Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Sikorsky
Though his name is more or less synonymous, at least in the U.S., with helicopters, he also did a lot of pioneering work on fixed-wing planes and he was NOT the inventor of helicopters per se. There were many prior to him.
His claim on the helicopter front was that of industrializing helicopters and doing so in the U.S.
I love that his name ends in ‘sky’. How neat.
Quite the guy.
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Click to ENLARGE and read here. From Wikipedia. See link in image.
The quintessential lab scene from my youth in the 1950s & 1960s. Flask on a stand bubbling away atop a Bunsen Burner. Click to ENLARGE and enjoy.
Click to ENLARGE and view. Labs of my ERA c. 1960. You can see 2 Bunsen Burners in the foreground — right — with flasks, with multiple tubes emanating, above them. I truly can relate to this THOUGH the labs I attended were not as crowded and ALAS had NO girls.
Yes, March 31 is designated ‘National Bunsen Burner Day‘ — March 31, 1811 having been the birthday of its eponymous inventor.
Bunsen Burners are very much an evocative part of my teen years, in Ceylon and Britain. The British education system, also used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), was BIG on hands on chemistry labs starting when you were around 11. Ananda College, in Colombo, with close to 6,000 kids had, for the time, impressive and well equipped labs. Though I, for winning all those educational prizes, was granted a small chemistry lab in my room at home, replete with bench, sink and ‘kit’, I could not have a Bunsen Burner because we didn’t have ‘the gas’. So the best I could do at home was alcohol burners that can’t match a Bunsen for heat.
I, a few weeks ago, happened to be reading about the invention of the Slinky and was staggered to discover that the original spring that provided the inspiration had been manufactured for the U.S. Navy and that Richard T. James, the inventor, had seen it ‘Slink’ for the first time, at his Navy OFFICE — and that he had taken that government property spring HOME to experiment.
This was 1943. I have NOT checked the details BUT I have a very strong hunch that as a Government scientist/engineer he probably had signed some kind of intellectual property (IP) contract with the government. Basically it would have covered confidentiality and that ANY inventions made at any time, during once employment, BELONGED to the employer. In 1974 I had to sign such a contract with IBM. Basically ANYTHING I came up in terms of IP while I worked for IBM belonged to IBM — or at least I had to given them first option to evaluate whether they wanted it or not. IF I had done what R. T. James did, IBM (albeit more savvy in such matters than the U.S. Government) would have come after me with all guns blazing and as many would know, IBM employed a veritable army of high power IP lawyer.
From what I can see this was not right. I have NOT read anywhere that he sought Government approval to ‘steal’ this invention. I would even content that he misappropriated government property when he took the first spring home!
So how come the Government hasn’t done anything? Yes, maybe the statute of limitation is long gone. But there has got to be SOMETHING that can be done. This, to me, seems wrong. All the profits should BELONG to the U.S. Government — and they could sure do with it.
This is still early January, so this is NOT an April 1st joke.
This, alas, is real.
There is no question that Dean Kamen is very clever and a good person at heart. Yes, he has done much to encourage children to explore science and pursue invention. Knowing a bit about his career I also know that his early inventions, which were very successful and made him very rich, were all in the medical field — mainly to do with drug delivery into the body. He was working on a better wheel-chair when he stumbled upon the Segway idea. But, I think this device which enables people to overeat and then have the food sucked out is beyond the pale.
I struggle with my weight and have for most of my life. That said, I do have issues with those that are obese because they eat and drink too much and exercise little. This device, which is not meant as a medical device per se, just feeds into the gluttony. Yes, there will be those that love it. I can see them waddling into Chinese buffets with their bulimia machine in a little bag. It will be the end of Chinese buffets! They will go out of business. These folks, with this machine, could eat non-stop!
This is not funny. Dean you can do better than this.
Google it. Search on ‘Dean Kamen’. The best coverage, as ever, with the graphic pictures, will be found in the British tabloids, such as my all time favorite the Daily Mail. Here is the Daily Mail story.