Posted July 16th, 2012
Einstein said he never thought about the future because it comes soon enough. Anthony J. Wiener thought about it deeply and influentially. In 1967, Mr. Wiener, a self-described futurist, collaborated with Herman Kahn to write a 431-page book brimming with forecasts for the year 2000. Home computers? Check. Artificial organs and limbs? Check. Pagers and “perhaps even two-way pocket phones?” Why, yes! But the millennium turned without noiseless helicopters replacing taxis. Artificial moons still do not illuminate huge swaths of the Earth. And are you, too, still waiting for that predicted 13-week vacation?
Mr. Wiener — no relation to the former congressman with a similar name — died on June 19 at his home in Closter, N.J., at 81. His wife, the former Deborah Zaidner, said the cause was cardiac arrest.
The book he and Mr. Kahn wrote was “The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-three Years,” and its publication was a milestone in the futurism fad of the 1960s. The book combined multifarious elements, from the insights of Aristotle to sophisticated statistical analysis, to create what the authors called “a framework for speculation.” About half of its 100 predictions panned out — not including 150-year life spans or months of hibernation for humans. But accuracy mattered less than what Mr. Wiener called “reducing the role of thoughtlessness” in making societal choices. Clarification, not prophecy, was the goal.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences helped finance the study, sponsored by the Hudson Institute, for which both authors worked. Ken Weinstein, president of the institute, said Tuesday in an interview that the book was remarkable for its sophisticated methodology at a time when advanced computer modeling was still far off. More than simply extrapolating from trends observed in the 1960s, it tried to calculate “the complex and unexpected ways the future was going to be different.”
Anthony Janoff Wiener was born on July 27, 1930, in Newark and grew up in Maplewood, N.J. He set up a public address system in his high school. He and a friend once took apart a car and then rebuilt it, just to see if they could do it. He graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law School.
In 1961, Mr. Wiener was a founding member of the Hudson Institute, a research center known for Mr. Kahn’s investigations of nuclear weapons strategy. Mr. Kahn was outspoken in urging that society grapple with the consequences of nuclear war with “thinking the unthinkable.”
Mr. Wiener consulted on the future with clients as diverse as the Stanford Research Institute, NASA and Shell Oil. He worked for two years in the Nixon White House on urban policy and was a longtime editor of the journal Technology in Society. He taught for many years at what is now Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Mr. Wiener died before his grander predictions — like finding life on other planets or settling undersea colonies — could be fulfilled. But his prophecy that fax machines would become office workhorses by 2000 hit the mark, at least until e-mail displaced them.
This article originally appeared in the New York Times.
Posted June 27th, 2012
Edward M. Schwarzkopf, 71, of Bridgewater passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2012. He is the son of the late Rita and Roy Schwarzkopf of Jamesburg, NJ. Ed was a professor at Middlesex County College, where he helped form the Mechanical Engineering Technology department and taught for 25 years. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Metallurgy from Brooklyn Polytech and was active in the ROTC and Pershing Rifles. He graduated Brooklyn Tech High School in 1958 and was born and raised in Richmond Hill, NY. Ed shared his big heart and quick wit with all those he encountered. He showed grace and dignity, living with multiple sclerosis for 47 years.
Posted June 25th, 2012
Henry Feldman passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 20, 2012, surrounded by his cherished wife of almost 64 years, Gloria, his loving daughters Terry Baker and Nancy Feldman, and son-in law Tom Baker.
Henry was born in Brooklyn, NY. From an early age he had a passion for science, particularly astronomy, chemistry and physics, which he maintained his whole life. He graduated from Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 1940 with a degree in Chemistry and did graduate work in Physical Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology from 1940-1941, where Linus Pauling was his thesis advisor. For recreation, he enjoyed riding his Indian motorcycle and he loved to tell the story of how he was rescued by a regiment of General Patton's army one time when his cycle broke down in the Mojave Desert.
He left CalTech to take a civilian job with the Navy Department during World War II. He worked as a physicist in charge of the deperming station at the Bayonne (NJ) Navy Yard, demagnetizing ships to protect them from being blown up by enemy mines. After the war, he worked as a salesman in the family business, Atlantic Container Corporation, an early manufacturer of custom corrugated packaging. He met Gloria on a blind date at the end of 1947, and they each felt they had met "the one." That feeling lasted throughout their marriage.
Henry was a good, down to earth, patient and gentle man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of family life. A devoted and selfless husband and father, he enjoyed helping his daughters with their schoolwork and nurtured their interests. Whenever something needed fixing around the house, he always enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to do it by himself. Henry was competent and capable at anything and everything he did. His other interests included playing the piano, reading, studying the stock market, taking photographs and home movies of family and friends, and traveling.
Henry was the much-loved patriarch of the extended Feldman family. He walked Terry, and later her cousin Jan, down the aisle when they were married. He is greatly missed. We love him and will keep him in our hearts always.
