The man known as "Hide the Pain Harold" is named AratΓ³ AndrΓ‘s. He is a retired Hungarian electrical engineer turned stock photography model and stumbled upon himself as a meme when he was looking up stock photos of himself to see how they turned out. independent.co.uk/arts-en…
In 1978 an architectural student discovered that a skyscraper in NY could topple if strong winds hit the building. The engineer that is credited for designing the building then made secret nightly repairs in collaboration with the NYPD, without alerting the general public to the danger 99percentinvisible.org/ep…
Today I learned of the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant. It was much closer to the epicenter of the 2011 Earthquake than the Fukushima Power Plant, yet it sustained only minor damage and even housed tsunami evacuees. It's safety is credited to engineer Hirai Yanosuke who insisted it have a 14m (46FT) tall sea wall en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ona…
Before Alan Turing and co. began their work on cracking the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park, three Polish mathematicians (Rejewski, RΓ³zycki & Zygalski) demonstrated that the Nazi code was breakable and even managed to reverse engineer an Enigma machine bbc.com/news/uk-england-b…
A California dam collapse in 1928 is considered one of the worst engineering disasters in US history. Its chief engineer took sole responsibility, testifying, "If there was an error in human judgment, I was the human." Over 400 people were killed when the dam failed in the middle of the night. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St.…
Today I learned of CSX 8888, known as "crazy eights": A runaway train that ran uncontrolled through Ohio for two hours at up to 82 km/h. Police tried to stop it by shooting at a fuel cut-off switch and it was eventually stopped by a second locomotive chasing behind it so an engineer could jump aboard. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSX…
Today I learned of TempleOS. An operating system written entirely by schizophrenic programmer Terry Davis, who believed his code was a third temple that could talk to God. The innovative os has been noted for its speed, one engineer noting Davis would have been another Wozniak or Jobs were he not mentally ill. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tem…
CRISPR technology has been applied in the food and farming industries to engineer probiotic cultures and to immunize industrial cultures (for yogurt, for instance) versus infections. It is also being used in crops to enhance yield, drought tolerance and nutritional homes en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRI…
In 1984 Thomas Cavanaugh, an aerospace engineer. Was sentenced to life in prison for stealing classified documents about the B-2 stealth bomber and trying to sell them to the Soviet Union for only $25,000. cia.gov/library/readingro…
NASA is under presidential orders to land humans on Mars by 2033, and NASA-funded engineers are studying a way to build potential human habitats there by producing bricks from pressurized Martian soil. independent.co.uk/news/sc…
Slinky was invented by sheer accident. A naval engineer Richard James was designated to come up with a device that would secure equipment on ships while they rocked at sea. When he accidentally dropped the coiled wires, he was tinkering with, he saw them tumble end-over-end across the floor. smithsonianmag.com/innova…
Famed Grateful Dead sound engineer Better Cantor Jackson lost over 1000 original board tapes when her storage locker was liquidated in a sale. Some of the tapes inside crates were purchased by a teacher who tried to sell them for $1 million despite being offered $100,000 by the band. newyorker.com/magazine/20…
In parts of India, coconut tree climbers earn more money than software engineers. english.mathrubhumi.com/f…
In 1896 two locomotives were deliberately crashed together as a promotional event for the railroad in Crush, Texas. Over 40K people attended. Engineers had assured the organizers that it would be safe, but when both boilers exploded on impact two spectators were killed and several more injured. atlasobscura.com/articles…
Engineers in Canada receive an Iron Ring to remind them to have humility and follow highest engineering standards. It is proudly worn on a pinky of working hand and is given in a non-public ritual authored by Rudyard Kipling en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iro…
Today I learned about the Battle of Manila Bay (1898) which was a decisive victory for the US Navy where they sunk all seven Spanish cruisers plus a transport ship and only lost one American life: Chief Engineer Francis B. Randall, who died of a heart attack. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
To design a spacesuit that would let astronauts walk on the moon, NASA's engineers studied Henry VIII's (1491-1547) armor as a mix of protection and mobility. In thanks, NASA sent a replica Apollo suit to London to be photographed next to Henry's armor. historyextra.com/period/n…
The "Slow - Children At Play" signs are not accepted by road engineers or public works officials, and can do more harm than good, such as when there aren't kids playing in the street, drivers can become immune to the warning and ignore it generally. slate.com/human-interest/…
