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J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon

J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon

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 copies world wide, almost nobody could escape the news and the story behind the…
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Augustus de Morgan and Formal Logic

Augustus de Morgan and Formal Logic

On June 27, 1806, British mathematician and logician Augustus De Morgan was born. He formulated De Morgan‘s laws and introduced the term mathematical induction, a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish a given statement for all natural numbers. As a computer scientist, I am of course familiar with De Morgan‘s laws, which are fundamental for Boolean logic. De Morgan‘s laws are merely transformation rules for two of the basic operators…
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John Maynard Keynes and his General Theory of Employment

John Maynard Keynes and his General Theory of Employment

On June 5, 1883, British economist John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron of Keynes, was born. His work and his ideas have fundamentally affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He is one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and is widely considered the most influential economist of the 20th century. “But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long…
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Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

On May 24, 1930, pioneering English aviatrix Ami Johnson safely landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia after a 18.000km flight, becoming the first woman pilot to fly solo from England to Australia. Amy Johnson – Early Years Amy Johnson was an enthusiastic sportswoman who played hockey and cricket. At the age of 14 she lost several front teeth to a cricket ball. Since she came from a not incapable family – her father was a…
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Alcuin of York – Architect of the Carolingian Renaissance

Alcuin of York – Architect of the Carolingian Renaissance

On May 19, 804 AD, English scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher Alcuin of York passed away. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court. He wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems. According to Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, Alcuin was “the most learned man anywhere to be found“. “And those people should not…
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Joseph Norman Lockyer – a Pioneer of Modern Astrophysics and Founder of Archaeoastronomy

Joseph Norman Lockyer – a Pioneer of Modern Astrophysics and Founder of Archaeoastronomy

On May 17, 1836, English astronomer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer was born. Lockyer is regarded as one of the pioneers of modern astrophysics and founder of archaeoastronomy. Along with the French scientist Pierre Janssen, he is credited with discovering the gas helium. Lockyer also is remembered for being the founder and first editor of the influential journal Nature. “The nineteenth century will ever be known as the one in which the influences of…
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The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

On May, 6, 1719 (julian calendar, April 25), Daniel Defoe‘s famous novel ‘Robinson Crusoe‘ was published under the title ‘The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With…
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Edward Whymper and the First Ascend of the Matterhorn

Edward Whymper and the First Ascend of the Matterhorn

On April 27, 1840, English mountaineer, explorer, illustrator, and author Edward Whymper was born. He is best known for the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865; four members of his party were killed during the descent. From Wood Engraving to the Western Alpes Edward Whymper was born in London, England as the second of eleven children. He learned and practiced wood-engraving starting at very young age. In order to draw scenery…
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The Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museum in London

On April 18, 1881, the Natural History Museum in London was opened for the public. It is one of the largest natural history museum‘s of the world. Sir Hans Sloane was an Irish physician, but also a collector who provided the foundation for the museum. He allowed his collections to be purchased by the British government below their actual value on the free market. The collections included dried plants, and animal and human…
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Charlie Chaplin – Making Motion Pictures the Art form of the 20th Century

Charlie Chaplin – Making Motion Pictures the Art form of the 20th Century

On April 16, 1889, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Charlie Chaplin was born. Chaplin rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, “The Tramp“, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry with a career that spanned more than 75 years. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight,…
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