Rosendo Rubi: New York Times obituary and two other references

Rosendo Rubi Obituary, 1942, The New York Times

Rosendo Rubi Obituary, 1942, The New York Times

I’ve emphasized in these articles that very few written documents are known that mention Rosendo Rubi, and most of these are very brief (1-3 sentences) or appear to paraphrase Ruben Dario’s 1908 statements [++]. In fact, until recently I was not aware of any mention of him outside Nicaraguan or Hispanic documents, except for the listing of his name as Second Secretary of Nicaragua’s Commission to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. So it was exciting to find several months ago two previously unknown or unrecognized articles focusing exclusively on him. These are significant findings, even if relatively short. Continue reading

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Python to CUAHSI WaterML & WaterOneFlow web service, Pt. 2

In my previous post, I described how to access a CUAHSI HIS WaterML time series data stream regardless of whether it originates in a direct WaterOneFlow web service GetValues request, or a locally stored WaterML file. I also created a simple plot from this time series. I’ve now taken the code described in that post and made it more modularized for re-use and to demonstrate how CUAHSI HIS data access may be made a bit simpler in Python. In particular, I generalized the ElementTree find and findall functions to deal with namespaces more easily; also, I created a class to store the data and some basic attributes for a WaterML time series.
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Python to CUAHSI WaterML & WaterOneFlow web service, Pt. 1

CUAHSI HIS has developed cyberinfrastructure tools for inland waters that’s looking pretty impressive (at least for the US, when it comes to datasets that have been ingested). As I’m starting to get involved in this, even if peripherally, I wanted to get direct, hands-on experience with the use of their WaterOneFlow (“WOF”) web service and WaterML data encoding format. For me, this means that I want to get comfortable using Python to interact with this data stream.

Here, I’ll present simple examples of accessing WOF SOAP services to access time series from HIS servers. Then, I’ll parse the WaterML data (including metadata), convert the time series to Numpy arrays, and plot them using Matplotlib. Much of this is new to me, so it’s been fun and somewhat headache-inducing at the same time. But I was able to get running quickly thanks to help from Jon Goodall, who provided sample Python code and tips and answered several questions; and David Tarboton, who pointed me to Matlab samples he had already developed CUAHSI HIS training materials. I’ll point out distinctions and similarities to Jon’s code at the end. I specifically wanted to use Python standard libraries as much as possible (so the code can be easily re-used by others); use natural Pythonic constructs rather than array-looping and verbose object-access syntax; and reproduce most of the workflow that David demonstrates in his Matlab tutorial.
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Entries in World’s Fair Bulletin, 1903-1904

Possibly the first time I found new, primary information about Rosendo Rubi was in September, 1998, when I learned about the St. Louis World’s Fair Bulletin[RR8]. This monthly newsletter was published during the period 1899-1905. It narrated events and personalities related to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair (formally known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition). Using an index to articles in the Bulletin that had recently been posted online, I identified articles about the Nicaraguan pavilion and topics relevant to  Rosendo Rubi’s work. At the time, I was a graduate student at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Our library had originals of many Bulletin issues. I made copies of several of these articles. I have transcribed these articles here, including digital scans of relevant photos.

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Luis H. Debayle y Rosendo Rubí, mención en 1896

El Sabio Debayle - Portada de libro de J.E. Arellano

El Sabio Debayle - Portada del libro de J.E. Arellano, publicado en Nicaragua en el año 2000.

El Dr. Rosendo Rubí fue gran amigo y colega de su contemporáneo, el Dr. Luis Henry Debayle (1865-1938), un médico, también leonés, ampliamente reconocido por revolucionar la medicina en Nicaragua trayendo métodos y visiones modernas de sus estudios en Francia, y por su amistad íntima con el poeta Rubén Darío. El intelectual nicaragüense Jorge Eduardo Arellano publicó en el 2000 un libro sobre Debayle, El Sabio Debayle[RR1], que en gran medida rescató la memoria de esta figura pre-eminente en el León de finales del siglo 19 y comiezos del siglo 20. No he leído este libro porque ya no se encuentra en las librerías(++), pero afortunadamente se publicó en el internet en el 2001 una copia del capítulo II, que resume su vida, personalidad, e influencia general. Arellano escribió recientemente un artículo sobre Debayle, en el periódico El Nuevo Diario, de Nicaragua.

No es mi intención en esta ocasión hablar mucho sobre Debayle, sino presentar un poco su relación con Rosendo Rubí  y, sobre todo, presentar una referencia directa de Debayle a Rosendo Rubí que descubrí recientemente, que talvez no habia sido reconocida antes, de un congreso médico en México en 1896. Continue reading

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Rosendo Rubí bibliography

In my blog articles about Rosendo Rubí, I will refer often to the same sources. Rather than having bibliographies repeated or spread out over multiple articles, it makes more sense to list the major sources in one place; I will update this collection over time, as more sources are unearthed or other relevant studies are discussed. The code found before each reference is used in articles for citations. Next to some of the references, I’ve listed relevant links to material on the internet. Continue reading

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Rosendo Rubi, Nicaragua, and the Invention of Voice Radio (Wireless Telephony)

Plaque in honor of Rosendo Rubis radio experiments in 1902, at his house in Leon, Nicaragua

Plaque in honor of Rosendo Rubi's radio experiments in 1902, at his house in León, Nicaragua

I grew up listening to stories from my family, especially my maternal grandmother, Alicia Rubí, about my great-grandfather and his scientific genius. These stories about Rosendo Rubí were filled with a strong sense of pride about his accomplishments, and tragedy and loss over the lack of international recognition of his merit and the destruction of all his documents at his death in 1940. Pride and a sense of grievance fit within historical national sentiments in our small country, Nicaragua, grasping for wider recognition; and of León, our home town, proud of its past and fading intellectual pre-eminence.

We hold on to a few key highlights of his life: he attended the 1904 St. Louis World’ Fair. A doctor, he was the first in Central America to bring X-ray equipment. But most importantly and most cherished, he invented and successfully demonstrated a radio device for transmitting voice (in Spanish, “telefonía inalámbrica”) around 1900, presumably before similar inventions were created and acknowledged in industrialized nations, in Europe and North America; he may have obtained a patent in the U.S. for this invention.
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