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Harald Sack

Warren Weaver – A Pioneer in Machine Translation

Warren Weaver – A Pioneer in Machine Translation

On November 24, 1978, American scientist, mathematician, and science administrator Warren Weaver passed away. Weaver is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of machine translation, and as an important figure in creating support for science in the United States. Warren Weaver was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, USA, to Kittie Belle Stupfel and Isaiah Weaver, who was a pharmacist. In 1904, the family moved from Reedsburg to Madison, Wisconsin, where…
The Death of Blackbeard

The Death of Blackbeard

On November 22, 1718, English pirate Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, was killed. Blackbeard operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s North American colonies. Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the…
The Murder-Suicide of Heinrich von Kleist

The Murder-Suicide of Heinrich von Kleist

On November 21, 1811, German poet, dramatist, novelist, short story writer and journalist Heinrich von Kleist committed suicide. Kleist stood as an outsider in the literary life of his time beyond the established camps and the literary eras of Weimar classical and romanticism. He is best known for the “historical knight play” Das Käthchen von Heilbronn, his comedy plays Der zerbrochne Krug and Amphitryon, the tragedy Penthesilea as well as…
Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

On November 17, 1747, French novelist and playwright Alain-René Lesage passed away. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sticks (1707, Le Diable boiteux), his comedy Turcaret (1709), and his picaresque novel Gil Blas (1715–1735). Lesage was born in Sarzeau, a commune in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France, located on the Rhuys peninsula between the Gulf of Morbihan and the Atlantic Ocean.…
Venera 3 and the Soviet Venera Space Probe Program

Venera 3 and the Soviet Venera Space Probe Program

On November 16, 1965, Soviet spacecraft Venera 3 was launched. The Venera program space probe was built and launched by the Soviet Union to explore the surface of Venus. It possibly crashed on Venus on 1 March 1966, possibly making Venera 3 the first space probe to hit the surface of another planet. The Venera series space probes were developed by the Soviet Union between 1961 and 1984 to gather…
Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

On November 14, 1807, French chemist Auguste Laurent was born. Laurent developed organic chemistry as a distinct science. For a while, he assisted Jean Dumas, and extended his work, understanding organic compounds as derivatives of hydrocarbon molecules. He devised a systematic nomenclature for organic chemistry based on structural grouping of atoms within molecules to determine how the molecules combine in organic reactions. Auguste Laurent was born in the district of…
John William Strutt and the Rayleigh Scattering

John William Strutt and the Rayleigh Scattering

On November 12, 1842, English physicist John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh was born. Rayleigh with William Ramsay, discovered argon, an achievement for which he earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904. He also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering, which can be used to explain why the sky is blue, and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves. Strutt was born at…
Jack Northrop and the Flying Wing Design

Jack Northrop and the Flying Wing Design

On November 10, 1895, American aircraft industrialist and designer Jack Northrop was born. Northrop was an early advocate of all-metal construction and the flying wing design. He founded the Northrop Corporation in 1939. John “Jack” Knudsen Northrop was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and grew up in Santa Barbara, California. The course for his life was set in 1911 upon watching a visiting pilot fly a pusher biplane over…
Hans Cloos and the Granite Tectonics

Hans Cloos and the Granite Tectonics

On November 8, 1885, German structural geologist Hans Cloos was born. Cloos became known throughout Europe as the author of a textbook (1936) and the extensive monograph Gespräch mit der Erde (1947), whose clear language and self-drawn illustrations made geology comprehensible to the general public. He was a pioneer in the study of granite tectonics (the deformation of crystalline rocks) and in model studies of rock deformation. “The earth is…
Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

On November 6, 1880, Austrian philosophical writer Robert Musil was born. Musil‘s unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is generally considered to be one of the most important and influential modernist novels. “We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little intellect in matters of the soul.”, Robert Musil, Helpless Europe (1922) Robert Mathias Musil was born in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria,…
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