Παρασκευή, 28 Μαρτίου 2014

Newsletter for Friday 28 March


TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY
NEWSLETTER - 28 MARCH

Feature for Today
On 28 Mar 1819, Joseph William Bazalgette was born, who solved what was known as the "Great Stink." For a satirical comment from Punch in 1858, commenting on the problem at the height of the crisis, read this article about a proposed "medal."

Book of the Day
On 28 Mar 1819, Joseph William Bazalgette was born, a British civil engineer whose greatest accomplishment was a project that took 20 years. It was a response to what was known as the "Great Stink" crisis, and combatted cholera outbreaks. Today's Science Store pick is The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis, by Stephen Halliday. Bazalgette took on a task of unprecedented scale and complexity. In addition, various bridges, buildings and other projects around London are his engineering work. He was a busy and capable man. This book is a good read, after which you may never look at a modern city the same way. New: $15.95. Save 22% Price $12.44. Available Used from $7.99 (as of time of writing).

Yesterday's pick: The Magic of a Name: The Rolls-Royce Story, Part One: The First Forty Years by Peter Pugh.
For picks from earlier newsletters, see the Today in Science Science Store home page.


Quotations for Today
"The dogma of the impossibility of determining the atomic constitution of substances, which until recently was advocated with such fervor by the most able chemists, is beginning to be abandoned and forgotten; and one can predict that the day is not far in the future when a sufficient collection of facts will permit determination of the internal architecture of molecules. A series of experiments directed toward such a goal is the object of this paper."
- Wilhelm K�rner, German organic chemist who established in 1874 how to determine the positions of the substituents on di- and tri-substituted isomers of the benzene ring by counting product or source isomers (died 28 Mar 1925) Quotes Icon

"[All phenomena] are equally susceptible of being calculated, and all that is necessary, to reduce the whole of nature to laws similar to those which Newton discovered with the aid of the calculus, is to have a sufficient number of observations and a mathematics that is complex enough."
- Marquis Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat Condorcet, French mathematician and natural philosopher (died 28 Mar 1794) Quotes Icon

QUIZ
Before you look at today's web page, see if you can answer some of these questions about the events that happened on this day. Some of the names are very familiar. Others will likely stump you. Tickle your curiosity with these questions, then check your answers on today's web page.
Births
Sir Joseph William Bazalgette, born 28 Mar 1819, was a British civil engineer built some major bridges in London, but his greatest accomplishment was a project that took 20 years. It was a response to what was known as the "Great Stink" crisis, and combatted cholera outbreaks.
What was his great project?
Deaths
A French engineer (1845-1903) received a patent (1874) on a telegraph code that by the mid-20th century had supplanted Morse Code as the most commonly used telegraphic alphabet. He dedicated his life to the development of a fast-printing telegraph, eventually perfecting a model which could transmit six simultaneous messages. His system was used throughout the world for terrestrial and undersea links for over 70 years.
Can you name this engineer?
Events
On 28 Mar 1979, the worst U.S. nuclear accident occured, though disaster was avoided. Caused by human and mechanical errors, a cooling system malfunctioned and permitted a partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor's core. Some radioactivity leaked into the atmosphere.
Where did this American nuclear accident take place?

On 28 Mar 1946, the Census Bureau and the National Bureau of Standards met to discuss the purchase of a computer. The agencies agreed to buy one from the company formed by inventors Presper Eckert and John Mauchly to build and sell the world's first general all-purpose business computer.
By what name was this computer known?

Answers

When you have your answers ready to all the questions above, you'll find all the information to check them, and more, on the March 28 web page of Today in Science History. Or, try this link first for just the brief answers.

Fast answers for the previous newsletter for March 27: X-rays; Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin; Sir James Dewar; polyethylene; kerosene.

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