SciHi Blog

Johannes Gutenberg – Man of the Milennium

Johannes Gutenberg – Man of the Milennium

On February 3, 1468, German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg – or simply Johannes Gutenberg – passed away. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the single most important event of the modern period. The art of printing presumably laid its foundation in Asia around the 6th century, when Buddhistic priests in China built printing block made of wood to…
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James Joyce and Literary Modernism

James Joyce and Literary Modernism

On February 2, 1882, Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was born, who is considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his Ulysses, a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer‘s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce on February 2, 1882 just south of Dublin in a…
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The Avery-McLeod-McCarthy Experiment

The Avery-McLeod-McCarthy Experiment

On February 1, 1944, physician and medical researcher Oswald Avery together with his colleagues Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty announced that DNA is the hereditary agent in a virus that would transform a virus from a harmless to a pathogenic version. This study was a key work in modern bacteriology. The achievement by the scientists Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty were based on Frederick Griffith’s studies on bacteria, believing that bacteria types were…
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Franz Schubert – Misjudged Pioneer of the Romantic Music

Franz Schubert – Misjudged Pioneer of the Romantic Music

On January 31, 1797, the Austrian composer Franz Schubert was born. Even though his many symphonies, operas and piano pieces were not highly appreciated during his lifetime, he was posthumously praised as one of the most important composers of the Romantic era in music. Franz Schubert was the 13th of 16 children to Franz Theodor and Elisabeth Schubert and began his musical studies at the age of 5. His father taught him how…
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Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

On January 30, 1873, Jules Verne‘s famous novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days‘ (Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) was published by Pierre-Jules Hetzel in Paris, France. It is one of Jules Verne‘s most acclaimed stories, where Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days only on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the London Reform Club.…
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Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Carl Benz (1844 – 1929) On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile. Karl Friedrich Benz was born as Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into a family of a locomotive driver and a maid – the couple married a few month after Karl’s birth – and after his father passed away two years later, his mother had to work hard to finance Karl’s education. From…
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Gustav Eiffel and his famous Tower

Gustav Eiffel and his famous Tower

On January 28, 1887, French engineer Gustave Eiffel started construction work of his famous eponymous Tower in Paris. Finished 26 months later in March 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Until today, the tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1…
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Lewis Carroll – Mathematician and Creator of the Wonderland

Lewis Carroll – Mathematician and Creator of the Wonderland

On January 27, 1832, British mathematician, photographer, and children’s book author Lewis Carroll, creator of the stories about ‘Alice in Wonderland’, was born. The English all round talented Carroll was first home schooled and confronted with challenging works like ‘The Pilgrim´s Progress‘ – a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan, regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature – from early years on. When being transferred to grammar…
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Arthur Cayley and the Love for Pure Mathematics

Arthur Cayley and the Love for Pure Mathematics

Arthur Cayley (1821-1895) On January 26, 1895, British mathematician Arthur Cayley passed away. He was the first to define the concept of a group in the modern way and helped to found the modern British school of pure mathematics. Arthur Cayley was born in Richmond, London, England, on 16 August 1821 to his father Henry Cayley, a descended from an ancient Yorkshire family, who settled in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as a merchant. Arthur…
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Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

On January 25, 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV arrived at the gates of the fortress at Canossa in Emilia Romagna beyond the Alpes to declare atonement and to pledge for forgiveness from Pope Gregory VII, who had excommunicated Henry earlier from church. Henry’s act of penance became known as the “Walk to Canossa”. It took wisdom, patience, and self-restraint. It was also a brilliant strategy because he basically forced the Pope to forgive…
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