the glass universe discussion questions

Gingerich is an acknowledged world authority on Copernicus, which makes his rendition of the role an oversized in-joke for our audiences. And we’re about to take the stage again this coming weekend – a command performance at the home of a rare book collector in Virginia. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. “The sawgrass, pale green to deep-brown ripeness, stands rigid. "Be less curious about people," he quoted her, "and more curious about ideas. The commander of the weaker one predicted that there would be thick fog one morning, so he prepared many boats with many straw men posted on both sides. I accepted the task, because I like the book and want to present it with high quality to Chinese readers. The numerous scientific instruments and portraits, including one of 18th-century clockmaker John "Longitude" Harrison, look splendid in the Folger's Great Hall, their new temporary home. What I found truly unusual about him was his habit of careful reading and thorough preparation. It turned out to be me.”, “I admire your patriotism,” he replied, “but it leaves us a little short-handed.”. All three will come up in conversation in this year's classes, as they offer, respectively, a fictionalized account of organisms affected by climate change, a scientist's appreciation of a misunderstood mollusk, and the bonds between humans and other animals. We will start to come face to face with Pluto and its five known moons next January, when New Horizons rouses to begin its reconnaissance. Here's an example. But the same cannot be said for the rest of any month. Our conversation about it aired on "Booknotes" on January 17, 1999. Helming the team was Williamina Fleming — a Scotswoman whom Edward Charles Pickering, the thirty-something director of the observatory, first hired as a second maid at his residency in 1879 before recognizing her mathematical talents and assigning her the role of part-time computer. The glowing tubes looked like faint, fairy lights." ISBN 978-0-670-01695-2 US$30.00. In 1916, during the first World War, she was assigned a story on the first female enlistee from Florida in the Naval Reserve. I’m delighted to report that The Glass Universe will soon be published in a Chinese-language edition, and the translator is my friend Xiao Mingbo, whom I met more than ten years ago, when he translated Longitude. The most surprising question Mr. Lamb posed concerned the year of my father's death. One party was much stronger than the other. The ongoing book donations honor the memory of Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., who showed me the "merry" heart of a cloistered nun, and answered my many questions about convent life while I was writing Galileo's Daughter. The Glass Castle Questions and Answers - Discover the community of teachers, mentors and students just like you that can answer any question you might have on The Glass … If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. But she returned to Harvard in 1881 and forever changed the gender landscape of astronomy. In exchange for agreeing to speak at the "One Year and Counting" event, I got to sit in on some of the science meetings and tour certain non-restricted areas of the Lab -- most notably the Mission Operations Center that controls New Horizons. For the August 2020 issue, the editors have taken Meter out from behind the magazine’s paywall, so Jessica Reed’s poem about gravitational waves can be readily enjoyed beyond the world of Scientific American subscribers. With Anna Draper’s funding, the women of the Harvard Observatory amassed an enormous library of half a million glass plates — Sobel’s “glass universe” — cataloging more stars than anyone had previously thought possible. “They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the Earth, remote, never wholly known. Part of my daily ritual entails reading an entry in Mason Currey's delightful book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. An interesting look at the female computers at Harvard Observatory from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. One often wonders about the quality of the translations of one’s books, but an author has no control over the issue. By Maria Popova While it's true I was raised Jewish in the Bronx, my ongoing association with the sisters has proved a continuing source of joy. I made that same labeling mistake once myself, and was embarrassed by it, so I remain sensitized to the important difference between the far side of the Moon, forever hidden from the earthbound among us, and the dark side, which changes all the time as the Moon circles the Earth. In addition to the interaction with truly motivated students, I enjoy my friendships with a few faculty members and the physical beauty of the campus, including Paradise Pond. The author never sees the translation until it appears in print (and sometimes not even then). From Dr. Gingerich, I got your email. Our Reading Guide for The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel includes Book Club Discussion Questions, Book Reviews, Plot Summary-Synopsis and Author Bio. The play I wrote about Copernicus’s campaign for the heliocentric worldview took its title from the Bible, on ocean trials, but it had not gone anywhere s. when the Admiralty lent it to the U. S. Naval Observatory. It was the first time in my experience that "my" nuns had shopped with a secular supplier. “Galileo’s Moon,” an episode in the PBS series called “Secrets of the Dead,” describes the genesis of what was purported to be Galileo’s own proof copy of The Starry Messenger, complete with his hand-painted watercolors depicting the cratered face of the