October 2013

110 years after the first powered flight, I revisited Kitty Hawk with my college roommate John Mitchell and our wives. In the 31 years since my last visit, the surrounding area had become much more urbanized, but the park itself still tasted like that modest test facility that the Wright brothers had put together in the dunes.

 

However, 31 years of engineering experience, often related to engineering failures in all its phantasmagorical perturbations, left me with an entirely different appreciation of the Wright brothers. read more »

 

The march of technology is not a straight line. It can take leaps (internet), occasionally stop completely (dark ages), depend on big project steps and raw power (Apollo), or occasionally it seems to do a jitterbug and move all over the place at the same time.

 

When it jitterbugs it seems the world belongs to the independent designers and experimenters with innovations driven by individuals who have new visions coming from all directions. This happened in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and is today celebrated as Steampunk.

 

Today we might be in the middle of another one of these waves. Unless I am deluding myself, it sure feels there is a lot of jitterbugging going on lately.

 

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