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#226 2017-08-25 19:21:55

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

192. Weber

Wilhelm Eduard Weber (24 October 1804 - 23 June 1891) was a German physicist and, together with Carl Friedrich Gauss, inventor of the first electromagnetic telegraph.

Early years

Weber was born in Wittenberg, where his father, Michael Weber, was professor of theology. Wilhelm was the second of three brothers, all of whom were distinguished by an aptitude for science. After the dissolution of the University of Wittenberg his father was transferred to Halle in 1815. Wilhelm had received his first lessons from his father, but was now sent to the Orphan Asylum and Grammar School at Halle. After that he entered the University, and devoted himself to natural philosophy. He distinguished himself so much in his classes, and by original work, that after taking his degree of Doctor and becoming a Privatdozent he was appointed Professor Extraordinary of natural philosophy at Halle.

Career

In 1831, on the recommendation of Carl Friedrich Gauss, he was hired by the University of Göttingen as professor of physics, at the age of twenty-seven. His lectures were interesting, instructive, and suggestive. Weber thought that, in order to thoroughly understand physics and apply it to daily life, mere lectures, though illustrated by experiments, were insufficient, and he encouraged his students to experiment themselves, free of charge, in the college laboratory. As a student of twenty years he, with his brother, Ernst Heinrich Weber, Professor of Anatomy at Leipzig, had written a book on the Wave Theory and Fluidity, which brought its authors a considerable reputation. Acoustics was a favourite science of his, and he published numerous papers upon it in Poggendorffs Annalen, Schweigger's Jahrbücher für Chemie und Physik, and the musical journal Carcilia. The 'mechanism of walking in mankind' was another study, undertaken in conjunction with his younger brother, Eduard Weber. These important investigations were published between the years 1825 and 1838. Gauss and Weber constructed the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1833, which connected the observatory with the institute for physics in Göttingen.

In December 1837, the Hannovarian government dismissed Weber, one of the Göttingen Seven, from his post at the university for political reasons. Weber then travelled for a time, visiting England, among other countries, and became professor of physics in Leipzig from 1843 to 1849, when he was reinstated at Göttingen. One of his most important works, co-authored with Carl Friedrich Gauss and Carl Wolfgang Benjamin Goldschmidt, was Atlas des Erdmagnetismus: nach den Elementen der Theorie entworfen (Atlas of Geomagnetism: Designed according to the elements of the theory), a series of magnetic maps, and it was chiefly through his efforts that magnetic observatories were instituted. He studied magnetism with Gauss, and during 1864 published his Electrodynamic Proportional Measures containing a system of absolute measurements for electric currents, which forms the basis of those in use. Weber died in Göttingen, where he is buried in the same cemetery as Max Planck and Max Born.

He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1855.

In 1856 with Rudolf Kohlrausch (1809 - 1858) he demonstrated that the ratio of electrostatic to electromagnetic units produced a number that matched the value of the then known speed of light. This finding led to Maxwell's conjecture that light is an electromagnetic wave. This also led to Weber's development of his theory of electrodynamics. Also, the first usage of the letter "c" to denote the speed of light was in an 1856 paper by Kohlrausch and Weber.

The SI unit of magnetic flux, the weber (symbol: Wb) is named after him.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#227 2017-08-26 21:05:46

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

193. John Muir

Naturalist, writer and advocate of U.S. forest conservation, John Muir founded the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.

Synopsis

John Muir was born April 21, 1838, in Dunbar, Scotland. As early as 1876, he urged the federal government to adopt a forest conservation policy through articles published in popular periodicals. In 1892 he founded the Sierra Club. He served as its first president, a position he held until his death in 1914. He was largely responsible for the establishment of Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.

Background and Inventions

Born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland, John Muir immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 11 years old. Settling in Wisconsin, Muir contended with a rigid, punishing father who made his son memorize the Bible and maintain a demanding schedule. Yet the boy had a major inclination for learning and creativity, coming up with an array of inventions such as a horse feeder, a table saw, a wooden thermometer and a device that pushed the youngster out of bed in the early morning.

After showing his inventions at the state Fair, Muir attended the University of Wisconsin during the early 1860s. Leaving school in 1863, he took up studying botany and exploring the natural world via foot while taking on jobs to support himself. But in 1867, while working at a factory, he was involved in an accident in which he was blinded for a time. Upon regaining his sight, he fully embraced his devotion to nature and walked from Indiana to Florida, creating detailed sketches of the terrain. He eventually sailed to Cuba, New York and Panama, ultimately making his way to San Francisco. From there he continued his walking explorations.

Esteemed Ecologist and Writer

After first visiting California’s Yosemite Valley in 1868 and taking on work as a shepherd, Muir landed a mill job working with James Mason Hutchings, though the two would later have a falling out. Muir began having his ecology-oriented articles published via newspapers in the early 1870s, with his first printed essay appearing in the New York Tribune. After acute observations, he offered groundbreaking theories about Yosemite’s geological structures being formed by glacial activity, countering previous scientific assertions.

National Parks Champion

Muir became known for his articles that praised the natural world, speaking in poetic, spiritual terms about his affection for the ecology and humanity’s earth connection, garnering a large and varied readership. He also published a grouping of essays pushing for the establishment of Yosemite National Park, which was created in 1890. Muir became a major figure in the creation of parks for the Grand Canyon and Sequoia regions as well.

Muir co-founded the Sierra Club in 1892, acting as president of the environmental-advocacy organization for more than two decades. In the new century he continued to make history with his 1903 three-night camping trip with Theodore Roosevelt, which helped shape the U.S. president’s own conservationist policies. Muir was also a world-traveler who at age 73 took an extended trip to the Amazon, studying its fauna and topography and being swept away by the region’s beauty. A host of honors and accolades were bestowed upon him during his life.

Death and Legacy

John Muir died on December 24, 1914 in Los Angeles, California from pneumonia. His legacy lived on not only in the establishment of parks and his environmental activism but in the scores upon scores of articles he penned. He was the author of several books as well, including The Mountains of California (1894), Our National Parks (1901), Stickeen: The Story of a Dog (1909) and My First Summer in the Sierra (1911).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#228 2017-08-27 00:49:32

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

194. Jagdish Chandra Bose

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose (Born: November 30, 1858) is one of the most prominent first Indian scientists who proved by experimentation that both animals and plants share much in common. He demonstrated that plants are also sensitive to heat, cold, light, noise and various other external stimuli. Bose contrived a very sophisticated instrument called Crescograph which could record and observe the minute responses because of external stimulants. It was capable of magnifying the motion of plant tissues to about 10,000 times of their actual size, which found many similarities between plants and other living organisms.

The central hall of the Royal Society in London was jam-packed with famous scientists on May 10, 1901. Everyone seemed to be curious to know how Bose’s experiment will demonstrate that plants have feelings like other living beings and humans. Bose chose a plant whose mots were cautiously dipped up to its stem in a vessel holding the bromide solution. The salts of hydrobromic acid are considered a poison. He plugged in the instrument with the plant and viewed the lighted spot on a screen showing the movements of the plant, as its pulse beat, and the spot began to and fro movement similar to a pendulum. Within minutes, the spot vibrated in a violent manner and finally came to an abrupt stop. The whole thing was almost like a poisoned rat fighting against death. The plant had died due to the exposure to the poisonous bromide solution.

The event was greeted with much appreciation, however some physiologists were not content, and considered Bose as an intruder. They harshly knocked the experiment but Bose did not give up and was quite confident about his findings.

Using the Crescograph, he further researched the response of the plants to fertilizers, light rays and wireless waves. The instrument received widespread acclaim, particularly from the Path Congress of Science in 1900. Many physiologists also supported his findings later on, using more advanced instruments.

Jagadish Chandra Bose was born on 30 November, 1858 at Mymensingh, now in Bangladesh. He was raised in a home committed to pure Indian traditions and culture. He got his elementary education from a vernacular school, because his father thought that Bose should learn his own mother tongue, Bengali, before studying a foreign language like English. After finishing his education in India, he went to England and joined the University of Cambridge where he studied physics and Botany under the distinguished scientists with whom he developed an abiding friendship. He was awarded the S.Sc degree by London University in 1896 and was later elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.

He was the first Indian to be appointed Professor of Physics in the Presidency College. His appointment was strongly opposed by Sir Alfred Croft, then Director of Public Instruction of Bengal and Mr. Charles R. Tawney, Principal of the Presidency College. But Bose finally managed to get the appointment because of the intervention of Lord Ripon, then Viceroy of India. In getting his appointment Bose was helped by Professor Fawcett, the economist and then Postmaster-General of Britain. Fawcett was a friend of Bose’s brother-in-law Ananda Mohan Bose. With Fawcett’s letter of introduction Bose met Lord Ripon at Shimla. In those days, Simla used to be the summer capital of India. Ripon was very nice to Bose and he promised to nominate him for the Imperial Educational Service. But after coming to Kolkata when Bose met Croft he was not at all welcomed. Croft said : “I am usually approached from below, not from above. There is no higherclass appointment at presentavailable in the Imperial Educational Service, I can only offer you a place in the Provincial Service, from which you may be promoted.” Bose did not accept the offer.

The Viceroy again wrote to the Government of Bengal asking explanation for the delay in appointing Bose. Finally Croft was forced to appoint Bose. In those days the Britishers thought that Indians were not capable of holding high post in educational service and thus Imperial Educational Service was out of their bound, howsoever qualified might they be. Unlike in case of Indian Civil Service, which an Indian could join by passing the prescribed examination, the Imperial Educational Service was accessible only through nomination.

Though Bose, because of Lord Ripon’s personal intervention, was given an appointment in the higher service he was taken on temporary basis with one-half of the pay attached to such an appointment. Bose protested and he asked for the same salary as an European was entitled to get. When his protest was not entertained he refused to accept his salary. He continued his teaching assignment for three years without any salary. Finally both the Director of Public Instruction and the Principal of the Presidency College fully realised the value of Bose’s skill in teaching and also his lofty character. As a result his appointment was made permanent with retrospective effect. He was given the full salary for the last three years in lumpsum, which he used for paying off his father’s debt.

Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose was worthy and illustrious son of India's motherland whom the nation feels proud of. He brought various laurels to our country. Immense hard working capacity, patience and simplicity were hall­marks of his personality. Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose was a creative and imaginative scientist, a connoisseur of literature and a great lover of nature.

Bose authored two illustrious books; ‘Response in the Living and Non-living’ (1902) and ‘The Nervous Mechanism of Plants’ (1926). He also extensively researched the behaviour of radiowaves. Mostly known as a plant physiologist, he was actually a physicist. Bose devised another instrument called ‘Coherer’, for detecting the radiowaves.

Prior to his death in 1937, (November 23, 1937) Bose set up the Bose Institute at Calcutta. He was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920 for his amazing contributions and achievements.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#229 2017-08-29 00:42:51

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

195. Hermann Minkowski

Hermann Minkowski, (born June 22, 1864, Aleksotas, Russian Empire [now in Kaunas, Lithuania] - died Jan. 12, 1909, Göttingen, Germany), German mathematician who developed the geometrical theory of numbers and who made numerous contributions to number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity. His idea of combining the three dimensions of physical space with that of time into a four-dimensional “Minkowski space” - space-time - laid the mathematical foundations for Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

The son of German parents living in Russia, Minkowski returned to Germany with them in 1872 and spent his youth in the royal Prussian city of Königsberg. A gifted prodigy, he began his studies at the University of Königsberg and the University of Berlin at age 15. Three years later he was awarded the “Grand Prix des Sciences Mathématiques” by the French Academy of Sciences for his paper on the representation of numbers as a sum of five squares. During his teenage years in Königsberg he met and befriended another young mathematical prodigy, David Hilbert, with whom he worked closely both at Königsberg and later at the University of Göttingen.

After earning his doctorate in 1885, Minkowski taught mathematics at the Universities of Bonn (1885 - 94), Königsberg (1894 - 96), Zürich (1896 - 1902), and Göttingen (1902–09). Together with Hilbert, he pursued research on the electron theory of the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz and its modification in Einstein’s special theory of relativity. In Raum und Zeit (1907; “Space and Time”) Minkowski gave his famous four-dimensional geometry based on the group of Lorentz transformations of special relativity theory. His major work in number theory was Geometrie der Zahlen (1896; “Geometry of Numbers”). His works were collected in David Hilbert (ed.), Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 2 vol. (1911; “Collected Papers”).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#230 2017-08-30 20:22:30

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

196. James Harrison (Engineer)

James Harrison (17 April 1816 - 3 September 1893) was a Scottish-Australian newspaper printer, journalist, politician, and pioneer in the field of mechanical refrigeration.

Harrison founded the Geelong Advertiser newspaper and was a member of the Victorian Legislative Council and Victorian Legislative Assembly. Harrison is also remembered as the inventor of the mechanical refrigeration process creating ice and founder of the Victorian Ice Works and as a result, is often called "the father of refrigeration". In 1873 he won a gold medal at the Melbourne Exhibition by proving that meat kept frozen for months remained perfectly edible.

Early life

James Harrison was born at Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, the son of a fisherman. Harrison attended Anderson's University and then the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, specialising in chemistry. He trained as a printing apprentice in Glasgow and worked in London as a compositor before emigrating to Sydney, Australia in 1837 to set up a printing press for the English company Tegg & Co. Moving to Melbourne in 1839 he found employment with John Pascoe Fawkner as a compositor and later editor on Fawkner's Port Phillip Patriot. When Fawkner acquired a new press, Harrison offered him 30 pounds for the original old press to start Geelong's first newspaper. The first weekly edition of the Geelong Advertiser appeared November 1840: edited by 'James Harrison and printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner (sole proprietor) by William Watkins...'. By November 1842, Harrison became sole owner.

Political career

Harrison was a member of Geelong's first town council in 1850 and represented Geelong in the Victorian Legislative Council from November 1854 until its abolition in March 1856. Harrison then represented Geelong 1858–59 and Geelong West 1859–60 in the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

As an editor he was an early advocate for tariff protection which later he brought to prominence when he was editor of The Age under the proprietorship of David Syme. But his rise ceased abruptly in 1854 after a controversial libel suit was brought against him by the Crown Prosecutor George Mackay whose evident drunkenness on duty Harrison had editorially deplored. The jury brought in a verdict for Mackay with Harrison to pay £800 damages. In 1862, although his assets were worth £22,000, he had to sell the Advertiser to escape bankruptcy.

It was while he owned this paper from 1842 to 1862 that his interest in refrigeration and ice-making began to develop. Whilst cleaning movable type with ether, he noticed that the evaporating fluid would leave the metal type cold to the touch.

Ice-making operation and later life

Harrison's first mechanical ice-making machine began operation in 1851 on the banks of the Barwon River at Rocky Point in Geelong. His first commercial ice-making machine followed in 1854, and his patent for an ether vapor-compression refrigeration system was granted in 1855. This novel system used a compressor to force the refrigeration gas to pass through a condenser, where it cooled down and liquefied. The liquefied gas then circulated through the refrigeration coils and vaporised again, cooling down the surrounding system. The machine employed a 5 m (16 ft.) flywheel and produced 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb) of ice per day. In 1856 Harrison went to London where he patented both his process (747 of 1856) and his apparatus (2362 of 1857).

Also in 1856, James Harrison, was commissioned by a brewery to build a machine that could cool beer. His system was almost immediately taken up by the brewing industry and was also widely used by meatpacking factories.

Though Harrison had commercial success establishing a second ice company back in Sydney in 1860, he later entered the debate of how to compete against the American advantage of unrefrigerated beef sales to the United Kingdom. He wrote Fresh Meat frozen and packed as if for a voyage, so that the refrigerating process may be continued for any required period, and in 1873 prepared the sailing ship Norfolk for an experimental beef shipment to the United Kingdom. His choice of a cold room system instead of installing a refrigeration system upon the ship itself proved disastrous when the ice was consumed faster than expected. The experiment failed, ruining public confidence in refrigerated meat at that time. He returned to journalism, becoming editor of the Melbourne Age in 1867.

Harrison returned to Geelong in 1892 and died at his Point Henry home in 1893.

Legacy

The James Harrison Museum committee have acquired land at Rocky Point (the site of the first ice making machine in the world) and are endeavouring to build a museum there.

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating most distinguished award is the James Harrison Medal.

The James Harrison bridge spanning the Barwon River in Geelong is named in his honour.

A plaque located at 100 Franklin St, Melbourne commemorates the Victoria Ice Works founded by James Harrison in 1859.

The centenary of refrigeration (1856-1956) was commemorated with a plaque in Ryrie Street, Geelong Advertiser Building.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#231 2017-09-01 03:34:00

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

197. Sir Frank Whittle

Sir Frank Whittle, (born June 1, 1907, Coventry, Warwickshire, England - died August 8, 1996, Columbia, Maryland, U.S.), English aviation engineer and pilot who invented the jet engine.

The son of a mechanic, Whittle entered the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a boy apprentice and soon qualified as a pilot at the RAF College in Cranwell. He was posted to a fighter squadron in 1928 and served as a test pilot in 1931-32. He then pursued further studies at the RAF engineering school and at the University of Cambridge (1934-37). Early in his career Whittle recognized the potential demand for an aircraft that would be able to fly at great speed and height, and he first put forth his vision of jet propulsion in 1928, in his senior thesis at the RAF College. The young officer’s ideas were ridiculed by the Air Ministry as impractical, however, and attracted support from neither the government nor private industry.

Whittle obtained his first patent for a turbo-jet engine in 1930, and in 1936 he joined with associates to found a company called Power Jets Ltd. He tested his first jet engine on the ground in 1937. This event is customarily regarded as the invention of the jet engine, but the first operational jet engine was designed in Germany by Hans Pabst von Ohain and powered the first jet-aircraft flight on August 27, 1939. The outbreak of World War II finally spurred the British government into supporting Whittle’s development work. A jet engine of his invention was fitted to a specially built Gloster E.28/39 airframe, and the plane’s maiden flight took place on May 15, 1941. The British government took over Power Jets Ltd. in 1944, by which time Britain’s Gloster Meteor jet aircraft were in service with the RAF, intercepting German V-1 rockets.

Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore, and that same year he was knighted. The British government eventually atoned for their earlier neglect by granting him a tax-free gift of £100,000. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1986. In 1977 he became a research professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. His book Jet: The Story of a Pioneer was published in 1953.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#232 2017-09-03 00:39:33

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

198. Sam Walton

Sam Walton was an American businessman best known for founding the retail chain Wal-Mart, which grew to be the world’s largest corporation.

QUOTES : “High expectations are the key to everything.” - Sam Walton

Synopsis

Sam Walton was born on March 29, 1918, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in 1962, after years in the retail management business. The discount chain expanded internationally over the next 30 years, growing into the world’s largest company by 2010. Walton stepped down as CEO in 1988, at the age of 70, but remained active in the company until his death in 1992.

Early Years

A pioneering businessman who broke convention and showed that large discount stores could thrive in small, rural areas, Samuel Moore Walton was born March 29, 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He was the first son of Thomas Walton, a banker, and his wife, Nancy Lee. Early in his life Walton and his family moved to Missouri, where he was raised. An able student and a good athlete, Walton quarterbacked his high school football team and was an Eagle Scout. Upon his graduation from Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, in 1936, his classmates named him "most versatile boy." After high school, Walton stayed close to home and enrolled at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1940.

Early Retail Career

Following college, Walton got his first real taste of the retail world when took a job in Des Moines with the J.C. Penney Company, which was still a relatively small retailer.After serving as an Army captain in an intelligence unit during World War II, Walton returned to private life in 1945 and used a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law to acquire his first store, a Ben Franklin franchise in Newport, Arkansas.

