Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

Impact of the Tunguska Event On June 30, 1908, seismic stations all across Europe registered an enormously powerful shock wave, which originated from a location near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The so-called Tunguska event ever since has challenged the fantasy of scientists, who related it to the impact of a meteor or comet fragment, or even have developed theories that speak of black…
John Gorrie and the Wonders of Air Condition

John Gorrie and the Wonders of Air Condition

John Gorrie (1803-1855), Courtesy State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Photographic Collection, RC12666. On June 29, 1855, American physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian John Gorrie passed away. He is considered the father of refrigeration and air conditioning. Today, refrigeration as well as air condition has become a commodity. But, the importance of refrigeration to modern civilization as a means for conservation of food cannot be overestimated. Actually, even already…
Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque Extravaganza

Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque Extravaganza

On June 28, 1577, German-born Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was born. He is best known for his extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality. Rubens received a good formal education in mostly Latin and literature, starting with his artistic career under Tobias Verhaeght at the age of 14. To exercise, Rubens copied various images, mostly woodcuts and engraving from famous contemporary artists. After he finished his…
Augustus de Morgan and Formal Logic

Augustus de Morgan and Formal Logic

Augustus de Morgan (1806-1871) On June 27, 1806, British mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan was born. He formulated De Morgan‘s laws and introduced the term mathematical induction, a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish a given statement for all natural numbers. As a computer scientist, I am of course familiar with De Morgan‘s laws, which are fundamental for Boolean logic. De Morgan‘s laws are merely transformation rules for…
Charles Messier and the Nebulae

Charles Messier and the Nebulae

Charles Messier(1730 – 1817) On June 26, 1730, French astronomer Charles Messier was born. He is best known for his publication of an astronomical catalogue consisting of nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 110 “Messier objects”. The purpose of the catalogue was to help astronomical observers, in particular comet hunters such as himself, distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects in the sky. Charles…
Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia (1646 – 1684) On June 25, 1678, Venetian philosopher of noble descent Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Elena Cornaro Piscopia‘s intellectual ability was noticed early, wherefore the local priest encouraged her family to enable Piscopia a formal education. She was then taught Latin, Greek, and Arabic starting at the age of seven. Later on, she also began learning mathematics,…
Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) On June 24, 1519, Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and Vannozza dei Cattanei, passed away. Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy. Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films. The extent of her complicity in the political…
Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) On June 23, 1894, French educator and historian Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Because of his initiative he is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games, the first one organized in Greece only two years later in 1896. The Olympic Games have a long tradition dating back to ancient Greece, where the games were both, a religious and an athletic festival held…
Wilhelm von Humboldt and Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt and Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt(1767 – 1835) On June 22, 1767, Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was born. He was a Prussian philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the…
Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Neumann Record Cutting MachineImage: JacoTen On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. To…
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