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Topic: Great Failures in History  (Read 3456 times)

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« on: November 11, 2008, 08:37:02 PM »

This thread is about people who were Failures.  It's meant to be inspirational....    Bigok

Who can you think of in history who failed at a goal, thereby setting up someone else to succeed?  Perhaps they made some key break through, but died before reaching the final objective.  Perhaps they moved onto other things after making what they felt was an inconsequential discovery?

What makes this inquiry so challenging, of course, is that history doesn't remember the failures so clearly.  So, to be certain, this will be a challenge.

Come on history buffs, give me some interesting reading!  Name some failures that the world couldn't have continued without....
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 08:37:43 PM »

OrangeSVS comes to mind.   Lol
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 08:38:21 PM »


OrangeSVS comes to mind.   Lol


Well yeah... But besides me....
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2008, 08:40:17 PM »

Ford set himself up for overwhelming improvement with the Edsel.
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 08:44:20 PM »


Ford set himself up for overwhelming improvement with the Edsel.


I expected stefrr to say....HP computers.... Headscratch

P;
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2008, 08:46:06 PM »

The first English tanks?  Headscratch
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2008, 08:48:29 PM »

Goddard ... Von Braun  Headscratch
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 08:49:35 PM »

Hitler and his two front war
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 08:51:02 PM »

The attempt by France to build the Panama Canal.  They preferred cologne over mosquito repellant.
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008, 08:52:03 PM »

Vanilla Ice
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 08:53:14 PM »

Though not a failure, Tesla didn't capitalize on his inventions and died pretty much broke. Without him we'd have a very different world right now.
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 08:55:33 PM »

George Lazenby - Sean Connery returns  Lol
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 09:18:48 PM »

god.
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 09:44:14 PM »

Farkas and Jonas Bolyai. Farkas spent his entire life working on the parallel postulate in mathematics (a problem that had remained unsolved for 2000 years), as had many mathematicians before him. When his son Jonas became a mathematician Farkas pleaded with him not to work on the parallel postulate saying it would ruin his life, but Jonas did anyways.
Jonas discovered the solution, and the proud father sent the solution his friend Gauss, the greatest mathematician of the day and perhaps of all time. Gauss's response to seeing the solution to the 2000 year old problem the Bolyais had spent their life working on? I knew that already.
Jonas was crushed, his work was delayed in publication, and he gotten beaten to the punch by Nikolai Lobachevsky who published the result a few years before him (independently). Jonas died with over 2000 unpublished original works. Lobachevsky's work became the foundation for Einstein's work in relativity.
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 09:51:19 PM »

I've failed so miserably at so many different things that I believe I qualify for the title...
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2008, 10:12:20 PM »


god.



 :lol:which one?
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 10:13:56 PM »

Didn't Poland send a manned spacecraft to the sun...at night? Razz
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2008, 10:14:51 PM »


Vanilla Ice


I almost have to disagree on this one.
Everyone I knew in middle school had his Ice Ice Baby tape.  
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 10:16:14 PM »


Didn't Poland send a manned spacecraft to the sun...at night? Razz


That was right after the failed screen door for submarines business.
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2008, 10:17:39 PM »




That was right after the failed screen door for submarines business.



But they get all stuffy inside.
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2008, 10:17:59 PM »

Dodo bird. Something so tasty should have had lasers on his back. Poor design.
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2008, 10:25:37 PM »

Pete Best
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2008, 10:34:37 PM »

Millie Vanillie





ken
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2008, 10:38:57 PM »

brian bosworth
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 01:16:33 AM »

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« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2008, 01:17:52 AM »

General Billy Mitchell... probably one of the most important figures in the advancement of air power. He was not able to convince US military commanders in the years after WW1 at how important a role the airplane would take in future wars. He predicted the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor about 20 years prior to the Japanese attack in 1941. He also showed how vulnerable the Navy was to just one airplane and one well delivered bomb. He resigned from the Army (after being court-martialed, and found guilty of insubordination), and lost most of his influence as a result. History vindicated him for his foresight!
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« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2008, 01:28:47 AM »


General Billy Mitchell... !


Billy was vindicated in the end, so is that a failure?

How about Winston Churchill? The advocate for the folly that was Gallipoli? He went on to stand against Hitler and held our western world together until America became fully committed to the war. All Winny got out of it was 50 four stack destroyers and the end of an empire.

