SciHi Blog

The Opening of the Panama Canal

The Opening of the Panama Canal

On August 15, 1914, the very first ship, the cargo ship SS Ancon passed the newly built Panama Canal. Unfortunately, in the same month, World War I started fighting in Europe and the official opening ceremony had to be postponed until 1920. The Panama Canal is an 82 km long ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean and therefore also a key conduit…
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The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

On August 14, 1040 AD, Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, Mormaer of Moray, today better known as Macbeth, killed the Scottish King Duncan I. to become the new King of Scotland. But, he has to commit further murder to maintain his power. So far the story goes. Most of the rest we know from Shakespeare‘s adaptation of the historical events is merely pure fiction.[2,3] Macbeth’s life, like that of his predecessor King Duncan…
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H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

For sure you have seen the classic movie ‘The Time Machine‘, where the Victorian epoch time traveller went to a future far, far away into the world, where the old struggle of good against evil continued. Then, you also might have heard about the story, where aliens from Mars started war against Earth, but finally are going to die because of Earth’s microbes. Or maybe also the story, when famous actor and…
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IBM and the Success Story of the Personal Computer

IBM and the Success Story of the Personal Computer

On August 12, 1981, IBM presented the IBM 5150, the very first IBM personal computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Philip Donald Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida. Actually, it were his decisions that dramatically changed the computer industry,…
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It’s Computable – thanks to Alonzo Church

It’s Computable – thanks to Alonzo Church

You know, the fact that you can read your email on a cell phone as well as on your desktop computer or almost any other computer connected to the internet, in principle is possible thanks to mathematician Alonzo Church, who gave the proof (together with Alan Turing) that everything that is computable on the simple model of a Turing Machine, also is computable with any other ‘computer model’. Church studied at Princeton…
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Henry Moseley and the Atomic Numbers

Henry Moseley and the Atomic Numbers

On August 10, 1915, English physicist, Henry Moseley was killed in action. Moseley‘s contribution to the science of physics was the justification from physical laws of the previous empirical and chemical concept of the atomic number. This stemmed from his development of Moseley’s law in X-ray spectra. For sure you do remember that poster from your classroom with all the chemical elements ordered in the so-called periodic table. But, certainly only a few of…
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The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

On August 9, 1996 the British Royal Air Force engineer officer Sir Frank Whittle passed away. He was best known for inventing the turbojet engine for which he received the knighthood in 1948. Well, that’s what it was bloody well designed to do, wasn’t it? – Frank Whittle Thanks to Whittle’s father Moses, Frank was able to get an early insight in the field of engineering and mechanics. The family bought a company…
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Robert Siodmak – Blending German Expressionism into American Film Noir

Robert Siodmak – Blending German Expressionism into American Film Noir

On August 8, 1900, German film director, writer, and producer Robert Siodmak was born. In 1929 he shot the film Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), one of the most important representatives of New Objectivity. Like many filmmakers of his time, he fled from Germany before the National Socialist dictatorship. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for a series of stylish, unpretentious Hollywood films noirs he made in the 1940s,…
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The Legend of Elizabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess

The Legend of Elizabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess

How far would you go to maintain your youth and your beauty? While today most people have become a victim of the cosmetic industry and (fortunately) only a few really dare to undergo cosmetic surgery, eternal youth and beauty is not only a subject of today’s affluent society. No, it’s a prominent topic throughout history dating also back into mythology, such as the story of Narcissus, a young Greek hunter of extraordinary…
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Victorian Poetry with Alfred Lord Tennyson

Victorian Poetry with Alfred Lord Tennyson

On August 6, 1809, one of the most important English poets of the Victorian era was born, Alfred Lord Tennyson. The works of Alfred Lord Tennyson are best known for their close affinity with the English mythology and English history, they influenced the movement of the 19th century’s Victorian Art as well as the Arts and Crafts Movement, which was to join art and handcraft using simple forms applied to mostly romantic…
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