Battle of Trafalgar I

Lead: In the spring of 1805 Napoleon Bonaparte challenged British control of the seas. His scheme laid the foundation for his ultimate defeat.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If Napoleon Bonaparte was to control Europe, he had to destroy Britain and the French Emperor had not kept his intentions very secret. He was headed their way and so the British had stripped the southeastern counties of any supplies Napoleon might use after the invasion, trained nearly half a million volunteers, and set up fortifications all along the coast, but the Frenchman reasoned that he could handle all that if he could just get across the channel. To cross the channel he had to eliminate the British fleet.


Internet Update II

Lead: No longer in service to military research, the Internet with its world wide web of interconnected billions serves the needs of scholarly research but oh so much more.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the primitive Defense oriented networks began expanding and then speaking to one another, the core of the Internet as it is known in the second decade of the 21st century, was established. Academics still post their research for comment and critique and they still communicate on the internet, but it more likely to be about sports or their favorite wines or the latest and best independent film.

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Internet Update I

Lead: The internet began as a connection between academics with scholarly as well as military interests. It has become a world-wide universal connection for business, politics and social life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The success of the Soviet space program sent waves of concern through the U.S. defense establishment and its university contractors where most military research was done. Since it is a given that scientific research is enormously enhanced by the free exchange of ideas, failures, concepts and successes between scholars, the U.S. government concluded that some means of fast intercommunication could not but advance work of the U.S. military By the late 1960s a primitive network connecting major universities doing research for the U.S. Defense Department was in place.

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Plastics II

Lead: Born of wartime calculation, the manufacturers of plastics, an outgrowth of the chemical industry, sought peacetime application for military discoveries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Rubber is a polymer, naturally occurring molecule, chemically composed of a string of smaller molecules called monomers. It was first put to practical use in the 1700s by chemist Joseph Priestly who discovered that it could rub pencil marks off paper, hence the name rubber. By World War I, however, rubber was far more than a school supply. It had countless uses particularly in wartime applications, but the sources for rubber were in Allied hands, therefore German chemists developed a synthetic rubber from acetone. The search for a synthetic rubber led some chemical companies to seek other uses for man made polymers.

 

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Plastics

Lead: Reviled by some as artificial, suspected of structural weakness, and denigrated by purists, plastics, nevertheless, have fashioned one of the most important revolutions in the modern era.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Quote from The Graduate

                           

                                “Ben, I have just one word for you, one word,”

                                “What’s that?”

                                “Plastics.”

 

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Catherine the Great & Assassination of Peter III II

Lead: Catherine, the new Empress of Russia, was about to be discarded by her husband of 18 years. As always, her resourcefulness turned aside disaster and her ruthless ambition made her Catherine the Great.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Burdened with a feckless husband and limited prospects, Catherine, the German consort of the future Czar, secured her position through powerful male allies, intellectual curiosity, and a clever ruthlessness that eventually made her a great monarch. During nearly two decades of marriage, while husband Peter frittered away his reputation on aimless living and an unwise fascination with Prussian King Frederick II, Catherine built alliances with important parts of the Russian ruling class. She cultivated the Empress Elizabeth. Her well-chosen lovers numbered among the most powerful men in the kingdom. In contrast to her husband, she was aggressively patriotic and, despite a prodigious and wide-ranging sex life, a generous devotee of the Russian Orthodox Church.


Catherine the Great & Assassination of Peter III I

Lead: From relatively obscure beginnings, Sophie Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, married her powerful appetites to ruthless ambition and became Catherine the Great.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was her fortune to be connected in her mother’s line to one of the premier houses of Germany, the Dutchy of Holstein. This gave her rank and eligibility among upwardly mobile 18th century European aristocrats. Her family played well the game of marriage intrigue and Sophie ended with one of the great prizes. She was betrothed to the grandson and heir of Czar Peter the Great of Russia. The young man, Karl, who later took the name Peter III, was one of history’s truly accomplished nit-wits. He never realized that intellectually he had married above his station.


Eugenics II

Lead: From its start as an optimistic approach to improving the human condition, eugenics degenerated into a racist tool in the hands of bigotry and ultimately led to the gas ovens of the Third Reich.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fundamental problem with eugenics, even as Sir Francis Galton articulated it in the 19th century, was that it focused primarily on inborn characteristics and almost completely disregarded social, environmental, educational, and physical factors when examining the human race. Basically, eugenicists advocated a form of genetic determinism. A person is born with a genetic imprint that determines the course of their lives. Not surprisingly these theories became a powerful tool in the hands of racists. It all depends on who is setting the standard. If society is to improve itself, it is said, it must eliminate genetic threats to racial purity. In the sad history of eugenics, a wide variety of groups have been singled out for social restriction, sterilization, or elimination. Feeble-minded or mentally ill people, habitual criminals, sexual libertines, Negroes, Native Americans or any non-whites, Jews, gypsies, and evangelical Christians have all fallen under the wary and sometimes fatal scrutiny of the eugenic mandate. They bore undesirable human traits.

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