Category Archives: History

Why “C” is the Default Hard Drive Letter in Many Computers

hard-drive

Julie N. asks: Why is “C” the default drive letter in computers? For nearly as long as hard disk drives have been placed in personal computers running certain popular operating systems (notably MS-DOS/Windows), the primary hard disk has been designated with the letter “C”.  But why? The idea for designating different storage devices with simple letters is generally attributed to […]

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The Vela Incident

Vela

As the 1970s were drawing to a close, the global political situation was uncertain. Peace in the Middle East was imminent for some, while others in the region were witnessing dramatic revolution; at the same time, the world’s two great nuclear superpowers had just entered into an historic agreement that significantly limited their nuclear arsenals. Into this mix, in September […]

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That Time an Argument Over the Quality of Ale Resulted in a Battle Between Oxford Students and the Townsfolk

Oxford

Oxford University is well known for being one of the most prestigious and elite places of learning in history. Over the years, it has seen some of the finest minds the world has ever known pass through its halls. It’s also the place where over six centuries ago a bunch of students and a fair number of townsfolk were killed […]

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A Lesson in Failure- The Rise of the Mars Candy Company

mandms

The legendary Roald Dahl’s book Charlie & Chocolate Factory from 1964 (and its subsequent two film adaptations from 1971 and 2005) told the story of a magical candy factory and its eccentric and mysterious owner Willy Wonka. A chocolate river, gum that is a whole turkey dinner, never-ending gobstoppers, and, of course, the singing and dancing oompa-loompas are just a […]

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A Space Race for the Dogs… and Monkeys and Fruit Flies

albert-2

The first Earthlings sent into space were brave, calm under pressure, and heroic. They were also not human and many of them were furry. Yes, before Apollo 13, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin, humans sent fruit flies, monkeys, and dogs into space to determine if living beings could survive the trip. These tests helped prove that, given a […]

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The Invention of the Piano

piano

The names that come to mind at the mention of the Italian Renaissance are the likes of Medici, Da Vinci, and Galileo. Few, however, know the name Bartolomeo Cristofori, an accomplished craftsman who lived and worked during that era. You may not know his name, but you do know his greatest invention- the “harpsichord with loud and soft,” better known […]

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