SciHi Blog

Moses Mendelsohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Moses Mendelsohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

On September 6, 1729, German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was born, who inspired the Haskalah movement of Jewish Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th century. Haskalah was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history. Moses Mendelssohn’s descendants include also the famous Felix Mendelssohn. Moses Mendelssohn grew up in…
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Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle, photo: Tauno Räsänen (wikipedia) On September 5, 1869, the foundation stone of the most prominent fantasy castle in the world was laid, Neuschwanstein. Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat, the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace is located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany, and served as an inspiration for for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Intended as a personal refuge…
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The End of the Roman Empire

The End of the Roman Empire

Thomas Cole: The Course of Empire Destruction, 1836,thought to be painted after the sack of Rome On September 4, 476 AD, Germanic soldier and military leader Flavius Odoacer, who led the revolt of Herulians, Rugians, and Scirians soldiers entered Rome and deposed the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus. Odoacer proclaimed himself as ruler of Italy and thus, by convention, the Western Roman Empire is deemed to have ended… Of course, the Roman…
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Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Dr. Ferdinand Porsche  (1875-1951)© Bundesarchiv On September 3, 1875, Austrian-German automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche was born. He is best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. “If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” (Ferdinand Porsche) Today,…
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The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

Illustration of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter From Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, a major conflagration swept through the central parts of the English city of London, destroying the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. The social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were strongly encouraged by Charles II, who feared a…
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Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Extract from Johann Pachelberg’s work“Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden” On September 1, 1653, German Baroque composer, organist and teacher Johann Pachelbel was born. It was Pachelbel, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.…
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Freedom within Limits – the Education Principles of Maria Montessori

Freedom within Limits – the Education Principles of Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori(1870 – 1952) On August 31, 1870, Italian physician and educator Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori was born. She is probably best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. Her educational method is in use today in public and private schools throughout the world. Maria Montessori was pretty well educated herself and mostly supported by her mother to continue school. She entered a…
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Charles Walcott and the Cambrian Explosion

Charles Walcott and the Cambrian Explosion

Charles Doolittle Walcott (1850-1927) On August 30, 1909, American paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott discovered the Burgess Shale Formation, located in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia. With its Cambrian fossils the Burgess Shale is one of the world’s most celebrated fossil fields. Walcott excavated repeatedly to collect more than 65,000 specimens from what is now known as the Walcott Quarry, named after him. Today, most of us are aware of the fact…
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Whitcomb L. Judson and the Invention that holds our life ‘together’

Whitcomb L. Judson and the Invention that holds our life ‘together’

Whitcomb L. Judson(1846 – 1909) On August 29, 1893, American machine salesman, mechanical engineer and inventor Whitcomb L. Judson receives the patent for a “Clasp Locker”, today better known as the zipper, the mechanical little wonder that has kept so much in our lives ‘together.’ But first, the new invention showed only little commercial success. It took almost 80 years that the magazine and fashion industry made the novel zipper the popular…
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The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

Vladimir Shukhov(1853 – 1939) On August 28, 1853, Russian engineer-polymath, scientist and architect Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov was born. He is renowned for his pioneering works on new methods of analysis for structural engineering that led to breakthroughs in industrial design. He was one of the most outstanding designers and constructors of the 19th and 20th century. Moreover, he is considered as one of Russia’s most important engineers. Vladimir Shukhov was always known…
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