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Monday, July 21, 2014


What interesting things in history happened this week?

  • Yesterday in 1969 Neil Armstrong first walked on the Moon.  That was 45 years ago, when he reported, "Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed."  This was a huge relief at the Space Center where they were worried that the lander only had seconds of fuel remaining.  While Buzz Aldridge was originally scheduled to make that initial step on the Moon, the logistics of the seats sent Armstrong down first, where he declared, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."  Watch that 5-minute clip from liftoff to Moonwalk.  Perhaps the proudest moment in American History.  He later taught at the University of Cincinnati in the College of Engineering, and I met him on my only visit to that campus.  As he only had a master's degree, he left in 1979 and lived away from the public eye, passing away two years ago in Ohio.
  • Further back in time, on this day in 1911,  Machu Picchu was found.  When I visited in 2011, I reported:  

It was a hundred years ago that Hiram Bingham III, a  Hawaii-born Yale professor, became the first Westerner to view Machu Picchu.  After half a millennium since abandonment (possibly because of smallpox), the city had become a jungle, with a few locals farming the edges.  The  Spanish Explorers never found it, and neither did a swarm of other explorers.

Quite a family, for his grandfather, Hiram Bingham was a missionary in Hawaii who designed Kawaiahao Church, II was also a Hawaiian missionary, and IV was a World War II hero and saved Jews.  III also went on to become a U.S. Senator and Governor of Connecticutt.

Looks like any market doesn't it?  Well, those are LCD screens, you touch what you want, pay by credit card at the register, and, in time, will be able to either take your bag with you or arrange to send it to your home.  Clearly, you will also be able to shop from your home computer.  In the USA, Amazon has proposed to deliver by drone.

I'll later this week be reporting on 
  • global climate change, 
  • the latest on the risk of niacin, plus another medical reversal having to do with not needing to fast for your blood lipid test, 
  • progress on battery storage, and
  • a pathway for reducing climate change through ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).
Typhoon Matmo, now at 80 MPH, will trundle across Taiwan south of Hualian as a Category 2, then head for China.


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