Category Archives: history

The Theatricality of Cryptography

The first chapter of Singh’s The Code Book is packed with historical examples of cryptography. The Greeks, Persians, Arabs, French, and English, to name a few, were just some of the infinite number of societies and civilizations of which cryptography was crucial to their development. However, most of the examples described did involve people in positions of […] Continue reading

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Yes, You’re Smarter than a(n Ancient) Fifth Grader

The first chapter of Simon Singh’s The Code Book introduces the historical roots of secret writing. Steganography, the practice of hiding the existence of messages, dates as far back as to the Greco-Persian Wars in the fifth century B.C. The practice of cryptography was a novel and unchartered concept for the early Greek, Roman and […] Continue reading

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Comets as Omens of the Future

Comets have been noticed by ancient civilizations for millenia, and, like many other celestial bodies, were viewed as omens of the future. Comets in particular were considered bad omens. The most famous example is Halley’s Comet, seen in 1066 by the English and theorized to have been an omen for Harold II of England’s death. … Continue reading Comets as Omens of the Future Continue reading Continue reading

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A Brief, Incomplete History of “Earth”

When looking at our solar system, it is pretty easy to notice one thing that separates Earth from the other planets with which we share a star. Namely, Earth is the only planet not named after a Roman deity. You have Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and even Pluto! So where does “Earth” […] Continue reading Continue reading

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On This Day in Astronomy History…

On this day, April 9th, 59 years ago in 1959, NASA introduced the world to their first ever astronauts, the Mercury 7.  A press conference was held in D.C. to announce the line up, and reveal America’s next move in the space race against the Soviet Union. This came a year after NASA had introduced […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Cold Worlds, Burning Hatred

Scientific discoveries are not made in a vacuum, and sometimes even the most brilliant and correct ideas are considered to be false due to horrifying and malicious ideologies. Albert Einstein’s discovery of relativity revolutionized the world of physics and astronomy. It provided a unified way to understand the universe and was backed up by both … Continue reading Cold Worlds, Burning Hatred Continue reading Continue reading

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Uranus Is Full of Gas

There are many things unique about Uranus. It rotates on its side, it was the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope, and it is the only planet named after a Greek deity instead of its Roman equivalent. In hindsight, the Roman name Caelus probably would have been a better choice. It may … Continue reading Uranus Is Full of Gas Continue reading Continue reading

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Wisdom and Revolutions

William Blake’s “The Song of Los” is about processes. Blake deviates from Biblical accounts in making Adam and Noah contemporaries in efforts to tether historical moments to reveal patterns of revolutions. But Blake is thinking beyond religion and time. In addition to thinking about Adam and Noah as contemporaries, Blake also includes Brama, “the supreme […] Continue reading

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Archeoastronomy

Last year, I decided to go out on a limb and enroll in ASTR 3000, which is better known as Principles of Astrophysics. I figured as an engineering major, the physics aspect wouldn’t be too unfamiliar- but little did I anticipate that the class would make me fall deeply in love with the subject of […] Continue reading Continue reading

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On This Day in Astronomy History…

  Thirty-four years ago today, on February 7th 1984, NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II became the first person to fly untethered from their spacecraft. McCandless, who just recently passed December 21st at the age of 80, was able to travel 320 feet from the space shuttle Challenger without any connection to the shuttle. He accomplished […] Continue reading Continue reading

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