FYI March 13, 2019

On This Day

 
 
1567 – The Battle of Oosterweel, traditionally regarded as the start of the Eighty Years’ War, commences.
The Battle of Oosterweel took place on 13 March 1567 near the village of Oosterweel, north of Antwerp, and is traditionally seen as the beginning[1] of the Eighty Years’ War. A Spanish infantry division under General Beauvoir defeated an army of radical Calvinists rebels under Jan de Marnix. The prisoners were considered rebels and executed. William the Silent, the Burggraaf of Antwerp, did not allow the Protestants of the city to participate in the battle because he was, as lord of the city, bound by oath to support the Spanish Hapsburg King.

 
 

Born On This Day

 
 
1908 – Myrtle Bachelder, American chemist and Women’s Army Corps officer (d. 1997)
Myrtle Claire Bachelder (March 13, 1908 – May 22, 1997) was an American chemist and Women’s Army Corps officer, who is noted for her secret work on the Manhattan Project atomic bomb program, and for the development of techniques in the chemistry of metals.

Early life and career

Myrtle C. Bachelder was born on March 13, 1908, in Orange, Massachusetts. She earned a bachelor of science degree from Middlebury College in 1930, and became a high school science teacher and athletics coach in South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts. She received her master of education degree from Boston University.[1][2][3]

World War II: the atomic bomb
During World War II, Bachelder enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in November 1942, at the Springfield, Massachusetts headquarters. After spending time in training at military bases in several U.S. states, she received orders assigning her to the Company ‘D’ WAC Detachment of the Manhattan District, United States Army Corps of Engineers. Her secret assignment was to lead a group of 15 to 20 women from the WAC, stationed in Des Moines, Iowa, to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and from there to Santa Fe, New Mexico. She and the women under her command arrived at Los Alamos, New Mexico on October 21, 1943.[1][4]

“Manhattan” was the code name for the special military division dedicated to developing an atomic weapon. In the clandestine laboratory at the remote Los Alamos desert site, Bachelder was responsible for the analysis of the spectroscopy of uranium isotopes. Since the uranium-235 isotope is fissile, whereas the uranium-238 isotope is not, Bachelder’s role in the project was a crucial task: to ensure the purity of the sub-critical material, and therefore the nuclear explosion, of the world’s first atomic bombs.[4]

These methods were used during the preparation of plutonium-239, the fissile material used in the construction of the atomic bomb for the Trinity nuclear test, on July 16, 1945. Analogous methods were used for the uranium weapon, code-named “Little Boy”, which destroyed Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, and for the plutonium bomb which destroyed Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945, leading to the Japanese surrender. The secret program was under the general direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer, whom Bachelder described as:

A “pencil and paper man”, immersed in physics theory, who was more than a little amazed by the Los Alamos lab machinery. Bachelder recalled Oppenheimer standing in front of her lab’s most important and expensive instrument punching buttons at random … He asked “What does this do?” Then he’d punch another button … He might have wrecked the machine if he hadn’t finally been persuaded to leave it alone.[5]

Contribution to post-war developments in nuclear energy
The conclusion of the Second World War was also the dawning of a new “Atomic Age”, in which the peacetime potential of nuclear energy began to be explored. Bachelder was among the scientists who opposed the May-Johnson Bill of October 1945, a Congressional bill proposed by the Interim Committee, which would have maintained military control over nuclear research. The bill was defeated in Congress and superseded by the McMahon Atomic Energy Act. In January 1947, the newly formed Atomic Energy Commission approved the declassification of 270 previously secret documents. These included discoveries related to X-radiation and purification of uranium ores, which had been made by Bachelder during the course of the war effort. At this time, the rarity and importance of Bachelder’s achievements as a woman in science were also acknowledged.[6][7]

Scientific research and later career
After leaving the Army, Bachelder became a research chemist at the University of Chicago, where the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction had been achieved in 1942. Nobel Laureate James Franck had been Director of the Chemistry Division of the Metallurgical Laboratory during the earlier phases of the Manhattan Project. Bachelder joined the University’s Institute for the Study of Metals (renamed as the James Franck Institute in 1967), and she conducted further research in metallochemistry.[8][9][10]

Among other achievements, Bachelder developed methods for the purification of the rare elements tellurium and indium.[8] Other aspects of her broad scientific expertise found application in the field of marine archaeology, when she determined the chemical composition of brass cannons found in the Aegean Sea on sunken ships.[9] She also made contributions to astrochemistry, when NASA asked her to analyze the chemistry of Moon rocks which had been collected from the Moon’s surface during the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972.[2]

