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Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Superfund legislation... may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent…issue …”
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JULY 16 – BIRTHS – Scientists born on July 16th
  Dan Bricklin
 Born 16 Jul 1951.
American computer scientist who with Bob Frankston created VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet computer program (1979) which created a market beyond hobbyists for the emerging personal computers. Businesses found the program very useful because of the speed and accuracy of its calculations. Originally written in 6502 assembly language to run on a 32K-byte Apple II, it was soon ported to virtually all major 6502- and Z80-based personal computers then available. They did not reap huge financial profits from the spreadsheet program, despite eventually selling over a half-million copies by 1983, because at the time, copyright protection was not generally sought for software, and it was subsequently surpassed by Lotus 1-2-3.«
  Irwin Rose
 Born 16 Jul 1926.
American biochemist who was a awarded a share of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Israelis Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko) for discovering the role of the protein ubiquitin in cells. This small protein molecule attaches to other proteins, tagging them for removal, which are thus recognized by the cell's proteasomes. These structures are the cell's waste-disposal units, where the proteins are broken down into tiny pieces for reuse. This ubiquitin-mediated process cleans up unwanted proteins resulting during cell division, and performs quality control on newly synthesized proteins. Faulty protein-breakdown processes lead to such conditions as cystic fibrosis, several neurodegenerative diseases, and certain types of cancer.«
  David Lambert Lack
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 Born 16 Jul 1910; died 12 Mar 1973 at age 62.   quotes
British ornithologist and author of books popularizing natural science, such as The Life of the Robin (1943). From the 1930s, he engaged in fieldwork investigating bird habitat and behaviour. A year spent studing the birds of the Galapagos (1938-9) yielded material he published in Darwin's Finches (1947), describing the14 specialized species of finch that have evolved from an original invading flock of ordinary seed-eating finches. During WW II, his involvement in the early work on radar later enabled him to employ radar to study bird migration. From 1945, for the rest of his life, he was director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Oxford. He was one of the leading figures in British ornithology. His scientific research was on various aspects of speciation, population control, group selection, and ecological isolation.«
The Life of the Robin, by David Lambert Lack. - book suggestion.
  Orville Redenbacher
 Born 16 Jul 1907; died 19 Sep 1995 at age 88.
American agronomist and popcorn business founder, born in Brazil, Ind., Popcorn King whose devotion to creating and promoting a fluffier, tastier popcorn turned him into a bow-tied advertising icon. His interest in popcorn blossomed early. It was the favorite snack on his family's farm, and Redenbacher grew it to earn extra spending money. In the early '40s, while managing a 12,000-acre farm where he was growing popcorn, Redenbacher and a friend, Charles Bowman, used the fields to experiment with corn hybrids from Purdue University. Several decades and 30,000 hybrids later, they introduced gourmet popcorn.
  Harold Dadford West
 Born 16 Jul 1904; died 5 Mar 1974 at age 69.
Black-American biochemist and college president, who was the first to synthesize the essential amino acid threonine. Although he is best known for his studies of amino acids, he conducted research in a wider field, including the biochemistry of various bacilli, the B vitamins, and antibiotics. He spent his career from 1937 as professor of biochemistry at Meharry Medical College, Nashville until his retirement in 1973 where he held also the position of college president (1952-63). He was plagued and often hospitalized by severe asthma, which contributed his death.
  Lιon Croizat
 Born 16 Jul 1894; died 30 Nov 1982 at age 88.   quotes
Italian biogeographer and botanist who wrote a critique of Darwinism. Rather than addressing the problem of form, as considered by other ctitics, Croizat took a unique and fascinating position. He believed in the problem of space, an aspect of biogeography, because it is through space and in time that the forms of organisms change. Croizat acknowledges Darwin knew the importance of the spatial aspect, but failed to expand beyond a passing mention. Croizat developed a track method of investigation to study the geographic distributions of organisms and  map them into what he called “dispersal patterns.”«
  Frits Zernike
 Born 16 Jul 1888; died 10 Mar 1966 at age 77.
Dutch physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1953 for his invention of the phase-contrast microscope, an instrument that permits the study of internal cell structure without the need to stain and thus kill the cells. In addition to its capacity to render colourless and transparent objects visible in the microscope, it also enables one to detect slight flaws in mirrors, telescope lenses, and other instruments indispensable for research. In this connection, Zernike's phase-plate serves as an indicator which locates and measures small surface irregularities to a fraction of a light-wavelength.
