Archive for November, 2009

29
Nov
09

(Hughes-)Felicite(-Robert de) Lamennais

(Hughes-)Felicite(-Robert de) Lamennais

He was a priest and philosophical and political writer who attempted to combine political liberalism with Roman Catholicism after French Revolution.  He was born on June 19, 1782, at Saint-Malo, France.  He died on February 27, 1854, at Paris.  Born to a bourgeois family whose liberal sympathies had been chastened by the French Revolution,  he and his elder brother, Jean early conceived the idea of a revival of Catholicism as the key to social regeneration.  After Napoleon’s restoration of the French Church, the brothers sketched a program of reform in Reflexions sur l’etat de l’eglise en France pendant le 18e  siècle et sur sa situation actuelle (1808; “Reflections on the State of the Church in France During the Eighteenth Century and Her Present Situation”).  Five years later, at the height of the Emperor’s conflict with the papacy, they produced a defense of Ultramontanism (a movement supporting papal prerogatives, in contrast to Gallicanism).  Ordained a priest in 1816, Lamennais published in the following year the first volume of his Essai sur l’indifference en matiere de religion (“Essay on Indifference Toward Religion”).  Appealing to tradition rather than private judgment, it won immediate fame.  But his position began to shift.  Although he attacked the Gallicanism of the bishops and the monarchy in his book Des progress de la revolution et de la guerre contra legalize (1829; “On the Progress of the Revolution and the War Against the Church”), the work showed his readiness to combine Catholicism with political liberalism in France.

After the July, Revolution in 1830, Lamennais founded Leavened with Henri Lacordaire, Charles de Montalembert, and a group of enthusiastic liberal Catholic writers.  The paper, which advocated democratic principle and church-state separation, antagonized both the church and the state in France and despite its Ultramontanism found little favor in Rome, for Pope Gregory XVI had no wish to assume the revolutionary role designed for him.  Publication of the paper was suspended in November 1831, and after a vain appeal to the Pope its principles were condemned in the encyclical Mirari Vos (August 1832).  Lamennais then attacked the papacy and the European monarchs in Paroles d’ un croyani (1834), provoking the encyclical Singulari Nos (July 1834), which lead to his severance from the church.  He continued to write philosophical and literary works, including Le Livre du people (1838);  “The Book of the People”), and he served in the constituent assembly after the Revolution of 1848.  But his hopes were again defeated when the coup d’etat set the seal on Louis-Napoleon’s dictatorship.  Having refused to be reconciled to the church, Lamennais was buried in a pauper’s grave.  His life and works are discussed in A.R. Vidler’s Prophecy and Papacy:  A Study of Lamennais, the Church and the Revolution (1954).

 

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27
Nov
09

John Lambert

John Lambert

John Lambert was born in autumn 1619, Calton, West Riding, Yorkshire and he dies on March 1684, at St. Nicholas Isle, off Plymouth, Cornwall.  A leading parliamentary general during the English Civil War (1642-51) and the principal architect of the protectorate, the form of republican government existing in England from 1653 to 1660.  Coming from a well-to-do family of gentry, Lambert joined the parliamentary army as a captain at the outbreak of the Civil War between King Charles I and Parliament.  He first distinguished himself in encounters with the Royalists at Bradford, Yorkshire, in March 1644, and he fought bravely in the major parliamentary victory at Marston Moor, Yorkshire in July 1644.  A major general at the age of 28, he helped Henry Ireton draw up the “Heads of Proposals,” a draft constitution aimed at reconciling the  conflicting interests of the army, Parliament, and the King.

At the beginning of the second phase of the Civil War in 1648, Lambert was commander of the troops of northern England.  He and Oliver Cromwell routed the Scottish Royalist invaders at Preston, Lancashire, in August 1648, and on March 22, 1649, Lambert captured Pontefract, Yorkshire, the last Royalist stronghold in England.

