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Zile de nastere - Birthdays

A prominent German physicist, Born taught theoretical physics at the University of Göttingen from 1921 to 1933, until Nazi policies forced him—a person of Jewish descent—to flee to England, where he continued to teach at the university level. He made contributions to various branches of physics, including solid-state physics and optics, but his most important work was that related to quantum mechanics, which earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954. What noted scientists studied under Born? Discuss
A promising student with varied interests, Gallaudet earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale, after which he attended seminary and became a preacher. However, upon meeting 9-year-old Alice Cogswell, the deaf daughter of a neighbor, his interests turned to education of the deaf. He traveled to Europe to study the latest methods, including sign language, and returned to found the first American free school for the deaf. Who founded the university for the deaf named for Gallaudet? Discuss
A math professor, Hopper joined the US Navy during World War II. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard, where she worked on the first fully automatic calculator, the Mark 1. Made of 765,000 parts and using typewriters for output, it sounded, she said, like a thousand knitting needles. She later helped develop UNIVAC I—the first US commercial electronic computer—and high-level programming languages. What computer term did she popularize and possibly coin? Discuss
A skilled French sculptor in her own right, Claudel is best remembered for being a student, collaborator, model, and mistress of famed sculptor Auguste Rodin. The two had a tumultuous affair that began to crumble in the 1890s, and Claudel, who suffered from mental illness, became increasingly unstable and reclusive. She was committed in 1913 and remained institutionalized until her death 30 years later. Her work is highly valued by collectors, but little of it survives today. Why is this? Discuss
The "father of modern planetary science," Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper made many discoveries about the solar system, among them the presence of a methane atmosphere around Saturn's satellite Titan and a carbon dioxide-rich one on Mars and the existence of Uranus's satellite Miranda and Neptune's satellite Nereid. He also proposed the existence of a disk-shaped region of minor planets and comets—now called the Kuiper belt—outside Neptune's orbit. What did he help identify on the Moon? Discuss
Henry VI became king of England when he was not yet nine months old. That same year, the English proclaimed the infant the successor to the French throne, but France did not recognize this. The young monarch grew up to be a mild, honest, and pious man, a patron of literature and the arts. He was, however, also mentally unstable, weak-willed, and politically naive, and this created a power vacuum that his overly powerful ministers vied to fill, eventually resulting in what decades-long conflict? Discuss
Christina Rossetti was one of England's most important female poets of the Victorian era. It is little wonder that she became a poet, given her lineage. Her great-grandfather was a poet, her grandfather was a writer and scholar, and her father was the famous poet and scholar Gabriele Rossetti. Her three siblings followed similar paths. Religious themes dominate her poems, which run the gamut from romantic to devotional to children's poetry. What popular Christmas carol did she pen? Discuss
A career army officer and skillful leader, Franco was appointed the Spanish army's chief of staff in 1935. The next year, he joined the military uprising that precipitated the Spanish Civil War and became the leader of the Nationalist forces bent on overthrowing the republican government. Over the next few years, a bloody war was waged. The Nationalists emerged victorious, and from 1939 until his death in 1975, Franco served as virtual dictator of Spain. Whose aid helped secure Franco's victory? Discuss
A Vassar graduate and the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—"it being understood that her admission did not establish a precedent for the general admission of females"—chemist Ellen Richards was one of the US's foremost female chemists of her time and the founder of the country's home economics movement. Yet, perhaps her greatest contributions were the advances she made in opening up science education and professions to women. What were some of her notable firsts? Discuss
A Hungarian engineer and inventor, Goldmark immigrated to the US in 1933 and went to work in the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) laboratories. There he developed the first commercial color television system, but it was not compatible with existing black-and-white television sets and was soon superseded by one that was. Later, he developed the system that would allow the US Lunar Orbiter to relay photographs from the Moon to Earth. What did he invent that revolutionized the recording industry? Discuss