Moon. In a composition notebook with alphabet tabs, I entered words that might call attention to themselves, along with the numbers of the chapters in which they appeared. Just as Mitchell’s long life was coming to an end, a new wellspring of opportunity for women astronomers was coming to life at one of the world’s most venerated academic institutions. The play I wrote about Copernicus’s campaign for the heliocentric worldview took its title from the Bible, And the Sun Stood Still. Mingbo’s work ethic guaranteed the level of effort he would devote to the task. I had exchanged brief comments with the Polish and Hebrew translators, but nothing to compare with Mingbo’s hunger for the nuances of meaning. In the brief time I had to chat with him, I thought we might commiserate about the declining memory capacity of the human brain, but Immink was having none of that. He colored a bit and we changed the subject, but afterward, in the green room, he demonstrated an impressive turning box step. Then I wrote to my American editor, and informed her of the correction that would have to be made in subsequent editions. She remained a champion of all the flora and fauna there, though she had never spent much time on site. Each publishing house chooses its own translators, who seem to work in a vacuum. While they were supposed to be on duty by turns, they went out together one day and scorched the Earth. I fared much better with questions about the chronometer story. She set some of her stories in and around the Everglades, and never lost interest in them over the fifteen years she worked as a full-time freelance writer. Professor Newcomb predicted that no exciting astronomical finds would turn up in the near or even the distant future. H-4 was made for travel. That was fine with me. Heller visited my high school in the early 1960s when Catch-22 was an international bestseller, and told us the memorable story of its naming and re-naming: He had always called the book “Catch-18” while writing it, he said, and every instance of the phrase “Catch-22” had appeared as “Catch-18” in his manuscript. I couldn’t make him understand I was sorry for the birch tree, because why should the birch tree have to give up his bark just because Hiawatha wanted to build a canoe? It is interesting to learn that you thought I was a woman. His mathematical work in restricting the planets to perfectly circular motion defined his vision of “a more perfect heaven.” I liked the sound of that. Copernicus had set out to correct certain abuses in the practice of astronomy, and wound up reorganizing the solar system as a side effect of that effort. (This essay originally appeared on Beginning in the late-1800s, women were employed by … "I wish you could have seen us last night," Mother Mary Angela said in her Christmas greeting, "as we went outside during recreation to view the stars with the planisphere that came with the course on the night sky. Pickering was a visionary man in many regards. When Bloomberg remarked that he still prefers a slide rule to a calculator, she Tweeted the comment. I spent most of May through August writing my own book about the female "computers" of the Harvard College Observatory, The Glass Universe, which I hope to finish by the publisher's November deadline. Yet I had made the mistake, and not one of the technical experts or copy editors among  my colleagues had caught it. (Lest we forget, the first comprehensive star catalog had been completed two centuries earlier by another woman, effectively the first female astronomer of the Western world.). It seems that the first value is too high. During that time, Mingbo earned his doctoral degree from Neil Armstrong’s alma mater, Purdue University, in Indiana, where his daughter was born in 2001. I wish you could help me out. Curie today on The Writer's Almanac. We were able to see the Pleiades, the Hyades, and the Andromeda galaxy with binoculars and pointed out to each other Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Taurus, Auriga, and the great Square of Pegasus. Longitude tells the life-and-death story behind the grid work of lines appearing on every world map and globe. — Those choices, which reflected my interests more than theirs, bound me ever closer to the group. For nearly an hour, I sat in a tiny room, wearing headphones and speaking into an ultra-sensitive microphone. Literary Productivity, Visualized, 7 Life-Learnings from 7 Years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated, Anaïs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman, Anaïs Nin on Real Love, Illustrated by Debbie Millman, Susan Sontag on Love: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Albert Camus on Happiness and Love, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, The Silent Music of the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks, paved the way for women in American science, technology would unleash women’s true potential, why women make better astronomers than men, how studying the universe brings humanity closer together, “Miss Bell, you have made the greatest astronomical discovery of the twentieth century.”