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#276 2017-12-06 00:39:41

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

243) Otto von Guericke

Otto von Guericke, (born Nov. 20, 1602, Magdeburg, Prussian Saxony [now in Germany]—died May 11, 1686, Hamburg), German physicist, engineer, and natural philosopher who invented the first air pump and used it to study the phenomenon of vacuum and the role of air in combustion and respiration.

Guericke was educated at the University of Leipzig and studied law at the University of Jena in 1621 and mathematics and mechanics at the University of Leyden in 1623. In 1631 he became an engineer in the army of Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden, and from 1646 to 1681 he was bürgermeister (mayor) of Magdeburg and magistrate for Brandenburg.

In 1650 Guericke invented the air pump, which he used to create a partial vacuum. His studies revealed that light travels through a vacuum but sound does not. In 1654, in a famous series of experiments that were performed before Emperor Ferdinand III at Regensburg, Guericke placed two copper bowls (Magdeburg hemispheres) together to form a hollow sphere about 35.5 cm (14 inches) in diameter. After he had removed the air from the sphere, horses were unable to pull the bowls apart, even though they were held together only by the air around them. The tremendous force that air pressure exerts was thus first demonstrated.

In 1663 he invented the first electric generator, which produced static electricity by applying friction against a revolving ball of sulfur. In 1672 he discovered that the electricity thus produced could cause the surface of the sulfur ball to glow; hence, he became the first man to view electroluminescence. Guericke also studied astronomy and predicted that comets would return regularly from outer space.

Otto_Von_Guerickea.JPG


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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#277 2017-12-08 00:42:03

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

244) John Harrison

John Harrison, (born March 1693, Foulby, Yorkshire, Eng.—died March 24, 1776, London), English horologist who invented the first practical marine chronometer, which enabled navigators to compute accurately their longitude at sea.

Harrison, the son of a carpenter and a mechanic himself, became interested in constructing an accurate chronometer in 1728. Several unfortunate disasters at sea, caused ostensibly by poor navigation, prompted the British government to create a Board of Longitude empowered to award £20,000 to the first man who developed a chronometer with which longitude could be calculated within half a degree at the end of a voyage to the West Indies. Harrison completed his first chronometer in 1735 and submitted it for the prize. He then built three more instruments, each smaller and more accurate than its predecessor. In 1762 Harrison’s famous No. 4 marine chronometer was found to be in error by only five seconds (1 1/4′ longitude) after a voyage to Jamaica. Although his chronometers all met the standards set up by the Board of Longitude, he was not awarded any money until 1763, when he received £5,000, and not until 1773 was he paid in full. The only feature of his chronometers retained by later manufacturers was a device that keeps the clock running while it is being wound.

Harrison.jpg


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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#278 2017-12-10 00:19:34

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

245) Benjamin Spock

Benjamin Spock, in full Benjamin McLane Spock, byname Dr. Spock (born May 2, 1903, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.—died March 15, 1998, La Jolla, California), American pediatrician whose books on child-rearing, especially his Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946; 6th ed., 1992), influenced generations of parents and made his name a household word.

Spock received his medical degree in 1929 from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and trained for six years at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He practiced pediatrics in New York City while teaching the subject at the Cornell University Medical College from 1933 to 1947. Spock wrote Baby and Child Care partly to counteract the rigid pediatric doctrines of his day, which emphasized strict feeding schedules for infants and discouraged open displays of affection between parent and child. Spock, by contrast, encouraged understanding and flexibility on the part of parents, and he stressed the importance of listening to children and appreciating their individual differences. From its first appearance in 1946, Baby and Child Care served as the definitive child-rearing manual for millions of American parents in the “baby boom” that followed World War II. Spock’s approach was criticized as overly permissive by a minority of physicians, and he was even blamed for having helped form the generation of young Americans that protested the Vietnam War and launched the youth counterculture movement of the 1960s.

Spock taught child development at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1955 to 1967, when he resigned in order to devote himself more fully to the antiwar movement. Spock’s bitter opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War during the 1960s led to his trial and conviction (1968) for counseling draft evasion—a conviction overturned on appeal. In 1972 he was the presidential candidate of the pacifist People’s Party.

Spock’s many other books on child care include Dr. Spock Talks with Mothers (1961), Raising Children in a Difficult Time (1974), and Dr. Spock on Parenting (1988). He also wrote Decent and Indecent: Our Personal and Political Behavior (1970). In 1989 Spock on Spock: A Memoir of Growing Up with the Century, edited by Spock’s second wife, Mary Morgan, was published. By the time Spock died in 1998, his Baby and Child Care had sold nearly 50 million copies worldwide and been translated into 39 languages.

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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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#279 2017-12-16 00:27:55

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

246) Walter Hunt

Walter Hunt (July 29, 1796 to June 8, 1859) was brought up on a small farm located in Lewis County New York. After beginning his formal education, Hunt shortly dropped these endeavors, where he then took up farming. Despite these humble beginnings, the farm life would not prove to be enough to suppress the ever-active mind of Mr. Walter Hunt.

Perhaps the first time in which Hunt’s mind was sparked by the motivation to innovate came when he started working in a textile mill. While there, Hunt would work to improve the existing flax spinning machine, which would later be patented. This patent however, did not include Hunt’s name, which almost served as a foreshadowing for the rest of his humble yet inventive life.

Walter’s first inventions

In 1826, Walter Hunt took it upon himself to create an even more efficient spinning machine, of which he was eventually able to patent. Around this time, the inventor married his long-time sweetheart, which came at around the time when Hunt was on the search for investors for his improved flax spinning machine.

When he wasn’t able to secure any investments (some say this was the cause of his lack of formal education), Walter and his newfound family moved from their roots to New York with funds obtained after Hunt sold his first patent.

Soon after Hunt made the move, he was able to secure yet another patent the following year. The invention consisted of a foot-operated gong, a response to a time in which Hunt witnessed a small girl being hit by a horse-drawn carriage.

The invention was brought about as a safer way to alert pedestrians and other carriages on the road, in that the conventional air horn of the time required drivers to take one hand off of the reigns. As indicated by his earlier patent, Hunt again sold this patent as a way to provide for his growing family (all said and done, Hunt and his wife would have four children).

This proved to be vicious cycle, as Hunt was always in need of funds as a means for supplying his family with food, and would begin to take its toll as Walter again and again strived for investments with little to no luck.

The safety pin

Years later, as a way to pay a $15 debt (a little over $400 today) to a draftsmen by the name of J.R Chapin, Hunt created an all-the-more cost effective safety pin. This was thanks to its simple design that utilized only one piece of wire, as well as a tiny spring to allow for secure clasping. Hunt went on to sell this patent for nearly $400 (around $11,000 today).

It’s important to note that Walter Hunt was responsible for a plethora of inventions in his lifetime, with only a small amount being mentioned here. This being said, Walter was also noted as filing and obtaining a patent for the “volitional repeater” in 1849, an invention that got Hunt’s foot in the door of the arms industry.

The technology made use of previous ideas, and would later be sold to an entrepreneur by the name of George Arrowsmith. Although groundbreaking for its time, the design did prove to have its faults. This would serve as a springboard for further innovation, as the patent was later taken on by the Robins and Lawrence Arms Company, with the team consisting of Benjamin Tyler Henry, Horace Smith, and Daniel B. Wesson. Ultimately, members of the group would then form the well-known arms company, Smith and Wesson.

A forgotten legacy

On June 8th, in the year of 1859, Walter Hunt passed away. He left behind him years of innovations, of which are still used today. Other notable inventions included an innovative saw, portable knife sharpener, efficient oil lamp as well as an all-in-one fountain pen. This humble man, much like the aforementioned Gutenberg, Gates, and Jobs, was a man that would not stop at mediocre. Such served as the recurring theme of his entire life. Although many haven’t heard of this amazing inventor, he will go down as one of the most prolific inventors of all time.

WalterHunt.jpg


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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#280 2017-12-18 01:45:45

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

247) Jan Oort

Jan Oort, in full Jan Hendrik Oort, (born April 28, 1900, Franeker, Netherlands—died November 5, 1992, Leiden), Dutch astronomer who was one of the most important figures in 20th-century efforts to understand the nature of the Milky Way Galaxy.

After studies at the University of Groningen, Oort was appointed astronomer to the Leiden Observatory in 1924 and became director in 1945, a position he held until 1970. In 1925 Bertil Lindblad of Sweden had advanced the theory that the Milky Way rotates in its own plane around the centre of the galaxy. Oort was able to confirm this theory in 1927 through his own direct observations of star velocities in the galaxy, and he modified the theory substantially into the form used thereafter.

Oort’s subsequent work, as well as that of the school of astronomy he developed in the Netherlands, was directed toward strengthening and testing the Lindblad-Oort theory. Soon after having become a professor at the University of Leiden (1935), he determined by radio astronomy that the Sun is 30,000 light-years from the centre of the galaxy and takes 225 million years to complete an orbit around it. The discovery in 1951 of the 21-cm radio waves generated by hydrogen in interstellar space provided him with a new method for mapping the spiral structure of the galaxy.

In 1950 Oort proposed that comets originate from a vast cloud of small bodies that orbit the Sun at a distance of about one light-year, and the approach of other stars toward this cloud alters some comets’ orbits so that they pass close to the Sun. The existence of this region, which was named the Oort Cloud, eventually came to be accepted by most astronomers.

From 1958 to 1961 Oort was president of the International Astronomical Union, of which he had been general secretary from 1935 to 1948.

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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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#281 2017-12-19 14:51:37

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

248) Louis Braille

Louis Braille, (born January 4, 1809, Coupvray, near Paris, France—died January 6, 1852, Paris), French educator who developed a system of printing and writing, called Braille, that is extensively used by the blind.

