Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamen III

Lead: Howard Carter believed it was there and would not give up.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The rule of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen was a short one. He lived about 1350 years before Christ and died at seventeen, his rule brief, obscure and dominated by powerful advisors. He was buried and over the years the location was forgotten. Ironically, this anonymity probably saved his tomb from plundering by graverobbers. Wealthy Egyptians would fill their graves with rich articles supposedly for use in the afterlife. Thieves and even some of the priests who buried them would take note of the tomb's location, wait a day or so, break in and clean it out.

 

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Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamen II

Lead: In 1922 the discovery of the hidden tomb of a teenager electrified the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Ancient Egyptians marked their history by the dynasties of their Pharaohs. Modern historians for simplicity have divided this saga into Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms interspersed with occasional periods of political and social chaos. The great pyramids at Giza were built in the Old Kingdom, political consolidation came during the Middle and Egypt reached out to establish an Empire in the New Kingdom south into Africa and north to Palestine and Syria. During this last period, perhaps because of the exposure to other cultures afforded by military expansion, one of the Pharaohs, Akhenaton who ruled Egypt about 1350 years before Christ developed a new religion. He and his wife Nefertiti rejected the multiple Egyptian gods and enshrined a new belief based on a single deity, the sun-god, Aton. To make a clear break with the past Akhenaton moved the government to a newly constructed capital north along the Nile from the ancient city of Thebes and called it El-Amarna.

 

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Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamen I

Lead: Howard Carter put his head through the small opening. What he saw changed his life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Howard Carter was born in Norfolk, England in the high Victorian era of British Colonial Confidence. The British Navy still ruled the oceans of the world, and despite occasional setbacks such as the Sepoy Mutiny in India and the Boer War, until the dawn of the twentieth century the British Empire stretched proud and virtually unchallenged to the far corners of the globe.

 

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Folies Bergere

Lead: The medical research scientist who described the anti-bacterial effect of penicillin was not really sure what he had found.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sir Alexander Fleming was born of a hard-working farm family in southwestern Scotland in 1881. He received his medical education at the University of London, began his practice at St. Mary's Hospital near Paddington Station in London's West End and remained there throughout his professional life. The research facilities at St. Mary's were considered to be among the most advanced in Britain at the time primarily due to the reputation of Sir Almroth Wright and his brilliant students who were advancing the understanding of the human immune system and the effect of vaccinations. Fleming joined Wright's team in 1906. 

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Constable Alexander’s Fight for Life

Lead: With death clearly at hand, the physicians attending Albert Alexander tried something different.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Albert Alexander was at forty-three a healthy physical specimen, a constable in the police force of the County of Oxford, England. In December, 1940 he was accidentally scratched on his cheek by a rose thorn. The scratch became infected. By Christmas he was fighting for his life in the Radcliffe Infirmary. The villains in his struggle were two fairly common forms of bacteria: Staphylococcus and Streptococcus and they were winning.

 

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Science Matters: Fritz Haber and the Nitrogen Cycle- II

Lead: In the early 20th century German chemist Fritz Haber developed the process leading to the creation of synthetic nitrogen. His brilliant innovation, however, is very much a double-edged sword.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After his initial breakthrough for which he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1918, Haber was made the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin. With the outbreak of World War I, he led in the development of poison gas. His motives appear to be mixed, partly emerging out of intense German patriotism, but also in hopes that the use of gas would hasten the end of the bloodletting. He returned home greatly disappointed in the war’s result, but lso conflicted over his own role in the use of chemical weapons. Haber’s wife committed suicide shortly thereafter, it is said partly in revulsion over her husband’s complicity in the wartime carnage. After the Nazi takeover in 1933, as an ethnic Jew, he saw that even his long-time loyal service to Germany would not protect him against the coming barbarity and accepted a post in Cambridge, England. He died in obscurity in 1934.

 

Science Matters: Fritz Haber and the Nitrogen Cycle- I

Lead: By 1900 world population was beginning to outstrip agricultural capacity. Farmers could not grow enough to feed the people. Then Fritz Haber solved the nitrogen problem.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The three main nutrients required for successfully growing plants are potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Good top soil contains them in sufficient amounts to grow crops, but after long use, soil becomes depleted of these ingredients and must be renewed. Potassium and phosphorus are economically available in sufficient quantities to be put back easily, but nitrogen is not. Nitrogen is in the air. It is a gas that is a large part of the atmosphere. Getting it into the soil for plant synthesis is very difficult. Traditional farmers added plant clippings and animal waste, rotated crops or planted legumes such as beans or lintels, so-called green manure, to restore the soil and increase yields. Traditional agriculture could not keep up with an exploding world’s population. Farmers were losing the battle.