellow Kevlar fiber.

Kwolek has received many awards for her invention of the technology behind Kevlar fiber, including induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994 as only the fourth woman member of 113. In 1996 she received the National Medal of Technology, and in 1997 the Perkin Medal, presented by the American Section of the Society of Chemical Industry—both honors rarely awarded to women. She has served as a mentor for other women scientists and participated in programs that introduce young children to science. One of Kwolek's most cited papers, written with Paul W. Morgan, is "The Nylon Rope Trick" (Journal of Chemical Education, April 1959, 36:182–184). It describes how to demonstrate condensation polymerization in a beaker at atmospheric pressure and room temperature—a demonstration now common in classrooms across the nation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Science Report #1: Joseph Henry: An American Physicist

By Stevie Liu/Aug.16, 1999

I. A time line of Joseph Henry
1. In 1797, Joseph Henry was born to Scottish immigrants in Albany, New York. 2. In 1805, when young Henry was eight, his father died, and financial circumstances forced his mother send Henry to live with his grandmother in Galway, New York. 3. In 1811, Joseph Henry was fourteen, he moved back to work a day job and attend night school at the Albany Academy, a boys’ school. 4. In 1815, after graduating from Albany Academy, Henry spent several years working as a tutor, then a canal surveyor, and eventually as an engineer for canal construction. 5. In the summer of 1815, Henry invented his own Electro-magnetic. 6. In the early 1830s Princeton University offered Henry the chair of natural philosophy, which Henry accepted. 7. In 1833, Henry met Benjamin Franklin, the man who surpassed him, and they became good friends. 8. In the late 1840s, he accepted the position of Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he continued to promote what he called basic research. 9. In 1846, he was professor of natural philosophy (physics) at the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University). 10. At the December 3, 1846, meeting of the Board of Regents, Henry was Elected Secretary, with seven of the twelve votes cast. 11. In 1878, Joseph Henry died.
II. Some interesting things about Joseph Henry's life and work
When Henry was inventing the Electro-magnet, he claimed that he did not pursue practical applications for the Electro-magnet because:
"I freely renounced all right to the invention as I consider the machine in the present state of the science a philosophical toy.”
Later in his life, when ask why he didn't patent the Electro-magnet, Henry replied:
"I did not then consider it compatible with the dignity of science to confine the benefits which might be derived from it to the exclusive use of many individual.”
At the December 3, 1846, meeting of the Board of Regents, Henry was elected Secretary, with seven of the twelve votes cast. Just prior to the vote, the regents had made it clear what sort of person they wanted by passing the following resolution:
...that the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution be a man possessing weight of character, and a high grade of talent; and that it is further desirable that he possess eminent scientific and general acquirements; that he be a man capable of advancing science and promoting letters by original research and effort, well qualified to act as a respected channel of communication between the institution and scientific and literary individuals and societies in this foreign countries; and, in a word, a man worthy to represent before the world of science and of letters the institution over with this Board presides.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In 1769, the Scotsman James Watt patented an improved version of the steam engine that ushered in the Industrial Revolution. The idea of using steam power to propel boats occurred to inventors soon after the potential of Watt's new engine became known.
The era of the steamboat began in America in 1787 when John Fitch (1743-1798) made the first successful trial of a forty-five-foot steamboat on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of members of the Constitutional Convention. Fitch later built a larger vessel that carried passengers and freight between Philadelphia and Burlington, New Jersey.
John Fitch was granted his first United States patent for a steamboat on August 26, 1791. However, he was granted his patent only after a battle with James Rumsey over claims to the same invention. Both men had similar designs.

(It should be noted that on February 1, 1788 the very first United States patent for a steamboat patent was issued to Briggs & Longstreet.)

John Fitch constructed four different steamboats between 1785 and 1796 that successfully plied rivers and lakes and demonstrated, in part, the feasibility of using steam for water locomotion. His models utilized various combinations of propulsive force, including ranked paddles (patterned after Indian war canoes), paddle wheels, and screw propellers. While his boats were mechanically successful, Fitch failed to pay sufficient attention to construction and operating costs and was unable to justify the economic benefits of steam navigation. Robert Fulton (1765-1815) built his first boat after Fitch's death, and it was Fulton who became known as the "father of steam navigation."

Monday, August 11, 2008


The cotton gin is a device for removing the seeds from cotton fiber. Simple devices for that purpose have been around for centuries, an East Indian machine called a charka was used to separate the seeds from the lint when the fiber was pulled through a set of rollers. The charka was designed to work with long-staple cotton, but American cotton is a short-staple cotton. The cottonseed in Colonial America was removed by hand, usually the work of slaves.

