Wednesday, August 13, 2014


“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”
-attributed to Ben Franklin

Our friends at goodreads labeled the above as a "quote" from Ben Franklin.  I've got my doubts.  While it sounds like something Ben would say, I'm not sure "bacteria" was a word during his lifetime.  This comes from the Wiki on bacteria:

Bacteria were first observed by the Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1676, using a single-lens microscope of his own design.[181] He then published his observations in a series of letters to the Royal Society of London.[182][183][184]Bacteria were Leeuwenhoek's most remarkable microscopic discovery. They were just at the limit of what his simple lenses could make out and, in one of the most striking hiatuses in the history of science, no one else would see them again for over a century.[185] Only then were his by-then-largely-forgotten observations of bacteria — as opposed to his famous "animalcules" (spermatozoa) — taken seriously.
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg introduced the word "bacterium" in 1828.[186] In fact, his Bacterium was a genus that contained non-spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria,[187] as opposed to Bacillus, a genus of spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria defined by Ehrenberg in 1835.[188]

This comes from the Wiki on Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723):
Raised in DelftNetherlands, Leeuwenhoek worked as a draper in his youth, and founded his own shop in 1654. He made a name for himself in municipal politics, and eventually developed an interest in lensmaking. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, and which are now referred to as microorganisms. He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteriaspermatozoa, and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels). Leeuwenhoek did not author any books; his discoveries came to light through correspondence with the Royal Society, which published his letters.

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