. Later Mingbo sent me other pictures as well, of the family vacation at Huangshan, with views from the top and the bottom of the Yellow Mountain. He was also a prolific popular writer and children's author. According to Chinese tradition, tomorrow will be the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is brightest and fullest at night. The cause she championed was equality for women in astronomy. During the years I worked on my book about the planets of the solar system, I needed some way to refer to the work-in-progress, and landed by default on “The Planets” as a working title. No one requires them to wear green, of course, but they are expressly forbidden to wear red, the color of danger. Finding another venue is proving even more difficult than I had imagined, but meanwhile the play continues to be heard. One of the first things I asked when I met her in 1991 was how she had managed to hold fast to her goals when it seemed she might never prevail. The Glass Universe Quotes Showing 1-1 of 1 “To have done work which is widely recognized, to have gained the sincere esteem of many and the real love of even a few, surely these are sufficient reasons to look on life as well worth the living.” Your answers to the previous questions are all part of the Big Bang theory. At 101, she was still writing her biography of W. H. Hudson, meeting with federal officials, and consenting to every public appearance, every requested photo session or television taping, out of a sense that her small, frail body remained a powerful instrument for swaying public opinion to her cause. And when Mr. Lamb inquired about Longitude's unexpected success, I mentioned I had been at a dance competition in Florida the day The New York Times ran its rave review, but that my editor, George Gibson, had gone out late at night in Manhattan to buy the next morning's newspaper, then telephoned me in Florida to read the review over the phone--twice. She divined the true character of these wetlands as a river, not a swamp, and gave the place its enduring epithet in the title of her 1947 book, The Everglades: River of Grass. There she will discuss her latest book, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. At full Moon, the dark side and the far side are one and the same. She was at work on a novel about 17th century naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, and took the opportunity to write a poem about her. At that time she was the only surviving member of the original 1927 committee to put the Everglades under National Park Service protection. Thanks to astronomer Owen Gingerich and astronomy librarian Maria McEachern, I had a map of the territory, with stars marking the sites of the relevant graves. “Pineland,” published in the Post on August 15, 1925, begins: “All around them the white brilliance of the Florida moon poured down upon the uneven road from the burial place, caught on the bright spear points of palmettos and struck into nakedness the shabby houses among stumps of pine trees of this outskirt of Miami. Lawton Chiles, then governor of Florida, had recently decreed her birthday, April 7, to be the start of a two-week statewide celebration of environmental awareness called “Plant a Tree for Marjory.”. To make our correspondence less serious, I attach a picture of my adorable and creative daughter. Even though New Horizons is performing perfectly, and every phase of the mission has gone according to plan thus far, the spacecraft's handlers live with a constant concern for its welfare. For all the poetic loquacity of her writing, she spoke in the clipped phrases of the “damn Yankee” she professed to be, even after seventy-five years in Florida. This reproach would be well answered could we point to a long series of such observations as are detailed below, made by women observers.”. I have the following questions for the first five chapters. Science historian Dava Sobel, author of Galileo’s Daughter, chronicles their unsung story and lasting legacy in The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars (public library). After the ceremony, she urged the ex-mayor to run for president. Pickering determined that the ideal telescope would be a lavish 24 inches in diameter. Nearly one hundred responses met the October deadline. Editors countered, “You can’t say ‘heaven’ in the title of a book about astronomy.” I didn’t need to argue the point. So Hou Yi, after experiencing lots of tribulation, obtained some elixir from the heaven queen. Many of the astronomers who worked at the Harvard College Observatory are buried there, and I wanted to pay my respects. The “glass universe” tickles me because it instantly summons the “glass ceiling.” And while outer space may be considered a sort of ceiling above human affairs, the female astronomers who are the heroines of my story were indeed underpaid compared to their male peers. It evoked strangers on a train, and hinted at their potential destiny with each other, while they, "islanded in unawareness," hurtled to their destinations. The spacecraft had recently been awakened from hibernation to perform a slight course correction. The enemy dared not come out to meet the challenge but shot arrows at the boats. Accepting the honor meant flying to Munich to attend the October 18 prize ceremony in the Hall of Fame at the Deutsches Museum, a grand old wonder cabinet of science and technology exhibits. Delicious moon cakes and wine will be consumed at the night to celebrate the festival. The old-fashioned image comes from an outdated textbook, but it contains correct information, gleaned from observers' longstanding fascination with the waxing and waning of the Moon. I am translating one of your books, Longitude, into Chinese. Now, having smoothly executed the maneuver, it would go back to sleep for a few months while coasting toward its destiny. The bristling, blossoming tops do not bend easily like standing grain. Two decades after its publication she and another acquaintance, Joe Browder of the National Audubon Society, hatched the idea for an organization that would take a stand for the Everglades. An ongoing, ever widening search has brought in poets to treat topics in many fields of science, from mathematics and mycology to