  Alfred Stock
 Born 16 Jul 1876; died 12 Aug 1946 at age 70.   quotes
German chemist whose Stock system (1919) is used for inorganic chemical names, now with roman numerals for oxidation numbers, such as iron(II) chloride. He studied under Emil Fischer and Henri Moissan, and became a professor in 1906. From about 1909, he researched boron and silicon hydrides, for which he developed high-vacuum techniques. Stock showed a compound of phosphorus and sulphur could be substituted for the poisonous phosphorus used in matches. From Mar 1924, when he became aware that his years of exposure to mercury vapours in the laboratory had resulted in his chronic mercury poisoning, he initiated research in the pathology of mercury. He devised analytical methods to detect minute amounts of mercury. By avoiding exposure, even amalgam tooth fillings, he recovered his health.«
The Structure of Atoms, by Alfred Stock. - book suggestion.
  Joseph Goldberger
 Born 16 Jul 1874; died 17 Jan 1929 at age 54.
Joseph Goldberger was an Austrian-American epidemiologist who is best known for his work showing the connection between pellagra and a deficiency in the diet of poor people. Beginning in 1902, he investigated various diseases: yellow fever, typhoid fever, dengue fever, infections by trematodes (parasitic worms), typhus fever, and diphtheria. In 1914, the U.S. Surgeon General asked Dr. Goldberger to research the treatment of pellagra, the disease of the four D’s—dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and, too often, death. Goldberger rejected the prevailing germ theory, and showed pellagra was not infectious. Instead, the disorder resulted from a poor corn-based diet, unless supplemented with yeast. After he died, it was Conrad A.Elevjhem who identified (1937) the missing nutrient was niacin, a B vitamin.«
Goldberger on Pellagra, by Joseph Goldberger and Milton Terris (editor). - book suggestion.
Booklist for Joseph Goldberger.
  Roald Amundsen
 Born 16 Jul 1872; died 16 Jun 1928 at age 55.
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer who is remembered as one of the great polar explorers. In his twenties, he interrupted his studies in medicine to join the first winter expedition to the Antarctic, sailing (1897) as first mate on the Belgica, a Belgian expedition. On his next voyage (1903-06) he established the Northwest Passage. In 1904 he located the site of the North Magnetic pole. When he turned his attention to the Antarctic, he achieved his quest to be the first to reach the South Pole (14 Dec 1911). After three unsuccessful attempts, he was among the first to cross the Arctic by air in 1926 when he made a flight by dirigible from Spitsbergen, across the North Pole, to Alaska. He died in another flight over the Arctic (Jun 1928) during a search for survivors of a shipwreck.«
  Giuseppe Piazzi
 Born 16 Jul 1746; died 22 Jul 1826 at age 80.
Italian astronomer and author who discovered the first asteroid, Ceres. He established an observatory at Palermo and mapped the positions of 7,646 stars. He also discovered that the star 61 Cygni had a large Proper Motion, which led Friedrich Bessel to chose it as the object of his parallax studies. He discovered Ceres on 1 Jan 1801, but was able to make only three observations. He named it after Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture and motherly love. The term “asteroid,” meaning “star-like” was coined (1803) by William Herschel. Fortuitously, Carl Gauss had recently developed mathematical techniques that allowed the orbit to be calculated. Within the next few years, astronomers discovered three more asteroids: Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. The thousandth asteroid discovered was named Piazzi in his honor.
  John Kay
Thumbnail - John Kay
 Born 16 Jul 1704; died 1764 .
John Kay was an English machinist and engineer, inventor of the flying shuttle power loom, patented 1733, which was an important step toward automatic weaving. Kay placed shuttle boxes at each side of the loom connected by a long board, known as a shuttle race. By means of cords attached to a picking peg, a single weaver, using one hand, could cause the shuttle to be knocked back and forth across the loom from one shuttle box to the other. A weaver using Kay's flying shuttle could produce much wider cloth at faster speeds than before. However, at first, weavers had furiously resented him for, they thought, harming their livelihood. Thus, he was driven out of the country, and he died in poverty and obsurity in France.

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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JULY 16 – DEATHS – Scientists died on July 16th
  Julian Seymour Schwinger
 Died 16 Jul 1994 at age 76 (born 12 Feb 1918).   quotes
American physicist who shared (with Richard Feynman and Shin-Itiro Tomonaga) the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for work in quantum electrodynamics which reconciled quantum mechanics with Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity. He published his first physics paper at age 16, and received a Ph.D. by age 21. During WW II, he developed important methods in electromagnetic field theory, which advanced the theory of wave guides. His variational techniques were applied in several fields of mathematical physics. In the 1940s he was one of the inventors of the “renormalization” technique. In 1957, he theorized that there were different neutrinos: one associated with the electron and one with the muon (verified experimentally 1962.) He invented and developed source theory.« A third family of neutrinos associated with the tau meson is now known (per email from David L. Wilson 17 Jul 2012).
