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Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it... That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
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NOVEMBER 19 – BIRTHS – Scientists born on November 19th
  Eileen Collins
 Born 19 Nov 1956.   quotes
Eileen Marie Collins is an American astronaut who was the first woman to pilot and, later, to command a U.S. space shuttle. After college she joined the Air Force, trained as a pilot to fly many different kinds of planes and eventually became an instructor pilot. She was selected in 1990 for the astronaut program while attending the Air Force Test Pilot School. Collins served as the first woman shuttle pilot on STS-63 (Feb 3-11, 1995). which included a rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir, and also STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997). On her third space shuttle flight, STS-93 (Jul 22-27, 1999), which deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, she became the first woman space shuttle commander. Overall she has logged over 537 hours in space.
  Yuan T. Lee
 Born 19 Nov 1936.   quotes
Taiwanese-American chemist who shared  (with Dudley R. Herschbach and John C. Polanyi) the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986 for his role in the development of chemical-reaction dynamics. As a postdoctoral researcher, Lee experimented with and further developed Herschbach's invention of the “crossed molecular beam technique”. This studied reactions between molecules at low pressures by letting beams of molecules and/or atoms meet at one point in space. Lee extended Herschbach's technique, introducing mass spectroscopy to identify the products resulting from the reactions of oxygen and fluorine atoms with complex organic compounds.
  Philip Leder
 Born 19 Nov 1934.
American geneticist who has contributed to mapping the genetic code and identifying the genetic basis of cancer. He introduced the oncomouse which was genetically engineered to be a model for the study of cancer. To create this trangenic mouse, the cancer-critical genes known as oncogenes were introduced by injection into mouse eggs. On 12 Apr1988, Leder and Timothy Stewart were granted a U.S. patent on transgenic nonhuman mammals (No. 4,736,866) resulting their work on the oncomouse. He was awarded National Medal of Science in 1991. «   more
  Yuri Valentinovich Knorozov
 Born 19 Nov 1922; died 31 Mar 1999 at age 76.
Russian linguist, epigraphist, and ethnologist who played a major role in the decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphic writing. Remarkably, though not permitted to leave the Soviet Union during the post-war decades he focused on the Mayan language, Knorozov still managed to decipher the phonetic code of the pre-Columbian society on the Mexican peninsula. Others before him had tried to "read" Maya glyphs without success, because they tried to interpret them in terms of an alphabet. Knorozov instead advocated phoneticisms. He realized that the purported alphabet represented a part of the Maya syllabary, and then identified many of the syllabic marks, or glyphs, found on the many Mayan tombs and monuments.
  Stanley Keith Runcorn
 Born 19 Nov 1922; died 5 Dec 1995 at age 73.
British geophysicist Southport, Lancashire, who was the first to discover evidence of the periodic polar reversals of the Earth's magnetic field. In the 1950s he was a pioneer in the fledgling discipline of paleomagnetism, or remanent magnetism, the study of the residual magnetism. He also made substantial contributions to various fields, including convection in the Earth and Moon, the shape and magnetic fields of the Moon and planets, magnetohydrodynamics of the Earth's core, earth currents, changes in the length of the day and polar wandering, continental drift and plate tectonics. He was murdered, aged 73, when he disturbed a thief in his motel room in San Diego, while on a US lecture tour.
  Hendrik Christoffel Van de Hulst
 Born 19 Nov 1918; died 31 Jul 2000 at age 81.
Dutch astronomer who predicted theoretically (1944) that in interstellar space the amount of neutral atomic hydrogen, which in its hyperfine transition radiates and absorbs at a wavelength of 21 cm, might be expected to occur at such high column densities as to provide a spectral line sufficiently strong as to be measurable. Shortly after the end of the war several groups set about to test this prediction. The 21-cm line of atomic hydrogen was detected in 1951, first at Harvard University followed within a few weeks by others. The discovery demonstrated that astronomical research, which at that time was limited to conventional light, could be complemented with observations at radio wavelengths, revealing a range of new physical processes.
  Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
 Born 19 Nov 1915; died 9 Mar 1974 at age 58.
American pharmacologist and physiologist who was awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for isolating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and demonstrating its involvement in numerous metabolic processes that occur in animals.
  George E. Palade
 Born 19 Nov 1912.
George Emil Palade is a Romanian-American physiologist and cell biologist who developed tissue-preparation methods, advanced centrifuging techniques, and conducted electron microscopy studies that resulted in the discovery of several cellular structures. With Albert Claude and Christian de Duve he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1974.
  James B. Sumner
 Born 19 Nov 1887; died 12 Aug 1955 at age 67.
James Batcheller Sumner was an American biochemist who shared (with John Howard Northrop and Wendell Meredith Stanley) the 1946 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Sumner was the first to crystallize an enzyme to show that enzymes were proteins. He learned to live one-handed from age 17, due to an accident. After earning his Ph.D. (1914), he joined the faculty of Cornell University Medical College. By 1917, he began investigating the protein nature of enzymes. It was technically difficult, taking nine years, before he produced a crystalline globulin with high urease activity in 1926. The significance of his work went unappreciated for a number of years, but by 1946, he was awarded a half-share of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, “for his discovery that enzymes can be crystallized.” In 1947 he became director of a new laboratory for enzyme chemistry, at Cornell.«
  Hiram Bingham
 Born 19 Nov 1875; died 6 Jun 1956 at age 80.   quotes
Hiram Bingham III was an American archaeologist and politician who on 24 Jul 1911 (re-)discovered the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in a remote part of the Peruvian Andes. As a Yale University professor searching for the lost Inca capital of Vilcabamba, he paid a Peruvian guide to lead him to a nearby ruin. The guide took him 2,000 ft (610 m) up a precipitous slope, and to the well-preserved, extensive, stoneworks of Machu Picchu. It became one of the greatest archaeological sites in the Americas, Machu Picchu remains a mystery. Scholars debate if it is the birthplace of the Inca Empire, a ceremonial center or a fortification. Bingham also discovered the Inca city of Viitcos. His work stimulated further archaeological study elsewhere in the Andes and more widely, across South America.«
Lost City of the Incas, by Hiram Bingham. - book suggestion.
  Gustave-Auguste Ferriι
 Born 19 Nov 1868; died 16 Feb 1932 at age 63.
French scientist and army general who contributed to the development of radio communication in France. He participated with Guglielmo Marconi in experimental wireless telegraphy (1899) between Paris, France and England. In 1903, Ferrié directed the installation of a transmitter and antennas on the Eiffel Tower in Paris for long-range radiotelegraphy. Within 5 years, he had improved its effective range from 400 km (250 miles) to 6,000 km (3,700 miles). This led him to develop mobile military transmitters to maintain radio contact with Paris. He also experimented with radio transmissions from aircraft to enable the aerial direction of artillery fire. Early in WW I, (Colonel) Ferrié led a corps of technicians who set up a network of radio direction finders.
  Aleksandr Onufriyevich Kovalevsky
 Born 19 Nov 1840; died 22 Nov 1901 at age 61.   quotes
Russian founder of comparative embryology and experimental histology, who first established that there was a common pattern in the embryological development of all multicellular animals. He studied the lancelet, a fish-shaped sea animal; about 2-in. (5-cm) long; then wrote Development of Amphioxus lanceolatus (1865). Then, in 1866, he demonstrated the similarity between Amphioxus and the larval stages of tunicates and established the chordate status of the tunicates. In 1867, Kovalevsky extended the germ layer concept of Christian Heinrich Pander and Karl Ernst von Baer to include the invertebrates, establishing an important embryologic unity in the animal kingdom. This was important evidence of the evolution of living organisms.a.k.a. Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevski. 19 Nov 1849 and 22 Nov 1901 (new style) are 7 Nov 1840 and 9 Nov 1901 (old style). Image: tunicate tadpole larva (L) and lancelet, Amphioxus (R).
