Friday, 7 November 2014

Friday Five: Engineers

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Apparently engineers are the salt of the earth - so says Him Outdoors. So this post is actually his. I asked him to name the greatest engineers that sprang to his mind and these are the results.

5 Great Engineers:
  1. Isambard Kingdom Brunel - dockyards; railways; steamships; bridges; tunnels... need we go on?
  2. Robert Stephenson - him of Rocket fame; the father of the railways and bridge-builder extraordinaire.
  3. James Watt - according to Him Outdoors, Watt's improvements to the Newcomen Steam Engine were fundamental to the Industrial Revolution.
  4. J. Robert Oppenheimer - for better or worse, his work on the Manhattan Project changed our lives in unforeseeable ways.
  5. Charles Babbage - credited with inventing the first mechanical computer, he revolutionised modern technology.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Century Cockatoo

Fred is 100!
Fred, the sulphur-crested cockatoo turned one hundred years old this week, which was cause for celebration at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary just outside Hobart in Tasmania. In the wild these cockatoos live to about forty, while in captivity their life expectancy doubles. The old bird received a letter of congratulations from the Queen, and the wildlife sanctuary threw him a party attended by children (and adults) in costume. 

I had no idea they could live that long, and I'm sure the diet of plums, apples, pine cones and peaches from the trees in our back garden is good for them. Many happy returns, Fred!