SciHi Blog

Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

On May 23, 1848, German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was born, who was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. For his contributions to aviation he is often referred to as “The Father of Flight.” Otto Lilienthal – Early Years Otto Lilienthal received a good education at a grammar school in Anklam despite the sudden death of his father and the financial struggles of his family. Flight tests and experiments…
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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“. Edward Jenner was lucky to receive a good education and decided to go into the field of medicine quite early. Already at the age of 14, he was apprenticed to a surgeon and later also studied anatomy at a local hospital, where he…
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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. Justus Liebig’s father was also a chemist and he began his experiments with his father’s equipment in very early childhood years. Even though Justus Liebig was a curious student,…
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The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

On May, 1st, 1851, Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, which was the first in a series of World’s Fair exhibitions of culture and industry. A special building, nicknamed The Crystal Palace, a gigantic cast-iron and plate-glass building, was built to house the show on its 92,000 square meters of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. If you…
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John Napier and his Napier Bones

John Napier and his Napier Bones

On April 4, 1617, Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer and astrologer John Napier of Merchiston, the 8th Laird of Merchistoun passed away. John Napier is best known as the discoverer of logarithms. He was also the inventor of the so-called “Napier’s bones“, a kind of abacus for calculation of products and quotients of numbers. Napier also made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics. John Napier grew up in…
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Joseph Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

Joseph Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

On March 21, 1768, French mathematician and physicist Jean Baptiste Joseph du Fourier was born. He is probably best known for his work in thermodynamics, where he introduced the concept of the Fourier Analysis, named in honor after him. There, he claimed that every mathematical function of a variable can be expanded to a sum of sines of multiples of that variable. What people most likely don’t know is that Fourier also was the…
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Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

On March 10, 1709, German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born. He joined the Russian explorer Vitus Bering on his second expedition to Kamchatka and Alaska, where he discovered numerous new species, as e.g. the Steller‘s sea cow that was named after him. From Theology to Medicine Georg Wilhelm Stöller was born and grew up in Windsheim, Germany. Due to his father being a protestant church organist, Stöller…
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Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

On March 7, 1765, French inventor Nicéphore Niépce was born, who is best known as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field. He developed heliography, a technique used to produce the world‘s first known photograph in 1825. Early Life Niépce was born in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, where his father Claude Niépce was a wealthy lawyer and the king’s counsellor, which caused the family to flee the French Revolution.…
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Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse (1910 – 1995) On December 18, 1995, German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse passed away. He is renowned to have constructed the very first functional program-controlled Turing-complete computer, the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. Konrad Zuse developed the ability to build various kinds of machines in his early high school years, and he began his engineering-career at Berlin’s Technical University, where he earned his degree in 1935.…
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Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

Jane Austen (1775-1817) On December 16, 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born. She is considered to be one of the most widely read writers in English literature. I do really like Jane Austen’s novels for many years now, esp. her ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ and also ‘Emma‘ or ‘Nothanger Abbey‘ which all of them I can recommend to you if you haven’t read them up to now. I like Jane Austen’s style…
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