Editorial: A lot has happened since Neil Armstrong’s stroll

Sunday marks the 46th anniversary of the first moonwalk.

Neil Armstrong’s words, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” have been forever etched in history.

It’s the leaps since that step that are so awe-inspiring.

Here are a few we find of particular significance:

Martin Cooper forever changed the way we communicate in 1973, with the invention of the cellular phone. According to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, an estimated 28.4 million Canadians are now wireless phone subscribers. That’s 80 per cent of Canadians, calling, texting and taking selfies.

Louise Joy Brown was born July 25, 1978 and was recognized in the medical journals as the first human to have been born after conception by in vitro fertilization, giving birth to the term ‘test tube baby’ and giving hope to many couples who otherwise would never experience the blessing of childbirth.

Alex Jeffries devised DNA fingerprinting in 1984, forever changing the concept of the legal term ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ – not only in regards to convictions, but also for exonerating those wrongly accused of crimes.

Advances in the medical world could be a category of its own, with robotic and laser surgeries, amazing transplant technology and the artificial heart, but to touch the surface.

The auto industry could also have its own chapter, with the invent of everything from electronic fuel injection to air bags, to the widespread use of GPS systems.

It wasn’t until 1972 that colour televisions out-sold the black-and-white models. Now we have 3DTV.

Video games have come a long way since the days of Pong – the 1972 invention that gave birth to an entire industry. Thanks Atari.

And of course, there is the whole computer era. In 1969, a computer was something that took up an entire Bat-cave. Now most people in Canada carry one in their pockets or purses.

Obviously there isn’t enough room to list even the most important of inventions, and we are not inferring that any of the aforementioned advances would make such a list. A famous quote was simply brought to our attention, which gave us pause for thought.

What’s on your list?

 

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