Monthly Archives: November 2016

Karl von Frisch and the Dancing Bees

Karl von Frisch and the Dancing Bees

On November 20, 1886, Austrian ethologist and Nobel Laureate Karl Ritter von Frisch was born. His work centered on investigations of the sensory perceptions of the honey bee and he was one of the first to translate the meaning of the waggle dance, which he described in his 1927 book “Aus dem Leben der Bienen” (The Dancing Bees). He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973, along with Nikolaas Tinbergen [10] and…
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Yuri Knorozov and the Decipherment of the Mayan Language

Yuri Knorozov and the Decipherment of the Mayan Language

On November 19, 1922, Soviet linguist epigrapher and ethnographer Yuri Knorozov was born. Knorozov is particularly renowned for the pivotal role his research played in the decipherment of the Maya script, the writing system used by the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica. “There are no indecipherable writings, any writing system produced by man can be read by man.” — Yuri Knozorov, Epigraphic Atlas of Petén Phase 1 Youth and Education Yuri Knorozov was born…
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The Flight of Alan Shepard

The Flight of Alan Shepard

On November 18, 1923, American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and astronaut Alan B. Shepard was born. Shepard was one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. In May 1961, Shepard made the first manned Mercury flight. Shepard’s craft entered space, but did not achieve orbit. He became the second person, and the first American, to travel into space, and the first person to manually control the orientation of his spacecraft.…
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The Portraits of August Sander

The Portraits of August Sander

On Nov 17, 1876, German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander was born. Sander has been described as “the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century”. His work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is best known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series People of the 20th Century. In this series, he aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. August…
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The Battle of Lützen and the Death of the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus

The Battle of Lützen and the Death of the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus

On November 16, 1632, the Battle of Lützen, one of the most important battles of the Thirty Years’ War, was fought, in which the Swedes defeated the Imperial Army under Wallenstein, but cost the life of one of the most important leaders of the Protestant alliance, the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, which caused the Protestant campaign to lose direction. The Thirty Years’ War The Thirty Years’ War was a series of…
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Elmer McCollum and the Vitamins

Elmer McCollum and the Vitamins

On November 15, 1967, American biochemist Elmer McCollum passed away. McCollum is known for his work on the influence of diet on health. Together with Marguerite Davis McCollum discovered the first vitamin, named A, in 1913. He also helped to discover vitamin B and vitamin D and worked out the effect of trace elements in the diet. In 1903, Elmer McCollum graduated from the University of Kansas. He secured a scholarship to…
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Xavier Bichat – the Father of Histology

Xavier Bichat – the Father of Histology

On November 14, 1771, French anatomist and pathologist Marie François Xavier Bichat was born. Bichat is known as the father of histology. Although working without the microscope, Bichat distinguished 21 types of elementary tissues from which the organs of human body are composed. Xavier Bichat was the son of Jean-Baptise Bichat, a physician who had trained at Montpellier and was Bichat’s first instructor. Bichat enrolled at the college of Nantua, and later studied…
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Herbert Eugene Ives and the Ives-Stilwell Experiment

Herbert Eugene Ives and the Ives-Stilwell Experiment

On November 13, 1953, US-American scientist and engineer Herbert Eugene Ives passed away. Ives headed the development of facsimile and television systems at AT&T. He is best known for the 1938 Ives–Stilwell experiment, which provided direct confirmation of special relativity’s time dilation, although Ives himself did not accept special relativity, and argued instead for an alternative interpretation of the experimental results. Herbert Eugene Ives studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the…
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Salim Ali – the Birdman of India

Salim Ali – the Birdman of India

On November 12, 1896, Indian ornithologist and naturalist Sálim Ali was born. Sometimes referred to as the “birdman of India“, Salim Ali was among the first Indians to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and several bird books that he wrote helped popularise ornithology in India. Along with Sidney Dillon Ripley he wrote the ten volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Salim Ali was born into a Sulaimani Bohra Muslim…
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The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

On November 11, 1976, American sculptor Alexander Calder passed away. Calder is known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents. Calder’s monumental stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced wire figures, which are like drawings made in space, and notably a miniature circus work that was performed by the artist. Alexander Calder…
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