On this day:
1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, publishes the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
Henry Oldenburg (also Henry Oldenbourg) (c. 1619 as Heinrich Oldenburg – 5 September 1677) was a German theologian known as a diplomat, a natural philosopher and as the creator of scientific peer review. He was one of the foremost intelligencers of Europe of the seventeenth century, with a network of correspondents to rival those of Fabri de Peiresc, Marin Mersenne and Ismaël Boulliau. At the foundation of the Royal Society he took on the task of foreign correspondence, as the first Secretary.
Born in Bremen, Germany, he trained in theology and received his degree on 2 November 1639. His movements during the 1640s are unclear, but he is thought to have worked as a tutor in England for much of the decade. In 1648 he left England and travelled, returning in the end to Bremen.
He went to London in 1653, as a diplomat, and settled in England of the Interregnum. He forged a strong relationship with his lifelong patron Robert Boyle, and was tutor to Boyle’s nephew Richard Jones. Oldenburg married his second wife, Dora Katherina Dury (1654–77), the daughter of John Dury. Either through John Milton, whom he met early in his mission, or through Lady Ranelagh, sister to Boyle and the mother of Richard Jones, Oldenburg gained entry to an important intellectual circle, including Samuel Hartlib, whose extensive web of correspondents Oldenburg was to take over, John Dury who became his father-in-law, and others such as William Petty. Among Oldenburg’s correspondents at this time was Baruch Spinoza, who he was introduced to on a trip to the Netherlands, and to whom he presented a volume of writings on scientific topics by Boyle.
Secretary of the Royal Society
After the Restoration he became an early member (original fellow) of the Royal Society (founded in 1660), and served as its first secretary along with John Wilkins, maintaining an extensive network of scientific contacts through Europe. He also became the founding editor of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Oldenburg began the practice of sending submitted manuscripts to experts who could judge their quality before publication. This was the beginning of both the modern scientific journal and the practice of peer review. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society continues today and is the longest running scientific journal in the world.
He was briefly imprisoned in the Tower as a suspected spy in 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
Oldenburg’s correspondence was linked to support from the politician Sir Joseph Williamson; in part Oldenburg supplied Williamson with intelligence information.
Oldenburg enjoyed good health in his lifetime, but he fell seriously ill on 3 September 1677, and he died two days thereafter at his Pall Mall, London home. He was interred on 7 September at St Mary the Virgin, Bexley. His widow died ten days later.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
Philosophical Transactions, titled Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans.) from 1776, is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society. In its earliest days, it was a private venture of the Royal Society’s secretary. It became an official society publication in 1752. It was established in 1665, making it the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science, and therefore also the world’s longest-running scientific journal. The use of the word “Philosophical” in the title refers to “natural philosophy”, which was the equivalent of what would now be generally called “science”.
In 1887 the journal expanded and divided into two separate publications, one serving the physical sciences (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Physical, Mathematical and Engineering Sciences) and the other focusing on the life sciences (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences). Both journals now publish themed issues and issues resulting from papers presented at the Discussion Meetings of the Royal Society. Primary research articles are published in the sister journals Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology Letters, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, and Interface Focus.
Origins and history
The first issue, published in London on 6 March 1665, was edited and published by the Society’s first secretary, Henry Oldenburg, four-and-a-half years after the Royal Society was founded. The full title of the journal, as given by Oldenburg, was Philosophical Transactions, Giving some Account of the present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the World. The society’s council minutes dated 1 March 1664 (in the Julian calendar; equivalent to 11 March 1665 in the modern Gregorian system) ordered that “the Philosophical Transactions, to be composed by Mr Oldenburg, be printed the first Munday of every month, if he have sufficient matter for it, and that that tract be licensed by the Council of this Society, being first revised by some Members of the same”. Oldenburg published the journal at his own personal expense and seems to have entered into an agreement with the society’s council allowing him to keep any resulting profits. He was to be disappointed, however, since the journal performed poorly from a financial point of view during his lifetime, just about covering the rent on his house in Piccadilly. Oldenburg put out 136 issues of the Transactions before his death in 1677.
