FYI February 13, 2017

February 13 is National ‘Italian Food’ Day




On this day:

1867 – Work begins on the covering of the Senne, burying Brussels’s primary river and creating the modern central boulevards.
The covering of the Senne (French: Voûtement de la Senne, Dutch: Overwelving van de Zenne) was the covering and later diverting of the main river of Brussels, and the construction of public buildings and major boulevards in its place. It is one of the defining events in the history of Brussels.

The Senne/Zenne (French/Dutch) was historically the main waterway of Brussels, but it became more polluted and less navigable as the city grew. By the second half of the 19th century, it had become a serious health hazard and was filled with pollution, garbage and decaying organic matter. It flooded frequently, inundating the lower town and the working class neighbourhoods which surrounded it.

Numerous proposals were made to remedy this problem, and in 1865, the mayor of Brussels, Jules Anspach, selected a design by architect Léon Suys to cover the river and build a series of grand boulevards and public buildings. The project faced fierce opposition and controversy, mostly due to its cost and the need for expropriation and demolition of working-class neighbourhoods. The construction was contracted to a British company, but control was returned to the government following an embezzlement scandal. This delayed the project, but it was still completed in 1871. Its completion allowed the construction of the modern buildings and boulevards which are central to downtown Brussels today.

In the 1930s, plans were made to cover the Senne along its entire course within the greater Brussels area, which had grown significantly since the covering of the 19th century. The course of the Senne was changed to the downtown’s peripheral boulevards. In 1976, the disused tunnels were converted into the north-south axis of Brussels’ underground tram system, the premetro. Actual purification of the waste water from the Brussels-Capital Region was not completed until March 2007, when two treatment stations were built, thus finally cleansing the Senne after centuries of problems.



1881 – The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert.
Hubertine Auclert (April 10, 1848, Saint-Priest-en-Murat – August 4, 1914, Paris) was a leading French feminist and a campaigner for women’s suffrage.

Inspired by the high-profile activities of Maria Deraismes and Léon Richer, Hubertine Auclert became involved with feminist work and eventually took a job as Richer’s secretary. Influenced by her life in a Catholic convent, and like many of the leading republican feminists at the time, Hubertine Auclert was a militant anticlerical. While the main focus of the French feminist movement was directed towards changes to the laws, Auclert pushed further, demanding that women be given the right to run for public office, claiming that the unfair laws would never have been passed had the views of female legislators been heard. In 1876 she founded the Société le droit des femmes (The Rights of Women) that supported women’s suffrage and in 1883, the organization formally changed its name to the Société le suffrage des femmes (Women’s Suffrage Society).

In 1878, the “International Congress on Women’s Rights” was held in Paris but to the chagrin of Hubertine Auclert, it did not support women’s suffrage. Resolute, beginning in 1880, Auclert launched a tax revolt, arguing that without representation women should not be subjected to taxation. One of her legal advisors was attorney Antonin Lévrier whom she later married. On February 13, 1881 she launched La Citoyenne, a monthly[1](page 899) that argued vociferously for women’s enfranchisement. The paper received vocal support from even the elite in the feminist movement such as Séverine and socialite Marie Bashkirtseff wrote several articles for the newspaper. In her writings, she also brought the term feminism, a term first coined by Charles Fourier, into the English language in the 1890s. [2]

In 1884, the French government finally legalized divorce but Auclert denounced it because of the law’s blatant bias against women that still did not allow a woman to keep her wages. Auclert proposed the then radical idea that there should be a marriage contract between spouses with separation of property.

La Citoyenne (The Citizeness) was a French feminist newspaper published in Paris from 1881 through 1891 by Hubertine Auclert. It was first published on February 13, 1881, and appeared bi-monthly. The newspaper was a forceful and unrelenting advocate for women’s enfranchisement, demanding changes to the Napoleonic Code that relegated women to a vastly inferior status. The newspaper demanded that women be given the right to run for public office, claiming that the unfair laws would never have been passed had the views of female legislators been heard. Notable feminists such as Marie Bashkirtseff wrote articles for the paper.

During the newspaper’s existence, the League for the Rights of Women was founded by Léon Richer in 1882, and in 1888 Le Conseil International des Femmes (CIF) was organized, creating the first international feminist organisation. In 1891, Hubertine Auclert ran out of money and her newspaper closed. That same year, activist Maria Martin (1839-1910) launched Le Journal des femmes and on December 9, 1897, high-profile actress and journalist Marguerite Durand (1864-1936) continued the cause and opened another feminist newspaper called La Fronde.



Born on this day:

1834 – Heinrich Caro, Sephardic Jewish Polish-German chemist and academic (d. 1910)
Heinrich Caro (February 13, 1834 in Posen, Prussia Germany now Poznań, Poland – September 11, 1910 in Dresden), was a German chemist.
Caro’s grave in Mannheim

He was a Sephardic Jew.[1] He started his study of chemistry at the Friedrich Wilhelms University and later chemistry and dyeing in Berlin at the Royal Trades Institute. On the initiative of Nicolaus Druckenmüller, he trained as a calico printer in Germany, worked at Troost’s calico printing works in Mülheim and then worked at the chemical firm Roberts, Dale in Manchester. During this time he improved the analysis of madder lake. After he returned to Germany he conducted his military service in 1857 and 1858. He worked in the laboratory of Jacques Meyer the father of Viktor Meyer in Berlin. In 1858 he was able to return to Mühlheim where he was not able to conduct his work. He joined the chemical firm Roberts, Dale in Manchester which he knew from his former visit. During his time in England he improved the extraction of Mauveine from the residues of the synthesis and developed a synthesis for aniline red and other dyes. In 1861 Caro returned to Germany and stayed at the laboratory of Robert Bunsen until he joined the Chemische Fabrik Dyckerhoff Clemm & Co. This chemical company later became BASF.

