It looks as if non-metric measurements will not be banned in Europe until 2010 instead of 2000. The European Union (EU) in 1989 had ruled that the English system of pounds and inches would be forbidden in European commerce after Dec. 31, 1999. Only metric measurements would be allowed in technical manuals, user instructions, product advertising, catalogs, and packaging labels. Dual listings of the two systems would be prohibited. An exception was made allowing England to continue using miles and pints. American manufacturers and exporters, still strongly attached to English measurements, have protested the impending ban. They point out that the U.S. Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires the listing of dual measurements on products. European exporters to America say the combination of the EU restriction and the U.S. requirement would cause them problems, too. As a result, the European Commission now recommends postponing EU's ban for 10 years.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.