Posted June 25th, 2012
Louis J. Esposito Jr. was 80 when he passed away on May 30, 2012. It's just a number of years in a life fully lived. He never forgot his Brooklyn roots, his East Coast upbringing, his military service or his transplanted home in the Midwest, where he always appreciated the decency of people. His Italian/Irish heritage was apparent by his love of good food, good wine, good conversation and sense of humor. He liked living, and he knew how to live life. Lou graduated in 1953 from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York, with a degree in mechanical engineering. As a member of R.O.T.C., he held his duty and responsibility high. His service in the U.S. Army was, he said, some of the happiest times of his life. He was an astute businessman, well respected by his customers and built two companies here in northeast Ohio, SPEC Industries and L.J. & Associates over more than three decades. Lou was loyal to his family. For nearly two decades he made it a point to spend time with his sister Dorothy despite distance and the health conditions that took her from us. He kept his father close, and served as more than just an obedient son in the twilight of the elder's life. He encouraged self sufficiency and independence in his children and their achievements are credited to the character and guidance that he provided to them. As a family man, he passed on his love for knowledge, travel, art and history to the next generation - his grandchildren, nieces and nephews and throughout his extended family. Married for 23 years to his devoted wife Pat, together they enjoyed travel, good music, and the company of many old and new friends. They shared the best life has to offer.
Posted June 25th, 2012
Desmond Traynor, 85, of Port St. Lucie, FL, peacefully passed away at Emerald Health Care Nursing Home on April 8, 2012. He was born in Belfast, North Ireland, and moved to New York and graduated from Brooklyn Polytech, Summa Cum Laude, in Mechanical Engineering (1976-1983). He had partnership at the Cameo Catering in Garfield, NJ and also at the Westmount Country Club in Paterson, NJ. He was a HAM Radio operator (call sign N2DZ). He was Borough Engineer for Brooklyn and Queens from 1984-1994 and Deputy Commissioner for New York City under Mayor Dinkins. He retired to Florida in 1994.
Posted June 1st, 2012
Robert Kennedy Stenard, 89, of Shelter Island and Garden City, died on February 13, 2012 in Huntington, New York.
Born on November 17, 1922 in Brooklyn, Bob was a resident of Shelter Island for more than 30 years and concurrently a resident of Garden City.
Bob passionately enjoyed life and will be forever loved and long remembered for his smile, his readiness to help and his wide range of interests and expertise. He was a world traveler; he loved photography, boating, woodworking and gourmet cooking. He pursued his many interests with pleasure and was delighted to share them with his friends and family.
Bob was a veteran of World War II, having served with distinction in the 345th Squadron, 98th Bomb Group of the U.S. Army Air Force, as an armorer gunner aboard B-24 Liberator aircraft. He flew more than 50 missions, logging more than 1,000 combat hours, and received seven medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and the Purple Heart.
Bob received his bachelor of civil engineering degree in 1952 from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, his license to practice professional engineering in 1956 and an M.B.A. in 1961 from The City College of New York.
Among Bob’s accomplishments, he was former president of Chicago Heater Company; owner of Whitney Antiques; holder of a captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard; collector of 18th-century American furniture, Sandwich glass, 17th- and 18th-century clocks, books, maps and silver. He was a member of a wide range of service groups such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, the Professional Antique Dealers Association and the U.S. Power Squadron.
Posted May 8th, 2012
Nathan Erlbaum, 61, of Albany died on Friday evening, April 27, 2012 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany surrounded by his loving family and friends. Born in Staten Island, Nathan was a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He had been employed for 39 years as an associate transportation analyst for the New York State Department of Transportation. He was a member of Congregation Ohav Shalom in Albany.
Posted May 8th, 2012
William Joseph "Bill" Shearman died at his home in Ft. Pierce, Florida on February 17, 2012. Bill was born on May 2, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of four children, to John and Gertrude Shearman. He attended Boys High School, and obtained his degree in Civil Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Bill worked for construction firms on public and private projects in New York, New Jersey, Mississippi and Florida, becoming a licensed professional engineer and spending the final 20 years of his career planning and directing road construction for Broward County. His family and friends will hold on to his memory.
Posted May 8th, 2012
Julian H. Kushnick, 82, was a visionary mechanical engineer, innovator, leader, honorable and worldly man of integrity, whose character combined the highest levels of technical acuity with broad intellect. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived his life between Brooklyn, Hemlock Farms in PA, and Boca Raton, FL. He held Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and worked for Honeywell/AlliedSignal for 45 years, having risen through the ranks to many positions in R&D, the latest being Director of Government Marketing. He was always devoted to family. Julian will be missed by all.
Posted April 25th, 2012
F. Robert Mayforth, age 89, of Wilmington, DE passed away on Monday, April 9, 2012 at Sunrise Assisted Living on Shipley Rd, where he had excellent care for the last three years.
Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated in 1946 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a Master's in Chemical Engineering. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Ohio State in 1948.
He started work in 1943 as a Research & Development Engineer with Celanese Corp. From 1948 to 1960 he was a Product Development Engineer at DuPont. In 1960, he branched off into the investment world, where he worked at various companies as a Security Analyst, Investment Broker and Portfolio Manager. He last worked at RBC Wealth Management until the age of 86. As a Security Analyst, he specialized in the environmental control field, as well as the chemical and photographic industries. He was one of the few analysts selected for the 1972 Institutional Investor All Star Team in two industries - Chemicals and Pollution Control. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst and a past President of the Financial Analysts of Wilmington. Other professional affiliations include memberships in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society and honorary engineering societies including Phi Lambda Upsilon and Sigma Xi.
Bob was an active member of Concord Presbyterian Church, serving in the early years as elder, superintendent of Sunday School and chair of the building committe and he enjoyed music, theatre, travel and projects around the house.