Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #40

Whewell’s Gazette

Your weekly digest of all the best of

Internet history of science, technology and medicine

Editor in Chief: The Ghost of William Whewell

Strutting Owl

Volume #40

Monday 23 March 2015

EDITORIAL:

The fortieth edition of your weekly #histSTM links list, Whewell’s Weekly, comes strutting out of the darkness at noon (it was actually a bit earlier but poetic licence and all that) of a solar eclipse. It was only a partial eclipse in Europe but that didn’t stop the masses going out onto the streets in hordes to stare into the heavens, their faces hidden but cardboard spectacles like something out of a third rate horror movie.

Eclipses have of course played an important role in the history of astronomy. The Babylonians developed an algebraic algorithm to successfully predict lunar eclipses. They had a similar algorithm for solar eclipses, which however was not quite as good. It could only predict when solar eclipse might occur according to celestial geometry but could not compute a further factor that prevented the occurrence of some of those potential eclipses. This was not so good given the role that eclipses played in Babylonian omen astrology, the principle motivation for Babylonian astronomical investigations.

According to Greek legend, although probably more mythological than legendary, Thales of Meletius was the first Greek to accurately predict an eclipse of the sun in the sixth century BCE.

Christopher Columbus famously used the prediction of a lunar eclipse, calculated with the help of the ephemerides of Regiomontanus, to impress some bolshie natives in the Caribbean. (see History Matters post below)

As Rebekah “Becky” Higgitt reminded us on Twitter, “Comparing times at which eclipses occurred was the first way that differences of longitude could be established”.

Medieval eclipse

Also on Twitter A Clerk of Oxford offered us this medieval explanation of solar eclipses

Ælfric explains eclipses: ‘Hit getimað hwiltidum, þonne se mona beyrnþ on ðam ylcan strican þe seo sunne yrnð, þæt his trendel underscyt ðære sunnan to ðan swiðe þæt heo eall aðeostrað, 7 steorran æteowiað swylce on nihte. Ðis gelimpð seldon, 7 næfre buton on niwum monan.’

‘It happens sometimes, when the moon is running in the same course as the sun, that its orb passes under the sun’s in such a way that it is completely darkened, and the stars appear just as at night. This happens rarely, and never except at the new moon.’ (De Temporibus Anni)

 

Sacrobosco

Sacrobosco

 

 Trinity College Library, Cambridge: Eclipses

A plain description of the Sun's appearance in the Eclipse on Fryday (in the morning) April, 1715

A plain description of the Sun’s appearance in the Eclipse on Fryday (in the morning) April, 1715

Solar Eclipses in History

Ottoman astronomer İbrahim Tiflisi in 1479

Ottoman astronomer İbrahim Tiflisi in 1479

MHS Oxford: Eclipseometer

Eclipseometer

 

Royal Society Publishing: Observations of the Late Total Eclipse of the Sun on the 22nd April Past …

Lunar and SolarEclipse described by Ottoman philosopher İbrahim Müteferrika about 300 years ago

Lunar and SolarEclipse described by Ottoman philosopher İbrahim Müteferrika about 300 years ago

The Independent: Solar eclipse: humans have been frightened and fascinated by the moon hiding the sun since beginning of time

This morning we hope to see a partial eclipse of the Sun, just like these Londoners in 1748

This morning we hope to see a partial eclipse of the Sun, just like these Londoners in 1748

History Matters: THE DARKER SIDE OF KNOWLEDGE: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SOLAR ECLIPSE

Solar eclipse from a 16th century cosmography of Qazwini

Solar eclipse from a 16th century cosmography of Qazwini

Quotes of the week:

“Dammit there are so many idiots whose asses I have to kick.” Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist h/t @JoshRosenau

I’ve been a freelance writer & I’ve been a sex worker and sex work was not the career that made me feel exploited and disposable. – @avflox

“The sciences don’t try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models.” J. v. Neumann! h/t @GeorgeShiber

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled – Plutarch

The man who cannot speak both eloquently and wisely should speak wisely without eloquence, rather than eloquently without wisdom. – Augustine

Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation – Thomas Hobbes

That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is true theology – Thomas Paine

Astronomy is not only pleasant but also very useful…this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God – John Calvin 1554

Does anyone suppose that any woman in all the ages has had a fair chance to show what she could do in science?… The laws of nature are not discovered by accidents; theories do not come by chance, even to the greatest minds; they are not born of the hurry and worry of daily toil; they are diligently sought, they are patiently waited for, they are received with cautious reserve, they are accepted with reverence and awe. And until able women have given their lives to investigation, it is idle to discuss the question of their capacity for original work. – Maria Mitchell

 

Birthdays of the Week:

Anna Atkins born 16 March 1799

Anna Atkins 1861 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Anna Atkins 1861
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The H-Word: Anna Atkins: Google’s tribute to a pioneer of botany and photography

Anna Atkins Google Doodle

Anna Atkins Google Doodle

The Independent: Anna Atkins: This is why British scientist who produced first photographic book has been given a Google Doodle

A cyanotype photogram made by Atkins which was part of her 1843 book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions Source: Wikimedia Commons

A cyanotype photogram made by Atkins which was part of her 1843 book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Post: Anna Atkins: Google Doodle artfully celebrates a true-blue photographic pioneer

Motherboard: The Hauntingly Beautiful Photos of Anna Atkins, Creator of Botanical Photography

Caroline Herschel born 16 March 1750:

Caroline Lucretia Herschel 1829  Source: Wikimedia Commons

Caroline Lucretia Herschel 1829
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Herschel, Caroline Lucretia

Royal Museums Greenwich: Caroline HerschelC Herschel poster

Poetry Foundation: Planetarium by Adrienne Rich: Thinking of Caroline Herschel

History Today: Birth of Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel Letter

Caroline Herschel Letter

Starchild: Caroline Herschel

History Physics Today: Caroline Herschel’s birthday

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:

Science: Résumé of Observations Concerning the Solar Eclipse of May 29, 1919, and the Einstein Effect

Ptak Science Books: A Million Violinists Playing Everything at the Same Time

Yovisto: Frederick Reines and the Neutrino

Irish Philosophy: John Stewart Bell: The Nature of Reality

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Richard Yalman’s Interview

A Clerk of Oxford: The Days of Creation

God creating the world (BL Royal 1 E VII, f. 1v, 11th century, Canterbury)

God creating the world (BL Royal 1 E VII, f. 1v, 11th century, Canterbury)

Space Watchtower: Historic Brashear Telescope Factory Wall Collapses

Pittsburgh Post Gazette.com Historic Pittsburgh factory being levelled after wall collapse

Yovisto: The Life and Work of Philippe de La Hire

tekepart: A Legacy of Discovery Going Strong for More Than 150 Years

St John’s College: The Way to the Stars: Build Your Own Astrolabe

The Renaissance Mathematicus: The continuing saga of io9’s history of science inanities

 

Science Museum Group Journal: Curating the collider: using place to engage museum visitors with particle physics

AHF: Emilio Segrè

BBC News: Isaac Newton royal medal design discovery

Queen Anne Medal Source: BBC News

Queen Anne Medal
Source: BBC News

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Calendrical confusion or just when did Newton die?

The Seattle Times: Vision quest: Curator catalogs the world’s oldest telescopes

Tech Times: Corning Museum Curator Documenting Oldest Telescopes In The World

APS: This Month in Physics History: March 20, 1800: Volta describes the Electric Battery

Gigal Research: The Menkaura Stellar Observatory

AMNH Shelf Life: How to Time travel to a Star

Oxford Journals: An astronomical murder?

EXPLORATION and CARTOGRAPHY:

Letters from Gondwana: The Challenger Expedition and the Beginning of Oceanography

Atlas Obscura: The Most Remarkable Globe in the World is in a Brooklyn Office Building

The Public Domain Review: Elizabeth Bisland’s Race Around the World

The 18th-Century Common: What the Abyssinian Liar Can Tell us about True Stories: Knowledge, Skepticism, and James Bruce’s Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile

James Bruce by E. Topham. Etching, published 1775. NPG D13789. National Portrait Gallery, UK. Used under Creative Commons Limited Non-Commercial License.

