Monthly Archives: May 2015

Antonio Bosio and the Rediscovery of the Roman Catacombs

Antonio Bosio and the Rediscovery of the Roman Catacombs

On May 31, 1578, the Catacombs of Rome were discovered by accident. A sepulchral chamber was opened by some laborers digging for pozzolana earth. Ecclesiastical historian Caesar Baronius was one of the first to visit the new discovery. Fifteen years later, in December 1593, 18-year-old Antonio Bosio began a lifetime exploring the catacombs researching them for his volume, Roma Sotterranea. Antonio Bosio – Background Information Antonio Bosio was born in Malta about the…
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Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

Most likely on May 29, 1500, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias died by drowning in a storm near Cabo das Tormentas. Dias sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, reaching the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic, the first European known to have done so. Little in known about Bartolomeu Dias’ Early Life Not too much is known about the life and achievements of Bartolomeu Dias. He may have been a descendant of João…
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Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

On May 27, 1794, American business magnate and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt was born. Vanderbilt’s wealth was build on railroads and shipping. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. Cornelius Vanderbilt – Starting a Ferry Business Cornelius Vanderbilt was born as the fourth child and second son of Cornelius and Phebe Vanderbilt (née Hand). Vanderbilt left school at the age of eleven. At the age of…
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John Cocke and the RISC Architecture

John Cocke and the RISC Architecture

On May 30, 1925, American computer scientist John Cocke was born. Cocke is recognized for his large contribution to computer architecture and optimizing compiler design. He is considered by many to be “the father of RISC computer architecture.” John Cocke – Background Information John Cocke was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. His father Norman was the president of Duke Power Company and a member of the Board of Trustees of Duke University.…
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Franz Mesmer – From Animal Magnetism to Hypnosis

Franz Mesmer – From Animal Magnetism to Hypnosis

On May 23, 1734, German physician Franz Anton Mesmer was born. Mesmer theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called animal magnetism, sometimes later referred to as mesmerism. This system of therapeutics was the forerunner of the modern practice of hypnotism. He spent his career offering this controversial therapy to wealthy aristocratic clients in several European capitals. “A responsive influence exists…
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Robert Metcalfe and the Ethernet Technology

Robert Metcalfe and the Ethernet Technology

On May 22, 1973, Robert Metcalfe, by the time PhD student in electrical engineering working at Xerox PARC, wrote a memo describing a way to transmit data from the early generation of personal computers to a new device, the laser printer. He named the new network technology Ethernet after the disproven luminiferous ether as an “omnipresent, completely-passive medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves“. Over time, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired…
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She sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore – Mary Anning and her Marine Fossils

She sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore – Mary Anning and her Marine Fossils

On May 21, 1799, British fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Mary Anning was born. She became known around the world for important finds she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis in the county of Dorset in Southwest England. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth. “She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore,…
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Hieronymus Fabricius – The Father of Embryology

Hieronymus Fabricius – The Father of Embryology

On May 20, 1533 Hieronymus Fabricius or Girolamo Fabrizio or by his Latin name Fabricus ab Aquapendente also Girolamo Fabrizi d’Acquapendente was born. He was a pioneering anatomist and surgeon known in medical science as “The Father of Embryology.” Hieronymus Fabricius – Early Years Girolamo Fabrizio was born probably on May 20, 1537 in Aucula. He was sent to Padua in order to receive a decent education and studied Greek as well as Latin…
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Rudolf Carnap and the Logical Structure of the World

Rudolf Carnap and the Logical Structure of the World

On May 18, 1891, German-born philosopher Rudolf Carnap was born. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism and made significant contributions to logic and the philosophy of science. To avoid the ambiguities resulting from the use of ordinary language, he made a logical analysis of language. He believed in studying philosophical issues in artificial languages constructed under the rules of logic and mathematics, which…
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Amos Eaton and the Science of Education

Amos Eaton and the Science of Education

On May 17, 1776, American botanist, geologist, and educator Amos Eaton was born. He is considered the founder of the modern scientific prospectus in education, which was a radical departure from the American liberal arts tradition of classics, religious classes, lecture, and recitation. Amos Eton – Early Years Amos Eaton was born in New Concord parish, New York. He was sent to Williamstown in order to study at Williams College and graduated…
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