world Information society/Telecommunication day🛰📱📻📺

World Information Society Day (World Telecommunication Day) takes place on 17 May to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865 by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU; French: Union Internationale des Télécommunications (UIT)), originally the International Telegraph Union (French: Union Télégraphique Internationale), is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. The ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards. The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks. The agency also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU Telecom World, bringing together representatives of government and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology.

The ITU, is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a member of the United Nations Development Group, and has 12 regional and area offices in the world. ITU has been an intergovernmental public–private partnership organization since its inception. Its membership includes 193 Member States and around 800 public and private sector companies, and academic institutions as well as international and regional telecommunication entities, known as Sector Members and Associates, which undertake most of the work of each Sector.

.It was introduced by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis called upon the United Nations General Assembly to declare May 17th as World Information Society Day. The Main Objective of World Information Society Day is to focus on the importance of Computerised Information Technology, to raise global awareness of changes brought about by the Internet and new computerised Technologies, to raise awareness concerning other issues relating to the Information Society and to help reduce the digital divide. In March 2006 The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May. The first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.

Frank Hornby

Visionary toy manufacturer, inventor, business man and politician Frank Hornby was born 15 May 1863 in Maghull. At the age of sixteen, Hornby left school and started working as a cashier in his father’s business. On 15 January 1887 he married a schoolteacher Clara Walker Godefroy, the daughter of acustoms officer and they had two sons, Roland and Douglas, and a daughter, Patricia. When his father died in 1899, his father’s business was closed and Hornby became a book keeper in Liverpool.

Despite having no formal engineering training, Hornby decided to start experimenting with new ideas for toys in his home workshop, And began making toys for his sons in 1899 with pieces he cut from sheet metal. He built models of bridges, trucks and cranes, although the pieces they were made from were not interchangeable. Hornby then realised that if he could make separate, inter changeable parts that could be bolted together in many different ways, any model could be built from the same components. The key inventive step was the realisation that regular perforations in the structural pieces could be used, not only to join them together with nuts and bolts, but be used as a bearing for – axles and shafts. This made the construction of complex mechanisms relatively simple. He started making metal strips by hand from copper sheets. The strips were half an inch wide with holes for bolts spaced at half inch intervals these became known as Meccano.

Hornby patented his invention in January 1901 as “Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People”. Hornby began looking for companies to manufacture his product, but it was poorly finished. Fortunately, his employer saw potential in what Hornby was doing and offered him some vacant premises next to the office where he worked to pursue his ideas. With this move, Elliot and Hornby became partners.Hornby now called his construction oy “Mechanics Made Easy” and after receiving a positive endorsement from professor Henry Selby Hele-Shaw, then Head of the Engineering Department at Liverpool University, Hornby secured contracts with outside manufacturers to supply the parts for his construction sets. With the financial assistance of his partner, “Mechanics Made Easy” sets went on sale in 1902. Each set had only 16 different parts with a leaflet detailing the construction of 12 models. In 1903, 1,500 sets were sold, and new parts were continually being introduced until in 1904, six sets, packed in tin boxes with instruction manuals in French and English, became available. In 1905 two new sets were introduced and By 1907 Hornby’s part suppliers could not meet the demand. So Hornby quit his job with Elliot and secured a three year lease on a workshop in Duke Street, Liverpool, and they were manufacturing their own parts by June 1907.

In September 1907, Hornby registered his famous “Meccano” trade mark and used this name on all new sets. This led to the formation of Meccano Ltd on 30 May 1908 and in 1910 the famous “MECCANO” logo was commissioned. Meccano was exported to many countries and in 1912, Hornby and his son, Roland, formed Meccano (France) Ltd in Paris to manufacture Meccano. An office was also opened in Berlin, Germany and Märklin began to manufacture Meccano under licence. Hornby also started importing clockwork motors from Märklin.In order to keep pace with demand, a new factory was built in Binns Road, Liverpool. By September 1914 the Binns Road Factory was in full production and became the company headquarters for over 60 yeaers in addition to Meccano, Hornby developed and manufactured a number of other model kits and toys, including:1909 – “Hornby System of Mechanical Demonstration”, an educational set. In 1916, Hornby launched a monthly publication, Meccano Magazine, which remained in circulation for over sixty years, and in 1930 he formed the Meccano Guild, an amalgamation of Meccano clubs from all over the world.