James Bruce by E. Topham. Etching, published 1775.
NPG D13789. National Portrait Gallery, UK. Used under Creative Commons Limited Non-Commercial License.

Ptak Science Books: A Fine and Interesting Map of Air Routes, 1956

homunculus: The Saga of the Sunstones

The Viking Sunstone Compass made by researchers at the University of Rennes. Note the double bright spots in the cavity.  Source: Phillip Ball

The Viking Sunstone Compass made by researchers at the University of Rennes. Note the double bright spots in the cavity.
Source: Phillip Ball

Board of Longitude Project: Harrison Decoded: Towards a perfect pendulum clock

MEDICINE:

The Quack Doctor: The bogus lady doctor

British Library: Science blog: Shell shocked

Dr Alun Withey: Crooked or Straight: Creating the ideal posture in 18th-century Britain

The neck swing, from Timothy Sheldrake’s ‘Essay on the Various Causes and Effects of the Distorted Spine’, 1783

The neck swing, from Timothy Sheldrake’s ‘Essay on the Various Causes and Effects of the Distorted Spine’, 1783

NYAM: What Things are Good and Holesome for the Braine

academia.edu: “From Practice to Print: Women Crafting Authority at the Margins of Orthodox Medicine”

Slate: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient

London Evening Standard: Florence Nightingale’s medical books put online for free viewing

Yale News: Creating a malaria test for ancient human remains

Early Modern Medicine: Maternity Wear: To Conceal or Reveal?

NYAM: Brain Awareness Week

Niche: Vaccines and the Environmental History of Medicine

The Recipes Project: Spa Culture, Recipes, and Eighteenth-Century Elite Healthcare

The Comforts of Bath, 1798. Thomas Rowlandson. Image Credit: Wikigallery.org

The Comforts of Bath, 1798. Thomas Rowlandson. Image Credit: Wikigallery.org

Joanne Bailey Muses on History: Foetus: From the Sensory to the Scan

Time-Life: How Sword Swallowing Contributed to Modern Medicine

We’re History: Before Ebola, there was Yellow Fever

Explore the incredible Bethlem records

Groovy Historian: What Were Believed to be the Causes of and Treatments for Melancholy & Madness During the Renaissance and Early Modern Period?

TECHNOLOGY:

Conciatore: Sara Vincx

Tycho’s nose: There’s something in the water

Engineering and Technology History Wiki

Sage Journals: Institution of Mechanical Engineers Proceedings June 1847

History Matters: Heritage, History and Community: Engaging with the past in a former industrial village

My medieval foundry: Maybe a sighting of a double action bellows?

Conciatore: Dyed In The Grain

Dyeing wool cloth, from "Des Proprietez des Choses" Bartholomaeus Anglicus, 1482 British Library Royal MS 15.E.iii, folio 269

Dyeing wool cloth, from “Des Proprietez des Choses”
Bartholomaeus Anglicus, 1482
British Library Royal MS 15.E.iii, folio 269

io9: 50 Years Ago, The First Spacewalk Nearly Ended in Tragedy

IEEE Spectrum: Moore’s Curse

Conciatore: Cristallo

Ptak Science Books: Babbage Obituary and Other Babbage Bits

Wired: Prop-Driven ‘Rail Zeppelin’ Is Many Kinds of Awesome

Schienenzeppelin

Schienenzeppelin

Slate Vault: A Telephone Map of the United States Shows Where You Could Call Using Ma Bell in 1910

EARTH & LIFE SCIENCES:

Notches: Sex and the American Quest for a Relatable Past

Embryo Project: Cornelia Clapp

Notches: Organized Labor, Gay Liberation and the Battle Against the Religious Right, 1977–1994

Natural History Apostilles: Matthew (1831) spliced Steuart’s (1828) quote of Loudon (1806)

NYAM: Roget Beyond the Thesaurus

History of Geology: Celebrating the Irish-Geological Heritage

The first published image of the Giant’s Causeway by local artist Christopher Cole Foley was used to illustrate an account by Samuel Foley, Bishop of Down and Connor, in 1694. However both the drawing and the engraving from it were considered inadequate depictions of this peculiar Irish landscape.

