The First Electronic Church of America

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

May 8, 1997

       Saint Of The Day:

     Antoine Laurent Lavoisier

t the age of 49, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was guillotined on this day in 1794 by red hot French revolutionaries, who believed he should die because he had served for a year as a commissioner of his nation's treasury. In fact, Lavoisier was the founder of modern chemistry. Few Frenchmen have contributed as much as Lavoisier to the advancement of knowledge. He first destroyed the ancient phlogiston theory (that fire is caused by this imaginary element "phlogiston," which not only causes burning, but is also given off by anything that burns), demonstrating by his quantitative experiments that burning is a process that involves the combination of a substance with a portion of the atmosphere, which he later named oxygen. He also demonstrated the role of oxygen in animal and plant respiration. Lavoisier's experiments were among the first truly quantitative chemical experiments ever performed. He showed that although matter changes its state in a chemical reaction, the quantity of matter is the same at the end as at the beginning of every chemical reaction, giving experimental evidence of the law of the conservation of matter. Lavoisier investigated the composition of water, and he named the components of water oxygen and hydrogen. In 1787, with the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet and others, Lavoisier devised a system of chemical nomenclature that serves as the basis of the modern system. He clarified the concept of an element as a simple substance that could not be broken down by any known method of chemical analysis and devised a theory of the formation of chemical compounds from elements. In spite of all this, when Lavoisier's friends appealed to the Revolutionary Tribunal for clemency on the eve of his execution, a jackass on the Tribunal said, "We need no more scientists in France."
MODEL: Try not to lose your head over it, but you can model yourself on M. Lavoisier, no matter what your profession, by volunteering for some kind of service to your community. You could serve on a board, for instance -- the board of your condo association, or of your neighborhood school, or your church. We ought to consider ourselves as "men and women for others." The purely selfish life is not worth living.

Your Birthday Today:

May 8
Day of the Spokesperson Taurus

Cautious, Persuasive, Caring

Solemn, Judgmental, Despotic

Motor mouth. If you were born on May 8, you are outspoken, brash and opinionated in verbal and sometimes written form. You are a defender of established and forgotten values, but will take action with modern technology if needed. Ruled by the number 8 and the planet Saturn, you are cautious, building your life slowly.

Environment. You have especially strong roots in your surroundings. Issues about the environment or your specific living conditions are very important to you. But this doesn't mean you are tied to one place. Many May 8 people travel around the globe checking out new surroundings.

For the group. Your outspoken nature may lead you to become a spokesperson for a larger group. Unfortunately, diplomacy is something you need to work on. Your abrasive, blunt comments may cause antagonism at times, though this is unintentional. You simply take your opinions very seriously and don't hesitate to express them. Your confident, calm, thorough manner makes you very persuasive.

Friends and enemies. When it comes to a fight, you don't cry uncle easily. You'll stand firm, finding creative strategic ways to punch back even when the odds are against you. (Not a good enemy to have, ay?) As a friend, family member or lover, you are very faithful and dependable.

Some advice: Don't be so damn serious all the time. Lighten up, goof off. Laugh at unbelievable situations and your own silly mistakes. Watch your sarcasm and don't always mete out judgment on others.

Also born on this day: Jane Roberts (writer) Sonny Liston (boxing champ) Peter Benchley (novelist) Norman Lamont (British chancellor) Harry S. Truman (US president) Gary Snyder (poet, ecologist, writer) Oscar Hammerstein (inventor, opera impresario) Philip Bailey (R&B vocalist) Ricky Nelson (singer, TV actor) Mary Lou Williams (jazz pianist, composer) Candice Bergan (actress, activist) Roberto Rossellini (director, producer)