  Vicomte Ferdinand, de Lesseps
 Born 19 Nov 1805; died 7 Dec 1894 at age 89.   quotes
French diplomat, who supervised the construction of the Suez Canal. While in the consular service in Egypt he became aware of plans to link the Mediterranean and the Red Sea by means of a canal, and from 1854 onwards devoted himself to the project. Work began in 1859 and the Suez Canal was opened ten years later (1869). In 1881, he embarked on the building of the Panama Canal, but had not anticipated the difficulties of this very different enterprise. The climate, with its torrential rains, incessant heat and fatal disease, took its toll. Financial mismanagement, stock failure and bad publicity eventually forced the failure of the company. The project was abandoned in 1889. It was eventually completed by the United States.
  Josef Leopold Auenbrugger
 Born 19 Nov 1722; died 17 May 1809 at age 86.   quotes
Austrian physician who devised the diagnostic technique of percussion (the art of striking a surface part of the body with short, sharp taps to diagnose the condition of the parts beneath the sound). With this technique, he could estimate the amount of fluid in a patient's chest and the size of his/her heart. (As a boy he had tapped the wine barrels in his father's cellar to find how full they were.) After seven years of investigation, he published the method in Inventum Novum (1761), though his technique did not gain recognition and acceptance until years after his death. When a translator republished the work in French (1808) the method gained acceptance around the world, and through time to the present as a fundamental diagnostic procedure.
  Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov
 Born 19 Nov 1711; died 15 Apr 1765 at age 53.   quotes
Russian poet, scientist, and grammarian who is often considered the first great Russian linguistic reformer. He also made substantial contributions to the natural sciences, reorganized the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences, and established in Moscow the university that today bears his name.

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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Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
NOVEMBER 19 – DEATHS – Scientists died on November 19th
  Frederick Sanger
 Died 19 Nov 2013 at age 95 (born 13 Aug 1918).   quotes
English biochemist who was twice the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He was awarded the prize in 1958 for his work on the structure of proteins, especially the determination of the structure of the insulin molecule. He shared the prize (with Paul Berg and Walter Gilbert of the United States) in 1980 for his contribution concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids.
  John Robert Vane
 Died 19 Nov 2004 at age 77 (born 29 Mar 1927).
English biochemist, who shared the 1982 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (with Sune K. Bergström and Bengt Ingemar Samuelsson of Sweden) for their isolation, identification, and analysis of prostaglandins. In 1971, Vane discovered how aspirin's effect was to block the formation of the prostaglandins involved in pain, fever, and inflammation. Further, a relatively small dose (75 mg/day) prevents blood clotting and lessen heart attacks, strokes and leg thromboses. In 1976, he discovered prostacyclin, a blood-vessel dilating prostaglandin that inhibits blood-clotting. His discoveries led to the Ace inhibitors, a new class of drugs giving life-saving benefits to patients with pulmonary hypertension, and new treatments for heart disease.«
  Ted Fujita
 Died 19 Nov 1998 at age 78 (born 23 Oct 1920).
Tetsuya Theodore Fujita was a Japanese-American meteorologist who increased the knowledge of severe storms. In 1953, he began research in the U.S. Shortly afterwards, he immigrated and established the Severe Local Storms Project. He was known as "Mr. Tornado" as a result of the Fujita scale (F-scale, Feb 1971), which he and his wife, Sumiko, developed for measuring tornadoes on the basis of their damage. Following the crash of Eastern flight 66 on 24 Jun 1975, he reviewed weather-related aircraft disasters and verified the downburst and the microburst (small downburst) phenomena, enabling airplane pilots to be trained on how to react to them. Late in his career, he turned to the study of storm tracks and El Nino.«
The Downburst: Microburst and Macroburst, by T. Theodore Fujita. - book suggestion.
  Georgy Nikolaevich Flerov
 Died 19 Nov 1990 at age 77 (born 2 Mar 1913).
