Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #43

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

Whewell's Masthead

Volume #43

Monday 13 April 2015

EDITORIAL: Welcome to the forty third edition of you weekly #histSTM links list Whewell’s Gazette bringing you all that we could find about the histories of science, technology and medicine presented in the Internet during the last seven days. As I type outside my window the reviving spring sun is shining in a blue sky tempting the green shoots and blossoms out of the trees and bushes bring an end to the long grey winter. Two hundred years ago nature demonstrated to the human race what can happen when spring doesn’t come and the cycle of growth is interrupted by an unexpected occurrence. On 10 April 1815 the volcano Tambora erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa ejecting vast quantities of dust and ash into the atmosphere causing massive interruptions in the weather patterns of the whole world. The year 1816 became known at the year without summer and led to the worst famine in the nineteenth century causing the deaths of tens of thousands throughout the world. Since the beginning of the modern period humanity has lived with the dream, or should that be the illusion, that science will give us total dominion over world and all that it contains. So-called natural disasters such as the Tambora demonstrate to us just how fragile our grip on our lump of rock hurtling through space really is.

Aerial view of the caldera of Mount Tambora, formed during the colossal 1815 eruption. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Aerial view of the caldera of Mount Tambora, formed during the colossal 1815 eruption.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Royal Society: The Repository: ‘the world had turned to ash’

Letters From Gondwana: A Christmas Carol: Dickens and the Little Ice Age

Georgian Gentleman: 10th April 1815 – one of the most explosive days in recorded history

Quotes of the week:

“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is…42!” – Deep Thought

“We thought the future would be flying cars but it’s actually arguing with a motion sensor about whether or not your hands are in the sink”. – @MildlyAmused

The minority opinion that “they” isn’t a singular as well as a plural gender-neutral pronoun doesn’t change the fact that it is both. – @SnoozeinBrief

“At least 1 British uni. has restricted the number of bookshelves professors may have in their offices to discourage ‘personal libraries.’” – @joncgoodwin

Afraid I bridle at generalising “did THE GREEKS think?” M Finley always said “which Greeks? when?” Not unitary culture – @wmarybeard

“Wer die Vergangenheit nicht kennt, wird die Zukunft nicht in den Griff bekommen.” – Golo Mann (1909-1994)

“I think astronomy is a bad study for you. It makes you feel human insignificance too plainly” – Thomas Hardy

“Nature is like an oracle that points to one of various alternatives we suggest rather than answering us directly in a language of its own”. – @cratylus

“I would rather be a meteor every atom in me in magnificent glow than a sleepy permanent planet” – Jack London

“To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say”. – Descartes

“When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn’t the slightest intention of putting it into practice.” – Bismarck h/t @jondresner

“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking”. – J. W. v. Goethe

“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.” – William of Ockham

“Sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent students do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds” – Dianne Ravitch CCDUmdtWYAA695H.jpg-large “Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come… Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate…” – Seneca

“On philosophical grounds too I cannot see any good reason for preferring the Big Bang idea. Indeed it seems to me in the philosophical sense to be a distinctly unsatisfactory notion, since it puts the basic assumption out of sight where it can never be challenged by a direct appeal to observation” – Fred Hoyle (1915–2001) Proponent of the “steady-state” universe. Coined the term “Big Bang” while at the same time rejecting it on BBC radio (1949). h/t @hist_astro

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:

New York Times: 70 Years On, Crowd Gets Close to the Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

Medium.com: Battle of the Nobel Laureates

National Geographic: Time Line: A History of Telescopes

The New York Times: Our Cosmic Selves

Symmetry: Our flat universe

Qatar Digital Library: AL-BĪRŪNĪ: A high point in the development of Islamic Astronomy

Diagram of phases of the moon in al-Bīrūnī’s Kitāb al-tafhīm. Or. 8349, f. 31v

Diagram of phases of the moon in al-Bīrūnī’s Kitāb al-tafhīm. Or. 8349, f. 31v

Yovisto Blog: Kamerlingh Onnes and Superconductivity

Dataisnature: The Hindu Temple as a Model of Fractal Cosmology – Forecasting Architecture with Recursive Instruction

