June 8, 1783: How the “Laki-eruptions” changed History

The sun fades away, the land sinks into the sea, the bright stars  disappear from the sky,
as smoke and  fire  destroy  the world,
and the flames reach the sky.
The End of the World according to the “Völuspa“, a collection of Icelandic myths compiled in the 13th century.

June 8, 1783 marks the beginning of a volcanic eruption that will change history

Posted in Geology, History | 1 Comment

Newton’s Alchemy and early Geochemistry

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is today remembered for his contributions to optics, mechanics and gravity, but as a typical polymath of his time he was also interested in alchemy. And through his interest in this early predecessor of chemistry he became also involved in some geological research.

Posted in Chemistry, Geology, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Giants’ Shoulders #56 The Giant Edition

Michael Barton (@darwinsbulldog) has posted a positively gigantic edition of Giants’ Shoulders the history of science blog carnival on his blog The Dispersal of Darwin. It contains enough good bloggage to keep you reading until the next Giants’ Shoulders appears in a month’s time.

Giants’ Shoulders #57 will be hosted by Alison Boyle (@ali_boyle) on the Science Museum Blog on 16th March. Submission should as always be made direct to the host or to me here at The Renaissance Mathematicus or to Dr SkySkull at Skull in the Stars by 15th March at the latest.

We have a host for April but after that Giants’ Shoulders will again be an orphan searching for a kindly host on a friendly blog. If you can offer the best history of science blog carnival a home for a month then please contact me here.

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Giants’ Shoulders #56 the history of science blog carnival is being hosted by Michael Barton @darwinsbulldog at The Dispersal of Darwin on 16th February. Submit your favourite #histsci, #histtech & #histmed post to the host or @drskyskull or to me here at RM by the 15th February.

As always Giants’ Shoulders needs new hosts. If you have a blog and want to host the best history of science blog carnival since the beginning of time then contact me here at RM.

I’m stepping out of my self-imposed boundaries on March 9th and am hosting Carnivalesque the interdisciplinary blog carnival dedicated to pre-modern history (to c. 1800 C.E.) here at The Renaissance Mathematicus. If you have an interesting history post for Carnivalesque then you can submit it here.

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What Kepler and Newton really did.

This has been a good week for people getting the history of astronomy in the seventeenth century wrong. [to find out what they got wrong go here]

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Curiosities, Utilities and Authority – Giants’ Shoulders #55

The 55th edition of the history of science blog carnival Giants’ Shoulders, “Curiosities, Utilities and Authority”, has been posted by this month’s host Lisa Smith (@historybeagle) at The Sloanes Letters Blog. So mosey on over and read Lisa’s selection of the last month’s best history of science, history of medicine and history of technology bloggage. It’s really worth your while.

Next month’s Giants’ Shoulders #56 will be hosted by Michael Barton (@darwinsbulldog) at his The Dispersal of Darwin blog on 16 February. Submissions as usual either direct to the host or to me here at RM by 15 February.

As always Giants’ Shoulders NEEDS YOU! If you would like the honour of hosting a future edition of the universe’s numero uno history of science blog carnival then please contact me here at RM.

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How Forensic Seismology investigates into Ship-Disasters, Terrorist-Attacks and secret Nuclear Tests

The collision of the cruise ship “Costa Concordia” on January 13, 2012 was recorded by the seismograph station “Monte Argentario“, situated on the Italian mainland. From the eyewitness testimony and the Automatic System of the ship the time of collision with a submerged rock was estimated at 20:45 (UTC). This time is confirmed by a sudden peak in the seismogram at 20:45:10 (the seismograph station is distant 18km from the site of the collision, the seismic waves needed almost 3-4 seconds to travel this distance). The seismogram shows also after the impact the “noise” generated by the hull of the ship grinding along the rocky substrate. An accurate analysis of “The seismic quake of “Costa Concordia” can even specify the speed of the ship at the moment of the collision…
Posted in Geology, Science | Leave a comment