This information about The Glass Universe shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. It's finally happened, I realized. I wasn’t sure which pleased me more—having Mingbo’s valuable assistance, or having awakened in him an interest in planetary science. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR) This article is more than 3 years old. The bristling, blossoming tops do not bend easily like standing grain. But my second thought was regret that the bloodshed of Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida had tied the name Marjory Stoneman Douglas to the violent deaths of teenagers and teachers. Need to cancel a recurring donation? I'm happy to say The Illustrated Longitude counts among them. The ongoing book donations honor the memory of Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., who showed me the "merry" heart of a cloistered nun, and answered my many questions about convent life while I was writing Galileo's Daughter. Pickering ran the observatory for more than forty years, from 1877 until his death in 1919. This one is by Xu Yuanchong: After that outpouring of Moonlight, I didn’t hear from Mingbo for six months. Another cause she wrote about in her column was the need to make the Everglades a national park. Garrison Keillor saluted Mme. Whereas before I had only to look back at my own book to answer his questions, I now had to return also to the references I’d consulted in my research. One month ago, we would have stared at the sky with great wonder but little understanding of what we were seeing.". Currey's book describes the work habits of 161 individuals, only some of whom are poets, and Keillor draws on centuries' worth of verse. Although a simple "Find" command can turn up all the inadvertent repetitions in an article or a chapter, "Find" falls short in the face of a lengthy book project with several parts. Dava Sobel’s new book, “The Glass Universe,” tells the story of a group of women at Harvard who conducted breakthrough research on the nature of stars and the universe. Here Mingbo typed out for me two of his favorite seasonal poems, “When Shall We Have a Bright Moon?” by Su Shi, and “Looking at the Moon and Longing for One Far Away,” by Zhang Jiuling. The book is not just a celebration of nature but a detailed chronicle, from the lethal skirmishes between Native Americans and European settlers in the Glades to the later struggles of the wetlands wildlife against the onslaught of dams, drainage and drought. I am translating one of your books, Longitude, into Chinese. It was the kind of coincidence that opens a rational person such as myself to mystic possibilities. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. Professor Newcomb predicted that no exciting astronomical finds would turn up in the near or even the distant future. The following week, the answers to the previous week's puzzles appeared, and sent another small electric charge through the members of my family. Given that Copernicus served as a Catholic Church administrator and dedicated his magnum opus to Pope Paul III, I thought the use of the word heaven particularly appropriate. If she were alive today, she would surely be cheering on the Parkland students for the strength of their determination. It is a river of grass.”. “I suppose you could say the Everglades and I have the kind of friendship that doesn’t depend on constant physical contact.”. She had shown an early sympathy for nature, as she related in her autobiography, Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River: “Upstairs in the sitting room, father read to me, mostly from ‘Hiawatha.’ When he came to Hiawatha building the canoe and saying to the birch tree, ‘Give me of your bark, oh, birch tree,’ and the birch tree sighing and bending over to give up its bark, he was astonished by the fact that I burst into loud sobs. Usually, I don't read a book as carefully. The long-distance misunderstanding did not hinder us at all, however, as we began corresponding about shades of meaning and idiomatic expressions in my text. If you’re ready to start a book club , here’s 40 of the best book club questions, for fiction and nonfiction alike. The Glass Universe: How Harvard’s Unsung Women Astronomers Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Cosmos Decades Before Women Could Vote, Singularity: Marie Howe’s Ode to Stephen Hawking, Our Cosmic Belonging, and the Meaning of Home, in a Stunning Animated Short Film, The Cosmic Miracle of Trees: Astronaut Leland Melvin Reads Pablo Neruda’s Love Letter to Earth’s Forests, How Kepler Invented Science Fiction and Defended His Mother in a Witchcraft Trial While Revolutionizing Our Understanding of the Universe, 13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings, Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert, Rebecca Solnit’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Solace, Empower, and Transform Us, Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives, In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times, A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety, The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. It went well enough to be reprised at a Harvard Observatory “Open Night” last March. One imagines, from Marjory’s description of him, that Frank Stoneman valued the Everglades for their mere existence and their sheer beauty. She answered with a question of her own: “Why should I give up?”