1186 BCE According to the calculation of the Greek librarian, mathematician and geodesist Eratosthenes this was the day the Greeks turned Troy into a big bonfire. I wonder if they roasted any marshmallows on the flames?
1292 CE The man who invented everything dies. Roger Bacon Franciscan friar and mediaeval scholar who has been wrongly credited with the invention of everything from the submarine to the umbrella supposedly died on this day. The date of death is probably as mythical as the inventions
1644 CE Evangelista Torricelli discovers nothing! On this date Torricelli described for the first time, in a letter, his invention the Torricellian tube better known as the barometer. This instrument led to the confirmation of existence of the void or vacuum thus dismantling part of the Aristotelian physics. He was actually trying to answer the question as to why simple pumps were limited in the height to which they could pump water, an important question for the then expanding mining industry.
1723 CE Johann Georg Palitzsch was born.
1829 CE Newton was born! No not that one but the zoologist and great auk fan Alfred Newton one of the first leading zoologists to support Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Not many days after my return home there reached me the part of the Journal of the Linnean Society which bears on its cover the date 20th August 1858, and contains the papers by Mr Darwin and Mr Wallace, which were communicated to that Society at its special meeting of the first of July preceding… I sat up late that night to read it; and never shall I forget the impression it made upon me. Herein was contained a perfectly simple solution of all the difficulties which had been troubling me for months past… I am free to confess that in my joy I did not then perceive that… dozens of other difficulties lay in the path… but I was convinced a vera causa [true cause] had been found… and I never doubted for one moment, then nor since, that we had one of the grandest discoveries of the age—a discovery all the more grand because it was so simple.
1910 CE Jacque-Yves Cousteau was born and if you need me to tell you who he was you’re a hopeless case.
2009 CE The Renaissance Mathematicus plunged for the first time into the vast unknown void of cyberspace! The proprietors report that the baby blog has developed into a strapping two year old and is planning on staying around for a good while yet.