The first clockwork train was produced in 1920 and Clockwork lithographed tinplate O scale trains we’re produced in. 1927 –. Even though the export models were often painted in ‘foreign’ liveries, Hornby trains looked very British. Hornby attempted to break into the American market by setting up a factory in 1927 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to make American-style trains. These were colourful and attractive, but low market and only clockwork. They probably would have failed in the marketplace because several established U.S. firms could undercut them and Hornby offered no better-class goods or electric models, but the Wall Street Crash precipitated matters. In late 1929, Meccano Ltd. sold its New Jersey factory to the A. C. Gilbert Company and Hornby trains had vanished from the U.S. market by 1930. The leftover inventory was sold in Canada and in the UK and some of the tooling was reused for products in other markets.

In 1934 Hornby introduced Dinky Toys, die-cast miniature model cars and trucks and Hornby Dublo 00 gauge model railway system in 1938 .Hornby was at first a tradename for the railway productions of Meccano Ltd and based inLiverpool, which released its first train, a clockwork 0 gauge (1:48) model, in 1920. An electric train soon followed but was under-designed and the few that were made were sold out in France. In 1925, a much more successful electric model was introduced, operating on the high voltage of 110 volts AC power. Safety concerns saw low voltage 4V and then 6V motors introduced, followed by a reliable 20V AC system, which was developed in the early 1930s. However, clockwork remained the mainstay of the Hornby 0 gauge trains until 1937 and became the only power available in Liverpool-made 0 gauge trains from 1949. Competitors in the UK were Leeds Model Company and Bassett-LowkeA factory was established in France, which developed its own range of French outline trains, but Liverpool dominated export activity elsewhere, with large numbers of Hornby trains exported to Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scandinavia.

In 1931 he entered politics when he was elected as a Conservative MP for the Everton constituency. He left the running of the company to his co-Directors and staff. But he did not stay in politics long – he resigned his parliamentary seat before the 1935 General Election.Hornby died of a chronic heart condition complicated by diabetes in Maghull, near Liverpool, on 21 September 1936. He is buried in the grounds of St Andrews Church, Maghull. His elder son Roland took over as Chairman of Meccano Ltd.

In 1964, Lines Bros Ltd., the parent company of rival Tri-ang Railways, purchased Meccano Ltd., and merged Hornby and Tri-ang into Tri-ang Hornby. The former Hornby line was discontinued in favour of Tri-ang’s less costly plastic designs. The Hornby Dublo tooling was sold to G & R Wrenn, which continued to make most of the loco range and ‘superdetail’ rolling stock. Remaining stocks of 0 gauge were either scrapped or sold to the local retailer Hattons and the Tri-ang group was disbanded in 1971 when Meccano Ltd’s owner Lines Bros. filed for bankruptcy Meccano took over The former Tri-ang, becoming Hornby Railways in 1972.

In the 1970s Hornby released a steam-powered 3½” gauge model of the Rocket and a BR standard class 9f. However by 1976 Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfix, both of which were producing high quality detailed models. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adults A 16 channel command control system named Zero 1 was introduced in late 1979 and Advertisements claimed that 16 locomotives could be operated independently at the same time although it was expensive, with clean track and well serviced locos the system worked well The system is still used today by many modelers and Second hand items are still in great demand on eBay. In 1964, Hornby and Meccano were bought by their competitor Tri-Ang, and sold on when Tri-ang went into receivership. In the 1980s Hornby Railways became independent

in 2006 a Cotswold Rail Class 43 HST power car was introduced carrying a livery advertising Hornby which has since been repainted. In 1980 Hornby became Hornby Hobbies. By the early 1990s Hornby again faced competition from newcomers like Dapol and established foreign manufacturers, including Lima and Bachmann Industries. Train sets based on Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and Harry Potter (the “Hogwarts Express”) Were introduced and becam popular. In September 2003 Hornby released its first steam-powered 00 gauge locomotive, a model of the record-breaking Mallard. Several other “Live Steam” locomotives have also now been produced. Since then Hornby has bought Lima, an Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouef, a French manufacturer. Some of the ex-Lima models appear in the main Hornby products list. This range is known as Hornby International. Hornby Railways produce a large range of highly detailed British steam and diesel locomotives, such as the BR 9F, LNER Class A4, SR Merchant Navy, class 60, Class 50, Class 31 and Class 08. In November 2006, Hornby Hobbies acquired Airfix and Humbrol paints July 2010 also saw the opening of the Hornby Shop And Visitor Centre. Hornby and Meccano continue to be successful. Hornby’s legacy lives on today with thousands of enthusiasts all over the world still building Meccano models, running Hornby Train sets and collecting Dinky Toys. Today In Maghull, there is also a local pub named after him ‘The Frank Hornby’.

