August Is Inventors Month Here Are Some Scottish Inventions

scottish inventions

Today, we will concentrate on Scottish Inventions and Pioneers

Scottish inventions date from as early as the 1700’s. Here are just a few. Some of these are in use every day of our lives.

James Braid published a book on Hypnosis in 1743. He is regarded as the “Father of Hypnosis.” The word hypnosis is from the Greek God Of Sleep, Hypnos.

I must include Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone. He also invented hydrofoils, the iron lung and the record player, known originally as the phonograph.

Sri Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin while researching the flu virus. While not really an invention in the true sense of the word, this was an important discovery for the entire world.

Sir James Young Simpson was a pioneer of anaesthesia and was the first to use in childbirth. He was fiercely opposed to this by both his peers and the politicians of the day. He lived from 1811 till 1870.

How about Sir Patrick Manson? He discovered that malaria was transmitted by mozzies. His efforts in the study of tropical diseases led to the London School Of Tropical Medicine being opened.

John Logie Baird, from Dumbarton, invented television in 1926. He was also highly involved in the invention of Radar during the Second World War.

Sir James Dewar was the inventor of the smokeless gunpowder, cordite. Plus something that made the working mans lunch much more enjoyable. The vacuum flask.

Reverend Alexander John Forsyth invented the percussion cap which replaced flintlocks for firing pistols and rifles.

Of course, there is the tarmac that we drive and walk on daily, Invented by John McAdam, a Scottish surveyor who built and managed roads.

Then we have the plastic mac or raincoat invented by Charles Mackintosh. He lived from 1799 till 1843.

I mentioned John Logie Baird earlier who was involved with the invention of radar. The man who truly invented it was Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt. The word RADAR is an acronym for Radio Detection And Ranging system.

I found these facts interesting. I hope you did too.

Apollo 11

Today, in 1969, Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean successfully completing the first manned mission that landed on the Moon.

What Does The Future Hold? Let’s Hypothesise

the future of humanity

The Future of Humanity

It is a scary thought, but what is the future of Humanity? At least, as we know it now?

You have obviously heard of Global Warming, right? Did you know that if we were to cut out all carbon emissions today, the Greenhouse Effect would continue for possibly hundreds of years?

That’s not to say “Oh sod it. There is no point in even trying” Far from it.

At the rate technology is developing we may well be able to achieve light speed travel giving us the ability to colonise other worlds as yet undiscovered.

Mother Earth will gradually return the atmosphere to pre-industrial quality, and if we have colonised elswhere, an equilibrium will be reached.

Robotics And AI

the future of humanity

There is another version of the future where we continue to implement machines that are autonomous. We already have driver-less buses in operation.

There are even discussions about having so called “Drone Highways” These could perhaps be utilised to deliver mail to offices in the city putting more people out of work.

Machine warfare is becoming a real possibility. There have been drone bombers around since the Second World War. You must admit that behind the scenes it is perfectly feasible for the development of robotic warriors.

Germ warfare is a frightening prospect too. genetic engineering could see a subject born from a test tube with his (or her) genetics engineered in such a way that he could fly into an enemies country and cause a Pandemic on a scale never thought possible.

Alien Life

alien life

With the huge telescopes we now have we are able to see details of nebulae that are nothing short of astounding. But that is not all we are searching for.

Alien life is a reality we have yet to discover. However, it is almost certain to exist.  Are we being watched from afar as in Jeff Waynes War Of The Worlds? What will happen when we are first visited by an alien race?

Will we react in the way we have in the past and try to destroy what we do not understand? Or will we embrace our visitors with open arms and share our knowledge with them?

Always assuming they are friendly of course.

Does Terrorism Have A Part To Play?

The future of humanity is already being altered by terrorism.

For example, the UK now has armed police officers at train stations and large events.

Our governments are being pushed towards a dictatorial style of governing where we will find ourselves routinely stopped for body searches and identity checks.

