My (okay, our) new iPad/iPhone app - 150 Years of World History

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I haven't mentioned this here before, but a few months ago I began creating iPad/iPhone apps with a few friends of mine. What's interesting about it is that I have never had an iPhone and have no plans to get one at the moment, but creating apps is turning out to be quite enjoyable considering the variety of apps that can be made. For the apps that I am a part of I then create the content, send it to them and they turn it into a shiny app that then gets approved a while later.

The latest one is called 150 Years of World History, and goes over one event per year from 1861 to 2010 (=150 years) in order to show how humanity has progressed, and sometimes regressed, during that time. About half of the events are what one might expect (beginning of World War I, D-Day, fall of the Berlin Wall etc.) while others are perhaps less known but still important. One of my favorites was probably the 1920 New York Times editorial that trashed Goddard (the father of American rocketry) for his idea that rockets could maneuver in space - according to the article at the time, since there's nothing in space there's nothing to push against, and thus any rocket after it left the atmosphere would careen endlessly in the same trajectory and so the only way to reach the Moon would be to aim it directly for it after which it would hit it at high velocity and explode. The New York Times issued a correction 40+ years later when the Apollo 11 mission was on its way to the Moon. Ha!

The app feels like a bit like a coffee table book, and is the kind of app one would want to download and read not only if interested in history but also before going to meet someone that you know is a history buff and you don't want to appear like you've never given the subject a second thought. Esperanto and Ido also get a mention in there too - Esperanto when it was invented as its creation and longevity is certainly worth a place in the history books, and Ido as its creation happened at a time when IALs received a lot of attention, and for all we know if the Esperantist community at the time had managed to avoid splitting (either through staying the course with Esperanto or the majority deciding to go with Ido) we would all be speaking a universal second language right now.

By the way, who can identify the second man in the first image? The other two faces are obvious (Einstein and George Bush) but I'm curious how many recognize the other guy's face.

Also if anyone wants to try to identify everything in the image just below here (in spite of the tiny size), be my guest. Clicking on the image will make it a bit easier to see.

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