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Harald Sack

The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

In Genroku 15, on the 14th day of the 12th month (元禄十五年十二月十四日, Tuesday, January 30, 1703), in revenge for the death of their prince Asano, 47 Ronin invade the house of the Japanese Shogunate official Kira Yoshihisa in Edo and kill him and his male followers. The story of the 47 Ronin is one of the most celebrated in the history of the samurai. Described by Japanese historians as a…
James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

On December 12, 1803, English clergyman, physicist and astronomer James Challis was born. Challis investigated a wide range of physical phenomena though made few lasting contributions outside astronomy. He is best remembered for his missed opportunity to discover the planet Neptune in 1846. James Challis was born in Braintree, Essex, UK, where his father, John Challis, was a stonemason.After attending Braintree School, the Revd Daniel Copsey’s school, Braintree, and Mill…
Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

On December 10, 1626, English clergyman, mathematician, geometer and astronomer Edmund Gunter passed away. Gunther is best remembered for his mathematical contributions which include the invention of the Gunter’s chain, the Gunter’s quadrant, and the Gunter’s scale. In 1620, he invented the first successful analog device which he developed to calculate logarithmic tangents. Edmund Gunter was born in Hertfordshire in 1581. Edmund attended Westminster School as a Queen’s Scholar, then…
Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

On December 8, 1730, German botanist Johann Hedwig was born. Hedwig is notable for his studies of mosses for which he is sometimes called the father of bryology, in particular the observation of sexual reproduction in the cryptogams. He dealt with the anatomy, fertilization, and reproduction of mosses and introduced a new method of classification based on the distribution of spores (reproductive bodies). Hedwig was the first to recognize the…
Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

On December 6, 1888, U.S. zoologist Libbie Henrietta Hyman was born. Hyman wrote two laboratory manuals and a comprehensive six-volume reference work, The Invertebrates, (1940-67) covering most phyla of its subject. This work, important for its organization, description and classification of invertebrates, is a reference still used today. Libbie Hyman was born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, the third of four children and the only daughter of Joseph Hyman, a…
Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

On December 4, 1897, American anthropologist and ethnolinguist Robert Redfield was born. Redfield‘s ethnographic work in Tepoztlán, Mexico is considered a landmark Latin American ethnography. From his studies of Mexican communities, Redfield developed a theory (1956) of a folk-urban continuum, to account for the differences between folk society and urban society. Robert Redfield was the son-in-law of University of Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park. In 1923 he and his wife…
Domonic Corrigan and Heart Diseases

Domonic Corrigan and Heart Diseases

On December 2, 1802, Irish physician Sir Dominic John Corrigan was born. Corrigan is known for his original observations in heart disease. The abnormal “collapsing” pulse of aortic valve insufficiency is named Corrigan’s pulse after him. Dominic John Corrigan was born in Thomas Street, Dublin, the son of John Corrigan, a dealer in agricultural tools. He was educated in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, near Dublin, which then had a department…
Henry Taube and the Mechanisms of Electron-transfer Reactions

Henry Taube and the Mechanisms of Electron-transfer Reactions

On November 30, 1915, Canadian-born American chemist Henry Taube was born. Taube has been awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his extensive research into the properties and reactions of dissolved inorganic substances, particularly oxidation-reduction processes involving the ions of metallic elements. Metals often form complexes, in which other atoms cluster around the metal atom, transferring and sharing electrons among themselves to bind together. Taube discovered that during a…
John Bunyan and the Pilgrim’s Progress

John Bunyan and the Pilgrim’s Progress

Probably on November 28, 1628, English writer and Puritan preacher John Bunyan was born. Bunyan is best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. John Bunyan was born in the parish of Elstow, Bedfordshire, UK, to Thomas…
Karl Ziegler’s Work on Polymers

Karl Ziegler’s Work on Polymers

On November 26, 1898, German chemist and Nobel laureate Karl Ziegler was born. Ziegler won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963, with Giulio Natta, for work on polymers. He is also known for his work involving free-radicals, many-membered rings, and organometallic compounds, as well as the development of Ziegler–Natta catalyst. Karl Ziegler was born in Helsa near Kassel, Germany and was the second son of Karl Ziegler, a Lutheran…
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