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Tabea Tietz

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Neil Postman (1931 – 2003) On March 8, 1931, media theorist, author, and cultural critic Neil Postman was born. He is best known for his works criticizing the increase of the role of technology in every human’s life not seeing the dangerous side effects. Neil Postman spent almost all of his lifetime in New York City and graduated at the State University of New York, receiving a master’s degree in 1955. A…
Georg Simmel – First Generation Sociologist

Georg Simmel – First Generation Sociologist

Georg Simmel (1858-1918) On March 1, 1858, German sociologist, philosopher and critic Georg Simmel was born. Along with Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, Simmel was one of the first generation sociologists, questioning the definition of society, nature, and culture. Georg Simmel was born, grew up and spent most of his research time in Berlin. He earned his doctorate in philosophy and history in 1881 and afterwards became a private teacher at…
Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

On February 26 (or maybe also 24), 1664, English inventor Thomas Newcomen was born, who created the first practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen steam engine. As we know from a previous article on James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution, Watt was the one improving Newcomen‘s engine in the 18th and 19th century. Since the knowledge about the power of working with steam had been around for a…
Edwin Land – Father of the Polaroid Instant Camera

Edwin Land – Father of the Polaroid Instant Camera

SX-70 Polaroid Camera On February 21, 1947, American scientist and inventor Edwin Land introduced the very first instant camera together with an associated film. Land’s new camera would allow people to produce a black and white photograph in about sixty seconds. The new film already contained the necessary chemicals to develop and fix the image directly on the photographic paper. Edwin Land studied chemistry at Harvard University but dopped out…
Ansel Adams and the Beauty of Black and White Photography

Ansel Adams and the Beauty of Black and White Photography

The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming by Ansel Adams. Source: http://www.archives.gov/research/ansel-adams/ On February 20, 1902, American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Easton Adams was born. He is best known for his black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park. Together with Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final…
Sir Francis Galton – Polymath

Sir Francis Galton – Polymath

Sir Francis Galton (1822 – 1911) On February 16, 1822, the cousin of Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton was born. Galton the polymath, was known for his fundamental contributions to anthropology, geographics, genetics, psychology, statistics, and eugenics. Born in the near of Birmingham, the cousin of Charles Darwin grew up in a family of educated relatives and friends, since the family had close contact to the Royal Society. The child…
Charles Darwin and the Natural Selection

Charles Darwin and the Natural Selection

Charles Darwin(1809 – 1882) On February 12, 1809, the English naturalist Charles Darwin was born. He popularized the term ‘natural selection’ as a milestone in modern biology, which was introduced in his masterpiece ‘On the Origin of Species‘ in 1859. Before Darwin, several theories spread globally, especially ancient philosophers, like the pre-Socratic Empedocles distributed their ideas concerning the variety of creatures. His theory that organisms developed incidental due to period…
John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

John Ruskin (1819-1900) On February 8, 1819, prominent social thinker and philanthropist John Ruskin was born. He is considered the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman and watercolourist. He was hugely influential in the latter half of the 19th century up to the First World War and today, his ideas and concerns are widely recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism, sustainability and…
Charles Dickens – Famous Writer and Critic of the Victorian Era

Charles Dickens – Famous Writer and Critic of the Victorian Era

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) On February 7, 1812, the English writer and social critic known as one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian period, Charles Dickens was born. Either you love Dickens or you may find him untolerably boring. What I really love about Dickens is his creative genius when it comes to invent whimsical characters. If you have ever read ‘Oliver Twist‘, for sure you will remember…
Snow White and the Seven Cel Animated Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Cel Animated Dwarfs

Snow White by Franz Jüttner On February 4, 1938, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in the United States as the first full length feature film to use cel-animation.  Cel animation is a traditional animation technique and depicted the dominant animation method for many years until computer animation became common. Cel animation is considered very complex and time consuming, since every frame has to be drawn by…
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