Browsing: Nature

A Brief History On October 27, 1553, a Spanish scientist versed in many disciplines, Michael Servetus, was burned at the stake for heresy.  The first researcher to correctly identify pulmonary circulation as the aeration of the blood through the lungs, his mind was a valuable tool for the Renaissance world that was snuffed out because of religious bigotry, a problem history has seen again and again over the years.  Does religion continue to suppress the advance of science?  Are religion and science incompatible?  Today we look at some of the ways religion and science have crossed swords over the years,…

A Brief History On October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger (nee Higgins), nurse, writer, and sexual educator opened the first family planning (birth control) clinic in the United States.  While Sanger did not invent the idea of birth control or the methods, she was an activist for preventing unwanted pregnancy and was the first person to coin the phrase, “birth control.”  Humans, unlike any other known animal, have been trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies for thousands of years and have tried a variety of methods. Digging Deeper Probably the most simple methods of birth control came after it was realized that…

A Brief History On October 1, 1946, Dr. Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill established an organization in Caythorpe (Lincolnshire), England called Mensa International.  Intended as a non-profit social club for people among the highest 2% intellect in the human population, the founders expected a sort of aristocratic gathering of intelligentsia and were somewhat disappointed to find members meeting the membership criteria were mostly from humble origins.  Mensa International is the umbrella organization for national chapters found in 100 countries covering 51 national groups.  With about 134,000 members world-wide, the United States has the most members at 57,000, nearly triple runner-up…

A Brief History On September 22, 1995, a United States Air Force Boeing E-3B Sentry (AWACS, early warning spy in the sky type aircraft) flew into a flock of birds immediately after taking off from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, putting 2 of the 4 jet engines out of commission and causing a crash of the big plane, killing all 24 crewmen aboard.  Developed from the Boeing 707 jetliner, the E-3 is a large airplane, but not so large it could not be downed by birds.  Birds pose a danger to airplanes of all sizes and types and can…

A Brief History On September 21, 1921, as many as 600 Germans learned of a new way to die when a silo in Oppau, Germany (part of modern-day Ludwigshafen, Germany), exploded with great force, injuring another 2000 unfortunate workers.  As you probably know, silos are tower like cylindrical structures usually used to store foodstuffs such as grain and corn.  In this case, the silo in question was at a BASF plant and was used to store ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate. Digging Deeper You may also be aware that ammonium nitrate can be used as a mixture with fuel oil…

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