Soviet physicist who, in 1941, recognized that uranium undergoes spontaneous fission (needing no neutron bombardment). He was one of the early Russian investigators of nuclear fission. In early 1942 , Flerov noticed that articles on nuclear fission were no longer appearing in western journals. Recognizing the implication that such research had become secret, he wrote to Premier Joseph Stalin, insisting that "we must build the uranium bomb without delay," (subsequently led by Igor V. Kurchatov.) In later research, Flerov announced synthesis of isotopes of element 104 (1965) and 106 (1974). Co-discoveries were made in the U.S. Several names were suggested. Eventually the adopted names were rutherfordium and seaborgium.«
  Willem van Bemmelen
 Died 19 Nov 1983 at age 79 (born 14 Apr 1904).   quotes
Reinout Willem van Bemmelen was a Dutch geologist whose studies of the regional geology of Indonesia led to recognition of the importance of island areas in the development of the Earth's crust. Long before others even thought about compiling an article on this archipelagos, he published his biggest contribution, the Geology of Indonesia (1949). Still often cited, this book covers broad aspects of the regional geology of Indonesia, which is prolific in terms of hydrocarbon and other mineral resources. Indonesia is part of the volcanic “ring of fire” and one of the most complex geological settings in the world because it lies at the junction of three major tectonic plates (Pacific, Indian-Australian, and Eurasian). He also researched continental drift and the winds of the equatorial stratosphere.   more
The Geology of Indonesia, by R.W. van Bemmelen. - book suggestion.
  Edward C. Tolman
 Died 19 Nov 1959 at age 73 (born 14 Apr 1886).
Edward Chace Tolman was an American psychologist who developed a system of psychology known as purposive, or molar, behaviourism, which attempts to explore the entire action of the total organism. Because of his strong affiliation with building a scientific psychology he embraced the core notion of behaviorism—that what an organism does is the source of legitimate data. Contrary to John B. Watson's atomism approach, Tolman advocated the use of intervening variables and focused on a number of very non-behaviorist processes such as purpose, expectation, belief and spatial representation. His major book was Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men (1932) in which he summarized a significant series of experiments on the white rat.
  Charles Richard Van Hise
 Died 19 Nov 1918 at age 61 (born 29 May 1857).
U.S. geologist who conducted basic geological studies of the Precambrian (570,000,000 to 4,600,000,000 years ago) formations of the Lake Superior region, particularly the iron ores in these formations. These studies were useful for the economic exploitation of the vast iron-ore fields found in that region. He was very interested in, and wrote about, the conservation of natural resources. He regarded soil conservation as "the basal asset of the nation," followed by the "economic mining and use of coal, the conservation of the forests, and the use of metals with the minimum waste."
  Rudolf Fittig
 Died 19 Nov 1910 at age 74 (born 6 Dec 1835).
German organic chemist who is famous for his extensive work synthesizing of organic compounds in the late 19th century. The action of sodium on organic compounds discovered by Wurtz (1817–84), was extended by Fittig using a mixture of an aromatic and alkyl haloid to produce homologues of benzene. Fittig prepared pinacones (which he named), diphenyl, phenanthrene (1872), coumarone (1883), toluene (with Tollens in 1864), and many other substances. He separated several aromatic compounds from coal tar, studied the reactions of unsaturated acids. Fittig proposed the correct structures for the quinones and (1871, with Ira Remsen) for the alkaloid piperine that gives the spice black pepper its taste and smell .«
  Sir John William Dawson
 Died 19 Nov 1899 at age 79 (born 13 Oct 1820).   quotes
Canadian geologist who made numerous contributions to paleobotany and extended the knowledge of Canadian geology. Dawson was born and raised in Pictou, Nova Scotia, where the many sandstone and coal formations provided fertile ground for his boyhood interest. Often fossil leaves could be found while gathering shale to make slate pencils. Thus, as a boy, he developed an incurable interest in geology and was an avid collector of local fossils. His working life began with mining companies and doing field work. He studied the geology of Nova Scotia, with a particular interest in the fossil forests of the coal-bearing strata. During his early scientific explorations, which culminated in the publication of Acadian Geology, he made many important discoveries of fossil life, great and small. These included fossil plants, trackways of lowly invertebrates, footprints, skeletons of reptiles and amphibians, millipedes and the earliest land snails. Dawson discovered the oldest land plant known at the time, Psilophyton (1859), from Devonian rocks (dating from 408 - 360 million years ago). In Air Breathers of the Coal Period (1863) he described newly discovered fossil animals He had an uncanny ability to understand the ancient environments in which rocks had formed and to decipher their correct ages. Dawson's energetically promoted scientific institutions in Canada, though he opposed Darwin's evolutionary theories.[DSB gives dates 13 Oct 1820 - 19 Nov 1899. EB gives 30 Oct 1820 - 20 Nov 1899.]
