During the 18th and 19th centuries, the most sophisticated new technologies often focused on agriculture. During the space shuttle's November trip, the high-tech marvel of the 20th and 21st centuries also focused on agriculture. The shuttle carried an Agricultural Camera, which took visible and infrared images of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions. The AgCam was built by students and faculty at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Those photos should benefit farmers and ranchers and help them protect the environment. It will also aid in flood monitoring and wild fire mapping.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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.