SciHi Blog

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculating Clock

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculating Clock

On October 23, 1635, German astronomer and mathematician Wilhelm Schickard, who constructed the very first mechanical calculator, passed away. His famous calculator was able to perform additions and subtractions. For more complicated operations, it provided so-called Napier bones, named after the Scottish mathematician John Napier,[1] who came up with the idea of logarithms. Although it is widely believed that the first mechanical calculating device was created by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal in…
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Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

On October 22, 1811, famous Hungarian piano player, composer and conductor Franz Liszt was born. During the nineteenth century Liszt was renowned for his extreme virtuosic skill as a pianist. According to his contemporaries he was the most technically advanced pianist of his age and by the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. “Sorrowful and great is the artist’s destiny.” — Franz Liszt,…
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To be or Not to be a Planet – Eris, the planet of Discord

To be or Not to be a Planet – Eris, the planet of Discord

On October 21, 2003, a photograph of the nocturnal sky was taken, where almost 2 years later, in January 2005, evidence was raised that there might be a 10th planet at the borders of our solar system: Eris, located in the Kuiper Belt and named after the Greek goddess of discord. And discord it should be, because Eris as a planet is rather small and astronomers were arguing, whether it is a…
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Christopher Wren and his Masterpiece – Saint Paul’s Cathedral

Christopher Wren and his Masterpiece – Saint Paul’s Cathedral

On October 20, 1708, the construction of Sir Christopher Wren‘s famous Saint Paul’s Cathedral was finished when the final stone was placed on its lantern. The Cathedral is dedicated to Paul the Apostle and depicts the fifth of its kind standing in London since 604 AD. “Architecture has its political Use; public Buildings being the Ornament of a Country; it establishes a Nation, draws People and Commerce; makes the People love their native…
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Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

On October 19, 1806, the famous German writer, artist, and politician, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,[1] finally got married with his mistress Christiane Vulpius after having lived together quasi-maritally since 1788, to the scandal of the ladies of Weimar and the vexation of Bettine von Arnim.[2] Christiane Vulpius’ Family Background Christiane Vulpius came from a poor family. Her father Johann Friedrich Vulpius, official archivist in Weimar, i.e. file copyist, had studied law for several…
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Charles Babbage – The Father of the Computer who hated Street Music

Charles Babbage – The Father of the Computer who hated Street Music

On October 18, 1871, Charles Babbage, mathematician, inventor and early computer scientist passed away. We think, everybody should know about Charles Babbage and his seminal work on the first mechanical universal computer, the Analytical Engine. Although the Analytical Engine never was build during his lifetime, due to the lack of according fine mechanics in the 19th century, Babbage sketched out everything necessary to construct and to program a universal computer. “The whole…
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Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

On October 17, 1604, the famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler [5] started his observations of the 1604 supernova, named after him as Kepler’s Supernova or Kepler’s Star. Special about this ‘new’ star was it being the very last observed supernova in our own galaxy, the Milky way. First Sightings The supernova was first observed on 9 October 1604 by Ilario Altobelli in Verona and Raffaello Gualterotti in Florence, a few days before Kepler…
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Oscar Wilde – One of the Most Iconic Figures of Victorian Society

Oscar Wilde – One of the Most Iconic Figures of Victorian Society

On October 16, 1854, the famous Irish poet and writer Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde aka Oscar Wilde was born. He is considered to be one of the most iconic figures from late Victorian society. Enjoying a meteoric rise to the top of society, his wit, humour and intelligence shines through his plays and writings. However, because of his sexual orientation for a long time his name was synonymous with scandal and intrigue.…
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God is Dead – The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

God is Dead – The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

On October 15th, 1844, Friedrich Nietzsche was born. The German philosopher, cultural critic, and classical philologist lived and worked socially isolated for the most time and faced mainly criticism until his mental breakdown in 1889. He is best known for his concept of the ‘Übermensch‘ as well as the ‘death of God‘ and now counts as one of the most discussed and appreciated philosophers of all times. “There are no facts, only interpretations.”…
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Winnie-the-Pooh – The Cute Bear With Mental Disorders

Winnie-the-Pooh – The Cute Bear With Mental Disorders

On October 14, 1926, the children‘s book Winnie-the-Pooh was first published by the author A. A. Milne. The book was followed by several stories of the cute yellow bear and his friends and quickly became famous. Disney adopted Winnie Pooh in 1961 and the show is still running on television today, making thousands of children as happy as 86 years ago. “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to…
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