Monthly Archives: March 2021

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

On March 11, 1957, US-American explorer and aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. passed away. A pioneering American aviator he claimed to be the first man to fly over both of the Earth’s poles. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau.  Richard Evelyn Byrd – Early Years Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in 1888 in Winchester, Virginia, USA,…
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Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

On March 10, 1709, German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born. He joined the Russian explorer Vitus Bering on his second expedition to Kamchatka and Alaska, where he discovered numerous new species, as e.g. the Steller‘s sea cow that was named after him. From Theology to Medicine Steller was born as Georg Wilhelm Stöller and grew up in Windsheim, near Nuremberg in Germany, son to a Lutheran cantor…
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Howard Aiken and the Harvard Mark I Computer

Howard Aiken and the Harvard Mark I Computer

On March 9, 1900, computer pioneer Howard Hathaway Aiken was born. He was the original conceptual designer behind IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer, forerunner of the modern electronic digital computer. “The desire to economize time and mental effort in arithmetical computations, and to eliminate human liability to error is probably as old as the science of arithmetic itself.” — Howard Aiken, in Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine (1937) Early Years Howard Aiken’s parents…
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John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

On March 8, 1712, English physician, plant collector, philanthropist and Quaker John Fothergill was born. He was first to describe coronary arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arterial wall, with a loss of elasticity and reduced blood flow) associated with angina pectoris. John Fothergill Background and Early Years John Fothergill was born at Carr End, near Bainbridge in Yorkshire, the son of John Fothergill, a Quaker preacher and farmer. John went to…
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Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition of Scholasticism

Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition of Scholasticism

On March 7, 1271, Thomas Aquinas, Italian Dominican friar and priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, passed away. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. “All that I have written seems like straw compared to what has now been…
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The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

On March 6, 1665, the very first issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published. The journal published by the Royal Society was the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science. Moreover, it is also the world’s longest-running scientific journal. “Had I been a literary man I might, perhaps, have moralised upon the futility of all ambition. But as it was, the thing that struck me with…
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William Oughtred invented the Slide Rule

William Oughtred invented the Slide Rule

On March 5, 1574, English mathematician and Anglican minister William Oughtred was born. After John Napier [3] invented logarithms, and Edmund Gunter [6] created the logarithmic scales (lines, or rules) upon which slide rules are based, it was Oughtred who first used two such scales sliding by one another to perform direct multiplication and division; and he is credited as the inventor of the slide rule in 1622. William Oughtred – Early Years William Oughtred born at…
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Alexander Popov and his Radio Receiver

Alexander Popov and his Radio Receiver

On March 4, 1859, Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov was born. Alexander Popov is acclaimed in his homeland and eastern European countries as the inventor of radio. In 1895 he presented a paper on a wireless lightning detector he had built that worked via using a coherer to detect radio noise from lightning strikes. “I can express my hope that my apparatus will be applied for signaling at great distances by electric vibrations…
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The Literary Decadence of Arthur Machen

The Literary Decadence of Arthur Machen

On March 3, 1863, Welsh author and mystic Arthur Machen was born. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella The Great God Pan (1890) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Stephen King has called it “Maybe the best horror story in the English language“. “For, usually and fitly, the presence of an introduction is held to imply that there is something of…
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To Jupiter and Beyond – The Pioneer 10 Mission

To Jupiter and Beyond – The Pioneer 10 Mission

On March 2, 1972, American space probe Pioneer 10 was launched. Pioneer 10 was the first spaceprobe that completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter. Thereafter, Pioneer 10 became the first of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System. As a child, I remember how much i was impressed and amazed by the very first pictures of the colorful clouds of the gas giant.…
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