Looking Back…

In case you were wondering about notable science events that happened the week of June 20th…

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A far cry from Grand Theft Auto and Super Mario. On June 21st, 1948, the first stored-program was run on a computer. The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, nicknamed “Baby”, ran a program that held only 17 instructions. The computer program test was to find the highest proper factor of 218. It took 3.5 million operations and 52 minutes for the computer to produce an answer. And I thought my computer was slow.

Also on June 21st, 2002, Europe was declared to be free of polio (poliomyelitis,) a disease that targets infants and small children. The vaccine was created in April of 1955 by Jonas Salk.

The world doesn’t revolve around you. On June 22nd, 1638, Galileo Galilei was forced by the Catholic Church to recant his heliocentric theory that the sun, and not the earth, is the center of the universe. Of course, now we know that the sun is not the center of the universe either.

Minty Fresh. On June 26th, 1974, the first Universal Product Code was used in Ohio. The barcode was used at a supermarket; the first product scanned was a piece of Wrigley’s gum.

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Looking Back…

In case you were wondering about notable science events that happened the week of April 25th… 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ethan Hein

Crime just doesn’t pay. But don’t lose your head over it. On April 25th, 1792, highwayman Jaques Nicolas J Pelletier became the first person to be executed by guillotine. Beheading by guillotine became the only legal execution method of France in March of that same year, and remained the only legal method until the abolition of the death penalty in 1981.
Can you hear me now? On April 27th, 2002 NASA made its last successful reception of telemetry with space probe Pioneer 10 before the signal was lost. The space probe was launched in 1972, and sent back the first close up images of Jupiter in 1973. In 1983, the probe drifted past the orbit of the last planet in our solar system (which happened to be Neptune at the time).

Creative Commons License photo credit: geishaboy500

Does anybody really know what time it is? According to the Gregorian calendar, at 10:40 A.M. on April 28th of 1902 the world experienced its one billionth minute since the year zero. Where does the time go?

 On April 30th, 1993, CERN opened the internet to the world at large, stating that it would be free to the public.

On May 1st, 1955, a polio vaccine was made available to the public for the very first time. Developed by Jonas Salk, this vaccine put an end to the crippling disease that plagued infants throught the late 19th and early 20th centuries.