Yellamma Temple [Karnataka] – Paul Prudence

Yellamma Temple [Karnataka] – Paul Prudence

arXiv.org: The contribution of Giordano Bruno to the special principle of relativity

The Royal Society: Publishing Blog: Mary Somerville: A lesson in creativity and determination

Fine Books & Collections: Out of this World

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Meta Newson’s Interview

Christie’s The Art People: Jacques Bassantin, Astronomique Discours

The Irish Times: Annie Russell: A trailblazing Irish astronomer whose work eclipsed her husband’s

The Washington Post: Behind the scenes of the final mission to service the Hubble telescope

Christie’s The Art People: Decoding the stars: An expert introduction to Astrolabes, the beautiful objects that were the ‘medieval iPhones’

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Betsy Stuart’s Interview

2015 International Year of Light: Einstein Centenary

2015 International Year of Light: Discoverers of Light

Real Clear Science: The Real History of the Planet Vulcan: How a Planet’s Death Birth Relativity

The Guardian: Starwatch: Happy 25th birthday, Hubble

Science News: Celebrating 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope

EXPLORATION and CARTOGRAPHY:

Atlas Obscura: Inside the most amazing map library you’ve never heard of

Medievalist.net: The Atlas Miller rsz_moleiro_article1_3-650x463 History Today: Fantasy Worlds: A Gallery of Mythical Maps

National Library of Scotland: Map Images: Coasts of Scotland on marine charts, 1580–1850

MEDICINE & HEALTH:

Medievalist.net: Medieval Viagra

ChoM News: Tour an “ultramodern” hospital in the year 1900

NYAM: Treating Mad Men: Harry Levinson’s Men Management, and Mental Health

CHF: The Strange, Gruesome Search for Substance X

Our understanding of endorphins can be traced back to the head of a pig. (Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)

Our understanding of endorphins can be traced back to the head of a pig. (Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)

Perceptions of Pregnancy: Infertility and Infidelity in Early Modern England

The Recipes Project: The Politics of Chocolate: Cosimo III’s Secret Jasmine Chocolate Recipe

Medievalist.net: Medieval Medicine and Modern Science: An Interview with Freya Harrison

Brought to Light: 1920’s Nursing Uniforms from the “Aristocrat of Uniforms” mss20134_1_bobevansuniform1-589x1024 Embryo Project: Fetal Surgery

The Conversation: Why I wasn’t excited about the medieval remedy that works against MRSA

Social History of Medicine: Inhaling Democracy: Cigarette Advertising and Health Education in Post-war West Germany 150s–1975

Jennifer Sherman Roberts: Laughing at History

Greg Jenner: A Brief History of Menstruation

TECHNOLOGY:

Ptak Science Books: Human Computer Art, 1949 

Yovisto: Harold Eugene Edgerton and the High Speed Photography

IEEE Spectrum: What Kind of Thing Is Moore’s Law?

IEEE Spectrum: Is This Really the Anniversary of Moore’s Law

Ptak Science Books: Air-Punk: Underwater Cyborg Diving Suit (1797) 6a00d83542d51e69e2017742ffbae9970d-500wi Dhaka Tribune: Bengal Lights

Ptak Science Books: Cross-Section Series: Battleship “Deutschland”, 1931

Conciatore: Laughing in the Fern

Mad Art Lab: Grace Hopper and the Democratization of Computer Progamming (Women in Science 35)

Capitalism’s Cradle: Female Inventors of the Industrial Revolution Part 4: Henrietta Vansittart

Conciatore: Borgo Pinti

Medievalist.net: Shining Light on Medieval Illuminations: Pigments through the Ages

Ptak Science Books: The Old Bridge’s Future Bridge

Ptak Science Books: A Nickel-Plated Low-priced Arithmetical Godsend (1922)

The Telegraph: How Alan Turing’s secret notebook could disappear forever

EARTH & LIFE SCIENCES:

The Irish Examiner: Who was John Tyndall?

