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Lancaster by John Nichol
One went so far as to say how surprised he was that they’d heard no explosions, and that the attack on London hadn’t yet commenced.2 The conversation not only confirmed the validity of the Oslo Report, now hastily resurrected, but the other pieces of information that had dribbled in since – the enemy had been quietly developing what came to be known as ‘V’ or ‘vengeance weapons’: the V1 flying bomb, which would fall to earth and detonate when its fuel ran out; the V2 rocket, which could reach targets many hundreds of miles away; and the V3 supergun, which would be able to bombard southern England from positions dug into the cliffs of northern France. Tucked away in that nondescript fishing village in northern Germany was part of the development programme that would lead to the V2 – a weapon like nothing seen before: a long-range ballistic missile, nearly 46ft high and 5.5ft wide, carrying a 27,600lb warhead.
Battle-hardened German troops would soon make a comprehensive stand in north-western Europe over the bitter midwinter, launching a month-long counteroffensive – the Battle of the Bulge – which brought the Allied advance to an unexpected standstill. Their new jet fighters were making the first forays into battle, and although the threat from V1 ‘Doodlebugs’ had disappeared as Allied land forces overran the launch sites, the more terrifying V2 rockets were still targeting south-east England, killing and maiming thousands. After five final training flights on their new squadron, Ron Needle, Harry Stunell and Ken Darke were ready to take their own war to the enemy by mid-November. Their first few ops were relatively uneventful, but then they ran into their first German fighter: a solitary JU88 over the railway yards in Heilbronn, north of Stuttgart.
Ted Watson ready for a flight Flight engineer Ted Watson’s thoughts were also turning to Christmas as he returned from a raid on two pocket battleships, the Admiral Scheer and the Lützow, moored at the northern Polish port of Gdynia. Flying low at 200mph to avoid radar and fighters, he and his crew were suddenly aware of an eerie sight. ‘A call from Jim in the rear turret made me look back over the top of our Lanc in time to see a bright, luminous vapour trail rising up and arching high into the sky over our heads. Higher and higher it went, until eventually lost to my sight. It was a V2 rocket on its way to London – the first of several I would see.’20 It hardly seemed possible to Ted that only nine years earlier, as a schoolboy, he’d been so impressed by his very first sight of an aeroplane of any kind. Now, rockets were bringing death and destruction to Antwerp, Paris, London and Maastricht. Just a few weeks earlier, one had detonated at a Woolworths department store in the south-east London district of New Cross, killing 160 people and injuring a further 108.
Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani
"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population
In a pivot away from commercial satellites and trips to the International Space Station, Musk outlined how the company’s major ambition would be manned missions to other planets. While space transportation might feel like the cutting edge of technology, no rocket has yet surpassed NASA’s Saturn V – first launched in 1967. To this day it remains the tallest, heaviest, most powerful vehicle ever built. Its design and construction were overseen by Wernher von Braun, the engineer behind Nazi Germany’s V2 rocket – the first man-made object to reach space. In the fifty years since, we have yet to see a more impressive machine than one whose construction was led by a man born before a plane even crossed the Atlantic. In order to send humans to Mars, Musk’s SpaceX will have to deliver precisely that. Enter the BFR – short for ‘big fucking rocket’ – the intended successor to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters.
Yet that is in keeping with market fundamentalism and, as Marx writes, the likes of Jain have viewed the bounty of nature as somehow the result of capitalism for centuries: Natural elements entering as agents into production, and which cost nothing … do not enter as components of capital, but as a free gift of Nature to capital, that is, as a free gift of Nature’s productive power to labour, which, however, appears as the productiveness of capital, as all other productivity does under the capitalist mode of production. To repurpose the phrase from capitalist realism: is it easier to imagine the end of the world than public ownership of the immense wealth beyond it? Why should it be? For the first sixty years of space exploration, every significant breakthrough was achieved by nation-states. From von Braun’s V2 rockets to the USSR’s Sputnik and NASA’s iconic Apollo missions, private investment had no influence in any of these technological developments. As a result, there is an overwhelming case for space to indeed be the province of all. The technologies which are set to bring its abundance within reach were funded by ordinary people – not wealthy investors. Of course, that hasn’t stopped certain countries trying to help domestic business interests at the expense of others.
Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King
23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks
The more interesting leap that Einstein made was the understanding that “this new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of … extremely powerful bombs of a new type.” His letter to FDR can be seen below: Figure 1.6: Einstein’s letter to FDR on nuclear weapons (Source: National Archives) While this line of research led to the birth of nuclear energy, it also—as Einstein postulated—led to the instigation of the Manhattan Project in 1942. The deployment of nuclear weapons became inextricably linked to advancements in rocket technology. The V2 rocket (the Vergeltungswaffe 2 in German, or “Retribution Weapon 2”) was one of the most devastating long-range weapons of World War II. Hitler’s forces successfully fired 3,000 of these weapons at London and its surrounds, Antwerp and Liège. The V2 was not the only advanced weaponry that the Nazis developed, but it was probably the most successful. The Germans also flew the first operational jet fighter and jet-powered bomber aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1941.15 The Me 262, while a formidable fighter, entered operations too late in the war to have any meaningful impact.
