Monthly Archives: December 2012

Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

Apollo 17 Crew On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 with Commander Eugene A. Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald E. Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H. Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley on the lunar surface and were (so far) the last men to set foot on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final mission of the United States‘ Apollo program, the sixth mission to land humans on the…
Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System

Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System

Melvil Dewey (r) along with Mrs. Dewey and R. R. Broker On December 10, 1851, Melvil Dewey, librarian and inventor of the Dewey Decimal classification system for libraries, the DDC, was born. Melville Louis Dewey was born into a rather poor family in the upper New York state. After a school-fire, he was told to live only for one more year and became obsessed with efficiency, wherefore he gained his…
John Milton and his great Epic Paradise Lost

John Milton and his great Epic Paradise Lost

Portrait of John Milton (1608 – 1674) On December 9, 1608, English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant John Milton, was born. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. John Milton was born into a…
George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

George Boole (1815-1864) On December 8, 1864, British mathematician and logician George Boole passed away. He is best known as the inventor of the prototype of what is now called Boolean logic, which became the basis of the modern digital computer. Thus, Boole also is regarded as one of the founders of the field of computer science. George Boole was born on November 2, 1815 as first of four children to…
Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Master Architect and Sculptor of the Italian Baroque

Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Master Architect and Sculptor of the Italian Baroque

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) On December 7, 1598, Italian architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born. He is considered to be the leading sculptor of the baroque age. In addition he designed buildings, painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. Whenever you are be in Rome, for sure you will find yourself somewhere in the neighborhood of Bernini’s work. Actually, not much was publicly known about the…
The Discovery of Nefertiti

The Discovery of Nefertiti

Picture of the Nefertiti bust in Neues Museum, Berlin. On December 6, 1912, German archeologist Ludwig Borchardt and his team discovered the famous bust of Nefertiti at excavations in Thutmose’s workshop in Amarna, Egypt. Ever since, the iconic bust of Nefertiti has become one of the most famous relics of the ancient world, and an icon of feminine beauty. The name Nefertiti means nothing less than ‘the beauty has come’.…
Werner Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle

Werner Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle

Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) Bundesarchiv Bild183-R57262 On December 5, 1901, German theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Werner Heisenberg was born, who along with Max Born and Pascual Jordan laid the foundations of quantum mechanics. He is probably best known for his Uncertainty Principle, asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain physical properties can be known. Actually, I had a major in physics back in highschool and thus, for…
Man is Man’s Wolf – Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan

Man is Man’s Wolf – Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679),Portrait by John Michael Wright On December 4, 1679, Thomas Hobbes passed away. The philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment and the political theorist of the Absolutism is probably best known for his 1651 book Leviathan that established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. Thomas Hobbes was born in Wiltshire, England in politically difficult times, because of the invasion…
Christiaan Barnard and the First Heart Transplant

Christiaan Barnard and the First Heart Transplant

The restored scene from Dr Barnard’s first human heart transplantation On December 3, 1967 at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town South Africa, Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first adult heart transplant on Louis Washkansky. Although Norman Shumway is widely regarded as the father of heart transplantation, it was the young South African Christiaan Barnard utilizing the techniques developed and perfected by Norman Shumway and Richard Lower, who performed…
The First Self-Sustained Nuclear Chain Reaction

The First Self-Sustained Nuclear Chain Reaction

Time: 3:22 p.m, December 2, 1942. Place: Racquets Court under West Stands of Stagg Field, University of Chicago. Depiction of scientist(s) observed the world’s first nuclear reactor (CP-1) as it became self-sustaining, National Archives Identifier 542144 On December 2, 1942, during the Manhattan Project, a team led by Italian born physicist Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in the Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), the world’s first human-made nuclear…
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