12 March 1994

The first female priests are ordained by the Church of England.

Since the Church of England’s split with Rome in 1534, it’s always trodden a dainty path between the Catholicism of the High Church, and the Protestantism of the Reformation. That’s meant a fair few compromises. But one thing it didn’t compromise on for nearly 400 years was ordaining women as priests.

The idea was first tentatively floated in 1920. But it took until 1975 for the General Synod to pass a motion saying it had “no fundamental objections” to the ordination of women to the priesthood. But it didn’t actually do anything concrete about it.

In 1985 it passed laws allowing women to be deacons. But understandably, pressure continued to allow women into the priesthood.

That didn’t happen for a while. In 1988, the General Synod approved the draft legislation to allow women priests. It finally voted in favour of women priests in 1992, after a five-hour debate – and by just two votes.

And so, on 12 March 1994 in Bristol Cathedral, 32 women were ordained as priests.

But a lot of people weren’t happy. In fact, 400 vicars were so opposed to the idea of women priests that they flounced off en masse to the Roman Catholic Church.

And for those who stayed, but who couldn’t abide the idea of a woman in the pulpit, the rather bonkers plan of ‘flying bishops’ was devised – traditionalist bishops who could swoop down from on high, bringing manly ministrations to parishes who wanted their vicar to be a chap.

It took another 20 years for the even more outlandish idea of women bishops to be accepted, however. The Church only formally adopted legislation to allow that in November 2014. The Rt Rev Libby Lane, was ordained as the Bishop of Stockport in January 2015.

3 December 1994

The PlayStation was first released in Japan.

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On December 3, 1994, the PlayStation was finally released in Japan, one week after the Sega Saturn. The initial retail cost was 37,000 yen, or about $387. Software available at launch included King’s Field, Crime Crackers, and Namco’s Ridge Racer, the PlayStation’s first certifiable killer app. It was met with long lines across Japan, and was hailed by Sony as their most important product since the WalkMan in the late 1970’s.

Also available at launch were a host of peripherals, including: a memory card to save high scores and games; a link cable, whereby you could connect two PlayStations and two TVs and play against a friend; a mouse with pad for PC ports; an RFU Adaptor; an S-Video Adaptor; and a Multitap Unit. Third party peripherals were also available, including Namco’s Negcon.

The look of the PlayStation was dramatically different than the Saturn, which was beige (in Japan), bulky, and somewhat clumsy looking. In contrast, the PlayStation was slim, sleek, and gray, with a revolutionary controller that was years ahead of the Saturn’s SNES-like pad. The new PSX joypad provided unheardof control by adding two more buttons on the shoulder, making a total of eight buttons. The two extended grips also added a new element of control. Ken Kutaragi realized the importance of control when dealing with 3 Dimensional game worlds. “We probably spent as much time on the joypad’s development as the body of the machine. Sony’s boss showed special interest in achieving the final version so it has his seal of approval.” To Sony’s delight, the PlayStation sold more than 300,000 units in the first 30 days. The Saturn claimed to have sold 400,000, but research has shown that number to be misleading. The PSX sold through (to customers) 97% of its stock, while many Saturns were still sitting on the shelves. These misleading numbers were to be quoted by Sega on many occasions, and continued even after the US launch.

9 November 1994

The chemical element darmstadtium is discovered.

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Darmstadtium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element. The most stable known isotope, darmstadtium-281, has a half-life of approximately 10 seconds. Darmstadtium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near the city of Darmstadt, Germany, after which it was named.

In the periodic table, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and is placed in the group 10 elements, although no chemical experiments have yet been carried out to confirm that it behaves as the heavier homologue to platinum in group 10 as the eighth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Darmstadtium is calculated to have similar properties to its lighter homologues, nickel, palladium, and platinum.

Darmstadtium was first created on November 9, 1994, at the Institute for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg, under the direction of Sigurd Hofmann. The team bombarded a lead-208 target with accelerated nuclei of nickel-62 in a heavy ion accelerator and detected a single atom of the isotope darmstadtium.

In the same series of experiments, the same team also carried out the reaction using heavier nickel-64 ions. During two runs, 9 atoms of 271Ds were convincingly detected by correlation with known daughter decay properties.

9 November 1994

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The chemical element ‘darmstadtium’ is first discovered.

Darmstadtium was discovered by S. Hofmann, V. Ninov, F. P. Hessberger, P. Armbruster, H. Folger, G. Münzenberg, H. J. Schött, and others in 1994 at Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.The name darmstadtium lies within the long established tradition of naming an element after the place of its discovery, Darmstadt, in Germany.

On the 9th of November 1994,the first atom of element 110, darmstadtium, was detected at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany. The isotope discovered has an atomic number of 269 that is 269 times heavier than hydrogen.The new element was produced by fusing a nickel and a lead atom together. This was achieved by accelerating the nickel atoms to a high energy in the heavy ion accelerator UNILAC at GSI. Over a period of many days, many billion billion nickel atoms were fired at a lead target in order to produce and identify a single atom of darmstadtium.