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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2008, 01:41:06 AM »




Billy was vindicated in the end, so is that a failure?




Sure.. he really wasn't vindicated till after his death from how I see it.
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2008, 02:29:30 AM »

Columbus failing to find the East Indies.

Scott failing to reach the South Pole.

The turbo motorcycle period.
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2008, 02:50:53 AM »

UFO trying to keep "Off Topic" civil.
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2008, 09:06:16 AM »

new Coke.    unreal

Pepsi Clear.  unamerican.

DeLorean.

all the "Cobra" vehicles produced by Ford after 1970.
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2008, 09:14:09 AM »

FDR or the Supreme Court.  FDR threatened the Supreme Court so they caved in and granted the federal gov't extraordinary powers to regulated everything via the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.  
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2008, 09:17:53 AM »

Albert Einstein did so poorly in school that one of his teachers told his parents that he wouldn't amount to anything in life.

Soichiro Honda applied for a job and was turned down by Toyota.

And I think Bill Gates did poorly in university.
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2008, 09:23:23 AM »


And I think Bill Gates did poorly in university.


He dropped out, actually.  Got bored.
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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2008, 09:26:33 AM »

Eli Whitney.  Get a good book on him...perhaps one of the most most brilliant minds of that era.  Had scores of inventions, almost none of which he made any money from (yes, including the cotton gin).  In fact, there are some scholars that credit Eli with being the single one most influential person that set in motion "The Civil War".

B

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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2008, 11:54:16 AM »




Scott failing to reach the South Pole.




Scott made it to the Pole - he just didn't make it back...
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2008, 11:58:39 AM »




Scott made it to the Pole - he just didn't make it back...


Betcha his dog made it to the Pole first.

(old Marx Bros. joke)
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2008, 11:58:52 AM »

Mendel.  He died before he was recognized as a genius of genetics
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2008, 12:18:11 PM »

 W
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2008, 12:21:29 PM »

How about the Tucker?

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« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2008, 12:40:06 PM »


UFO trying to keep "Off Topic" civil.


 rofl

My favorite failure/vindication story:
As a Harvard MBA student, Fred Smith wrote a class paper with a business plan for an overnight delivery company. The prof gave him a C -- essentially a failing grade in that program -- because the prof thought it was too unrealistic. Fred Smith graduated and started FedEx.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2008, 12:50:25 PM »




 rofl

My favorite failure/vindication story:
As a Harvard MBA student, Fred Smith wrote a class paper with a business plan for an overnight delivery company. The prof gave him a C -- essentially a failing grade in that program -- because the prof thought it was too unrealistic. Fred Smith graduated and started FedEx.   Thumbsup


In the professor's defense, I've never gotten anything on time from FedEx.
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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2008, 12:53:04 PM »




In the professor's defense, I've never gotten anything on time from FedEx.


and THAT, right there....

That's why you get so many ignores.
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« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2008, 12:57:01 PM »


 W


Dagnab - beat me to it.

I would argue that JFK was a failure as President in the sense that he got very little of his legislative agenda through Congress, even though the Democrats had a super majority in both houses.  As an example, the Civil Rights Act was stalled during JFK's administration, and only passed after his death.

LBJ was much more successful in getting Congress to cooperate and pass his legislative proposals.
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« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2008, 01:00:04 PM »

Shackleton's navigator Frank Worsley.

sailed 800 miles across the South Atlantic to South Georgia Island but lands on the wrong side of the island.

D'oh!
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« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2008, 01:00:21 PM »

Early NASA rockets.
The Ruskies attempt at a moon rocket. Just couldn't come to terms with the large rocket motors needed and instead keept pushing for the smaller, cheaper, more inifficient models.

Honda RR's  
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« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2008, 01:07:50 PM »

Jimmy Carter
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« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2008, 01:21:06 PM »


Shackleton's navigator Frank Worsley.

sailed 800 miles across the South Atlantic to South Georgia Island but lands on the wrong side of the island.

D'oh!



But...
Shackleton led his men across Antartica (Eating Albatros along the way) and survied.  He is remembered as a hero, not a failure.  
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« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2008, 01:25:03 PM »


But...
Shackleton led his men across Antartica (Eating Albatros along the way) and survied.  He is remembered as a hero, not a failure.  

my tongue in cheek icon wuz broken  Cool
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« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2008, 01:25:49 PM »

This thread  Razz
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« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2008, 01:29:25 PM »

Ignaz Semmelweis

All he wanted was for physicians to wash their hands.  Sad
Quote from: wikipedia
In 1865 János Balassa wrote a document referring Semmelweis to a mental institution. On 30 July Ferdinand von Hebra lured him, under the pretense of visiting one of Hebra's "new Institutes[66]", to a Viennese insane asylum located in Lazarettgasse[67], not far from the General Hospital — definitely not one of Vienna's best. Semmelweis surmised what was happening and tried to leave. He was severely beaten by several guards, secured in a straitjacket and confined to a darkened cell. Apart from the straitjacket, treatments at the mental institution included dousing with cold water and administering castor oil, a laxative. He died after two weeks, on 13 August 1865, aged 47, from a gangreneous wound, possibly inflicted by the beating. The autopsy revealed extensive internal injuries, the cause of death pyemia — blood poisoning. In maternity clinics this would have been called childbed fever[68]
Semmelweis was buried in Vienna on 15 August 1865. Only a few persons attended the services. Not one family member, not one in-law, not one colleague from the University of Pest was in attendance[69]. A few medical periodicals in Vienna and Budapest included brief announcements of Semmelweis's death. The rules of the Hungarian Association of Physicians and Natural Scientists specified that a commemorative address be delivered in honor of each member who had died in the preceding year. For Semmelweis there was no address; his death was never even mentioned


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« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2008, 01:42:59 PM »

Quote
In the professor's defense, I've never gotten anything on time from FedEx.


Quote

and THAT, right there....

That's why you get so many ignores.


Hugely funny comment and he gets ignores for it?   Headscratch
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« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2008, 01:46:01 PM »






Hugely funny comment and he gets ignores for it?   Headscratch


Sarcasm dude.  Pure sarcasm.  


Hey look! ABS!
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« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2008, 02:06:50 PM »

 Twofinger
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« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2008, 03:32:27 PM »

Oliver Heaviside  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Heaviside

British electrical engineer and mathematician.  He invented a method of operational calculus that greatly simplified solving complex differential equations thought to be unsolvable.  When he presented his methods to the Royal Society, he was challenged and his methods were scoffed at due to a lack of a 'rigorous mathematical proof'.  His retort to that was "I do not refuse my dinner simply because I don't understand the process of digestion."

His methodology was later proved to be equivilient to performing Laplace Transforms, however they are far simplier to use... after you take the leap of faith that they do indeed work.

He was later credited by the Royal Society and became a fellow for methods used to solve discontinuous functions, and the unit step function (Heaviside Function).
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« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2008, 03:43:47 PM »


Oliver Heaviside  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Heaviside

British electrical engineer and mathematician.  He invented a method of operational calculus that greatly simplified solving complex differential equations thought to be unsolvable.  When he presented his methods to the Royal Society, he was challenged and his methods were scoffed at due to a lack of a 'rigorous mathematical proof'.  His retort to that was "I do not refuse my dinner simply because I don't understand the process of digestion."

His methodology was later proved to be equivilient to performing Laplace Transforms, however they are far simplier to use... after you take the leap of faith that they do indeed work.

He was later credited by the Royal Society and became a fellow for methods used to solve discontinuous functions, and the unit step function (Heaviside Function).


Wow! Awesome post.  

Ok, I admit it.  I'm a math geek.  I LOVE reading about the giants of mathematics and how the developed their equations and processes.  I had never heard of Heaviside.  I will be reading up on him, however  Thumbsup
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« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2008, 04:17:13 PM »

Gus Grissom.

Allegedly screwed the pooch in Liberty 7, then burned to death in Apollo 1.
Quote
Grissom was backup command pilot for Gemini 6 when he shifted to the Apollo program and was assigned as commander of AS-204, which was meant to be the first manned Apollo flight. He was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee when the Apollo 1 command module caught fire and burned on the launchpad during a training exercise and pre-launch test at Cape Kennedy on 27 January 1967. The fire's ignition source was never determined but their deaths were attributed to a wide range of lethal design hazards in the early Apollo command module such as its highly pressurized 100% oxygen atmosphere during the test, many wiring and plumbing flaws, flammable materials in the cockpit, a hatch which might not open at all in an emergency and even the flightsuits worn by the astronauts. These along with other flaws and design problems were fixed and the Apollo program carried on successfully.


We made it to the moon, though, and back, because of his and the others sacrifice.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 04:20:34 PM by radman » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2008, 04:20:25 PM »

Glen Curtiss... the father of the V Twin... who went on to produce a V8 motorcycle but who also set the course
for Indian and HD to follow even to this date...



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Umm...




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« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2008, 04:55:21 PM »

Billy Mitchell --> Curtis LeMay
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« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2008, 05:21:18 PM »

Barry Goldwater.  How many times do you run for president and FAIL?

The USSR.

The American Auto Industry post 1972 or so.  How long will it take those idiots to realize they're making the wrong kinds of cars?  This isn't 1968 anymore.  They do still make good trucks, though.

The American Finance industry.  Their utter incompetence is creating a giant snowball of failures.  Businesses are now folding by the dozens on a daily basis... large and small.

But to step out of the modern era...


Persia.  How many times do you have to send a bazillion troops to take over Greece and get your ass handed to you by a force 1/10th the size before you realize you should stop doing that?    The Persians at Thermopylae.  The Persians at Marathon.  The Persians at Salamis.  All great failures.  They do have tasty food, though!

The Crusades.

King Harold the Saxon at Hastings in 1066.  The French controlled England for hundreds of years after that...

The French Revolution.  It succeeded, but look where France is now.

The British in the American Revolution.  Shoulda taken us a little more seriously, eh?

WWI military tactics.  Hey, let's go charge those guys with the machine gun nests!

America in Vietnam.

I was going to put Iraq down too, but we've done a lot of good there, despite W.

John Louis Gasseé.  In the mid 80s, after the ousting of Steve Jobs by Apple's board, Gasseé was primarily responsible for stopping the deal with Microsoft to license the MacOS.  He later founded BeOS, which was a nice unix based OS.  However, when Apple came shopping for the foundation of the their next generation OS, Gasseé got greedy and asked 400million just to license it.  Apple instead turned to one of the original founders, Steve Jobs, and purchased NeXT outright for the same price and the rest is history.


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« Reply #60 on: November 12, 2008, 06:08:35 PM »

Laserdisk -> DVD
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« Reply #61 on: November 12, 2008, 07:52:01 PM »


Laserdisk -> DVD


Laserdisk wasn't really a failure, just not a huge success.  Despite that it's picture quality is often superior to DVD (more storage, less compression).
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« Reply #62 on: November 12, 2008, 09:34:13 PM »

iTunes
FireFox

As bloated as the others nowadays.
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« Reply #63 on: November 12, 2008, 09:56:10 PM »

Philo T. Farnsworth
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« Reply #64 on: November 12, 2008, 10:28:33 PM »

Vista
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« Reply #65 on: November 13, 2008, 01:48:37 AM »

Les Nessman
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« Reply #66 on: November 13, 2008, 02:01:19 AM »

The Loch Ness Monster.

not much of a monster if you don't kill anyone.
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« Reply #67 on: November 13, 2008, 02:51:49 AM »




He dropped out, actually.  Got bored.


No he saw an opportunity and went for it knowing that if he faild, he's folks would allow him to go back to college.
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« Reply #68 on: November 13, 2008, 07:42:18 AM »

There's a few really good ones in here...    I think what some people are missing though is the criteria that it was only through these peoples' failures (or incompletion), that another was able to succeed.  Kind of someone else picking up the torch and running with it... or developing the framework that made other people successful.

What about the guy who invented the transistor?  I bet he never struck it rich... but he could be considered the great grandfather of the modern computer.  What about Edison's competitors?  Didn't one of them have the head start in the race to make a lightbulb, but then they fell behind at some crucial point or something like that?  Who was the European Wright Brothers competitor who, supposedly, flew first?
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« Reply #69 on: November 13, 2008, 10:05:05 AM »

Sony-Betamax

Purported to have been better than VHS, but I had no experience with that format.
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« Reply #70 on: November 13, 2008, 10:22:08 AM »



What about Edison's competitors?  Didn't one of them have the head start in the race to make a lightbulb, but then they fell behind at some crucial point or something like that?  Who was the European Wright Brothers competitor who, supposedly, flew first?


Edison's main competitor was Westinghouse.  This was the great AC versus DC fight.  Edison lost.  He believed that electric power generation and distribution should all be DC power (despite the trememdous resistive losses when trying to transmit DC over distance).  To overcome the losses, Edison believed that there should be a generator on every block.

