Category Archives: history

the shadow of the past

Magus Muir

In St Andrews, the ruins of the Cathedral and the Castle (the Bishop’s Palace) still stand unrestored. The ruins date from the Scottish reformation in the mid-sixteenth century; the castle was ruined by successive battles between Catholics and Protestants, whereas … Continue reading

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Baudin in South Australia, 3

At the weekend we saw an exhibition about Baudin’s voyage at the South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide. After that, and some more reading, I have a conjectured answer to my question about why Baudin named so many features … Continue reading

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Baudin in South Australia, 2

After a visit to the State Library of South Australia, a talk with a very helpful librarian, and an afternoon reading Baudin’s diary (in English translation by Christine Cornell in 1974), I know a bit more. First, there is a … Continue reading

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Baudin in South Australia

In 1802, the French navigator Nicolas Baudin met his English counterpart Matthew Flinders off the coast of South Australia, in a place now called Encounter Bay. Both men were charting the coastline. Here is a part of Baudin’s chart, photographed … Continue reading

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Famous on both sides of the world

The pictures are self-explanatory: the first is in Pittenweem, in Fife, Scotland, the second on the campus of the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

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Pappus and Diophantus

This post is inspired by a nice article by Adrian Rice and Ezra Brown in the latest BSHM Bulletin, titled “Commutativity and collinearity: a historical case study of the interconnection of mathematical ideas, Part II”. Pappus’ Theorem states that, if … Continue reading

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Photography in St Andrews, art in Pittenweem

St Andrews is currently hosting a big photography festival. Because Fox Talbot’s patent on his photographic process was not valid in Scotland, local St Andrews photographers were able to have a go themselves, and develop the process. The festival covers … Continue reading

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