Lucy Wills LRCP

leading English hematologist and physician researcher Lucy Wills, LRCP was born May 10 1888 in Sutton Coldfield. Generations of the Wills family had been living in or near Birmingham, England, Her paternal great-grandfather, William Wills, had been a prosperous Birmingham attorney from a Nonconformist Unitarian family (see Church of the Messiah, Birmingham). One of his sons, Alfred Wills, followed him into the law and became notable both as a judge and a mountaineer. Another son, Lucy’s grandfather, bought an edge-tool business in Nechells, AW Wills & Son, which manufactured such implements as scythes and sickles. Lucy’s father continued to manage the business and the family was comfortably well off.

Wills’ father, William Leonard Wills (1858–1911), was a science graduate of Owens College (later part of the Victoria University of Manchester, now part of the University of Manchester). Her mother, Gertrude Annie Wills née Johnston (1855–1939), was the only daughter (with six brothers) of a well-known Birmingham doctor, Dr. James Johnston. The family had a strong interest in scientific matters. Lucy’s great-grandfather, William Wills, had been involved with the British Association for the Advancement of Science and wrote papers on meteorology and other scientific observations. Her father was particularly interested in botany, zoology, geology, and natural sciences generally, as well as in the developing science of photography. Her brother, Leonard Johnston Wills, carried this interest in geology and natural sciences into his own career with great success. Wills was brought up in the country near Birmingham, initially in Sutton Coldfield, and then from 1892 in Barnt Green to the south of the city. She went at first to a local school called Tanglewood, kept by a Miss Ashe, formerly a governess to the Chamberlain family of Birmingham.

At the time she was born English girls had few opportunities for education and entry into the professions until towards the end of the nineteenth century. Wills was able to attend Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Newnham College Cambridge, and the London School of Medicine for Women In September 1903 Lucy Wills went to the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, which had been founded in 1854 by Dorothea Beale. Wills’s elder sister Edith was in the same house, Glenlee. She passed the ‘Oxford Local Senior, Division I’ exam in 1905; the ‘University of London, Matriculation, Division II’ in 1906; and ‘Part I, Class III and Paley, exempt from Part II and additional subjects by matriculation (London), Newnham entrance’ in 1907.

In 1907, Wills began her studies at Newnham College, Cambridge, a women’s college. Wills was strongly influenced by the botanist Albert Charles Seward and by the paleobiologist Herbert Henry Thomas who worked on carboniferous paleobotany. Wills finished her course in 1911 and obtained a Class 2 in Part 1 of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1910 and Class 2 in Part 2 (Botany) in 1911, however she was ineligible as a woman to receive a Cambridge degree.

Sadly in February 1911, Wills’s father tragically died at the age of 53 then In 1913, her elder sister Edith also died at the age of 26. In 1913 Wills and her mother traveled to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. A friend from Newnham, Margaret (Margot) Hume, was lecturing in botany at the South African College, then part of the University of the Cape of Good Hope. She and Wills were both interested in Sigmund Freud’s theories. Upon the outbreak of World war One in August 1914, Gordon enlisted in the Transvaal Scottish Regiment. Wills spent some weeks doing voluntary nursing in a hospital in Cape Town, before she and Margot Hume returned to England, arriving in Plymouth in December. In1915, Wills enrolled at the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women. Which had a number of students from India, including Jerusha Jhirad, who became the first Indian woman to qualify with a degree in obstetrics and gynecology in 1919.

Wills was awarded the licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians London in May 1920 (LRCP Lond 1920), and was also awarded the University of London degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery awarded in December 1920 (MB BS Lond), at age 32 becoming a legally qualified medical practitioner and decided to research and teach in the Department of Pregnant Pathology at the Royal Free. There she worked with Christine Pillman (who later married Ulysses Williams OBE),

Wills left for India in 1928 and began research work on macrocytic anemia in pregnancy. This was prevalent in a severe form among poorer women with dietary deficiencies, particularly those in the textile industry. Dr Margaret Balfour of the Indian Medical Service had asked her to join the Maternal Mortality Inquiry sponsored by the Indian Research Fund Association at the Haffkine Institute in Bombay, now Mumbai. In 1929, she moved her work to the Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor (where Sir Robert McCarrison was Director of Nutrition Research). In early 1931 she was working at the Caste and Gosha Hospital in Madras, now the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children of Chennai. During the summers of 1930-32 she returned to England and continued her work in the pathology laboratories at the Royal Free.By 1933 she was back at the Royal Free full-time.

