Categories
Press and Pop Culture

The Twilight Zone, Mars, and Percival Lowell

The Twilight Zone episode “People are Alike All Over” opens as a rocket launches for Mars, Rod Serling’s voice intoning: They’re taking a highway into space. Man unshackling himself and sending his tiny, groping fingers up into the unknown. Their destination is Mars. And in just a moment we’ll land there with them. It is […]

Categories
Press and Pop Culture

Of Astrolabes and Wine

Further evidence that astrolabes are infiltrating culture is the name of winery in New Zealand: Astrolabe. Unfortunately, this winery is not really named after the instrument. Instead, situated in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, the winery is named “after the ship that in 1827 charted and explored the Marlborough Coast.” That ship was called […]

Categories
Museums

The Byzantine Astrolabe

I can’t reconstruct how I came across this page, but now that I have I can’t let it go without some comment. A search for the pair of terms “Brescia astrolabe” or “Byzantine astrolabe” gives as the second result a link to a Wikimedia page, Byzantine astrolabe at Brescia, 5th century AD (reconstruction).jpg A quick […]

Categories
Research

Filed under “Amusing Diversion”

Working through a manuscript I came across this folio with a large diagram of the zodiac in the center. What caught my attention was the drawing in the upper right corner. The scribe seems to have thrown his arms up in confusion (?), exasperation (?), or simply resignation. Either that, or he’s being held up […]