1766 Thomas Malthus was born.
1894 Jack Benny was born.
1946 The first all-electronic computer was introduced. (See June 23rd entry.)
1989 The Ayatollah Khomeini called for the assassination of Salman Rushdie.
Today is Valentine’s Day, the celebration dedicated to lovers young and old, greeting - card companies, and the people who sell those heart-shaped candy boxes. It is interesting to note that Valentine’s Day is also Thomas Malthus’ birthday. born in Surrey, England in 1766, Malthus argued in his Essay on Population that populations grow geometrically, while the crops and livestock to feed them grow arithmetically. Because that supply-and-demand ratio never balances, Malthus firmly believed people should marry later in life. According to him, “moral restraint” was the best way to prevent a worldwide famine.
It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Today’s anniversary clearly demonstrates the strength of words and ideas. But it is also an example of how much trouble words can create for their author. In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called for Salman Rushdie’s assassination. The conservative Muslim leader claimed that certain passages of the author’s novel—The Satanic Verses—ridiculed Islam’s essential doctrines. Like a page out of medieval history, Rushdie was marked as a heretic by a religious leader for publishing his thoughts.
This is Jack Benny’s birthday. In 1894, little did the residents of Waukegan, Illinois, know that one of their native sons would grow to become best known for his lack of musical talent. Hiding flaws and shortcomings may help us to overcome our insecurities, but they also humanize us, give us character, and make us approachable. It certainly worked for Jack.
This is the computer’s birthday. The world’s first all-electronic computer was unveiled
At the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1946.
The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer—ENIAC for short—weighed
Thirty tons, stood ten feet tall (about the size of a motor home), and could calculate a
Ballistic trajectory in thirty seconds. It took only nine years for mathematician Alan M.
Turing’s idea—which he had conceived while taking a walk in a scenic rural English cow pasture—to become a reality.