Thursday, March 20, 2014

Latest HILD research

The second edition of The River, Mountains and Sea-Coast of Yorkshire. With Essays on the Climate, Scenery, and Ancient Inhabitants of the Country, by John Phillips (MS, FRS) was printed in London, by John Murray, in 1855. It won't win any edge-of-your-seat awards but if you like looking at graphs and tables of odd (some of it very odd) information collected by gentlemen natural philosophers, it can be pretty interesting.

Here's a (sadly not very representative) snip:

The best bits are those tables. Phillips details the labourious heights (and depths) he went to to conduct his research, for example hoisting various receptacles on poles of various heights in his garden to gauge how elevation might affect precipitation.

Seeing several scientific disciplines at their dawn is fascinating, as is casting my imagination even farther back in time to what someone of Hild's time may or may not have been able to observe of the natural world. I have had some cracking ideas about how Hild might maintain her seerly prowess...

In other words, here in Seattle I'm enjoying myself thoroughly.
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