Category Archives: New 1951 Club member!

Evonne Goolagong Cawley … a real champion

Evonne Goolagong Cawley … a real champion

Evonne Goolagong holds up the 1971 Wimbledon Singles Championship trophy after beating Margaret Court 6-4, 6-1.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley, AC, MBE (born 31 July 1951) is an Australian former World No. 1 tennis player. She was one of the world’s leading players in the 1970s and early 1980s, during which she won 14 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles (four at the Australian Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the French Open), six in women’s doubles, and one in mixed doubles.

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Yvonne Elliman

Yvonne Elliman

Yvonne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who performed for four years in the first cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. She scored a number of hits in the 1970s and achieved a US #1 hit with “If I Can’t Have You“. After a long hiatus in the 1980s and 1990s, during which time she dedicated herself to her family, she made a comeback album as a singer-songwriter in 2004.

http://www.yvonneelliman.com

Rosemary Shrager …

Rosemary Shrager

Rosemary Shrager (born 21 January 1951) is a British chef, presenter and author, best known for being an haute cuisine teacher on the reality television programme Ladette to Lady, and as a judge on Soapstar Superchef. She also made an appearance on the reality TV series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

Susan Eisenhower …

Susan Eisenhower 

Susan Eisenhower (born December 31, 1951) is a consultant, author, and expert on international security, space policy, energy, and relations between the Russian Federation and the United States of America. She is the daughter of John Eisenhower, and the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The whole flipping universe in 1951 …

The whole flipping universe in 1951 

A brand new window opened up on the universe in 1951. And it was all thanks to the Hydrogen 21- centimetre line.

Yes folks – you heard it here first. Well, strictly speaking you didn’t. But I think you know what I mean.

You are probably wondering what  the Hydrogen 21-centimetre line actually is. There is really no easy way to explain it but I’ll have a go. You may prefer to walk away now. I wouldn’t blame you. Go and order a curry perhaps. Descale the kettle maybe. Clean out the fluff filter on your tumble drier. Walk the dog. That sort of thing.

Still here. Well done you!

All matter emits radiation in the form of waves. This radiation or energy is transmitted on different frequencies or wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. (see diagram below) A small part of this spectrum is made up of visible light which we can detect with our eyes. But most radiation is invisible and requires other means to tune into it. This includes radio waves, microwaves and infrared. Some waves are just a few billionths of a metre in length – X-rays for example. At the other end of the scale are long-waves which can exceed 1000 metres.

All the elements emit radiation and the most common of these is Atomic hydrogen. It makes up about 75% of the observable matter in the Universe.

A hydrogen atom is made up of a proton with an electron spinning round it. It will radiate a small amount of energy when the electron ‘flips’. Atomic hydrogen atoms only do this once every 10 million years. But there are just so many of them out there that it seems they’re flipping at it all the time.

During the 1930s, it was noticed that there was a radio ‘hiss’ that varied on a daily cycle and appeared to be extraterrestrial in origin. After initial suggestions that this was due to the Sun, it was observed that the radio waves seemed to propagate from the centre of the Galaxy. These discoveries were published in 1940 and were noted by Jan Oort who knew that significant advances could be made in astronomy if there were emission lines in the radio part of the spectrum. He referred this to Hendrik van de Hulst who, in 1944, predicted that neutral hydrogen could produce radiation at a frequency of 1420.4058 MHz or on a 21cm wavelength which is in the microwave region of the spectrum due to two closely spaced energy levels in the ground state of the hydrogen atom. At the time there was no device capable of detecting this happening.

Receiver and mixer of the Hydrogen 21-cm line in 1951

The 21 cm line (1420.4 MHz) was first detected in 1951 by Ewen and Purcell at Harvard University, and published after their data was corroborated by Dutch astronomers Muller and Oort, and by Christiansen and Hindman in Australia. After 1952 the first maps of the neutral hydrogen in the Galaxy were made, and revealed for the first time the spiral structure of the Milky Way and put Radio Astronomy on the map.