In less than two decades, Walton, working with his younger brother, James, came to own 15 Ben Franklin stores. But frustration over the management of the chain, in particular the decision to ignore Walton’s push to expand into rural communities, prompted him to strike out on his own.

Building an Empire

In 1962 Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Arkansas. Success was swift. By 1976 Wal-Mart was a publicly traded company with share value north of $176 million. By the early 1990s, Wal-Mart’s stock worth had jumped to $45 billion. In 1991 Wal-Mart surpassed Sears, Roebuck & Company to become the country’s largest retailer.

Walton was responsible for a lot of the success. His vision of a discount retail store in rural areas was accompanied by the founder’s hard-charging, demanding style. Walton, who often began his work days at 4:30 in the morning, expected results from those beneath him, and wasn’t afraid to change course or reshuffle his personnel if he didn’t like the numbers that came back to him.

Even in the grips of a recession, Walton’s stores proved successful. In 1991, as the country was mired in an economic downturn, Wal-Mart increased sales by more than 40 percent. But that success also made Wal-Mart a target, especially for small-town merchants and other residents who argued the giant chain was wiping out a community’s smaller stores and downtown retail. Walton, however, tried to meet those fears head-on, promising jobs and donations to local charities, which the company often delivered in some fashion.

Final Years

An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Walton portrayed a humble image right up until his death. His vehicle of choice was a red 1985 Ford pickup. With his wife Helen, whom he married in 1943, he lived in the same house in Bentonville, Arkansas, since 1959. The couple had four children: S. Robson, John, James and Alice.

In 1985 Forbes magazine named Walton the wealthiest man in the United States, a declaration that seemed to irritate the businessman more than anything else. “All that hullabaloo about somebody’s net worth is just stupid, and it’s made my life a lot more complex and difficult,” he said.

Over that last several years of his life, Walton suffered from two types of cancer: hairy-cell leukemia and bone marrow cancer. He died of the latter on April 5, 1992, at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Just a month before his death, Walton was honored by President George H.W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#233 2017-09-04 02:46:19

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

199. George Stephenson, (born June 9, 1781, Wylam, Northumberland, Eng. - died Aug. 12, 1848, Chesterfield, Derbyshire), English engineer and principal inventor of the railroad locomotive.

Stephenson was the son of a mechanic who operated a Newcomen atmospheric-steam engine that was used to pump out a coal mine at Newcastle upon Tyne. The boy went to work at an early age and without formal schooling; by age 19 he was operating a Newcomen engine. His curiosity aroused by the Napoleonic war news, he enrolled in night school and learned to read and write. He soon married and, in order to earn extra income, learned to repair shoes, fix clocks, and cut clothes for miners’ wives, getting a mechanic friend, the future Sir William Fairbairn, to take over his engine part-time. His genius with steam engines, however, presently won him the post of engine wright (chief mechanic) at Killingworth colliery.

Stephenson’s first wife died, leaving him with a young son, Robert, whom he sent to a Newcastle school to learn mathematics; every night when the boy came home, father and son went over the homework together, both learning. In 1813 George Stephenson visited a neighbouring colliery to examine a “steam boiler on wheels” constructed by John Blenkinsop to haul coal out of the mines. In the belief that the heavy contraption could not gain traction on smooth wooden rails, Blenkinsop had given it a ratchet wheel running on a cogged third rail, an arrangement that created frequent breakdowns. Stephenson thought he could do better, and, after conferring with Lord Ravensworth, the principal owner of Killingworth, he built the Blucher, an engine that drew eight loaded wagons carrying 30 tons of coal at 4 miles (6 km) per hour. Not satisfied, he sought to improve his locomotive’s power and introduced the “steam blast,” by which exhaust steam was redirected up the chimney, pulling air after it and increasing the draft. The new design made the locomotive truly practical.

Over the next few years, Stephenson built several locomotives for Killingworth and other collieries and gained a measure of fame by inventing a mine-safety lamp. In 1821 he heard of a project for a railroad, employing draft horses, to be built from Stockton to Darlington to facilitate exploitation of a rich vein of coal. At Darlington he interviewed the promoter, Edward Pease, and so impressed him that Pease commissioned him to build a steam locomotive for the line. On Sept. 27, 1825, railroad transportation was born when the first public passenger train, pulled by Stephenson’s Active (later renamed Locomotion), ran from Darlington to Stockton, carrying 450 persons at 15 miles (24 km) per hour. Liverpool and Manchester interests called him in to build a 40-mile (64-kilometre) railroad line to connect the two cities. To survey and construct the line, Stephenson had to outwit the violent hostility of farmers and landlords who feared, among other things, that the railroad would supplant horse-drawn transportation and shut off the market for oats.

When the Liverpool-Manchester line was nearing completion in 1829, a competition was held for locomotives; Stephenson’s new engine, the Rocket, which he built with his son, Robert, won with a speed of 36 miles (58 km) per hour. Eight locomotives were used when the Liverpool-Manchester line opened on Sept. 15, 1830, and all of them had been built in Stephenson’s Newcastle works. From this time on, railroad building spread rapidly throughout Britain, Europe, and North America, and George Stephenson continued as the chief guide of the revolutionary transportation medium, solving problems of roadway construction, bridge design, and locomotive and rolling-stock manufacture. He built many other railways in the Midlands, and he acted as consultant on many railroad projects at home and abroad.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#234 2017-09-05 23:22:30

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

200. Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann, in full Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (born April 10, 1755, Meissen, Saxony [now in Germany] - died July 2, 1843, Paris, France), German physician, founder of the system of therapeutics known as homeopathy.

Hahnemann studied medicine at Leipzig and Vienna, taking the degree of M.D. at Erlangen in 1779. After practicing in various places, he settled in Dresden in 1784 and then moved to Leipzig in 1789. In the following year, while translating William Cullen’s Lectures on the Materia medica into German, he was struck by the fact that the symptoms produced by quinine on the healthy body were similar to those of the disordered states that quinine was used to cure. This observation led him to assert the theory that “likes are cured by likes,” similia similibus curantur; i.e., diseases are cured (or should be treated) by those drugs that produce in healthy persons symptoms similar to the diseases. He promulgated his principle in a paper published in 1796; and, four years later, convinced that drugs in small doses effectively exerted their curative powers, he advanced his doctrine of their “potentization of dynamization.” His chief work, Organon der rationellen Heilkunst (1810; “Organon of Rational Medicine”), contains an exposition of his system, which he called Homöopathie, or homeopathy. His Reine Arzneimittellehre, 6 vol. (1811; “Pure Pharmacology”), detailed the symptoms produced by “proving” a large number of drugs - i.e., by systematically administering them to healthy subjects.

In 1821 the hostility of apothecaries forced him to leave Leipzig, and at the invitation of the grand duke of Anhalt-Köthen he went to live at Köthen. Fourteen years later he moved to Paris, where he practiced medicine with great popularity until his death.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#235 2017-09-06 23:57:25

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

201. Robert Boyle

Among the many contenders for the title of "Father of Modern Chemistry" is Robert Boyle (January 25, 1627 - December 30, 1691). Boyle was the first prominent scientist to perform controlled experiments and to publish his work with elaborate details concerning procedure, apparatus and observations. He assembled what we would today call a "research group", developed a key piece of apparatus - the vacuum pump, was instrumental in founding the Royal Society, and deserves at least partial credit for the famous gas law which bears his name.

Boyle was born in Ireland. As the youngest of fourteen children of the wealthiest man in the British Isles, Boyle's opportunities were almost unlimited. However, while still in adolescence, he chose the pseudonym Philaretus  (Lover of Truth) and a life of scientific inquiry seemed almost inevitable. He was educated in the finest possible manner of this day, first studying at Eton and later travelling the Continent with a tutor and his older brother Francis. He learned philosophy, religion, languages, mathematics, and - perhaps most significantly - the new physics of Bacon, Descartes, and Galileo. The physical scientists and their new theories concerning air and vacuum, the movement of planets, and the circulation of blood were to sway his thinking much more than the alchemists.

Boyle published copiously on topics ranging across several fields of science, philosophy, and theology. His first major scientific report, The Spring and Weight of the Air, was published in 1660 and described experiments using a new vacuum pump of his design. Previous pumps, invented by von Guericke (of Magdeburg hemisphere fame), required the strenuous efforts of two men and provided dubious results. Boyle's pump could be operated easily and efficiently by one man. With it Boyle demonstrated that the sound of a bell in the receiver (a thirty quart vacuum chamber) faded as the air was removed, proving that air was necessary for the transmission of sound. In further experiments, he also proved that air was necessary for life and for a candle flame. Boyle felt that his experiments confirmed a mechanical view of nature as opposed to the Aristotelian, non-empirical approach to science. Today we are so accustomed to empirical science that we have difficulty understanding how one could attempt scientific work using only logic. Boyle's empiricism established him as a founder of the modern scientific method and his arguments were so persuasive as to win many important converts, most notably Isaac Newton.

The second edition of The Spring and Weight of the Air, published in 1662, contained the pressure - volume inverse relationship which is familiar to every chemistry student as Boyle's Law. In performing the experiments which led to this generalization, Boyle used mercury in a J-tube and made measurements of the volume of the trapped gas at pressures both higher and lower than normal atmospheric pressure. There is some controversy in naming the relationship after Boyle since much of the work was actually performed by his assistant Robert Hooke, however, the experimental concept originated with Boyle. Furthermore, Boyle was dedicated to the idea of experimental proof of theories while Hooke felt that theories should appeal to reason.

Boyle's best known contribution to scientific knowledge is the 1661 publication of 'The Sceptical Chymist' in which he discusses the idea of an element. Aristotelian science held that elements were not just the simplest of all substances but were also necessary ingredients of all bodies, i.e., if water is an element then all bodies must contain at least a small amount of water. Boyle's idea of an element was somewhat vague and certainly not "modern" in the 20th century sense. But he presented persuasive experimental evidence that most of the commonly accepted elements (fire, water, salt, mercury, etc) did not meet both of the Aristotelian criteria.

