October 29, 2009 |
Fred E. Shashoua, 78, of Cherry Hill, an inventor and retired aerospace engineer, died of complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma Oct. 19 at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. In 1962, while an engineer at RCA in Camden, Mr. Shashoua developed an electronic machine for setting Chinese type. The device was a "revolutionary change" from setting Chinese type by hand from more than 5,000 characters, according to a New York Times account at the time. Mr. Shashoua's patented invention used fiber optics and television techniques to reproduce the characters rapidly on film, then transfer them to lithograph plates for offset printing.
October 1, 2009 |
"The Invention of Lying" turns out to be "Bruce Almighty" for atheists. Where the latter was a comedy about a man who taps into God's power, the former is a comedy about a man who acquires power by inventing God. It takes place in an alternate universe wherein mankind has evolved to be completely honest. Lying is unknown - indeed, men are incapable of lying. The movie (written by and starring Ricky Gervais) is funniest in the early going, when we see what life is like in a scrupulously candid society where there is no tact, because there is no need for it. Gervais plays Mark, a dumpy bachelor who endures a humiliating date with a gorgeous girl (Jennifer Garner)
May 17, 2009 |
A Street administration initiative to rid city neighborhoods of derelict rowhouses addressed one problem but created another: Energy-inefficient conditions inside the adjoining homes left standing. Regardless of how aesthetically unappealing blighted properties are, they help insulate the rowhouses on either side of them. Once those brick blankets are demolished, the properties that remain are harder to keep warm in winter and cool in summer without cranking thermostats or air conditioners.
November 30, 2008 |
Ed Dougherty is a sports fan, but he watches games differently from the rest of us, seeing possibilities for innovation. A robot that can automatically draw the lines on a football field, including the logo. An instrumented football helmet that measures impact and "can tell us a lot about the player. " Blocking dummies that measure both force and the angle of the force. Dougherty is an engineer working on designs for all these ideas, plus others that are just on his drawing board, such as a camera that "is half-airplane, for use in horse racing and NASCAR.
July 6, 2008 |
Like many other inventors, Martin Schneider got his start by noticing a problem. The players on his sister's softball team didn't know how to grip the bat; the coach interrupted play again and again to show them. "If there was something on the bat that would help them know where to put their hands, it would be helpful," Martin recalled thinking. Martin, 11, who will be a sixth grader this fall at Sandy Run Middle School in Upper Dublin, found the answer: a rubbery material that could accept ink and be peeled off for use on more than one bat. Using a child's hand for size, the boy cut out the pliable clover-shaped form.
June 27, 2008 |
In a city that has sushi in supermarket aisles and is home to the original Morimoto Restaurant, you'd think you have your bases covered and wouldn't look to the Northeast for a raw fish fix. But, I'd been hearing about a place near Five Points that had been luring nearby Montgomery County suburbanites over the border for eight years. It was time to venture forth and find Nemo. Makiman Sushi is owned and run by Executive Chef Peter Hong and his wife, Kimberly Cunliffe. Hong's first kitchen job was as a dishwasher at Fuji Yama Mama in New York City.
February 18, 2008 |
If you're one of the people who couldn't quite follow all the steps in the intricate little folk dance the Bush administration performed around the torture issue recently, don't feel left out. Ostensibly, all the back-and-forth was about the legality of waterboarding, an ancient form of torture that involves threatening a captive with death by drowning until he tells you what you want to know. The Central Intelligence Agency now admits that, acting under orders from the White House in 2003 and 2004, it waterboarded three "high value" al-Qaeda prisoners.
January 1, 2008 |
When Iowa farm product Philo Farnsworth invented the first television in 1926, little did he know that the recognition of the world-changing invention was soon to be bestowed upon RCA Corp. in New York. Just over a decade later, another invention of humongous proportions both in girth and life impact was being developed in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. So, too, the inventors and location of that first commercial computer - the ENIAC - would become mere footnotes next to the names of Apple, Macintosh, Gates and Silicon Valley.
July 23, 2007 |
Just when you thought the war in Iraq couldn't get any stranger, a high-ranking al-Qaeda figure who was first captured and then killed - his body displayed on state-run TV - turns out to have been a fiction. He didn't exist. The apparently invented character called Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was known as the head of the Islamic State of Iraq - believed to be a front group for al-Qaeda. He wasn't captured, as was reported previously. He wasn't killed May 1 by hostile fire from U.S. forces, as reported in a May 3 New York Times story.
July 16, 2007 |
In an effort to encourage more faculty inventions and commercialize discoveries, the University of Pennsylvania has hired the guy doing that job at another Ivy League school - Columbia University. Michael J. Cleare for the last seven years has been in charge of Columbia's technology-transfer strategy, handling licensing deals with business, getting industry-sponsored research collaborations, creating tiny start-up firms, and building rapport with Columbia faculty. Starting Aug. 1, he will do the same thing at Penn, where he will be associate vice provost for research and executive director of the Center for Technology Transfer.