Though she was of royal blood, Princess Alexandra had a relatively normal upbringing. It was not until after she wed Prince Albert Edward of Wales in 1863 that her father, Christian IX, was crowned king of Denmark, and she did not ascend to the station of queen consort until many years after that. As queen, she devoted herself to charitable works and was beloved by the British public. She was held in such high regard, in fact, that society women adopted what physical impediment of hers? Discuss
Cooney worked as a newspaper reporter and television publicist before becoming a producer for a public television station in New York City. There, she developed the concepts for children's programming that led to the incorporation of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in 1968. Through innovative programs like Sesame Street and 3, 2, 1 Contact, CTW transformed children's television and learning. What Emmy award-winning adult educational program did she help produce? Discuss
Mildred Sisk was born in Portland, Maine, but went to Europe in the 1920s, changed her name, and by 1934 was an English-language radio broadcaster in Berlin. During World War II, she broadcast Nazi propaganda aimed to demoralize American troops, who nicknamed her "Axis Sally." On the radio, Gillars emphasized the infidelity of soldiers' wives and sweethearts while they were overseas. She was convicted of treason in 1949 and spent 12 years in prison. What did she do after she was released? Discuss
Godunov was a Russian ballet dancer and film actor whose defection caused a diplomatic incident between the US and USSR. On August 21, 1979, while on tour with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York City, Godunov requested political asylum. Days later, the KGB put his wife, a soloist with the company, on a plane to Moscow, but the State Department grounded it until officials determined that she was leaving voluntarily. The couple later divorced. In what blockbuster did Godunov play a German terrorist? Discuss
A cultural icon, Lee was one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century. Lee, whose father was a leading actor, appeared in Hong Kong films as a child and went on to star in action movies that sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. He constantly trained to improve his physique but was also a philosopher. He collapsed while working on his final film, the cult hit Enter the Dragon, and died a short time later. What caused his death? Discuss
While developing a dehumidifier for the Buffalo Forge Company in the early 1900s, American engineer Willis Carrier discovered that circulating air over cold pipes not only removes water from the air but also cools it. He became the father of air conditioning, holding over 80 patents and dominating air conditioner manufacturing with his company, Carrier Corporation. He invented a practical air conditioning system for skyscrapers in 1939. What did he call his invention when he patented it in 1906? Discuss
Nation was an American temperance advocate with an unorthodox style of destroying saloons with a hatchet while supporters sang hymns. Her passion was likely fueled by her first husband's alcoholism. Though she was successful in focusing public attention on the cause of prohibition, most temperance organizations were hesitant to support her. At 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, Nation was hard to contain and was arrested 30 times before declining health forced her retirement. How did she pay her fines? Discuss
On September 7, 1938, Darling spotted the wrecked SS Forfarshire from a window in the lighthouse that her father kept on the Farne Islands. The ship had foundered on rocks during a storm and broken in half. The weather was too rough for a lifeboat, so Darling and her father rescued survivors in a rowboat. Darling was celebrated as a national hero and became the subject of legends and even a poem by William Wordsworth. How many people were on the Forfarshire when it went down? Discuss
Alfonso X, son and successor of Ferdinand III, sought to become Holy Roman Emperor but eventually renounced his claim due to Spanish antagonism and papal opposition. He crushed revolts by Muslims in 1252 and nobles in 1254, but once his eldest son was killed while fighting the Moors in 1275, civil war for succession broke out between Ferdinand's children and Alfonso's second son, who succeeded him as Sancho IV. Why is Alfonso depicted in the House of Representatives chamber of the US Capitol? Discuss
Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was raised with a strong religious piety but broke with orthodoxy in her 20s and turned to fiction, writing such classic Victorian novels as Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch, in which she developed a method of psychological analysis that would become a characteristic of modern fiction. Although her novels are serious in tone, they still contain humorous moments. With which philosopher did Eliot have a lengthy, scandalous affair? Discuss
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