There's lots of evidence that ancient Scandinavians and other mariner cultures ASSUMED the earth was spherical. Even the Old Testament hints at it: Isa 40:22 [It is] he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth.
But, it is true that the majority of folks have often held false beliefs; non-Christian cultures, for instance. (heh, heh.)
Anyone out there checked out the "hollow earth" sites yet?
I'm not so sure whether the people of ancient Scandinavia (I guess we're talking about the vikings here, as a seafaring people) believed that the earth was spherical. In the Gylfaginning, which is the part of the Snorra Edda dealing with mythology, it is told that the earth was made of the slain body of the giant Ymir: His flesh represents the earth, his blood the oceans, his bones rocks or mountains etc. and his skull represents the sky -- so we have the concept of something what you might call a hemisphere. But then, the habitable earth, consisting of Asgard (the home of the gods) inside Midgard (the home of men), which is surrounded by the sea and Utgard (the home of the giants), is rather conceived as a disc, with the skull/sky on top of it.
The people in ancient Egypt, however seemed to have a spherical concept of the sun, as it was often represented by the dung ball of a scarab (or dung beetle, which represented the god Ra). Whether they had a similar view concerning the shape of the earth, I don't know.
Consider this converstion over the telephone you are speaking about:
We both know that we are not talking to anyone. A little piece of plastic vibrates that simulates the voice of someone we know. How can that be? And when we speak in return, we are creating a vibration of a piece of plastic on some distance shore where that plastic vibrates to sound like our voice. How can that be? At most, we are talking to a piece of plastic in our hands. From there, it's a mystery to most folks. We take EVERYTHING for granted nowadays.
Years back when the first recordings came into existence, and someone held up a cylinder or a flat black disc and looked into the grooves perhaps wondered, 'how the heck does anyone make anything work out of a few thread thin scratches in a platter?'
Modern inventions, with all their implications, are really far over our heads.
We stand in a room filled with people we cannot see, and only thru a machine called a television, lets us view what we cannot normally see. And hear as well. All these invisible sounds in the air. And be there spirit -realms, and the dead walking about as well, wondering what ever became of life, should cause us to cringe in a corner lest we begin to understand too much and are unable to sanely assimilate it.
Exactly, Nard. I'm amazed at where technology has gone.
Interestingly, as technology advances, ethically impactual decisions are needed. War, medicine, euthanasia, abortion, pornography, etc., etc., etc. As man becomes more technologically advanced, the need for philosophy increases. Some argue philosophy is bout old dead men. My own view is that it is becoming increasingly important as technology alters man capabilities.
Do you guys remember the short story by Arthur C. Clarke about a kind of yacht race in space? These ships had GIANT sails which caught the solar 'wind'. The story had two different titles, THE WIND FROM THE SUN in the U.K. and SUNJAMMER in the U.S. Anyways, this farfetched idea of the early 60's is actually in the works now and has been for some time. Check this story out.
Solar Sail Craft to Be Launched in March
PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 9) - A solar sail spacecraft designed to be propelled by the pressure of sunlight will be launched early next year, The Planetary Society said Tuesday.
Cosmos 1 will be carried into orbit by a converted intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a submerged Russian submarine in the Barents Sea, the space exploration organization said.
A launch date of March 1 was scheduled, with a window open to April 7, but the actual liftoff date will be determined by the Russian navy. Russian, American and Czech ground stations will track the craft.
The mission, costing just under $4 million, will attempt the first controlled flight of a solar sail.
Solar sails are envisioned as means for achieving interstellar flight. Though very gentle, solar pressure should allow such spacecraft to gradually build up great velocity over time, and cover great distances.
Japan tested solar sail deployment on a suborbital flight and Russia deployed a solar sail outside its old Mir space station, but neither involved controlled flight, said Louis Friedman, executive director of The Planetary Society and project director of Cosmos 1.
