Recent posts

Chambers Full of Snakes

January 3, 2019

Thumbing through a couple early modern collections of secrets always turns up strange and fascinating techniques and recipes. Some seem obviously useful, such as how to make a candle burn under water or make one burn forever. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, recipes to treat wounds and restore health are common. We find… Read more

Astronomy and Printing

January 2, 2019

The Printing Museum in Tokyo has what looks to be an amazing temporary exhibit right now on astronomy and print, aptly named “Astronomy and Printing. In search of new world vision.”[1] The exhibit brings together nearly 100 printed objects stretching from the 1450s to the 1870s.[2] In addition to showing… Read more

Feynman Relics

December 2, 2018

A pile of Richard Feynman detritus sold recently at Sotheby’s.1 In total, the 44 lots of Feynman’s stuff fetched $3,796,625, most of it paid for Feynman’s Nobel Prize.2 While I remain puzzled by the desire to own souvenirs from some famous scientist, I am truly baffled by the fact that… Read more

Want to learn what an astrolabe is?
Want to learn how to operate one?
Download my introduction to the history and use of the astrolabe:
An Introduction to the Astrolabe