SciHi Blog

The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

Inscription on the grave of Gregory XIII, St. Peter’s Basilica honoring the Gregorian Calendar © Rsuessbr By a papal decree signed on 24 February 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. the days from October 5, 1582 to October 14, 1582 never happened. This was, because the actually used calendar was out of tune with the mechanics of the heavens. The Julian calendar, named after Iulius Caesar, did not provide sufficient precision to keep…
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A Life of Discoveries –  the great Michael Faraday

A Life of Discoveries – the great Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) in his laboratory Painting by Harriet Moore On September 22, 1791, the famous chemist and physicist Michael Faraday  was born. He is responsible for the discovery of the electromagnetic induction, the laws of electrolysis and best known for his inventions, which laid the foundations to the electrical industry. But, to understand the person and the scientist Michael Faraday, we have to look a little bit into his…
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Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo Mosaic On September 15, 1254, the Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo was born. He is best known for his journeys to Central Asia and China, narrated in the book ‘The Travels of Marco Polo‘. Marco Polo directly followed his father’s footsteps, who was a well known traveling merchant himself. The journey of Marco’s father Niccolò and his brother Maffeo took many years, but it was worth it,  they came back…
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Émile Baudot and his Telegraph

Émile Baudot and his Telegraph

Èmile Baudot(1845-1903) On September 11, 1845, French telegraph engineer and inventor of the first means of digital communication code, Èmile Baudot was born. As the son of farmer Pierre Emile Baudot, Jean-Maurice-Èmile Baudot attended primary school and was to work at his father’s farm right after. At the Age of 24, he joined the French Post & Telegraph Administration, where he completed his apprenticeship. He learned to work with the Morse telegraph…
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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 girl who was the very first 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 her…
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Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei showing the Doge of Venice how to use the telescope,Fresco at Villa Andrea Ponti, Varese, 1858 On August 25, 1609, Galileo Galilei publicly demonstrated his newly built telescope for the first time to Venetian lawmakers. Besides its astronomical value Galileo’s telescope was also a profitable sideline for him selling telescopes to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. Galileo published his initial telescopic astronomical…
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The Mona Lisa is Missing….!

The Mona Lisa is Missing….!

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (ca. 1503-1505) On August 21, 1911 during intensive repair and renovation work the Louvre Museum realized that Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was stolen. I guess, the Mona Lisa must be the most famous painting in the world. The painting’s title Mona Lisa stems from a description by Giorgio Vasari, who wrote biographies of famous contemporary Renaissance men: “Leonardo undertook to paint, for…
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Robert Fulton and the Steamship Company

Robert Fulton and the Steamship Company

From the invention of a new power source or engine up to a vehicle that applies this power source to move forward sometimes is only a small step. But, to become a commercial success, this step might take even decades. Just think of the oldest type of engine powered by steam. Although the principle of the steam engine was already described by ancient Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria, it took almost 17…
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David Hilbert’s 23 Problems

David Hilbert’s 23 Problems

On August 8, 1900 David Hilbert, probably the greatest mathematician of his age,  gave a speech at the Paris conference of the International Congress of Mathematicians, at the Sorbonne, where he presented 10 mathematical Problems (out of a list of 23), all unsolved at the time, and several of them were very influential for 20th century mathematics. “Who of us would not be glad to lift the veil behind which the future…
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J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon

J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon

J. K. Rowling reading Harry Potter at the White House in 2010@Daniel Ogren, CC-BY-2.0 It is the best selling book series ever in history. A fantastic story stretching over seven books of a boy, growing up in between the two worlds of ordinary people – the muggles – and the wizards and witches. It’s about the old story of fighting of good against evil. And as the books sold over 400 million…
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