This is a series of articles that has grown out of the daily listings of what happened "On This Day". Many of the events, particularly those related to science, seemed to us to need some more information than is possible in the daily listing format. Still others had amusing or informative anecdotes associated with them that we felt were worth sharing with our Visitors. The series is designed for browsing and dipping into and we have therefore set up a comprehensive system of links to make this as easy and as enjoyable as possible.
This series of articles will present occasional anecdotal, amusing and factual notes behind the people and events in history digests. People are indexed according to their family or surnames whereas kings, popes, emperors etc. are listed according to their regnal names- e.g. Charles Boycott would be found under B, Pope Gregory under G and Queen Mary Tudor under M. Other items are indexed by the most significant word in the title, for example Artificial Ice will be found under I but Sad Iron will be found under S.
Within the series there are two sets of links. At the top of each page there will be a table of links to the other indexing letters to allow browsing by individual pages. That also appears on this page. At the bottom of each page you will also find a set of links which will allow you to scroll backward (Previous) and forward (next) through the pages. The pages are looped so the "Previous" link from A will be to Z and the "Next" link from Z will be to A. There will also be a central link back to the introduction page whose main content is an alphabetic list of the complete set of entries. From here, you will be able to browse the titles of the individual entries and jump directly to those that interest you.
Emil Christian Hansen (1842-1909) was the Danish botanist who revolutionised beer-making by developing new ways to culture yeast. He financed his education by writing novels and in 1876, he received a gold medal for an essay on fungi. In 1879, he became superintendent of the Carlsberg breweries. In 1883, he successfully developed a cultivated yeast that had a huge impact on beer-making around the world. Hansen refused to patent his method and made it freely available to brewers everywhere. He also demonstrated that there are different species of yeast. He separated two species: Saccaromyces cerevisae, an over-yeast (that is one that floats on the surface of the fermenting beer) and Saccaromyces carlsbergensis, an under-yeast (one that lies at the bottom of the fermenting liquid.)
Jean-Charles-Galinard de Marignac (1817-1894) was a Swiss chemist whose life work consisted of making many precise determinations of atomic weights. From this he suggested the possibility of isotopes and the packing fraction of nuclei. He began a study of the rare-earth elements in 1840, when barely 23 years old. In 1878, he heated some erbium nitrate, which he had extracted from gadolinite, until it decomposed. Subsequent extraction of the product with water produced two oxides: a red one which he named erbia and a colourless one which he named ytterbia. This was the oxide of the previously unknown element ytterbium. He went on to co-discover gadolinium in 1880. By separating tantalic and columbic acids, he also proved that tantalum and colubium (niobium) were not identical. The last 10 years of his life he lay prostrate, suffering intensely from heart disease.
The first strip-tease act had its origin in an incident at the Four-Arts Ball at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Then, an artist's model, named Mona, stripped for the edification of the Parisian students. She was subsequently fined 100 Francs and the troops had to be called out when the students rioted and stormed the Prefecture. As a direct result of the publicity, the Fayouau Music Hall in the Rue des Martyrs introduced a new act on March 13th 1894. Entitled, Le Coucher d'Yvettte, it consisted of a girl stripping to go to bed. Of course it was a success and many variants soon appeared, including La Puce where the performer removed her garments one by one in pursuit of a flea!
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