Many anonymous people picked up telephones at museums, universities, tourist offices, town halls, and companies around the world and answered my questions. Others answered my unsolicited emails asking for press kits, detailed information, photographs, and technical help. Amongst them were a number of professors to whom I’m grateful for their expertise and willingness to help me understand some of the technical topics that were new to me.

Those whose names I know are: Carolyn Rule, Denise Chamberlain, Cathy Avent, Gian Piero Siroli, Cristina Bueti, Keith Matthew, Floyd B. Hanson, Junya Ishihara, Naoki Iimura, Tony Evans, Rory Cook, Emilie Collin, Nathalie Slinckx, Richard Scarth, Matthew Trainer, Jason McFall, Dreas van Donselaar, Caitlin Hawke, Caroline Seats, Mark Frank, Daniel Gambis, Kevin Brown, Cathy Liberatore, Pauline Shepheard, Kate Cook, Dianne Knippel, Patrick Weidman, Andrew Croxton, Phil Green, David Gordon, Lynn Swann, Howard Perlman, Ken Beard, Caroline Durbin, Judy Strebel, Derek Ingram, Lynda Sather, Michael Friendly, Jack Kirby, Catherine Masteau, Susanne Giehring, Manni Heumann, Michaela Jarkovska, Kai Hampel, Robert Hulse, Katreena Dare, Diane Dodd, Tom Vine, Isabel Lara, Katharine St. Paul, and Emily McLeish.

Two people, in particular, encouraged me to write (despite the fact that I was an apparently illiterate computer-nerd): Jeff Sanders, my doctoral supervisor, and Bill O’Neill, who let me write freelance for The Guardian.

I’m particularly ...

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