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The Transatlantic Flight of the Double Eagle II

The Transatlantic Flight of the Double Eagle II

On August 17, 1978, Double Eagle II became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. The flight, the fourteenth known attempt, was the culmination of more than a century of previous attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon. John Wise and the Atlantic In 1859, John Wise, US-American pioneer in the field of ballooning,…
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Jerry R. Ehman, the Wow! Signal and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Jerry R. Ehman, the Wow! Signal and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

On August 15, 1977, a strong narrowband radio signal was received by the Big Ear radio telescope of the Ohio State University, United States, then assigned to a SETI project. Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the signal a few days later, while reviewing the recorded data and was so impressed that he circled the reading on the computer printout and wrote the comment Wow! on its side. Radio Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman…
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William Isaac Thomas and the Thomas Theorem

William Isaac Thomas and the Thomas Theorem

On August 13, 1863, American sociologist William Isaac Thomas was born. Thomas developed innovative work on the sociology of migration and went on to formulate a fundamental principle of sociology, known as the Thomas theorem, in which he contended that, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences“. William Isaac Thomas – Early Years William Isaac Thomas was born in Russell County, Virginia to Sarah Price Thomas and…
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James Bryan Herrick and the Sickle-Cell Disease

James Bryan Herrick and the Sickle-Cell Disease

On August 11, 1861, American physician James Bryan Herrick was born. He is credited with the description of sickle-cell disease, which results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin found in red blood cells, and was one of the first physicians to describe the symptoms of myocardial infarction. Education and Academic Career James Bryan Herrick was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Origen White Herrick and Dora Kettlestrings Herrick. He attended…
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Benjamin Silliman and the 1807 Meteor

Benjamin Silliman and the 1807 Meteor

On August 8, 1779, early American chemist and science educator Benjamin Silliman was born. He was one of the first American professors of science, at Yale College, the first person to distill petroleum in America, and a founder of the American Journal of Science, the oldest continuously published scientific journal in the United States. Silliman best known for researching the chemical composition of a meteorite that fell in 1807, his report being…
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Andrew Taylor Still and the Dispute about Osteopathic Medicine

Andrew Taylor Still and the Dispute about Osteopathic Medicine

On August 6, 1828, American surgeon and physician Andrew Taylor Still was born. Still was the founder of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine, a type of health care system of diagnosis and treatment that emphasizes relationship between structure and function in the body, and the ways it can be affected through manipulative therapy and other treatment modalities. “An osteopath is only a human engineer, who should understand all the laws governing his engine and…
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Helen Swayer Hogg and the Globular Clusters

Helen Swayer Hogg and the Globular Clusters

On August 1, 1905, American-Canadian astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg was born. Hogg is noted for pioneering research into globular clusters (stars with cyclical changes of brightness found within huge, dense conglomerations of stars located in the outer halo of the Milky Way galaxy) and variable stars. She was the first female president of several astronomical organizations and a notable woman of science in a time when many universities would not award scientific…
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Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics

Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics

On July 3, 1879, Polish-American independent scholar Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski was born. Korzybsky developed a field called general semantics, which he viewed as both distinct from, and more encompassing than, the field of semantics. He argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed, and thus no one can have direct access to reality, given that the most we…
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Stephen Mouton Babcock and the Babcock Test

Stephen Mouton Babcock and the Babcock Test

On July 2, 1931, American agricultural chemist Stephen Moulton Babcock passed away. He is best known for his Babcock test in determining dairy butterfat in milk processing, for cheese processing, and for the “single-grain experiment” that led to the development of nutritional science as a recognized discipline. He worked for 43 years at the University of Wisconsin, where he established a laboratory where he carried out pioneering research in nutrition and in…
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Alfred L. Kroeber and the Nature of Culture

Alfred L. Kroeber and the Nature of Culture

On June 11, 1876, American cultural anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber was born. His primary concern was to understand the nature of culture and its processes. He developed the concept of cultures as patterned wholes, each with its own style, and each undergoing a growth process analogous to that of a biological organism. Kroeber also made valuable contributions to the archaeology of New Mexico, Mexico, and Peru. “Anthropology is the most humanistic of…
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