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Zile de nastere - Birthdays

One of the first prominent female chemists in Germany, Noddack was nominated several times for a Nobel Prize but never won. Still, she made a number of remarkable contributions to science, co-discovering the element rhenium with her future husband and proposing for the first time the idea of nuclear fission. She also participated in the discovery of another element, which her team named masurium, but they could not prove its existence. It was finally isolated by others in 1937 and named what? Discuss
The mechanically gifted 10th child of a French glove-maker, Vaucanson created some of the world's first robots. His famous gold-plated "Digesting Duck" had hundreds of moving parts and could eat, drink, and defecate. In 1745, weavers pelted Vaucanson with stones when he created the first fully-automated loom, which utilized punch-card technology. Decades later, his ideas would prove pivotal to the Industrial Revolution. How many songs could his mechanical flutist perform? Discuss
One of the most celebrated diarists of all time, Pepys was born into a humble family but steadily improved his standing and eventually became an important public servant and royal confidant. His diary, which he kept throughout the 1660s, describes some of the most important events of his time, including the Great Fire of London and an outbreak of the plague. It also offers a vivid, intimate record of the author's life. On New Year's Eve 1661, Pepys made what resolution that he broke soon after? Discuss
Born four months after the death of his father, Albert II of Hapsburg, Ladislaus spent much of his childhood under the control of his powerful guardians, who refused to surrender the boy to his rightful place as king of Bohemia and Hungary. Though he was finally crowned king of Bohemia at age 13, he was unable to gain control of his realms before dying, probably of poisoning, just four years later. His coronation as king of Hungary when he was a baby was made possible by what daring theft? Discuss
At the age of 100, Calment was still riding a bicycle around her native Arles, France. She lived on her own until she was 110 and smoked until she was 117. She saw the Eiffel Tower being built and remembered selling colored pencils to Vincent van Gogh as a girl in her family's shop. By the time she died in 1997 at the age of 122, Calment had lived the longest confirmed human life in history—and outlived her entire family. What foods have been cited as contributing to Calment's longevity? Discuss
Beginning in the late 1970s, the English city of Manchester became the epicenter of a vibrant music scene that produced such seminal bands as Joy Division, Happy Mondays, and the Stone Roses. One of the key people behind the Manchester scene was Wilson, a record label owner, club manager, and journalist. The 2002 film 24 Hour Party People is based on his life. Despite his widespread influence, he made little money from his work and was unable to pay for what expensive medical treatment? Discuss
A devout Hindu, Shivaji grew up hating the Mughal Empire that controlled most of his native India. Around 1655, he began making guerrilla attacks on the Muslim kingdom of Bijapur, gradually carving out his own domain. He lured the Bijapur army to its destruction, becoming a formidable warlord overnight by taking the army's equipment. He then established the Maratha Empire, which was noted for its religious tolerance. How did he once make a daring escape from the Mughal emperor's palace? Discuss
Propelled to fame by her 1962 bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, Brown became editor-in-chief of the struggling Cosmopolitan magazine. By directing the magazine toward single, young career women and by being an outspoken advocate of women's sexual freedom, she not only revived the publication but also played a part in the sexual revolution. By the end of her 32-year tenure with Cosmopolitan, the magazine ranked sixth at the newsstand but first in what other kind of store? Discuss
As a Swiss explorer traveling in North Africa, Eberhardt often dressed as a man to move more freely through Arab society. Intensely independent, she took the side of Algerians fighting against colonial French rule. She converted to Islam, was initiated into a Sufi brotherhood, and married an Algerian soldier. She wrote about her travels in books and newspapers. She survived a murder attempt—in which her arm was badly injured by a saber—only to die at the age of 27 in what unlikely fashion? Discuss
A Russian-born British international chess master, Menchik won seven consecutive Women's World Chess Championships, beginning with the first one ever held and ending in 1939, when World War II halted the tournament. She and her family were killed in an air raid on London in 1944. When Menchik entered a men's tournament in 1929, Viennese master Albert Becker ridiculed her by saying that anyone who lost to her should become a part of the "Vera Menchik Club." Who was the first of its many members? Discuss
