Quote of the day :
We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.
Marcus Tullius Cicero ~ (born today, -106 bc)
Picture of the day :
Statue of Nike, the goddess of victory atop Warrington Town Hall’s famous ‘Golden Gates‘
Youtube video of the day :
New Zealand National Film Unit presents The Great Achievement (1958)
"On January 4 1958 Sir Edmund Hillary and his New Zealand party reached the South Pole. They were the first to do so overland since Robert Falcon Scott in 1912, and the first to reach it in motor vehicles"
Born on this day…
Born today :
- Author and academic, J. R. R. Tolkien
- Roman orator and philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Director, Sergio Leone
- Musician, singer and songwriter, Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
- Musician, John Paul Jones (Led Zep)
- Musician, arranger and producer, Sir George Martin
- Pianist and comedian, Victor Borge
- Actor, John Thaw CBE
- Actor, Mel Gibson
- Actor, Ray Milland
- Actor, Bill Travers
- Actor, Dabney Coleman
- Actor, John Russell
- Stage actor and singer, Sir Henry Lytton
Knighted for services to Gilbert and Sullivan, I kid you not!
- Actress, Victoria Principal
- Actress, ZaSu Pitts
- Actress, Marion Davies
- Actress, Josephine Hull
- Actress and author, Danica McKellar
I read somewhere she also has a doctorate in Maths. Her website says she has a ‘summa cum laude degree’ (Latin for ‘with highest honour’) but how that compares to a Ph.D I don’t know. I suspect a ‘summa cum laude’ is the same as a first class honours, anyone know different? Either way, she is an internationally-recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. Bit like the UK’s Carole Vordeman.
- F1 race driver, Michael Schumacher
- British prime minister, Clement Atlee
- Playwright, Douglas William Jerrold (b.1803)
- Social reformer and suffragist, Lucretia Coffin Mott (b.1793)
- Artist, August Macke
- Artist, Jack Levine
- Aerospace engineer, T. Claude Ryan
Designed the Spirit of st Louis
- Engineer, Robert Whitehead (b.1823)
Developed the first effective self-propelled naval torpedo.
As it happens I once worked for a company that, amongst other things, made and researched weapons grade aluminium for the MoD for torpedoes. At the same time, it turned out, a friend that grew up with me was working on electrical systems for torpedoes at Aldermaston.
Also on this day in history
1840: First deep-sea sounding.
1870 : Construction began on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.
1872 : US Patent Office issued its first patent list
1919 : Ernest Rutherford succeeded in splitting the atom by bombarding nitrogen with alpha particles, breaking down the nucleus of the nitrogen atoms to release releasing hydrogen and oxygen in the process. The Royal Society of Chemistry, in praising his groundbreaking and (literally) earth-shattering achievement said he ‘became the first true alchemist.’
Personally I always thought the first true alchemist was Catweazle, but I’m assured the 11th century sorcerer wasn’t real so I guess the title stays with Rutherford.
1924 : Egyptologist Howard Carter uncovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. As well as the boy pharaoh’s solid gold sarcophagus was the intact treasure trove, filled with jewellery and priceless artifacts.
1947 : The US House of Representatives was televised for the first time.
1957 : The Hamilton Electric 500 – the first battery-operated electric wristwatch – was announced. It was rushed out of the door to beat competitors and within a decade replaced by better, less complex quartz watches. Nonetheless, they are considered collectors items and, as ever depending on model, age and condition, they can sell from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
1958 : British explorer Sir Edmund Hillary reached the South Pole.
1959 : Alaska became the 49th and the largest state of the USA.
1961 : The millionth Morris Minor car rolled off the assembly line.
1974 : Gold hits record $121.25 an ounce in London.
1980 : Gold hits record $634 an ounce. Nice return for those manipulating that happenstance, eh!
1977 : Apple Computers incorporated Stephen Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. Its IPO three years later valued the company at $1.78 billion on the stock market.
1999 : NASA launched the Mars Polar Landar to study soil and water on the red planet. Unfortunately, after taking nearly a year to get there the 290kg spacecraft crashed on landing and was never heard of again.
However in a classified document uncovered by whistle-blower Snowden it was revealed that within the final transmission, besides the sound of the retro rockets, was an alien voice screaming, "Oh no, you are NOT landing that tub on my prize ’mato plants", followed by a series of loud metallic bangs.
2000 : The last original weekday Peanuts comic strip is published. Gone, but never forgotten, Snoopy.
Trending at this moment:
Michael Schumacher is trending today, unfortunately it’s for his recent skiing accident rather than his birthday. Not into racing myself but a friend is a huge fan of the retired F1 ace.
The other news of note is the continued bad weather on both sides of the Atlantis with snow wind and rain hammering North America and flood warnings all across the UK.