Science and Technology

Fact or Fiction?

Joseph and Etienne Montigolfier, inventers of the hot air balloon, first believed that their balloon didn’t rise due to hot air but an invisible gas given off by fire. They named it Montigolfier Gas.

Pedals were added to the bicycle in 1839.

The early personal computer, the Sinclair ZX80, had 1 kilobyte of internal memory.

Joseph Swan invented a light bulb in 1879, one year before Thomas Edison. But Swan didn’t patent his idea and was accused of copying by Edison ( who did patent the idea and is therefore recognized as the inventor ) until it was shown both bulbs were produced in different processes. They then formed a joint company using the best of both technologies.

Allied bombers were issued with Biro pens as fountain pens leaked at high altitude.

The bicycle was first introduced to British roads in 1888, but the rider had to ring a bell continuously to warn others of their approach.

The first computer was built in 1823. The steam driven calculating machine, built by Charles Babbage, failed to work due to poor workmanship in the intricate parts. When rebuilt by the Science Museum of London in 1991 it worked.

The Dotmatrix printer was developed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games by the Japanese company Seiko.

Britain’s first escalator was installed in Harrods in 1878.

Each country of the world has its own identifying mark or passport cover that distinguishes it from other countries.

The worlds longest escalator is in Leningrad Metro, 120 metres long.

The fluorescent tube uses 20% of the power to produce an equal amount of light as a tungsten filament bulb.

Edison tried to invent a gun-powder powered engine for a helicopter . . .
he blew up his lab, and decided to stop work on that project.

Laser means Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

The tip of a rotary mower travels at over 200 km/hr.

The first xerographic copy (prelude to photocopy) was ‘ 10.22.38 Astoria ‘

John Dunlop invented the Pneumatic tyre from a section of garden hose, (for his sons tricycle)

The first public radio broadcast was on the 23 February 1920, in June 1920 Dame Nellie Melba sang on the radio, immediately the Post Office banned ‘Entertainment’. Broadcasting lifted the ban in 1921 for 15minutes per week.

In an atom, the electron weighs 1/2000 th of the weight of the proton.

The world’s oldest man-made alloy is Bronze.

IBM started as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Corporation.

Rainfall is measured with a Ombrometer.

The ‘Screwdriver’ was invented by oilmen, who used the tool to stir the drink.

Polytetrafluoroethylene is more commonly known as ‘Teflon’.

Magnesium was used in early flash photography because it burns with a brilliant light.

Ammonia is the active ingredient in smelling salts.

When hydrogen burns in the air, water is formed.

Near-sighted model, Grace Robin was the first to show off contact lenses in 1930.

The diameter of wool is measured in microns

Gunpowder is formed after mixing charcoal, saltpetre and sulphur.

Plutonium was developed by deuteron bombardment of uranium-238 in a cyclotron.

Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen make up 90% of the human body.

The revolving door was invented in 1888.

Alcohol is added to soap to make it clear.

The drinking straw was invented in 1886 by hand rolling paraffined Manila paper.

The metre was originally defined as one 10-millionth of the distance from the equator to the Pole.

Cars were first started with ignition keys in 1949.

Instant coffee has been around since the 18th century.

The three primary colours are red, yellow and blue. The three secondary colours are green, orange and purple.

The first washing machine was marketed by Hurley Machine Co in 1907.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

Twenty two carat gold has 916 parts per thousand pure gold.

A shadow of a four-dimensional object would have three dimensions.

Red light has the greatest wavelength.

Brimstone, referred to in the Bible and some Alchemy text, is sulphur.

George de Mestral invented velcro, after getting burrs stuck to his pants.

Turquoise was once called ‘Turkey stone’.

The decimal system is based on the number 10 while the sexagesimal system is based on the number 60.

Nicotinic acid is listed on breakfast cereal boxes as Niacin.

The month May was once known to Anglo-Saxons as Thrimilce, because during this month cows could be milked 3 times a day.

The hottest flame known is produced with carbon subnitride (C4N2), which can generate a temperature of 4988°C.

Ninety eight per cent of the weight of water is made up from oxygen.

A Sphygmomanometer measures blood pressure.

Marble is metamorphic.

Calcium sulphate hemihydrate is more commonly known as Plaster of Paris.

The ship ‘QE2’ requires 25 litres to move 1 metre.

The Mercedes-Benz motto is ‘Das Beste oder Nichts’ meaning ‘the best or nothing’.

For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off.

A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a thin film covering a hundred square feet.

To ‘crack’ a whip, the tip must be travelling faster than the speed of sound.

Sugar was first added to chewing gum in 1869 . . . by a dentist ( William Semple)

Since 1959, more than 6,000 pieces of ‘space junk’ (abandoned rocket and satellite parts) have fallen out of orbit – many of these have hit the earth’s surface.

Paper was invented early in the second century by a Chinese eunuch.

Tomato ketchup was once sold as a medicine.

