Yearly Archives: 2018

Don’t Be Evil – The Birth of Google

Don’t Be Evil – The Birth of Google

On September 27, 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google and began their work in the garage of businesswoman Susan Wojcicki. Up to this day, the company has become one of the most powerful in the field of search, cloud computing, productivity software, and advertising, running more than one million servers world wide. “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. Since no one else is crazy…
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We Are the Hollow Men – T. S. Eliot

We Are the Hollow Men – T. S. Eliot

On September 26, 1888, the publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and “arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century”, Thomas Stearns Eliot, aka T. S. Eliot, was born, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39. “Here I…
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Transatlantic Telecommunication Via Voice

Transatlantic Telecommunication Via Voice

On September 25, 1956,  the world’s first submarine transatlantic cable for telephony TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1) was inaugurated. It was laid between Gallanach Bay, near Oban, Scotland and Clarenville, Newfoundland between 1955 and 1956 by the cable ship Monarch. You might wonder that is was only possible to route a call between Europe and the United States before the mid 1950s, well at least by cable. Don’t you at least remember some…
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Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, began in late October 1929 and was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The crash signaled the beginning of the 10-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries, in Germany also referred to as the “Weltwirtschaftskrise“. The optimism and financial gains of the Wall Street…
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In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

On September 23, 1215 AD Kublai Khan, the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki, and a grandson of Genghis Khan, was born. Considering the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world‘s inhabited land area. Kublai’s Way to Power Although the prince had Chinese educators and advisors, he still lived…
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Erich von Stroheim – Always a man of his own Invention

Erich von Stroheim – Always a man of his own Invention

On September 22, 1885, Austrian-American director, actor and producer Erich von Stroheim was born. He is most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris’s McTeague entitled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers’ rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a…
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What a Brick! – The World’s First Cell Phone

What a Brick! – The World’s First Cell Phone

On September 21, 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC, the world‘s first commercially available cell phone received its FCC certification. DynaTAC was an abbreviation of Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. But, with a price of $3,995 in 1983 ($9,322 in present-day terms) it was a rather expensive while also exclusive gadget. But, it was not the first mobile phone at all. Actually, in Germany, the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways) already started experimenting with a…
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What’s your Erdös Number? – The bustling Life of Mathematician Paul Erdös

What’s your Erdös Number? – The bustling Life of Mathematician Paul Erdös

On September 20, 1996, Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös passed away. He published more scientific papers than any other mathematician in history, with hundreds of collaborators. Thus, he even created a ‘small world’ of its own, the famous club of people that posess an ‘Erdös Number‘. BTW, my Erdös number is 3, i.e. I have published a paper together with a co-author whose Erdös number is 2. In this little game of numbers,…
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Scott Fahlman and the Origin of the Emoticons :-)

Scott Fahlman and the Origin of the Emoticons :-)

On September 19, 1982, Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 🙁 on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System. As SMS and the Internet became widespread in the late 1990s, emoticons became increasingly popular and were commonly used on text messages, internet forums and e-mails. Emoticons have played a significant role in communication through technology. “I often think there should exist a special typographical sign for a smile —…
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Pompeii – Conquered, Buried, Rediscovered

Pompeii – Conquered, Buried, Rediscovered

Pompeii was an ancient city in Campania on the Gulf of Naples, which like Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontis was buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, but remained largely preserved under the volcanic ashes.[1] In its approximately seven hundred year history Pompeii was inhabited and shaped by Osci, Samnites, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, but was forgotten after the burial in the course of time. The rediscovery in the 18th century…
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