Mars Science Laboratory
Skin Cell Gun
ULTra Rapid Transit
Rube Goldberg Machine
Swiss Army Knife
Cocoanut Grove Fire
Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson
I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up!
In computing, a mouse is a pointing device that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface. Physically, a mouse consists of an object held under one of the user's hands, with one or more buttons. It sometimes features other elements, such as "wheels", which allow the user to perform various system-dependent operations, or extra buttons or features that can add more control or dimensional input. The mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a cursor on a display, which allows for fine control of a graphical user interface. The first known publication of the term "mouse" as a pointing device is in Bill English's 1965 publication "Computer-Aided Display Control". The ball-mouse replaced the external wheels with a single ball that could rotate in any direction. It came as part of the hardware package of the Xerox Alto computer. Perpendicular chopper wheels housed inside the mouse's body chopped beams of light on the way to light sensors, thus detecting in their turn the motion of the ball. This variant of the mouse resembled an inverted trackball and became the predominant form used with personal computers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. An optical mouse uses a light-emitting diode and photodiodes to detect movement relative to the underlying surface, rather than internal moving parts as does a mechanical mouse. Often called "air mice" since they do not require a surface to operate, inertial mice use a tuning fork or other accelerometer (US Patent 4787051) to detect rotary movement for every axis supported. The most common models (manufactured by Logitech and Gyration) work using 2 degrees of rotational freedom and are insensitive to spatial translation. The user requires only small wrist rotations to move the cursor, reducing user fatigue or "gorilla arm". Usually cordless, they often have a switch to deactivate the movement circuitry between use, allowing the user freedom of movement without affecting the cursor position. In 2000, Logitech introduced the "tactile mouse", which contained a small actuator that made the mouse vibrate. Such a mouse can augment user-interfaces with haptic feedback, such as giving feedback when crossing a window boundary. To surf by touch requires the user to be able to feel depth or hardness; this ability was realized with the first electrorheological tactile mice but never marketed. The Macintosh design, commercially successful and technically influential, led many other vendors to begin producing mice or including them with their other computer products (by 1986, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Windows 1.0, GEOS for the Commodore 64, and the Apple IIGS). The widespread adoption of graphical user interfaces in the software of the 1980s and 1990s made mice all but indispensable for controlling computers. In November 2008, Logitech built their billionth mouse. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Bavarian palace on a rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Ludwig himself named it Neue Hohenschwangau; the name Neuschwanstein was coined after his death. The reclusive Ludwig did not allow visitors to his castles, which he intended as personal refuges, but after his death in 1886 the castle was opened to the public, in part due to the need to pay off the debts Ludwig incurred financing its construction. Since that time over 50 million people have visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. About 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared in several movies, and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle (1955) at both Disneyland Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. In 1923 Crown Prince Rupprecht gave the palace to the state of Bavaria, unlike nearby Hohenschwangau Castle which was transferred to the private Wittelsbach Trust , which is administered on behalf of the head of the house of Wittelsbach, currently Franz, Duke of Bavaria. The Free State of Bavaria has spent more than €14.5 million on Neuschwanstein's maintenance, renovation and visitor services since 1990. In 2007, it was a finalist in the selection of the New Seven Wonders of the World. As it was not voted on the top positions it now is advertised as the 8th world wonder. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
Bladesmithing is the art of making knives, swords, daggers and other blades using a forge, hammer, anvil, and other smithing tools. Bladesmiths employ a variety of metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths, as well as woodworking for knife and sword handles, and often leatherworking for sheaths. Bladesmithing is an art that is thousands of years old and found in cultures as diverse as China, Japan, India, Germany, Korea, the Middle East, and the British Isles. As with any art shrouded in history, there are myths and misconceptions about the process. While traditionally, bladesmithing referred to the manufacture of any blade by any means, the majority of contemporary craftsmen referred to as bladesmiths are those who primarily manufacture blades by means of using a forge to shape the blade as opposed to knifemakers who form blades by use of the stock removal method, although there is some overlap between both crafts. Historically speaking, bladesmithing is an art that has survived and thrived over thousands of years. Many different parts of the world have different styles of bladesmithing, some more well-known than others. The Proto-Celtic Hallstatt culture (8th century BC) were among the earliest users of iron swords. During the Hallstatt period, they made swords both in bronze as well as iron with rounded tips. Toward the end of the Hallstatt period, around 600-500BC, these swords were replaced with short daggers. The La Tene culture reintroduced the sword, which were very different from the traditional shape and construction of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age, characterized by a more pointed tip. Bladesmithing began declining after the Industrial Revolution. With improvements in steel production, bladesmiths no longer had to forge steel and knives could be machined from flat bars of steel. As cutlery companies moved to mass production of blades and machine tools became more available, the art of forging steel began to disappear as knifemakers could grind blades out of existing stock. By the mid 20th century, bladesmithing had been relegated to a cottage industry carried out by a handful of bladesmiths. One of these bladesmiths was William F. Moran, who forged his knives using a coal forge in the manner of a blacksmith using a hammer and anvil to shape the steel. Moran began trying to revive the ancient process of forging Damascus steel in the late 1960s. However, no living bladesmith knew the exact techniques and without a recipe for the process, it was in danger of being lost; through trial and error he taught himself pattern welding and referred to his end product as "Damascus steel". [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
Hogan's Heroes is an American television situation comedy that ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to July 4, 1971, on the CBS network. Starring Bob Crane as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, the show was set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during the Second World War. The program featured Werner Klemperer as Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the commandant of the camp; John Banner as the portly inept sergeant-of-the-guard, Schultz; and a crew of Allied prisoners who assisted Hogan in running a Special Operations group from the camp. The actors who played the four major German roles—Werner Klemperer (Klink), John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter) and Howard Caine (Hochstetter)--were Jewish. Furthermore, Klemperer, Banner, Askin and Robert Clary (LeBeau) were Jews who had fled the Nazis during World War II. Clary says in the recorded commentary on the DVD version of episode "Art for Hogan's Sake" that he spent three years in a concentration camp, that his parents and other family members were killed there, and that he has an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm. Likewise John Banner had been held in a (pre-war) concentration camp and his family was exterminated during the war. Leon Askin was also in a pre-war French internment camp and his parents were killed at Treblinka. Howard Caine (Hochstetter), who was also Jewish (his birth name was Cohen), was American, and Jewish actors Harold Gould and Harold J. Stone played German generals. In 2002, TV Guide named Hogan's Heroes the fifth worst TV show of all time. The listing for Hogan's Heroes in particular, accuses the show of trivializing the suffering of real life POWs and the victims of the Holocaust with its comedic take on prison camps in the Third Reich. Moreover, the Luftwaffe, who had jurisdiction over captured enemy aviators and air crews (irrespective of whether they be of their respective nation's army, air force, navy or other service) is generally agreed to have provided noticeably more comfortable and gentlemanly accommodations than the Wehrmacht or SS, stemming from their First War philosophy that aviators were "knights of the air" and to be treated by each other with chivalry. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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