SciHi Blog

Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours and Poitiers

Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours and Poitiers

On October 25, 732 AD, the Battle of Tours and Poitiers between the united Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus, ended the Islamic expansion era in Europe. It is argued among historians that Charles Martel’s victory was one of the most important events in European or even world history. Again,…
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The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

On October 23, 1960, professor of computer science and human-computer interaction Randy Pausch was born. He is best known for a lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” he gave after he had learned that he had pancreatic cancer, which became rather popular on youtube. Randy Pausch Randy Pausch studied at Brown University and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980’s. He fulfilled…
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The Planetary Tables of Erasmus Reinhold

The Planetary Tables of Erasmus Reinhold

On October 22, 1511, German astronomer and mathematician Erasmus Reinhold was born. He is considered to be the most influential astronomical pedagogue of his generation. Furthermore, he is best known for his carefully calculated first set of planetary tables applying Copernican theory, published in 1551. Erasmus Reinhold Background Erasmus Reinhold was born and died in Saalfeld, Thuringia, Germany. His father Johannes Reinhold was a tax collector. In 1530 went to Wittenberg to study at…
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Samuel Alderson and the Crash Test Dummies

Samuel Alderson and the Crash Test Dummies

On October 21, 1914, US-american engineer Samuel W. Alderson was born. He is best known for his development of the crash test dummy, a device that, during the last half of the twentieth century, was widely used by automobile manufacturers to test the reliability of automobile seat belts and other safety protocols. Samuel Alderson Education Samuel W. Alderson attended several colleges including Reed College, California Institute of Technology, and the University of…
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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and the Evolution of Stars

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and the Evolution of Stars

On October 19, 1910, Indian-American astrophysicist and Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born. He won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics together with William Alfred Fowler for key discoveries that led to the currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars. Actually, winning Nobel Prizes in physics must lie somehow in the family of Chandrasekhar, because his uncle Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman won the Nobel Prize for Physics already in…
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Nicholas Culpeper and the Complete Herbs of England

Nicholas Culpeper and the Complete Herbs of England

On October 18, 1616, English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper was born. Culpeper spent the greater part of his life in the English outdoors cataloging hundreds of medicinal herbs. Thus, he is best known for his publication of Complete Herbal (1653), a comprehensive listing of English medicinal herbs and their uses, which still is in print today. “I cannot build my faith upon Author’s words, nor believe a thing because they…
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Socrates – Enigmatic Founding Figure of Western Philosophy

Socrates – Enigmatic Founding Figure of Western Philosophy

Socrates was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He remains an enigmatic figure in philosophy, because he did not leave us a single line of text. He is known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon. Nevertheless, you might consider his importance in the fact that all Greek philosophers are categorized in philosophers before…
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Albrecht von Haller – Father of Modern Physiology

Albrecht von Haller – Father of Modern Physiology

On October 16, 1708, Swiss anatomist, physiologist, naturalist and poet Albrecht von Haller was born. He made prolific contributions to physiology, anatomy, botany, embryology, poetry, and scientific bibliography. Moreover, he is often referred to as the “Father of modern Physiology”. Albrecht von Haller Background It is said that Albrecht von Haller learned Greek and Hebrew at the age of 10 and authored translations from Ovid, Horace and Virgil before turning 15. However,…
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Evangelista Torricelli and the Barometer

Evangelista Torricelli and the Barometer

On October 15, 1608, Italian physicist and mathematician Evangelista Torricelli was born, best known for his invention of the barometer, but is also known for his advances in Optics. Evangelista Torricelli Background Evangelista Torricelli was born in Rome, the firstborn child of Gaspare Ruberti, a poor textile worker, and Giacoma Torricelli. His family was from Faenza in the Province of Ravenna, then part of the Papal States. His parents sent Evangelista to…
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