Bush’s presidency in photographs – stunning

January 26, 2009

Blogging for the New York Times, filmmaker Errol Morris interviewed the top photographers from some of the world’s top photographic journalism agencies about their picks of photos that capture George Bush through his presidency. Yeah, some are goofy; most are not.

It’s interesting to read the photographers’ takes on their photos, sometimes different views on different photos taken at the same time and place.  Morris asks good questions, the photographers give great answers.

And the photographs are, in total, stunning.

You could capture these photos for a bell-ringer of some sort, if you don’t take them beyond your classroom.  If you don’t capture these photos, especially for history classes, you’ll regret that you didn’t.

Go see, and marvel, and learn.

Tears run from the eyes of President George W. Bush during a ceremony in honor of Medal of Honor winner Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham in the East room of the White House in Washington, January 11, 2007. Cpl. Dunham was killed when he jumped on a grenade to save fellow members of his Marine patrol while serving in Iraq. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Here's one photo you probably didn't see in the U.S.: "Tears run from the eyes of President George W. Bush during a ceremony in honor of Medal of Honor winner Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham in the East room of the White House in Washington, January 11, 2007. Cpl. Dunham was killed when he jumped on a grenade to save fellow members of his Marine patrol while serving in Iraq. REUTERS/Jim Bourg"

Tip of the old scrub brush to Earthaid3.


Forgotten anniversaries: Microwave oven patent

January 26, 2009

Some history really does need to be rewarmed.

January 24 marks the anniversary of the granting of the patent for the microwave oven, “Method of treating foodstuffs.” Do your texts even refer to this by-product of World War II?  What benefits of microwave ovens can your students come up with?  Will they offer the apocryphal question about how Native Americans could possibly have invented popcorn with their wood-fired microwave ovens?

Dr. Percy L. Spencer noted that a chocolate bar in his shirt pocket had melted when he was working around an operating radar tube, at Raytheon Corp., during World War II (the patent application for microwave cooking was filed on October 8, 1945).  With a little experimentation, he determined the microwaves from the radar tube were rapidly cooking things — think exploding egg, think popping corn.

Drawing from the patent of the microwave oven, granted to Percy L. Spencer on January 24, 1950; courtesy the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation

Drawing from the patent of the microwave oven, granted to Percy L. Spencer on January 24, 1950; courtesy the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation

One of the problems Spencer had to overcome was that radar tubes cooked foods way too fast.  He had to tune the magnetron tubes to produce wavelengths with less energy, to heat food more slowly so the cooking could be controlled.  Spencer explained this process of invention in the first page of text on the patent itself.

Perhaps one could create an interesting DBQ with only patents, tracing radio and radar through the microwave oven.

This is one device you probably can demonstrate  safely  in any history classroom.

Resources:

Tip of the old scrub brush to Rhapsody in Book’s Weblog.


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