Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Diner Invites - Inventors

Friday morning NPR ran a story where a reviewer of classical music listed the classical composers he would invite to Thanksgiving dinner if he could.  The premise is it could be anyone from history. He chose to go with all dead composers.  A friend and I have had similar conversations in the past.  Sometimes we'd discuss it in the "any body, ever" scenario.  Sometimes we'd limit it to certain categories.  We usually ran a list of ten.  I'm going to play with this for the next few days until Thanksgiving.  For now I'm going to keep myself to a limit of five people. I think I'll do one grand invite in the "any body, ever" category to end this run.

It's Wednesday, it's Humpday, and today we will be dining with inventors.  This one is similar to the artists but I came up with a list quite quickly.  Being in a technology field, albeit far from the cutting edge, I feel a lot of affinity to this group.  Again, to have these people discuss their creative process.  I can imagine them bouncing ideas back and forth off each other for the entire dinner.  You and I would never be able to keep up.

  1. Steve Jobs - I profess hate for all things Apple but there's no denying what Jobs accomplished.  My Android phone and Zune music player are what they are because of Jobs. He has changed the lives of people (in the first world) more than anybody in recent history.
  2. Leonardo DaVinci - Obviously DaVinci could have been in the artists category but I put him here so I could get a broader list.
  3. Johannes Gutenberg - Can you imagine what the inventor of the printing press would think of today's world, of computers, and the Internet?  He has to be here.
  4. Grace Hopper - This is a bit personal. She invented the COBOL computer language.
  5. Karl Benz - Received a patent for a gasoline 2-stroke internal combustion engine and later developed his own 4 stroke engine.  He was one of the founders of the Mercedes-Benz automobile company.

Man so, so many possibilities.  Henry Ford and his assembly line.  James Watt and the steam engine.  John Dunlap and the inflatable pneumatic tire.  The Wright Brothers.  Eli Whitney and the cotton gin.  John Browning and his firearms.  George Eastman and rolled film.  Thomas Edison.  Alexander Graham Bell.  I'd let any of them sit at this table.


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