Flashlight Generates Own Power
A BATTERY-LESS, vest-pocket flashlight, which generates its own electricity by hand-manipulation of a lever controlling a built-in magneto, has been invented in England.
Small and flat, this current-generating flashlight casts a strong beam and is not affected by cold or heat. A magneto is built in.
Billed by its makers as the smartest electronic brain ever built is a giant computer called the NORC, for Naval Ordnance Research Calculator. The NORC was designed for high-speed calculation heretofore impossible because of the time involved. For instance, it can perform 15,-000 arithmetical operations a second, or a billion in less than 24 hours. This is the equivalent of a thousand persons calculating on paper for a lifetime.
Fisherman and His Pets
Most fishermen have a hobby of some kind and Henry Larsen, lob-sterman of Freeport, N. Y., is no exception. He likes to train pets of all kinds. He hasn’t yet discovered a way to train the lobster, but he has worked out a tightrope routine starring Sonja, his cat. Sonja gracefully trips across the rope carrying two white mice and a small chicken on her back. To make the act a little more exciting, Julius, a bantam rooster and another of Larsen’s pets, perches unconcernedly on the rope, forcing the cat to step over him as she carries her passengers along the rope.
Anti-pest Doorbell Discourages Agents and Bill Collectors
A RECENTLY invented doorbell of the coin-in-the-slot type is finding great favor with housewives who are continually pestered by salesmen and bill collectors.
A dime must be inserted in the slot of this unit before the push button can be made to operate the bell. If the visitor is unwelcome, he or she loses the dime, but if a friend calls the housewife returns the dime after opening the door.
Agents are a bit hesitant about entering homes equipped with this doorbell, for they are not always confident that they can persuade the lady of the house to buy their products or return the dime.
Movie stars especially, who are continually bothered by autograph seekers and salesmen, are finding that this tittle device adds considerably to their income.
Just hearing a pin drop is easy…
Bruel & Kjaer instruments analyze sound and put it in writing for you
Since Bruel & Kjaer instruments present essential data so easily, they greatly simplify the analysis and control of sound, vibration, and noise.
For example, the Spectrum Recorder automatically “scans” any sounds from 35 to 18,000 cycles per second in third-octave steps. Chart records, produced immediately, indicate both frequency spectrum and signal amplitude. The instrument saves hours of engineering time in analysis of sounds and vibrations, and in studies of strains, pressure variations, complex electrical voltages, and magnetic tape recordings.
Developed for laboratory use, the line of Bruel & Kjaer instruments is finding ever-broader use in industry. For information on acoustical and electro-acoustical measurements that can be made easily with these instruments, write Brush Electronics Company, Dept. B-4, 3405 Perkins Avenue, Cleveland 14, Ohio.
BRUSH ELECTRONICS COMPANY
The Brush Development Co.
Brush Electronics Company is an operating unit of Clevite Corporation
INDUSTRIAL AND RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS
MAGNETIC RECORDING EQUIPMENT
This article is the last in Scientific American series on Automatic Control. It covers Information theory and processing. It has some great tidbits such as primitive tagging system for books by Vanevar Bush that used binary coded descriptors on microfilm. Also I’d have to say the author deserves to gloat over this quote: “It is almost certain that “bit” will become common parlance in the field of information, as “horsepower” is in the motor field.”
- Part 1 – Automatic Control
- Part 2 – Feedback
- Part 3 – The Role of the Computer
- Part 4 – Automatic Machine Tools
- Part 5 – Information
The surprising discovery that it is subject to the same statistical treatment as heat facilitates its storage and handling in automatic control systems
by Gilbert W. King
THE “lifeblood” of automatic control is information. To receive and act on information is the essential function of every control system, from the simplest to the most complex. It follows that to understand and apply automatic control successfully we must understand the nature of information itself. This is not as simple as it may seem. Information, and the communication of it, is a rather subtle affair, and we are only beginning to approach an exact understanding of its elusive attributes.
The last sentence is the kicker: “Some experts are predictingâ€”for less than the cost of the family carâ€” a complete home communications terminal with access to computer libraries, two-way video, and hundreds of input channels. Cable TV could make it all come true. ”
Once just a way to get signals to distant places, cable TV is now growing fast even in big cities. Here’s why
CATV Is Coming to Your Town
One of these days soon, a salesman will ring your doorbell and offer a special service called cable TV. “Why bother?” you may ask. “I’m perfectly satisfied with the reception I’m getting now on my five [if you're average] channels.” True, you may be getting good TV reception. But CATV (Community Antenna TV) will offer you better reception, and more. Added up, here is what you will get:
â€¢ The five channels you would usually pull in with your antennaâ€” but much sharper and clearer.
â€¢ Three, maybe four, other stations from other cities. Two or three of them will probably duplicate much of the network programing you’re already getting. But one or two may be independents that you have no way of seeing, short of moving to the next town. That’s a total of nine channels off the air.
â€¢ Three local channelsâ€”continuously broadcasting time/weather, news/stock ticker, and local live broadcastsâ€”from town meetings to high-school ball games. That’s 12 channels so far.
â€¢ There’s more coming: pay TV on the cable. This is the most exciting home-entertainment prospect of all. Pay cable channels will cost extra.
3 Important, New Electronic Digital Computers
For Engineering, Science and Business
Entirely new circuit designs have enabled CRC to produce a complete line of relatively small, low cost, highly reliable, digital electronic computers.
They may be purchased outright, or leased with the option to buy. A complete parts and service warranty, including both preventive and special maintenance will be included with lease if desired.
The next steps for me are an ebay listing, followed by the inevitable pictures of me in a Golden Palace Casino T-shirt and hat.
High Speed Stroboscope Freezes Motion
By HARVEY POLLACK
WOULD YOU LIKE to examine the contortions of your high-speed circular saw, drill or handsaw under conditions that seem to slow it down to a crawl ? Any repetitive movement, whether rotary or reciprocating, can be viewed as though the moving body were at rest or in very lazy motionâ€”under the flashing illumination of this wide-range “Varistrobe” (variable flash-rate stroboscope).
Living Actors Animate Fireworks
SPECTACULAR pyrotechnics animated by living performers clad in asbestos suits have been part of the display which thrilled London audiences at the Crystal Palace during the past season.
Most famous of the acts is “Blondin on his tight rope,” in which “Blondin,” outlined in blazing powder, pushes a fiery wheelbarrow across a flaming plank. The heat generated by the display would be sufficient to melt iron.