Among the unusual properties at work in gyroscopes is the resistance of a spinning object to being tilted. If set in a free-moving framework, such an object can provide a stable point of reference even if everything else around it—an airplane, for example—tilts. The effect is so strong that large gyroscopes can even prevent ships from rolling. Today, gyroscopes are used in missile guidance, automatic steering, and video game technology. What toys, besides tops, work with gyroscopic effects?
E. M. Forster
Back in the day
In the aftermath World War II, thousands of people in Europe and Asia were tried for war crimes. In Tokyo, US General Douglas MacArthur presided over the years-long trial of 28 high-ranking Japanese military and political leaders, all of whom were found guilty. Seven of them—including Hideki Tojo, the former prime minister of Japan—were sentenced to death. A month later, they were executed by hanging. At the execution, MacArthur defied the wishes of US President Harry S. Truman in what way?
Born on a day like today
Arkwright was a British textile industrialist whose inventions marked an integral step in the Industrial Revolution. His first spinning machine was patented in 1769, and with further innovations he was able to mechanize much of the fabric-production process. The huge cotton mills he founded helped bring about the factory system. Though Arkwright's patents were later disputed, his inventions nevertheless made him very wealthy. As a young man, Arkwright developed a dye for use in what product?