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History


— Electronics

One of the world's first integrated circuits goes up for auction

By - June 19, 2014 2 Pictures
If it weren't for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it's one of the three earliest "chips" ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million. Read More
— Military

RAF recreates historic D-Day recon photo

By - June 6, 2014 6 Pictures
Seventy years ago, the greatest military operation in history was launched as the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe in what history recalls as D-Day. We’re used to seeing newsreel images of marines and infantrymen rushing from landing craft in the face of the German guns, but overhead there was another war raging as men in fragile aircraft risked their lives to capture vital images of the battle’s progress. As part of the 70th-anniversary commemoration, RAF Tornado jets from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron (II (AC) Sqn) recreated that historic D-Day recon mission over Normandy, giving us a glimpse of how far aerial reconnaissance has come in three generations. Read More
— Science

Nanoscale research may help preserve Leonardo da Vinci’s vanishing portrait

By - June 4, 2014 1 Picture
A famous red chalk on paper drawing, widely accepted as a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, is rapidly deteriorating from the effects of years of exposure to pollution, light, and heat. Worst of all, many centuries in unregulated and humid storage has led to extensive yellowing and browning of the paper. Recently, however, researchers from Italy and Poland have developed a new non-destructive, nano-level method to identify the root causes of the degradation and assist in planning appropriate conservation strategies. Read More
— Good Thinking

British public to vote on 21st century Longitude Prize

By - May 19, 2014 3 Pictures
Three hundred years ago, the British Parliament established the Longitude prize; one of the most important technology competitions in history. Longitude Prize 2014 hopes to duplicate that feat with a new competition with a £10 million prize aimed at solving one of today’s great technological challenges, with the British public voting for which issue the prize will be given to. Read More
— Space

Apollo 15 joystick among hundreds of air and space memorabilia items up for auction

By - May 12, 2014 17 Pictures
If you've been building an Apollo Lunar Module out of scrap parts in your back yard, then you’re in luck. RR Auctions is putting hundreds of items up for bid as part of an auction of air and space memorabilia ranging from the Wright brothers to the present day. Amongst a number of standout items is the joystick from the Apollo 15 Lunar Module, which goes on the block with a starting bid of US$10,000. Read More
— Marine

Historically-significant marine chronometer accompanied Darwin

By - May 5, 2014 4 Pictures
In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its stellar provenance, the chronometer seems ridiculously cheap if it does fall within its expected price range of … £30,000-50,000. Read More
— Good Thinking

Ancient Egyptians likely used damp sand to help move pyramid-building blocks

By - May 5, 2014 2 Pictures
In Egypt's tomb of Djehutihotep, a wall painting depicts someone pouring water into the sand in front of one of the sledges that hauled the blocks used in the construction of the pyramids. According to new research, they had a good reason for doing so – by wetting the sand, as little as half as much pulling force would have been required to move those sledges. Read More

Google Street View users now able to "go back in time"

So, if it isn't enough for you that it's now possible to see the view from almost any road in the world while sitting at your computer, today Google announced a new Street View feature. If there's a clock in the upper left-hand corner of an image, it means you can see what that scene looked like up to seven years ago. Read More
— Automotive

Bugatti pays homage to classic Type 18 sports car with new special edition

By - April 22, 2014 21 Pictures
It seems the only constant at international auto shows these days is a new Veyron special edition. Bugatti has been unloading these superficial Veyron updates one by one, in an effort to keep attracting buyers to the decade-old model. The latest such special edition brings a little more intrigue than the average package, recalling what Bugatti calls "one of the first ever street legal super cars." Read More
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