Yearly Archives: 2020

Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc and the Discovery of the Orion Nebula

Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc and the Discovery of the Orion Nebula

Around November 25, 1610, French astronomer and savant Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc “discovered” the Orion Nebula, a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. “But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews; Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse; Sharp Boreas blows, and nature feels decay, Time conquers all, and we must…
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

On November 24, 1864, French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born. Toulouse-Lautrec – along with Cézanne, Van Gogh [4] and Gauguin [11] – is among the most well-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period. Although you might not be interested in art, for sure you will have heard about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec or you might have seen one of his paintings or famous posters. His artwork about the Fin de Siècle Paris and…
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Alfonso X from Spain and the Alfonsine Tables

Alfonso X from Spain and the Alfonsine Tables

On November 23, 1221, Spanish King and astronomer Alfonso X of Castile was born, who encouraged the preparation of revised planetary tables. These “Alfonsine Tables” a revision and improvement of the Ptolemaic tables, were the best available during the Middle Ages. “Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” – Alfonso X, after studying Ptolemy’s treatise on astronomy.[10] Alfonso…
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Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

On November 22, 1898, US-American aviator Wiley Hardeman Post was born. Post was the first pilot to fly solo around the world and is also known for his work in high-altitude flying, where he helped to develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. “I cut the emergency switch just in time to keep ‘Winnie Mae’ from making an exhibition of herself by standing on her nose. That would…
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William Beaumont and the Mechanisms of Human Digestion

William Beaumont and the Mechanisms of Human Digestion

On November 21, 1785, US-American surgeon William Beaumont was born. He became best known as “Father of Gastric Physiology” following his research on human digestion. “I submit a body of facts which cannot be invalidated. My opinions may be doubted, denied, or approved, according as they conflict or agree with the opinions of each individual who may read them; but their worth will be best determined by the foundation on which they rest—the incontrovertible…
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Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson

Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson

On November 20, 1858, Swedish author and Nobel Laureate Selma Lagerlöf was born. She is best known for her children’s book ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Nils‘. Moreover, she was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. “If you have learned anything at all from us, Tummetott, you no longer think that the humans should have the whole earth to themselves.” – Selma Lagerlöf, The Further Adventures of Nils (1907) Selma Lagerlöf…
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When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

When Money Buys Little – the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic

Mid November 1923, the Hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic reached its peak. Due to Germany’s obligation to pay large reparations after World War I, a hyperinflation was induced reaching its peak in November 1923, when the American dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 German marks. World War I – Increasing the Amount of Money Shortly after the beginning of the First World War on August 4, 1914, the German Reich government abolished the Reichsbank’s legal…
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Walt Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ and the Rise of Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ and the Rise of Mickey Mouse

On November 18, 1928, Walt Disney’s animated movie ‘Steamboat Willie‘ was released that presented his most famous character ‘Mickey Mouse‘ for the very first time in New York City. The film is also notable for being the first cartoon with synchronized sound. “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.” – Walt Disney, What Is Disneyland television program (27 October 1954) Steamboat…
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Eugene Wigner and the Structure of the Atomic Nucleus

Eugene Wigner and the Structure of the Atomic Nucleus

On November 17, 1902, Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician Eugene Paul Wigner was born. He is best known for for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles for which he shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics with Maria Goeppert. [4] “A possible explanation of the physicist’s use of mathematics to formulate his laws of nature…
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Eugenio Beltrami and the Consistency of Non-Euclidian Geometry

Eugenio Beltrami and the Consistency of Non-Euclidian Geometry

On November 16, 1835, Italian mathematician Eugenio Beltrami was born. He is most notable for his work concerning differential geometry and mathematical physics. His work was noted especially for clarity of exposition. He was the first to prove consistency of non-Euclidean geometry by modeling it on a surface of constant curvature, the pseudosphere. “Students should learn to study at an early stage the great works of the great masters instead of making their minds sterile through…
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