(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Albert Stevens

“In a flat country a hillock thinks itself a mountain”*…

In 2003, the Annals of Improbable Research released the results of a study that was not so much groundbreaking as it was ground-battering: Kansas, the tongue-in-cheek analysis found, was flatter than a pancake. The researchers Mark Fonstad, William Pugatch, and Brandon Vogt used polynomial equations to calculate the flatness of the famously flat state, and discovered that—as compared to the topography of an IHOP pancake—it was indeed flatter than a flapjack.

Their finding was not incorrect. Parts of Kansas are, in fact, flatter than a pancake! But the study’s focus on Kanas, it turns out, was also misleading. Because there are states—six of them, to be specific—that are even flatter than Kansas. The states flatter than a pancake, you could say, could be served in a short stack.

This latest flatness finding comes courtesy of geographers at the University of Kansas, who just published a paper, “The Flatness of U.S. States,” inGeographical Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Geographical Society…

The top 10 flattest states, per their results? [Results charted on the map above differ as they reflect a slightly different analysis; c.f., the link below.]

Florida

Illinois

North Dakota

Louisiana

Minnesota

Delaware

Kansas

Texas

Nevada

Indiana

Get level at “Science: Several U.S. States, Led by Florida, Are Flatter Than a Pancake.”

* Turkish proverb

###

As we reach for the maple syrup, we might send lofty birthday greetings to Albert William Stevens; he was born on this date in 1886.  An career officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Stevens was a pioneering balloonist and aerial photographer who took the first photograph clearly showing the Earth’s curvature (1930) and the first photographs of the Moon’s shadow on the Earth during a solar eclipse (1932).  In 1935 Stevens and a colleague made a record balloon ascent near Rapid City, South Dakota.  20,000 watched– and millions listened to a live NBC broadcast– as their sealed gondola, Explorer II, climbed to 72,395 feet, nearly 14 miles, a record that stood until 1956.

 source

Written by LW

March 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

First in Flight?…

 

For years, Ohio and North Carolina have argued over the bragging rights to the Wright Brothers: Ohio on the grounds that the brothers developed and built their design in Dayton; North Carolina, because Kitty Hawk was the site of the Wright’s first powered flight.  Ohio’s license plates proclaim “Birthplace of Aviation” (more recently, “Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers”, to include not only the Wrights, but also astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, both Ohio natives); North Carolina’s, “First in Flight.” And the rivalry has even been drawn on quarters:

But it’s looking as though both states may need to re-tool their plates and dies…

Newly found evidence supports earlier claims that Gustave Whitehead (a German immigrant, born Gustav Weißkopf, “Whitehead” being the literal translation of “Weißkopf”) performed the first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight as early as August 14, 1901–  more than two years before the Wrights took off– and in Connecticut (near Fairfield).  There’a a detailed analysis of the evidence here… evidence sufficiently compelling to convince the venerable Janes.

The photo at the head of this post is a woodcut rendering of Whitehead’s first flight; this photo shows Whitehead and his crew with his monoplane outside his shop; daughter Rose sits on Whitehead’s lap, and the engine that powers the front landing-gear wheels is on the ground in front of the others.

Well, it’s not as though the Tar Heels don’t have more important things to worry about; ditto, the Buckeyes. And as for Connecticut, well, if they ever tire of “Constitution State,” there’s a new slogan at the ready.

… or there might be.  It turns out that there’s yet another claimant to the “first powered flight flight” title: the Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont.

[TotH to Slashdot]

###

As we marvel at mechanical miracles, we might send lofty birthday greetings to Albert William Stevens; he was born on this date in 1886.  An career officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Stevens was a pioneering balloonist and aerial photographer who took the first photograph clearly showing the Earth’s curvature (1930) and the first photographs of the Moon’s shadow on the Earth during a solar eclipse (1932).  In 1935 Stevens and a colleague made a record balloon ascent near Rapid City, South Dakota.  20,000 watched– and millions listened to a live NBC broadcast– as their sealed gondola, Explorer II, climbed to 72,395 feet, nearly 14 miles, a record that stood until 1956.

 source

 

%d bloggers like this: