Technology and Culture

Technology and Culture
Volume 47, Number 1, January 2006

CONTENTS

Articles

    Downey, Greg.
  • Constructing "Computer-Compatible" Stenographers: The Transition to Real-time Transcription in Courtroom Reporting
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    Subject Headings:
    • Law reporting -- Technological innovations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Computer-aided transcription systems -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Over the last half-century, the techniques and technologies used by courtroom stenographers have been transformed from mechanical tools to digital computers, from just-in-time print to real-time display, and from information commodity to information service. And as with the labor pools of other services related to information, both the sexual demographics and cultural gendering of courtroom stenography have changed, being now a specialized field dominated by females. None of these changes was obvious, deterministic, or uncontested. This article draws upon the published primary and secondary writings of courtroom-technology innovators, courtroom personnel managers, and professional court reporters to relate the story of the computerization of courtroom stenography.
    Peña, Carolyn Thomas de la.
  • "Bleaching the Ethiopians": Desegregating Race and Technology through Early X-ray Experiments
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    Subject Headings:
    • Radiology, Medical -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Race awareness -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This essay contributes to recent calls to "desegregate" the subjects of race and technology and interrogate technology as a tool that has historically made racial hierarchies possible. It considers the false reporting of "successful experiments" employing X rays and radium to whiten black skin in 1903 and 1904 as attempts by whites to exorcise the threats that these new technologies posed to established categories of race and racial superiority. It asks not why such experiments occurred, but rather why whites across the country believed they did. By analyzing the rhetorical coverage of these events and placing them in the context of contemporary fantasies about the power of X rays and radium, the piece argues that the degree to which we accept technologies depends, at least in part, on the ability of groups in power to reject the uses or effects of those technologies that might challenge accepted cultural "truths."
    Mody, Cyrus.
  • Corporations, Universities, and Instrumental Communities: Commercializing Probe Microscopy, 1981-1996
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    Subject Headings:
    • Microscopy -- Economic aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Academic-industrial collaboration -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Longstanding debates about the role of the university in national culture and the global economy have usually centered on one university, region, or discipline. I propose a new unit of analysis, the "instrumental community," i.e. a community dedicated to developing a particular class of instruments. Such communities span regions, firms, universities, and disciplines. The commercialization of scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy between 1981 and 1996 is a striking example of such a community. Analysis of the commercialization of STM and AFM contradicts the positions of both supporters and opponents of academic entrepreneurialism.

Research Note

    Bachrach, David Steward, 1971-
  • Crossbows for the King, Part II: The Crossbow during the Reign of Edward I of England (1272-1307)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Crossbows -- Great Britain -- History -- Edward I, 1272-1307.
    • Great Britain -- History, Military -- 1066-1485.
    Abstract:
      Because of the enormous increase in military activity during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, royal officials serving Edward I (12721307) were faced with the need to acquire far larger numbers of crossbows and crossbow bolts than had been the case under Edward's predecessors. In order to save money, royal administrative officials pursued two distinct policies with regard to these weapons. First, royal officers purchased and deployed the new technology of a removable winch that could be transferred from one crossbow to another, thereby cutting down on the total number of these expensive devices that were required for service. Royal officials also made a conscious decision to deploy very large numbers of the least expensive wooden "one-foot" crossbows in place of the more expensive, although more powerful, composite crossbows of the "two-foot" and winched types. In pursuing this cost-saving measure, Edward's officials deviated from the arms acquisition policies of Henry III's reign.

On the Cover

Essays

    Colten, Craig E.
  • Rusting of the Chemical Corridor
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    Subject Headings:
    • Petroleum chemicals industry -- Louisiana -- History.
    Abstract:
      Numerous locational advantages spurred and sustained several decades of industrial development along the lower reaches of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. In recent years, some of the attractive features of the region have lost their luster and decline has set in. Much of the industrial growth occurred when abundant oil and natural gas reserved existed both on shore and in the Gulf of Mexico and during lulls in extreme weather events such, most notably hurricanes. Yet declining reserves and the shift of production to outer continental shelf locations have made production more susceptible to disruption due to storms. Increasing costs associated with environmental regulation and cleaning up past disposal sites has reduced the region's lure. Sharp spikes in natural gas prices have caused the closure of several plants using that resource as a raw material. In 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita followed a series of tropical storms in previous years causing major disruptions to oil and gas production, along with petrochemical processing. These related factors are producing the early signs of rust on the chemical corridor.
    Shallat, Todd A.
  • Holding Louisiana
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    Subject Headings:
    • Restoration ecology -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- History -- 20th century.
    • Environmental policy -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- History -- 20th century.
    • Disaster relief -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      In Louisiana, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces the enormous challenge of rebuilding a delta region that is quickly sinking. The challenge is complicated by the fact that many of the Corps's own flood control and navigation projects have accelerated sinking of the wetlands. Another complication is that the Corps's hurricane protection programs have been hampered by environmental lawsuits. After 1965, for example, when Hurricane Betsy breached the levees of Lake Pontchartrain, environmentalists blocked the Corps's plan to build gated hurricane barriers. Corps engineers repeatedly warned that, without hurricane barriers, the New Orleans levees might not withstand a Bestylike Class Three storm. Yet environmentalists claimed that hurricane barriers would spread housing projects that posed a threat to coastal wetlands. Ironically, tragically, the same massive engineering that protects coastal Louisiana also aggravates the sinking and deterioration that increases the impact of storms.
    Kolb, Carolyn, 1942-
  • Crescent City, Post-Apocalypse
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hurricane Katrina, 2005.
    • Disaster relief -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
    Abstract:
      Hurricane Katrina was vast, horrendous, biblical in scope, and it occasioned a classic complex systems failure in the city of New Orleans. Coming back home after evacuating, I am, in a sense, returning to the city of my great-grandmother, a crescent of populated area along the river. New Orleans is a city with a good situation on trading routes, and a dreadful site, sealed in a bowl rimmed with water. Water, the city's best friend and worst enemy, has always been the focus of its primary technological problems. The technological tragedy of New orleans lies at the confluence of power and science. Power now lies with the federal government, specifically the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which made the technological choices that led to this catastrophe. Yet, I believe that New Orleans will continue. Changed, perhaps, but not deserted. And others, like me, who could live nowhere else, will still be here.
    Allen, Barbara L.
  • Cradle of a Revolution? The Industrial Transformation of Louisiana's Lower Mississippi River
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    Subject Headings:
    • Petroleum chemicals industry -- Environmental aspects -- Louisiana.
    • Environmental protection -- Louisiana.
    Abstract:
      This article provides an overview of the petrochemical industry's transformation of Louisiana's Lower Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans from the early 1900s to the present. First there is a broad discussion of why the industry choose this location for development. The focus is then on a historical understanding of how the conditions for the environmental justice movement came to exist. These include: patterns of early land ownership with both race and class implications; early, systematic denial of employment to African Americans, willful lack of industry oversight on the part of regulators; and tax and development schemes that depleted local community coffers and services.

Organizational Notes

Classics Revisited

    O'Har, George.
  • Where the Buffalo Roam
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    Subject Headings:
    • Webb, Walter Prescott, 1888-1963. Great Plains.
    • Great Plains -- History.
    Abstract:
      Walter Prescott Webb's 1931 work, The Great Plains, remains a work of singular importance in the field of western history. Working almost entirely from secondary sources, Webb manages to produce an elegantly-written, expansive regional history that is brilliantly imaginative, and accurate in its conclusion: that the geographic-environmental character of the great plains forced settlers to modify successful eastern technologies and institutions in order to make them work in the vastly different landscape of the open treeless west. By twenty-first century standards, Webb's study has its shortcomings. Yet these do not lessen the power of his overall findings.

Essay Reviews

    O'Gorman, Marcel.
  • Swimming to Obsolescence
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    Subject Headings:
    • Baillie, Harold W., 1950-, ed. Is human nature obsolete?: genetics, bioengineering, and the future of the human condition.
    • Casey, Timothy, ed.
    • Genetic engineering -- Moral and ethical aspects.
    Mackowski, Maura Phillips.
  • "Manned" Spaceflight for Women?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Weitekamp, Margaret A., 1971- Right stuff, wrong sex: America's first women in space program.
    • Kevles, Bettyann. Almost heaven: the story of women in space.
    • Nolen, Stephanie. Promised the moon: the untold story of the first women in the space race.
    • Freni, Pamela, 1954- Space for women: a history of women with the right stuff.
    • Women astronauts -- United States -- Biography.
    • Women astronauts -- Biography.
    Abstract:
      The author compares four works (two scholarly and two popular) on the same topic: an early 1960s medical study by the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque of the feasibility of using women pilots for NASA's Mercury astronaut program. The essay includes a synopsis of the Lovelace study, stymied by politics and technical requirements, not solely by American society's reluctance to have females fly "Right Stuff" vehicles. In concluding that only one of the four books, Margaret Weitekamp's Right Stuff, Wrong Gender, is adequately researched, analyzed, and written, the author makes the point that more scholarly work needs to be done in the field of aerospace history and gender. Without contributions from qualified aerospace historians, the void in that subgenre will be filled by amateurs or historians without topical knowledge who may disregard accepted rules of evidence-gathering and analysis or simply be unable to accurately interpret and write about what they uncover.

Book Reviews

    Walton, Steven A.
  • The Field and the Forge: Population, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Landers, John. Field and the forge: population, production, and power in the pre-industrial west.
    • Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Europe.
    Hacker, Barton C., 1935-
  • Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lendon, J. E. Soldiers and ghosts: a history of battle in classical antiquity.
    • Military history, Ancient.
    Rosenthal, Joel Thomas, 1934-
  • Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Unger, Richard W. Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
    • Beer -- Europe -- History -- To 1500.
    Ashworth, William J.
  • Power, Knowledge, and Expertise in Elizabethan England (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ash, Eric H., 1972- Power, knowledge, and expertise in Elizabethan England.
    • Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1558-1603.
    Crosby, Alfred W.
  • Maize and Grace: Africa's Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500-2000 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • McCann, James, 1950- Maize and grace: Africa's encounter with a New World crop, 1500-2000.
    • Corn -- Africa -- History.
    De Weerdt, Hilde Godelieve Dominique
  • Publishing, Culture, and Power in Early Modern China (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Chow, Kai-wing, 1951- Publishing, culture, and power in early modern China.
    • Printing -- China -- History.
    Belfanti, Marco.
  • The European Linen Industry in Historical Perspective (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Collins, Brenda, 1949-, ed. European linen industry in historical perspective.
    • Ollerenshaw, Philip, 1953-, ed.
    • Linen industry -- Europe -- History -- Congresses.
    Ceruzzi, Paul E.
  • Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Essinger, James, 1957- Jacquard's web: how a hand-loom led to the birth of the information age.
    • Jacquard, Joseph-Marie, 1752-1834.
    Guigueno, Vincent.
  • La formation des ingénieurs en perspective: Modèles de référence et réseaus de médiation, XVIIIe-XXe siecles (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gouzévitch, Irina, ed. Formation des ingénieurs en perspective: Modèles de référence et réseaux de médiation, XVIIIe-XXe siecles.
    • Grelon, André, ed.
    • Karvar, Anousheh, ed.
    • Engineering -- Study and teaching -- Europe -- History.
    Borde, Christian.
  • La Révolution sardinière: Pêcheurs et conserveurs en Bretagne sud au XIXe siècle (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dubois, Xavier. Révolution sardinière: Pêcheurs et conserveurs en Bretagne Sud au XIXe siècle.
    • Fisheries -- France -- Brittany -- History -- 19th century.
    Dalrymple, Dana G.
  • William J. Spillman and the Birth of Agricultural Economics (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Carlson, Laurie M., 1952- William J. Spillman and the birth of agricultural economics.
    • Spillman, W. J. (William Jasper)
    Panzer, Mary.
  • Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Finnegan, Cara A. Picturing poverty: print culture and FSA photographs.
    • Photography -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Anderson, J. L.
  • From Prairie Farmer to Entrepreneur: The Transformation of Midwestern Agriculture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Nordin, Dennis S. (Dennis Sven), 1942- From prairie farmer to entrepreneur: the transformation of midwestern agriculture.
    • Agriculture -- Middle West -- History.
    Madison, Mark Glen.
  • Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Outland, Robert B. Tapping the pines: the naval stores industry in the American South.
    • Naval stores industry -- Southern States -- History.
    Morse, Kathryn Taylor.
  • Knock on Wood: Nature as Commodity in Douglas Fir Country (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Prudham, W. Scott. Knock on wood: nature as commodity in Douglas fir country.
    • Lumber trade -- Environmental aspects -- Northwest, Pacific.
    Simon, Roger D.
  • City Building on the Eastern Frontier: Sorting the New Nineteenth-Century City (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shaw, Diane, 1959- City building on the eastern frontier: sorting the new nineteenth-century city.
    • City planning -- New York (State) -- History -- 19th century.
    Knowles, Anne Kelly.
  • Capital's Utopia: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1855-1916 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mosher, Anne E., 1959- Capital's utopia: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1855-1916.
    • Vandergrift (Pa.) -- History.
    Shayt, David.
  • Carriages and Clocks, Corsets and Locks: The Rise and Fall of an Industrial City--New Haven, Connecticut (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maynard, Preston, ed. Carriages and clocks, corsets and locks: the rise and fall of an industrial city--New Haven, Connecticut.
    • Noyes, Marjorie B., ed.
    • Industrial archaeology -- Connecticut -- New Haven.
    Cutcliffe, Stephen H.
  • Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Reutter, Mark. Making steel: Sparrows Point and the rise and ruin of American industrial might.
    • Steel industry and trade -- Maryland -- Sparrows Point -- History.
    Schramm, Jeff.