Bachelder retired from the Franck Institute in 1973, and was subsequently active as an official of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).[2] She died in Chicago on May 22, 1997.[3]

Reflections

Bachelder believed that her role in the development of the atomic bomb, and the subsequent use of atomic weapons against Japan, had been justified in order to end the Second World War and to avoid greater loss of life that would have been entailed in a U.S. land invasion and extended conflict with Japan. Later, during the period of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Bachelder stated that, although she supported nuclear arms control:

Opponents of nuclear weapons should resist the urge to take the 1940s bomb-building effort out of its proper historical context — “One cannot pull that activity out of that time, set it down in the 1980s, and pass judgement.”[5]
 
 

FYI

 
 
By Alex Greenberger: John Richardson, Friend and Biographer of Picasso, Has Died at 95

Sir John Patrick Richardson, KBE, FBA (6 February 1924 – 12 March 2019) was a British art historian and Picasso biographer. Richardson also worked as an industrial designer and as a reviewer for The New Observer. In 1952, he moved to Provence, where he became friends with Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Léger and Nicholas de Staël. In 1960, he moved to New York and organized a nine-gallery Picasso retrospective. Christie’s then appointed him to open their U.S. office, which he ran for the next nine years. In 1973 he joined New York gallery M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., as vice president in charge of 19th- and 20th-century painting, and later became managing director of Artemis, a mutual fund specializing in works of art.

In 1980 he started devoting all his time to writing and working on his Picasso biography. He was also a contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. In 1993 Richardson was elected to the British Academy and in 1995 he was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford. In 2011, Richardson was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2012 was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER: Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction

Other high-profile Massachusetts criminals whose convictions have been erased after their deaths include John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers and wounding five other people during a shooting rampage in Brookline in 1994.

Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese and spread across the globe, also had his child molestation conviction vacated after he was beaten to death in 2003 in his cell at the same Massachusetts maximum-security prison where Hernandez died.
 
 
 
 
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By Anna Marevska: International Women’s Day: 5 Lessons from Media Entrepreneurs to #BalanceforBetter
 
 
 
 
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Nate Jackson played six years in the NFL and has written two books, Slow Getting Up and Fantasy Man. He co-founded Athletes for CARE, a non-profit that advocates for the health and wellness of athletes. He also co-hosts the Caveman Poet Society podcast with former NFL offensive lineman, Eben Britton. It is available on iTunes. He lives in L.A.
 
 
 
 
By Maria Sherman: New Lou Pearlman Documentary Examines the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Boy Band Craze
In the early 2000s, Pearlman launched the careers of the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC. He was also responsible for a Ponzi scheme that swindled 1,700 people out of $500 million. In 2008, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he died in 2016.
 
 
 
 
BBC News: Brazil school shooting: São Paulo gunmen were former pupils
Two school employees and the owner of a nearby shop – from whom the attackers stole a car – also died.

The gunmen, aged 17 and 25, both killed themselves after the attack.
 
 
 
 
By Bishop David A. Zubik: Pittsburgh bishop details action plan in ‘The Church Healing’ pastoral
 
 
By Michelle L. Price: Ex-priest defrocked for sex abuse found fatally shot in Nevada home
Capparelli, who was assigned to churches around New Jersey, was accused of groping and brutalizing teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s and was defrocked in 1992, according to The Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark.

Capparelli later worked as a public school math teacher in the Newark School District but agreed to the revocation of his teaching licenses in 2011 after allegations against him emerged.

The Star-Ledger reported Capparelli also ran a website featuring young men wrestling in revealing bathing suits.

Richard Fitter, a New Jersey man who was among those who accused Capparelli of abuse, told the newspaper after learning of the former priest’s death that the world is safer without him.

“It’s karma,” Fitter said.
 
 
 
 
By Tom Huddleston Jr. The Web turns 30 today — this is the feedback its inventor got when he pitched the idea to his boss in 1989
Meanwhile, Berners-Lee himself has become fairly outspoken about the direction the web has taken in recent years. On Monday, he published a letter saying the web is no longer a “force for good” and laying out three “sources of dysfunction” on the modern internet. Those include malicious online behavior like government hacking and online bullying, as well as companies’ pursuit of advertising revenue that can result in the spread of misinformation and the exploitation of users’ personal information.
 
 
 
 
By Brian Barrett: Firefox Send Is an Easy Way to Share Large Files Securely
 
 
 
 
Yardbarker: The 25 greatest shots in NCAA Tournament history
 
 
 
 
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Ideas

 
 
Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is Hometalker Sherrills Ford, NC: Create a Blooming Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day
 
 


 
 

 
 

Recipes

 
 
By Lena Abraham: Reuben Beer Cheese Nachos