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We all know South Africa has problems; we read about them in the newspapers, we see them on the streets and many people experience them in their daily lives. Fortunately, many of these problems can be solved using innovation and science. Innovation takes a look at inventions - developed in South Africa by South Africans - to address issues in the areas of healthcare, energy, environment and industry. Some of these inventions, such as a tea bag created to filter water for communities in rural areas, can save lives; others, such as a unique way to beneficiate titanium, could spell a new era of industry in the country.
The book is broken down into sections on environment, health, energy, industry and education, and in each of those parts are examples of South African innovations, from a satellite system to map fires to the concept of sterilising mosquitoes to stop the spread of malaria.
These have been developed by numerous organisations and institutions and showcase South Africa's excellence.
The Simulmatics Corporation, launched during the Cold War, mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge-decades before Facebook, Google, and Cambridge Analytica. Jill Lepore, best-selling author of These Truths, came across the company's papers in MIT's archives and set out to tell this forgotten history, the long-lost backstory to the methods, and the arrogance, of Silicon Valley. Founded in 1959 by some of the nation's leading social scientists-"the best and the brightest, fatally brilliant, Icaruses with wings of feathers and wax, flying to the sun"-Simulmatics proposed to predict and manipulate the future by way of the computer simulation of human behavior. In summers, with their wives and children in tow, the company's scientists met on the beach in Long Island under a geodesic, honeycombed dome, where they built a "People Machine" that aimed to model everything from buying a dishwasher to counterinsurgency to casting a vote. Deploying their "People Machine" from New York, Washington, Cambridge, and even Saigon, Simulmatics' clients included the John F. Kennedy presidential campaign, the New York Times, the Department of Defense, and dozens of major manufacturers: Simulmatics had a hand in everything from political races to the Vietnam War to the Johnson administration's ill-fated attempt to predict race riots. The company's collapse was almost as rapid as its ascent, a collapse that involved failed marriages, a suspicious death, and bankruptcy. Exposed for false claims, and even accused of war crimes, it closed its doors in 1970 and all but vanished. Until Lepore came across the records of its remains. The scientists of Simulmatics believed they had invented "the A-bomb of the social sciences." They did not predict that it would take decades to detonate, like a long-buried grenade. But, in the early years of the twenty-first century, that bomb did detonate, creating a world in which corporations collect data and model behavior and target messages about the most ordinary of decisions, leaving people all over the world, long before the global pandemic, crushed by feelings of helplessness. This history has a past; If Then is its cautionary tale.
‘Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you.’
An illustrated biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59), the foremost engineer in an age of great engineers, when the Industrial Revolution was at its height and Britain, its birthplace, was the vibrant hub of a world empire. It presents the story of this perfectionist, the setbacks and challenges he faced, and the results of his work. A vivacious, dynamic perfectionist, Isambard kingdom Brunel drove others hard and himself first of all. Learn how he constructed the world's first underwater tunnel, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Great Western Railways and even steamships the size of which the world had never seen before. Much of his work is still part of British infrastructure today.His splendid legacy makes it easy to think that Brunel's life was throughout one of golden achievement. However, disaster, failure, ridicule and death were never far away - which makes the story of this clever, charismatic, driven man all the more fascinating.
J. B. S. Haldane's life was rich and strange, never short on genius or drama-from his boyhood apprenticeship to his scientist father, who first instilled in him a devotion to the scientific method; to his time in the trenches during the First World War, where he wrote his first scientific paper; to his numerous experiments on himself, including inhaling dangerous levels of carbon dioxide and drinking hydrochloric acid; to his clandestine research for the British Admiralty during the Second World War. He is best remembered as a geneticist who revolutionized our understanding of evolution, but his peers hailed him as a polymath. One student called him "the last man who might know all there was to be known." He foresaw in vitro fertilization, peak oil, and the hydrogen fuel cell, and his contributions ranged over physiology, genetics, evolutionary biology, mathematics, and biostatistics. He was also a staunch Communist, which led him to Spain during the Civil War and sparked suspicions that he was spying for the Soviets. He wrote copiously on science and politics in newspapers and magazines, and he gave speeches in town halls and on the radio-all of which made him, in his day, as famous in Britain as Einstein. It is the duty of scientists to think politically, Haldane believed, and he sought not simply to tell his readers what to think but to show them how to think. Beautifully written and richly detailed, Samanth Subramanian's A Dominant Character recounts Haldane's boisterous life and examines the questions he raised about the intersections of genetics and politics-questions that resonate even more urgently today.