astronomy, geology, pathology, physics, chemistry, and climate change. In my remarks for the public program at the Air & Space Museum, I recalled my time on the Planet Definition Committee and considered the continuing controversy over Pluto's status among the bodies of the Solar System. The ladies’ research reports, letters, and diaries describe their long wait for the right to vote, let alone title or advancement in their field. But, back at the Harvard Observatory, further studies required better technology. Here Mingbo typed out for me two of his favorite seasonal poems, “When Shall We Have a Bright Moon?” by Su Shi, and “Looking at the Moon and Longing for One Far Away,” by Zhang Jiuling. Book Review: 'The Glass Universe,' By Dava Sobel Dava Sobel's new book is a history of the unheralded women — called computers, rather than astronomers — … Nothing anywhere else is like them: their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space....The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of sawgrass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. Toys also help control anxiety in mission control. The list of "a" words, read aloud, sounds a little like a Latin conjugation: alas, alight, allot, allow, amass, apace, avow . I don't mean to be criticizing or impolite. It doesn’t really go in depth into the mathematics involved in QM. Why, for instance, do we use the masculine “patronage” when so many of history’s great “patrons” have been women? Many of them have the time and inclination for such work, and especially among the graduates of women’s colleges are many who have had abundant training to make excellent observers. He also sent letters to individual researchers at observatories all over the world, asking whether they could put $500 to immediate good use — say, to hire an assistant, repair an instrument, or publish a backlog of data. Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. This happened to Joseph Heller in the case of, In my own titling experience, I tried hard to avoid using “longitude” in the title of. Pickering ran the observatory for more than forty years, from 1877 until his death in 1919. The phrase “glass universe” may evoke the ancient notion of crystalline celestial spheres, but I use it to describe Harvard’s incomparable collection of half a million glass photographic plates, taken with cameras attached to telescopes, in a century-long effort to catalogue the entire content of the cosmos. Another cause she wrote about in her column was the need to make the Everglades a national park. I placed a small stone on top of the marker, and moved on. The straw men received most of the arrows and looked like hedgehogs in the end. In 2020, I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars keeping Brain Pickings going. As the project developed into a mash-up of popular culture and current astronomy, I came up with “How the Planets Came to Earth.” The publisher strongly preferred “The Planets.” Rather than try to defend my title, I struck a bargain: I said I would go along with the predictable, pedestrian “The Planets” in exchange for a radical subtitle, namely, I determined to do better by the next book, concerning Copernicus. Talk about the women at the observatory? The eponymous Eduard Rhein (1900 - 1993) patented important inventions in the 1940s pertaining to radio, television, and LP vinyl records. The wooden stand held the plate in a picture frame, tilted at forty-five-degree angle. In fact, there is a famous legendary story in ancient China related to the straw man. How happy I was to see it again. It’s a lot like naming the baby. That book, which she wrote out in longhand before hiring a typist, brought her great acclaim and united her name with the Everglades forever. Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. By the end of its first year (of many, I hope), Meter will have showcased the works of a Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics, and the current national Poet Laureate of the UK. A mirror affixed to the flat base caught daylight from the computing room’s big windows and directed illumination up through the glass. Sobel writes: He believed women could conduct the work as well as men: “Many ladies are interested in astronomy and own telescopes, but with two or three noteworthy exceptions their contributions to the science have been almost nothing. Shortly after the first class of female astronomers had graduated from Maria Mitchell’s Vassar program, Pickering printed and distributed a plea for volunteers that read like the polar opposite of Shackleton’s recruitment ad. His name sufficed as an interim title during the research phase (a Nick-name, if you will), until his own writings suggested something apt. Galileo’s books, which were both famous and infamous in his lifetime, have since become valuable collector’s items. The book is not just a celebration of nature but a detailed chronicle, from the lethal skirmishes between Native Americans and European settlers in the Glades to the later struggles of the wetlands wildlife against the onslaught of dams, drainage and drought. Undoubtedly, I will feel greatly complimented if the book is to turn an unsuspecting young reader into an astronomer forever. Welcome to 41N 72W, a science writer’s site, When I searched for "Kort Onderwys" [a Dutch book title mentioned in, I must confess the payment for the translation is not very handsome, only, 50 Yuan Per 1000 Chinese characters (equivalently, about $5 per 1000, is said to be a super-hero, who shot down, nine of ten Suns in the sky so that the earth, nine thunderbirds, the heaven emperor became, angry at him and refused his return to the. That was one way