Braille was himself blinded at the age of three in an accident that occurred while he was playing with tools in his father’s harness shop. A tool slipped and plunged into his right eye. Sympathetic ophthalmia and total blindness followed. Nevertheless, he became a notable musician and excelled as an organist. Upon receiving a scholarship, he went in 1819 to Paris to attend the National Institute for Blind Children, and from 1826 he taught there.

Braille became interested in a system of writing, exhibited at the school by Charles Barbier, in which a message coded in dots symbolizing phonetic sounds was embossed on cardboard. When he was 15, he worked out an adaptation, written with a simple instrument, that met the needs of the sightless. He later took this system, which consists of a six-dot code in various combinations, and adapted it to musical notation. He published a treatise on his type system in 1829, and in 1837 he published a three-volume Braille edition of a popular history schoolbook.

During the last years of his life Braille was ill with tuberculosis. A century after his death, Braille’s remains (minus his hands, which were kept in his birthplace of Coupvray) were moved to Paris for burial in the Panthéon.

louis-braille.jpg


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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#282 2017-12-21 02:29:18

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

249) Robert Goddard

Robert Goddard, in full Robert Hutchings Goddard, (born October 5, 1882, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.—died August 10, 1945, Baltimore, Maryland), American professor and inventor generally acknowledged to be the father of modern rocketry. He published his classic treatise, A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, in 1919.

Early Life And Training

Goddard was the only child of a bookkeeper, salesman, and machine-shop owner of modest means. The boy had a genteel upbringing and in early youth felt the excitement of the post-Civil War Industrial Revolution when Worcester factories were producing machinery and goods for the burgeoning country. From childhood on he displayed great curiosity about physical phenomena and a bent toward inventiveness. He read in physics and mechanics and dreamed of great inventions.

In 1898 young Goddard’s imagination was fired by the H.G. Wells space-fiction novel War of the Worlds, then serialized in the Boston Post. Shortly thereafter, as he recounted, he actually dreamed of constructing a workable space-flight machine. On October 19, 1899, a day that became his “Anniversary Day,” he climbed a cherry tree in his backyard and “imagined how wonderful it would be to make some device which had even the possibility of ascending to Mars…when I descended the tree,” he wrote in his diary, “existence at last seemed very purposive.”

Goddard’s fascination with space flight and the means of attaining it continued into his college years at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In an assigned theme, “Travelling in 1950,” he was also intrigued with the notion of “the fastest possible travel for living bodies on the earth’s surface” and projected a plan for travel inside a steel vacuum tube in which cars were suspended and driven by the attraction and repulsion of electromagnets. Patents on a vacuum-tube system of transport were later granted the inventor, with thrust—acceleration and deceleration—the chief principle.

Research In Massachusetts

In 1908 Goddard began a long association with Clark University, Worcester, where he earned his doctorate, taught physics, and carried out rocket experiments. In his small laboratory there, he was the first to prove that thrust and consequent propulsion can take place in a vacuum, needing no air to push against. He was the first to explore mathematically the ratios of energy and thrust per weight of various fuels, including liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. He was also the first to develop a rocket motor using liquid fuels (liquid oxygen and gasoline), as used in the German V-2 rocket weapon 15 years later. In a small structure adjoining his laboratory, a liquid-propelled rocket in a static test in 1925 “operated satisfactorily and lifted its own weight,” he wrote. On March 16, 1926, the world’s first flight of a liquid-propelled rocket engine took place on his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts, achieving a brief lift-off.

As is frequently the case with scientific theory and invention, developments proceeded in various parts of the world. In achieving lift-off of his small but sophisticated rocket engine, Goddard carried his experiments further than did the Russian and German space pioneers of the day. While Goddard was engaged in building models of a space-bound vehicle, he was unaware that an obscure schoolteacher in a remote village of Russia was equally fascinated by the potential for space flight. In 1903 Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky wrote “Investigations of Space by Means of Rockets,” which many years later was hailed by the Soviet Union as the forerunner of space flight. The other member of the pioneer space trio—Hermann Oberth of Germany—published his space–flight treatise, Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen, in 1923, four years after the appearance of Goddard’s early monograph.

Goddard’s early tests and others were modestly financed over a period of several years by the Smithsonian Institution, whose secretary, Charles G. Abbot, had responded to Goddard’s appeal for financial support. In 1929, following an aborted and noisy flight test that brought unwanted press notice to the publicity-shy inventor, Charles A. Lindbergh was instrumental in procuring greater financial assistance for Goddard’s experiments. From 1930 to the mid-1940s, the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics financed the work on a scale that made possible a small shop and crew and experimental flights in the open spaces of the American southwest, at Roswell, New Mexico. There Goddard spent most of his remaining days in the unending trial-and-error reach for high altitudes.

Experiments At Roswell

In the course of his experiments there he became the first to shoot a liquid-fuel rocket faster than the speed of sound (1935). He obtained the first patents of a steering apparatus for the rocket machine and of the use of “step rockets” to gain great altitudes. He also developed the first pumps suitable for rocket fuels, self-cooling rocket motors, and other components of an engine designed to carry man to outer space. Furthermore, his experiments and calculations took place at a time when any news of his work drew from the press and the public high amusement that “Moony” Goddard could take seriously the possibility of travel beyond Earth. His small rockets, early prototypes of the modern Moon thrusters, achieved altitudes of up to 1.6 km (1 mile) above the prairie.

During World War II Goddard offered his work to the military, but lack of interest in rocket development led to his closing down the Roswell establishment and participating in the war effort through a small Navy contract for work at Annapolis, Maryland, on the development of a jet-thrust booster for seaplane takeoff. Lindbergh and the industrialist and philanthropist Harry F. Guggenheim remained staunch advocates of the Worcester inventor and the feasibility of space exploration.

Goddard died of throat cancer in 1945, at the threshold of the age of jet and rocket. Years later his work was acknowledged by the United States government when a $1,000,000 settlement was made for the use of his patents. The Goddard Memorial Library at Clark University was named in his honour.

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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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#283 2017-12-23 00:48:56

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

250) Richard Matthew Stallman

Richard Matthew Stallman, (born March 16, 1953, New York, N.Y., U.S.), American computer programmer, free-software advocate, and founder of the Free Software Foundation.

Stallman earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University in 1974. In 1971, as a freshman at Harvard, he had begun working at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he wrote the Emacs text editor in the C computer programming language with James Gosling (who later developed Java). In 1983 Stallman began working in his personal time on his GNU Project, or GNU operating system. GNU was intended to be a free version of AT&T’s UNIX—the name GNU was created as a recursive acronym of “GNU’s not UNIX.”

In 1984 Stallman left MIT over concerns about changes to the university’s software copyright rules—he was one of the last of the “hackers,” i.e., computer programmers who strongly believed in freely modifying and sharing computer code. In 1985 Stallman created the nonprofit Free Software Foundation, which initially focused on supporting his GNU Project. In 1990 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “genius award” that gives recipients a substantial financial stipend with no strings attached. The award helped free Stallman to write various utilities for the GNU Project, such as the GNU Emacs editor, GNU compiler, and GNU debugger, which would later be combined with the kernel developed by Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer science student, to produce the GNU/Linux, or Linux, operating system in 1994. Stallman’s GNU Emacs Manual, which has gone through numerous revisions, is freely available from the GNU Web site.

With the release of a free operating system, Stallman and the Free Software Foundation focused on promoting free software and the development of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), commonly known as a copyleft agreement, which gives authors a way to allow their works to be modified without releasing them to the public domain.

In 1999 Stallman published The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource, a paper calling for the creation of an open-source encyclopaedia. Almost as soon as he set up the GNUpedia Project, another open-source encyclopaedia project, Nupedia, the predecessor of Wikipedia, appeared and adopted the GNU Free Documentation License, so the work on the GNUpedia Project was merged into Nupedia.

True to his hacker roots, Stallman continued to promote free software around the world, though he had limited success in convincing governments to move completely to free software. He was one of the principal people interviewed and profiled in the 2001 documentary Revolution OS by American director J.T.S. Moore.

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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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#284 2017-12-25 00:35:04

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

251) John Froelich

John Froelich, (Born: 24 November 1849, Iowa, United States; Died: 24 May 1933, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States) the inventor of the first internal-combustion traction motor, or tractor, is born on this day in Girard, Iowa.

At the end of the 19th century, Froelich operated a grain elevator and mobile threshing service: Every year at harvest time, he dragged a crew of hired hands and a heavy steam-powered thresher through Iowa and the Dakotas, threshing farmers’ crops for a fee. His machine was bulky, hard to transport and expensive to use, and it was also dangerous: One spark from the boiler on a windy day could set the whole prairie afire. So, in 1890, Froelich decided to try something new: Instead of that cumbersome, hazardous steam engine, he and his blacksmith mounted a one-cylinder gasoline engine on his steam engine’s running gear and set off for a nearby field to see if it worked.

It did: Froelich’s tractor chugged along safely at three miles per hour. But the real test came when Froelich and his team took their new machine out on their annual threshing tour, and it was a success there, too: Using just 26 gallons of gas, they threshed more than a thousand bushels of grain every day (72,000 bushels in all). What’s more, they did it without starting a single fire.

In 1894, Froelich and eight investors formed the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company. They built four prototype tractors and sold two (though both were soon returned). To make money, the company branched out into stationary engines (its first one powered a printing press at the Waterloo Courier newspaper). Froelich was more interested in farming equipment than engines more generally, however, and he left the company in 1895.

Waterloo kept working on its tractor designs, but between 1896 and 1914 it sold just 20 tractors in all. In 1914, the company introduced its first Waterloo Boy Model “R” single-speed tractor, which sold very well: 118 in 1914 alone. The next year, its two-speed Model “N” was even more successful. In 1918, the John Deere plow-manufacturing company bought Waterloo for $2,350,000.

