December 16th

Born on this date were

… Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).

… Jane Austen (1775-1817). Best known for her novels about young women yearning to get married, she was never married.

… George Santayana (1863-1952). “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

… Noel Coward (1899-1973).

… Margaret Mead (1901-1978). “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

… Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008). Clarke’s laws:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

The first point-contact transistor was built 65 years ago today (1947).

The Boston Tea Party was 239 years ago tonight (1773).