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin

Eli Whitney's machine was the first to clean short-staple cotton. His cotton engine consisted of spiked teeth mounted on a boxed revolving cylinder which, when turned by a crank, pulled the cotton fiber through small slotted openings so as to separate the seeds from the lint -- a rotating brush, operated via a belt and pulleys, removed the fibrous lint from the projecting spikes.
The gins later became horse-drawn and water-powered gins and cotton production increased, along with lowered costs. Cotton soon became the number one selling textile.
Demand For Cotton GrowsAfter the invention of the cotton gin, the yield of raw cotton doubled each decade after 1800. Demand was fueled by other inventions of the Industrial Revolution, such as the machines to spin and weave it and the steamboat to transport it. By mid-century America was growing three-quarters of the world's supply of cotton, most of it shipped to England or New England where it was manufactured into cloth. During this time tobacco fell in value, rice exports at best stayed steady, and sugar began to thrive, but only in Louisiana. At mid-century the South provided three-fifths of America's exports, most of it in cotton.
Modern Cotton GinsMore recently devices for removing trash, drying, moisturizing, fractioning fiber, sorting, cleaning, and baling in 218-kg (480-lb) bundles have been added to modern cotton gins. Using electric power and air-blast or suction techniques, highly automated gins can produce 14 metric tons (15 U.S. tons) of cleaned cotton an hour.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Q-Who invented the locomotive?

A-The person who invented the locomotive was Richard Trevithick, born in England.

Q-Where was the first locomotive made?

A-The first locomotive was made in England, by R. Trevithick.

Q-When was the locomotive invented?

A-The first locomotive was invented in 1804.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


John Deere was an Illinois blacksmith and manufacturer. Early in his career, Deere and an associate designed a series of farm plows. In 1837, on his own, John Deere designed the first cast steel plow that greatly assisted the Great Plains farmers. The large plows made for cutting the tough prairie ground were called "grasshopper plows." The plow was made of wrought iron and had a steel share that could cut through sticky soil without clogging. By 1855, John Deere's factory was selling over 10,000 steel plows a year.
In 1868, John Deere's business was incorporated as Deere & Company, which is still in existence today.
John Deere became a millionaire selling his steel plows.
History of Plows - PloughsExtracts from The Age of Invention by Holland Thompson - Chapter 5: The Agricultural Revolution
The first real inventor of a practicable plow was Charles Newbold, of Burlington County, New Jersey, to whom a patent for a cast-iron plow was issued in June, 1797. But the farmers would have none of it. They said it "poisoned the soil" and fostered the growth of weeds. One David Peacock received a patent in 1807, and two others later. Newbold sued Peacock for infringement and recovered damages. Pieces of Newbold's original plow are in the museum of the New York Agricultural Society at Albany.
Another inventor of ploughs was Jethro Wood, a blacksmith of Scipio, New York, who received two patents, one in 1814 and the other in 1819. His plow was of cast iron, but in three parts, so that a broken part might be renewed without purchasing an entire plow. This principle of standardization marked a great advance. The farmers by this time were forgetting their former prejudices, and many plow were sold. Though Wood's original patent was extended, infringements were frequent, and he is said to have spent his entire property in prosecuting them.
Another skilled blacksmith, William Parlin, at Canton, Illinois, began making plows about 1842, which he loaded upon a wagon and peddled through the country. Later his establishment grew large. Another John Lane, a son of the first, patented in 1868 a "soft-center" steel plow. The hard but brittle surface was backed by softer and more tenacious metal, to reduce the breakage. The same year James Oliver, a Scotch immigrant who had settled at South Bend, Indiana, received a patent for the "chilled plough." By an ingenious method the wearing surfaces of the casting were cooled more quickly than the back. The surfaces which came in contact with the soil had a hard, glassy surface, while the body of the plough was of tough iron. From small beginnings Oliver's establishment grew great, and the Oliver Chilled Plow Works at South Bend is today [1921] one of the largest and most favorably known privately owned
From the single plough it was only a step to two or more plows fastened together, doing more work with approximately the same man power. The sulky plow, on which the plowman rode, made his work easier, and gave him great control. Such plows were certainly in use as early as 1844, perhaps earlier. The next step forward was to substitute for horses a traction engine.

Friday, August 8, 2008


In 1888 a gentlemen named Emile Berliner invented the flat disc record. These very first discs were produced of a vulcanised rubber and were between 12.5cm and 18cm in diameter.

