Monthly Archives: January 2014

Irving Langmuir and his scientific achievements

Irving Langmuir and his scientific achievements

Langmuir (center) in 1922 in his lab, showing radio pioneerGuglielmo Marconi a new 20 kW triode tube On January 31, 1881, American chemist and physicist Irving Langmuir was born. Langmuir advanced several basic fields of physics and chemistry, invented the gas-filled incandescent lamp, the hydrogen welding technique, and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry. Irving Langmuir was highly influenced by his older…
The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

Adelbert von Chamisso (1781-1831) On January 30, 1781, German poet and naturalist of French Origin Adelbert von Chamisso was born. Some of his lyrics, ballads, and romances rank among the finest in German literature. He took part in Captain Kotzebue‘s Russian polar expedition (1815-18) and his 1835 published account of it ranges among the classics of travel. In the same way as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany‘s best known poets, Adelbert…
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

‘The Raven (Corvus Corax)’ – from ‘The Natural History of Selborne’, published in London, 1879 On January 29, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s famous narrative poem ‘The Raven‘ was first published in the New York Evening Mirror. It has become one of the best known English poems of all time. The Raven makes use of a number of folk and classical references and is often noted for its musicality, stylized language,…
Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

Ernst Lubitsch(1892 – 1947) On January 28, 1892, German American actor, screenwriter, producer and film director Ernst Lubitsch was born. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood’s most elegant and sophisticated director. Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin and was apprenticed as a merchant. However, the son of a fashion designer and tailor quickly became the student of Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt was back then an…
The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society

Cover of January 1915 National Geographic On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society, one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is founded in the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. You might not be aware of it, but several of our past articles already are related to the National Geographic Society, as the society always has supported…
The Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory

The Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory

The dome of the Hale Telescope at Palomar ObservatoryImage: Coneslayer On January 26, 1949, the Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory sees first light under the direction of Edwin Hubble, becoming the largest aperture optical telescope (until BTA-6 is built in 1976). George Ellery Hale was a solar astronomer, who was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at MIT, Harvard and in Berlin. He is mostly known for…
Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

On January 25, 1882, English writer Virginia Woolf was born. She is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928). Have you ever read Virginia Woolf? If so, for sure you will remember, because her writing differs from many others. Virginia Woolf is an author of modernism and she uses modernistic…
Ètienne Lenoir and the Internal Combustion Engine

Ètienne Lenoir and the Internal Combustion Engine

Lenoir’s engine at Musée des arts et métiers in Paris On January 1860, Belgian engineer Étienne Lenoir was granted a patent on his newly developed internal combustion engine. Lenoir’s engine design was the first commercially successful internal combustion engine. It is said, that Étienne Lenoir grew up in a very small town near Virton. Apparently, he decided to become an engineer in very early years, but left the city due…
Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Royal Exchange, London On January 23, 1571, the Royal Exchange in London was founded by the merchant Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. On the afternoon of January 23rd, 1571, Queen Elizabeth went from her Palace of Somerset House to dine with Sir Thomas Gresham at his fine mansion in Austin Friars. She went in state with her Trumpeters and Halberdiers, with…
Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) On January 22, 1561, English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author Sir Francis Bacon was born. Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. How did science work before Francis Bacon? Today, the scientific method of empiricism has become a common knowledge. We observe nature and based on our observation, we try to find…
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