Saturday 10 December 2016

Working it out: Renowned space icons truly awesome

John Masterson

Published 28/09/2015 | 02:30

American aviator Charles Lindbergh in the cockpit of his biplane at Kenley, prior to his departure for Paris. Photo by Davis/Getty Images)
American aviator Charles Lindbergh in the cockpit of his biplane at Kenley, prior to his departure for Paris. Photo by Davis/Getty Images)

There are a string of words that are overused and I find it difficult to speak with someone who uses them. Those who work with me know I have banned the word 'renowned' in my presence, or in anything I might have to read. I am not too keen on 'special' as most of the things I see described as 'special' are not very special and often the approbation is being delivered by someone who wouldn't know 'special' if it bit them. As for 'iconic', spare me. But top of my list is 'awesome'.

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I rented a bog standard Renault Scenic recently and the on-board computer was little short of amazing. My passenger was an engineer and in no time I was being told of Moore's Law, which is not really a law but a fairly useful prediction of the speed of technological development. We rapidly progressed from the superb car computer to laptops and desktops. Before long he was reminiscing about when computers filled whole rooms.

The progress of the last few generations is undoubtedly awesome, but I didn't feel any awe. I was just grateful I lived in a time when the relentless progress scientists are making results in the possibility of a better world every day. Every time I listen to an engineer or a scientist, I wish we trained more of them. I look forward to Waterford and Carlow ITs getting their acts together for a much-needed South Eastern Technological University.

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