You cannot legally use clips of debates in the Houses of Parliament satirically, because mocking middle-aged men mooing at their opponents would undermine the dignity of parliament.
It turns out evidence is not always a help.
Thoughts on how to boost Botany’s appeal, following Cornelius Holtorf on archaeoappeal.
There’s a good post up at The Renaissance Mathematicus by Thony C. He disagrees with me about Copernicus and ellipses for the very good reason that Kepler had a big advantage over Copernicus. Kepler had access to Tycho Brahe’s data. Tycho massively improved the accuracy of observations. Thony C. also argues that accuracy was the goal — quite reasonably given why Copernicus wanted to revise the Ptolemaic system. Therefore the increased accuracy would be enough win over people in the astronomical community.
I’m not sure to what extent the astronomical community were in step with public opinion in the Renaissance. There are reasons to say astronomical speculation was freely passing into the wider culture of the time. Possibly it means that if there had been better data one of the big set-pieces of Religion vs. Science wouldn’t have happened. That’s not something I’d want to defend too strongly, but it shows that a rigid view of Science fighting Religion is going to give a you narrow view of the past.
Project SOAR is a rethink of what student reading lists mean. My contribution to has been fiddling with the code. Some of it has been adapting the layout and some o it is behind the scenes like tying entries on books to other sites and plugging in the review system. It’s been a good project to work on. Partly because Alan Cann has interesting ideas about what can be done with reading lists. More practically he’s also been very clear on what he wants done with the site, so I’ve never felt like I’ve been aiming at a moving target.
It’s also been very fast. My role was scheduled to start November 1. I actually started as soon as I heard funding had been approved, but even so it’s been a short project with a clear goal. Because it’s his project, you can read more about it at his site.
Brett Holman at Airminded has returned to the topic of Scareships. These mysterious torpedo-shaped objects with lights were spotted in the skies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Now he has three posts on Scareships over Australia, with a postscript promised.
I’m sure he already has plenty to do, but to me this has all the classic ingredients of a blog-to-book deal. It’s a fascinating topic, the I can’t recall anyone else covering. It’s written well and it’s got someone who really knows what they’re talking about doing the writing. Like Kevin Levin’s work on Black Confederates, it’s the kind of stuff that thoughtful, innovative and just plain interesting research is being produced on blogs.