Grace Murray Hopper (1906) A math professor, Hopper joined the US Navy during World War II. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard, where she worked on the first fully automatic calculator, the Mark 1. Made of 765,000 parts and using typewriters for output, it sounded, she said, like a thousand knitting needles. She later helped develop UNIVAC I—the first US commercial electronic computer—and high-level programming languages. What computer term did she popularize and possibly coin? Discuss
Camille Claudel (1864) A skilled French sculptor in her own right, Claudel is best remembered for being a student, collaborator, model, and mistress of famed sculptor Auguste Rodin. The two had a tumultuous affair that began to crumble in the 1890s, and Claudel, who suffered from mental illness, became increasingly unstable and reclusive. She was committed in 1913 and remained institutionalized until her death 30 years later. Her work is highly valued by collectors, but little of it survives today. Why is this?
Gerard Peter Kuiper (1905) The "father of modern planetary science," Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper made many discoveries about the solar system, among them the presence of a methane atmosphere around Saturn's satellite Titan and a carbon dioxide-rich one on Mars and the existence of Uranus's satellite Miranda and Neptune's satellite Nereid. He also proposed the existence of a disk-shaped region of minor planets and comets—now called the Kuiper belt—outside Neptune's orbit. What did he help identify on the Moon?
Can You Say This Ten Times Fast? Forget "she sells seashells by the seashore"; if you want a challenge, try saying "pad kid poured curd pulled cold" ten times in rapid succession. US psychologists say this nonsensical series of words they developed may be the world's toughest tongue twister. Do not mistake these researchers for sadists, though. Their prime motivation was not to paralyze people's tongues and drive them to distraction but rather to shed light on the chain of events that occurs between the time a person has a thought and the moment he moves his mouth to form the sound. Discuss
AIDS Cure Hopes Dashed Two American men who, it had been hoped, had been cured of HIV with a b one marrow transplant are unfortunately still infected with the virus. Following their respective transplants, which were performed to treat a type of blood cancer known as Hodgkin's lymphoma, HIV dropped to undetectable levels in their blood. After several years, the men discontinued their antiretroviral therapy, and for months they continued to appear HIV-free. However, 12 weeks after the first patient stopped therapy and 32 weeks after the second patient did the same, signs of HIV returned.
Microsoft Gives Technical Support a Whole New Meaning Researchers at Microsoft have developed an unusual device to help women maintain their waistlines: a "smart" bra. The prototype has embedded sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to track the wearer's mood and could send an alert to a smartphone when they detect a risk of emotional eating. Microsoft claims it has no plans to market the weight-management device commercially. Rather, it says, the project was part of a greater effort to develop technologies that can detect and react appropriately to people's moods.