Monthly Archives: September 2020

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

On September 30, 1714, French philosopher and epistemologist Étienne Bonnot de Condillac was born. A leading advocate in France of the ideas of John Locke de Condillac further emphasized the importance of language in logical reasoning, stressing the need for a scientifically designed language and for mathematical calculation as its basis.[4] “The art of reasoning is nothing more than a language well arranged.” – Étienne de Condillac, as quoted in [5]  Étienne de Condillac…
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Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

On September 29, 1888, German Jewish physician Fritz Kahn was born. He is best known for his publication of popular science books and especially for his illustrations, which pioneered infographics. Fritz Kahn – Becoming a Physician Fritz Kahn was born in Halle, Germany and grew up with Jewish orthodox traditions and a decent education. In his early years, the Kahn family relocated several times and even lived in the United States for quite a while…
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Seymour Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

Seymour Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

On September 28, 1925, American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect Seymour Roger Cray was born. He designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which built many of these machines. Called “the father of supercomputing,” Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry. “One of my guiding principles is don’t do anything that other people are doing. Always do something a little…
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Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

On September 27, 1849, Russian physiologist and Nobel Laureate Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born. He is primarily known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. And what is the first thing you will think about when you hear Pavlov‘s name? Well, probably his experiments with dogs, where he conditioned dogs to salivate when hearing a bell ringing because they expected to get food. But, let’s take a closer look at Pavlov and…
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Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

On September 26, 1754, French chemist Joseph Louis Proust was born. He was best known for his discovery of the law of constant composition in 1799, stating that in chemical reactions matter is neither created nor destroyed. A Young Chemist Joseph L. Proust was born on September 26, 1754 in Angers, France as the second son of Joseph Proust, an apothecary, and Rosalie Sartre. Joseph studied chemistry in his father’s shop and later came to…
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Balboa and the Discovery of the Southern Ocean

Balboa and the Discovery of the Southern Ocean

Balboa taking possession of the South Sea On September 25, 1513, Spanish conquistador and explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa discovered the legendary Southern Ocean, having crossed the Isthmus of Panama facing the Pacific Ocean. Inspired by Christopher Columbus, Balboa embarked on a trip to the Americas as part of Rodrigo de Bastidas’ expedition. The young explorer started settling at Hispaniola in 1505 but was bankrupt shortly after. Balboa hid in a barrel…
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William Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

William Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

On September 24, 1894, US cryptologist William F. Friedman was born. He is considered one of the world’s greatest cryptologists, who helped decipher enemy codes from World War I to World War II. William Friedman – Early Years Friedman was born as Wolfe Frederick Friedman, then part of imperial Russia, now Chisinau, capital of Moldova, as the son of Frederick Friedman, a Jew from Bucharest who worked as a translator and linguist for the Russian Postal Service,…
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Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

On September 23, 1819, French physicist Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau was born. He is well known for his calculation of the speed of light and his suggestion to use length of a light wave be used as a length standard.[4] Hippolyte Fizeau – Early Years Hippolyte Fizeau was born in Paris as the eldest son of Béatrice and Louis Fizeau, who was professor of Pathology at the Paris Medical School. He attended the prestigious…
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William Playfair and the Beginnings of Infographics

William Playfair and the Beginnings of Infographics

On September 22, 1759, Scottish engineer and political economist William Playfair was born. He is generally considered the founder of graphical methods of statistics. William Playfair invented four types of diagrams: line graph, bar chart, pie chart, and circle graph. William Playfair Playfair was born in 1759 in Scotland during the Enlightenment, a Golden Age in the arts, sciences, industry and commerce. He was the fourth son of the reverend James Playfair…
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The Rarest in the World – The Blue Mauritius

The Rarest in the World – The Blue Mauritius

On September 21, 1847, the famous Mauritius “Post Office” stamps were issued by the British Colony Mauritius. They are among the rarest postage stamps in the world and a letter with both stamps on its cover is estimated to be worth more than 4 Million US$. Mauritius Postal Service The first official postal service on Mauritius existed already in 1772.  Since 1810 the island was a British colony, before that it was…
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