  Henri Frankfort
 Died 16 Jul 1954 at age 57 (born 24 Feb 1897).
Dutch-American archaeologist who established the relationship between Egypt and Mesopotamia and completed a thoroughly documented reconstruction of ancient Mesopotamian culture and art. The excavations he directed in Egypt (1922, 1925-29) and Iraq (1929-37) were conducted with exemplary archaeological scholarship. In 1925, Frankfort resumed work which had been started by Naville at Abydos excavating the Osireion, discovered by Petrie (1902) who named it from his interpretation as a symbolic tomb of Osiris. Frankfort's initial project site was situated to the West of Seti's Temple but expanded to record the fine reliefs of the temple of Seti itself.«
The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, by Henri Frankfort. - book suggestion.
  Sir Victor Horsley
 Died 16 Jul 1916 at age 59 (born 14 Apr 1857).
Victor Alexander Haden Horsley was an English physiologist and neurosurgeon who was a pioneer in surgery on the brain and spinal cord. Before age 30, on 25 May 1886, he performed his first human brain surgery: excision of a scar. In 1887, he worked with his former professor, Sir William Gowers, in the controversial first surgery to remove a spinal cord tumour, treating an Army officer (age 45) with a spastic paralysis of the lower extremities, enabling him to walk again. He researched the thyroid gland's function in regulating the body's growth and metabolism, and how its malfunction was related to myxedema and cretinism. He confirmed Louis Pasteur's development of an effective rabies vaccine, and advocated its use in England to prevent the disease. In his research to find physiological analogs with humans, he investigated the anatomy as diverse as woodpeckers, ducks and armadillos.«
  William Hamilton Gibson
 Died 16 Jul 1896 at age 45 (born 5 Oct 1850).

American illustrator, author and naturalist who began sketching flowers and insects when he was only eight years old. In addition to his interest in botany and entomology, Gibson was skilled in making wax flowers. His work appeared in various periodicals, including a popular, long series of nature articles in Harper's Weekly, Scribner's Monthly, and Century. Gibson’s technical drawings first appeared in 1870. They seemed to approach photographic quality in accuracy with almost microscopic detail. In fact, he was also an expert photographer. For his ability to vividly capture nature from the field and forest, his biographer listed him as part of a great trio of “nature-prohets” with Henry Thoreau and John Burroughs.« [Image right: Pink Lady's Slipper illustration by Gibson.]

William Hamilton Gibson: Artist—Naturalist—Author (reproduction), by John Coleman Adams. - book suggestion.
  Josiah Spode II
 Died 16 Jul 1827 (born 1754).
English inventor who was a potter recognised for creating bone china Before the invention of bone china, the English manufactured fine soft-paste porcelain at Chelsea, Bow, and Derby. It was Josiah Spode who is generally recognised as the inventor of Fine Bone China as we now know it (1800). In Stoke-on-Trent, his father, Josiah Spode I (1733-97) began the pottery business with the manufacture of porcelain ornamented with designs inspired by eastern art. His son, Josiah Spode II, later mixed kaolin, feldspar, and bone ash to make a bone china paste that became the standard English paste in 1800. Spode china featured a large number of designs but was especially noted for its exotic birds. In 1806 he was appointed potter to the Prince of Wales.
  Charles Du Fay
 Died 16 Jul 1739 at age 40 (born 14 Sep 1698).
Charles Franηois de Cisternay Du Fay was a French chemist who made early experiments in electricity. In 1733, he distinguished electrical fluid in two types he named “vitreous electricity” and “resinous electricity” depending on the objects that produced the charge (subsequently called “positive” and “negative” by Benjamin Franklin). Du Fay discovered that objects with like charges repel each other, but oppositely charged objects attract. He also noted the effect of electricity shock on his body, and visible spark when making contact with a highly charged object. He observed that electricity may be conducted in the gaseous matter (now called plasma) adjacent to a red-hot body. Du Fay was also a pioneer in crystal optics.«

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JULY 16 – EVENTS – Science events on July 16th
  Genetic Pattern of Syphilis
Thumbnail - Genetic Pattern of Syphilis
Late congenital syphilis
  In 1998, scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md., say they have mapped the 1.1 million base pairs of DNA that make up the syphilis genome. Thus, the researchers have mapped the entire genetic pattern of the syphilis bacterium. This breakthrough may lead to a new vaccine that will prevent infection by the microbe, and, eventually, eradication of a sexually transmitted disease that has been a worldwide scourge for 500 years. It was reported by the Associated Press on 16 July that details of the work would be published in that week's issue of the journal Science.
