1834 – Cyrus McCormick patented the first practical mechanical reaper for farming. His invention allowed farmers to more than double their crop size. The invention freed up the Grim Reaper to develop his movie and television career.
1844 – Charles Goodyear was granted a U.S. patent for the invention of vulcanized rubber. This remarkable discovery was later used extensively for making pointy alien ears…
1912 – Alan Turing was born. Turing was a pioneer in computer science and a mathematician who played a pivotal role in breaking the German enigma codes. He is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Unfortunately the British establishment of the time displayed no intelligence, natural or artificial, convicted him for homosexual acts, chemically castrated him and persecuted him until he committed suicide.
1913 – Georgia Broadwick became the first woman to jump from an airplane. Contemporary accounts report that she had complained several times of the intense body odor of the passenger sitting next to her.
1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures. Now you know who to blame for reality TV, two year pre-election broadcasts and endless streams of advertising. Exactly twenty years later it brought the world “Captain Video and His Video Rangers” – the first science-fiction series to be shown on American television.
1954 – The American Cancer Society reported significantly higher death rates among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers. On the plus side, smoking is known to prevent alien abduction…
1954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow. Ten years later Russia’s first super-hero, the Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko), first appeared… just sayin’
1978 – James Christy and Robert Harrington discovered Pluto’s moon, Charon. Unlike other moons Charon is a solid chunk of ice that contains a spacetime relay allowing travel to other worlds. 🙂
1997 – The Russian space station Mir was hit by an unmanned cargo vessel. Much of the power supply was knocked out and the station’s Spektr module was severely damaged. The British Government strongly denied that Agent 007 had any involvement in the incident.
2000 – U.S. and British researchers announced that they had completed a rough draft of the Human Genome. This map defines the genetic makeup of human beings and took ten years to complete. Many have compared this to a map of London’s Underground rail network, though observers have stated that the Human Genome is far easier to understand.