Later he discovered that a mixture of shellac (a secretion from the lac beetle) and slate dust produced an extremely hard wearing but very brittle surface and from this the 78rpm disc was developed. The slate dust was used because the older acoustic gramophones used steel needles with a pick-up weight of up to 200 grams and the slate helped grind the needle to fit the groove more closely. A modern record pick-up tracks at a recommended maximum of 7 grams. Most record players today can pick up a track at under 1 gram.

Between 1900 and 1960 the discs were usually 25 or 30cm across & gave between 2 and 5 minutes playing time each side. In the beginning sound was recorded with a horn attached to a diaphragm and stylus, which scratched out a trace in a rotating wax disc. This method lasted until 1925, when microphones became sufficiently developed to allow the recording of music. uring the Second World War records were sent from the USA to overseas POW camps to keep up prisoner morale. Due to their brittleness these were frequently broken in transit, so a new compound, vinyl, was born to give greater flexibility and reduce the likelihood of breakages.

During the war years vinyl was a very expensive material but the special circumstances of war justified it's use.

By 1948, Columbia Records had developed its 30cm Long Playing record, rotating at 33rpm and giving about 20-30 minutes a side which saw the downfall of shellac and vinyl was used from then on. Long-playing phonograph records may look the same now as when they were introduced in 1948, but countless refinements and developments within the industry have been made to perfect the long-playing record's technical excellence and insure the best in sound reproduction and quality available in recorded form.

A year later the first 45rpm disc was produced by RCA, 18cm in diameter and giving about 3 minutes a side. No better than the 78 for playing time, but ideal for pop record companies and juke box manufacturers! The 45 was light, compact, sounded much better than the 78 and was less prone to getting broken. 1958 saw the arrival of stereo records although unsuccesful experiments with two channel sound had been going on since before the First World War. This pleased those first "collectors" but irritated the retailers who had to keep dual stocks of LPs in mono and stereo and of course, the record companies had to prepare separate mono and stereo mixed versions of the LPs to start with. Stereo was generally only used for LPs up until about 1970, when pop singles began to appear in stereo versions so by this time the mono LP became a thing of the past.

In the late 1950s some companies experimented with a 16rpm speed originally intended for 'talking books' but was also used for music LPs in Eastern Europe and Africa. An American company also produced an 8rpm discs in the early 1970s for talking books for the blind. The 30cm disc rotating at 45rpm made it's first appearance in 1975 and makes the most of the best features of the 33 and 45rpm formats by offering a reasonable playing time (up to 12 mins/side) at a greatly enhanced volume and frequency response. EMI produceed a short run of classical LPs on this format in the early 1980s.

Despite the devastation caused to vinyl sales by the rapid rise in popularity of the CD, the format still thrives among keen record collectors and club disc jockeys.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


The filter against stupidity is already available!

Stupid Filter, a program that detects and filters stupid or impertinent remarks on websites, is now available. The creators, who have managed to mount a finance company, on July 29 launched the first version in evidence. Announced months ago, the project got hundreds of volunteers who collaborate to collect feedback from the formal point of view, might be regarded as stupid. In the absence of a semantic analysis technology, Stupid Filter analyzes the shape of the message, its extension, the use of capital or the keyword to decide what is stupid. Volunteer work has allowed Paul Starr and Gabriel Ortiz developing a huge database with which the programme collates each new post before deciding whether or not it is impertinent. Apart from an improved mathematical algorithm that analyzes the messages, the main novelty regarding the initial design of the program is increasing the speed and reliability of the system. As Ortiz said, "the new search engine is much faster." The application allows those responsible for websites to automate the filtering comments. Free software Stupid Filter, created with free software, has become the first company product Rarefied Technologies. The firm, a company backed by venture capital, wants to tap into the mathematical algorithm behind Stupid Filter to design other programs aimed at mathematical field of natural language processing. For now, the program only works in English, but is already collecting stupid comments in other languages, including Spanish, to develop a comprehensive database multilingual.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Argentina invents something unique in the world!

The form of financing through the Stock Exchange trading on the paychecks deferred is a creation of Argentina which emerged in the crisis of 2001 and it is unique in the world.

"Globally it does not exist, is something that only operates in Argentina, and we saw at a meeting of the Inter-American Federation of Stock Exchanges in which we participated," said the director of the Argentine Institute of Capital Market (BFMI), Monica Erpen. "Nowhere surges this type of instrument, because it is not a negotiable value, but is authorized to be quoted on the stock exchange," he explained .. It was further considered that it "is a typical element emerged from the crisis of 2001-2002 in Argentina, as the "patacón" but much more successfully."