In 'The Sceptical Chymist' , Boyle makes a clear break with the alchemists' tradition of secrecy with his conviction and insistence on publishing in great experimental detail. It is noteworthy that Boyle was among the first to publish the details of his work, including unsuccessful experiments, but Boyle was never able to abandon the beliefs of alchemy. He believed in transmutation of the elements and in 1676, he reported to the Royal Society on his attempts to change quicksilver into gold. He believed that he was near success in this endeavor.

In 1654, Boyle had joined a small group of the most influential English scientists, mathematicians, philosophers and physicians who had been meeting weekly in London and in Oxford since 1645. In 1662 the group was chartered as the Royal Society which exists today as the oldest continuous scientific society in the world. The motto of this prestigious organization, "Nullius in Verba" means "nothing in words", i.e., all science should be experimentally based. In 1680, Robert Boyle was elected president of the Royal Society, but declined the honor because the required oath violated his religious principles.

The first use of the term "chemical analysis" is attributed to Boyle who used it in the same sense that we understand it today. He performed assays on gold and silver, tested for copper with ammonia, tested for salt in water with silver nitrate, and devised a thirty item test for mineral water analysis. In addition, he observed that all acids turned a particular vegetable indicator from blue to red and all alkalis turned the indicator green. He found that some substances did not change the color of the indicator and concluded that these were neutral. He thus provided an operational method of classifying substances.

Boyle never married and from the age of 41 lived with his sister Katherine, Lady Ranelagh. He was a shy man with deep religious convictions. He had been a pious youth spending some years in the care of the village parson, Mr. W. Douch. Then at the age of 13, during a violent thunderstorm, he experienced a religious conversion not unlike that of St. Paul. Although an ardent defender of the Anglican Church, he was tolerant of the religious views of others and in later years became particularly sympathetic to the Dissenters. He was offered a position in the clergy but felt a stronger commitment to science. He saw no conflict between the two. He wrote widely on religious themes and gave financial support to his his friend Edward Pococke to translate the New Testament into Malayan. He left a large portion of his considerable estate to charitable organizations.

Robert Boyle died in London on December 30, 1691. He was buried in the Church of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields next to his sister. Later the church was demolished and no record was made as to where his remains were moved.

Typically, Robert Boyle is remembered solely for Boyle's Law. It is clear that he contributed much more to the development of modern chemical thought. Robert Boyle has been deservedly called "a Mighty Chemist".

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Last edited by ganesh (2017-09-07 00:10:08)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#236 2017-09-08 01:16:51

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

202. Peter Carl Goldmark

Peter Carl Goldmark (1906-1977), a Hungarian-born physicist and engineer who later became a U.S. citizen, is best known for his invention of the long-playing record, commonly known as the LP. It revolutionized the recorded music industry and dominated sales for 40 years. Spending most of his career as an engineer at CBS, he also contributed to the development of color television, photocopying, audio cassettes, and the video cassette recorder.

Goldmark was born in Budapest, Hungary, on December 2, 1906, the eldest child of Sandor (Alexander) Goldmark, a businessman, and Emma Steiner. His great-uncle, the chemist Joseph Goldmark, discovered red phosphorus, used in making matches, and invented percussion caps for rifles, first used in the U.S. Civil War. Another great-uncle, Karl Goldmark, is considered to be one of Hungary's greatest composers. As a boy, Goldmark received training in piano and cello. From an early age he developed a respect for both science and music. According to his autobiography Maverick Inventor: My Turbulent Years at CBS, Goldmark remembers living on the Danube River in Budapest in 1919, during the Hungarian civil war. As a string quartet performed in their home, rebels who were cruising on the Danube shot into the open windows, as a warning to close the windows. Goldmark's mother directed the quartet to continue and remained in her seat. A second shot hit the ceiling and, much to the amazement of young Goldmark, the quartet continued to play. Only when the music ended did Goldmark's mother close the window.

When Goldmark was eight years old, his parents divorced. After his mother remarried, he moved with her to Vienna. Intrigued with electrical science, Goldmark created a laboratory in the family's bathroom and succeeded in building a radio telegraph receiver. He had a particular interest in motion pictures and slide projection. His attempt to build a device to reproduce movies resulted in a fire when the nitrate film overheated. After beginning his post-secondary studies at the University of Berlin, he transferred to the University of Vienna in 1925, where he studied under nuclear physicist Heinrich Mache. During his time in Vienna, he patented his first invention, called a "knietaster," a mechanism that activated a car horn with knee pressure, thus allowing the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel. He also continued to experiment from the family bathroom. In 1926 he and a friend purchased a do-it-yourself television kit with a postage stamp size screen; the first televised image he saw was a flickering image of a dancer being broadcast in London by the newly formed British Broadcasting Company. Working from his bathroom, Goldmark was able to increase the size of the image, resulting in another patent. He received his Ph.D. from the Physical Institute at the University of Vienna in 1931, submitting the dissertation "A New Method for Determining the Velocity of Ions," which Mache presented to the Academy of Science in Vienna.

Joined CBS

Upon graduation Goldmark moved to England to work for Pye Radio, Ltd. in Cambridge as a television engineer. After serving for two years as the director of the television department, he moved to New York in 1933 to become a consultant to numerous television and radio companies. In 1936 he accepted a position as chief engineer at Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), charged with developing a television department for CBS. In the same year he married Muriel Gainsborough, but the marriage was short-lived and the couple later divorced. The following year Goldmark became a U.S. citizen. He married Frances Charlotte Trainer on January 12, 1940; they had four children, Frances Massey, Peter Carl Jr., Christopher, and Andrew. The marriage ended in divorce in 1954. Goldmark then married his secretary Diane Davis, with whom he had two children, Jonathan and Susan.

While on a postponed honeymoon with his second wife in Montreal in the spring of 1940, Goldmark attended a showing of the Technicolor film Gone With the Wind. He was mesmerized by the color images and quickly became enthralled with the idea of bringing color images to television. Upon his return to the United States, he set about to create a prototype color television. The result, which Goldmark called the "field sequential system," made its demonstration debut in New York on August 29, 1940, projecting colored images of flowers, red boat sails in a sunset, and a girl chasing a ball. On December 2, 1940, the system aired the first live color television images on CBS's experimental channel. Images were filmed using a rapidly spinning three-color disk and viewed using a similar disk. Because the system could not be adapted to work on existing black and white televisions, the Federal Communications Board felt it was too impractical for final approval.

Worked with U.S. Army

During World War II, Goldmark abandoned the development of color television to work at Harvard University's Radio Research Laboratory. His most important contribution during this time was the invention of the "jammer," a device the size of a shoebox, which housed electronic circuits that confused enemy radar. Allied pilots carried jammers on bombing runs over Germany; they were also used in the Allied invasion of Africa. In 1944, Goldmark joined the U.S. Navy's Office of Scientific Research and Development, where he aided in the development of what became known as an "electronic spook navy" device that transmitted a series of radio signals designed to create distractions on enemy radar. It was used during the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day.

Got Approval for Color Television

At the end of the war, Goldmark returned to CBS to become the director of engineering research and development in 1944. He continued to make improvements to his field sequential system and finally received federal approval. However, his system was quickly replaced on the commercial market by Radio Corporation of America (RCA)'s development of electronic color television, which used electrons fired at red, blue, and green phosphorescent spots on the screen. Because it was compatible with existing televisions, RCA's system became the industry standard. Nonetheless, because of its smaller, lighter camera and easier handling, Goldmark's color system was widely used in closed-circuit television, especially for instructional purposes in industry, medical facilities, and educational institutions.

Invented the LP

Goldmark's most important invention, like his development of color television, grew out of his everyday life experiences. In the fall of 1945, he and his wife were being entertained at a friend's home. After dinner, the host played a 78-rpm record of Vladimir Horowitz playing Brahms' "Second Piano Concerto." Bothered by the thinness of sound, scratches, and clicks, Goldmark was especially annoyed at the short playing time. To complete the concerto took six records, which meant consistent interruptions of the music. Intent on lengthening the playing time and improving the overall quality of the recording, Goldmark set out on a quest that resulted in the development of the long playing record, which became universally known as the LP. Goldmark slowed the revolution speed from 78 rpm to 33 1/3 rpm and increased the grooves to 300 hairline grooves per inch. He exchanged the steel needle with a sapphire stylus and decreased the weight by refashioning the tone arm and employing vinyl rather than shellac for making the records. He also made improvements to the microphone to produce a clearer, cleaner sound. Playing time was increased to approximately 20 minutes-long enough to complete an average classical music movement. He demonstrated his new product in 1948; the first LP featured a secretary at CBS playing piano, an engineer on violin, and Goldmark playing the cello. Put on the market by CBS on June 21, 1948, the LP was not an immediate success. Five years later, it was in the market to stay with the successful recording of the popular musical South Pacific. By 1972, LP sales constituted one third of CBS's revenue; it remained the industry standard until being replaced by the compact disc.

More Electronic Innovations

In 1950 Goldmark was promoted to vice-president of CBS and continued experimenting in electronic innovation. Involved with numerous research projects, his most technologically advanced invention was a system called the Linotron, an ultra high-speed photo composing system. Always attune to graphic quality, Goldmark's Linotron could electronically produce page-by-page composition 1,000 characters per second and maintain a high level of graphic integrity. Based on his previous work with color television, Goldmark developed a rotating-drum line scanner that was used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to transmit incredibly clear, detailed color pictures of the moon by the Lunar Orbiter. Goldmark's attempt to market a record player for cars never caught on, but the idea of taking recorded music into the automobile remained. By the late 1950s, he was working with the 3M Company to develop a tape cassette system for home and car use. The resulting work by his team led to a series of patents that eventually evolved into the audiocassette.

