Browsing: Nature

A Brief History On December 16, 1901, British artist and conservationist Beatrix Potter self-published the book that would launch her literary career, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a book that would sell 45 million copies (Note: Number of copies sold and ranking among various best selling lists vary by source.  The initial success of the book led to it being published by an established publisher a year later.)  Peter Rabbit would end up as perhaps the 10th best selling Children’s Book of all time, and around the 35th best selling book of any type in history.  Ah, but Potter was…

A Brief History On November 19, 1911, the infamous “Doom Bar” located at the mouth of the River Camel in Cornwall, England where it empties into the Celtic Sea claimed another pair of ships, sinking both.  The Island Maid and Angele both had run aground on the permanent sandbar, formerly known as the less poetic “Dunbar sands,” killing everyone aboard the Angele except, oddly enough, the captain.  As can be expected by the demonstrative name, the Doom Bar is infamous for causing the sinking or grounding of many ships over the years. The River Camel estuary serves as access to…

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…

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