The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

February 13, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

William Shockley

Born on Feb. 13, 1910 and died August 12, 1989, Shockley belongs to our pantheon of saints because, with the invention of the transistor, he made electro-space possible. Before the transistor, computers filled huge, refrigerated rooms -- frosted to keep cool all the thousands of hot vacuum tubes needed to keep them humming along. before the transistor, Arthur C. Clarke's geo-synchronous communication satellite, running on vacuum tubes, was simply an impossible dream. That satellite, filled with millions of vacuum tubes (and dozens of engineers to replace them as they burned out) would have been as big as Manhattan Island. Shockley got his undergraduate degree from CalTech in 1932, and his Ph.D. four years later at MIT. Then he went to work at Bell Labs. A little more than a decade later, he and two colleagues, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, came up with the transistor. It was a piece of gold foil wrapped around a plastic knife, pressed against a block of germanium that had an electrical connection at its base. Their device was primitive, but they had invented a new, immensely more efficient kind of valve to let electricity flow, or not flow, and amplify it. Now a great deal of the world's work could, and would, be done at the speed of light. Now, very large numbers of transistors and their accompanying circuitry can be built on to a small chip cut from a thin wafer of silicon, to form an integrated circuit. In 1986, electronic engineers could put as many as one million transistors on one chip. Today, they have succeeded in upping that number to almost one billion. The amazing thing is that chips are made, mainly, of silicon, the most common element on the earth's crust. Bill Shockley didn't remain at Bell Labs. As he and his colleagues were winning a Nobel Prize for their discovery (they shared the $38,633 prize money), Shockley went west, to set up a semi-conductor lab at Beckman Instruments, and then, his own Shockley Transistor Co. He began lecturing at Stanford in 1958, and went on to do a great deal of original research in electronics and allied fields. He still holds some 90 patents.

MODEL: Shockley's study habits. He was a hard worker. Furthermore, he was not afraid to work in collaboration with others, and to give them credit for their contribution.

Your Birthday Today:

February 13
Day of the Live Wire

Spontaneous, Energetic, Gregarious

Impulsive, Distracted, Volatile

So excited. If you were born on February 13, you are always looking for something exciting to do and enjoy being the center of that excitement. Ruled by the number 4 and the planet Uranus, you can be rebellious and explosive.

Let it all hang out. You're always wanting to share your feelings, good or bad, with others. You can't keep a lid on secrets or your feelings very long. This bluntness and impulsiveness can lead you to trouble, especially in the matters of love. Expecting people to be on your frenzied wavelength, you get frustrated when people don't instantly understand you.

Logic vs. emotion. It's not that you don't have a rational side. You're just disconnected; your logical side and emotional side don't talk. You don't rein in your feelings when logic calls for it, and you often don't add an emotional element to your thinking.

Some restraint. Your uninhibited nature can be fun, healthy and expressive. But less advanced February 13 people can be more violent and destructive. For everyone born on this date, learning to control your excitable nature without repressing it should a life goal.

A LittleAdvice : Understand other people's thought processes, their fears, needs and wishes. Work on your willpower and self-control. Spontaneity is usually positive but can intimidate others and is not always appropriate.

Also born on this day:
Georges Simenon (French mystery writer) Chuck Yeager (US astronaut, test pilot) William Shockley (inventor of transistor) Aung San (Burmese National Movement leader) Kim Novak (actress) George Segal (actor, musician) Peter Gabriel (musician) Tennessee Ernie Ford (country singer, TV personality) Patti Berg (golf champion) Oliver Reed (British film actor) Bess Truman (former First Lady) Grant Wood (painter American Gothic)