Yearly Archives: 2014

Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

On December 26, 1985, American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist Dian Fossey was killed. She is best known for her extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in they mountain forests of Rwanda. Her 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist, combines her scientific study of the mountain gorilla at Karisoke Research Center with her own personal story. “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what…
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Margaret Mead and Modern Anthropology

Margaret Mead and Modern Anthropology

On December 16, 1901, American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead was born. She was both a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture and a respected, often controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures amply informed the 1960s sexual revolution. “Maggie was a short little lady with immense courage-a first of a kind-took nothing for granted and…
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Karen Horney’s Struggle with Neurosis

Karen Horney’s Struggle with Neurosis

On December 4, 1952, German Neo-Freudian psychoanalyst Karen Horney passed away. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views. This was particularly true of her theories of sexuality and of the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis. She is credited with founding feminist psychology in response to Freud’s theory of penis envy.[4] She disagreed with Freud about inherent differences in the psychology of men and women, and she traced such differences to society and culture rather…
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Cavalieri’s Principle

Cavalieri’s Principle

On November 30, 1648, Italian mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri passed away. He is known for his work on the problems of optics and motion, work on the precursors of infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms to Italy. Cavalieri’s principle in geometry partially anticipated integral calculus. “Rigor is the concern of philosophy not of geometry.” (Bonaventura Cavalieri) Bonaventura Cavalieri – The Youth of a Mathematician Born at Milan, Cavalieri was given the name Francesco…
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Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

On November 24, 1642, Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Service in the Dutch East India Company Abel Tasman was born in 1603 in Lutjegast in what is now the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received a sufficient education to enable him to express…
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Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville’s – The Fable of Bees On November 15, 1670, Dutch philosopher, political economist and satirist Bernard Mandeville was born. He became famous for The Fable of the Bees, a satire that suggests many key principles of economic thought, including division of labor and the “invisible hand“, seventy years before these concepts were more thoroughly elucidated by Adam Smith. Not very much is known about the life of Bernard Mandeville. He probably grew…
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Hermann ‘Klecks’ Rorschach and his Eponymous Test

Hermann ‘Klecks’ Rorschach and his Eponymous Test

On November 8, 1884, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach was born. He is best known for developing a projective test known as the Rorschach inkblot test. This test was reportedly designed to reflect unconscious parts of the personality that “project” onto the stimuli. Hermann Rorschach was born in Zurich, Switzerland and it is known was he was encouraged by his father, an art teacher, to express himself creatively. The young Rorschach became fascinated with making pictures out of…
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Daniel Rutherford and the isolation of Nitrogen

Daniel Rutherford and the isolation of Nitrogen

Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819) On November 3, 1749, Scottish physician, chemist and botanist Daniel Rutherford was born. Rutherford was the uncle of famous novelist Sir Walter Scott. But originally, he is most famous for the isolation of nitrogen in 1772. The second son of Professor John Rutherford and his second wife Anne Mackay, Daniel Rutherford was born in Edinburgh on 3 November 1749. Educated at first at home, he was sent, when seven…
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Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

On October 30, 1909, German aviation pioneer Hans Grade won the 40.000 Reichsmark “Lanz-Preis der Lüfte“, flying a new monoplane design, the ‘Libelle’ (Dragon Fly), the first really airworthy motor plane of Germany. Most probably, you have never heard of Hans Grade, who is also scarcely known in his home country. Nevertheless, he is one of the early pioneers of aviation and today, we will tell his story. Early Life and first Aviation…
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Robert Stirling and the Stirling Engine

Robert Stirling and the Stirling Engine

On October 25, 1790, Scottish clergyman Reverend Dr Robert Stirling was born. Stirling is best known for his invention of the Stirling engine, a heat engine that operates by cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas (the working fluid) at different temperatures, such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. Robert Stirling Youth and Education Robert Stirling was born at Cloag Farm near Methven, Perthshire,…
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