Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

Nuclear aircraft carriers are enormous ships capable of traveling the world indefinitely. Indeed, the ships feature relatively large flight-decks capable of launching and landing fixed-wing aircraft, typically fighters. At 1,123 ft. (342 m.) the USS Enterprise is an enormous ship. In contrast, only oil supertankers are larger. The Enterprise supported 4,600 service members. First launched […]

Nuclear Submarine

Nuclear submarines can stay underwater for an unlimited amount of time, or at least until the food runs out. Prior to nuclear subs, there were diesel-electric subs, that still exist today. However, these subs use diesel engines to recharge batteries. Therefore, diesel subs must surface to turn on the diesel engines and recharge their batteries, […]

Sonography

Sonography is the process of using sound waves as an imaging device, typically for medical purposes. Background Indeed, the principles of sonography come from the natural world. For example, bats and whales are mammals that use sound waves for navigation. In 1794, after performing medical studies on bats, Lazzaro Spallanzani gained a basic understanding of […]

Fighter Aircraft

Background In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the airplane. Other aircraft preceded theirs, lifted aloft by lighter-than-air elements, but the wright brothers smaller and faster airplane was a new breakthrough. People could fly like birds, except faster and higher. The Wright Brothers were furiously worried about their intellectual property being stolen. In hindsight, their […]

Military Tank

Towards the late 1800s, Europeans and Americans both worked on the idea of a tire tread. They realized a treaded machine would be useful on rougher terrain. The Holt Manufacturing Company, later renamed Caterpillar, perfected and patented a working tread in 1904. While engineers experimented developing working treads for tractors their use in war was […]

Strategically Addictive Drugs

Background Cigarettes are addictive. However the availability of tobacco around the world, in the early 1800s, limited them as a mass-market item. Even the largest wind-powered ships contained limited space. Filling ships with enough tobacco to addict a whole country was not viable during this period. However, another product did fill this role, opium. Tobacco […]

Wind-Driven Sawmill

Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest invented a sawmill driven by a windmill. It cut wood about 30 times faster than sawing by hand. Corneliszoon received a patent for his wind-driven sawmill. Workers found the mill during a 2004 excavation. The windmill used a crankshaft to convert the steady wind into the up-and-down motion necessary to saw […]