SciHi Blog

Edward Jenner’s Fight against Smallpox

Edward Jenner’s Fight against Smallpox

On May 17, 1749, English physician and scientist Edward Anthony Jenner was born, who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine. He is often referred to as “the father of immunology“. “The highest powers in our nature are our sense of moral excellence, the principle of reason and reflection, benevolence to our creatures and our love of the Divine Being.” – Edward Jenner in The Life of Edward Jenner M.D. Vol. 2 (1838) by…
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The Secrets of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript

The Secrets of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript

In 1912, Polish-born antiquarian and bibliophile Wilfrid Voynich bought a mysterious illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system that may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The eponymous Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, but no one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text. Therefore, it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. A Strange Manuscript The manuscript counts about…
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Francis Baily and the Baily Beads

Francis Baily and the Baily Beads

On May 15, 1836, English astronomer Francis Baily for the first time observed the so-called ‘Baily’s beads‘ during an eclipse of the Sun. For sure you know the effect, although you might not have seen it with your own eyes in nature. But, numerous photographs, pictures, and videos have been published, where the phenomenon can be watched. So what are Beailey’s beads? Solar Eclipse and Baily Beads The Baily’s beads effect is a feature of…
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The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

On May 14, 1884, German airplane builder and entrepreneur Claudius Dornier was born. His legacy remains in the few aircraft named after him, including the Dornier Do 18 and the 12-engine Dornier Do X flying boat, for decades the world’s largest and most powerful airplane. Background Claudius Dornier Dornier studied engineering at the Technical University of Munich and began his career in Karlsruhe in 1907. Unfortunately, his father fell very ill and could not take…
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Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

On May 13, 1940, Russian American aviation pioneer Igor Ivanovitsch Sikorsky made the maidenflight with his newly developed helicopter VS-300, which led to the R-4, the world’s first mass-produced helicopter in 1942. Sure we all know helicopters today. They have become an everyday object, although not everybody of us already had the chance to fly with a helicopter. Actually, I had the pleasure to fly as helicopter passenger during my time of…
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Justus von Liebig and the Agricultural Revolution

Justus von Liebig and the Agricultural Revolution

On May 12, 1803, German chemist Justus Freiherr von Liebig was born, who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry. He is probably best known as the “father of the fertilizer industry” for his discovery of nitrogen as an essential plant nutrient. The acquisition of a new truth is like the acquisition of a new sense, which renders a man capable and recognizing a large number of phenomena that are hidden…
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The Surreal Dreams of Salvador Dalí

The Surreal Dreams of Salvador Dalí

On May 11, 1904, Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol was born. As one of the main representatives of surrealism, he is one of the most famous painters of the 20th century. Around the year 1929 Dalí had found his personal style and genre, the world of the unconscious that appears in dreams. “Someone like myself, who claimed to be a real madman,…
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Gaspard Monge and his System of Descriptive Geometry

Gaspard Monge and his System of Descriptive Geometry

On May 10, 1746, French mathematician Gaspard Monge, Comte de Péluse was born. He is best known for being the inventor of descriptive geometry as the mathematical basis of technical drawing, and being the father of differential geometry. During the French Revolution Monge served as the Minister of the Marine, and was involved in the reform of the French educational system, helping to found the École Polytechnique. “Descriptive geometry has two objects: the first is…
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Thomas Blood and the Crown Jewels of England

Thomas Blood and the Crown Jewels of England

On May 9, 1671, Anglo-Irish officer and desperado Colonel Thomas Blood attempted to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London. Thomas Blood – Background Not much is known about Thomas Blood’s early life. It is assumed that he was born to a successful blacksmith in Ireland. His father owned some land across the country and his grandfather was a member of the Parliament. Historians believe, that he went…
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Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Jewess (also known as Maria Prophetissima or Miriam the Prophetess) is a figure who first appeared in the works of the Gnostic Christian writer Zosimos of Panopolis, whose sources for this are not clear. On the basis of Zosimos’s comments, she lived between the first and third centuries A.D. She is credited with the invention of several kinds of chemical apparatus and is considered to be the first true alchemist of the…
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