While there have been numerous inventions over the last 100 years that have made our lives better in some way, some more than others have significantly changed the way we do things in our everyday lives, and had the ability to change industries and markets.
We present 15 of them (in no particular order). Click on the Commodore 64 below to start the slideshow, and let us know, in the comments section below, if you agree with us, or if we missed something big.
It can be argued that the birth of personal computing began with the Commodore 64, introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. Some even claim the computer remains the highest selling computer of all time, although it’s difficult to prove. Claim notwithstanding, the Commodore 64 certainly made the PC accessible to a wide audience and ushered in the now-thriving market for home computing systems. The Commodore 64 also provided a platform for a new generation of computer programmers that would change the world with their inventions years later. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
i try to stay on top of things in terms of not allowing foods to spoil too badly in the refrigerator, but I do know what the "refrigerate until moldy" edict is like. Whenever I visit my dad in the U.S., which I usually do a couple of times a year, I always go through his refrigerator and find things that must have been there since my last visit like six months before! Not a pretty scene. So again here we have the "good with the bad" theory of great inventions.
Yes, JimT, that's exactly my point! I imagine people didn't make as much food to consume before refigeration or ate everything they made immediately. Now we take the whole "leftover" thing for granted but many people don't finish leftovers. And often fruit or vegetables spoil as well because they aren't consumed. Well, progress, for all its benefits, does usually have drawbacks as well!
Well, in my house, that happens most of the time!! After every meal, if a left-over portion is deemed "enough to save" it has been sentenced to a slow death. The process is, "Refrigerate until Moldy; Discard".
It's really great to hear from people who were alive many years ago how inventions that came along really changed their lives, JimT, and nice that you could share that moment with your dad. I am not surprised by what an effect refrigerators had on people--imagine when the power goes out during a storm, how worrisome it is that the refrigerator will go warm and spoil all the food in there. I guess in some ways people wasted less food, though, because how many times do things we put in the fridge thinking we will eat it later gets tossed in the trash?
Thanks for your comment, spencestan, and I agree the list is a bit "last 30 years" heavy but I appreciate all the discussion points it's brought up. Everyone's comments have led me to consider doing another slideshow and dipping even further into some of these inventions that have been so influential in the last 100 years.
Agree with some of you that this list is primarily the last 30 years. Listing the last 100 years would be huge, ranging from the ubiquitous television, the 'lowly' transistor to the powerful nuclear fission. Even the first satellite (1957) changed the way we live (ever use a GPS, watch satelitte TV, watch video of hurricanes, etc).
This is a great list (of the past ~30 years) and ponders what will we be talking about in the next 30 years? Crytopcoins (e.g. bitcoins), nanatubes, personalized medicine (via DNA scypting), 3-D printing/additive manufacturing, self-driving vehicles (thus 30 years later noone knows how to drive) just to name a few potentials.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
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