Ole Larson's Folks

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Happy New Year! There is now a “help” page that should have gone up a long time ago. “About the Site” contains a description of the two-part site, and tips for navigating around. Please check it out by clicking here, or access the page under “Info” in the top menu, or in the sidebar with other featured pages.

No close family anniversaries. Born in Bombay, British India, on this date in 1865: author Rudyard Kipling. His poems, short stories, and novels, all rank with the greatest of 20th century English literature. Or not; his work tends to be controversial in some circles. One of his best-known pieces, The Jungle Book, has been adapted for the screen several times. The top photo is from a new Disney live-animated feature version, due for release in 2016.

No close family anniversaries. A great day for science, though. On this date in 1831, the HMS Beagle departed Plymouth, England, on its second voyage to South America and the Pacific Ocean. On board this time was the young naturalist Charles Darwin. Instead of the planned two years, the voyage lasted almost five. Discoveries made on the voyage greatly influenced Darwin’s later theories on evolution, and his book about the journey propelled him to celebrity status, in both the scientific world and…

No close family anniversaries. Born in Lucca, Italy, on this date in 1858: composer Giacomo Puccini. At least five or six of his many operas are mainstays of the modern repertory, performed many times each year around the globe. Top photo: scene (or curtain call) from a recent Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot.

No close family anniversaries. Born in Scania, Sweden (at the time part of Denmark), on this date in 1546: astronomer Tycho Brahe. He was the last of the “naked-eye astronomers,” working without benefit of telescopes. Most famous today for his influence on other astronomers such as Johannes Kepler. = = = Or, if you prefer the metaphysical, born in Provence, France, on this date in 1503: Michel de Nostredame, also known as the alchemist and seer Nostradamus.

No close family anniversaries. Two milestones in the early history of radio technology: On this date in 1896, at Toynbee Hall, London, Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of his radical invention, transmitting information through the use of electromagnetic radiation. Exactly five years later, on 12 December 1901, the first radio signals were transmitted and received across the Atlantic Ocean, in another of Marconi’s demonstrations. This principle is the force behind not only radio and television broadcasting and communication, but also radar, cellular…

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