Created Precursor to VCR

Having been promoted to president of CBS Laboratories in 1958, Goldmark moved his laboratory offices from New York to Stamford, Connecticut. Before retiring from CBS in 1971 to form his own company, Goldmark Communications Corporation, he offered one more important development to electronic communications: electronic video recording (EVR). Believing that communications should work for the good of education, Goldmark felt that the ability to project recorded images on television at a reasonable cost would be vastly beneficial to educational projects, especially in rural areas where resources were limited. Created in 1958, two decades later, EVR developed into the video cassette recorder. Goldmark never garnered the wholehearted support of the CBS executives in the development of EVR because they feared that it would eventually lead to competition in the viewing market.

Humanitarian Efforts

When Goldmark left CBS to form his own company, his attention turned from experimentation to humanitarian efforts. He served as the head of the Antipoverty Office in Stamford and as a visiting professor for medical electronics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where his color imaging technology had long been in use. Goldmark spent more and more of his time advocating for increased educational opportunities and improved quality of life. Believing that the congested living conditions of the city were causing many social woes, he began promoting the New Rural Society. According to his social plan, electronic communications could provide services, opportunities, and employment beyond the city, thus allowing more citizens to live in rural areas. Having contributed to numerous important electronic inventions, Goldmark's life ended in an automobile accident in Rye, New York, on December 7, 1977, less than a week after his 71st birthday. Among the numerous honors bestowed on him during his lifetime, President Jimmy Carter awarded Goldmark the National Medal of Science in 1977. Goldmark recorded his many experiences, especially his time at CBS, in his autobiography, Maverick Inventor: My Turbulent Years at CBS (1973).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#237 2017-09-09 23:58:46

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

203. Jules Verne

Jules Verne, a 19th century French author, is famed for such revolutionary science-fiction novels as 'Around the World in Eighty Days' and 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.'

Quote - “We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” - Jules Verne

Synopsis

Born in Nantes, France, in 1828, Jules Verne pursued a writing career after finishing law school. He hit his stride after meeting publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who nurtured many of the works that would comprise the author's Voyages Extraordinaires. Often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction," Verne wrote books about a variety of innovations and technological advancements years before they were practical realities. Although he died in 1905, his works continued to be published well after his death, and he became the second most translated author in the world.

Early Years

Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1828, in Nantes, France, a busy maritime port city. There, Verne was exposed to vessels departing and arriving, sparking his imagination for travel and adventure. While attending boarding school, he began to write short stories and poetry. Afterward, his father, a lawyer, sent his oldest son to Paris to study law.

A Writing Career Begins

While he tended to his studies, Jules Verne found himself attracted to literature and the theater. He began frequenting Paris' famed literary salons, and befriended a group of artists and writers that included Alexandre Dumas and his son. After earning his law degree in 1849, Verne remained in Paris to indulge his artistic leanings. The following year, his one-act play Broken Straws (Les Pailles rompues) was performed.

Verne continued to write despite pressure from his father to resume his law career, and the tension came to a head in 1852, when Verne refused his father's offer to open a law practice in Nantes. The aspiring writer instead took a meager-paying job as secretary of the Théâtre-Lyrique, giving him the platform to produce Blind Man's Bluff (Le Colin‑maillard) and The Companions of the Marjolaine (Les Compagnons de la Marjolaine).

In 1856, Verne met and fell in love with Honorine de Viane, a young widow with two daughters. They married in 1857, and, realizing he needed a stronger financial foundation, Verne began working as a stockbroker. However, he refused to abandon his writing career, and that year he also published his first book, The 1857 Salon (Le Salon de 1857).

The Novelist Emerges

In 1859, Verne and his wife embarked on the first of approximately 20 trips to the British Isles. The journey made a strong impression on Verne, inspiring him to pen Backwards to Britain (Voyage en Angleterre et en Écosse), although the novel wouldn't be published until well after his death. In 1861, the couple's only child, Michel Jean Pierre Verne, was born.

Verne's literary career had failed to gain traction to that point, but his luck would change with his introduction to editor and publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel in 1862. Verne was working on a novel that imbued a heavy dose of scientific research into an adventure narrative, and in Hetzel he found a champion for his developing style. In 1863, Hertzel published Five Weeks in a Balloon (Cinq semaines en ballon), the first of a series of adventure novels by Verne that would comprise his Voyages Extraordinaires. Verne subsequently signed a contract in which he would submit new works every year to the publisher, most of which would be serialized in Hetzel's Magasin d'Éducation et de Récréation.

Verne Hits His Stride

In 1864, Hetzel published The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (Voyage au centre de la Terre). That same year, Paris in the Twentieth Century (Paris au XXe siècle) was rejected for publication, but in 1865 Verne was back in print with From the Earth to the Moon (De la Terre à la Lune) and In Search of the Castaways (Les Enfants du capitaine Grant).

Inspired by his love of travel and adventure, Verne soon bought a ship, and he and his wife spent a good deal of time sailing the seas. Verne's own adventures sailing to various ports, from the British Isles to the Mediterranean, provided plentiful fodder for his short stories and novels. In 1867, Hetzel published Verne's Illustrated Geography of France and Her Colonies (Géographie illustrée de la France et de ses colonies), and that year Verne also traveled with his brother to the United States. He only stayed a week - managing a trip up the Hudson River to Albany, then on to Niagara Falls - but his visit to America made a lasting impact and was reflected in later works.

In 1869 and 1870, Hetzel published Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (Vingt mille lieues sous les mers), Around the Moon (Autour de la Lune) and Discovery of the Earth (Découverte de la Terre). By this point, Verne's works were being translated into English, and he could comfortably live on his writing.

Beginning in late 1872, the serialized version of Verne's famed Around the World in Eighty Days (Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) first appeared in print. The story of Phileas Fogg and Jean Passepartout takes readers on an adventurous global tour at a time when travel was becoming easier and alluring. In the century plus since its original debut, the work has been adapted for the theater, radio, television and film, including the classic 1956 version starring David Niven.

Verne remained prolific throughout the decade, penning The Mysterious Island (L’Île mystérieuse), The Survivors of the Chancellor (Le Chancellor), Michael Strogoff (Michel Strogoff), among other works.

Later Years, Death and Posthumous Works

Although he was enjoying immense professional success by the 1870s, Jules Verne began experiencing more strife in his personal life. His longtime publisher and collaborator Hetzel died a week later, and the following year his mother passed away as well. 

Verne did, however, continue to travel and write, churning out Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon (La Jangada) and Robur the Conqueror (Robur-le-conquérant) during this period. His writing soon became noted for a darker tone, with books like The Purchase of the North Pole (Sans dessus dessous), Propeller Island (L’Île à hélice) and Master of the World (Maître du monde) warning of dangers wrought by technology.

Having established his residence in the northern French city of Amiens, Verne began serving on its city council in 1888. Stricken with diabetes, he died at home on March 24, 1905.

However, his literary output didn't end there, as Michel assumed control of his father's uncompleted manuscripts. Over the following decade, The Lighthouse at the End of the World (Le Phare du bout du monde), The Golden Volcano (Le Volcan d’or) and The Chase of the Golden Meteor (La Chasse au météore) were all published following extensive revisions by Michel.

Additional works surfaced decades later. Backwards to Britain finally was printed in 1989, 130 years after it was written, and Paris in the Twentieth Century, originally considered too far-fetched with its depictions of skyscrapers, gas-fueled cars and mass transit systems, followed in 1994.

Legacy

In all, Verne authored more than 60 books (most notably the 54 novels comprising the Voyages Extraordinaires), as well as dozens of plays, short stories and librettos. He conjured hundreds of memorable characters and imagined countless innovations years before their time, including the submarine, space travel, terrestrial flight and deep-sea exploration.

His works of imagination, and the innovations and inventions contained within, have appeared in countless forms, from motion pictures to the stage, to television. Often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction," Jules Verne is the second most translated writer of all time (behind Agatha Christie), and his musings on scientific endeavors have sparked the imaginations of writers, scientists and inventors for over a century.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#238 2017-09-11 01:20:05

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 23,209

Re: crème de la crème

204. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Author Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 60 mystery stories featuring the wildly popular detective character Sherlock Holmes and his loyal assistant Watson.

Synopsis

On May 22, 1859, Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1890 his novel, A Study in Scarlet, introduced the character of Detective Sherlock Holmes. Doyle would go on to write 60 stories about Sherlock Holmes. He also strove to spread his Spiritualism faith through a series of books that were written from 1918 to 1926. Doyle died of a heart attack in Crowborough, England on July 7, 1930.

Early Life

On May 22, 1859, Arthur Conan Doyle was born to an affluent, strict Irish-Catholic family in Edinburgh, Scotland. Although Doyle's family was well-respected in the art world, his father, Charles, who was a life-long person, had few accomplishments to speak of. Doyle's mother, Mary, was a lively and well-educated woman who loved to read. She particularly delighted in telling her young son outlandish stories. Her great enthusiasm and animation while spinning wild tales sparked the child's imagination. As Doyle would later recall in his biography, "In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life."

At the age of 9, Doyle bid a tearful goodbye to his parents and was shipped off to England, where he would attend Hodder Place, Stonyhurst - a Jesuit preparatory school -  from 1868 to 1870. Doyle then went on to study at Stonyhurst College for the next five years. For Doyle, the boarding-school experience was brutal: many of his classmates bullied him, and the school practiced ruthless corporal punishment against its students. Over time, Doyle found solace in his flair for storytelling, and developed an eager audience of younger students.

Medical Education and Career

When Doyle graduated from Stonyhurst College in 1876, his parents expected that he would follow in his family's footsteps and study art, so they were surprised when he decided to pursue a medical degree at the University of Edinburgh instead. At med school, Doyle met his mentor, Professor Dr. Joseph Bell, whose keen powers of observation would later inspire Doyle to create his famed fictional detective character, Sherlock Holmes. At the University of Edinburgh, Doyle also had the good fortune to meet classmates and future fellow authors James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. While a medical student, Doyle took his own first stab at writing, with a short story called The Mystery of Sasassa Valley. That was followed by a second story, The American Tale, which was published in London Society.

