Daily Office: Thursday



¶ Antikythera: I’m not sure what prompted the report in Nature (which prompted the Times), but the Antikythera Device is always cool. Hey, it’s the world’s first analog computer!


¶ Uncle Bobby: Jamie Larue, a librarian in Colorado, was recently asked to reconsider the shelving of Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S Brannen.  Aimed at children between the ages of two to seven, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding deals with a little girl’s fear of losing her favorite uncle when he gets married. Incidentally, Uncle Bobby is marrying another man.

Mr Larue’s thoughtful — and effectively all-purpose — reply appears at his Web lob, Myliblog.com. I urge all Daily Blague visitors to read it.


¶ Lordly Hudson: Among New York City’s totally unfair stack of natural advantages is the mighty Hudson, an estuary posing as a highly scenic river that, for most of the Twentieth Century, was treated as a giant sewer. John Strausbaugh’s update on improved conditions features a flabbergasting image of the deserted  castle on Bannerman’s Island, which seems second only to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart in square footage.  


Morning, cont’d

§ Antikythera. But Kathleen threw down the newspaper in disgust. “What a come-on!”, she complained. The title of John Noble Wilford’s piece, “Discovering How Greeks Computed in 100 B.C.,” is, in a word, crap. Totally. All that has been “discovered” is the device’s use of something called the Metonic calendar, which reconciles lunar and solar years within the framework of a 19-year cycle.

Read more about the Antikythera Device at Portico.

Noon, cont’d

§ Bobby. The comment thread, if you’ve got the time, is worth perusing as well. I saw only unpleasant bit of crossfire and a mild skirmish; for the most part, the comments are heartily approving. Mr Larue’s entry was posted on 14 July; I picked up a link to it at kottke.org this morning.

Night, cont’d

§ Lordly Hudson. When I was a kid, the day camps that I worked my way through usually featured a junket to Bear Mountain State Park, via the Day Liners, some of which were still paddle-wheeled, although I don’t remember actually being on one. What fascinated me was the fact that there were cabins on the boats, for people booking passage all the way to Albany. More like a Night Liner, it seemed to me. I expect that, by the late Fifties, accommodations were woefully seedy.

As you may remember from school, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat, known to history as the Clermont, was the first commercially-successful steamship in the world. Hudson River farmers found its sparky belchings of smoke a sure sign of Armageddon.