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June 30, 2015 AT 6:00 am

Time Travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein


1860 – The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History takes place.

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The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum in Oxford, England, on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Benjamin Brodie, Joseph Dalton Hooker and Robert FitzRoy. The debate is best remembered today for a heated exchange in which Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey.

Huxley is said to have replied that he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth. One eyewitness suggests that Wilberforce’s question to Huxley may have been “whether, in the vast shaky state of the law of development, as laid down by Darwin, any one can be so enamoured of this so-called law, or hypothesis, as to go into jubilation for his great great grandfather having been an ape or a gorilla?”, whereas another suggests he may have said that “it was of little consequence to himself whether or not his grandfather might be called a monkey or not.”

Read more.


1908 – The Tunguska event occurs in remote Siberia.

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The Tunguska event was a large explosion, caused by an asteroid or comet, which occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 07:14 KRAT (00:14 UT) on June 30 [O.S. June 17], 1908. The explosion occurred at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) at 60.886°N, 101.894°E. It is classified as an impact event even though the object is believed to have burst in the air rather than hit the surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the impacting object’s size, on the order of 60 m (200 ft) to 190 m (620 ft). It is the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history.

Since the 1908 event, there have been an estimated 1,000 scholarly papers (mainly in Russian) published on the Tunguska explosion. Many scientists have participated in Tunguska studies: the best known are Leonid Kulik, Yevgeny Krinov, Kirill Florensky, Nikolai Vladimirovich Vasiliev, and Wilhelm Fast. In 2013, a team of researchers led by Victor Kvasnytsya of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine published analysis results of micro-samples from a peat bog near the center of the affected area showing fragments that may be of meteoritic origin.

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1966 – The National Organization for Women, the United States’ largest feminist organization, is founded.

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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American feminist organization founded in 1966. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

NOW was founded in 1966 by 28 women who became founders at the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women in June (the successor to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women), and another 21 women and men who became founders at the October 1966 NOW Organizing Conference, for a total of 49 founders. Both conferences were held in Washington, D.C. The 28 women who became founders in June were: Ada Allness, Mary Evelyn Benbow, Gene Boyer, Analoyce Clapp, Kathryn Clarenbach, Catherine Conroy, Caroline Davis, Mary Eastwood, Edith Finlayson, Betty Friedan, Dorothy Haener, Anna Roosevelt Halstead, Lorene Harrington, Mary Lou Hill, Esther Johnson, Nancy Knaak, Min Matheson, Helen Moreland, Pauli Murray, Ruth Murray, Inka O’Hanrahan, Pauline A. Parish, Eve Purvis, Edna Schwartz, Mary-jane Ryan Snyder, Gretchen Squires, Betty Talkington and Caroline Ware. They were inspired by the failure of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; at the Third National Conference of State Commissions on the Status of Women they were prohibited from issuing a resolution that recommended the EEOC carry out its legal mandate to end sex discrimination in employment. They thus gathered in Betty Friedan’s hotel room to form a new organization. On a paper napkin Friedan scribbled the acronym “NOW”. The 21 people who became founders in October were: Caruthers Berger, Colleen Boland, Inez Casiano, Carl Degler, Elizabeth Drews, Mary Esther Gaulden (later Jagger), Muriel Fox, Ruth Gober, Richard Graham, Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Lucille Kapplinger (later Hazell), Bessie Margolin, Margorie Palmer, Sonia Pressman (later Fuentes), Sister Mary Joel Read, Amy Robinson, Charlotte Roe, Alice Rossi, Claire R. Salmond, Morag Simchak and Clara Wells.

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2011 – Adafruit joins G+

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Back in 2011 Adafruit joined G+ – our company page now has almost 2 million followers and our community page “Makers, hackers, artists, and engineers” is one of the top 100 communities on G+. Adafruit founder Limor Fried has close to 4 million followers on her page!


2014 – A message from Ladyada – On today’s Supreme Court ruling #hobbylobby

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Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States decided “Burwell v. Hobby Lobby” in favor of Hobby Lobby (and Conestoga Wood). This court case related to the rights of private, individual/family-owned companies to make decisions on their employer-provided health care with respect to said family’s religious beliefs. In this case, the two companies argued that they should not be required to cover certain reproductive services for women based on their strongly-held beliefs if it imposes a “substantial burden.” [For more details on this ruling, the Majority Opinion and Dissent is available here.]

As the private 100% individual-owner of Adafruit, I respect the court’s decision. However, I do not believe that my personal religion/spiritual beliefs should dictate the health insurance coverage for our 50+ employee company. Instead, each individual and their doctor are free to make the best health-related decisions, based on that person’s religion, beliefs, needs & desires. Adafruit aims to be “Employer of Choice” – we offer excellent health care to all of our employees, with full ACA compliance and other great benefits.

-Limor “Ladyada” Fried – Founder and Engineer, Adafruit 6/30/2014


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