Great women of science
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) - British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) - Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) - Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity.
Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) - French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment.
Mae Jemison (1956) - American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
Vera Rubin (1928) - American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She is famous for uncovering the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) - English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer.
Ah, the dawning of the Jazz Age in Chicago. Divey drinking establishments, elegant suits and silk dresses, wonderful, wonderful music… and one ridiculously talented gay Black pianist and songwriter who had everyone in town copying his style!
Born in 1884 in New Orleans, young Tony Jackson was something of a musical prodigy. He constructed a harpsichord made from junk in his back garden at the age of ten because his family didn’t have the money to buy him a piano. By the age of 15, he’d become one of the most sought-after piano players in Storyville, the city’s red light district — and he’d also almost certainly realised that he was gay. This didn’t make life in New Orleans particularly easy for him. The memoirs of jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton suggest that Jackson complained to Morton about the difficulty of being out and gay in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century (see below). By 1904, Jackson had left New Orleans to tour with various music outfits, and eventually he moved to Chicago, where he worked with and influenced artists such as Morton and Clarence Williams. Here’s what Morton had to say about him:
All these men were hard to beat, but when Tony Jackson walked in, any one of them would get up from the piano stool. If he didn’t, somebody was liable to say, 'Get up from that piano. You hurting its feelings. Let Tony play.' Tony was real dark and not a bit good-looking, but he had a beautiful disposition. He was the outstanding favourite of New Orleans…
There was no tune that come up from any opera or any show of any kind or anything that was wrote on paper that Tony couldn’t play. He had such a beautiful voice and a marvellous range. His voice on an opera tune was exactly as an opera singer. His range on a blues would be just exactly like a blues singer… Tony happened to be one of those gentlemens that a lot of people call them lady or sissy — I suppose he was either a ferry or a steamboat, one of the other, probably you would say a ferry because that’s what you pay a nickel for — and that was the cause of him going to Chicago about 1906. He liked the freedom there. (from Alan Lomax, Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and Inventor of Jazz (1973) pp. 43-5)
(FWIW, I’m still researching exact details on the ‘ferry’ and ‘steamboat’ slang terms — any historical linguists out there who can help?)
In Chicago, Jackson quickly became just as popular as he’d been at home, performing at venues across the South Side (and apparently influencing other people’s fashion choices with his ascot ties and diamond stick pins!). Jackson doesn’t appear to have discussed his sexuality with many other people in great detail, but as Morton’s comments suggest, it doesn’t appear to have been any great secret either.
He didn’t make any recordings, which is a horrible tragedy to my mind, but he did publish a number of songs as sheet music with full or shared credit. One of these was 'Pretty Baby', which was apparently part of Jackson’s performance repertoire as early as 1912, but wasn’t published until 1916. The published version clearly refers to a female lover (there’s a picture of a woman on the cover of the songsheet, for example), but the lyrics themselves are ambiguous (and adorable and obnoxious in equal measures!):You ask me why I’m always teasing you. /You hate to have me call you “Pretty Baby.” /I really thought that I was pleasing you, /For you’re just a baby to me… /… And just like Peter Pan it seems you’ll always be /The same sweet cunning little baby dear to me, /And that is why I’m sure that I /Will always love you best of all.
To me, there’s something particularly poignant in one of the last lines of the song —- And I’d like to be your sister, brother, dad and mother too, Pretty baby, pretty baby. At the time Jackson was writing, I suspect that to quite a large extent, out queer people very much did have to be one another’s families.
Jackson died in 1921, possibly of alcoholism or syphilis (the sources I’ve come across so far are divided as to exactly what cased his death)… he was thirty-fucking-seven years old. In 2011, Tony Jackson was added to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame for being ‘an openly gay man when that was rare' — recognition that came very late, but definitely (for us, at least) better than never.
