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Sat, Sep 20, 2014

LIVING WELL: A tale of two Christians


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This is the story of two men that lived in Denmark during the early-1800s. 

The men had initials of H.C.O. and H.C.A. 

You are likely familiar with one of them, or at least the literary works he produced. 

However, the other lesser known man made contributions to science that have impacted everyone alive today.

During the time that these men lived, the world still relied on manpower and in richer cultures, horsepower to accomplish work. Land transportation was provided by horses, wagons and coaches. Steam engines had been invented, but were not yet common enough to have replaced horse drawn conveyances.

It was a discovery of H.C.O that would lead to an even faster method of locomotion in the very near future.  

In fact, the discovery would ultimately be essential to most of the inventions that you and I rely on today, including telephones, computers, automobiles, electric tools and innumerable other common items.

H.C.O. discovered electrical current produced a magnetic field.

Although theorized by others, this phenomenon had not been demonstrated until his remarkable discovery.  

This electromagnetic field is a core element of almost everything that uses a battery or electrical energy to produce sound, movement or work.

He grew up in Denmark and was home schooled in his youth. He later took exams to qualify to study in Copenhagen. He had a brother that also excelled in academics who eventually became the prime minister of Denmark.

As a result of his academic efforts he was granted a travelling scholarship that led to his meeting Johann Ritter, a physicist in Germany, who had proposed that electricity and magnetism were somehow related.

As a professor at the University of Copenhagen, he demonstrated during a lecture that a compass needle deflected when he passed electrical current through an adjacent wire.

This simple observation would lead to greater discoveries of electromagnetism, a core principle involved with all electric motors.

In later years, H.C.O. drew distinction for reducing aluminum chloride to elemental aluminum. This was the first time aluminum, which was then worth more than gold, was shown to be reducible from this compound.

The younger man, H.C.A., was a singer and poet.

However, although his voice was very much appreciated as a youth, as he passed puberty his adult voice was not so popular. One of his close friends politely suggested he stick to writing from that point forward.

Although he was to become an accomplished and eventually world-famous writer, he was just as well known early in his life for his tendency to fall for unattainable women.

In fact, this was his first connection to H.C.O., as he sought to capture the affection of his daughter. That earnest attempt at love, as had many others, passed unrequited.

However, H.C.O. recognized the writing ability of the youth and took the time to befriend and encourage him.

Although H.C.A. wrote a number of novels that met with some success, his most endearing and enduring writings were directed to children.

His initial series of fairy tales were not immediately recognized for their merit, but as he found eventual success in publishing other stories primarily intended for children his earlier works drew attention as well.

These two Danish men flourished in their own intellectual pursuits that would not seem to be connected, except for the fact that they both grew up in the same country, in the same time and the same locale.

They also shared a love for the same young woman, one as a father and one as a rejected suitor.

They also shared first and middle names, Hans Christian.

These two names were actually fairly common in Denmark.

Christianity is so much a part of the Danish and other Scandinavian culture that their flags all bear a Christian Nordic Cross.  

You may not know the name of Hans Christian Oersted, the man that contributed vital links in the chain of scientific discoveries that have led to the majority of devices that we use today in our daily lives.

But, you most likely will recognize the name of his young friend, Hans Christian Andersen.

You will certainly recognize a few of his many published titles, including "Thumbelina," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Match Girl," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" and "The Princess and the Pea."

 
 
 
Tagged under  Entertainment, Health Care, History, Literature, Living Well, Science, Technology



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