Monthly Archives: August 2015

Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

On August 27, 1874, German chemist, engineer and Nobel Laureate Carl Bosch was born. He was a pioneer in the field of high-pressure industrial chemistry and founder of IG Farben, at one point the world’s largest chemical company. Carl Bosch was born in Cologne, the first of seven children of Carl Bosch senior (1843-1904), co-owner of the installation company Bosch & Haag in Cologne, and his wife Paula (1851-1930).After graduating from the secondary school…
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Charles Richet and his Work on Anaphylaxis

Charles Richet and his Work on Anaphylaxis

On August 26, 1850, French physiologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Robert Richet was born. Initially, he investigated a variety of subjects such as neurochemistry, digestion, thermoregulation in homeothermic animals, and breathing. He coined the term “anaphylaxis” meaning “against protection” to describe the subject of his research, when he found a second vaccinating dose of sea anemone toxin caused a dog’s death. Charles Richet won the Nobel Prize in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis in 1913. Charles…
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Akira Kurosawa and the Rashomon Effect

Akira Kurosawa and the Rashomon Effect

On August 25, 1950, Akira Kurosawa‘s film Rashomon premiered. Rashomon marked the entrance of Japanese film onto the world stage. It won several awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, and an Academy Honorary Award at the 24th Academy Awards in 1952, and is now considered one of the greatest films ever made. So, what is so special about this movie and what is the “Rashomon effect”?…
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Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

On August 21, 1862, Italian writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction Emilio Salgari was born. For over a century, his novels were mandatory reading for generations of youth eager for exotic adventures. Many of his most popular novels have been adapted as comics, animated series and feature films. He is considered the father of Italian adventure fiction and Italian pop culture, and the “grandfather” of the Spaghetti…
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Pierre Janssen and the Discovery of Helium

Pierre Janssen and the Discovery of Helium

When watching the total eclipse on August 18, 1868 in Madras, British India, French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered the new chemical element Helium. Janssen also is credited with discovering the gaseous nature of the solar chromosphere. Youth and Education Janssen was born in Paris in 1824. An accident when he was young left him extremely lame and it is for this reason that he was unable to go to school. He studied at…
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Thomas Hodgekin – a Pioneer in Preventive Medicine

Thomas Hodgekin – a Pioneer in Preventive Medicine

On August 17, 1798, British physician Thomas Hodgkin was born. Hodgkin is considered one of the most prominent pathologists of his time and a pioneer in preventive medicine. Today, he is best known for the first account of Hodgkin’s disease, a form of lymphoma and blood disease, in 1832. Born into a Quaker family Thomas Hodgkin was born to a devout Quaker family in Pentonville, St. James Parish, Middlesex, England, the son of John…
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Leslie Comrie – a Pioneer in Mechanical Computation

Leslie Comrie – a Pioneer in Mechanical Computation

On August 15, 1893, New Zealand astronomer Leslie John Comrie was born. Comrie was a pioneer in the application of punched-card machinery to astronomical calculations and founded the world’s first private company for scientific computing in 1937. Leslie John Comrie was born in Pukekohe near Auckland, New Zealand. He attended Auckland University College, which is part of the University of New Zealand from 1912 to 1916, graduating with BA and MA degrees with Honours in Chemistry.…
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William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

On August 9, 1819, American dentist William Thomas Green Morton was born. He was the first to publicly demonstrate the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. Morton is credited with gaining the medical world’s acceptance of surgical anesthesia. But, can you imagine a surgery without any anesthetic? Standing the pain of an operation, feeling every cut? Better not. Nevertheless, anesthetics already have a long tradition.  The History of…
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Sir Roger Penrose and the Singularity

Sir Roger Penrose and the Singularity

On August 8, 1931, English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. Sir Roger Penrose was born. Penrose is known for his work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. In 1969, with Stephen Hawking, Penrose proved that all matter within a black hole collapses to a singularity, a geometric point in space where mass is compressed to infinite density and zero volume. Youth and Education…
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Allan Hills 84001 and Is There Life on Mars?

Allan Hills 84001 and Is There Life on Mars?

Allan Hills 84001 (commonly abbreviated ALH 84001) is a meteorite that was found in Allan Hills, Antarctica on December 27, 1984 by a team of U.S. meteorite hunters. What makes it so special that it is responsible for worldwide headlines on August 6, 1996, when NASA scientists announced that it might contain evidence for microscopic fossils of Martian bacteria based on carbonate globules observed. A Meteorite from a “Wet” Mars ALH84001 is a meteorite thought to…
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