Second in command under Cromwell during the campaigns against the Royalists in Scotland in 1650 and 1651, Lambert and Cromwell, on September 3, 1651, decisively defeated Charles I’s son, Charles II, at Worcester in the final battle of the Civil War.

In succeeding years Lambert played a key role in Cromwell’s experimental governments.  He persuaded Cromwell to dissolve the “Rump” Parliament in 1653, putting the army firmly in control of the government, and was responsible for drawing up the Instruments of Government under which Cromwell assumed dictatorial powers as Lord Protector of the commonwealth in 1653.  Lambert served on the Council of State and was Cromwell’s right-hand man until, in 1657, he outspokenly opposed the proposal that Cromwell be made king.  When he refused to swear allegiance to the Protector, Cromwell deprived him of his offices but granted him a substantial annual pension.

After Cromwell’s death (September 1658), Lambert gradually returned to politics.  He did not openly cooperate with the army officers who deposed Cromwell’s son and successor, Richard, in May 1659, but he was one of the most powerful figures in the ensuing power struggle.  Although he helped restore the “Rimp” Parliament in May 1659, he soon broke with it and dissolved it by force.  Shortly thereafter, his army was defeated by the forces of Gen. George Monck, who marched from Scotland to reinstate parliament.  Monck proceeded to restore King Charles I to power (1660), and in June 1662 Lambert was sentenced to death for his part in the Civil War, Granted a reprieve, he spent the rest of his life in prison.

25
Nov
09

Empowering the Farmers

Dr. Romulo G. Davide

Farmers who are also scientists and businessmen—that’s what Dr. Romulo G. Davide envisions for Filipino farmers.  He wants to train farmers to empower them using science and technology.

Dr. Davide’s farmer-scientist program has empowered upland farmers in Cebu to determine the appropriate technologies for their farms.  Through Dr. Davide’s  program, the farmers learned integrated pest management, and thus encouraging them not to depended on toxic pesticides.  They also learned to develop their own hybrid corn producing their own seeds from their farms.

Dr. Davide’s desire to serve his fellow Filipinos is unquestionable.  After gaining his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Philippines’ College of Agriculture, he went to the United States where he earned his masters and doctorate degrees from the Oklahoma State University and North Carolina State University, respectively.  Shortly after receiving his doctorate degree in nematology and plant pathology in 1966, he was offered a professorial job that he declined because of his commitment to his country. 

This commitment would highlight his prolific career.  Dr. Davide is internationally recognized for his contributions to nematology, including the national survey, identification, and control of nematodes that infest economic crops.  He also discovered the first and safest biological control agent, called BIOACT, against nematodes.  For these and other works, Dr. Davide has the distinction of being the first Filipino to be included in the “Who’s Who” in nematology.

Asked to comment on his career and contributions as teacher, scientist, and mentor, Dr. Romulo Davide shrugged all the accolade aside, saying that he is just an instrument of God.

Source:

► Eileen Calaycay-Cardona.  ‘There are no barren soils, only barren minds.”  http://www.up.edu.ph/forum/2002/Aug02/davide.html

► National Academy of Science and Technology.  http://www.nast.dost.gov.ph/pro_davide.html

22
Nov
09

Johann Heinrich Lambert

Johann Heinrich Lambert

Johann Heinrich Lambert was born on August 26, 1728 at Mulhausen, Alsace, now Mulhouse, France.  He died on September 25, 1777 at Berlin.  Swiss-German mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher who provided the first rigorous  proof than π (the ration  of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) is irrational, meaning it cannot be expressed as the quotient of two integers.

The son of tailor, Lambert was largely self-educated and early began geometric and astronomical investigations by means of instruments he designed and built himself.  He worked for a time as a bookkeeper, secretary and editor.  As a private tutor in 1748, he gained access to a good library, which he utilized for self-improvement until 1759, when he resigned to settle in Augsburg.  In 1764 he went to Berlin, where he received the patronage of Frederick the Great.  His memoir containing the proof that π is irrational was published in 1768.  In 1774 at ‘Berlin, he became editor of Astronomisches Jahrbuch oder Ephemeriden, an astronomical almanac.