Embryo Project: Amphioxus, and the Mosaic Theory of Development (1893), by Edmund Beecher Wilson

Embryo Project: The Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics (1924), by Paul Kammerer

Natural History Apostilles: The Cider Crisis and the Golden Pippin

Science News: Brontosaurus deserves its name, after all

Inside the Science Museum: The Micrographia Microscope

Microscope 1927-437. A full-size reconstruction of Robert Hooke’s compound microscope. © Science Museum/SSPL

Microscope 1927-437. A full-size reconstruction of Robert Hooke’s compound microscope. © Science Museum/SSPL

Your Thurrock: Thurrock Local History Society receives lottery boost: Raising Awareness of Alfred Russel Wallace in Thurrock

In Circulation: Man’s Interest in His Own Surroundings: Conserving a Collection of Early Modern Topology Books

Cell: Obituary: Ronald J. Konopka (1947–2015)

Advances in the History of Psychology: Special Issue: “Ordering the Social History of the Human Sciences in Modern China”

Notches: Sex and the American Quest for a Relatable Past

Palaeoblog: Died This Day: Edward Drinker Cope

The Return of Native Nordic Fauna: Learning from wild boar

Wild boar on exhibit at the Latvian Museum of Natural History, Riga.

Wild boar on exhibit at the Latvian Museum of Natural History, Riga.

Ptak Science Books: On the Origins of Ripples (1883)

CHEMISTRY:

Skulls in the Stars: Kathleen Lonsdale: Master of Crystallography

Kathleen Yardley with her fellow students at the Royal Institution, via her Biographical Memoir

Kathleen Yardley with her fellow students at the Royal Institution, via her Biographical Memoir

Skulls in the Stars: One more anecdote about Kathleen Lonsdale

The Public Domain Review: The Nitrous Oxide Experiments of Humphry Davy

META – HISTORIOGRAPHY, THEORY, RESOURCES and OTHER:

Conciatore: Sonnet to a Barber

CHoM News: Warren Museum reaches new audiences

Chicago Journals: ISIS: Vol. 106 No. 1 March 2015

Wlfi.com: Purdue exhibit showcases the history of computer science

The exhibit shows how the field of computer science has changed since the 1950s. (WLFI Photo/Purdue University)

The exhibit shows how the field of computer science has changed since the 1950s. (WLFI Photo/Purdue University)

JOOMAG: The Medievalverse No. 10

Just Publics @ 365: A Guide to Blogging for Academics

The New York Society Library: Erudition and Encyclopedism: Adam Winthrop Reads Conrad Gesner’s “Mithridates”

Lego Ideas: Scientists In History Collection

Only Living Girl NY: Morbid Anatomy Museum: Dioramas

The Nature of Reality: The Myth of the “Next Einstein”

JHI Blog: Inverting the Pyramid: Notes on the Renaissance Society of America Meeting (26-28 March, Berlin)

THE: Why journals should not forget their past

Irish Philosophy: Who sharpened Occam’s Razor?

Notches: The Sex Institute on Euston Road

The Recipes Project: Transcription-as-collaboration

The Linnaean Society: The Linnaean Collection

The University of Chicago Press: Journals: Reflecting on a Century of Scholarship: The Five Most Influential Isis Articles Ever Published

The #EnvHist Weekly

Science News: Top 10 science anniversaries of 2015

Medium.com: The Extraordinary Growing Impact of the History of Science

BBC News: The scientists who escaped the Nazis

Gustav Born is one of the last living links with the refugee scientists Source: BBC News

Gustav Born is one of the last living links with the refugee scientists
Source: BBC News

ESOTERIC:

Heterodoxology: New ESSWE website – and conference program available

New website, new look and feel. Breathing new fire into the field.

New website, new look and feel. Breathing new fire into the field.

