SciHi Blog

Luna 2 – The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon

Luna 2 – The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon

On September 12, 1959, Soviet spaceprobe Luna 2 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon and was also the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 14, 1959 it successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. The Soviet Luna Programme Actually, already Lunar 1 was intended as an impactor and was…
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Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

On September 11, 1771, Scottish explorer of the African continent Mungo Park was born. He is best known for being the first Westerner to encounter the central portion of the Niger River. Moreover, Mungo Park’s adventures on the Niger are the subject matter of Water Music, a richly detailed comic adventure novel published by T.C. Boyle. Mungo Park – Early Influences and Education Mungo Park grew up in a religious home and…
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Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

On September 10, 1788, French archeologist Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes was born. He was the first to establish that Europe had been populated by early man. Further, his discovery of whole handaxes, tools and fragments embedded in and scattered about the fossilized bones of prehistoric mammals in the high banks of the Somme River showed that man existed at least as early as the ancient creature. Jacques de Perthes Background…
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The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

Most of you might think that computers is one of these men’s business things. Far from it! Not even that it was a women who is often referenced as the first computer programmer in history – Ada Augusta King Countess of Lovelace [1] – it was also a woman in the early days of computers, who developed the very first compiler to translate high level language computer programs into low level machine commands. But besides…
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August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

On September 8, 1767, German poet, translator, and critic August Wilhelm Schlegel was born, who became a foremost leader of German Romanticism. He is best known for his translations of Shakespeare‘s works into German. “The poetry of the ancients was that of possession, ours is that of longing, which is firmly rooted in the present, which is caught between memory and punishment.” – August Wilhelm Schlegel, Lectures on dramatic art and literature,…
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Marin Mersenne – Mathematics and Universal Harmony

Marin Mersenne – Mathematics and Universal Harmony

On September 8, 1588, French polymath Marin Mersenne was born. He is perhaps best known today among mathematicians for Mersenne prime numbers. He also developed Mersenne’s laws, which describe the harmonics of a vibrating string. “Philosophy would long ago have reached a high level if our predecessors and fathers had put this into practice; and we would not waste time on the primary difficulties, which appear now as severe as in the…
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John Dalton and the Origins of the Atomic Theory

John Dalton and the Origins of the Atomic Theory

On September 6, 1766, English chemist, meteorologist and physicist John Dalton was born. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness. He also recognised that the aurora borealis was an electrical phenomenon. “Philosophers are generally persuaded, that the sensations of heat and cold are occasioned by the presence or absence, in degree, of certain principle or quality denominated fire or…
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William Dampier – The Buccanneer who became Explorer of Australia

William Dampier – The Buccanneer who became Explorer of Australia

On September 5, 1651, British explorer and natural historian William Dampier was probably born. He was the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He has also been described as Australia‘s first natural historian. William Dampier – From Buccaneer to Explorer William Dampier was the son of a farmer and took part in two voyages to Newfoundland and Java before joining…
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John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

On September 4, 1927, American computer scientist and cognitive scientist John McCarthy was born. He was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence. He coined the term “artificial intelligence” (AI), developed the Lisp programming language family, significantly influenced the design of the ALGOL programming language, popularized timesharing, and was very influential in the early development of AI. “Intelligence has two parts, which we shall call the epistemological and the…
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Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

On September 3, 1856, American architect Louis Henry Sullivan was born. Sullivan is identified with the aesthetics and innovation of early skyscraper design. He is also often referred to as  the “Father of Modernism”. “No complete architecture has yet appeared in the history of the world because men, in this form of art alone, have obstinately sought to express themselves solely in terms either of the head or of the heart.” –…
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