Ada Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron, was known as the first computer programmer. From a young age, she showed an incredible talent for math and science. She was especially interested in flight. When she was 12, Lovelace designed a flying machine. She was very educated, learning from some of the greatest minds of her time, which was extremely uncommon for women in the early 1800s. But she went on to become one of the pioneers in computer science, Lovelace imagined a world where a modern computer could have multipurpose uses. Because of her work we have the fundamentals of computer programming.
Ada Lovelace was born on December 10, 1815. She was the only legitimate child of Lord George Gordon Byron and his wife Lady Annabella Byron. Lord Byron was known for his romantic poetry while Lady Byron had a penchant for mathematics and was even known as the "Princess of Parallelograms." When she was just a few weeks old her parents separated because of Lord Byron's many affairs. Soon after he moved to Greece and never returned to Britain because of rumours of a scandalous affair with his half-sister.
Despite her successes in computer programming, Lovelace had a difficult childhood. Though she grew up in a rich family, she was always sick as a child. After a terrible bout of measles, she was bed-ridden. Her father's reputation often made her the center of rumours. Her overbearing mother was obsessed with making sure she didn't turn out like her father. She was raised to be a proper lady of her status and encouraged to follow science and math rather than the arts like her father.
At a young age, Ada Lovelace showed great aptitude for math and science. She was taught by some of the greatest minds of her time even though her level of education was unheard of for a woman during the early 1800s. At age 12, she was particularly interested in flight, methodically studying the autonomy of birds and researching the best materials for flying. Lovelace was very close to her tutor, Mary Somerville who eventually introduced her to Charles Babbage.
Later on, Babbage would ask her to translate an analysis of the Analytical Engine (a machine that would solve polynomial equations without human error). When she did this Lovelace included her own notes and even added a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers, which is now considered to be one of the first computer programs. She published her notes under the name "A.A.L." and wanted to go further in math and science.
Unfortunately, her health which had been bad since she was a child, had grown dire. She died on November 27, 1852, at the age of 36. Lovelace's work became largely forgotten but she was rediscovered in 1953 in B. V. Bowden, Baron Bowden's Faster Than Thought. The US Department of Defence named the Ada programming language after her. Over 200 after her death, Lovelace's legacy still lives today.
Learn to Love - A Johnlock/Beauty & the Beast Crossover
(Very rough first draft of the first chapter)
Once upon a time, in a far away land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter’s night, and old beggar came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by their haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the supplicant away. But, they warned him not to be deceived by appearances for beauty was found within.
When he dismissed them again, the beggar’s ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful magician. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late for they had seen there was no love in his heart. And as punishment, they transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there.
Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The rose they had offered was truly an enchanted rose which would bloom until his twenty-first year. If he could learn to love another and earn their love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken.
If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope.
For who could ever learn to love a Beast?
Smiling brightly to the baker as he walked past, John offered a little wave.
“Where are you off to so early, young Master Watson?” The balding, portly man called in French over his shoulder while gingerly pulling a tray full of rolls out of a large clay, outdoor oven.
“The bookshop.” John replied. “I’m returning this book I borrowed, about a beanstalk and an ogre and-”
“That’s nice.” The baker interrupted, not hearing John much at all. It had been a politely rhetorical question. The baker turning to face the slightly ajar door into the Shoppe de Pain proper. “Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!”
With a private smile, the young blond continued down the cobblestones to his destination. He didn’t seem to mind being brushed off. No one here in the small village of Fourcés, France seemed to understand his penchant for reading and dreaming of being – well, anywhere but here. Sure, the village was beautiful and peaceful. Everyone was friendly to a certain point. But it wasn’t home.
John had grown up in London, busy and bustling and full of people. When he was small, his parents fell ill and never recovered. The orphanage wouldn’t take them, fearing they were carrying plague. And so, John and his older sister Harriet had been shipped over the channel to a distant second-cousin in France who owned a small vineyard in the countryside. ‘Aunt Frances’, as they called her, had little interest in anything but herself and wine-making, so the children were more or less left to fend for themselves and make their own mischief until Harriet was old enough to marry.
Harriet (or Harry, as John liked to tease her) took her adolescent brother with her to Fourcés - much to the chagrin of her new husband, Edouard. Eager to not be a burden, John made himself as useful as possible, but even he could not prevent war. Harry’s husband enlisted and marched to Italy in the first year of their marriage. John had been eager to go along but was considered too young at only 15 years old. Edouard bade he stay and take care of Harriet in his absence, regardless.
The war lasted four long years. In addition to John working odd jobs around town, Harry made friends with the other local wives who were without their husbands and pieced together quite a robust support network set up between them. They were able to scrape by until it was time for the soldiers to return, which thankfully a good amount did. Harry and John waited almost another year beyond that, watching their support slowly disappear, before they gave up hope that Edouard would ever return. Another war had begun, but Harry forbade her brother from leaving her behind with no means what-so-ever.
Now, the Watsons made the best of their poor, provincial existence. Harry was now considered the eccentric widow who wasn’t keen on re-marrying. Instead, she spent a considerable time at the tavern and was slipping into barely concealed alcoholism more every week. John had grown in a strong, thoughtful young man with his eyes always on the horizon.
He didn’t feel he belonged in this type of life, this type of town. Though some of the local girls had tried to flirt, he didn’t put too serious stock into it. Settling here in Fourcés had very little appeal for him. He did what he could to keep them two fed and clothed, to allow Harry her bad habits. They had a small garden and some chickens, enough to sell a little of the extra. It wasn’t much, but they had found a kind of peace in it. Though, at the rate Harry was going, it may not last much longer. He tried hard not to resent her for trapping him here, but some days his anger got the better of him.
Reading helped with John’s wanderlust some. The bookstore in town rarely got new books in, so John tried to strategically re-read them far enough apart to not be too repetitive. The owner was kind enough to let John borrow some books without having to buy them, since he couldn’t afford them anyway. While he was reading, the youngest Watson could imagine he was far from rural France doing daring deeds, fighting in dramatic duels, or getting swept up a life-changing romance. He had a deep yearning for such adventure, enough that he could write his own stories someday.
Beauty facts from the Victorian Era:
Upper class women were instructed to stay out of the sun to encourage a glowing white complexion.
They often took steamed baths to encourage a slight flush.
Flowers were soaked in water to make a face wash.
Some women would wear a lavender color face powder- or trace their veins with blue pencil in order to appear more pale and delicate.
To get the perfect lip color, fruits or flowers were smudged on the lips.
They would often pinch their cheeks to make it look like they were wearing blush.
Dark eyes were also important to women of this time. They often would drop lemon juice or orange juice into their eyes to make them appear darker.
Face powder was made from a slightly scented starch.
Born with fine hair was considered a birth defect- darkening eye brows and eye lashes were important to Victorian women to be considered attractive.
Eyelashes would often be trimmed, as they believed they would grow back fuller/ thicker.
Excessive makeup was out of the question, as they believed it would make you look like a prostitute. The no-makeup, makeup look was a must.
The length of a women's hair was distinguished to a women's health.
Women would buy Dr. Campbell’s ‘Safe Arsenic Complexion Wafers’ which would be nibbled on to give women the pale look.
Sunday is Mother's Day! I don't know about you but being a mother myself, I think we all deserve more than just ONE day! ;)
Did you know we didn't even have a Mother's Day until 1914? Thanks to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, the day we celebrate as "Mother's Day" was created.
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis was a social activist herself who rallied mothers to collaborate during the U.S. Civil War. Read about her accomplishments and why her daughter rallied for Mother's Day on AncientFaces