Video encyclopedia

Flashback calendar

Physiologist Richard Keynes dies

Richard Keynes was a British physiologist and great-grandson of Charles Darwin. He is known primarily for his pioneering work on the mechanisms underlying the conduction of nerve signals. Early in his career, he worked with the giant nerve fibers of squid which helped him discover how nerve impulses are transmitted in all animals. In later research, he determined how electric eels project electric fields outside their bodies.

Zoologist Karl von Frisch dies

Karl von Frisch was an Austrian ethologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973. With Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz, he established the science of ethology - the study of animal behavior. In his famous book, Aus dem Leben der Bienen (translated into English as The Dancing Bees), Frisch decoded the meaning of the waggle dance, a strange behavior which bees use to signal the location of flowers with nectar.

A human powered aircraft crosses the English Channel

The Gossamer Albatross is a human-powered aircraft which completed a successful crossing of the English Channel. The machine was built by American aeronautical engineer Paul B. MacCready's company, AeroVironment, and was piloted by self-taught hang glider pilot and bicyclist, Bryan Allen. Flying from Folkestone in England to Cape Gris-Nez in France, he completed the distance of 35.7 km in 2 hours and 49 minutes with a top speed of 29 km/h and an average altitude of 1.5 m.

Venera 4 is launched

Venera 4, also designated 1V, was a probe in the Soviet Venera program which had been established to explore Venus. Venera 4 comprised an entry probe, designed to enter the Venus atmosphere and parachute to the surface, and a carrier/flyby spacecraft which carried the entry probe to Venus and served as a communications relay for the entry probe.

The Swiss Army knife is patented

The Swiss Army knife is a pocketknife or multi-tool manufactured by Victorinox AG for Switzerland’s armed forces. The knife was to be suitable for use by the army in opening canned food and disassembling the Swiss service rifle, which required a screwdriver. These requirements were fulfilled by Swiss inventor Karl Elsener. The knife was originally called Offiziersmesser.

The dandy horse is unveiled

The dandy horse is a human-powered vehicle that, being the first means of transport to make use of the 2-wheeler principle, is regarded as the forerunner of the bicycle. Powered by the rider's feet on the ground in lieu of the pedals of later bicycles, the dandy horse was invented by Karl Drais.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous