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The Ryan X-13 VertiJet – the first Jet powered VTOL Aircraft

The Ryan X-13 VertiJet – the first Jet powered VTOL Aircraft

On April 11, 1957, the Ryan X-13 VertiJet completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The Ryan X-13 VertiJet was one of the first experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts powered by jet engines. The main objective of the project was to demonstrate the ability of a pure jet to vertically takeoff, hover, transition to horizontal forward flight, and vertically land. Ryan Aeronautical The Ryan Aeronautical Company was…
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Frank Stephen Baldwin and the Pinwheel Calculator

Frank Stephen Baldwin and the Pinwheel Calculator

On April 10, 1838, American inventor Frank Stephen Baldwin was born, who invented a pinwheel calculator in 1874. He started the design of a new machine in 1905 and was able to finalize its design with the help of Jay R. Monroe who eventually bought the exclusive rights to the machine and started the Monroe Calculating Machine Company to manufacture it. Frank Stephen Baldwin, Engineer Baldwin was born in New Hartford, Connecticut.…
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Gregory Pincus and the Contraceptive Pill

Gregory Pincus and the Contraceptive Pill

On April 9, 1903, American biologist and endocrinologist Gregory Goodwin Pincus was born. Pincus’ work on the antifertility properties of steroids led to the development of the first effective oral contraceptive: the birth-control pill. Gregory Pincus – Youth and Education Gregory Pincus was born in Woodbine, New Jersey and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Cornell University. He became an instructor in zoology at Harvard University while also working toward his…
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Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

On April 8, 1911, American biochemist Melvin Calvin was born. Calvin is best known for furthering our knowledge of the mechanism of photosynthesis with the discovery the Calvin cycle along with Andrew Benson and James Bassham, for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Youth and Education Calvin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Elias Calvin and Rose Herwitz, immigrants from Russia. Originally, his father was…
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The IBM System/360 and the Use of Microcode

The IBM System/360 and the Use of Microcode

On April 7, 1964, IBM introduced the IBM System/360, a rather successful family of mainframe computer systems, originally produced between 1965 and 1978 using microcode to implement the instruction set. It was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete range of applications, from small to large, both commercial and scientific. The design made a clear distinction between architecture and implementation. Also if you are not a computer scientist, you might…
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The Legend of the Pony Express

The Legend of the Pony Express

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express started delivering messages, newspapers, mail, even small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Although being an economic disaster, the Pony Express has become a U.S. national legend. Gold in California In January 1848, Gold was discovered in California, but the poor communication between…
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Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

On March 29, 1869, Czech anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka was born. Hrdlicka is known for his studies of Neanderthal man and his theory of the migration of American Indians from Asia. He was the one of the first scientists to argue the Americans originated in Asia and came across the Bering Strait, and participated in numerous archeological expeditions which contributed a great amount of information and physical evidence. “While the anthropologist is thus…
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The Windsurfer Sailboard – The Invention of a New Sport

The Windsurfer Sailboard – The Invention of a New Sport

On March 27, 1968, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake filed a patent application for a “Wind-Propelled Apparatus”, the first U.S. patent for the Windsurfer sailboard: a surf-board with a sail on a mast articulated by a universal joint to the board. The rider can thus hold the boom and adjust the angle of the sail to control acceleration, turning and tacking, without need of a rudder or steering mechanism. Windsurfing Windsurfing, as…
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Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

On March 26, 1941, English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins was born. Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism’s body, but can stretch far into the…
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The Expeditions of John Wesley Powell

The Expeditions of John Wesley Powell

On March 24, 1834, American geologist and ethnologist John Wesley Powell was born. He published the first classification of American Indian languages and was the first director of the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first known passage through the Grand Canyon. “Economy in speech is the force by which its development has…
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