It was on this date, January 31, 1881, that American chemist Irving Langmuir was born in Brooklyn, NY. Langmuir is chiefly remembered for coining in 1923 the physics term “plasma” to describe a fourth state of matter, distinct from solid or liquid or gas and present in stars and fusion reactions, such as that which powers the sun. He was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A true scientist, Langmuir was deeply skeptical of shortcuts to knowledge. When asked about his inattention to religion, Langmuir once responded…
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
It was on this date, November 13, 1969, that Somali-born American feminist and atheist activist, writer and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born Ayaan Hirsi Magan in Mogadishu, Somalia. While her father, a leading figure in the Somalian Revolution, was in prison, Ayann’s grandmother had the 5-year-old young girl’s genitals ritually cut off in what […]