Video documentaries

The day the world changed

01/24/2011. Category: history. Topic: , .

There is a moment in life when everything changes – not only for you but for the whole world. Sometimes you can call up the exact moment when it did happen but sometimes you have to think hard to recall the day. But it is there. The day that the world changed.

James Burke, the brilliant historian TV presenter, produced a series of videos to remind us of the memorable days in history that changed, well, just about everything for everyone. It is called The Day The Universe Changed.

Early on Burke suggested that “a forthcoming revolution in communication and computer technology would allow people all over the world to exchange ideas and opinions instantaneously.” Read more…

The story of Google

08/16/2010. Category: history. Topic: .

Some funny-sounding brand names have made it into history but not many got there because of misspelling. As was Google, which is named after the scientific word that refers to extremely large numbers, googol. The name was suggested by Sean Anderson – as googolplex – to Larry Page – who decided on googol – but looking up on the availability of the domain name Sean misspelled it as google. This interesting bit of history can be read on David Koller’s page at Standford University, where it all first began as BackRub way back in 1995. Read more…

History of oil

08/02/2010. Category: history. Topic: .

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”  Thus said the associates of Edwin L. Drake, refusing his suggestion to drill for oil in 1859. In that same year his 69-foot-deep oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania delivered 15 barrels of oil per day.

Edwin Drake did not discover oil. Oil has been used in many places around the world since ancient times. Drake did, however, start the oil rush, a market which today is worth more in futures than it’s actual value. (A barrel of oil is traded some 27 times before it reaches its destination.) None – actual or futures – from which Drake would benefit; he died penniless in 1880. Neither would he be called The father of oil. That title went to Major Frank Holmes, the colorful New Zealander who established the first oil industries of the Middle East. Read more…