Checks in deferred payments allow speedy access to capital to entrepreneurs through a discount rate to the value of the check. This system was to be quoted on the stock exchange regulated by the government of former president Néstor Kirchner from 2003, and since then was a "key tool" to help SMEs to finance, especially working capital.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It was the physicist John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008), who also coined the term 'wormhole'. This scientist became one of the essential figures, was among the last employees of Albert Einstein in his youth and worked with the young Danish Niel Bohr, that made him one of the pioneers of nuclear fission, also collaborated on Project Maniatan , In building the reactors that produced plutonium to fuel the first atomic bombs.

In 1957, to deepen the general theory of relativity Einstein, created the concept 'wormhole' to refer to the hypothetical tunnels in space-time. The term 'black hole' as coined in 1967 during a conference at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA at Columbia University, USA

Monday, August 4, 2008


The inventors below made landmark improvements to earplugs, however, it is impossible to determine who invented the very first ear plug. Many ancient peoples created homemade ear plugs from clay, or cotton and wax to reduce noise or protect the ears from the environment i.e. water.

Moldable Pure Silicone Ear Plugs

Ray and Cecilia Benner invented the first moldable pure silicone ear plugs in 1962. The ear plugs were valued by swimmers, as well as those avoiding noise, for their waterproof qualities. McKeon Products marketed the new ear plugs known as Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs.

Classical musician, Ray Benner bought McKeon Products in 1962. At that time the company's sole product was Mack's Earplugs (named after the original owner). Mack's Earplugs were moldable clay ear plugs. The Benners designed new ear plugs made from silicone, a waterproof material, to help prevent swimmer's ear, an infection of the ear caused by exposure to water.

Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs are also great noise stoppers.

Foam Ear Plugs

Ross Gardner invented foam ear plugs in 1972. They were first marketed by the Cabot Safety Company as the E-A-R Classic. Gardner got his idea from the soft padding used in headphones. Disposable foam ear plugs found in drugstores can reduce noise levels by 25 decibels. Foam ear plugs are made from either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane.
Rating Ear PlugsEarplugs are rated with an NRR (the acronym for Noise Reduction Rating). An NRR tells you how much noise reduction in decibels a set of ear plugs provides. Most ear plugs offer between a 26 to 33 reduction in decibels.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


It is uncertain who invented the first electric hearing aid, it may have been the Akoulathon, invented in 1898 by Miller Reese Hutchinson and made and sold (1901) by the Akouphone Company of Alabama for $400.

A device called the carbon transmitter was needed in both the early telephone and the early electric hearing aid. This transmitter was first commercially available in 1898 and was used to electrically amplify sound. In the 1920's, the carbon transmitter was replaced by the vacuum tube, and later by a transistor. Transistors allowed electric hearing aids to become small and efficient.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

In 1888 a gentlemen named Emile Berliner invented the flat disc record. These very first discs were produced of a vulcanised rubber and were between 12.5cm and 18cm in diameter. ater he discovered that a mixture of shellac (a secretion from the lac beetle) and slate dust produced an extremely hard wearing but very brittle surface and from this the 78rpm disc was developed. The slate dust was used because the older acoustic gramophones used steel needles with a pick-up weight of up to 200 grams and the slate helped grind the needle to fit the groove more closely. A modern record pick-up tracks at a recommended maximum of 7 grams. Most record players today can pick up a track at under 1 gram.

Between 1900 and 1960 the discs were usually 25 or 30cm across & gave between 2 and 5 minutes playing time each side. In the beginning sound was recorded with a horn attached to a diaphragm and stylus, which scratched out a trace in a rotating wax disc. This method lasted until 1925, when microphones became sufficiently developed to allow the recording of music.

During the Second World War records were sent from the USA to overseas POW camps to keep up prisoner morale. Due to their brittleness these were frequently broken in transit, so a new compound, vinyl, was born to give greater flexibility and reduce the likelihood of breakages. During the war years vinyl was a very expensive material but the special circumstances of war justified it's use.

By 1948, Columbia Records had developed its 30cm Long Playing record, rotating at 33rpm and giving about 20-30 minutes a side which saw the downfall of shellac and vinyl was used from then on. Long-playing phonograph records may look the same now as when they were introduced in 1948, but countless refinements and developments within the industry have been made to perfect the long-playing record's technical excellence and insure the best in sound reproduction and quality available in recorded form.

A year later the first 45rpm disc was produced by RCA, 18cm in diameter and giving about 3 minutes a side. No better than the 78 for playing time, but ideal for pop record companies and juke box manufacturers! The 45 was light, compact, sounded much better than the 78 and was less prone to getting broken. 1958 saw the arrival of stereo records although unsuccesful experiments with two channel sound had been going on since before the First World War. This pleased those first "collectors" but irritated the retailers who had to keep dual stocks of LPs in mono and stereo and of course, the record companies had to prepare separate mono and stereo mixed versions of the LPs to start with. Stereo was generally only used for LPs up until about 1970, when pop singles began to appear in stereo versions so by this time the mono LP became a thing of the past.

