Monthly Archives: January 2018

Franz Schubert – Misjudged Pioneer of the Romantic Music

Franz Schubert – Misjudged Pioneer of the Romantic Music

On January 31, 1797, the Austrian composer Franz Schubert was born. Even though his many symphonies, operas and piano pieces were not highly appreciated during his lifetime, he was posthumously praised as one of the most important composers of the Romantic era in music. Franz Schubert was the 13th of 16 children to Franz Theodor and Elisabeth Schubert and began his musical studies at the age of 5. His father taught him how…
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Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

On January 30, 1873, Jules Verne‘s famous novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days‘ (Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) was published by Pierre-Jules Hetzel in Paris, France. It is one of Jules Verne‘s most acclaimed stories, where Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days only on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the London Reform Club.…
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Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Carl Benz (1844 – 1929) On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile. Karl Friedrich Benz was born as Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into a family of a locomotive driver and a maid – the couple married a few month after Karl’s birth – and after his father passed away two years later, his mother had to work hard to finance Karl’s education. From…
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Gustav Eiffel and his famous Tower

Gustav Eiffel and his famous Tower

On January 28, 1887, French engineer Gustave Eiffel started construction work of his famous eponymous Tower in Paris. Finished 26 months later in March 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Until today, the tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1…
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Lewis Carroll – Mathematician and Creator of the Wonderland

Lewis Carroll – Mathematician and Creator of the Wonderland

On January 27, 1832, British mathematician, photographer, and children’s book author Lewis Carroll, creator of the stories about ‘Alice in Wonderland’, was born. The English all round talented Carroll was first home schooled and confronted with challenging works like ‘The Pilgrim´s Progress‘ – a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan, regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature – from early years on. When being transferred to grammar…
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Arthur Cayley and the Love for Pure Mathematics

Arthur Cayley and the Love for Pure Mathematics

Arthur Cayley (1821-1895) On January 26, 1895, British mathematician Arthur Cayley passed away. He was the first to define the concept of a group in the modern way and helped to found the modern British school of pure mathematics. Arthur Cayley was born in Richmond, London, England, on 16 August 1821 to his father Henry Cayley, a descended from an ancient Yorkshire family, who settled in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as a merchant. Arthur…
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Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

On January 25, 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV arrived at the gates of the fortress at Canossa in Emilia Romagna beyond the Alpes to declare atonement and to pledge for forgiveness from Pope Gregory VII, who had excommunicated Henry earlier from church. Henry’s act of penance became known as the “Walk to Canossa”. It took wisdom, patience, and self-restraint. It was also a brilliant strategy because he basically forced the Pope to forgive…
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The Macintosh 128K making history with George Orwell

The Macintosh 128K making history with George Orwell

On January 24, 1984, Steve Jobs presented the the very first Macintosh, which became the first commercially successful personal computer with a mouse and a graphical user interface to the public. Although the 128K was not Apple Inc’s first computer on the market, it depicted a milestone. The Apple I was released in 1976, it was sold as a motherboard and would not fulfill today’s requirements for the term ‘personal computer‘, but just…
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Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

On January 23, 1840, German physicist, optometrist, entrepreneur, and social reformer Ernst Abbe was born. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he laid the foundation of modern optics. As a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of research microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums and other optical systems, Abbe developed numerous optical instruments. Abbe was born in Eisenach in 1840 and was lucky to be financially supported by his father’s boss,…
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Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). painted by Thomas Philipps, 1824 On January 22, 1788, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6. Baron Byron of Rochdale, commonly known simply as Lord Byron, English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement was born. I remember to have learned about Lord Byron back at school with his lengthy narrative poems like Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage or the shorter and much more beautiful poem “She Walks in…
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