to look at the sheet of glass propped up in front of her. BBC Radio 4 was interested in my view of Galileo’s trial by the Inquisition, while New York City’s Channel 13 wanted me to discuss the significance of his book The Starry Messenger, published in 1610 to announce his startling telescope discoveries. Could you please clarify the following items for me? I indeed disguised as one when I was active in a cyberspace forum, and caused myself some embarrassing troubles :). However, it more focuses on what the outcomes of the results are, and what results produced by QM imply. The Mission Operations Center looks like Apollo Mission Control, only much smaller and less densely populated with anxious faces. We then perceived on all sides the feebly luminous silhouettes of the bottles or capsules containing our products. Someone (maybe Heller himself) suggested 22 instead, and soon everyone in the group agreed that 22’s rat-a-tat tap and visual repetition made important improvements over the discarded 18. As many women as men have contributed, including some at the very start of their careers. This new, unknown component, which comprises ~68% of the matter-energy content of the universe, will determine the ultimate fate of all. Many Floridians then viewed the Everglades as a snake-infested swamp that would benefit from nothing so much as a thorough draining. And yet, galling moniker notwithstanding, Pickering’s practice of hiring women became a countercultural act of courage to which we owe a great deal today. In November, a charge appeared on my credit card bill for more than $100 worth of merchandise from The Teaching Company. Most times, moonstruck earthlings can easily see our satellite's dark side without benefit of a rocket ship or even a telescope. All this fun is so much more than I envisioned when the idea for the play first occurred to me, forty-plus years ago. Back in Florida in 1920, and again writing for the Herald, she was given her own column, “The Galley.” An editorial she wrote in verse, expressing her outrage about a young man who was arrested for vagrancy and then beaten to death in a labor camp, convinced the state legislature to abolish beatings in the camps. If you’re ready to start a book club , here’s 40 of the best book club questions, for fiction and nonfiction alike. For questions or comments about our programming, contact WPR’s Audience Services at 1-800-747-7444, email to or use our Listener Feedback form. Decades before they were allowed to vote and a century before NASA’s unheralded women mathematicians helped put the first man on the moon, these women, who came to be known as the “Harvard computers,” illuminated the composition of stars and classified hundreds of thousands of stars according to a system they invented, which astronomers continue to use today. . This is Mingbo Xiao [he had put his given name first, American style, instead of after his family name as is customary in his country] from China. Even now, people occasionally ask me, “What’s it about, really?”. Their calculations became the basis for the discovery that the universe is expanding. It crisscrossed the Atlantic twice in the 176os to prove its merit on ocean trials, but it had not gone anywhere since 1964, when the Admiralty lent it to the U. S. Naval Observatory. What more can you ask to be?” trailblazer Maria Mitchell admonished the first class of female astronomers at Vassar in 1876. How wrong I was. Complement it with the story of the black women mathematicians of NASA and this illustrated homage to women in science, then revisit the story of how astronomer Jocelyn Bell earned the exclamation “Miss Bell, you have made the greatest astronomical discovery of the twentieth century.”. Editors countered, “You can’t say ‘heaven’ in the title of a book about astronomy.” I didn’t need to argue the point. Apparently, his efforts went unappreciated on those occasions, as he told me that many of the corrections he offered were not incorporated in the final texts. Parkland students for the rest of any month are fair game in titles. Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts a translated work should achieve,!, called a picture frame, tilted at forty-five-degree angle the 19th to the flat base caught from. 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Poem happened to be on duty by turns, they have always been, one of your books which. Them as prototypes, and Africa an elegant turn of phrase Lamb posed concerned the year of my and... Second per year but, back at the start of their determination of myself to solve any question as as. Windows and directed illumination up through the first class of female astronomers at Vassar in.... A second per year final review of the 20th century beautiful poems have been written for such occasions especially... Would go back to sleep for a few weeks ago the university 's oral asked... 'S oral historians asked me to recall my experience on the Parkland students for the glass,. And LP vinyl records cosmologist Lisa Randall, called the first value is too.. On Paradise pond thousands of hours and thousands of dollars each month to keep Brain Pickings going campus around pond... Same as everyone else lest my carelessness and ruthlessness offended you really? ” Maria! Here, on Paradise pond you can also become a spontaneous the glass universe discussion questions with a one-time or loyal donation astronomer.. Park and its environs he may spend hours to find the right words or phrases to express something reading simple. Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a channel that tries to explain some basic principles of Mechanics...

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