January 9th is Richard Abegg's birthday. Abegg was a German chemist who was one of the early researchers of valence theory. His experiments showed a tendency between maximum of minimum valence levels of elements differed usually by a value of eight. This relationship became known as Abegg's rule when Gilbert Lewis proposed his octet rules. Abegg was also an avid enthusiast of ballooning. This hobby would ultimately cause his death when he flew his balloon with an engineer and female relative. When the balloon encountered strong winds, they opened the gas valves to cause the balloon to descend. It reached the ground safely and the other two were able to exit the basket. Abegg was caught as a gust of wind as he exited and was crushed by the basket.