Quirky Science round-up : July

Intertubes, cloning, rocketry and much more feature heavily in this month’s quirky round-up of events.


Bullshit-11790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer and a great improvement on the usual patented bullshit.
Rosetta21799 – The Rosetta Stone, a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek, was found in Egypt. When studied closer the markings turned out to be complex emoticons.
d76f0e497c387ab6e3766cc24b081b581822Gregor Mendel – father of modern genetics started working on what came to be known as “Wellsian” cloning techniques after receiving telepathic information from the Martians. Mendel was renowned for his pea fetish.
1866Cyrus Field successfully completed the Atlantic underwater telegraph cable from North America to Europe and the intertubes were born.
can-of-worms1870 – A fine can of worms was opened when William W. Lyman patented the first rotary can opener with a cutting wheel. The device however stagnated for many years until the first tin can was invented.
1889Vladimir Kosmo Zworykin, “father of Television,” was born who invented the iconoscope in 1938. The Intertubes were developing rapidly.
1894Aldous Huxley was born. In 1932 he published “Brave New World” creating the “dystopian” literary genre and the first book warning of the dangers of the Intertubes.
5670359528_5f9759e622_z1898 – “Scientific America” carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH. and popped up when the magazine was opened to obscure all the magazine content.


jetpack1914Robert H. Goddard engineer, physicist and inventor, patented the first liquid rocket-fuel paving the way for Space Age and taking the fight to the Strykkx. Goddard’s inventions included multi-stage rockets, three-axis control, gyroscopes, steerable thrust rockets and the personal jet pack (though the last of these was suppressed by the U.S. government for being too much fun.)
1921Canadian biochemist Frederick Banting and associates announced the discovery of the hormone insulin. Go, Canada!
1924Robert D. Maurer was born. In 1970 Maurer and colleagues produced the first practical optical fiber that could be used for intertube communications.
1925 – Tmonkeyshe “Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, TN. John T. Scopes was convicted and fined $100 for violating the state prohibition on teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. The conviction was later overturned on a legal technicality because the judge and jury turned out to be too stupid to have an opinion.

West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), in Three Sisters Spring, Crystal River, Florida. The manatees gather in these warm springs during the winter months to seek the thermal waters. Photo by William Drumm 2013

1926 – The first underwater color photographs appeared in “National Geographic” magazine. The pictures caused a great deal of controversy at the time as they featured several topless shots of Manatees frolicking in the water off the Florida Keys.

Kai-winn1934Louise Fletcher was born. In an alternate history she was the chilling Bajoran Kai Winn Adami.
1939Dr. Roy P. Scholz became the first surgeon to use fiberglass sutures. This allowed fiberglass wounds to be healed for the first time.
terminator-terminator-30973001-1280-10241945 – The United States detonated the first atomic bomb in a test at Alamogordo, NM. A year later The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was conceived – just sayin’.

1950 – 2000

1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency was established to regulate and promote the peaceful use of nuclear power. It’s been failing in both ever since.
underwater-alien-bases-real-proof1958 – The Nautilus submarine sailed from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with orders to conduct “Operation Sunshine.” It was the first vessel to cross the north pole by ship and also discovered the secret Strykkx base hidden under the polar icecap.
hgwells-41965 – The spacecraft Mariner IV sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet Mars and discovered proof that Mars held intelligent life when it discovered numerous clones of H.G. Wells.
Morpheus1961Laurence Fishburne was born. The Intertubes later transfictionalized him into Morpheus.
rover-11969Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon. 2 years later Apollo 15 took the lunar rover vehicle (LRV) to the moon surface to become the first human controlled wheeled vehicle in space. Inaugurating the first Lunar drag race.
Apollo_Soyuz_2_NASA_both1975 – An Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit. It was the first link up between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Two days later the ships separated, but the joining lasted longer than the typical Hollywood relationship.
1978Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England. She had been conceived through in-vitro fertilization using clues from the MartianWellsiancloning techniques.
1976 – America’s Viking I spacecraft successfully landed on Mars. To everyone’s surprise, Viking found that the H.G. Wells clones had deserted the planet.
3177286076_3f4beab84f_o-550x5501984 – Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. She was aboard the orbiting space station Salyut 7 and contrary to persistent rumors, she wasn’t wearing heels.
1985Commodore unveiled the personal computer Amiga 1000. The Amiga set new standards for home PCs and set the scene for the rise of the Intertubes.
mices1998 – Scientists announced the completion of the genetic map of the syphilis bacterium. Simultaneously, scientists at the University of Hawaii produced over 50 “carbon-copymice, using Martian “Wellsian” cloning technology. Thankfully, none of them had syphilis.
1999 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect intentionally crashed into the moon as part of a mission to detect frozen water. So they claim…
Pinkshuttle-11999 – The space shuttle Discovery completed a five-day mission commanded by Air Force Col. Eileen Collins. It was the first shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman. The shuttle’s color scheme was altered in her honor for the duration of the flight.

21st Century

29713_6002005 – Astronomers announced the discovery of a new planet larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun. The discovery caused arguments over the definition of what a planet was and later led to Pluto being demoted to a “dwarf planet“. Due to this the new planet was named Eris, the Grecian goddess of strife, chaos and discord.
2009 – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” opened in U.S. theaters. To honor the occasion the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century was scheduled. It lasted over 6 and a half minutes.
clunker12011 – The last Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched and later landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This ended the U.S. ability to launch its own astronaut’s into space. No joke.

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