Mikhail Lomonosov


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Did you know that Mikhail Lomonosov was born today in 1711? He was a Russian polymath. A polymath is someone who has experience and knowledge in multiple subject. Some of the areas Lomonosov studied include chemistry; physics; geology and mineralogy; optical devices such as telescopes; history; art; and literature and language. Some of the important discoveries Lomonosov made include the discovery of an atmosphere on Venus, the freezing point of mercury, and conservation of mass in chemical reactions. He catalogued more than 3,000 minerals and predicted the existence of Antarctica. Lomonosov also used his knowledge of chemistry and minerals to create factories that could produce colored glass for mosaics and art.

We hope that you enjoy learning a variety of things. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Mikhail Lomonosov was not born to the aristocracy. His father was prosperous, but just a fisherman. When he reached a point where he had learned all he could in his village he left on foot and walked to Moscow so he could pursue further studies. Despite his poverty, Mikhail Lomonosov earned further opportunities for education through his hard work.

Mikhail Lomonosov discovered the atmosphere of Venus while observing the transit of Venus in 1761.

Mikhail Lomonosov explained the formation of icebergs. He used his knowledge of how icebergs form to show that the icebergs found in the South Ocean were formed on dry land and not the ocean.

Mikhail Lomonosov write a grammar handbook that reformed the Russian language. He also wrote poetry and a history of Russia.

The glass factories Mikhail Lomonosov organized in 1763 produced the first stained glass mosaics outside of the famous Italian glass factories. Records show Lomonosov created about 40 mosaics, 24 still survive today.

George Gallup


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Did you know that George H. Gallup was born today in 1901? He was a statistician and a journalist and was recognized as one of the most influential Americans. George Gallup often said that he wanted to learn and report the will of the people. He is the inventor of the Gallup Poll, which is frequently referenced in the news. A poll is a survey that collects public opinion. George Gallup’s work helped to build the public’s trust in survey research. A reliable source of public opinion also altered the way political campaigns and marketing worked. The Gallup Poll currently collects data on political, social, economic, and other issues.

We hope that you use sound opinions to make good decisions. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
In High School, George Gallup delivered milk and saved money to start a school newspaper.

George Gallup worked as a journalism professor and for an advertising agency.

George Gallup was recognized as one of the greatest and most influential Americans by Life, Time, and other newspapers and magazines.

George Gallup founded the Quill and Scroll, an international honor society for high-school journalists.

With the exception of 1948, the Gallup Poll has correctly predicted the winner of the presidential election from 1936 to 2008.

In 1976, Gallup conducted a global survey to determine the quality of life around the world. The study surveyed and sampled nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. The current Gallup World Polls continue this research.

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Sara Josephine Baker


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Did you know that Sara Josephine Baker was born today in 1873? She was a physician who made great contributions to public health and child welfare. She realized that one of the ways to keep people from dying from disease was to keep them from getting sick. Some of the programs Baker developed to improve public health include inspecting for infectious diseases, teaching people how to stay healthy, preventing blindness in infants, providing safe sources of milk, and introducing nurses in schools. Her work led to the creation of what would eventually become the Department of Health and Human Services.

We hope that you continue to improve the lives of others. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Sara Josephine Baker’s father and brother died of typhoid when she was about 16. She wanted to support her mother and family and decided on a career in medicine.

Sara Josephine Baker helped to track and apprehend the infamous “Typhoid Mary” Mallon not once, by twice.

Sara Josephine Baker tested her Preventative Medicine and child welfare plans in Hell’s Kitchen, one of the worse slums in New York City. Her team found all infants in the district and taught the parents of the infant basic hygiene, the importance of ventilation, nutrition, and clothing. By the end of summer, there were 1,200 fewer infant deaths compared to the previous year.

To help working mothers, Sara Josephine Baker organized the Babies Welfare Association in 1911 to help address the needs and health of infants in New York. By 1923, the association helped to care for 60,000 infants, half of the infants born in New York City. The association also organized “Little Mother Leagues” which taught young girls how to care for infants so their mothers could work. In 1908, before the organization of the association, the infant mortality rate was 144 per 1,000 live births. In 1918, seven years after the start of the association, the rate fell to 88 per 1,000 live births. In 1923, the rate was 66 for every 1,000 live births.

Infant blindness was often caused by gonorrhea bacteria infections contracted during birth. Silver nitrate drops were used to prevent the infection. However, the bottles of silver nitrate were easily contaminated or the concentration of silver nitrate grew to unsafe levels. Sara Josephine Baker designed single-use bottles, made out of beeswax, that helped to alleviate these issues. Rates of infant blindness dropped from 300 per year to just 3 per year.

