Dec. 28, 2006
Today could officially be called Geek Day, so many things happened of the nerd variety:
For the pocket protector set there are a number of events surrounding today. For those whose nerdiness leans toward the math side (and those without a pocket protector there is no need to worry, because on this day in 1849 M Jolly-Bellin discovered dry-cleaning by accidentally upsetting a lamp containing turpentine and oil on his clothing and saw the cleaning effect.) The white coats born this day include Arthur Eddington (1882, astrophysicist/mathematician), John Von Neumann (1903, mathematician/astronomer), Clabon W. Allen (1904, astronomer), and Maarten Schmidt (1929, astronomer who discovered first quasar), Paul Horowitz (1942, physicist.) For the less bookish geeks, unless we are talking comic books, on this day in 1922 Stan Lee the creator of such comic icons as Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk was born. Two years later in 1924, host and the man behind the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, Rod Serling was born. In either 1933 or 1936 Nichelle Nichols, Uhuru on the original Star Trek was born. And definitely in 1934 Dame Maggie Smith, Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films and Thetis in Clash of the Titans, was born in Ilford, England. Other random but connected events on this day include the death of Dutch astronomer Albert Pigge in 1542, the patenting of chewing gum by William Finley Semple in 1869, the world’s first commercial screening of a film at the Grand Cafe in Paris in 1895, the announcement in 1948 of a U.S. study looking into launching an Earth satellite and the birth of the first American test tube baby in 1981.
QoD: “When a friend calls to me from the road, And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around, On all the hills I haven’t hoed, And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’, No, not as there is a time talk. I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall, And plod: I go up to the stone wall, For a friendly visit.” - Robert Frost, A Time to Talk