Monthly Archives: March 2013

Vannevar Bush and the Memex

Vannevar Bush and the Memex

Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) On March 11, 1890, American engineer, inventor and science administrator Vannevar Bush was born. He is best known as as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, through which almost all wartime military research and development was carried out, including initiation of the Manhattan Project. In computer science we know Vannevar Bush as the father of the memex, an adjustable…
Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Reconstruction of Steller’s Sea Cow On March 10, 1709, German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born. He joined the Russian explorer Vitus Bering on his second expedition to Kamchatka and Alaska, where he discovered numerous new species, as e.g. the Steller’s sea cow that was named after him. Georg Wilhelm Stöller was born and grew up in Windsheim, Germany. Due to his father being a protestant…
Ernst Ruska and the Electron Microscope

Ernst Ruska and the Electron Microscope

First Electron Microscope constructed by Ernst Ruska with Resolving Power Greaterthan a Light Microscope (1933) On March 3, 1931, German physicist Ernst Ruska together with his doctoral advisor Max Knoll presented the very first prototype electron microscope, capable of four-hundred-power magnification; the apparatus was the first demonstration of the principles of electron microscopy. The light microscope opened the 1st gate to microcosm.The electron microscope opened the 2nd gate to microcosm.What…
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Neil Postman (1931 – 2003) On March 8, 1931, media theorist, author, and cultural critic Neil Postman was born. He is best known for his works criticizing the increase of the role of technology in every human’s life not seeing the dangerous side effects. Neil Postman spent almost all of his lifetime in New York City and graduated at the State University of New York, receiving a master’s degree in 1955. A…
Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce(1765 – 1833) On March 7, 1765, French inventor Nicéphore Niépce was born, who is best known as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field. He developed heliography, a technique used to produce the world’s first known photograph in 1825. Born into the wealthy family of a lawyer, the family of Nicéphore Niépce had to flee the French Revolution. He later attended the Oratorian…
Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Solar Spectrum

Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Solar Spectrum

Joseph Fraunhofer (1787- 1826) demonstrating his spectroscope On March 6, 1787, German optician and physicist Joseph Fraunhofer – later enobled Ritter von Fraunhofer – was born. He is known for the discovery of the dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines in the Sun’s spectrum, and for making excellent optical glass and achromatic telescope objectives. Moreover, he is the name giver for the German Fraunhofer Society for the advancement of…
Georg Friedrich Händel – A Prolific Musical Genius

Georg Friedrich Händel – A Prolific Musical Genius

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) On March 5, 1685, German-born British Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel was born, who is famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Interestingly, Händel is born in the very same year as Johann Sebastian Bach or Domenico Scarlatti. Nevertheless, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time with works like the Water Music or The Messiah that remain popular until…
Henry the Navigator

Henry the Navigator

Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) On March 4, 1394, Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator, was born. He was an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and the Age of Discoveries in total. He was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents. Henry has become a legendary figure, and it is somewhat difficult to disentangle…
Georg Cantor and the Set Theory

Georg Cantor and the Set Theory

Georg Cantor (1845-1918) On March 3, 1845, German mathematician Georg Cantor, creator of the set theory was born Set Theory is considered the fundamental theory of mathematics. He also proved that the real numbers are “more numerous” than the natural numbers, which was quite shocking for his contemporaries that there should be different numbers of infinity. Georg Cantor was born in 1845 in the western merchant colony in Saint Petersburg,…
Thomas Bodley and the Bodleian Library

Thomas Bodley and the Bodleian Library

Sir Thomas Bodley (1544-1613) On March 2, 1544, English diplomat and scholar Sir Thomas Bodley was born. His greatest achievement was the re-founding of the library at Oxford that was named in his honor. Moreover, he established new ideas and practices library of which also modern libraries stil benefit today. The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford and it is one of the oldest…
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