On this day:
1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type.
Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual letters or punctuation) usually on the medium of paper.
The world’s first movable type printing press technology for printing paper books was made of ceramic porcelain china materials and invented in ancient China around AD 1040 by the Han Chinese innovator Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127). In 1377, currently the oldest extant movable metal print book, Jikji, was printed using Chinese characters in the Goryeo dynasty of Korea. The diffusion of both movable-type systems was, however, limited. They were expensive, and required a high amount of labor involved in manipulating the thousands of ceramic tablets or metal tablets, required for scripts based on the ancient Chinese writing script, which has thousands of characters. Around 1450 Johannes Gutenberg made another version of a metal movable-type printing press in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. The more limited number of characters needed for European languages was an important factor. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony—and these materials remained standard for 550 years.
For alphabetic scripts, movable-type page setting was quicker than woodblock printing. The metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts. The high quality and relatively low price of the Gutenberg Bible (1455) established the superiority of movable type in Europe and the use of printing presses spread rapidly. The printing press may be regarded as one of the key factors fostering the Renaissance and due to its effectiveness, its use spread around the globe.
The 19th-century invention of hot metal typesetting and its successors caused movable type to decline in the 20th century.
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, also known as Naval Station Guantanamo Bay or NSGB, (also called GTMO because of the airfield designation code or Gitmo because of the common pronunciation of this code by the U.S. military) is a United States military base located on 45 square miles (120 km2) of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which the US leased for use as a coaling and naval station in 1903 (for $2,000 per year until 1934, when it was increased to $4,085 per year). The base is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas U.S. Naval Base. Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban government has consistently protested against the U.S. presence on Cuban soil and called it illegal under international law, alleging that the base was imposed on Cuba by force. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2013, Cuba’s Foreign Minister demanded the U.S. return the base and the “usurped territory”, which the Cuban government considers to be occupied since the U.S. invasion of Cuba during the Spanish–American War in 1898.
Since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for unlawful combatants captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places during the War on Terror. Cases of torture of prisoners, and their alleged denial of protection under the Geneva Conventions, have been condemned internationally.
Born on this day:
1583 – Jean-Baptiste Morin, French mathematician, astrologer, and astronomer (d. 1656)
For the 18th-century French composer, see Jean-Baptiste Morin (composer). For the Canadian politician, see Jean-Baptiste Morin (politician).
Jean-Baptiste Morin (February 23, 1583 – November 6, 1656), also known by the Latinized name as Morinus, was a French mathematician, astrologer, and astronomer.
Life and work
Born in Villefranche-sur-Saône, in the Beaujolais, he began studying philosophy at Aix-en-Provence at the age of 16. He studied medicine at Avignon in 1611 and received his medical degree two years later. He was employed by the Bishop of Boulogne from 1613 to 1621 and was sent to Germany and Hungary during this time. He served the bishop as an astrologer and also visited mines and studied metals. He subsequently worked for the Duke of Luxembourg until 1629. Morin published a defense of Aristotle in 1624. He also worked in the field of optics, and continued to study in astrology. He worked with Pierre Gassendi on observational astronomy.
In 1630, Morin was appointed professor of mathematics at the Collège Royal, a post he held until his death.
A firm believer of the idea that the Earth remained fixed in space, Morin is best known for being an opponent of Galileo and the latter’s ideas. He continued his attacks after the Trial of Galileo. Morin seems to have been a rather contentious figure, as he also attacked Descartes’ ideas after meeting the philosopher in 1638. These disputes isolated Morin from the scientific community at large.
Morin believed that improved methods of solving spherical triangles had to be found and that better lunar tables were needed.
Morin and longitude
Morin attempted to solve the longitude problem. In 1634, he proposed his solution, based on measuring absolute time by the position of the Moon relative to the stars. His method was a variation of the lunar distance method first put forward by Johann Werner in 1514. Morin added some improvements to this method, such as better scientific instruments and taking lunar parallax into account. Morin did not believe that Gemma Frisius’ transporting clock method for calculating out longitude would work. Morin, unfailingly irascible, remarked, “I do not know if the Devil will succeed in making a longitude timekeeper but it is folly for man to try.”
A prize was to be awarded, so a committee was set up by Richelieu to evaluate Morin’s proposal. Serving on this committee were Étienne Pascal, Claude Mydorge, and Pierre Hérigone. The committee remained in dispute with Morin for the five years after he made his proposal. Morin refused to listen to objections to his proposal, which was considered impractical. In his attempts to convince the committee members, Morin proposed that an observatory be set up in order to provide accurate lunar data. He wrangled with the committee for five years.