Between 1937 and 1938 she visited the Haffkine Institute Travelling by an Imperial Airways Short ‘C’ Class Empire flying boat Called the Calypso. Herjourney began at Southampton landing on water for refuelling at Marseilles, Bracciano near Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Tiberias, Habbaniyah to the west of Baghdad, Basra, Bahrain, Dubai, Gwadar and Karachi, with overnight stops at Rome, Alexandria, Basra and Sharjah (just outside Dubai). The five-day flight was the first Imperial Airways flight to go beyond Alexandria. In Bombay Wills was on dining terms with the governors and their wives at Government House – Sir Leslie Wilson in 1928 and Sir Frederick Sykes in 1929. In 1929 she visited Mysuru and met Sir Charles Todhunter, the Governor of Madras and secretary to the Maharaja of Mysuru. Here Wills observed a correlation between the dietary habits of different classes of Bombay women and the likelihood of their becoming anemic during pregnancy. Poor Muslim women were the ones with both the most deficient diets and the greatest susceptibility to anemia (pernicious anemia of pregnancy). However, it differed from true pernicious anemia, as the patients did not have achlorhydria, an inability to produce gastric acid and did not respond to the ‘pure’ liver extracts (vitamin B12) which had been shown to treat true pernicious anemia. It was named Mycrocytic Anaemia and was characterized by enlarged red blood cells which is life-threatening. She postulated another nutritional factor was responsible for this macrocytic anemia other than vitamin B12 deficiency. This was later discovered to be folate, of which the synthetic form is folic acid.

Wills investigated possible nutritional treatments for Anaemia by studying the effects of dietary manipulation on a macrocytic anemia in albino rats at the Nutritional Research Laboratories at the Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor. Which involved Rats being fed the same diet as Bombay Muslim women. The rat anemia was prevented by the addition of yeast to synthetic diets which had no vitamin B. This work was later duplicated using rhesus monkeys. Back in Bombay, Wills conducted clinical trials on patients with macrocytic anemia and discovered that it could be both prevented and cured by yeast extracts, of which the cheapest source was Marmite. Wills returned to the Royal Free Hospital in London from 1938 until her retirement in 1947. During the Second World War she was a full-time pathologist in the Emergency Medical Service. Work in the pathology department was disrupted for a few days in July 1944 (and a number of people were killed) when the hospital suffered a direct hit from a V1 flying bomb. By the end of the war, she was in charge of pathology at the Royal Free Hospital and had established the first hematology department there. After her retirement, Wills traveled extensively, including to Jamaica, Fiji and South Africa, continuing her observations on nutrition and anemia. Until she sadly passed away in April 16 1964)

Radio day📻📻📻

Radio Day is celebrated in the Russian Federation and some Eastern European countries on 7 May. Radio Day commemorates the pioneering work of Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov who presented a paper on a self built wireless lightning detector on 7 May 1895.

Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov (sometimes spelled Popoff; Russian: Алекса́ндр Степа́нович Попо́в; was Born in Krasnoturinsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast in the Urals on March 16 [O.S. March 4] 1859. He was the son of a priest and became interested in natural sciences when he was a child. His father wanted Alexander to join the priesthood and sent him to the Seminary School at Yekaterinburg. However he developed an interest in science and mathematics and instead of going on to Theology School in 1877 he enrolled at St. Petersburg university where he studied physics. After graduation with honors in 1882, he stayed on as a laboratory assistant at the university. However the salary at the university was inadequate to support his family, and in 1883 he took a post as teacher and head of laboratory at the Russian Navy’s Torpedo School in Kronstadt on Kotlin Island.

Popov’s work as a teacher at a Russian naval school led him to explore high frequency electrical phenomena. Along with his teaching duties at the naval school Popov pursued related areas of research. Trying to solve a problem with the failure in the electrical wire insulation on steel ships (which turned out to be a problem with electrical resonance) led him to further explore oscillations of high frequency electrical current His interest in this area of study (including the new field of “Hertzian” or radio waves) was intensified by his trip in 1893 to the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in the United States where he was able to confer with other researchers in the field.

Popov also read an 1894 article about British physicist Oliver Lodge’s experiments related to the discovery of radio waves by German physicist Heinrich Hertz 6 years earlier. On 1 June 1894, after the death of Hertz, British physicist Oliver Lodge gave a memorial lecture on Hertz experiments. He set up a demonstration on the quasi optical nature of Hertzian waves (radio waves) and demonstrated their transmission at distances up to 50 meters. Lodge used a detector called a coherer, a glass tube containing metal filings between two electrodes. When received waves from an antenna were applied to the electrodes, the coherer became conductive allowing the current from a battery to pass through it, with the impulse being picked up by a mirror galvanometer. After receiving a signal, the metal filings in the coherer had to be reset by a manually operated vibrator or by the vibrations of a bell placed on the table nearby that rang every time a transmission was received. Popov designed a more sensitive radio wave receiver that could be used as a lightning detector, to warn of thunderstorms by detecting the electromagnetic pulses of lightning strikes using a coherer receiver.

