Monthly Archives: August 2019

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

On August 25, 1609, Galileo Galilei publicly demonstrated his newly built telescope for the first time to Venetian lawmakers. Besides its astronomical value Galileo‘s telescope was also a profitable sideline for him selling telescopes to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. Galileo published his initial telescopic astronomical observations in March 1610 in a brief treatise entitled Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger). Galileo Galilei Education and Early Career…
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The Gutenberg Bible and the Printing Revolution

The Gutenberg Bible and the Printing Revolution

On August 24 (August 15, O.S.), 1456, the printing of the famous Gutenberg Bible was completed.[10] The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with movable type in the West, applying the newly developed technology by Johannes Gutenberg. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status. The Man of the Millenium We know that German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher Johannes Gutenberg did not…
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Georges Cuvier and the Science of Paleontology

Georges Cuvier and the Science of Paleontology

On August 23, 1769, French naturalist and zoologist Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier aka Georges Cuvier was born. He was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century, and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils. “Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without…
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Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

On August 22, 1812, Swiss traveler and orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, in the disguise of an arab traveler discovered the ruins of the ancient city of Petra, one of the most compelling archaeological sites in existence, in today’s Jordan. Petra – Location and Meaning Petra is located east of the Arabah, half way between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea at an altitude between 800 and 1350 m in a wide…
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The Mona Lisa is Missing – Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting

The Mona Lisa is Missing – Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting

On August 21, 1911 during intensive repair and renovation work the Louvre Museum in Paris realized that Leonardo Da Vinci‘s [2] most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was stolen. Who is the Women in the Picture? The Mona Lisa most likely is the most popular painting in the world. The painting’s title Mona Lisa stems from a description by Italian art critique Giorgio Vasari,[3] who wrote biographies of famous contemporary Renaissance men: “Leonardo undertook to paint,…
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Courage and Folly – The Burke and Wills Expedition Crossing Australia

Courage and Folly – The Burke and Wills Expedition Crossing Australia

On August 20, 1860, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from South to North and back again. But, due to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition’s leaders died on the return journey and only one man, John King, crossed the continent with the expedition and returned alive to Melbourne. In the early 1850’s, gold was found…
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Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

On August 19, 1839, French artist and physicist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, after announcing his invention to the French Academy of Sciences, went public with his newly developed photographic process called Daguerrotype, the wold‘s first practicable photographic process. The Invention of Photography Actually, Louis Daguerre did not invent photography, but, in 1829, he partnered with Nicéphore Niépce,[4] an inventor who had produced the world’s first heliograph in 1822 and the first permanent…
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Carl Djerassi and the Oral Contraceptive Pill

Carl Djerassi and the Oral Contraceptive Pill

On 18 August, Enovid was launched as the first contraceptive pill in the United States. It was developed by Austrian-born Bulgarian-American chemist, novelist, and playwright Carl Djerassi. Furthermore, he is noted for establishing physical methods for determining organic molecular structure and his contributions to synthetic organic chemistry, his effectiveness in translating scientific knowledge into technological practice, and his efforts to promote international scientific cooperation. Youth in Austria and Emigration to the USA Carl Djerassi…
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How Margaret Hamilton Helped Apollo 11 to Safely Land on the Moon

How Margaret Hamilton Helped Apollo 11 to Safely Land on the Moon

On August 17, 1936, American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner Margaret Hamilton was born. Hamilton was Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program. A Software Developer at MIT Margaret Elaine Heafield was born in Paoli, Indiana, USA, to Kenneth Heafield and Ruth Esther Heafield.  Hamilton graduated from Hancock High School in 1954 and received her B.Sc.…
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The Man who Invented Science Fiction – Hugo Gernsback

The Man who Invented Science Fiction – Hugo Gernsback

On August 16, 1884, Luxembourgian American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback was born. Gernsback best known for publications including the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with the novelists H. G. Wells [6] and Jules Verne,[7] he is often referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction“. In his honor, annual awards presented at the World Science Fiction Convention are named…
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