When Cosmos 1 is in orbit, inflatable tubes will stretch the sail material out and hold it rigid in eight 49.5-foot-long structures resembling the blades of a windmill. Each blade can be turned to reflect sunlight in different directions so that the craft can "tack" much like a sailboat in the wind.
Cosmos 1 is a project of The Planetary Society, which was founded in 1980 by the late astronomer Carl Sagan, former Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Bruce Murray and Friedman, also a JPL veteran.
Most of the funding has come from Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cosmos Studios, which was co-founded by Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, to create science-based entertainment. Druyan noted that Sagan, who died in 1996, would have turned 70 on Tuesday.
"Starting the countdown clock for the launch of Cosmos 1 on Carl's birthday could not be more appropriate," she said in a statement.
A prototype of the society's sail was launched by Russia in 2001 but the rocket did not develop enough thrust and the spacecraft failed to separate from the booster.
Cosmos 1 was built by the Russian aerospace company NPO Lavochkin and Moscow's Space Research Institute oversaw development of flight electronics and mission control software.
Among American components is an on-board camera built by San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems, builder and operator of the camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor among others. That camera and a Russian panoramic camera will be used to make images of the sails in flight, Friedman said.
Cosmos 1 is designed to go into a nearly polar orbit more than 500 miles high and operate for a month. "We'll be happy with a couple of weeks, even a few days," Friedman said.
Covering 720 square yards, the sail should be visible as bright pinpoint of light in the night skies.
11/09/04 20:27 EST
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.
Nard / Dark;
My great aunt will be 100 next month. Imagine what someone born in 1904 has seen! The first movies, first recordings, radio, telephones, cars...all these things and more were new inventions; many of which are now old technology to us. An incredible rush of technological, political, and moral changes in one person's lifetime!
I used to think the same things about my grandfather (who's since passed on), who was born in 1899! To imagine everything he'd seen change as he grew older.....wow....
My kids can't imagine an absence of microwave, color television, etc. They can't imagine it. How old AM I????
And just try to imagine some of the contraptions WE shall be confronted with in out old age!
I tell my grandkids that when I was a boy we didn't have electricity and so had to watch TV by candlelight.
Realistically, if this world doesn't blow itself up in a major way, let's see what we think may be upcoming:
The Segway, with all is gyroscopes and techno marvels, may be applied to an array of things, including two wheel cars.
3-D monitors without glasses is already a reality, in very small form. And this new thing about trackers in pharmaceutical bottles you know will be applied to just about everything. Big Brother is welcomed in thru just plain ol' necessities of a big society. And inserting tracking chips with medical info under the skin, well, what's next:: can't buy or sell, sort of a credit/debit card under the skin?
Every new generation that comes about thinks the modern marvels have always been here. For them, the ideas that they were not is almost impossible to understand.
I think someone born around 1850 and lived 90 years went thru the greatest of all changes in history. From the wild west with no technology, to nearly everything we have today. Can you imagine this lad at 40 years of age, thinking, what else is there in the world to invent? The telegraph let's people communicate everywhere, there's the new electric light bulb, Benz is playing around with something called the automobile, they are talking about man flying in the next 10 to 15 years, why why...There is nothing new left to invent
Here's a column from my school newspaper about that chip under the skin. Where do we draw the line?
[This message has been edited by Yestermorrow (edited 11-16-2004).]
And to think that when they were building the Tower of Babal to reach into Heaven and God confused their language. Imagine what may have transpired much sooner had their language not been confused!
There --- it's gone!
Now I'll take a long vacation to contemplate the pitfalls & pratfalls of extemporaneous writing.
[This message has been edited by h.rousseau (edited 11-20-2004).]
A Segway four wheeler is being readied to eventually go on the market , a 4 X 4 that an adult can ride. Called the Centaur, it can't tip over. What applications to the automotive industry may be in the works? ... especially those top heavy SUVs.
check it out: http://www.segway.com/centaur/
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 11-26-2004).]
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8|