Fun with words: Zenzizenzizenzic

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a word that’s actually been around for a long time, but that I’d never heard before (or read it, in this case): zenzizenzizenzic, a number to the eighth power. I read about this word and its meaning inĀ Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies by Jack Uldrich. I’m reading this book for a report I’m writing for my MBA coursework and I’ve found it to be thought-provoking and entertaining–which is always more fun than a dry textbook! The author uses the example: 256 is the zenzizenzizenzic of 28.

The author talks about using zenzizenzizenzic to think ahead to emerging technologies–to not only read about the developments in nanotechnology, robotics, genetic algorithms, and biotechnology, but to stay ahead of the information, we must anticipate the myriad applications that could be made possible by these developments–creations that these technologies weren’t necessarily created for and maybe haven’t even been thought of before!

I googled ‘zenzizenzizenzic’ and found that, unfortunately, it has fallen out of favor in the world of mathematics (from whence it came), but I’m glad to have found such a fun word before it disappeared from our society altogether.

I highly recommend this book, as well–it’s quite enjoyable!

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First Flight: The Wright Brothers

I just finished reading First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane. It was an excellent and thorough recounting of how Wilbur and Orville Wright methodically developed airfoils (wings) with the best lift and aircraft controlling mechanisms in order to be the first to invent an engined aircraft capable of carrying a person. It was amazing that someone didn’t beat them to it since they were only spending part of the year on “flying machine” research and the rest of the year on their bicycle business. They were ahead of other inventors, however, merely by having each other to bounce ideas off of. If they needed a new machine or tool to help them in their pursuit, they built it.

Some things I never knew about the Wright Brothers was that neither of them ever attended college or married; their mother and father were both college graduates; they lived in Ohio, but they sought a private area with frequent wind for their glider flight tests, hence, Kittyhawk, North Carolina came into the picture; they had some issues finding a buyer for their airplane after they had it up in the air because they didn’t want to show their aircraft to anyone who might take their ideas and build their own. The first buyer, the U.S. Army, basically bought one aircraft built to their particular specifications before they ever saw the Wright airplane fly. Immediately after the purchase, however, Wilbur and Orville started training military members to fly it.

This was a great book and I’d recommend it to airplane enthusiasts or anyone researching the origins of manned flight. The author relied heavily on correspondence between the Wright Brothers and their family and acquaintances for the story. Great work.