Firsts for the Fourth
On this date in 1885, the first successful appendectomy was performed. Dr. Grant did the surgery in Iowa on patient Mary Gartside.
On this date in 1887, the first round-the-world bicycle trip ended.
On this date in 1935, Billboard magazine published its first music chart based on national sales figures. Who topped that first chart? Jazz violinist Joe Venuti, with his song “Stop! Look! Listen!”
On this day in 1958, the world's first artificial satellite, Russia's Sputnik 1, was also the first to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere as it fell from orbit. The unmanned Sputnik had traveled about 60 million kilometers (or 37 million miles) in its three months in orbit.
Have a personal first today.
Do something you've never done before. Sculpt with clay, cook a meal, visit the beach in winter, take a yoga class...or?
The I's have it in January – the Isaacs, that is.
A mere two days after we celebrated the late, great Isaac Asimov, it's time to celebrate Sir Isaac Newton!
Newton was born on this date in 1643 in England. (Because England was very slow to adopt the Gregorian calendar, compared to the rest of Europe, the date of Newton's birth was recorded as Christmas Day, December 25, 1642.)
Sir Isaac Newton became one of the most important and influential scientists of all time—making contributions in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. He was very religious (and wrote more about the Bible than about science and nature!), but his religious views were unusual.
Newton worked out the “laws” of universal gravitation (we would call this “the theory of gravity” now) and of motion, acceleration, and inertia. He built the first practical reflecting telescope, worked out a theory of color based on the spectrum obtained from passing white light through a prism, and developed the differential and integral calculus (with Gottfried Leibniz).
Learn some physics.
This site is easier than this one. (On the second site, be sure to check out the animations at Shockwave Physics Studio, about halfway down the page.)
Did you ever hear the story... of the apple that fell on Isaac Newton's head? Read more about it here.