The Technology Portal
Technology is the practical use of science, including the making, modification or improvement, applied activity or behavior, use and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, or environmental modifications or arrangement in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, environmental arrangement and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The word technology comes from Greek τεχνολογία (technología); from τέχνη (téchnē), meaning "art, skill, craft", and -λογία (-logía), meaning "study of-". The term can be applied either generally or to many specific areas, examples of which include construction technology, medical technology and information technology.
The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical discovery of the ability to control fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons.
Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as pollution, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the Earth and its environment. Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.
Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.
The Shuttle-Mir Program
was a collaborative space program between Russia
and the United States
, which involved American Space Shuttles
visiting the Russian space station Mir
, Russian cosmonauts flying on the shuttle and American astronauts engaging in long-duration expeditions aboard Mir
. The program, under the code name 'Phase One', was intended to allow the United States to learn from Russian experience into long-duration spaceflight and to foster a spirit of cooperation between the two nations and their respective space agencies
, in preparation for further cooperative space ventures. Announced in 1993 with the first mission occurring in 1994, the program continued until its scheduled completion in 1998, and consisted of eleven shuttle missions, a joint Soyuz
flight and almost 1000 days in space for American astronauts over seven expeditions. The program was, however, marred by various concerns, notably the safety of Mir
following a fire and collision on board the station, financial issues with the cash-strapped Russian Space Program and worries from astronauts about the attitudes of the program administrators. Nevertheless, a large amount of science, expertise in space station construction and knowledge in working in a cooperative space venture was gained from the combined operations, allowing 'Phase Two' of the joint project, the construction of the International Space Station
, to proceed much more smoothly than otherwise possible.
In this month
Did you know...
(1830–1911) was an English architect
who designed about 500 buildings in Cheshire
, North Wales and northwest England, in particular in the estate of Eaton Hall
. Douglas' output included the creation, restoration and renovation of churches, church furnishings, houses and other buildings. His architectural styles were eclectic
and many of his works incorporate elements of the English Gothic
style. He was also influenced by architectural styles from the mainland of Europe and included elements of French, German and Netherlandish architecture into his works. He is remembered for his use of half-timbering
, tile-hanging, pargeting
, decorative brick in diapering
and the design of tall chimney stacks. Of particular importance is Douglas' use of joinery
and highly detailed wood carving. Throughout his career he attracted commissions from wealthy landowners and industrialists. Most of his works have survived. The city of Chester
contains a number of his structures, the most admired of which are his half-timbered black-and-white buildings and Eastgate Clock
. The highest concentration of his work is found in the Eaton Hall estate and the surrounding villages of Eccleston
- Parent project
- Related projects
Things you can do