Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Literati Haven't Changed

In the nineteenth century, a professional wordsmith made an astronomical mistake:

The novels of Sir Walter Scott (who was a contemporary of Gauss) were read eagerly as they came out, but the unhappy ending of Kenilworth made Gauss wretched for days and he regretted having read the story. One slip of Sir Walter's tickled the mathematical astronomer into delighted laughter, “the moon rises broad in the northwest,” and he went about for days correcting all the copies he could find.

In the twentieth century, professional wordsmiths made an astronomical mistake:

Correction: August 16, 2008
An article on Friday about the planned construction of two large solar power installations in California described incorrectly the operation of the solar panels in one, to be built by SunPower. Its panels pivot from east to west to follow the sun over the course of a day —not west to east.

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