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Total: 12
Here's a question for you: what do formica, the microwave oven, Play-Doh, the Slinky, Viagra and hair restorer have in common? The answer is that they all came about as a result of trying to develop something entirely different.Formica, I recently learned, invented in 1912, was originally conceived (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 8th December 2011
The redoubtable Mrs Simms is in training for her second marathon. Or at least she was until a rather nasty cold struck her down, leaving her somewhat under the weather. I have to report that the current Mrs Simms is quite high maintenance when she's ill. Here's a top tip for all husbands: regardless (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 8th November 2011
If I remember correctly - and it's been a long time - my school days seemed to lurch from one fad or craze to the next, that emerged from nowhere and ran for a few weeks, before inevitably being banned after things ended in tears, usually because of loss, theft, arguments or some perceived health (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 1st October 2011
As a self-confessed Janeite, I could hardly let a recent trip to the beautiful and historic city of Bath pass without visiting the Jane Austen Centre, housed in a building just off Queen's Square. The building itself is not the actual establishment where the Austen family rented rooms: that (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 10th August 2011
I couldn't let this moment pass without celebrating the invention and mourning the demise of the sugar cube, and highlighting its largely unrecognised legacy within the field of engineering. The sugar cube was invented in 1841 by Swiss-born Czech entrepreneur Jakub Rad at the sugar refinery in (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 8th July 2011
The other day I was sat in a queue at the Dartford river crossing, about two miles from the toll booths, wondering if I was ever going to reach my destination. It had to be a pretty terrible accident to have caused such a delay, I thought. Or perhaps some major repair on one of the tunnels. Or maybe (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 14th June 2011
I got into a debate this week about the most important car ever designed. Not necessarily the greatest, and certainly not the fastest or the most beautiful or the most expensive or the most iconic, but rather the car that most fundamentally changed the direction of the automotive industry, along (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 8th May 2011
An advert on TV caught my attention this week, promoting a hybrid family car that could give you up to 75mpg. It's probably grossly unfair of me, but I found that figure vaguely disappointing. A good, small-engined petrol car will get you up into the 50s, and surely a decent diesel will return 60mpg (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 14th April 2011
I've noticed of late a stepping up of efforts to find habitable planets among the stars. But even if we found one in the nearest neighbouring star system, Alpha Centauri, then that's still over four light years away. Best case, with ion drive propulsion, we'd be looking at around 80,000 years to (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 3rd April 2011
I'm hiding it well, but you can take my word for it that I'm pretty short of breath after a last minute dash to the local newsagent to buy a lottery ticket. When the jackpot is £117 million, then throwing a couple of pounds at it and crossing your fingers is a no-brainer. After all, someone (more...)
Industrial Technology - NEWS
Published: - 12th March 2011
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