FYI December 18, 2017


1958 – Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.
Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was the world’s first communications satellite. Launched aboard an American Atlas rocket on December 18, 1958, SCORE provided a first test of a communications relay system in space, as well as the first successful use of the Atlas as a launch vehicle. It captured world attention by broadcasting a Christmas message via short wave radio from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower through an on-board tape recorder.[1] The satellite was popularly dubbed “The Talking Atlas”. SCORE, as a geopolitical strategy, placed the United States at an even technological par with the Soviet Union as a highly functional response to the Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2 satellites.

Background
The six-month effort was the first endeavor of the then-new Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) headed by Roy Johnson, and proved that a small, highly focused and versatile research group with appropriate resources was an ideal method to achieve the scientific and technological advances necessary to succeed in the emerging global space race.[2]

SCORE’s technical objectives were two-fold. In addition to showing that an Atlas missile, a hundred times more massive than any previous US satellite, could be put into orbit, the project demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting messages through the upper atmosphere from one ground station to one or more ground stations. The result of the project, which used both real-time and store and forward techniques, was a major scientific breakthrough which proved that active communications satellites could provide a means of transmitting messages from one point to any other on Earth.[3]

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1922 – Esther Lederberg, American microbiologist (d. 2006)
Esther Miriam Zimmer Lederberg (December 18, 1922 – November 11, 2006) was an American microbiologist and a pioneer of bacterial genetics.[1] Notable contributions include the discovery of the bacterial virus λ,[2] the transfer of genes between bacteria by specialized transduction, the development of replica plating,[2] and the discovery of the bacterial fertility factor F (F plasmid).[3]

Lederberg also founded and directed the now defunct Plasmid Reference Center at Stanford University,[3] where she maintained, named, and distributed plasmids of many types, including those coding for antibiotic resistance, heavy metal resistance, virulence, conjugation, colicins, transposons, and other unknown factors.

Early years
Esther Miriam Zimmer was the first of two children born in the Bronx, New York, to David Zimmer and Pauline Geller Zimmer. Her brother, Benjamin Zimmer, followed in 1923. A child of the Great Depression, her lunch was often a piece of bread topped by the juice of a squeezed tomato.[4]

Zimmer thrived academically. She attended Evander Childs High School[5] in the Bronx, receiving honors for French and graduating at the age of 16. In college, Zimmer initially wanted to study French or literature, but she switched her field of study to biochemistry against the recommendation of her teachers, who felt women struggled to get a career in the sciences.[4] She worked as a research assistant at the New York Botanical Garden, engaging in research on Neurospora crassa with the plant pathologist Bernard Ogilvie Dodge.[4] She received a bachelor’s degree in genetics at New York City’s Hunter College,[6] graduating cum laude in 1942, at the age of 20.

After her graduation from Hunter, Zimmer went to work as a research assistant to Alexander Hollaender at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (later Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), where she continued to work with N. crassa as well as publishing her first work in genetics.[7] In 1944 she won a fellowship to Stanford University, working as an assistant to George Wells Beadle. She traveled west to California, and after a summer studying at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station under Cornelius Van Niel, she entered a master’s program in genetics. Stanford awarded her a master’s degree in 1946.[6] That same year, she married Joshua Lederberg, a professor at the University of Wisconsin.[8]

Lederberg next went to the University of Wisconsin to pursue a doctorate degree.[8] From 1946 to 1949, she was awarded a predoctoral fellowship by the National Cancer Institute.[6] Her thesis was “Genetic control of mutability in the bacterium Escherichia coli.”[9] She completed her doctorate under the supervision of R. A. Brink, in 1950.[4]

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By Christine Cole: Blog Profiles: History Blogs

 
 
 
 
A Redleg’s Ride: RV Trip: Days 4 & 5 -Boondocking near Sedona
 
 
 
 
By Chris Chaos: A Detailed History of the Mysterious Ouija Board
 
 
 
 
Updates:
By Gary Price: Roundup: Net Neutrality Rollback (Reports, Statements, Documents)
 
 
 
 
Maria Popova Brain Pickings: The 7 Loveliest Children’s Books of 2017
“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time,” Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White asserted. “You have to write up, not down.” A generation later, Maurice Sendak scoffed in his final interview: “I don’t write for children. I write — and somebody says, ‘That’s for children!’” Indeed, great children’s books — the timeless kind, which lodge themselves in the marrow of one’s being and seed into the young psyche ideas that bloom again and again throughout a lifetime — radiate a beauty and profundity transcending age. They are books for all of us and for all time.

Here are seven such books published or republished in 2017, to complement the year’s great science books.
 
 
 
 
By Messynessy: 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCLXVI)
Excerpts:
1. The Tequila Express
A meticulously restored 1927 vintage rail car, to be exact. Only 2,000 of its kind were ever made. The train is privately owned by John Paul DeJoria, founder of Patrón Spirits Company.

4. In South London, the fences are actually upcycled WW2 medical stretchers
Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

7. A Beatles contract, showing a clause that stated that they would never have to play for a segregated audience

13. A Group of people called “Master Penmens” who special in the art of penmanship. Only 12 are still alive

 
 
 
 
GlacierHub Weekly Newsletter 12-18-17
 
 
 
 
By Ryan F. Mandelbaum: How Physicists Recycled WWII Ships and Artillery to Unlock the Mysteries of the Universe
 
 
 
 
By Kate Conger: Air Force Hackers Earn Biggest Government Bug Bounty Ever
Security researchers Brett Buerhaus and Mathias Karlsson uncovered the vulnerability during Hack the Air Force, a bug bounty program similar to the Hack the Army and Hack the Pentagon programs run by the US Defense Department.
 
 
 
 
By Sam Rutherford: Firefox May Soon Start Publicly Shaming Sites With Crappy Security
 
 
 
 
By Stef Schrader: The Electric Smart ForTwo Is The Answer To People Who Say Cars Aren’t Weird Anymore
Where have all the weird cars gone? I feel such lament every time I see that Jason drives some odd plastic French thing, my mom talks about her Isetta or I have to explain what my 411 is. But fear not: the rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive Smart ForTwo Cabrio is here to keep wackiness on wheels.
 
 
 
 
By Andrew P. Collins: The 2017 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Is The Best Version Of An Honest Old Truck
 
 
 
 

By Stef Schrader: Not Even This Insane Truck Cartwheel Can Stop A Stadium Super Truck

 
 
 
 
By Feathering My Nest: Vintage Styled Christmas Trees…
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

By Erica Offutt Kinja Deals: Monday’s Best Deals: Mini Instant Pot, Smart Car Charger, Delta Shower Head, and More


 
 


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