Spot­light

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT -

It may seem hard to be­lieve, but more than 60 years ago the first so­lar-pow­ered car — al­beit a minia­ture one — was dis­played at a Gen­eral Mo­tors auto show.

On Aug. 31, 1955, GM engi­neer Wil­liam G. Cobb showed off a 15-inch balsa wood car model, com­plete with so­lar cells, to the roughly 2 mil­lion vis­i­tors who at­tended the month­long con­ven­tion. The de­sign, which Cobb called the Sun­mo­bile, was widely ac­knowl­edged as im­prac­ti­cal, be­cause even a full-size model would have failed to pro­duce any­where near the amount of power needed for a stan­dard car. Still, the con­cept in­trigued many in the main­stream au­to­mo­bile industry about the possibilities of so­lar en­ergy — some of which are still be­ing re­fined and ex­panded upon to­day.

A more im­me­di­ately im­pact­ful tech­nol­ogy was in­tro­duced to the pub­lic on Sept. 2, 1969, with the world’s first au­to­matic teller ma­chine, or ATM. Chem­i­cal Bank in Rockville Cen­ter, New York, was the first to of­fer the au- to­mated ser­vice to its vis­i­tors.

To­day, ATMs have been widely in­te­grated with the daily lives of many in the United States (though that prob­a­bly goes with­out say­ing). It’s in­ter­est­ing to note, how­ever, that most banks did not add charg­ing fees to their ma­chines un­til the 1990s.

Just as most ev­ery adult in the United States un­der­stands what an ATM does, most are also aware of iconic base­ball player Babe Ruth. Fewer, how­ever, would know of the most eas­ily com­pa­ra­ble player in Ja­panese pro­fes­sional base­ball, Sada­haru Oh, who hit his 756th home run — a pro record — on Sept. 3, 1977.

Like Ruth did sev­eral decades be­fore, Oh emerged first as a star pitcher in the 1950s be­fore tran­si­tion­ing to the slug­ging first base­man he came to be im­mor­tal­ized as. He’d end his ca­reer in 1980 with a to­tal of 868 home runs, and it’s un­likely any­one in pro­fes­sional base­ball will touch that for some time.

In­ter­est­ingly enough, Oh was not the most pop­u­lar player in the Ja­panese league dur­ing his ca­reer be­cause of his half-Ja­panese, half-Chi­nese lin­eage. His more pop­u­lar team­mate Shi­geo Na­gashima was known as the “Lou Gehrig of Ja­panese base­ball;” Oh as the “Babe Ruth.”

Fi­nally, on Sept. 5, 2005, net­work news be­gan to look a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

On that day, Vir­ginia na­tive Katie Couric be­came the first woman to solo an­chor a week­day net­work evening news broad­cast. She took over CBS Evening News, which had pre­vi­ously been han­dled by Dan Rathers be­fore his re­tire­ment.

Couric, who had coan­chored the To­day show from 1991 un­til leav­ing in 2006, at­tracted a large au­di­ence to her de­but broad­cast, and she won sev­eral awards dur­ing her ten­ure.

The pro­gram trailed in rat­ings to ABC’s and NBC’s equiv­a­lent news­casts, how­ever, and Couric left the po­si­tion in May 2011.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF AMANDA MARSALIS/PITCH PER­FECT PR

An­gel Olsen’s new al­bum “My Woman” is an­other com­plete cre­ation — one that’s highly in­ter­pretable and re­ward­ing.

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