How QWERTY conquered keyboards
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How inventions change history (for better and for worse)
Invented in 1793, the cotton gin changed history for good and bad. By allowing one field hand to do the work of 10, it powered a new industry that brought wealth and power to the American South -- but, tragically, it also multiplied and prolonged the use of slave labor. Kenneth C. Davis lauds innovation, while warning us of unintended consequences.
The treadmill’s dark and twisted past
The constant thud underneath your feet. The constrained space. The monotony of going nowhere fast. Running on a treadmill can certainly feel like torture, but did you know it was originally used for that very purpose? Conor Heffernan details the dark and twisted history of the treadmill.
Why is glass transparent?
If you look through your glasses, binoculars or a window, you see the world on the other side. How is it that something so solid can be so invisible? Mark Miodownik melts the scientific secret behind amorphous solids.