Herman Melville was born 200 years ago today (1st August 1819). He was an American writer.
His novel Moby-Dick (1851) is the story of Captain Ahab’s obsessive quest for revenge on Moby Dick, a gigantic white whale that bit off his leg. The novel begins:
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
In The Periodic Table, Primo Levi — scientist, poet, writer — makes chemistry a metaphor for his life. But it becomes more than that. Chemistry shapes his life, defines his life, in Auschwitz even saves his life. It becomes his living. In the end, chemistry becomes everything: life itself.
The Renaissancepolymath Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago today, on May 2nd, 1519. He was a painter, sculptor, draughtsman, architect, designer, engineer, inventor, writer, astronomer, musician, mathematician, cartographer, geologist, anatomist, botanist and scientist.
You can read about him at Grove Art Online. The article includes some images and links to many more.