FYI April 01, 2020

On This Day

1545 – Potosí, Bolivia, is founded after the discovery of huge silver deposits in the area.
Cerro Rico (Spanish for “rich mountain”), Cerro Potosí[1] (“Potosí mountain”) or Sumaq Urqu[2] (Quechua sumaq “beautiful, good, pleasant”, urqu “mountain”,[3] “beautiful (good or pleasant) mountain”) is a mountain in the Andes near the Bolivian city of Potosí. Cerro Rico, which is popularly conceived of as being “made of” silver ore, was famous for providing vast quantities of silver for Spain during the period of the New World Spanish Empire. It is estimated that eighty-five percent of the silver produced in the central Andes during this time came from Cerro Rico.[4] As a result of mining operations in the mountain, the city of Potosí became one of the largest cities in the New World.[5]



Born On This Day

1898 – William James Sidis, Ukrainian-Russian Jewish American mathematician, anthropologist, and historian (d. 1944)
William James Sidis (/ˈsaɪdɪs/; April 1, 1898 – July 17, 1944) was an American child prodigy with exceptional mathematical and linguistic skills. He is notable for his 1920 book The Animate and the Inanimate, in which he postulates the existence of dark matter, entropy, and the origin of life in the context of thermodynamics. Sidis was raised in a particular manner by his father, psychologist Boris Sidis, who wished his son to be gifted. Sidis first became famous for his precocity and later for his eccentricity and withdrawal from public life. Eventually, he avoided mathematics altogether, writing on other subjects under a number of pseudonyms. He entered Harvard at age 11 and, as an adult, was claimed to have an extremely high IQ, and to be conversant in about 25 languages and dialects. Some of these claims have not been verified, but many of his contemporaries, including Norbert Wiener, Daniel Frost Comstock and William James, supported the assertion that he was extremely intelligent.




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