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Posts Tagged ‘science’

Tide Mill Conference in Kennebunkport, 18-19 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This is one of the more specialized historical events I’ve heard of this fall, and in that little way one of the most intriguing. Not that I plan to go—I just enjoy its existence.

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and the Tide Mill Institute will hold a conference on 18-19 November at the trust’s headquarters in Kennebunkport, Maine, where historians from Europe and North America will discuss the history of tide mills. The conference description says:
One presentation will lay out legal issues that affected early tide mills and confront those seeking to make use of tidal energy today. An ...

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Leonardo, Painting and the Natural World. (Art History Today)

An interesting history-related post from Art History Today:

a-seated-man-and-studies-and-notes-on-the-movement-of-water

1) Leonardo da Vinci, A Seated Man, and Studies and Notes on the Movement of Water, (A “Symbolic Self-Portrait”, according to Carlo Pedretti), c. 1510, Royal Library, Windsor Castle, pen and ink on paper, 21.7 x 15.4 cm.

 

Continuing this series of posts based on lectures I’m giving on Leonardo.

“If you despise painting, which is the sole means of reproducing all the works of nature, you despise an invention which with subtle and philosophical speculation considers all the qualities of forms: seas, plants, animals, grasses, flowers all of which are encircled in light and shadow.”[1] Leonardo da ...

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Columbus blamed for Little Ice Age (World History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from World History Blog:

Christopher Columbus gets blamed for lots of things from being a poor manager to being one of the causes of the mass genocide in the new world. However, one thing he is not associated with is global climate change. Until now anyway...

An article by Devin Powell titled Columbus blamed for Little Ice Age has some details. It notes, "By sailing to the New World, Christopher Columbus and the other explorers who followed may have set off a chain of events that cooled Europe’s climate for centuries. The European conquest of the Americas decimated the people living there, leaving large ...

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Columbus blamed for Little Ice Age (World History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from World History Blog:

Christopher Columbus gets blamed for lots of things from being a poor manager to being one of the causes of the mass genocide in the new world. However, one thing he is not associated with is global climate change. Until now anyway...

An article by Devin Powell titled Columbus blamed for Little Ice Age has some details. It notes, "By sailing to the New World, Christopher Columbus and the other explorers who followed may have set off a chain of events that cooled Europe’s climate for centuries. The European conquest of the Americas decimated the people living there, leaving large ...

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Did Anyone Feel That? Like a Rumbling? Anyone? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Most of the articles under the pins of the Bostonian Society’s “Mapping Revolutionary Boston” website/app were drafted by students at Wellesley, Suffolk, and Harvard. There were layers of vetting and editing, but those students deserve their credit for starting the process.

One of those pins touches on the Earthquake of 1755. The original article focused on Prof. John Winthrop of Harvard, and his suggestion that the tremor was the product of underground gases and not, as some of his prominent forebears would have said, the anger of God.

The subject doesn’t link to Boston’s political Revolution—the quake ...

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Getting a Peek at Jefferson’s Original Language (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last July, the Washington Post reported on how Dr. Fenella France investigated a word that Thomas Jefferson erased and wrote over in his earliest draft of the Declaration of Independence:
Jefferson sought quite methodically to expunge the word, to wipe it out of existence and write over it. Many words were crossed out and replaced in the draft, but only one was obliterated.

Over the smudge, Jefferson then wrote the word “citizens.” . . .

Scholars of the revolution have long speculated about the “citizens” smear — wondering whether the erased word was “patriots” or “residents” — but now ...

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Marie-Anne Lavoisier and Her Men (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This weekend, the New York Times reports, two Nobel laureates and an art historian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will discuss Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Antoine and Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze Lavoisier at the World Science Festival in New York.

The newspaper gives us this primer on the Lavoisiers:
Born into wealth in 1743, Lavoisier was a powerful aristocrat and politician as well as a scientist and an administrator of the Ferme Généale, a group of often corrupt tax collectors. A measure of Lavoisier’s social and financial position, Dr. [Kathryn] Galitz [the art historian] said, was that he paid ...

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Benjamin Thompson: Worst Apprentice in the World, part 3 (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The teen-aged Benjamin Thompson was clearly excited to be working in Boston in 1769, not in his home town of Woburn or even the smaller port of Salem. He sketched his master Hopestill Capen’s building in his notebook, marking the shop where he worked and the dormer attic room where he lived.

Benjamin signed up for private lessons in French and “the Back-Sword” from a Scottish army veteran named Donald McAlpine, and drew fencers in his notebook. Then he ended up skipping half the French lessons.

Meanwhile, Benjamin was supposed to be working in Capen’s dry-goods shop. But ...

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Benjamin Thompson: Worst Apprentice in the World, part 1 (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In 1766, at the age of thirteen, Benjamin Thompson of Woburn was indentured to John Appleton, a Salem merchant. He was a bright and ambitious lad, and had apparently sought extra lessons from a minister in town.

Benjamin did not, however, throw himself into the clerical work Appleton probably assigned to him.

Three years later, well before his indenture was to expire, Benjamin showed up at the Boston dry-goods shop of Hopestill Capen (in the building that now houses the Union Oyster Shop, shown here) and asked for a position there.

Capen wrote to Appleton on 11 Oct 1769:
I ...

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Observing Washington’s Birthday (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

When George Washington was born, the calendar read 11 Feb 1731. At least, it did so within the British Empire (and the Russian, but that didn’t matter so much).

