Vive L'Amour

My Mad Fat Diary, In The Flesh, Bluestone 42, The Big Bang Theory, The Smiths, Billy Bragg, The Bluetones, Britpop

I’m thinking about moving away. Because I’ve got no other reason to stay. Have I?

(Source: themushroomblues, via madfatty)

Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)


Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

(via bansheewhale)

always reblog because you know women

(via alternageek)


(via can-loves-you)

Just name droppin’ here.
Rosalyn Franklin.
Mother of the double helix.
Just sayin’

(via cloned-fiona-glenanne)

(via sunflowerdope)

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. 1914 - 1918.

Visiting France to pay my respects to those who gave their lives.

Memorial built by Edwin Lutyens.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. 1914 - 1918.

Visiting France to pay my respects to those who gave their lives.

Memorial built by Edwin Lutyens.




Ignace Gaston Pardies - Scientist of the Day

Ignace Gaston Pardies, a French Jesuit scientist, was born Sep. 5, 1636. Pardies appears most often in historical narratives as an insightful critic of Newton’s early experiments on light, and as one of the earliest proponents of a wave theory of light. His star atlas is hardly ever mentioned, which we find perplexing, for not only is it his most impressive achievement, it is also one of the most pleasing and harmonious star atlases ever published. Nothing is known about how he compiled it, or whose observations he used, or who drew the constellation figures, but the resulting set of six plates is visually very appealing. The constellation figures are attractive and graceful, and they esthetically fit in with one another on the large plates, which is not at all the case with most star atlases of this type.

The Globi coelestis, as Pardies’ atlas was called, was first published in 1674, the year after Pardies’ early death, and it was reprinted around 1690, with the addition of the paths of several recent comets, including that of the comet of 1682, or Halley’s comet. Each edition of the Globi coelestis is quite scarce, and we are fortunate in the Linda Hall Library to have fine copies of each. We displayed both the 1674 edition and the 1690 edition in our 2007 exhibition, Out of This World.

The first two images above are from the 1674 edition, and the third is from the 1690 editon. In the last image, the line that begins above Virgo and shoots off over Leo’s back marks the path of the first appearance of Halley’s comet.

Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

We came across a hand-colored star map in one of the collections here just last week!  We’ll make some scans and share them soon.


We love maps, but we don’t get to see many things like this star atlas here.

(via aspiringpolymath)


The famous dog watching the canal through his window - Bruges, Belgium

I went past here today but sadly we did not see the dog. We did, however, see the cushion.

(via paleasalabaster)