World’s Oldest Calculator

November 29, 2014 · Posted in Science · Comments Off 
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www.computerhistory.org A Classical Wonder: The Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism, oldest known calculator, is even older than first thought.

It was found in 1900 as part of a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The technological complexity of this device, which is believed to have charted moving planets, marked the passing of days and years, and also may have predicted eclipses, was designed ahead of any other similar invention by more than 1000 years.

Argentinian researchers have corrected the original creation date of 100 to 150 BC, determined by radiocarbon dating analysis, to an earlier date of 205 BC. , since discovering an eclipse prediction calendar dial on the back of the mechanism that predicted a May 12, 205 B.C. solar eclipse.

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Jonas Salk’s 100th Birthday

October 26, 2014 · Posted in Medicine, Science, This Day in History · Comments Off 

The History of Polio is forever and inextricably linked with  Jonas Salk . Salk’s eagerly anticipated achievement of inoculation against the much feared polio virus was made public on April 12, 1955

Not long after the announcement of the success of the Salk Vaccine , Jonas appeared in what would become a well-known television interview with Edward R. Murrow. When Murrow asked why he did not obtain a patent on his medical discovery, Salk famously said in response, “Would you patent the sun?” His response left the impression that it was a morally motivated decline on Salk’s part that resulted in an unpatented invention. But there are other details that point to the possibility of an altogether different reason having less to do with Salk and more to do with other factors  apart from Salk’s refusal to apply for a patent.

October 28, 1914 marks the 100th anniversary of Jonas Salk’s birthday.

1985 Interview with Salk

IBM Introduces the System/360

April 7, 2014 · Posted in Firsts in History, Science, This Day in History · Comments Off 

May the computers unite and with that revolutionary concept the IBM System/360 was born. Before the uniting of computers into a network of systems, each was its own creation uniquely customized for each of IBM’s clients.

It has been 50 years since the 360 mainframe was introduced in 1964. It boasted the first mainframe computers that IBM customers could optimize from a lower cost model to something upgraded in power. ABC News

 

 

The History of DNA

February 28, 2013 · Posted in Science · Comments Off 

On Saturday, Feb. 28, 1953, New York Times, in an ironically understated setting for such an ultimately world reknown and Nobel Prize winning reveal, scientists Watson and Crick announced during lunch at the English pub the Eagle, that they had discovered the secret of life. However, the necessary foundation had long been established, before the scientific work on the structural properties of the double helix brought DNA to the spotlight of the mainstream.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was discovered in the late 1860s by Friedrich Miescher. It probably comes as a surprise to most, that it was Swiss chemist Miescher who first identified the ingredients for human life. Most people associate the momentous finding with the famous American biologist and English physicist, James Watson and Francis Crick, mistakenly giving them credit for DNA’s discovery; but their contribution didn’t arrive on the scientific scene until decades later.

In 1869 Miescher discovered DNA, which he initially named nuclein. With an astute, scientifically trained eye, while attempting to investigate the chemical makeup of white blood cells , he noticed something significant. It was a unique substance that did not resemble previously examined protiens.

Miescher’s unique substance that he called nuclein received little notice over the years except by scientists studying the molecule and subsequently adding further knowledge to the initial find.

Learn more about James Watson and Francis Crick’s contribution to the DNA story

Einstein’s God Letter

October 9, 2012 · Posted in Famous Scientists, Science · Comments Off 

Below is an excerpt from the letter Einstein wrote in German in the year 1954. This letter, coined the “God Letter” by a Los Angeles-based auction agency, is up for auction on Ebay with a starting bid of $3 million.

The World renown physicist wrote the letter to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind a year before his death. The letter sheds some light on the religious views he held towards the end of his 76 years of life.

“For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups … I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”

Access original on Ebay

Neil Armstrong’s Death at 82

August 25, 2012 · Posted in Science · Comments Off 

I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Armstrong today. Neil and I trained together as technical partners but were also good friends who will always be connected through our participation in the mission of Apollo 11. Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone.

Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history. I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.

On behalf of the Aldrin family, we extend our deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Armstrong family. I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.

May he Rest in Peace

BUZZ ALDRIN

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