Most of Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Julian. That new system did a better job of managing leap years to match the calendar to the astronomical year and keep the solstices and equinoxes from shifting. Another difference of the Gregorian calendar was when people reckoned the start of a new year—at the beginning of January, rather than in March.

The British disliked the new system’s popish ...

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Anna Barbauld and “A Pensive Prisoner’s Prayer” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Sunday, the Guardian newspaper ran a story by Richard Holmes, author of The Age of Wonder, about “The Royal Society’s lost women scientists.” It highlighted several pre-twentieth-century British women who, Holmes said, contributed to scientific inquiry.

The first example is Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, who attended Royal Society meetings in the late 1600s. Back in college, I actually wrote a paper about one such session. As I recall now, Robert Hooke was supposed to do something awful to a dog to demonstrate its breathing, but so many members escorted the duchess out to her carriage ...

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Jefferson Hair-Splitting (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The latest issue of Colonial Williamsburg magazine, both in print and online, offers an article by James Breig titled “Hair’s Breadth: Locks Could Be Keys to Jefferson Mystery.” That “mystery” is the paternity of Sally Hemings’s children, but most working historians today don’t see that question as mysterious at all.

The article claims otherwise:
Casual readers might believe the Jefferson-Hemings question was resolved in the affirmative in 1998, when a DNA study was done involving descendants of the Jefferson family and of Hemings. . . . the DNA evidence was shaky enough that it had to be bolstered ...

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Jefferson Hair-Splitting (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The latest issue of Colonial Williamsburg magazine, both in print and online, offers an article by James Breig titled “Hair’s Breadth: Locks Could Be Keys to Jefferson Mystery.” That “mystery” is the paternity of Sally Hemings’s children, but most working historians today don’t see that question as mysterious at all.

The article claims otherwise:
Casual readers might believe the Jefferson-Hemings question was resolved in the affirmative in 1998, when a DNA study was done involving descendants of the Jefferson family and of Hemings. . . . the DNA evidence was shaky enough that it had to be bolstered ...

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The Latest from Williamsburg (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The new issue of the journal Colonial Williamsburg is out, trailing online versions of:
  • Mary Miley Theobald’s article “Lies My Docent Told Me,” about persistent myths in historical museums.
    [Susan] Smyer, who has led panel discussions at conferences on museum myths, says legends are also perpetuated by docents who “succumb to the lure of a really great story or a good laugh, even when they know it isn’t the truth,” who mistakenly transfer present-day thinking to the past, or who apply stories that are true in one time or area to another where they are not. Such myths, she says, ...

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Dr. Franklin and Daylight Saving Time (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Some proud American authors credit Benjamin Franklin with the idea for daylight saving time (as well as, of course, nearly everything else not invented by Thomas Edison). I read that factoid a lot growing up. It’s based on a letter he sent anonymously to the Journal of Paris in 1784, when he was in France as an American diplomat.

In that letter, Franklin calculated how much the city of Paris could save if everyone got up with the sun instead of staying up till midnight burning candles. His grand total for merely half a year was “Sixty-four millions and ...

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The Blood of a Blue-Eyed King? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I read about this study in Chemical and Engineering News, but here I’m quoting from the Wired Science blog:
French revolutionists condemned Louis XVI to the guillotine on the morning of January 21, 1793. After a short but defiant speech and a menacing drum roll, one of the last kings of France lost his head as a crowd rushed the scaffold to dip handkerchiefs into his blood as mementos.

Or so the story goes.

Lending new life to the demise of Louis XVI, scientists performed a battery of DNA tests on dried blood inside a decorative gunpowder gourd ...

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Why Military Science Fiction Sucks (Blog Them Out of the Stone Age)

An interesting history-related post from Blog Them Out of the Stone Age:

Your Military Science Fiction Isn’t Really Military Science Fiction by Andrew Liptak, in io9 Futuristic militaries are a staple in science fiction. With their powered armor and laser guns, military science fiction novels are among the most exciting reads out there. Except for one problem. Most are not really about warfare. While military SF involves military personnel and [...]

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Looking at 4,000 Year Old DNA From Greenland (World History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from World History Blog:

There is an interesting find at of Greenland. The DNA of a 4,000 year old man was sequenced and some surprises were discovered. An article titled After 4,000 years, DNA suggests ancient Greenland man had risk of baldness and even dry earwax was written by Malcom Ritter.

The biggest shock is that the man was not related to any of the Native Americans in Greenland or the Americas. The article notes, "More importantly, comparisons of his DNA with that of present-day Arctic peoples shed light on the mysterious origins of the man's cultural group, the Saqqaq, the earliest known culture ...

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Looking at 4,000 Year Old DNA From Greenland (World History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from World History Blog:

There is an interesting find at of Greenland. The DNA of a 4,000 year old man was sequenced and some surprises were discovered. An article titled After 4,000 years, DNA suggests ancient Greenland man had risk of baldness and even dry earwax was written by Malcom Ritter.

The biggest shock is that the man was not related to any of the Native Americans in Greenland or the Americas. The article notes, "More importantly, comparisons of his DNA with that of present-day Arctic peoples shed light on the mysterious origins of the man's cultural group, the Saqqaq, the earliest known culture ...

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Science Fail (European History Fail Blog)

An interesting history-related post from European History Fail Blog:

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Science Fail (European History Fail Blog)

An interesting history-related post from European History Fail Blog:

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Science Fail (European History Fail Blog)

An interesting history-related post from European History Fail Blog:

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