Caro was responsible for indigo research at BASF and he and Adolf von Baeyer synthesised the first indigo dye in 1878.[2] Caro also patented the dye alizarin on behalf of BASF. He was the first to isolate acridine and “Caro’s acid” (peroxymonosulfuric acid) is named after him.




1918 – Patty Berg, American golfer and lieutenant (d. 2006)
Patricia Jane Berg (February 13, 1918 – September 10, 2006)[1] was an American professional golfer and a founding member and then leading player on the LPGA Tour during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Her 15 major title wins remains the all-time record for most major wins by a female golfer. She is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

After winning 29 amateur titles, she turned professional in 1940.[2] During World War II she was a lieutenant in the Marines, 1942–45.[6] Berg’s career had been interrupted by an automobile accident in December 1941; while traveling to a fund-raising event with Helen Dettweiler, a head-on accident shattered Berg’s knee. Despite concerns that her golfing career would end, Berg returned to the game in 1943, helped by a locker room fall that broke adhesions which had developed in her leg. Upon her comeback, she won the Women’s Western Open.[5] She won the inaugural U.S. Women’s Open in 1946. In 1948, she helped establish the forerunner of the LPGA, the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA), winning three tournaments that season and in 1949.[5] When the LPGA was officially started in 1950, Berg was one of the 13 founding members and held a leadership position as the association’s first president.[2] Berg won a total of 57 events on the LPGA and WPGA circuit, and was runner-up in the 1957 Open at Winged Foot. She was runner-up in the 1956 and 1959 LPGA Championships.[2] In addition, Berg won the 1953, 1957, and 1958 Women’s Western Opens, the 1955 and 1957 Titleholders, both considered majors at the time. Her last victory came in 1962. She was voted the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year in 1942 and 1955, in addition to her 1938 award. During a four-year stretch from 1953 to 1956, Berg won the Vare Trophy three times for having the lowest scoring average on the LPGA.[3] She was the LPGA Tour’s top money winner twice, in 1954 and 1957, and her seven Titleholders wins is an all-time record.[2] Berg won 15 women’s major golf championships in her career, including the seven Titleholders victories, seven wins in the Women’s Western Open, and the 1946 U.S. Women’s Open championship.[5]

In 1963, Berg was voted the recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Berg received the 1986 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA’s highest honor. The LPGA established the Patty Berg Award in 1978. In her later years, Berg teamed-up with PGA Tour player and fellow Fort Myers, Florida resident Nolan Henke to establish the Nolan Henke/Patty Berg Junior Masters to promote the development of young players.

Berg was sponsored on the LPGA Tour her entire career by public golf patriarch Joe Jemsek, owner of the famous Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois, site of the PGA Tour’s Western Open from 1991 to 2006. Berg represented another of Jemsek’s public facilities, St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Illinois, on the women’s circuit for over 60 years.

Berg told Chicagoland Golf magazine she taught over 16,000 clinics in her lifetime – many of which were sponsored by Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods and were called “The Patty Berg Hit Parade.” In that interview, Berg figured she personally indoctrinated to the game of golf over a half-million new players. She was a member of Wilson’s Advisory Staff for 66 years, until her death.

She announced in December 2004 that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She died in Fort Myers from complications of the disease 21 months later at the age of 88.





Alwin Lopez “Al” Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017)
Alwin Lopez “Al” Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American jazz singer.[1] He won seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a dozen more. He is perhaps best known for his 1981 album Breakin’ Away, for having sung the theme song of the late-1980s television series Moonlighting, and as a performer in the 1985 charity song “We Are the World”.




Lauren Evans: Yale to Rename Calhoun College After Pioneering Computer Scientist Grace Hopper


Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (née Murray; December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral.
In 1944, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer [2] and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language.[3][4][5][6][7] She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. She also popularized use of the term bug (already established in other technical contexts) in reference to computer software or hardware design failures.

Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she was sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”.[8][9] The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper was named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.[10]

On November 22, 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.[11]




Project NightFlight Dedicated to the Beauty of the Night Sky

Project NightFlight Everybody knows Arrakis, the famous desert planet of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi saga Dune. But who remembers that it is set to circle around Canopus, a real star in our night sky? Canopus is the second brightest star as seen from Earth and the brightest star in the constellation Carina. It is visible in the evening sky to people on the northern hemisphere as spring approaches in February. Due to its far southern declination, however, it can only be observed from latitudes up to about 35 degrees north. This includes the American South and, in Europe, the Canary Islands. Canopus is a bright, slightly bluish giant star with a visual brightness of almost -1 magnitudes. That makes it easily visible to the naked eye. In the project nightflight image Canopus culminates over a volcano mountain range on La Palma island shortly after sunset. We used image stacking and a diffusor filter to enhance the appearance of Canopus and the landscape at dusk. And although the often barren, sandy dunes of the volcanos on the Canary Islands sometimes remind us of Muad’Dib’s Dune planet, there were absolutely no wormsigns near or far. [Released February 5, 2017]