During Doyle's third year of medical school, he took a ship surgeon's post on a whaling ship sailing for the Arctic Circle. The voyage awakened Doyle's sense of adventure, a feeling that he incorporated into a story, Captain of the Pole Star.

In 1880, Doyle returned to medical school. Back at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle became increasingly invested in Spiritualism or "Psychic religion," a belief system that he would later attempt to spread through a series of his written works. By the time he received his Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1881, Doyle had denounced his Roman Catholic faith.

Doyle's first paying job as a doctor took the form of a medical officer's position aboard the steamship Mayumba, travelling from Liverpool to Africa. After his stint on the Mayumba, Doyle settled in Plymouth, England for a time. When his funds were nearly tapped out, he relocated to Portsmouth and opened his first practice. He spent the next few years struggling to balance his burgeoning medical career with his efforts to gain recognition as an author. Doyle would later give up medicine altogether, in order to devote all of his attention to his writing and his faith.

Personal Life

In 1885, while still struggling to make it as a writer, Doyle met and married his first wife, Louisa Hawkins. The couple moved to Upper Wimpole Street and had two children, a daughter and a son. In 1893, Louisa was diagnosed with tuberculosis. While Louisa was ailing, Doyle developed an affection for a young woman named Jean Leckie. Louisa ultimately died of tuberculosis in Doyle's arms, in 1906. The following year, Doyle would remarry to Jean Leckie, with whom he would have two sons and a daughter.

Writing Career

In 1886, newly married and still struggling to make it as an author, Doyle started writing the mystery novel A Tangled Skein. Two years later, the novel was renamed A Study in Scarlet and published in Beeton's Christmas Annual. A Study in Scarlet, which first introduced the wildly popular characters Detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Watson, finally earned Doyle the recognition he had so desired. It was the first of 60 stories that Doyle would pen about Sherlock Holmes over the course of his writing career. Also, in 1887, Doyle submitted two letters about his conversion to Spiritualism to a weekly periodical called Light.

Doyle continued to actively participate in the Spiritualist movement from 1887 to 1916, during which time he wrote three books that experts consider largely autobiographical. These include Beyond the City (1893), The Stark Munro Letters (1895) and A Duet with an Occasional Chorus (1899). Upon achieving success as a writer, Doyle decided to retire from medicine. Throughout this period, he additionally produced a handful of historical novels including one about the Napoleonic Era called The Great Shadow in 1892, and his most famous historical novel, Rodney Stone, in 1896.

The prolific author also composed four of his most popular Sherlock Holmes books during the 1890s and early 1900s: The Sign of Four (1890), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892), The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and The Hound of Baskervilles, published in 1901. In 1893, to Doyle's readers' disdain, he had attempted to kill off his Sherlock Holmes character in order to focus more on writing about Spiritualism. In 1901, however, Doyle reintroduced Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of Baskervilles and later brought him back to life in The Adventure of the Empty House so the lucrative character could earn Doyle the money to fund his missionary work. Doyle also strove to spread his faith through a series of written works, consisting of The New Revolution (1918), The Vital Message (1919), The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921) and History of Spiritualism (1926).

In 1928, Doyle's final twelve stories about Sherlock Holmes were published in a compilation entitled The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.

Death

Having recently been diagnosed with Angina Pectoris, Doyle stubbornly ignored his doctor's warnings, and in the fall of 1929, embarked on a spiritualism tour through the Netherlands. He returned home with chest pains so severe that he needed to be carried on shore, and was thereafter almost entirely bedridden at his home in Crowborough, England. Rising one last time on July 7, 1930, Doyle collapsed and died in his garden while clutching his heart with one hand and holding a flower in the other.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#239 2017-09-13 00:54:52

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

205.  Joseph Aspdin

Joseph Aspdin (December 1778 - 20 March 1855) was an English cement manufacturer who obtained the patent for Portland cement on 21 October 1824.

Life

Aspdin (or Aspden) was the eldest of the six children of Thomas Aspdin, a bricklayer living in the Hunslet district of Leeds, Yorkshire. He was baptised on Christmas Day, 1778. He entered his father's trade, and married Mary Fotherby at Leeds Parish Church (the Parish Church of St Peter at Leeds) on 21 May 1811.

By 1817 he had set up in business on his own in central Leeds. He must have experimented with cement manufacture during the next few years, because on 21 October 1824 he was granted the British Patent BP 5022 entitled An Improvement in the Mode of Producing an Artificial Stone, in which he coined the term "Portland cement" by analogy with the Portland stone, an oolitic limestone that is quarried on the channel coast of England, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.

Almost immediately after this, in 1825, in partnership with a Leeds neighbour, William Beverley, he set up a production plant for this product in Kirkgate, Wakefield. Beverley stayed in Leeds, but Aspdin and his family moved to Wakefield (about nine miles away) at this point. He obtained a second patent, for a method of making lime, in 1825. The Kirkgate plant was closed in 1838 after compulsory purchase of the land by the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company, and the site was cleared. He moved his equipment to a second site nearby in Kirkgate.

At this time his eldest son James was working as an accountant in Leeds, and his younger son, William, was running the plant. However, in 1841, Joseph went into partnership with James, and posted a notice that William had left, and that the company would not be responsible for his debts, stating "I think it right to give notice that my late agent, William Aspdin, is not now in my employment, and that he is not authorised to receive any money, nor contract any debts on my behalf or on behalf of the new firm."

In 1843, William established his own plant at Rotherhithe, near London. There he introduced a new and substantially stronger cement, using a modified recipe for cement-making, the first "modern" Portland cement. In 1844 Joseph retired, transferring his share of the business to James. James moved to a third site at Ings Road in 1848, and this plant continued in operation until 1900. Joseph Aspdin died on 20 March 1855, at home in Wakefield.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#240 2017-09-15 00:14:00

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

206. Carl Wilhelm Scheele

Carl Wilhelm Scheele (December 9, 1742 - May 21, 1786), was a German-Swedish pharmaceutical chemist. He was a prolific scientist whose humble circumstances and equipment did not prevent him from making scores of important chemical discoveries. He was the first to discover oxygen and to produce chlorine gas. Yet, much of what he did had to be rediscovered because it was not appreciated by his fellow scientists. Although his name is not as well recognized as many of his contemporaries, his work had a major impact on the development of chemistry.

Biography

Scheele was born in Swedenborn in Stralsund, Western Pomerania, Germany, which was at the time under Swedish rule. He was one of eleven children of a merchant, Joachim Christian Scheele. At age 14, he adopted the vocation of a pharmacist in the establishment of Martin Anders Bauch of Gothenburg. His brother had also worked for Bauer but died three years before Scheele began his apprenticeship. Scheele served for the first six years as a pupil, and three additional years as an assistant. During this period, he availed himself of Bauer's fine library, and by study and practice acquired an advanced knowledge of the chemistry of his day. It is said that he studied at the pharmacy after hours, and while conducting experiments late one evening, he triggered an explosion that shook the house and disturbed its occupants. Scheele was told to look for work elsewhere.

He then was hired as an apothecary's clerk in Kalstom's establishment in Malmö, where he remained for two years. He then served in the establishment of Scharenberg in Stockholm. At this time, he submitted a memoir on the discovery of tartaric acid, but it was rejected by the Swedish Academy of Sciences as he was not well known at the time. This is said to have discouraged Scheele and made him reticent to contact those who would have most appreciated his work. He would not become a member of the academy until he was 33.

International reputation

Scheele's career as a scientist dates to his work in Stockholm. After spending six years there, Scheele transferred to the shop of Look in Uppsala, in 1773. It was during this time that he is said to have met the famous Swedish chemist Torbern Olof Bergman, professor of chemistry at the University of Uppsala. As the story goes, Scheele's employer, who supplied Bergman with his chemicals, brought Bergman to the pharmacy to consult Scheele on a matter that had been mystifying him. Scheele offered a clear explanation, and in other ways demonstrated a depth of understanding of chemical phenomena of all kinds. Besides befriending Scheele, Bergman was instrumental in bringing Scheele's accomplishments to the attention of the scientific community, and in having his work published. Scheele thus began to earn an international reputation, and corresponded with the likes of Henry Cavendish, of Great Britain, and Antoine Lavoisier, of France.

Later years

In 1775, Scheele hoped to purchase a pharmacy so that he could work independently. His first attempts to acquire a business were unsuccessful, but they led to many invitations to do research and teach in a variety of European capitals. Scheele turned these offers down, preferring to remain in a profession he knew well and that provided sufficiently for his expenses. After a year's delay, he was successful in purchasing a shop in Koping from Sara Margaretha Sonneman, who had inherited it from her late husband, Hinrich Pascher Pohls. Scheele found that the establishment was saddled with debt, which he succeeded in paying off by diligent attention to his business affairs over a number of years. During this time, he and Pohls's widow kept house together for the sake of economy. He eventually married her, only a few days before his death. Scheele managed to retire the entire debt of his new business, and was able to build himself a new home and laboratory. One of his sisters came to assist Scheele in managing the pharmacy and household. Thus they were able to live fairly comfortably for Scheele's remaining years.

During the last decade of his life, Scheele was often visited by scientists who tried to probe his fertile mind. Scheele preferred to entertain in his laboratory or at his pharmacy, and traveled little.

He suffered from gout and rheumatism, but continued his scientific work up to the final month of his life. His illness was probably brought on by his constant exposure to the poisonous compounds he worked with. He died on May 21, 1786.

Accomplishments

Discovery of oxygen

Unlike scientists such as Antoine Lavoisier and Isaac Newton, who were more widely recognized, Scheele had a humble position in a small town, and yet he was still able to make many scientific discoveries. He preferred his small dwelling to the grandeur of an extravagant house. Scheele made many discoveries in chemistry before others who are generally given the credit. One of Scheele's most famous discoveries was oxygen produced as a by-product in a number of experiments in which he heated chemicals, during 1771-1772. Scheele, though, was not the one to name or define oxygen; that job would later be bestowed upon Antoine Lavoisier.

