JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This is one of those posts where I was looking for something in the Comptes Rendus and then found something completely different. The what-it-was was something about Poincare1, at this point dead for just a week, the second titanic to disappear this year--it is really impossible to understand how he was able to do what he did in a lifespan of 58 years...of course he was a master of nearly every field, and was able to work his math problems out in his head first before writing them out, so it helped to be a multi-genius--and while not finding a notice on his death in the weekly issue I did "discover" an intriguing (and unrelated to Poincare) illustration.
At first I thought it would be related to an article on the depiction of motion as the drawing seemed to represent the anatomy of two dancers, and have some sort of fourth dimension/art/science relation, or whathaveyou, but then I saw it was a schematic for a part of motion picture camera--a kinematograph/cinematograph--that made 180 images per second, and would be just the sort of instrument used to study fast-moving objects in minute detail. So the schematic really did portray the essence of what the machine did, exploring the designs of motion.
- Poincare knew basically everything...here's a toss-off from him that has stuck with me: "To doubt everything, or, to believe everything, are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
- P. Nogues, "Un nouveau cinematographe a images tres frequentes", in Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, 22 July 1912, pp 273-275.