BOOK REVIEWS:

Science Book a Day: Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry

The Curious Waveform: Top 10 popular chemistry books for the general reader

The New Yorker: Sight Unseen: The hows and whys of invisibility

The Wall Street Journal: The Miracle of the Heavens

Science Book a Day: Interviews Wade Allison

Science Book a Day: Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World

Somatosphere: Nicolas Langlitz’s Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain neuropsychedlia-240x360 Brain Pickings: Radioactive: The Incredible Story of Marie Curie Told in Cyanotope

The Spectator: Moving heaven and earth: Galileo’s subversive spyglass

Science Book a Day: Interviews Bill Hayes

The Wall Street Journal: Science Books That Made Modernity Nature: Women at the edge of science

NEW BOOKS:

Amazon: Scientists at War: The Ethics of Cold War Weapons Research

Historiens de la santé: Wilhelm Reich, Biologist index Amazon: Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World

Historiens de la santé: Paying with Their Bodies: American War and the Problem of the Disabled

THEATRE: FILM:

The Guardian: Batman v Superman writer to tackle Isaac Newton thriller

Open Culture: Frank Capra’s Science Film The Unchained Goddess Warns of Climate Change in 1958

TELEVISION: BBC: Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History

SLIDE SHOW: Discover: A History of General Relativity o-GRAVITYPROBEB-facebook VIDEOS:

Youtube: Information Age: The microchip that changed the world

The Guardian: Shelf Life: How to time travel to a star

Youtube: Daphne Oram British composer and electronic musician

Science Dump: Sit back, relax, and let Richard Feynman talk to you about beauty

Wellcome Library: English folding almanac in Latin

RADIO:

BBC Radio 4extra: Dr Jacob Bronowski

PODCASTS:

Siren FM: History of Science – Power Plants

WCAI: How Naomi Oreskes Discovered the Roots of Climate Change Denial

Royal Society: Science on myself: Explore the history of self-experimentation in medicine 04-self-experimentation_310 ANNOUNCEMENTS:

University of Bucharest: IRH: Masterclass: Space, Time,, and Motion in the Early Modern Period 18-22 May 2015

University of Bucharest: Workshop: Natural History, Mathematics, and Metaphysics in the Seventeenth Century 26-27 May 2015

University of Newcastle: Workshop: The Diseases, Health Risks and Phobias of Modern and Fashionable Living Victorian Perspectives 18 June 2015

University of Newcastle: Workshop: Tuberculosis as a Romantic Disease: Artistic, Historical & Literary Perspectives

IEEE: The Bernard S. Finn IEEE History Prize: The prize is awarded annually to the best paper in the history of electrotechnology—power, electronics, telecommunications, and computer science—published during the preceding year: Deadline 15 April 2015

SIGCIS: The Mahoney Prize recognizes an outstanding article in the history of computing and information technology, broadly conceived. Deadline 15 April 2015

University of Notre Dame: Biennial History of Astronomy Workshops 24-28 June 2015

University of Oklahoma: Exhibition, Galileo’s World Starting August 2015 through 2016

CHF: Moore’s Law @ 50 Computer History Museum Mountain View 17 April 2015

Guardian Masterclasses: Everything you need to know about science communication 25 April 2015

University of Cardiff: CfP: Postgraduate Conference: Magic and the Supernatural in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods

Society for the History of Technology: The Levinson Prize

The Waring Library Society and the Waring Historical Library at the Medical University of South Carolina invite entries for the W. Curtis Worthington, Jr., Undergraduate and Graduate Research Papers Competition.

Maynooth University: CfP: HSTM Network Ireland Inaugural Conference 13-14 November 2015

University of Oxford: Centre for the History and Philosophy of Physics: “Physics and the Great War” One-Day Conference 13 June 2015

National Maritime Museum Greenwich: CfP: Ways of Seeing 17 July 2015

University of Berkeley California: Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society: “Faking It”: Counterfeits, Copies, and Uncertain Truths in Science, Technology, and Medicine 10-11 April 2015

Twin Café Sheffield: Coffee, Culture and Conversation in the Eighteenth Century 21 April 2015

Museum of Natural History Oxford: Lecture: Leviathan and the Air Pump 1 May 2015

University of Wales Trinity Saint David: Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Sophia Centre; Astrology As Art: Representation and Practice

LOOKING FOR WORK:

University of Manchester: CHSTM: Research preparation bursary

University of Leiden: Centre for the Arts in Society: 2 PhD’s in Ichthyology

University of Cambridge: Research Assistant: HSS-Bio project (Part Time, Fixed Term)

Science Museum: Associate Curator, Infrastructure and Built Environment AIP: Research Assistant

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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