Sara Josephine Baker also addressed the health needs of older children. She ensured that the schools had medical staff which checked the children’s health. The system worked well enough to almost eradicate infestations of head lice and trachoma.

During World War I, Sara Josephine Baker made the comment that soldiers in the trenches of France were six times safer than a child born in the United States. She also highlighted that many young men were declared unable to serve in the military because of their poor health. This brought attention to the issue of child health and welfare and helped Baker acquire the resources needed to start programs to improve health.

Sara Josephine Baker was invited to give a lecture on child hygiene at the New York University Medical School. She agreed to give the lecture if she would be allowed to enroll in the school. New York University Medical School declined and tried to find another lecturer, but could not find one with credentials equal to Baker’s. She was allowed to enroll and graduated with a doctorate degree in public health.

Click here for more information about Sara Josephine Baker

William Steig


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Did you know that William Steig was born today in 1907? William Steig’s parents loved art and encouraged him to read, draw, and paint. In high school he drew illustrations for the high school’s newspaper and later he was known as the “King of Cartoons”. William Steig drew more than 2,600 illustrations and cartoons, and almost 120 covers for the magazine The New Yorker. When he was 61, he began to write children’s books. In 1969, William Steig’s book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble won the prestigious Caldecott Medal. He wrote more than 40 children’s books including the Doctor De Soto series, The Amazing Bone, and Shrek.

We hope that you continue to capture the what you see in your artwork and stories. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
During the Great Depression, William Steig had to withdraw from school. He helped earned money for his family by selling his drawings around New York City.

William Steig published collections of his illustrations that were not published in The New Yorker.

The movie Shrek 2 was dedicated to William Steig, who passed away 7 months before the movie was released.

Click here for more information about William Steig

World Kindness Day


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Did you know that World Kindness Day was established in 1998? The goal of World Kindness Day is to focus on and to encourage people to perform good deeds in the community. The word ‘kindness’ has roots in the word ‘kin’, which means family. If you are being ‘kind’ to someone, you are treating them as well as you would someone who is a family member or close friend. Kind acts do not have to be elaborate or complicated. Being kind can be as simple as smiling, giving a compliment, or holding a door open. Kindness has the power to bring together people with differences such as race, religion, politics, culture, gender, and geography.

We hope that you look for ways to be charitable and compassionate today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
World Kindness Day was established by the World Kindness Movement, a group of organizations from around the world.

Organizers are working to make World Kindness Day an official observance of the United Nations.

Voyager 1 and Saturns Rings



Did you know that in 1980, the spacecraft Voyager 1 started its flyby of Saturn? Voyager 1 took detailed pictures and collected data about Saturn and Saturn’s largest moons. It found 3 new moons (Prometheus, Pandora, and Atlas) and another ring of Saturn. Data from Voyager 1 showed that Saturn’s upper atmosphere consisted of helium and hydrogen and windspeeds could reach 1,100 miles per hour. The measured length of a Saturn day was 10 hours, 39 minutes, and 24 seconds. Voyager 1 also collected data on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon such as the composition, temperature and density of Titan’s atmosphere. Data showed that Titan did have an atmosphere and like Earth’s it contained high levels of nitrogen.

We hope that you learn new things on your voyage of discovery today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Voyager 1 flew about 77,000 miles from the cloud tops of Saturn.

Voyager 1 measured aurora-like activity at polar and mid-latitudes.

An earlier spacecraft, Pioneer 11, discovered that Titan might have an atmosphere.

Click here for more information about Voyager 1’s flyby of Saturn

Supernova SN 1572



Did you know that in 1572 Tycho Brahe, the astronomer, observed a new ‘star’ in the constellation Cassiopeia? This new ‘star’ was actually a supernova, the explosive last stage in a star’s life. In the night sky, SN 1572 (the modern name of the supernova), was as bright as the planet Venus and even visible during the day. The appearance of a new ‘star’ challenged the scientific belief at the time that the ‘heavens’ or ‘realm of stars’ was unchangeable it also increased the demand for more accurate star charts and catalogues. SN 1572 was visible to the naked eye until March 1574.

We hope that you have a “super” day today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Supernova SN 1572 is sometimes called “Tycho’s Nova”. While astronomers made note of the ‘new star’ all over the world, Tycho Brahe’s research was very accurate. His work is titled “De nova et nullius aevi memoria prius visa stella” (“Concerning the Star, new and never before seen in the life or memory of anyone”).

