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Friday, March 06, 2015

On This Day - March 7

A meme for March 7, which it us here Downunder.


321 – Sunday becomes the day of rest in the Roman Empire. The weekend is created! Yay!

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patents his invention, the telephone. The rest is history.

1994 – Copyrighta Law in the US: it is decided that parodies of an original work are covered by "fair use". Probably just as well or we wouldn't have quite a lot of comedies and we would have a lot more court cases.

2009 – Launch of  The Kepler space observatory, which is there to find Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. 


1792: John Herschel, son of the Astronomer Royal, William Herschel, nephew of the amazing Caroline Herschel, and guess what? He was a big name astronomer himself and named some of the moons of Uranus, with names they still have. He was also a big name in photography and, with his wife Margaret, worked on some botany while they were in South Africa doing astronomy. Go look him up on Wikipedia. I did.

1875: Maurice Ravel. If you've never heard his Bolero, you must have had your head in the sand.

1944: Stanley Schmidt, American SF writer. I can't remember if I 've read anything of his, but I've certainly read Analog, the U.S. hard SF magazine, of which he was editor between 1978 and 2012.  For me, hard SF is the source of my sensawunda.

1946: The wonderful Elizabeth Moon, whose space operas I discovered while waiting for more Lois McMaster Bujold. LMB is a fine fantasy writer, but I prefer SF - and I haven't read any Moon fantasy either, for the same reason. But plenty of space opera to read in the Serrano, Esmay Suiza and Vatta's War series. More, please! 

Today is Teacher's Day in Albania. Nice to know teachers are appreciated in some parts of the world. Here in Australia the perception seems to be that teachers are useless lazy good for nothings who have these cushy jobs with short hours and long holidays. Interestingly, no one who says this in newspaper letters pages ever says, "I think I'll go and train as a teacher to show them how it's done and get all those holidays." Or seems to know that uni entrance scores are about demand, not about how good you are. And teacher entrance scores are low because, despite all those holidays, not many people want to teach. I wonder why?

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