This was despite originally having Tesla work for Edison.  Tesla realized early on that power generation and distribution should be AC... but Edison couldn't understand the math.  It was Westinghouse that realized Tesla's genious.

Edison, seeing his oportunity to have a monopoly on electric production and distribution in the US dwindle, decided to launch a smear campaign against AC power, calling it unsafe and more likely to kill you if you get shocked.  

Edison himself had a great history of failure, finally leading to some great successes.  I forget how many times he tried different iterations of the light bulb before he stumbled upon tungsten filiments.
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« Reply #71 on: November 13, 2008, 11:06:16 AM »

I worked for 20 years in the heavy truck industry as a manufacturer's rep in the metro NY area.  The number of innovations that failed due to sheer stupidity is staggering.

Usually, an inventor sees the answer to a problem and solves it.  His prototype works well enough to sell a few.  When a fleet of trucks buys it, the original equipment manufacturer agrees to retro fit for that fleet.  Once it becomes popular and proven,  the truck factory builds it in and stops buying the original aftermarket item and the inventor goes broke in short order.  

Examples:

Fairings on trucks of all sizes.

Those oval tail lights in metal boxes above the power tailgates.  I sold the first dozen sets in the NYC area and not another one.  The local truck body people made their own or built them into the vertical rails for the roll-up doors.  The originator of the idea went broke.

Anti spray mudflaps and side skirts (you can't legislate good manners)  Besides, they fill up with slush and wiegh 200+ pounds and tear off at road speed.  Uh oh!

Fuel heaters ( diesel becomes jello if cold enough).  If you want to make ice cream, put the liquid in an aluminum container and shale it in constant contact with ice mixed with rock salt.  Putting diesel fuel in an aluminum tank and bouncing down the road, covered in salty slush, is the fastest way to chill fuel to the jello point.  DUH!  Insulate the fuel lines with two layers of split loom and wrap the tanks in anything that keeps the slush off them.  DUH!  But nobody listened to me.  Oh well.

The first introduction of anti-lock brakes;  the electronics were not robust enough to withstand life under a truck combined with mechanics who resented anything new they couldn't understand.  The people who make the Detroit locker for off-roaders and racers figured out how to reprogram  the above anti-lock system to also give anti-spin.  It was called Electrac and it was brilliant and worked as planned.  When the whole anti-lock brake thing went away, so did Electrac.  I mourn the loss.

My brother and I helped pioneer a speedometer  cable making kit for trucks.  We did very well with it.  Until everything went electronic...

The heavy truck industry is possibly the most target rich environment I can think of, but the resistance to improvement is staggering.  I'm so glad to be out of it.
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« Reply #72 on: November 13, 2008, 11:10:36 AM »

What kinds of truck fairings?  It seems to me, even if you can reduce the drag by 0.5%, you'll get significant fuel savings on long hauls.
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« Reply #73 on: November 13, 2008, 11:38:14 AM »



This was despite originally having Tesla work for Edison.  Tesla realized early on that power generation and distribution should be AC... but Edison couldn't understand the math.  It was Westinghouse that realized Tesla's genious.


I keep waiting for Hollywood to devote a movie to Tesla.  "The Prestige" briefly touched on him, but diverted to fantasy.
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« Reply #74 on: November 13, 2008, 12:09:25 PM »


iTunes
FireFox

As bloated as the others nowadays.


You know, I used to really like iTunes.  I still do, except it keeps trying to install Safari and some other crapulance.
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« Reply #75 on: November 13, 2008, 12:46:29 PM »

iTunes has always been overly invasive and a massive resource hog.  Thumbsdown

I've been a big proponent of windows.  I loved 3.1--easy to work with--shitty printer support.  Windows 95 was good too, but I didn't like the registry stuff.  Lots of things I could do in 3.1 I couldn't do any more.  Win98SE was even better.

ME was a giant stinkin' pile.  I really like XP, IMO the best windows product to date.

Vista?  It sucks so badly, that I'm abandoning PCs for Macs starting next month.  Freakin' pop ups all the gawdam time, the system deciding to end a program for "a serious problem" and slower than shit to load up initially.  Sorry.  I'm gonna try to reformat the hard drive on my Vista machine and put a clean copy of XP in instead.  

