On April 12, 1981, the first space shuttle, Columbia, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its maiden flight into space. The shuttle was powered by three liquid-fueled engines and a pair of giant strap-on, solid-fuel boosters. The basic principle that makes it work is exactly the same as that behind a simple firework rocket or a balloon that zooms across the room when you let go of its neck. It is the principle of action and reaction.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the greatest achievements of Western art, has probably suffered more damage than any other great work. The 12 foot high mural was finished in the late 1490s and within 20 years paint was already flaking off. By 1587, the painting was described as “half-ruined”.
A cat survived the sinking of not one, not two, but three ships! He was then called Unsinkable Sam. He started on a German boat and transferred to a British boat, both of which sank. He went on another British vessel which was also sunk by torpedo and they finally retired him. He lived for another 14 years on a farm just outside of Belfast.
The modern plastics industry began in the 1860s with a competition in America to find a better and less expensive billiard ball than those made of ivory. The winner of the $10,000 dollar prize was John Wesley Hyatt, an American inventor who made a ball from a substance he called Celluloid.