Important Events of October – 21
Alfred Bernhard Nobel Birth Anniversary
- Alfred Bernhard Nobel was Born on 21st October 1833.
- He was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist.
- Known for inventing dynamite, Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments.
- Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous.
- After reading a premature obituary which condemned him for profiting from the sales of arms, he bequeathed his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.
- The synthetic element nobelium was named after him.
- His name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and AkzoNobel, which are descendants of mergers with companies Nobel himself established.
- Nobel found that when nitroglycerin was incorporated in an absorbent inert substance like kieselguhr (diatomaceous earth) it became safer and more convenient to handle, and this mixture he patented in 1867 as “dynamite”.
- Nobel demonstrated his explosive for the first time that year, at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England.
- In order to help reestablish his name and improve the image of his business from the earlier controversies associated with the dangerous explosives, Nobel had also considered naming the highly powerful substance “Nobel’s Safety Powder”, but settled with Dynamite instead, referring to the Greek word for “power”.
- Nobel later combined nitroglycerin with various nitrocellulose compounds, similar to collodion, but settled on a more efficient recipe combining another nitrate explosive, and obtained a transparent, jelly-like substance, which was a more powerful explosive than dynamite.
- ‘Gelignite’, or blasting gelatin, as it was named, was patented in 1876; and was followed by a host of similar combinations, modified by the addition of potassium nitrate and various other substances.
- Gelignite was more stable, transportable and conveniently formed to fit into bored holes, like those used in drilling and mining, than the previously used compounds and was adopted as the standard technology for mining in the Age of Engineering bringing Nobel a great amount of financial success, though at a significant cost to his health.
- An offshoot of this research resulted in Nobel’s invention of ballistite, the precursor of many modern smokeless powder explosives and still used as a rocket propellant.
World Iodine Deficiency Day
- Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day or World Iodine Deficiency Day is observed every year on 21st October.
- The aim of this day is to generate awareness of the adequate use of iodine and to highlight the consequences of iodine deficiency.
- The iodine deficiency disorders have become a major public health problem worldwide.
- In today’s scenario, one-third of the world population is at the risk of iodine deficiency disorders.
- According to the WHO, around 54 countries are still iodine – deficient. Iodine is a micro nutrient which is required for the human growth and development.
- Importance of Iodine in our body Iodine is required for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and tri iodothyronine (T3) and essential for the normal growth and development and well-being of all humans.
- It is a micro nutrient and normally required around 100-150 micro gram for normal growth and development.