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Ada Lovelace Day Posts

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Very cool! It’s getting toward the end of Ada Lovelace Day (which is at least 48 hours long, counting date lines and all that weirdness that only a female techie can understand), and there are so far over 800 posts listed here. I keep hoping to see them on the map, but so far the Yahoo Pipes dealie ain’t working.

Ada Lovelace herself is the most popular subject (33 posts so far), with Marie Curie, Heddy Lamar and Esther Dyson ranking in the high single digits. Meaning, then, that there about a zillion one offs – a fabulous single day enriching of the presence of women in tech and science on the Web!

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Written by Brian

March 24th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Posted in ALD09post

Maria the Prophetess – My Ada Lovelace Day Women in Technology Pledge Post


alembicMary the Jewess or Maria Prophetissima or Miriam the Prophetess or – well, we don’t really know what her name was or when, exactly she lived, and so we call her any number of names, each according to her preference and ideology.

Mary was a chemist, avant le lettre, that is, she was an alchemist. She probably lived in the first century A.D. and probably in Alexandria, but may have thrived as early as the third century B.C. According to Wikipedia’s skimpy entry,

The most concrete mention of her name in the context of alchemy is by Zosimos of Panopolis, who wrote in the 4th century the oldest alchemy books known. The legendary Greek writer Ostanes mentions her as “the daughter of the king of Saba.” In the Alexander book (2d part) of the Persian poet Nezami, Maria, a Syrian princess, visits the court of Alexander the Great, and learns from Aristotle, among other things, the art of making gold. Whatever the epoch of Maria may have been, few doubt her existence.

Mary’s name is preserved in one of the names of the double boiler, well known to every cook: the bain-marie is used when a constant temperature is needed to heat a substance or when something needs to be heated gently. Hollandaise sauce, for instance, is just not possible without Mary’s invention. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

March 23rd, 2009 at 10:02 pm