Gleanings from the Past #69

Returning Home In May last, Mr. Goring, of Staines, lost a valuable horse, for which he made the most diligent inquiry, but without effect. Last week, however, a gentleman driving through Staines in a gig, the horse made a sudden stop at Mr. Goring’s house, from which nothing could induce him to move The circumstance […]

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Gleanings from the Past #68

Spectrum Newton was probably responsible for the concept that there are seven primary colours in the spectrum—he had a strong interest in musical harmonies and, since there are seven distinct notes in the musical scale, he divided up the spectrum into spectral bands with widths corresponding to the ratios of the small whole numbers found […]

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Gleanings From The Past #67

Science Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law. — William James, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1897

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Gleanings From The Past #66

We Regret the Error An Irish editor, apologizing for a rather serious blunder in his paper, said: “I never saw the manuscript till it was in print.” — The St Louis Republic [St. Louis, Missouri], April 28, 19011  The Will of a Virtuoso I, NICHOLAS GIMCRACK, being in sound health of mind, but in great weakness […]

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Gleanings From The Past #65

Yankee Doodle A writer in Harper’s Magazine for the current month, seems to find his Dutch blood dancing to a new tune in the delight he experiences at a discovery, in recent researches into American literature, concerning the much-disputed origin of Yankee Doodle. Of course we cannot find it in our hearts to criticise the […]

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Gleanings From The Past #64

The Value of Books Anthony Panormita, a learned Sicilian, in the fifteenth century, sold an estate, that he might be able to purchase a copy of Livy. Of this circumstance we have a curious account, in a letter written by Panormita himself, to Alphonsus, king of Naples, to whom he was secretary. It is as […]

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Gleanings From The Past #63

Numerical Coincidence I have heard of certain individuals being regulated in all the important events of their lives by certain peculiar numbers, which fell out to them respectively, with a strangeness of accuracy which it is almost impossible to reckon altogether the effect of chance. The following account, which is taken from the work of an Arabian historian, affords […]

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Gleanings From The Past #62

Bag o’ Nails BACCHANALS—BACCHANALIANS — vulgo “The Bag o’ Nails.” A public-house in Pimlico had originally a sign on which was represented a satyr and several Bacchanalians dancing and carousing. The common people called the satyr the devil, and, in course of time, the sign was known only as “The Bag o’ Nails,” or “The […]

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Gleanings From The Past #61

Reasons for the Delay The editor of the American Mechanic has encountered trials unknown to ordinary men. Hearken unto his wailings. “Owing to the facts, that our papermaker disappointed us, the mails failed, and deprived us of our exchanges, a Dutch pedlar stole our scissors, the rats ran off with our paste, and the devils […]

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Gleanings From The Past #60

Diplomacy Lord Wentworth gave some very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission : he was up to the system of courts, or he would not have committed himself by such a satire. ” To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; […]

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