Some important discoveries and happenings of this month:
What with all the crises about oil have you ever wondered when the first commercial leaded gasoline went on sale? It was on February 1, 1923.
February 2, 1935, saw the testing of the polygraph for the first time. On February 4, 1936, radium was produced synthetically for the first time. Dmitry Mendeleev, famous for his work on classifying elements, was born on February 8, 1834. He formulated the Periodic table, which we still use today to classify elements.
Other scientists born this month include Thomas Edison, who invented the gramophone and the light bulb and more(February 11, 1847); Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809).
Clyde Tombaugh on February 18, 1930, discovered the planet to which a probe was launched recently — a planet that's an ice dwarf — farthest planet of our Solar system. Yes, Pluto! A day later but in 2002, thermal emission imaging was used to map the planet Mars.
While still on the subject of space, note that John Glenn piloted the first US manned orbital mission on February 20, 1962. A flight closer home was completed on February 22, 1995, when Steve Fossett finished the first trans-Pacific hot-air balloon trip. Another flight first in February: on February 16, 1946, the first commercially designed helicopter was tested. Wearing nylon, by any chance? Nylon yarn was commercially used for the first time on February 24, 1938, and it was discovered on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers of DuPont.
Where would we be without computers? The world's first electronic digital computer began operation on the 13th of this month in 1946. It was called ENIAC.
Take the skywalk
The all-glass, balcony-like Skywalk will extend over the edge of the Grand Canyon, 1,200 metres above the Colorado River. The Skywalk will be an attraction unlike any other in the world said Sheri Yellowhawk, CEO of the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation. The company is building the bridge in the Hualapai Indian Reservation on the south rim of the canyon. The Skywalk is open to the public as part of a new resort on the reservation. The resort, known as Grand Canyon West, is to include a re-created Indian village and a restaurant perched on the edge of the canyon. Tourism is the reservation's biggest source of income. Grand Canyon West will be on the western edge of Grand Canyon National Park, about 200 kilometres from Las Vegas.
Scientists believe they have found the world's smallest fish. The little fish grows to less than one third of an inch long! It may be small, but it has a big name: Paedocypris progenetica. This is one of the strangest fish that scientists seen in there whole career. It's tiny, and it has these bizarre grasping fins. The mini fish has a see through body. Its head doesn't have a protective skeleton. It was discovered in threatened swampland on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Researchers say that the tea-coloured water is at least 100 times more acidic than rainwater. Fish experts Maurice Kottelat from Switzerland and Tan Heok Hui from Singapore made the discovery. Kottelat said he first saw the fish in 1996, but he thought it was a member of an already existing species.