How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
Author: Richard Hamblyn
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Category: Biography & Autobiography
An extraordinary yet little-known scientific advance occurred in the opening years of the nineteenth century when a young amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, gave the clouds the names by which they are known to this day. By creating a language to define structures that had, up to then, been considered random and unknowable, Howard revolutionized the science of meteorology and earned the admiration of his leading contemporaries in art, literature and science. Richard Hamblyn charts Howard’s life from obscurity to international fame, and back to obscurity once more. He recreates the period’s intoxicating atmosphere of scientific discovery, and shows how this provided inspiration for figures such as Goethe, Shelley and Constable. Offering rich insights into the nature of celebrity, the close relationship between the sciences and the arts, and the excitement generated by new ideas, The Invention of Clouds is an enthralling work of social and scientific history.
Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Lichtenbergischen Figuren um 1800
Author: Haru Hamanaka
Publisher: Wallstein Verlag
Category: Literary Criticism
Lichtenbergs Staubfiguren in der Wissenschaft seiner Zeit: von den Prinzipien und Paradigmen des Wissens von der Natur zur Naturwissenschaft. Haru Hamanaka rekonstruiert anhand der historischen Quellen Georg Christoph Lichtenbergs Entdeckung der nach ihm benannten Figuren physikalischer Entladungsmuster und - erstmalig - deren zeitgenössische Rezeption. Dabei gilt ihr besonderes Interesse sowohl der Kontextualisierung der frühen Forschung zu den Lichtenbergischen Figuren in Wissensdiskursen und in der Wissenskultur der Zeit als auch der Erörterung des epistemischen Potenzials der Bildlichkeit der Staubfiguren für die frühe Forschung. Hamanaka zeigt, welche Rolle die Lichtenbergischen Figuren als Bilder mit einzigartigen Eigenschaften bei der Formation des Wissens um 1800 spielten, als das moderne Konzept von Naturwissenschaft erst im Entstehen begriffen war, und erörtert dabei vor allem die Rolle der druckgraphischen Techniken. Obwohl Lichtenbergs Zeitgenossen wenig zur physikalischen Erklärung der Entstehung der Staubfiguren beitragen konnten, war ihre Beschäftigung damit von immenser Bedeutung. Das Beschreiben, Abbilden und Abdrucken der Figuren sowie die Wiedergabe von Formen und Buchstaben durch sie und das Konzipieren der ihnen graphisch ähnlichen wissenschaftlichen Zeichen - diese Vorgänge, bei denen es sich immer um die Bildlichkeit der Lichtenbergischen Figuren handelt, waren um 1800 wichtige Formen der Wissensgenerierung.
Praktiken der Evidenzproduktion im 17. Jahrhundert
Author: Helmar Schramm,Ludger Schwarte,Jan Lazardzig
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
This volume is the third of the projected eight volumes in the series Theatrum Scientiarum, which examines the founding phase of art and science in the modern age from a new perspective. It focuses on the question of how experiments and their execution have contributed to a fundamental change in the cultural landscape since the Early Modern Age. The contributors demonstrate that poetological discourse and Baroque theatrical production play a decisive role in the generation and social acceptance of experimental knowledge in the 17th century.
Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime
Author: Mary A. Favret
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
What does it mean to live during wartime away from the battle zone? What is it like for citizens to go about daily routines while their country sends soldiers to kill and be killed across the globe? Timely and thought-provoking, War at a Distance considers how those left on the home front register wars and wartime in their everyday lives, particularly when military conflict remains removed from immediate perception, available only through media forms. Looking back over two centuries, Mary Favret locates the origins of modern wartime in the Napoleonic era and describes how global military operations affected the British populace, as the nation's army and navy waged battles far from home for decades. She reveals that the literature and art produced in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries obsessively cultivated means for feeling as much as understanding such wars, and established forms still relevant today. Favret examines wartime literature and art as varied as meditations on the Iliad, the history of meteorology, landscape painting in India, and popular poetry in newspapers and periodicals; she locates the embedded sense of war and dislocation in works ranging from Austen, Coleridge, and Wordsworth to Woolf, Stevens, and Sebald; and she contemplates how literature provides the public with methods for responding to violent calamities happening elsewhere. Bringing to light Romanticism's legacy in reflections on modern warfare, this book shows that war's absent presence affects home in deep and irrevocable ways.