Today I learned about AndrΓ‘s IstvΓ‘n AratΓ³, the Hungarian Electrical engineer who accidentally became an internet meme called β€œHide the Pain Harold” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And…
One of Hitler's favourite engineers, Werner von Braun was a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the United States time.com/5627637/nasa-naz…
Doubling the ventilation rate from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers minimum cost less than $40 per person per year and improved the performance of workers by 8%, equivalent to a $6500 increase in employee productivity each year. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
The Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering Ancient Egyptian, was found in 1799 during the French military expedition to Egypt, by a French Army engineer captain named Pierre-Francois Bouchard. Bouchard had been part of a unit tasked with restoring an old fort, where he spotted the slab. discoveringegypt.com/egyp…
The term "bug" existed before a real bug in a computer caused it to crash, and that the term was used before by electrical engineers to refer to hard-to-find physical defects that hindered the operation of an electric device. sites.harvard.edu/~chsi/m…
There's an engineer, in the woods near Portland Oregon, who lives in an old Boeing 727 since 1999 awesomeinventions.com/boe…
In 1452 a Hungarian engineer, known as Orban, offered to sell an extremely powerful cannon to the Roman Emperor. He refused, so Orban instead sold the cannon to the Ottoman emperor, who used it to breach the walls of Constantinople in 1453, which brought the end to the Roman Empire wikipedia.org/wiki/Orban
Steven Spielberg's father, Arnold Spielberg, traveled to Moscow as part of a delegation of electrical engineers from Phoenix. The trip coincided with an incident that is the subject of Steven Spielberg's 2015 film "Bridge of Spies." He is also still alive today at 103 years old. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arn…
Engineers at IBM had to hand weave their memory 14KB in total for both control and redundancy of their flight computer in the SATURN V launch vehicle. Wire shaped inside the mesh represented a bit based on the magnetic field generated by the direction of current flowing through it. youtube.com/watch?v=dI-JW…
Hughes engineers swung a satellite around the Moon and approached earth from a 'stealthy' direction, "downwards from the Moon rather than up from the ground, the way we typically think of missile launches by aggressor nations." airspacemag.com/daily-pla…
The Turboencabulator is a fictional technobabble device and an in-joke among engineers. The idea was invented in 1944 and featured in Time Magazine in 1946, confusing many readers. Companies such as GE and Chrysler have released joke data sheets and training videos for the device. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tur…
Kate Bush has only toured once, the Tour of Life, which ran for six weeks in 1979. The BBC suggested that she may have quit touring due to a fear of flying, or because of the death of a lighting engineer, Bill Duffield, who was killed in an accident during a warmup concert. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kat…
In 2009 a man in England broke into 72-year-old Frank Corti’s home and tried to rob him with a knife, but the retired boxer and Royal Engineer gave him a black eye and bloodied face instead. i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/n…
In the 1960s, the CEO of Ampex wanted his employees to take LSD to improve their creativity. The board of directors said no, and then had to fire him after they discovered he'd snuck off anyway on a mountain hike with seven or eight engineers and given them LSD. siliconvalleywatcher.com/…
In response to the cholera outbreak of 1854, Chicago engineers decided to install a sewage system by raising the grade of the city by up to 14 feet. That is, they literally put buildings on stilts and buried the new sewer pipes under the buildings. enjoyillinois.com/illinoi…
Ben Rich, legendary Skunk Works engineer behind the propulsion system of the SR-71 Blackbird and creator of the F-117 Nighthawk, adopted the alias β€œBen Dover” in order to protect the top secret operations of designing Cold War-era stealth aircraft. britannica.com/biography/…
Charles Joseph Minard was French Civil engineer and pioneer of info-graphics. Minard is famous for his flow graphs, one notably showing the trade of French wine. Information designer Edward Tufte said his map of the French invasion of Russia, "may well be the best statistical graphic ever drawn" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Building contractors and architectural engineers in Alaska have an adage when it comes to building in the Arctic or near-Arctic regions: "If it’s frozen, keep it frozen; if it’s thawed, keep it thawed". akbizmag.com/industry/arc…
Today I learned of Bayocean, Oregon. A city that sank into the Pacific Ocean because they were told by military engineers to build two jetties but could only afford one, so they built the one making problems worse. oregoncoast101.com/articl…
Write-only memory is a joke among computer and software engineers. Initially there was no use for a memory circuit from which data could not be retrieved. The first use of the term is generally attributed to Signetics in 1972 and is featured in the Apple IIe Reference Manual. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wri…
