For Monty Python fans the question “What have the Romans ever done for us ?” will recall the irreverent comedy of the film ‘The Life of Brian’ . There is a serious question behind this frivolous skit. The Roman Empire and the culture it exported was the most advanced the world had ever seen. Indeed after the fall of the Roman Empire it never got back up to the same level, in Western Europe, until many centuries later.
Skyscrapers are an American invention and for people all over the world skyscrapers stand for America. ‘How dare they build any- thing 102 storeys high?’ demanded visitors in 1930, as the Empire State Building went up in the centre of New York City, one storey a day, using 10 million bricks, having 6,400 windows, and visible 50 miles out to sea.
The British have always been an innovative and inventive nation. Just how inventive may surprise you. In this article we look at just four of the inventions that Britons have made without which, life today would be very different indeed : The Marine Chronometer; Hip replacements; The Electric Motor and Waterproof Materials
The typewriter today is falling into disuse but not so long ago this incredible machine was the mainstay of business. It legacy is with us today in modern computers.
The London Underground, or Tube as it is known in Britain, was the first of its’ kind in the world. Thanks to this seminal invention modern cities can sustain and transport millions of people everyday far and beyond what their ‘natural’ capacity would ever have been with out it.
The British have always been an innovative and inventive nation. Just how inventive may surprise you. In this article we look at just four of the inventions that Britons have made without which, life today would be very different indeed : The Electronic Computer; The ATM; The Web and Television
If you thought that the railway was invented along with the steam locomotive then you’d be wrong. Railways existed long before steam, long before even the birth of Christ.
There is an ever growing collective awareness of the consequences of the damage that mankind is doing to mother Earth as a consequence of our mass consumer, throw away lifestyles. Consequently more and more people are getting into recycling. But what happens to it AFTER we place it in the recycling bins ? Where and how is it recycled ?
It’s almost incomprehensible to the modern mind not to know the time and the date. Our world would cease to function in the way it does. So let’s imagine then an average man during the Dark Ages, in say in the 9th century. After a hard days work he decides to meet a friend for a drink. Was there an awkward pause after. ‘Okay, why don’t I meet you at my place at… ?’ …so how dis the world function before clocks ?
From prostitution to dealing on the stock exchange, trading has been around for tens of thousands of years. But when did mankind move from a barter system to exchanging goods for bits of metal and paper ?
Rubber is a unique a wonderous material. However processing the raw latex into a durable and useful form proved very difficult. Charles Goodyear was a man obsessed with it. Here’s an account of his struggle.
We take radio and television signals for granted now. But if you really think about it radio waves really are a strange phenominon … invisibly beaming sound from one point to another through and around solid objects !
The paralympics of 2012 have shown the world that less-abled Olympians can compete and perform every bit as well as their Olympic counterparts. The technology of the various prosthesis and wheel chairs are amazing too. But when was the first wheelchair as we know it invented ?
Without the invention of the lift (or elevator if you’re American) mankind wouldn’t be able to build buildings higher than 4 stories, cities would sprawl ever outwards not upwards and consume ever more greenbelt land. In this article we look at this wonderful ‘vertical railway’
We like to think that things that work well come about through good organisation, rigorous planning and strong front led management. But is this really true ? If we look at nature there’s some excellent examples of self-organising systems that “just seem to work”. Can we learn from this and learn to “let go” ?