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History/Philosophy

Hal Harris's picture

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery

Mon, 08/01/2005 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Gurstelle also wrote "Building Bots: Designing and Building Warrior Robots", but I haven't read that one. "Catapult" is definitely in the spirit of "build it yourself", that I like to encourage here and also in "The Cost-Effective Teacher" feature in the print Journal.

Hal Harris's picture

The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London

Wed, 09/01/2004 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Robert Hooke's name is familiar to most of us only because of "Hooke's Law", f = - kx, which describes the potential for a harmonic oscillator. I became aware of some of the other contributions of this remarkable man by reading one of Lisa Jardine's previous books, "Ingenious Pursuits", which was my pick for May, 2000.

Hal Harris's picture

The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World

Sat, 03/01/2003 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

In 1792, the French Academy of Sciences appointed two respected scientists to survey a north-south meridian from Dunkirk to Barcelona, for the purpose of determining the size (and shape) of the earth. Why is this important? Because it would establish an international basis for the meter, foundation of the metric system.

Hal Harris's picture

Acid Tongues and Tranquil Dreamers: Eight Scientific Rivalries that Changed the World

Sat, 02/01/2003 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Many people have difficulty understanding the motivation of scientists for precedence and the recognition it brings. While there are monetary incentives for some of the protagonists in "Acid Tongues", it is more often pride and the acceptance of one's ideas that drove the rivalries of Newton vs. Leibniz, Edison vs. Tesla, Crick and Watson vs. Pauling vs. Franklin and Wilkins.

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