Because (a) we are in fact entering the holiday silly season, which is a big part of the reason we’re hearing cretinous sh*t about primarying Obama and…
(b) Because my adrenalin and my caffeine receptors have maxed out, and I just can’t think about what we’re going to need to do to rescue an American future from those who want their country the way it used to be — before we had such niceties as the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 23rd and 24th amendments (not to mention the 1rst, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th). We need to come up with the political equivalent of the Lines of Torres Vedras, but I’m going to just shut my brain down on that one for a bit. And…
(C) because the GOP has officially declared its war on games and gamers, let me offer you this, courtesy of one of my grad students who is a deep gamer dork:
Sir Isaac Newton is the Deadliest Man in Space
I’d like to see the anti-science crowd stand up to the awesome power of My Man Isaac.
I guess that makes this an open thread.
Image: Sir Godfrey Kneller, Portrait of Isaac Newton, 1689.
Open thread? I feel like I need Open Trepanning Surgery at this point–following up on the general theme of regression to the middle ages.
I think I’m going to take a blogging break–that always works for JC doesn’t it?
Amen and amen.
@aimai: See you in an hour.
look how the painter gave Newton such rosy red lips. clearly the painter is homophobic and trying to cast Newton as an effeminate cross-dresser.
and anyone who says otherwise has his/her head in the sand.
@cleek: Joke, I know, but just to dial folks’ eyes in, sadly this is a case of crappy color reproduction of the original photo.
Tom [email protected] top
They can’t, they are intellectual midgets.
@aimai: Had to Google that, and it’s always a good day when I learn something new. I would definitely consider this new-tag-worthy.
Newton is hawt.
Buy that fella a steak.
@thomas Levenson: wow…you are Mighty indeed.
may i touch the hem of your garment?
this is all part of the same War. the war of the old on the young, the war of the of stupid on the smart, the war of orthodoxy on heresy, the war of conservatism on liberalism, the war of the security state on cyber-insurgents that is goin on right now.
it is Kylon vs Pythagoras.
this has been going on for 2500 years.
oh no. it was deliberate. it always is.
An interesting post by Juan Cole about the war in Afghanistan not being in the news much lately.
Various members of our local astronomy club often do outreach evening viewing sessions for local schools, and a few weeks ago I and a couple of fellow club members had our telescopes set up on the ballfield on the grounds of a semirural church, where the particular school group that night was a batch of assorted homeschooled kids. The moon was near-full, and as we were finishing setup of our telescopes just prior to the schoolkids’ expected arrival, I was chatting with a member of the host church who’d come out for the session. As she took a peek in my scope at the moon’s craters I mentioned that most of them were at least three billion years old, having been the product of the period when the near-earth solar system was still far more densely laden with large rocky objects that hadn’t yet been consolidated by gravity and collisions into planets yet, and that the earth had undergone similar impacts to those producing large lunar craters but the remnants of these had all been long-destroyed here by geological processes, which are absent on the moon.
[PAUSE]. She replied: “Everyone’s free to believe what they want, but I firmly believe the earth is much younger than that, only about 10,000 years old, which is what careful consideration of Biblical accounts would indicate, and I’ve heard convincing explanations why the evidence is consistent with this, and not ‘old earth’ explanations.”
OH DEAR. It dawned on me at that moment that with some of the soon-arriving schoolkids, most of whom would be accompanied by their parents, that my usual sort of educational commentary accompanying the viewing might possibly create a walking-on-theological-eggs with elephant-feet sort of situation. Even commentary about how many “light-years” the few star clusters visible against a full moon were away from earth might walk into a theological quagmire.
I decided to let chips fall where they may…not be aggressively confrontational with anyone, but nonetheless I would maintain elementary, but honest, accurate scientific commentary about the moon etc. Fortunately, no adverse situations developed, but it dawned on me too that most of the sorts of families who took a creationist young-earth view were used to they and their kids having to swim against the sea of contrary scientific evidence, and were probably inoculated to politely, quietly resist accepting explanations contrary to their religious indoctrination. However, there were doubtless some conversations in the privacy of the car on the way home about what’s really true, and I doubt it was Sir Isaac’s side they were taking.
With the exception of after the 18th Amendment and before the 21st, right?
Oh, and no mention of the 9th? Come one, an originalist reading of that one would shut down 99% of what the right objects to.
“b) Because my adrenalin and my caffeine receptors have maxed out, …”
Don’t know whether that’s going to be helpful, but when adrenalin and caffeine receptor ‘max out’ they desensitize.
