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The Last Safari – The Phenomenon Ernest Hemingway

The Last Safari – The Phenomenon Ernest Hemingway

He was one of the most successful and best known American authors of the 20th century. He also was a journalist, war reporter, foreign correspondent. Four times he was married, for most of the time of his life he was a heavy drinker, and he had a passion for big game hunting in Africa. For his novell ‘The Old Man and the Sea‘ – you know the story with the fisherman catching…
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Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

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. The Paris Mètro was the sixth metro in the world after London (1863)[5], Liverpool (1893), Budapest and Glasgow (both 1896) and Vienna. Main achievements of the Exposition Universelle in 1900 were the introduction of escalators, talking films, the…
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Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

On July 13, 1793, the ‘martyr of the revolution‘, Jean Paul Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a 24 year old woman. 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’. How could liberty ever have established itself amongst us? Apart from several tragic scenes, the revolution has been nothing but a web…
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Smile! Harvey Ball and his famous Icon

Smile! Harvey Ball and his famous Icon

On July 10, 1921, the inventor of the smiley, Harvey Ball, was born. Ball was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts by his parents Ernest G Ball and Christine or Kitty Ross Ball. During his time as a student at Worcester South High School, he became an apprentice to a local sign painter, and later attended the Worcester Art Museum School, where he studied fine arts. Ball was based in Asia and the Pacific…
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“I shall be heard!” – The Case of the La Amistad

“I shall be heard!” – The Case of the La Amistad

On July 2, 1839, Sengbe Pieh (later known as Joseph Cinqué) led 53 fellow Africans being transported as captives aboard the Spanish schooner ‘La Amistad‘ from Havana in a revolt against their captors. The captives had been taken in Africa by a Portuguese slaving ship and then smuggled into Havana under cover of nightfall, because this was a violation of an already existing treaty between Britain and Spain, which forbade trading in…
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The Universal Product Code (UPC)

The Universal Product Code (UPC)

On June 26, 1974, the Universal Product Code barcode was introduced to the public. A supermarket in Troy, Ohio scanned the first product, which was a pack of Wrigley‘s gum. The first impulse to creating barcodes was made by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland. A food chain store owner turned to the Drexel Institute of Technology, which the two graduate students were attending. He asked for a system to automatically read…
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It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

“It is not certain that everything is uncertain.” is one of the many profound insights that philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) published in his seminal work entiteled “Pensées” (Thoughts, published in 1669, after his death). He literally had versatile scientific interests, as he provided influential contributions in the field of mathematics, physics, engineering, as well as in religious philosophy. Blaise Pascal was a child prodigy educated by his father Étienne Pascal, a tax…
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“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Why would you want to climb Mount Everest?” George Mallory was asked this question in 1924 and gave the most obvious answer: “Because it’s there“. The famous mountaineer was born on June 18, 1886, and is best known for his expeditions to the highest mountain on earth. George Mallory came from relatively simple backgrounds. His father Leigh Mallory was vicar of Mobberley, a large and prosperous community not far from Manchester. Growing up…
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Behold the First Commercial Computer (in the US) – the UNIVAC I

Behold the First Commercial Computer (in the US) – the UNIVAC I

On June 14, 1951 the very first electronic computer produced in series (and in the United States), the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer) was delivered to the US States Census Bureau at the price of $1.6 Mio. It was designed principally by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly,[1,2] the inventors of the first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC.[2] Design work was begun by their company, Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, and was completed after the company…
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The long tradition of the Annual Boat Race of Oxford and Cambridge

The long tradition of the Annual Boat Race of Oxford and Cambridge

On June 10th 1829 the very first of now legendary annual boat races of Oxford and Cambridge on the river Thames took place. The race came about because two friends from Harrow School, Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth and later bishop of St Andrews), of Christ Church College, Oxford, and Charles Merrivale of St. John’s, Cambridge, met during the vacation in Cambridge, where Wordsworth’s father was master of Trinity. Wordsworth went…
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