SciHi Blog

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

On February 2, 1594, Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina passed away. He is the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition and has had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony. The Origins of Polyphony The origins of polyphony are assumed in the European vocal music of the late Medieval Era.…
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Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywod Director John Ford

Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywod Director John Ford

On February 1, 1894, American film director John Ford was born. John Ford is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Until today his four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record. “I don’t give ’em a lot of film to…
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Irving Langmuir and his scientific achievements

Irving Langmuir and his scientific achievements

On January 31, 1881, American chemist and physicist Irving Langmuir was born. Langmuir advanced several basic fields of physics and chemistry, invented the gas-filled incandescent lamp, the hydrogen welding technique, and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry. “To me, [it’s] extremely interesting that men, perfectly honest, enthusiastic over their work, can so completely fool themselves.” — Irving Langmuir, 1953 [9] Irving Langmuir Background Irving Langmuir…
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The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

On January 30, 1781, German poet and naturalist of French Origin Adelbert von Chamisso was born. Some of his lyrics, ballads, and romances rank among the finest in German literature. He took part in Captain Kotzebue‘s Russian polar expedition (1815-18) and his 1835 published account of it ranges among the classics of travel. In the same way as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany‘s best known poets,[4] Adelbert von Chamisso was as well a scientist…
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Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

On January 29, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe‘s famous narrative poem ‘The Raven‘ was first published in the New York Evening Mirror. It has become one of the best known English poems of all time. The Raven makes use of a number of folk and classical references and is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. All the Chasms Lurking in the Human Soul… We already had an article of…
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Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

On January 28, 1892, German American actor, screenwriter, producer and film director Ernst Lubitsch was born. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood‘s most elegant and sophisticated director. Early German Years Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin and was apprenticed as a merchant. However, the son of a fashion designer and tailor quickly became the student of Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt was back then an important an influential person…
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Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and the German Idealism

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and the German Idealism

On January 27, 1775, German philosopher, anthropologist, theorist of so-called Romantic Medicine and one of the main representatives of German idealism Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling was born. Schelling was the main founder of the speculative philosophy of nature, which from about 1800 to 1830 shaped almost all areas of the natural sciences in Germany at that time. His philosophy of the unconscious influenced the training of psychoanalysis. Schelling’s philosophy forms the decisive…
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Achim von Arnim – Forerunner of German Romanticism

Achim von Arnim – Forerunner of German Romanticism

On January 26, 1781, German poet and novelist Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig Achim von Arnim was born. Together with Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff, von Arnim was a leading figure of German Romanticism. “Let the youth create and be joyful, let them build a house of lilies and roses as long as lilies and roses are in bloom.” — Achim von Arnim Family Background and Early Life Achim von Arnim’s father was…
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Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

On January 25, 1882, English writer Virginia Woolf was born. She is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928). “The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.” — Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)…
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The Fantastic Stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann

The Fantastic Stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann

On January 24, 1776, German author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was born. Hoffmann’s stories highly influenced 19th-century literature, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement. “Ha there is something divine about art, for art, my Lord, is not really both the art of which one speaks so much, but it arises rather only from all that one calls art! “ — E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Devil’s…
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