Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sir Bernard Lovell and the Radioastronomy

Sir Bernard Lovell and the Radioastronomy

Sir Bernard Lovell (1913-2012) On August 31, 1913, English physicist and radio astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell was born. He was a pioneer in radar and radio telescopes and especially renowned for creating the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, the only antenna that could track rockets in space in the early years of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Born at Oldland Common, Bristol in 1913, as the son of…
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Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

On August 30, 2004, American astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple passed away. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the “dirty snowball” cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield. Fred Whipple was born on November 5, 1906, in Red Oak, Iowa, as the son of a farmer. An early bout with polio ended his ambition of being a professional tennis player. Whipple studied at Occidental College in Southern California,…
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Werner Forssmann and the dangerous Self Experiment in Cardiac Catheterization

Werner Forssmann and the dangerous Self Experiment in Cardiac Catheterization

On August 29, 1904, German surgeon and Nobel Laureate Werner Forssmann was born. He is best known for the development of cardiac catheterization, which was developed by him in a dangerous self experiment. Werner Forssmann was born in Berlin as the only child of the lawyer Julius Forßmann and his wife Emmy, née Hindenberg. His father’s family originally came from Finland, his mother’s family was Prussian. His father, commanded to the Eastern front…
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Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

On August 28, 1801, French philosopher and mathematician Antoine-Augustin Cournot was born. He is considered being the first economist who applied mathematics to the treatment of economic questions. In 1838, he published Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses (Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth) which was a treatment of mathematical economics. “So far we have studies how, for each commodity by itself, the law…
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Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

On August 27, 1890, American modernist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky was born, better known as Man Ray. A significant contributor to the Dadaist and Surrealist movement, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. “I have been accused of being a joker. But the most successful…
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Enabling Radio Broadcast of Sound – Lee De Forest and the Audion

Enabling Radio Broadcast of Sound – Lee De Forest and the Audion

On August 26, 1873, American inventor Lee de Forest was born. He is credited more than 180 patents. In 1906, de Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. Lee De Forest was born in Iowa to parish priest Henry Swift De Forest; his…
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Elizabeth Montagu and the Famous Bluestocking Society

Elizabeth Montagu and the Famous Bluestocking Society

On August 25, 1800, British social reformer, patron of the arts, salonist, literary critic, and writer Elizabeth Montagu passed away. She was one of the wealthiest women of her era and one of the founders of the Bluestocking Society, an informal women’s social and educational movement in England in the mid-18th century. Elizabeth Robinson was born as the eldest of three daughters (she also had a brother Matthew Robinson) of Matthew Robinson…
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Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

On August 25, 79 AD, Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder died, while attempting the rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Unfortunately, there don’t exist contemporary pictures or portaits of Pliny the Elder. Thus, I decided to show you an also imaginary picture of the destruction of Pompeii instead. Gaius…
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E.F. Codd and the Success of the Relational Database Model

E.F. Codd and the Success of the Relational Database Model

On August 23, 1923, English computer scientist Edgar Frank “Ted” Codd was born. His main achievement besides many contributions to computer science was the invention of the relational model for database management, the theoretical basis for relational databases. “At the time, Nixon was normalizing relations with China. I figured that if he could normalize relations, then so could I.” — E. F. Codd [5] When you talk about databases today, usually you…
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Paul Nipkow and the Picture Scanning Technology

Paul Nipkow and the Picture Scanning Technology

On August 22, 1860, German engineer Paul Gottlieb Nipkow was born. He is best known for having conceived the idea of using a spiral-perforated disk (the Nipkow disk), to divide a picture into a matrix of points, and became an early television pioneer. Nipkow was born on August 22, 1860, in Lauenburg (Lębork) in Pomerania, now in Poland, as the son of Friedrich Wilhelm Nipkow, master baker and head of the town council.…
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