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June 19, 2008 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm surprised by how many of these scientists and inventors I've never heard of. Also, old-timey proto-nerds are hilarious. The winner of the Best Name and Hair Award (so far!) goes to Camille Flammarion. (I'm laughing with you, not at you, good sir.)
posted by DU at 9:10 AM on June 19, 2008

Flammarion is one of those figures that keep cropping up when one reads about the history of science, and especially about astronomy (he named Triton, for example). I'm pretty sure he was mentioned in Owen Gingerich's fascinating The Book Nobody Read about the first and second editions of Copernicus' De revolutionibus which I read a couple of months ago. Flammarion also wrote an early science fiction classic, OMEGA: The Last Days of the World. Flammarion was an interesting guy.
posted by Kattullus at 9:39 AM on June 19, 2008

Flammarion is one of those figures that keep cropping up when one reads about the history of science...

One of 3 things may be true:

1) This statement is false.
2) I read less history of science than I think.
3) I have a poorer memory for funny names than I think.
posted by DU at 9:42 AM on June 19, 2008

Also, just realized: Twins!
posted by DU at 9:45 AM on June 19, 2008

I think that the particular confluence of oddness that Flammarion represents (astronomer, science fiction writer, book collector) puts him square in my zone of interest. Also, if you like history of science books, The Book Nobody Read is a good choice.
posted by Kattullus at 9:53 AM on June 19, 2008

Special Delivery.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:13 AM on June 19, 2008

I had seen the picture grabbingsand linked to before but I hadn't read the description: "After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples."

Surely that can't be right? Those must be urban legends.
posted by Kattullus at 10:28 AM on June 19, 2008

There weren't already any laws or practices in place that would have forbidden the mailing of children?
posted by DU at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2008

Good stuff, thanks Kattallus!
posted by carter at 7:40 PM on June 20, 2008

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