Tag Archives: Books

1795: Zozozozozozozozozozozozo, zirrhading!

From Johann Matthäus Bechstein’s Gemeinnützige Naturgeschichte Deutschlands nach allen drey Reichen: ein Handbuch zur deutlichern und vollständigern Selbstbelehrung besonders für Forstmänner, Jugendlehrer und Oekonomen, volume 4 (1795): Twenty-four different strains or couplets may be reckoned in the song of a … Continue reading

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12th Century: The Unknown Language

Saint Hildegard, a 12th century German Benedictine abbess, was a mystic, composer, and philosopher who wrote works on topics as diverse as theology, botany, and medicine. She began experiencing visions at the age of three, ultimately chronicling a lifetime of … Continue reading

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1799: Nine Family Heads

In the late 18th century, a physician from northern Africa named Saidi Saeed Abdoul Naim assembled this book of practices for dealing with physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. It also includes sections on secret alphabets, divination by sand, magic, and … Continue reading

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1936: Then It Will Be Over

Here we are, alone again. It’s all so slow, so heavy, so sad … I’ll be old soon. Then at last it will be over. So many people have come into my room. They’ve talked. They haven’t said much. They’ve … Continue reading

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12th Century: Monster

This illustration comes from a series of handscrolls telling the legends of the Shinto Kitano Tenjin Shrine, located in Kamakura, Japan. The shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a 9th century scholar, poet, and statesman who came to be … Continue reading

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1660: Theory

The 17th century Dutch minister Johan Picard spent several years in Drenthe, where he became interested in the ancient stone structures that could still be seen in the area.  His research eventually led to the publication of his book A … Continue reading

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1620: History of Rainbows

The 1620 edition of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum contains a plan for a collective work containing all world knowledge “made to the scale of the universe”: For the world is not to be circumscribed within the narrow confines of the … Continue reading

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