Lambert made the first systematic development of hyperbolic functions.  He is also responsible for many innovations in the study of heat and light.  The lambert, a measurement of light intensity, was named in his honour.  Among his most important works are Photometria (1760), Die Theorie der Parallellinien (1766; “The Theory of Parallel Lines”), and Pyrometrie (1779).  The Neues Organon (1764; “New Organon”), his principal philosophical work, contains and analysis of a great variety of questions, among them formal logic, probability, and the principles of science.

17
Nov
09

Willis Eugene Lamb Jr.

Willis Eugene Lamb Jr.

He was born on July 12, 1913 in Los Angeles, joint winner, with Polykarp Kusch, also of the U.S., of the 1955 Nobel Prize for Physics for experimental work that spurred refinements in the quantum theories of electromagnetic phenomena.  He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1938 and worked in the radiation laboratory there during World War II.

The lines that appear in the spectrum (dispersed light, as by a prism)  of hydrogen are not simply single dark lines, as they appear, but actually are composed of many lines that are extremely close together.  This hyperfine structure was predicted by the quantum mechanics of the noted English physicist Paul A.M. Dirac, but Lamb applied new methods to be slightly different from what had been predicted.  This necessitated a revision in the theory to fit the facts.

While a professor of physics at Stanford University, California (1951-56), lamb devised microwave techniques for examining the hyperfine structure of the spectral lines of helium.  In 1956 he became professor of theoretical physics at Oxford University and in 1962 was appointed professor of physics at Yale University.

12
Nov
09

Using Venom to Probe the Brain

002

Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz

Turning potentially fatal poisons into substances that are used to probe the delicate processes in the brain is just one of the exceptional feats attributed to Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz.

Among her prominent researches are those that concern neuropeptides from Conus snails and antituberculosis compounds.  Her studies on the biochemistry of toxic peptides extracted from Conus marine snails let to:

1.   The characterization of over 50 biologically active peptides from Conus venom naturally used by marine snails to stun, paralyze, or kill fish that they prey upon.

2.   The development of conotoxins as biochemical probes to observe the activities of the brain.  One of the substances derived from her research, w-conotoxin, is now among the most widely used tools in evaluating neuronal calcium channels.  Another substance, u-conotoxin is used by neuroscientist when they need to control muscular activity in examining the processes that occur at the gaps between nerve cells.

For these and other achievements, Dr. Cruz was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).  She has also received other commendations and awards, which include NAST Outstanding Young Scientist Award (1981), the NCRP Achievement Award in Chemistry (1982), and the Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service Award in (Biochemistry, 1986).

Dr. Cruz earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1962, and her masters and doctorate from the University of Iowa in the United States.  She is a professor at the Marine Science Institute (UP)_ as well as a research professor at the University of Utah.  She is also the president of the Center for Biomolecular Science foundation, Inc.

Source:

►National Academy of Science and Technology.  http://www.nast.dost.gov.ph/pro_cruz.htm

►Yahoo Answers.  http://answer.yahoo.co/question/?qid=20060627060121AAhp0L0

09
Nov
09

Mary Ann Lamb

Mary Ann Lamb

Mary Ann Lamb

Born on December 3, 1764, London; Died may 20, 1847, Edmonton, Middlesex), sister of Charles Lamb, wrote with him Tales from Shakespear

Subject to periods of violent insanity (in the first of which she fatally stabbed her mother), she was under Charles lamb’s watchful and devoted care during his entire lifetime.  Apart from infrequent lapses, she was, for the most part, quite lucid, serving as her brother’s hostess, housekeeper, faithful companion, and literary ally.

She wrote 14 of the 20 Tales from Shakespear (1807), concentrating her effort on the comedies, and collaborated also on Poetry for Children (1808), and mrs. Leicester’s School (1809), a book of children’s stories.  She survived her brother by almost 13 years.




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