JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I just finished a short post about the wide-ranging W. Stanley Jevons review of John Venn's classic book, Symbolic Logic, when I had another look at the contents of the slim issue of Nature in which the article appeared. This Nature is our present-day mega-Nature, but here in 1871 it was only in its 12th year. And even though the issue was only 17 pages long, it was filled with an astonishing range of succinct papers, and heavily seasoned with bits for the generally curious of the high Victorian era. After you read the gentleman's gentleman high-end astronomer Henry Draper's paper, you could read "the Physiology of Mind reading" and follow that up with "Mind and Muscle-Reading". Piazzi Smith followed that with "Special Solar Heat-Radiations and their Earth-felt effects", with "Phenomena of Clouds", "early English Pendulum Measures", and J.A. Fleming's "Faure's Secondary Battery". Papers on earthquakes and meteors, and then the wonderfully enticing "The W-Pattern in Paddles" and of course "Hot Ice". It all ends up with an extended article by G.G. Stokes' (a remarkable physicist and mathematician who spent his entire career at Cambridge, the vast majority of that as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1849 until he died in 1903) "Whirled Anemometers", which occupies about a third of the issue.