Archive for the ‘Science/invention’ Category

Science in the 1950s

To supply more details from our class discussion this week.

On early computers in the 1940s and 1950s:

and on the importance of the transistor:

and on the development of the polio vaccine:

and the creation of the US’s first commercial nuclear reactor:

The US attempts to answer the challenge of Sputnik with Vanguard

Duck and cover PSA from the early Cold War

Words fail me. This must be seen to be believed.

Human testing with a tactical nuclear device

What was a diphtheria outbreak like?

Read this:

The Panama Canal

Here’s a cool palindrome about Teddy Roosevelt: A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL: PANAMA



For more info:

From How Stuff Works:

Timeline of Canal Construction:

This explains what it was like for the workers: from WGBH The American Experience: and here is an animation of how it was expected to work:

Here’s a video that shows how it works:

Discussion on Pragmatism

Go to the link from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here: to help you understand the material on pp. 618-9 in your textbook.

Pragmatism was born from the meeting of a group of thinkers centered around Harvard University called “The Metaphysical Club” (Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy which attempts to understand the nature of being and reality– what is at the essence of things, how do we determine what is real, what existence IS, etc. In other words, mind-blowing stuff.) They were seeking to reconcile scientific theories with man’s need for religious belief.

Thus, they certainly did not believe that ideas were largely worthless.They believed that we could value ideas based upon their practicality, among MANY other things. Be ready to discuss this at the next class meeting.