Velcro is the name brand of Hook and Loop Fastener. It was invented in the 40s by a Swiss engineer and patterned after cockleburrs, burdock seeds that would stick to his pants and in his dog's fur. He looked at them under a microscope and was inspired to recreate it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoo…
Laugh tracks were the invention of a sound engineer named Charles Douglass, whose Laff Box machine helped him corner the market during the golden age of TV. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Grazing animals such as horses and bison are known to engineer the landscape around them, for example suppressing the growth of trees by trampling or eating saplings. When this process is harnessed to restore an ecosystem to a previous state it is called rewilding. phys.org/news/2020-01-rew…
Spain’s S-80 submarine program designed subs that were 70 tonnes too heavy, and likely sink when submerged. Cost overruns to fix it are expected to reach $9 billion. The problem was traced back to an engineer misplacing a decimal point, and had been called the most expensive math error ever. o.canada.com/news/spain-b…
A British engineer won Β£1.5 million from a Β£2 bet. He correctly picked 6 winners in a running jackpot and bet on a horse that had lost 28 races. theguardian.com/sport/201…
Led Zeppelin drummer Jon Bonham was told by a sound engineer that he was 'unrecordable' and 'too loud.' Bonham later sent him a gold certificate of Zeppelin I with a note saying 'thanks for the advice'. johnbonham.co.uk/biograph…
John Henry Patterson, the engineer famous for killing the Tsavo lions was, while Protestant, the leader of the first all Jewish military unit in WWI and is a celebrated person in Israel today en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh…
Future US President Hoover Had to Spend 14 Days in Quarantine after arriving in Australia as a Young Mining Engineer in 1898 kalgoorlietourism.com/her…
When Lumber Baron William E Boeing created the Boeing Airplane Company in 1917 the company depended on designs from their first aeronautical engineer hire, Chinese MIT grad Wong Tsu. He worked for a year with the company before returning to China. He fled to Taiwan when Mao took over China en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Won…
There is a belief that most of the people in laugh tracks are dead as most audio is from the 1950s. There was a period when the few tracks of laughter meant anyone in audio work could predict the laugh order, but as TV audio engineers updated their reels both have become less true/harder to do. bbc.com/culture/story/201…
Jack Black's older half brother, Neil Siegel, is a prolific computer scientist and engineer who has developed key systems for the US military and inventions that make GPS possible in our phones. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nei…
In November 2014, Mattel received criticism over the book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, which depicted Barbie as being inept at computers and requiring that her two male friends complete all of the necessary tasks to restore two laptops after she downloads a virus onto both of them. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar…
In World War II, a few engineers wanted to reinforce the (returned) fighter planes where most of the bullet holes were. Mr. Abraham Wald then said: Let's reinforce them where no bullet holes are instead - because apparently, airplanes hit in these spots did NOT return. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sur…
The first SMS text message ever sent was on December 3, 1992. It was sent by a 22 year old test engineer from his computer to a phone. The message simply read "Merry Christmas". npr.org/2017/12/04/568393…
A flying car, the Aerocar, was invented in 1954 by an aeronautical engineer named Molt Taylor. It is the only car in the US to be certified for flight by the FAA. ktar.com/story/2903805/19…
Szilveszter Matuska was a Hungarian mass murderer and mechanical engineer who made two successful and at least two unsuccessful attempts to derail passenger trains. Matuska's motives remain unclear, although it was reported that he achieved orgasm while watching the trains crash. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szi…
Today I learned of No Kum-sok, a North Korean pilot who defected in his MiG-15, allowing the Wests first look at the fighter. As part of Operation Moolah, he was given $100k and later became a US Citizen and aeronautical engineer en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_…
During World War I, both sides used fake trees as spy posts. To make them, engineers would find a dead tree, then take sketches of it and make a detailed replica. At night, they would then would tear out the original tree and replace it with the fake. smithsonianmag.com/travel…
Pringles had to use supercomputers to engineer their chips with optimal aerodynamic properties so that they wouldn't fly off the conveyor belts when moving at very high speeds. hpcwire.com/2006/05/05/hi…
Today I learned about Vic Tandy, an engineer who established a connection between supposed paranormal activity and infrasound frequency (~19Hz), which is below the range of human hearing and also roughly the resonant frequency of our eyeballs, causing some people to 'see' things that aren't there. gizmodo.com/some-ghosts-m…