The familiar functions of the scientific journal – registration (date stamping and provenance), certification (peer review), dissemination and archiving − were introduced at inception by Philosophical Transactions. The beginnings of these ideas can be traced in a series of letters from Oldenburg to Robert Boyle:
[24/11/1664] “We must be very careful as well of regist’ring the person and time of any new matter, as the matter itselfe, whereby the honor of the invention will be reliably preserved to all posterity” (registration and archiving)
[03/12/1664] “…all ingenious men will thereby be incouraged to impact their knowledge and discoverys” (dissemination)
The council minutes of 1 March 1665 made provisions for the tract to be revised by members of the council of the Royal Society, providing the framework for peer review to eventually develop, becoming fully systematic as a process by the 1830s.
The printed journal replaced much of Oldenburg’s letter-writing to correspondents, at least on scientific matters, and as such can be seen as a labour-saving device. Oldenburg also described his journal as “one of these philosophical commonplace books”, indicating his intention to produce a collective notebook between scientists.
Issue 1 contained such articles as: an account of the improvement of optic glasses; the first report on the Great Red Spot of Jupiter; a prediction on the motion of a recent comet (probably an Oort cloud object); a review of Robert Boyle’s Experimental History of Cold; Robert Boyle’s own report of a deformed calf; A report of a peculiar lead-ore from Germany, and the use thereof; “Of an Hungarian Bolus, of the Same Effect with the Bolus Armenus; Of the New American Whale-Fishing about the Bermudas,” and “A Narrative Concerning the Success of Pendulum-Watches at Sea for the Longitudes”. The final article of the issue concerned “The Character, Lately Published beyond the Seas, of an Eminent Person, not Long Since Dead at Tholouse, Where He Was a Councellor of Parliament”. The eminent person recently deceased was Pierre de Fermat, although the issue failed to mention his last theorem.
Oldenburg referred to himself as the “compiler” and sometimes “Author” of the Transactions, and always claimed that the journal was entirely his sole enterprise – although with the Society’s imprimatur and containing reports on experiments carried out and initially communicated by of many of its Fellows, many readers saw the journal as an official organ of the Society. It has been argued that Oldenburg benefitted from this ambiguity, retaining both real and perceived independence (giving the publication an air of authenticity) and the prospect of monetary gain, while simultaneously enjoying the credibility afforded by the association. The Society also enjoyed the benefits of ambiguity: it was able to communicate advances in natural philosophy, undertaken largely in its own name, without the worry that it was directly responsible for its content. In the aftermath of the interregnum,the potential for censorship was very real. Certainly the tone of the early volumes was set by Oldenburg, who often related things he was told by his contacts, translated letters and manuscripts from other languages, and reviewed books, always being sure to indicate the provenance of his material and even to use this to impress the reader.
By reporting ongoing and often unfinished scientific work that may otherwise have not been reported, the journal had a central function of being a scientific news service. At the time of Phil. Trans. foundation, print was heavily regulated, and there was no such thing as a free press. In fact, the first English newspaper, The London Gazette (which was an official organ of Government and therefore seen as sanitised), did not appear until after Phil. Trans. in the same year.
Oldenburg’s compulsive letter writing to foreign correspondents led to him being suspected of being a spy for the Dutch and interred in the Tower of London in 1667. A rival took the opportunity to publish a pirate issue of Philosophical Transactions, with the pretense of it being Issue 27. Oldenburg repudiated the issue by publishing the real 27 upon his release.
Upon Oldenburg’s death, following a brief hiatus, the position of Editor was passed down through successive secretaries of the Society as an unofficial responsibility and at their own expense. Robert Hooke changed the name of the journal to Philosophical Collections in 1679 – a name that remained until 1682, when it changed back. The position of editor was sometimes held jointly and included William Musgrave (Nos 167 to 178) and Robert Plot (Nos 144 to 178).