After the appearance of SN 1592, Queen Elizabeth asked astrologers what the appearance could mean for her reign. In China, court astrologers declared the appearance of SN 1572 as an evil omen and urged a young Ming dynasty emperor to curb his misbehavior.

The term ‘supernova’ was first used around 1931 by Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky.

The remnant of SN1572 emits radio and x-rays.

Murano Glassmaking


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Did you know that in 1291 all of the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to the island of Murano? In general, glass is made from melted silica, a main component of sand. The strength, clearness, or color of glass depends on other substances that are added to the silica and how the glass is processed. Grouped together on Murano, the glassmakers were able to collaborate and improve their techniques and glass recipes. Soon Murano had the reputation of making the highest-quality glass in the world. Traders The glassmaking processes and recipes became a closely guarded secret and glassmakers were forbidden from leaving Murano without permission from the government on penalty of death.

We hope that you receive crystal clear answers to your questions today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Most of the buildings in Venice were made of wood, so the fires from the glass-making furnaces was a constant danger to the city.
Glass can occur naturally, from volcanos, or be made in furnaces.

The height of glassmaking in Murano was around the 16th century. Traders came from the Spanish Indies, Italy, Spain, Ottoman Empire, and other parts of Europe to trade for Murano glass. Kings and queens, generals, ambassadors, and religious leaders visited and collected Murano glass.

Some of the glass invented in Murano include cristallo, the clearest glass at the time; filigrana, a method of using opaque and clear glass to make a filigree pattern; lattimo, a milky-white opaque glass; and murine or millefiori, a method of arranging colored glass to form patterns like flowers.

If a glassmaker was caught revealing trade secrets, the punishment was death. If a glassmaker left Murano without permission, he would be ordered to return. If they did not return their family would be imprisoned. If the glassmaker still did not return, an assassin was sent out to kill them.

Eventually, glassmakers left Murano and spread their talent throughout Europe.

Ensisheim meteorite


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Did you know that in 1492 a meteorite crashed near the town of Ensisheim in what is now France? This was the oldest meteorite impact with a known and recorded date. The meteorite initially weighed about 280 lbs and left a crater more than 3 feet deep. A magistrate from Ensisheim notified King Maximillian, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor. King Maximillian became the Holy Roman Emperor shortly afterwards and decided to see the meteorite as a good omen for his reign and wars he was fighting. The meteorite is still on display in a museum in Ensisheim, but after centuries of visitors chipping off small pieces, the meteorite only weighs 123lbs now.

We hope that you have a good impact on others today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Many heard the ‘boom’ of the meteorite’s passing, but only a young boy witnessed the impact. The fireball from the meteorite could be seen from 150km away.

When the residents of Ensisheim gathered at the impact site they started chipping pieces off from the meteorite. The local magistrate stopped the people from completely destroying the meteorite. One of these pieces was sent to Cardinal Piccolomini (who became Pope Pius III) along with poetry about the meteorite crash written by Sebastian Brant.

Emperor Maximillian ordered that the “Ensisheim Stone” should be displayed in the local church. He also ordered that the meteorite should be fastened to the walls of the church at Ensisheim so the meteorite could not wander or move about in the violent manner it arrived in.

The Ensisheim meteorite is classified as a chondrite meteorite.

Ida Barney



Did you know that Ida Barney was born today in 1886? In 1911 she worked and received her PhD in mathematics from Yale University. Initially she worked as a college professor, teaching mathematics. In 1922, she started work as a research assistant at the Yale University Observatory for the astrometry project. Astrometry is the precise measurement of the location and movement of stars, planets, and other objects in space. One method is to review photographs of space taken at different times and measure the change in position of the stars. During her career, Ida Barney calculated the position, motion, and magnitude of 150,000 stars. As new technology emerged, she also developed new methods to make observations and calculations easier and more accurate.

We hope that you produce precise work today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
When she started at the Yale University Observatory, Frank Schlesinger was Ida Barney’s supervisor. When Schlesinger retired in 1941, Ida Barney assumed leadership and supervision of the celestial cataloguing project.

At first, Ida Barney was assigned the task of reviewing photographic plates to gather data to calculate the position of stars. She was giving this tedious work by her supervisors because it was thought that women were not capable of theoretical research.

In 1952, Ida Barney received the prestigious Annie. J. Cannon Award.

Asteroid 5655 is named in Ida Barney’s honor.