While other birds have to sit on nests and use their body heat to incubate their eggs, incubator birds are more like engineers and have a very good solution. They pile plant debris on their eggs and make use of the heat of composting to hatch their eggs, essentially creating a mini greenhouse. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meg…
Today I learned of BartholomΓ€us Traubeck, an artist and engineer who discovered how to make music from tree rings. β€œA record player that plays slices of wood, [in which] year ring data is translated into music." The trees year rings are analyzed and this data is used to generate piano music. canyouactually.com/when-y…
In the 1920's newly hired engineers at General Electric would be told, as a joke, to develop a frosted lightbulb. The experienced engineers believed this to be impossible. In 1925, newly hired Marvin Pipkin got the assignment not realizing it was a joke and succeeded. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
Today I learned about Gilbert Seltzer - a WW2 veteran who lead a secret platoon of men within a unit dubbed the 'Ghost Army'. Made up of artists, creatives & engineers, their job was creating deception about the enemy. From inflatable tanks to scripted bar conversations, this unit's work led to big US wins. npr.org/2019/05/25/726228…
MIT engineers have created a robotic, snake-like thread that can navigate through narrow blood vessels in the brain, promising treatment for strokes and other blockages. news.mit.edu/2019/robot-b…
5 ft tall, 100 lbs Edward Leedskalnin single-handedly & secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock to create a castle with a stone living room, rocking chairs, beds, bath, and dining table - known as Coral Castle. Engineers aren’t sure how Ed, a mason from Latvia, created the sculptures. coralcastle.com
The first known vending machine was invented by the Greek engineer and mathematician Hero of Alexandria around 215 BC. These first vending machines were located in Egyptian temples and dispensed holy water in exchange for coins. gumballs.com/history-of-v…
, The Secret about Sony's PlayStation VR Headset- One of the most popular VR headsets on the market today includes PlayStation VR (PSVR). It was secretly developed by a small group of Sony engineers in a lab and supervisors didn't know about it until it was complete. polygon.com/2016/3/9/1117…
Today I learned about β€œray cats”, an idea to genetically engineer cats, which would change color in the presence of radiation and serve as a warning to humans of contamination. mentalfloss.com/article/2…
Roger Boisjoly was an engineer working at NASA in 1986 that predicted that the O-rings on the Challenger would fail and tried to abort the mission but nobody listened to him npr.org/sections/thetwo-w…
The principal designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, Department of Defense engineer Noshir Gowadia, was convicted in 2001 of using classified information to assist the People's Republic of China in producing cruise missiles with stealth technology. He was sentenced to 32 Years. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADX…
Today I learned about the Wobbly Bridge in London. In June 2000 pedestrians walking across the new Millennium Bridge unconsciously synced up their steps with the bridge's natural movement, causing it to sway more than intended. Fearing collapse, engineers closed the bridge for 2 years to address the problem. youtu.be/gQK21572oSU
One of the most powerful unions in New York City in the 1960's was the Bagel Bakers Local 338. They made far more money than engineers, policemen, and teachers at the time. If they went on strike, bagels simply weren't available since the process hadn't been automated yet. getpocket.com/explore/ite…
US President Herbert Hoover was a mining engineer in Australia before he entered politics, and he also translated a medieval Latin book on mining called "De Re Metallica" into English. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her…
When NASA was preparing for Sally Ride to travel as the first American female astronaut, engineers initially were at a loss about how many tampons to send. β€œIs 100 the right number?” they asked her. β€œNo. That would not be the right number,” she replied. popsci.com/brief-history-…
NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter burned up in the Martian atmosphere because engineers failed to convert units from English to metric vice.com/en_us/article/qk…
A former engineer in Japan claims to be the only heir to authentic ninjutsu. In his 60s, Jinichi Kawakami decided he will not appoint anyone as the next ninja grandmaster, saying: "we now have guns, the internet and much better medicines, so the art of ninjutsu has no place in the modern age." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin…
Today I learned of the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant. It was much closer to the epicenter of the 2011 Earthquake than the Fukushima Power Plant, yet it sustained only minor damage and even housed tsunami evacuees. It's safety is credited to engineer Hirai Yanosuke who insisted it have a 14m (46FT) tall sea wall en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ona…
President Kennedy wanted to go to Mars not the Moon – but engineers told him it was 'a little bit too far'. Nasa told him it would take at least 15 years before we could put a man on the Moon after a weekend of intense calculations ibtimes.co.uk/jfk-wanted-…
Car makers employ sound engineers to give car doors that satisfying 'thunk' when closed. bmwblog.com/2014/12/22/pe…
