Despite being loosely supported for education initially & losing a job for socio-political reasons; this lady amused the world from home laboratory; the only nobel laureate to surpass 100 years life!!!

Rita Levi-Montalcini (22 April 1909 – 30 December 2012) is a Nobel Laureate honored for her work in neurobiology. She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside colleague Stanley Cohen for discovering nerve growth factor (NGF). Also, from 2001 until her death, she served in the Italian Senate as a Senator for Life. Rita Levi-Montalcini had been the oldest living Nobel laureate and the first ever to reach a 100th birthday.
Her father discouraged her from attending college as he feared it would disrupt their lives as wives and mothers but he eventually supported Levi-Montalcini’s aspirations to become a doctor anyway.After graduating with an M.D. in 1936, she went to work as Giuseppe Levi’s assistant, but her academic career was cut short by Benito Mussolini’s 1938 Manifesto of Race and the subsequent introduction of laws barring Jews from academic and professional careers.  During World War II, Levi-Montalcini would conduct experiments from a home laboratory, studying the growth of nerve fibers in chicken embryos, which laid the groundwork for much of her later research. Her first genetics laboratory was in her bedroom at her home.  Read more & watch the Video…

This late speaker, challenger to orthodox thinking laid foundation to NANOTECHNOLOGY!!!

Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time. Feynman was a late talker, and by his third birthday had yet to utter a single word. In 1933, when he turned 15, he taught himself trigonometry, advanced algebra, infinite series, analytic geometry, and both differential and integral calculus. He applied to Columbia University but was not accepted.

Feynman has been called the “Great Explainer”. He gained a reputation for taking great care when giving explanations to his students and for making it a moral duty to make the topic accessible. He opposed rote learning or unthinking memorization and other teaching methods that emphasized form over function. Clear thinking and clear presentation were fundamental prerequisites for his attention. It could be perilous even to approach him when unprepared, and he did not forget the fools or pretenders.

“There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” was a lecture given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech on December 29, 1959. Feynman considered the possibility of direct manipulation of individual atoms as a more powerful form of synthetic chemistry than those used at the time. The talk went unnoticed and it didn’t inspire the conceptual beginnings of the field. In the 1990s it was rediscovered and publicised as a seminal event in the field, probably to boost the history of nanotechnology with Feynman’s reputation. Nanotechnology (“nanotech”) is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Read more & Watch the video…

Rejection from best engineering college in France & other hindrances didn’t stop him from designing Iron lady & Eiffel!!!

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (born Bönickhausen;15 December 1832 – 27 December 1923) was a French civil engineer and architect. A graduate of the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, he made his name with various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct. He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France. After his retirement from engineering, Eiffel concentrated his energies on research into meteorology and aerodynamics, making important contributions in both fields. In 1881 Eiffel was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi who was in need of an engineer to help him to realise the Statue of Liberty.

Eiffel went on to attend the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris, in order to prepare for the difficult entrance exams set by the most important engineering colleges in France. Eiffel had hoped to enter the École Polytechnique, but his tutors decided that his performance was not good enough, and instead he qualified for entry to the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris, which offered a rather more vocational training.Read more & Watch the video…

Who’s the Santa Anyway!!!

Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children’s books and films.

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father of Christmas and simply “Santa” is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on December 24, the night before Christmas.
However, in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas’ Day, December 6. The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of “Sinterklaas”. PREDECESSOR FIGURES OF SANTA: ST.NICHOLAS (4th century), was a Greek Christian Bishop of MYRA now known as Demre a province in byzantine Anatolia now in Turkey. Read more & Watch the video…

This Christmas(Kiritimati) is actually an island which has London & Paris within & is the first to celebrate the NEW YEAR!!

Kiritimati sometimes Christmas Island is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands, and part of the Republic of Kiribati.

The name “Kiritimati” is a rather straightforward respelling of the English word “Christmas” in the Kiribati language, in which the combination ti is pronounced s, and the name is thus pronounced.

The island has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world, about 388 square kilometres (150 sq mi); its lagoon is roughly the same size. The atoll is about 150 km (93 mi) in perimeter, while the lagoon shoreline extends for over 48 km (30 mi). Christmas Island comprises over 70% of the total land area of Kiribati, a country encompassing 33 Pacific atolls and islands.

It lies 232 km (144 mi) north of the Equator, 6,700 km (4,160 mi) from Sydney, and 5,360 km (3,330 mi) from San Francisco. Kiritimati Island is in the world’s farthest forward time zone, UTC+14, and is one of the first inhabited places on Earth to experience the New Year . Despite being 2,460 km (1,530 mi) east of the 180 meridian, a 1995 realignment of the International Dateline by the Republic of Kiribati “moved” Kiritimati to west of the dateline.

Nuclear tests were conducted on and around Kiribati by the United Kingdom in the late 1950s, and by the United States in 1962. During these tests islanders were not evacuated. Subsequently British, New Zealand, and Fijian servicemen as well as local islanders have claimed to have suffered from exposure to the radiation from these blasts.

The entire island is a Wildlife Sanctuary; access to five particularly sensitive areas is restricted.

At Western discovery, Christmas Island was uninhabited. As on other Line Islands there might have been a small or temporary native population, most probably Polynesian traders and settlers, who would have found the island a useful replenishing station on the long voyages from the Society Islands to Hawaiʻi, perhaps as early as AD 400.