The Germans also flew the first operational jet fighter and jet-powered bomber aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1941.15 The Me 262, while a formidable fighter, entered operations too late in the war to have any meaningful impact. At the end of the war, both the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)16 and the United States rushed to gather as much intelligence on German weaponry research as possible. In the final days leading to the collapse of the German army, there was an all-out effort by both Soviet and US forces to capture any of the rocket scientists who had worked on the V2 rocket and other such efforts. Ultimately, captured scientists were given the option to emigrate and work on US and Soviet rocket programmes or face life imprisonment. One of the leading rocket scientists working on the V2 programme was a German aerospace engineer named Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun, or simply Wernher von Braun. Von Braun went on to lead the team that built the massive Saturn V rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock
4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket
The parallels between the two can be clearly seen in the game, particularly with both featuring scenes focusing on the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach in Normandy. To create his vision of the game, Spielberg employed Dale Dye, a former US Marine officer who had become a military advisor to Hollywood. Of the game that emerged, a reviewer wrote, “Not just a shoot ’em up, it offers miniature history lessons while you play, offering background on everything from the OSS to the Gestapo to V2 rockets while nostalgic art and video clips convey a sense of the period.” As such, the “original Medal of Honor remains arguably the most educational FPS ever made.”12 However, in a sign of the future controversies over videogame violence, following the Columbine massacre the game also went through last-minute changes, in which all blood and gore was removed.13 Continuing the Second World War theme, the Battlefield series started with Battlefield 1942 in 2002.
Symmetry and the Monster by Ronan, Mark
Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, conceptual framework, Everything should be made as simple as possible, G4S, Henri Poincaré, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, V2 rocket
He had been an assistant for three years before the war in Darmstadt, where he worked on rocket trajectories. This was sophisticated mathematics – it used differential equations, and had to take into account the change of air pressure with altitude. He was a fantastic mathematics teacher, and when I went to Frankfurt University I had no need to attend any of the lectures on differential equations. Germany was a leader in rocket science, producing the V2 rocket during the later stages of the Second World War. Fischer’s teacher was not a rocket scientist but a mathematician, and his way of using mathematics to deal with physical problems inspired Fischer, who went to university intending to take a master’s degree in physics, and then do a PhD in mathematics. But at university he encountered a professor named Reinhold Baer, who had returned to Germany from the USA.
The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, V2 rocket
There he would enjoy an astonishingly creative fifteen years, including the production of his masterpiece—what Scientific American called “the Magna Carta of the information age”—the 1948 “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” Initially his work at Bell Labs dealt with anti-aircraft fire-control systems, the need for which had grown in importance with the appearance of the 400 mph German pulse-jet V1 “flying robot bomb,” the world’s first cruise missile. (The German V2 rocket—the world’s first ballistic missile—is also often lumped in with the V1 as driving fire-control system development during Shannon’s day, but it would be quite difficult to shoot down a V2 today, during its 2,000 mph terminal atmospheric reentry phase, much less with 1940s gun technology!) Later work at Bell Labs took Shannon into the arcane world of cryptography, during which he met the English mathematician Alan Turing (1912–1954), who was a key player in the supersecret British Ultra program (“Ultra” was the code-name for the intelligence obtained from intercepted messages sent by German Enigma coding machines that the Nazis incorrectly thought unbreakable).
Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator
Sirius: Now, you have the commercialized version of this: Robot Wars and all that sort of stuff. SRL was real. Max Kelly: The SRL guys had a studio down in Bayview, which at the time was not the place to be. We’d regularly find cars on fire, and people would run up and try to carjack you all the time. The thing was you could do whatever you wanted down there and no one would give a shit. And these crazy white guys are sticking a rocket engine—a V2 rocket engine—out the side of their garage and turning it on. Test firing! A V2 rocket engine! Okay, it might have been a V1, but it was definitely an old Nazi rocket engine. Dan Kottke: It was a jet engine, running on kerosene. They had it on a sled, and they would fire it up. And it was very, very loud and exciting. I used to go to those SRL events. They were always fun, they were always word-of-mouth, they were always illegal. Jamie Zawinski: It was incredibly illegal.
A Schoolmaster's War by Jonathan Ree
Fouillette, Roger (‘Brazza’, 1905–1979): born in Paris to a mother from Alsace and a father from the Vosges, who then moved to Montbéliard to work as an engineer for a Peugeot plant at Valentigney; Roger trained as an elementary schoolmaster and was deployed to Alsace in 1927 to restore the use of the French language in a region dominated by German and Alsatian; he quickly married Marie Jund, daughter of a local butcher, with whom he had a daughter and a son, Colette and Raymond; in September 1939 he was drafted into the French army, serving as a lieutenant in command of a casemate on the Maginot Line overlooking the Rhine; he was captured in June 1940 and held as POW for several months; his father persuaded his employer Rodolphe Peugeot (a childhood friend of Roger) to certify (falsely) that Roger was an important engineer, and around November he was released and sent to Audincourt, Montbéliard where he resumed his profession as a schoolmaster; in April 1943 he became leader of OCM and head of FFI in Montbéliard, working closely with HR until he was arrested, 27 October 1943, after which he was detained in the Butte at Besançon, deported 27 January 1944; in Buchenwald his knowledge of German afforded him some protection and in February he was transferred to the secret Dora subcamp, spending eight months in a subterranean factory where the V2 rocket was being developed; as American forces approached in April 1945 he was sent on a ‘death march’ to Ravensbrück, and liberated by Russian troops on 3 May; he reached Montbéliard three weeks later to find that his wife and children had moved to Nantua; Rodolphe Peugeot lent him a car, and he was reunited with them on 26 May, and they all returned to Alsace on Bastille Day, 14 July 1945. Giauque, Émile-Albert (?
