Yearly Archives: 2018

Johannes Gutenberg – Man of the Milennium

Johannes Gutenberg – Man of the Milennium

On February 3, 1468, German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg – or simply Johannes Gutenberg – passed away. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the single most important event of the modern period. The Art or Printing The art of printing presumably laid its foundation in Asia around the 6th century, when Buddhistic priests in China built printing block…
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James Joyce and Literary Modernism

James Joyce and Literary Modernism

On February 2, 1882, Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was born, who is considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his Ulysses, a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer‘s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on…
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Oswald Avery and the Avery-McLeod-McCarthy Experiment

Oswald Avery and the Avery-McLeod-McCarthy Experiment

On February 1, 1944, physician and medical researcher Oswald Avery together with his colleagues Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty announced that DNA is the hereditary agent in a virus that would transform a virus from a harmless to a pathogenic version. This study was a key work in modern bacteriology. Prelude – The Griffith Experiment The achievement by the scientists Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty were based on Frederick Griffith’s studies on bacteria,…
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Gustav Eiffel Has Gone Mad – The Construction of the Eiffel Tower

Gustav Eiffel Has Gone Mad – The Construction of the Eiffel 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 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known under his pen name Lewis Carroll, creator of the stories about ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘, was born. With his ability for pun, logic and fantasy he managed to captivate a wide audience. His works, known as nonsense literature, have remained popular to this day and have influenced not only children’s literature, but also writers such as James Joyce,…
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Arthur Cayley and his Love for Pure Mathematics

Arthur Cayley and his Love for Pure Mathematics

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. “As for everything else, so for a mathematical theory: beauty can be perceived but not explained. “ — Arthur Cayley, President’s address (1883) to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in [13] Arthur Cayley –…
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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 computer, which became the first commercially successful personal computer with a mouse as standard input device and a user friendly graphical user interface to the public. Apple Milestones 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…
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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. “Whatever entrepreneurial income is received shall be returned to the public, it does not belong to those who…
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Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

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 Beauty“. Anyway, Byron is considered one of the greatest British poets…
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André-Marie Ampère and Electromagnetism

André-Marie Ampère and Electromagnetism

On January 20, 1775, French physicist and mathematician André-Marie Ampère was born, after whom the unit of measurement of electric current, the ampere, is named. He is generally considered as one of the main founders of the science of classical electromagnetism, which he referred to as “electrodynamics“. A Child Prodigy André-Maria Ampère was born into a well educated family and influenced by the theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau early. He was home schooled by his…
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