Sputnik's 50th Anniversery
Today's New York Times devoted the entire Science section to honoring the 50th anniversery of Sputnik. Sputnik was a watershed event in human history - it changed everything. I wasn't alive at the time, but I can imagine the sense of awe and wonder that the little "beep beep beep" coming back from space must have made on those hearing it at the time. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957 and wasted no time trumpeting their triumph. in a stare down with the U.S. over the sites of both countries' newly crafted nuclear arsenals, the Soviets were only too glad to use this technological triumph to strike fear into the hearts of America's techological and industrial mighty.
It is Sputnik that catalyzed the creation on NASA, DARPA (and, therefore, the Internet) and the computer industry. It jump started and invigorated a technology revolution that has had enormous and mostly beneficial implications for the global economy. What the world needs now is a Sputnik for education or food production.
Visit the Times' site and view Sputnik inside and out. If you're too young to remember Sputnik, go learn why its such an important event in human history.