I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek
Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog
This was a bit naïve. The Internet was a creation of the US Government’s Department of Defense. It was built as a weapon against the Soviet Union. To think that a government which had created a tool wouldn’t use that tool to perform the basic task of every government, which is to say exert control over the lives of its citizens, was a bit strange. It was an expectation akin to running beneath Wernher von Braun’s V2 rockets and hoping you’d be showered with flowers rather than death. Snowden gathered up an unfathomable number of documents circulating inside the NSA. These documents bore evidence of the NSA’s systems of global surveillance. These systems had been constructed with help from companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. Snowden contacted several journalists and staged an elaborate leak of these documents to the world media.
Germany Travel Guide by Lonely Planet
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bank run, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, double helix, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Eisenman, post-work, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sensible shoes, Skype, starchitect, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, white picket fence
Berchtesgaden Learn how this breathtaking Alpine town became Hitler’s southern headquarters at the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, then exorcise Nazi ghosts on the trip up to the ‘Eagle’s Nest’ (Click here) Concentration Camps The darkest side of WWII is commemorated in camps at Bergen-Belsen (Click here), Buchenwald (Click here), Dachau (Click here), Mittelbau Dora (Click here) and Sachsenhausen (Click here) Remagen The pivotal capture of the Bridge at Remagen by American troops in March 1945 is poignantly remembered in the Friedensmuseum (Click here) Peenemünde The deadly V2 rocket was developed in a research facility on Usedom Island, now the Historisch-Technisches Informationszentrum (Click here) Nuremberg See the site of Nazi mass rallies at the Reichsparteitagsgelände, then visit the courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials took place (Click here) Laboe In this town on Kiel Firth, you can clamber around WWII-era U-Boat 995, which is similar to the one featured in the 1981 movie Das Boot (Click here) Jewish Sites Jewish history in Germany is often equated with the Holocaust, but even the Nazis could not wipe out 1600 years of Jewish life and cultural contributions to this country.
Instead, you’ll find a progressive – and often artistic – look at the roots and ramifications of war and aggression. Exhibits in the Libeskind wedge zero in on such socio-cultural aspects as women in the war, animals in the war, war-themed toys, the economy of war and the suffering brought on by war. The historical wing presents a chronology of German wars from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Standouts among the countless intriguing objects are a 1975 Soyuz landing capsule, a V2 rocket and personal items of concentration camp victims. Budget at least two hours to do this amazing museum justice. Kunsthofpassage ARCHITECTURE Offline map Google map (www.kunfsthof-dresden.de; enter from Alaunstrasse 70 or Görlitzer Strasse 23; 24hr) Take a web of grimy courtyards, a load of paint and a bunch of visionary Dresden artists and out comes the Kunsthofpassage, one of the most refreshingly artistic spaces in the Neustadt.
Taxi Call 2505 or 2435. Train Frequent trains travel to Quedlinburg (€2.20, 12 minutes) and Wernigerode (change in Halberstadt; €11.10, one hour). Mittelbau Dora From late in 1943, thousands of slave labourers (mostly Russian, French and Polish prisoners of war) toiled under horrific conditions digging tunnels in the chalk hills north of Nordhausen. From a 20km labyrinth of tunnels, they produced the V1 and V2 rockets that rained destruction on London, Antwerp and other cities during the final stages of WWII, when Hitler’s grand plan became to conduct war from production plants below the ground. The camp, called Mittelbau Dora, was created as a satellite of the Buchenwald concentration camp after British bombers destroyed the missile plants in Peenemünde in far northeastern Germany. During the last two years of the war, at least 20,000 prisoners died at Dora, many having survived Auschwitz only to be worked to death here.
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Atul Gawande, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, feminist movement, forensic accounting, Gerolamo Cardano, Henri Poincaré, index fund, Isaac Newton, law of one price, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pepto Bismol, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
If the Xs and Os represented events of interest, we might be tempted to wonder if those clusters signified something. But any meaning we assigned them would be misconceived because these data are identical to the earlier set of 200 random Xs and Os, except for the geometric 5-by-40 arrangement and the choice of which letters to put in boldface. This very issue drew much attention toward the end of World War II, when V2 rockets started raining down on London. The rockets were terrifying, traveling at over five times the speed of sound, so that one heard them approach only after they had hit. Newspapers soon published maps of the impact sites, which seemed to reveal not random patterns but purposeful clusters. To some observers the clusters indicated a precision in the control of the rockets’ flight path that, given the distance the rockets had to travel, suggested that German technology was much more advanced than anyone had dreamed possible.
Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics and the Coming Robotopia by Frederik L. Schodt
carbon-based life, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, factory automation, game design, guest worker program, industrial robot, Jacques de Vaucanson, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce
Everything as far as I could see had been transformed into scorched earth and piles of rubble. ... I was . . . stunned by the destructive power of war. Second was the VI and V2 missiles that the German Nazis developed. I had heard that Hitler tried to use them as an ace in the hole to reverse his waning fortunes. The third influence was from the American movie Frankenstein."8 In the story he devised, Iron Man was given the number 28 because, like the VI and V2 rockets, he had originally been designed by the Japanese military as a last-ditch secret weapon to reverse its sinking fortunes. All the models up to No. 28—and the end of the war—were failures, however, so Iron Man No. 28 became a civilian robot. It is hard to imagine a robot more different from the humanistic, family-oriented Atom, but both characters resemble each other in that they were used to help mankind, and both have competed for fans until this day.
