A basic survival instinct has made us humans innovate over the centuries. Initially it was to protect against the ferocity of nature and the predators which lurked. As the human race evolved the aspirations changed and humans wanted to conquer the land, the sea and the sky. The kings had their own personal armies to further their agenda of annexing the neighboring rulers. The countries had expansionist agenda! The religious wars and jihads to promote the religions were assiduously pursued. I am not going to rant further on the war mongering but something unique which emerged from all these pursuits. It is about the ‘spin offs’ which emerged.
The earliest inventions were the wheel, a chariot and gunpowder besides so many more. We all know how the wheels of fortune turned with the invention of a wheel and one has to just look around to see what difference this innocent invention has made to our lives. No journey is complete without a wheel in the base of a machine or a steering in hand!
The father of mobile phones may well be Lars Ericsson who installed a phone in his car in 1910. When Ericsson wanted to make a call, he pulled into a town where phone lines were within reach, and used a couple of extra long electrical wires to connect to whichever telephone network were on the poles. However, while researching on the techniques of using electronic counter measures for jamming the communication systems in late 1980s, the birth of modern day mobile telephony technology took place, the benefits of which need no elaboration.
During the Second World War, in 1946 Dr Percy Spencer was experimenting in the laboratory with a magnetron being developed for the radar and he felt that the chocolate in his pocket melt. Not only this, when he got some pop corn kernels near it, he found them popping as he brought them closer. The modern day ‘microwave oven’ was born. Magnetron is still the key component of any microwave oven.
In early 1950s the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) along with MIT,
developed a network for communicating between the computers. Further in 1970s
it managed to send emails between computers engaged in defense research. Bill
Gates laid the foundation of Microsoft in 1975. Thus, the foundation of modern
day Internet and Computers was laid. A maze millions of computers hooked up on
the World Wide Web constituting Internet has made our lives so convenient today
and this is barely three decades old. Boston
A ‘B grade’ movie actor Ronald Regan who rose to become President of USA envisioned ‘Star Wars’ to counter the threat of the ‘Soviet Missiles’ (Then Soviet Union). He discussed with the defense experts and got a huge amount sanctioned for ‘The Star Wars’ program in 1980s.It was rebuffed by many for a MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) concept. In principle it meant destroying the soviet missiles in the event of their being launched targeting the
cities. The weapons like strong laser beams mounted on the pods and positioned
on board space vehicles were to destroy these incoming missiles before they
could enter the US
airspace. The offshoot of all the developments in the arena resulted in
development of ‘Satellite TV’, the Satellite communications and a host of
others. Thanks to the dream of Star Wars, today we are able to watch the TV
programs being telecast in the remote corners as well as able to talk to our
near and dear ones on the mobile, make video call over Skype and so on. US
When Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words on landing at moon’ A small step for man and a giant leap for mankind’, he did not foresee the literal connotation coming live in today’s world.. A
The water filters installed in the modern households extensively use the same technique of using activated charcoal base, as was done when water was to be carried by astronauts in the manned space missions.
Yet another worth mention is development of Invisible Braces made of a compound called Translucent Polycrystalline Alumina (TPA). This was developed at NASA while engaged in a project to protect infrared antenna of heat seeking missiles. It brings smiles to many a faces and does away with a mesh of wire braces on teeth.
The list is endless and the pace of research in the various laboratories around the world goes on at a break neck speed to improve the lives while more lethal weapons get developed to annihilate the mankind. It is strange that creation and destruction go hand in hand just like it is portrayed in the Hindu philosophy of Tridev (The trio of god), Brahma( The Creator), Vishnu( The Sustainer) and Mahesh( The Destroyer)
The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave...
PS- Image Kind courtesy Google
I wish to thank young Izdiher from Pakistan for conferring The Enchanted Blog award on 14 Feb 12. A sincere thanks for her kind gesture.