Yearly Archives: 2019

Percival Lowell and the Search for Pluto

Percival Lowell and the Search for Pluto

On March 19, 1915, American astronomer Percival Lowell began to make photographies of the sky in the Lowell Observatory, which was founded by him, to search for a planet beyond Neptune. 15 years later, the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered on these photographies. “Formulae are the anaesthetics of thought, not its stimulants and to make any one think is far better worth while than cramming him with ill-considered, and therefore indigestible, learning.” –…
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Jakob Steiner and Analytical Geometry

Jakob Steiner and Analytical Geometry

On March 18, 1796, Swiss mathematician Jakob Steiner was born. Steiner‘s work was mainly confined to geometry. Moreover, he has been considered the greatest pure geometer since Apollonius of Perga. “Calculating replaces, while geometry stimulates, thinking” -Jakob Steiner (1796-1863) Early Years Steiner was the son of a small farmer, attended the local village school, where he learned to write only at the age of fourteen, and at the age of seventeen went…
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Marcus Aurelius – the Philosopher on the Emperor’s Throne

Marcus Aurelius – the Philosopher on the Emperor’s Throne

On March 17, 180 AD, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius passed away. He is often referred to as the philosopher on the emperor‘s throne and considered on of the most important Stoic philosophers. “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditationes (161-180) Taking Up the Dress…
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Around the World with Steam Power – The HMS Driver

Around the World with Steam Power – The HMS Driver

On March 16, 1842, the HMS Driver started the first voyage around the Earth for a steamship, finally arriving back home in Portsmouth, England, again on Friday 14 May 1847. A Circumnavigation of the Globe The first single voyage of global circumnavigation was that of the ship Victoria, between 1519 and 1522, known as the Magellan–Elcano expedition. It was a Castilian (Spanish) voyage of discovery, led initially by the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan between…
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Aspasia of Miletus – Greek Philosopher

Aspasia of Miletus – Greek Philosopher

Aspasia was a female Greek philosopher of the 5th century BC. Little is known about her life, but she appears in the writings of Plato, Aristophanes, of Miletus Xenophon and other greek philosophers. It is said that Aspasia‘s teaching should have influenced Socrates, the most important of all Greek philosophers. A Well Known Person in the Streets of Athens Aspasia was born in the Greek city of Miletus (in today’s province Aydın, Turkey)…
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Giovanni Schiaparelli and the Martian Canals

Giovanni Schiaparelli and the Martian Canals

On March 14, 1835, Italian astronomer and science historian Giovanni Schiaparelli was born. He is remembered best for his observations of planet Mars, where he discovered a dense network of linear structures on the surface of Mars which he called “canali” in Italian, meaning “channels” but the term was mistranslated into English as “canals” indicating that the observed structures should be of artificial origin. Early Years Schiaparelli graduated in 1854 from the…
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Sir William Herschel and the Discovery of Uranus

Sir William Herschel and the Discovery of Uranus

On March 13, 1781, Sir William Herschel for the first time observed planet Uranus while in the garden of his house at 19 New King Street in the town of Bath, Somerset, England (now the Herschel Museum of Astronomy), but initially reported it (on April 26, 1781) as a “comet“. “A knowledge of the construction of the heavens has always been the ultimate object of my observations…” – William Herschel, Astronomical Observations relating…
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Gustav Kirchhoff and the Fundamentals of Electrical Circuits

Gustav Kirchhoff and the Fundamentals of Electrical Circuits

On March 12, 1824, German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born. He is best known for his contribution to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. Education and Academic Career Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, to his father Friedrich Kirchhoff, a law councillor in Königsberg with a strong sense of duty to the Prussian state, and his mother Johanna…
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J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

On March 11, 1915, American psychologist and computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider, known simply as J.C.R. or “Lick“, was born. He is particularly remembered for being one of the first to foresee modern-style interactive computing and was one of the most distinguished Internet pioneers. “[…] we are entering a technological age in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information – not merely in the passive way that…
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Freiherr von Eichendorff and the Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing

Freiherr von Eichendorff and the Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing

On March 10, 1788, German writer Joseph Karl Benedikt Freiherr von Eichendorff was born. He was an important poet and writer of German Romanticism. With around 5000 settings, he is one of the most widely acclaimed German-language lyricists and is still present today as a prose poet. “You good-for-nothing! there you sun yourself again and stretch and stretch your bones tiredly, and leave me to do all the work alone. I can no…
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