This trade route was apparently used with some regularity by about AD 1000. From 1200 onwards Polynesian long-distance voyages became less frequent, and had there been human settlement on Christmas Island, it would have been abandoned in the early-mid second millennium AD. Two possible village sites and some stone structures of these early visitors have been located. Today, most inhabitants are Micronesians, and Gilbertese is the only language of any significance. English is generally understood, but little used outside the tourism sector.

Christmas Island was discovered by the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Grijalva in 1537, that charted it as Acea. This discovery was referred by a contemporary, the Portuguese António Galvão, governor of Ternate, in his book Tratado dos Descubrimientos of 1563. Captain James Cook visited it on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1777. It was claimed by the United States under the Guano Islands Act of 1856, though little actual mining of guano took place.

The island’s population has strongly increased in recent years, from about 2,000 in 1989 to about 5,000 in the early 2000s. Christmas Island has two representatives in the Maneaba ni Maungatabu. Today there are five villages, four populated and one abandoned, on the island: Tabwakea, London, Banana (Banana Wells), Poland & Paris (ruins), of which paris is in ruins now.

Permanent settlement started by 1882, mainly by workers in coconut plantations and fishermen but, due to an extreme drought which killed off tens of thousands of Coconut Palms – about 75% of Christmas Island’s population of this plant – the island was once again abandoned between 1905 and 1912.

This physicist succeeded in raising people’s hair without giving them a shock!!!

Robert Jemison Van de Graaff (December 20, 1901 – January 16, 1967) was an American physicist, noted for his design and construction of high voltage generators, who taught at Princeton University and MIT. Van de Graaff was the designer of the Van de Graaff generator, a device which produces high voltages. In 1929, Van de Graaff developed his first generator (producing 80,000 volts) with help from Nicholas Burke at Princeton University. A Van de Graaff generator is an electrostatic generator which uses a moving belt to accumulate very high amounts of electrical potential on a hollow metal globe on the top of the stand.  Read more & watch the HAIR RAISING video

This neuropatholologist’s name was given to the Presenile demantia by the founder of modern psychiatry!!!

Dr. Aloysius “Alois” Alzheimer (German 14 June 1864 – 19 December 1915) was a Bavarian-born German psychiatrist and neuropathologist and a colleague of Emil Kraepelin. Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which Kraepelin would later identify as Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1901, Dr. Alzheimer observed a patient at the Frankfurt Asylum named Auguste Deter. The 51-year-old patient had strange behavioral symptoms, including a loss of short-term memory. This patient would become his obsession over the coming years. In April 1906, Mrs Deter died and Alzheimer had the patient records and the brain brought to Munich where he was working at Kraepelin’s lab. With two Italian physicians, he used the staining techniques to identify amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.  Read more & watch the video…

Starting a farmhand, this clock-maker invented things, revolutionized mining & virtually contributed to Swedish development!!!

Christopher Polhammar (18 December 1661 – 30 August 1751), better known as Christopher Polhem was a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. Polhem was born on the island of Gotland in the small village of Tingstäde, situated northeast of Visby.
The beginning of his career was the successful repair of the unfinished medieval (16th century) astronomical clock by Petrus Astronomus at Uppsala Cathedral, which had remained unfinished and broken for more than a century. In 1690 Polhem was appointed to improve upon the current mining operations of Sweden. His contribution was a construction for lifting and transporting ore from mines, a process that was rather risky and inefficient at the time. The construction consisted of a track system for lifting the ore, as opposed to wires; the construction was powered entirely by a water wheel.
His greatest achievement was an automated factory powered entirely by water; automation was very unusual at the time.
Another product from the factory was the Scandinavian padlock (“Polhem locks”, Swedish: Polhemslås), essentially the first design of the variation of padlocks common today. Read more & watch the video…

This polymath chemist who invented numerous elements thanked for being left to himself & hired Faraday as a co-worker!!!

Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a Cornish chemist and inventor. He is best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth metals, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. Berzelius called Davy’s 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity “one of the best memoirs which has ever enriched the theory of chemistry.” He was a 1st Baronet, President of the Royal Society (PRS), Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA), and Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS). Davy was a pioneer in the field of electrolysis using the voltaic pile to split common compounds and thus prepare many new elements.

Davy was also a painter and three of his paintings dating from circa 1796 have been donated to the Penlee House museum at Penzance. Davy’s first production preserved bears the date of 1795. It is entitled The Sons of Genius, and is marked by the usual immaturity of youth.

Davy conceived of using an iron gauze to enclose a lamp’s flame, and so prevent the methane burning inside the lamp from passing out to the general atmosphere(used in mines). Read more & watch the video…

To save his wife from allergies, this pharmacist invented egg-less custard & baking powder!!!

Alfred Bird (1811 – 15 December 1878) was a British food manufacturer and chemist. He was born in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, England in 1811 and was the inventor of a series of food products mostly now taken for granted. Alfred Bird registered as a pharmacist in Birmingham in 1842, having served an apprenticeship to Phillip Harris of that city. He was a qualified chemistand druggist and went on to open an experimental chemist’s shop in Bull Street.

Alfred Bird’s first major invention was egg-free custard (1837). Bird was not content to revolutionize custard but went on to invent a baking powder in 1843 so he could make yeast-free bread for his wife. Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent, a mixture of a weak alkali and a weak acid, and is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. Read more…