On May 7, 1895, he presented a paper “On the Relation of Metallic Powders to Electric Oscillations”, which described his lightning detector, to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society in St. Petersburg which demonstrated the principal of the wireless lightning detector he had built that worked via using a coherer to detect radio noise from lightning strikes. This day is celebrated in the Russian Federation as Radio Day. In a March 24, 1896, demonstration, he used radio waves to transmit a message between different campus buildings in St. Petersburg. His work was based on that of another physicist – Oliver Lodge, and contemporaneous with the work of Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi had just registered a patent with the description of the device two months after first transmission of radio signals made by Popov.

In 1900 a radio station was established under Popov’s instructions on Hogland island (Suursaari) to provide two-way communication by wireless telegraphy between the Russian naval base and the crew of the battleship General-Admiral Apraksin which had run aground on Hogland island in the Gulf of Finland in November 1899. Although The crew of the Apraksin were not in immediate danger, the water in the Gulf began to freeze. However help did not arrive until January 1900 although By February 5 messages were being received reliably and the Apraksin was freed from the rocks by the icebreaker Yermak. Then Over 50 Finnish fishermen, who were stranded on a piece of drift ice in the Gulf of Finland, were also saved by the icebreaker Yermak following distress telegrams sent by wireless telegraphy. In 1901 Alexander Popov was appointed as professor at the Electrotechnical Institute, which now bears his name. In 1905 he was elected director of the institution.

Sadly In 1905 Popov became seriously ill and died of a brain hemorrhage on January 13, 1906. However his valuable contributions have been remembered: A minor planet, 3074 Popov, discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova in 1979, is named after him. At ITU Telecom World 2011, Igor Shchyogolev, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation alongside Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the ITU, inaugurated the “Alexander Stepanovich Popov” conference room at ITU’s headquarters in Geneva.

Karl Marx

Often described as one of the most influential people in human history, the German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx was born 5th May 1818. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto and Capital; some of his works were co-written with his friend and fellow German revolutionary socialist, Friedrich Engels.

He was born into a wealthy middle class family in Trier, formerly in Prussian Rhineland now called Rhineland-Palatinate, and studied at both the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the German philosopher G.W.F Hegel , whose ideas were widely debated amongst European philosophical circles at the time. He became involved with a group of radical thinkers known as the Young Hegelians, who gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer. Like Marx, the Young Hegelians were critical of Hegel’s metaphysical assumptions. In 1836, he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, marrying her in 1843. After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism. Moving to Paris in 1843, he began writing for other radical newspapers. He met Engels in Paris, and the two men worked together on a series of books. Exiled to Brussels, he became a leading figure of the Communist League, before moving back to Cologne, where he founded his own newspaper. In 1849 he was exiled again and moved to London together with his wife and children. In London, where the family was reduced to poverty, Marx continued writing and formulating his theories about the nature of society and how he believed it could be improved, and also campaigned for socialism—he became a significant figure in the International Working men’s Association.

Marx’s theories about society, economics and politics—collectively known as Marxism—hold that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labour for such goods. Heavily critical of the current socio-economic form of society, capitalism, he called it the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, believing it to be run by the wealthy classes purely for their own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system, socialism. He argued that under socialism society would be governed by the working class in what he called the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the “workers state” or “workers’ democracy”.

He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless, classless society called communism. Along with believing in the inevitability of socialism and communism, Marx actively fought for the former’s implementation, arguing that both social theorists and underprivileged people should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change. Revolutionary socialist governments espousing Marxist concepts took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many labor unions and worker’s parties worldwide were also influenced by Marxist ideas. Various theoretical variants, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism, were developed. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science.

Marx sadly passed away 14th March in 1883 but is widely thought of as one of the most influential thinkers in history, and had a significant influence on both world politics and intellectual thought, and in a 1999 BBC poll was voted the top “thinker of the millennium” who profoundly affected ideas about history, society, economics, culture and politics, and the nature of social inquiry. Marx’s biographer Francis Wheen considers the “history of the twentieth century” to be “Marx’s legacy”, Marx’s impact is comparable with that of Jesus Christ and Muhammad. “Marx’s ideas brought about modern sociology, transformed the study of history, and profoundly affected philosophy, literature and the arts.”

Marx has been called one of the masters of the “school of suspicion”, alongside Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, and his ideas have led to him becoming “the darling of both European and American intellectuals up until the 1960s”. Marx has influenced disciplines such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociological theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy. Whose ethical message was a “morally empowering language of critique” against the dominant capitalist Society and his ideas led to the establishment of governments using Marxist thought to replace capitalism with communism or socialism, whilst his intellectual thought has heavily influenced the academic study of the humanities and the arts.

sun day

Sun Day takes place annually on 3 May. It was designated by United States President Jimmy Carter in 1978, specifically to advocate for solar power. It was modeled on the highly successful Earth Day of April 22, 1970 and was the idea of Denis Hayes, who also coordinated Earth Day in 1970.