. She was at work on a novel about 17th century naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, and took the opportunity to write a poem about her. Mingbo was right. Today's poem happened to be by Philip Larkin. The glowing tubes looked like faint, fairy lights." The commander of the weaker one predicted that there would be thick fog one morning, so he prepared many boats with many straw men posted on both sides. Finding another venue is proving even more difficult than I had imagined, but meanwhile the play continues to be heard. As the sender was someone I knew only passing well, and to whom I had never disclosed my puzzle mania, the message spilled the surprise. At the same time, I wished I hadn't been forewarned. The straw men received most of the arrows and looked like hedgehogs in the end. By the time Mingbo completed his final review of The Planets, I had sent the American editor three more letters of correction. But the same cannot be said for the rest of any month. He invited her to contribute to a series of books about the rivers of America, and suggested the Miami River. (Lest we forget, the first comprehensive star catalog had been completed two centuries earlier by another woman, effectively the first female astronomer of the Western world.). "Be less curious about people," he quoted her, "and more curious about ideas. . I accepted the task, because I like the book and want to present it with high quality to Chinese readers. Mount Auburn is as much an arboretum as a burial ground, and the flowering trees made light of the long, white winter suffered in these parts. In November 2006, as Mingbo neared completion of his translation of Longitude, he signed a new contract with Shanghai Century to translate another of my books, The Planets. A Penguin paperback edition followed in 2017. Two contemporary World War II novels could not coexist with the number 18 in both titles. Helming the team was Williamina Fleming — a Scotswoman whom Edward Charles Pickering, the thirty-something director of the observatory, first hired as a second maid at his residency in 1879 before recognizing her mathematical talents and assigning her the role of part-time computer. In fact, I found out the preceding Friday, by e-mail from a well meaning colleague who urged me, "You definitely must do this Sunday's NYT acrostic puzzle." In the period of three kingdom (around 200 A. D.), two countries were in war. . He kissed her on the cheek. Then, thanks to the organizers of the Shanghai Literary Festival and the Man Hong Kong Literary Festival, I did travel to China—and finally met Mingbo. A few days after returning from Munich, at another prize ceremony in the Boston Museum of Science, I watched Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web (and winner of the 1998 Eduard Rhein Technology Award), receive a 2014 Bradford Washburn Award. Mrs. Fleming leaned in with her loupe for a privileged view of the stellar universe. Given that Copernicus served as a Catholic Church administrator and dedicated his magnum opus to Pope Paul III, I thought the use of the word heaven particularly appropriate. If ever a book title needed to lean on a subtitle, surely The Planets was it, especially considering the scores of other books by the same title, which range from textbooks to an anthology of poems. Their spirit of selfless pursuit of truth and knowledge stands as a timeless testament to pioneering physicist Lise Meitner’s definition of the true scientist. Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. Chang'e didn't like the life on the Earth, so she, secretly took the whole elixir by herself. Producer Stephanie Carter interviewed me as a “talking head” in the library at Columbia University, where I got to fondle and page through a bona fide copy of the volume. I have the following questions for the first five chapters. This new, unknown component, which comprises ~68% of the matter-energy content of the universe, will determine the ultimate fate of all. Other authors have spoken freely of the universe in terms of “unveiling” it, “measuring” it, putting it “in a nutshell” or “in your hand.” Their titles describe the universe variously as “elegant,” “crowded,” “extravagant,” “accidental,” “4-percent,” and more. Here, it is worth noting that the story of the “Harvard computers” also raises subtler questions about the cultural narratives woven into our language itself. I must confess the payment for the translation is not very handsome, only 50 Yuan Per 1000 Chinese characters (equivalently, about $5 per 1000 words). Editors countered, “You can’t say ‘heaven’ in the title of a book about astronomy.” I didn’t need to argue the point. For nearly an hour, I sat in a tiny room, wearing headphones and speaking into an ultra-sensitive microphone. I told him that in a thank-you note. I wanted to make the point that although the originals were not allowed out of the UK, the replicas could tour as their inventor's ambassadors, to be seen and appreciated all over the world. the Foundation conferred its Technology Award on the affable. because now they would be mortal like ordinary