Antikythera Mechanism

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    May 17, 2010 10:49 AM GMT
    I just watched this fantastic video about the Antikythera Mechanism and thought you guys might enjoy watching it too. This is from the journal "Nature". Sorry, embedding is not allowed.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/antikythera/

    This is another video clip about a very clever man in Britain who has reconstructed the Antikythera Mechanism using information gathered from X-Ray slices that were made in 2005.

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    May 17, 2010 3:03 PM GMT
    The History channel has run some programs that included a discussion of the device. It's a shame the Library of Alexandria was destroyed, more information about the device (as well as other ancient civilization knowledge) could have been examined and understood.
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    May 17, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    I was really interested in the notion that the Nature article puts forward that the device was most likely constructed somewhere around Siracusa. There is the intriguing suggestion that it may have come from a workshop tradition that might have developed around Archimedes, who was a resident of Siracusa appx. 100 years before the device seems to have been constructed.

    @Heliodromus - you're right, of course, about Alexandria.

    It occurs to me with our failure to follow up on space exploration and the retirement of important technological milestones like the shuttle and Concorde that we really shouldn't take it for granted that technological achievement cannot be easily lost. It seems to me that the comparison is like training at the gym. When one is in the habit physical fitness is easier. When one falls off then the whole proposition becomes daunting until we forget how to even do it anymore.

    It seems to me that the Antikythera is both a miraculous and cautionary object.
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    May 17, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    UrsaMajor saidIt occurs to me with our failure to follow up on space exploration and the retirement of important technological milestones like the shuttle and Concorde that we really shouldn't take it for granted that technological achievement cannot be easily lost.

    The United States is a perfect example of this. For most Americans the Bible is their primary source of knowledge, wisdom, and what they think passes for science.

    Genuine books of science are shunned, and indeed would be burned if the fundamentalists had their way. The ancient world had the burning of its one great Library of Alexandria -- that scene is repeated all over the US from coast to coast every day. More than half of Americans now reject evolution for the creationist view that says the Earth is barely 5000 years old, along with the rest of the Universe.

    Take for another example genetic research, which the Republicans under Bush suppressed in the US, because it conflicts with their interpretation of Biblical teachings. Fortunately for humanity the research continued in other countries, so that now the US is increasingly considered a backward nation in the field of medical advances. Oh, we spend a lot, the most expensive costs in the world actually, but we just spin our wheels. If the Bible doesn't teach it, we don't allow it.

    Fortunately only the US and Muslim countries are afflicted with this religious fanaticism. So long as the enlightened countries of the world can continue, other Libraries of Alexandria will survive the destruction of the ones in the US.
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    May 17, 2010 9:58 PM GMT
    Red you are so right, but unfortunately these reactionary elements in the US are working to export their views to Britain, Europe (especially Eastern-), Australia, and Africa, with some success.
  • Delivis

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    May 18, 2010 1:51 AM GMT
    I have read about this little gem last year, insanely remarkable for the time it was built.
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    May 18, 2010 1:59 AM GMT
    UrsaMajor saidI just watched this fantastic video about the Antikythera Mechanism and thought you guys might enjoy watching it too. This is from the journal "Nature". Sorry, embedding is not allowed.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/antikythera/

    This is another video clip about a very clever man in Britain who has reconstructed the Antikythera Mechanism using information gathered from X-Ray slices that were made in 2005.



    Wow. Props to that guy for being able to build a copy...the archaeological remains were in pretty bad shape.