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect. The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its “high renewables” scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of the worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world’s largest source of electricity. Most solar installations would be in China and India.

Photovoltaics were initially solely used as a source of electricity for small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system. As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale solar power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power station in the world is the 850 MW Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in Qinghai, China. Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. The 392 MW Ivanpah installation is the largest concentrating solar power plant in the world, located in the Mojave Desert of California.

During the first Sun Day in 1978 President Carter flew to Denver to visit a solar power research institute, while others gathered in Cadillac Mountain in Maine where the sun’s ray allegedly first touch the United States (although not at the time of the year). A crowd gathered at UN Plaza in New York City and listened to speeches by people such as movie star Robert Redford, who reminded them that the sun “can’t be embargoed by any foreign nation”. At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, environmental activist Barry Commoner opined to a group of 500 people that solar power was an issue as pivotal as slavery and that “If Mr. Carter and [Energy Secretary] Schlesinger won’t talk about solar energy, it’s time that we did.” and that solar power was the “… one solution to the economic problems of the United States”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, sadly died 29 April 1951. He was born 26th April 1889 and worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, and was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. During his lifetime he published just one book review, one article, a children’s dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. In 1999 his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”. He was Born in Vienna into one of Europe’s wealthiest families, he gave away his entire inheritance. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Ludwig contemplating it too.

He left academia several times: serving as an officer on the frontline during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage; teaching in schools in remote Austrian villages, where he encountered controversy for hitting children when they made mistakes in mathematics; and working during World War II as a hospital porter in London, where he told patients not to take the drugs they were prescribed, and where no-one knew he was one of the world’s most famous philosophers. He described philosophy, however, as “the only work that gives me real satisfaction.” His philosophy is often divided between his early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, and later period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations. The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world, and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship he had solved all philosophical problems. The later Wittgenstein rejected many of the conclusions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is constituted by the function they perform within any given language-game.

Wittgenstein’s influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought. In the words of his friend and colleague Georg Henrik von Wright: “He was of the opinion… that his ideas were generally misunderstood and distorted even by those who professed to be his disciples. He doubted he would be better understood in the future. He once said he felt as though he were writing for people who would think in a different way, breathe a different air of life, from that of present-day men.” He is buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge. his legacy lives on and In 1999 the Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”.

Fred Dibnah

Charismatic Engineer, Steeplejack and British television personality Fred Dibnah was Born 28th April 1938 near Bolton. As a child, Dibnah was fascinated by the steam engines which powered the many textile mills in his home town of Bolton and developed a keen interest in mechanical engineering, Steam Engines and chimneys and the men who worked on them. He began his working life as a joiner, before becoming a steeplejack. From age 22, he served for two years in the armed forces, as part of his national service. Once demobilised, he returned to steeplejacking but met with limited success until he was asked to repair Bolton’s parish church. The resulting publicity provided a welcome boost to his business, ensuring he was almost never out of work.

Dibnah’s interest in steam power stemmed from his childhood observations of the steam locomotives on the nearby railway line, and his visits to his father’s workplace—a bleach works in Bolton—where he was fascinated by the steam engines used to drive the line shafting. He later became a steam enthusiast, befriending many of the engine drivers and firemen who worked on the nearby railway. As a teenager he met a driver who invited him onto the footplate of his locomotive and who asked him to keep the boiler supplied with fuel. Dibnah became so enamoured with steam engines that he eventually looked for one he could buy. He learnt of a steamroller kept in a barn near Warrington and which the owners had bought from Flintshire County Council. He had the boiler pressure-tested and, despite it being in poor condition, bought it for £175. He towed it to a friend’s house, spent a fortnight making various repairs and drove it to his mother’s house in Bolton.

After he married and bought his own property on Radcliffe new Road, he cut an access road to the garden of his new house and moved the steamroller there. Restoring the engine took many years, as Dibnah had to create his own replacement parts, using Victorian engineering techniques and equipment he built in his garden. The boiler was in poor condition and needed serious work, but Dibnah used local knowledge and was eventually able to build a new boiler. Once restored, he used the 1910 Aveling & Porter steamroller together with a living van he bought and restored, to take his family around the local steam fairs In 1978, while making repairs to Bolton Town Hall, Dibnah was filmed by a regional BBC news crew. The BBC then commissioned an award-winning documentary, which followed the rough-hewn steeplejack as he worked on chimneys, interacted with his family and talked about his favourite hobby—steam.