The Waterloo Tractor Works, still owned by John Deere, remains one of the largest tractor factories in the United States.

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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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#285 2017-12-27 00:18:10

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

252) William Le Baron Jenney

William Le Baron Jenney, (born Sept. 25, 1832, Fairhaven, Mass., U.S. - died June 15, 1907, Los Angeles, Calif.), American civil engineer and architect whose technical innovations were of primary importance in the development of the skyscraper.

Jenney designed the Home Insurance Company Building, Chicago (1884–85; enlarged 1891; demolished 1931), generally considered to be the world’s first tall building supported by an internal frame, or skeleton, of iron and steel rather than by load-bearing walls and the first to incorporate steel as a structural material. The Home Insurance Company Building also set the pace for the Chicago School, many of whose chief exponents—including Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, John Root, and William Holabird—served at one time in Jenney’s office.

After studying architecture in Paris (1859–61), Jenney served in the American Civil War (1861–65) as an engineering officer. Having left the Federal army with the rank of major, he practiced engineering and architecture in Chicago (1868–1905) and taught architecture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1876–80).

In Jenney’s design for the Leiter Building, Chicago (1879; enlarged 1888; later demolished), he made a tentative approach to skeleton construction, and the facade was prophetic of the glass curtain wall that became common in the 20th century. Among his other buildings in Chicago are the Manhattan Building (1889–90), said to be the first 16-story structure in the world and the first in which wind bracing was a principal aspect of the design; the Ludington Building (1891); the Fair Store (1891–92; later remodelled as the Loop store of Montgomery Ward); and the second Leiter Building (1889–90), which became Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s Loop store.

William_Le_Baron_Jenney.jpg


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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#286 2017-12-28 00:55:46

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

253) Julius Edgar Lilienfeld

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (April 18, 1882 – August 28, 1963) was a Jewish Austro-Hungarian-born German-American physicist and electronic engineer, credited with the first patents on the field-effect transistor (FET) (1925) and electrolytic capacitor (1931). Because of his failure to publish articles in learned journals and because high-purity semiconductor materials were not available yet, his FET patent never achieved fame, causing confusion for later inventors.

Early life

Lilienfeld was born in Lemberg in Austria-Hungary (now called Lviv in Ukraine).

Education

Between 1900 and 1904 Lilienfeld studied at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität (renamed Humboldt University in 1949), in Berlin, where he received his Ph.D. on February 18, 1905. In 1905 he started work at the physics institute at Leipzig University as an untenured professor.

Career

Lilienfeld's early career, at the University of Leipzig, saw him conduct important early work on electrical discharges in "vacuum", between metal electrodes, from about 1910 onwards. His early passion was to clarify how this phenomenon changed as vacuum preparation techniques improved. More than any other scientist, he was responsible for the identification of field electron emission as a separate physical effect. (He called it "auto-electronic emission", and was interested in it as a possible electron source for miniaturised X-ray tubes, in medical applications.) Lilienfeld was responsible for the first reliable account in English of the experimental phenomenology of field electron emission, in 1922. The effect was explained by Fowler and Nordheim in 1928.

Lilienfeld moved to the United States in 1921 to pursue his patent claims, resigning his professorship at Leipzig to stay permanently in 1926. In 1928 he began working at Amrad in Malden, Massachusetts, later called Ergon Research Laboratories owned by Magnavox, which closed in 1935.

In the United States Lilienfeld did research on anodic aluminum oxide films, patenting the electrolytic capacitor in 1931, the method continuing to be used throughout the century. He also invented an "FET-like" transistor, filing several patents describing the construction and operation of transistors, as well as many features of modern transistors. (US patent #1,745,175 for an FET-like transistor was granted January 28, 1930.) When Brattain, Bardeen, and their colleague chemist Robert Gibney tried to get patents on their earliest devices, most of their claims were rejected due to the Lilienfeld patents.

The optical radiation emitted when electrons strike a metal surface is named "Lilienfeld radiation" after he first discovered it close to X-ray tube anodes. Its origin is attributed to the excitation of plasmons in the metal surface.

The American Physical Society has named one of its major prizes after Lilienfeld.

Personal life

Lilienfeld married an American, Beatrice Ginsburg, in New York City on May 2, 1926. They lived in Winchester, Massachusetts, where Lilienfeld was director of the Ergon Research Laboratories in Malden, Massachusetts, becoming a United States citizen in 1934. In 1935 after it closed he and his wife built a house on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands in hope of escaping an allergy associated with wheat fields, from which Lilienfeld had suffered for most of his life. Lilienfeld frequently traveled between St. Thomas and various mainland locations and continued to test new ideas and patent the resulting products.

Julius_Edgar_Lilienfeld.jpg


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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#287 2017-12-30 00:24:37

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

254) Charles Macintosh

Charles Macintosh, (born Dec. 29, 1766, Glasgow—died July 25, 1843, near Glasgow), Scottish chemist, best known for his invention in 1823 of a method for making waterproof garments by using rubber dissolved in coal-tar naphtha for cementing two pieces of cloth together. The mackintosh garment was named for him.

In 1823, while trying to find uses for the waste products of gasworks, Macintosh noted that coal-tar naphtha dissolved india rubber. He then took wool cloth, painted one side of it with the rubber preparation, and placed another thickness of wool cloth on top, thereby producing a waterproof fabric. Soon after he began the manufacture of coats and other garments. But problems developed. In the process of seaming a garment, tailors punctured the fabric, allowing rain to penetrate; the natural oil in woollen cloth caused the rubber cement to deteriorate; and, in the earlier years, the garments became stiff in winter and sticky in hot weather. The mackintosh, as it came to be known, was greatly improved when vulcanized rubber, which resisted temperature changes, became available in 1839.

Charles_Macintosh.jpg


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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#288 2018-01-04 00:42:39

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

255) Kanishka

Kanishka was the greatest ruler and king of Kushan Empire in Ancient India. He was a foreigner by birth. But he had deep love for India. He adopted Buddhism as his religion. By his conquests, by religious activities and by patronizing the Indian culture, he made the Kushan period eminently distinguished.

Emperor Kanishka had succeeded Kadphises II as the third king of the Kushan dynasty. No direct relationship has been established between Kanishka and his predecessor Kadphises II. But his immediate ­succession to the throne after him suggests that he was the next in line to rule over the empire.

Accession: Many historians are of opinion that the date of accession of Kanishka must have been 78 A.D. from which the Saka era commences. They believe that this era was started by Kanishka from the year of his accession to the throne, which is variously interpreted by various thinkers.

Saka Era: With the accession of King Kanishka to throne, there began the Saka Era or the Sakabda in Indian history. The Saka era, is named after Saka. The Sakas were quite a different ruling dynasty having no political or family relations with Kanishka.

Historians have not been able to find out a satisfactory answer as to why the era that was started by Kanishka has been called the Saka era.

Conquests of Kanishka: Like all emperors, he had his imperial designs of conquests. King Kanishka extended the Kushana Empire vastly both outside and inside India. At the time of his accession to the throne, the Kushana Empire included within its boundaries such territories as Afghanistan, a large part of Sindh, the Punjab, portions of Parthia, and Bactria. Kanishka added to this other extensive areas by his conquests and annexations. It is obvious that he fought a series of wars during his reign. The capital of Kanishka was at Purushapura (modern Peshawar).

Inside India, Kanishka conquered Kashmir early in his reign. It is understood from Kalhana’s Rajatarangini that Kanishka build many monasteries, chaityas, and other monuments in the Kashmir valley. He founded a city named Kanishkapura in Kashmir.

Kanishka conquered deep into the interior of the Gangetic valley and occupied Magadha. It is known from the Buddhist sources that after his capture of Pataliputra, he brought from there the famous Buddhist philosopher Ashvaghosha with him to his capital. Kaniska’s rule was established over other areas of the north like Oudh, Banaras, Sravasti, Gorakhpur and Mathura.

It is also known that Kanishka fought against some of the Saka satraps who were still ruling over western India. He defeated the Saka ruler of Ujjayini, and extended his authority to Malwa.

Outside India, King Kanishka fought against and defeated the king of the Parthians, and annexed his territories to his empire. Thereafter, he crossed the Pamirs with his army and invaded Khotan, Yarkand and Kashgar. The rulers of these territories having been subordinate chiefs under the Chinese Emperor, Kanishka’s conflict with the Chinese power become inevitable. According to the descriptions of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India five centuries later Kanishka kept a Chinese prince as a hostage in his court during his conflict with the Chinese Emperor. Ultimately, Kanishka came out victorious over the Chinese, and established his sovereignty over Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar.

Extent of Kanishka Empire: The empire of Kanishka thus extended from Persia to Pataliputra and included Kapisa, Gandhara, Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh and Malwa, besides of course the valley of the Ganges up to Patna. The Chinese territories like Khotan and Yarkand also formed a part of the Kushana Empire. It was a unique empire in the sense that the most of Central Asia, a large area of China beyond the Pamir Passes and a great portion of northern and western India formed its component parts. The southern extent of the empire touched the Vindhya Mountains.

The capital of the empire, Purushapura, was more or less centrally situated. There are evidences to show that Kanishka made it a great city. As a political centre, a military stronghold, and a sacred place of Buddhism, Purushapura attained the status of other notable ancient capitals like Pataliputra. Recent archaeological discoveries show that this famous city of Kanishka was situated near the modern capital of the North-West Frontier Province, Peshawar.

Religion of Kanishka (religious achievement): In the history of Buddhism, King Kanishka has been given a place only next to Samrat Ashoka as a patron of that religion. Like Ashoka, Kanishka also became a convert to Buddhism.