Greek architect-engineer and town planner Constantinos Doxiadis designed Pakistan's capital of Islamabad in 1960. Doxiadis planned generous public spaces around the mountains, hillocks, plain and ravines. His aim was to use an urban agro-farm model that would keep the city connected with nature thefridaytimes.com/the-ar…
The Toyota Land Cruiser originated after the Imperial Japanese Army captured an American Jeep during World War II and ordered Toyota to reverse-engineer it en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy…
The Statue of Liberty was originally a dull copper color, but after 20 years it oxidized and was covered in green petina. Congress wanted to paint away the corrosion, but the Army Corps of Engineers concluded it "softened the outlines of the Statue and made it beautiful." en.wikipedia.org/w/index.…
Ford almost bought Ferrari in the early 60's, but Enzo Ferrari killed the deal when he learned he wouldn't oversee the racing division anymore. Henry Ford II was so pissed that he directed his engineers to build a car that would beat Ferrari at Le Mans, which it did from 1966–1969. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For…
Today I learned about Ben's Game. Ben Duskin was a Make-A-Wish kid with leukemia, and his wish was to develop a game about fighting cancer. After getting several offers, Ben worked with Eric Johnston, a software engineer from LucasArts. The game was finished and made available for free in several hospitals. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben…
The first Aeronautical Engineer for Boeing was an MIT educated Chinese naval officer hired in 1916 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Won…
The real-life son of Star Trek's chief engineer Scotty has a credited cameo in the transporter room in Star Trek Into Darkness. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam…
A FedEx flight engineer tried to hijack a cargo plane by bludgeoning the pilots with hammers and threatening them with a speargun. He hoped to stage an accident so family could collect life insurance. While others fought back, the pilot flew at record speeds and rolled violently, saving them. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fed…
The famous science fiction novel The War of the Worlds inspired engineer Robert H. Goddard to invent the liquid fuel rocket and multistage rocket, making the Apollo moon landings possible. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
More than 1,500 German scientists, engineers and technicians (many of whom were formerly registered members of the Nazi Party, some were party leaders) were recruited and brought to the United States. After World War II they were hired under Operation Paperclip. aviationtrailinc.org/sing…
Engineers figured out how to build a nuclear-powered plane without hurting the crew, but it failed cost/benefit analysis and was cancelled freethink.com/articles/fo…
The phrase "A-OK" originated from NASA engineers who used it during radio transmission tests because "the sharper sound of A cut through the static better than O" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-o…
Dnieper Hydroelectric Station project used the experience gained from the construction of the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations at Niagara Falls among others. Six American engineers were awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour for it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dni…
The inventor of the Super Soaker & Nerf Gun was a nuclear engineer, Tuskegee University Ph.D. and former NASA scientist. ajc.com/business/super-so…
Today I learned about Yasuteru Yamada, a retired engineer who after watching the news coverage of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, organized a group of 200+ fellow retirees and volunteered to go to the site and assist in the cleanup so the younger generation didn't have to and risk exposure to radiation. af.reuters.com/article/en…
Engineers have the 5th highest suicide rate of all professions, right after factory workers. cbsnews.com/news
By 400 BC, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yak…
Engineers at Purdue University got together in 90s on the best way to light a BBQ grill. They started with a hair dryer and ended with liquid oxygen. Link to video in the comments. physics.sfsu.edu/~dnideve…
TPS reports in the movie Office Space are actually a thing in engineering firms, as the actors were portrayed as software engineers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TPS…
Today I learned of El Mahrousa, the official presidential Super-Yacht of Egypt. It was built in 1863 by English engineers, it's the oldest yet still the 9th largest Yacht in the world. It has carried three Egyptian leaders into exile, ended a dynasty, and carried the Egyptian delegation to the 1979 peace talks en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_…
Some parts in Billie Eilish's songs were intentionally so heavily distorted by the producer and mixing engineer "just to make people feel uncomfortable" waves.com/breaking-the-mi…
Today I learned about 'Kiss and Ride', a type of commuting that city engineers view as important. It is when one person drives another person to a transportation hub (bus, train, or airport) to finish their commute, thus the *kiss* when they are dropped off/picked up! waywordradio.org/kiss_and…

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