Underground, Overground by Andrew Martin
Graves writes: One old woman proudly announced that she had brought enough cheese and tea-cakes for a fortnight, and indeed it was noted that she did not leave the East End railway platform which she had chosen for fourteen days, except to get a ten-minutes breath of fresh air when there was no air-raid in progress. The Tube stations offered warmth, camaraderie. You didn’t pay for light or heat; there were, in fact, few overheads, except the one that really mattered. There were two peaks of sheltering: the first, and highest, was during the Blitz; the second during the rain of V1 and V2 rockets in 1944. A count taken one night early in the Blitz found 177,000 Londoners sheltering in the Tubes. It is said that about 4 per cent of Londoners took to the Tube at some point during the Blitz. You could book your space in advance by acquiring a ticket (no charge was made, of course) that allocated you a space on a platform. The trains continued to run – as the slogan had it, ‘London Transport Carried On’ – and the late and early ones, which disturbed the sleepers, were much resented.
Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet Publications
banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Frank Gehry, G4S, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket
Just south of town is a protected area of grass-covered dunes known as Dunes de la Slack . LA COUPOLE A top-secret subterranean V2 rocket launch site just five minutes’ flying time from London – almost (but not quite) put into operation in 1944 – now houses La Coupole ( 03 21 12 27 27; www.lacoupole-france.com; adult/child/family incl audioguide €9.50/6.50/24; 9am-6pm Sep-Jun, 10am-7pm Jul & Aug, closed 2 weeks in Dec) , an innovative museum that uses film and images to present information on the following: » Nazi Germany’s secret programs to build V1 and V2 rockets, which could fly at 650km/h and an astounding 5780km/h respectively » Life in northern France during the Nazi occupation » The postwar conquest of space with the help of V2 rocket technology – and seconded V2 engineers La Coupole is 49km southeast of Calais just outside the town of Wizernes, near the intersection of D928 and D210.
Wildlife Watch » Vultures in Parc National des Pyrénées » Wolves in Parc National du Mercantour and Parc Animalier des Monts de Guéret » Whistling marmots in Chamonix » Sharks at aquariums in Paris, Monaco, Boulogne-sur-Mer, St-Malo, Brest, La Rochelle, Lyon and Biarritz » Dancing horses in Saumur, Versailles and Chantilly » Bulls and flamingos in the Camargue » Storks and kingfishers at Le Teich Parc Ornithologique, near Arcachon, and Alsace’s Centre de Réintroduction Cigognes et Loutres » Fish (through a snorkelling mask) at the Domaine du Rayol and off island shores (Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Corsica) Rainy Days » Build a house, Bob-style (over threes), Cité des Sciences, Paris » Romp through sewage tunnels with rats, Musée des Égouts de Paris » Create your own perfume at Le Studio des Parfums, Paris » Ride a house-sized, mechanical elephant (any age), Les Machines de l’Île de Nantes, Nantes » Ogle at skulls (teens), Les Catacombes, Paris » Play cave dwellers (any age) in caves riddled with prehistoric art, Vézère Valley » Delve into the depths of the ocean at Cité de l’Océan, Biarritz » Learn all about chocolate at Planète Musée du Chocolat, Biarritz Hi-Tech Experiences » Discover something new with science-experiment workshops (over 10s) at the Palais de la Découverte, Paris » Learn how planes are built (over sixes), Jean Luc Lagardère Airbus factory, Toulouse » Discover V2 rocket technology in a subterranean bunker (teens), La Coupole, St-Omer » Enter wannabe-mechanic heaven (any age), Cité de l’Automobile and Cité du Train, Mulhouse » Meddle in science at Strasbourg’s interactive Le Vaisseau science and technology museum » Spin in a fish on a hi-tech vintage carousel or climb aboard a giant mechanical elephant at Les Machines de I’Île de Nantes, Nantes Hands-On History & Culture » Delve behind the scenes of a world-class art museum with a visit to the restoration and storerooms of the groundbreaking Louvre-Lens, northern France » Pretend you’re back in 1920s Paris: chase vintage sailboats with a stick in Jardin du Luxembourg, just like Parisian kids did a century ago » Relive the battle between Julius Caesar and Vercingétorix at Alésia in 52 BC, with reconstructed Roman fortification lines et al, at Burgundy’s first-class MuséoParc Alésia » Become acquainted with the fine art of perfumerie in Grasse (perfume studios, museum, workshops) and nearby Mouans-Sartoux (flower gardens) » Play medieval builders at Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon, Burgundy » Go Roman (over fives) at Ludo, Pont du Gard, near Nîmes » Watch Victorian-era machines clatter and clank to turn thread into lace at Calais’ Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode » Explore the beachfront site of a derelict dynamite factory in Paulilles, Roussillon WHAT TO PACK Babies & Toddlers » A front or back sling for baby and toddler: France’s cobbled streets, metro stairs and hilltop villages were not built with pushchairs (strollers) in mind.
