Jet packs began to appear in science fiction long before science made them a reality. Toward the end of WWII, scientists began working seriously to develop a wearable propulsion device that would enable a single user to fly. Now a reality, jet packs are prohibitively expensive and difficult to control. Because jet pack flights are brief, most do not achieve the minimum altitude necessary to deploy a parachute in the event of a breakdown. What is currently the only practical use for jet packs?
Back in the day
More than 100 people were killed and thousands more left injured or homeless when a dam in West Virginia's rural Buffalo Creek Valley gave way. It had been built out of sediment left over from coal mining and collapsed after a heavy rainfall, sweeping away two more dams in its path. The collapse unleashed approximately 130 million gallons of black waste water onto the residents of the valley below. A study done 17 years later found that residents still suffered what lasting psychological effect?
Born on a day like today
Remembered today as the co-creator of corn flakes, Kellogg was a physician and food reformer. He founded a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, based on the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in conjunction with his own eccentric ideas about health. He and his brother invented a flaked breakfast cereal for patients, but a feud developed between the two over flake recipes and business rights. At the end of his life, he sent his brother an apology, but it was not received in time—why?