I like coffee. And I think that we have well established that there are quite a few fans of the brewed beany goodness around these parts. But as much as I enjoy starting my day with a bold cup of joe, it does have one minor side effect–it does not exactly leave you [...]
Call it a pyramid scheme, or a home sales based business model, whichever you prefer, but Tupperware was one of the pioneers in convincing housewives to throw little ‘parties’ for the purpose of schlepping products to their friends. Better yet, you could convince you friends that they should be saleswomen working [...]
Just a day or so ago I saw a commercial on the brief bit of television that I was watching for Sprint Direct Connect. I had no idea that Direct Connect still existed, much less was still supported by Sprint. I thought that particular feature had disappeared when the Nextel name vanished like it never existed. But if having a walkie-talkie on your cellular phone is still desirable, why not having a Citizen’s Band radio in your automobile?
Continue reading What Ever Became of…CB Radio?
In the early days of the typewriter, the keyboards were simply laid out alphabetically. Placement of the rows of compact keys was essentially dictated by the simple mechanics of the problem, that each key had to physically connect to an arm that would swing up to imprint the desired letter through the ink onto the paper. Then a fellow armed with the firm knowledge of truth that only youth can bring decided to leave his mark on the industry and redesign the key layout in the manner we have all been accustomed to. That gentleman was, of course, none other than Geoffrey Qwerty, and the rest, as they say, is history. [Ed. note: Due to budgetary constrains, these statements have not been run through our normally rigorous fact check process.] The basic design of the keyboard has remained relatively unchanged, even as the medium for placement of those letters and words on a page changed from physical ink and paper to digital electrons on a screen.
Continue reading What Ever Became of…Quirky Keyboard Design?
It seems that quite often in the realm of technology that something new comes along that takes the world’s by storm. Then, after finding its way into almost all aspects of our lives, it seems to fade slowly away. Remember when glow in the dark pigment took the world by storm? There wasn’t much of anything that you couldn’t get that glowed in the dark–shoe laces, light switch covers, watchbands, even shirts!
Continue reading What Ever Became of…Glow-in-the-Dark?
Bringing up the rear of my little train week is this little red caboose. With apologies to Prince…
I guess I shoulda known By the way you parked your car trackside That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda railcar That believes in endin’ a train Love ‘em and leave ‘em fast
Today we’ll look at four types of inter-related rolling mills that produce steel sheets. A jobbing mill rolls steel sheets that range between 1/8″ and 1/2″ in thickness and then send the sheets to a furnace for annealing, producing “blue annealed sheets”. Some plate mills can produce light plates that overlap the output of jobbing mills, but the output of plate mills is not annealed, unlike the jobbing mill. The material sent to a jobbing mill is called “sheet bar” produced by a universal mill or a sheet bar mill and sent to the jobbing mill cold. A jobbing mill uses two-high stands, i.e. stands with two rollers, and consists of a stand with both rollers pinion driven, a roughing stand and a finishing stand.
Continue reading Mesta Memories #21: Sheet Mills and a Pickling Machine
Our ability to send a quick text, Instagram photo, or phone call to our loved ones when we arrive to a destination while on vacation or other travles has almost wiped out one of my favorite methods of letting someone know everything is OK. While post cards can still be bought, I’m not sure how often they are used by travelers in general.
Continue reading The Post Card
The demise of radio has been predicted at various points in the past, but it keeps hanging around. Admittedly, the world has changed since what we would call the high point of broadcast radio, but I think the reason it will be here for even longer is the automobile. As long as we spend so much time in our cars, there will always be a market for local broadcast content. Now, it does seem like today the audiences are relatively stable, and stations don’t seem to put quite as much effort into taking over the market as they used to. Everybody seems content with holding on to what they have, and this has led to the loss of quirky radio contests meant to attract listeners, like the ones where you would hold on to what you have.
Continue reading What Ever Became of…Hands on a Car Radio Contests?
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press, he made printing books much more economical. Over the next few hundred years, the printing press would become a means to entertain, disseminate messages, and document history. For that reason, books have been cherished by generations. Buying and collecting books can be costly and take up a lot of space. Just ask Thomas Jefferson. Thus, the modern library was seen as a place for a community to collect and store books.
Continue reading The Public Library