Monthly Archives: September 2019

Hans Geiger and the Invention of the Geiger-Müller Counter

Hans Geiger and the Invention of the Geiger-Müller Counter

On September 30, 1882, German physicist Johannes Wilhelm Geiger was born. He is best known as the co-inventor of the Geiger counter and for the Geiger–Marsden experiment which discovered the atomic nucleus. Hans Geiger – Early Years Geiger was born at Neustadt an der Haardt, Germany. He was one of five children born to the Indologist Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger, who was a professor at the University of Erlangen. In 1902, Hans Geiger…
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Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

(Probably) on September 29, 1547, famous Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  was born. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, is considered to be the first modern European novel, a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. Moreover it has been translated into nearly every major language, making it one of the most widely distributed books after the Bible. Miguel de Cervantes’ influence on…
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Around the World in 175 Days – The Circumnavigation of the Earth by Plane

Around the World in 175 Days – The Circumnavigation of the Earth by Plane

On September 28, 1924, the first successful circumnavigation of the earth by plane was achieved, when after the 175 days journey a team of aviators of the United States Army Air Service landed again in Seattle. Airmen Lowell H. Smith and Leslie P. Arnold, and Erik H. Nelson and John Harding Jr. made the trip in two single-engined open-cockpit Douglas World Cruisers (DWC) configured as floatplanes for most of the journey. Four more…
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GNU’s not Unix

GNU’s not Unix

On September 27, 1983, American software freedom activist and computer programmer Richard Stallman announced the GNU project. Its aim is to give computer users freedom and control in their use of their computers and computing devices, by collaboratively developing and providing software. You’ve probably never heard of GNU, unless you are a computer scientist or some kind of software developer. But, GNU denotes the starting point of a development that still continues…
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Martin Heidegger and the Question of Being

Martin Heidegger and the Question of Being

On September 26, 1889, German philosopher Martin Heidegger was born. He is best known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the “question of Being”. His best known book, Being and Time, is considered one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. There as also in his later writings, Heidegger maintained that our way of questioning defines our nature. He argued that philosophy, Western Civilization‘s chief way of questioning,…
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Francesco Borromini – leading figure of Roman Baroque Architecture

Francesco Borromini – leading figure of Roman Baroque Architecture

On Sep 25, 1599, Italian architect Francesco Borromini was born. With his contemporaries Gian Lorenzo Bernini [1] and Pietro da Cortona, Borromini was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. A keen student of the architecture of Michelangelo and the ruins of Antiquity, Borromini developed an inventive and distinctive, if somewhat idiosyncratic, architecture employing manipulations of Classical architectural forms, geometrical rationales in his plans and symbolic meanings in his buildings.…
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Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

On September 24, 1501, Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler Gerolamo Cardano was born. He wrote more than 200 works on medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy, religion, and music. But, he is best known for his gambling that led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of probability theory. “The greatest advantage in gambling lies in not playing at all.” – Gerolamo Cardano (around 1560). Liber…
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Augustus and the Foundation of the Roman Empire

Augustus and the Foundation of the Roman Empire

On September 23, 63 BC, Gaius Octavius aka Imperator Caesar Divi F. Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire and first Emperor was born. The Roman Empire as a follow up of the former Roman Republic existed for almost four centuries, before it was divided up into Western and Eastern Roman Empire. While the western port deceased to exist in the 5th century AD, the eastern part continued to prosper for almost a millenium…
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The Topographia of Matthäus Merian

The Topographia of Matthäus Merian

On September 22, 1593, Swiss-born German master engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian der Ältere was born. He is best known for his 21-volume set of the Topographia Germaniae, which includes numerous town plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map. From a previous blogpost, you may have heard about Maria Sibylla Merian, the daughter of Matthäus who became widely known for her extraordinary detailed observations and…
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A Life of Discoveries –  the great Michael Faraday

A Life of Discoveries – the great Michael Faraday

On September 22, 1791, the famous chemist and physicist Michael Faraday  was born. He is responsible for the discovery of the electromagnetic induction, the laws of electrolysis and best known for his inventions, which laid the foundations to the electrical industry. But, to understand the person and the scientist Michael Faraday, we have to look a little bit into his background and his development. I was at first almost frightened when I…
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