Bio from Out History: http://outhistory.org/wiki/Tony_Jackson#Tony_Jackson.2C_A_Gay_Blues_Pianist_from_Chicago
2011 induction into Chicago GL Hall of Fame: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=33783
An early recording of ‘Pretty Baby’: http://ia700504.us.archive.org/9/items/BillyMurray_part4/BillyMurray-PrettyBaby.mp3
Bio from All About Jazz: http://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/musician.php?id=7944#.UNw8Nm_Za3s
Wiki page for ‘Pretty Baby’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Baby_(song)
Wikipedia bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Jackson_(jazz_musician)
Google Books link: Entry in Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XFnfnKg6BcAC&pg=PA559&dq=tony+jackson&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZUPcUOP0Fq6Z0QWH0IGYBQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=tony%20jackson&f=false
Google Books link: Information about Jackson in Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=44lheqlq-jYC&dq=tony+jackson+chicago+whispers&source=gbs_navlinks_s
In honor of Lord Byron’s birthday I would like to remind you all of the time that Shelley and Keats, having not heard from him for some time, became concerned for his safety and it was determined that Shelley would go looking for him. Keats received a letter some time later that Shelley had found him in Paris, where he’d been having so much sex that he’d nearly died from malnourishment and dehydration. Keats’ entire response amounted to essentially, “You should probably have let him.”
Before there was sexting, there was inserting obvious sexual metaphors into benign-looking letters and adding romantic overtones to keep it classy.
Yes, lets imagine a world WITHOUT MUSLIMS, shall we?
Without Muslims you wouldn’t have:
Crank-shaft, internal combustion engine, valves, pistons
Architectural innovation (pointed arch -European Gothic cathedrals adopted this technique as it made the building much stronger, rose windows, dome buildings, round towers, etc.)
Treatment of Cowpox
3 course meal (soup, meat/fish, fruit/nuts)
Gardens used for beauty and meditation instead of for herbs and kitchen.
- Mariner’s Compass
- Soft drinks
- Plastic surgery
- Manufacturing of paper and cloth
It was a Muslim who realized that light ENTERS our eyes, unlike the Greeks who thought we EMITTED rays, and so invented a camera from this discovery.
It was a Muslim who first tried to FLY in 852, even though it is the Wright Brothers who have taken the credit.
It was a Muslim by the name of Jabir ibn Hayyan who was known as the founder of modern Chemistry. He transformed alchemy into chemistry. He invented: distillation, purification, oxidation, evaporation, and filtration. He also discovered sulfuric and nitric acid.
It is a Muslim, by the name of Al-Jazari who is known as the father of robotics.
It was a Muslim who was the architect for Henry V’s castle.
It was a Muslim who invented hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes, a technique still used today.
It was a Muslim who actually discovered inoculation, not Jenner and Pasteur to treat cowpox. The West just brought it over from Turkey
It was Muslims who contributed much to mathematics like Algebra and Trigonometry, which was imported over to Europe 300 years later to Fibonnaci and the rest.
It was Muslims who discovered that the Earth was round 500 years before Galileo did.
The list goes on………..
Just imagine a world without Muslims. Now I think you probably meant, JUST IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT TERRORISTS. And then I would agree, the world would definitely be a better place without those pieces of filth. But to hold a whole group responsible for the actions of a few is ignorant and racist. No one would ever expect Christians or White people to be held responsible for the acts of Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bombing) or Andreas Brevik (Norway killing), or the gun man that shot Congresswoman Giffords in head, wounded 12 and killed 6 people, and rightly so because they had nothing to do with those incidents! Just like the rest of the 1.5 billion Muslims have nothing to do with this incident!
Thank God someone put this out there!
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t cow pox they were preventing it was small pox (which is way worse). And it was brought to England when lady Mary wortley montagu, went to Turkey and visited a bath house she noticed none of the women there had small pox scars (which she did). So she asked a few locals about it and found out about inoculation. Btw inoculation is basically cutting open your skin and putting some pus from a small pox pustule, from someone with a mild case of small pox, then wrapping up the cut with gaze. You would get sick but not as bad as the person you got it from. Then you were pretty much protected from getting smallpox after that. Only a small percentage died from inoculation. So yea lady mary brought it to England, and was able to get supporters from it because she had some power and money cuz her husband was in politics or something. And in the states dr zabdiel Boylston got the idea from his assistant/servant who was black and knew some other black people from I think the Caribbean who did this as well. Oh and both lady Mary and Boylston tested it out on their kids first. They couldn’t do it on themselves since they both had smallpox and knew well enough at the time that if you survived small pox you wouldn’t get it again.
So yes the Muslim people did invent inoculation along with many others. But Jenner did think of using cow pox to protect against smallpox.
Islamic history is great, because everyone thinks of the Middle Ages as some dark time between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance when in actuality just east of Europe all the Muslims were like, “Sorry, I can’t hear you over your witch burning, we’re too busy inventing chemistry.”