He made many more Television programmes about Steam Engines & Locomotives and In 1998, he presented a programme on Britain’s industrial history and went on to present a number of fascinating series, largely concerned with the Industrial Revolution and its mechanical and architectural legacy. In mid-2000, Dibnah was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology for his achievement in engineering by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and on 19 July 2004 he was made an honorary Doctor of the University by the University of Birmingham. He was also awarded an MBE for services to heritage and broadcasting. He said “I’m looking forward to meeting the Queen but I shall probably have to get a new cap. And I’d like to meet Prince Charles because we share the same views about modern architecture.”On 7 July 2004, Dibnah went to Buckingham Palace to receive his award from the Queen.

Sadly Fred’s health was failing at this point although filming continued at various locations around the country, with sons Jack and Roger, who had become essential members of the tour, providing much-needed support for their father. By the end of July, the crew had filmed only 34 days with Dibnah, out of a planned 60. It was becoming more difficult by the day for Dibnah to fulfil his filming duties and the crew decided to cut short the schedule and he died shortly after on 7 November 2004 and is sadly missed. He is survived by his five children from three marriages.

Ian Rankin OBE DL

Prolific Scottish crime thriller writer Ian Rankin, OBE, DL was born 28th April 1960. His best known books are the Inspector Rebus novels, although He has also written several pieces of literary criticism. Rankin did not set out to be a crime writer. He thought his first novels Knots and Crosses and Hide and Seek were mainstream books, more in keeping with the Scottish traditions of Robert Louis Stevenson and even Muriel Spark . He was disconcerted by their classification as genre fiction. Scottish novelist Allan Massie, who tutored Rankin while Massie was writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh, reassured him by saying, who would want to be a dry academic writer when “they could be John Buchan?”

Among his best known novels are The Flood, Knots and Crosses, Watchman, Westwind, Hide and Seek, Tooth and Nail, Strip Jack, Witch Hunt, Bleeding Hearts, Mortal Causes, Blood Hunt, Let it Bleed, Black and Blue, The Hanging Garden, Dead Souls, Set in Darkness, The Falls, Resurrection Man, Beggars Banquet, A Question of Blood, Flesh Market Close, Exit Music, A Cool Head and Doors Open.

Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels are set mainly in Edinburgh and are considered major contributions to the Tartan Noir genre. Ten of the novels have also been adapted for a television series on ITV, starring John Hannah as Rebus in Series 1 & 2, with Ken Stott taking on the role for Series 3-5. In 2009, Rankin also recently donated the short story “Fieldwork” to Oxfam’s Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors and Rankin’s story was published in the Earth collection. Rankin’s latest novel include Standing in Another Man’s Grave( 18th Inspector Rebus & 3rd Malcolm Fox novel), Saints of the Shadow Bible (19th Inspector Rebus & 4th Malcolm Fox novel), Dark Road Stage play, The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories Short stories And Even Dogs in the Wild (the 20th Inspector Rebus & 5th Malcolm Fox novel).

Harper Lee

Best selling American novelist Harper Lee was born 28 April 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She was the youngest of the four children born to lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee. She grew under the stresses of segregation and as a child shared summers with another aspiring writer, Truman Capote, who annually came to stay in the house next door to hers. She studied at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949 before moving to New York, where she began writing fiction in her spare time. Lee eventually signed with an agent in 1956. Capote later invited her to accompany him to Holcomb, Kansas, to help him research his groundbreaking 1966 crime book “in Cold Blood”.

Capote also inspired the figure of the young boy Dill in Harper Lee’s classic 1961 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, with his friend the first-person narrator Scout clearly modelled on the childhood Lee herself. Her father acted as the template for small town lawyer Atticus Finch who displays resolute courtroom dignity as he struggles to represent and save the life of a black resident named Robinson who is accused of raping a white woman by a racist mob. This provides the novel’s ethical backbone.

To Kill a Mockingbird went on to become a national institution and the defining text on the racial troubles of the American Deep South, which was the epicenter of many violent upheavals over civil rights. It sold more than 40 million copies around the world and earned her a Pulitzer prize. It also had a profound effect on white residents of the state and the power of the novel was able to shift the ingrained assumptions of white Alabamans and took the politics of the civil rights era and made them human. She showed people that this was about their neighbors, their friends, someone they knew, and not just about the issues.

A second novel Go Set a Watchman was published in July 2015. It was originally written in the mid-1950s and is set some twenty years after the events in To Kill a Mockingbird, and is written from the point of view of an adult Scout (Jean Louise) Finch who travels from New York to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father, Atticus Finch, And the title alludes to Scout’s view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass (“watchman”) of Maycomb. The novel sees Scout “forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. Go Set a Watchman has also become a global success winning many awards. Maycomb was inspired by Monroeville Alabama where Lee grew up. Lee was also awarded the presidential medal of freedom in 2007 by George Bush. Sadly In later years Lee’s health declined and she lived for several years in a nursing home less than a mile from the house in which she had grown up in Monroeville, Alabama, until Lee sadly died 18 February 2016 at the age of 89.

