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Technology Trivia

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The first flexible, rolled film for still photographs was introduced only about 4 years before the first motion picture was made.

The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.

The first manned spacecraft to be launched was the Soviet's Vostok 1, which left Earth in 1961.

The first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1935.

"MIDI" stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a standard means of sending digitally encoded information about music between electronic devices, often between synthesizers and computers.

Time magazine named the computer its "Man of the Year" in 1982.

A 1999 survey of 25,500 standard English-language dictionary words found that 93 percent of them have been registered as dot-coms.

A 2001 study conducted by PC Data and Information Resources Inc. showed that greeting cards, soup, breakfast cereal, and Imodium were among the most popular package goods bought online.

A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber. A ball of solid steel will bounce higher than one made entirely of glass.

A bicycle headlight mostly allows others to see you. However, some of the brighter lights do aid nighttime vision. Most lights range in wattage from 2.4 to 20. Police-department bikes in the United States use a minimum of 15 watts.

A car operates at maximum economy, gas-wise, at speeds between 25 and 35 miles per hour.

A chest X-ray is comprised of 90,000 to 130,000 electron volts.

A chip of silicon a quarter-inch square has the capacity of the original 1949 ENIAC computer, which occupied a full city block.

A computer on a chip that today costs $10 is equal in performance to systems costing $100,000 three decades ago.

A device invented as a primitive steam engine by the Greek engineer Hero, about the time of the birth of Christ, is used today as a rotating lawn sprinkler.

A floppy disk drive on a home computer usually doesn't need to be cleaned more than twice a year. If used too often, cleaning disks can scratch recording heads and throw the disk drive out of adjustment.

A four-engine jet can land safely on just one engine.

A frog is a device at the intersection of two railroad tracks to permit the wheels and flanges on one track to cross or branch for the other.

A machine has been invented that can read printed English books aloud to the blind, and it can do so at speed half again as fast as normal speech.

A mangonel was a piece of military equipment used to launch stones.

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