History Schmistory: February 16. Emergency!

February 16, 1968. 9-1-1 service begins.

GO THERE! Chalk it up!

Everybody knows about the Pyramids in Egypt but there are plenty of natural wonders to explore as well. Twenty-eight miles north of the village of Farafra lies the Sahara el Beyda, or White Desert, with its crazy chalk rock formations throughout, caused by sandstorms and low-level wind erosion.
-and frumpy schoolteachers who maintain stockpiles for their blackboards 🙂

History Schmistory: February 15. Compute this!

1946: ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer) filled an entire room, weighed thirty tons, and consumed over two hundred kilowatts of power, (1 kW=1000 regular watts) so clearly the room must have felt like a sauna. Parts included over 19,000 vacuum tubes -the principal elements of the circuitry- and hundreds of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, all jumbled up inside forty-two panels nine feet tall, two feet wide, and one foot thick. And not a mouse to be found!

It would be decades before the true potential of the computer would be realized…

History Schmistory: February 15. Words From Columbus!

February 15, 1493. Columbus writes a letter describing (and exaggerating) his voyage.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Video Schmistory: February 14

History Schmistory: February 13. “I give up.”

1633: After a grueling twenty-three day trip, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, seventy years old and suffering from excruciating sciatica, arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition. Having failed to convince the cardinals with his evidence, Galileo was to be tried for heresy for professing and detailing his belief that Earth revolves around the Sun. In order to avoid a particularly torturous jail sentence, the mark of any bona fide Inquisition, Galileo had no choice but to submit, renouncing his beliefs and denying a lifetime of work so he could go back home and live out his remaining days in peace.

Some folks were just too far ahead of their time…

History Schmistory: February 13. We Do Covers!

February 13, 1867. The Polluted River Zenne gets a cover-up.

Valentine’s Day Around the World Video!

Learn how they celebrate love in Scotland, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, England, and Italy!

History Schmistory: February 12. Bloody Mary, insane, beheads Lady Jane…

1554: Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason, only the year after reluctantly claiming the throne of England for nine days, the shortest stretch on the throne in the history of England. Jane was known as one of the most intelectual women of her time, fluent in French, Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. She was certainly worthy of the throne and would likely have been one of England’s most upstanding rulers. But “Bloody Mary” would have none of it. The Princess, Mary Tudor rallied an army of supporters to march into London and usurp the throne for herself. Unfortunately, Jane’s supporters were lacking the spine to stand up to Mary, and one by one they swore allegiance to her. Mary wasted no time, locking Jane up in the Tower of London for political expediency. Since Jane was also a Protestant, Mary had no trouble elevating her sentence to treason, and a few months later, one of England’s most distinguished female minds was gratuitously chopped from its body. That’s seriously messed up. But really that’s the only thing Bloody Mary was good at.

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