Posts tagged Science and Scientists (18)
Nos 1 to 10
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Sir Arthur Sullivan
Discovery and Invention
Paxton’s Palace
Sir Joseph Paxton not only designed the venue for the Great Exhibition of 1851, he embodied the festival’s most cherished principles.

JOSEPH Paxton one day confided to John Ellis MP, a fellow board-member of the Midland Railway, that he had designed a building truly fit to host the forthcoming Great Exhibition of 1851, the exciting showcase for Imperial science and industry destined for Hyde Park. Ellis gave Paxton just nine days to submit a formal application.

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No. 1
2 two-part story
Sophia Giustani Dussek
Discovery and Invention
Mary Anning
A twelve-year-old girl from Lyme Regis made a historic discovery while selling seashells to tourists.

IN 1811, twelve-year-old Mary Anning pieced together a fossilised skeleton from the limestone cliffs of Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was very different from the usual ammonite and belemnite shells that she and her brother sold to tourists, and it netted them £23, a welcome windfall following the death of their father Richard the previous year.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Ann Sheppard Mounsey and William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
The Ladies’ Diary
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.

THE ‘Ladies’ Diary’, published annually in London from 1704 to 1841, offered an almanack of useful dates, astronomical events, rhyming riddles and readers’ queries, such as

“I should be glad to know, what is the composition of the India rubber; and how and where it is made”.

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No. 3
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Discovery and Invention
John Dalton
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.

JOHN Dalton, a weaver’s boy, began his teaching career at fifteen, helping his elder brother to run a Quaker school in Kendal. He deepened his education by contributing maths problems to The Ladies’ Diary, and reading scientific works to Kendal’s distinguished natural philosopher John Gough, who was blind, in exchange for lessons in Latin and Greek.

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No. 4
2 two-part story
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Discovery and Invention
Alan Blumlein
Railway enthusiast, music lover, and the man who gave us stereo sound.

IN 1935 Alan Blumlein, an avid railway enthusiast, made a five-minute film of trains running through Hayes in Middlesex.

There was a serious purpose to Blumlein’s subject. A maddening feature of early talkies was that as actors moved around the screen, the sound of their voices and movements appeared rooted to one spot.

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No. 5
Johann Baptist Cramer
Discovery and Invention
Dr Wollaston
William Hyde Wollaston discovered new elements and helped Faraday to greatness, all from the top of a tea-tray.

AFTER graduating in medicine from Gonville and Caius in 1793, and practising as a rural doctor in Cambridgeshire for a few years, William Wollaston came into family money and settled in London, free to indulge his passion for chemistry.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Jan Ladislav Dussek and Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Discovery and Invention
Mr Faraday
Faraday’s work on electromagnetism made him an architect of modern living, and one of Albert Einstein’s three most revered physicists.

YOUNG Michael Faraday worked in a bookshop, so he had plenty to read. He did not spurn his good fortune, and was especially fascinated by science and electricity.

One customer, the eminent pianist William Dance, spotted Michael’s enthusiasm and sent him tickets to Sir Humphrey Davy’s famous public lectures.

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No. 7
Muzio Clementi
Discovery and Invention
The Lessons of Nature
Samuel Smiles shows us two great achievements inspired by two tiny creatures.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHILE Captain (afterwards Sir Samuel) Brown was occupied in studying the construction of bridges, with the view of contriving one of a cheap description to be thrown across the Tweed, near which he lived, he was walking in his garden one dewy autumn morning, when he saw a tiny spider’s net suspended across his path.

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No. 8
Francesco Geminiani
Discovery and Invention
Observation
Great inventions come from those who notice what they see.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

IT is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit in life.

“Sir,” said Johnson, on one occasion, to a fine gentleman just returned from Italy, “some men will learn more in the Hampstead stage than others in the tour of Europe.”

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No. 9
William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
The Music of the Spheres
Sir William Herschel not only discovered Uranus and infrared radiation, but composed two dozen symphonies as well.

WILLIAM Herschel, an oboist in the Military Band in his native Hanover, came to England in 1757, aged nineteen.

In 1761, he became leader of the Durham Militia band, and first violin of Charles Avison’s orchestra in Newcastle, before taking a post in Halifax as an organist, where he regularly performed symphonies and concertos he had composed himself.

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No. 10
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Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
The newly-minted state of Israel’s Arab neighbours tried to prevent it taking shape, but ended up defining it.
Conspiracies and dynastic expectations swirled around James I’s daughter from the age of nine.
By Charles Kingsley
(1819-75)
A last goodbye breathes promise of a merry meeting.
Paris, prince of Troy, takes the not unwilling Queen of Sparta back home with him, and sparks twenty years of retribution.
In 1381, fourteen-year-old King Richard II was faced with a popular uprising against excessive taxation and government meddling in the labour market.

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Polyword ‘Sycamore’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘glittering crown’ (6 letters), and ‘dark, gloomy and clouded’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SWORD and finish with PEACE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.