(Roughly) Daily

Most Single-Breath Opera Songs Sung In 10 Minutes (etc.)…

The human spirit stretches to soar.  Now, thanks to THE UNIVERSAL RECORD DATABASE (“The definitive site for human achievement”) there’s an easily-accessible source of benchmarks:

URDB is an open, participatory database for world records. We welcome you to get involved, whether discussing records, beating records or setting new ones of your own. This project is in its infancy, with many features coming in the months ahead. Help us build a community as we collectively push the limits of what mankind can do.

… or just marvel that Michael Kennedy sang 18 single-breath opera songs in 10 minutes, or that Scott Campbell read 52 world cities and their forecasted high temperatures in one minute live on his radio show, or that Erikah Westberry fit 46 pieces of candy corn in to her mouth at once and closed it…  or many, many more– new worlds records al!

As we raise our aspirations, we might note that it was on this date the the “Solid State Age” was born: on June 30, 1948, Bell Labs announced the invention of the “transistor,” and proposed that it might replace the vacuum tubes then ubiquitous in radios and other electronic devices…  The first patent for the field-effect transistor principle was filed in Canada by Austrian-Hungarian physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld on 22 October 1925, though Lilienfeld didn’t publish research articles about his devices. Then in 1934, German physicist Dr. Oskar Heil patented another field-effect transistor.  But it wasn’t until 1947, and the work begun then at Bell Labs by a team including John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, Wiliam Shockley, and John Pierce (who named “the transistor”) that it became practical.  (The first working model was completed in December, 1947, but the announcement was held– for further tweaking.)

Replica of the first working transistor

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