Born on this day:
1885 – Ring Lardner, American journalist and author (d. 1933)
Ringgold Wilmer “Ring” Lardner (March 6, 1885 – September 25, 1933) was an American sports columnist and short story writer best known for his satirical writings about sports, marriage, and the theatre. He was a contemporary of Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and F. Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom professed strong admiration for Lardner’s writing.
Born in Niles, Michigan, Ring Lardner was the son of wealthy parents, Henry and Lena Phillips Lardner. He was the youngest of nine children. Lardner’s name came from a cousin of the same name. The cousin had been named by Lardner’s uncle, Rear Admiral James L. Lardner, who had decided to name his son after a friend, Rear Admiral Cadwalader Ringgold, who was from a distinguished military family. Lardner never liked his given name and abbreviated it to Ring, naming one of his sons Ring Jr.
Lardner married Ellis Abbott of Goshen, Indiana in 1911. They had four sons, John, James, Ring Jr., and David.
Lardner started his writing career as a sports columnist, finding work with the newspaper South Bend Tribune as a teenager. Soon afterward, he accepted a job with the rival South Bend Times, the first of many professional switches. In 1907, he relocated to Chicago, where he gained a job with the Inter-Ocean, but within a year, he quit to work for the Chicago Examiner, and then for the Tribune. Two years later, Lardner was in St. Louis, writing the humorous baseball column Pullman Pastimes for Taylor Spink and the Sporting News. Some of this work was the basis for his book You Know Me Al. Within three months, he was an employee of the Boston American.
In 1913, Lardner returned to the Chicago Tribune, which became the home newspaper for his syndicated column In the Wake of the News (started by Hugh Keough, who had died in 1912). The column appeared in more than 100 newspapers, and is still published in the Tribune. Lardner’s Tribune and syndicated writing was not exclusively sports related: his dispatches from/near the World War One front were collected in the book My Four Weeks in France, and his immersive coverage of the 1920 Democratic Convention resulted in Lardner receiving 0.5 votes on the 23rd ballot.
In 1916, Lardner published his first successful book, You Know Me Al, an epistolary novel written in the form of letters by “Jack Keefe”, a bush-league baseball player, to a friend back home. The letters made much use of the fictional author’s idiosyncratic vernacular. It had initially been published as six separate but interrelated short stories in The Saturday Evening Post, causing some to classify the book as a collection of stories, others as a novel. Like most of Lardner’s stories, You Know Me Al employs satire, in this case to show the stupidity and avarice of a certain type of athlete. The journalist Andrew Ferguson wrote that “Ring Lardner thought of himself as primarily a sports columnist whose stuff wasn’t destined to last, and he held to that absurd belief even after his first masterpiece, You Know Me Al, was published in 1916 and earned the awed appreciation of Virginia Woolf, among other very serious, unfunny people.” Ferguson termed the book one of the top five pieces of American humor writing.
Sarah Bembrey has written about a singular event in Lardner’s sportswriting experience: “In 1919 something happened that changed his way of reporting about sports and changed his love for baseball. This was the Black Sox scandal when the Chicago White Sox sold out the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Ring was exceptionally close to the White Sox and felt he was betrayed by the team. After the scandal, Ring always wrote about sports as if there were some kink to the outcome.” Lardner’s last fictional baseball writing was collected in the book Lose with a Smile (1933).
Lardner later published such stories as “Haircut”, “Some Like Them Cold”, “The Golden Honeymoon”, “Alibi Ike”, and “A Day with Conrad Green”. He also continued to write follow-up stories to You Know Me Al, with the protagonist of that book, the headstrong but gullible Jack Keefe, experiencing various ups and downs in his major league career and in his personal life. Private Keefe’s World War I training camp letters home to his friend Al were collected in the book Treat ‘Em Rough: Letters From Jack the Kaiser Killer. The sequel, The Real Dope, followed Keefe overseas to the trenches in France.
