Looking Back…

In case you were wondering about notable science events that occured the week of August 8…

On August 8 of 1876, Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph. When I first read this I was secretly hoping it was some technology involving mimes, but I was not so fortunate. The mimeograph is actually like an early version of the photocopier. The image is transfered using a wax mulberry paper (rice paper). Because the mimeograph uses no electricity to operate, it is still used in developing countries.

Also on August 8, but in 1908, Wilbur Wright made his first public flight in France. The Wright brothers faced deep scorn and were thought to be “Bluffeurs.” Although Wilbur’s flight only lasted 105 seconds, he was able to fly in a circle and woed the crowd. The brothers gained world fame overnight. Newspapers that had posted doubts about the Wright brother recanted their early statements and issued apologies. This is a video of the Wright brother’s early flights.
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On August 12 of 1981, the IBM Personal Computer was first released. The PC was IBM’s attempt to get into the small computer market which was currently dominated by the Atari 8-bit family and the Tandy Corporation TRS-80’s.

Creative Commons License photo credit: cjmaru

On August 12, 1990, the dinosaur Sue was discovered in Faith, South Dakota. Even today, Sue remains the best preserved and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever uncovered. The dinosaur resides in Chicago’s Field Museum. The skeleton is 42 feet from tail to nose, and is 12 feet tall at the hips. The bones are anywhere from 67 to 65.5 million years old.