An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice
Author: Peter Claus,John Marriott
Why should history students care about theory? What relevance does it have to the "proper" role of the historian? Historiography and historical theory are often perceived as complex subjects, which many history students find frustrating and difficult. Philosophical approaches, postmodernism, anthropology, feminism or Marxism can seem arcane and abstract and students often struggle to apply these ideas in practice. Starting from the premise that historical theory and historiography are fascinating and exciting topics to study, Claus and Marriott guide the student through the various historical theories and approaches in a balanced, comprehensive and engaging way. Packed with intriguing anecdotes from all periods of history and supported by primary extracts from original historical writings, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice is the student-friendly text which demystifies the subject with clarity and verve. Key features - Written in a clear and witty way. Presents a balanced view of the subject, rather than the polemical view of one historian. Comprehensive - covers the whole range of topics taught on historiography and historical theory courses in suitable depth. Full of examples from different historical approaches - from social, cultural and political history to gender, economic and world history Covers a wide chronological breadth of examples from the ancient and medieval worlds to the twentieth century. Shows how students can engage with the theories covered in each chapter and apply them to their own studies via the "In Practice" feature at the end of each chapter. Includes "Discussion Documents" - numerous extracts from the primary historiographical texts for students to read and reflect upon.
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Random House
Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, A Short History of Nearly Everything is the biggest-selling popular science book of the 21st century, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
A Study of Seneca's 'Natural Questions'
Author: Gareth D. Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Seneca's Natural Questions is an eight-book disquisition on the nature of meteorological phenomena, ranging inter alia from rainbows to earthquakes, from comets to the winds, from the causes of snow and hail to the reasons why the Nile floods in summer. Much of this material had been treated in the earlier Greco-Roman meteorological tradition, but what notoriously sets Seneca's writing apart is his insertion of extended moralizing sections within his technical discourse. How, if at all, are these outbursts against the luxury and vice that are apparently rampant in Seneca's first-century CE Rome to be reconciled with his main meteorological agenda? In grappling with this familiar question, The Cosmic Viewpoint argues that Seneca is no blinkered or arid meteorological investigator, but a creative explorer into nature's workings who offers a highly idiosyncratic blend of physico-moral investigation across his eight books. At one level, his inquiry into nature impinges on human conduct and morality in its implicit propagation of the familiar Stoic ideal of living in accordance with nature: the moral deviants whom Seneca condemns in the course of the work offer egregious examples of living contrary to nature's balanced way. At a deeper level, however, The Cosmic Viewpoint stresses the literary qualities and complexities that are essential to Seneca's literary art of science: his technical enquiries initiate a form of engagement with nature which distances the reader from the ordinary involvements and fragmentations of everyday life, instead centering our existence in the cosmic whole. From a figurative standpoint, Seneca's meteorological theme raises our gaze from a terrestrial level of existence to a more intuitive plane where literal vision gives way to 'higher' conjecture and intuition: in striving to understand meteorological phenomena, we progress in an elevating direction - a conceptual climb that renders the Natural Questions no mere store of technical learning, but a work that actively promotes a change of perspective in its readership.
Author: Daniel Defoe
Publisher: Penguin UK
On the evening of 26th November 1703, a cyclone from the north Atlantic hammered into southern Britain at over seventy miles an hour, claiming the lives of over 8,000 people. Eyewitnesses reported seeing cows left stranded in the branches of trees and windmills ablaze from the friction of their whirling sails. For Defoe, bankrupt and just released from prison for seditious writings, the storm struck during one of his bleakest moments. But it also furnished him with the material for his first book, and in his powerful depiction of private suffering and individual survival played out against a backdrop of public calamity we can trace the outlines of his later masterpieces such as A Journal of the Plague Year and Robinson Crusoe.
laws of science and the great minds behind them
Author: Clifford A. Pickover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A fascinating account of some of the greatest ideas of history takes readers on a journey across the centuries as it explores the eponymous physical laws whose ramifications have altered our everyday lives and our understanding of the universe.
Author: Richard Hamblyn
Publisher: David & Charles
Presents a richly illustrated guide to the different types of clouds and other atmospheric phenomena in terms of their implications for the planet's weather, discusses the history of cloud classification, and offers stunning images from one of the world's premier weather forecasting bureaus. Original. 10,000 first printing.
Understanding weather and climate.
A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination
Author: Michael Sims
Publisher: Viking Press
A lighthearted tour of the developmental synergies of life throughout the course of a single day touches on a broad variety of cultural and natural topics, from the color of the sky and the course of the sun to the iconography of prehistoric Egyptian sculpture and the circadian rhythms of Japanese moon imagery.