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Inventions


Airehead
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16 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I just heated my oatmeal int he microwave.  Microwave cooking was a pretty helpful invention.  What do you think the best invention of the last 50 years was?  It was nto email.

I'd say the "internet" in general, but mainly the www part. As a whole, though, the internet is insane.

It is also the "worst".

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Others have mentioned mobile computing which would cover the  internet, laptops and cell phones so I will suggest something else.

CRISPR has the potential to change the entire evolution of life on earth.  It will probably be the most influential invention of the next 50 years.

For those not familiar with CRISPR, here's a Radiolab show that explains in an way that is accessible to everyone who isn't Dr. Mickin.

 

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Just now, Philander Seabury said:

I always appreciated fuel injection. Because carbs are eville. 

Carbs were great once you had a doctorate in how they operated and understood venturis, main jets, secondary jets, tip in slots, bypass slots, accelerator pumps, metering rods, heat risers, floats etc.   Unfortunately, along came the computer and carbs were simply to difficult to automate.

 

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6 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

Carbs were great once you had a doctorate in how they operated and understood venturis, main jets, secondary jets, tip in slots, bypass slots, accelerator pumps, metering rods, heat risers, floats etc.   Unfortunately, along came the computer and carbs were simply to difficult to automate.

 

Then you run into a variable venturi carb like a SU. The oil replaces the accelerator pump!

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The bike definitely wins for its period. :skipping:And the safety bike was a pretty darn good improvement over that big wheel monstrosity!  :D  Tat good be the best illustration ever of Einstein's "Things shoudl be as simple as possible, but not too simple.  You didn't have to have a monumental wheel to get the right gearing! 

 

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1 minute ago, Philander Seabury said:

That is better than my cordless drill now that the battery has died.  Ryobi, maybe 7 or so years old.  I wonder if it is cheaper to buy a new battery or a new drill?

Unfortunately battery and tool technology has gotten so much better in recent years that a new drill might be both better and cheaper.

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I'd say "board games" have gone both ways.  The existing ones like Monopoly or Connect Four or Clue all seem to be "cheaper" and junkier than in the past with all sorts of re-branding or "updates" or just making parts/pieces cheaper feeling and looking.

On the plus side, there is a lot of fun game development, so new games keep coming out that are fun for families.  Mainly card games, but definitely a lot of good options. 

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7 minutes ago, Philander Seabury said:

I have not listened to him too much other than the biggies like Dancing Fool and Moving to Montana.

As JerrySTL suggested, Apostrophe is pretty accessible.  For an atypical but fun Zappa album, "Cruising with Ruben and the Jets" is a good listen.

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10 minutes ago, JerrySTL said:

Unfortunately battery and tool technology has gotten so much better in recent years that a new drill might be both better and cheaper.

Oh crap - it is NiCad 9.6v.  You are correct, sir!  No wonder it died quickly! Those things were the worst!  A $20 battery would give a few years use though,

Hmm, we do have a $75 Christmas pollyanna, so a new drill is aboot right.

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Home computers and applications: Internet, word processing, spreadsheets, Power Point.

In the 1970's, I programmed a mini computer - about piano sized - called the Wang 700 - to process chemistry reaction rate data.  It hate 4 toggle switches representing 1, 2, 4, and 8 and by flipping them up or down and pressing "Enter" you programmed it step by step.

In 1975, I typed my 70 page Master's Thesis with a typewriter where not a single mistake was allowed - White Out might fall off in 10 or more years and the information would be lost.  I'd type 25 out of 26 lines, mess up on the 26th, and have to start completely over on a new piece of paper.

In the late '70's, early '80's we had the Apple II and Apple II Plus.  Suddenly the were word processing programs that grew from simple to Ami Pro and then Word.  You could mess up all you wanted and then correct it before printing it out.  INCREDIBLE!

In the '90's I spent hours at a time in a library 40 minutes from my house that had great for the time stock research info including "Value Line" and I'd write notes in a notebook and photocopy some key pages.  Now, I can instantly get free annual reports, free reports from CFRA (formerly S&P Quality IQ Reports), Credit Suisse, Ford Equity, and others from TD Ameritrade for every stock I want.  I can get the previous 5-year's data and consensus future 5-year predictions for each stock from Yahoo Finance. I can get free tutorials, etc.  My ability to pick good stocks accurately greatly improved, using Graham-Buffett Value Investing Methods about which many books are free or virtually free on the internet.

In the 90's and since, getting info on travel also became much easier. In 1996 I announced on the personal web page I ran then that I was going to do a 3-days-in-Athens, 7-day Aegean Cruise, 3-days in Istanbul "Aegean Odyssey" tour and asked for advice.

A woman from France, now living in D.C. who had a webpage with the same ISP I had referred me to a friend in Paris who was from Istanbul!  How incredible would that have been in 1970?  She gave me a lot of email tips, including visiting "Ortakoy," the artist's village outside of Istanbul for great souvenirs.  Hundreds of people on our 800+ passengers Marco Polo read her emails during the cruise and many of us got great stuff at Ortakoy.

I also got in touch by email with a cloistered monk who lived in a monastery on the sacred Mount Athos, Greece, which we sailed by.  He gave me lots of tips for what to look for.  People on deck had me narrating for them while they filmed the hundreds of monasteries on the mountainside.  When I told one that I wasn't absolutely sure of everything, he said, "All the people that are going to see this are my Jewish friends in Miami. Make it up as you go along and keep it interesting and they won't know it's made-up."

In the '90's, I also came in contact with a distant cousin in Juneau Alaska.  We arranged to meet her during an Alaska Cruise in 2001. She took me to meet her father-in-law and we were able to figure out from his family tree that he was my father's first-cousin!

Then there's Fantasy Football, video - legit and porn, books, etc. etc.

Home computers and the Internet and word and data apps changed everything!

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