people. The new monthly poetry column got a name, “Meter,” which seemed an ideal mix of poetry and science. Galileo’s Daughter proved easier to name. Last Saturday I visited the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “While we cannot maintain that in everything a woman is man’s equal,” Mrs. Fleming averred in her [National American Woman Suffrage Association presentation], “yet in many things her patience, perseverance and method make her his superior. It doesn’t really go in depth into the mathematics involved in QM. Part One of my new book, The Glass Universe, concerns “The Colors of Starlight.” It opens with a quote about stellar colors from the first lady of American astronomy, Maria Mitchell: The glass-plate photographs that the Harvard women examined in their studies were particularly sensitive to light from the blue-violet end of the visual spectrum – a fact that has sensitized me to violet light wherever it appears. It is interesting to learn that you thought I was a woman. He also sent letters to individual researchers at observatories all over the world, asking whether they could put $500 to immediate good use — say, to hire an assistant, repair an instrument, or publish a backlog of data. nine of ten Suns in the sky so that the earth could cool down to support lives. • The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel is published by Fourth Estate (£16.99). The spacecraft had recently been awakened from hibernation to perform a slight course correction. By Maria Popova I thought it must be an error or incidence of fraudulent use, so I called the vendor to question the transaction. As one of several past Washburn laureates invited back to join the happy fuss over the new ones, I sat in the audience with Paula Apsell (1994), senior executive director of NOVA. Anna Draper and Catherine Wolfe Bruce belong to a vast constellation of “matronage” — there are, perhaps most famously, the women of the Medici family, one of whom was instrumental in Galileo’s life; there is Gertrude Stein, who helped the stars of creative visionaries like Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald rise; there is Nadezhda von Meck, without whom there would be no Tchaikovsky. I remember hoping to get a call from Mr. Lamb after Longitude was published in 1995, but he didn't reach out to me until The Illustrated Longitude appeared three years later. I have no idea what snippets of my comments appear in the final cut, but I’ll find out when the program airs July 2 on Channel 13. For the August 2020 issue, the editors have taken Meter out from behind the magazine’s paywall, so Jessica Reed’s poem about gravitational waves can be readily enjoyed beyond the world of Scientific American subscribers. Mingbo had apparently undertaken the new translation at a propitious moment. It has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. That word literally means  a board taken as a shield to receive the attack of arrows, and implies something like a scapegoat or a forced protector. Sometimes, he may spend hours to find the right words or phrases to express something reading so simple and straightforward in English. My own experience of translating the letters of Galileo’s daughter had helped me appreciate the difficulty of selecting a single right word from among any number of synonym candidates. New Horizons has a small Earthbound mascot affectionately known as the hibernation bear. And I got my name on the masthead of my favorite magazine as a contributing editor. By the time of the 2007 mid-Autumn Festival, Mingbo was “proofreading and polishing” his first draft of The Planets. Back in Florida in 1920, and again writing for the Herald, she was given her own column, “The Galley.” An editorial she wrote in verse, expressing her outrage about a young man who was arrested for vagrancy and then beaten to death in a labor camp, convinced the state legislature to abolish beatings in the camps. Someone (maybe Heller himself) suggested 22 instead, and soon everyone in the group agreed that 22’s rat-a-tat tap and visual repetition made important improvements over the discarded 18. In my own titling experience, I tried hard to avoid using “longitude” in the title of Longitude, as I thought the word might strike dread in the heart. The Glass Universe Quotes Showing 1-1 of 1 “To have done work which is widely recognized, to have gained the sincere esteem of many and the real love of even a few, surely these are sufficient reasons to look on life as well worth the living.” I had survived radio interviews with hosts who had no idea who I was or what I had written, and who opened with a vague, "So, tell me about your book.". I have encountered some difficulties and expect more as I proceed. When the boats were within the arrow-shooting range of the enemy battleships, all drums were beaten and all soldiers shouted. The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars Dava Sobel, 2016 Penguin Books 336 pp. What a wonderful world! (Think of Thy Neighbor’s Wife by Gay Talese.) The hard part was remembering to make the entries, but after a while it became habit. Named, by contacting a variety of religious publishers such as Ignatius press and Pauline books bristling, tops... 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