In the late 1950s some companies experimented with a 16rpm speed originally intended for 'talking books' but was also used for music LPs in Eastern Europe and Africa. An American company also produced an 8rpm discs in the early 1970s for talking books for the blind. The 30cm disc rotating at 45rpm made it's first appearance in 1975 and makes the most of the best features of the 33 and 45rpm formats by offering a reasonable playing time (up to 12 mins/side) at a greatly enhanced volume and frequency response. EMI produceed a short run of classical LPs on this format in the early 1980s.

Despite the devastation caused to vinyl sales by the rapid rise in popularity of the CD, the format still thrives among keen record collectors and club disc jockeys.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Richard Drew

Richard G. Drew invented one of the most practical items to be found in any home or office: transparent adhesive tape.
When Drew, a banjo player, joined 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1923, it was a modest manufacturer of sandpaper. While testing their new "Wetordry" sandpaper at auto shops, Drew was intrigued to learn that the two-tone auto paintjobs so popular in the Roaring Twenties were difficult to manage at the border between the two colors. In response, after two years of work in 3M's labs, Drew invented the first masking tape (1925), a two-inch-wide tan paper strip backed with a light, pressure-sensitive adhesive.

The first tape had adhesive along its edges but not in the middle. In its first trial run, it fell off the car; and the frustrated auto painter growled at Drew, "Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!" (By "Scotch," he meant "parsimonious.") The nickname stuck---to Drew's improved masking tape, and to his greatest invention, Scotch (TM) Brand Cellulose Tape (1930).

This, the world's first transparent tape, added a nearly invisible adhesive, made from rubber, oils and resins, to a coated cellophane backing. The adhesive was waterproof and withstood a wide range of temperature and humidity, because it was designed to seal cellophane food-wrap. But the public, forced by the Great Depression to be thrifty, found hundreds of uses for it at work and at home, from sealing packages to mending clothes to preserving cracked eggs.
Drew's creativity not only brought great financial success, it helped transform 3M into an R&D-driven company. His tape was helped along by the first tape dispenser (1935), and was perfected in Scotch (TM) Brand Magic (TM) Transparent Tape (1961), which never discolors or leaks, and can be written on while remaining invisible itself.
Today (especially at holiday gift-wrapping time) Richard G. Drew's transparent adhesive tape remains one of the most pervasive and practical inventions of all time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today's PC printers traces its roots back to the very first of all individual printing machines, the typewriter. This first mechanical printer served as a means to add legibility to writing, to eliminate the vagaries of cursive script and remove its ambiguities and misunderstandings, to make the transcribed word as formal as the work of the printing press.

As initially conceived, the typewriter was hardly the breakneck-paced device we came to know in the generation before PCs. It was hardly able to keep up with the fleeting fingers of the scribe. The mechanism was slow and clumsy, prone to jamming, requiring force and memory to make work. As most, two fingers first did the work. It took more that 20 years to develop the modern concept of touch typing with all tem. The men who had to labor over the machines pecked the typewriter into the expected standard for business papers and correspondence.

Despite its initial disadvantages, the typewriter paved the way for the computer printer. It set a high standard, indeed, for the quality of its output. Type characters could be trusted, whereas hand lettering could not, although banishing errors entirely was an arduous chore, as anyone suffering through an academic dissertation in the days before the PC can attest.

The same technology underlying the humble typewriter has survived through to today and served as the foundation of the first computer printers. In fact, some primitive PC printers back in the days when hackers were hobbyists rather than criminals were electrified typewriters modified to hammer on command.

Although an old fashioned typewriter is a mechanical complexity, its operating principle is quite simple. Strip away all the cams, lever and keys and you see that the essence of the typewriter is its hammers.

Each hammer strikes against an inked ribbon, which is then pressed against a sheet of paper. Ink is absorbed into the paper then, the ink leaves a visible mark. A letter of the alphabet is born.

Epson claims to have invented the personal computer printer, having introduced its first model, the MX 80, in 1978, three years before IBM introduced the PC. In fact, IBM's first printer offering, the graphics printer, was manufactured change in ROM to reflect IBM's choice in character set. The dot matrix printer flourished, but slowly gave away to the laser printer.
The first revolution in personal printing in 100 years came in 1984 with the introduction of the HP LaserJet. The basis of this new technology was the same as used by a Xerox photocopier, although the print engine in the LaserJet use a kind of heatset light inspired offset printing. The laser printer now claims the majority of printers that are sold.