It is evident that Emperor Kanishka adopted Buddhism after he had ruled a king for some years. The Buddhist sources do not give the reasons for his conversion. But it is suggested by some historians that Kanishka came under the influence of the greatest Buddhist philosopher of that time, Asvaghosha and became a devotee of Buddha and accepted Buddhism.

When he went back to his capital, Purushpur, modern Peshawar, he took Asvaghosha along with him who became his adviser and a spiritual guide. After adopting Buddhism as his creed, he, like his predecessor, Ashoka, decided to save the religion from disintegration by minimizing the difference among various sects.

Kanishka and Buddhism

Once he embraced Buddhism, Kanishka took up the cause of that religion in great sincerity. As the ruler of an empire which covered vast areas of Central Asia and western China, he found a golden opportunity to spread Buddhism a fresh vigor by his numerous works as a patron of Buddhism.

It may be noted that in-spite of the fact that Kanishka was a devoted Buddhist by faith, he remained tolerant towards people belonging to other faiths.

Coins: The coins of Kanishka give a proof that he slowly and gradually drifted from the influence of Greek and Persian religions and adopted Hindu and Buddhist ways of life. The early coins indicate his association with Greeks and their Philosophy. These coins are Greek in character, script and even language. But the later coins replace the Greek ones with the Persian script and the figures of Persian gods. But, later on, he adopted the Hindu gods and soon we find the image of Buddha on some of his coins.

Death: Kanishka died in around 151 A.D.

kanishka-1.jpg


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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#289 2018-01-06 00:30:16

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

256) George Boole

George Boole, (born November 2, 1815, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England—died December 8, 1864, Ballintemple, County Cork, Ireland), English mathematician who helped establish modern symbolic logic and whose algebra of logic, now called Boolean algebra, is basic to the design of digital computer circuits.

Boole was given his first lessons in mathematics by his father, a tradesman, who also taught him to make optical instruments. Aside from his father’s help and a few years at local schools, however, Boole was self-taught in mathematics. When his father’s business declined, George had to work to support the family. From the age of 16 he taught in village schools in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and he opened his own school in Lincoln when he was 20. During scant leisure time he read mathematics journals in the Lincoln’s Mechanics Institute. There he also read Isaac Newton’s Principia, Pierre-Simon Laplace’s Traité de mécanique céleste, and Joseph-Louis Lagrange’s Mécanique analytique and began to solve advanced problems in algebra.

Boole submitted a stream of original papers to the new Cambridge Mathematical Journal, beginning in 1839 with his “Researches on the Theory of Analytical Transformations.” These papers were on differential equations and the algebraic problem of linear transformation, emphasizing the concept of invariance. In 1844, in an important paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for which he was awarded the Royal Society’s first gold medal for mathematics, he discussed how methods of algebra and calculus might be combined. Boole soon saw that his algebra could also be applied in logic.

Developing novel ideas on logical method and confident in the symbolic reasoning he had derived from his mathematical investigations, he published in 1847 a pamphlet, “Mathematical Analysis of Logic,” in which he argued persuasively that logic should be allied with mathematics, not philosophy. He won the admiration of the English logician Augustus De Morgan, who published Formal Logic the same year. On the basis of his publications, Boole in 1849 was appointed professor of mathematics at Queen’s College, County Cork, even though he had no university degree. In 1854 he published An Investigation into the Laws of Thought, on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities, which he regarded as a mature statement of his ideas. The next year he married Mary Everest, niece of Sir George Everest, for whom the mountain is named. The Booles had five daughters.

One of the first Englishmen to write on logic, Boole pointed out the analogy between algebraic symbols and those that can represent logical forms and syllogisms, showing how the symbols of quantity can be separated from those of operation. With Boole in 1847 and 1854 began the algebra of logic, or what is now called Boolean algebra. Boole’s original and remarkable general symbolic method of logical inference, fully stated in Laws of Thought (1854), enables one, given any propositions involving any number of terms, to draw conclusions that are logically contained in the premises. He also attempted a general method in probabilities, which would make it possible from the given probabilities of any system of events to determine the consequent probability of any other event logically connected with the given events.

In 1857 Boole was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. The influential Treatise on Differential Equations appeared in 1859 and was followed the next year by its sequel, Treatise on the Calculus of Finite Differences. Used as textbooks for many years, these works embody an elaboration of Boole’s more important discoveries. Boole’s abstruse reasoning has led to applications of which he never dreamed: for example, telephone switching and electronic computers use binary digits and logical elements that rely on Boolean logic for their design and operation.

boole.jpg


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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#290 2018-01-08 00:10:43

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

257) Sir George Everest

The highest mountain in the world is named for a surveyor, Colonel Sir George Everest.  It is a fitting tribute to the man who, for more than twenty-five years and despite numerous hardships, prevailed in surveying the longest are-of-the-meridian ever accomplished at the time.  The Great Trigonometrical Survey India, begun at Cape Comorin in 1806 by William Lambton, would then run almost 2,400 kilometers north to the Himalayas, extending over 20 along the meridian.  During this tremendous undertaking, Everest was relentless in his pursuit of accuracy.  To that end, he made countless adaptations to the surveying equipment, methods, and mathematics in order to minimize problems specific to the Great Survey:  immense size and scope, the terrain, weather conditions, and the desired accuracy.

When Everest "inherited" the position in 1823, the equipment originally employed by Lambton consisted of one 36" theodolite manufactured by London instrument maker Cary, a zenith sector by Jesse Ramsden, a Ramsden 100 foot steel chain, and a chronometer.  The Cary theodolite, weighing over one thousand pounds, had been damaged in two separate mishaps, and was badly in need of repair.  The micrometer screw on the zenith sector was worn out, and the steel chain had not been calibrated in twenty-five years.  To further complicate matters, Everest became so dangerously ill that he could not carry on with the Survey, and work was suspended.

England was the solution to these problems.  In November of 1825, Everest returned to England, bringing with him the mathematical observations and calculations for the Great Arc thus far.  For the next five years he worked on improvements for the survey and compiled an account of the work achieved between the parallels of 18 degrees 03' and 24 degrees 07'.  Everest spent a great deal of time in the workshop of instrument-makers Troughton and Simms, where an additional 36" theodolite, a new zenith sector, and six small theodolites were under construction.  Of the last, Everest wrote:  "I have devoted some consideration to the improvement of the common theodolite which is both cumbersome and more expensive than need be and after frequent examination of all the best devices I could meet with in the shape of the various makers in London, Mr. Simms has at my suggestion designed an instrument which contains all the useful parts of the old construction, is quite free from superfluous apparatus and is cheaper by one-fourth...The model has only a 5 inch diameter but the principle is so perfectly applicable to all instruments for secondary triangles that I should respectfully recommend the propriety of adopting this as the Honorable East India Company's form for all small theodolites not exceeding 12 inches diameter and preserving on all future occasions the strictest uniformity."

The next issue Everest addressed was the measuring of distances.  He learned of Col. Colby's work with compensating bars on the Irish Survey, and visited him there in 1829.  Being very much impressed with Colby's system, he acquired a double set of six bars for the Great Trigonometrical Survey, and practiced with them at Greenwich.

At the same time, Everest produced a clever document which summarized the repair and replacement needs of the Survey, showing that the most cost-effective solution was to have an instrument maker placed in India.  His request was granted, and Henry Barrow was appointed to the job.  Later, in India, it was Barrow who laboriously repaired the damaged Cary theodolite, earning his praise from Everest:  "I must do that artist (Barrow) the justice to say that for excellence of workmanship, accuracy of division, steadiness, regularity, and glibness of motion, and the general neatness, elegance and nice fitting of all its parts, not only were my expectations exceeded but I really think it is as a whole as unrivalled in the world as it is unique."

In June of 1830, George Everest returned to India, this time as Surveyor General, in addition to his post as superintendent of the Great Trigonometrical Survey.  During the first year he spent little time on field work, as he organized general mapping surveys.  Everest's first work on the Arc was to create a baseline near Dehra Dun using the Colby compensating bars.  The 39,183.783 foot baseline was meticulously surveyed, using every precaution to safeguard its accuracy.  He then connected the Dehra Dun baseline to the Sironj baseline, a distance of over 400 miles, using a triangulation gridiron.  This was across a vast plain, which necessitated the construction of masonry towers, designed by Everest, most of them 50 feet high.  The great theodolite was then hoisted to the top, and Everest performed and recorded the observations.  By day, heliotropes were placed on distant points, reflecting bright flashes of sunlight towards the survey towers.  On days when refraction became a problem, observations were taken at night, using an Indian version of the reverberatory lamp which could be seen for thirty miles, and sometimes by using cylindrical blue lights whose visible range could exceed fifty miles.  Transportation was interesting; a typical foray included 4 elephants for the tiger-wary principals, 30 horses for the military officers, and 42 camels for supplies and equipment.  The 700 or so laborers traveled on foot.  Progress was steady; by May of 1836 half of the gap between Sironj and Dehra Dun had been completed, and the rest was completed the following season.

Everest next turned his attention to astronomical observations throughout the arc of meridian, especially at Kalianpur (24 degrees 07').  Unfortunately, ill health prevented him from completing this task, so it was Andrew Waugh who stepped in to finish the job, including re-measuring the Bidar baseline with the Colby compensating bars.  The subsequent error of closure between the observed and computed length of the Bidar base, after 425 miles and 85 triangles from Sironj, was 0.36 feet in a line length of 41,578 feet.

By 1841, twenty-three years had passed from the time Everest had first begun work on the Great Arc.  It would take him two more years to complete the computations, and compile the results before he retired and returned to England.

