15 February-Galileo

Galileo Galilei was a native of Italy. He was a mathematician, physicist and astronomer who is considered the father of modern science. His support for the heliocentric model of the universe, which had been developed by Copernicus led to him being placed under house arrest in 1633.

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 in Pisa, Italy. He moved with his family to Florence when he was eight years old. At the age of 18 he entered the University of Pisa to study medicine but turned his attention to the study of physics and mathematics. He later taught mathematics at the University of Pisa before moving to the University of Padua in 1592.

At Padua Galileo taught mathematics and astronomy for eighteen years. During this time he made several discoveries and invented an improved telescope. His studies led him to support the model developed by Copernicus, which placed the sun rather than the earth at the centre of the solar system. This brought him into conflict with the Catholic Church. A church inquisition pronounced the theory heretical.

Galileo however continued with his studies and in 1632 he published ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’. He was summoned to Rome to appear before an inquisition once more. This time he was convicted of heresy. He spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. Galileo died in Florence on January 8th 1642. In 1992 Pope John Paul II expressed regret at how Galileo had been treated.

Galileo Galilei, mathematician, physicist and astronomer who is considered the father of modern science, was born Pisa, Italy in the year 1564 On This Day.

Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei,_1636

 

 

 

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14 February-Stardust Fire

Stardust Memorial Park is located is located in Coolock on the north side of Dublin, Ireland. It is dedicated to the memory of the 48 people who lost their lives in a fire in February 1981 at the Stardust Nightclub in nearby Artane. The fire also resulted in over 200 people being injured, some seriously.

Over 800 people were attending a disco when the fire broke out at the Stardust Nightclub at 1.42am. The fire spread quickly. Lighting failed and patrons panicked as they tried escape. Several people were trampled on in the rush to the exits, some of which were locked. Dublin Fire Brigade fought the fire and hospitals in Dublin city were overwhelmed with casualties.

The Stardust fire in which 48 people lost their lives, occurred at the Stardust Nightclub in Artane, Dublin in the year 1981 On This Day.

Remembering The Stardust Disaster, Ireland’s worst-ever fire. 48 young people perished

The Stardust Disaster

Stardust Memorial Park

 

 

 

 

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12 February-Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland)

The Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland) was first established in 1930. The Board consists of five members who are appointed under the Censorship of Publications Acts of 1929, 1946 and 1967. The selling or distribution of publications which the Board regards as obscene is illegal. Up until the early 1990’s large numbers of publications were banned. Today there are almost 300 books and magazines banned in Ireland. However it is only rarely that publications are now prohibited.

During the 1920’s the Minister for Justice, Mr Kevin O’Higgins felt the laws governing censorship did not need to be strengthened. Other politicians, such as Éamon de Valera felt that publications in Ireland should be censored unless they lived up to the ‘holiest traditions’. Under pressure from groups such as the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (CTSI) the Minister established the Committee on Evil Literature. The report of the committee led to passing of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1929.

The Censorship of Publications Board was appointed in February 1930. In May of the same year the Board published, in Ireland’s State Gazette (Iris Oifigúil), a list of the first thirteen publications to be banned. In the following years large numbers of publications were banned, including works by respected international and Irish writers. These included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Kate O’Brien and Seán O’Faoláin.

The Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland) was first appointed in the year 1930 On This Day.

Collected stories of Sean O’Faolain

 

 

 

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11 February-Edison

Thomas Edison was an inventor who was a native of America. He was responsible for inventions such as the light bulb, the phonograph, the first electric power plant and the motion picture camera. He was the holder of over 1,000 patens and his inventions have had a major impact on global industrial development.

Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio in 1847. He attended school for a brief time but received most of his education form his mother who was a teacher. Edison worked at various jobs including as telegraph operator in various locations. In 1868 he began working in Boston for the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Interested in inventions from an early age, Edison filed for his fist patent, an electric vote recorder, in 1869. He established an industrial research facility at Menlo Park, New Jersey in 1876. It was the first such facility of its type. The invention of the phonograph in 1877 gained Edison wide attention. He began research on the light bulb and in 1879 perfected a bulb which was capable of giving light for long period of time. As time went on his creations led him becoming known as ‘The Wizard of Menlo Park’.

Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman, was born in the year 1847 On This Day.

Thomas Edison, 1878

Thomas Edison in the Bulb

 

 

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10 February-Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago was an award winning movie. The movie, which was released in 1965 was based on a novel of the same name. The novel was written by poet and novelist Boris Pasternak who was a native of soviet Russia. It was published in 1959. The movie, Doctor Zhivago was the winner of five Oscars at the Academy Awards in 1966.

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890. For a time he studied music in Moscow but moved to Germany in 1912 to study philosophy at the University of Marburg. He returned to Moscow and became an author. Boris Pasternak awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. He died at the age of 70 on May 30th 1960.

Boris Pasternak, who was the author of Doctor Zhivago was born in the year 1890 On This Day.

Boris Pasternak photo

Boris Pasterna Statue Perm Russia

Photo by amanderson2

 

 

 

 

 

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