Before Scheele made his discovery of oxygen, he studied air. Air was thought to be an element that made up the environment in which chemical reactions took place but did not interfere with the reactions. Scheele's investigation of air enabled him to conclude that air was a mixture of "fire air" and "foul air;" in other words, a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, the one breathable, the other not. He performed numerous experiments in which he burned substances such as saltpeter (potassium nitrate), manganese dioxide, heavy metal nitrates, silver carbonate and mercuric oxide. However, his findings were not published until 1777 in the treatise, Chemical Treatise on Air and Fire By then, both Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier had already published their experimental data and conclusions concerning oxygen. In his treatise, Scheele also distinguished heat transfer by thermal radiation from that by convection or conduction.

Scheele's study of "fire air" (oxygen) was sparked by a complaint by Torbern Olof Bergman. Bergman informed Scheele that the saltpeter he purchased from Scheele's employer produced red vapors when it came into contact with acid. Scheele's quick explanation for the vapors led Bergman to suggest that Scheele analyze the properties of manganese dioxide. It was through his studies with manganese dioxide that Scheele developed his concept of "fire air." He ultimately obtained oxygen by heating mercuric oxide, silver carbonate, magnesium nitrate, and saltpeter. Scheele wrote about his findings to Lavoisier who was able to grasp the significance of the results.

Other discoveries

In addition to his joint recognition for the discovery of oxygen, Scheele is argued to have been the first to discover other chemical elements such as barium (1774), manganese (1774), molybdenum (1778), and tungsten (1781), as well as several chemical compounds, including citric acid, glycerol, hydrogen cyanide (also known, in aqueous solution, as prussic acid), hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulfide. In addition, he discovered a process similar to pasteurization, along with a means of mass-producing phosphorus (1769), leading Sweden to become one of the world's leading producers of matches. In 1775, Scheele discovered the mineral pigment copper math, known afterwards as Scheele's Green. The compound was generally replaced by pigments of lower toxicity.

Scheele made one other very important scientific discovery in 1774, arguably more revolutionary than his isolation of oxygen. He identified lime, silica, and iron, in a specimen of pyrolusite given to him by his friend, Johann Gottlieb Gahn, but could not identify an additional component. When he treated the pyrolusite with hydrochloric acid over a warm sand bath, a yellow-green gas with a strong odor was produced. He found that the gas sank to the bottom of an open bottle and was denser than ordinary air. He also noted that the gas was not soluble in water. It turned corks a yellow color and removed all color from wet, blue litmus paper and some flowers. He called this gas with bleaching abilities, "dephlogisticated acid of salt." Eventually, Sir Humphry Davy named the gas chlorine.

Scheele and the phlogiston theory

By the time he was a teenager, Scheele had learned the dominant theory on gases in the 1770s, the phlogiston theory. Phlogiston was classified as "matter of fire." The theory stated that any material that was able to burn would release phlogiston during combustion and would stop burning when all the phlogiston had been released. When Scheele discovered oxygen, he called it "fire air" because it supported combustion. He explained oxygen in terms of the phlogiston theory, which he accepted.

Historians of science generally accept that Scheele was the first to discover oxygen, among a number of prominent scientists - namely, his contemporaries Antoine Lavoisier, Joseph Black, and Joseph Priestley. It was determined that Scheele made the discovery three years prior to Joseph Priestley and at least several before Lavoisier. Priestley relied heavily on Scheele's work, perhaps so much so that he may not have made the discovery of oxygen on his own. Correspondence between Lavoisier and Scheele indicate that Scheele achieved interesting results without the advanced laboratory equipment that Lavoisier employed. Through the studies of Lavoisier, Joseph Priestley, Scheele, and others, chemistry was made a standardized field with consistent procedures.

Legacy

In many ways, Scheele was far ahead of his time. Much of what he did had to be rediscovered because it was not appreciated by his immediate contemporaries. His insight into radiant heat and his discovery of chlorine gas are just two instances where his work was entirely glossed over and had to be rediscovered by others. He discovered oxygen before Priestley and Lavoisier, and this discovery became an essential stepping-stone toward invalidation of the long-held phlogiston theory. He made important forays into organic chemistry, a field that would not open up until 40 years after his death. Scheele was one of the pioneers of analytical chemistry. All of this was accomplished with a minimum amount of equipment, most of which he designed himself.

Although credit for many of his discoveries goes to others, and his name does not command the same level of recognition as many of his contemporaries, his accomplishments were of great importance to chemistry, and had a major impact on its development.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#241 2017-09-17 00:28:32

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

207. William Herschel

Scouring the heavens with his sister, Caroline, Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus and several moons around other gas giants. In the course of his studies of the night sky, he also compiled a catalog of 2,500 celestial objects that is still in use today. But it wasn't until his mid-30s that he began to turn his eyes to the expanse above; he started his professional life as a musician.

A musical beginning

Born in Germany as Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel, the astronomer was the son of Anna Ilse Moritzen and Issak Herschel. His father was a military musician, and young William played in the same band in his early years. In 1759, Herschel left Germany for England, where he taught music before becoming an organist.

In 1772, William's sister, Caroline, moved to England to live with her brother and train as a singer. During this time, Herschel's interest in astronomy grew significantly. He rented a small telescope, and his desire to own a larger instrument led him to the process of grinding and polishing his own mirrors.

Caroline never married, but served as his assistant until Herschel's death. She was the first woman to discover a comet, ultimately finding eight. She also discovered several deep-sky objects and was the first woman to be given a paid scientific position and to receive an honorary membership into the Royal Society.

In 1788, at the age of 50, Herschel married the widow Mary Pitt. Their son, John, was born in 1792, and followed in his father's astronomical footsteps.

Searching the skies

On March 13, 1781, Herschel noticed a small object that, over the course of several nights, was slowly moving across the sky. At first he thought he had found a comet, but further observation revealed that the object was a planet. Herschel lobbied to name the new body 'Georgium Sidus', after King George III, but it was eventually named Uranus after the Greek god of the sky. As a result of his discovery, the monarch knighted Herschel and appointed him to the position of court astronomer. The attached pension allowed him to conclude his musical career and focus his full attention on the skies.

When Herschel was subsequently elected a member of the prestigious Royal Society, he received a copy of Charles Messier's "Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters," a list of diverse nebulae in the night sky. The catalog piqued his interest, and he began to examine the fuzzy objects.

On Oct. 23, 1783, he began a sky survey of his own, standing on a ladder while peering through his telescope and describing the objects he saw to his sister, Caroline. By pointing the stationary telescope at a single strip of the sky, he was able to observe east-west bands over the course of the night. The next night, he would adjust his telescope to a higher or lower point and observe another parallel strip. Eventually, he examined the entire swatch of sky that could be seen over Great Britain.

Over 20 years, he observed 2,500 new nebulae and star clusters and recorded them in "The General Catalogue of Nebulae." The catalog was eventually enlarged and renamed the "New General Catalogue," and many non-stellar objects are identified by their NGC numbers. Of the 7,840 nebulae and clusters in the catalog today, 4,630 were discovered by Herschel and his son.

In 1789, Herschel finished construction on 40-foot-long (12 meters) telescope, the largest of the day. But the unwieldy instrument came with a number of problems, and Herschel tended to use the smaller, 20-foot (6-meter) telescope.

Herschel discovered several moons around the gas giants. In 1787, he discovered two moons around Uranus: Titania and Oberon. In 1789, using his larger telescope, he found Saturn's sixth and seventh moons, Enceladus and Mimas. [Meet Mimas: Saturn's Death Star Moon]

In 1800, Herschel performed a simple experiment determining the temperature of the different colors of sunlight passed through a prism. He noticed the region just beyond the red color was even higher than light in the visible spectrum, and used his measurements to deduce the presence of what is now known to be infrared radiation. The European Space Agency's infrared space observatory was subsequently named for him.

Herschel proposed the name "asteroids" for the large bodies discovered in 1801. He was elected vice president of the newly formed Royal Astronomical Society in 1820 and president the following year. His last published paper cataloged 145 double stars.

Herschel died in England on Aug. 25, 1822, at the age of 84. Craters on the moon, Mars, and Mimas are named for the astronomer. The asteroid 2000 Herschel bears his name, and the symbol for the planet Uranus features the capital letter H in his honor.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#242 2017-09-19 01:58:02

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

208. Jacques Charles

Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles was a mathematician and physicist remembered for his pioneering work with gases and hydrogen balloon flights. Charles was born on November 12, 1746, in Beaugency, Loiret, France; his first occupation was as a clerk at the Ministry of Finance in Paris. However, his interests eventually turned to science.

In the late 1700s ballooning became a major preoccupation of France and other industrialized nations. In early June 1783 the Montgolfier brothers launched the first successful hot-air balloon in Paris. Charles, who was interested in aeronautics, understood the concept of buoyancy and also was aware of Henry Cavendish's discovery of hydrogen, an element some fourteen times lighter than air, seventeen years earlier. On August 27, 1783, Charles launched the first hydrogen-filled balloon using gas produced by the reaction of sulfuric acid on iron filings. Among the 50,000 witnesses of this event was Benjamin Franklin, then residing in Paris as the U.S. ambassador to France. When the balloon returned to Earth in the French countryside, it was reportedly attacked with axes and pitchforks by terrified peasants who believed it to be a monster from the skies. On November 21 of that same year the Montgolfier brothers launched the first hot-air balloon with humans aboard, managing an altitude of less than 30 meters (98 feet). Charles, with the aid of brothers Nicholas and Aine Jean Robert, became the first human to ascend in a hydrogen balloon just ten days later. A far greater height of almost 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) was attained thanks to the superior lift of the hydrogen balloon Charles had designed and helped build.