In 1848, he was awarded high honors by the Royal Astronomical Society.  In making the presentation, Sir John Herschel said:  'The Great Meridianal Arc of India is a trophy of which any nation, or any government of the world would have reason to be proud, and will be one of the most enduring monuments of their power and enlightened regard for the progress of human knowledge."

POSTSCRIPT:

It is not known whether or not George Everest ever laid his eyes on the great mountain that bears his name, but his triangulation network was extended and used to locate the summit by Andrew Waugh, Everest's successor as Surveyor General in India.  Waugh's admiration of Everest's achievements led to the naming of "Peak XV" in the Himalayas.  After its discovery by his team, Waugh, wrote: "...here is a mountain most probably the highest in the world without any local name that I can discover...", so he proposed "...to perpetuate the memory of that illustrious master of geographical research...Everest."

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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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#291 2018-01-10 00:24:14

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

258) André-Jacques Garnerin

André-Jacques Garnerin (31 January, 1769 – 18 August, 1823) was a French balloonist and the inventor of the frameless parachute. He was appointed Official Aeronaut of France.

Biography

Garnerin was born in Paris. He was captured by British troops during the first phase of the French Revolutionary Wars 1792–1797, turned over to the Austrians and held as a prisoner of war in Buda in Hungary for three years.

Balloons and parachutes

Ballooning

Garnerin, a student of the ballooning pioneer professor Jacques Charles, was involved with the flight of hot air balloons, and worked with his older brother Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Garnerin (1766–1849) in most of his ballooning activities. Eventually he was appointed Official Aeronaut of France.

Garnerin began experiments with early parachutes based on umbrella-shaped devices and carried out the first frameless parachute descent (in the gondola) with a silk parachute on 22 October 1797 at Parc Monceau, Paris (1st Brumaire, Year VI of the Republican calendar). Garnerin's first parachute was made of white canvas with a diameter of approximately 23 feet (7 m). The umbrella was closed before he ascended, with a pole running down its center and a rope running through a tube in the pole, which connected it to the balloon. Garnerin rode in a basket attached to the bottom of the parachute; at a height of approximately 3,000 feet (1,000 m) he severed the rope that connected his parachute to the balloon. The balloon continued skyward while Garnerin, with his basket and parachute, fell. The basket swung violently during descent, then bumped and scraped when it landed, but Garnerin emerged uninjured.

Garnerin went on to stage regular tests and demonstrations at Parc Monceau, Paris, on 22 October, 1797, which became a cause célèbre when he announced in 1798 that his next flight would include a woman as a passenger. Although the public and press were in favour, he was forced to appear in front of officials of the Central Bureau of Police to justify his project. They were concerned about the effect that reduced air pressure might have on the organs of the delicate female body and loss of consciousness, plus the moral implications of flying in such close proximity. Unsatisfied with Garnerin's responses, the police issued an injunction against him, forbidding the ascent on the grounds that the young woman was committing herself to the venture without any idea of the possible outcome. After further consultation with both the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of the Police the injunction was overturned on the grounds that "there was no more scandal in seeing two people of different genres ascend in a balloon than it is to see them jump into a carriage." They also agreed that the decision of the woman showed proof of her confidence in the experiment and a degree of personal intrepidity.

Citoyenne Henri had already been chosen, so when the ban was lifted Garnerin was ready to proceed. He advertised the ascent in the L'Ami des Lois (a Parisian newspaper published from 1795–1798) :

The young Citoyenne who will accompany me is delighted to see the day approach for the journey. I shall ascend with her from the Parc Monceau, some time during the next ten days.

On 8 July 1798 a large number of spectators gathered in the Parc Monceau to witness the ascent. By all accounts Citoyenne Henri was young and beautiful, and she and Garnerin took several turns around the park to the applause of the crowd before she was assisted into the basket of the balloon by the astronomer, Jérôme Lalande. The balloon trip passed without incident and the journey ended at Goussainville about 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the north of Paris.

Touring England

André-Jacques held the position of Official Aeronaut of France, so with his wife Jeanne Geneviève he visited England in 1802 during the Peace of Amiens and the couple completed a number of demonstration flights. In the evening of 21 September, 1802, André-Jacques ascended in his hydrogen balloon from the Volunteer Ground in North Audley Street, Grosvenor Square and made a parachute descent to a field near St Pancras. This gave rise to the English popular ballad:

Bold Garnerin went up
Which increased his Repute
And came safe to earth
In his Grand Parachute.

He also made his second English balloon ascent with Edward Hawke Locker on 5 July, 1802 from Lord's Cricket Ground, travelling the 17 miles (27.4 km) from there to Chingford in just over 15 minutes and carrying a letter of introduction signed by the Prince Regent to give to anyone should he crash land. However, when the war between France and Great Britain resumed they were forced to pack up and return to the continent where, on 3–4 October 1803, he covered a distance of 245 miles (395 km) between Paris and Clausen, Germany, with his balloon.

Family

In most of his ballooning activities Garnerin worked with his older brother Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Garnerin (1766–1849).

2-aj-garnerin.jpg


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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#292 2018-01-11 23:38:48

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

259) Corradino D'Ascanio

General Corradino D'Ascanio (February 1, 1891 in Popoli, Pescara – August 6, 1981 in Pisa) was an Italian aeronautical engineer. D'Ascanio designed the first production helicopter, for Agusta, and designed the first motor scooter for Ferdinando Innocenti. After the two fell out, D'Ascanio helped Enrico Piaggio produce the original Vespa.

Biography

D'Ascanio had an early passion for flight and design: by the age of fifteen, after studying flying techniques and the ratio between weight and wingspan of some birds, he built an experimental glider which he would launch from the hills near his home town.

World War I

After graduating in 1914 in mechanical engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, he enlisted in the voluntary division of the Italian Army entitled "weapon of Engineers, Division Battalion Aviatori" in Piedmont, where he was assigned the testing of airplane engines. Appointed sub-lieutenant on March 21, 1915, D'Ascanio was sent to France to choose a rotary engine to be produced in Italy for the Corpo Aeronautico Militare, returning with an agreement to produce the Gnome et Rhône designed Le Rhône.

After a brief pilot training course in Corsica on a Farman MF.7, he returned to engineering, designing a patented forward-facing monitoring device to improve maintenance monitoring within flight squadrons (estimated to have saved fifty lives), and took part in the trials of the first radio equipment installed in Italian aircraft.

In 1916 D'Ascanio was assigned to join Fabbrica Aeroplani Ing. O. Pomilio, engaged in the manufacture of equipment SP2, Type C, D Type and others. Following the end of World War I, the Pomilio brothers sold the company and moved in 1918 with key staff, including D'Ascanio, to Indianapolis in the United States to form the Pomilio Brothers Corporation.

Between the wars

On his return to Italy after a year in 1919, D'Ascanio again settled in Popoli, focused on the control mechanisms for helicopters, through which he derived a number of patents. In 1925 he founded a company with Baron Pietro Trojani, which commissioned by the Ministry dell'Aeronautica produced in 1930 its third prototype, the coaxial D'AT3. This relatively large machine had two double-bladed, counter-rotating rotors, with control achieved by using auxiliary wings or servo-tabs on the trailing edges of the blades, a concept that was later adopted by other helicopter designers, initially by the French Breguet-Dorand Gyroplane Laboratoire in 1935, and still later by designs from both Bleeker and Kaman. Three small propellers mounted on the airframe were used for additional control of pitch, roll, and yaw. Piloted by Marinello Nelli in October 1930 at Ciampino Airport, this machine held modest Fédération Aéronautique Internationale speed and altitude records for the time, including altitude (18 m), duration (8 minutes 45 seconds) and distance flown (1,078 m).[2][3] D'Ascanio's altitude record would be "unofficially" shattered by the Soviet-built, Yuriev-Cheremukhin TsAGI-1EA single-lift rotor helicopter in mid-August 1932, with a 605 meters (1,985 ft) altitude achievement, and also possessed fore-and-aft tubular fuselage structures for similar "anti-torque" stabilization rotors.

However, during the Depression, in which the fascist government of Benito Mussolini concentrated on "standard" production items, the company collapsed in 1932, and D'Ascanio went to work for Enrico Piaggio at his fathers company, designing numerous successful high-speed adjustable pitch propellors for Piaggio Aero. His work was considered so important during World War II, he was promoted to General in the Regia Aeronautica, and restarted helicopter development under instruction from President of Piaggio S. p. A. Enrico Piaggio from 1942.

After the war

Like many Italians, D'Ascanio found himself unemployed - the Piaggio factory was destroyed through Allied bombing. Worse still, Italy was under an agreement not to research or produce military or aerospace technology for a ten-year period, and so he was unemployable in Italy. Approached by pre-war tubing manufacturer Ferdinando Innocenti, who saw the future of cheap private transport and decided to produce a motor scooter – competing on cost and weather protection against the ubiquitous motorcycle.

The Vespa

The main stimulus for the design style of the proposed Lambretta dated back to Pre-WWII Cushman scooters made in Nebraska, USA. These olive green scooters were in Italy in large numbers, ordered originally by the US Government as field transport for the Paratroops and Marines. The US military had used them to get around Nazi defence tactics, destroying roads and bridges during the Battle of Monte Cassino and in the Dolomites and the Austrian border areas.

The motor scooter

Ferdinando Innocenti gave D'Ascanio the job of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle. The vehicle had to be easy to ride for both men and women, be able to carry a passenger, and not get its driver's clothes dirty. D'Ascanio, who hated motorcycles, designed a revolutionary vehicle. It was built on a spar-frame with a handlebar gear change, and the engine mounted directly on to the rear wheel. The front protection "shield" kept the rider dry and clean in comparison to the open front end on motorcycles. The pass-through leg area design was geared towards all user groups, including women, whose skirts made riding a motorcycle a challenge. The front fork, like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for easy wheel changing. The internal mesh transmission eliminated the standard motorcycle chain, a source of oil, dirt, and aesthetic misery. This basic design allowed a series of features to be deployed on the frame, which would later allow quick development of new models.

