Monthly Archives: October 2020

Adolf von Baeyer and the Synthesis of Indigo

Adolf von Baeyer and the Synthesis of Indigo

Adolf von Baeyer (1835 – 1917) On October 31, 1835, German chemist and Nobel Laureate Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer was born. He was the first who succeeded with the synthesis of indigo (1880) and formulated its structure (1883), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1905. Adolf von Baeyer – Academic Career Adolf Baeyer was a son of the officer and geodesist Johann Jacob Baeyer and Eugenie…
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Orson Welles  and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

Orson Welles and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

On October 30, 1938, a Saturday night at 8 pm, H.G. Wells‘ ‘The War of the Worlds‘ was broadcasted at CBS radio in an adaption presented and narrated by future famous film director and actor Orson Welles. The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress and created outrage and…
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Othniel Charles Marsh and the Great Bone Wars

Othniel Charles Marsh and the Great Bone Wars

On October 29, 1831, American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was born. Being one of the preeminent scientists in the field, he discovered over 1000 fossils and contributed greatly to knowledge of extinct North American vertebrates. From the 1870s to 1890s he competed with rival paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in a period of frenzied Western American expeditions known as the Bone Wars. Othniel Charles Marsh Background The term “paleontology” was coined just nine…
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Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

On October 28, 312 AD, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius took place. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. According to historians, the battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and thus fostered the rise of Christianity. Not only Just Another One of those Roman…
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Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

On October 27, 1708, French architect and structural engineer Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was born. He is best known for his many stone arch bridges, among them his most popular work, the Paris Pont de la Concorde. “Great bridges being monuments which serve to make known the grandeur and genius of a nation, we cannot pay too much attention to means for perfecting their architecture; this may be varied in treatment, but there must…
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Giovanni Maria Lancisi – the First Modern Hygienist

Giovanni Maria Lancisi – the First Modern Hygienist

On October 26, 1654, Italian physician, epidemiologist and anatomist Giovanni Maria Lancisi was born. A personal physician to three popes, he is considered the first modern hygienist. He made a correlation between the presence of mosquitoes and the prevalence of malaria. He was also known for his studies about cardiovascular diseases, and is remembered in the eponymous Lancisi’s sign. Youth and Education Giovanni Maria Lancisi, also often referred to under his Latinized…
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Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours and Poitiers

Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours and Poitiers

On October 25, 732 AD, the Battle of Tours and Poitiers between the united Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus, ended the Islamic expansion era in Europe. It is argued among historians that Charles Martel’s victory was one of the most important events in European or even world history. The…
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Charles Joseph Minard and the Art of Infographics

Charles Joseph Minard and the Art of Infographics

On October 24, 1870, French civil engineer Charles Joseph Minard passed away. He is best noted for his ground breaking inventions in the field of information graphics. Charles Joseph Minard – Early Years Charles Joseph Minard was born on March 27, 1781, in Dijon, in the parish of Saint-Michel, France, as the son of Pierre Etienne Minard, a clerk of the court and an officer of the secondary school, and his wife…
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The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

On October 23, 1960, professor of computer science and human-computer interaction Randy Pausch was born. He is best known for a lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” he gave after he had learned that he had pancreatic cancer, which became rather popular on youtube. Randy Pausch Randy Pausch studied at Brown University and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980’s. He fulfilled…
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The Planetary Tables of Erasmus Reinhold

The Planetary Tables of Erasmus Reinhold

On October 22, 1511, German astronomer and mathematician Erasmus Reinhold was born. He is considered to be the most influential astronomical pedagogue of his generation. Furthermore, he is best known for his carefully calculated first set of planetary tables applying Copernican theory, published in 1551. Erasmus Reinhold Background Erasmus Reinhold was born and died in Saalfeld, Thuringia, Germany. His father Johannes Reinhold was a tax collector. In 1530 went to Wittenberg to study at…
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