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Harald Sack

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Métro

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Métro

A Paris Métro Sign©Fabio Venni / cc-by-sa Version 2.0 On July 19 1900, Paris, cultural center of the Belle Époche, opened its Métro. The Paris Métro stations with their Fin de Siècle charme and Art Nouveau design have become a timeless icon of the city. Main achievements of the Exposition Universelle in 1900 were the introduction of escalators, talking films, the famous Eiffel Tower, and Ferris wheels. Rudolf Diesel exhibited…
Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Thomas Edison and his early phonograph (1877)@Library of Congress On July 18, 1877 Thomas A. Edison conceived the first idea for his phonograph, the very first mechanical tool for recording and reproducing (replaying) sound. The phonograph also was the invention that first gained him public notice. Actually, the phonograph was intended as a byproduct of Edison’s efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission…
Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

Paranthropus boisei On July 17, 1959, Mary Leakey discovered the first fossil of the Paranthropus boisei at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Becoming an anthropologist has always been the dream of Mary Leakey. When she was 10 years old, her family lived in Dordogne and she already helped at excavations and had through her family contact to the famous Howard Carter, who had discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt. After her father’s…
Comin thro’ the rye! – J. D. Salinger and his famous novel

Comin thro’ the rye! – J. D. Salinger and his famous novel

Rye Field © Manuela Clemens, Ela Cle Fotografie What is now compulsive reading in most schools, cost a teacher in the 1960’s his job. The Catcher in the Rye was published on this day in 1951, by the US-American author J.D. Salinger and has become one of the most controversial and most discussed novels of all time. Its title is based on the poem ‘Comin’ Through the Rye‘ by Robert Burns. The…
Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0 On July 15, 1799 in the Egyptian village of Rosetta  Pierre-François Bouchard, Captain of the French expedition army on Napoleon‘s Egyptian Campaign discovered an unimpressive black stone with some written inscriptions on it. But this black stone, later referred to as the Rosetta Stone, should become the central key to deciphering the long lost secret of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.…
A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

In a famous experiment Stephen Gray demonstrated static electricityby charging a boy suspended by insulating strings in 1744 Today for us it’s pretty normal that electricity can be transmitted on a wire, because it’s part of our daily life. But, in the early 18th century, when the English nature-scientist Stephen Gray was able to show that electricity really can be transmitted on a string of copper, it was an unheard-of…
Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793) On July 13, 1793, the ‘martyr of the revolution’, Jean Paul Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a 24 year old girl. The physician, natural scientists, and political activist was a member of ‘the Mountain‘, a group active during the French Revolution, and author of the radical newspaper ‘L’Ami du peuple‘. Jean Paul Marat grew up in Neuenburg, which was ruled by the…
Never Stop Looking into Nature – Henry David Thoreau

Never Stop Looking into Nature – Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) On July 12, 1817, philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau was born. He is probably best known today for his book ‘Walden‘, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, as well as for his essay ‘Civil Disobedience’, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. Thoreau may be the most quoted American author. Excerpts from his writings surface…
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Bertrand Russell, Logician and Pacifist

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Bertrand Russell, Logician and Pacifist

Bertrand Russel from the Graphic Novell ‘Logicomix – The Epic Search of Truth’ On July 11, 1906, mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell was suspended from Trinity College, Cambridge due to his engagement in pacifist activities. The remarkable Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic was best known for the famous ‘Principia Mathematica‘, which he published along with Alfred North Whitehead between 1910 and 1913. Bertrand Russel was born…
Smile! Harvey Ball and his famous icon

Smile! Harvey Ball and his famous icon

This is a smiley 🙂 The inventor of the smiley, Harvey Ball, was born July 10, 1921 . In December 1963, commercial artist Harvey Ball was assigned to create a smiling face for an insurance company in order to improve their employee morale. In between about 10 minutes, he drew two dots and a smile into a yellow circle and the smiley was born. More than fifty million buttons were…
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