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Ed Delgado

One of the things I do almost religiously when I get to work in the morning is to go outside for a cigarette abou 7:30. I find that to be something that is relaxing, gives me a chance to go outside and enjoy some of the quiet that the morning has to offer, and of course I like it. Today was a bit different.

As I looked up in the sky I say a DC-10 aircraft soar through the air. Now this is not a big deal of course as I only live about 5 miles from the airport and I see aircraft everyday. Furthermore, I have lived near or on military instillation all my life so watching or even being on an aircraft is no big deal.

But as I looked up in the sky today I was forced to marvel at this aircraft. It made me think in wonderment how something so large and heavy could literally fly. Sure you could sit there and tell me how it is done and the history of aviation. And that is all fine and well along with something I already know. But the very fact that it is something that happens all the time makes me marvel at the genius of humanity and of what we can do.

That being so, I decided to come up with my Top 5 Marvels of the 20th Century. Some of you may disagree with me, others may find themselves in firm agreement, and others may completely hate what I have to offer. But this is my column so deal with it. :)

Now for my Top 5 Marvels of the 20th Century:

1. As I have already noted, my first pick would be aircraft. This can be anything from a small single enginee plane to the Space Shuttle. Within the last 100 years we have been able to take prop planes and do all kinds of things with them. Break the sound barrior, arm them with short to medium range missiles, carry hundreds of thousands of people from one part of the world to another daily, and of course travel to Outer Space. This is truely a Marvel and it makes me wonder what the next 100 years will have to offer.

2. I have a feeling that I am going to get a lot of heat for this one but I think this one could easily be Number One but due to the fact that more people fly it goes to Number 2. That being Animal Testing for Research and Development for drugs and cures for humanity. There is alot of talk about Stem Cell Research but at this time this is not the topic and it is not what has been done for the progress in medical research. That has been done through Animal Testing. I love animals, don't get me wrong. But I place a higher value on human lives and that fact that we have been able to produce drugs that have helped to prolong the lives of our sick and elders, found cures, and other medicines is indeed a Marvel. And whether we want to admit it or not, this has affected us all at one point in our lives.

3.For those of you who have been to a Navy base, been on a cruise, or seen specials on televison about this one, I think you will agree with me on this one. The Floating Cities otherwise known as Aircraft Carriers and Cruiseline Ships. I marvel at these things because they are literally Floating Cities. They have everything you could possibily want. But what is more the Marvel is the very fact that something that heavy and that massive in size is able to float. And the mechanical genius of it I cannot even begin to get in to. To see one of these in person is to know what is means to stand in awe of something.

4.Number 4 has its ups and downs and is the subject of protest between Liberals and Conservatives in almost everypart of the United States. But what makes this a Marvel is that fact that it would seem that almost everyone has one and they have only been in use for a little more than one hundred years. That being the Automobile. Again, another vehicle that too has broken the sound barrier on land, comes in all types and sizes, and is accessable to just about anyone. Whether you agree that there is a problem with them or not you have to Marvel at the fact that their production within the last century has been nothing short of incredible.

5. Number is another controversial item. But one I think while a threat to millions of people also saved millions of lives and does so to this day. That being the harnessing of the power of the Atom. Or otherwise known as the Atom Bomb. I firmly believe that were it not for the fact that we dropped 2 Atomic Bombs on Japan hundred of thousands of US Troops lives would have been lost. This bombing displayed the awesome and devastating power of this weapons and while there have been smaller wars from time to time after World War II none have ever been at the scale of WWI or WWII since the Atom Bomb was used. Furthermore, nuclear medicine has been used to treat all kinds of people with small aliments to cancer. And then there is the issue of nuclear power for our power needs and nuclear powered ships and submarines. Again a Marvel that one has too admit is an accomplishment of humanity.

So there you have it from me. My Top 5 Marvels of the 20th Century. I am sure you can come up with many more, infact I was hardpressed not because I could have been here writing a book on this. Even so, I think one would find it hard not to consider these 5 Marvels.