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  • 2015 May 3: For the Beauty of the Earth

    April 29, 2015 07:05

    Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1835-1917) was born at Spa Villa, Bath, England, and educated at Cambridge, earning his degree in Classics with honors. He taught Classics at Somersetshire College, and eventually retired from academics to become a writer, spending most of his life in Bath and the south-west of England. Pierpoint died at the age of 82. (more )

  • 2015 April 26: Daquin

    April 26, 2015 10:30

    Louis-Claude Daquin was a French composer of Jewish ancestry, and a virtuoso organist and harpsichordist. He was born in Paris to a family originating from Italy, where his great-great-grandfather took the name D'Aquino after converting to Catholicism in the town of Aquino. Louis-Claude's parents were Claude Daquin, a painter, and Anne Tiersant, a grand-niece of Rabelais — the French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. One of Louis-Claude's grand-uncles was a professor of Hebrew at the Collège de France, and another was the principal physician to King Louis XIV. (more )

  • 2015 April 19: Mechanical Organs

    April 19, 2015 10:30

    An 'automaton' is a mechanical device (no electronics!) that generally does something humans would normally do. The word first appears in Homer in the 5th century B.C.E. (referring to automatically opening doors), and the ancient Greeks were quite adept at designing and building machines, including siphons, a fire engine, a rudimentary pipe organ, the 'aeolipile' — a simple steam turbine, and the 'Antikythera mechanism' — a mechanical analog computer used to predict eclipses and other astronomical phenomena. (more )

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