Monthly Archives: February 2019

Franz Marc – German Expressionism and Der blaue Reiter

Franz Marc – German Expressionism and Der blaue Reiter

On February 8, 1880, German painter and printmaker Franz Marc was born. Franz Marc is one of the key figures of German Expressionism. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it. “Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner…
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Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

On February 7, 1935, the Chinese-Swedish expedition lead by Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, travel writer, and illustrator Sven Hedin after crossing Mongolia and the Gobi Dessert reaches Xi’an on the Southern route of the Silk Road. ““I was swept away by the irresistible desiderium incognitti which breaks down all obstacles and refuses to recognise the impossible” ― Sven Hedin, My Life as an Explorer, 1926 Early Years Hedin was the son…
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Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim – The Most Remarkable Women of her Time

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim – The Most Remarkable Women of her Time

Although her date of birth is not known exactly, today’s post features “the most remarkable woman” of the early middle ages, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim (in German also often referred to as Roswitha, and attributed as ‘the mighty voice‘ or the ‘Nightingale of Gandersheim‘). Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim was a 10th-century German secular canoness, as well as a dramatist and poet who lived and worked at Gandersheim Abbey in modern-day Bad Gandersheim, Lower Saxony, Germany,…
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The Quantum Hall Effect

The Quantum Hall Effect

On February 5, 1980, German physicist Klaus von Klitzing discovered the Quantum Hall Effect in the high field magnet laboratory of Grenoble, France, for which he was granted the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics. Hall Effect OK, today we have a topic that is a little bit complicated to explain, at least to us being non-physicists. Let’s start with the ‘traditional’ Hall effect. The Hall effect is the production of a voltage difference (the…
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The Discovery of the Neanderthal Man

The Discovery of the Neanderthal Man

On February 4, 1857, German anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen publicly announced the discovery of the remains of an extincted prehistoric species of human, the Neanderthal man, whose remains were discovered by amateur naturalist Johann Karl Fuhlrott in the German Neander Valley. From Belgium over Gibraltar to Düsseldorf Actually, the remains found in the Neander Valley were not the first known pieces of the Neanderthal man. Around 1829, Neanderthal skulls were discovered in what…
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The Burst of the Tulip Bubble

The Burst of the Tulip Bubble

On February 3, 1637, in Haarlem, Netherlands, the tulip bulb contract prices collapsed abruptly and the trade of tulips ground to a halt. This should put an end to the ‘Tulip Mania‘, one of the first economic bubbles to burst. You see, financial crisis is not an invention of modern times. Already in the 17th century, in the early age of baroque, people went crazy for a good that was short of…
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Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

On February 2, 1594, Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina passed away. He is the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition and has had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony. The Origins of Polyphony The origins of polyphony are assumed in the European vocal music of the late Medieval Era.…
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Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywood Director John Ford

Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywood Director John Ford

On February 1, 1894, American film director John Ford was born. John Ford is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Until today his four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record. “I don’t give ’em a lot of film to…
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