Monthly Archives: October 2012

Johannes Vermeer – Master of Perspective and Lighting

Johannes Vermeer – Master of Perspective and Lighting

The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, 1660 On October 31, 1632, Dutch genre painter Johannes Vermeer was born in Delft. Vermeer always worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours and sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. Born as the only son to Reijnier Janszoon, Johannes Vermeer learned much about…
Orson Welles  and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

Orson Welles and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

Headline of the New York Times from Oct, 31, 1938 about Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ On October 30, 1938, a Saturday night at 8 pm, H.G. Wells‘ ‘The War of the Worlds‘ was broadcasted at CBS radio in an adaption presented and narrated by future famous film director and actor Orson Welles.The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which…
Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

Distribution of the Radio to the German Public during World War II © Deutsches Bundesarchiv On October 29, 1923 the very first radio program in Germany was broadcasted from the Vox-Haus in Berlin, Tiergarten. The history of the radio is long and for many years it was not clear, who the official inventor of the radio really was. To mention is of course Thomas Edison in the first place, who…
Bill Gates – From Entrepreneur to Philantrop

Bill Gates – From Entrepreneur to Philantrop

Bill Gates © World Economic Forum On October 28, 1955 entrepreneur William Henry “Bill” Gates III, or simply Bill Gates, was born in Seattle, Washington. You might think of him whatever you like, but he has left his footstep in history with creating the incredibly successful operating system MS Windows or his office application programs MS Word, MS Powerpoint, or MS Excell. Bill Gates grew up in an upper middle-class…
Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn On October 27, 1968 the scientist Lise Meitner passed away. She is known today for her passionate and extraordinary work on radioactivity and nuclear physics along with her colleague Otto Hahn, who was honored with the Nobel Prize while Meitner stayed unrecognized. Born in 1878 in Vienna, Lise Meitner’s talents were early detected, not unusual for scientists who achieved these major efforts in their later lives.…
Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

Johan Philipp Reis’ Telephone  On October 26, 1861, German teacher and inventor Johann Philipp Reis, presented his telephone system at the ‘Physikalischen Verein zu Frankfurt am Main‘. Although it did not convince his contemporaries, his invention marks a milestone in telecommunications. Philipp Reis was born on January 7, 1834 in Gelnhausen, Germany in a Jewish family as son of a baker. Reis’s mother died while he was an infant, and…
Pablo Picasso – A Giant in Art

Pablo Picasso – A Giant in Art

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) On October 25, 1881, famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer was born. He is considered as one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century and is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.…
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek – The Father of Microbiology

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek – The Father of Microbiology

Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) On October 24, 1632, the Dutch tradesman and scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope, was born. He is commonly known as “the Father of Microbiology”, and considered to be the first microbiologist. That Van Leeuwenhoek made some of the most significant discoveries in the history of biology is rather surprising. Born in 1632, the son of a basket maker was not so fortunate…
Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculator Machine

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculator Machine

Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635) On October 23, 1635, German astronomer and mathematician Wilhelm Schickard, who constructued 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, who came up with the idea of logarithms. Although it is widely believed that the first mechanical calculating device was created by…
Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886) 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. Liszt was born…
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