Working with Polish resistance groups and a network of helpers, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children during WWII by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, sometimes hidden in suitcases. After changing the children's names and arranging for their care, she buried records of their identities in jars, hoping to someday reunite them with their parents. Though she was arrested, tortured, and reportedly executed in 1943, she actually survived the war and lived to be 98. How did she survive the Nazis? Discuss
Some feminists observe Shaw's birthday in place of Valentine's Day, celebrating her legacy as a leading American suffragist, doctor, and lecturer. During World War I, she coordinated women's activities in the war effort, becoming the first woman to earn the Distinguished Service Medal. After becoming a close confidante of Susan B. Anthony, Shaw worked as one of the most effective speakers of the suffrage movement. She was also a minister who became the first woman to be ordained by what church? Discuss
Known as "the Nightingale of India," Naidu was an Indian child prodigy who began writing poetry as a young girl. She went on to pursue politics and became the first Indian woman to serve as president of the Indian National Congress and the first female governor of Uttar Pradesh. She enjoyed a close relationship with Mohandas Gandhi, and her participation in passive disobedience campaigns landed her in jail on multiple occasions. How is Naidu's birthday celebrated in India? Discuss
One of the great English novelists, Meredith wrote complex, often comic yet highly cerebral works that contain striking psychological character studies. Though he ostensibly launched a law career at age 18, he focused instead on journalism, poetry writing, and translation. Unable to earn a living this way, he began writing novels and eventually became a critical and popular success. In one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales, Sherlock Holmes asks Dr. Watson to talk about Meredith instead of what? Discuss
An Italian humanist and calligrapher, Poggio Bracciolini is remembered today for two reasons. As a secretary, historian, and copyist, he uncovered many forgotten and neglected Latin manuscripts—including works by Cicero and Lucretius—that might otherwise have been lost to history. He is also famous for his extraordinarily beautiful and legible handwriting, which was later developed into roman type, the predecessor of almost all non-italic fonts. Whose handwriting was the basis for italic fonts? Discuss
When she was a young girl in Mississippi, Price was given a toy piano by her parents. Her passion for music was further inflamed by a Marian Anderson performance she saw as a child. She later enrolled in Juilliard and, with her remarkable vocal range and power, went on to become one of the Metropolitan Opera's most popular stars and the first internationally recognized African-American opera singer. What unusual fee did the soprano reportedly request for a 1981 appearance with Luciano Pavarotti? Discuss
As the first governor of the Indiana Territory, Harrison negotiated treaties with Native Americans that ceded millions of acres of land to the US. In response, Tecumseh organized an uprising, which Harrison engaged at the famous Battle of Tippecanoe. He went on to lead forces in the War of 1812, recapturing Detroit from the British. Originally a Virginia aristocrat, he won the 1840 US presidential election by emphasizing his tough frontiersman image, only to die of what after a month in office? Discuss
Modersohn-Becker was a German painter who became an important early Expressionist despite her tragically short career. After studying in London and Paris, she helped introduce French Post-Impressionism into German art. She was greatly influenced by her stay at the artists' colony of Worpswede and later shifted from painting landscapes to portraits and still lifes, focusing on the expression of her feelings rather than a portrayal of reality. She died suddenly at 31, shortly after doing what? Discuss
When the young Peter II of Russia died without an heir, the Supreme Privy Council offered the throne to his distant cousin, Anna, under the condition that she would place the real power in the council's hands. She initially agreed, but then tore up the conditions, abolished the council, and restored the autocracy. She occupied herself with extravagant amusements and relied on her lover and foreign advisors to manage the state. What happened to the infant grandnephew she named as her successor? Discuss
The daughter of an artist, Leakey had little formal education, but her love of archaeology led her to work on excavations, initially as an illustrator. Digging in Africa—often with her husband, fellow archaeologist Louis Leakey—she made some of anthropology's most significant finds, including a 20-million-year-old skull and a set of hominid footprints preserved in volcanic ash. When she was a youth, what incident resulted in her being expelled from a convent school for the second time? Discuss
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