  Shoemaker-Levy Comet
  In 1994, the first of 21 asteroids, major fragments of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broken-up 2 years earlier, hit Jupiter, creating a 1200-mile wide fireball 600 miles high to the joy of astronomers awaiting the celestial fireworks, giving scientists their first chance to observe such a collision as it happened, and others through July 22. Jupiter is a gas giant, made up mostly of hydrogen and helium in gas and liquid form.When we observe Jupiter, we are looking not at a solid surface, but a banded atmosphere with swirling clouds and huge storms. Image: Fireballs on Jupiter after impacts of fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
  Moon Shot
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  In 1969, the Crew of Apollo XI, Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins, blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon. Photo: On July 1, 1969, Apollo 11 stands on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, during a simulated countdown, preparing for its July 16 launch. (NASA)
  Mont Blanc Road Tunnel
  In 1965, the Mont Blanc seven-mile road tunnel opened, linking the countries of France and Italy. 11.6 km long, the Mont-Blanc tunnel links Courmayeur and the Italian Val d'Aoste with the French valley of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. It takes a little more than 10 minutes to go through the tunnel and 1/2 an hour overall to get from Courmayeur to the centre of Chamonix. The Mont-Blanc tunnel holds the world record for the deepest tunnel with 2480 m of rock covering it. It took six years, from 1959 to 1965, to bore the 11.6-km long tunnel.
  Jet Speed Record
  In 1953, the F-86D Sabre beats its own world aircraft speed record by flying 715.7 mph (1152 kph). After its first flight in 1949, more than 6,000 F-86s were manufactured by North American's Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, divisions. Various models of the Sabre held world's speed records for six consecutive years, setting five official records and winning several National Aircraft Show Bendix Trophies. In September 1948, an F-86A set the Sabre's first official world speed record of 570 mph. This mark was bettered in 1952 by an F-86D that flew at 698 mph. The "D" became the first model of a fighter to better its own record, in 1953, with a run of 715 mph.
  Turbo-prop Flight
Thumbnail - Turbo-prop Flight
  In 1948, The world's first production turbine-propeller aircraft, the Vickers Viscount, made its maiden flight. The Viscount is still Britain's most successful commercial transport aircraft, with 444 aircraft being built. Combining speed, passenger appeal and operating economics, Viscounts formed the basis for many airlines until replaced by pure jet equipment.
  Atomic Bomb
Thumbnail - Atomic Bomb
  In 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was successfully exploded in the desert near Alomogordo, New Mexico as the “Trinity” test. The atomic bomb was conceived during World War II, by two refugee German scientists in England, Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. In 1940 they designed a “blue-print” for making an atom bomb. Working in the U.S., Enrico Fermi, invented the “atomic pile,”which produced the first controlled atomic chain reaction on 2 Dec 1942. The development of the atomic bomb was code-named the “Manhattan Project,” carried out in secret at Los Alamos, New Mexico, by a team of American and British scientists. Only 21 days after the first bomb test, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on 6 Aug 1945. WW II was brought to an end before the end of the month.«
  U.S. Parking Meters
  In 1935, the first parking meters were installed in the Oklahoma City business district. Carl C. Magee of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce traffic committee, solved the parking problems in downtown Oklahoma City. Downtown workers were parking on streets, staying all day, and leaving few spaces for shoppers and visitors to the business district. Magee applied for a patent on his parking meter on 13 May 1935 (issued 24 May 1938). His patent application indicates that generating revenue was an important issue from the beginning. It stated that his invention related to "meters for measuring the time of occupancy or use of parking or other space, for the use of which it is desirous an incidental charge be made upon a time basis."
  Ready-Mixed Paint
  In 1867, a patent for the first prepared, or "ready-mixed" paint in the U.S. was granted to D.R. Averill, of Newberg, Ohio. The first recorded paint mill in America was reportedly established in Boston in 1700 by Thomas Child. In the nineteenth century, with the large-scale manufacture of linseed oil from the flax plant and pigment-grade zinc oxide were combined before the paint was marketed. Previously, home owners would mix their own paint from a base, oil, turpentine and pigments. It was Henry Alden Sherwin and partner Edward Williams who invested ten years in developing the commercial product and introduced it in 1880.
  Reinforced Concrete
  In 1867, reinforced concrete was patented by F. Joseph Monier (1823-1906), a gardner in Paris, to reinforce garden tubs, beams and posts. The French inventor had found that the tensile weakness of plain concrete could be overcome if steel rods were embedded in a concrete member. The new composite material was called reinforced concrete, or ferroconcrete. William E. Ward builds (1871-75) the landmark building, first in the U.S. to use reinforced concrete, for a private house in Port Chester, N.Y., It was designed by architect Robert Mook.

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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

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