Time is like money, the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go. ~Josh Billings
1655 – Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christiaan Huygens.
Titan was discovered on March 25, 1655, by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Huygens was inspired by Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s four largest moons in 1610 and his improvements in telescope technology. Christiaan, with the help of his brother Constantijn Huygens, Jr., began building telescopes around 1650. Christiaan Huygens discovered this first observed moon orbiting Saturn with the first telescope they built…
Titan is 5,150 kilometres (3,200 mi) across, compared to 4,879 kilometres (3,032 mi) for the planet Mercury, 3,474 kilometres (2,159 mi) for the Moon, and 12,742 kilometres (7,918 mi) for the Earth. Before the arrival of Voyager 1 in 1980, Titan was thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede (diameter 5,262 kilometres (3,270 mi)) and thus the largest moon in the Solar System; this was an overestimation caused by Titan’s dense, opaque atmosphere, which extends many kilometres above its surface and increases its apparent diameter.
1807 – The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world.
The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was the world’s first passenger railway service, located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom.
Originally built under an Act of Parliament of 1804 to move limestone from the quarries of Mumbles to Swansea and to the markets beyond, it carried the world’s first fare-paying railway passengers on 25 March 1807 (the same day the British Parliament abolished the transportation of slaves from Africa). It later moved from horse power to steam locomotion, and finally converted to electric trams, before closing in January 1960, in favour of motor buses.
At the time of the railway’s closure, it had been the world’s longest serving railway and it still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world – horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel.
1928 – Jim Lovell, Commander of the Apollo 13 mission, is born.
James Arthur “Jim” Lovell, Jr., (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. Lovell was also the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. Lovell is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, the first of only three people to fly to the Moon twice, and the only one to have flown there twice without making a landing. Lovell was also the first person to fly in space four times.
1979 – The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.
Space Shuttle Columbia (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-102) was the first spaceworthy Space Shuttle in NASA’s orbital fleet. First launched on the STS-1 mission, the first of the Space Shuttle program, it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry on February 1, 2003 near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107, resulting in the deaths of all crew members aboard.
Construction began on Columbia in 1975 at Rockwell International’s (formerly North American Aviation/North American Rockwell) principal assembly facility in Palmdale, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Columbia was named after the historical poetic name for the United States of America, like the explorer ship of Captain Robert Gray and the Command Module of Apollo 11, the first manned landing on another celestial body. Columbia was also the female symbol of the U.S. After construction, the orbiter arrived at Kennedy Space Center on March 25, 1979, to prepare for its first launch.
1995 – WikiWikiWeb, the world’s first wiki, and part of the Portland Pattern Repository, is made public by Ward Cunningham.
The WikiWikiWeb is the first ever wiki, or user-editable website. It was launched on 25 March 1995 by its inventor, programmer Ward Cunningham, to accompany the Portland Pattern Repository website discussing software design patterns. The name WikiWikiWeb originally also applied to the wiki software, written in the Perl programming language, that operated the website, which was subsequently renamed to “WikiBase”. The site is frequently referred to by its users as simply “Wiki”, and a convention established among users of the early network of wiki sites that followed was that using the word with a capitalized W referred exclusively to the original site.
The software and website were developed in 1994 by Cunningham in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier. The concept was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that Cunningham built in the late 1980s. On March 25, 1995, he installed the software on his company’s (Cunningham & Cunningham) website, c2.com. Cunningham came up with the name WikiWikiWeb because he remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee who told him to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a shuttle bus line that runs between the airport’s terminals. “Wiki Wiki” is a reduplication of “wiki”, a Hawaiian language word for fast or quick. Cunningham’s idea was to make WikiWikiWeb’s pages quickly editable by its users, so he initially thought about calling it “QuickWeb”, but later changed his mind and dubbed it “WikiWikiWeb”.
2013 – Adafruit adds Bare Conductive Greeting Card Kit to the store.
Bare Conductive Paint is a multipurpose electrically conductive material perfect for all of your DIY projects! Bare Paint is water based, nontoxic and dries at room temperature.
Bare Paint is the first non-toxic electrically conductive paint available to consumers today. This unique child-friendly material is designed for people of all ages to explore and learn about electronics with an inclusive, easy-to-use material.
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Maker Business — “Analog Devices to Buy Linear Technology for $14.8 Billion”
Wearables — Practice patience
Electronics — Look to ferrites (no, not ferrets, the European polecat) when faced with high frequency
Biohacking — TCAPS and Mary Roach on The 99% Invisible Podcast
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