Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time. The best management of our time thus becomes linked inseparably with the best utilization of our efforts. ~Ted W. Engstrom
1646 – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher, is born.
Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz’s mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published. It was only in the 20th century that his Law of Continuity and Transcendental Law of Homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of non-standard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal’s calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of virtually all digital computers.
Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in philosophy, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. He wrote works on philosophy, politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Leibniz’s contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, but primarily in Latin, French, and German. There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz.
1957 – The International Geophysical Year begins.
The International Geophysical Year (IGY) was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West had been seriously interrupted. Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953 opened the way for this new era of collaboration. Sixty-seven countries participated in IGY projects, although one notable exception was mainland China, which was protesting against the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan). East and West agreed to nominate the Belgian Marcel Nicolet as secretary general of the associated international organization.
The IGY encompassed eleven Earth sciences: aurora and airglow, cosmic rays, geomagnetism, gravity, ionospheric physics, longitude and latitude determinations (precision mapping), meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and solar activity.
Both the Soviet Union and the U.S. launched artificial satellites for this event; the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, launched on October 4, 1957, was the first successful artificial satellite. Other significant achievements of the IGY included the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts and the discovery of mid-ocean submarine ridges, an important confirmation of plate tectonics. Also detected was the rare occurrence of hard solar corpuscular radiation that could be highly dangerous for manned space flight.
1963 – ZIP codes are introduced for United States mail.
ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 1963. The term ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, is properly written in capital letters and was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly (zipping along), when senders use the code in the postal address. The basic format consists of five decimal numerical digits. An extended ZIP+4 code, introduced in the 1980s, includes the five digits of the ZIP code, a hyphen, and four more digits that determine a more specific location within a given ZIP code. The term ZIP code was originally registered as a servicemark (a type of trademark) by the U.S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired.
1979 – Sony introduces the Walkman.
Walkman is a Sony brand tradename originally used for portable audio cassette players, and now used to market Sony’s portable audio and video players as well as a line of former Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The original Walkman introduced a change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones.
The prototype was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Akio Morita, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips. The original Walkman was marketed in 1979 as the Walkman in Japan and, from 1980, the Soundabout in many other countries including the US, Freestyle in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK. Advertising, despite all the foreign languages, still attracted thousands of buyers in the US specifically. Morita hated the name “Walkman” and asked that it be changed, but relented after being told by junior executives that a promotion campaign had already begun using the brand name and that it would be too expensive to change.
2010 – Adafruit introduces product IDs into our store!
47 years after ZIP codes are introduced to the postal system to make finding addresses easier Adafruit introduced PIDs to our store to make finding products easier!