The inventor of the laser printer at Xerox, Gary Starkweather, has died at the age of 81.
When Starkweather first proposed the idea of a laser printer to his boss at Xerox, they shut his idea down. But curious and determined, Starkweather persisted because he was convinced of the possibility of making precise copies.
Starkweather developed the printer at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 before completing it in November 1971
To avoid blurry prints, Mr. Starkweather had to find ways to direct laser pulses precisely. He devised a cluster of revolving mirrors and a lens to guide the light. One of his breakthrough ideas came while he was mowing the lawn; he turned off the mower and drove to the lab to test it out.
The Xerox printer found itself in nearly every office and home eventually, making the company an absolute fortune.
We often forget how people we’ve rarely heard of impact our lives. Gary Starkweather was one of them, as was Evelyn Berezin who developed the world’s first processor.
The prescient Starkweather also issued a warning about the negative effects of our over dependency on technology. The WSJ writes:
Though he never lost his fascination with technology, Mr. Starkweather worried about some of the consequences. “We talk about productivity,” he said, “but I’ve watched people go from 40-hour weeks to 60-hour weeks.”
He disliked the pressure to stay digitally connected at all times. “A big question about the future of information technology,” he said, “is, ‘Do I get to stay human in the process?’ ”
Avid photographer Elias Chasiotis captured an incredible ‘red devil horns’ sunrise over the Persian Gulf during a rare solar eclipse just before the new year.
The amateur photographer was vacationing in the coastal city of Al Wakrah in Qatar on December 26 when he snapped the rare spectacle of moon blocking the sun.
“Astronomy has attracted me since I was a kid,” Chasiotis said in an interview with Bored Panda. “I’ve been an amateur astrophotographer for the last 15 years as well. I took these photos in the coastal city of Al Wakrah, Qatar, on the morning of December 26, 2019, when an annular eclipse was in progress.”
“I was worried that nothing would come out of the eclipse. However, when the sun finally began to rise, it looked like two separate pieces, some sort of red horns piercing the sea. It soon took the form of a crescent, with the so-called ‘Etruscan vase’ inferior mirage effect visible. Due to its shape, the phenomenon was nicknamed the ‘evil sunrise.’”
Interestingly, the stunning images of the red crescent sunrise emerged a few days before the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
William Mullan is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of rare apples from around the world.
The golden Knobbed Russet, the star-shaped api etoile, hard red Black Oxford apple — these are just a few of the varieties that appear in Mullan’s 200-page photo-book, Odd Apples.
Writes Atlas Obscura on how Mullan’s fascination with apples came to be:
Mullan was born in the United States, but grew up in the United Kingdom, where a teenage encounter with an Egremont Russet led to his love of apples. Its spicy, persimmon-like flavor “just blew my mind,” he says. But many of the apples he’s photographed were born in North America, including such romantic cultivars as the Black Oxford and Hidden Rose.
“There’s just this sense of infinity with [apples] that I love,” Mullan says. While he imagines he’ll move on to other subjects in the future, for now, he’s still entranced by apples.
Even better, during his exhibits, he slices the apples open and passes the edibles around for his audience to enjoy.