Monday, January 21, 2008
Longitude (Jan. '08)
The title of this book by Dava Sobel is actually Longitude: The Story of of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. Quite a mouthful for such a small book! I found it fascinating despite its size. I didn't realize how difficult it was for sailors to know their location at sea before longitude could be accurately determined. And the persecution Harrison dealt with from the astrological community was completely unfair - but he really should have seen it coming. I'm glad that his work was recognized in his lifetime. And despite my lack of interest in mechanics of any kind I have a strong desire to see his sea clocks in the Guildhall in London ... I wonder if I'll ever get the chance.