Replacement computers will be Macs though.
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« Reply #76 on: November 13, 2008, 01:09:16 PM »

Tenn Titans QB Vince Young! Lol
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« Reply #77 on: November 13, 2008, 01:27:29 PM »


Tenn Titans QB Vince Young! Lol


But it resurrected Kerry Collins career.
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« Reply #78 on: November 13, 2008, 03:50:33 PM »

Heavens Gate.

In the annals of filmmaking, few movies reach the height of epic fiasco like "Heaven's Gate." This film -- about European cattle-rustlers, rich WASP ranch owners, and roller-skating (really) -- lost millions upon millions of dollars, destroyed the career of director Michael Cimino, and drove the hallowed United Artist studio out of business. It failed, and it failed big.


Released in 1980. $40 Million budget. $3.5 million box office.
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« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2008, 03:55:04 PM »

 Let me add one more.

Zyzzyx Rd. (2005)

Budget: $2 million, US Box Office: $30 (Yes, you read that right.)

There are a lot of indie films that don't make money. But few can boast a box-office draw less than the cost of a tank of gas. To satisfy a Screen Actors Guild's requirement, director John Penney -- who was holding out for a DVD deal -- screened the flick in a Texas theater for a week where it earned a mere thirty bucks. The meager box-office draw landed the film in the "Guinness Book of Records" as the lowest grossing film of all time. To make matters worse, Penney had to return 1/3 of the gross, as two of the six paying ticket-goers were also crew members.


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« Reply #80 on: November 13, 2008, 03:59:52 PM »

Nihilism.

The philosophy that it all doesn't matter since we're all gonna die anyways.  Some of it's followers made their statement by setting themselves on fire in public.


And next on VH1's Where Are They Now....


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« Reply #81 on: November 13, 2008, 04:33:57 PM »

not quite on point, but close --

"Water World"

a great illustration that show a modicome of talent and a lot of good luck will allow you to recover from damn near anything
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« Reply #82 on: November 13, 2008, 05:01:07 PM »

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« Reply #83 on: November 13, 2008, 05:06:27 PM »

Seriously now.  Lol  Apollo 1.  Sad





Modified to add an even better write-up from NASA.gov:

One of the worst tragedies in the history of spaceflight occurred on January 27, 1967 when the crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire in the Apollo Command Module during a preflight test at Cape Canaveral. They were training for the first crewed Apollo flight, an Earth orbiting mission scheduled to be launched on 21 February. They were taking part in a "plugs-out" test, in which the Command Module was mounted on the Saturn 1B on the launch pad just as it would be for the actual launch, but the Saturn 1B was not fueled. The plan was to go through an entire countdown sequence.

At 1 p.m. on Friday, 27 January 1967 the astronauts entered the capsule on Pad 34 to begin the test. A number of minor problems cropped up which delayed the test considerably and finally a failure in communications forced a hold in the count at 5:40 p.m. At 6:31 one of the astronauts (probably Chaffee) reported, "Fire, I smell fire." Two seconds later White was heard to say, "Fire in the cockpit." The fire spread throughout the cabin in a matter of seconds. The last crew communication ended 17 seconds after the start of the fire, followed by loss of all telemetry. The Apollo hatch could only open inward and was held closed by a number of latches which had to be operated by ratchets. It was also held closed by the interior pressure, which was higher than outside atmospheric pressure and required venting of the command module before the hatch could be opened. It took at least 90 seconds to get the hatch open under ideal conditions. Because the cabin had been filled with a pure oxygen atmosphere at normal pressure for the test and there had been many hours for the oxygen to permeate all the material in the cabin, the fire spread rapidly and the astronauts had no chance to get the hatch open. Nearby technicians tried to get to the hatch but were repeatedly driven back by the heat and smoke. By the time they succeeded in getting the hatch open roughly 5 minutes after the fire started the astronauts had already perished, probably within the first 30 seconds, due to smoke inhalation and burns.

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« Reply #84 on: November 13, 2008, 05:37:45 PM »

Dale Earnhardt Sr. for failing to live, but thru him the HANS device was finally truly accepted and has been a great success in keeping NASCRAP as the top boring-a$$ racing series...
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« Reply #85 on: November 13, 2008, 05:49:25 PM »


Didn't Poland send a manned spacecraft to the sun...at night? Razz


I thought we did? Headscratch

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« Reply #86 on: November 13, 2008, 06:08:59 PM »

One of the most heartbraking failures in musical history is that of Franz Schubert. While he's widely known today, among people who like classical music, as being a great composer, he was not known in his day. In fact, he could for all intensive purposes be considered a musical failure.

