Geek Fact for December 29th

In 1800, Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1843, Charles Goodyear discovered that if you removed the sulphur from rubber then heated it, it would retain its elasticity. This process called vulcanization made rubber waterproof and winter-proof and opened the door for an enormous market for rubber goods.

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In 1856, Thomas J. Stieltjes was born in Zwolle, Overijissel, The Netherlands.  He is known as “the father of the analytic theory of continued fractions.”

Stieltjes worked on almost all branches of analysis, continued fractions and number theory.  He is best remembered for the Stieltjes integral which he introduced in Recherches sur les fractions continues while solving the moment problem, that is, given the moments of all orders of a body, find the distribution of its mass.

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In 1891,  Thomas Edison was granted four patents.

Patent 456970           Armature connection for motors or generators
Patent 456971            Means for transmitting signals electrically
Patent 456972            Phonograph
Patent 456973            Armature for dynamos or motors

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In 1931, the identification of heavy water was publicly announced by Harold C. Urey.

Heavy water is the common term for water which includes the deuterium isotope of hydrogen, 2H2O or D2O. Heavy water can refer to a quantity of water which contains any amount of deuterium, but often refers to water which has been enriched to contain at or near 100%.

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Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at