  • "Follow the Flag": A History of the Wabash Railroad Company (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grant, H. Roger, 1943- "Follow the flag": a history of the Wabash Railroad Company.
    • Wabash Railroad -- History.
    Davidson, Janet F.
  • Home on the Rails: Women, the Railroad, and the Rise of Public Domesticity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Richter, Amy G. Home on the rails: women, the railroad, and the rise of public domesticity.
    • Railroads -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Klein, Maury, 1939-
  • The Railroad and the State: War, Politics, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Angevine, Robert G. Railroad and the state: war, politics, and technology in nineteenth-century America.
    • Railroads and state -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Fouché, Rayvon, 1969-
  • The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sluby, Patricia Carter. Inventive spirit of African Americans: patented ingenuity.
    • African American inventors.
    Elkind, Sarah S., 1963-
  • Political Waters: The Long, Dirty, Contentious, Incredibly Expensive but Eventually Triumphant History of Boston Harbor--A Unique Environmental Success Story (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dolin, Eric Jay. Political waters: the long, dirty, contentious, incredibly expensive but eventually triumphant history of Boston Harbor--a unique environmental success story.
    • Water -- Pollution -- Massachusetts -- Boston Harbor -- History.
    Melosi, Martin V., 1947-
  • Designing America's Waste Landscapes (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Engler, Mira, 1957- Designing America's waste landscapes.
    • Waste disposal sites -- United States.
    Linde, C. (Charlotte)
  • Shouldering Risks: The Culture of Control in the Nuclear Power Industry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Perin, Constance. Shouldering risks: the culture of control in the nuclear power industry.
    • Nuclear power plants -- Risk assessment.
    Lassman, Thomas Charles.
  • Establishing Research Corporation: A Case Study of Patents, Philanthropy, and Organized Research in Early Twentieth-Century America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cornell, Thomas D. Establishing Research Corporation: a case study of patents, philanthropy, and organized research in early twentieth-century America.
    • Research Corporation -- History.
    Stokes, Raymond G.
  • Knowledge and Competitive Advantage: The Coevolution of Firms, Technology, and National Institutions (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Murmann, Johann Peter, 1967- Knowledge and competitive advantage: the coevolution of firms, technology, and national institutions.
    • Dye industry -- Germany -- History.
    Bud, Robert.
  • Pharmacopolitics: Drug Regulation in the United States and Germany (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Daemmrich, Arthur A. Pharmacopolitics: drug regulation in the United States and Germany.
    • Pharmaceutical policy -- United States.
    Beyler, Richard H.
  • Walther von Dyck (1856-1934): Mathematik, Technik und Wissenschaftsorganisation an der TH München (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hashagen, Ulf. Walther von Dyck (1856-1934): Mathematik, Technik und Wissenschaftsorganisation an der TH München.
    • Dyck, Walther von, 1856-1934.
    Zachmann, Karin.
  • The Authority of Everyday Objects: A Cultural History of West German Industrial Design (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Betts, Paul. Authority of everyday objects: a cultural history of West German industrial design.
    • Design, Industrial -- Germany -- History.
    Freeze, Karen Johnson.
  • Mobilisierung der Frauen: Technik, Geschlecht und Kalter Krieg in der DDR (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Zachmann, Karin. Mobilisierung der Frauen: Technik, Geschlecht und Kalter Krieg in der DDR.
    • Women in technology -- Germany (East)
    Weir, Gary E.
  • Oceanographers and the Cold War: Disciples of Marine Science (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. Oceanographers and the cold war: disciples of marine science.
    • Oceanographers -- United States -- Biography.
    Trimble, William F., 1947-
  • Inventing Flight: The Wright Brothers and Their Predecessors (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Anderson, John David. Inventing flight: the Wright brothers and their predecessors.
    • Aeronautics -- Research -- History -- 19th century.
    Moy, Timothy.
  • Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation and the U.S. Army, 1917-1945 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Johnson, David E. (David Eugene), 1950- Fast tanks and heavy bombers: innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917-1945.
    • United States. Army -- Weapons systems -- History -- 20th century.
    Siddiqi, Asif A., 1966-
  • The First Space Race: Launching the World's First Satellites (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bille, Matt, 1959- First space race: launching the world's first satellites.
    • Lishock, Erika.
    • Artificial satellites -- United States -- History.
    Shackleford, Ben.
  • The Technological Fix: How People Use Technology to Create and Solve Problems (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rosner, Lisa, ed. Technological fix: how people use technology to create and solve problems.
    • Technology -- Social aspects -- Case studies.

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