Lardner also had a lifelong fascination with the theatre, although his only Broadway three-act successes were the thrice-filmed Elmer The Great, co-written with George M. Cohan, and June Moon, a comedy authored with Broadway veteran George S. Kaufman. Lardner also wrote skits for the Ziegfeld Follies. and a series of brief nonsense plays that ridiculed the conventions of the theatre using zany humor and outrageous, impossible stage directions, such as “The curtain is lowered for seven days to denote the lapse of a week.”
He was a dedicated composer and lyricist: both his first – Zanzibar (1903) – and last – June Moon (1920) – published stage works included several Lardner tunes. He wrote at least one recorded song for Bert Williams, and provided the lyrics for the song “That Old Quartet” (1913) by Nathaniel D. Mann. Other collaborators of note included Aubrey Stauffer, Jerome Kern, and Vincent Youmans – with whom he toiled on the Ziegfeld Astaires musical, Smiles (1930).
Lardner was a good friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald and other authors of the Jazz Age. His books were published by Maxwell Perkins, who also served as Fitzgerald’s editor. To create his first book of short stories Lardner had to get copies from the magazines who bought the stories — he held his own short stories in low regard and did not save copies.
Lardner was in some respects the model for the tragic character Abe North of Fitzgerald’s last completed novel, Tender Is the Night.
Lardner influenced Ernest Hemingway, who sometimes wrote articles for his high school newspaper using the pseudonym Ring Lardner, Jr. The two met during December 1928, thanks to Max Perkins, but did not become friends.
Lardner died on September 25, 1933, at the age of 48 in East Hampton, New York, of complications from tuberculosis.
J.D. Salinger referred to Lardner in two of his works, The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey. The protagonist says “My favourite author is my brother D.B. and my next favourite is Ring Lardner”. Wayne C.Booth mentioned Lardner’s famous short story “The Haircut” extensively in his essay “Showing and Telling”.
In his movie Eight Men Out (1988) about the Black Sox scandal, writer-director John Sayles portrayed Lardner as one of the clear-eyed observers who was not taken in by the conspiracy. In one scene, Lardner strolls through the White Sox train, singing a parody of the song “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”, changed to “I’m Forever Throwing Ballgames”.
Sons and great-nephew
John Lardner was a newspaperman, sports columnist, and magazine writer.
James Lardner, also a newspaperman, was killed in the Spanish Civil War fighting with the International Brigades.
Ring Lardner, Jr. was a screenwriter who was blacklisted after the Second World Waras one of the Hollywood Ten, screenwriters who were incarcerated for contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions posed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He won two Academy Awards for his screenplays—one before his imprisonment and blacklisting (for Woman of the Year in 1942), and one after (for M*A*S*H in 1970). His book, The Lardners, My Family Remembered (ISBN 0-06-012517-9), is a source of information on his father.
David Lardner worked for The New Yorker as a general reporter and war correspondent before he was killed by a landmine near Aachen, Germany in October 1944, less than one month after his arrival in Europe.
Ring Lardner was a great-uncle to 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner George Lardner, Jr., a journalist at The Washington Post since 1963.
News of the secret Facebook group was reported by Marine veteran Thomas Brennan, who helms the nonprofit news organization The War Horse.
“We are thankful that Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, notified the Marine Corps and NCIS about what he witnessed on the ‘Marines United’ page,” said Capt. Ryan E. Alvis, Marine Corps spokesperson. “It allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims.”
Yet Brennan has come under fire for exposing the group. According to the Marine Corps Times, members of “Marines United” have threatened both Brennan and his family. It was even suggested that he be waterboarded.
Brennan tells the Marine Corps Times that there’s a “bounty on pictures of my daughter…It has been suggested that my wife should be raped as a result of this, and people are openly suggesting that I should be killed…Can you imagine being one of the victims?”
Rachel Vorona Cote: Justin Timberlake’s iHeartRadio Address to LGBTQ Youth Was Muted
Here’s a transcript of what JT had to say:
“If you’re gay, or you’re lesbian, or you are trans, or maybe you’re just a sissy singer boy from Tennessee — anyone who has treated you unkindly, it’s only because they’re afraid or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are. Because being different means you make a difference. So, fu@@ ‘em.”
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