  John Wilkins
 Died 19 Nov 1672 (born 1614).   quotes
English churchman, scholar and scientist who was one of the founders and the first secretary of the Royal Society, London. He wrote for the common reader the Discovery (1638) and the Discourse (1640) which showed how reason and experience supported Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo rather than Aristotlian or literal biblical doctrines. In 1641, he anonymously published a small but comprehensive treatise on cryptography. In Mathematical Magick (1648) he described and illustrated the balance lever, wheel, pulley, wedge and screw in a part called “Archimedes or Mechanical Powers” and in a second part “Daedalus or Mechanical Motions” such strange devices as flying machines, artificial spiders, a land yacht, and a submarine.«

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NOVEMBER 19 – EVENTS – Science events on November 19th
  In 2002, a U.S. patent for "Registered pedigree stuffed animals" was issued to David L. Pickens of Honolulu, Hawaii (No. 6,482,067). The toy animals are designed to simulate the biological laws of inheritance both for educational, recreational and aesthetic purposes. According to the patent, a pair of opposite sex "parent" toy animals are sold with a serial number by which the parent's genotype and phenotype may be identified. Owners of the 'parent' toy animals, having registered with the manufacturer, may later request "breeding" of the animals, and receive at least one "offspring" toy animal randomly selected from a litter having traits determined according to the registered genotypes of the parents and the Mendelian laws of inheritance."
  Confederation Bridge
  In 1996, the last component of the Confederation Bridge was placed, crossing the Northumberland Strait, Canada. The piers are 250 metres apart and offer a ship's clearance of 172 metres in width. The 12.9 km Confederation Bridge joins Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island and Cape Jourimain, New-Brunswick and is the longest bridge over ice covered waters in the world. The bridge construction began in Oct 1993, and was opened on 31 May 1997. It carries two lanes of traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week and takes approximately 10 minutes to cross at normal travelling speeds. The bridge was built curved so that drivers could see the traffic in front of them, a design chosen to reduce accidents.
  Paper pencil
  In 1895, the first U.S. patent for a paper pencil was issued to Fredrick E. Blaisdell of Philadelphia, Pa. His patent No. 549,952 was accompanied by No. 550,212 on the same date on a machine for manufacturing pencils.
The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, by Henry Petroski. - book suggestion.
  Adding machine
  In 1872, the first U.S. patent for an adding machine capable of printing totals and subtotals, called a "calculating machine," was issued to E.D. Barbour of Boston, Mass. However, it was not practical. (No. 133,188)
  Petroleum export
  In 1861, the first full cargo petroleum export shipment from the U.S. to Europe left Philadelphia, Pa. for London, England. A cargo of 1,329 of 42-gallon barrels was carried by the Elizabeth Watts, a 224-ton brig captained by Charles Bryant. Since it was not easy to recruit a crew willing to work above a cargo of oil, a crew was shanghaied. The cargo arrived safely at Victoria Docks, London, on 9 Jan 1862. Petroleum offered an alternative to whale oil, when the declining catch of whales had stimulated a search for substitutes for machine lubrication. Increasing petroleum exports played a major part in the evolution of the United States from a great but isolated nation, into a world power.«
  Magic lantern slides
  In 1850, the first U.S. patent for magic lantern slides made of glass plate was issued to their inventor Frederick Langenheim of Philadelphia, Pa. (No. 7,784) as an "improvement in photographic pictures on glass."

- 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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