On This Day, Albert Einstein was born. Born 14 March 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, Einstein was a renowned physicist who developed the special and general theory of relativity.
He is, perhaps, one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century, with his work continuing to have an impact even today (without his breakthroughs, technology such as the computer, television and music players would not have existed).
Einstein was also partial to dropping some notable insight, much of which exists in the form of quotes posted all over the internet.
My personal favourite (and one I need a constant reminder of) is:
If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.
Not the James Bond we know as Agent 007, but rather the inspiration behind the character. James Bond was an American ornithologist. Ornithology is the study of the behavior, ecology and environment of birds. James Bond traveled to as many as 100 different countries in pursuit of his knowledge on birds, eventually publishing a book called Birds of the West Indies. This book was seen by James Bond creator and author, Ian Fleming, who was a keen birdwatcher himself – and the rest as they say is history.
We’ve all heard of the term ‘bug’ concerning our general day to day and also technology, but have you ever wondered why glitches in different kinds of software are called bugs?
“First actual case of bug being found”
While people were already using ‘bug’ to describe errors in performance before, its use today stems from a group recording the world’s first computer bug on 9th September 1947. This incident drew attention due to Grace Hopper, an American mathematician and rear admiral in the U.S. Navy who was a pioneer of computer programming. A group of Harvard University engineers and computer scientists were having trouble with their computer, and when they opened it, they discovered a bug – literally. Continue reading →
On 12th August 1865, a medical surgeon, Dr. Joseph Lister used phenol (a chemical antiseptic) for the first time during medical surgery. This took place in Glasgow, Scotland at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary where Lister encountered an 11-year-old boy called James Greenlees who’d been in a car accident.
Lister washed Greenlees’ wounds and dressed them with phenol (known as carbolic acid at the time). He continued to change the dressing, causing the wound to scab over and eventually heal. Within weeks, Greenlees was discharged from the hospital. Continue reading →
On June 11th, 1998, the genome sequence of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) was completed and published in the scientific journal, Nature.
This allowed scientists around the world to understand tuberculosis better and develop effective treatments. This was groundbreaking because TB is multi-drug resistant (meaning that it’s resistant to more than one antibiotic). Continue reading →