How oil came to control the world


Let’s talk about oil (Part II)

J.D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, became the world’s first billionaire in 1916. It wasn’t Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, or Cornelius Vanderbilt, the transportation mogul, or J.P. Morgan, the legendary banker. It was Rockefeller. And this was even considering the fact that oil had largely been used only for machinery, medicine, and lighting up to that point, and transportation only came into the mix in the early 1900s.

Oil has since become the most important commodity, ever. In fact, almost every major geopolitical event in the past century can be tied to oil.

How did oil get to be so important?

A strategic military resource

Read More

Angry Birds, the Titanic, and Ostrich Feathers


NewCo Shift Forum

A tale of tulip-mania in Africa, or how the automobile killed the feather market.

Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change.

Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m a digital archivist and a founding fellow of Odd Salons, a cocktail and lecture series here in San Francisco, and I’m going to tell you a little story about the glory days of state sponsored ostrich theft.

Read More