Monthly Archives: March 2017

Science Birthdays, March 31

Rene Descartes, born in 1596, mathematician, Father of modern philosophy, if you have ever made a graph and used Cartesian coordinates; you are using a system that Descartes came up with.  He used the Latinized form of his name which would have been Cartesius. His mother died when he was a year old, he was a sickly kid and was allowed to remain in bed for as long as he wanted,  he was however a brilliant kid,  he did most of his work in bed for the rest of his life, when he died his body was returned to France from the Swedish ruler Christina, Berzelius had possession of his head, but it was finally returned to Cuvier in France, In his discourse on method, he doubted everything, but the existence of doubt implied that there was something he was doubting, “cogito ergo sum” I think therefore I am. He died in 1650 at age 54

Archibald Couper, born in 1831, chemist, he was a sick kid but wrote a paper on using dotted lines for bonds but it took two months, Kekules paper looked like it came in first. This stressed him so much it ended his career, but he lived 30 more years. He died in 1892 at age 61

 Sir William Bragg, born in 1890,        physicist,          Infant prodigy, He developed the theory that sodium chloride is not molecular that the atoms are equidistant from each other.  He also developed the theory of ionic radii.  Famous for his law of diffraction of X-rays, which led to the discovery of DNA, He lobbied for Crick, Watson and Wilkins to get the Nobel Prize, He liked to lecture to young people on science. He died in 1971 at age 81.

 

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Natural Disasters, March 31

1931    An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000 people.

1997    April Fool’s Day Blizzard

1985    Barrie, Ontario Tornado 8 dead

Remember, a lot of people refer to  bad snowstorms as blizzards, but a blizzard is a snowstorm with winds exceeding 35 mph for 3 hours.

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Dog Tip of The Day, March 31

This will wrap it up on a month of military working dogs, or MWD’s.  Some people think this stands for war dogs, even though that could be an appropriate term. Dogs have been used in war as far back as the 7th century BC. where a war dog named Lethargos was buried with his master Hippaemon. The epitaph also records his horse and spearman were buried along with him. Hippaemon was a Magnesian horseman who was killed in a battle with the Ephesians in the mid 7th century. They would release the dogs against the enemy, then the spearmen, followed by a cavalry charge.

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Science Birthdays, March 30

Robert Bunsen was born on this day in 1811, a German chemist he investigated emission spectra of heated elements. He discovered cesium and rubidium.  He developed the Bunsen burner which are still used in laboratories today.  He died in 1899 at the age of 88.

Also born on this day was Bernhard Schmidt, he invented the Schmidt telescope to correct distortion when trying to enlarge something while keeping the field enlarged at the same time,  he died in 1955 at age 76.

Maimoides was born in 1135. He was the physician to Saladin, wrote a book called Guide for the perplexed, he died in 1204 at age 69.

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Natural Disasters, March 30

1823    Great Northeast storm, hurricane force winds raged from Pennsylvania to Maine with heavy snow inland.

1899    The mining town of Ruby, CO was buried under 141 inches of snow when the storm came to an end.

1987    A snow storm struck the Ohio Valley and Lower Great Lakes Region. Cleveland received 16 inches of snow in 24 hours. There were 100 record lows in three days.

1989    Thunderstorms, hail and a tornado, developed ahead of a slow moving cold front with damaging winds at more than 50 locations in the southeast quarter of the US. The tornado injured 11 people in Northampton, NC.

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Dog Tip of The Day, March 30

In the Battle of Corupedium, Lysimachus is killed and his body was found preserved on the battlefield guarded by his faithful dog.

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Science Birthdays, March 29

Sanctorius Sanctorius, born in 1561, he was a physician who measured weights of humans as they perspired. This was the beginning of the study of metabolism. He measured body temp using the first clinical thermometer, a water level thermometer. He also invented a device to measure pulse rate. He died in 1636 at age 75.

Sir Harold Jones, born in 1890, astronomer he measured the distance to the sun. He died in 1960 at age 70.

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