However, D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti, who wanted to produce his frame from rolled tubing, rather than a stamped spar frame, thereby allowing him to revive both parts of his pre-war company. General D'Ascanio dissociated himself from Innocenti, and took his design directly to Enrico Piaggio, who produced the spar-framed Vespa from 1946. Innocenti, faced by design problems and production issues surrounding his tube frame, produced the Lambretta from 1947. In the decades of its history, the Vespa scooter has become one of the most famous brand designs worldwide, with 16 million units produced in 130 different models as of 2005.

After Vespa

In 1948 D'Ascanio attended an international congress for the helicopter in Philadelphia, where he was hailed as a true pioneer. He continued to work for Piaggio, tweaking designs for the Piaggio PD 3, and in 1952 the Piaggio PD4. However, restricted legally through neutrality agreements and financially through reconstruction, Piaggio had by now fallen behind the developments of the American Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and few of D'Ascanio helicopter designs or aeronautical developments made it beyond the drawing board.

In 1964 D'Ascanio left Piaggio to join the Agusta Group of Cascina Costa, by then the largest Italian manufacturer of helicopters. In 1969 D'Ascanio designed a small training helicopter, the Agusta ADA, which could be modified for agricultural use - but it was not developed, due to Agusta's commitment to re-equipping the Italian military.

Author of numerous scientific publications, published between 1954 and 1980, he was professor of design of machines and projects at the University of Pisa between 1937 (when he was an employee of Piaggio) and 1961. D'Ascanio, for his services to Italy and aeronautical development, was decorated with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the President of the Italian Republic.

Always disappointed by the fact he was publicly recognised for his associations with the Vespa motor scooter over his developments and patents in the world of aviation, D'Ascanio died in Pisa on August 6, 1981.

d-ascanio-corradino.jpg


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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#293 2018-01-13 00:53:35

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

260) Edward Butler

Edward Butler (1862–1940) was an English inventor who produced an early three-wheeled petrol automobile called the Butler Petrol Cycle, which is accepted by many as the first British car.

Butler showed plans for his three-wheeled petrol vehicle at the Stanley Cycle Show in London in 1884, two years earlier than Karl Benz, who is generally recognized as the inventor of the modern automobile. Butler's vehicle was also the first design to be shown at the 1885 Inventions Exhibition, also in London.

Butler Petrol Cycle

Built by the Merryweather Fire Engine company in Greenwich, in 1888, the Butler Petrol Cycle (first recorded use of the term) was a three-wheeled petrol vehicle. The rear wheel was directly driven by a 5/8 hp (466W) 600 cc (40 in³; 2¼×5-inch {57×127-mm}) flat twin four-stroke engine (with magneto ignition replaced by coil and battery), equipped with rotary valves and a float-fed carburettor (five years before Maybach), and Ackermann steering, all of which were state of the art at the time. The engine was liquid-cooled, with a radiator over the rear driving wheel. Speed was controlled by means of a throttle valve lever. The driver was seated between the front wheels.

The vehicle featured in an article in the 14 February 1891 issue of Scientific American, where it was stated that one gallon of fuel in the form of petroleum or benzolene could propel the vehicle for forty miles (5.9 L/100 km) at a speed of 3–10 mph (5–16 km/h).

Butler improved the specifications of his vehicle over the years, but was prevented from adequately testing it due to the 1865 Red Flag Act, which legislated a maximum speed for self-propelled road vehicles of 2 mph (3 km/h) in built up areas and 4 mph (6.5 km/h) in rural areas. Additionally, the vehicle had to be attended by three people, one of whom had to proceed in front of the vehicle waving a red flag.

Butler wrote in the magazine The English Mechanic in 1890, "The authorities do not countenance its use on the roads, and I have abandoned in consequence any further development of it."

Due to general lack of interest, Butler broke up his machine for scrap in 1896, and sold the patent rights to Harry J. Lawson who continued manufacture of the engine for use in motorboats.

Instead, Butler turned to making stationary and marine engines. His motor tricycle was in advance of its better-known contemporaries on several points.


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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#294 2018-01-14 02:56:37

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

261) Maryam Mirzakhani

(3 May 1977 – 14 July 2017)

Pioneering mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal.

Maryam Mirzakhani was one of the greatest mathematicians of her generation. She made monumental contributions to the study of the dynamics and geometry of mathematical objects called Riemann surfaces. Just as impressive as her theorems was her ability to push a field in a new direction by always providing a fresh point of view. Her raw talent was rare, even among the most celebrated mathematicians, and she was known for having a taste for difficult problems.

She became an icon without wanting to be. She was the first woman and first Iranian to win the Fields Medal, considered the highest honour in mathematics. For women, Mirzakhani was a role model, pursuing a successful career in a male-dominated field. For Iran, she represented the country's tradition of intellectualism. And for young scientists, she was a calming force that rose above the pressures of academia. She died aged 40 from breast cancer on 14 July.

Mirzakhani was born in May 1977 in Tehran. She attended school there and twice won gold medals for Iran in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Being hailed as a genius allowed her to pursue pure mathematics — not an easy career choice for women in Iran.

Mirzakhani gained a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1999 from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. She left to do doctoral work in the United States and earned her PhD in 2004 from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the supervision of Curtis McMullen. She turned down a junior fellowship there to become a Clay Mathematics Institute research fellow at Princeton University in New Jersey. She became a full professor at Stanford University in California in 2008, by which time she was considered a leader in the fields of hyperbolic geometry, topology and dynamics. She stayed at Stanford until her death.

Mirzakhani's PhD concerned Riemann surfaces. Picture a surface with several holes in it, like that of a pretzel or two doughnuts stuck together, and then imagine trying to wrap a rubber band around the surface without it overlapping itself. Mirzakhani wanted to work out how many different ways this can be done for a rubber band of a given length.

She realized that she could flip the method. Instead of fixing a surface and counting the number of curves, she could find the average of all such numbers corresponding to points in the 'moduli space' of Riemann surfaces: a 'space', or set, of points, each of which represents one of the shapes a surface can take. Computing such an average requires one to calculate the 'volume', or size, of the space of Riemann surfaces that contain a curve of a certain length. A clever recursive formula for the volumes of various moduli spaces solved the problem. The solution had several stunning ramifications in seemingly distant fields. For example, it offered a new proof of a famous theorem by the Russian–French mathematician Maxim Kontsevich, which had implications in quantum field theory.

In later work, Mirzakhani studied the dynamics of a billiard ball, or point mass, moving in a polygon. A ball moves in a straight line until it hits the edge of the polygon; then it bounces back at the same angle at which it hit. A mathematician could ask several questions about such a system. For instance, is it possible for a ball to move inside a given polygon in such a way that the path it takes is eventually repeated — and, if so, how many such paths are there, and what do they look like? The problem of whether a repeating path exists for a general polygon is still unsolved.

In some cases, it is helpful to embed the space of certain billiard tables in a larger space in which every point is a surface that is locally either flat or cone-shaped. With Alex Eskin, a mathematician at the University of Chicago in Illinois, Mirzakhani used this method to prove, for such spaces, a version of a theorem about a group of symmetric geometric objects known as Lie groups. The theorem was proposed by Marina Ratner, another leading mathematician in the field who also died in July, aged 78. The proof — a monumental work written up in a 200-page paper (A. Eskin and M. Mirzakhani Preprint at https://arxiv.org/abs/1302.3320; 2013) — tied together disparate fields including geometry, topology and dynamical systems, and spawned a field of its own. It has been dubbed the 'magic wand' theorem because it enabled many previously intractable mathematical problems to be solved.

Despite the fame and attention she received, Mirzakhani remained humble and grounded, always avoiding the spotlight. She listened to the work of other mathematicians with excitement and asked forward-looking questions that hinted at possible new directions. At conferences, she could be found talking with graduate students and Fields medallists alike. She generously shared her ideas with the community and helped others to further their careers.

I visited Maryam in December 2016. We walked from her home in Palo Alto, California, to Stanford's maths department to listen to a lecture by the Russian–French mathematician Mikhail Gromov. Mirzakhani was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and had already been treated for the illness, but by this time it had returned and spread, and she was in pain. We stopped every few minutes along the walk so that she could lie down on a bench to rest. Maryam told me that she didn't want to take long-term leave from work for her illness and that she would like to continue her responsibilities as an editor of the Journal of the American Mathematical Society. I couldn't resist telling her about the maths problems I was thinking about, and despite all that was going on in her life, she was happy to listen and offer helpful insights.

The mathematics community has lost one of its greatest minds much too early, and I have lost a friend.

Author information
Affiliations
Kasra Rafi is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He was a friend and collaborator of Maryam Mirzakhani.

Maryam-Mirzakhani.jpg


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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#295 2018-01-16 00:18:41

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

262) John Charles Fields

John Charles Fields, (May 14, 1863 – August 9, 1932) was a Canadian mathematician and the founder of the Fields Medal for outstanding achievement in mathematics. First awarded in 1936, the medal has been awarded since 1950 every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians to two, three or four recipients under the age of 40.

Life and career

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, to a leather shop owner, Fields graduated from Hamilton Collegiate Institute in 1880 and the University of Toronto in 1884 before leaving for the United States to study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Fields received his Ph.D. in 1887. His thesis, entitled Symbolic Finite Solutions and Solutions by Definite Integrals of the Equation

, was published in the American Journal of Mathematics in 1886.