On the prairies of North America, wind and water were pervasive, but whereas wind was tangible, water in quantity was hidden beneath the surface. The vast grasslands fed great herds of animals, which in turn sustained Native Americans, but it was not until water could be brought to the surface that the plains could be cultivated and developed into a great agricultural bread-basket for the growing nation. The self-governing windmill forever changed the culture of this vast region. In Windmill Tales, in nearly one hundred beautiful full-color images, photographer Wyman Meinzer shows American windmills as they appear today. Many of them are still working, and others have fallen or are preserved at the American Wind Power Center in Lubbock, Texas, but all illustrate the way of life that was made possible by the windmill. Brief reminiscences and stories told by visitors to the American Wind Power Center give the reader a sense of the central importance of windmills in the lives of early pioneers in the West. Some of the stories reflect the sense of humour ranch and farm families developed to help them through hard times, whereas others hint at disappointment and tragedy. Together with the photographs they give us a fascinating insight into our history.
"Ants are the most warlike of all animals, with colony pitted against colony," writes E.O. Wilson, one of the world's most beloved scientists, "their clashes dwarf Waterloo and Gettysburg." In Tales from the Ant World, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Wilson takes us on a myrmecological tour to such far-flung destinations as Mozambique and New Guinea, the Gulf of Mexico's Dauphin Island and even his parent's overgrown backyard, thrillingly relating his nine-decade-long scientific obsession with over 15,000 ant species. Animating his scientific observations with illuminating personal stories, Wilson hones in on twenty-five ant species to explain how these genetically superior creatures talk, smell, and taste, and more significantly, how they fight to determine who is dominant. Wryly observing that "males are little more than flying sperm missiles" or that ants send their "little old ladies into battle," Wilson eloquently relays his brushes with fire, army, and leafcutter ants, as well as more exotic species. Among them are the very rare Matabele, Africa's fiercest warrior ants, whose female hunters can carry up to fifteen termites in their jaw (and, as Wilson reports from personal experience, have an incredibly painful stinger); Costa Rica's Basiceros, the slowest of all ants; and New Caledonia's Bull Ants, the most endangered of them all, which Wilson discovered in 2011 after over twenty years of presumed extinction. Richly illustrated throughout with depictions of ant species by Kristen Orr, as well as photos from Wilsons' expeditions throughout the world, Tales from the Ant World is a fascinating, if not occasionally hair-raising, personal account by one of our greatest scientists and a necessary volume for any lover of the natural world.
One of the most exhilarating true adventures in history, the race into space was marked by courage, duplicity, political paranoia, astonishing technological feats, and unbelievable triumphs in the face of overwhelming adversity. It is the story of an unparalleled rivalry between superpowers and of the two remarkable men at the center of the conflict. On the American side was Wernher von Braun, the camera-friendly former Nazi scientist, who was granted hero status and almost unlimited resources by a government panicked at the thought of the Cold War enemy taking the lead. The Soviet program was headed by Sergei Korolev, a former political prisoner whose identity was a closely guarded state secret. Korolev was expected to--and did--work miracles on a shoestring budget, his cooperation assured through intimidation and threats of possible disgrace or death. These rivals were opposite in every way, save for one: each was obsessed with the idea of launching a man to the Moon.
Deborah Cadbury's extraordinary history combines action and suspense with a moving portrayal of the space race's human dimension. Using source materials never before available, she tells a riveting story of the espionage, ambition, ingenuity, and passion behind humankind's mind-bending voyage beyond the bounds of Earth.
"You can print from an iPhone(R). It's the dumbest thing." - Bo Fahs, writer and host of Tele-Friends From the moment we began to digitise our world, we created machines that worked tirelessly to pull all that information zooming around back to the physical world. Enter: the home printer. Perhaps as payback for forming a nonsensical dichotomy, these printers couldn't just work. Not without a fight, at least. No. They insisted on screeching at plane-like decibels, plopping out pages at an excruciatingly slow pace, streaking only the most important documents and running out of ink when you know you JUST refilled the cartridge. From the first consumer inkjet to more modern monstrosities, Sh*tty Printers breaks down the worst offenders of our home offices. Featuring popular and exasperating home staples such as: - The HP Thinkjet 2225A - The Lexmark Z22 - The long forgotten Canon BJC-85 - and many more Each printer is beautifully photographed and ruthlessly torn to shreds as their individual strengths, weaknesses and charisma are scored on sliding scales born from relatable frustration.
