SciHi Blog

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky – Founding Father of Astronautics

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky – Founding Father of Astronautics

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Monument(1857 – 1935) On September 17, 1857, Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born. He is considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was home schooled and spent most of his free time reading and solving problems in mathematics and physics and around his teenage…
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The Great Moon Hoax

The Great Moon Hoax

On September 16, 1835, the New York Sun concedes that her serial article about the sensational discoveries of astronomer Sir John Herschel about the Moon was only a hoax to increase their circulation. In the history of newspaper this scandal is referred to as ‘The Great Moon Hoax of 1835‘. The six articles, starting on August 25, 1835 consisted of stories about fantastic creatures living on the moon. They were compared with…
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Murray Gell-Mann and the Quarks

Murray Gell-Mann and the Quarks

Murray Gell-MannImage: World Economic Forum On September 15, 1929, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann was born. He is best known for his work on the theory of elementary particles and introduced the quark model. The quark model is a classification scheme for hadrons, i.e. composite particle made of quarks held together by the strong force (in the same way as atoms and molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force).…
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Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) In the night from September 13 to 14, 1321, major Italian poet Dante Alighieri passed away. His Divine Comedy is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Together with his poet colleagues Petrarch and Boccaccio, Dante – the ‘supreme poet’ (il Sommo Poeta) – is referred to as “the three crowns” or “the three fountains”. Moreover, he is also…
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Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

Phineas Gage(1823–1860) On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage (aged 25) was foreman of a work gang blasting rock while preparing the roadbed for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad outside the town of Cavendish, Vermont, when a large iron rod was driven completely through his head. Much of his brain’s left frontal lobe was destroyed, reportedly affecting his personality and behavior. Phineas Gage influenced nineteenth-century discussion about the mind and brain, particularly debate…
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Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006)photo: Wojciech Zemek On September 12, 1921, Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy and satire Stanislaw Lem was born. He is considered to be one of the most widely read science fiction writer in the world with his books translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. His best known novel Solaris, about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species, published in 1961, was made…
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Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park(1771 – 1806) 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 grew up in a religious home and against his parent’s…
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Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey(1855 – 1925) On September 10, 1855, famous German architect and self-trained archeologal historian Robert Johann Koldewey was born. He is best known for his discovery of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq, where he excavated the foundations of the ziggurat Marduk, and the famous Ishtar Gate. Robert Koldewey studied architecture, archeology, and art history in Berlin, Munich and Vienna but dropped out without graduating. Koldewey left for…
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Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Aloisio Galvani(1737 – 1798) On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous author Mary…
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Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto (1474 – 1533) On September 8, 1474, Italian Renaissance Poet Ludovico Ariosto was born. He is best known for his romance epic Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), which describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens. Ariosto studied Latin in Ferrera and enrolled at the city’s university to study law. However, his interest remained in other fields, like humanism, wherefore he never…
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