Fields taught for two years at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Disillusioned with the state of mathematical research in North America at the time, he left for Europe in 1891, locating primarily in Berlin, Göttingen and Paris, where he associated with some of the greatest mathematical minds of the time, including Karl Weierstrass, Felix Klein, Ferdinand Georg Frobenius and Max Planck. Fields also began a friendship with Gösta Mittag-Leffler, which would endure their lifetimes. He began publishing papers on a new topic, algebraic functions, which would prove to be the most fruitful research field of his career.

Fields returned to Canada in 1902 to lecture at the University of Toronto. Back in the country of his birth, he worked tirelessly to raise the stature of mathematics within academic and public circles. He successfully lobbied the Ontario Legislature for an annual research grant of $75,000 for the university and helped establish the National Research Council of Canada, and the Ontario Research Foundation. Fields served as president of the Royal Canadian Institute from 1919 until 1925, during which time he aspired to mold the institute into a leading centre of scientific research, although with mixed success. His efforts, however, were pivotal in making Toronto the location of the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). He was an Invited Speaker of the ICM in 1912 at Cambridge, in 1924 at Toronto, and in 1928 at Bologna.

Fields is best known for his development of the Fields Medal, which is considered by some to be the Nobel Prize in Mathematics, although there are differences between the awards. First awarded in 1936, the medal was reintroduced in 1950 and has been awarded every four years since. It is awarded to two to four mathematicians, under the age of 40, who have made important contributions to the field.

Fields began planning the award in the late 1920s but, due to deteriorating health, never saw the implementation of the medal in his lifetime. He died on August 9, 1932 after a three-month illness; in his will, he left $47,000 for the Fields Medal fund.

Fields was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1907 and fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1913.

The Fields Institute at the University of Toronto was named in his honour.

fields1.jpeg


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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#296 2018-01-18 00:36:36

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

263) Jozef Murgaš

Jozef Murgaš (English Joseph Murgas) (17 February 1864 – 11 May 1929) was a Slovak inventor, architect, botanist, painter, and Roman Catholic priest. He contributed to wireless telegraphy and help develop mobile communications and wireless transmission of information and human voice.

Murgaš was nicknamed the Radio Priest and deemed a Renaissance man.

Life

Europe

Murgaš was born in Tajov (Tajó), Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire (now Slovakia). He studied theology in Prešporok (Pressburg, present Bratislava) (1880–82), Esztergom (1882–84), and in Banská Bystrica, where he graduated in 1888. From his youth he was bright, skillful and good at painting and electrotechnology: The vice-head of the school in Esztergom allowed him to use the physics room for experiments, and the Slovak painters B. Klemens and Dominik Skutecký noticed his talent for painting.

After priestly ordination in 1888, Murgaš worked as a curate. On Skutecký's initiative, Murgaš was accepted at a painting school in Budapest, where he studied from 1889–90. He also studied painting in Munich from 1890-93. He attended both schools while working. He painted sacral pieces and Slovak landscapes and Slovak personalities. It was due to his strong patriotism he exhibited during holidays in the 1890s that he was not allowed to finish his painting studies and had to work as a curate in changing places in the Kingdom of Hungary: in Chrenovec (Nyitratormás), Slovenská Ľupča (Zólyomlipcse), Dubová (Cseres) and in Lopej (Lopér). In Lopej, he painted a large sacral picture of St. George, which is still on the church altar of the village. The central altar painting of St. Elisabeth, in the 14th century Church of St. Elizabeth in the main square of Banská Bystrica, is by Murgaš.

United States

Due to permanent conflicts with the bishop's secretary, Murgaš had to emigrate to the United States in 1896, where he was assigned a Slovak parish in the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Having no possibility for painting, he started to deal with natural sciences again, especially electrotechnology. He established a laboratory in Wilkes-Barre, in which he primarily investigated radiotelegraphy. His article in the Tovaryšstvo magazine of 1900 shows that his radiotelegraphy studies had achieved a high level. In 1904, he received his first two US patents: the Apparatus for wireless telegraphy and The way of transmitted messages by wireless telegraphy. Further 15 patents followed between 1907 and 1916 (see below). Based on the first two patents, he created the Universal Aether Telegraph Co., which organized a public test of Murgaš's transmitting and receiving facilities in September 1905. The test was successful, but a storm destroyed the antenna masts three month later, which led to a dissolution of the company.

Murgaš's primary concern in Wilkes-Barre, however, were the local Slovaks. He took care of Slovak immigrants, had a new church, library, cemetery, several schools, gymnasium and playgrounds built, all of which are still used by American Slovaks. He was also one of the founders of the Saints Cyril and Methodius community and took care of children and youth. He was very popular among religious people because of his emotional relation to them. He also published a newspaper, in which he published some popular-science articles and verses.

Murgaš was active in the Slovak expatriates movement, wrote articles for their press, was one of the founders of the Slovak League in America, actively supported the creation of the state of Czechoslovakia, organized a money collection (a fund) of American Slovaks for the creation of Czechoslovakia (1,000,000 USD), and was also a writer and a signatory of the Pittsburgh Agreement (1918) between Czechs and Slovaks on establishing Czechoslovakia. As a respected personality, he gained trust and support of the highest authorities in the USA for the establishment of Czechoslovakia.

Murgaš continued to study physics and to do many experiments. He financed his activities by selling his paintings. He also collected mushrooms, plants, minerals and insects. His butterfly collection comprised 9000 pieces from all over the world.

When the United States entered World War I, private radiotelegraphy stations were prohibited, which put an end to Murgaš's pioneer work in this field. After the creation of Czechoslovakia, he returned to Slovakia in 1920, where he taught electrotechnology at a high school, but since he did not find appropriate understanding by the Ministry of Education in Prague, he returned to Wilkes-Barre four months later. He was nominated to be a member of the Federal Radio Commission of the United States in 1925. Murgaš died in Wilkes-Barre four years later.

Importance and primacy conflicts

The most dynamic segments in the area of communications services today are internet services, mobile telephony and convergence of voice and data process. If we go back one hundred years to history we can see that development in this area began with wireless information transmission encoded in telegraphy marks and wireless voice transmission which was made by frequency modulation.

In 1905, Murgaš achieved radio transmission between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania, or a distance of 20 miles (30 km).

The tone system is the use of two signals of different frequencies, i.e. Murgaš substituted the "dot" of the Morse code with a higher tone and the "dash" with a lower tone (this is the 1904 patent "The way of transmitted messages by wireless telegraphy").

Thomas Edison paid remarkable attention to Murgaš's experiments and he is said to have informed Guglielmo Marconi of Murgaš's success. Murgaš's lab in Wilkes-Barre was visited by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.

Memorials and honors

In Tajov, there is Murgaš's house where he was born, a memorial room, and a symbolic grave with a sepulchral monument of Murgaš at the local cemetery. Jozef Šebo, the founder of the room and monument (now a retired teacher) looks after them very carefully. The memorial room also features originals of pictures, paintings, some unique pieces from his butterfly collection, models of inventions in wireless telegraphy and documents. One can also see there a minimodel of Murgaš's original antenna masts built by company Universal Aether Telegraph Co. in Wilkes-Barre in 1905.

Further objects include:

Jozef Murgaš Monument in Bratislava, Slovakia – the Slovak Telecom building in the Jarošova Street
Jozef Murgaš street in Podbrezová-Lopej, Slovakia
Joseph Murgas Monument in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Paintings in a church in Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania
Paintings in the Memorial room in Tajov, in some churches in Lopej and Banská Bystrica
Murgas Amateur Radio Club of Wilkes-Barre, PA named after Fr. Murgas in 1975.
Model of Murgas' transmitting station in Wilkes-Barre
Collection of butterflies (9,000 pieces) from all over the world
Liberty ship SS Joseph Murgas in the U.S. state Georgia in 1944
Jozef Murgaš Secondary School of Electrical Engineering in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Jozef Murgaš stamp issued by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Public Works of the Slovak Republic in 1994 (400,000 pieces) on the occasion of 130th birth anniversary (1864) of Jozef Murgaš.

To the memory of Murgaš and to support the development of telecommunications in Slovakia, the Jozef Murgaš Award is awarded annually by the Slovak Electrotechnical Society and Ministry of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications of the Slovak Republic for:

publication of original theoretical contribution supporting development of telecommunication in Slovakia,
utilization of original or foreign theoretical contribution to development of telecommunications and telecommunication industry in Slovakia.

jozef-murga-1.jpg


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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#297 2018-01-19 00:22:15

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

264) Jimmy Wales

Jimmy is an internet entrepreneur best known for founding the open-content reference site Wikipedia.

Synopsis

Jimmy Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on August 7, 1966. Wales attended graduate school for finance before dropping out to pursue business ventures. In 2001, Wales founded the open-content internet resource Wikipedia, which became the world's largest encyclopedia. Wales also founded the for-profit web-hosting company Wikia, and has advised governments and universities.

Early Life

Jimmy Donal Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on August 7, 1966. He attended a one-room school run by his mother and grandmother through the eighth grade. An intellectually curious child whose education proceeded according to the Montessori system, Wales spent considerable amounts of time reading encyclopedias. He credits this self-directed upbringing with his ability to think creatively.

Wales attended the Randolph preparatory school and studied finance at Auburn University. After graduating, he began a doctoral program in finance at the University of Alabama. Wales transferred to Indiana University before dropping out of school to take a job in a financial services firm.

Wikipedia

Wales had been interested in the internet from its earliest days. In 1996, he left his job at the firm to cofound a startup called Bornis. Although the venture was not successful, it motivated Wales to pursue his vision of creating an online encyclopedia. In March 2000, he launched Nupedia—an open-content, peer-moderated reference site. He hired an academic, Larry Sanger, to serve as editor-in-chief.