I came across a story about Schubert when I did a paper on him in college. I'm also a huge fan of Beethoven, and unknown to me, Schubert was as well. In fact, he had seen him on occasion in Vienna but was such an intensely shy and soft spoken person, he couldn't muster the courage to talk to him. How sad for someone who was as talented as he but who wasn't able to succeed in his lifetime, and who at his best rivaled Beethoven's compositional prowess albeit in shorter and more diverse works. Finally, if you've never listened to Schubert, the Unfinished Symphony is a great place to start, it's a wonderful work as it is also one of his most well known. Orchestras around the world play it on a regular basis.



From Wikipedia:

Schubert was born into a musically knowledgeable family, and received formal musical training through much of his childhood. While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wide appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. He made some money from published works, and occasionally gave private musical instruction. In the last year of his life he began to receive wider acclaim. He died at age 31, apparently of complications from syphilis.

Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
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« Reply #87 on: November 13, 2008, 07:10:10 PM »

Ted Kaczynski- The unabomber. A complete left wing radical kook and critic of technology and industrialization.

From Wikipedia- "Theodore John Kaczynski [kaˈtʂɨɲskʲi] (born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber, is an American mathematician and social critic who carried out a campaign of bombings. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and excelled in academics at a young age. Kaczynski received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley at age 25 but resigned two years later. In 1971, he moved to a remote cabin in Lincoln, Montana. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23.

Kaczynski sent a letter to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised "to desist from terrorism" if The New York Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto. In his Industrial Society and Its Future (also called the "Unabomber Manifesto"), he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization.

The Unabomber was the target of one of the most expensive investigations in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) history. Before Kaczynski's identity was known, the FBI used the handle "UNABOM" ("UNiversity and Airline BOMber") to refer to his case, which resulted in the media calling him the Unabomber. Despite the FBI's efforts, he was not caught as a result of this investigation. Instead, his brother recognized Ted's style of writing and beliefs from the manifesto, and tipped off the FBI. To avoid the death penalty, Kaczynski entered into a plea agreement, under which he pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

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« Reply #88 on: November 13, 2008, 08:18:18 PM »


Nihilism.

The philosophy that it all doesn't matter since we're all gonna die anyways.  Some of it's followers made their statement by setting themselves on fire in public.



What's the difference between a stereotypical indian, an existentialist indian and a nihilistic indian?

One says "How!"; one says "Why?"; and the other says "Who cares?"

(This IS the "Ape, Ape" thread, innit?)
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« Reply #89 on: November 13, 2008, 09:24:01 PM »

The Amiga Computer. It should have been more popular and longlastingly than it was. Video toasters were/is cool.

Fail.

 
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« Reply #90 on: November 14, 2008, 07:22:32 AM »

Homo Sapiens.
Ititially, hoped to be both intelligent, resourceful, and inquisitive, their penchant for rampant reproduction, and quarrelsomeness, combined with an attitude of entitlement and superiority resulted in massive overpopulation and depletion of the very planet that sustained them, resulting in an ignominious end to a promising experiment.
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“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it".   Flannery O'Connor.
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« Reply #91 on: November 14, 2008, 08:58:41 AM »

surprised no one has mentioned it before - George Dubya.
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« Reply #92 on: November 14, 2008, 04:12:01 PM »


surprised no one has mentioned it before - George Dubya.



 W



Homo Sapiens.
Ititially, hoped to be both intelligent, resourceful, and inquisitive, their penchant for rampant reproduction, and quarrelsomeness, combined with an attitude of entitlement and superiority resulted in massive overpopulation and depletion of the very planet that sustained them, resulting in an ignominious end to a promising experiment.


 Lol
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« Reply #93 on: November 14, 2008, 04:55:56 PM »

S.T.N. Version 1
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RenegadeVT
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« Reply #94 on: November 14, 2008, 06:01:41 PM »

Ken Olson, founder of Digital, "the PC is a fad and will never amount to much."  OOPPS

Adlai Stevenson, I think he answered the question how many times can you run for President and loose!
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