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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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More than just hot air – the Montgolfier-Balloons

More than just hot air – the Montgolfier-Balloons

The two brothers and business partners, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier changed history on June 4, 1783, when they presented their hot air balloon for the first time to the public of Annonay, France. Joseph, Ètienne, and their 14 siblings were the children of paper manufacturer Pierre Montgolfier. After the death of the oldest brother Raymond in 1772, it was Ètienne’s turn to run the family business, which he did more than successfully…
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Only the Good Die Young – the Very Short Life of Évariste Galois

Only the Good Die Young – the Very Short Life of Évariste Galois

On June 1st, 1832, famous French mathematician Évariste Galois was killed in a duel. He was only 20 years of age. And why did he have to die so young? Just because of a girl… Her name was Stéphanie-Félicie Poterine du Motel, the daughter of a physician. But, there have been rumors that the duel has been set up by his political opponents while this could never be proven. His opponent was a…
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Health advocate John H. Kellogg and his Flaked Cereal

Health advocate John H. Kellogg and his Flaked Cereal

On May 31, 1884, the health-food fanatic John Harvey Kellogg patented his ‘flaked cereal‘ during his time as the superintendent of the ‘Battle Creek Sanitarium‘ in Michigan. John Harvey Kellogg became familiar with healthy eating and healthy lifestyles after getting to know James Springer and Ellen White. For their works Health, or how to live and The Health Reformer, Kellogg was occupied as editor and proof-reader. In order to become a teacher, Kellogg…
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Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

On May 29, 1880, German historian and philosopher Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler was born. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), published in 1918 and 1922, covering all of world history. He proposed a new theory, according to which the lifespan of civilizations is limited and ultimately they decay. Already in his early life Oswald Spengler was highly interested in historical events and he used…
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Louis Agassiz and the Ice Ages

Louis Agassiz and the Ice Ages

On May 28, 1807, Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, and geologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was born, who is considered a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth‘s natural history. He was the first to scientifically propose that the Earth had been subject to a past ice age. Louis Agassiz studied medicine at the universities of Zurich, Heidelberg, and Munich, but educated himself also in nature sciences and botany. To his early mentors…
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Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. The boy, who answered to the name Kaspar Hauser, claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser’s claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy. Some theories about him at the time linked him with the grand ducal House of Baden to be the hereditary “Prince of Baden”.…
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