Sanger learned about wikis in 2001 and Wales agreed to adopt the model. Wikipedia and Nupedia co-existed for a short time, with Wikipedia attracting much more traffic and participation. Without the funding to continue his position, Sanger resigned from both organizations in 2002. Sanger and Wales would later spar publicly over Sanger's role at Wikipedia. While Sanger considers himself a co-founder, Wales claims total conceptual ownership of the enterprise.

The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, founded by Wales, has overseen the development of Wikipedia since 2003.

Other Ventures

In 2004, Wales and colleague Angela Beesley founded a for-profit internet company called Wikia. He stepped down from his position as CEO in 2009.

Wales began advising the British government on potential open access initiatives in 2012. The goal of the project was to make government-funded research available to taxpayers at no cost. In addition to his paid positions, Wales serves on the advisory boards of a number of academic foundations and research centers.

Personal Life

Wales has been married three times and has two daughters. He has received a number of major awards and honorary degrees from institutions, including Amherst College.

Wales is an outspoken atheist and an adherent of Objectivism, a philosophy popularized by author Ayn Rand. Objectivism privileges individualism, capitalism and reason. He identifies as a libertarian though he is not a supporter of the Libertarian Party.

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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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#298 2018-01-21 00:24:52

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

265) Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison is the founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, which earned him a spot as fifth wealthiest person in the world in 2014.

Background and Early Career

Larry Ellison was born in the Bronx, New York, on August 17, 1944, to single mother Florence Spellman. When he was nine months old, Ellison came down with pneumonia, and his mother sent him to Chicago to be raised by her aunt and uncle, Lillian and Louis Ellison, who adopted the baby.

After high school, Ellison enrolled at the University of Illinois, Champaign (1962), where he was named science student of the year. During his second year, his adopted mother died, and Ellison dropped out of college. The following fall, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, but he dropped out after only one semester.

Ellison then packed his bags for Berkeley, California, with little money, and for the next decade he moved from job to job at such places as Wells Fargo and Amdahl Corporation. Between college and his various jobs, Ellison had picked up basic computer skills, and he was finally able to put them to use as a programmer at Amdahl, where he worked on the first IBM-compatible mainframe system.

In 1977, Ellison and two of his Amdahl colleagues founded Software Development Labs and soon had a contract to build a database-management system—which they called Oracle—for the CIA. The company had fewer than 10 employees and revenue of less than $1 million per year, but in 1981, IBM signed on to use Oracle, and the company’s sales doubled every year for the next seven years. Ellison soon renamed the company after its best-selling product.

Oracle Corporation

In 1986, Oracle Corporation held its IPO (initial public offering), but some accounting issues helped wipe out the majority of the company’s market capitalization and Oracle teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. After a management shakeup and a product-cycle refresh, however, Oracle’s new products took the industry by storm, and by 1992 the company was the leader in the database-management realm.

Success continued, and as Ellison was Oracle’s largest shareholder, he became one of the wealthiest people in the world. Ellison set his sights on growth through acquisitions, and over the next several years he gobbled up several companies, including PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and Sun Microsystems, all of which helped Oracle reach a market cap of roughly $185 billion with some 130,000 employees by 2014.

America's Cup

When he’s not busy bolstering his software empire, Ellison races yachts (his yacht Rising Sun is over 450 feet long—one of the largest privately owned vessels in the world), and in 2010 he joined the BMW Oracle racing team and won the prestigious America’s Cup. The victory brought the cup to the United States for the first time in 15 years, a win the team repeated in 2013.

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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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#299 2018-01-23 01:28:17

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

266) Marie Tussaud

Anna Maria "Marie" Tussaud (1 December 1761 – 16 April 1850) was a French artist known for her wax sculptures and Madame Tussauds, the wax museum she founded in London.

Biography

Marie Tussaud was born 1 December 1761 in Strasbourg, France. Her father, Joseph Grosholtz, was killed in the Seven Years' War just two months before Marie was born. At the age of six her mother, Anne-Marie Walder, took her to Bern, in Switzerland. There the family moved into the home of local doctor Philippe Curtius (1741–1794), for whom Anne-Marie acted as housekeeper.

Curtius, who Marie would call her uncle, was not only a physician, but he was also skilled in wax modelling. He initially used his talent as wax sculptor to illustrate anatomy but later for portraits. He moved to Paris in 1765 to establish a Cabinet de Portraits En Cire (Wax portraiture firm). In that year, he made a waxwork of Louis XV's last mistress, Madame du Barry, a cast that is the oldest work currently on display. A year later, Tussaud and her mother joined Curtius in Paris. The first exhibition of Curtius' waxworks was shown in 1770 and attracted a large crowd. In 1776, the exhibition was moved to the Palais Royal and, in 1782, Curtius opened a second exhibit, the Caverne des Grands Voleurs (Cavern of the Grand Thieves), a precursor to Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors, on Boulevard du Temple.

Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling. She showed talent for the technique and began working for him as an artist. In 1777, she created her first wax figure, that of Voltaire. From 1780 until the Revolution in 1789, Tussaud created many of her most famous portraits of celebrities such as those of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. During this period her memoirs claim she became employed to teach votive making to Élisabeth, the sister of Louis XVI. In her memoirs, she admitted to be privy to private conversations between the princess and her brother and members of his court. She also claimed that members of the royal family were so pleased with her work that she was invited to live at Versailles for a period of 9 years, though no contemporary evidence confirm her accounts.

French Revolution

On 12 July 1789, wax heads of Jacques Necker and the duc d'Orléans made by Curtius were carried in a protest march two days before the attack on the Bastille.

Tussaud was perceived as a royal sympathiser; in the Reign of Terror she was arrested, along with Joséphine de Beauharnais, and her head was shaved in preparation for her execution by guillotine. She said she was released thanks to Collot d'Herbois' support for Curtius and his household. Tussaud said she was then employed to make death masks of the revolution's famous victims, including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Marat, and Robespierre.

When Curtius died in 1794, he left his collection of wax works to Tussaud. In 1795, she married François Tussaud, a civil engineer. The couple had three children, a daughter who died after birth, and two sons, Joseph and François.

Great Britain

In 1802, after the Treaty of Amiens, Tussaud went to London with her son Joseph, then four years old, to present her collection of portraits. She had accepted an invitation from Paul Philidor, a magic lantern and phantasmagoria pioneer, to exhibit her work alongside his show at the Lyceum Theatre. She did not fare particularly well financially, and left for Edinburgh in 1803.

As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, Tussaud was unable to return to France so she travelled with her collection throughout the British Isles. In 1822, she reunited with her other son, François, who joined her in the family business. Her husband remained in France and the two never saw each other again. In 1835, after 33 years touring Britain, she established her first permanent exhibition in Baker Street, on the upper floor of the "Baker Street Bazaar". In 1838, she wrote her memoirs. In 1842, she made a self-portrait which is now on display at the entrance of her museum. Some of the sculptures done by Tussaud herself still exist.

She died in her sleep in London on 16 April 1850 at the age of 88. There is a memorial tablet to Madame Marie Tussaud on the right side of the nave of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Cadogan Street, London.

Legacy

Upon Marie Tussaud's retirement, her son François (or Francis) became chief artist for the Exhibition. He was succeeded in turn by his son Joseph, who was succeeded by his son John Theodore Tussaud.

Madame Tussaud's wax museum has now grown to become one of the major tourist attractions in London, and has expanded with branches in Amsterdam, Beijing, Bangkok, Berlin, Blackpool, Montreal, Sydney, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Shanghai, Washington, D.C., New York City, Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore, Vienna and recently Delhi. The current owner is Merlin Entertainments Group, a company owned by Blackstone Group.She is one of the main characters in Faces of the dead by Suzanne Weyn.

tussaud-marie-image.jpg


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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#300 2018-01-25 00:57:26

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

267) Sergey Bubka

Sergey Bubka, Ukrainian Serhiy Bubka, (born December 14, 1963, Voroshilovgrad, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. [now Luhansk, Ukraine]), Ukrainian athlete, the first pole-vaulter to clear 6.1 metres (20 feet).

Bubka began pole-vaulting at age 9. When his coach, Vitaly Petrov, was transferred to Donetsk, Ukraine, Bubka, at age 15, followed. Bubka won the pole vault at the 1983 world track-and-field championships in Helsinki, Finland, with a vault of 5.7 metres (18 feet 8.25 inches). In subsequent years, Bubka changed the standards of pole-vaulting, setting numerous world records.

Bubka first cleared 6 metres (19 feet 8.25 inches), long considered an unattainable height, in Paris on July 13, 1985. In 1988 in Nice, France, he neared the 6.1-metre barrier with a vault of 6.06 metres (19 feet 10.5 inches), which was his second world record in five weeks. Bubka was unable to better his leap at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, but his vault of 5.9 metres (19 feet 4.25 inches) won the gold medal. Bubka had increased the world record by 21 cm (8.25 inches) between 1984 and 1988, a greater gain in 4 years than other pole-vaulters had achieved in the previous 12. During this period he was named the Soviet Union’s top sportsman three years in a row (1984–86).

In 1991 in San Sebastián, Spain, he became the first pole-vaulter to jump 6.1 metres, but a year later, at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Bubka failed to place in the event. In 1994 in Sestriere, Italy, he broke his previous world record with a jump of 6.14 metres (20 feet 1.75 inches). Bubka attended the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, but an injury prevented him from competing. In 1997, however, Bubka won an unprecedented sixth world championship in pole vaulting. At the 2000 Games in Sydney, Bubka competed but failed to qualify for the final. He retired from competition and became an active member of the International Olympic Committee.

bubka1.jpg


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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