SciHi Blog

Giordano Bruno and the Wonders of the Universe

Giordano Bruno and the Wonders of the Universe

On February 17, 1600, Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Giordano Bruno was burned on the stake after the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds populated by other intelligent beings. Giordano Bruno was born as Filippo Bruno in Nola,  in the Kingdom…
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The Astronomical Machines of Johannes Stöffler

The Astronomical Machines of Johannes Stöffler

On February 16, 1531, German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, priest, and maker of astronomical instruments Johannes Stöffler passed away. Stöffler was the first professor of astronomy at the University of Tübingen. At the end of the 1490s, Stöffler calculated a continuation of Regiomontan’s ephemeris [1] and constructed an equator for Johannes Reuchlin – an analog calculating machine for the direct location of a planet‘s position at a given point in time. Johannes Stöffler attended the…
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Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL

Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL

On February 15, 1934, Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Emil Wirth was born. He is best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. If there is (or better ‘was’) one programming language that I really loved in the same way I hated it, then it was Pascal. On the one hand it was a rather easy to understand beginners programming language, but when…
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Christopher Latham Sholes invented the QWERTY Typewriter

Christopher Latham Sholes invented the QWERTY Typewriter

On February 14, 1819,  American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes was born, who invented the first practical typewriter and is responsible for the  QWERTY keyboard layout still in use today. Christopher Latham Sholes began working as an apprentice to a printer in his teenage years and later became a newspaper publisher and politician. He started a partnership Samuel W. Soule, Charles F. Kleinstuber, and Carlos Glidden to develop a printing device, focusing on numbers…
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ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

On February 13, 1946, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly introduced Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, the first general purpose, electronic computer. ENIAC was a giant step forward in computing technology. Actually, the research that lead to the development of ENIAC was sponsored by the US military. The army needed a computer for calculating artillery-firing tables, the settings used for different weapons under varied conditions for target accuracy. The Ballistics…
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Eugène Atget’s Old Paris

Eugène Atget’s Old Paris

On February 12, 1857, French photographer Eugène Atget was born. A pioneer of documentary photography, Atget is noted for his determination to document all of the architecture and street scenes of Paris before their disappearance to modernization. An inspiration for the surrealists and other artists, his genius was only recognized by a handful of young artists in the last two years of his life, and he did not live to see the…
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Photographic Pioneer Henry Fox Talbot

Photographic Pioneer Henry Fox Talbot

On February 11, 1800, Henry Fox Talbot, British inventor and photography pioneer was born, who invented the calotype process, a precursor to photographic processes of the 19th and 20th centuries. Like other pioneers of early photography, Talbot not only was occupied with the processing technology, but also is known as an photographic artist. Moreover, Talbot‘s talents also extended to mathematics, astronomy, and archaeology. Actually, he even participated in the translation of the…
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Victoria and Albert – A Royal Wedding

Victoria and Albert – A Royal Wedding

Victoria Alexandrina was born as the fifth in the line of succession and her childhood was rather unspectacular, as her mother kept her from contact with other children and granted her an excellent home schooled education, wherefore she was able to speak many languages. In 1836, Leopold, King of the Beligians, and uncle to Victoria suggested that his nephew Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha should marry his niece Victoria. After a first…
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

On February 9, 1881, famous Russian novelist, short story writer, and essayist Fyodor Dostoyevsky passed away in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dostoyevsky‘s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russia and is considered to be one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature. The very first piece of literature I read from Dostoyevsky was the short parable ‘The Grand Inquisitor‘, which is…
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John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

On February 8, 1819, prominent social thinker and philanthropist John James Ruskin was born. He is considered the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman and watercolourist. He was hugely influential in the latter half of the 19th century up to the First World War and today, his ideas and concerns are widely recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism, sustainability and craft. Ruskin grew up…
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