Which leaves two choices: abstain and allow for a recovery of function or up the dose and whip these fellows harder. The more healthy one is of course temporary abstinence. Tends to come with some withdrawal symptoms though.
Deleted, because smart-alec advice grates even more when offered twice.
and it’s one reason why nobody should be surprised to see that the US now only ranks 17th out of 35 OECD countries, in science education.
@SRW1: Unless one has some good painkillers handy, I strongly recommend against abstinence.
Your link also made me check out Cole’s latest post about Brazil and Argentina recognizing a palestinian state. Since I also read that Slate article someone else linked to about an hour ago, I realized that the decline of America has already led to the loss of ‘America’s backyard’ that had been under american hegemony since, well, the Monroe Doctrine.
– Alexander Pope.
Isaac Newton had fabulous hair.
@Tom Levenson — Since Izzy’s your main man and you’re a history of science geek, thought you’d be interested that Oxford Dictionary of National Biography just now posted a big spread celebrating the 350th Anniversary of the Royal Society. That means a whole slew of great bios are out from behind their paywall for a brief period. In addition to Wilkins, Boyle, Wren et al, it includes Izzy’s by Richard Westfall. Unfortunately, Westfall failed to include Newton and the Counterfeiter in his reference list — an oversight that clearly should be corrected before the next revision.
For those of us who aren’t affiliated with an institution that has an online subscription, ODNB’s free “Bios of the Day” are great. And to have so many important bios available at once is a special treat.
Newton WAS a total bad ass – running the King’s Mint he oversaw tracking down and conviction of counterfeiters – the punishment in that enlighted age? A convicted counterfeiters would be draw and quartered … bloody bad way to die (only the English could think of such ways to kill.)
For a number of years Newton was on the trail of the most clever and devious counterfeiter who had even wormed his way into the system and high levels of power but to no avail – in the end, Newton won and the man ended in numerous large pieces … but unfortunately for the counterfeiter, while still alive (for a very short time period.) Don’t mess with Newton.
Tom’s not going to like you for revealing the plot of his book!
That was probably my favorite overheard conversation in Mass Effect 2, which is saying something. The only competition was the Turian hitting on his Quarian friend in the bar, and the bachelor party with the Asari stripper.
I’ve been told Isaac Newton wrote all his documents in Latin. I remember seeing someone on (I don’t remember, Discovery Channel, maybe History Channel) said he did this because he had had a great disregard for the common man.
@Peter: Agreed. That is the single best bit of dialogue in the entire game in my opinion, and it’s purely an environmental side conversation that you won’t notice if you don’t stop to listen to it.
I had to play that over and over again to my kid and other half.
@kindness: Not even remotely true.
He wrote lots in English, including Opticks.
All of his Mint documents are in English, as are much else. His correspondence is mostly in English and so on.
The notion that he had contempt for the common man is off target too. He had contempt for certain individuals, certainly — he was a great hater. But Latin was the common language of scholarship and intellectual life. It was what you used for formal communication (and correspondence across “the Republic of Letters”) to reach an international community of thinkers who may have been polyglot as hell in their vernaculars, but all read and spoke Latin when they wished to work as knowledge-makers. Latin was a communal, not an isolating tool.
That’s a painting of Brian May, famed astrophysist and guitar hobbyist.
I was thinking a young Robert Plant.
“You are not a cowboy shooting from the hip.”
LOL. If only Mr. Decider had gotten that speech…
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@DBrown: By clever subterfuge, Jack the Coiner (also known as L’Emmerdeur) escaped his grisly fate, and lived to retire to France, where he hung out with his cuzz, the Sun King…
Newton wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible, as he considered himself to be one of a select group of individuals who were specially chosen by God for the task of understanding Biblical scripture.
In his posthumously-published Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, Newton expressed his belief that Bible prophecy would not be understood “until the time of the end”, and that even then “none of the wicked shall understand”. Referring to that as a future time (“the last age, the age of opening these things, be now approaching”), Newton also anticipated “the general preaching of the Gospel be approaching” and “the Gospel must first be preached in all nations before the great tribulation, and end of the world”.
Over the years, a large amount of media attention and public interest has circulated regarding largely unknown and unpublished documents, evidently written by Isaac Newton, that indicate he believed the world could end in 2060 AD, based on attempts to extract scientific information from the Bible.
See Wikipedia for sources. Physicist and historian Robert Park argues that Newton was not so much the first of the rationalists as he was the last of the mystics.
ME2 is full of little gems, this being my favorite. I do have to say that the bad ass Assari matriarch bartender is way up there.