Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gutenberg, Van Dyck, Chlorophyll and the Lumiere Brothers

The jammy dodgers were a measured success - recipe OK, jam in the right place. They were however Halloween dodgers, we are packing to move and the only cutters I could find were a pumpkin and a bat. Anyway, March the 22nd.

I have had a good look around and various sources say that the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed using movable type, was produced on March the 22nd 1457. It is unclear, to me anyway at this stage , if the date is absolutely correct but it makes hugely interesting reading ! Twenty-one complete copies of the Bible survive and the last public sale was in 1978.

The great Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck was born on March the 22nd 1599.

March the 22nd 1788 saw the birth, in Paris, of the pharmacist and chemist Pierre Joseph Pelletier. Working with his colleague Joseph Blenaime, his study of alkaloids led to the discovery of strychnine, quinine and along with Runge who had identified it, caffeine. They would also isolate and identify chlorophyll. Clearly as a result of having it drummed into my head along with my Latin declensions I can still remember the equation for photosynthesis. Who knows when it may come in handy.

It's dark outside and I was quite interested to read the actual effect of caffeine, in moderation of course. Experiments show that it has an adverse effect on spiders, take a look:

The American physicist Robert Millikan was born on March the 22nd 1868. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1923 for his work on the charge of electrons, devising the oil drop experiment.

Auguste and Louis Lumiere would on March the 22nd 1895 in Paris, invite an audience to view the first public screening of a film. Great surname considering what they would go on to do. 

Also with birthdays today we have Chico ( Leonard ) Marx - 1887, Marcel Marceau - 1923 and Andrew Lloyd Webber, born in 1948. Oddly I have a mild phobia of mime, clown things and musical theatre. 

On March the 22nd 1935 Persia was formally to be renamed Iran; I found this little article interesting. Right up there with signatures I am developing a real thing for old maps:

The Feast day today is Saint Paul of Narbonne among others.

My feast for today is carrying on the Spring theme I supoose, a very easy and delicious artichoke salad. While Spring is in the air, have a look here.

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