According to net-lore in 1918 Sears Roebuck offered a 5-pound Home Motor suitable for a variety of applications, for only US$8.75.
Wired magazine provides the details --
"The many attachments shown on this page," the catalog advertisement promised, "may be operated by this motor and help to lighten the burden of the home." And, indeed, surrounding the ad for the Home Motor were companion ads for what might loosely be called "plug-ins" or "helper applications." There was a Beater Attachment ("whips cream and beats eggs when used in connection with the Home Motor"), a Fan Attachment ("includes fan and guard, which can be quickly attached to Home Motor"), a Churn and Mixer Attachment ("for which you will find many uses"), Buffer and Grinder Attachments ("will be found very useful in many ways around the home"), and, last but not least, a Vibrator Attachment ("includes three applicators and handle"). To what uses the Vibrator Attachment was put was not explained.
0xDECAFBAD hopes for a future in which PCs are completely ubiquitous.
One thing I’m really looking forward to is seeing the PC explode and turn inside out, like the Home Motor. The price of processors drops, while their power increases. So far in computing, the processor has been a pricey central resource, demanding to be shared between programs and peripherals. But soon, it won’t be too far fetched to think of a processor as the least precious part. In fact, computers could get so cheap as to be given away, while well-built tools and appliances—more than just software alone—become the valuable thing.
A potential gas source found on the moon's surface could hold the key to meeting future energy demands as the earth's fossil fuels dry up in the coming decades, scientists say. [Source: ABC News Online] -- though of course this will do nothing to reduce greenhouse emissions.
I tend to avoid delving into my family on this blog but after just rocking Master Christopher (just 1 year old) to sleep I can't resist proclaiming that's one of the greatest things in the world. Sadly that won't last as he is getting so heavy. Of course not every night involves slipping softly off to sleep. Sometimes there is a struggle - takes after his Dad who still tries to squeeze the last drops out of the day (and the night).
Safely rocking a sleepy infant to sleep is a precious experience which sadly some parents of the world can't enjoy. Far too many people live in fear for their lives or simply don't have enough food to go around.
I simply can't understand why a country as progressive as America has yet to metricate.
28 July 1866 - The metric system was legalized by the U.S. Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States. [Source: on-this-day.com]
So 137 years later American schoolchildren are still trying to figure out how many feet are in a furlong or yards in a chain or square feet in an acre. America remains one of the few hold outs for 'imperial' measures (feet, inches, gallons, pounds etc).
Not only is the metric system simpler, it is an international standard - a standard which makes life easier for everyone.
On September 23, 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter was lost during an orbit injection maneuver when the spacecraft crashed onto the surface of Mars. The principal cause of the mishap was traced to a thruster calibration table, in which British [Imperial] units instead of metric units were used. The software for celestial navigation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory expected the thruster impulse data to be expressed in newton seconds, but Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, which built the orbiter, provided the values in pound-force seconds, causing the impulse to be interpreted as roughly one-fourth its actual value. [Source: The International System of Units
The folks at the US Metric Association must be very patient. They've been pushing metrication since 1916!
Let's hope further moves in the right direction aren't dismissed due to the French origins of the International System of Units (SI). It is an international standard, but in the land of the frenchfreedom fries who knows what goes.
If you want to be a stick in the mud, or discover someone who does, visit freedom2measure.org. I am surprised the web's author has a website at all. Surely sticking with pen and paper is 'traditional and customary' and they are part of America's 'heritage'. After all Thomas Jefferson didn't crank up MS Word to draft the Declaration of Independence. However in 1790, Jefferson did propose a decimal based measurement system like the metric system (which France adopted 5 years later). Congress rejected it. C'est la vie..
Reuters carried this quote from the head of the research team, "Giles said the findings correlate with previous research that showed Roman Catholic priests were 30 percent more likely to get prostate cancer..."
So who is right? The Pope or scientists?
The teenager imprisoned in this grown-up body wants to snigger at this article. That snigger is quickly stifled by the serious aspects of the matter.
No one wants to have prostate cancer or any cancer for that matter. My dad had prostate cancer. He had radical surgery and 5+ years later is still living well. His most recent PSA checkup was very encouraging.
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, "every year, around 10,000 Australian men are diagnosed and more than 2,500 die of the disease, making prostate cancer the second largest cause of male cancer deaths, after lung cancer.
As we all struggle into the 21st century, in some ways men are still struggling out of the caves.
Somewhere deep in our brains is the ingrained response to pain or threat which says "You are a man. Don't cry. Don't ask for help. You can't be weak." This macho culture is still strong and is reinforced constantly by our culture.
As a community we all need to consistently - not nag but - encourage men to take care of their health. We've got to chip away at men's pig-headedness and unwillingness to suffer a little bit of discomfort for the sake of a long healthy life.
Men should not have the attitude of "No doctor is sticking their finger up my bum!", when the vast majority of women have pap smears without a protest. Yet men do have that attitude.
Learn about Prostate Cancer and the simple tests that every man should regularly have once over 40 years old. Knowledge and early detection is the best way to beat cancer.