Stirling engine patented (1817)

posted Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Robert Stirling received a Scottish patent for the engine that now bears his name on this day in 1817. The patent was filed 27 September 1816.

Robert F. Scott arrives at the South Pole (1912)

posted Sunday, 18 January 2015

English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition arrive at the South Pole on 18 January 1912, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. Everyone in the expedition died on the return journey. See my post on Amundsen’s arrival for more info.

Benjamin Franklin Born (1706)

posted Saturday, 17 January 2015

17 January 1706: Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Columbus leaves Hispaniola (1493)

posted Friday, 16 January 2015

16 January 1493: Columbus leaves Hispaniola on his first voyage. They will not see land again until they arrive at the Azores on 15 February — 30 days later.

Haiti earthquake (2010)

posted Monday, 12 January 2015

USGS location on globe

Magnitude 7.0
25 km west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2010 January 12 21:53:10 UTC
Read the US Geological Survey summary.

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for

posted Thursday, 8 January 2015

N6MAC41717 Batty (Roy)
Replicant (M) Des: BATTY (Roy)
NEXUS 6 N6MAA10816
Incept Date: 8 JAN., 2016
Func: Combat, Colonization Defense Prog.
Phys: LEV. A Ment: LEV. A
Batty: I’ve done… questionable things.
Tyrell: Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.
Batty: Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for.

Galileo points his telescope at Jupiter (1610)

posted Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Die itaque septima Januarii instantis anni millesimi sexcentesimi decimi, hoca sequentis noctis prima, cum coelestia sidera per Perspicillum spectarem, Juppiter se se obviam fecit, cumque admodum excellens mihi parassem instrumentum, (quod antea ob alterius Organi debilitatem minime contigerat ) tres illi adstare Stellulas, exiguas quidem, verumtamen clarissimas, cognovi; quae licet e numero inerrantium a me crederentur, nonnullam tamen intulerunt admirationem, eo quod secundum exactam lineam rectam, atque Eclipticae parallelam disposítae videbantur, ac caeteris magnitudtine paribus splendidiores: eratque illarum inter se, et ad Jovem talis constitutio; ex parte scilicet Orientali duae aderant Stellae, una vero Occasum versus.   On the seventh day of January in this present year 1610, at the first hour of night, when I was viewing the heavenly bodies with a telescope, Jupiter presented itself to me; and because I had prepared a very excellent instrument for myself I perceived (as I had not before, on account of the weakness of my previous instrument) that beside the planet there were three starlets, small indeed, but very bright. Though I believed them to be among the host of fixed stars, they aroused my curiosity somewhat by appearing to lie in an exact straight line parallel to the ecliptic, and by their being more splendid than others of their size. Their arrangement with respect to Jupiter and each other was the following: that is, there were two stars on the eastern side and one to the west.
  7 January East     *   * O   *       West  
  8 January East           O * * *     West  
  9 January   "everywhere covered with clouds"    
  10 January East       * * O           West  
  11 January East   * *     O           West  
  12 January East       * * O   *       West  
  13 January East       *   O * * *     West  
Eximium praeterea, praeclarumque habemus argumentum pro scrupulo ab illis demendo, qui in Systemate Copernicano conversionem Planetarum circa Solem aequo animo ferentes, adeo perturbantur ab unius Lunae circa Terram latione, interea dum ambo annnum orbem circa Solem absolvunt, ut hanc universi constitutionem tamquam impossibilem evertendaia, esse arbitrentur; nunc enim nedum Planetam unum circa alium converlibilem habemus, dum ambo magnum circa Solem, perlustrant orbem, vertum quatuor circa Jovem, instar Lunae circa. Tellurem, sensus nobis vagantes offert Stellas, dum onmes simul cum Jove 12. annorum spaitio magnum circa Solem permeant orbem.   Here we have a fine and elegant argument for quieting the doubts of those who, while accepting with tranquil mind the revolutions of the planets about the sun in the Copernican system, are mightily disturbed to have the moon alone revolve about the earth and accompany it in an annual rotation about the sun. Some have believed that this structure of the universe should be rejected as impossible. But now we have not just one planet rotating about another while both run through a great orbit around the sun; our own eyes show us four stars which wander around Jupiter as does the moon around the earth, while all together trace out a grand revolution about the sun in the space of twelve years.
[expand this quote]

Spirit lands on Mars (2004)

posted Saturday, 3 January 2015

3 January 2004: Spirit (a.k.a. Mars Exploration Rover A) landed in Gusev Crater.

Merry Newtonmas Everyone!

posted Thursday, 25 December 2014

Sheldon holding a bust of Sir Isaac NewtonFrom "The Maternal Congruence" episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Watch the video clip on YouTube.

December 25th 1642 Julian calendar: Sir Isaac Newton is born. Jesus on the other hand was actually born in the summer. His birthday was moved to coincide with the traditional pagan holiday that celebrated the winter solstice with lit fires and slaughtered goats.

Sheldon Cooper, 2009

Earthrise (1968)

posted Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Earthrise, 24 December 1968Source: NASA

Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first humans to orbit the moon. On 24 December 1968, as they came from behind the Moon on their fourth orbit they saw the earth rise above the horizon. Anders snapped the now famous photo.