Yearly Archives: 2018

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

On April 9, 1806, English engineer and entrepreneur Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born, whose designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering. He developed and constructed dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. I first heard of Isambard Kubgdom Brunel, when I saw this great photograph, where he was posing in front of these huge chains with his top hat and the…
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Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology

Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology

On April 8, 1859, German philosopher and mathematician Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was born. He is best know as the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology, where he broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic. “First, anyone who seriously intends to become a philosopher must “once in his life” withdraw into himself…
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The Publication of the First RFC

The Publication of the First RFC

On April 7, 1969, Steve Crocker of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), published the first Request for Comment – RFC 1 – entitled “Host Software”. This might be considered as the beginning of the internet, because Request for Comments (RFC) are memoranda describing methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems. Originally, Steve Crocker’s RFCs were intended to help record unofficial notes on the…
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The Short but Influential Life of Niels Henrik Abel

The Short but Influential Life of Niels Henrik Abel

On April 6, 1829, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel passed away. Abel is well known in mathematics for proving the impossibility of solving the quintic equation by radicals. In parallel to Évariste Galois – who also died very young – , he laid the foundations of group theory.[8] Nils Henrik Abel was born into a family of educated people. His father, for instance earned himself a degree in theology and philosophy and…
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Nadar and How Photography became an Art

Nadar and How Photography became an Art

On April 5, 1820, Gaspard-Félix Tournachon better known under his pseudonym Nadar, was born. He is considered to be one of the first grand masters of photography, besides being a caricaturist, a journalist, a novelist, and also a renown balloonist. Felix Nadar started studying medicine, but abandoned this subject to become a journalist and worked at first in Paris and Lyon. Back then, he was already known as an amazing caricaturist, wherefore…
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Max and Moritz as Role Model for The Katzenjammer Kids

Max and Moritz as Role Model for The Katzenjammer Kids

On April 4, 1865, Wilhelm Busch published his famous ‘Max and Moritz‘ (in the German original: Max und Moritz – Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen), a famous German language illustrated story in verse, considered to be an early precursor of comic strips. Actually, if you are not by chance a German native speaker, you probably might never have heard of satirical author, illustrator and painter Wilhelm Busch, who was famous in the 19th…
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Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

On April 3, 1789, American Naval officer and explorer Charles Wilkes was born. Wilkes led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, on which he determined that Antarctica (which Wilkes so named) is a continent. He also commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War (1861–1865), where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship, almost leading to war between the US and the UK. Charles Wilkes was born in New…
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Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The fact that Maria Sibylla Merian is not well known throughout the scientific community is probably caused by the fact that the study of nature and entomology in general…
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Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

Apple I on Display at the Smithsonian (© Ed Uthman) On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne (who dropped out shortly after) founded the Apple Computer Company. The company’s first product, the Apple I was demonstrated for the first time at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. Wozniak met Steve Jobs became friends already in 1970, when Jobs worked for the summer at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where Wozniak…
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Cogito Ergo Sum – The Philosophy of René Descartes

Cogito Ergo Sum – The Philosophy of René Descartes

On March 31, 1596, French philosopher, mathematician, and writer René Descartes was born. The Cartesian coordinate system is named after him, allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis.…
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