The first published image of the Giant’s Causeway by local artist Christopher Cole Foley was used to illustrate an account by Samuel Foley, Bishop of Down and Connor, in 1694. However both the drawing and the engraving from it were considered inadequate depictions of this peculiar Irish landscape.

Philosophical Transactions B: The unseen world: reflections on Leeuwenhoek (1677) ‘Concerning little animals’

Science Gossip: Piecing Together the Story of a Female Naturalist through Victorian Journals

The Rest Project: A 19th-century Naturalist’s Daily Schedule: Alfred Russel Wallace in Singapore

 

Thinking Like a Mountain: Enlightenment Ghosts and Ecological Utopianism in the Scottish Highlands

Londonist: How Would You Describe a Kangaroo?

Husbandry Book Blog: Marches Husbandry: Beware of birds!

Natural History Apostilles: The Naval Timber Controversies: poor Billington

Palaeoblog: Died This Day: Amadeus William Grabau

 

Embryo Project: The Human Genome Project (1990–2003)

Embryo Project: The inductive capacity of oral mesenchyme and its role in tooth development (1969-1970), by Edward J. Kollar and Grace R. Baird

Earth Touch news: These Beautiful 19th-centuary Illustrations capture Dinosaur ‘Death Poses’

Image: The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Image: The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

 

UCMP Berkeley: Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873)

Famous Scientists: Agnes Arber

 

CHEMISTRY:

Othermalia: Photo essay of female lab workers 1946

1946 volume of the corporate publication Research Today by Lily Research Laboratories

1946 volume of the corporate publication Research Today by Lily Research Laboratories

META – HISTORIOGRAPHY, THEORY, RESOURCES and OTHER:

Against the division of the library of the López Piñero Institute

Clio@King’s: The History Department Blog: Who Should We Write History For?

ChoM News: From the MHL: “Seeing With a Better Eye”

 

Open Quaternary: Launching Open Quaternary

Open Quaternary: Submitting an Article Online

The Edinburgh Reporter: Writing women of science back into history

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

ChoM News: From the MHL: Why Digital Collections, Why Now?

The Atlantic: The Problem With History Classes

THE: Female science writers celebrated

Historiens de la santé: Medical History Volume 59, Issue 02, April 2015

Quanta Magazine: Science’s Path From Myth to Multiverse

The Conversation: Why do we need the humanities?

Fiction Reboot: Daily Dose: MedHum Mondays: Why Medical Humanities?

Society for the History of Astronomy

The Incluseum: Museums and the Reproduction of Disadvantage

The National Archives: England’s immigration records 1330–1550 now online

Love Imperial War Museum Library: Outraged about research room charges

 

Gaudy Night: Women’s History Month 2015: Science and Medicine

Concocting History: Pythagoreans, lore, science… and sadness

Ether Wave Propaganda: “I am a sadist; you are a masochist; so let us have some fun together”: Agassi on Feyerabend, Feyerabend on Agassi

 

Cross-Check: Everyone, Even Jenny McCarthy, Has the Right to Challenge “Scientific Experts”

Historians.org: AHR Exchange On The History Manifesto

JHI Blog: The Republic of Intellectual History

Darin Hayton: HistorySTM March Madness Round 1

Making Science Public: The Co-production Confusion

The #EnvHist Weekly

Chemical Connections: A quantitative analysis of how often Nature gives a fuck

ESOTERIC:

Philly.com: Delving into a 400-year-old puzzle book, through song

JHL: Science, Mysticism, and Dreams in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

distillatio: There is a lot more to research in medieval alchemical manuscripts than people know of

 

Illustation similar in intent to those in the Ripley Scrolls, which are a late 15th/ early 16th invention. (Stolen from the British Library website, they seem to be copyright free)

Illustation similar in intent to those in the Ripley Scrolls, which are a late 15th/ early 16th invention. (Stolen from the British Library website, they seem to be copyright free)

BOOK REVIEWS:

Science Book a Day: The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray’s Anatomy

THE: How to Write a Thesis, by Umberto Eco

Science Book a Day: Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen

Wellcome Library: Women, plumbers and doctors: sanitation in the home

Contaminated drinking water. Wellcome Library reference: b20424863.

