Transforming Otto Blathy

Otto BlathyThe early Classical period composer Joseph Schuster was born on this day back in 1748. He was mostly known for his operas, but he also wrote a lot of music for small string sections. In fact, his Milan Quartets were long thought to be by Mozart. Here is his String Quartetto No. 5:

Actor Lloyd Nolan was born in 1902. He is best known for his role as the father in Hannah and Her Sisters, even though he was dead of cancer at the age of 83 by the time of the film’s release. The great Japanese film composer Yuji Koseki was born in 1909. Here is a classic of his, “Mothra’s Song”:

Novelist Angus Wilson was born in 1913. Historian Alex Haley was born in 1921. Talk show host Mike Douglas was born in 1925. Cool Hand Luke director Stuart Rosenberg was born in 1927. Evil Christian Jerry Falwell was born in 1933.

More or less the inventor of crystallographic electron microscopy, Aaron Klug is 87. Marilyn vos Savant is 67. She is said to be very smart. I’ve never gotten that impression. She is, however, a pretentious asshole. Apple co-founder (the living one) Steve Wozniak is 63. He’s the guy who said, “Apple is not a computer; it’s a lifestyle.” And he said it as if that were a good thing. Computers are tools. The whole “Apple lifestyle” business makes me sick. And the idiotic conservative affirmative action case, David Brooks is 52.

The day, however, belongs to Hungarian electrical engineer Otto Blathy who was born on this day in 1860. He is best known for co-inventing the modern electrical transformer. So in a sense, the modern world is his fault. He invented a number of other important things, mostly having to do with alternating current. He also created chess puzzles. Truly a great man.

Happy birthday Otto Blathy!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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