QI: The Book of General Ignorance - The Noticeably Stouter Edition by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John
Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, British Empire, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Fellow of the Royal Society, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lateral thinking, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, Pluto: dwarf planet, trade route, V2 rocket, Vesna Vulović
Phoberomys pattersoni was the size of a cow and weighed 1,400 times more than the average pet guinea pig. Nobody really knows where the expression ‘guinea pig’ comes from but the most likely suggestion is that they reached Europe as part of the triangle of slave-trade routes that linked South America to the Guinea coast of West Africa. What was the first animal in space? The fruit fly. The tiny astronauts were loaded on to an American V2 rocket along with some corn seeds, and blasted into space in July 1946. They were used to test the effects of exposure to radiation at high altitudes. Fruit flies are a lab favourite. Three-quarters of known human disease genes have a match in the genetic code of fruit flies. They also go to sleep every night, react in a similar way to general anaesthetics and, best of all, reproduce very quickly. You can have a whole new generation in a fortnight.
Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization by K. Eric Drexler
3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crowdsourcing, dark matter, double helix, failed state, global supply chain, industrial robot, iterative process, Mars Rover, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, performance metric, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game
A proper history of the origins of spaceflight would note Tsiolkovsky’s limited influence outside Russia and the later, independent roles of Robert Goddard in the United States and Hermann Oberth in Germany with their concrete technical contributions: building actual, physical, liquid-fuel rockets. The history then would tell of the rise of rocketry on the tides of war, led by visionaries sharing Tsiolkovsky’s dream of the conquest of space. The leading example was Werner von Braun, the German scientist who led the German V2 rocket project that rained bombs on London from the edge of space, envisioned a detailed plan for interplanetary exploration (Das Marsprojekt, published as The Mars Project in 1953), was ordered to refrain from launching a satellite for the United States in 1956, and at last led the team that developed the Saturn V boosters that launched men to the Moon. My attention here, however, centers not on the people themselves nor or the tangled history they lived, but instead on the methods of thought they developed and what their example teaches about the discipline of probing potential technologies.
Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London by David Wragg
Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, British Empire, financial independence, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Louis Blériot, North Sea oil, railway mania, Right to Buy, South Sea Bubble, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Winter of Discontent, yield management
A means of reducing fuel consumption was to reduce heating, so the pre-war system of switching on full heat on mainline trains between October and April when the temperature fell below 48 degrees F at any one of a number of monitoring points, and half-heat when the temperature fell below 55 degrees F, had been reduced to having full heat when the temperature fell below 45 degrees F and half-heat when it fell below 50 degrees between November and March. The ‘Blitz’ created new wartime traffic. At Chiselhurst in Kent, the caves provided a natural air raid shelter, and many people would ‘commute’ by train to Chislehurst each evening to seek shelter in the caves. This was just one example, but Paddington was amongst those termini seeing ‘reverse commuting’ in wartime, first at the height of the Blitz and then during the period of V1 and V2 rocket attacks. Shortages of skilled staff in the workshops and the conversion of many of these to war production, as well as shortages of materials, meant that the intervals between routine overhauls were extended. Economy measures on the Great Western were typical and included a new colour scheme for passenger carriages of reddish-brown with a bronze waistline and black roof, while locomotives were painted plain green without any lining out on being sent for overhaul or repair.
Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways by Christian Wolmar
The US produced nearly 800 locomotives of a type designed by the Corps of Engineers that came to be known as ‘MacArthur’ and these were despatched to several theatres of the war, notably Normandy after the D-Day landings, and also saw service in Africa, India, Burma and even Australia. In Britain, the War Department built and owned over a thousand ‘Austerity’ locos and a clutch of shunting locomotives, many of which were transferred to British Railways in the 1950s, but, as with the German war locomotives, others ended up all over the world. Hitler liked technology and expended much effort, fruitless as it turned out, on developing the V1 and V2 rockets that were launched towards Britain in the final stages of the war, but he was also obsessed with producing guns that could destroy enemy positions from a great distance. Inevitably, these had to be rail-mounted and in 1941 Germany constructed two enormous 800mm guns intended for use against Gibraltar, but Franco would not allow them to cross Spanish territory. Instead, one was despatched to the Crimea, where it helped to destroy the fortifications of the naval base at Sevastopol, which, as a result, was soon abandoned by the Russians.
The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever by Christian Wolmar
There were, too, various redundant or partly built sections of the Underground which had been turned over to the shelterers with official blessing, such as the disused stations at South Kentish Town, British Museum and City Road, and the unfinished section of lines at Bethnal Green, the largest in the capital with accommodation for 5,000, and Highgate. The deep shelters announced by Morrison were not available for use during the Blitz of 1940–41 and they were kept in reserve, as numbers in the shelters dwindled during the subsequent lull. Five of them finally found use as shelters briefly in the summer of 1944 during the assault by V1 and V2 rockets, but in terms of protection from the bombs they were too little, too late. They were later used to house returning evacuees made homeless by the bombing. The elite of shelters was probably Aldwych. The whole little-used branch line to Holborn was given over for the use of thousands of shelterers soon after the onset of the Blitz, by Lord Ashfield. Westminster council provided generous facilities, including a library of two thousand books and educational lectures.
The London Compendium by Ed Glinert
1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nick Leeson, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, price stability, Ronald Reagan, Sloane Ranger, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket
Nevertheless, the two companies formed a partnership in 1899, but it was not until the arrival of Southern Railway in the 1920s that the wall between the two stations was removed. VICTORIA LINE The Victoria Line, which opened in 1968 as London’s first new tube line since 1907, owes its existence more to civil defence needs than transport requirements, dating back to government concerns in 1944 about German A-bomb-tipped V2 rockets dropping on London. This led the authorities to construct a number of bomb-proof tunnels that could take cables between strategically important buildings: Buckingham Palace; the Curzon Street bunker in Mayfair where the royal family took shelter during the war, later used by MI5; BBC Broadcasting House; the Museum Telephone Exchange, which was also home of the BBC’s national distribution centre, on Maple Street, Fitzrovia (where Telecom Tower now stands); and the railway termini of Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross.
