DAILY BRIEFINGThe Moron's Daily Briefing
Nov. 7 - Maria Sklodowski was born in Warsaw, Poland, on this very date in 1867. Poland was controlled by Russia at the time, so Maria was referred to as Manya, causing her mother to die. This left Manya and her four older siblings in care of their father, who was caught teaching Polish and therefore prohibited from earning money.
To help support her father, Manya began tutoring a family in the country outside Warsaw. Her sister Bronya moved to Paris to study medicine and become a famous doctor, so Manya sent her money, too. This allowed Bronya to marry another medical student and begin practicing medicine in Paris.
Bronya and her husband invited Manya to live with them in Paris and study at the Sorbonne, where she could call herself Marie. This appealed to the young woman, who quickly earned master's degrees in physics and mathematics. She enjoyed Paris so much she couldn't bear to return to Poland, and to understand her attraction to Paris she began a study of magnetism.
To conduct her magnetism research she needed a larger lab, however, so she married a Frenchman named Pierre and used his.
One of Pierre's friends had been experimenting with uranium, which piqued Marie's curiosity. She began experimenting with it herself, and ultimately discovered something she called "radio-activity." This eventually led to her discovery of radium, for which she received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911.
Marie Curie's research would eventually culminate in the development of the atomic bomb, but unfortunately she died before having the opportunity to see the full flowering of her hard work.
Marie Curie shares her birthday with Jason and Jeremy London (1972), Dana Plato (1964), Keith Lockhart (1959), Joni Mitchell (1943), Joan Sutherland (1926), Al Hirt (1922), Billy Graham (1918), and Dean Jagger (1903).
Today is Revolution Day in Bulgaria, the Queen's Birthday in Nepal, October Revolution Day in Russia, and Ben Ali Takeover Anniversary in Tunisia.
© 2002, The Moron's Almanac