SciHi Blog

The Jolliet-Marquette Expedition on the Upper Mississippi

The Jolliet-Marquette Expedition on the Upper Mississippi

On May 17, 1673, French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet and Jesuit priest and missionary Jacques Marquette departed from St. Ignace Michigan with two canoes and five other voyageurs to explore the Upper Mississippi. While Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto was the first European to make official note of the Mississippi River by discovering its entrance in 1541 on his expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States…
Pafnuty Chebyshev and the Chebyshev Inequality

Pafnuty Chebyshev and the Chebyshev Inequality

On May 16, 1821, Russian mathematician Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev was born. Chebyshev is remembered primarily for his work on the theory of prime numbers, including the determination of the number of primes not exceeding a given number. Moreover, he is noted for his work in the fields of probability, statistics, mechanics, and number theory. Pafnuty Chebyshev studied mathematical science at the University of Moscow starting from 1937. He later became Chebyshev…
Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

On May 15, 1903, German-born Peruvian mathematician and archaeologist Maria Reiche was born. Reiche was the self-appointed keeper of the Nazca Lines, a series of desert ground drawings over 1,000 years old, near Nazcain in southern Peru. For 50 years the “Lady of the Lines” studied and protected these etchings of animals and geometric patterns in 60 km of desert. In 1995 the Nazca Lines were declared a UNESCO World…
Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

On May 14, 1727, English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker Thomas Gainsborough was baptized. Gainsborough became the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited as one of the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Thomas Gainsborough probably…
Alexis Clairaut and the Figure of the Earth

Alexis Clairaut and the Figure of the Earth

On May 13, 1713, French mathematician, astronomer, and geophysicist Alexis Claude Clairaut was born. Clairaut was one of the key figures in the expedition to Lapland that helped to confirm Newton’s theory for the figure of the Earth. In that context, Clairaut worked out a mathematical result now known as “Clairaut’s theorem”. He also tackled the gravitational three-body problem, being the first to obtain a satisfactory result for the apsidal…
William Francis Giauque and the Absolute Zero

William Francis Giauque and the Absolute Zero

On May 12, 1895, American chemist and Nobel laureate William Francis Giauque was born. Giauque received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1949 for his “achievements in the field of chemical thermodynamics and especially his work on the behavior of matter at very low temperatures and his closely allied studies of entropy.” William Francis Giauque attended the Niagara Falls Collegiate Institute and after graduating he decided to pursue a career…
M – A City looks for a Murderer

M – A City looks for a Murderer

On May 11, 1931, German drama-thriller “M – A city looks for a murderer” directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre premiered in Berlin at the UFA-Palast am Zoo. Now considered a classic, the film was deemed by Fritz Lang to be his finest work. M was ranked at number thirty-three in Empire magazines’ “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” in 2010. The film concerns both the actions…
Leonhart Fuchs’ Herbal Book

Leonhart Fuchs’ Herbal Book

On May 10, 1566, German Botanist Leonhard Fuchs passed away. Fuchs is best known for authoring a large book about plants and their uses as medicines, i.e. a Herbal Book, published in 1542 in Latin, with about 500 accurate and detailed drawings of plants printed from woodcuts. Leonhart Fuchs became Magister Artium in 1524 and earned his doctor of medicine degree. During the next years, Fuchs practiced as a doctor in…
Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamun

Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamun

On May 9, 1874, English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter was born. Carter became world-famous after discovering the intact tomb of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, Tutankhamun in November 1922. We’ve had already featured Tutankhamun [1] as well as the discovery of the tomb [2] here at SciHi blog. Time to draw our attention to the egyptologist Howard Carter. Howard Carter was born in Kensington, London, UK, the son of Samuel…
Andrew Sherratt and the Secondary Products Revolution

Andrew Sherratt and the Secondary Products Revolution

On May 8, 1946, English archaeologist Andrew Sherratt was born. Sherratt was one of the most influential archaeologists of his generation. He was best known for the idea of the Secondary Products Revolution, which involves a widespread and broadly contemporaneous set of innovations in Old World farming, such as e.g. the exploitation of milk, wool, traction (the use of animals to drag ploughs in agriculture) as well as riding and pack…
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