Daily post : 23rd December, 2013

Quote of the day :

There is a brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit is reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude. This is the moment to record.
~ Yousuf Karsh, photographer

Picture of the day :

Another great picture for you from artistic photographer Zev / Fiddleoak: Glacial


Youtube video of the day :

Given all the wind and rain in the UK at the moment, todays Christmas song from Youtube is Dean Martin singing "Let it Snow!"


On this day…

Born today :

  • Scholar, philologist and Egyptologist, Jean-François Champollion (b.1790)
    Fluent in over a dozen languages, he was the first person to decipher the Rosetta Stone
  • TV presenter, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
  • TV presenter, Carol Smillie
  • TV presenter, Matt Baker
  • TV presenter, Trisha Goddard
  • Screenwriter, John Sullivan (OBE)
  • Actress, Susan Lucci
  • Actor, Harry Shearer
  • Actor, Frederic Forrest
  • Actor, Nick Moran
  • Photographer, Yousuf Karsh (b.1908)
    During his career he photographed some of the most influential people of the 20th century. His legacy includes our most definitive images of many leaders, writers, artists and visionaries of the time, including Churchill, Einstein, Picasso, Hemingway and George Bernard Shaw.
  • Guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane)
  • Guitarist and songwriter, Dave Murray (Iron Maiden)
  • Businesswoman, Sarah Breedlove (b.1867) (aka Madam CJ Walker)
    (Considered to be the first female self-made millionaire in America)

Also on this day in history

Is today a good day to be Fed up if you’re an American? ‘The Fed’ came into being exactly a 100 years ago when congress passed the Federal Reserves Act. It was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson a century ago today, 23rd December 1913. The Washington Post posted in interesting article about this : A frustrated fed.

The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories in 1947. The article on Wikipedia notes how the two researchers, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, experimented on a germanium crystal with gold contacts applied and it accelerated from their.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories around the fact this world-changing discovery was made within a few months of the supposed Roswell UFO crash. To this, while neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the cover-up, whatever it was, I will point out that field-effect transistors were patented as early as 1926. The computer chip as we know it is evolved from the MOSFET developed in the 60’s.

1922. BBC Radio began daily newscasts.

1928. NBC sets up a permanent, coast-to-coast radio network.

This next ‘on this day’ need clarifying. An entry in wikipedia states the first transplant was 23rd December, 1954, but that was specifically a successful transplant from a live donor, not the first kidney transplant. If you visit the Medical University of South Carolina it goes back to 1902 for an operation on a dog and 1909 for a human, though there’s no citations.
A Timeline of Kidney Transplantation MUSC also note a temporary transplant in 1945, at the same hospital listed below.

The entry in wikipedia say the first kidney transplant ‘in the United States’ was performed on the 17th of June, 1950 and that while the kidney was latter rejected it gave her remaining kidney chance to recover, so she survived another 5 years. Kidneys are very resilient like that. I’ll put the pages back up sometime but I’ve had acute kidney failure myself, my functions were down to 3% at one point… They are up around 65% now so I manage fine, even if I can’t drink. Small price, really.

So, in 1954 J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant in Boston’s Brigham Hospital. The donor was the patient’s identical twin brother, helping eliminate rejection from an immune reaction. Dr. Murray received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1990.

In 1986 Voyager. piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed back at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world without aerial or ground refueling. The idea for the light, custom-built aircraft was doodled on the back of a napkin and over the space of 5 years volunteers from Rutan Aircraft Factory and elsewhere helped make the dream happen. In setting this flight endurance record the pair flew 26,366 miles (42,432 km) west for 9 days, circling the planet to land back where they started.

Trending at this moment:

On Yahoo is news that Apple signed a deal to supply their iPhones to China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers. Apple’s share price jumped 3% as a result.

Meanwhile on Google the trends are around the severe gales and weather warnings hitting the UK again, with the north getting the brunt of it. Again.

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