The dark history of Poveglia Island began during the Roman Era when it was used to isolate plague victims from the general population. Centuries later, when the Black Death rolled through Europe it served that purpose again. The dead were dumped into large pits and buried or burned. As the plague tightened its grip, the population began to panic and those residents showing the slightest sign of sickness were taken from their homes and to the island of Poveglia kicking and screaming and pleading. They were thrown onto piles of rotting corpses and set ablaze. Men, women, children… all left to die in agony. It’s estimated that the tiny island saw as many as 160,000 bodies during this time.
The island has become a putrid area indeed. The soil of the island combined with the charred remains of the bodies dumped there creating a thick layer of sticky ash. The core of the island is literally human remains that has given the island a loathsome reputation, but appears to be very good for the grapevines that are planted there. Think about that next time you partake of Italian wine!
As if the story was not disturbing enough, it gets worse. In 1922 the island became home to a psychiatric hospital complete with a large and very impressive bell tower. The patients of this hospital immediately began to report that they would see ghosts of plague victims on the island and that they would be kept up at night hearing the tortured wails of the suffering spirits. Because they were already considered mad by the hospital staff, these complaints were largely ignored.
To add to the anguish of the poor souls populating this island hospital, one doctor there decided to make a name for himself by experimenting on his subjects all to find a cure for insanity. Lobotomies were performed on his pitiable patients using crude tools like hand drills, chisels, and hammers. Those patients and even the ones who were not privy to the doctor’s special attentions were taken to the bell tower where they were tortured and subjected to a number of inhumane horrors.
According to the lore, after many years of performing these immoral acts, the evil doctor began to see the tortured plague ridden spirits of Poveglia Island himself. It is said that they led him to the bell tower where he jumped (or was thrown) to the grounds below. The fall did not kill him according to a nurse who witnessed the event, but she related that as he lay on the ground writhing in pain, a mist came up out of the ground and choked him to death. It’s rumored that the doctor is bricked up in the hospital bell tower and on a still night, the bell can be heard tolling across the bay. The hospital closed down.
For a time, the Italian government owned the island, but it was later sold. That owner abandoned it in the 1960’s and was the last person to try and live there. A family recently sought to buy the island and build a holiday home on it but they left the first night there and refused to comment on what happened. The only fact that we do know is that their daughters face was ripped open and required fourteen stitches.
Today Poveglia is uninhabited and tourism to island is strictly forbidden. Every now and then the lapping waves on the shore uncover charred human bones.
Several psychics have visited the island the abandoned hospital, but all of them left scared to death of what they had sensed there. Every now and then daredevils dodge the police patrols to explore the island, but everyone who has made it there have refused to return saying that there is a heavy atmosphere of evil and they the screams and tortured moans that permeate the island make staying there unbearable.
One report from a misguided thrill seeker who fled the island says that after entering the abandoned hospital, a disembodied voice ordered them, “Leave immediately and do not return.”
They never did.”
A is for Alcohol, a deadly, poisonous thing,
Which “biteth like a serpent”, and doth “like an adder sting”.
B is for Beer, a drink which English workmen love;
And Brandy – stay of sickness: both not friends but foes oft prove.
C is for Cider, which a harmless drink is deemed,
Yet which may work more mischief than the drinkers e’er have dreamed.
D is for Danger, which is always close at hand,
When among alcoholic drinks weak human creatures stand.
E is for Enmity, which arises from the strife
Engendered by the exciting draughts, and blights full many a life.
F is for the Fetters, which all drink-bound slaves must wear,
Which heavier grow as time goes on, and drag them to despair.
G is for the golden Grain God sends to bless and feed,
Which men pervert and change until it brings but great need.
H is for Hunger – the poor children’s dreaded foe:
What pangs, through parent’s selfishness, e’en tender babes oft know.
I is for Idleness, which follows in drink’s train
When men would rather tippling go than at their work remain.
J is for Jollity, which drinkers say they find –
Though far from “jolly” are the aches and pains oft left behind.
K is for the sad death Knell, which solemnly doth sound,
Telling when victims of the drink an early grave have found.
L is for the Licences, procured to buy and sell;
Too often dealers in strong drink the drunkards’ list will swell.
M is for the Mourning which is heard all o’er our land
O’er loved ones who on ruin’s brink with tottering footsteps stand.
N is for Nectar, to which men will liken wine,
When on the glittering festal board its sparkling beauties shine.
O is for drink’s Odour, to the drunkard sweetest scent
It tempts him past resistance when to drink he had not meant.