The horn antenna first used to detect radiation from the 21 cm hydrogen line in 1951

Ewen and Purcell built their detecting equipment, which consisted of a horn antenna and a mixer and receiver, in their spare time with a grant of $500. The whole project, from receipt of the $500 to detection of the line, took one year. Since the work was done on the weekends, the total time spent working on the project was (2/7)x12 = 3.4 months. 

Interestingly, the Large Hadron Collider took 10 years to build with the combined efforts of 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries at a cost of 4.5 billion dollars.

So congratulations if you are reading this final bit. You made it through. I applaud you. The Hydrogen 21 cm line applauds you. The entire flipping universe applauds you. Drinks all round then.

References:

Long Gone John …

Long Gone John …

John Edward Mermis was born on November 13, 1951. He is best known by the pseudonym Long Gone John. He is an American entrepreneur best known for his record label, Sympathy for the Record Industry, and his vinyl toy company, Necessaries Toy Foundation.

He founded his record label in 1988. Sympathy has a catalogue of more than 750 releases, and is based out of Olympia, Washington. The label’s name is a play on The Rolling Stones’ song “Sympathy for the Devil”.

Notable artists who started on Sympathy and went on to gain mainstream success include The White Stripes and Hole. Sympathy Records continues to be one of the more successful indie labels in the US.

Along the way, John has compulsively amassed a vast collection of art and pop ephemera so in 2003 he founded a new company, Necessaries Toy Foundation. It allowed John to focus on manufacturing a line of toys and publishing art-related books.

A documentary film The Treasures of Long Gone John was released in 2006. The film chronicles John’s eccentric art and musical obsessions. It also explores the work of some of the artists he collects and collaborates with. It features a wall-to-wall soundtrack of over 40 Sympathy artists, original animation and time-lapse photography. This is the trailer.

Fyodor Konyukhov … an extraordinary adventure

Fyodor Konyukhov … an extraordinary adventure

Fedor Filippovich Konyukhov was born on December 12, 1951. He is a Ukrainian survivalist, traveller, mountaineer, yacht captain and balloon pilot. In December 2010, he was ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

As a young man Konyukhov attended a nautical school in Odessa and another in Leningrad earning a specialty in polar navigation. Subsequently, he worked as a professional navigator and marine engineer. He served 3 years in the Soviet Navy. He was stationed in a Kaliningrad guardhouse with the Baltic Fleet when he volunteered for a 2 year tour of duty as a Soviet Marine sailing across the South China Sea as special forces delivering munitions to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

As a result of his service in the Soviet Armed Forces, he came to hate the terrible realities of war and completed a vocational arts school in Bobruisk which enabled him to become a successful painter and sculptor. He is a winner of the Gold Medal of the Russian Arts Academy, an Honorary Academician of the Russian Arts Academy and the creator of more than 3,000 paintings. He has participated in a number of Russian and international exhibitions.

In December 2010, he was ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Most of us would call this a pretty eventful life.

However …

In May 2008, Konyukhov completed a solo circumnavigation of Antarctica in a sailboat, becoming the first person to do so.

In 2013 he became the first priest of the Russian Orthodox Church to successfully climb Mt. Everest. He took the icon of St. Nicholas to the Summit with him.

From December 22, 2013 to May 31, 2014 he rowed across the Pacific Ocean starting in the Chilean port of Concon and finishing in Australian town of Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast) without entering ports and without any external help or assistance. He covered the distance of more than 17,408 km (9400 nautical miles) on the Turgoyak (K9) rowboat in just 162 days.

On 23 July 2016, Konyukhov became the second person to circumnavigate the world in a hybrid hot-air helium balloon. American Steve Fossett is the only other person to have completed the feat, having done so in 2002 on his sixth attempt. Konyukhov took “just over 11 days”, as opposed to Fossett’s 13 days.

In February 2017 he and fellow professional balloonist, Ivan Menyailo beat the absolute hot air balloon non-stop flight world record of over 50 hours.

He is the only person to have reached such extreme points of the planet as the North Pole (three times), the South Pole, the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Arctic Ocean and the top of Mount Everest (twice) and also sailed around the world via Cape Horn 4 times.

He is the first Russian mountaineer to complete the 7 Summits challenge for which a person must climb the highest mountains of each of the seven major continents.

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