**THE FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE MONTH** THE GRIPPING TALE OF THE EARLY FRONTIER DAYS OF SILICON VALLEY FROM ACCLAIMED HISTORIAN LESLIE BERLIN. 'The book is compelling as it maps out the building of the Valley, the challenges its early tech pioneers faced, as well as highlighting those who reached dizzying success only to suffer as the dot com bubble burst.' Financial Times `Kaleidoscopic, ambitious, and brilliant, the book draws on a dazzling cast of characters to chart the rise of the five industries that have come to define technology today and, collectively, to remake the world.' Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc. Leslie Berlin's previous work has been acclaimed by the New York Times: 'so engagingly narrated that you don't realize how much business and technology you are learning along the way.' Between 1968 and 1976, five landmark industries that shaped the modern world were launched within 30 miles of each other: personal computing, video games, biotechnology, modern venture capital and advanced semi-conductor logic. The dominant players in many of those industries - firms like Apple and Intel - had also been launched at the same time. During those early days of Silicon Valley, the first ARPANET transmission (now known as the Internet) came into a Stanford lab, universities began licensing innovations to businesses, and the Silicon Valley tech community began to develop their lobbying clout. Now, for the first time, the stories of the men and women who changed the world during these pivotal years are brought to life in rich detail by respected Silicon Valley historian Leslie Berlin. Berlin shines a light on the wild frontier days of Silicon Valley where the old rules were broken, revealing how the modern tech world was built and empires were forged. Troublemakers is a compelling story of the upstarts of Silicon Valley that will appeal to fans of HBO's Silicon Valley and Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. Further praise for Troublemakers: `Leslie Berlin combines the keen observations of an historian with gorgeous writing and riveting storytelling to write the landmark book on the Valley. The interwoven lives of wonderfully iconoclastic characters bring the formative years of the Valley to life with sheer brilliance. Troublemakers is a must-read for anyone hoping to understand America's tech capital.' Julia Flynn Siler, New York Times bestselling author of The House of Mondavi `Leslie Berlin has done it again. Following on her richly informative biography of Intel co-founder Robert Noyce, The Man Behind the Microchip, Berlin now brings us a definitive account of Silicon Valley's "breakthrough years" in the 1970s. Troublemakers recounts the fascinating careers of seven little-known but enormously impactful players who shaped the Valley's unique high-tech ecosystem. As entertaining as it is authoritative, Troublemakers is required reading for anyone seeking to understand how the tech revolution took root in the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually transformed the entire planet's way of life.' David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, dazzled with its new rainbow-colored electric lights. It showcased an array of wonders, like daredevils attempting to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, or the "Animal King" putting the smallest woman in the world and also terrifying animals on display. But the thrill-seeking spectators little suspected that an assassin walked the fairgrounds, waiting for President William McKinley to arrive. In Margaret Creighton's hands, the result is "a persuasive case that the fair was a microcosm of some momentous facets of the United States, good and bad, at the onset of the American Century" (Howard Schneider, Wall Street Journal).
In the bestselling tradition of The Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning is a fascinating journey of intellectual creation. In the 1970s and '80s, Xerox Corporation brought together a brain-trust of engineering geniuses, a group of computer eccentrics dubbed PARC. This brilliant group created several monumental innovations that triggered a technological revolution, including the first personal computer, the laser printer, and the graphical interface (one of the main precursors of the Internet), only to see these breakthroughs rejected by the corporation. Yet, instead of giving up, these determined inventors turned their ideas into empires that radically altered contemporary life and changed the world.
Based on extensive interviews with the scientists, engineers, administrators, and executives who lived the story, this riveting chronicle details PARC's humble beginnings through its triumph as a hothouse for ideas, and shows why Xerox was never able to grasp, and ultimately exploit, the cutting-edge innovations PARC delivered. Dealers of Lightning offers an unprecedented look at the ideas, the inventions, and the individuals that propelled Xerox PARC to the frontier of technohistoiy--and the corporate machinations that almost prevented it from achieving greatness.
In Surveying the Early Republic, Robert D. Bush contextualises the firsthand account of Andrew Ellicott, the United States Boundary Commissioner appointed by President George Washington in 1796. Ellicott and his Spanish counterparts established the boundary line between the United States and Spanish territory in North America after the United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, opening the door to navigation of the Mississippi River and the export of American goods from the Spanish-held port of New Orleans. Over the course of this multiyear surveying project (1796-1800), Ellicott found himself entangled in the politics of these frontier lands, including an insurrection by inhabitants who favoured the United States against the existing Spanish regime. He also reported to his superiors on various rumors, plots, and political intrigues as well as on the secret activities of individuals in the pay of Spain, including U.S. Army General James Wilkinson. Regrettably, the widespread acclaim that followed the publication of Ellicott's journal in 1803, a year prior to the commencement of Lewis and Clark's expedition, faded over time. In this first edited and annotated version of that journal, Bush illuminates the commissioner's day-to-day narrative of events in what later became the Mississippi Territory and thus deepens our understanding of early American expansionism. In addition, Ellicott's accounts of personalities, plots, counter-plots, and Indian affairs depict with unparalleled clarity the tumultuous diplomatic experiences faced by President John Adams's administration as it pushed the bounds of America's frontier. Bush's deft treatment of this valuable primary source provides a critical contribution to the study of the history of early America.
