[EAS] Blast from the Past
Peter J. Kindlmann
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue Mar 28 00:30:45 EST 2006
Dear Collegues -
My friend and colleague Alfred Ganz called to my attention
yesterday's episode of "Engines of our Ingenuity," John Lienhard's
program from the U. of Houston. (I never hear the live broadcasts
because they're too early in the morning.)
This brings back more personal memories than Alfred could have
realized. In 1956-57, after arriving from Austria and finishing high
school here, I went through an active rocket experiments phase, and
could have used that "Rocket Manual for Amateurs" that came out 3
years later. I had numerous explosions and even got hauled in by the
police once, who were quite generous in dealing with my fledgling
efforts at science and engineering by just giving me a stern lecture.
So the second half of Lienhard's comments have a strong personal
resonance. Most of our learning these days manages virtual realities.
So litigious and unused to real risk have we become that even an
extension line cord comes with a warning tag almost as stern as the
lecture the police gave me. These days very few students I see have a
robust sense of dealing with risk and safety. Those few who grew up
on a farm usually do well.
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