23 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Outside Context Problem

The usual example given to illustrate an Outside Context Problem was imagining you were a tribe on a largish, fertile island; you'd tamed the land, invented the wheel or writing or whatever, the neighbors were cooperative or enslaved but at any rate peaceful and you were busy raising temples to yourself with all the excess productive capacity you had, you were in a position of near-absolute power and control which your hallowed ancestors could hardly have dreamed of and the whole situation wa...
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06 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Appalachian Mountains as the "Wreck of the World"

The great Appalachian Mountains, which run from York River back of these Colonies to the Bay of Mexico, show in many Places near the highest Parts of them, Strata of Sea Shells, in some Places the Marks of them are in the solid Rocks. 'Tis certainly the Wreck of a World we live on! [...] Such changes in the superficial parts of the globe seemed to me unlikely to happen, if the earth were solid to the centre. I therefore imagined, that the internal parts might be a fluid more dense, and of g...
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July 1747, Ben Franklin wrote to Jared Eliot, a Connecticut clergyman about the Appalachian mountains, where he found sea shells mixed in with the dirt and concluded that the mountains were the Earth after a cataclysm.

12 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 If We Only Saw the Stars One Night Every 100 Years

We lay and looked up at the sky and the millions of stars that blazed in darkness. The night was so still that we could hear the buoy on the ledges out beyond the mouth of the bay. Once or twice a word spoken by someone on the far shore was carried across the clear air. A few lights burned in the cottages. Otherwise, there was no reminder of other human life.... It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century or even once in a human generation, this litt...
Folksonomies: nature wonder astronomy
Folksonomies: nature wonder astronomy
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Everyone would come out to wonder at them. Instead we never look at them.