Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Universe goes beyond the Milky Way – Edwin Hubble contributions to Astronomy

The Universe goes beyond the Milky Way – Edwin Hubble contributions to Astronomy

Hubble Space TelescopeImage by NASA On November 20, 1889, American astronomer Edwin Hubble was born. He is best known for his role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century. Although Edwin Hubble earned pretty good grades in school, he used to be more of a sportsman than a scientist. In 1907, he even led…
When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

Money distribution area in Berlin, 1923Image by The German Federal Archive Mid November 1923, the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic reached its peak. Due to Germany’s obligation to pay large reparations after World War I, a hyperinflation was induced reaching its peak in November 1923, when the American dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 German marks. As Germany got ready for the war in 1914, money was printed and was supposed to…
Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”

Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”

Book Cover of ‘Scientific Progress Goes “Boink” by Bill Watterson On November 18, 1985, the first Calvin and Hobbes daily comic strip is published, the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger by American cartoonist Bill Watterson. Ok, you might ask, what does a daily cartoon comic strip have to do with the history of science and technology. Well, we have…
August Ferdinand Möbius and the Beauty of Geometry

August Ferdinand Möbius and the Beauty of Geometry

August Ferdinand Möbius(1790 – 1868) On November 17, 1790, German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius was born. He is best known for his discovery of the Möbius strip, a non-orientable two-dimensional surface with only one side when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space. August Möbius’ interest in mathematics evolved early, but it is said that his teacher hid several mathematical books from the curious boy to guarantee a widely ranged…
The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

Justinian I depicted on a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy On November 16, 534 AD, the second and final revision of the Corpus Juris Civilis, also referred to as the Codex Justinianus, a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor, is published. The four parts of the Codex Justinianus constitute the foundation documents of…
The Russian Space Shuttle

The Russian Space Shuttle

Soviet Buran Spacecraft at Le Bourget air show (1989) On November 15, 1988, the Soviet space shuttle Buran took off for its one and only spaceflight. This remains the only Soviet space shuttle that was launched into space, as the Buran program was cancelled in 1993. Even though the Soviet’s space-craft program started officially in the 1950’s, not a single project came into production and was organized sporadically only. The…
Claude Monet and Impressionism

Claude Monet and Impressionism

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) photo by Nadar On November 14, 1840, French painter Claude Monet was born. He is considered the founder of French impressionist painting as well as the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature. At the age of 5, Claude Monet’s father announced that he would have to go into the family’s grocery business, but Claude thought otherwise.…
Saint Augustine’s Confessions

Saint Augustine’s Confessions

St Augustine in his Study,Painting by Sandro Botticelli (1480) On November 13, 354 A.D., Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine was born. He was bishop of Hippo Regius located in the Roman province of Africa. As an early Christian theologian his writings are considered very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue…
Robert Scott’s Last Expedition

Robert Scott’s Last Expedition

Robert Scott’s group on 17 January 1912, after they discovered Amundsen had reached the pole first. On November 12, 1912, the frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Robert Falcon Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second…
Leibniz and the Integral Calculus

Leibniz and the Integral Calculus

On November 11, 1675, German mathematician and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x). Integral calculus is part of infinitesimal calculus, which in addition also comprises differential calculus. In general, infinitesimal calculus is the part of mathematics concerned with finding tangent lines to curves, areas under curves, minima and maxima, and other geometric and analytic problems. Today, Gottfried…
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