Scotland's Panamanian colony, the nuclear-powered car, a dome over all of Manhattan, the eagle-powered flying machine, the fire-extinguished hand grenade--history's heroic failures
During World War II, behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner discovered that pigeons could be trained to recognize an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target--a plan that was abandoned by the US Navy for more conventional solutions. This guide reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history designed to change the world, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers �49 million; why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank; and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, more than a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end.
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The History Press
August 30, 2011
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