Samuel Morse

Samuel Morse The American contributor to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system and co-inventor of Morse code, was born 27th April in 1791 in Charlestown Massachusetts. He attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, after which he went on to Yale College where he studied religious philosophy, mathematics and science of horses. While at Yale, he also attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day, and In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honours.

Samuel Morse was also an accomplished painter and whilst at Yale He supported himself financially by painting. He expressed some of his beliefs in his painting “Landing of the Pilgrims”, through the depiction of simple clothing as well as the people’s austere facial features. His image captured the psychology of the Federalists; Calvinists from England brought to North America ideas of religion and government, thus linking the two countries. This work also attracted the attention of the notable artist Washington Allston. Later Morse accompanied Allstone on a three-year painting study in England, where he worked to perfect his painting techniques under Allston’s watchful eye. By the end of 1811, he gained admittance to the Royal Academy. He liked the Neo-classical art of the Renaissance particularly the works of Michelangelo and Raphael. After observing and practicing life drawing and absorbing its anatomical demands, the young artist produced his masterpiece, the Dying Hercules. Morse eventually left England on August 21, 1815, to return to the United States and begin his full-time career as a painter.

Between 1815–1825 Morse painted America’s culture and life, including the Federalist former President John Adams, hoping to become part of grander projects as the The Federalists and Anti-Federalists clashed over Dartmouth College. Morse painted portraits of Francis Brown — the college’s president — and Judge Woodward, who was involved in bringing the Dartmouth case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Morse moved to New Haven and was commissioned to paint the Hall of Congress and a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette, who was a leading French supporter of the American Revolution. From 1830 to 1832, Morse traveled and studied in Europe to improve his painting skills, visiting Italy, Switzerland and France, Some of Morse’s paintings and sculptures are on display at his Locust Grove estate in Poughkeepsie, New York. During his time in Paris, he developed a friendship with the writer James Fennimore Cooper, and On a subsequent visit he also met Louis Daguerre and became interested in the latter’s daguerreotype — the first practical means of photography. In 1825, the city of New York Morse was commissioned to paint a portrait of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, in Washington. Whilst Morse was painting, he received a letter from his father that read one line, “Your dear wife is convalescent”. Morse immediately left Washington for his home at New Haven, leaving the portrait of Lafayette unfinished. Sadly By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried.

Heartbroken in the knowledge that for days he was unaware of his wife’s failing health and her lonely death, this encouraged Morse to pursue a means of rapid long distance communication. On the sea voyage home in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson’s electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. However Morse encountered the problem of getting a telegraphic signal to carry over more than a few hundred yards of wire. His breakthrough came from the insights of Professor Leonard Gale, With Gale’s help, Morse introduced extra circuits or relays at frequent intervals and was soon able to send a message a distance of ten miles (16 km) of wire. Morse and Gale were soon joined by a young enthusiastic man, Alfred Vail, who had excellent skills, insights and money. At the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey, Morse and Vail made the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph on January 11, 1838. and Today The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution

Morse sadly passed away on 2 April 1872 aged 80, and is buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. However his legacy lives on and His valuable contributions to science and technology has enabled people to communicate long-distance and saved many lives. Even today Morse code is still the primary language of telegraphy and is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, was born 26th April 1889. He worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, and was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. During his lifetime he published just one book review, one article, a children’s dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. In 1999 his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”. He was Born in Vienna into one of Europe’s wealthiest families, he gave away his entire inheritance. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Ludwig contemplating it too.

He left academia several times: serving as an officer on the frontline during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage; teaching in schools in remote Austrian villages, where he encountered controversy for hitting children when they made mistakes in mathematics; and working during World War II as a hospital porter in London, where he told patients not to take the drugs they were prescribed, and where no-one knew he was one of the world’s most famous philosophers. He described philosophy, however, as “the only work that gives me real satisfaction.” His philosophy is often divided between his early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, and later period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations. The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world, and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship he had solved all philosophical problems. The later Wittgenstein rejected many of the conclusions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is constituted by the function they perform within any given language-game.

Wittgenstein sadly died 29 April 1951 however his influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought. In the words of his friend and colleague Georg Henrik von Wright: “He was of the opinion… that his ideas were generally misunderstood and distorted even by those who professed to be his disciples. He doubted he would be better understood in the future. He once said he felt as though he were writing for people who would think in a different way, breathe a different air of life, from that of present-day men.” He is buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge. his legacy lives on and In 1999 the Investigations was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”.