Doxacon Seattle weekly digest (July 6-13)

With the National Weather Service predicting temperatures in the 90s, we hope you are keeping cool and drinking plenty of water this week! Hopefully their predictions prove true and we see things start to return to normal over the next couple of days. In the meantime, here’s some geek trivia to distract you!

July 6 – On this day in 1885, Dr. Louis Pasteur the first person to get the rabies vaccine that he developed. Once a person or animal started showing symptoms of the disease – which could happen in as little as one week or as long as a year – the result is almost always death. Pasteur’s vaccine helped bring hope that exposure need not have such a definitive end. Since then, several vaccines have been developed that control rabies in both humans and animals. Read more at Time website.

A photo of Robert A. Heinlein holding a cat

July 7 – Today is the birthday of Robert A Heinlein (1907), one of the ‘big three’ authors who brought about the Golden Age of science fiction in the twentieth century (the other two being Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov). Read a biography of Heinlein at the The Heinlein Society.

A black and white image of a stylized thermostat with two water drops to the right.

July 10 – For those of us in Western Washington, the most recent heat wave is a fairly novel – and unwelcome! – thing. But today marks the anniversary of the world’s highest recorded temperature, when Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit (1913). The Smithsonian Mag website has a brief article on the occasion.

The emblem of the United States Marine Corps. A stylized eagle holding a ribbon with the words 'semper fidelis' stands atop a globe, wings extended, with an anchor behind the globe

July 11 – In 1798, President John Adam signed into law “An Act for Establishing and Organizing a┬áMarine┬áCorps”. Though they had existed before that time as the Continental Marines during the Civil War, they had been disbanded at its conclusion. Since their (re)establishment in 1798, they have proven themselves a vital part of the United States Armed Forces, serving with distinction and honor. Check out their history page at the Marines’ website.

A stylized image of the cross section of a human brain made of circuitry

July 13 – Would you be surprised to learn that the much-lauded conversations of artificial intelligence in recent times got their start back in 1956? On this day of that year was held the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. It is widely held to be the starting point of artificial intelligence as a branch of research. Read about it at the IEEE Spectrum website.

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