Contaminated drinking water. Wellcome Library reference: b20424863.

Brain Pickings: The Illustrated Story of Persian Polymath Ibn Sina and How He Shaped the Course of Medicine

NEW BOOKS:

Historiens de la santé: Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South

 

Basic Books: Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cats

9780465075713

Profile Books: Scientific Babel: The language of science from the fall of Latin to the rise of English

Vanderbilt University Press: Medicine and Nation Building in the Americas, 1890–1940

THEATRE:

FILM:

TELEVISION:

SLIDE SHARE:

VIDEOS:

Science Dump: There’s a reason for all the madness in Alice in Wonderland, it’s maths!

Youtube: Nick Lane discusses Leeuwenhoek’s observations of “little animals” under a microscope

New York Times: Animated Life: Pangea

Youtube: Under The Knife, Episode 7 – Medieval Urine Wheels

Irish Philosophy: Why Study…James Ussher

Youtube: Using Maxwell’s Equations Before the Electron

RADIO:

BBC Radio Ulster: The Lady Computer of Strabane: Annie Maunder

PODCASTS:

Nature Podcast: Why is English the language of science?

AHF: Podcast: Manhattan Project National Historical Park

The Leonard Lopate Show: The Painter and the Philosopher Who Taught Us How to See

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

CfP: The Forum for the History of Chemical Sciences (FoHCS) and the Commission for the History of Modern Chemistry (CHMC) are setting up a panel After Ypres: the integration of science into war for the next HSS meeting in San Francisco, November 2015.

Call for Publications: Tales from the Crypt: Museum Storage and Meaning

Yale University: Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Biology 27-28 March 2015

NYAM: Lecture: Dr Vivian Nutton Vesalius Correcting Vesalius 31 March 2015

ChoM News: Lecture: Pregnancy and Personhood – The Maternal-Fetal Relationship in America, 1850 to the Present Harvard Medical School 2 April 2015

Maritime @ Greenwich: New Researchers in Maritime History Conference 10 April 2015

University of Durham: CfP: Hume and Naturalism 16-17 July 2015

University of Sydney: Rethinking Intellectual History 2015 7-9 April

King’s College London: CfP: Working Across Species: Comparative Practices in Modern Medical, Biological and Behavioural Sciences 7-8 January 2016

 

Durham University: The 10th UK Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Workshop 16-17 April 2015

Philos-L: Call for Papers The Journal of Philosophy and Medicine

CHF: Make Your Own Books of Secrets: A Workshop 13 June 2015

CHoM News: Gettysburg to Boylston Street – The Legacy of Civil War Medicine in the 21st Century Harvard Center for the History of Medicine 13 April 2015

 

UCL: STS seminar: “How Does Science Blind Itself – and Then Society Too? A Brief History of Scientific Knowledge of Radiocaesium Behaviour in Soils, and the post-Chernobyl Sheep-Contamination Prediction Fiasco” 25 March 2015

 

The Ninth Conference on The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena 23-28 August 2015

LOOKING FOR WORK:

University of Oxford: AHRC Doctoral Studentship in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum: Contemporary Art and Conflict at IWM

Museums and the Web: Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor, Museum & Digital Culture

Society and the History of Chemistry and Alchemy: The SHAC Award Scheme

University of Kent: 50th Anniversary Research Scholarship in the History of Science

Science Museum Group: Associate Curator, Infrastructure and Built Environment

H-Net: The History Makers seek a full time Oral History Researcher

University of Warwick: Assistant Professor in the History of Medicine

Simmons: School of Library and Information Science: The James A. Lindner Digital Archive Summer Fellowship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About thonyc

Aging freak who fell in love with the history of science and now resides mostly in the 16th century.
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