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Press and Pop Culture

The Use and Abuse of Isaac Newton

Bitcoin’s recent rise has prompted an ever growing number of people to misstate and otherwise abuse Newton’s laws of motions. Predictions of a Bitcoin crash typically invoke “Newton’s Law of Universal Gravity [which] states that what goes up must come down” or some version of that “law”. The whole Newton’s law of “what goes up […]

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Historical Expertise

Newton Relics

In an editorial taking Kyrie Irving to task for his comments about the shape of the earth, “Between Kyrie Irving’s flat Earth and Isaac Newton’s apple tree, science remains a process of understanding,” Glenn Starkman and Patricia Princehouse remark: We have an apple tree on the Case Western Reserve University campus grown from a twig […]

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Press and Pop Culture

The Internet Discovers that Newton was an Alchemist

When Chemistry World reported on a Newton manuscript that CHF had recently purchased, it started a small epidemic of posts on Newton and alchemy. Within a few days hundreds of sites—ranging from sites like the Daily Kos and CNN to the Ancient Code and Facebook posts—had summarized, linked to, reposted, or transformed the original report.[1] […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Isaac Newton & Muzzle Brakes

It seems to be “strange uses of Isaac Newton” week. Following up on the humorous Newton was a cyclist we now read in Field & Stream this strange patchwork of Newton factoids that casts him as the inspiration for muzzle brakes. I confess, I really don’t understand how these two stories got intermingled here. Yes, […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Isaac Newton the Cyclist

Michael Hutchinson offers one of the more amusing and creative stories of Isaac Newton and his three laws of motion in a recent post for Cycling Weekly, Dr Hutch: Isaac Newton was a time trial list, and I can prove it. And while this version may not have tradition behind it, if you’ve spent much […]

Categories
Academia

Isaac Newton Scientific Revolution Essay

This morning an odd Google alert showed in my inbox. At first glance, there’s nothing strange here. But looking again, I noticed that the webpage was “Complex Systems Lab.” The link directed me to http://complex.upf.edu/?ma=isaac-newton-scientific-revolution-essay. What is a essay writing/selling site doing at an EDU site? So I typed in the base URL, complex.upf.edu, which […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Isaac Newton was Autistic, or Not

Isaac Newton was Autistic or Not A cottage industry has developed around placing long-dead geniuses at various points on the Asperger’s spectrum. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are the most frequent victims of this particular form of retrospective diagnosis. Recently and without any apparent reason, the Orange Country Register joined the fun with the article […]

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Literature & Scholarship

Moving beyond Heroic Geniuses

Historiann recently reflected on the preponderance of best-selling history books written by men and about men: last year 21 of the 23 best-selling history books were written by men. As she pointed out, audiences never seem to tire of biographies recounting the heroic man who has somehow contributed to our modern world. While she focused […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Weekly Roundup: History of Science Videos & NSF Report

The History Channel Distorts History A number of the videos at the History Channel’s “Enlightenment” page deal with the history of science—on Isaac Newton, the Scientific Revolution, and a series Beyond the Big Ban: Copernicus, Beyond the Big Ban: Galileo and Beyond the Big Ban: Newton. Some gesture to interesting points, e.g., the interaction between […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Social Newtonianism again

Social Newtonianism seems to be on the rise. Recently Newton’s three laws of motion were used to describe traffic in Manila and before that Newton’s third law of motion was used to assess risk in banking investments, which I wrote about here. Now we see an executive coach applying Newton’s “three laws of motion to […]