1829 – William Stanley, English engineer and philanthropist is born.
William Ford Robinson Stanley was a British inventor with 78 patents filed in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America. He was an engineer who designed and made precision drawing and mathematical instruments, as well as surveying instruments and telescopes, manufactured by his company “William Ford Stanley and Co. Ltd.”
Stanley was a skilled architect who designed and founded the UK’s first Trades school, Stanley Technical Trades School (now Harris Academy South Norwood), as well as designing the Stanley Halls in South Norwood. Stanley designed and built his two homes. He was a noted philanthropist, who gave over £80,000 to education projects during the last 15 years of his life. When he died, most of his estate, valued at £59,000, was bequeathed to trade schools and students in south London, and one of his homes was used as a children’s home after his death, in accordance with his will.
Stanley was a member of several professional bodies and societies (including the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Meteorological Society, the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Astronomical Association). Besides these activities, he was a painter, musician and photographer, as well as an author of a variety of publications, including plays, books for children, and political treatises.
1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
Groundhog Day is a traditional holiday celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.
In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g’spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.
Groundhog Day was adopted in the U.S. in 1887. Clymer H. Freas was the editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit at the time, and he began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official “Groundhog Day meteorologist.”
1913 – Grand Central Terminal is opened in New York City.
Grand Central Terminal (GCT; also referred to as Grand Central Station) is a commuter (and former intercity) railroad terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it covers 48 acres (19 ha) and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Its platforms, all below ground, serve 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100.
1939 – Mary-Dell Chilton, American chemist and inventor and one of the founders of modern plant biotechnology is born.
Mary-Dell Chilton is one of the founders of modern plant biotechnology…
…Chilton taught and performed research at Washington University in St. Louis. While on faculty there in the late 1970s and early 1980s, she led a collaborative research study that produced the first transgenic plants…
…Chilton is author of more than 100 scientific publications. She is a Distinguished Science Fellow at Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. She began her corporate career in 1983 with CIBA-Geigy Corporation (a legacy company of Syngenta)
1952 – Ralph Merkle, American computer scientist is born.
Ralph C. Merkle is a computer scientist. He is one of the inventors of public key cryptography, the inventor of cryptographic hashing, and more recently a researcher and speaker on molecular nanotechnology and cryonics.
Merkle devised a scheme for communication over an insecure channel: Merkle’s puzzles as part of a class project while an undergraduate. The scheme is now recognized to be an early example of public key cryptography. He co-invented the Merkle–Hellman knapsack cryptosystem, invented cryptographic hashing (now called the Merkle–Damgård construction based on a pair of articles published 10 years later that established the security of the scheme), and invented Merkle trees. While at Xerox PARC, Merkle designed the Khufu and Khafre block ciphers, and the Snefru hash function.
1995 – Arfa Karim, Pakistani student and computer programmer is born.
Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa (Urdu: ارفع کریم رندھاوا , 2 February 1995 – 14 January 2012) was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy who, in 2004 at the age of nine, became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). She kept the title until 2008. Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums including the TechEd Developers Conference. She also received the President’s Award for Pride of Performance. A science park in Lahore, the Arfa Software Technology Park, was named after her. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit Microsoft Headquarters in the U.S.
Arfa was born into a Punjabi family from the village of Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.
After returning to Pakistan from a visit to Microsoft headquarters, Arfa gave numerous television and newspaper interviews. S. Somasegar, the vice president of Microsoft’s Software Development Division, wrote about her in his blog. On 2 August 2005, Arfa was presented the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz on the occasion of the 113th anniversary of the birth of Fatima Jinnah. She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award again in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan. Arfa is also the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance, a civil award usually granted to people who have shown excellence in their respective fields over a long period of time. She is the youngest recipient of this award. Arfa was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication Company’s 3G Wireless Broadband service, “EVO”, in January 2010.
Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums, and was invited by the Pakistan Information Technology Professionals Forum for a stay of two weeks in Dubai. A dinner reception was hosted for her there, which was attended by the dignitaries of Dubai including the Ambassador of Pakistan. During that trip, Arfa was presented with various awards and gifts including a laptop. In November 2006, Arfa attended the Tech-Ed Developers conference themed Get ahead of the game held in Barcelona on an invitation from Microsoft. She was the only Pakistani among over 5000 developers in that conference.
2000 – First digital cinema projection in Europe (Paris) realized by Philippe Binant with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments.
Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute or project motion pictures as opposed to the historical use of motion picture film. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, the Internet, dedicated satellite links or optical disks such as Blu-ray Discs. Digital movies are projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector. Digital cinema is distinct from high-definition television and is not dependent on using television or high-definition video standards, aspect ratios, or frame rates. In digital cinema, resolutions are represented by the horizontal pixel count, usually 2K (2048×1080 or 2.2 megapixels) or 4K (4096×2160 or 8.8 megapixels).
As digital cinema technology has improved in early 2010s, most of the theaters across the world have converted to digital…
In Europe, on February 2, 2000, Texas Instrument’s DLP Cinema projector technology was publicly demonstrated, by Philippe Binant, on one screen in Paris for the release of Toy Story 2.
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