Forum and Function: Ideas Spring from Online Forums

Steve Wunsch

My god, this thing speaks!” exclaimed Emperor Dom Pedro II as he dropped Alexander Graham Bell’s most famous invention. No one, including the Brazilian monarch, had ever seen, or heard, anything like the telephone before it debuted at the 1876 World’s Fair, where Pedro II was an exhibition judge. A major patron of the sciences, the man dubbed “The Magnanimous” went on to sponsor and promote science education in his native country.

On October 23, 1906, the Brazilian aeronaut Alberto Santos

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