In 1645, Cardinal Mazarin, Richelieu’s successor, awarded Morin a pension of 2,000 livres for his work on the longitude problem.
Morin and astrology
Perhaps most famous for his work as an astrologer, towards the end of his life Morin completed Astrologia Gallica (“French Astrology”), a treatise which he did not live to see in print. The 26 books of intricate, complex, Latin text were published at the Hague in 1661 as one thick folio 850 pages long. The work covers natal, judicial, mundane, electional and meteorological astrology, and parts that are most concerned with astrological techniques (as compared to theological discussion on which they are based) have been translated or paraphrased into French, Spanish, German, and English.
At least among English-speaking astrologers, Morin is known as having been particularly concerned with prediction through methodical extrapolation of what is promised in the natal chart. His techniques were directions, solar and lunar return, and he regarded transits a subsidiary technique though one key to accurate timing of events nonetheless.
Morin challenged much of classical astrological theory, including the astrology of Ptolemy, in an attempt to present a solid set of tools while rendering reasons for and against particular techniques, some of which may be considered crucial to many astrologers before and during Morin’s lifetime. At the same time, Morin vested himself heavily in promoting in mundo directions, a technique largely based on the work of Regiomontanus that became available thanks to then-recent advancement in mathematics. In his work, Morin provides examples of successful delineation of events that otherwise could not be delineated with the same relative degree of certainty.
Morin’s life has been that of trial and tribulation by his own testament. He died in Paris of natural causes at 73 years of age.
1868 – W. E. B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, and activist (d. 1963)
William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (pronounced /duːˈbɔɪz/ doo-BOYZ; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After completing graduate work at the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
Du Bois rose to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed the Atlanta compromise, an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Instead, Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership.
Racism was the main target of Du Bois’s polemics, and he strongly protested against lynching, Jim Crow laws, and discrimination in education and employment. His cause included people of color everywhere, particularly Africans and Asians in colonies. He was a proponent of Pan-Africanism and helped organize several Pan-African Congresses to fight for independence of African colonies from European powers. Du Bois made several trips to Europe, Africa and Asia. After World War I, he surveyed the experiences of American black soldiers in France and documented widespread bigotry in the United States military.
Du Bois was a prolific author. His collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, was a seminal work in African-American literature; and his 1935 magnum opus Black Reconstruction in America challenged the prevailing orthodoxy that blacks were responsible for the failures of the Reconstruction Era. He wrote one of the first scientific treatises in the field of American sociology, and he published three autobiographies, each of which contains insightful essays on sociology, politics and history. In his role as editor of the NAACP’s journal The Crisis, he published many influential pieces. Du Bois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and he was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life. He was an ardent peace activist and advocated nuclear disarmament. The United States’ Civil Rights Act, embodying many of the reforms for which Du Bois had campaigned his entire life, was enacted a year after his death.
Samer Kalaf: Former Bengals LB Accused Of Assault, Exposing Himself In Church Parking Lot
Schaffer last played for the Bengals in 2014. He was cut, cleared waivers, and placed on the injured reserve list during the preseason due to “multiple concussions.”Samer Kalaf: Former Bengals LB Accused Of Assault, Exposing Himself In Church Parking Lot
Possibly great ideas~
On this day:
1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.
The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) is a 1632 Italian-language book by Galileo Galilei comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system. It was translated into Latin as Systema cosmicum (English: Cosmic System) in 1635 by Matthias Bernegger. The book was dedicated to Galileo’s patron, Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who received the first printed copy on February 22, 1632.
In the Copernican system, the Earth and other planets orbit the Sun, while in the Ptolemaic system, everything in the Universe circles around the Earth. The Dialogue was published in Florence under a formal license from the Inquisition. In 1633, Galileo was found to be “vehemently suspect of heresy” based on the book, which was then placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, from which it was not removed until 1835 (after the theories it discussed had been permitted in print in 1822). In an action that was not announced at the time, the publication of anything else he had written or ever might write was also banned in Catholic countries.
While writing the book, Galileo referred to it as his Dialogue on the Tides, and when the manuscript went to the Inquisition for approval, the title was Dialogue on the Ebb and Flow of the Sea. He was ordered to remove all mention of tides from the title and to change the preface because granting approval to such a title would look like approval of his theory of the tides using the motion of the Earth as proof. As a result, the formal title on the title page is Dialogue, which is followed by Galileo’s name, academic posts, and followed by a long subtitle. The name by which the work is now known was extracted by the printer from the description on the title page when permission was given to reprint it with an approved preface by a Catholic theologian in 1744. This must be kept in mind when discussing Galileo’s motives for writing the book. Although the book is presented formally as a consideration of both systems (as it needed to be in order to be published at all), there is no question that the Copernican side gets the better of the argument.