Charles is best known for his studies on how the volume of gases changes with temperature. The English scientist Robert Boyle had many years earlier determined the inverse relationship between the volume V and pressure P of a gas when temperature T is held constant. In 1662 he published the results that would later come to be known as Boyle's law ( V α 1/ P at constant T ). During the winter of 1787 Charles studied oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide and found that the volume of all these gases increased identically with higher temperature when pressure was held constant ( V α T at constant P ). Charles did not publish the results of his work at the time, but another French scientist, Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, eventually learned of them. When Gay-Lussac did more extensive and precise experiments and published his similar findings in 1802 (as did the English scientist John Dalton), he acknowledged Charles's original work. Thus, the law governing the thermal expansion of gases, although sometimes called Gay-Lussac's law, is more commonly known as Charles's law.

While most of Charles's papers were on mathematics, he was ultimately an avid scientist and inventor. He duplicated a number of experiments that Franklin and others had completed on electricity and designed several instruments, including a new type of hydrometer for measuring densities and a reflecting goniometer for measuring the angles of crystals. Charles was elected to France's Academy of Sciences in 1785 and later became professor of physics at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. He died in Paris on April 7, 1823.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#243 2017-09-21 01:24:18

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

209. Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel was a French engineer who designed and oversaw construction of the Eiffel Tower.

Quotes - “I ought to be jealous of the tower. It is more famous than I am.” - Gustave Eiffel

Synopsis

Gustave Eiffel began to specialize in constructing with metal after college, and his early work focused chiefly on bridges. In 1879, the chief engineer on the Statue of Liberty died and Eiffel was hired to replace him, going on to design the metallic skeleton of the structure. In 1882, Eiffel began work on the Garabit viaduct, which was, at the time, the highest bridge in the world. Soon thereafter, he began work on what would become known as the Eiffel Tower, the structure that would cement his name in history.

Early Life

Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was born in Dijon, France on December 15, 1832. Interested in construction at an early age, he attended the École Polytechnique and later the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures (College of Art and Manufacturing) in Paris, from which he graduated in 1855. Setting out on his career, Eiffel specialized in metal construction, most notably bridges. He worked on several over the next few decades, letting mathematics find ways to build lighter, stronger structures.

Early Projects

One of Eiffel's first projects came in 1858, when he oversaw the building of an iron bridge at Bordeaux, and by 1866 Eiffel had set up his own company. By the time he designed the arched Gallery of Machines for the Paris Exhibition of 1867, his reputation was solidified. In 1876, he designed the 525-foot steel-arched Ponte Maria Pia Bridge over the Douro River in Oporto, Portugal, which was completed the following year. Working from the same design nearly 20 years later, he built the renowned 540-foot Garabit viaduct in Truyère, France. Suspended 400 feet above the surface of the water, it was the highest bridge in the world for years after its construction.

As his career advanced, Eiffel moved away from bridge work, such as in 1879 when he created the dome for the astronomical observatory in Nice, France, notable in that the dome was movable. That same year, when the Statue of Liberty's initial internal engineer, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, unexpectedly died, Eiffel was hired to replace him on the project. He created a new support system for the statue that would rely on a skeletal structure instead of weight to support the copper skin. Eiffel and his team built the statue from the ground up and then dismantled it for its journey to New York Harbor.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel is most famous for what would become known as the Eiffel Tower, which was begun in 1887 for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. The tower is composed of 12,000 different components and 2,500,000 rivets, all designed and assembled to handle wind pressure. The structure is a marvel in material economy, which Eiffel perfected in his years of building bridges - if it were melted down, the tower's metal would only fill up its base about two and a half inches deep.

Onlookers were both awed that Eiffel could build the world's tallest structure (at 984 feet) in just two years and torn by the tower's unique design, most deriding it as hideously modern and useless. Despite the tower's immediate draw as a tourist attraction, only years later did critics and Parisians begin to view the structure as a work of art.

The tower also directed Eiffel's interest to the field of aerodynamics, and he used the structure for several experiments and built the first aerodynamic laboratory at its base, later moving the lab to the outskirts of Paris. The lab included a wind tunnel, and Eiffel's work there influenced some of the first aviators, including the Wright Brothers. Eiffel went on to write several books on aerodynamics, most notably Resistance of the Air and Aviation, first published in 1907.

Eiffel turned his interest to meteorology in his final years, studying the subject at length before his death on December 27, 1923.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#244 Today 00:31:03

ganesh
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Posts: 23,209

Re: crème de la crème

210.  Alan Kay

Alan Curtis Kay was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 17, 1940. His father designed arm and leg prostheses, and his mother, a musician, taught Alan how to play. Kay grew up in an environment of art, literature, and science. He could read by the age of three and had read about 150 books before he started school. His family later moved to New York City where he attended Brooklyn Technical High School.

He started college, but left before graduation to join the air force. There he discovered computers and passed an aptitude test to become an IBM 1401 programmer. He gained experience working with a number of different machines, including the Burroughs B500. From this air force experience, Kay learned that a program can be designed with procedures that don’t know how the data are represented. This idea supported later development of object-oriented programming languages.

After the air force, Kay went back to the University of Colorado. In 1966, he earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics and molecular biology from the University of Colorado. He also worked as a professional jazz guitarist. He then went to the University of Utah where he was awarded MS in Electrical Engineering and, in 1969, a Ph.D. in Computer Science. Much computer science research there was financed by the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), and Kay was one of the many graduate students who attended ARPA-sponsored conferences and contributed to ARPA research and projects such as time-sharing and the ARPAnet, the forerunner of the Internet.

At the University of Utah, graduate students were encouraged to work on practical computing projects. Kay teamed up with Edward Cheadle, who was working on the design of a small computer for engineers. Together they designed “FLEX” to have sharp graphics and windowing features, and called it a “personal computer.”

While working on FLEX, Kay witnessed Douglas Engelbart’s demonstration of interactive computing designed to support collaborative work groups. Engelbart’s vision influenced Kay to adopt graphical interfaces, hypertext, and the mouse. Other influences were JOSS, a system that supported 12 personal workstations; GRAIL, a project designed to support human-computer communication through modeless computing; Understanding Media, a book written by Marshall McLuhan that describes the internalization of media; Logo, a project designed to help children learn through computers; and flat panel screen displays.

After considering these technologies and ideas, Kay made a cardboard mock-up of a tablet-style personal computer with a flat-panel display screen and a stylus. The technology of the time could not capture Kay’s vision for personal computing, but he knew from Moore’s law that eventually it would. Kay continued working on the FLEX project and finished his doctoral work in 1969. His thesis was called the “Reactive Engine.”

After graduating from Utah, Kay became a researcher at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and developed programming languages. He began to think of a future with book-sized computers. Influenced by the Logo project, he particularly wanted to see how children would use them, and made sketches of “KiddieKomputers”. These ideas were later integrated into the design of the Alto computer.

In 1971 Kay joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). PARC had been started by the Xerox Corporation in 1970 to do long-term research for “the office of the future.” Kay was hired to run The Learning Research Group, and he established the following goals:

1. Create examples of how small computers could be used in different subject areas;

2. Examine how small computers could help to expand the user’s visual and auditory skills;

3. Let children spend time learning about computers and experiment with personal ways to understand computer processes;

4. Report on children’s unexpected uses of the computer and its software.

Kay was a visionary force at Xerox PARC in the development of tools that transformed computers into a new major communication medium. His credo was, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” One of his visionary concepts was the Dynabook, a powerful and portable electronic device the size of a three-ring notebook with a touch-sensitive liquid crystal screen and a keyboard for entering information. Kay is recognized for inventing ideas that became the future. Laptops, notebook computers, and tablets have roots in the early concepts of the Dynabook.

Kay also realized that computers could become a “metamedium” - that it could incorporate all other media. As a new medium, computers could have the same impact as the Gutenberg printing press. McLuhan’s ideas about the cultural impact of the printing press influenced Kay’s choice of the name “Dynabook,” because computers produce dynamic representations of information rather than static book pages.

People needed a method for interacting with the new computer medium. To help with this, Kay and the members of his lab created graphical interfaces and the Smalltalk programming language.

Kay’s philosophy for designing interfaces was based on the learning research of Jerome Bruner, who was influenced by Jean Piaget. Continuing the research, Bruner contended that the mind has multiple intelligences. Using learning theory in interface design helped Kay’s develop computer technology that children could use.

Bruner argued for the existence of different learning mentalities, which suggested to Kay a model for interface design called ‘Doing With Images makes Symbols.” The “doing” was interacting with a mouse, the “images” were icons on the computer screen, and the “symbols” were the SmallTalk programming language.

SmallTalk was originally designed as a graphical programming language. However, it soon became a complete integrated programming environment with a debugger, object-oriented virtual memory, an editor, screen management, and user interface. SmallTalk was the first dynamic object-oriented programming language. It ran on the Alto computer, envisioned by Butler Lampson and designed by Charles P. Thacker  (both Turing Award recipients). The Alto was a step in the direction of small powerful personal computers, and it was considered an interim Dynabook.

Kay left Xerox PARC in the early 1980s to move to Los Angeles. In 1983, Kay worked for Atari for a year before joining Apple Computer. While at Apple, his research team developed Squeak, an open-source SmallTalk language. In 1997 Kay moved his team to Disney’s Imagineering division to continue his work on Squeak. Five years later, he established Viewpoints Research Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting educational media for children.

Kay also held the position of Senior Fellow at Hewlett-Packard until 2005. He has taught classes at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications program, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Kyoto University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alan Kay is considered by some as the “father of personal computers” because he envisioned a small computing system in the 1970’s, long before notebook computers were available. The One Laptop per Child program and the Children’s Machine have adopted his concepts about children and learning. His most important contribution to computer science is his commitment to turning the computer into a dynamic personal medium that supports creative thought. He continues to explore ways in which computers can be accessible to children.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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