Today – August 19


Today’s Notable U. S. Birthdays

William Clinton – 42nd President of the United States

English: Official White House photo of Preside...
English: Official White House photo of President Bill Clinton, President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19, 1946) served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He was the third-youngest president; only Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were younger when entering office. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and as he was born in the period after World War II, he is known as the first Baby Boomer president.  His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is currently the United States Secretary of State. She was previously a United States Senator from New York, and also candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Both are graduates of Yale Law School.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Present Cycle – Era of Superpower America – First Turning, High (1945-1965)
Boom Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1943-1960)

Continue reading Today – August 19

Today – July 30


Today’s Notable U. S. Birthdays

Henry Ford – The father of modern mass production.

Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)
Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was the American founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. He was a prolific inventor and was awarded 161 U.S. patents. Though better known for his contributions to industry, his obscure views as an anti-semite and publications under his name continue to stain his achievements as an innovator. As owner of the Ford Motor Company he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world.

Literary Digest interview with Henry Ford
Literary Digest interview with Henry Ford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He is credited with “Fordism“, that is, the mass production of large numbers of inexpensive automobiles using the assembly line, coupled with high wages for his workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. Ford did not believe in accountants; he amassed one of the world’s largest fortunes without ever having his company audited under his administration. Henry Ford’s intense commitment to lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put a dealership in every city in North America, and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation but arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Civil War Cycle – Civil War Era – Fourth Turning, Crisis (1860-1865)
World War Cycle – Missionary Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1860-1882)

Continue reading Today – July 30

Today – July 7


Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Jacquard – Inventor of the programmable “Jacquard loom” an important component of the early Industrial Revolution.

Portrait of Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834)
Portrait of Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joseph Marie Charles nicknamed Jacquard (7 July 1752 – 7 August 1834) was a straw hat maker before becoming a French silk weaver and inventor. He improved on the original punched card design of Jacques de Vaucanson‘s loom of 1745, to invent the Jacquard loom mechanism in 1804-1805.

Jacquard Loom
Jacquard Loom (Photo credit: Happy A)

Jacquard’s device was controlled by recorded patterns of holes in a string of cards, and allows what is now known as the Jacquard weaving of intricate patterns.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Republican Generation – Hero (Civic) (1742-1766)

Today – June 14


Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Nikolaus Otto – Inventor of the internal combustion engine.

Nikolaus Otto
Nikolaus Otto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nikolaus August Otto (14 June 1832 – 26 January 1891) was the German inventor of the first internal-combustion engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber. Although other internal combustion engines had been invented (e.g. by Étienne Lenoir) these were not based on four separate strokes. The concept of four strokes is likely to have been around at the time of Otto’s invention but he was the first to make it practical.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Civil War Cycle – Gilded Generation – Nomad (Reactive) (1822-1842)

Today – June 9


Today’s Notable Foreign Birthdays

George Stephenson – English engineer known as the “Father of Railways.”

George Stephenson
George Stephenson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who built the first public railway line in the world to use steam locomotives and is known as the “Father of Railways”. The Victorians considered him a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement, with self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praising his achievements. His rail gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches (1,440 mm), sometimes called “Stephenson gauge”, is the world’s standard gauge.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Compromise Generation – Artist (Adaptive) (1767-1791)

Continue reading Today – June 9

Today – May 23


Today’s Memorable Events

  • May 23 1788  – South Carolina was admitted to the Union and became the 8th United State

Notable Foreign Birthdays

Otto Lilienthal – German aeronautical pioneer.

Otto Lilienthal
Otto Lilienthal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Otto Lilienthal (23 May 1848  –  10 August 1896) was a pioneer of human aviation who became known as the German Glider King. He was the first person to make repeated successful gliding flights. He followed an experimental approach first established earlier in the century by Sir George Cayley. Newspapers and magazines in many countries published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical reality after ages of idle fantasy and unscientific tinkering.

U. S. Contemporaries: Civil War Cycle – Progressive Generation – Artist (Adaptive) (1843-1859)

Continue reading Today – May 23

What I am reading…with.

Well, I have stepped over a controversial threshold.  I received a Kindle for Father’s Day.  As a book reader and a technical consumer it may seem like a no brainer but it will still be a difficult commitment.  I am old enough that for most of my life information was books.  There were no options.   Then when computers came along, although it got pretty fuzzy pretty quickly, you had a choice as to where you wanted to grab your information.  I, and I think most of us really, made a choice to accept working with small bits of information on the computer but, when it came to digging into a great amount of written material, we still preferred Ol’ Gutenberg’s book.   There were electronic book programs, and even a couple of e-book reading devices, but they all had the drawback of forcing us to try reading on some form of electronic, pulsating video screen.   I stayed with books.Â

But now there is really an option.   The Kindle display is calm, clear and simple.  Easy on the eyes but still with the advantage of word search and annotation.  The book files are generally lower priced than their printed counterpart and very easy to download.  I did find some that were more expensive than I expected and, actually, I couldn’t find several books ( I think most of them were older books).  On the whole, however, there is a great selection.  A lot of books are free and, if you get your free books elsewhere, .txt and .doc files can be converted and loaded  onto the Kindle.  The new Kindle 2 even has a text to voice option.

But I haven’t made up my mind yet.  I  will have to overcome my loss of the book itself.  A proprietary digital file just can’t match up I’m afraid.  I will let you know when I have spent enough time to really know.  For now, I did buy my first book which, I think we can all agree,  is trully the nature of the beast.