SciHi Blog

Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

On June 15, 1475, Pope Sixtus IV issued the papal bull ‘Ad decorem militantis Ecclesiae‘ in which he regulated the complex structure of the newly founded Vatican Apostolic Library and appointed Renaissance author Bartolomeo Platina as its first head librarian. For sure you will heave heard about the famous Vatican Library and even more about the Vatican Secret Archives, which are part of the library. Even in popular culture such as Dan…
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Index Librorum Prohibitorum – The List of Banned Books

Index Librorum Prohibitorum – The List of Banned Books

On June 14, 1966, the Roman Catholic Church abolished their famous list of banned books, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or shorter simply, the Index, that had been installed almost 500 years ago. Actually, it was soon clear after the invention of the printing press that the written word could also be dangerous, especially if it can be published in large quantities. Once Johannes Gutenberg had presented the printing press including the printing process back in…
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The Beautiful Mind of John Forbes Nash

The Beautiful Mind of John Forbes Nash

On June 13, 1928, American mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. was born. Nash made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. His work has provided insight into the factors that govern chance and decision-making inside complex systems found in everyday life. John Nash is the only person to be awarded both the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the Abel Prize. “You don’t have…
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Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

On June 12, 1659 (other sources report June 11, 1659 – according to the Julian calendar July 13), Japanese Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born. He is best known for the publication of his compiled commentaries and aphorisms about the life of the Samurai under the title of Hagakure, a word that can be translated as either In the shadow the Leaves or The Hidden Leaves. Above all, the Way of the Samurai…
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James Cook and the Great Barrier Reef

James Cook and the Great Barrier Reef

On June 11, 1770, British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef while running aground and risking his ship, the HMS Endeavour, to sink. Background James Cook Cook’s birth is recorded in the parish register of St. Cuthbert in Yorkshire with the entry “27 October 1728 James, son of the day labourer James Cook and his wife Grace”. He was one of eight children.…
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CERN and its Brilliant Minds

CERN and its Brilliant Minds

On June 10, 1955, the laying of the foundation stone of the European Organization for Nuclear Research Laboratory (CERN) was performed by Felix Bloch, the organization‘s first President. Since 1955, numerous essential experiments were executed, leading to significant contributions in the world of physics and to our daily lives. Physics Research in Europe The name CERN is originally derived from the French acronym ‘Conceil Europeén pour la Recherche Nucléaire’. In 1952, a…
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At the Beginning was a Bet – Georg Friedrich Grotefend and the Cuneiform

At the Beginning was a Bet – Georg Friedrich Grotefend and the Cuneiform

On June 9, 1775, German epigraphist and philologist Georg Friedrich Grotefend was born. Although most of you will probably never heard of him, he is well known for his contributions toward the decipherment of cuneiform. Do you know Cuneiform? Do you know cuneiform? It is the name of the old writing of Mesopotamia and its roots date back to the time of the origins of civilization, when also Egyptian hieroglyphs were invented. But,…
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The Organic Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

The Organic Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

On June 8, 1867, American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator Frank Lloyd Wright was born. Wright designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live…
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Paul Gauguin’s Way Back to Primitivism

Paul Gauguin’s Way Back to Primitivism

On June 7, 1848, French painter Paul Gauguin was born. He is considered a leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Then he was finally recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism. Actually, Paul Gauguin has raised much controversy. Some consider him a syphilitic paedophile and others think of him as an artist more important than Vincent…
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Pierre Corneille and the Baroque Drama in France

Pierre Corneille and the Baroque Drama in France

On June 6, 1606, French tragedian Pierre Corneille was born. Seen on a European scale, his entire oeuvre belongs to the Baroque era. Along with Molière [1] and Jean Racine, he is considered one of the great playwrights of the French classical period. “La raison et l’amour sont ennemis jurés.” (Reason and love are sworn enemies.) – Pierre Corneille, La nourrice, La Veuve [The Widow], (1631), Youth and Literary Beginnings Pierre Corneille was the…
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