P is for the Prison, in which helpless captives lie
Who’re found “incapable” in the street when the “man in blue” comes by.
Q is for Quarrels, which are rife where drink doth reign,
And often end in fatal strife which brings the convict’s chain.
R is for the deadly Rum, which its thousands still will slay
While it – with Gin – acknowledged is as the tippler’s cherished stay.
S is for the trusted Stout, which as medicine is given;
It lends false strength, perchance, but oft to drunkenness has driven.
T is for the Tap, from which the toper is supplied:
Frequently is it running fast, but ne’er for long is dried.
U is for Uselessness, to which drink will quickly bring,
All who for strength in life and work to it for help will cling.
V is for the Vices which are nourished by strong drink
Which will not vanish till the power of King Alcohol shall sink.
W is for Wretchedness, which the heart and home pervades
In which this foe’s destructive hand has made its fearful raids.
X is the well-known X X – poor letter! much abused
By being in the brewing trade as a distinction used.
Y is for life’s Youthtide, which should be bright and glad,
But oft is rendered – by strong drink- gloomy and dark and sad.
Z is for the Zeal with which men seek their thirst to allay.
If they would but as zealous be to keep from drink away,
The evils which this alphabet has feebly tried to trace
No longer would on our loved land affix such dire disgrace.
EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,” IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa
Someone asked me to somehow “verify” that this story is real.
Of course it’s real! The PROBLEM with the coverage regarding these manuscripts is that they’re constantly portrayed as being in “danger” because many of them are still in the possession of Malian descendants. About 700,000 have been cataloged so far, and they have had to be moved in part because apparently extremist groups have tried to firebomb them. Many others are still in the possession of the families they have been passed down in.
Many of these collected manuscripts are being housed in exile, but mold and humidity have been a constant threat. They have been raising funds to try and preserve these manuscripts-you can read more about the project to house and protect them here.
A bit of the history of these manuscripts from National Geographic:
These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.
By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region.
At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.
By the beginning of the 1600s with the Moroccan invasions from the north, however, the scholars of Timbuktu began to slowly drift away and study elsewhere. As a result, the city’s sacred manuscripts began to fall into disrepair. While Islamic teachings there continued for another 300 years, the biggest decline in scholastic study occurred with the French colonization of present-day Mali in the late 1890s.
So yeah, basically the story of this collection’s source more or less ends with “…but unfortunately, colonialism”, as do most of the great cities of Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.
Also, as an additional consideration:
With the pressures of poverty, a series of droughts, and a tribal Tureg rebellion in Mali that lasted over ten years, the manuscripts continue to disappear into the black market, where they are illegally sold to private and university collections in Europe and the United States.
Notice where the blame is placed here via language use: on the people in poverty forced to sell their treasures, as opposed to the Universities in Europe and the U.S. buying them.
It’s really just another face of Neocolonialism.
Reasons for Admission to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia (1864-1899) x
(OR: Why I waste time in a meaningless field; why I want to spend my life looking at old dusty letters and books; why I care about people who are dead and gone; why this even matters.)
I study history because I love humanity.
I study history because it encompasses the entire realm of human thought and deed.
History is a coded map of the human heart; it is a record of hopes & dreams of the great and the small. History is the ambitions of humans on their knees — in the mosques, the cathedrals, the temples; on the plantations; in the trenches. History is the hopes of the humans looking ahead — at the horizon, up to the stars, towards the future.
History is the action of firing a gun or swinging a sword; the action of love (making it, keeping it, using it, stealing it, forgetting it, leaving it).
History is a Mozart symphony, a Wagnerian opera, a gamelan orchestra, and the rhythm of the military march.
History is culture, literature, philosophy; history is the smallest bedtime prayer whispered by the smallest child. It is a quest — to slay the dragon, to reclaim the Holy Land, to surpass all boundaries.
History is neither good nor evil, but it is the sum of good and evil things. It is the wheel of time, the moving hands of a clock, and the timeless hush of an old library. History is in the museums but also in destruction of museums.
And the work of a historian is not a dead job. It is not all dust and old books, faded parchment and endless, meaningless letters. It is not mummification — rather, it is the resurrection and immortalization of past lives, past hopes and fears and dreams.
The historian does not worship the past, but instead brings it into the present — refreshes it, remembers it, and, most importantly, learns from it. The historian knows that history is a tool, and knowledge of history is both an honor and a powerful weapon in the right (or wrong) hands.
Most of all, the historian knows that history is not only the past — it is the future.