‘The Cage’, No. 8 Built by Owen Jones in the 1850s, and later owned by the art collector Lord Duveen of Millbank, who also had a suite at Claridge’s, No. 8 was used during the Second World War as the headquarters of the War Crimes Investigation Unit interrogation centre known as ‘The Cage’, where German prisoners of war who had been close to the upper echelons of the Nazi Party, or those who had specialist knowledge of the V1 and V2 rockets that were bombarding London, were questioned. The prisoners, whose number included a small proportion of stool pigeons, usually German or Austrian Jews, who, it was hoped, would be accepted as genuine Nazis, were kept in cells with floors of solid concrete and windows covered with barbed wire. There were no furnishings that could be used by a prisoner to hang himself, and each cell door had a ‘Judas hole’ to enable the guards, who moved noiselessly around the complex, to spy on the inmates without being heard or seen.
The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--And Their Architects--Shape the World by Deyan Sudjic
Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, megastructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, Victor Gruen
Leon Krier, the architect best known for his role in planning Seaside, the outpost of New Urbanism on the Florida panhandle, and the Prince of Wales’s village of Poundbury, has been the most active voice in attempting to rehabilitate Speer. Why, he wondered, was it considered necessary to destroy the inoffensive street lights that Hitler’s architect had designed for Berlin? Why, Krier asked, did Speer end up as Spandau’s penultimate prisoner? Long after Werner von Braun, who devised the highly destructive V2 rockets that were built using slave labour and which killed so many Londoners, had bypassed the prisoner-of-war camps and flown to the USA to build the arsenal of democracy, Speer was still in jail. Could architecture actually be regarded as a weapon of war like a V2? Perhaps the answer lies in the way that we tend to blame the architect more than the engineer – because he envisaged the shape of a totalitarian state.
Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World by Oliver Morton
Colonization of Mars, computer age, double entry bookkeeping, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, nuclear winter, planetary scale, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, sexual politics, the scientific method, trade route, undersea cable, V2 rocket, Works Progress Administration
Geological Survey and found himself working in southern Colorado. He discovered that he loved the landscapes of the Southwest. He loved the pines, he loved the open spaces, and he loved the great, vaulting skies. He stared up at the desert moon with wonder. In the field, he did not have much contact with the rest of the world. But he did get the Caltech alumni newspaper, which revealed that experiments with captured V2 rockets elsewhere in New Mexico were reaching the very edge of the atmosphere. It was a revelation. “Why, we’re going to explore space,” he later remembered thinking, “and I want to be part of it! The moon is made of rock, so geologists are the logical ones to go there—me, for example.” Shoemaker kept his wild dream to himself—a decade before Sputnik there was little call for space-age geology. The atomic age, though, needed geologists badly.
More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan
"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game
“Plumb centre”, The Economist, February 22nd 2014 58. Source: https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/2017-documents/global-economic-impact-and-issues-2017.pdf Chapter 12 – From the wonder years to the malaise: 1945–1979 1. Quoted in Armand van Dormael, Bretton Woods: Birth of a Monetary System 2. Frieden, Global Capitalism, op. cit. 3. Von Braun was the man behind the V1 and V2 rockets that fell on London. He subsequently became part of the US space programme. As Tom Lehrer sang, “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?/That’s not my department, says Wernher von Braun”. 4. Stephen D. King, Grave New World: The End of Globalisation, The Return of History 5. David Pilling, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival 6. Source: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945–1952/japan-reconstruction 7.
Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite
Early in the battle the mujahedin executed a number of prisoners, which reinforced the determination of the government soldiers to resist. Once again Najibullah asked for Soviet air support. Gorbachev called an emergency meeting on 10 March to consider the request. It was rejected.8 But further attacks were broken up by the government’s own aircraft and by April the government troops were on the offensive. They bombarded the mujahedin with over four hundred Scud missiles developed from the Germans’ wartime V2 rockets and fired by the Soviet crews who had remained behind. Like the V2, you got no warning of the Scud’s arrival until it had exploded. ‘The mujahedin, who, one would have thought, were already inured to the use in their homeland of every kind of weapon,’ wrote Greshnov, who visited Jalalabad at the time, ‘…were psychologically unable to cope when these rockets were employed against them … Losses among the civilian population could be counted in thousands, and the battle itself acquired such a massive and brutal character that it could be compared in military terms perhaps only with the battle for Stalingrad.’9 The soldiers cleared the road from Kabul – the old ‘English’ road, along which the Army of the Indus had retreated in 1842 – and relieved the city.
France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams
active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, post-work, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket
Return to beginning of chapter LA COUPOLE A top-secret subterranean V2 launch site just five minutes’ flying time from London – almost (but not quite) put into operation in 1944 – now houses La Coupole ( 03 21 12 27 27; www.lacoupole.com; adult/student/5-16yr/family incl audioguide €9/7.50/6/19.50; 9am-6pm, to 7pm Jul & Aug, closed 2 weeks from Christmas), an innovative museum that uses lots of moving images to present Nazi Germany’s secret programs to build V1 and V2 rockets (which could fly at 650km/h and an astounding 5780km/h respectively); life in northern France during the Nazi occupation; and the postwar conquest of space with the help of V2 rocket technology – and seconded V2 engineers. La Coupole is 5km south of St-Omer (the circuitous route is signposted, but confusing), just outside the town of Wizernes, near the intersection of the D928 and the D210. From the A26, take exit 3 or 4. Return to beginning of chapter CASSEL pop 2300 The fortified, very Flemish village of Cassel, 57km southeast of Calais atop French Flanders’ highest hill (176m), affords panoramic views of the verdant Flanders plain.
