The man of the system seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. — Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
“Long before our own time, the customs of our ancestors molded admirable men, and in turn these eminent men upheld the ways and institutions of their forebears. Our age, however, inherited the Republic like some beautiful painting of bygone days, its colors already fading through great age; and not only has our time neglected to freshen the colors of the picture, but we have failed to preserve its form and outlines.
“For what remains to us, nowadays, of the ancient ways on which the commonwealth, we are told, was founded? We see them so lost in oblivion that they are not merely neglected, but quite forgot. And what am I to say of the men? For our customs have perished for want of men to stand by them, and we are now called to an account, so that we stand impeached like men accused of capital crimes, compelled to plead our own cause. Through our vices, rather than from happenstance, we retain the word “republic” long after we have lost the reality. ” – Cicero, De Re Publica
The LDS Church Uses Pencils – I was in the temple* yesterday and it occurred to me that we were still using pencils and paper. To get in, we show a piece of paper; to participate in an ordinance, we use a piece of paper; when the ordinance is complete, we show that with a red checkmark from a pencil. I think there are a few reasons for this. 1) There isn’t anything distracting about a piece of paper and a pencil. This allows focus to be placed elsewhere, while still ensuring accurate record keeping. 2) There are few points of failure in the system. If the paper arrives at the recorders desk with a red checkmark, then it is recorded as complete. If not, then it isn’t. Paper also never runs out of batteries. 3) If a failure does happen, it is obvious. If a patron proceeds through the ceremony, it will quickly be apparent if they don’t have the paper, in which case the ceremony can’t be completed for them. There isn’t any ambiguity, it provides a binary situation of success/failure. 4) There is no delay in transmission. It is as fast as reading what is on the paper and verifying the checkmark.
Why fake miniatures depicting Islamic science are everywhere | Besides the colours being a bit too vivid, and the brushstrokes a little too clean, what perturbed me were the telescopes. The telescope was known in the Middle East after Galileo developed it in the 17th century, but almost no illustrations or miniatures ever depicted such an object. When I tracked down the full image, two more figures emerged: one also looking through a telescope, while the other jotted down notes while his hand spun a globe – another instrument that was rarely drawn. The starkest contradiction, however, was the quill in the fourth figure’s hand. Middle Eastern scholars had always used reed pens to write. By now there was no denying it: the cover illustration was a modern-day forgery, masquerading as a medieval illustration.
The Celestial Atlas of Andreas Cellarius (1660) Harmonia Macrocosmica (1660), an atlas of the stars from the Dutch Golden Age of cartography, maps the structure of the heavens in twenty-nine extraordinary double-folio spreads. We are presented with the motions of the celestial bodies, the stellar constellations of the northern hemisphere, the old geocentric universe of Ptolemy, the newish heliocentric one of Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe’s eccentric combination of the two — in which the Moon orbits the Earth, and the planets orbit the Sun, but the Sun still orbits the Earth.
California’s Almond Harvest Has Created a Golden Opportunity for Bee Thieves – “What we had here was a chop shop, but of beehives,” Torres said. “You had some beehives that were alive, and you had some hives that were dead. You had hives that were basically cut up: Tops of boxes were over here on this side of the field, and the other parts of the box are on the other side.”
The Horseshoe – Schweska began with an old-school steak platter: a steel oval plate surrounded by an iron or wood trivet (the raised border served as an important spud balcony). On top, he placed two pieces of bread, lying side by side, and a slice of ham cut directly from the bone in the shape of a horseshoe. Then came his iconic cheese sauce. Although it was based on Welsh rarebit sauce –which uses cheddar cheese, milk, butter, and beer –because it was 1928, and therefore during Prohibition, Schweska made his first Horseshoe sauce using nonalcoholic beer. After a good smother of creamy liquified cheese, the chef decorated the platter’s perimeter with freshly cut baked potato wedges, creating the ‘nails’ of the horse’s shoe.
Mitchell Domes Milwaukee, Wisconsin – The botanical garden holds over 1,000 different plant species, with each of the three domes displaying a different theme: the Tropical Dome, the Desert (Arid) Dome, and a floral Show Dome with rotating seasonal or holiday displays. The unique design of the glass orbs allows 85 percent of available light to transmit to the plants, and large fans are used to draw out heat in the summer so the domes don’t overheat. The aluminum tubing on the structures expands and contracts along with the temperature, and visitors can hear it clicking as they walk through the gardens.
HOW? – Birds Aren’t Real It is believed that the initial plan for killing all of the birds and replacing them with flying cameras was thought up one weekend in May of 1956. Dulles and his team hated birds with a passion, and were heard on many occasions calling them,” flying slugs” and,” the scum of the skies,” as they would often poop on their cars in the parking lot of the C.I.A. headquarters, and quite frankly- all over the D.C. Metro area. I believe this was one of the driving forces that led Dulles to not only implement robots into the sky, but actually replace birds in the process. They did not need to kill all of the birds, and could have launched a quarter of the robot birds that they did, but the pigeons in D.C. at the time were absolutely ruthless… they were eating very well, as American moral was high- people were feeding them much more in public parks and on the street