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Posts Tagged ‘Galileo Galilei

Dumb and dumber…


Readers will recall a recent lament that a plurality of Americans disbelieve evolution, believing instead that God created humans in materially their present form about 10,000 years ago.

It is perhaps some consolation that, as Reuters reports, we have some company:

Does the sun revolve around the Earth? One in every three Russians thinks so, a spokeswoman for state pollster VsTIOM said on Friday.

In a survey released this week, 32 percent of Russians believed the Earth was the center of the Solar system; 55 percent that all radioactivity is man-made; and 29 percent that the first humans lived when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

“It’s really quite amazing,” spokeswoman Olga Kamenchuk said of the survey that polled 1,600 people across Russia’s regions in January, with a 3.4-percent margin of error.

As we pause, dumbstruck, we might wish a grateful Happy Birthday to Galileo Galilei, the physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who, with Francis Bacon, pioneered the Scientific Method; he was born on this date in 1564.  It was Galileo’s observations that gave conclusive support to Copernicus’ heliocentric theory of the solar system.

Leoni’s portrait of Galileo (source)


“There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools”*…

From the web design house Squidspot,

The Periodic Table of Typefaces (click here for zoomable version)

* a quote from Eric Gill, the creator of, among other fonts, the redoubtable Gill Sans (on the chart above).

As we make an effort to be as careful in choosing our letters as we are our words, we might recall that it was on this date in 1633 that the formal inquest of Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition  began.  Readers will recall that two months later the Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo to recant his conclusion that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe. Galileo is said to have muttered “Eppur si muove!” (“Yet, still, it moves!”).

Cristiano Banti’s 1857 painting, “Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition”

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