* * * Forget the Eiffel Tower, St-Tropez and the lavender fields of Provence. This tour ventures out of the ordinary into France’s quirkiest sights and sounds – and smells, in the case of the Paris sewer where it starts. Gawp at more skulls than you can imagine in the capital’s catacombs, then venture north to the spot near Compiègne, where WWI officially ended. Top off your day with a subterranean dose of V2 rocket technology in a bunker near St-Omer. A few drops of Christ’s blood in Fécamp on the Normandy coast inspired monks to concoct Benedictine liqueur: visit the Palais Bénédictine and get a free shot – then tell yourself you’re not drunk as you tour the ‘laboratory of emotions’ in Honfleur’s wacky Les Maisons Satie. Steering south along the Atlantic Coast, cartwheel down Europe’s highest sand dune near Arcachon.
The Companion Guide to London by David Piper, Fionnuala Jervis
Eastwards, the grounds of the Hospital join on the wooded, nooked and delled Ranelagh Gardens, where not a trace remains of the apparatus of pleasure which made Ranelagh famous as a centre of entertainment between 1733 and 1805, when for years at a stretch it was visited by almost anybody who was anybody, from Dr Johnson downwards; it saw concerts (including the infant prodigy Mozart, aged eight, in 1764), masquerades that were forerunners of the Chelsea Arts Balls, fireworks, balloon launchings and other galas. Its focus was a famous building, the Rotunda, which can still be seen in Canaletto’s painting of it in the National Gallery. The Hospital suffered in both wars, and in the second war lost to a V2 rocket notably the Infirmary (where once Robert Walpole’s house had stood). A splendid supplement stands nearby: the National Army Museum. Moved to Chelsea from Sandhurst, it recounts the history of the British Army from the Battle of Agincourt up to the present day. The collection consists of relics, uniform and insignia of the army, as well as a number of fine paintings. If you emerge on Royal Hospital Road, and turn right, beyond the Royal Hospital you have the old burial ground (where Dr Burney, for many years organist at Chelsea, is buried).
The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine by M. D. James le Fanu M. D.
Barry Marshall: ulcers, clean water, cuban missile crisis, discovery of penicillin, double helix, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, rising living standards, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, telerobotics, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, V2 rocket
Their manner of discovery was, however, exactly the same as that of the tricyclics, having been identified as part of a screening programme of the antihistamine-type drugs that gave rise to chlorpromazine.11 The tricyclics and SSRIs were an accidental spin-off from a programme where drugs were first synthesised and then tested for possible therapeutic efficacy. By contrast, the MAOIs arose – like chlorpromazine – from a chance felicitous clinical observation that a drug used in the treatment of one condition, in this case tuberculosis, had side-effects that might be put to good use in another. In 1944 the Germans had used a new type of fuel – hydrazine – to propel their V2 rockets over southern England. Come the end of the war hydrazine thus became available relatively cheaply, so pharmaceutical companies bought it up to use as a starting material for investigation of its possible therapeutic properties, even though it was not an easy compound to work with, being flammable, caustic, extremely poisonous and explosive. At the time drug companies routinely tested all chemicals to see if they might be effective against tuberculosis, and two of the hydrazine derivatives – isoniazid and iproniazid – were found to be so.
The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr
anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business climate, Corn Laws, Etonian, garden city movement, illegal immigration, imperial preference, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, New Journalism, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Red Clydeside, rent control, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, V2 rocket, wage slave, women in the workforce
Even a world-class collection of fossils was blown to pieces when the Royal College of Surgeons suffered three direct hits, leaving lumps of dinosaur and extinct mammal scattered through local gardens. More than 2,000 fires were started and 3,200 people were killed or injured. Many roads and most railway lines were blocked and the firefighters were struggling to put out fires for eleven days. After it was over, London was changed for ever; yet the city would go through a second wave of attacks in 1944 when first the ‘Doodlebug’ flying bombs and then the V2 rockets, harbingers of the post-war age, rained down, killing between them another 8,000 people. Croydon, once a beautiful market town, now a concrete metropolis, was particularly badly hit. Though London took the worst, it is not clear whether it suffered more proportionally than other blitzed cities. The case of Coventry, which lost most of its ancient centre, a third of its houses, its cathedral and its railway connections on the night of 14 November 1940, after German bombers used intersecting radio beams and then incendiaries to guide them, is particularly poignant.
Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War
Capitalism, he believed, allowed people to pursue their creative interests without interference. “The great achievement of capitalism is not the accumulation of property,” he wrote, “it has been the opportunities it has offered men and women to extend and develop and improve their capacities.” But dozens of events in Friedman’s lifetime showed just the opposite. The martial technology of Germany, including the V2 rockets, were created under the directives of a central government. That most creative and dreadful product made by the human species, the atomic bomb, was the result of a U.S. government directive to J. Robert Oppenheimer and his colleagues. Radar was developed by government. It is now a commonplace that the Internet originated in the Pentagon. The space missions of the 1960s were successful. The advances sponsored and financed by the federal government’s National Institutes of Health saved countless lives, and these were led by state and local government research, and preceded by the systematic dissemination of vaccines and the development of urban and suburban sanitation systems.
Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately
barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, corporate raider, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer, Peace of Westphalia, post-work, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor
In 1942 the Hitler Youth had dug out all the hybrid vines in Alsace, to be replaced with Aryan strains. The luxury of time they had anticipated—a thousand-year Reich—was over three years afterward—too soon for the replacements to come into service. Domestic supplies of drink were further reduced to feed the Nazi war machine. Distilled alcohol was needed for munitions and as fuel, notably for the V2-rocket bombs. The small quantity of looted or stockpiled booze remaining was diverted to the armed forces and the Nazi elite. Indeed, the only parts of Germany where alcohol was freely available were those under Russian control. After their victory at Stalingrad in 1942, the Soviet armies had pushed the Nazis out of Russia and forced them back into their own territory. The dry policies of the Bolsheviks were a thing of the past: From 1942 onward, Russian soldiers were provided with a vodka ration of a hundred grams per man per day.
Germany by Andrea Schulte-Peevers
Albert Einstein, bank run, Berlin Wall, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, computer age, credit crunch, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Google Earth, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Eisenman, place-making, post-work, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Skype, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, white picket fence
Driving from the west, take the B27 from Braunlage and turn off at Elend. From Wernigerode, take Friedrichstrasse. Return to beginning of chapter MITTELBAU DORA From late in 1943, thousands of slave labourers (mostly Russian, French and Polish prisoners of war) toiled under horrific conditions digging tunnels in the chalk hills north of Nordhausen. From a 20km labyrinth of tunnels, they produced the V1 and V2 rockets that rained destruction on London, Antwerp and other cities during the final stages of WWII, when Hitler’s grand plan became to conduct war from production plants below the ground. The camp, called Mittelbau Dora, was created as a satellite of the Buchenwald concentration camp after British bombers destroyed the missile plants in Peenemünde in far northeastern Germany. During the last two years of the war, at least 20,000 prisoners died at Dora, many having survived Auschwitz only to be worked to death here.
As sprucing up continues it’s coming into its own. Elegant 1920s villas with wrought-iron balconies grace many traditional resorts along its northern spine, including Zinnowitz, Ückeritz, Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck. All have tourist offices. Usedom Tourismus ( 038378-477 10; www.usedom.de) can book accommodation island-wide. It was at Peenemünde, on the island’s western tip, that Wernher von Braun developed the V2 rocket, first launched in October 1942. It flew 90km high and a distance of 200km before plunging into the Baltic – the first time in history that a flying object exited the earth’s atmosphere. The research and testing complex was destroyed by the Allies in July 1944, but the Nazis continued their research in Nordhausen in the southern Harz (see Mittelbau Dora, Click here). At the Historisch-Technisches Informationszentrum (Historical & Technological Information Centre; 038371-5050; www.peenemuende.de; adult/concession €6/4; 10am-6pm Apr-Sep, 10am-4pm Oct, 10am-4pm Tue-Sun Nov-Mar) Peenemünde is immodestly billed as ‘the birthplace of space travel’.
The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham
agricultural Revolution, American ideology, British Empire, centre right, clean water, colonial exploitation, distributed generation, European colonialism, fixed income, full employment, global village, indoor plumbing, labour mobility, land reform, mass immigration, means of production, profit motive, rising living standards, trade route, V2 rocket, women in the workforce
‘[Sigi] slipped on to the subject of food and now he talks endlessly about some marriage luncheon … everyone tells him to keep quiet but within ten minutes Béla is describing … a recipe to make meat-pies with corncobs and lard and spices … and he is cursed, sworn at and a third one begins to describe …’133 In Auschwitz these conversations were known as ‘stomach masturbation’.134 In 1942 concentration camp prisoners were transferred to undertake productive work in the aircraft and rocket industries. The most notori-ous of such projects was Dora Mittelbau in the Harz mountains, where concentration camp inmates constructed an underground factory for the production of the V2 rockets which were to menace Londoners in the final months of the war. They had to sleep inside the tunnels amid the noise and dust of the work, and saw daylight only once a week. The sanitation was rudimentary and they never had enough water to drink. One third (20,000) of the workers died. The tunnels were littered with the dead bodies of prisoners who had collapsed from overwork and malnutrition, and corpses swung from the ceilings overhead, placed there to remind the workers of the fate of recalcitrants.
The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone
affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise
The chilly Communist future. The young Erich Honecker being voted first chairman of the Free German Youth; a post-Christmas meeting of the French Communist Party at the Vel d’Hiv, Paris, complete with gloomy Christmas tree, both January 1946 7. and 8. Aftershocks. Surviving Jewish families fleeing from Poland in the summer of 1946 following anti-Semitic violence; the origins of the American space programme: a V2 rocket being fired in New Mexico, August 1946 9. and 10. The end of the British Empire. British troops pulling casualties from the rubble of their headquarters at the King David Hotel, Jerusalem, July 1946, and Greek Communist prisoners in Salonica with ‘The British Must Go’ spelled out in French on their shirts, March 1947 11. and 12. and 13. The Cold War coalesces. George C. Marshall with Vyacheslav Molotov, March 1947; Jan Masaryk and Edvard Beneš in Hradčany Castle, March 1947; Mátyás Rákosi at his desk 14. and 15.