If you see anything that is not normal for your area, you should report it to the authorities. We would all prefer to have a false alarm than ignore something only to see devastation reported on the evening news

It Does Not Need To Be All Bad News

A Dystopian society where you and I are continually oppressed by martial law is certainly a scenario that could come to pass.

However, it does not need to. We can all make a difference. Lets save our planet one step at a time.

Don’t throw that lolly wrapper out the car window.

Lobby your MP to get the local council to water in the moonlit hours instead of during a blazing hot day. Do your own watering in the same way.

Report suspicious behaviour.

Look out for your older neighbour’s. Just because we are starting to live longer does not mean that someone’s help is not occasionally required.

Donate to a charity of your choice. Mine is the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Compost your own kitchen waste to reduce landfill.  Use it in your garden which will love and  pay you back with high quality tasty produce.

Get some solar panels on your roof if you can afford to. Even with the rubbish rebates of today, you will see a saving.

The Worlds First Test Tube Baby

test tube baby

Test Tube Baby – In-Vitro Fertilisation

The world’s first test tube baby was born today in 1978 in Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England. The parents were Lesley and Peter Brown.

Blocked fallopian tubes had caused Lesley and Peter to be unable to conceive a child. A mature egg was removed from Lesley’s ovaries and then placed in a Petri dish with Peter’s sperm to create an embryo. the embryo was then placed in Lesley’s uterus. The baby was born by caesarean section weighing in a t 5 ponds twelve ounces.

The Browns had Natalie, a second daughter, also by IVF who later became the first person conceived by IVF to give birth herself.

IVF is considered to be a normal if not routine method of conception today. A far cry from the furore of ethical and moral dilemmas and complaints that were stirred up in 1979.

Today Is Moon Day With Neil Armstrong’s Famous Words

moon day

Moon Day

Moon Day is a celebration of Neil Armstrong being the first man to set foot on a celestial object.

Everyone has heard the quote “One step for man. One giant leap for mankind”. However, the mission was not without it’s drama’s.

neil armstrong

The Mission Lead Up

The Apollo spacecraft was tested in 1966 after 5 years of intensive research. This led to a manned test on the launchpad where a fire erupted taking the lives of 3 astronauts.

NASA continued with it’s research and succeeded with a manned mission which orbited the Earth and gave them the opportunity to test systems that would be used for the Lunar Landing in an environment without atmosphere.

The craft was named Apollo 7.

Later that year Apollo 8 was to repeat the exercise, this time going to the dark side of the Moon.

The following year in 1969, Apollo 11 landed in the Sea Of Tranquility on the surface of the Moon. On board were three astronauts, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong.

Both Buzz and Neil actually slept that night on the surface of the Moon.

There were 5 more missions to the Moon. Now that America had beat Russia to the Moon the missions to come were to prove more costly than their worth, and so the space race was over.

Mariner Fly’s Past

mariner 4

Mariner 4

This is the day when, in 1965, the Mariner 4 spacecraft flew past Mars sending back to Earth the first ever photographs of another planet.

Oddly enough, today is also Grand Marnier day. Was Mariner 4 a miss-spelling? Anyway, Grand Marnier was the invention of Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle who came up with the brilliant idea of blending Haitian oranges with the best French Cognac way back in 1880.

Not a drink the be skulled, rather one should savour the nuances of the scent while warming it in your hand before sipping it and having a warm glow spread through your belly.

Glayva is a similar Scottish drink that give the same feeling of warmth and is slightly syrupy in texture.

The Storming Of The Bastille

In 1789, the 14th of July saw the Bastille prison being stormed by masses of Frenchmen calling for it’s closure. There were 7 prisoners in there at the time. Bastille Day is a celebrated in France every year.

Sadly, today also marks the day in 2016 when on Bastille Day, a terrorist attack was carried out in Nice by using a truck to drive through the crowds killing 85 people and injuring more that 300 others.

The terrorist was shot by police.