The book is presented as a series of discussions, over a span of four days, among two philosophers and a layman:
Salviati argues for the Copernican position and presents some of Galileo’s views directly, calling him the “Academician” in honor of Galileo’s membership in the Accademia dei Lincei. He is named after Galileo’s friend Filippo Salviati (1582–1614).
Sagredo is an intelligent layman who is initially neutral. He is named after Galileo’s friend Giovanni Francesco Sagredo (1571–1620).
Simplicio, a dedicated follower of Ptolemy and Aristotle, presents the traditional views and the arguments against the Copernican position. He is supposedly named after Simplicius of Cilicia, a sixth-century commentator on Aristotle, but it was suspected the name was a double entendre, as the Italian for “simple” (as in “simple minded”) is “semplice”. Simplicio is modeled on two contemporary conservative philosophers, Lodovico delle Colombe (Italian) (1565–1616?), Galileo’s fiercest detractor, and Cesare Cremonini (1550–1631), a Paduan colleague who had refused to look through the telescope. Colombe was the leader of a group of Florentine opponents of Galileo’s, which some of the latter’s friends referred to as “the pigeon league”.
The discussion is not narrowly limited to astronomical topics, but ranges over much of contemporary science. Some of this is to show what Galileo considered good science, such as the discussion of William Gilbert’s work on magnetism. Other parts are important to the debate, answering erroneous arguments against the Earth’s motion.
A classic argument against earth motion is the lack of speed sensations of the earth surface, though it moves, by the earth’s rotation, at about 1700 km/h at the equator. In this category there is a thought experiment in which a man is below decks on a ship and cannot tell whether the ship is docked or is moving smoothly through the water: he observes water dripping from a bottle, fish swimming in a tank, butterflies flying, and so on; and their behavior is just the same whether the ship is moving or not. This is a classic exposition of the Inertial frame of reference and refutes the objection that if we were moving hundreds of kilometres an hour as the Earth rotated, anything that one dropped would rapidly fall behind and drift to the west.
The bulk of Galileo’s arguments may be divided into three classes:
Rebuttals to the objections raised by traditional philosophers; for example, the thought experiment on the ship.
Observations that are incompatible with the Ptolemaic model: the phases of Venus, for instance, which simply couldn’t happen, or the apparent motions of sunspots, which could only be explained in the Ptolemaic or Tychonic systems as resulting from an implausibly complicated precession of the Sun’s axis of rotation.
Arguments showing that the elegant unified theory of the Heavens that the philosophers held, which was believed to prove that the Earth was stationary, was incorrect; for instance, the mountains of the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, and the very existence of sunspots, none of which was part of the old astronomy.
Generally, these arguments have held up well in terms of the knowledge of the next four centuries. Just how convincing they ought to have been to an impartial reader in 1632 remains a contentious issue.
Galileo attempted a fourth class of argument:
Direct physical argument for the Earth’s motion, by means of an explanation of tides.
As an account of the causation of tides or a proof of the Earth’s motion, it is a failure. The fundamental argument is internally inconsistent and actually leads to the conclusion that tides do not exist. But, Galileo was fond of the argument and devoted the “Fourth Day” of the discussion to it.
The degree of its failure is—like nearly anything having to do with Galileo—a matter of controversy. On the one hand, the whole thing has recently been described in print as “cockamamie.” On the other hand, Einstein used a rather different description:
It was Galileo’s longing for a mechanical proof of the motion of the earth which misled him into formulating a wrong theory of the tides. The fascinating arguments in the last conversation would hardly have been accepted as proof by Galileo, had his temperament not got the better of him. [Emphasis added]
Born on this day:
1796 – Adolphe Quetelet, Belgian mathematician, astronomer, and sociologist (d. 1874)
Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (French: [kətlɛ]; 22 February 1796 – 17 February 1874) ForMemRS was a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. He founded and directed the Brussels Observatory and was influential in introducing statistical methods to the social sciences. His name is sometimes spelled with an accent as Quételet. He developed the body mass index scale.
Adolphe was born in Ghent (which, at the time was a part of the new French Republic), the son of François-Augustin-Jacques-Henri Quetelet, a Frenchman and Anne Françoise Vandervelde, a Flemish woman. His father, François, was born at Ham, Picardy, and being of a somewhat adventurous spirit, he crossed the English Channel and became both a British citizen and the secretary of a Scottish nobleman. In that capacity, he traveled with his employer on the Continent, particularly spending time in Italy. At about 31, he settled in Ghent and was employed by the city, where Adolphe was born the fifth of nine children, several of whom died in childhood.
