SciHi Blog

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

On November 28, 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake was born. Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Both his artistic and literary works were largely rejected by his contemporaries. It was not until the mid-19th century that his very innovative works were discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites, gained general recognition, and later became popular in pop culture.…
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Charles Scott Sherrington and the Functions of the Neurons

Charles Scott Sherrington and the Functions of the Neurons

On November 27, 1857, English neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was born. Sherrington received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian in 1932 for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and demonstrated…
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Marc Aurel Stein and the Dunhuang Caves

Marc Aurel Stein and the Dunhuang Caves

On November 26, 1862, Hungarian-British archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein was born. Stein is primarily known for his explorations and archaeological discoveries in Central Asia. Stein was also an ethnographer, geographer, linguist and surveyor. His collection of books and manuscripts taken from Dunhuang caves is important for the study of the history of Central Asia and the art and literature of Buddhism. When the Dunhuang Caves, China, closed for centuries, were reopened,…
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Herodotus of Harlicarnassus – the Father of History

Herodotus of Harlicarnassus – the Father of History

About in 484 B.C., ancient Greek historian Herodotus was born. A contemporary of Socrates, he is widely referred to as “The Father of History“. Herodotus was the first historian known to have broken from Homeric tradition to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation: specifically by collecting his materials systematically and critically, and then to arrange them into a historiographic narrative. Despite Herodotus‘ historical significance, little is known of his personal…
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The Fairy Tale Collections of Ludwig Bechstein

The Fairy Tale Collections of Ludwig Bechstein

On November 24, 1801, German Writer, librarian, archivist and pharmacist Ludwig Bechstein was born. A collector of fairy tales, he is best known today for his edition of collected Fairy Tales. “The main thing is that everyone should fulfill his duty, enjoy life beautifully – and if he is a poet by God’s grace, delight and benefit.” – Ludwig Bechstein, Letter to Ludwig Storch, April 9, 1830 Ludwig Bechstein – Early Years…
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The Phenomenon of Doctor Who

The Phenomenon of Doctor Who

On November 23, 1963, the famous British science-fiction television program Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV. Just imagine, this was more than 50 years ago. Although, I personally learned about Doctor Who when I was already a grownup, I guess this character in the same way as Mr. Spock from the tv series Star Trek[1], might be responsible that many young people have chosen a career in science. In Germany, where I grew…
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Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

On November 22, 1809, French psychiatrist Bénédict Morel was born. Morel was an influential figure in the field of degeneration during the mid-19th century. In 1852, he coined the term ‘precocious madness‘ for a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood, today known as dementia praecox. Benedict Morel – Background and Career Bénédict Morel was born in 1809 in Vienna, Austria,…
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Alfred Sturtevant and the Chromosomes

Alfred Sturtevant and the Chromosomes

On November 21, 1891, American geneticist Alfred Henry Sturtevant was born. Sturtevant constructed the first genetic map of a chromosome in 1913. Throughout his career he worked on the organism Drosophila melanogaster with Thomas Hunt Morgan. By watching the development of flies in which the earliest cell division produced two different genomes, he measured the embryonic distance between organs in a unit which is called the sturt in his honor. Alfred Sturtevant…
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Twice the Speed of Sound – The Record Flight of Scott Crossfield

Twice the Speed of Sound – The Record Flight of Scott Crossfield

On November 20, 1953, Albert Scott Crossfield became the first person to fly at twice the speed of sound as he piloted the Douglass D-588-ii Skyrocket to a speed of 2,078 km/h, Mach 2.005. Albert Scott Crossfield – Youth and Education Albert Scott Crossfield was born on October 2, 1921 in California and grew up in California and Washington. During the Second World War he served in the US Navy as a flight…
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Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Suez Canal

Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Suez Canal

On November 19, 1805, French diplomat and later developer of the Suez Canal Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps was born. The Suez Canal that was constructed under de Lessep’s supervision in 1869 joined the Mediterranean and Red Seas, substantially reducing sailing distances and times between the West and the East. “Since 1849 I have studied incessantly, under all its aspects, a question which was already in my mind [since 1832. I confess that my scheme is still…
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