She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oops...


Some 200 years BC Eratosthenes, the chief librarian at the great Library of Alexandria, read in a scroll that on the solstice the Sun was directly overhead some small town to the south, and that a vertically placed stick cast no shadow on that day.
After confirming that a stick vertically placed in Alexandria on that day did cast a shadow, he immediately concluded that the earth was round. He then went on to measure the circumference of the Earth to within a few percentage points using nothing more than a stick, it's shadow and by measuring the distance to the remote town mentioned in the scroll.
Some 1800 years later, using the best math and science made available by the church in his day, Christopher Columbus also calculated the circumference of the Earth and then sailed off to find a new rout to the East. His calculations were off by almost 30% (7,000 miles). Accidentally, he discovered the new world but he thought he was in India...

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