10 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Lopez
    Elizabeth Lopez at |

    Honorable Mention: Hedy Lamarr. Invented what it’s now modern day WiFi.

  2. Gpenguin
    Gpenguin at |

    I agree with most but Chocolate bars and the Electric Guitar, not sure how that qualifies in making modern life possible.

    1. Edan Barak
      Edan Barak at |

      I think “modern life” also refers to culture, in which case music would be a large part of that. I’m not sure the electric guitar is necessarily the most influential aspect of modern music, though.

      Anyway, interesting list!

  3. 5minutes
    5minutes at |


    7. While Dennis Ritchie is undeniably important to computers, he did NOT invent the first programming language. He didn’t even invent the first modern programming language… or Unix. Credit for the first modern computer language still in use goes to Grace Hopper for FLOW-MATIC, aka COBOL. Credit for Unix goes to AT&T, GE, and MIS for developing the pre-precursor to Unix called Mutlics (which Ritchie and about 5 other people improved upon to make the precursor to Unix).

    4. Scott Falham is NOT the inventor of the emoticon. Versions of emoticons were displayed in Puck Magazine in the early 1900’s and were in fairly wide use by sci-fi fans in the 40’s. He is, however, the first person to propose making 🙂 the “official” emoticon for happiness.

    2. Air conditioning wasn’t invented by Carrier, but he did introduce air conditioning that ran on electricity. Forms of mechanical and non-electric air conditioning had been around for centuries by the time Carrier invented the mechanical air conditioner.

    1. Becca
      Becca at |

      I would put Alan Turing as my computing inventor of choice. His Turing machine is responsible for our modern day understanding of computing and algorithms

  4. marc
    marc at |

    you should swap #1 and #2, modern refrigeration has a lot more to do with improving modern life than any of these things. Without refrigeration and A/C there would be no solid state electronics, nationwide distribution of food, and medicine would be 100 years behind.

  5. James
    James at |

    I think Tim Berners Lee should be here, an almost unsung hero that could have easily taken something incredible and exploited it for profit.
    I know the Internet was created before Lee, but his innovation and accessibility that he strived for in creating the World Wide Web has truly changed the way we live our lives.
    Othewrise, good list 🙂

  6. omgwtf
    omgwtf at |

    List without Nikola Tesla, inventor of almost everything crucial for modern era !?

  7. Brian
    Brian at |

    What the hell would life be without emoticons? Good thing we dont have to imagine such a terrible thing

  8. Jim
    Jim at |

    Nikola Tesla!!!


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