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5 greatest life-changing inventions since 1900?...


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#1 of 42 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 18 2006 - 05:00 AM

Since 1900(of a little before) what are the most life-changing (society wise)?

-Telephone
-Air-Conditioning (opened up the south to the masses)
-Automobile
-Airplane
-Computer/Internet

On a side question. What medical advance has made the most difference?

-Penicillin
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 42 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 18 2006 - 05:45 AM

The telephone predates the last century.

I would say the transistor (the basic building block of electronics), rather than computers/internet.

I don't think AC belongs anywhere on such a list (hard to believe on a day like this eh?).

--
H

#3 of 42 OFFLINE   Jed M

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Posted July 18 2006 - 05:46 AM

Personally, I think Air Conditioning belongs on the top of that list. Posted Image
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
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#4 of 42 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 18 2006 - 05:54 AM

The automobile, while not a single invention, certainly dates well before 1900. Steam powered vehicles have been around since the 1770s (the first was a tractor-type), electric cars since the 1830s and gasoline powered ones since the 1880s—two now famous names, Daimler (invented the gas engine) and Benz the car (at least he had the first patent for a car) were major contributors.
¡Time is not my master!

#5 of 42 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 18 2006 - 05:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
The telephone predates the last century.

I would say the transistor (the basic building block of electronics), rather than computers/internet.

I don't think AC belongs anywhere on such a list (hard to believe on a day like this eh?).

--
H
I agree about air conditioning—a luxury and nice to have in some climates at some times, but nothing essential.

The transistor is a good nominee, and as furtherance, I’d suggest the integrated circuit—the chips today are mind-boggling.
¡Time is not my master!

#6 of 42 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 18 2006 - 06:00 AM

I suggest TV in place of AC
¡Time is not my master!

#7 of 42 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted July 18 2006 - 06:22 AM

The vibrator.

#8 of 42 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted July 18 2006 - 06:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen
I suggest TV in place of AC

Me too. Here's mine:

1) Transistor
2) Integrated Circuit
3) Sputnik
4) TV
5) (sadly in some ways, but certainly changed the world) Atomic Weapons

#9 of 42 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted July 18 2006 - 06:32 AM

I was also going to say nuclear. It changed a LOT of things.

I agree that TV should be on the list, and I also agree that the internet should not only be on it, but at the top.

Most of the technologies have a common thread. Communication over distances...either traveling or directly talking. The internet has taken that to a much higher level, and in my lifetime, the language barrier will be a thing of the past. The internet is connecting the world Posted Image
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#10 of 42 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted July 18 2006 - 07:46 AM

Telephone and Automobile are both late 19th century technologies. But my personal top 5 are

*Interstate/Intercountry paved roads
*airplane
*computer
*electric heat (no more indoor coal fires!) electric AC is certainly the 20th centuries best "luxury", but safe house heat is a bit more vital.
*household refridgerator

Medical tech? organ transplants, penicillin, insulin, x-ray, and MRI were the centuries big advancements. Most "modern" surgical procedures (trepanning, catarac, permenant false teeth implants) date back to ancient Rome. blood transfusions & painkillers/anestheics (morphine, heroin, ether) are 19th century except for unprocessed opium which Alexander the great was feeding to his troops way back when.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#11 of 42 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted July 18 2006 - 07:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Mayer
The internet has taken that to a much higher level, and in my lifetime, the language barrier will be a thing of the past. The internet is connecting the world Posted Image
I think the internet will be the best thing since the malaria vaccine for the decimation of lesser-known languages/dialects the world over.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#12 of 42 OFFLINE   Jeff Savage

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Posted July 18 2006 - 07:50 AM

Humm this is hard but right now my top five would be:

1) A/C Power Distribution (tested in the 1880's but not really widespread until after the 1900's)
2) Wireless TransmissionsBroadcasts
3) Pre Tensioned Concrete Building methods
4) Transistor
5) Computer Aided Design

Laters,
Jeff
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#13 of 42 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted July 18 2006 - 07:57 AM

What about penicillin? Does that count as an invention?
Luckily, right at that moment, an unconscious Argentinean fell through my roof.

He was quickly joined by a dwarf dressed as a nun.

#14 of 42 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted July 18 2006 - 07:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
The vibrator.

Also not a XX-century development! They were quite common in the late XIX, although in those days they tended to be fixed-mount rather than portable, and were mostly found in doctors' offices (for treatment of "hysteria"). Posted Image

#15 of 42 OFFLINE   Janna S

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:03 AM

Perhaps this is not an invention in the usual sense of the word - rather it's a refinement - but there is no doubt in my mind that it's the development of reliable, available, legal contraception.

#16 of 42 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:05 AM

If you're being serious about this, then:

(1) antibiotics (not just their life-saving properties - in absolute terms, good water sanitation and innoculation have saved immeasurably more lives; but the major boost to biochemical treatment of medicine the discovery of penicillin provided)
(2) high yield cereal strains (you think a lot of people have starved in the world? without these, we'd all be starving)
(3) the discovery of DNA (not an invention as such, but what the discovery triggered)
(4) transistors (the basis of all modern electronics)
(5) the standardised intelligence test (not all that important in itself, but it kick-started our modern obsession with grading and assessing)

I might be prepared to swap (5) for Janna's contraception (if you see what I mean!). However, the two ideas are more similar than might at first be supposed. E.g. eugenicists were keen to use the IQ test to 'prove' their crackbrain theories, and likewise,the eugenicists were strong supporters of legalised contraception (i.e. stopping the lower orders breeding). E.g. it's not very widely known that the vascectomy was invented as a 'humane' method of sterilising males considered mentally inferior.

#17 of 42 OFFLINE   Raasean Asaad

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:11 AM

Modern Birth Control,

it single handedly (no pun intended) revolutionized the relations between the sexes.
Good lord, there's nothing worse than the foul stench of desperation when someone wants to be famous.

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#18 of 42 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:13 AM

Sliced Bread.

Indoor Plumbing.

--
H

#19 of 42 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Sliced Bread.

Indoor Plumbing.

--
H

Pretty sure the Romans had both of these. Posted Image

#20 of 42 OFFLINE   Ray Chuang

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Posted July 18 2006 - 08:39 AM

Air conditioning has to be up there because while it was an outgrowth of mechanical refrigeration systems developed late in the 19th Century, it was Willis Carrier that developed A/C as we know it today. Its first application was to prevent factory machinery from overheating, and when A/C became available for homes it made it possible for large-scale migration of people to the warmer climates of the southern USA.
Raymond in Sacramento, CA USA


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