Browsing: Nature

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…

A Brief History On September 17, 1683, Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek presented a paper to the Royal Society (The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) containing a description of the first scientific recognition of microbes/protozoa, a living thing he referred to as “animalcules” (single celled organisms).  Although van Leeuwenhoek had designed his microscope himself and is known as “The Father of Microbiology,” he was definitely not the inventor of the microscope.  In fact, exactly who is the inventor of this highly important contribution to science is not agreed upon by historians.…

A Brief History On September 6, 1803, pioneering atomic theorist John Dalton of England first assigned symbols to represent atoms of various elements.  Dalton, born into a Quaker family, is well known among scholars and scientists for his work but has little of the fame and popular recognition accorded many other better known scientists.  Although atomic theory is the field of science most associated with Dalton, he also studied and reported on many other areas of scientific inquiry. Digging Deeper Dalton was born into a poor family in 1766, and although he did receive an education from his father and…

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