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3 février 2009 2 03 /02 /février /2009 00:00
Victoria of the United Kingdom, better known as Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) was Queen of the  United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was married to Albert, Prince Consort.

Victoria on the morning of her Accession to the Throne, June 20, 1837 Portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1842

The Victorian era represented the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom. 

Manchester, England, pictured in 1840, showing the mass of factory chimneys Watt steam engine, the steam engine fuelled primarily by coal that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world.

The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, production, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human society ; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.

In the later part of the 1700s there occurred a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual-labour-based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. The introduction of steam power fuelled primarily by coal, wider utilization of water-wheels and powered machinery (mainly in textile manufacturing) underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity. The development of all-metal machine-tools in the first two decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries. 

Sources : Wikipedia 
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2 février 2009 1 02 /02 /février /2009 00:00
- Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, helped to create a most famous event : name it.

- Give some examples of the productions made for the first exhibition in London. 
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27 janvier 2009 2 27 /01 /janvier /2009 00:00
L'Autobiographie, extraits.


Towards the close of my school life, my brother worked hard at chemistry and made a fair laboratory with proper apparatus in the tool-house in the garden, and I was allowed to aid him as a servant in most of his experiments. He made all the gases and many compounds, and I read with care several books on chemistry, such as Henry and Parkes' Chemical Catechism. The subject interested me greatly, and we often used to go on working till rather late at night. This was the best part of my education at school, for it showed me practically the meaning of experimental science. The fact that we worked at chemistry somehow got known at school, and as it was an unprecedented fact, I was nick-named "Gas." I was also once publicly rebuked by the head-master, Dr. Butler, for thus wasting my time over such useless subjects ; and he called me very unjustly a "poco curante"1 , and as I did not understand what he meant it seemed to me a fearful reproach.

1. Un "poco curente" (un personnage blasé du Candide de Voltaire porte ce nom) s'intéresse aux détails et non aux choses importantes. La remarque est devenue célèbre à cause de son sens prémonitoire bien involontaire : c'est en s'intéressant aux petites choses, à des détails infimes, que Darwin en est venu à proposer la grandiose synthèse qui l'a rendu célèbre.

Charles Darwin at age 7, 1816 Charles Darwin in 1830


I have not as yet mentioned a circumstance which influenced my whole career more than any other. This was my friendship with Prof. Henslow. Before coming up to Cambridge, I had heard of him from my brother as a man who knew every branch of science, and I was accordingly prepared to reverence him. He kept open house once every week, where all undergraduates and several older members of the University, who were attached to science, used to meet in the evening. I soon got, through Fox, an invitation, and went there regularly. Before long I became well acquainted with Henslow, and during the latter half of my time at Cambridge took long walks with him on most days; so that I was called by some of the dons "the man who walks with Henslow".

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26 janvier 2009 1 26 /01 /janvier /2009 00:00

 - Give the names of the two monarchs who ruled over England during Darwin’s lifetime.

 - What famous expression do we normally use to refer to the exceptional advances made in the world of sciences and technics at that time? Give a few examples of technical advances. 

Your answer in english !!  
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25 janvier 2009 7 25 /01 /janvier /2009 10:47

Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus, who died before Darwin was born, was a doctor who dabbled in mechanics, natural history and poetry.
In the 1790s he published Zoonomia or The Laws of Organic Life, which offered one of the earliest musings on evolution. The term Darwinism, was first used in reference to Erasmus in the 1700s.

Despite his great intellectual legacy, Darwin was considered a very ordinary student.
He was taken out of school by his
doctor father at the early age of 16 to study
medicine in Edinburgh. But he grew disenchanted, developed a morbid fear of human blood and quit after 2 years.
He was encouraged to become a
clergyman instead and took up studies in divinity, classics, and mathematics at Christ's College Cambridge. 

Source : site Descent of man

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22 janvier 2009 4 22 /01 /janvier /2009 15:36
Un père médecin, Robert, et un grand-père naturaliste, Erasmus, ont certainement donné au petit Charles un esprit scientifique !

Erasmus Darwin Robert Darwin

Charles Darwin est en effet le cinquième d’une fratrie de six enfants d’un médecin et financier prospère, Robert Darwin (1766-1848) et de Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood) (1765-1817). Il est le petit fils d'Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), poète et autodidacte scientifique, auteur de Zoonomia, un ouvrage qui influença particulièrement son petit-fils, où il développe, avant Lamarck, des idées transformistes axées sur l’hérédité des caractères acquis.
Une grande ouverture d’esprit règne dans la branche paternelle de la famille de Charles Darwin. Ouverture d’esprit que l’on retrouve dans la famille Wedgwood dont vient sa mère.

Enfant, il collectionne les minéraux, les coquillages, les cachets de poste... et ne montre pas de grand intérêt pour les études. En 1818 il quitte l'externat de Shrewsbury pour la grande école du Dr Butler ou il va rester sept années. Il semble, de son propre aveu, plus intéressé par la chasse aux oiseaux et ses collections d'insectes que par l'enseignement proposé. 

Son père voulant faire de lui un médecin, Charles commence donc (en 1825) des études de médecine à l'université d'Edimbourg. Il fût membre de la Royal Medical Society. Les cours l'ennuient et, au bout de deux ans, il arrête ses études. En 
1827, il change de voie et commence à étudier la théologie à Cambridge (toujours sur les conseils de son père) pour devenir pasteur. Peu intéressé par les cours, il continue de chasser et se passionne pour sa collection de coléoptères. Il suit avec intérêt les conférences sur la botanique de John Stevens Henslow avec qui il se lie d'amitié. Leurs discussions sont nombreuses sur différents sujets. Henslow le persuade d'étudier la géologie.

Sources : sites Hominidés, INRP et Wikipedia
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20 janvier 2009 2 20 /01 /janvier /2009 21:17
Darwin was born on 12 February 1809. He was an English naturalist.

This year, we are celebrating two special events related to Darwin :
- the bicentenary of Darwin's birth
- one hundred and fifty years ago, in 1859, Darwin published his main book : On the Origin of Species.

Charles Darwin, 1880 1859 edition of Darwin's Origin of Species

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19 janvier 2009 1 19 /01 /janvier /2009 00:00
Trois surnoms avant d'avoir un nom ...
Petit puis jeune Darwin deviendra grand observateur.

Donner ces trois surnoms. 
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12 janvier 2009 1 12 /01 /janvier /2009 00:00
Among the members of Darwin's family, who gave him a taste for science ? What other possibilities had he envisaged before choosing to be a naturalist ?

Your answer in english !! 
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5 janvier 2009 1 05 /01 /janvier /2009 00:00
When was Darwin born ? What nationality was he ? What special events related to Darwin are we celebrating this year ?

Your answer in english !! 
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