Yearly Archives: 2012

The Birth of the Western Movie

The Birth of the Western Movie

Screenshot from The Great Train Robbery (1903) On December 1, 1903, the very first Western movie ‘The Great Train Robbery‘ premiered, directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman. Although only 12 minutes long, it is considered a milestone in film making, expanding on Porter’s previous work ‘Life of an American Fireman’. Actually, it also was the first narrative movie, one that told a story. In this film,…
Mark Twain – Keen Observer and Sharp-tongued Critic

Mark Twain – Keen Observer and Sharp-tongued Critic

Mark Twain (1835-1910),by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907 On November 30, 1835, famous American author Samuel Longhorn Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri. He is most noted for his humorous novels about the mischievous boys Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and their adventures on the mighty Mississippi River. His father John Clemens worked as a storekeeper, lawyer,…
Christian Doppler and the Doppler Effect

Christian Doppler and the Doppler Effect

Christian Johann Doppler (1803 – 1853) On November 29, 1803, Christian Johann Doppler, Austrian Physicist and mathematician was born in Salzburg. Doppler was born into a family of stonemasons, but due to his weak physical appearance, he was not able to continue in the family’s business and was occupied mostly with a bookkeeping position. It was noticed, that he developed great talents in the field of mathematics wherefore he began…
Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

A composite image of the Crab Nebula showing the X-ray (blue), and optical (red) images superimposed. On November 28, 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Anthony Hewish discovered the first Pulsar, a fast rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation of a pulsar can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen…
Ada Lovelace – The World’s Very First Programmer

Ada Lovelace – The World’s Very First Programmer

Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) Portrait by Margaret Sarah Carpenter On November 27, 1852, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who is considered to be the world’s very first programmer, passed away. Every student of computer science should have heart of the world’s first programmer, Ada Countess of Lovelace, assistant to Charles Babbage, inventor of the very first programmable (mechanical) computer, the analytical engine. Allthough probably not widely known to…
The Archeological Discovery of the Century – Tutankhamun’s Tomb

The Archeological Discovery of the Century – Tutankhamun’s Tomb

Tutankhamun’s famous burial mask © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen On November 26, 1922, Archeologist Howard Carter together with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, opened the unharmed tomb of pharao Tutankhamun, one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20th century. King Tut, as the Egyptian pharaoh of the ‘New Kingdom’ was called in popular culture, ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC. When the prince, back then called Tutankhaten became…
Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

Lope de Vega (1562-1635) On November 25, 1562, Spanish poet Lope de Vega, or with full name Félix Lope de Vega Carpio, one of the key figures in the Spanish ‘Siglo de Oro’, the Golden Century Baroque literature, was born. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Miguel de Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one…
Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’

Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’

Huxley’s illustration showing that humans and apes had the same basic skeletal structure On November 24, 1859, famous biologist and founder of the science of evolution Charles Darwin published his seminal treaty ‘On the Origin of Species‘, which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin began his studies on natural history in the 1820’s, where he first heard of the transmutation of species by Robert Grant.…
Otto the Great – Founder of the Holy Roman Empire

Otto the Great – Founder of the Holy Roman Empire

Otto I, Holy Roman EmperorCathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, France On November 23, 912 AD, Otto I, also referred to as Otto the Great, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and founder of the Ottonian dynasty of German emperors, was born as the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony Henry the Fowler (“Heinrich, der Vogler” referring to a German poem „Herr Heinrich sitzt am Vogelherd…“ by Johann Nepomuk Vogl…
Sir Arthur Eddington – The Man who Proved Einstein’s General Relativity

Sir Arthur Eddington – The Man who Proved Einstein’s General Relativity

Arthur Eddington (1882 – 1944) On November 22, 1944, British astrophysicist and philosopher Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington passed away. He became famous for his 1919 solar eclipse expedition to Principe, where he conducted astrophysical experiments to give proof for Albert Einstein‘s seminal theory of general relativity. Through hard work and lots of talent, Eddington earned a scholarship to Owens College, where he was able to improve his knowledge in physics.…
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