Francois died when Adolphe was only seven years old. Adolphe studied at the Ghent lycée, where he started teaching mathematics in 1815 at the age of 19. In 1819 he moved to the Athenaeum in Brussels and in the same year he completed his dissertation (De quibusdam locis geometricis, necnon de curva focal – Of some new properties of the focal distance and some other curves).
Quetelet received a doctorate in mathematics in 1819 from the University of Ghent. Shortly thereafter, the young man set out to convince government officials and private donors to build an astronomical observatory in Brussels; he succeeded in 1828. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1820. He lectured at the museum for sciences and letters and at the Belgian Military School. In 1825 he became correspondent of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, in 1827 he became member. From 1841 to 1851 he was supernumerair’ associate in the Institute, and when it became Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences he became foreign member. In 1850, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Quetelet also founded several statistical journals and societies, and was especially interested in creating international cooperation among statisticians. He encouraged the creation of a statistical section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), which later became the Royal Statistical Society, of which he became the first overseas member.
In 1855 Quetelet suffered from apoplexy, which diminished but did not end his scientific activity. He died in Brussels on 17 February 1874, and is buried in the Brussels Cemetery.
His scientific research encompassed a wide range of different scientific disciplines: meteorology, astronomy, mathematics, statistics, demography, sociology, criminology and history of science. He made significant contributions to scientific development, but he also wrote several monographs directed to the general public. He founded the Royal Observatory of Belgium, founded or co-founded several national and international statistical societies and scientific journals, and presided over the first series of the International Statistical Congresses. Quetelet was a liberal and an anticlerical, but not an atheist or materialist nor a socialist.
The new science of probability and statistics was mainly used in astronomy at the time, where it was essential to account for measurement errors around means. This was done using the method of least squares. Quetelet was among the first to apply statistics to social science, planning what he called “social physics”. He was keenly aware of the overwhelming complexity of social phenomena, and the many variables that needed measurement. His goal was to understand the statistical laws underlying such phenomena as crime rates, marriage rates or suicide rates. He wanted to explain the values of these variables by other social factors. These ideas were rather controversial among other scientists at the time who held that it contradicted the concept of freedom of choice.
His most influential book was Sur l’homme et le développement de ses facultés, ou Essai de physique sociale, published in 1835 (In English translation, it is titled Treatise on Man, but a literal translation would be “On Man and the Development of his Faculties, or Essays on Social Physics”). In it, he outlines the project of a social physics and describes his concept of the “average man” (l’homme moyen) who is characterized by the mean values of measured variables that follow a normal distribution. He collected data about many such variables.
When Auguste Comte discovered that Quetelet had appropriated the term ‘social physics’, which Comte had originally introduced, Comte found it necessary to invent the term ‘sociologie’ (sociology) because he disagreed with Quetelet’s collection of statistics.
Quetelet was an influential figure in criminology. Along with Andre-Michel Guerry, he helped to establish the cartographic school and positivist schools of criminology which made extensive use of statistical techniques. Through statistical analysis, Quetelet gained insight into the relationships between crime and other social factors. Among his findings were strong relationships between age and crime, as well as gender and crime. Other influential factors he found included climate, poverty, education, and alcohol consumption, with his research findings published in Of the Development of the Propensity to Crime.
In his 1835 text on social physics, in which he presented his theory of human variance around the average, with human traits being distributed according to a normal curve, he proposed that normal variation provided a basis for the idea that populations produce sufficient variation for artificial or natural selection to operate.
In terms of influence over later public health agendas, one of Quetelet’s lasting legacies was the establishment of a simple measure for classifying people’s weight relative to an ideal for their height. His proposal, the body mass index (or Quetelet index), has endured with minor variations to the present day. Anthropometric data is used in modern applications and referenced in the development of every consumer-based product.
“You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing.”
“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”
Love is the most powerful energy in the world. When you have that, you’re not weaker; you’re actually a lot stronger. That’s the narrative that’s missing out there and needs to be told.
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
“People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people’s minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.”
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.”
Sidney J. Harris
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
“I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.”
This Mouse must give up one of his Mouse ways of seeing things in order that he may grow.
“The ego is the false self—born out of fear and defensiveness.”
“The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy.”
“To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.”
“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.”
Logan Pearsall Smith
“In all things that you do, consider the end.”
“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”
“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark.”-
“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.”
Logan Pearsall Smith