A clear and lively account of the machinery, innovation and personalities that have shaped the industry that provides the all-essential daily bread. Indispensible for anyone with an interest in industrial history. There is a wealth of literature on the traditional flour milling industry, much of it concerned with the charms of rural settings and ancient crafts, whereas the history of the dramatic changes in milling methods from the 1870s onwards has been somewhat neglected. Written by Glyn Jones, engineer and lecturer in technology, `The Millers' sets out to redress the balance and tells the story of the transformation of the flour milling industry by men of vision with enterprise and engineering skill, from the first experiments with roller mills before 1880 to the sleek, automated flour mills operating at the end of the twentieth century. It is a story of technological endeavour and industrial success. The innovations were revolutionary, with roller mills, purifiers and a variety of sifting and sorting machines replacing millstones and crude sieving equipment. Change was propelled by an increasing demand for white bread, and whiter flour could be produced by roller milling of hard foreign wheats, whereas traditional millstone methods were not suitable for the production of large quantities of branless flour. Henry Simon, who became the pioneering leader of the new field of milling engineering, installed his first roller plant in Manchester in 1878; by 1887 mills on the Simon system could produce enough flour to meet the requirements of 11 million people. The mass production of flour for our daily bread began in earnest. From 1904, the most forceful innovator among British millers was Joseph Rank, who commissioned Henry Simon Ltd to supply new plants at the main ports of Hull, London, Cardiff and Liverpool. The roles played by the other leading millers, many of which are still household names, are also included in this account. Despite the hugely impressive and far-reaching technological advances made by British millers and milling engineers, they have not received the credit they deserve. In truth, they replaced the traditional, basic form of the industry rapidly and effectively, and their inventions transformed milling in Britain and further afield. `The Millers' describes, in a clear and lively way, not only the changes in machinery and processing and the effects on the traditional industry, but the personalities who shaped the trade and the companies they ran, and the myths and legends which have surrounded them. Modern mills, rooted in British innovation and enterprise, are impressive in appearance and striking inside, with machinery that looks smart and is automatically controlled, processing wheat for a range of attractive foods and for the still essential daily bread.
Between 1817 and 1898, New York City evolved from a vital Atlantic port of trade to the center of American commerce and culture. With this rapid commercial growth and cultural development, New York came to epitomize a nineteenth-century metropolis. Although this important urban transformation is well documented, the critical role of select Union soldiers turned New York engineers has, until now, remained largely unexplored. In Designing Gotham, Jon Scott Logel examines the fascinating careers of George S. Greene, Egbert L. Viele, John Newton, Henry Warner Slocum, and Fitz John Porter, all of whom studied engineering at West Point, served in the United States Army during the Civil War, and later advanced their civilian careers and status through the creation of Victorian New York. These influential cadets trained at West Point in the nation's first engineering school, a program designed by Sylvanus Thayer and Dennis Hart Mahan that would shape civil engineering in New York and beyond. After the war, these industrious professionals leveraged their education and military experience to wield significant influence during New York's social, economic, and political transformation. Logel examines how each engineer's Civil War service shaped his contributions to postwar activities in the city, including the construction of the Croton Aqueduct, the creation of Central Park, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Logel also delves into the administration of New York's municipal departments, in which Military Academy alumni interacted with New York elites, politicians, and civilian-trained engineers. Examining the West Pointers' experiences, as cadets, military officers during the war, and New Yorkers, Logel assesses how these men impacted the growing metropolis, the rise of professionalization, and the advent of Progressivism at the end of the century.
How much further should the affluent world push its material consumption? Does relative dematerialization lead to absolute decline in demand for materials? These and many other questions are discussed and answered in Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization. Over the course of time, the modern world has become dependent on unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and the highest practical rates of recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rates that would be high enough to negate the rising demand for materials generated by continuing population growth and rising standards of living. This book explores the costs of this dependence and the potential for substantial dematerialization of modern economies. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization considers the principal materials used throughout history, from wood and stone, through to metals, alloys, plastics and silicon, describing their extraction and production as well as their dominant applications. The evolving productivities of material extraction, processing, synthesis, finishing and distribution, and the energy costs and environmental impact of rising material consumption are examined in detail. The book concludes with an outlook for the future, discussing the prospects for dematerialization and potential constrains on materials. This interdisciplinary text provides useful perspectives for readers with backgrounds including resource economics, environmental studies, energy analysis, mineral geology, industrial organization, manufacturing and material science.
The book will tell the history and story of Down East Maine lobster fishing. Author Christina Lemieux's family has been lobster fishermen for four generations, and the book draws from their personal recollections and documentation. It will then bring to life the experience of Down East Maine lobster fishing and living in a lobster fishing community. The book details how one goes about catching lobster, the seasons of lobster fishing and the perils of such a physically grueling job. It also talks about "lobster culture" some of the unique pastimes of lobster fishermen, such as the sport of Maine lobster boat racing. Finally, the book will give a brief overview of how to properly cook Maine lobster and provide some of the area's favorite lobster recipes.
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