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Nikola Tesla – Unsung Prophet of Electrical Age

Nikola Tesla – Unsung Prophet of Electrical Age

If you ask anyone or check up in the encyclopaedia, who invented the radio or X-rays, chances are you will never come across the name of Nikola Tesla there. Look up fluorescent bulb, neon lights, car ignition system, electron microscope, microwave oven and many others – you can search page after page but your search will turn up zilch on Tesla in any normal reference book. In fact very few have heard of Nikola Tesla, a brilliant scientist who lived at the turn of the century....

What is Ham Radio?

What is Ham Radio?

Consider this, your state has been hit by a cyclone with wind speeds measuring 300 kilometres per hour. All modern means of communication – telephone, cellphone, wireless sets – lie dead as the cyclone has destroyed all connecting stations and links. This is what happened during the Orissa cyclone. All communication links broke down as dish antennas, radio stations, telephone lines, satellite links were destroyed. There was no way people could contact the outside world. This was when a bunch of amateurs, students and radio enthusiasts got together to set up something called an amateur radio or ham radio station....

Who Invented the Frisbee?

Who Invented the Frisbee?

At first glance in the park or at the beach, you may confuse it for an UFO (unidentified flying object) and rush home thinking the Martians have really landed from outer space! Soon it becomes clear that the “spacecraft” is actually a harmless toy — a colourful Frisbee, and the creature from outer space is the boy next door! Today, almost all of us have seen one or sent a Frisbee gliding through air. We have seen dogs chase it and leap to catch these flying discs....

What does SOS mean?

What does SOS mean?

Recently, sailors on the nuclear submarine that sank in the Baltic Sea were isolated from rescue workers as their radio set got damaged. Luckily their radio operators knew the Morse code and were able to communicate by knocking on the sides of the ship. There are many explanations for what the words stand for: Save Our Souls; Save Our Ship; Send Our Succour… The meaning of all three is the same – it is a plea for help by someone in distress....

Logging on to Aliens

Logging on to Aliens

Do you believe that there might be life on other planets? Would you like to be the first ‘Earthling’ to make contact with an alien? Well, you can start your search from home. All you need is a computer and Internet access, and you can join the project of the US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Logging on to Aliens [Illustrations by Kusum Chamoli] NASA launched the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, eight years ago....

Which Film Stars were Inventors Too?

Which Film Stars were Inventors Too?

Most movie fans have seen or at least heard of Hollywood legends Hedy Lamarr and Steve McQueen. But how many know that these two were inventors who have significantly changed our lives. Nobody? Not surprising. But it’s true. Hedy Lamarr and Steve McQueen were both Hollywood stars and inventors. Hedy Lamarr thought of torpedoes guided by radio signals and Steve McQueen invented the bucket seat that has revolutionised the automobile industry. However, Hedy’s invention was never used for the purpose invented....

Frank Conrad's Garage

Where: Pittsburgh, USA July 22, 2000: Over eighty years ago, the first commercial broadcast on radio occurred in a garage in Pittsburgh, US. Today, the garage and the house it is part of, are up for sale, according to a brief report in ‘The Asian Age’. The garage and house had then belonged to engineer, Frank Conrad. Conrad had 200 patents on the radio, which meant that he had official documents that gave him the right to make, sell or use the radio....

A Monster in Tokyo…

A Monster in Tokyo…

It happened one evening in May, 53 years ago, in 1947. Many people in Tokyo had switched on to the American Armed Forces Radio Station. It was two years since the Second World War had ended and Japan had been defeated. But the Americans were still around. And so was their radio station. Around 7 pm, the radio programme was interrupted. An announcer screamed that a huge sea monster had risen from the sea. A Monster in Tokyo… [] It was more than 20 feet long....

How Did Advertising Start in India?

How Did Advertising Start in India?

The first newspaper in India was brought out by an Englishman James Augustus Hickey in 1780 who was stationed at Calcutta. The paper was brought out on Saturdays and was first called the Calcutta General Advertiser or Hickey’s Bengal Gazette. Publishing a newspaper is an expensive business as Hickey realised to his cost. He was losing money faster than the newspapers came out of the printing press. To make ends meet, Hickey decided to take on advertisements or ads....

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