In 1965, sister Mary Kenneth Keller was the first woman to get a Ph.D in computer science. She believed that the use of computers have boundless capacity for the sharing of information.
Sister Mary worked on developing the BASIC programming language. BASIC is a way of translating the zeroes and ones of computer code into something more intuitive and straightforward. It is a general-purpose, high level programming language which helped broaden computer programming into non maths and science fields, subsequently giving many people their first experience with programming.
In 1984, a woman started hearing voices that told her she had a brain tumor and they also told her where it was. Doctors eventually ordered tests and found the tumor where the voice said it would be. After her surgery, she heard the voices say, “we are pleased to have helped you, goodbye.”
Stephanie Kwolek the inventor of Kevlar was working on finding a new, lightweight substitute for steel belting in automobile tires, on fears of a looming oil shortage and in anticipation of a market for lighter tires. What resulted was a new fiber five times stronger than steel by weight.
In Taiwan, every receipt for every store in the country is also a ticket to a government-run lottery with top prizes worth up to US$300,000.
A quiet American POW was nicknamed “The Incredibly Stupid One” by his Vietnamese captors. Upon his return to the US, he provided the names of over 200 prisoners of war, which he had memorized to the tune of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”
When they threw him out of Vietnam, he came out with 256 names that Joe Crecca had taught him memorized by service, by rank and alphabetically; next to each name he had a dog’s name, kid’s name or social security number to verify the quality of the name which we had picked up by tap code, deaf spelling code or secret notes. He still has those names memorized today and sings them to the tune of “Old MacDonald Has a Farm.” One of our intelligence officers asked him if he could slow the recitation down to make for easier copying. Doug replied “No” that it was like riding a bike, you had to keep moving or you would fall off.
Faced with a choice between democracy and the interests of their political party, Americans will chose party over democracy.
Carl Sagan convinced NASA to turn the Voyager Spacecraft towards earth and take the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” photo nearly 4 billions miles away from earth.
Desmond Doss, a WWII medic, was teased for his choice to not harm the enemy or wield a weapon. He would go on to win the Medal of Honor for saving more than 50 men after a mortar attack, and the heroics were made into the award winning movie “Hacksaw Ridge”.
When Ella Fitzgerald couldn’t get booked by clubs and TV because she was black, Marilyn Monroe offered to come to a nightclub every night and sit in the front row if they let Ella sing.
Most people in the ancient city of Rome lived in apartment buildings that lacked kitchens. Thus most people relied on prepared food was sold at pubs, inns, and food stalls. Some establishments had counter tops fitted with openings for pots that may have kept food warm for extended serving.