27 December-Louis Pasteur

The town of Dole in France was twinned with the town of Carlow in Ireland in 1992. Dole, which is the birthplace of scientist Louis Pasteur, lies in the Dijon Region of eastern France. The twinning of the two towns was arranged under the European Town Twinning project. The European Parliament established the Town Twinning scheme in 1989. The aim of the project is to foster new links between local authorities and local communities in Europe.

Louis Pasteur was a chemist and microbiologist who came up with a process that destroyed the bacteria which caused the souring of wine, beer and milk. The process, which is known as pasteurisation involves heating liquid food and then allowing it to cool. Pasteur was also responsible for the creation of vaccines for anthrax, rabies, cholera, TB and smallpox. Often referred to as the ‘father of microbiology’, the discoveries made by Pasteur are responsible for saving countless lives.

Having attended secondary school in Besançon, about 50km from Dole, Louis Pasteur graduated with a baccalauréat (BA) degree from the Collège Royal de Besançon in 1840. He was awarded a doctorate from the École Normale in Paris in 1847. Having spent some time doing research and teaching at Dijon Lycée, Pasteur was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg in 1848. He was appointed professor of Physics and Chemistry at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1862. He established the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1887.

Louis Pasteur, often referred to as the ‘father of microbiology’, was born in Dole, France in the year 1822 On This Day.

 

 

 

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17 December-The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an animated sitcom which was created by Matt Groening. It is based on the Simpson family who live in the American town of Springfield. The family consists of nuclear plant employee Homer, his wife Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

The long running comedy is considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time. Since it was first released in 1989 over 600 episodes of the Simpsons have been broadcast to date. It is the winner of numerous awards including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie was released on July 27th 2007.

The Simpsons had its television debut in the year 1989 On This Day.

THE SIMPSONS

 

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11 December-Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds are widely used in offices and homes. They have horizontal slats which are usually made of plastic, metal or wood. They are suspended by cords which can rotate the slats to open or close the blinds.

Venetian blinds are thought to have originated in Persia. They were brought to Europe by Venetian traders. From around the mid 1700’s Venetian blinds began to be used widely in public buildings in Europe and North America.

Edward Beran of London was granted the first patent for venetian blinds in the year 1769 On This Day.

venetian blinds by HelenaRAmos on 2011-02-07 12:33:18

Venetian Blinds photo

Photo by HelenaRAmos venetian blinds

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10 December-Playboy

Playboy Magazine was founded by Hugh Hefner. The magazine is famous for its centrefolds of nude and semi-nude models who are called Playmates. Hefner founded Playboy Magazine on October 1st 1953. Today it is a global publication with a circulation of almost 700,000.

 Hugh Marston Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 9th 1926. He was educated locally and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. Following military service he studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He graduated with a BA in psychology and creative writing in 1949. Following graduation he worked for a time with Esquire Magazine.

In 1953 Hefner raised almost $8,000, which included $1,000 from his mother, to establish Playboy Magazine. The first issue had Marilyn Monroe as a centrefold. The publication was a success and today Playboy is one of the world’s best known brands.

The first issue of Playboy went on sale in the year 1953 On This Day

Playboy

 

 

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25 November-Barrow Canal

The River Barrow rises at Glenbarrow in the Slieve Bloom mountains in Co Laois, Ireland, flows south through Co Carlow and enters the sea at Waterford Harbour. At 192km long it is the second longest river in Ireland. The Barrow, which is fully navigable, links with the Grand Canal at Athy making it a major part of Ireland’s inland waterway network.

It was first proposed in 1703 to make the River Barrow navigable. However it was not until 1785 that the first boats were able to travel upstream to the Grand Canal. By then seven locks had been installed but, because it was too shallow, only relatively small boats could navigate the river. The project was not economically viable

A new report in 1789 indicated that the Barrow navigation project could become viable with the building of extra locks and the construction of lateral canals. Eventually twenty three locks were built and some of the existing ones were widened. Five lateral canals with a total length of almost 18km were constructed to bypass the shallow areas. The last lock and bypass canal were built at Clogrennan near Carlow town in 1836. Boats carrying up to thirty tons could now navigate the river.

The opening of the Barrow canal had for time a significant impact on the development of towns along its route. Trade increased from 16,000 tons in 1790 to almost 60,000 tons by 1830. However from 1850 onwards competition from the railways led to a decline in traffic and the Barrow Navigation was bought by the Grand Canal Company in 1894. The canal continued to be used for commercial traffic until 1959 when it was closed by Ireland’s Transport Company (Coras Iompar Eirann) in 1959. The Barrow Canal, which is open to navigation by pleasure craft, is now managed by Waterways Ireland. The towpath along the river is used by growing numbers of walkers and cyclists.

The letter announcing the closure of the Barrow Canal to commercial traffic was issued by CIE (Coras Iompar Eireann) in the year 1959 On This Day.

River Barrow by Real Alan Dalton on 2010-05-09 13:27:12

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Cathole Waterfall near source of River Barrow….On This Day

Courtesy: Joe Rattigan

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