Waves”break” when their height is more that seven-tenths of the depth of the water.

The power of the first hydrogen bomb tested in 1952 was equal to the combined power of all the bombs dropped on Germany and Japan in World War Two – including the atomic ones.

A fully loaded supertanker travelling at normal speed takes a least twenty minutes to stop.

75% of the chemical energy contained in petrol is wasted by a combustion engine.

Paper money was first used in China.

Some soft drinks are made sweeter by adding coal.

Albert Einstein was thought to be suffering from dyslexia, as he couldn’t speak properly until he was 9 years old.

The Chinese used fingerprints as a method of identification as far back as AD 700.

Sir Isaac Newton was only twenty three years old when he discovered the law of universal gravitation.

A flush toilet exists that dates back to 2000 BC.

No matter its size or thickness, no piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

Just after the first moon walk, Pan-American Airlines announced that they were willing to take enquires about future commercial flights to the moon. They received 80,000 requests almost immediately.

When cutting a diamond with a laser, graphite dust is formed.

The metal Gallium will melt in the heat of your hands.

According to an old English system of time units, a moment is one and a half minutes.

A Boeing 707 uses four thousand gallons of petrol in its take-off climb.

Jacques Cousteau invented the aqualung while in the French resistance during World War II.

Sterling silver contains 7.5% copper.

Mummies, are so called because of the wax (or ‘mum’ ) which is smeared on to the bandages for waterproofing.

The first flight of the Wright Brothers was a distance less than the wing span of a Jumbo Jet.

The study of soil is paedology.

A large meteorite fell in Leicestershire on 24 December 1965. Weighing over 100 pounds it is probably the largest to have fallen in Britain in modern times.

Its harder to reach the speed of sound at sea level than at high altitude.

Water freezes faster if cooled quickly from a warm temperature, than it does from a cooler one.
(Warm water freezes faster than cold water due to a lower oxygen content – but the cooling must occur quickly before the warm water naturally re-oxygenates)

For reasons of security, only people who were illiterate were considered for more routine jobs at the first atomic bomb construction centre in New Mexico.

A manned rocket can reach the moon in less time than it used to take to travel the length of England by stagecoach.

The Lie Detector was invented by John Augustus Larson in 1921.

The Electric chair was invented by Dr. Alphonse Rockwell, and first used on 6 August 1890 to execute William Kemmler.

Another term for pure china clay is Kaolin

A car travelling at 80 km/h uses half its fuel to overcome wind resistance.

The red dye ‘cochineal’ comes from the dried bodies of the scale insects.

Soap was originally made by boiling fat and adding lye to it.

The first hot air balloon was invented on 5 June 1783, it was made of paper and not entirely successful.

The mathematician Cardano was imprisoned for doing the horoscope of Jesus Christ.

Knowledge is growing so fast that ninety per cent of what we will know in fifty years time, will be discovered in those fifty years.

Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, also set a world water-speed record of over seventy miles an hour at the age of seventy two.

Light is electro-magnetic radiation.

The sound energy in a pin drop it one quadrillionth of a watt, and moves the ear drum less than the diameter of a hydrogen molecule.

Each increase of five decibels will half the amount of time requires for a sound to cause permanent hearing loss.

Leonardo da Vinci invented an alarm clock that woke the sleeper by rubbing their feet.

The Biro pen was invented by George and Lazlo Biro.

Soda water does not contain soda.

Marie Curie, the Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered radium, died on 4 July 1934 of radiation poisoning.

Minus forty degrees Celsius is exactly the same as minus forty degrees Fahrenheit.

The screwdriver was invented before the screw.

Flying from London to New York by Concord, due to the time zones crossed, you can arrive 2 hours before you leave.

The energy released in the ten minutes of a normal hurricane is roughly equivalent to the energy contained in all the nuclear stockpiles of the world.

The typewriter was invented in 1829, and the automatic dishwasher in 1889.

The first taxi with metered fares were operational in 1907.

Rubber is an impertinent ingredient in the manufacture of bubble gum.

There is enough petrol in a full tank of a Jumbo Jet to drive an average car four times around the world.

Pierre and Marie Currie’s notebooks were sold in auction in 1984, after their radiation levels were checked.

The zeppelin ‘The Hindenburg’ which exploded in a huge fireball, was filled with hydrogen.

The United States consumes 25% of all the worlds energy.

Speleology is the study of Caves.

The wristwatch was invented in 1904 by Louis Cartier.

The stratosphere is higher than the troposphere.

The search for the existence of ghosts is Eidology

One thought on “Science and Technology”

  1. A large meteorite fell in Leicestershire on 24 December 1965. Weighing over 100 pounds it is probably the largest to have fallen in Britain in modern times.Water freezes faster if cooled quickly from a warm temperature, than it does from a cooler one.(Warm water freezes faster than cold water due to a lower oxygen content – but the cooling must occur quickly before the warm water naturally re-oxygenates)

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