[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.


More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list